Monday, December 31, 2007

JYC title page

This is what I ended up doing for my title page to the book. Love that photo of my gang, but we are missing Jeff. I'll have to try to get another group shot on my birthday in a couple of weeks with him in it. They will thank me for all of this someday! At least that's what I keep telling them. Do you think I have more than enough scthuff in this journal? I'm probably going to drill holes in the covers and bind in with rings. I don't think I can squeeze 7 more pages in here!
That's it. This week I will be working on the Year in Review page. I am SO GLAD that I have this blog! When I relied on my memory I couldn't fill half a page. After going through the blog entries for 2007 I have a full sheet and then some! So it is good for something besides my rambling.
I hope you have a safe and happy New Year's eve.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

more of the JYC

This one for Christmas day also includes a facing page of the photo collage I shared earlier this week. The little circles that make up the tree have each person's name and a special gift they received. Went to Joey and Abby's for dinner on the day after Christmas. That daughter in law of mine was impressive! She worked all day, came home and threw together a lasagne dinner for eight and it was GOOD. Her mom, dad, sister, and baby nephew were there with us. Very nice evening! Haven't seen her parents since the wedding and it was nice visiting with them. They are wonderful people.
This was about relaxing after the holidays. I had to wait until Friday, but it was SWEET!
Just a list of weaknesses I have during the month of December. I didn't have space for them all, but here is a list of a few. Most importantly I left off how much I love Christmas music!
This was a filler. Owner's choice. I chose to include this photo of my jar full of old ornaments that were my grandmother's and mine when I was little. My mom started writing our names on plain glass balls with the year, in glitter, when we were young. Don't know if she stopped that in the 70's or if I'm missing a couple boxes. Anyway, it reminds me of the wonderful Christmases of my childhood. I hope that my kids and grandkids will have an ornament jar of their own someday, and remember good Christmases from their own childhood.

JYC days 20 thru 23

I finally got all caught up on photographing these journal entries. One more post to go.....
This day was about the "unexpected". Didn't think I'd have anything since I'm the one doing all the stuff. That very day Glen brought this poinsettia home to me and
a friend came to my work with her pretty little baby girls and youngest sister to deliver those beautiful white tulips/red carnations in the antique looking santa pitcher, AND
I received a phone call that I had won a 50 pound gingerbread contest in a raffle from a bakery that I had popped into to get candy canes for my little buddies. We donated the gbread house to the local Salvation Army to share with the numerous families who were spending Christmas there. That only added to the joy of the unexpected.
Then there was the day I was supposed to photograph what my house looked like at that moment.....4 days before Christmas. It was not a pretty site. The only photo that turned out was this one of our dear OLD Santa, darn the luck!
The "to do" list. This is purely for show. The real list was two pages of a legal pad.
And here are our stockings hung by the chiminey with care. Real care! Our stocking hangers went missing so I had to run out and purchase 10 of these inexpensive ones that didn't want to stay put, much less hold the weight of a stocking AND it's Christmas booty. But the real story is how my mom has hand sewn each little piece of applique and sequin on a stocking for everyone in our family, starting with the one she made me for my first Christmas, back in 19XX. I love looking at them all hanging there together.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winding down

We were lazy after the frenzy of Christmas. My little pals wanted to lounge around all day in their new jammie pants that Grandpa got for them, keeping their little feet all warm and toastie in their "Life is Good" socks from yours truly.

This isn't ours, although I wish she was! Posey belongs to Sheris and is just a three-pound pocket full of cuteness! Even with my f/1.8 lens this was the clearest shot I got of the little squirt. She's not still for a second!
Now, off to work on a few projects before Lindsay comes over to tear my kitchen apart. The wallpaper is coming down and I have to decide what color to paint. I am not good at those decisions so going to search some kitchen sites to see what jumps out at me.
Happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after

Here's a sneak peek at day 25 for my JYC. And this is what I'm asking Santa to give me for next year!
Hey - doesn't everyone apply ruby red lipstick before resting a perfectly coiffed head on her comfy goose down pillow?
Today I worked at The White Hare, selling all those gorgeous and unique holiday ornaments, floral, and decor items half off. If you are in the area tomorrow stop by to say hi. I'm the one covered in red glitter with the charming, holiday retail personality. We have a lot of nice items left and a lot of beautiful holiday decor. I am happy to report that everyone I helped today was extremely pleasant and still in a festive mood. Two of the kind ladies didn't even care that I forgot to give them their additional coupon discount and said they'd be back for it later. You don't find those kind of customers every day, much less on the day after Christmas at a huge holiday sale! It wasn't so bad. We have a very nice clientel. I even managed to pack a couple of bags of goodies for myself to pull out for next year. I just hope I can pack them away THIS year. I've decided that February is the month to clean out the "warehouse" we used to call the basement. I always get in a simplify mood this time of year and it's hitting hard this year. I want to move to the country and live more simply. I have a very strong urge to do that. But how will I survive without Target and Starbucks? How would Glen function each day without his QT coffee and Post-Dispatch? I don't know, but I do know that I'm feeling pulled towards a simpler life.

Tomorrow I will catch up on the posts of my JYC for those sitting on the edge of your seats waiting...........

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Another Christmas come and's a brief glimpse of oursthree pretty girls
six big boys one newly engaged couple (congrats again Brad and Michelle!)
two newlyweds looking quite happy
and a kick-ass gift for daughter number one.

And to all, a good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Beginning with Brunch

No question, the holidays get hectic as the kids get older. Everyone working those pesky jobs that get in the way, other families to visit, it all gets so complicated. This year I decided to do a pre-Christmas brunch and it was so nice. This is also the first time we've had company at our house for Christmas and I had fun adding little touches here and there last night to spruce things up a bit more. Got out the PB white plates, pulled out those yummy breakfast recipes, managed to have the house cleaned (as long as we kept it on the first floor!), and was able to sleep in to boot! Since it's so seldom that all of my mom's grandkids are together at one time and place these days I wanted to get a family photo. That was the challenge of the day. First of all it had to be outside because there wasn't a well lit spot inside for this group. It was cold so I told them they could wrap blankets around them if they wanted just to get them to stop complaining. Tommy was first out with Peyton and Chloe close behind. After a couple of turns on the lonely tire swing they started yelling for the others to come out. Sara had to get Gracie all bundled up so all we could see was her cute little face. Lindsay waited until everyone was in place then she came out with her big coat on, all bundled up while the others stood there freezing. So we got the photo. The real one turned out good after Courtney grabbed the tire swing and held it so we could see the little kids faces. But the one below is my favorite. After the photo I told the little wimps they could all run back into the house. This is them. My little people all grown up. I love them to pieces! I think I'll blow this one up for my desk. It makes me smile. Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Beautiful soul

Doesn't her beautiful soul just shine through? This is the oldest child, dad's favorite :)
It makes her happy to view mom's blog while she's at work so I thought this
would surely make her smile. It makes me smile!
love you Ace!

5 more sleeps!

until that magical day that we've all been busting our tails for. Sorry, it's the retail-itis talking. The Lexi hasn't kicked in yet. So catching up on my JYC here is the layout of my favorite Christmas Carol, "Silent Night". While working on this I traveled back in time to the smells and sounds of our old church where my children all sang this every year at the end of their school program on Christmas Eve night. We all held candles, that we lit off of each other's, while they sang in their sweet, angelic voices. Now I listen to my two little buddies sing this to me. It is a beautiful song and my very favorite. Since I already gave Joey the ornament I can share this one. He gave me the actual lamp (the 20" version) for Christmas a couple of years ago. He couldn't wait for Christmas morning and I had to open it when he got home from the store. It is from our favorite Christmas movie "A Christmas Story". I found the ornament this year after a long search (apparently this is EVERYBODY'S favorite movie) and bought it for Joey. The smile on his face when he opened it was worth the search. So it fit perfectly with the title for today's journal entry.
Have you written a letter to Santa as an adult? It was quite a challenge. I knew that I was going to use the cool new stamp that my pal, LAB, mailed to me (THANK YOU!). Other than that I was stumped. I didn't think of anything to ask for and then it hit me........I told Santa that he could have Christmas back. If you are interested I am plugging in the contents of the letter after the photo of the journal page.

December 19, 2007
Dear Santa,
I am giving Christmas back to you.
For the past 25 years I have taken
all of your duties on myself and after
this year I decided that it's time to
let go of the control. Why did I think
I could do it better? I swear, I don't
know how you possibly do it all and still
you don't look like you've aged one bit.
I, on the other hand, feel worn out from
all the shopping, stressed out from all the
planning, and overweight from all those
cookies that I lovingly bake then eat myself
so my kids won't be any wiser. I've even gone
so far as to put GLITTER in the reindeer food
that I helped the kids make over the years (my
apologies if this has caused any digestive
problems for Rudolph, Donner, Blitzen and the
others). That red suit I bought like yours is
so hot and itchy. It wasn't designed for a
woman experiencing hot flashes I can tell you that!

All that fur and fluff is HOT!
Anyway, Christmas is all yours once again.
I know that you will do a fine job of it and even
if it isn't exactly as I picture it,
they will just have to deal with it.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

So far......BEHIND!

I made the mistake of telling Glen that my schedule was so tight that I couldn't fit a piece of paper in. You can only imagine how far he's taken that one. This morning I was so crabby because I had a ton of things to do and ended up doing for others, putting my own list down. Finally got to get started at 3:30 this afternoon and pulled in the garage at 8pm tonight, hauling a load of packages and dumping them in our new storage area that we used to call the "dining room". (But I AM FINISHED SHOPPING!) Tomorrow I will take a photo in there just in case I would forget someday how crazy this holiday has been. No organization whatsoever. I was so tired of climbing around these two lounge chairs that I gave them as an early gift to my two pals. They thought they were something else, sitting in those chairs, feet up, asking for a snack and a movie. LOL! (btw - that white thing next to Chloe is the two pieces of back brace that my poor mother has had to wear for the past two months). Then the little kiddies asked me for the camera. I gave them the point & shoot. Here's what I found (at least what I would share) when I downloaded the card...........Grandpa's favorite snack
and Peyton, up close and very personal.
I had to play catch up on my JYC album tonight. I did days 12 thru 16 but am only sharing two for tonight because I'm too dang tired and just took my insomnia buster pill. I've got about 14 minutes until drop time. This one is about Memories of Christmas Past. I raided my mother's Christmas scrapbook (bless her for those 5 totes of scrapbooks she came with) and nabbed this photo of my sister and I from a long-ago Christmas morning. I can still remember those candy-cane striped nightgowns. I think we had the same kind each year. Look at all the tinsel on that tree! My mom really went all out for Christmas. She even made Christmas curtains for the kitchen. Even though my parents didn't have a lot of money we never knew it on Christmas. It was always wonderful for us.
Day 13 was how we delivered and opened our presents. We don't have any set rules for this, but stack them by the recipient and watch them all at once tear into the packages. Glen and I always open last because we like watching the kids. Glen's dad always had a name drawing and we would watch that person open everything then go on to the next. We still did that until a few years ago. Now it's kind of youngest kids first, then the older people take turns. With twenty plus of us it would take 12 hours to do it the traditional way. He sure did like watching us do that though. I always miss my father in law at Christmas.
Times up. Will share the other pages tomorrow unless I'm baking cookies.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Here we little witch and I, all ready to go see WICKED at the Fox Theatre. Chloe was so excited that we had these matching "wicked" tights, and we gave Aunt Cindy and Aunt Linda a pair also. Chloe was so cute her first time to the theater! She actually gasped and put her hands across her chest when she saw the grand and glorious interior of our beautiful Fox.
There was a snow storm to greet us on the way home. But we made it safe and sound.
Had a wonderful day!

sneak peek

This is my best friend's granddaughters. Here's a little sneak peek at what I got at their shoot on Friday morning. Little Miss H. and her new baby sister, little Miss E.
Those are two gorgeous little girls! Good thing their daddy has an expert he can consult on raising pretty girls!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holidays and Stress

Before you stand in front of my soapbox for the day, here's a glimpse of Day 11 of my JYC.Read on if you dare.
Glen left an article on the table for me to read yesterday. He does that because I never have time to read the newspaper so he gives me the reader's digest version when there is something he thinks I need to see or know about. Anyway the article he recently left talked about how to "de-stress" for the holidays. It must have been written by a man. I mean really, don't I know that I should have lists to go by to save time? Don't I know that I should plan out my trips to keep from back-tracking? Don't I already know that I don't have to make 15 different types of cookies when a super large batch of one special cookie will do?
Here's my take on "de-stressing" for the holidays.
1. DH makes the list, checks it twice. Asks probing questions so the perfect gift can be found.
2. DH goes to 5 stores looking for the North Face coat that son wants
3. DH takes care of cards. He makes props, sets up canvas backdrop, takes the photos, melts the chocolate fondue for models, downloads and makes any photoshop corrections to photo, sends them off for printing, (okay - I am LOL here), picks them up, signs and addresses them all, goes to post office for special holiday stamps, mails them. (he does usually drop them in the mail box, I will give him that)
4. DH remembers which garland goes on the mantle, over the family room window, down the three banisters, over the front door, and on the china cabinet (even though they are clearly tagged each year as they are carefully packed away) AND would hang the 12 Days of Christmas hand-carved ornaments in the right order (he actually scored VERY BIG the year he gave me the entire set for my birthday in January, so we'll give him a pass on this one)
5. DH hauls in packages from all shopping trips, keeps a receipt file with names on all receipts, and stays within alloted budget.
6. DH checks out what wrapping paper is in the wrapping room (aka the corner of the basement) and buys whatever is needed, making sure that there is special wrap for the SANTA packages.
7. DH Hangs the stockings with care, making sure they are on the correct stocking hanger.
8. DH makes Advent messages for grandkids advent boxes of all good deeds for them to do. He also will find and buy little meaningful trinkets that will fit in a 1 1/2" square box.
9. DH asks wife what she would like him to do to help then actually DO IT without telling her a better way.
10. DH would put up COLORED outdoor lights instead of the big white ones which make the house look like an off-Broadway theatre.
That's what would de-stress my holiday.
Think I should tell him? Probably not because it's scary when we actually let him take control. Here's what would happen:
1. Everyone would receive a gift card to Home Depot (they have everything, you know?)
2. A few postcards might be sent out in lieu of the annual photo card, most would have addresses that are 10 years outdated because only I know the code of the address book.
3. There would be no garland hanging anywhere in the house.
4. Gift cards can all fit in one big envelope, so no bags to be hauled in and hidden. The dining room and spare bedroom closet would be clean and empty of these things. (that could be a plus)
5. See #4 - gift wrap would not be an issue. Home Depot gives you a card that folds to hold the gift card.
6. And of course, since he always starts hanging the outdoor lights when I'm convienently not home, we would still have those big white lights on the outside of our house.
7. Cookies, if any, would be the packaged Mrs. Alisons iced oatmeal - his favorite.
But all in all, he really does create a very nice Christmas for us. He is a very thoughtful gift giver and the kids always look forward to the one perfect gift he picks out especially for them. He does come home from working hard all day and puts up lights on the house. So what if he likes those white ones? They are kinda pretty and he did re-string my lighted angel this year and stood on his tip-toes on the very top of the ladder to hang that hooze star I made. And he always offers to help me with whatever I need done. We both know that I'm the control freak in this house and things work just fine the way they are. Love you, G.
I'll de-stress in January.
Happy Holidays,

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas card and JYC day 10

Since I picked these up today and they will be mailed by the weekend (hopefully) I had to share. This is exactly what I had in mind for this year's Christmas card and the kids did a beautiful job working with me. They really get into this project because I ask for their input. Since Peyton got to hold the globe we didn't worry about the football on his sweatshirt. Chloe's navy blue skirt blends in well enough that I didn't care she was wearing her halloween shirt backwards or her Valentine leggings with the pink hearts all over them that are several inches too short. We've come a long way from Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus using tablecloths and dishtowels as the garments. :) This is not the shot I had printed on my cards. I was out voted and let them win because everyone doesn't see things the same way, so I figured they saw something in the other shot that I didn't. This is the one I would have selected for the card and since this is MY blog it's the one that you get to see. So, here it is. Peace be with you and yours. Peace on Earth. Day 10 of the JYC
We were to use actual wrapping paper as a background. I have so much paper because I buy it on sale after Christmas and still buy more when it comes out again. I don't know why. Must be my love of paper because it's sure not my love of wrapping gifts. In fact I greatly DISLIKE wrapping gifts. Especially the multitudes of boxes that come with this holiday season. I don't use bows unless I feel like opening one of those cheap-o bags you get 250 bows for $1.99, real classy. Names are hastily scribbled on a corner of the wrapped package with the good intention of covering it with a beautiful hand-made tag later. Yeah, that never happens.
The only year I did anything special was when Amy started questioning the gifts from "Santa". Since she was a bright child I thought I'd keep her guessing a little longer and STENCILED their names on special candy-cane striped paper that was used for nothing else. Pretty clever, huh? Turns out she had spotted the paint-stained rags in the trash while searching for evidence that I took her brother and sister to McDonald's for a Happy Meal while she was in school. I fixed her there too. I would drive the trash to the gas station before we picked her up from school. Then all she had me on was the stray french fry in the back seat. I ended up serving her cold Happy Meals whenever I took the little ones for lunch.
Didn't mean to go back to the eighties there............back to the present - I present my DAY 10.

15 days until Christmas!

Take a minute to check out the GORGEOUS tags that Tim Holz is making. He's even giving detailed - with photos - instructions on how to create them. Very cool stuff!

have a great week



JYC days 7, 8, & 9

What's a girl TO DO with only 16 days left before Christmas? Some of the things that remind me of the season
Traditions from the past and present. This year we will no doubt start some more.

Do you see all the stuff I "need" to do a 15 minute journal page? Actually I'm pretty organized with it and can have it cleaned up & put away in under 2 minutes. Now you understand why I have to work on this late at night when there aren't any curious minds or anxious helpers around.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Card photo shoot

First, can I just say that our weather outside is frightful? I guess Dan was right when we cut open that persimmon in October - cutting cold!
This is all you are getting for now....the kids hiding behind the backdrop after the shoot. I must say that I am very happy with how it turned out. Just like I had imagined. I even got to make a point of showing Peyton and Chloe how I had to use geometry to make one of the props and how to make your own compass. They were very impressed with their Grandma Pam. Of course they were staying on my very good side as I had promised (okay, call it a bribe) them a special treat as a reward for cooperating fully with this year's shoot. Yeah, it did involve chocolate. And this little chocolate fondue pot they talked me into buying. And marshmellows. And then some fire to toast the marshmellows.
After that was done I headed over to visit little baby Drew. He is Abby's sister's baby boy, so we call him folk. Such a cute little guy! He was all smiles until I dumped the tub of ornaments on him. What the heck?????? You could just see the expression on his sweet little face. He smiles SO CUTE and has these precious dimples that will melt your heart. Problem is, he's very curious about the camera. He would only give me that melt-your-heart smile when I put the camera down and talked to him. We will have to try again in natural light, but here are a few from tonight. Look at him in that spiffy new outfit from Grandma Brenda. Isn't he handsome? Love those sweet little bare feet sticking out.
Finally, got a quick shot of that gorgeous grin. With four females doing their best to get him going I guess he couldn't hold back any longer. It was worth the wait.