Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Decorating! It's What I DO!!!

I can't seem to help myself!
 If I were the only one to ever see and enjoy my Christmas House - I truly believe I would still decorate it all.....just for me ..... and I hope to do it for as long as I can.

I have been waking up early the last few mornings - all excited about the Christmas Decorating!
I sit in the living room with my book and coffee and then play my word games until Louis Dean wakes up.
I don't want to disturb him with the vacuum and hauling debris in and then out!
All the decorations are just outside the bedroom door scattered all over the patio and beyond.
Glad there hasn't been rain in the forecast.

It's not even December yet - but the bedroom, hall, baths and dining room are all done as I sit here writing about them tonight.

Louis Dean is grateful I do not overload his bathroom as I did the first year or two we were married. Amber told me, "Mom! You get to get all that stuff OUT of there!"
I used to decorate this bathroom with snowmen......Lots and LOTS of snowmen!!

It is much more subdued these days.....
Louis Dean loves his Santa clock that plays Christmas carols on the hour.

Easy peasy!

A candle is lit to declare it clean AND decorated!

Moving on to the dining room - which is a real biggie for me...

It took all day but it is DONE!

This year is very similar to last year's decor.
I use the tablecloths to cover both buffets as well as the antique cabinet.

My Santa walls are expanding!
I need to paint two more for the dining room - for NEXT year!

There may be some tweaking to come later.

All the China and stemware in the hutches have been washed and are ready to use for the holidays.
That took awhile!

The cardinal tree is one of my favorites.

Summer has given me most of the cardinals and the penguins are new from her this year!

Even the table is set for dinner!
All we need now is food and guests.

This is where I will host a lunch next week for my friend, Brenda.
I met her for lunch yesterday and we ate at Fuzzy Tacos.
We try to get together for lunch at least once a month......
sometimes that doesn't happen but we keep on until we are back to our monthly dates.
I'm a big fan of writing on my daily/monthly planner because - if I WRITE it down - it WILL happen! Usually!

I just love how 'clean'  sparkles!!!

Hold on to your hats! 
I packed up some old dishes to take to Goodwill and reorganized the China hutch!
It felt GOOD to get rid of stuff I didn't really love!
Note to friends - do not worry about me buying more debris every week - as I am wont to do on Tuesdays!
I truly recycle! At least some.....
I took a trunk full of debris just yesterday to my local Goodwill and I have the trunk already full AGAIN!

I am tired to the bone now but happy in my heart.
Louis Dean just went on to bed and I can still hear the Christmas music playing in the living room as I finish up this journal entry.

It's been a good day.
We read the Bible, had our coffee, did our projects and met back in the den to rest and watch a Hallmark Christmas movie this afternoon. Louis Dean and I make a good team.
He has been practicing his Christmas songs for a Christmas Tea coming up in December.
My favorites are Pretty Paper, Angels Among Us and The Angels Cried. He sings and plays them so well. HE is the entertainment for my annual Christmas Tea.....which I didn't have last year but will not miss again!

For supper tonight I made a hearty potato soup with lots of veggies and cubed ham.
It was delicious!

I will continue to weave the Christmas Magic through the house until the last room is done!!
But for now - I'm tired so I'm going to bed!!

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Walk to Build Our Stamina and Our Bedroom is All Dressed up for Christmas!!!

Louis Dean and I are hard workers and we get a lot done.
 However, after hauling in some tubs of Christmas decorations this morning after our coffee and reading, we found ourselves tuckered out! We work hard in spurts but don't have the stamina we used to have. I have walked and exercised daily from 1983 to 2012. Somehow, when we were down in Katy helping Amber and Mike after the quads were born, I slacked up on my exercise to the point that eventually it became an occasional thing instead of the real routine I had kept for so long.
I have continued to do yoga and Tai Chi AND walk.....but not on a daily basis.
It's important to be Heart Healthy so today was THE day that we started walking again.

My son and his wife took a photo of their shadows kissing recently so when I saw ours - we did the same thing!

Normally, I walk the 1.7 mile snake of our neighborhood.
Louis Dean prefers to have a destination. 
SO we walked to the local elementary school - around it - and back.

We saw some pretty tree color!

But we were both glad when we were on the last leg of the walk.
We FELT like we were on our last leg!
I forgot to take my Celebrex today and it sure does make a difference!

Back home and back to work!

It took all day but our bedroom is dressed up for Christmas!

I have never decorated it like this before so I was designing as I went along.

My idea was to use all the white, silver and gold things in here.
All clustered up to make an impact.
In the past - Amber, Ben and I made a lot of those little angels like I did with the quads over the weekend. That was my starting point. I hung them up over our bed along with some pretty ribbons.

This is my view from the bed.
I have never decorated this chest before.
I took out all the 'normal' stuff and replaced it with my Christmas things.

I love it!

I wrapped wall plaques with foil and added a ribbon to them on either side of the wreath.
The lamp was replace with a glass one and I wrapped the shade with ribbons and then sat a wreath of gold bells down on it.

I like it!!

This is my side of the bed.
I brought in a taller glass lamp and a new shade.
It sits on a black box for extra height that I covered with a section of a gold sequined skirt.
The frame above the lamp had four photos of us with the quads. I covered them with firm white paper and will add a quote later.

It all just sparkles!

My view as I sit in the corner chair......
I love that we have a back door we can open to the cool night air!

His side of the bed......

It's hard to take photos of my bathroom since it is so small.
It has a shower to the right of this pic.
For a long time, the quads had no idea it was even there.
I have a rack that goes over the glass door with pretty decorative towels hanging there so it is camouflaged.

I'm certain there is no other bathroom quite like mine.
Louis Dean and I redid it just for me.

Tomorrow I will move on through the house and hope to get the hall, bathroom and dining room done! One room at a time! It WILL happen!

And that's why I decorate!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Our Weekend......

We had company this weekend!
Amber brought the quads over Friday afternoon and hey stayed until Saturday evening.
Visits are few and far between now that they are in school fulltime.
We were working out in the front yard when they arrived so they played out there while I cleaned off the porch and put down some new rugs Sister Nita gave us. The earthquakes in Irving have done a number on our porch and driveway. It is on our agenda to have both redone next year but in the meantime - I AM the 'Queen of Cover Up!'
I forgot to get a photo but one large rug is where we have our chairs for 'Driveway Sitting' and the others are on the front porch. They look really nice! Thank you, Nita!!

We went in and while I fixed lunch,  the kids scattered through the house finding all their favorite things to do.

Grandad and Kaily......
they held hands all through lunch.

Next up?

Louis Dean put out several percussion instruments onn the couch and then started to play the guitar.
It didn't take any time for each child to find something to play and join in with him.
Trystan thrilled Grandad's heart by wanting to keep on playing.

They always love to color so I already had the coloring books - I use the adult ones that feature scripture verses - as well as the crayons and markers out on the table.

For dinner I made an acorn pasta and autumn sauce I bought at Trader Joe's. I added a hefty amount of ground beef to it making it very filling. The kids ate nearly the entire bowl! Louis Dean barely touched his because everyone knows he 'hates' PASTA! Unless it's spaghetti and that's different.

Everyone got into their pajamas before we started our Popcorn/Movie and Coke Night!

Except we didn't have any Cokes!
Our movie of choice?

It was excellent!
The kids were totally involved and it kept their attention, plus Louis Dean and I both loved it!
We didn't finish all of it since I wanted to get everyone to bed on time.
They were all asleep shortly after 9:00 and we followed by 10:00 ourselves.

There's something special about waking up with children in your house.
I had left small snack bags of vailla wafers for them to snack on when they first wake up.
That gives us a few extra minutes of sleep. By 9:00 we were all up!

I made the coffee and put a little bit in a teapot and then filled it up with milk fo the three girls.
Cafe Au Lait! Coffee flavored milk!

Only the girls like coffee!
Harrison follows after his mommy and daddy - neither one of them drink coffee!
But they do love the smell!

I made a hearty breakfast of bacon - REAL bacon -not turkey! - and eggs and lots and lots of hash browns! That's Harrison's favorite!

Saturday went by fast!

We did crafts on the dining room table......

Angels made out of coffee filters!

We played in the back yard and cleaned out the big toy box!
They filled three paper bags with things they have outgrown.
They called them 'Baby Toys.' Now they are 'Big Kids!'

They picked the peppers from our garden and there were lots of them!

We started The 21 Rules of the House - was it just this year?
They remind me every single time they come so they must really like doing them!
They can quote all the rules from 1 - 12!
Before they started illustrating theirs, they said, "Let's look at the one Mommy did!"
Amber did the complete set when she was about the same age they are now.

Can you tell who did which one?

Logan, Trystan
Harrison, Kailey

We squeezed in one more movie before the parents came to get them.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Thanksgiving Promise is a television-made drama movie, was originally aired on The Disney Sunday Movie on ABC on Sunday Night, November 23, 1986.
Travis Tilby (Jordan Bridges) leaps into action when neighbor Stewart Larson (Lloyd Bridges) asks him to mind an ailing goose that's slated to be part of Thanksgiving dinner. A gentle animal lover, Travis dotes on the bird, feeding it by hand and speaking to it in soothing tones. But, as Thanksgiving nears, Travis has second thoughts about seeing the bird slaughtered, and he appeals to his father, Hank (Beau Bridges), and others in the community for help in saving the goose.

I made up a batch of Elephant Ears during part of the movie, but I could still hear it from the kitchen.

These are similar to funnel cakes but a little different.
You mix the yeast with water and then add it to the mix. It proofs for 30 minutes and then you fry them in oil. I pulled out my old Fry Daddy from years and years ago!!
It worked like a charm. The mix makes a dozen. You drop the dough in - two at a time - and they cook 30 seconds to one minute on each side. After they are all done, you sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar. They are YUMMY!!!
We carried them out to our driveway sitting place to eat them.
Can you believe they ate them all? Each child ate two, Louis Dean and I each had one and the last two were up for grabs. I think Harrison and Kailey got them!

All too soon, it was time for them to go home.
The parents arrived and as they pulled away from the curb, they rolled the windows down and called out their goodbyes and love yous as we called out ours!

When we went back in the house - it seemed so quiet.
All the energy had left with the quads.

This morning we attended our home church for the first time in a long time!
It felt good to be back.
We all went to lunch at Dickie's BBQ just like old times!
Then Louis Dean went home with Mike and the girls while Amber, Harrison and I did a little shopping. Amber is great at finding bargains and has been helping me with my Christmas shopping for the last 10 years! She outdoes herself every year!

It was late this afternoon when we got home.
I had worn the wrong shoes and was tired so I climbed back up in bed and rested for a good while.
I finally got up and changed the sheets on the bed - using the red and white Christmas flannels - and then I bit the bullet and opened up the Christmas storage house!

Once it's open and I start pulling out the tubs and bags, my heart settles down and I think, "I can DO this!!!" 

The very first room to decorate is special.
Last year it was the gazebo and that remained our favorite Christmas room for 2016.

This year I chose our bedroom.
Normally, I use pops of red in here with all the white, but lately I have been thinking about what I want to do differently.

I did enough tonight to know I have my inspiration!

I can finish this tomorrow and then move on throughout the house.
I know I want to do something different in the gazebo this year but the den and kitchen stay pretty much the same year after year. I have a couple of ideas for the living room and dining room.
 Tweaks, really.

The hard part is over! The decorating has started!
Let the Magic begin!