WELCOME!!!

WELCOME!!!

Saturday, December 8

Love!


I received the above photo in an email from a friend and couldn't resist sharing it. Enjoy! I wish that every child on Earth would have a grandpa like this.


Celine Dion is a Canadian singer from Quebec. She does a fabulous job of singing O' Holy Night. Enjoy!

Grandma and Grandson Time... and Prayers Needed

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All of my regular readers will already know that I love spending time with my grandsons. Well, last night about 9 pm, the phone rang. It was Brandon. Younger brother, Jordan, had gone to stay overnight at his friend's and Brandon wanted to know if he could come here. Grandpa and I agreed that would be just fine.

He arrived close to 10 pm. He wanted to play a game of Mario Baseball and I agreed. This is one video game that Grandma can at least score a point or two in. We decided to play a short game of 5 innings. At the end of the 4th, we were tied 2/2 . I didn't score in the 5th inning, but Brandon did, so he won 3/2. This isn't bad for me, as I'm not a real video person.

This morning we got up, had breakfast and decided it was time for Brandon to go and buy his brother something for Christmas. We do this every year. I take each of the boys, give them a limit on spending and they chose something for the other. Grandpa decided to come along and we headed out of town to a Wal Mart that is about 20 minutes away. Brandon was looking for the hot new toy of the year, Bakugan.

Just before we left, my daughter, Michelle, called. She told me that my son-in-law has taken a job an hour from here and that they will be moving. That means that the boys and I will not be spending as much time together. We see each other between two and four times a week.

As soon as we got into Wal Mart, he headed for the toy department and the aisle where these neat little toys are usually stocked. Not a one! But Grandma spotted them on an end. Brandon was delighted and picked out two for his brother. These are VERY hard to find, so I told him to pick out two for himself, which he could not have until Christmas. In the meantime I will talk Jordan into giving them to his brother for Christmas. They love these little toys.

We had just returned home and were sitting at the table talking when Brandon looked at me and said, "Grandma, what are YOU going to do when we move. You spend most of your time with Jordan and I." And he started to cry.

I hugged him and we both cried. I explained that we would still maintain a close relationship, but it would be somewhat different. He told me he doesn't want to go. I didn't tell him that I don't want them to move either. I have been a second mother to the boys ever since they were born. It breaks my heart. When I first learned that they might be moving, I was devastated and depressed. However, I've put it all in God's hands. It will take a while for the move to take place and anything can happen. Please pray that if this move is God's Will, that he will help the boys and I accept the change and learn to enjoy a relationship without living seven minutes away from each other.

My friends and readers will also remember that Brandon has Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the autism spectrum. Any change is hard for him and this is going to be a difficult time for him to get through. Please pray for him that he will make this transition without it greatly affecting him. Blessings, ~Mary~

To surf a beautiful Christmas site, follow this link to Js Magic Gallery.

Here is another that I received in an email: Winters of Long Ago

Friday, December 7

Show and Tell Friday

Show and Tell Friday is hosted by Kelli at There is No Place Like Home. If you would like to participate, please click on the link to Kelli's blog for more information. Thanks, Kelli, for hosting Show and Tell Friday.

Today I would like to show you the beautiful Christmas angel that my mother made for me five years ago. It has always adorned the top of our Christmas tree ever since. She is beautiful and I just love her. She has porcelain hands and face. She looks so real. Mom put a lot of effort into making this angel and one for my sister as well. She is a cherished part of my Christmas traditions.

Mom is a very talented woman. She can sew, make beautiful crafts and quilts. Everyone of her great-grandchildren has a quilt that she made them and she has the quilt tops done for each of her children. She is 80 years old and is busy every day. She is a devote Christian woman of whom I am very proud. She brought three children up through very lean times and went without to provide for us.

Someone is having a Birthday. It's Baba from Baba's Blog. I hope you have a wonderful day. Enjoy! I wish you many more. Please drop over and wish Baba a Happy Birthday.



Thank you for dropping by my Show and Tell. Blessings, ~Mary~

Pay It Forward with My Sincere Apologies

Dear Friends and Faithful Readers,

I must sincerely appologize for not posting the Pay It Forward winner last Sunday. Though things were hectic around here, that is no excuse. I am extremely sorry.

If you remember, the point of Pay It Forward is that the person who won has to Pay It Forward by doing a random act of kindness by posting a Pay It Forward on their own blog. It doesn't have to be making a card and writing a letter as I've chosen to do, but it does have to be an act of kindness.

Drum roll please....

And the winner is Sharon at Come Sit With me a While.

Congratulations, Sharon. I will get your card and letter out in the mail later today.

Keeper of the Stars

This is a very beautiful song. The video isn't the one I wanted to post, but the other doesn't have a code. You can turn the music off at the bottom of my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 6

Beautiful Things from Beautiful Friends

I know I've already posted for today, but just couldn't resist showing you all of the beautiful things that happened to me late this afternoon.

My hubby and I had a lot of running around to do today. We renewed our CAA membership so we would have coverage if we needed a boost, a tow or other auto services during the winter and during our trip to Florida. That was very successful. We went to Zellers (Canadian department store) and bought a few things for the grandsons to do while we're on the road. The key to keeping the boys from driving us insane is to give them lots to keep them busy. Hubby bought them each a small Transformer, we bought a bit of candy for their stockings and they each are getting a Doodle Art. We also bought Crayola Window Writers so they could draw pictures on the van windows while on the trip. At first hubby said no, but when I reminded him that they get really bored while driving, he agreed. Window Writers are washable, so all we need is a bottle of glass cleaner and some paper towel. Each day the boys will be able to create new designs.


When we got home late this afternoon, hubby asked me if I had checked the mail today. I hadn't, so he went and got it. I received my first Christmas card of the year. I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. I send out a lot each year. Here is a photo of the beautiful card I received today. It was from Pea, at Pea's Corner and I absolutely love it! Thanks, Pea. You brightened my day.
















The envelope had beautiful stickers on it and I was going to post a photo of it and then realized I would be giving both Pea's and my addresses to the world. This card means a lot to me. It is one that I will cherish and place in my card collection.

After we had dinner, I came to the computer and began visiting some of the people who had visited my blog. When I visited Vic Grace at Cariboo Ponderer, she had some nice awards posted and invited all of her readers to pick up a copy. Here they are:



Now, since I have so many faithful readers and blogging friends who visit my blog and support me with their kind words and love, I would like anyone who expresses a winning attitude to take a copy of the first award. Everyone who visits me is welcome to a copy of the second award.
You won't believe this, but speaking of cards, here is a photo of the ones I have to write for hubby to give out to clients. I did 38 of them last night and will be writing more tonight. It's a good thing that I love making out Christmas cards.


It only took me about a half hour to make out 38 cards last night. I still have about 140 to do, so that is what I will be doing in the evening for the next couple of nights.

No farm today. I was just plain too tuckered out. Jordan was a bit disappointed, but I think sometime over the weekend I'll ask the boys to come over here tobogganing. There is a lovely hill just across the street, though it isn't as steep as the one at the farm. However, they will have fun and I will give them hot chocolate when they come in freezing and wet. I will have to be sure to hide all the Christmas presents and candy.

I sometimes forget that my friends in the South aren't familiar with some of the terms used in my posts. Tobogganing is basically sledding, only a toboggan is long and sits more than one person. Here is a toboggan:
I hope that makes things a little clearer for some of you. If I ever mention something that you don't know what is, go ahead and ask.
Well, this post is getting way too long, so I better quit thinking of things to tell you and go and write some Christmas cards. Blessings ~Mary~

Thankful Thursday and more...

First, I'm going to post about what's been happening here. The graphic below is how I've been feeling the last couple of days - completely frazzled.



Life around here has been hectic. On Tuesday, we had a big plumbing problem and I do mean BIG. The sewer backed up and oh, what a mess. I called our regular plumbing company and the dispatcher was to call me back. Two hours later, I called her and she said that she wasn't sure that she would be able to send anyone that day. (Thanks for letting me know.)

So, I called another plumbing company and they said they could have someone here in half an hour. Yay! The plumber came and we had to dig up the flower bed at the side of the house because that is where the access is to the pipe that runs from our house to the street. I doubt if my strawberries survived.

The plumber worked diligently and was just finishing up when the phone rang. It was the first plumbing company saying they were sending someone out to fix the problem. I told her that I had called someone else and was sorry, but the problem was under control. I couldn't believe my ears when she said, very sarcastically, "Thanks for calling and letting us know."

Well, that plumber can forget ever doing work for us again. Yes, I admit I should have called her and told her, but did she call me and let me know that she didn't think she would be able to dispatch anyone that day? I bit my tongue and wished her a Merry Christmas and hung up the phone. Too bad that company lost my business. The man who fixed the problem was polite and courteous and that counts with me.

The plumber was just leaving and it was nearing time to take the boys to the farm. I jumped in the car and went and got them. We took the toboggan and they had a great time because the snow had a little coating of ice on it and they flew down the hill like lightning.

Yesterday (Wednesday) was one of those days when everything that could, went wrong. I had planned on doing a lot of Christmas decorating and, of course, it didn't get done.

This morning I was to meet my daughter where my youngest grandson goes for his motor skills therapy. They are teaching him to type with a special program and he has to go once a month to be tested. I was to be there at 9:45. Since I haven't been sleeping well, I had asked my daughter to call early this morning to be sure I was up. She forgot until 8:30 and I had about a half hour to get showered, dressed and be there. I did get a good night's rest, but had to skip the shower and get their pronto. My daughter and her husband had an 11:00 funeral to attend and Jordan's lesson takes an hour. We did make it and he is now safely in school.

I guess now you can see that I've been running myself ragged and getting nothing done that I really should be getting done. With the Florida trip looming, it seems there is extra to do this year. Why oh why did I let hubby talk me into leaving just after Christmas?

Anyway, it will all be fine. Life will slow down, I hope and I will still get all of my Christmas things taken care of.





Laurel at Laurel Wreath's Reflections is once again hosting Thankful Thursday. If you would like to participate, just click the link for more information.

This week I am thankful for:

1. Having the plumbing fixed and being able to run water and use the facilities without the worry of any mess. I am also grateful for a polite and courteous plumber who gave us high quality service.

2. The snow so that my grandsons could enjoy a bit of tobogganing. They didn't get to go last year, as snow was scarce here last winter.

3. For a husband who helps out whenever he can and goes above and beyond to make things easier. He can cook a meal, do dishes and take care of most household chores if for some reason I don't have time.

4. For an opportunity to share things with all of my blogging friends and visit them to share their lives as well.

5. For the Power of Prayer and for Jesus, who washed us clean with His blood and allowed us to have eternal life.

Wednesday, December 5

Create a Snowman from a Clay Pot


Do you love snowmen? They are beautiful when used as either Christmas or winter decor. They bring your home alive with magical enchantment, for wasn't Frosty enchanted?


Now you can create your own snowmen, snowladies or even a snow family using clay pots. You can decorate them to your own taste and turn your home into a winter wonderland by using a bit of glitter or buffalo snow. Create a snowscape, using these delightful creatures and a few houses and other Christmas village pieces.


Supplies:


* One 2.5 inch clay pot for each snow person you wish to create.

* 2 buttons.

* A 1.5 diameter wooden or styrofoam ball - wood works best.

* A child's knitted sock. (Available at most dollar stores)

* Ribbon - your choice of color.

* Fabric - your choice of color.

* Hot or cold glue gun.

* 1 small paint brush.

* 1 large paint brush.

* A fine tipped black marker.

* Acrylic paints - white and pink.

* Can of clear sealer.


How to:


* Cover your work surface with paper towels or newspaper.

* Place the clay pot upside down.

* Glue the wooden ball onto the bottom center of the clay pot.

* Dry thoroughly.

* Using the large paint brush, paint the outside of the clay pot and the wooden ball white.

* Dry thoroughly and give another coat of white paint.

* Continue in this manner until there is a good layer of paint so nothing shows through.

* Cut the foot off the child's knitted sock.

* Turn the cuff of the sock up to create a hat brim.

* Place the cuff part of the sock on the wooden ball for a hat and glue into place.

* Tie the colored ribbon around the top of the hat.

* Fringe the top of the hat, if desired.

* Tie fabric around the neck of the snow person as a scarf and glue it into place.

* Glue the buttons onto the front of the clay pot to resemble buttons on a coat.

* Create the snow person's face using the fine tipped black marker.

* If desired, add a bit of pink paint to the cheeks.

* Use some orange paint to create a nose.

* Use pipe cleaners for arms and glue a miniature broom in place. (These can be purchased at a craft store. I got mine at Micheals.)


Enjoy! Sorry I don't have time to post anything more right now. It's been a hectic two days.

Blessings ~Mary~

Tuesday, December 4

Please Support Our Troops




Last year, I adopted a US soldier from Angels N' Camouflage. Yes, I said a US soldier. That was because angels were needed for the many soldiers that had signed up to have someone write to them and send little care packages. At that time, the Canadian government didn't allow anyone to send anything to Any Canadian Forces Member, which I don't think is right. Our soldiers need support just like any other soldier.


I was given that soldier's name only about six months before he was to come home. I sent him a Halloween goodie box, a Christmas care package and hundreds of postcards, letters and cards. I never did hear from him, but that is okay. He needed the support and got something in the mail. From what I'm told, mail call is the hardest part of a soldier's delployment if his name isn't called. Angels N' Camouflage do their best to make sure that every soldier who registers has his/her name called at mail call.


This year I decided to adopt another soldier. Why? Because I wouldn't want to be in a strange country, away from loved ones and my home at Christmas, and have no one write to me or send me a Christmas card. I have a new soldier and have already send him about ten Christmas cards and each one included a letter. I print graphics on the stationary to make it feel a little more like winter or Christmas. When these things arrive, my soldier will have something to pull out of his pocket and read when he is in the field.


All of this began because the Canadian government wouldn't allow us to write to Canadian soldiers. Well, we have a new Minister of Defence this year and guess what? We can write or send cards to Any Canadian Forces Member. I signed two cards the other night and wrote a letter to put in them and off they went to Belleville, Ontario, where they will be sent to a Forces Member just in time for Christmas.


If you are Canadian and want to write to Any Canadian Forces Member, you can find all the information on the National Defence website. You cannot send care packages, but can send letters and cards and you can choose a soldier by where he is deployed.


It's Christmas everyone and though it is getting late to do this, I just found the information the other night. Please send something to a soldier. They are a long way from loved ones and home and they need our support, whether or not you support the war.


You too can join Angels N' Camouflage and adopt a US soldier or veteran. It doesn't matter whether you're Canadian or American, the soldiers just want to know that someone cares and supports their efforts in the field.


If you are Canadian, click the link to the National Defence website, choose an address and send out a handful of letters and cards to a deployed soldier.




Graphic of praying soldier courtesy of Touch of Memory.

Monday, December 3

How Much Do You Know about Christmas

Another fun Christmas quiz. I was looking for one about the Christmas story when I ran across this one. If you decide to play along, please let me know.





You Are a Cranberry and Popcorn Strung Tree



Christmas is all about showcasing your creative talents.

From cookies to nicely wrapped presents, your unique creations impress everyone.





And this one was a lot of fun too.





Your Christmas is Most Like: A Charlie Brown Christmas



Each year, you really get into the spirit of Christmas.

Which is much more important to you than nifty presents.





Both of the quizzes were fun, but we all know the true meaning of Christmas was Jesus' birth and that is the reason for the season. When the boys were little, they used to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Nativity Graphic courtesy of Penny Parker

In Other News:

Sharon at Quiet Reflections is having a giveaway for some lovely books. Please be sure to drop by and join in the fun.

Memory Verse Monday and a Wonderful Surprise in the Mail


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.

This week I've chosen the following verse:

Luke 1:37: "For with God nothing shall be impossible."

How true this is. At times we are overwhelmed with the heavy burdens of life. We worry ourselves into a tizzy wondering how we are going to cope. If only we would just turn all things over to God, for with God nothing is impossible. God can heal the broken hearted and the sick. He can take our worries and turn them around to glorify His name.

God spoke to my heart this morning. He reminded me that there are several of my friends who are in pain and suffering from illness. He showed me this promise from the King James Version of His Word. I will hold all of you up in prayer this week as I use this verse to further my walk with God.
A while back, I put my name into a giveaway at Bears in Exile. This was a one year of blogging giveaway and the prizes looked delightful. I was so surprised when I received an email saying that I had won. Wow! It's not often that I win something and I was delighted.

Yipee! The parcel arrived this morning and I was ecstatic. It was a lovely basket filled with all kinds of wonderful goodies and so well packed with red tissue paper and bubble wrap to keep the contents safe on their long journey. (Thank you, Mama Bear.)

Let me show you the beautiful things I received.

A beautiful basket, a journal by Debbie Mumm, a magnetic notepad by Debbie Mumm, note cards by Debbie Mumm, a Hallmark Keepsake Santa ornament, a handmade angel ornament, Irresistable apple body lotion by Bath and Body Works Pleasures, a 28 month planner, a pair of warm and cozy slippers, an angel bookmark with blue beads and a snowman pot holder.

I was speechless. Such a lovely gift. Here are a couple more shots:







Thank you, Mama Bear. I love all of it and the angel is so special because you made her. It is such a lovely gift and I will treasure all of the items, always. Thanks so much for hosting the giveway. Blessings, ~Mary~

Sunday, December 2

A Beautiful Winter Day

I promised my readers a weather update and you're not going to believe it. After last night's dreaded forecast that made you all shiver, we have a beautiful winter day here in southern Ontario.

Meeko and I set out for a walk just as the snowplow was going by. What a racket to spoil the winter solitude. However, we visited with a couple down the street and then headed out along the trail that runs beside the creek. It was lovely, but hard walking because nobody had cut a trail yet.


Meeko loves the snow and had a great time rolling in it and putting his nose into every deep snowdrift he could find. He is, after all, a northern breed and would prefer winter to summer. When we got back, I put him on his lead so he could stay out and I fetched the camera from the house to take some photos. Isn't he adorable? Of course, I'm prejudiced.

Here is my car with snow on the roof. It's going to have to be cleared off, but that won't take too long. I also need to back it into the driveway so I can be sure to get out if we get more snow.

Above is the park across the street. Below is what it looks like in summer.


Below is what my garden looks like this morning. The blooms on my blanket flowers have finally died. They bloomed so long into the fall and were so pretty, but they also look lovely blanketed in today's snow.

As I was coming back to the house with the camera, I tried to get another shot of Meeko. He wouldn't cooperate because he was too busy digging in the snow and having fun.


As I was writing this and uploading the photos, the sky has become overcast and gray. I would rather the rain didn't come along to make a slushy mess of all this beautiful snow, but that is what the weatherman has predicted. We will see and I will post another update tomorrow. Have a wonderful and peaceful Sunday. Blessings, ~Mary~