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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Year Has Come and Gone

It is hard to believe that 2014 is winding to a close and 2015 is on the horizon. 2014 was like most years, filled with triumphs and trials. In January Marvin went into the hospital for a total knee replacement. That was a blessing as he had been in horrible pain with that knee. So we were home bound for most of February. It was nice to spend the cold winter month inside, reading, doing handwork and just enjoying each other. Marvin was recovered enough in March for us to take a trip to Atlanta to watch a show at the Fox Theater. April brought Easter, family times together and warmer weather. May brought my birthday and Landon's graduation from preschool. June meant time spent with Kendall and Landon while they were home from school for the summer. Margaret visited as well to enjoy some cousin time. July was a fun month as the whole Grimm Bunch spent a week together at Gulf Shores. August brought a return to school for the older grands. It was also the month that Baylor was diagnosed with Autism. In September Marvin and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary at Gulf Shores...a week to ourselves that we thoroughly enjoyed. And we were totally surprised when Charles and Nancy told us that we would be getting a grandbaby in May. Now we know it is a little girl and we are thrilled!  In October my sweet Aunt Jannelle passed away after a short illness. It is hard to lose those who have known you all your life. November brought good reports from Baylor's teachers and therapists as they help him to navigate the waters of autism. My dear friend and cousin, Pam, also went home to be with the Lord after a long battle with colon cancer. Please do not put off those colonoscopies! Thanksgiving brought the whole family together again and I could never forget our trip on the North Pole Express with the Grimmlins. December was a sweet month, filled with parties, trips and family time celebrating the birth of our Savior.

This morning I am sitting on my sofa, drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying the sunshine that is pouring in the window. After a month of cloudy and rainy days, it is a blessing! Today I will begin to put away all the decorations. In some ways I will miss them...who does not like all the sparkle on dark December days? But I am ready to reclaim my house and I have a few projects in mind for 2015. Also three of my nephews are getting married in 2015 so I have some cross stitching to do and I cannot forget that I have a birth sampler to stitch for our new granddaughter.  I look forward to seeing what 2015 holds for us!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Home Again

On Friday evening, my brother in law, Lee and my sis in law, Lanier, arrived for a lasagna dinner and an overnight stay here in Nanaland. Early Saturday morning, we loaded up the SUV and headed for North Carolina.

Back in June, Marvin's younger brother, William, and his family moved to Brevard, NC where my sister in law began her job as a principal at Brevard Academy. We wanted to see their new hometown so  Lanier and I planned an after Christmas trip that included a tour of Biltmore Estate.  On our way through Knoxville, Tennessee, we stopped for lunch at Five Guys where we met up with Lee and Lanier's son, Barry and his wife, Mary and their sweet twin daughters.  It was the first time we had seen Barry in years so it was a fun short visit.  We arrived in Brevard late in the afternoon but we had time to check out a few of the shops downtown. William was a good tour guide and seems to have learned a lot about the town in a short time. We ate dinner at The Square Root in downtown Brevard and it was just delicious. It was the perfect atmosphere for a meal and a family visit. Unfortunately we missed William's wife, Barbara and youngest son, Doug. They were in Addi Ababa, Ethiopia on a  short mission trip! Yes, William was home alone and Lanier and I thought he could use some company. :)

Sunday was spent exploring Biltmore Estate. I have to say that if you have never seen this magnificent manor in western North Carolina, put it on your bucket list. We wanted to visit at Christmas to see all the decorations and it was definitely eye candy. This is going to sound silly but our favorite part of the house was the basement that housed the servants quarters, kitchen etc. It was JUST like Downton Abbey.( Our favorite soap opera!). Also located in the basement was a huge indoor pool. The story of the building of Biltmore was very interesting. The manor had electricity six years before Asheville had access to the miracle of the late 1800s.  George Vanderbilt had his own physical plant that powered the electricity for his home. I know my Ga Tech man would have loved to tour that part of Biltmore.


Here we are in front of the large garden room at the Biltmore.  No photographs of the house are allowed so you must be happy with this one taken by the Biltmore staff.  Lanier and I purchased books, Christmas at Biltmore. These books were on sale in the book store and filled with wonderful photographs of each of the main rooms decorated for Christmas.

After a morning spent walking and climbing stairs, we were ready for lunch. My good friend and native North Carolinian, Susan, had recommended Cedric's for lunch and it was perfect. There are several eateries on the Estate. Cedric's was the perfect atmosphere for tired and hungry tourists.


We had various sandwiches and soups along with Irish bread. It was very tasty!!

Then we met up with William for more exploring in Brevard ending with dinner at Marco's.


Not the greatest photo but our meal at Marco's was the perfect ending to our time in NC. Like Marvin said, it looks like all we did was eat!! And yes...we are foodies!

Lanier and I agreed that we needed to do another couples trip. We had a great time just being together, improving family ties and making sweet memories.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Peace and Quiet

Another Christmas has come and gone. This morning Grandpa and Nana are moving slow, slept in a bit and now are enjoying some coffee!  It was a good Christmas...last year Marvin was in severe pain with his knee so that put a damper on the festivities. We are so thankful for that knee replacement!! One of the big blessings of 2014 as Marvin had been experiencing problems with that knee since 1984.

We had the whole family with us yesterday except for Nancy who was home with a cold. Her grandmother and brother came along with Charles to enjoy the afternoon.

Amelia and her kiddos.

Nana and Grandpa with the Ledlows. Kendall took off her glasses to avoid Flash Eyes! Nana just deals with it ( and she cannot see without her glasses!).


Caught this little lady in a quiet moment.

Baylor enjoying his trains.

Ben, Katy and Elliott.

A houseful!

The girls...Kendall was upstairs so we missed gettting her in the photo.

Ever the comedian, Uncle Charles pulled up a picture of Nancy on his phone so they could be photographed together in Nancy's absence.

Grandpa and his Grimm boys...Landon was busy...

What was Landon doing? Learning about Legos from the family expert, Uncle Charles.

Hope all my blog friends had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my Blog Friends a Merry Christmas! I am taking a few days off to enjoy the season with the Family!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Country Christmas!!

We spent the weekend at my family's country place! We had the whole family there including Nancy's Grandmother who was visiting from Connecticut and Nancy's brother, Richard, who resides in California.  Mrs Kim and my mother have a unique friendship. Both are in their early 80s and somehow feel a bond despite the language barrier. Mrs Kim does not speak English and Mother does not speak Korean.  Their shared faith in God is also a bond between them.  So when we had our family picture made, Mrs Kim was standing right next to Mother!!

My sister, Kristi, had the great idea to get a family picture while everyone was in town. She called our cousin, Scott, and he came over and got some great shots!  When he told us he wanted us to pose on the driveway, I was a bit sceptical but the pictures were great. Then Kristi told me that Scott sometimes uses our farm as a backdrop for some of his professional photographs. He brought a young man to my daddy's barn and took a photo of the fellow sitting in the loft!  We were so glad to get a family photograph where everyone was looking at the camera!!

It was a dreary day but that worked to our advantage as there was no squinting in the sun!!

With some help of parents standing in the distance and getting the kiddos attention we also got this great photo with the grands.  It will be obsolete next May when Baby Girl Grimm makes her appearance....we will have to get Scott to make more pictures of the family then.

The Tankersley Girls..... Arlene, Leta and Kristi.  Pictured on the farm where they were raised and where they have many memories of a fun life surrounded by parents, grandparents and cousins and friends. My mother still lives in the house that my parents brought me home to from the hospital after I was born almost 60 years ago!

It was a good weekend and now the countdown to Christmas Day!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our Reindeer

Baylor came home from preschool with this ornament he had made with the help of his teachers. We loved it. My sister who has taught first grade for years and who has experience with autistic students told me that two things stood out to her in this photo. First that he was looking at the camera and second that he allowed the teacher to put the reindeer antlers on his head for this picture. Both are big deals in the world of autism. As for Nana and Grandpa, we love our Baylor Reindeer.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harriet Potter

Our Margaret got a new pair of glasses recently. Mommy let Margaret choose her style and she chose PINK of course but we were surprised that she chose the round frames. Our own little Harriet Potter!!
If you have never read the Harry Potter books, Harry wears black round glasses.
Here she is in her new glasses holding her eye glass case...

And here she is all dressed up for church and wearing her pretty pink glasses.  I am looking forward to January when Margaret will come and spend a few days with Nana.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

High Cotton!

When I moved to Alabama I first heard the phrase, High Cotton. If you asked someone how they were doing they might reply, "I'm in High Cotton!" That means they are doing well. If your cotton crop is high that means more cotton and a better return for your cotton field at harvest.  Now we had cotton in Georgia as well but I had never heard that phrase used there.  A friend of mine gave me a recipe for a little Christmas candy treat and as it had no name, I decided to give it the name High Cotton Candy...because you are in high cotton if you have this treat in your Christmas Kitchen. I would have posted a picture of the candy but it is all GONE! Thanks to my friend, Amy for this new recipe which I will be adding to my list of Christmas Treats.

High Cotton Candy

1 1/2 packages of White Almond Bark. 
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups peanuts
2 cups minature marshmallows

Melt almond bark and peanut butter over low heat on top of stove. Let it cool a bit while you measure out Rice Krispies, Peanuts, Marshmallows and place them in a large bowl. Pour Almond Bark mixtures over ingredients in the bowl and stir to cover. Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper and allow to set. Store in an air tight container.

I had my MOPs ladies over last night and they LOVED it and asked me to put the recipe on our MOPs Facebook Page.  We had such a good time...eating, visiting and laughing were the order of the evening. Moms who have Daddies on Babysitting duty are always happy campers. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tea Time

I do not drink tea, only coffee but I love my tea cart that sits in my dining room. And this Christmas it looks lovely decorated in its' holiday finery. I think I have told the story before about how I found this cart at an antique store in my husband's home town of Savannah, Ga.  I kept going back to look at the tea cart but with no price tag displayed I was afraid it was out of my means. My brother in law, William, hunted down the proprietor and asked the price....$90. What a find!!  There is a little brass tag affixed to the cart that says if is from the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo, Egypt.  Right now this old hotel is closed as it undergoes a complete renovation.  And from Egypt to Alabama! What a trip!!

I am busy getting ready for a Christmas party for my MOPs moms tonight. They are always so much fun to be around! Then Thursday I am having Deborah and Susan here for lunch and opening gifts, later in the day my Titus Ladies will come for a light supper. Most of my Christmas partying will be finished after this week!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Party On

I love this Polar Bear Cookie Jar and being from Georgia I am partial to Coca Cola.( Did you know that the original recipe for Coca Cola had cocaine in it?)  I have always enjoyed Coca Colas Christmas advertisements...with Santa and later with the Polar Bears. I have not seen any Coke commercials this Christmas. Maybe they do not need to advertise this year! I found this polar bear years ago and I purchased it for Mama G. She was a big cookie baker and she always had a stash of chocolate candy hidden in her house! I thought she would enjoy it and she did for many years. When she passed away, this was one thing that I really wanted to take back home with me.  He is a cheery addition to my Christmas kitchen.

We had fun at our Sunday School party Saturday night. Dirty Santa was played with gusto and I came away with some pretty bracelets that my husband "stole" for me and we also ended up with some pretty Alabama Christmas ornaments. Not Alabama as in BAMA but  Alabama as in our state!

Yesterday was a red letter day for our youngest son as he received his Masters Degree in English from the Universtity of Alabama at Huntsville. He chose not to walk as he and Nancy are busy getting ready to move to Atlanta. Their cute home in Harvest, Alabama has sold so they will spend part of the week looking at houses in Northeast Atlanta. While I loved living in Atlanta as a young person, the traffic there makes me glad I live in Decatur, Alabama.  Charles will be looking for a job and he also hopes to enroll in an Atlanta area college PhD program. His goal is to be a college professor.  They have an exciting 2015 ahead of them as they move to a new city, get new jobs and welcome Baby Girl Grimm in May. So far Baby Girl does not have a name. Nancy says they may have to see her to decide on a name. So no monogrammed goodies for this grandbaby until she arrives.

Today I hope to spend most of my time in the kitchen....much Christmas baking to do!! And maybe a little cross stitching as I have almost completed the wedding sampler for nephew, Jeff and his fiancee, Sarah. Lots to look forward to in the Grimm family in 2015.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Angels

I have had these angels for many years. I have always loved angels and I had quite a collection before my sweet husband stepped in to help me get them from the attic and dropped the box that contained my collection. That was years ago and I am not bitter at all!lol...Really I am not. He did it while we were moving one time and he was clearing the attic for me. This was when we lived in a house that had the pull down attic stairs and it was an ordeal to get anything out of the attic! I was not home at the time of the accident and oh how he dreaded telling me about it.  Not all were broken but quite a few did not survive the fall from the attic stairs.   I told him that they were just THINGS....I was glad he did not fall. I love my little collections but if they were all taken away from me tomorrow, I would survive.  I think I bought these angels to start my collection over again!

The little dish is one that I purchased in Franklin, Tennessee when my friend, Diane and I went there to shop back in November.  I have always been drawn to little things.

Tonight Marvin and I are going to our Sunday School Christmas Party. I have my Dirty Santa gifts ready and I must make my Smoked Turkey Cheese Ball to take along to share.  I am looking forward to an evening with my dear friends of 20 years. They know all about me and love me anyway!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Reading Corner

This year I set up a reading spot in my living room. I filled this box with all my Christmas books so that the grands can quickly find a Christmas book to read or they can ask Nana to read a book to them. I love it when Landon gets a book and snuggles next to me as I read to him. He is learning to read on his own so soon these days will be over.  Some of the Books to be found here are Santa is Coming to Alabama, It's Christmas David, Christmas ABC's, This Special Night, Arthur's Christmas, Auntie Claus and the Christmas I SPY book.   I like my old Christmas Angels who are perched on either side of the box. All this fits snugly under the secretary desk.
Here is a nice shot of my Christmas Tree. A glowing tree is so nice on these dark December evenings. I really do enjoy all my Christmas decorations and the house always seems rather stark when it comes January!!

Thanks for praying for my blog friend, Kara. I read on her facebook page that she was able to come home from the hospital yesterday and was there to greet her children as they came home from school. I know that was a wonderful surprise for the Tippetts children.  Please keep Kara in your prayers!

Today I am off to attend our MOPs meeting. I have a tray of goodies prepared to share at our Christmas party. We are doing Christmas Crafts as well as playing some fun games and then we will be eating too! A fun morning with these sweet young mamas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Walk Through Nativity

Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham hosts a walk through nativity each year as their gift to the community. It is quite an undertaking with 250 costumed characters who depict scenes from the life of Christ. Eight hundred volunteers work to make this event one that is a must see Christmas activity.

And Briarwood makes this nativity available to special needs children as well by allowing them and their families to come to their own walk through before it is open to the general public.  Ben and Katy bundled up their three to see  Baby Jesus.  Katy said Baylor thoroughly enjoyed himself and kept saying, Sheep Sheep!! After the walk through hot chocolate and cookies are served in the fellowship hall. I am go glad Ben and Katy make an effort to expose Baylor to all sorts of things, even if it is a bit out of his comfort zone. 

I found this photo from the walk through nativity online...that is one big camel!!


I have not updated all my prayer warriors on Baylor in a while so here goes!! His teachers at preschool as well as his therapists are quite pleased with his progress. His Occupational Therapist has decided he is doing so well that he only goes once a week to see her. His speech therapist has decreased his visits from three times a week to two days a week.  Baylor is talking now although much of it is what is referred to as scripting...he repeats what he hears. The next goal is for him to have original thought in his speech. Now if he WANTS something, he is pretty clear on that!! And the other day Katy was helping him with his boots when she ran into trouble getting one on Baylor's foot, Baylor told her, "Try it again." That is BIG for him to use phrases appropriately.  He is playing appropriately with toys and is beginning to get imaginary play, which is another milestone.   He found Grandpa's camera the other day and was holding it up, pointing at things as if he were taking photos which may seem simple but for our boy it is BIG.  We are so thankful for your prayers and it is exciting to see Baylor blossoming. Please pray for Ben and Katy as they parent Baylor. Many days are hard. The other day Baylor realized he could stand and hold the water button on the fridge and flooded the floor so that Mommy had to spend a good deal of time mopping it up! So all is not sparkles and rainbows but with God's help they are able to travel this road!

Since I am so thankful to have prayer warriors for my family, I am asking all of you to say a prayer for Kara Tippetts. Her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, can be found on my blog roll. Kara has been fighting breast cancer for two years. She is a much loved wife and mom to four sweet kiddos. She went into the hospital on Saturday and is still there. Please pray for pain control and for peace of heart and mind for her as well as her family. Although I do not know Kara personally, after reading her blog and her book, The Hardest Peace, I feel as though I do know her just as I feel I know all my blog friends.  I will be lifting up Kara in prayer today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hot Chocolate Bar


One of the favorite corners in my kitchen is my coffee and hot chocolate bar.  Using a platter that was a gift from my sis in law, Lanier, I filled it full of things needed for a cup of hot chocolate. Right now my favorite brand of cocoa is Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensations.   I love the Santa sugar/creamer set I got years ago. They come out every year to sit on the counter but they look perfect perched on the platter along with demitasse spoons for stirring and packages of Swiss Miss.  I found the cute acrylic container that holds our marshmallows at Walmart this year. Since I took this photo I have added some cute Santa napkins to the platter! It looks quite festive as Martha would say! Everything that is needed for a hot chocolate treat is neatly collected in one place. Kendall often likes to take advantage of the hot chocolate bar when she arrives at Nana's house after a busy day at school! As for me, I have an occassional hot cocoa but coffee is still my drink of choice on a cold winter day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

O Come Let Us Adore Him

One of my favorite collections is my Nativity Scenes. As one of my Catholic friends teases me, Christmas is the only time of the year that Protestants are ok with statues and graven images. She got me there!! In the collection below, my favorite is the clay holy family in the middle of the scene. It was made by a potter here in Alabama and I had been looking lovingly at it in the store! My sweet husband surprised me with it two weeks before Christmas last year. I keep it in my secretary all year long. It is too pretty to be put away and only enjoyed once a year.( You can click on the picture to see a bigger image!)

Several of my nativity scenes and ornaments. Since this picture was taken a friend gave me a new addition to my collection!

The manger scene was a gift this year from my sweet friend, Amy C.

My Willow Creek nativity is special because I purchased it with some money my Daddy left to me. It reminds me of his love for me. And my Menorah was a gift from Marvin.  In the background is a Christmas Cross Stitch that I did years ago.


This pretty nativity was made by my sweet mother in law, Mama G.  It is very special to all of us in the Grimm family.

And here they are in my kitchen hutch. I decided to put them here this year as Baylor likes to touch things and I did not want it to be a temptation for him as well as Elliott. We can enjoy these nativities but they are out of harm's way!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Busy Weekend

We had a weekend that was super busy. As Marvin said, "Now that gas prices have declined, the Grimms are hitting the road!!" First was a trip to Hoover to celebrate Elliott's first birthday and Daddy Ben's 36th birthday. Elliott was one on December 5th and Ben celebrated on December 6th. Ben got a great birthday present when Alabama beat Missouri to become the SEC champs!


Daddy had to wear the birthday hat!!


Chocolate cupcakes!

Daddy , Elliott and Big Al the elephant that Granny Pat got for Elliott.

Roll Tide!!

All three of these Grimms have birthdays the first week in December.

After our party on Saturday, we headed to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival to see A Christmas Carol with Kendall. ( And yes, Alabama does have some culture!!)

All dressed up to head to Montgomery.

Special times with the grands are the best holiday gifts for grandparents.

The statue of Shakespeare is decorated for the season!!

Me and my oldest grand...she taught us how to be grandparents.

Kendall asked Grandpa to take these pictures of us...so glad she loves spending time with the old folks. I know that one day she will be busy with other pursuits so again I must remember to cherish the moment.

We enjoyed the play...our seats were almost on the stage! I think Kendall's favorite part was all the costumes as she hopes to become a fashion designer one day.  Another memory for the books!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Starting off the Season Right

If you are like me, your holiday calendar is filling up fast. The season rushes by and at the end of Christmas Day, you wonder if you really took the time to reflect on the meaning of this happy time of the year. The ladies ministry at our church wanted to make sure that we started the season off on the right foot. They hosted a Savoring the Savior fellowship dinner at First Bible Church. The leadership team of Women Walking Worthy went all out to show love to the ladies of FBC. The evening began with the ladies arriving to beautifully decorated tables.

If you cannot see the centerpiece well, it is a plain glass vase filled with cranberries and water, plain tree limbs sprayed with white paint and pretty red Christmas balls attached to the branches. This is one decoration that I may be using in the future! And those pretty gift boxes were little happies for the ladies in attendance.  The boxes held a little booklet called The Greatest Gift of All. Perfect for reading to children and grandchildren on Christmas morning. Also included were little objects that the children can hold to think about the story. ( a rubberband, praying hands, white cloth, tiny baby and match).  This gift will make Christmas meaningful for many of the FBC families this year.

My Titus Ladies group...missing a few ladies. We enjoyed sitting together for the dinner. We also enjoyed singing some Christmas songs led by two of the talented youth of our church. The young lady who led the singing was one of my former two year old Sunday School students!  IT warmed this old SS teacher's heart to see the fruit of seeds planted many years ago!

My friends, Deborah and Sharon sat at our table as well.

All my ladies minus Elaine, Laura and Jarman. I am so glad the Lord used the Women Walking Worthy ministry to add so much to my life this year. These ladies are becoming such dear friends.
Our ladies ministry really made an effort last year to make an impact at our church. In addition to the Titus Ladies groups, there are Bible Studies, Prayer Group,  Saturdays with the Sisters, and a Sewing Ministry. Saturday with the Sisters is held once a month and we always learn something new at these meetings from craft making to time management to making gifts for special people in the church. The Sewing Ministry started just a month or so ago and these ladies make clothing that mission teams take to children in Africa.  Our church has a team that goes to Africa regularly and they saw a need and decided to do something to meet that need.  How often we all say, well we should do so and so and that is as far as it goes. I am finding as I get older that being intentional in all areas of your life is important.

I enjoyed this sweet evening and I look forward to other times of fellowship with friends and family this Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2014

One Year Old!

One year ago today we were in Birmingham to welcome Benjamin Elliott Grimm!  I love this photo of all the Grimm men!

Margaret loves her new brother.

Always room on Grandpa's lap for one more!
And here he is now...our big boy. He is not walking yet but he stands alone and cruises. He has a mouth full of teeth and he is a typical laidback third child. However, if you tell him "no" it really hurts his feelings and he will cry! We do not get to see the Bham grands very often so every time Elliott sees us, he looks us over from top to toe before deciding that he knows who we are. It is so funny. We call him the Judge as he is very solemn during deliberations.

We will be heading down I 65 tomorrow for his party that he will share with Daddy. Daddy Ben turns 36 tomorrow. ( And he requested a caramel birthday cake that Mom will bake and take!) This is a week of birthday celebrations for the Hoover Grimm Family!