Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Our Christmas Recap

Whee! our house was filled with more Christmas cheer than this Momma could almost stand.  It was a whole bunch of fun and a whole lot of memories were made.  Now, we are all looking forward to the new year and all that it holds.
I spent much of my time in the kitchen.  Even though I did as much as possible ahead of time, it seemed I was still cooking up a meal or cleaning up from one.  And, yes, the girls are more than happy to help and they do help with the things that I will "allow" them to, but I'm a big "one person in the kitchen" kind of woman.  So, I make my bed and then I have to lay in it. ~chuckle~ 

 This little guy was puny Christmas Eve Eve and was soooo fussy.  I sat down to rock him and it seemed to soothe him and he went fast asleep.  When he awoke he was more than fussy so we carried him to one of our Doctor friends and he had an ear infection and congestion.  We got the little fella some meds and by evening he was better and by the next day he was a lot better.

And, can I just say that when Coleman is feeling good he is a BUSY little boy.  He goes from one thing to the next and then throws that precious smile at you and melts your heart.  Oh, my goodness, the little stinker!

My Daddy enjoyed sharing part of Christmas Eve with us.  About 2 hours of joyful chaos is all he can take and he's ready to get back to his quiet little apartment. ~chuckle~

It's such a blessing that my Grans have a Great Poppa. He is their only living Great Grandparent and who knows, his Dad lived to be 88 and his Momma to be 94.  He's 87 right now but he reminds me on occasion that he's ready to go meet Jesus whenever Jesus gets ready to take him. My prayer is that when the Lord is ready that He will just take him and he will not have to go through any other illness or suffering.  

Isn't this the cutest picture???  It looks like two little birdies gathered up to eat.  Poppa had a piece of pound cake and as soon as he sat down they were gathered up with their mouths open.  So precious!

And, nothing makes this Poppa any happier than to have them all gathered around him and in his lap.

For many years we have had a birthday party for Jesus prior to opening our gifts.  Poppa reads the Christmas story and then I ask them questions about Jesus' birth and Clancy and Hanna Beth are very much in tune as to the real meaning of Christmas.  We then close with prayer.  It is my favorite of our family traditions.

Santa was good to everyone and it was indeed, a Christmas to remember.  We were so glad that Bridget and her family could be here with us this year.  

Bridget and her family left a little before noon on Christmas day and I started taking down the Christmas decor and washing up all the dirty laundry.  When our celebration is over I am immediately ready to move on.  All is cleaned up, put up and now we await the new year and all that it holds.

Blessings abundant to you and yours!

Monday, December 19, 2016

'Tis the Season - Part 2

Yes, it continues to be "the season" here at The Culp household.  Last week was a week of entertaining and celebrating here in our home.  Thus the reason for no blogging last week.  I mean, a gal can only do so much. 😄  But, it was a fun time and the season will continue this week as we prepare for our family Christmas on Christmas Eve.
Last Tuesday I hosted our office staff for our annual luncheon.  This year's menu was lasagne, salad, french breach and red velvet cake.  These gals and our son do a wonderful job of holding down the fort and this is one way we show our appreciation to them.
For the past 6 years I have been giving the girls a piece of Vera Bradley.  I always find an exceptional sale on it in January on the Vera Bradley website and then I hold it until Christmas.  I think this was likely my last year to continue with that.  I think they have enough now for just about any trip or outing they might take.  Now, what to come up with next???
 The staff hit it out of the ballpark on their gift to us.  Isn't this the neatest throw you have ever seen.  I have never seen one and I was completely thrilled over it.  Now, I really can't imagine using it as a throw but I'm thinking of using it as a wall hanging on a pretty decorative rod.  The only problem being we have very few walls in this house.  But, after Christmas I'm going to try to find a spot to hang it. And, should you want one, you can click here to find this and many, many other unique personalized items.
 On Thursday I hosted my annual Girlfriend Brunch,aka, Formidible Women.  I don't know exactly, but I think this may have been my 15th year to do this.  It's always a special time for us and something I look forward to each year.  This year's menu was Bacon and Egg Quiche, Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Curried Fruit.  

A few years ago we added a little gift exchange to the fun.  And, yes, I did get a gift but the picture was not good so I did a little substituting.  I mean, isn't that my prerogative? 😌  It was another year in the records and we all realize, more than ever, to treasure our gift of each other more and more.
I had to throw this last little item in because I thought it was the absolute cutest idea.
My DIL found this idea on Pinterest and asked me to the graphic work for her and I was more than happy to do so.  This is the little "happie" that Hanna Beth gave to her class mates at their Christmas party last Thursday.  I mean, could it be any cuter?  I printed it on postcards and then she hot glued the Chap Stick to each card, put them in a cello bag, sealed them and they were ready to go.  Who on earth dreams up all these cute ideas??  I'm convinced if you need an idea that Pinterest likely has one for any and everything.
 I'm pretty sure this will be my last post until after Christmas.  I wish for each of you a most wonderful Christmas celebration with your family and friends.  We are especially excited here at our house because our daughter, SIL and two grandsons will be here to celebrate with us this year.  I think the last time we were all together on Christmas was 4 years ago.  So, this will be extra special.

Abundant blessings and much love as we celebrate our Savior's birth!

Friday, December 9, 2016

A Bit of This and That

It has turned very chilly here in NE Louisiana.  In fact, it is down right cold and it doesn't help that we haven't seen the sun in days and days and cloudy days make it seem that much colder.  I enjoy wearing sweaters, boots and such but not all that crazy about coats, so I wear a lot of vests.  Hubby and I are enjoying our fireplace and it does add to the Christmas spirit.

This is Candace, sweet Candace!  I  was privileged to attend Candace's graduation from Morehouse Teen Challenge this past Sunday.  If you have been reading my blog very long then you know that I have a special place in my heart for this ministry that has made all the difference in so many lives.  It is a one year rehab program based on Biblical truths.  Candace was  raised in a Christian home, attended church every time the doors were open, yet Satan tempted her and "sucked" her in to his trap.  Thankfully, Candace has turned her life around and I can hardly wait to see what great things the Lord has in store for Candace.
Isn't this the cutest?  Hanna Beth and Andi Kate were so excited to assist their Mom in the decorating of their tree this year.  Andi Kate seems to be placing her ornament very exact.  What sweetness!!!

This little guy is ready for the cold, cold windy days ahead in OklahomaHis rosey cheeks are identical to the way his Momma's were at his age. 
Clancy and Coleman got to see Santa last weekend in Branson.  Coleman was not the least bit scared which surprised his Dad and Mom.  I'm pretty sure Clancy made sure that Santa knew exactly what was on his wish list.  Clancy has started really "thinking" about this whole Santa deal. ~they do grow up but they always believe~

Now, this is so random but just had to share ..........I have seen these funny egg shaped items in the stores for a while now and always thought they were some kind of pumice stone for feet.  Well, imagine my surprise when someone told me they were sponge applicators for face powder. What!!!! Well, gals, they are the greatest little tool for applying your facial powder.  They are called Real Technique Miracle Complexion Sponge.  It has rounded sides for blending, precision tip for covering blemishes, and a flat edge for contouring. It leaves your face smooth "as a baby's butt."  And, yes, you can order them off of Amazon.  I'm thinking they would make a great stocking stuffer!

Okay, there you have it, and here's wishing you a wonderful 2nd weekend of December!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Time for a little Hodgepodge this 7th day of December.  Not only do we remember Pearl Harbor but I remember this day 14 years ago.  It's the day our daughter got married.  What great memories!  Now, on to answer these fun questions...............

1. Let's talk holiday decorating. On a scale of 1-10 where do you fall? (1=Scrooge and 10= Clark Griswold). What's your favorite corner-room-table-space to decorate? Is it done?
I'm about a 7 and my favorite thing to decorate is the tree, it's not the size of the tree but just the fact that it isn't Christmas to me without a tree of some sort.  Yes, mine is done!!! ~thank goodness~

2. Is there a nativity scene in your decorating somewhere? Post a picture or, if it's special to you in some way, tell us why. Or do both-it's Christmas!

I found this "sort of" all in one type nativity a couple of years ago and it was perfect for the look I wanted.  I have it placed underneath our tree and I think it looks so pretty against the shimmering tree skirt.

3.  Do you live in a social neighborhood? If so are you glad? If not do you wish you did?
Yes, we do live in a neighborhood, there's only about 9 houses and won't be but maybe 2-3 more, so it's very small.  I would have to say it's not all that social, if that means seeing your neighbors face to face.  We know all of our neighbors but generally a wave as we pass in our cars is about as social as it gets.  I think neighborhoods have changed so much over the years and with most it's not a lot of socializing.  I don't think, as a society,  we run over or stop by without checking first and sometimes that can be just too much trouble.  I haven't even given it a thought but perhaps I should try being a bit more social here with my neighbors. ~grin~ Because, after all, I am a VERY social person.

4.  As the saying goes, 'there's no time like the present'. How does that ring true in your life right now?
Well, this is pretty much my motto.  I figure if something needs doing then why in the world would I wait to get it done. ~big chuckle~  Unless of course there are extenuating circumstances.  I really do not get a big thrill out of wrapping gifts but someone has to do it and it's our gifts so I have gotten the bulk of them wrapped with only 2-3 left. Waiting didn't make it any more appealing to me, so I just jumped in with both feet and "got er' done!"  Yep, there's no time like the present!!!

5. Do you dread Mondays? Why or why not?

I love Mondays because it's the beginning of a new week and I use my Mondays to prepare for the week ahead in hopes that things will go smoother that way.  I've always liked new beginnings and I'm looking forward to a new year as well.  The only thing, new weeks and new years, they all add up and are a sure sign that I'm getting older. ~ugh~

6.  Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis-which on the list is your favorite holiday plant? Are any of these on display in your home right now?

I love red poinsettia's and have two in a container on our breakfast table.

7. Share a favorite quote from a Christmas movie.
Not exactly a quote, but I'm thinking this would be a great code for the human race as well!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
As I mentioned, 14 years ago these two "tied the knot."  It is still a favorite memory for me and they have blessed us with the 2 most precious little boys.  Here's to many more happy years!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Tis the Season

 With only 20 days left until Christmas, I'd definitely say "tis the season."  I have decorated all that I'm going to and I'm pleased and I guess that's really all that matters.  It doesn't take me long to put it up or take it down and that makes this gal very happy!  There was a time in my life that I put up 4-5 trees, ran garland everywhere there was a spot to run it and Christmas was evident everywhere you looked.  But, I'm definitely at a different season and "less is more" now. 😀
The stockings are hung  and I'm so pleased with my new stocking hangers.  The mantle in our new house is not high enough to keep the stocking from getting to hot or catching on fire when the logs are burning.  So, I had to come up with something else and I found this attractive holder at Plow and Hearth and love them. And, they are a good match to the fireplace screen.
I changed from a whimsical decor to a dressier decor on the tree this year.  It is done in silver and pearl mercury glass ornaments.  (that really do not show up in this picture).  And, since it is placed in the foyer/dining area I carried the mercury glass look over into the dining room.
I have some "fun touches" in the kitchen and living area.  I've had this Mr. Santa and Mrs. Claus figurine for 30+ years and I love it.  It is by United Design and I'm not even sure they are in existence any longer.  
I added some lights to the topiaries , wreaths on the two porch windows and Christmas pillows to the benches.  Those new handrails would sure be pretty with greenery and lights as well.  But........... ~chuckle~

And, now I'm working on our Christmas cards.  I do enjoy sending them but it is such a huge "labor of love."  I've been doing the photo cards for the past several years and this year is no exception.  In fact, we had a photographer come here to the house and do pics of us with the Grans for our card and of all the pics she took we were fortunate to get one that would work, but, since one was all we needed, that was good.  Anytime you try to get 6 people co-ordinated for a picture and 2 of them are babies, then I'd say your lucky if you get one good one.  Anyway, while waiting on the cards to arrive I'm busy getting the envelopes ready with addresses and stamps, so all I'll have to do is stuff and seal them once the cards arrive.  I always order colored envelopes for my cards, I LOVE colored envelopes!  And, I make cute labels with the addresses of all those I'm sending the cards to and I order our return labels from a gal on Etsy.  So, I do put in a lot of time and effort and hopefully everyone that receives one enjoys it. ~wink~  I counted up the times I actually touch each envelope the cards go in and it is 5 times.  And, I likely make it a much more daunting task than is necessary but it's how I like to do my cards and I'll keep on doing it this way until I grow weary of it.  And, I generally do a newsletter for those out of town but did not do that this year.  I figure with social media that it's probably just a repeat of what most folks already know. 

Be sure and enjoy this Christmas season!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

 It's Wednesday and time for Joyce's thought provoking questions......
NOTE:  I have no idea why Blogger will not allow me to increase the size of my font in the first 6 questions.  So, so aggravating but I guess it has a mind of it's own this morning.  I'm so sorry as I know it is almost unreadable! Ugh!

1. Give us three rhyming words that say something about your Thanksgiving holiday (or your most recent holiday gathering if you didn't celebrate Thanksgiving).
I'm not a poet and I know it! 😏  But, 3 "unrhyming" words would be: fun, memories and lots of noise!
2. When did you last say, 'the more the merrier'? Did you mean it?

I'm sure I have said it, but I have no idea when the last time was that I said it.  And, I'm not sure that "the more the merrier" is always true.  Sometimes "less is better."😄
3. What's one piece of advice you'd give someone who is your same age?

Just one piece?  I have lots but one piece would be to enjoy each day because we're not getting any younger.
4. You're ordering a veggie plate, what four veggies are on it?

Oh, I could live on veggies. My four would be: corn, okra, cabbage and broccoli.
5. Shop til you drop! Did you? Have you ever? Will you between now and Christmas?

No, I did not!  I don't think I've ever shopped in actual stores on black Friday and likely never will.  I did get a couple of items off the internet on Black Friday but that's it.  I have definitely "shopped till I dropped" but will not be doing that between now and Christmas.  90% of my shopping is done.  I just need to get it wrapped.
6. What's your favorite chair in your house, and why is it a favorite?

Oh, my recliner!!!  It's where I land after dinner each evening that we are at home.  Hubby has his and I have mine and we share a table that is between them. ~isn't that sweet~
7. Share an early memory of faith, religion, or spirituality.

When I was about 8 years old I wanted a Chatty Cathy doll for Christmas.  Funds were very, very limited at that time and I remember my Daddy telling my brother and me that we would get very little that year for Christmas.  We had some precious neighbors that did not have children and loved us dearly.  They asked my parents what they could get us for Christmas and they ended up getting us the 2-3 items that my brother and I really wanted.  Afterwards my Dad explained to us how the Lord used our neighbors to provide us what he and Momma could not afford for us that Christmas.  And, he further explained how the Lord always provides our needs and often provides over and beyond our needs.  My childhood was filled with many examples of HIS faithfulness through some tough financial times.  But, those times provided me with some precious memories  and gave me a firm foundation of God's faithfulness.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am always singing the praises of Amazon and that's especially true this time of year.  It has to be the easiest shopping there is.  My daughter and DIL make wish lists in Amazon for the Grans and I merely go over and check the items I want and "wa-la" it's done.  It's scary, it's so easy and if you are a Prime Member, the shipping is super fast.  I mean, why would anyone want to do any other kind of shopping.  I know some folks just have to see, touch and feel, but I don't.  And, should you need to return something, Amazon has made that a painless procedure as well.  I think Amazon should hire me to be their "poster girl."  😀
Added note: Don't forget Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love is on tonight.  I can't wait!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday's Musings

Okay, now where did I leave off?  It's hard to believe that one week ago our daughter and our 2 grandsons were here and we were preparing for Thanksgiving.  Now, a week later, and Christmas is staring us in the face.  I so wish that there was a longer time between the two very special holidays.  But, it's always been that way and I'm pretty sure it will continue to be that way. ~ho-hum~

Meanwhile, we had a good time with family this past week.  Bridget and boys arrived and then Tommy's sister and her husband arrived a couple of days later.

Andi Kate was just beside herself over seeing Coleman and couldn't love on him enough.  They are 6 months apart but she's already got this whole "mothering" thing figured out.  They were too cute!

Coleman is one busy little boy.  We never knew where we might find him if he got out of our sight.  And, looks as though he's going to be a climber. ~fun-fun~

Clancy could hardly wait to go hunting and it was a most successful hunt.  Poppa took him 2 mornings and Clancy killed a doe one morning and a buck the next morning.  I'm not sure who was the most excited, he or Poppa.  Tommy started hunting when he was Clancy's age and has been enjoying it ever since.  He definitely doesn't hunt like he once did, but he still enjoys it once in a while and especially when he gets to take Clancy and teach him the ropes of hunting.  They will have a freezer full for sure!  And, in case you are wondering, Clancy did kill both deer by himself.  He held his own gun and pulled the trigger.  He already has a very good eye.

Bridget left on Wednesday morning headed home to Oklahoma and it was extremely quiet around here.  But, if things work out, the whole family will come back for Christmas.  It's was a special family time and the kids really enjoyed being together. Susan and Steve left Friday morning and I spent the rest of the day catching up and getting ready to start some Christmas decorating.  As I said, I so wish there was more time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is random, but wanted you to see our handrails at the front steps.  It took a while to get these once we ordered them but they were worth the wait.  We are so pleased and think they add a very nice touch to the front of the house.  And, they will serve as an aid  to anyone who may need some assistance coming up the steps.  

Wishing you a great week as we enter the Christmas season.  Try not to get your "tinsel in a tangle."