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Showing posts from 2009

A New Year...A New Adventure

Hard to believe that it is already 2010, isn't it? Seems like only yesterday we were all sweating over "Y2K" and what would happen with all the computers...and here we are a decade later.

2009 will be a year to remember for Eddie and me. More particularly, December, 2009 will stand out in our minds as the month when our lives took a giant shift in direction. On the Friday before Christmas, Eddie lost his job. We officially joined the ranks of those struggling with unemployment, trying to figure out how we could make things work from this point forward.

We are fortunate in that we have some savings, but we live in a small town in the Panhandle of Texas and jobs like the one my husband had are few and far between. I am blessed with a wonderful job as a legal assistant. My hours are flexible and the pay is good for a town of this size. But, Eddie was the big breadwinner, allowing my earnings to be used for fun, discretionary spending.

For the last two weeks, we ha…

The True Meaning of Christmas

Well, Christmas is nearly here. My, how the few weeks since Thanksgiving have flown by this year! But, I guess we are just about as ready for the holiday as we can get around here.

We have finished the shopping. There are only a few last gifts to wrap and place under the tree. I still have a bit of baking to do, but the fudge is made. (Are you reading this, Daddy?) And now I have a bit more time to be still and reflect on the true meaning of this most holy of holidays...

Christmas will be different for us this year. Eddie and I have had some pretty big changes come upon us this last couple of weeks. There are big, life-changing decisions to be made and, although Christmas is in some ways the worst time of the year to have this happen, it is also the time of year when perhaps we are most receptive to God's reminders to us about what is truly important in Life.

Amid all the hustle and bustle of what Christmas has come to mean to the secular world, it is too easy to get caugh…

CrAfTiNg for ChRiStMaS!!!

Here is it...just a few days before Christmas. And I have finally completed a Christmas craft project!!! It's just been one of those years when time has gotten away from me. But, I saw this great gift idea on a couple of different blogs and just had to give it a try.

First off, I couldn't find any tiles here in our little town, so I asked Eddie to pick some up at Lowe's when he went over to Amarillo. I specifically asked for 'matte finish' tiles and these were the only ones he could find that he considered 'matte finish'. Uh, they weren't smooth...more like tumbled stone, kinda uneven...and I wasn't sure how they would work.



But, I forged on. A trip to Dollar General yielded some pretty tissue paper. The instructions I had seen called for cocktail napkins with a design that would fit on the tiles, so I was 'making do' again when I went with the tissue paper. But, at this point, I was beginning to get a vision in my head of how my project mig…

Memories and Traditions...Where did the Time go?

With Christmas fast approaching, I am keenly feeling the effects of an empty nest. So much so, that I drug out my box of old photos last night and went browsing through them. (How DID we manage before digital cameras?!?!?)


Now that the kids are all grown and pretty much on their own (Eddie Dale and I have seven between us, ranging in ages from 18 to 29), there is so much I miss:

* The pitter-patter of excited little feet scurrying through the house.

* Finding bits of sticky candy cane here and there.

* The necessity of finding new hiding places for presents.

* Pictures with Santa and Christmas programs at Mother's Day Out and school.

I even miss all that penny-pinching and budgeting it took to help Santa out each year when the kids were younger!


I recall the simple traditions we had when there were little ones around. On Christmas Eve, I always prepared a big pot of stew and a skillet of cornbread for dinner. Then, after baths, the kids were dressed in warm and fleecy footy-pj's and …

Christmas Blessings and Simple Ideas

HoLiDaY GrEeTiNgS to one and all and a special WELCOME to all the SITSahood!!! I'm linking up to "The Secret's In The Sauce" over at http://www.thesitsgirls.com/ for Merry SITSmas 2009.

We are under three weeks on the CoUnTdOwN to ChRiStMaS...can you BeLiEvE that?!?!? I've been out there in BlogWorld, busily perusing all the fabulous ideas for crafting and decorating. So many Fabulous and Fantastic Ideas...I'm going into "sponge-mode-overload" trying to soak them all up!

I really haven't had just a whole lot of time to craft in recent years, but I wanted to show you a few of my FaVoRiTeS for this year. They're not all homemade...they're not all terribly crafty...but they all WoRk for Me!!!

My "Best Find" for this year is this beautiful red vase, which I picked up for $7.99 (nope, that's not a typo!) at Ross. I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted it AND got my hands on it before my Mother did!!! I simply filled it with …

**Lighting Up the Night**

Well, after braving frigid temps and a bitter ol' North wind, we have finally gotten the outdoor Christmas decorations up and burnin'!!!




Okay, so it took the two us the better part of two days (and Eddie working alone an extra afternoon) to git 'er done....but, just look at it!!! WE'RE ALL LIT UP!!!



Isn't it GRAND?!?!?! And oh so FABULOUS?!?!?!



We have a herd of deer grazing on the knoll in front of the house....



(Do NOT look at the electrical cords hanging from the deer....just pretend you do not see them!!!)


And a polar bear, complete with trees and presents....



And Frosty the Snowman....



And Lots and Lots of LIGHTS!!!!











So, we can just bundle up...and sit back and sip from our cuppa hot cocoa...and enjoy the view from the Porch!!!



Season's Best Wishes!!!

Jane

DeCkEd OuT for ChRisTmAs!!!

'Tis the week after Thanksgiving, and the house is all decked out for Christmas!



It took me the better part of two days to sort through all the plastic bins, put together and shape trees, hang lights and garlands, and place all the ornaments...but, it's done! Now Eddie and I can sit back and enjoy the Christmas wonderland by treelight and candlelight.



In the living room, we have two trees. The main tree has its place in the corner by the piano. It branches are filled with many special ornaments, tipped with glass birds, shimmery poinsettias, and red and gold glass candles (my favorite Dollar General find this year!).


By the front window, we have our special Texas tree. It holds all the ornaments we have picked up from around the state and our western and Texas-themed ornaments. This is a treasured collection to two lovers of Texas History!

Our old-fashioned ranch house has the front door in the kitchen/dining area. We just love the welcome this provides and have placed a tree …

Prep Night and Pie...Revisited!

Hey, y'all!  Greetings from the Heart of Texas. 

Robin, over at "All Things Heart and Home", has the most wonderful idea for a holiday link-up party to cover all the holidays, Thanksgiving through New Year's!  She is truly one of the most talented bloggers around and I hope you will take a few minutes to head over and check out her terrific blog and the party!  




Since Thanksgiving hits first, I am revisiting this post from the night before Thanksgiving of last year.  It's one of my favorites because it includes a simple, but oh-so-yummy, recipe for pecan pie!  Give it a try.....I guarantee you will not be disappointed.  


Thanksgiving is upon us.  A time to count our blessings...to be with loved ones...and savor every moment! 


And speaking of savoring....I just finished my pre-holiday baking and it smells absolutely HEAVENLY at our house!!!  I've got the cornbread and biscuits ready to build some dressing around the turkey tomorrow.  Eddie baked two pumpkin pies, …

What I was missing....

At the age of 48, I could honestly claim to have never had a cup of coffee...until recently! Believe it or not, I went all those years with nothing more than a sip of the brew, which I swore was too bitter for human consumption.

Then something amazing happened. In a weak moment, I allowed my mother to convince me to let her prepare a cup of coffee with her favorite french vanilla creamer for me. The first few sips....still bitter. About halfway through the cuppa joe, though, the taste changed. I don't know if my tastebuds have just matured or if it's really the creamer, but it started to taste kinda good. I finished that cup and didn't look back.

Now, I've discovered International Coffee's French Vanilla Cafe instant cofee and look forward to a cup each morning. I discovered that the cappucino machine at Taylormart has the most yummy french vanilla cappucino and that has replaced my morning diet coke on the way to work. I can't wait to check out Starbucks this we…

Taking Time To Be Thankful

With Thansgiving fast approaching, I have noticed that there is a trend on Facebook for people to post something each day for which they are thankful. I am really enjoying seeing my friends share their blessings and I thought I would take this opportunity to make a list of my own:

* I'm thankful for a wonderful husband who continuously shows me just how much he loves me.



* I'm thankful for three terrific children who make my life complete.



* I'm thankful for three precious grandchildren who add so much joy to my life.

* I'm thankful for the wonderful relationship I have with my parents and their continued good health.

* I'm thankful for my sister and her new family and the happiness they have found.



* I'm thankful for wonderful friends, both old and new, who make life more fun.



* I'm thankful for a warm, comfortable house that we have made a home.



* I'm thankful for my job, including the challenges and sense of accomplishment …

A LiTtLe SeCrEt....

Wanna know what's sexy in my book? Lean in...a little closer now...c'mon, you know you want to hear what I'm about to say...A MAN WHO COOKS!!! Now that is the epitome of SeXy!

A man who really knows his way around the kitchen was a novel idea to me. All my life, I was surrounded by women who were whizzes in the kitchen. Mymommy could whip up just about anything in her tiny little kitchen. MaMa could fry chicken like no one else. My mother cooked everything from Thanksgiving dinner to the most scrumptious chocolate chip cookies in our little house on Blair Street. But, the only memories I had of a man cooking were my Dad grilling steaks on a barrel-turned-grill out on the patio.

Well, when Ed came into my life, my whole way of thinking on who really runs the kitchen was turned topsy-turvy. Sure, this man was always talking about cooking and recipes, but I was skeptical. The first time he offered to cook for me, I turned in my order for fried chicken, mashed potatoes …

An Amazing Woman

I want to introduce you to an amazing woman. Her name is Bonnie Leigh Butler Isenburg. She is wife to Rusty and mom to Madelyn (age 8), Trayden (age 5) and Ansleigh (age 3). She is a Grievance Quality Technician at the Blue Cross Blue Shield facility in Abilene. And she is my daughter!

I admire Bonnie for so many reasons and I thought I would share just a few of them with you here:

* She is a beautiful young woman. Just look at that smile...and those blue eyes...she sparkles and lights up any room she walks into!

* She is a devoted wife and mother. She stays up late, even after putting in a full day at work, to bake cupcakes for her kids' class when there's a special occasion.

* She devotes time to her church, working with the Youth, because she has a special burden on her heart for young people - especially those struggling through the awkward teen years.

* She is a rabid New Kids on the Block fan! If she weren't happily married, I have no doubt she woul…