Christmas was a little quiet this year. It started out with just me and the puppies but ended with me joining Greg in Knoxville. We had a great evening with his parents and then a remarkable night with just the two of us talking and opening up about things that married couples talk about. It was a very special night. The next day we took a drive up to Cades Cove and were lucky enough to spot a few deer. The drive there and back is always a treat as you never know what you might see. Traffic was a little heavy in Pigeon Forge and even worse in Gatlinburg, but it was still fun to get out and enjoy some time away from the house and hustle and bustle of our normal day life. We came home on Friday and continued to have a great weekend.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas.
Our decorations in the RV!
Cades Cove, December 2019
On the ride to Cades Cove, December 2019
Madison telling Santa what she wants for Christmas, 2019
Jackson and Ryan wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!
One of my favorite things in to make crafts. I love turning an object into something beautiful. I might not always get the outcome I was hoping for, but it was still worth the effort that it took to try. This year I was at a new job with new co-workers and wanted to make something special for all 13 of them. Two of the 13 are my bosses, so I made something different for them.
I have spent countless hours creating and attempting to make my stuff look half as good as what it looks like on Pinterest. When I bought a Cricut I thought it would make it easier. Not sure I have succeeded in that, but I still give it the old college try every now and then. This year was no different.
For my two bosses I wanted to do something a little bigger for them, so I went with a potholder and added a bag of brownie mix and a whisk. My direct supervisor is always bringing in sweets that her young daughter bakes, so I thought that would be something she could also share with her family. I was also thinking the boss boss could do the same as she likes to bake as well.
For the co-workers I went with a painted or glittered ornament with the old red truck design with a Christmas tree and the words, “Merry Christmas” on it. It took a couple tries to figure out how to get the paint to stick to the inside of the ornaments, but once I figured that out the rest was easy. You can find anything on YouTube, and it has become my friend here lately as I watched several videos to figure out the best way to do this while receiving the best results.
I also used my Cricut to design a couple of blankets for my girls. I hadn’t planned on doing anything for children as it is hard enough to figure out what to do for the grandkids, but when I seen someone posts what they had done on Facebook, I had to recreate it and do my version. I think they turned out pretty good. It’s funny what you can do with a $2.50 fleece blanket from Wal-Mart.
Who knows what I will end up making next year, but for now my Christmas gift giving is complete for 2019? Hope you all have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Back in the early 2000’s my husband and I had started a painting business and that year for Christmas one of his sisters found an ornament that was perfect for the occasion. I have no idea where she found it, but it was perfect. It had the ladder, paint brushes, paint and rolls that looked like wallpaper. I always thought it was funny that she bought that for him when I was the one who done more of the painting than him. Since his death in 2008 I think I have continued the painting “tradition” as it seems every house I move into I have to add my “touch” by painting at least one wall.
In keeping with the “tradition”, each year that ornament gets put on the tree for me to admire, reminisce and reflect on all the homes that I have painted and the joy that some of them brought me as I transformed a house into a home, or a room into a sanctuary. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much.
Decorating for this Christmas has been a treat since we have a big house. For the past few years we’ve only had a 3 foot tree as that was all we were able to put in the RV. Being in the sticks and bricks again, I get to spread my wings a little and do a little more decorating. I love my 7 foot tree and being able to put a star on top. I hung lights outside on the house and just really tried to get into the Christmas spirit a little more than what we have in the past.
It’s hard when there are only two of us and the children and grandchildren don’t come to visit. Instead I just send gifts, hope I get to FaceTime with them when they open them and then pray they like what they got.
I do want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from our house to yours.
Another Christmas has come and gone and this one was much different from last year. Last year we were in Florida and it was around 60-65 degrees; however, this year we are in Texas and it never reached 40 all day.
I have so many memories of Christmas’ past and the traditions that I shared not only with my children when they were growing up, but also from my own childhood. I can still remember getting my Baby Alive! And playing with her for hours and hours and getting Barbie dolls and make up dolls, an Easy Bake Oven and more. One of the items I remember the most is all of us kids getting a go-cart when I was only five years old. My siblings were nine and eleven, so they could control the pedal and steering better. Within the first week I had already hit the side of the brick house and broke the go-cart to the point that dad had to get it welded back together. That would not be the only time I done that. Once I got it down pat how to drive it, it was a blast especially driving through the cow field trying to avoid cow patties.
Our family tradition was waking up very early and opening presents. Us kids were always up by 5:00 am and we were done within the hour. Some years we were up even earlier, and Mom would try to make us go back to sleep. Yea right! They only one who went back to sleep was her and dad as us kids always started playing without toys.
Once we got up we were off to Granny and Pops house to spend the holiday with all the cousins and aunts and uncles. It was always fun to play with our cousins and every year we got the same thing from my Granny…handmade panties for the girls, socks for the boys and handmade silky pillowcases for the parents. It never failed that the panties would be too big, but we never said anything as it was special for Granny to have made them. All the family drew names, so we could exchange gifts and only have to buy for how many was in our own family, so we always had to buy for five.
When I had my kids, I tried to instill some of the same traditions with them along with a few of my own. The one thing I always insisted on was getting each child the same number of gifts and making them open them one at a time, so I could see what they got and from who and, so I could take pictures. I was always a big picture person long before I got into being an amateur photographer about ten years ago.
The one tradition I miss the most is all of us being together for Christmas. It meant so much to me as a child to spend the holidays with my extended family and I done that with my kids until their father passed away and then it seemed like Christmas was never the same. In the last ten years I have not once had all three of my kids home for the holidays and it really hurts that the one tradition I wanted to carry on forever for my kids and grandkids will never take place. There is too much hurt feelings and family issues to keep this from ever happening.
If you have traditions that you share with your children, try to keep them alive as much and as long as possible.
I did get to see my grandkids for Christmas, but it required me traveling to each of their homes this year. I drove to Louisiana the first weekend of December to spend time with Jackson and Ryan. They were so adorable as always and I couldn’t believe how much they are both growing up. I made thirty-six-inch pillows for each of them, so they would have pillows to lay on the floor. His had dinosaurs and each side and hers was made of navy blue on the top and bottom and pink and white chevron around the edges. I added HTV vinyl that said, “little princess” to one side. Other than the pillows, they each received clothes and he got some sea animals. I usually leave the toys to mommy and daddy to get. I made cookies with Jackson while I was there and got as many kisses as I could from Miss Ryan. It was an enjoyable visit and as always, I look forward to seeing them all again soon.
Nana with Ryan (L) and Jackson (R)
The third week of December involved a plane ride to Florida. I flew out of DFW in Dallas to Tallahassee. It was a straight flight, so it didn’t take too long. This visit was to see Colby and Madison. I couldn’t believe it when I walked in a saw Colby. He’s a couple weeks shy of being 14 and he has sprouted up in the last few months. He’s taller than his mom, almost as tall as his dad and way taller than me. Miss Madison is a little firecracker. She was full of energy and played with me more in three days than she has in her entire life. They both received clothes and then Madison got a baby doll and Colby got headphones and a necklace. We went shopping, had pedicures, a great family night out and much more. It was hard to leave, but I was ready to get back home.
Nana with Colby and Madison
I made it back home on the 18th and I was ready to see my babies, which happen to have fur. Daddy said they missed me because every time they heard a noise they ran to the door to see if I was coming home. I always love my visits to see the kids, but I miss being at home as well. I’m hoping I can get everyone to my house next year (if we have a house bought by then), but it might mean having one for a few days and then the other for the next few days. Time will tell as we have a whole year to figure it out.
If you have family traditions, please share especially if they involve adult children and how you celebrate the holidays with them.
In the next few days we will be headed to Tennessee as Greg and I move our home on wheels to a new location. We’ll be in the town of Clarksville, which is about 45 minutes from Nashville where we met three years ago. Life will be changing once again as not only are we moving, but I will be going back to work as well. Wish me luck on that one as I must find a job.
Greg & Anna