Saturday, December 1

Today the boys came over while Santa and Mrs. Claus did a bit of Christmas shopping.

When they got here, they watched TV for a bit and saw some of their Saturday morning shows while I tidied up the kitchen. Then we put the Christmas tablecloth on the table and set up the Christmas angel that I bought last year. She is delightful. I won't show you a photo just yet. But she is there, watching over all of the Christmas festivities.

After that was done, the boys played a game and I did a few more things. Then we headed out to find a Christmas tree. We usually buy a 7 foot tree and spend hours decorating it. But since we plan on leaving for Florida on December 27th, we decided that it would be too stressful to put up a big tree because it would have to be taken down on the 26th and everything packed away.

Off we went to a little town about 20 minutes from here. We looked around to see what they had to offer. We found a small cypress tree that came in a cello bag with decorations and lights. It is a live tree in a container and will remain in the house until spring when it can be planted in the yard. It will only grow to a 3 foot circumference but will be up to 15 feet tall. We decided that as it matures we will put outdoor Christmas lights on it. Plus, it will help screen our property from people on the street.

So, the boys decorated the tree with the little lights and decorations and enjoyed seeing it until a little while later when Mom and Dad had put all of the Santa gifts away and come to pick them up. They were heading home to enjoy a family meal of Chinese food.

I thought I'd do something a little different today and give a weather forecast for southern Ontario. The above photo is probably similar to what I will see out of my window when I wake up tomorrow morning. I won't see the barn or the church, because that is not something I see out of my windows, but I could see a snowman, depending if the neighbor's children get to the park early.

Currently it is -8 C and overcast but feels like -14C, which is 6 F. Relative humidity is 17%. The wind is out of the east at 15 km per hour or 9.32 miles per hour. An east wind always brings a storm.

Tonight the temperature will rise to -6C which is about 20F with 10 to 15 centimeters of snow, which is 4 to 6 inches.

Sunday morning is to be -3C, which is about 26F and ice pellets will most likely be falling, or at least that is what the weatherman says. Wind will be out of the east at 20 kilometers or 12.42 miles per hour.

Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, the ice pellets are to turn to rain and humidity will be 75%. Evening will bring heavy rain and temperatures of -6C or 20F.

Let's see how accurate our weatherman is. I will give you an update sometime tomorrow.

Update at 11:10 PM: It is snowing pretty good right now, so thus far the weatherman is right.

Christmas Spirit Award

There are so many beautiful people in this community. Those whom I've met are loving, giving and reach out to others that are struggling with health issues, walking through dark valleys and who need a friend to just listen. Many of these people I now call friend. Please know that I appreciate every one of you.

Christmas is a time of giving and a time of joy and friendship. It is the one time each year when we stop and take a moment to reflect on the birth of Jesus. In the Spirit of Christmas and giving, I would like to present my friends and readers this Spirit of Christmas button. Everyone is welcome to take a copy. All I ask is that you continue to show the Spirit of Christmas and reach out to those who are in need of a kind word.

Christmas Spirit Award

Friday, November 30

Thursday's Farm Trip and More...

I picked the boys up from school on Thursday and Jordan told Brandon he could come along to the farm. It was a cold day and very windy, but not as bad as Tuesday.

Upon arrival, James was once again feeding and watering the chickens and goats. The boys spent time checking out all the goats. Brandon has an eye for picking those that are pregnant. He said, "Look Grandma, the goats baby is moving." I watched and sure enough, you could see the mother's side moving as the baby moved around. We called her over and ran our hands along her side to feel the baby move. Brandon had done this in the spring with Gertrude when she was expecting. He thinks it the most wonderful thing to feel the babys move while they are in their mother's womb.

On Tuesday, I told my readers that I would try to get a picture of Baby Pueblo and I was successful. Here he is.
Pueblo has always loved the boys and they love him. On Tuesday, James told Brandon that Pueblo would be traded because all of the goats at the farm were family. Surprisingly, Brandon accepted that. However, when I told Jordan, the tears flowed. James happened to come by and heard me talking to Jordan about Pueblo and informed us that Pueblo will be staying. The boys whooped with joy. Pueblo is their baby and they spent hours holding him on their laps and petting him when he was first born. The farm owners have decided to bring in some new female goats especially for Pueblo. He is going to have his own harem.

It was very cold at the farm. There's a big puddle near where we park the car and by the time we left at 5 pm, there was a thin coating of ice on it. The boys couldn't believe that it had formed while we were enjoying the animals inside the barn.

Today it's minus 3 here with a windchill factor of minus 8 Celsius. That is approximately 25 F., but feels like 17 F. Tonight it is to go down to minus 15 with the windchill factor, which will feel like about minus 6 F. And the forecast is rain, snow and sleet. What a mixture. Seems like we are to have an old fashioned winter here this year with lots of snow. Maybe it's a good thing that we are going South. January is to bring an abundance of snow.

Today I went to the drug store not far from here to mail some packages from their Post Office.

When I was walking through, I saw the beautiful angel below. The picture doesn't do her justice, but was the best I could get. After getting my parcels mailed off for the Christmas Ornament Exchange and another to a friend, I went back to check her out. I couldn't believe my eyes. She was only $6.99 and oh, so pretty. I bought her and a couple of Christmas books, which I will give away in a Pay it Forward post once I've read them.

Show and Tell Friday

It's Show and Tell Friday hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home. If you'd like to participate, just click on the link to get more information.

A while ago, I saw some square dishes and commented how pretty they were and how I had a square plate that had belonged to Grandma. I thought some of you might like to see it. It was in Grandma's china cabinet when I was still a little girl. She had received it many years prior to that. So a guess-stimate of it's age - more than 60 years old. I love this plate and always have. When I was about ten years old, Grandma promised that someday I could have it. She taped my name to the back of it those many years ago and I was thrilled that I actually did receive it.

In other news, I'm going to be doing a Pay It Forward. I participated in the Pay It Forward at Walking On and it originated at Donetta's. The idea of Pay It Forward is as follows:

"Come join in the fun and make the world a happier place. So this is how it goes...It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of
the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works:

I will send a card I have made with my computer software and a letter to three people who comment on this post. The Pay It Forward Exchange winner will be announced Sunday at 6pm EST, which is my time and the names will then be drawn out of Santa's hat.

The winner will be announced either later Sunday evening or Monday.

I'm sorry but those who don't have a blog are not eligible for this contest. Please let me know in your post what you like most about Christmas. (this is not a condition, as there are no conditions on an act of kindness.) However, those who do will receive something a little extra. The only thing I ask, is that the winners pay the kindness forward. In other words if you win, please do a Pay It Forward post on your blog and pass the kindness on.

Have fun telling me what you like most about Christmas. It can be a Christmas memory, a tradition, something that has to do with Christmas, such as a nativity, Santa, snowmen or anything else. I will enjoy hearing your answers.

And more news... My friend, Pea, at Pea's Corner is having a contest and she's giving away a sample of her homemade chocolates. Yummy! Be sure and enter before December 3rd. Someone is going to win a VERY special treat. Thanks, Pea.

Have a great day and let's enjoy the fun. ~Mary~

Thursday, November 29

Thankful Thursday

It's time for Thankful Thursday and I'd like to thank Laurel at Laurel Wreaths Reflection for being the host. If you would like to read more Thankful Thursday posts, please click on the link to visit Laurel's site and Mr. Linky.

Today I have many things to be thankful for.

* The love of family is high on my list. I was brought up that family is the most important thing we have. All of my family are very important to me. I'm am thankful for each one of them.

* I'm thankful for my friend, Denise, over at Shortybear's Place. Denise has been a great source of support to me. She is such a loving and giving person. She is VERY ILL right now. Please click on the link to her site and pay a visit and also keep her in your prayers. She has diabetes and is suffering from severe complications of that disease.

* I'm thankful for my friend, Deena, of Can I Be Pretty in Pink? This is Deena's diary about her journey with breast cancer. Deena is such a dear and is Grandma of six. Wow! I can barely keep up to two. Please keep Deena in your prayers as well, as she is feeling scared right now, which is absolutely normal. Her surgery is in 13 days. Deena has another lovely blog as well. It's Nestled in the Singing Woods.

If you have time, please visit both of these ladies. If that isn't possible, please keep them in your prayers.

* I'm thankful for all the online friends I have that brighten each day with their posts, emails, love and prayers. Thanks to all of you.

* I'm thankful for food on our table, a roof over our heads and enough money to get by each month and have some left over. There was a time when I didn't have enough to get by on.

* For God, who knows all things and is with us in our daily walk.

I hope you enjoyed my Thankful Thursday post. May each of you be blessed as you go about your lives today. Blessings ~Mary~

Wednesday, November 28

Do you like Reindeer?

Do you like reindeer? If you do, you won't want to miss Deena's giveaway. For those who don't know, Deena has two blogs here on Blogger. One is Nestled in the Singing Woods, which is a beautiful blog and the other is Can I Be Pretty in Pink? This is Deena's diary about her journey with breast cancer. Please visit and let her know you are praying for her.

Anyway, I'm getting off-track here. Deena is having a giveaway on her Can I Be Pretty in Pink blog. Here is what Deena had to say:

I want to have a GIVE AWAY too.
On Saturday eve I'll post the winner of a set of
6 of these little reindeer ornaments. I WUV mine.
Here's my sweet white feather tree decorated with
only my lil deers..

Just comment on THIS post..and you will be stuffed in
Frosty's hat for the drawing.
Tell your friends too!!
Many Christmas smiles. Deena

Please follow the link to visit Deena's blog and scroll down to join her giveaway.

Note: Do not comment on my post to join the giveaway. Please click on the link to Deena's Can I Be Pretty in Pink? blog and join the giveaway there. Thanks~

This is a call for urgent prayer.

My dear friend, Denise, from Shortybear's Place. Denise is very ill from the complications of diabetes and was in hospital. Her husband, Eddie, is such a dear and he has updated her blog a couple of times so everyone would know how she is doing.

Please keep both Denise and Eddie in your prayers. Thanks ~Mary~

Tuesday, November 27

A Cold, Blustery Day at the Farm

As many of you know, Tuesday is Brandon's day to go to the farm. Today it was cold and windy. With the windchill factor, it was -7 C or approximately 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that's not really cold for this area, but it was the brisk wind that chilled us to the bone. I asked Brandon if he'd rather stay home (hint) but he said no, he'd like to go. So off we went.

As we were driving toward the outskirts of town, it began to snow - a fine and heavy snow. We couldn't see a city block in front of us. Again I asked Brandon if he'd like to change his mind. (another hint) But he said, no, he wanted to go. So we continued on.

The snow didn't last long and when it was coming down I didn't figure it would. However, I was trying to convince him that we should stay warm and cozy. Grandma doesn't like the cold nor the heat, but alas, he wanted to see the animals. By the time we arrived at the farm, the snow had stopped. We buttoned up our jackets and headed to the barn.

The wind was so strong that it blew the barn door shut behind us with a bang! We headed into the barn and there were all of the goats in new pens that had been built since Jordan and I were out there last Thursday. One pen held the baby goats and sheep. In the other were all of the adult goats butting and pushing each other because they were in such close quarters.

The goat in the background facing the camera is Gertrude. She had three babies in April. One was stillborn, one had broken legs and Baby Pueblo was very small. Pueblo is the only one that survived. He is between Gertrude and the wall of the stall, but you can't see him. I will try to get a picture of Pueblo when Jordan and I go on Thursday. He follows Brandon around and when he was a baby, Brandon would sit on a stool and Pueblo would climb into his lap. Brandon loves Pueblo. Unfortunately Pueblo cannot be bred to these goats as they are all related. So Pueblo will be leaving the farm and be replaced by another Billy.

Matthew is the lamb that was born about two months ago. When he was with his mother, I couldn't get a photo of him because the stall was too dark. However, he was separated from Rosie (his mother) today and he was protesting fiercely. He was crying and baaing the entire time we were there, except for when Brandon coaxed him to eat a little hay. Here is a photo of Matthew:
There were 300 baby chicks brought to the farm about a month ago. You won't believe how they have grown.

There are only 202 left. Unfortunately the chicks got chilled when they first came and 98 of them died. When they are full grown, all but 50 will be sent to slaughter and the remaining 50 will be left to roam free in the spring with the roosters.

Chickens help to keep the amount of insects under control and they are also good for the soup pot and to keep fresh eggs on the table. In this instance, once the eggs are fertilized, they will be put in an incubator and then more baby chicks will be born. The people at the farm are hoping to have a flock of about 50 chickens and three roosters on a continuing basis.

The barn wasn't too cold because the animals' body heat help to keep it warm. Brandon had a great conversation with James, the hired man, about all that is being planned for the farm. He holds a great interest in farm life, probably because I've told him about living on the farm when I was a child. He does love the animals and he's come a long way since he began this animal therapy in March. It's good for his self esteem and when he helps feed and water the animals, it makes him feel good about himself. He knows the names of every animal on that farm. Before we knew it, an hour and a half had passed.

We left the farm and stopped at Tim Horton's (coffee franchise.) I got Brandon a hot chocolate and I enjoyed a hot cup of tea. We were chilly, but had enjoyed our time together.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of the farm. I will try to get more photos on Thursday when Jordan and I visit.

Carolyn at Talk to Grams has so kindly asked me to accept not one, but two awards from her. Grams is one of my most special blogging buddies. Carolyn, thank you so much. I'm truly honored and cherish your friendship.

Thanks again, Carolyn.

Now, in the spirit of giving, I would like to give these awards to any of my blogging buddies that would like to have them. You can take one or both. Enjoy!

Note: Blogger was giving me a bit of a hard time tonight, so please excuse the mess of this post. I'm not sure why some paragraphs are double spaced and some single. *sigh* However, I must get back to my writing.

Heart of a Mommy presented me with this beautiful Blog Friend Forever Award. This is what she had to say,

"I would like to give this award to Mary at Mary's Writing Nook. She was the first person to add me to their blog roll, and was a real encouragement to me in my blogging adventures. She commented on a post that wasn't apart of a meme; it just tickled me to death that a complete stranger would like to read my blog. :)"

Thank you so much. I'm very honored to receive the award and am happy that I encouraged you. I love nothing more than making someone's life a little brighter. I have added the award to my sidebar and after the New Year will add it to my Awards and Gifts page.

Now I'm to pass this on to my blogging friends. I am just sitting here thinking that I have so many. I usually limit awards to five. I think that is impossible, so this is what I'm going to do. If you have visited my blog on a regular basis and I visit yours, or if we email each other or have one another's snail mail addys, please consider that you are a recipient of this award. I cherish each and every one of my blogging friends and wouldn't want to leave anyone out.
*** The entry below this one is my Christmas meme. Please be sure to read my memories of Christmas and take a few minutes to participate. It's wonderful reading my blogging friend's Christmas traditions. ***

Monday, November 26

Anni, at Hootin' Anni's has created a Christmas meme. I enjoyed reading her answers and decided that this is a good way to get to know the likes and dislikes of our blogging friends. If you would like to participate, just click on the link where you can learn all about the meme and read Anni's wonderful answers.

This is what Anni had to say:

For the holiday season, I've started a meme. "The Twelve Questions of Christmas" If you'd like to participate, I'd be honored to have you join in the fun. If you'd like, you are welcomed to use the meme header graphic!

1. Christmas is Magical [fill in the blank with ONE WORD]

2. In memories, what was the best part of your Christmases past?

The best part of Christmases past was being together with family. When Grandma was alive there used to be 40 sitting around the old oak table for Christmas dinner. This was a great time. After we were done eating, we would reminisce and laugh about incidents that had taken place over the years. My grandfather was a great story teller and so was Dad. I believe that these two men gave me the desire to write and tell my own stories. I am a history buff and I think those stories of bygone days learned me to love history. We always had a great time.

3. Was Santa ever good to you? [describe how and what]

Times were hard when I was young. There is one time when Santa was especially good to me. I was around ten and he brought me a record player and a couple of records. After that, I saved every cent I could to buy a new record. I'm taking 78s and 45s. A 45 rpm record cost about $1.00 in those days.

4. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or both?

Hubby and I always open our gifts on Christmas morning. Then we go to my daughter's for a brunch and open gifts with them. It's always nice to open gifts with their family. I love the looks on the boys' faces when they get something that excites them.

5. Is there something you make each and every year? [craft or recipe]

Every year my Mom, my daugher, the boys and myself get together and make homemade chocolates. That is a wonderful family time. We talk about all kinds of things and have a wonderful time. The three of us always have to be on the lookout for the boys who try to sneak the chocolates.

6. What is your favorite five[5] Christmas songs/hymns?

1. Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. O' Holy Night

3. Silent Night

4. Little Drummer Boy

5. I'll Be Home for Christmas

7. Is there a new tradition for Christmas since your childhood days?

Taking the grandsons to cut our own Christmas tree and then letting them decorate it with a little help from Grandma. Grandpa always puts up the tree and puts on the lights. The boys do everything else. I even have decorations on the tree that they have made.

When I was a child, everyone went with Grandpa on the horse and sleigh to cut five trees for everyone in the family. Grandma decorated the tree on Christmas Eve. At our house, Dad put up the tree and helped put the lights on. Mom and us kids did the decorating.

8. Describe one of your Christmas trips. [whether it's across town or across country]

I've never been away from home at Christmas, but my daughter and I flew to British Columbia one year on December 26th. I've also left the day after Christmas to go to Florida. Disney World is awesome during the Christmas season.

9. Do you have a special Christmas outfit to wear for the day?

No, I wear something different each year. I always wear slacks and a nice top, but no more dresses. I'm getting too old to have cold legs.

10. Have YOU or any of your family members sat on Santa's lap?

My husband and I worked as Santa's helpers at the mall one year and we had our photo taken with Santa. Yes, I did sit on Santa's lap. I also sat on his lap as a child. My grandsons also have sat on Santa's lap and so did my Mom the year we were Santa's helpers.

11. What is/or will be on your Christmas tree this year?

Our tree will be adorned with all of the special ornaments I have collected over the years. Some are ones the grandsons have made, some my Mom made for us, others are over 40 years old. I've kept this lovingly wrapped as they decorated the tree when my first husband and I celebrated our first Christmas. He's been gone since 1977 and these special ornaments will be passed to my daughter and grandsons. An angel that Mom made for me is always our tree topper.

12. Do you/or have you decorated your yard for Christmas?

We have a few outdoor ornaments. We always put up lights around our porch and the back stairway. The last couple of years these lights have been green LEDs. We also have a light-up polar bear that wears a Santa's hat and a blow-up Rudolph that the grandsons gave us one Christmas. I'm hoping to add more to our outdoor display in the coming years.

So that is a little bit about what Christmas is all about here. I do hope you will click over to Anni's and join in the Christmas fun.

Memory Verse Monday and More...

It's Memory Verse Monday and Karen at Karen's Ramblings is our host. If you would like to participate, just follow the link to find out how.

The verse I choose this week is: Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

My grandfather used this rule and so did my father. They told us what was expected of us and then expected us to abide by the rules. If we didn't, we were disciplined. Now don't get me wrong, these men in my life never beat us. We were spanked, yes. There were a few times when my behind smarted from their hands. However, I learned from it, as did my siblings.

The Bible has much to say on this topic. Proverbs 13:24 says, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes."

I believe in good old fashioned discipline and believe that children today are not disciplined enough. However, we must keep in mind that we are not to overly chastise our children.

According to Proverbs 19:18 "Discipline your son while there is hope, but do not (indulge your angry resentments by undue chastisements and) set yourself to his ruin."

In other words we are to chastise and discipline our children from a very young age, but we are not to overly discipline them or we will have to answer for that. We should use wisdom in all things and follow God's word on these important issues. If we do, our children will grow up to be good, honest and loving citizens. They may depart from what we have taught them for a time, but as they age they will see the wisdom of our ways and return to them.

The reason I chose this verse this week is because I worry about the well-being of our young people. When I went to school, we had Bible memory work each Friday and Bible reading in the morning. We were disciplined in a way that let us know that our parents, grandparents and others would not put up with disrespect or disobedience. We learned. Certainly we tested the waters and were far from perfect, but we knew the consequences and expected them if we were caught doing wrong.

I worry about the children and youth of today. They are not being guided in the way they should go. This isn't always the case, but many times the kids that get into trouble have none, or at least very little guidance in their lives. I will be praying for all children and youth this week and ask that you put this on your prayer list as well.

Looking forward to your comments on this issue.

Look what I won in a book giveaway. It arrived this morning and it is the cutest book I ever saw. I will give it to my great-nephew for Christmas. Even though he's only 5 months old, he loves Mommy to read to him. And this is a flip-sided book, so no matter which way it's picked up, it is the front of the book and the story is just waiting to be read. The illustrations and text are marvelous. I would highly recomment I Love You More to all of you who have a small child to buy a gift for this Christmas season.

For the life of me I cannot find the blog where I won this giveaway. For that I apologize. If anyone has that information, I would like to give credit.

If you would like to get in on a Christmas giveway, please visit Marie to take part in the Deck the Blogs fun. All you have to do is decorate your blog for Christmas, enter your name in Mr. Blinky and leave a comment. It's going to be a lot of fun to see all of the different Christmas graphics that we come up with. You can also click on the Deck the Halls button in my sidebar to visit Marie's blog.

Sunday, November 25

Green Thumb Sunday and more...

Green Thumb Sunday is a time when bloggers share a sort of show and tell about something that is growing in their home or garden. Traci at As the Garden Grows is the host. Thanks, Traci.

Above is a photo of the forget-me-nots that grew in my garden last spring. I love forget-me-nots and each year I have a few more. One year mine all died out for some reason. One day when I was at a garage sale, the lady gave me an entire cardboard box of these beautiful flowers and now they are growing in my garden once more.

Yesterday my grandson, Brandon and I spent the day together. In the morning he watched his favorite shows on TV and I read the paper and tinkered around a little. Then, we headed out for some lunch at MacDonalds. We don't often eat there but it was a nice treat and we had a nice conversation.

When lunch was finished, we headed over to my mother's. She had phoned Brandon last week and asked him if he would come and help her put an outdoor ornament together. She'd purchased it and wasn't sure how to assemble it. It is a beautiful train that lights up. Brandon had it together in about 15 minutes and was very proud of himself. And rightfully so. He loves building things.

My niece and her son, Griffyn, were visiting Mom. Griffyn will be five months old on the 28th and he is such a good baby. He's growing quickly and is very alert and smart. I forgot the camera and could kick myself. Brandon and Griffyn had a great time interacting. Brandon did a good job of entertaining him. Griffyn adores Brandon. It's too bad they can't see each other more often, but they live out of town.

Anni, over at Hootin' Anni's had this cute "which character are you" meme posted this morning. Anni was Mrs. Claus, so I wondered what character I would be. Just for fun, I took the test and found out that I was an elf. Here is what I saw:

Merry Christmas! You're An Elf!

Like one of Santa's right-hand helpers, you're dedicated and devoted. From their pointy shoes to their pointy ears, the elves, and people like you, are The Man in Red's secret to success. Do you really think one person can make all those toys, harness the reindeer, wrap all those gifts, and get around the world in one night.

Like any elf, you're an industrious type who's probably ready and willing to lend a helping hand wherever you can. But that doesn't mean you're not up for a little mischief from time to time. Maybe you've got some mistletoe related antics up your sleeve or a funny gift waiting for someone under the tree. And who can blame you? Everyone needs to be reminded of the lighter side of things. Whatever you get up to, your sense of humour and good-natured fun will bring a whole host of smiles to any festive gathering.

Have a wonderful Sunday. ~Blessings, Mary~