Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I'm go see these beautiful granddaughters (and their mom and dad too)!! They were here Thanksgiving but always stay home for Christmas. With three little ones it is just too hard to travel and the girls need to be able to enjoy playing with the things Santa brings. Usually we go to visit them right around Christmas, but this year we waited until New Year's because we're also making it a family trip to the Sugar Bowl. ROLL TIDE!! My daughter-in-law's father was able to get enough tickets for our whole family to go to the game. My daughter and her husband and three sons will be going also. Pray for the baby-sitters who keep the kids during the game. I won't post again until we return but I hope each of you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


One of the dishes I served at the Brunch yesterday was a Breakfast Casserole and had many of the ladies request the recipe. I told them I would post it on my blog. I have made several different breakfast casseroles over the years but this has to be my favorite. It is easy to make and you can make it the night before and refrigerate. All you have to do is bake it the next morning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Breakfast Casserole
2 lbs. pork sausage
1 (2 lb) bag frozen has brown potatoes
1 c minced onions (optional---I don't use)
2 cups milk
2 (8 oz) pkg. Shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
Salt (about a tsp.)
6 eggs, slightly beaten
Spray 9 X 13 glass baking dish. In skillet, brown the sausage; drain. (I rinse with water in a colander). In large bowl, combine sausage, hash browns, onion ( if used), milk, 3 cups cheese, salt, & eggs. Mix well and pour in the greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese, but wait until the last 15 minutes of baking to do this. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight. Heat oven to 350. Bake uncovered until knife inserted near center comes out clean (50-55 minutes). Let stand 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve warm.
I'm off to begin taking down Christmas trees. It's not nearly as much fun taking them down as it is putting them up!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


The Christmas Bridal Shower/Brunch that I hosted was this morning and it was a huge success. I've never seen so many wonderful Christmas gifts! There were lights, ornaments, wrapping paper, dishes (three different patterns), napkins, cookie cutters, a Christmas apron, besides all the pretty things to just sit around for decorations. I'm sure I missed naming some of the things she did get. The picture above is of the beautiful bride to be holding up her Christmas apron.

I never remember to make a picture of the food before half of it has been eaten but there was plenty left!! We had breakfast casserole, ham & biscuits, cranberry/orange bread, cheese cubes, grapes, and fruit. One of the drink choices was a Mocha Punch that I promised I would post the recipe and I'll do that at the end.

Here's Ms. Bunny all dressed as a bride for the day! She was dressed in honor of sweet Kamin!
Here's the recipe for the famous Mocha Punch. This recipe was given to me several years ago by a dear friend and each time I make it there are many requests for the recipe.
Mocha Punch
(Serves 25-30)

1 gallon Vanilla Ice Cream
1 quart strong coffee (4 Tbs. instant coffee to
a quart boiling water)
1 pint Whipping Cream
Chocolate Syrup (optional) I used about 3 Tbs.

Mix ice cream. Add coffee (cooled) & whipping cream & chocolate. Put mixture in freezer. Stir every 30-40 minutes. Do not freeze. You want it really cold but not icy. This will be drinking consistency but you can freeze it and serve as ice cream.
30 minutes before serving, place punch bowl in freezer. This will help keep the punch really cold.
* I mixed mine and served it immediately and it was delicious (if you don't have time to make it ahead of time and stir every 30 minutes)!

Friday, December 26, 2008


My "day after" Christmas is a little different this year. Usually I hit the sales and buy wrapping paper and Christmas ornaments after they are marked down. This year I decided that I wanted to use brown paper next year after seeing so many beautiful packages wrapped with the plain brown paper and tied with ribbon. I knew that there wouldn't be brown paper on sale so that was marked off my usual list. I also hope to make more of my ornaments next year so I'm not looking for those either. My very last party (or shower this time) that will be at my house is tomorrow so I'm getting ready for that. I'm hosting a "Christmas Shower" for a special person who will be getting married in April. Her mom gave my son and his bride to be one prior to their wedding several years ago and they didn't have to buy any Christmas decorations. It was so nice....they didn't have these kinds of showers when I married 36 years ago!
I am getting things together for the Shower...actually it is a Brunch. I hope to make Ms. Bunny a new outfit for the occasion. If it turns out, I will post a picture. Hope you have a great day, whether it is spent shopping or just relaxing!

Thursday, December 25, 2008


MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope each of you have the best Christmas ever. I can honestly say that I have had a great Christmas. Last night we celebrated our 10th Christmas Eve tradition with our best friends. Yes, we counted and this was our 10th year to spend Christmas Eve with each other. We alternate homes each year and it has continued although a few more faces have been added....when we first began only my daughter was married. There were no grandchildren on either side and now there are many! My son and his family aren't here for Christmas so they miss the time together but all of the others are here. We usually eat way too much food, exchange gifts, and laugh until we cry. I even got out my pictures from years past and saw how we have changed. The sweetest part of the night was before we ate my husband asked Taylor (Jane's 3 year old granddaughter) if she wanted to say the blessing. We all thought she'd say the usual blessing. Instead she said, "Thank you God for Mama & Daddy, Gigi (that's ME) and Mimi (that her grandmother)." It was precious!!'s a picture of my "BESTEST" friend and me. I look like I had been in a whirl all day (I had been).... My husband gave me the best gift and sent me on a scavenger hunt to find it all. He's pretty special! First I opened this long robe that is the softest I've ever felt!! There was a note that told me where to go find my second gift (it was gift card for a massage at a spa)...another hunt (a manicure at the spa)....another hunt (a pedicure at the spa). I asked him when could I go!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

We have gotten a phone call from our precious granddaughters and son in Louisiana this morning. Santa was very good to them. My son-in-law cooked breakfast for us and we went to eat there and was able to see what Santa brought the grandsons. We'll be having a late lunch with my husband's brothers and their families. IT'S A WONDERFUL DAY!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Tonight my husband and I went to our daughter's house to visit and I got to see the boys decorate their gingerbread house. When we first got there all three were up and finishing pizza. Just as they started their decorating, Zack (the middle grandson) started feeling bad. Both of the other two have had a stomach virus so I pray Zack doesn't get it, too. He didn't want to help with the decorating....just went and lay on the couch. This isn't like him at all because he really likes art. Anyway....I got my camera from my purse and made these pictures of Keith & Griffin decorating their house (with their daddy's help).
This is the finished product. I think it looks pretty good! Say a prayer that Zack doesn't get sick.
I may not post much the rest of the week. I'll be getting ready for Christmas, but I will be back. Merry Christmas to all of you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


The bell ringers were busy today....not those outside the department stores....but the children at church. Before going to their church services, the children did a beautiful job of "O Holy Night" using the bells. The boys and girls knew exactly when to ring their bell to make the most beautiful sounds.
In the picture above the 2nd and 3rd boys from the right side (in the striped sweaters) are my two oldest grandsons). I was amazed at how "focused" they were during this song. They watched the children's pastor and rung their bell at the proper time. There were many proud mama's and daddy's (and rightly so).

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Meet my cat, White Socks. This morning I looked out on the back porch and White Socks was all stretched out without a care in the world. She knew that she would have her food and water every day (before I even have my coffee). We have an older cat who never liked to sit in your lap, so I found this cat when she was a kitten and that's why we say she is "my" cat. When I got my camera to make her picture my husband said, " Is the cat making the blog?" I've shared about other members of my family so today was White Socks day. Pets can certainly become a part of the family!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


My annual Ornament Swap with the ladies from church was tonight and we had so much fun!!! There were 38 ladies here and so much food until my counter tops were full and the buffet and dining room table was covered. I wanted a picture with us all in it but that was impossible because of the number.
As I look at these two picture I notice that several did not get in either picture (shame on you girls). We had door prizes, played our own version of "Do You Know the Lyrics" and of course, Dirty Santa with our Ornament Swap. My husband watched the ballgame on the TV in the basement and he told me that he could hear all the fun we were having during "game time".

This is a picture of the ornaments all wrapped before the swapping began.

I wish you could have seen all the food. I made this picture as the food was just coming in from only one spot in my kitchen. I absolutely love having people over and this is one event I look forward to each year. Someone said we may have to move it to the church fellowship hall because of the numbers, but as long as the ladies don't mind sitting on my stairs and any place else when all the chairs are will continue to be here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Yes, I have a tree in every room!! I told you in one of my previous posts that I have six trees. Actually, counting the little ones in my bathrooms I have ten (but the ones in the bathrooms aren't decorated....just have lights). The one above you have's in my den.

This is the tree in my dining room. It's in the corner and I didn't change the decorations from last year. It's done in gold, green, and red. You can see the lights from this tree from my front door.

My bedroom is blue and brown so the tree is decorated with blue and brown ornaments. Again, you can't see the ornaments from the picture but I found some brown glittery (is that a word??) reindeer last year and they are on this tree. I love to just have only the lights from the tree on in the room at night.

The tree in my sunroom is the only real one. It was hard to get a picture with the glass windows and all the reflection. Maybe by next year I'll learn how to make pictures of Christmas trees without getting all the glare!
You've already seen pictures of the grandchildren's trees (the blue one and the pink one) as well as the one in the kitchen with the gingerbread ornaments and orange slices. I'm having the ladies from my church on Thursday night for my annual "Ornament Swap". I will be sure to make pictures then. We had so much fun last year and I expect more fun this year.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I made a couple of stitchery ornaments for the tree on my sunporch. This is the only tree that is real and I'm using old ornaments on it. However, it is very difficult for me to get a clear picture with the lights on the tree. I think you can see ok. Later in the week I'll post a picture of each of my trees....six in all!!
To the left of this stitchery is an ornament that is as old as me....that means it's an ANTIQUE!! I have several that I've kept from my mother's old ornaments. Although it isn't valuable, I tied this one tightly so it wouldn't fall off and break. Just being sentimental I guess.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Our time at the Opryland Hotel was wonderful. The decorations were absolutely unbelievable. It really took two days to see everything and the pictures do not show the beauty of it all. The picture above was a tree made from poinsettias. I can't tell you just how large this tree was, but I think you can see that it goes higher than four stories.

I made this picture to show the beauty of the hanging lights. There were hot air balloons with "animals" hanging throughout.

This was another VERY LARGE Christmas tree inside the atrium. I think you can tell from the people standing at the base just how massive it was.

This picture was taken of my husband and me in front of a tree was inside the hotel. There was so much to see that we really couldn't see it all while we were there.

This is another picture that shows some of the beautiful flowers all throughout. I can't imagine how many thousands of poinsettias there were in addition to the other flowers and orchids growing everywhere. Although this trip was work related, we still had time to have fun with friends and co-workers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm spending two nights at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel!! It is so beautiful any time of the year but I have never been when it is decorated for Christmas. My daughter went last year and said it was unbelievable. The first time I stayed here was for our 20th wedding anniversary (that was 16 years ago)!! Then two years ago the ladies from our church stayed here for a Women's Retreat. You would never have to go any where else because there's so many places to shop, eat, and the beauty of all the plants and flowers are amazing. There's even a little "river" that runs through it where you can ride on a boat. The picture above is just one area. I can't wait to see how it's decorated....I will definitely post pictures when I return on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I think my outside is finished except for the three wreaths that go on my upstairs windows. My husband has been sick and I'm not going to climb out on the roof to hang the wreaths! You'll see just how simple it is, but I am really pleased. I always put the garland on the bannisters.

This is the right side of my front porch. See my rocking chairs....those are really old. We got those chairs the year we built the house (1986) and I've spent many days sitting on my porch looking across the cotton fields. I might add that they were white for many, many years. There is a HUGE oak tree in the front yard and it shades the porch in the afternoon.

This is the left side of my porch. I love the old church pew. One of my old friends gave it to me years ago. She and her husband were about to go to Honduras as missionaries and she called and asked if I wanted this one (and another one that is an inside pew). I just repainted it this summer. Notice the shelves on each side of the porch. They are built from wood off an old barn.

Here's Mrs. Bunny! You know that I dress her for each month or whatever is happening (usually something I find at the Thrift Store). She has worn a bikini, Fourth of July attire, Back to school outfit, Halloween costume, and now her Santa hat. My grandkids love her!

My birdbath needed a little something so I brought out a birdhouse and added some greenery and pine cones. You see that you don't have to buy a thing to make it look a lot like Christmas....just use what you have or what is right in your yard.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


1. Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Definitely coffee...must have my coffee every day.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa always leaves presents UNWRAPPED under the tree.
3. Colored lights or white lights? White lights (although my husband loves colored lights). We used to have colored... but now it's all white.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, but I sneak a kiss from my husband without the mistletoe!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but I did start earlier this year (but I'm not completely finished yet)
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Dressing
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? I remember how excited I would get when I heard the weather man say that "radar" had spotted an object in the sky and it appeared to be Santa. I would hurry to bed to wake up the next morning to my unwrapped gifts.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I think I was in 4th grade before I actually was brave enough to say that I knew the truth. I guess I heard it from older friends at school. It broke my heart....but Santa still came to see me until I married and moved away!!!
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, my best friend and I always have our Christmas on Christmas Eve.
10. How do you decorate your tree? I have no theme for my big tree....just use ornaments that I have collected through the years from former students and friends. I do get one ornament to add each year with all my grandchildren's names on it.
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!!
12. Can you ice skate? I've never tried but I don't think I could even stand up on those thin blades!!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I think my favorite gift as a child was a tea set and table and chairs. I still remember playing with it.
14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Being with family and those who mean so much to me.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? German chocolate cake
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? For many years, we have spent Christmas Eve with my best friend and her family. Even if it is later in the night we always get together to eat and play games. This has become a tradition and we alternate houses each year. My daughter (who lives here) and her family look forward to it as well as the children of my friend.
17. What tops your Christmas tree? A bow
18. Which do you prefer-giving or receiving? I prefer giving...although I do like to receive.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night
20. Candy Canes-yum or yuck? Yum
21. What do you want for Christmas? I really don't know of anything....a surprise!
22. Do you attend an annual Christmas party? I usually have an annual Christmas party...(several)!
23. Do you dress up on Christmas or wear PJs? I dress casual
24. Do you own a Santa hat? Yes
25. Who do you normally spend Christmas with? Morning is spent with my husband and we go to our daughter's to see what the boys got for Christmas. We usually spend the afternoon with my husband's family. We see our son and his family some time during the month (we spend Thanksgiving with them). We'll see them this year at New Year's.
I tag: anyone who wants to do it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I told you that I wanted to make some stockings for my husband and me to complete the mantle decorations, so today I pulled out my fabric and did some stitching while watching the ballgame. After it was over I put the stockings together and they brought a chuckle from my husband. I told him they weren't supposed to look perfect .....just old. I hung them so I think we are ready for Santa to fill them with surprises!!
I had stockings for my daughter, son, and their spouses and wanted a place that I could still hang them so they are now on my stairs. I know they aren't very prim looking but we've had these for years.

Today was a good day for getting things done. I hung the wreaths and put the garland was SO COLD! Maybe tomorrow after church I'll be able to finish with all the decorations. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My Mantel

It's done....finished....completed.....well.........almost!! I still want to make a couple of new (old looking) stockings for my husband and me. I have stockings that I have had for years for the kids and their spouses but they will go in another place this year. I want to make a couple for the two of us that looks prim. Until I get them made...the mantle is finished. It is just as simple as it can be. I took the things that I already had and added some pine and magnolia leaves. I do have some white lights that run through the greenery and it's really pretty lit up. I don't know why I didn't have them plugged up for the picture. I had to make this standing way back so you could see the whole mantel so I'm going to show you close ups of each side.

This is a close up of the right side. I used a church birdhouse that I have had for years and the Merry Christmas sign.
On the left side I have one of my old oil lanterns and the ribbon with magnolia leaves. I still might add some pine cones, but other than that and the is done!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I am beginning to feel like I'm accomplishing something with my decorations!! I know I'll be completely finished by Saturday and I'll show you each room. Today I worked on my mantle and my kitchen table centerpiece. I couldn't get Dot from Picket's Place to come do my centerpiece but she sure gave me some ideas. I saw her beautiful tables yesterday and loved the natural look. I started pulling things together today and came up with this simple centerpiece. I'm real pleased with's me....not too fancy at all. Thank you Dot for sharing your wonderful could have driven a couple of hours and just done it for me though! Maybe tomorrow I can post a picture of my mantle. It's pretty natural and simple too.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I finished decorating the tree in my den tonight. I don't know why this picture is not clear but I'll try and get a better one later. It sure takes a lot of time to put all the decorations out. I don't have any other Christmas done in that room....I'm still undecided about my mantle. That's always the hardest part of the room for me....maybe it's because I know that it is the focal point and I really want it to look good. I'm looking at all your blogs trying to get some ideas but know that my time is running out. It'll have to be done this week. When I was putting this tree up (and the decorations on it are just a mixture of things collected through the years) I came across two ornaments that one of my co-teachers made for me several years ago. I wanted to share them with you because I know that so many of you are so creative and you would be able to do the same. The first one is made from a shotgun shell casing (I think that's what it's called).

She just painted a Santa face on the shell and glued a little greenery and ribbon to hang it from the tree limb. I have had it for years and it is still one of my favorites.

This Santa ornament is made from a light bulb. It was spray painted red and then the details were added. It, too, has a thin red ribbon glued at the top to hang from the tree. It's been fun remembering who gave all these ornaments to me over the years. Now....if I can decide what to do to my mantle!!!