Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas is Over, Winter is Here

Now four days after Christmas and the clean up begins.  We (I) put all this time in preparing, decorating, shopping and then in one quick day it's over.  It's worth it though.  I actually love all the pre-Christmas day goings ons more than the day itself.  And isn't it funny how once Christmas day is over we (I) want to get rid of all signs of it.  I don't want to get rid of the feelings, just change the look.  Now I want everything to be clean and re-arranged.  I want the New Year feeling now of clean, starting over, fresh, renewal and good things to come.  I would normally take this week off and start the clean up on January 2.  This year I had to move the process up a week.  My oldest son and family found a good house right near his recruiting office so they are moving this weekend.  I am helping my DIL clean the new house and start moving some little things tomorrow and then on Saturday we get the U-Haul and My Bob and son will load it up.  They are only moving an hour away so then they can take their time in getting the old house cleaned up and rent it out for now.  They may decide to sell it later on.  Of course My Bob and I will be on hand to help.  For the last eight years, between college and now the military, we probably have  moved one or both of my sons once a year.  We're pretty good at it now.

Our Christmas was a good one.  Christmas Eve was early church service, a wonderful lasagna dinner prepared by my DIL, opening a few presents at son and DIL's house with two very excited grandsons, then My Bob and I back home early and just relaxing with an egg nog martini. 

Logan and Landen - they just couldn't wait to get these off, put on their new Christmas Eve jammies and open a couple of gifts.  They looked real handsome in their suits for about an hour.

Mmm!  This was delicious!  Tiny bit of alcohol, mostly egg nog and lots of cinnamon and chocolate shavings

Christmas morning was nice and quiet and enjoyable with just Bob and I until about 2:00.  I have Christmas dinner here and this year it was with Mom and Dad, son #1 Austin and his family and DIL's brother.  Mom, Dad and Austin made a trip to the Nursing Home to visit Grandma and Grandpa first and that was the sad part of the day.  Grandma now weighs 59 pounds and is almost vegetative.  I had visited two days earlier. We are now hoping for God to take her soon.  This is no way to live.  We can't even believe it's possible for her to be alive.  The time must still not be right.
My dinner was my traditional ham and scalloped potatoes and then the opening of presents.

My one day a year place setting.

I have to explain this picture a little.  Logan and Landen get so many (too many) toys from their parents and other family members, so I am a little more practical and get them clothes and things that they need.  They aren't always thrilled upon opening my presents.  The boys needed new snow pants, hats, gloves and snow boots.  I made Logan try his on and you can see how thrilled he was.  We were laughing so hard we were crying.  He reminded us of Ralphy from The Christmas Story having to try on the pink bunny suit.  But just wait until they can go out sled riding and then they'll be happy they have all this.

The Day was very nice with lots of laughs, just the right amount of presents (at my house anyway), and a nice prayer of grace and thankfulness at dinner given by Mom.

Then yesterday and today so far has brought winter to us in a big way.  I'm loving it right now.  The small problem is that we will probably have snow on the ground until April.  I love it until February, then I'm ready for a change.  Then it's a good time for a vacation to someplace warm if possible.
This is what we woke up to looking out the front door two mornings ago.  My Bob has to shovel a path for the dogs or they won't go out.

Then overnight last night we had quite a bit more snow and this was looking out the back door this morning.
As you can tell, I don't go out, I just enjoy the view.  I bet the boys are enjoying their presents from me today!

Tonight we're supposed to go to an Open House party at my girlfriend's new house.  And Thursday night  we're supposed to go to a New Year's Eve party at another good friend's house.  Honestly we don't feel like going to either, but because they are both good friends we will probably go.  I hate to leave the house.  Isn't that terrible?  The good news is it's because I'm very happy and content here.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Thoughts Two Days Before Christmas

Two more days until Christmas.  All the preparations; the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the planning, and the groceries are complete.  When it's all said and done and we get this close to The Day, there is a slight tendancy to sit back and wonder if it is all worth it and why do we go through all this trouble.  That thought quickly leaves me because the answer for me is, "Yes, it's worth it!"  I love this time of year.  I love the lights, the smells, and for us here in Pennsylvania, we are having a beautiful white Christmas.  I also love family getting together, although I have to say, that can bring with it  some stress and sadness. 
We just got home on Sunday evening from Cincinnati where the other half of our family lives.  Every year my brother and sister in law host a family Christmas weekend at  their beautiful home in Lebanon, Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati.  We arrived on Thursday and then on Friday we always spend the day with My Bob's family and all day Saturday with my family.  It's so great seeing everyone that we probably don't see all year.

 The downside is that we end up seeing and hearing all the troubles and hardships and illnesses of family members that we are insulated from all year being 400 miles away. 
My brothers' 23 year old son has run into some major problems that I won't discuss, but suffice it to say my brother and our whole family are very worried and upset about it.  I have to say, though, that it's all due to very poor choices on his part.  My husband's 22 year old nephew is trying to find his way out of a bad family situation with my husband's brother and family.  My Bob is trying to help his nephew in every way that he can.  And worst of all, my Mother-in-law is very ill with pancreatic cancer and has now been given 3-6 months by the doctors. 
These are all very difficult issues to deal with, and especially at Christmas time when you're wanting to celebrate.  So I've talked to myself about this, and I am trying to put it all in a proper place in my head.   If there is something wrong in my life that I can do something about, then do it.  If there is absolutely nothing I can do about it, then pray about it and leave it up to God.  Easier said than done, but it's the way it is.  I know My Bob can get very down when he dwells on thoughts of his mother, brother and nephew, but he also gets it into perspective and shelves those thoughts where they need to go.   We have chosen to live our lives a certain way and other family members have chosen different paths.  It's tough.
I realize that all this is included in the Christmas spirit.  The spirit of giving to those without, prayer for those suffering, forgiveness for those that have done wrong.  Then keep the joy and happiness that is in me so that I can try to share that with those in need.  I need to keep in mind that at any time in this life, I could be on the needing side instead of the giving side.  I can only then hope that someone with a joyful and giving Christmas spirit would be there for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm Officially a "Grilled Grandma"

I know, two posts in one day!  You would think I have all kinds of time on my hands.  WRONG!  I am very flattered to be featured as a "Grilled Grandma" on Lisa's blog at:  http://www.grandmasbriefs.com/.  This is her home page.  The "Grilled Grandma" feature of me can be found at:  http://www.grandmasbriefs.com/grilled-grandmas/2009/12/16/grilled-grandma-nina.html .  Please pay Lisa a visit regardless of me being on it.  She has a darling site that is dedicated to everything Grandma. 
Again, I am very flattered and humbled by Lisa's feature.  Being a Grandma is my proudest accomplishment, besides being a mother, and I know that not everyone is always thrilled to here about my kids and grandkids and put up with all the pictures that I show all the time.  So for those that may be a little interested, here's the go to site.

Come and See Spokane, Coeur d'Alene and My Baby

It's 5:00 a.m. and I can't sleep.  I have this little tickle in my throat and I keep coughing.  I don't feel that terrible, but I'm keeping my Bob and myself awake.  So I layed there and I layed there, trying NOT to cough, which of course only makes you cough more.  Then I tried to talk myself back to sleep, which of course only keeps you wide awake.  So I'm laying there wide awake, coughing, and thinking (about everything) and decided I may as well get up and write about our Spokane trip a few weeks ago.  When you lay in bed unable to sleep, for some reason it's a time when the brain seems to work double time in thinking about:  all that you need to do, want to do, forgot to do, worries that really aren't worries when you're up and about during the day, your children and grandchildren, and just overall trying to plan world peace.  In amongst all those rambles of thoughts I realized I never posted my Spokane trip with the pictures.  So up I got, made myself a hot cup of tea, looked out at the 1-2" of new snow and still coming down, and feeling wide awake.

We've been home now for about 12 days and I miss my kids already.  This is my youngest son, the Survival Trainer for the Air Force.  He actually starts his official six months training in January, but does things now like run, work out, exercise, and go out on survival treks in the woods of Washington.  He left two days ago for a survival camp out in the woods in a foot of snow and wind chills of 20 below with nothing but a back pack of gear.  I'm very impressed because there is no way I will even walk the dog if it's below 40 degrees.  If anyone is interested, the web site for what he does is : http://www.gosere.com/medium.html  It's a very interesting site.

My son, DIL and Baby Riley live in a cute, but tiny apartment in Spokane and since my Mom and Dad went along with us this trip, we couldn't all stay with them.  From our previous and first trip we knew they lived close to the Idaho border and there is a resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, that is just beautiful so we checked into that and were able to trade one of our time share weeks for a condo at the Arrow Point Resort on Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It's absolutely breathtaking there.  The bald eagles were in season to be seen flying over the lake right outside our windows.  Coeur d'Alene is about 35 miles from my son's place, but by the time you drive up the side of the mountain to get to the condo it took us about 50 minutes one way.  But it worked out well because my son could take a few days off work so they packed up and stayed with us a few nights and the other days we went into Spokane. 

Here is a view out our window of the condo showing the snow topped mountains in the distance.

The view in the other direction off the back deck.

View from atop the mountain looking down the lake.

The views and scenery are just awesome, but there were a few days of some light snow and driving up that mountain, with a little bit of slickness, and no guard rails in spots, had me gripping the car seat and door handle the whole way.  My hands would be sweating by the time we got to our condo.

We took a little visit to the Coeur d'Alene Casino one day.  We're not big gambling people so it didn't do much for us, but we can say we were there.

One evening we took the cruise to the North Pole.  This was quite spectacular with a huge holiday light display on the lake and Santa and Mrs. Claus out on a big dock and they would read off all the names of the little kids that were on the cruise boat.  If you have little kids and ever go to Lake Coeur d'Alene at Christmas time, this is a must do.

Sorry about the quality of this, but you get the idea.  I was outside on the front of the boat and it was so cold and I couldn't get the right focus with the lights.

Of course, our favorite site was of my kids.  My Baby Riley is just the cutest, sweetest, most pleasant baby girl I have ever seen.  I know I'm not very objective, but still ---.  And I was so impressed at what a good mother my DIL is.  So sweet and loving and patient.  I couldn't be more proud of all of them.  I know, I'm one of those mothers and grandmothers that talks about her kids all the time and is always showing off pictures, but I guess that's one of the reasons why I have this blog!  So here goes:

Beautiful baby and mama

My Bob with our granddaughter.  Big GG (My Dad) just had to buy her this cowboy hat and animal print fur lined vest.  I don't know if her mother was all that thrilled.  People thought she was a boy.

We got her this Jumparoo for Christmas, and then Grandpa Bob and Big GG thought it was cute to turn the cowboy hat sideways. 

Here in a much prettier outfit, that I knit for her

And finally, me with my baby girl!  I'm so in love!

It was so hard to leave, but DIL and Baby Riley will be home here for two weeks in January while my son is away at some training.  When they're here, though, I have to share with all the other grandparents, relatives and friends.  I hope sometime next year I can go to Spokane just by myself and have her all to myself for a week or so.

Well, now I've turned on the coffee pot.  No use trying to go back to bed now.  We leave tomorrow for Cincinnati to have our family Christmas with all the relatives down there.  I love all my family, but sometimes I just don't feel like travelling.  You can be sure I'll still have a good time once I'm there and I'll have more pictures!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Be Happy and Healthy in 2010

Here's to a happy and healthful 2010! From your lovable pet and animal community!

26 Ways To Be Healthier

1.) Brush twice a day!

2.) Dress right for the weather.

3.) Visit the dentist regularly.

4.) Get plenty of rest.

5.) Make sure your hair is dry before going outside..

6.) Eat right.

7.) Get outside in the sun every once in a while.

8.) Always wear a seatbelt.

9.) Control your drinking of alcoholic beverages.

10.) Smile! It will make you feel better.

11.) Don't over indulge yourself.

12.) Bathe regularly.

13.) Read to exercise the brain.

14.) Surround yourself with friends.

15.) Stay away from too much caffeine.

16.) Use the bathroom regularly.

17.) Get plenty of exercise.

18.) Have your eyes checked regularly.

19.) Eat plenty of vegetables.

20.) Believe that people will like you for who you are.

21.) Forgive and forget.

22.) Take plenty of vacations.

23.) Celebrate all special occasions.

24) Pick up a hobby

25.) Love your neighbor as yourself.

26.) Send this to your computer

buds to give them a warm fuzzy!

Have a nice day !!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's Beginning To Feel a Lot Like Christmas

This is such a busy time!  How did I ever do everything during the Christmas Season when I had two active boys at home and I worked a full time job?  Youth has more energy I guess, as much as I hate to admit that.
I'm actually doing pretty well, though.  Mom and I went Christmas shopping yesterday.  I try to do it all in one day and that's what I did.  We were going to go to Westmoreland Mall in Pittsburgh, about two hours away, but I woke up not feeling very well and yet still determined to stay true to my schedule we decided to stay here in town to do our shopping.  Our mall is very small, but there are enough stores to get what was on my list.  We headed into town at 11:00 am, and by 5:30 pm we were picking up pizzas to take home for dinner.  The car was packed full and for the most part, both of our lists were checked off.  I was tired, but I started wrapping presents about 6:30 and continued until 9:30 last night.  I wrapped the last few this morning and what a good feeling. DONE (for now)
Now I have my annual Christmas letter to write to put into the Christmas cards but I don't think I feel like doing that today.  I have the outline finished, though.
Here are some more pictures of my Christmas decorating. 

This is my outdoor tree on the front stoop.  It has a grape theme to it.

The front of my house with the poinsettias in the window boxes, lights and garland around the door and lights in the rhody bushes.  I have lights in the bushes on the left, too, but I can't find the right adapter for the plug.  So frustrating!  Notice the snow - it's still there but now with ice on top of it.

This is the view from my back deck.  More poinsettias in the boxes with tiny wreaths hanging below them, and my wooden trees next to the bird feeders.  Cold, but pretty.

Now back inside where it's warm.  Here's my fireplace and mantel.  My mother bought me this Christmas angel a few years ago for my birthday.  I hang it above the mantel each Christmas, but I move it to hang in a corner the rest of the year because I love it.  The fireplace screen was done for me by my design by an artist friend that does beautiful stained glass work.

This is my Thomas Kincaid village that sits on my wine cabinet in my dining room.  A few years ago I bought this by sending for one  building each month for five months.  The grandsons love to play with the little people, car and sled. 

I think if you click on the pictures they may enlarge.  I'm also putting up pictures on my other site of my Christmas quilts and pillows that I've made.  Take a visit over there in a little bit for a look.
Well, I'm still not feeling great, so I think it's a good night for tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Oops, it's 4:00.  Time to turn on all the Christmas lights!


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Stumble Upon