Saturday, December 31, 2011

Family Christmas Review

Sara, her husband Jory, and her two children arrived first.  They wanted to get two-year-old Aaron down for a nap before my son's 'crew' arrived.

Here is Sara with Abby.  They wanted Abby to take a nap also, but held out little hope for that. (Previous blog shows how it finally did occur.)

 In a 'snug' home you improvise.  Abby had dinner in her car seat (the booster chair was at the lake place where it is most used) on top of a cooler full of pop, water, and juice.

This shows how this tiny house managed five adults and five children for a holiday dinner on Christmas eve.
From bottom left clockwise: Aaron, Jory, Peyton is hidden, Mike, Doug, and Addy. Peyton is Doug's 8-yr.-old and Addy is his 4-yr.-old. My seat was between Jory and Peyton.

 Here shows the opposite end.  We moved out the recliner from 'my grading corner' and expanded the table with two leaves.

Doug, Addy, Dillon-his 6-yr.-old, Sara, Abby hidden on the cooler beside Sara, Aaron, and Jory. 

I did not get fancy.  The pots went directly from stove to table. Paper plates were used as well as a paper tablecloth.  The whole idea was for me to be able to relax and enjoy being a part of the celebration with little clean-up required.  It was a success!

                 This photo documents a momentous occasion! Aaron got to eat a cookie. 
   He has not had dessert except for a tiny taste at his birthday party and once when his Uncle Doug
        (visiting them in Texas)gave him some Reese cups not realizing he wasn't supposed to.

 Here Aaron watched his cousins grab cookies, then he chose one, held it up, and asked, "What's this?"
                             We laughed and told him it was a cookie. 
              His parents allowed him to eat it and a Buckeye (an Ohio favorite).

This is the living room before all the presents were open.  Mike and Jory moved the couch against the fireplace so we would have room for everyone.

 Each child took a turn at opening a present beginning with the oldest then going clockwise:Peyton, Addy, Dillon,  Aaron, and  Abby.

Aaron's big present from us was a Tonka bulldozer complete with movement and sound.

 Uncle Doug was a favorite go-to person for both Aaron and Abby.  Aaron took the truck to Uncle D. to open for him. (Of course Daddy was video-taping it all, so his hands were full).

This is the big moment for Doug's kids.  They were to open their big present at once.
I had ordered a twin fleece blanket made for each of them in a favorite patten.
A lady at the Barnesville Farmer's Market makes them
and she had waited and bought the copyrighted material when it was on sale.
She then made one for each of Doug's kids and his step-son.

His kids like to wrap up in regular blankets to watch TV.
Peyton has been using a queen-size one
that I had given them when Doug set up his own household.

I tied the string a little too tight, so Peyton was the first to get hers out
(with my help).
It has peace signs and hearts on it in several pink shades, and lavender, and blue.

                                                 Dillon's is from the Cars movie.

Addy's is of Disney's princesses.

Dillon pulled his over his head. 
Each one has a solid fleece background sewn onto the back of the print.
The lady does an excellent job
and her blankets are a popular item especially at her Pumpkin Festival booth.

Not shown is Colton's Ohio State one.
Doug's stepson was unable to be there.

 Peyton wasted no time wrapping up in hers. Addy draped hers over her legs.
 Aaron came over to touch and admire Dillon's.

This is after all the children's presents had been opened
and before the paper was picked up.
Aaron found a free corner and proceeded to play quietly with his new toy.

This is a view from the front of the house and front part of the  living room
towards the back and the dining room.
The couch is normally facing this way.
Mike is opening a present from Doug, his girlfriend, and his kids

                               Here Doug has taken on the challenge of rocking Abby to sleep. 
                                He is determined to succeed and show off his prowess at this.
                                             He did succeed as my previous post showed.

                    That's a recap of our Christmas Eve celebration with my kids and our grandkids.
                    It was hectic, chaotic,and truly wonderful and we all were blessed to be together.

                                                               Tonight is New Year's Eve.
                                            May you all have a safe and happy celebration
                                       of the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.
                                                                   Blessings to you all.

                                        For last year's words belong to last year's language
                                            And next year's words await another voice.
                                             And to make an end is to make a beginning.

                                                         ~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.
                                                                 ~Ellen Goodman

Friday, December 30, 2011

All Tuckered Out

My son was determined to get his niece to sleep.
He had had lots of experience with his first daughter,
who squirmed and moved her arms and legs and fought sleep.

He succeeded. Abby fell asleep.  So did Doug.

Abigail Elizabeth is 10 months old.

Mike and I got our naps after they all left.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Barn Charm #22

On our drive back from Dayton, Ohio
when we got on Route 40 to photograph barns,
these were our first two close-ups.
We drove down a side road to get closer shots of them.
They were almost back to back.

We turned around and drove back toward the main highway;
it is from that direction that the shots were taken.

I did not see any evidence of animals or crops with either barn.
This one is obviously being maintained;
there is a 'pride in ownership' feeling about it.

I would be proud too if this belonged to me.

This one has seen better days and looks like it's being used for storage
and possibly as a makeshift garage.
There was a car on either side of it.
You can catch a glimpse of the farm house in the background on the left.
It was not a huge house, but it had some pretty detail around its porch.

Both barns were fairly close to the country road although not right on it like so many I see.
I noticed that about this part of Ohio--the barns were not so close to the roads.
I'm not sure why--perhaps the lay of the land factors in somehow.

I hope you have been enjoying the holidays.
Being a school teacher, I am on break.
I am taking my daughter and her husband and their two little ones
to the airport in Columbus tomorrow.
They are heading back to Texas.

For more barn charms, click below.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Manger scene and Christmas plans

This manger set is 65 years old and too precious to me to replace.
It has a place of honor on this antique dresser in our 'cozy' living room.

Two plates flank it. 
One has Mary holding Baby Jesus on it.
It was a Mother's Day gift to my mother.
The other one is one I bought myself.
I love the scene that highlights one of my favorite Christmas hymns.

The plaque above is there year round.
It belonged to my parents and is part of a bigger arrangement
that is not shown here.

Tomorrow our snug house will be filled to overflowing
with my two kids and their families.
We're having a non-traditional dinner of lasagna and spaghetti
because I can fix them ahead of time.
It will be crowded and a bit crazy, but wonderful.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Corner View:Seasonal

"Tis the season to be jolly. . ."

I thought I'd give a glimpse of Christmas season decorations
here in our snug home (sounds better than tiny, doesn't it?).
This is my grading corner.
The fall touches are put away and now snowmen grace this corner.

This is one of my favorite snowmen greetings.

A Santa wreath adorns the front door (from the inside).

A view of part of our cozy living room.  
Scruffy is hiding under the tree in the right hand corner of it.

The whole house is decorated, but I thought a few photos were enough.
 I love the mix of Santas, snowmen,
and angels in vivid and subdued colors and all sorts of materials and textures
throughout our home.
I can't help but smile! 

Join Francesca for more seasonal corner views.

Blessings to you all as we draw closer to that wonderful day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Barn Charm #21

Awhile back, we attended a wedding in Dayton, Ohio.
On our way home, we got on old Rt. 40 east of Columbus,
so that I could take photos of barns.
(Such a patient husband I have.)

It was a gorgeous day and I got lots.
But I've just started blogging again
and am behind on reading and commenting on others' blogs.
Therefore, I will keep this barn charm short.

The above photo shows off the main barn.
The next photo reveals some of the other outbuildings
and a glimpse of the house and misc. vehicles and equipment.
A lone sheep completes the pictures.

I like the uniform white paint and that the roofs are in good shape.
I'm fascinated by all the doors in the big barn
and that every building either has a multitude of windows or doors
or one or two huge openings (the smaller sheds).
Also, the grass is cut and the leaves raked and collected or mulched--
all in all a well-maintained set-up.
The land is flatter in this part of Ohio.
There is a hint of the beginning of hilly countryside,
but nothing like what we have down here 
in "Little Switzerland."

A note to friends: I took a personal day and that has helped.
Blessings to all. 

Click below to check out more barns on Tricia's Barn Charm.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Update on thin ice

Am doing better.

Thank you for
your concern,
your encouraging and uplifting words,
your prayers---
for the bridge you provided me.

On Friday, the bear's paws were  healed.
Please pray that they do not become injured and sore again.
(Especially since he will be evaluating me, among others.)

Some respite from severe pain.
Also experienced healing memories this past weekend.

Am off to begin another school week,
but I wanted to leave a quick post
to update and express gratitude.

Blessings to you all.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thin ice

Frozen Seneca Lake, Senecaville, Ohio
taken by husband Mike several years ago.

High level of pain
Low level of sleep

Emotions running wild at school
Staff's morale is low

Principal is a bear with a sore paw--
perhaps all four
growling at us teachers
so that we stay away
even when faced with a troubling student

We are trying to work together
to handle the problems
Some days we are more successful
than others

Me personally?
I'm  walking gingerly on thin ice
praying it doesn't crack
and plunge me into bone chilling
life-sucking cold.

Just letting those who wonder where I am
know that I'm still here--
just not up to cute posts right now
or uplifting comments on others' blogs

However, I would draw your attention
to the shaft of light high up in the photo:
I'm still looking at it
and that helps tremendously.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Barn Charm #20

The following are glimpses at barns--all I could get.
The first one is on my way to and from Seneca Lake from my home.
The house is across the road
and the only place to pull off
is smack dab in front of it (no long, winding lane for privacy).
Both ways afford little chance to get more than a quick glance
with my eyes, I was lucky to get even this shot with the camera.

Outside of Quaker City, Ohio

This is on Mt. Olivett Rd out of Barnesvillve, Ohio

The house was immediately to my right as I was facing the barn.
There were two doors in the basement that were
even closer to the road than the barn's door above.
I do not see how one could exit either door
without risking getting hit by a passing car.
The house was built into a hill,
so the folks could exit from a door
that permitted entry into a sloping back yard.

Apparently they are concerned about 'speeding' cars:
read the sign scrawled on the barn's side.

For more barns, check out Tricia's place.