Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Oh my what a wonderful time I had, with my family, at my daughter's new house, for our family Christmas celebration on Sunday afternoon. It was like turning the clock back to a time when my children were much younger.
First let me say what a wonderful package of Hickory Farms Holiday goodness I won from: From Captain's Daughter to Army Mom's blog. Thank you so much Janet and Hickory Farms for making out get together such a wonderful occasion with this great variety of yummy goodness. It was the highlight of our finger food meal.
After some visiting by adults and playing in the back fenced in yard for the children we ate...and we ate such a delicious medley of finger foods. My oldest daughter surprised us with the most amazing punch we've ever tasted. The fruit bowl my middle daughter made was exquisite and tasted scrumptious. She also made other goodies that my tummy is wearing but I've forgotten what they were called.  My youngest daughter made several yummy dishes my hips are currently wearing. At the last minute, the night before, I decided to make a cake mix and cream cheese cookie recipe. Then I decorated them with a simple icing and a medley of Christmas sprinkles. Of course there was too much food and we all took some home with us.
After eating came the gift opening. This is where time went back for me. My son who will be 40 in about a week was reserved with his gift opening. Yet he loved the mini album I made a video of on You Tube under the name of "thegmaw". My oldest daughter wanted to wait and open hers on Christmas morning. My two youngest daughters were like children themselves when they were opening my gifts to them. I made dangle charms that I learned to make from my Skype sisterhood. Thanks Virginia and Rosanne. I made bracelets....yes both a new craft for me... and they turned out beautifully. I also had made things during the year and put away for the big event. I received so many hugs from my grandchildren for what I gave them that I thought I must have done something extraordinary other than giving a few presents to them.
When it was time for everyone to go home two grandchildren wanted to stay the night and come home the next day. Of course Gmaw spent the night so they could. And it was worth every minute of what I got to see. The 4 older grandchildren got to put on swimsuits and get in the big bathtub with the water jets etc. (I can't remember the name of it). They had the best time and looked like drowned rats when they finally got out. Of course my daughter tried numerous times to encourage their getting out and drying off to no avail. Finally she had to let the water out to get them out. lol  They were all dried off and put pajamas on and got ready for bed. Of course they didn't want to go to bed yet so they were playing around and having a good time. Gmaw wanted her little critter hoppers to go to bed and so did my daughter. We were going to watch a movie and have a treat. Of the excitement of the day and evening had them wound up tighter than a spring. Finally they wound down and went to sleep. By this time the old Gmaw was about to go to sleep herself but managed the treat and some conversation with her daughter. But when she realized I was sleeping instead of watching the movie, she took the computer to her bedroom and laid on the bed in comfort to watch it. Ha Ha something about laying down to watch a movie that puts us to sleep.
The next day I was awakened very early by the baby and went to his room and got him out of bed, changed his diaper and put him in the high chair to feed him. I wanted my daughter to get some extra sleep if she could so I was trying to take care of things myself. The other children awoke and came in for breakfast also. Thank goodness for cereal and milk.
My daughter awoke and thanked me for letting her catch up on some sleep. They had just moved into their new house the week before and she had got everything put away and decorated for our get together. I had spent 8 days with her keeping an eye on the children so she could move light stuff while her husband worked. At night he would move the big stuff. Anyways she was  tired and I knew it so I just did what a Mother does for her child to help out.
When it came time to head home I got a phone call from my daughter whose children I had with me. She told me to take them home with me so she could pick them up and take them to the other grandparents house so her husband could get the trampoline put together. They pulled it off very well I thought. When I saw the trampoline on Christmas Day I understood better. Those things have come a long way from the one I had gotten for my children. A safety net encircling the whole thing, double springs for easier movement without them popping off the frame, and even a shoe net to keep track of their shoes. and the list goes on. No wonder it took her husband all day to put that thing together. I got to see them on it playing and having a good time. The 5 year old granddaughter was able to make the basket several times. Yes it came with a basketball hoop attached to the frame. Oh what fun they had when the 10 month old twin girls were allowed on for a bit. They crawled around and played with the balls and laughed while having the greatest time playing with their Daddy,sister, and brother. Mama took pictures and Gmaw/GG watched it all.
On Christmas Eve my Skype group did the reading of "The Night Before Christmas" If you'd like to watch it on You Tube, feel free to go to my channel"thegmaw" and click on the beginning one on the description section. This is where it starts and you can go through each one's presentation. There are two that didn't get the link right so I had to go back and do it from mine. Hope you'll watch and enjoy it. We enjoyed making the video.
Next is New Years Eve for the world and until then I leave you with Just This... Alice

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas is on the way

Hello to all,
Hope your Christmas Holiday is filled with much love and many blessings this year.
It's been a rough few months for me but when I get over this latest episode of stomach contents aspiration in my lungs and sinus cavities, I'll be OK once more.
I am looking forward to Christmas with anticipation this year unlike last year after the death of family members. Five family members and a friend within two years was a little hard on me last year. OK enough of that and on to something else.
 I've made gifts as I usually do for my children and grandchildren. But this year it's taken a different direction for some of them. I have been such a lucky person to find jewelry items on eBay to bid then win for .99 cents with free shipping. Awaiting the arrival of the ladies and girls  pieces is hard as I am anxious to see if I did the right thing by buying them.
Being under the weather so to speak has dampened my decorating the outside of my apartment for the contest this year. The judging will be on the 20th so I still have some time.  After winning first place the first year and second place last year, I'm not sure if I will win any place this year. I'm not  the kind of person to want it all and would like to see someone else win. But I'd like to see them put forth the effort to do so. I think we all know it takes a lot of planning and hard work to decorate the outside of our homes for the holidays. I'm hoping I can get a family member to take pictures this year for me. They are all so busy with their own families that it's hard to plan a right time to photograph the results of stringing lights and decorating. If I do I'll share the results with you all.
I sincerely hope we all take time to reflect on the reason we celebrate this time of year. May we ever be mindful of all the blessings we've been given in this country that others in far lands are unable to have. Pray for our military persons serving and away from their families this holiday. The sacrifice they make for our country and keeping us a free nation deserves much more than they're given in return.

Now for a little back then reflection.
When I was growing up on the farm we didn't have Christmas because we were a large family. There was no finances to support having one as my father farmed to make a living and it barely supported us. The first time I saw what Christmas was all about was beyond my young minds comprehension. A man named Santa Claus brought good boys and girls toys and stockings filled to the brim with goodies. Homes were decorated with trees and lights and such things I'd never seen. This all happened when I went to school at 6 years old. There was no kindergarten back then. Riding the bus to school, I saw yard after yard full of  the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen. We got on the bus early and it was still dark enough for the lights to stand out and people awoke early back in those days, turned them on and went about their morning routines then turned them off before leaving for work. I thought it was the most beautiful sight I'd ever seen but didn't understand why we didn't have the same in our yard. It was explained as we aren't made of money and all that does is make the light bill go up. Like I'd understand that concept at 5 years old. I was learning abc's, numbers, and words, not finances. Well it was a big disappointment that we never had the experience of all that Christmas represents in a worldly sense. But I sure had an education about the real reason for having Christmas. We would sit around the fireplace shelling pecans or peanuts and would hear all about it. There was no story of The Night Before Christmas read to us. We had the Bible version of Christmas.
 Now I realize that my parents were doing the best they could with having 7 children and living in a 1 bedroom house built by my father. Having 4 children of my own and ending up as a single mother was an eye opener for me about struggling to make ends meet with no outside help. Yet I made it through those years with 2 of my children graduating with honors and the other 2 graduating. Even though statistics were against my parents and myself for raising a family, we all turned out to be some pretty good people if I must say myself. So with an understanding of what it takes to raise a family, I began to understand how difficult and heartbreaking it must have been for my parents to not have the means to give us Christmas as everyone else around us had. And I came out well in spite of never having Christmas while growing up/
I am in a skype group that crafts while skyping. We were talking about Christmas and I was reluctant to join the conversation because of my lack of Christmas as a child. When the subject of stockings came up and everyone was talking about what they got in theirs, I simply said I didn't get a stocking at Christmas. No one said anything nut.. when my swap package came from one of the ladies, I pulled out a very big stocking and tears came to my eyes. I didn't want to burst out sobbing so I played it up as such a big stocking it went to my armpit as I put my hand in it. I knew what the box full of goodies was all about and the items to craft with also. I tried so hard to remain composed during the taping of my video but when I finished it and turned the camera off. I broke down and sobbed my heart out for all those years as a small child without Christmas and a sweet generous lady who cared enough sent me Christmas in a box along with our swap assignments.
I am so fortunate to have these women in  my life and as my friends. I am blessed to know them all and be able to talk with them as scattered all over the world that we are. We make videos of things to share with others on You Tube and if you'd like a glimpse into that part of me, I am thegmaw on You Tune and have a few videos of stuff I've done. I still have to make a video of the rest of our swap and I'm waiting on one last package to do that one. So have a look at them if you would like and until next time I leave you with just this....Alice