Sunday, November 30, 2014

We Have Been Busy Little Elves!!! The Last Two Days of November.......

Yesterday we were busy little elves!! Louis Dean planted himself on the den couch and proceeded to spend the next five HOURS cracking and shelling pecans!!!
That's some serious $$$ if we had to BUY them!!

When he wasn't shelling pecans (with Hallmark Channel Christmas movies playing back to back!) -

he was in the kitchen baking a juicy ham to take to Amber's for our second Thanksgiving Celebration!

I made Sweet Potato Casserole.

I admit to going a little heavy on that topping!
I have enough in the fridge for my next batch!

I stayed busy decorating all day! This bit about doing things neatly and without trashing the house just wasn't working for me! I started decorating like a mad woman with my hair on fire!!! Thank goodness I had to stop and get ready to go over to Quadville or I might have worked myself silly!

Granddad was warmly greeted - especially by Kailey!

She chose him as her very own when she was a mere 3 pounds and something!

They do have a special bond!

I revelled in having all FIVE of my youngest grandchildren together!!!

Raynie was adorable and kept the younger ones thoroughly entertained as well as the adults!

Logan and Trystan were wearing their Princess dresses for the occasion!

I don't get many pictures of Mike so I snapped this one of him and Logan!

Summer and Amber made a run to Walmart for a few things and came back with Duck Commander WINE!!! Who KNEW??? The Pinot was for me and it was good!

Dinner was ready! Amber and Mike wanted to host a family get together since we couldn't all be together on Thanksgiving.

Rayne was the center of attention!
I don't think this quad table will be around much in 2015!
Hard to believe how BIG they all are now!

Hello from the Fab Five!!!
While the youngsters had their table......

the adults had theirs!

After dinner entertainment!!
Love Rayne with her Cowboy hat!

Amber kept to one of our family traditions - a Home Alone movie!
In this case it was Lost in New York!
We had a wonderful time! I guess we got home about 10:00.....

It was Good Night from the Chapmans!
Lights went out shortly after this!

We went to bed tired and woke up tired!
It took us all day to get to feeling better.
By afternoon we were hanging lights and going through tub after tub of decorations.

The PORCH is a done deal.....nearly!
Still a little tweaking to do.
Since we have the 'new' Christmas tree for the living room, I used the old one on the front porch!
I covered the porch bench cushions with Christmas shirts. Still need to tweak those, too!!

Louis Dean and I have only put up outside lights once or twice since we have been married.
We had visions of putting them along the roof line and such but settled for outlining the windows.
We will do a little more on the front side tomorrow.
It will probably take me all week to finish decorating. I made a good bit of progress in the foyer, den and living room but none of them are completely finished yet. We will put lights outside along the kitchen deck and in the gazebo and back corner of the yard in coming days.
My goal is to be DONE by this time next week!!!
Then we can sit back and enjoy it all!
If I can 'see' it DONE in my mind - I know it will happen!!!

I'm doing a few things differently this year.
The white netting is new as is having a tree on the porch!
Since the white lights were already in place (and since I favor them!) they stayed.
Colored lights will be used in as many trees through the house as I can manage!!

It is quitting time! 
We need to spend a little while enjoying the fruits of our labors before going to bed.
Funny how EARLY I want to go to bed these days!
Perhaps my internal clock is readjusting.

Friday, November 28, 2014

T Day and the Day After.......

Thanksgiving and Family! The two just seem to go together. 
All of us that can gather at Nita's every year.......siblings and mates, some of our children, friends and family all mixed up together. We realize that  everyone can't come every year but we always have a full house!

I am so grateful for my sisters! They shoulder the responsibilities involved with taking care of Mother. Deanie handles finances and medical things while Mother has lived with Nita for going on 10 years. My only contribution is the beauty shop run, lunch on Friday and some shopping. I get off easy. THEY have the hard jobs!

We gathered for a Thanksgiving Prayer. 
Everyone held hands. Louis Dean is holding Mother's hand.
I opened my eyes long enough to take a picture.
I love looking at this one.

Then there was the FOOD!!

Every family has their own traditional - or nontraditional - menus and ours is no different.
Leah makes THE best cranberry sauce. It is a bit on the exotic side - just as SHE is!!!
Deanie always makes the dressing and the mac and cheese.
Trish brings the sweet potato casserole while Charity brings green bean casserole and decadent desserts! Louis Dean does the rolls, of course, and come Christmas morning he will be bringing his cinnamon rolls. He always makes enough to send everyone home with one.

My little red camera stayed busy!!!
Louis Dean says THAT'S an understatement!

Summer juggled schedules and dinners in order to be here with us at noon!
You simply cannot LOOK at Summer without smiling!

I am so proud of her!

It's fun to have so many Christmas Trees!! Kids love counting them!
I have MORE than one tree in some rooms - when you count the tiny ones.
We make a game of seeing if they can find them all.

Rayne will be coming over on Tuesday night to see how many I have up so far.

Ben arrived with a great looking beard!!

Who KNEW it would be RED??

There was a crowd of people already there when Benjamin came in. Mother was actually in the back so she didn't realize he was there until she heard his voice.

She was SO excited!!!
He is my youngest child and Mother's youngest grandchild.
Summer is her first and oldest.
I had the honor of giving Mother her FIRST and LAST grandchild!!
Pretty cool since I'm her OLDEST child!!

We are all so grateful to have Mother with us.
It was a close call whether we would have her or not just a few weeks ago.

As you can see - Mother is looking good!!!
She is getting stronger everyday!
As a matter of fact - Mother is doing better than WE are in many ways!
I am still trying to get my energy level back and Deanie is pretty drained. She doesn't have to tell me.
I can tell by her eyes.

Louis Dean and Sweet Andie!!!
I notice how she is growing up when I see her in photos!!!
We all love that little girl!

Deanie with her two oldest grands!
They are a good looking bunch!!

Our beautiful Leah and Summer!

We ate, talked, ate and talked some more!!
We finally had to head home so we could get comfortable (take off nice clothes and put on LOOSE ones!) in time to watch the football game. Sadly, the Dallas Cowboys lost and I went to bed. As in 6:00 in the evening BED! AND I stayed there!!!! I woke up at 3:00 this morning RESTED! So I got up!

It was glorious!!! I spent 6 lovely hours all alone. I listened to Christmas Cd's and hung ornaments on the living room tree. I had to design hooks from florist wire since I couldn't find real ones.
I have been cleaning and re cleaning the same rooms over and over lately. So far I haven't got past the den, foyer, living room and kitchen. I finally realized that with all that has gone on this fall, the whole place needs a good DEEP down cleaning! Since I love debris so much, it is a given that my house is HIGH maintenance! I am more than willing to pay that price! It's just been hard to find the TIME to do it lately!

I watched LOTS of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies! I have pretty much controlled the TV today and not ONCE has it been on a news station! 

Louis Dean woke up along about 9:00 and we had coffee together before doing the dreaded deed!!
We UNLOADED all the Christmas decorations from the storage attic!
It is all stacked up outside on the bedroom patio.

Louis Dean insisted on celebrating with a glass of bubbly and since it was only 10:45 in the morning, I made wine spritzers of Moscato and 7 Up. I had already been up nearly8 hours so I figured it was 5:00 somewhere!

I fixed us a good 'breakfast' for lunch!

There are spots of Christmas around the house!

'Gifts' are under the tree! I bought these boxes years ago at Sam's after Christmas sale and have used them ever since. They all stack inside one another and 'live' under a living room table the rest of the year.

The new Martha Stewart wreath from Home Depot's sale last year.

Another new one hangs on the foyer door.
I took down an Angel wreath that has hung there year round for over 25 years.
It has been 'relocated.'

I can't decide if this is a Christmas or fall wreath.
It is hanging on the pantry door and has been there since August.

Louis Dean helped me get down these Christmas dishes and I have cleared out a space to keep them on the counter for  everyday use.

Tuesday I stopped at a Christmas Tree stand and asked for some fresh trimmings.
The lady loaded me up!!!
I have bouquets all through the house.
It's funny how Christmas trees don't smell as good as I remember from my childhood.
Every once in awhile I get a whift  of 'CHRISTMAS.'
Back when I was a little girl, the only trees we ever had were Douglas Firs. They were the cheapest kind back then. They just smelled so GOOD!!!

I have all the Christmas coffee cups and glasses in the dishwasher.
The house is a work in progress tonight.

It used to take me a solid week to decorate!
I am hoping to get it down a bit quicker this year.
No children at home and a bit slower lifestyle makes it easier.

It's been a lovely day!
I just may do that again sometime.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rum Cake, Dinner Rolls and a Day With FOUR Two Year Olds!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!

I woke up this morning with a sense of anticipation and excitement!!
FOUR little munchkins were coming to spend 8-10 hours with US!!!!
I was wise and got up early to bake the Rum Cake I am taking to Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow in Fort Worth.

It turned out wonderful!!! I THINK!!!! I haven't tasted it yet - but it smells heavenly!

I used a box of coconut pudding mix instead of the vanilla.
Smart gal that I am - I had MY chores done BEFORE the quads arrived!!

They came bearing birthday gifts for Granddad and a PEACH pie!!!!

Good times at MeeMaw and Granddad's House!!!

Toy box Treasures!

Pecan Picking!!

Helping MeeMaw!

We spent some quality time outside in the sunshine!
Kailey proved to be really good at picking the pecan meat from the shells...
It IS an art!!

Lunch for SIX!!! We have a child's table and could have used it but when I announced LUNCH - all the quads started pulling out the dining room chairs! They are obviously growing up!!!

Baby Power!!!

Nap time Decisions!

As you can see, I got MY two asleep!!!! SO sweet!!!!
Granddad did NOT do as well.
He had bread on his mind! He said he THOUGHT they were asleep - but they weren't!
I called him BACK - he had two in the guest room and I had two in our room - and he settled them down and then slipped out to the kitchen and had started the rolls. By that time MY two were sound asleep so I got in bed with the other two. I said, "Close your eyes." and "Keep your head on your pillow." That worked and they were sound asleep in minutes. Just about the time I dozed off - the FIRST two woke up!!! That was actually a GOOD thing as we had a visitor!

June has been a family friend for over 40 years!
She has watched Amber grow up since the day she was born.

The kids warmed right up to her!
Who wouldn't?? 
Back when Amber was first learning to walk she would greet June when she arrived  for art class  and climb up her leg to hold her hand. She then proceeded to WALK June all through the house!
Amber and June go way back.
Benjamin and June had an even MORE special relationship.
They adored each other and June spoiled him so!
Now that Ben is back in Texas, I think a visit to June and her daughter, Kimmy, is going to happen soon. 

When Amber was little she looked just like Kailey!
June said right away - "SHE is a little Amber!!"
This was the first time June had met the quads.
She told them to be sure and tell their mama that she loved her!!

We all went outside to tell her good bye and stayed for awhile helping Granddad shell pecans.
Sherry - our beloved 'daughter in love' dropped by for a few minutes.
When it was time to pick up our toys and go inside - it was a bit chilly - she turned the chore into a GAME!!

Picking Up CARS!!

I lit the fire in the den and Trystan said, "It's MOVIE time!!!"
Two episodes of Paw Patrol!

I stretched my legs around Harrison's neck - their bench was RIGHT next to the sofa and I had NO leg room. Then Logan wiggled onto my lap and did the very same thing!!
Quads are used to being in close quarters with their siblings from the womb on so it didn't bother him a bit!

While WE were playing, Granddad was BAKING!!!

Lots and lots of dinner rolls!!!!

Dinner was hamburgers and fries form Braum's. NO WAY could I prepare a meal with Louis Dean baking all that bread! He had to go out for more flour anyway!

A Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving was our evening entertainment.
Baths followed and all too soon the parents arrived!

It was a good Thanksgiving Eve here at the Chapman's! A glass of wine, a hot roll drenched in butter with a slab of cheese enjoyed in front of the fire.
No better way to end this day!!