Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Photo Wrap-Up!

Just a few last holiday photos to close out this wonderful holiday season. I'm looking forward to a great, life-changing, prosperous, and fun New Year!

 Since Abby came into our lives, I put away my BIG Christmas Tree and use this "skinny" Primitive Tree. To better corral her energy and curiosity, we moved hubby's computer desk to the corner of the living room where the bigger tree always went. I use a smaller space on the opposite side of the room for my Primitive tree. I like it a lot though. Not only does the decorating go quicker now, but it seems to suit my 'simple life' that I'm trying achieve. The country/primitive quote "Live Simply" is something I want to do more of. You think more about the REAL important things in life. :)

 I love this little letter tube. The end comes off so you can put Letters to Santa in there with all of your Christmas Wishes. I won this about 3 years ago at an office Christmas party playing the Dirty Santa Ornament game. It was stolen a few times before I ended up with it.

Below is another close-up of the tree. It's not real clear but the clear glass ornament holds burgundy and cream berry garland pieces that go with some other primitive accents in the room.

I hung several rusty metal Snowman Stars in the berry garland over the cut-out window between the living room and kitchen. 

I love this tree skirt with the snowman family on it! It matches everything else perfectly and Blessings are just what I wish for all of my family. 

Before Santa showed up and left everyone's gifts (below) this was the daily scene beneath our tree.
My cat, Beanie watched the activity of the room from this spot, along with his buddy... a knitted snowman I received from a co-worker in a few years ago.

Our family began a new tradition last year with the Dirty Santa Ornament game, stealing our favorite ornaments from others around the room. My older sister, Bev decided to wear her winning ornament 'earrings'. 

Two Tony's... Two Crosses.
My dad (Tony Sr.) and older brother, Tony (Jr.) both ended up with matching ornaments in the game.

 Abby and I at mom's house for the family gathering on Sunday, December 26th.

Always the comedian. My son, Adam making a face for the camera. 

My nephew, Joey. 

My other older brother, Danny. He was sick for the family gathering but still managed to look good and pull off a great smile in spite of himself. :)

Two of my beautiful nieces (I have 4). Nicole and Samantha.

That wraps up my holiday photos. I have tons more but just chose few highlights to share. I'm trying to enjoy my school break and spend more time on fun things and family time, before school starts back in mid-January. I have been hopping around trying to catch up on my blog reading and see what is going on in blogland during my down time.

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas! And I hope the New Year brings you many wonderful blessings and much happiness! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Two Tickets To The Christmas Ball

I have a fun and cute Christmas story to share with you.

This is a fun book and a quick read. It has a little bit of everything all wrapped up in one... some romance, a Christmas story - that touches on the reason for the season, a little bit of fantasy - the Wizard's Christmas Ball, and a little bit of family dynamics.

Cora is estranged from her family and their never-ending drama. She enjoys her life apart from them and the sanity it provides her. Simon is her boss and has placed himself as caretaker of his family... his child-like sister, Sandy and his mother. This story brings Cora and Simon together in a most unusual way.

Thanks to a mysterious bookstore on a "hidden" street and some holiday matchmakers,  tickets to a secret Wizard's Christmas Ball bring Simon and Cora together... with the prodding of Simon's sister, Sandy.

The story is magical and gives you the fairytale ending we love, but not before facing the troubles with relationships that we all face. Cora's troubled sister returns and threatens to destroy her sister's life in order to satisfy her selfish desires. With love and understanding, Cora and Simon reach out to her, much to Cora's resistance. Cora finds a fun and loving new family that gives this Princess her happily ever after.

If you love laughter, romance and a message of love and forgiveness, then you will love this magical novella by Donita K. Paul.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my review.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas...

One busy part of my life is almost behind me ~ Fall Semester college classes. I have just one more week, two more tests and it's done! I am SO thankful that neither my Psychology nor my Business Math instructors are requiring Final Exams. WOW! That's a first!

Another busy part is just beginning ~ Christmas!! I LOVE Christmas though, it's my favorite holiday. So the busy that comes with it is much more welcoming. :) I have been working on a few Christmas projects around my house and I'll share those with you in the days ahead.

I've been working on my Christmas cards. I am making two designs this year. I will post some photos later this week of the designs.

I spent Sunday getting my tree up, decorated and other areas of the living room decorated as well. Here is one area, the wall to the left of the tree. My wooden plate shelf with stockings hanging below and these adorable metal signs I found at CWI. The plate shelf and Christmas wooden plates came from Guhl's Country Store in Jackson, Ohio. 

My wooden plate shelf with stockings hanging below and these adorable metal signs I found at CWI. The plate shelf and Christmas wooden plates came from Guhl's Country Store in Jackson, Ohio. 

Below are some close-ups of the wooden Christmas plates.

I'll share some other areas I've decorated as well as my skinny "pencil" tree I am using this year (and the reason for that) in the next few days. How is Christmas starting to look around your house? :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner at my mother's house on Saturday, two days after Thanksgiving. We spent Thanksgiving Day with my husband's sister and her family in Ohio then my family gathered at mom's the Saturday after. My sweet mother voluntarily gave up the "official" holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas years ago when we started acquiring in-laws. It was more important to her to have ALL her children and grandchildren together than empty seats because some were with another part of the family. And because my family is all close, we wouldn't have it any other way! I've been working today on some Christmas decorating around my house but before I share those photos with you in a couple of days, I wanted to share a photo slideshow of my family from Thanksgiving. The only one not present is my sister-in-law, Amber who was busy using my camera taking pictures of everyone there. 

Thank you, Amber for catching these memories for me. I love you!

Here is the rest of my family that I am very thankful for!

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