Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Quote Challenge

Our quote for this last week of December (and the year) is from Lynne. She has chosen to post part of some lyrics from Gloria Estefan from her song "Christmas Through Your Eyes". It is a great song. Our challenge is as follows:

This week as we celebrate Jesus’ birth I will keep this easy and simple. I would like you to blog a photo(s) taken on Christmas day with our without any other blogging as I am sure our computers maybe having a holiday too!!

Here are my pictures.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. xxx

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More Christmas Nostalgia

Before I post the promised pictures of some of the houses in the neighborhood all lit up for Christmas, I thought I would share some pictures of Henry and his birthday party. He turned two on Wednesday but the party was held today. My daughter did a "Bubble Guppy" theme because he loves to watch that show on TV while he is eating his lunch. I have to admit, it is a cute educational program. I get a kick out seeing it as well.


Bubble Guppy cupcakes and decorations.

We were singing Happy Birthday and Henry was attempting to blow his candles out.

Henry was funny because he didn't want to pick up his cupcake to eat it. He didn't want to get it on his hands. Stacey did a wonderful job of decorating and making his cupcakes.

So, now to the Christmas pictures.....these are just a few of the houses.

It is a little hard to tell but the top left picture above is a peacock. I have never seen one in lights before and of course it wouldn't be Florida without palm trees (two bottom) The one above the palm tree on the bottom left is a flamingo!

And last but not least, Zach with Santa Claus.

Take care everyone and stay safe. xxx

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Nostalgia

Our challenge this week is all about..

Christmas nostalgia!
Let's share this week the traditions and routines you have in your family.
Are they carried on from your parents or have you started them since you were married or had children?  Is there anything you do which you really wish you could change!
A few prompts for the week if you don't know where to begin:

  •  Decorations & trees
  •  Shopping!!
  •  Food and cooking
  •  Songs and carols.. best and worst!
  •  Children's nativities and school events
  •  Present stories.. best and worst?!

Our family has always celebrated the holiday on Christmas Day, December 25. We would go to bed at night all excited and anxious to see what Santa Claus had brought us. The gifts from the jolly man in the red suit were not wrapped but displayed under and around the Christmas tree. Only presents you knew were from your family got wrapped up in the pretty paper. My parents never had a lot of money so we would be filled with joy if we got the "one big" present we wanted the most. Sometimes that happened, sometimes it didn't (like the year I wanted a horse), but we were always thankful for anything we did get. I never did get that horse though! LOL

It wasn't until after I married for the first time that I learned that not everyone celebrated Christmas like we did. My in-laws had their large celebration and dinner on Christmas Eve. Santa still came for the kiddies the next morning, but the majority of the celebration took place that night. My former father-in-law was an "old fashioned, missionary Baptist minister (aka a 'hellfire and brimstone' type preacher) and for the most part they spent Christmas Day at the church praying and celebrating the birth of Christ.

This schedule worked out well for us because we could spend Christmas Eve with them and Christmas Day with my family. We still stick to this plan as my kids go to their Dads for Christmas Eve and spend Christmas Day with my family. We have "Santa Claus", then breakfast. While the children are playing with their new goodies, the adults get busy starting on the big dinner we will have. When we get to a point where we can stop, we exchange our gifts. What we have for dinner varies. Sometimes it is ham with all of the fixins' or like this year, we will have Boliche (a Cuban roast of beef stuffed with Chorizo and ham) along with the fixins' which sometimes are traditional and sometimes more Cuban.

When my daughter was young I used to take her to see the Nutcracker every Christmas. She was fascinated with the story and the way it was told via ballet. I enjoyed it as well and it was a nice mother/daughter bonding time. After we moved to Orlando I learned of a 'black box' theatre that puts on A Christmas Carol every year. This became our new tradition which included having a nice lunch before heading to the play. Over the years we added other family members and husbands. Unfortunately since the passing of my mom, illnesses around the holidays and the grandbabies, no one seems to have time to go anymore. Last Christmas was the first one I have had in several years where I wasn't flat on my back sick with something. I am hoping that was the start of a new tradition for me. LOL!

As we grow older and change, and our children and grandchildren grow older and change, I am sure there will be new traditions every few years. I am always reminded of "Fiddler on the Roof" and the song Topol sings about 'traditions' and how we do have to change with the times and situations we find ourselves in. We most likely will be spending our Christmas next year in Belize!

If I can, I will go around our neighborhood and take some pictures of the Christmas lights and post them tomorrow or Saturday. All of my family pictures are packed away and I cannot get to them. BTW, I have three favorite carols. They are Ave Maria, Little Drummer Boy, and Oh Holy Night. Here is Little Drummer Boy by the group Pentatonix. They sing all of their songs a capella and are amazing.

I think the worst song I have ever heard is Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer. I cringe every time I hear it!

I wish every one a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  xxxxxxxx

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let's Reflect Challenge - December

 Our challenge:

For this last month, we have once again something special because December is such a special month. December is a month of celebrations, be you religious or not, a month to spoil children a bit (or a lot), a month in which we might reflect and think about other people in the world who aren't as lucky as we are to have a roof on their head and food on their table, a month in which people try to forget their differences, a month in which we try and go that little extra mile to make our loves ones know how much we love them, spend a bit more money than we should, eat of bit more than we should.

December is all about sharing.  For some of us, December might be a bit more difficult, because of the loss of loved ones, but the biggest wish of these loved ones surely would be to be remembered but at the same time see us happy, so we should honor them by enjoying this beautiful time.

Our word for this week starts with a G, but it is in fact a group of
Go for it

May be you can take some pictures if you already started decorating your house, or bought a couple of presents, may be you just want to blog about what Christmas means to you, may be Christmas is specially a big deal for you this year, may be you will be celebrating Christmas on a different day in your country, whatever your situation, tell us your plans and share your excitement.
Christmas has never been quite the same for me since my Mom passed away. Some of the joy of the season died in me when her light was extinguished. She was the glue that held the family together. We all would gather because she was here. For a while after she passed we sort of went our separate ways and either went out of town for the holiday or spent it with the spouse's side of the family. It is getting better though since the grandchildren came along and a new tradition has started.

We now celebrate Christmas at my daughter Stacey's house. While my brother and his wife still continue to do their own thing and my son and family will not be able to come from Arkansas, my sister and her husband do come and will and join the festivities later in the day. Hubby and I will go over early on Christmas morning and Thadd will fix his special waffles for breakfast. Then  we watch Henry and Spencer open their gifts. Since Henry is going to be two, he is much more aware of all that is going on and participates quite eagerly. Spencer is still a little young but I know he will enjoy pulling off the gift wrap paper.

Then the preparation for our dinner will begin. Since we have turkey at Thanksgiving, we usually have ham at Christmas. I'm not sure what the menu is actually going to be since my procrastinating daughter hasn't thought it all out yet but it will come together in the end. This is one thing I like to plan ahead for. Oh well, not my worry anymore. : (

All of my shopping is done. The gifts are all wrapped (we probably spent too much but I do enjoy giving to others), and my Christmas cards are in the mail. Each year I usually donate a flock or two of chickens/geese/ducks to Heifer International in honor of people I would give gifts to at work. Since I am now retired, I used my money from my anniversary gift from Thadd to donate a whole sheep in honor of all of the grandchildren. They each will receive a card from Heifer thanking them and showing them what their gift will do to help others. I strongly believe in this organization and the kids think it is a fun way to give to others.

As you all have heard me mention, we are selling our house so we can move to Belize. Well, the day has come where we finally have the house on the market. So I guess you could say, "We are going to GO FOR IT"! We have St. Joseph planted upside down in the front yard and hope he works his miracle and our house sells quickly.

I also celebrated my birthday earlier this month. We went to my favorite German restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner. It was scrumptious! Then we went to my daughter's house for cake. Here are a couple of pictures and as you can see in one, I am "going for it" by blowing out my candles. My daughter did a wonderful job of making my cake. Not only was it delicious, but it was really pretty. She is getting very good at decorating.
These pictures were taken at the 'town square' where the restaurant was located.

And least but not last, here are a few new pictures of the grandbabies.

So for the rest of the year, we will kick back and enjoy what the holiday season has to offer. We are planning on taking a cruise the first week of January to completely unwind. We are looking forward to being spoiled for those seven days.

Everyone enjoy and have a very, Merry Christmas. I hope we all stay in touch and another yearly challenge will come along. I think most of us would participate again. Hugs and kisses to you all! I have loved getting to know all of you!     ooooxxxx

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Lucky Snapping 2013 - A Year of Henry













December View Challenge

I have to apologize for being an absent blogger (I have missed three weeks in a row) but we have had a lot going on and time got away from me. I didn't get around to doing the November Let's Reflect (No Limits), the Nostalgia Autumn Season, or the November Quote Week. I'm sorry everyone! Between working on the house, our huge garage sale and going to Arkansas, my time hasn't been my own.

I want to tell you all that I have enjoyed being a participant in this blog challenge and hope there will be another year long challenge starting in January. Please? I have loved meeting every one of you and want to continue being internet friends with you.

We have been busy shopping for Christmas and I must say we are finished already. We just about have everything wrapped as well. We will be getting some of the packages in the mail this next week. I have ordered Christmas photo cards and hope they arrive soon so I can get them addressed and mailed. I don't send out as many anymore as postage has gotten so expensive but I do enjoy doing it. Sadly, we don't decorate the house for Christmas anymore either. We used to do the whole bit, outside lights on the house, the white light, moving reindeer in the yard, and Santa's in the windows. We just don't have the energy or inclination for it now. The lights caused our electric bill to be out of this world high. We celebrate at my daughter's house now so no one really sees it but our neighbors, and honestly, they don't care. LOL! Since my daughter has little ones, they still decorate, so we just enjoy theirs.

I don't have a picture of the outside of their house but here is their tree.

Here is my view for December....Henry. He will be two on the 18th. It's hard to believe! (Henry is fascinated with his tongue right now).

Henry with our Toby (Toby looks big at this angle but he is a small dog). They were keeping him while we were in Arkansas.

 And of course, little Spencer gets cuter everyday as well.

Sorry, I can't help myself! LOL! Everyone have a Blessed Holiday Season. Enjoy your families and have fun. I will be thinking of you all. xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The View Challenge - November

We have been quite busy getting ready for our community garage sale coming up Saturday. We have enough to sell for the whole neighborhood. I really don't know how we could accumulate so much in just over six years when we moved to this house. We had gotten rid of a lot of things when we moved here but I think items have been growing in our closets while we weren't looking. As you know, we are planning on moving to Belize and realize we cannot take everything we own with us. Houses there for the most part are smaller than here in the states and do not have the storage space we have here. Plus, we want to simplify our lives as much as possible. I may regret getting rid of some of the things I am parting with later but for now, I am biting the bullet and just doing it.

Thadd has been busy making minor repairs to the house and doing some painting outside. He painted the concrete driveway and patio as the old paint was all chipped and ugly. The outside doors needed repainting (they are all white and you know how hard it is to keep that clean), and some of the vinyl windows in the Florida room needed replacing.  He is going to tweak the landscaping then we feel the house will be ready to put on the market for sale. Please wish us luck as we can't move until we sell the house.

Here is my view for November. Big brother Henry with little brother Spencer. Henry loves Spencer.

Henry helping Mommy drink her protein milk shake. His eyes just melt my heart!

Spencer and a pumpkin pillow
This evening as the sun set, the skies turned the most beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. I only had my phone to take pictures with but I wanted to share them. People were standing outside of their houses just gazing at these marvelous skies. My phone camera doesn't really do them justice.

I have been reading where some of you are having cooler, wet weather as winter creeps in. We too have had milder weather as it has only been getting into the low to mid 80's during the day and into the low 60's at night. Our Bougainvillea is loving this weather. It had just about stopped blooming when it was so hot but now is back in all of its glory.

Take care everyone! xxxx

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bonus Week from Viv

This week Viv has given us the poem "When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple". I am very familiar with this poem as my Mom had a framed copy of it hanging on her wall. She loved the color purple and so do I. Here is the poem and our challenge from Viv.

When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit.

 You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

The poem and the Dream Board gave me the idea to challenge you to think about what you would like to do or where you would like to be in the future.What do you think?

It doesn’t have to be when you are old, just in your future, maybe even tomorrow or next week. A dream holiday, a different house, new car, anything really. Perhaps also you could take photos this week of works in progress, family, crafts, something in the home or at work. Whatever you think fits the bill.

I don't like to think too far into the future but I am not a procrastinator either. Like others, I do like to have things to look forward to. It makes life less boring knowing you have something exciting coming up. So vacations are planned ahead. This is done sometimes because you can get a better price if you book in advance.  My husband is a list maker, plan ahead kind of guy which can drive me crazy if I let it. I like to live each day as it comes and if there is a nice (or not so nice) surprise within  the day, I say woohoo and go with the flow.

As far as the poem goes, I do wear purple. I have for years, even before I became old. I have always liked bold colors. I do hoard pens/pencils and like things in boxes. I have been known to go out in the rain in my socks or bare feet, wear terrible shirts and even my pajamas at times. I think living in Florida or maybe even being in the US makes some weird behaviors almost seem normal. Granted, a lot of this is by young people (especially the college kids, you see them everywhere in their pajamas or bathing suits), not by someone my age  but I can honestly say it is not unusual to see a 70+ woman working out in her yard in her bathing suit. I can tell you, it is not a pretty sight as a lot of these women still wear bikinis! LOL

Unfortunately, I have gotten fat (hubby hates it when I say that) but not from eating three pounds of sausage. I have accepted that this is the way it is going to be for me and I do not let it bother me anymore. I take quite a few medications and every single one of them has a side effect of weight gain. Then there is the insulin. Taking it causes tremendous weight gain and you couple that with bad arthritic knees which hamper your mobility, well, there you go. I have complained to my doctor that I don't even have to eat anything to gain weight, all I have to do is look at it! I call it weight gain by proxy! LOL

One thing I can say about our future that we are seriously working on is getting our house ready to sell so we can move to Belize.  I think we will be ready to do this in about two weeks. Saturday is the community garage sale and we have so much to get rid of. If we can sell all of this stuff at a decent price, we may become rich! Hehe!

So, in closing I am adding some pictures of the grandkids at the pumpkin patch and in their Halloween costumes. Spencer was a puppy and Henry was a dog catcher. Zach was a policeman.  That is one thing I can always look forward to, my grandchildren!

 Everyone take care. xxxx

Friday, October 25, 2013

October Quote Challenge

Our challenge this week is from Lynne and reads as such:

My quote for this week in October are 2 quotes on Laughter. I liked them both!
“A laugh is a smile that bursts” ~ Mary H Waldrip 1907- 1998
“ Remember you don’t stop laughing because you grow old,
  You grow old because you stop laughing” ~ Anon

It says “ we are passionate about laughing. It illuminates life. It is refreshes and invigorates us, enhancing our everyday world. Laughter is the icing on the fruitcake of our existence and too good to leave to chance. 

Can you remember the last time you had a good belly laugh?”

What makes you really laugh? Do you laugh as much now as you did when you were younger?

Show us some photos of what makes us laugh or you laughing, not just smiling.

Funny, I do remember the last time I had a good belly laugh. It was watching my grandson Zach at his karate lesson. I was taking a video of him and got so tickled and laughed so that I was jiggling my phone. For some reason I cannot get the video to play the right way on this blog. Sorry you can't see it for it is funny.

I don't think I laugh as much as I did when I was younger. I love to laugh but I don't think I have the same sense of humor as a lot of people. I have friends who watch all of these sitcoms on TV that I just don't think are funny at all. The only one I watch that makes me ever laugh is Big Bang Theory. A good funny movie will get me going as well (such as Old Dogs).

I saw a video from the Ellen Degeneres show that someone had put on Facebook that was hilarious. It was about two of her assistants that went to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. I am sure you can find it online if you want to see it.

My grandsons probably provide the best and most often reasons to laugh and smile. Their antics are so cute. Whereas Spencer is still young and doesn't get up to the same antics as the older ones, if he laughs it makes me laugh. Laughter is infectious!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of me laughing. I am not photogenic and I do not like to have my picture taken. Never have. But these little guys give me all the reason in the world to smile and laugh.

 Everyone have a good weekend.  xxxxxx