Saturday, December 27, 2008

...and her new double-barrel shotgun!

Christmas day was lovely and the evening itself was quite a treat! Since we did have quite a few extra bodies than we had beds, we settled the children onto pallets (quite cozy ones, I'll add!) And it was such a treat to watch the children go to bed with what new gifts they treasured! (If that's not all-telling, then what is?!?)

There was one child in particular that was the most interesting to watch (I won't tell you which child it is, for I'm sure that you can guess)! She went to sleep with a water bottle (in case she "grew thirsty during the night"), a lantern (that Pawpaw gave her Daddy), her new Bible (we give our children their own grown-up NKJ Bible when they fully master and enjoy reading), her new lovey (Mimi managed to secure the only "Brownie" replacement available in the US),... and her new double-barrel shotgun, should there be any bad guys! Yes, of course, it's a toy, but our little Annie Oakley is so cute!

The morning after Christmas, my mom and sister and I (with my precious baby niece in tow, of course!) ran off to steal some after-Christmas deals! And when we returned we found that our little infamous Annie Oakley had handed out all of her toy guns to her cousins and had assigned position postings to everyone! When we first walked into the house, one could have heard a pin fall. And I said to Ricci, "The house is so peaceful! I'm so thankful everything was easy for you fellas!" Then he gave me a look that implied that the house had just recently been returned to order! Evidently, there had been a show-down at the O.K. Corral, fathers, uncles and grandfathers included! How cute is that?!?

You mean it's all over?!?

You mean it's all over?!? It seems like it was just yesterday that we put up our Christmas trees (one white Christmas tree in the living room and one colored Birthday tree in the family keep presents separated, of course!) and that my parents arrived for the girls' Christmas pageant (e'hem, Tiffy, pics?!?), ... then (as my life seems to enjoy!) we hit the super-speed time warp, and BAM...everyone was packing up to leave! Although it did seem like a whirlwind (and it was!) what a fun time it was!
  • Advent readings
  • Cooking yummy foods
  • Celebrating several family members' birthdays!
  • Meems and P-Daddy watched the girls Sunday evening when Ricci and I ran to friends' Christmas party...thanks again, M & P!
  • Last minute gift deliveries to close friends and neighbors (not that they're not one and the same!)
  • Spending one day driving around looking at houses/ search of a specific plantation home (that I want Meems and P-Daddy to buy!)
  • Last minute shopping in all of the craziness (I know some hate it, but I love it...every one is so cheerful and has a common goal, making their house a home for friends and family!
  • Awaiting more fam to arrive
  • Opening up our stockings on Christmas Eve!
  • Sending out my sweet brother'n'law to look for that dern ingredient that always seems to sneak up on me missing....thanks, N!!! You're the best! "Ta! Ta!"
  • Opening up Christmas gifts and watching others open their gifts! (I did receive a gift from my daddy that will be a gift to last generations...I can't believe it...thanks, Daddy!)
  • Spending Boxing Day with more fam
  • And celebrating my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary!

Yes, sadly today everyone packed up and left...after celebrating two more birthdays (Happy Birthday, AngelWings and PawPaw!), and the house is once again quiet (relatively speaking!)...and we've all gone into detoxification! Even the dog!

Thankfully, the Lord is weaning us off of our high from the holidays, for tomorrow we're expecting friends that we sadly 'allowed' to move away this summer!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lovey's "gift" is giving!

Over the last couple of weeks, the girls have been giving gifts here and there to one could be as simple as a decorated, paper-towel tube to an elaborate, treasured item of their own that they know that their sister would love to have! It has been cute to observe...for a while...then Daddy and Mommy had to step in and make some general guidelines to help them see that we shouldn't be too frivolous nor too shabby either. (Just taking an opportunity to teach a lesson!)

Then this evening I've been continuing to wrap a few tiny gifts while everyone is asleep, and I literally laughed out loud when I realized exactly what the 'help' was that Lovey was giving me today...

Earlier today, she put her Santa hat on to help deliver the gifts to the Christmas tree...the sweet, little thing was watching me wrap things, then she'd sweetly ask if she could put the label on the gifts, and of course I said she could! (I know that there will be one day that I'd crave having her there helping me with her little 'almost' 6 year-old penmanship, so even though I'd love it to be done just so, I was cherishing her help.)

Obviously, earlier today I didn't take the time to oversee any of her work, for she was very helpful in putting a gift tag atop every, single gift and then placing the gifts under the tree...all of them are under there, signed From: Tressie

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family RR line is "Under Construction"!

Thinking about the holidays now...I'm such an opportunist/perfectionist that I always feel the weight on my shoulders of "too many things to do and too little time" during the holiday season!

I like to be organized, for I love a list that I can check off or a neat label that I can affix to something! And I've cracked myself up this year, for I had stashed more gifts than I remembered in our 'coat/gift' closet, which is so neat and tidy now that we've taken the Christmas gifts out of it. (I try to purchase little things for our friends and family all throughout the year so that I'm not overwhelmed with last-minute shopping...although that's fun too! And I try to keep an updated list inside the back of my planner for my eyes only, of course!)

I'm hoping that Santa has my next Franklin-Covey calendar refill under the tree (when asked, all I've suggested is that and a candy thermometer), for I've already started to 'pencil in' my annual holiday notes to my planner what would be good ideas for next year...examples...what to take to next year's this/that Christmas party, what would be a good gift for this person, when to get the paperwhites/amaryllis bulbs ready, etc.

Anyway, we still have a few things left to do around here to ready ourselves for Christmas...we have until tomorrow, for that's when company starts coming into town!

And already thinking about the new school year...I have to admit that I'm already looking forward to the hum-drum days of January, (after the double baby shower I'm planning is over, of course)! I eagerly anticipate starting back to school in January; however, I HAVE to work on our daily schedule and try to structure it a little more! Of course, this time of year is always a little unusual with fieldtrips and other special things to do for the holidays, but we did start back to school earlier this year to allow us to have more time off during the was a little odd earlier in late-summer when people would say, "You've already started back to school?" But it sure is great now! I plan to do that from now on!

Anyway, the daily schedule that I have created for us accounts for every half-hour of our day; however, I have only used that as a "guide," and recently even that has gone by the wayside!!! It's time to regenerate and renew our school schedule! And what better time of year to do that than January! If you have one that you think works particularly well for your family, please feel free to share!

I'm really looking forward to the new year so that we can start afresh with some newer for those of you that are reading, Laying Down the Rails, I think you'll appreciate this announcement....
From now thru January 2nd, the Chan**** Railroad Line is "Under Construction"!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Are we going somewhere special today?"

As a typical first half of December, it's been a little hectic around here...the girls wake up asking, "Are we going somewhere special today?" "Who's coming over today?"

Last week, we had a nice visit with Ricci's mom, dad, aunt Carolyn, and uncle Jim, who were staying at some cabins not too far from here. We were able to meet them for supper at Canyon Grill (yum!!), and then they all went on to see the Christmas lights at RC (brrr!) before joining us at our house for some coffee and hot chocolate...and the amaretto-chocolate pecan pie that I had promised to Ricci's mom. We had hoped to see them the next day, but a dear friend of ours had a death in her family, so we were busily helping her make arrangements to attend the funeral and be with her family. Then ahhh....Sunday....a day of rest! Isn't it so true that when one has a true need for something, one so much more greatly appreciates it?!? Rest to the weary! A friend to the friendless! Money to the needy! We've all experienced some form or fashion of such a gift when needed! God gave us such a gift when He created the seventh day, so after church we came home and crashed!!!

Then Monday night and Tuesday morning I hosted my annual Christmas Open House. This year I hosted the open house with my friend Kelly Raschall (as Cricket calls her), and it was so much fun to collaborate with her. We already have bigger/better plans for next year! Toss in a fun birthday party and prairie club that afternoon, and it was early to bed that evening!

The next morning we went to see some friends in the Nutcracker, had lunch with good friends and their adorable daughter Mary Alice, made a last-minute doctor's appointment, did a touch of Christmas shopping, and then headed off to pick up Efrem and go to our Christmas banquet at church where Cricket and Lovey performed Matthew's Begats (for the last time for a while)'s time to learn a new somethin' else, AP?

On Wednesday afternoon, when I squeezed in a doctor's appointment to check my thyroid levels (for I was completely out, and they wanted to recheck my levels before prescribing more of the same dosage), it was all in God's perfect timing for me to be forced to squeeze that into my schedule, for when the doctor looked at me and then my throat, he said, "Uh, you need to be on an antibiotic!" I thought everyone felt worn out and tired at this time of year...with a touch of a sore throat! Whew...I feel so much better after having had a course of Z-pack! A new woman! I hadn't realized that I was feeling so poorly until he said that!

Today and tomorrow I'll (hopefully) wrap up my Timeless Treasures orders and get them delivered, so that's great! And for those of you that joined us, I so greatly appreciate your friendship and support! I do enjoy giving/selling monogrammed jewelry and embroidered gifts, and I also enjoyed getting some of Kelly's new books!