Monday, December 31, 2012

One of the things I look forward to in 2013 is the third season of Downton Abbey! When I was a young wife and mother, I watched  Soap Operas in the afternoon while the kiddies napped. The ones that I watched were the ones that my mother and grandmother had watched for years. They called them their "stories".  But over the years I lost interest in them. I think that happened when they went from Stories to  Crazies. Crazy plots and much racier bedroom scenes were not for me.  But I must admit to being hooked on Downton Abbey. The scenery, the characters and the plot line are all perfect for an Anglophile like me.  It is the story of the Crawley family and their life at their manor. In addition to the upstairs family the downstairs servants are featured prominently in the story line as well.   This season, the two matriarchs of the family will lock horns. Shirley Maclaine will play Lady Crawley's American mother who is visiting Downton Abbey while Maggie Smith continues to reign supreme as  the dowager mother of the manor.  I have to pull for Maggie Smith in this instance as she is one of my favorite actresses of all time.  I am sure there will be fireworks as these two talented actresses share the big screen.

And now I am caught up in  another British production....Call the Midwife. Set in the 1950s, it is the story of nurses who care for inhabitants of a poor section of London.  I was able to watch their holiday episode last night on PBS and I cannot wait for season two to start in March. As an old nurse, I find the stories of these brave young nurses so inspiring.  And I love the nuns who are nurses that work along side the public health nurses. They have much to teach their young charges about life and faith.

If you are looking for some quality programming on television, I highly recommend these two shows!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Today is the day that all the Christmas decorations come down and we put our house back to normal. It is not as much fun to put it away as it is to decorate the day after Thanksgiving. As I get older, I am finding that I may have to begin to do all the decorating in stages....when I was younger I could knock it out in one day but that was in the good ole days!! When Marvin and I celebrated our first Christmas together, the only decoration we had was our Christmas tree set up in front of the window in our basement apartment. Of course no one could see our tree as it was the BASEMENT and the apartment was located at the back of our landlord's home.  But I did find out that Marvin and I had different opinions on how long the Christmas Decorations should "stay up". In my home, we took down the Christmas Tree the day after Christmas. Back then we always had live trees and after two weeks, my mother was ready to be done with the mess of watering and sweeping up falling greenery.  But Marvin's family kept their Christmas going through New Years. So he got aggravated with me when i wanted to put everything away a day after Christmas. Now we compromise and it stays up for several days after Christmas.

Since it is a rainy, dreary day here, I plan to take advantage of being stuck inside by getting my house in order. In some ways, I enjoy taking down all the glittery decorations and getting back to normal. I find that January is a good month for cleaning and decluttering. A new year with new beginnings including a nice clean house. I have some company coming the second weekend in January so I plan to give my guest room a good cleaning so it will be ready for Lee and Lanier's visit.  Being a creature of habit, I also look forward to getting back to my regular routine on January 3rd.  So what are your plans for the New Year?

Friday, December 28, 2012

My favorite gift this year was from my sweet husband....this pretty handbag!  I am enjoying it so much! It was a splurge but I know it will last forever.  One of my friends and I were talking about how hard it is for moms to feel that they "deserve" a nice gift every now and then. We can think of other things that we might "need" more than a gift. But I decided that this gift was given in love and I will accept it with a happy heart.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

This photo says it all....Landon playing with his Thomas the Train toys. This child loves Thomas.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

 The gifts are opened, the guests are at their own homes and it is a quiet day at the Grimm house. We had a lovely Christmas day and it was so fun seeing the grands open their gifts!
 The Before Picture....the after picture included lots of boxes and wrapping paper thrown around the room!! Thanks to Uncle Charles for helping get all the trash picked up!!
 Nancy, Charles and Amelia.
 The Big Cousins had their own seats at the end of the table.

 Charles, Nancy and Marvin.
 Ben and Katy with Baylor.
 Katy and Margaret with Marg's doll.
Mommy helping Kendall open her loot.

Today I have tried to do some cleaning and laundry as well as loading up my new Dooney and Bourke purse from my sweet husband. It was a splurge but I think it will last forever!! Some women like jewelry but I like purses!!

Marvin will be home for the week and I am looking forward to some time with him. It will be a quiet end to the year of 2012.

Friday, December 21, 2012

I am taking a few days off to celebrate Christmas with my family. I hope all my blog friends have a wonderful Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Yesterday I received a Christmas Card from my nursing school roommate, Karen. She is now on Facebook so we are now Facebook Friends. It was good to see her sweet face and to catch up with all her children.

Karen is someone I have always looked up to as her life has always been a witness for those around her. She was such an encouragement to me in nursing school. We spent many hours studying and working together. We both got married the summer after we finished nursing school. I was a bridesmaid in Karen's wedding and she was my matron of honor. Years passed and we both moved in different directions but we tried to keep in touch usually through Christmas Cards.  Karen was a busy pastor's wife, homeschooling her six children. Due to an unfortunate series of events, Karen went through a divorce. It was devastating to her...not in her plans for her life. But God was good and directed her steps as she went back to work in order to raise her children.  Now those children are grown, one is a physician, one is in med school, one is in nursing school, one is heading to the mission field in April and two are business women.  As my own sweet husband put it, Karen should win Mother of the Year.  Karen's life has not been easy but her faith in God is strong. I still look up to her!! We are hoping to meet for lunch in February when she is visiting her mom and dad.  I can hardly wait to see her. She is one of those friends that you can just pick up with as if you had seen each other yesterday!  Make new friend but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Karen is one of my GOLD friends!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If you are looking for an easy treat or something to make and take to your neighbors, I want to suggest this easy fudge recipe. Over the years, I have tried all kinds of fudge recipes with varying degrees of success but I have finally found one that turns out great every time, tastes yummy and is very easy!!

Easy Fudge

3 cups of chocolate chips( I like to use two cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of butterscotch still tastes like chocolate fudge but with a depth of flavor as Ina Garten would say!)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until thoroughly combined. Pour into an 8  inch pan that is lined with buttered foil. Put in fridge to set up, then cut into small squares and serve!! Easy Peasy!  If you like nuts in your fudge, simply chop up 1/2 to 1 cup of nuts and stir into the fudge before placing it in foil lined pan.

I always try to make my fudge on a day when it is not raining. Dampness in the air and candy making do not go together!!  I still have some treats to make for Christmas but I am in the home stretch for being ready for the big day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Chief Vann House in Spring Place, Georgia is all decorated for Christmas. A local photographer, Benny Huggins,  caught these images and shared them with a friend of mine. I just had to share them on my blog. My home town, Chatsworth, Georgia was in the heart of the Cherokee nation. Just outside of Chatsworth you will find the Chief Vann House. Cherokee Chief James Vann built this lovely home in the early 1800s. He lived there for five years before his death, then it passed on to his son, Rich Joe Vann.  But the Trail of Tears took many Cherokees away from North Georgia on a forced march to Oklahoma. Rich Joe's family was among the native Americans forced from the mountains they loved so much.  The Chief Vann house was in disrepair for many years. But in 1958 the state of Georgia purchased the property and began to restore it. It is a beautiful home, filled with the colors of nature. Friends of the Chief Vann House is a Facebook page where you can find out more about the house and special events that are held on the property. If you are ever in North Georgia, step back in time and visit the Vann House.

Monday, December 17, 2012

We had a nice quiet weekend at home. I was able to make lots of goodies to take to my sweet neighbors.  I made up some REAL Chex tastes so much better than the Chex Mix in the bag!!  Chocolate Fudge, Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Dipped Pretzels and a new treat which is Bugles dipped in Chocolate are now stored in tins in my kitchen.  I also made a batch of Pecan Pie mini muffins which is one of my favorite treats. And my friend, Susan, found me a copy of All of a Kind Family Downtown for seven dollars!! I was so excited!!

Saturday evening we were off to our Sunday School Christmas Party. Oh My Goodness...all the yummy food that was spread out on Amy's dining room table!! Good bye Diet!  After enjoying the treats we played Dirty Santa and shared many laughs. Marvin got a beautiful blue platter and I got some kitchen utensils! There was a Victoria's Secret Santa Apron that caused quite a few 'steals'.

Sunday morning was church then lunch at Dot's Soulfood Restaurant. Dot's has the BEST fried chicken in North Alabama.

Since it was such a dreary rainy Sunday, we came home to rest and take naps...the perfect ending to a weekend.

Friday, December 14, 2012

In a galaxy far far away, I taught two year olds at Central Weekday School here in Decatur. I was there for ten years and I still remember all my little ones from those sweet days. I keep up with them as much as possible through their mother's facebook pages and the honor rolls that are printed in the Decatur Daily. But what a surprise at Margaret's third birthday party to get to see three of my former students.  They are friends of Margaret's cousin, Tollie, and they came with her to the party at the park.  I had to get a photo!

From left to right is Laura Leigh, Bentley, Anna and Tollie. Tollie went to another preschool so I did not have her in my class but the other three were all my students. It was so fun to see those little two year old faces growing up into teenagers!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Okay, I know it is December but my daughter in law, Katy, just posted some pictures from our Family Vacation at Tybee Island and I just love this picture of Margaret and Landon taking a break together, sharing a beach chair. These two love each other so much and that makes my heart happy!!

In the top picture all three cousins are relaxing together. I had Baylor at the beach house, taking a nap while the rest of the fam was at the main beach on Tybee.  Such sweet memories! Thanks Katy for capturing these precious moments for Nana.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Every year I get my grands a Christmas ornament. I like to think that one day when they have their own homes and their own Christmas Trees, they will hang these ornaments on the tree and think of Nana and Grandpa. I found these cute ornaments at Cracker Barrel. Right now they have their ornaments on sale so it is a good time to stock up. I chose the red snowflakes for Landon and Baylor and the green snowflakes are for Kendall and Margaret. They look like decorated Sugar Cookies!! And I was able to write the date on the back of the ornament along with a little message from Nana and Grandpa.  I have to give a shout out to Cracker Barrel...this year they have just had so many pretty Christmas things available in their Country Store. The prices are good as well. I need to purchase two Dirty Santa Gifts for our Sunday School Christmas party and I think I will head to Cracker Barrel to look for something special. And Cracker Barrel will also wrap your gift for you! That is something I am always looking for at this time of the year.

Speaking of wrapping gifts, I am off to wrap some gifts with my friend, Sharon, this morning. Our Sunday School Class chose a family to buy Christmas gifts for this year. Another sweet friend, Amy, shopped for the gifts for our class. She got some amazing deals. So now the gifts must be wrapped and returned to the NCC by the 18th.  It is a blessing to be able to help others!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

 Last night I hosted a MOPs Christmas Party here at my house. It was so nice to hear all the sweet voices and the laughter as we enjoyed just being together for an evening. And all the Mommies enjoyed  having some down time! We had so much delicious food. In addition to being great Moms these ladies are also great cooks.

 I had made some hot cider that was really good but we had to turn on the Air Conditioning to be able to enjoy it!! These ladies are such a blessing to me!! Below you will see Nikki, Michie and me. Michie and I are the Grandmothers of Preschoolers for this group. We get back so much more than we contribute! I am looking forward to the New Year with MOPs.

Monday, December 10, 2012

 Here is the Birthday Girl, Margaret who just turned three. All the family gathered at the park to enjoy some cake and ice cream with our sweet girl.
 It was a bit windy down by the river....but the kiddos had a good time playing in the December sunshine.
 Kendall and Margaret were building sand castles.
 Bubba enjoyed the swings.
 Margaret and Mommy!
 Kendall, Margaret and cousin Charlie  are excited about the cookie cake.
 Baylor enjoyed a cupcake!
 These girls are serious about their treats.
Margaret opening her presents. It is hard to believe that our baby is three! And what a sweet girl she is. We are blessed with four precious grandchildren. Life is good.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

At this time 34 years ago today, I became a first time mother! Our son, Benjamin Anton, was born at UT Medical Center in Knoxville, Tn. No one can prepare you for the love you feel for your baby. Instant Love all bundled up in a blanket.  I was from a family of girls so I was not sure what I was going to do with a baby boy but I found that I could manage. After a rocky start due to colic, Ben was a happy boy. He said his first word at nine months old and showed us that he was one bright little one. By the time his sister was born when he was just 19 months old, he was talking in sentences and loving his "sisty".  He was born with a strong will that served him well as he grew up. This young man has made us very proud to call him our son. Now he is a dad to Margaret and Baylor and I love to see the tenderness he displays toward his own little ones. The circle of life continues to turn!!
 You may remember that I am on a quest for more Boopie glassware...well thanks to my friend, Maria, my collection is growing. I started with six glasses that my mother received as a wedding gift from her Uncle Webb and Aunt Lois. My sister, Leta, recently found two more glasses at an estate sale so now I have eight glasses!!
 Maria and her husband, Johnny, have a booth at the Bank Street Antique Mall here in Decatur and she told me that she had two Boopie candle holders.  I purchased those back in the fall.
And now I have ten dessert glasses thanks to Maria and Johnny.  They were in Pensacola, Florida for Thanksgiving  and while they were there they did some 'antiquing'. They were at an estate sale when Maria spied these dessert glasses. Once the Cokers were back home, Maria emailed me with a picture of the glasses and asked if I would be interested. Now that was a silly question.:)   I just love the pretty Boopie glassware, the name alone makes me smile. But adding to some special glassware that was my mom's is just a joy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

 The Alabama Shakespeare Festival shared these pictures from Saturday's performance on their Facebook Page so I borrowed them to share with you!  It truly was a magical play. I am sure you all recognize Scrooge and Tiny Tim in this photo.
 Here is Charles Dickens!! He narrated the play and he also did some magic tricks. Apparently Charles Dickens was an amateur magician as well as being a writer.
 Marley and Scrooge....I was afraid this would scare some of the children in the audience but I did not hear any crying or screaming!
One of my favorite scenes was the afterhours dance at Fezziwig's store.  You can see Scrooge and the ghost of Christmas past at the right rear of the stage.

Facebook comments regarding this production were very positive. I think everyone who attended the play went away satisfied that they got their money's worth!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I took some time yesterday to refurbish one of my old Christmas wreaths...It has sparkly lights but I forgot to turn it on before I took the photo.  I found this G at Hobby Lobby and I saw a similar design on Pinterest. I used gloss enamel paint on the letter to make it "shiny"  My red and green ribbon also has polka dots imprinted on it so this wreath is just Dotty!!

I also took time to address Christmas cards yesterday. Kendall helped me by "stamping" our address on each card. She did a great job. Then Bubba wanted to help and lets just say he needs to work on his style.:) When Grandpa got home from work, he helped Bubba play Thomas the Tank Engine on the pc upstairs and Bubba has mastered the mouse. He was one proud little boy!! Now he can play Thomas all by himself.

I hope to get some more Christmas gifts wrapped today. My daddy is not doing well and I would like to ask all the prayer warriors out there to lift up a prayer for him this week.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Marvin and I enjoyed seeing A Christmas Carol Saturday afternoon. On the way to Montgomery, we stopped in Birmingham to see our sweet grandbabies. That is always fun!!  Then back onto I 65 headed south. We arrived at the theater in time to enjoy some of the madrigal singers that were entertaining the guests in the lobby. The carolers were dressed in Dickens period dress and the harmony was just incredible...all acapella too!

We had incredible seats, practically on the stage. The sets, the acting and the atmosphere were perfection. It was good to step back in time and remember what Christmas is all about.  The people of Montgomery are very fortunate to have a park like the Winton Blount Cultural Center. In addition to the Shakespeare Festival, there is an art muscum and a lovely park for recreation.  Marvin and I both agreed it was worth the ride to go to see Dickens.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

 Tomorrow our sweet Margaret will be three years old!! We plan to stop in Birmingham today to drop off her birthday gift and wish her an early Happy Birthday.
When I look at these little faces I am reminded of how quickly time flies by.  There is a song that I love called Cherish the Moment. As a grandmother, I think I understand that sentiment much more than I did as a busy young mom.

Marvin and I are headed to Montgomery today to see A Christmas Carol at the Shakespeare Festival Theater.  The shows there are always  done perfectly so we know we will be put into the Christmas Spirit!

And we are rooting for the Tide to ROLL over Georgia today. My sweet hubs will miss the game as it will be shown on tv while we are out of town.  And wouldn't you know it, our DVR box stopped working yesterday and we are waiting for UPS to bring a new one.  Marvin's dream game will be Alabama vs Notre Dame.

Wishing everyone a blessed weekend!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

I got a sweet book in the mail on Wednesday thanks to  Donna, one of my book loving friends shared a list of childrens books that everyone should read with our Tuesday Book Group. Well I had read most of the books but one title caught my attention, All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor.  I have had that little book on my "wish list" for quite a while and I was so excited when PaperbackSwap notified me that someone had posted All of a Kind Family and it was mine if I wanted to order it!!

When I was a child, Friday was library day during our summer breaks from school. My mother took all three of us girls to the library and we checked our books for one week. Usually by Friday evening or Saturday afternoon, I would have read my books. I loved reading! I felt rather like a child again as I sat down with this book Wednesday evening after dinner. I found myself gobbling up this sweet story and I could not put it down.

All of a Kind Family is the story of five sisters, Ella, Sarah, Henny, Charlotte and Gertie. They are the daughters of a young Jewish couple who live on the East Side of New York City.  Their father owns a junk shop and their mother takes care of the girls and the home. Ms Taylor includes much information about Jewish festivals that the girls enjoyed celebrating with their family and I found that very interesting.  I enjoyed reading about the lives of these girls in the early 1900s and all the ups and downs in their young lives. Ms Taylor's writing style is similar to Laura Ingalls Wilder in that she really brings the time period to life.  I wanted to read the next two books in the series but the prices on Amazon were quite high. I am thinking that the other books must be out of print.  That is truly a shame as these books are so lovely. If you want to escape the 21st century for a bit, visit with the All of a Kind Family. It will leave you with a smile on your face.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

 I thought I would share a few more Christmas photos this morning. Here is my tea cart all decked out in Christmas angels. And my sweet Christmas tea towel with a G looks so pretty on the tea cart. I love that this tea cart has a special towel holder built right into the cart.  I found the tea cart in a Savannah, Georgia antique store (Maggie's on Bull Street) and at just $90 I had to bring it home with me. It has a brass label on the side that says it belongs to the Shepheard Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. When I first got my tea cart, I googled the hotel and found that it is a four star hotel on the bank of the Nile River. I wonder how this little piece ended up in Savannah. I have heard of stealing towels from a hotel but a tea cart????

Below is a picture of my dining room chandelier. I am thinking of adding some tulle to the glass berry still needs some tweaking but I was glad to find a garland that matched my ornaments!  I have to admit that on the Friday after Thanksgiving I tend to put things up in a hurry to get it done in one day! Then when I have time, I go back and freshen it up a bit.

But today is my Friend Day and I am going to lunch with the girls so decorating will have to take a back seat to Nana Time today!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

With the library being closed for renovations my reading has been limited to re reading books that I love in my own collection but thanks to friend,Susan, I did read a very good book by M L Stedman. It is titled The Light Between Oceans.  Tom Sherbourne is looking to find peace of heart and mind after serving in World War One. He becomes a lighthouse keeper and volunteers to take the post on Janus Island, a remote Australian lighthouse. It is so remote that the supply boat only comes every three months. Tom would be totally alone and that was just fine with him. While on one of his leaves from duty he meets a local girl, Isabel. They marry and move to Janus. Isabel has hopes of raising a big family on this beautifully wild island. But sometimes things do not work out the way you plan. After several miscarriages Isabel despairs of even having one child. Then a miracle happens. Or at least it is a miracle in Isabel's eyes. A boat washes up on the island and inside is a dead man and a crying baby girl of about three months old.  Isabel feels that God has sent this baby to her. Tom is not so sure. Being a meticulous lighthouse keeper, carefully logging in all the details of their everyday life on the island, Tom feels he should report this event. Isabel assures him that people will think it is her baby. Unwilling to see his wife disappointed again, Tom agrees to her plan. Tom buries the man and they fall in love with this tiny girl. Isabel seems to forget that Lucy is not their own child but Tom is fearful that one day they will pay for this deceit.  While home on leave to have Lucy baptized, Tom and Isabel learn that Lucy is actually the granddaughter of a very wealthy man and Lucy's biological mother has gone almost mad with grief over the loss of her husband and baby.  This book is a story of love and hate, war and peace and right and wrong.  You can understand the viewpoints of each character and you sympathize with them as they each try to do what they feel is right in this situation.  I will be looking forward to more books by M L Stedman!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

 Here are the ornaments I made for the grands this year! They really do look pretty on the tree. I had seen similar ornaments on Pinterest and thought I could make some for myself.  I usually purchase an ornament for the grands every year so that when they are grown, they will have their own ornaments. I did that for my own children and I think it brings back many memories for them.  But I have been thinking instead of buying ornaments, I may just buy some big clear ornaments at Hobby Lobby and whip up four more of these.

Kendall and Landon were here yesterday and they loved the tree and they superloved the gingerbread house, although they did want to play with it. I had to explain it was for decoration only. But Kendall got busy and made a  paper gingerbread boy and girl, inspired by the pretty house. That girl loves crafting!!

And Landon kept asking me how long it was until Jesus' birthday....not Christmas, Jesus' birthday!!  I had placed some gifts that I had already wrapped under the tree and that sweet boy asked if those gifts were for Jesus.  I guess I got a good theology lesson yesterday and from a four year old no less. Out of the mouth of babes!!