Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 In Review.....

It is so hard to believe that another year has come & gone.  Yes, the old cliche of "time flies" sure is true as you get older.   I've been busy this week enjoying my time off from school.  My hubby has been home all week too.  He's been working on that bathroom renovation project that he started earlier this year.  The grand ideas we had have been scaled way back due to budgeting issues - so we've made lots of changes to what was already existing in there.  I'll post pics when he gets a little further along.
We bought a digital picture frame from my in-laws for Christmas this year, so I spent 2 days going through old pics & scanning them in to put in the frame.  Going through these brought back so many memories & also made my hubby laugh at the many different hair styles I've had through our 29+ years of marriage!
This picture was taken one year ago today....

It's amazing the difference a year makes......
- I've survived cancer
- I've reconnected with old friends & family.


- I celebrated 29 years of marriage with my hubby in September!
- I watched my oldest son graduate from college & move forward 3 weeks later with a new job!

- I watched my youngest son excel in his college soccer career!

- I explored a new part of the U.S. for a week - Maine!
- I've learned to love my job & never take it for granted that I have one!
There are so many other things that I have to be thankful for over this past year, so many, many blessings.
May you all take some time today & tonite as you ring in a New Year to reflect on those days gone by & realize all that you have in your life.
Blessings to all my friends & family & fellow bloggers in 2010 - may you have a year filled with new promises, hopes & love.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After Christmas....

Good morning day after Christmas!  What a nice, nice day we had.  Steve & I made the decision this year not to go overboard & for once, we both stuck to it!
Christmas Eve was spent with just the 4 of us & Chad ended up cooking the lobster tails.  We had Caesar salad & corn along with it.  Then we just sat around watching "The Christmas Story" on TBS together.
We slept in on Christmas morning, finally rousing the boys' out of bed at 9:30.  Gone are the early wake ups of their younger days!  After opening gifts, Steve made his famous omelets for everyone.  At least they're famous in our house.  Chad cooked up the hash browns.  He's actually a really good cook as that is how he put himself through college!
We met at my older sister, Pam's house @ 1 for my family Christmas.  It is so hard without our parents' there - they made things so jolly!  My dad's laughter was always filling the house & my mom would just talk & talk.  BUT, I think we did a pretty good job yesterday of keeping the jolliness around & at one point the 3 of us girls - along with a few of the guys' were talking non-stop!
A few years' back I started giving my sisters a gift to them specifically from just me.......a "sister" gift.  They caught on & it's become a tradition.  I usually try to make something that has a special meaning to it.  This year I was finally able to pull out the clothes of our parents that we saved & make quilts for them.  It was hard, yet very therapeutic for me.  The clothes has been packed away & when I pulled them from their storage, I could still smell them both.  So when I brought them in yesterday, I made my sisters close their eyes & the 1st thing I had them do was smell them.  They both pulled them in so close & began to cry, as did I.  Once we were able to compose ourselves we started laughing at the squares of fabric, remembering that this square came from dad's favorite shirt & that square was the shirt mom wore home from the hospital.  Oh & that square had a food stain of some sort on it where dad was constantly spilling something on himself.  And that one was mom's favorite kitten shirt.  Don't all grandma's have a favorite kitten shirt?

Another tradition is the family photo.  Every year we take this shot even since mom & dad are gone.  I set the camera up on the tri-pod & everyone got into position.  Pam (in the middle) was trying to figure out the timing of the camera taking shots.  She couldn't figure out why I wasn't running back & forth. 

  I kept telling her it was the remote.  She asked where the remote was?  I showed her it in my right hand & you can see in this picture when she figured it out that I was pushing the button from where I was sitting!  That's what I love about the remote, I can just keep taking pictures even when no one is ready & you can get some pretty funny shots!  I love how everyone but us 3 girls, Steve & Shaun are still standing in their spots with smiles frozen on their faces while the camera is still taking pictures!
Here we are - all ready for the 2009 "DeVries" family photo.  I love them all & the memories we continue to make & the traditions we continue to carry on that our parents started so long ago.

 I'm off to do a little cleaning, take my shower & head off to work for a few hours.  Tonite Steve's whole family is coming over for dinner & Steve & the boys' are fixing it all!  The turkey is a smokin' in the back yard & I made a jello salad this morning.  I get out of work @ 5 & the family will be here @ 6.  I'll come home & the majority of the work will be done.  Now you gotta love that!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On The 24th Day of Christmas....

I spent the day preparing for the festivities of tomorrow.  I'm in charge of potato salad, buns & dessert.
I started this morning at church setting up candles for our Christmas Eve service.  I then went to get an ultra sound on my throat/thyroid area.  Just a routine check up to make sure my lymph nodes are still clear.
Then I made two very quick trips at seperate grocery stores & headed home.
I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen, making potato salad, chocolate pie, pumpkin squares & whoopie pies.
My mom would be so proud of me since I made my pie crust from scratch!!!  I NEVER do that & she used to give me what for because I would use the premade crusts.  Well, in memory of her, I made my crust from scratch AND I put buttons on it for my sister Pam.  She knows what they are!!!  AND I had a little bit of crust left over to make just enough pinwheels for us girls tomorrow - Robin knows what those are.  I had to hide them so my boys' don't eat them.  Our mom used to take leftover pie crust & spread melted butter, cinnamon & brown sugar on it. She would then roll it up, slice it & bake it making "pinwheels".  The pie is her chocolate pie recipe & it's baked in a pie plate that she made.
The potato salad is in memory of my dad.  It's even in his potato salad bowl, complete with sliced hard boiled eggs & paprika on top!!!
At 7 tonite we were all in church for the annual Christmas Eve service.  I sang in the choir & the music was absolutely beautiful!  The whole service was very moving.
We are all at home now, enjoying fresh shrimp & watching "The Christmas Story".  Steve is in the kitchen making lobster tails for all of us.  The rest of our stash from our trip to Maine last summer!
Merry Christmas everyone - may you have a wonderful day tomorrow with all those that you love.
We give because He gave - Jesus is the reason for this season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

On The 23rd Day of Christmas.......


Now this will take some use of your imagination!  This is Angel.  If you don't know about her, she is my angel sent via my mom & dad after they passed away.  She was their angel & now she's ours.  She has lived with us almost 2 years & is now coming out of her shell.  She is quite sassy & very protective of her basement domain when it comes to Libbi, our lab.
My creative corner is in the basement & I've been working non-stop on some gifts that must be done!  When Libbi is not snoring at my feet & upstairs snoring on the bed, Angel is in her glory!  She is ALL over the place.
So, this is where your imagination must step in.....close your eyes & envision this, well, I guess you can open them so you can read this:
I have Pandora playing on the computer - tuned into my favorite Christmas songs, of course.  Angel is dancing on the floor in the sunlight.  Just then the Nutcracker - Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies begins to play & I swear, really, that Angel goes into ballerina mode!!!
You can see her pointing her toes in the picture & she is scampering & peroeting (sp?) all over the place!!!  She is quite graceful too, just loving the music & the wide open basement to dance away! She even did a leap in the air!
I can now say that I have seen a live performance of the Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies!
Gotta go - back to the busyness of finishing those gifts & then off to work for a few hours at Masterpiece Memories!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On The 22nd Day of Christmas.....


a deer on my hill!!  I know they're out there all the time, but usually when I'm not awake or when it's dark.
Tonight I was in the kitchen fixing dinner when Libbi jumps up & barks & starts growling while looking out the kitchen window!  I try to see what the commotion is about, but my one window is fogged up from my cooking, so I go around the counter to the other window & there she stood!
I managed to calm Libbi down & stumbled down the steps to get my camera.  Then after tripping over my slippers that fell off on the way down & climbing back over Libbi on the way up I did manage to get this shot.
I had to turn the flash off & shoot through the windows of the back door & screen door so the shot is a little blurry, but it's proof that they really do exist!!
Maybe Santa sent a scout out in advance to check out the village & good landing locations?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

On The 20th Day of Christmas...

I've been a little busy the past few days, so pardon my missing yet another post!
Friday night was our party at Masterpiece Memories - so we held it, where else....at the store?  We had a potluck & I think those are the best when you know everyone has a specialty to share & it's gonna be SO good!  You look forward all day to it!
We opened the store in the fall of 2006.  Kim, our owner, is a very talented woman.  She started making these types of canvases for wall art in the store.  Well of course, we ALL fell in love with them so in the fall of 2007 she told each of us to pick out 3 papers.  She did the rest. 
When Christmas time came around Kim was squeezed in for a surgical procedure two weeks before Christmas & they never got finished.  Last year time just got away from her, but this year she needed therapy for various reasons!
Kim & I are a lot alike, and if you are an "artist" in any way, shape or form, you understand that your "art" can be your therapy!  Kim pulled the canvases out and finished them for each of us.
Each one truly reflects the person holding it! 
Sandy does not like to take chances, she worries.  She worries about things that just don't need to be worried about, in my opinion.  BUT that is what endears her to me & makes her a very dear, dear, loving friend.  Trusting to build her wings after jumping is so fitting for her.

Me - well, you probably know me - BELIEVE.  Yes, I believe in life, love & happiness.  I believe it can all belong to anyone of us & I believe that my life, love & happiness comes from my very core - from my faith & trust in God.

Lisa is a happy, happy girl!  She's just so fun to be around - ALWAYS smiling.  She has so much fun in whatever she does & she is decorating her kitchen with wine motif.  So of course, her quote on wine beginning with a SMILE is her totally!

Maggie - she's the ulitimate mom!  She loves her 2 kids so much!  She is president of the PTA, she makes gifts for her kids' teachers, she chairs the annual book fair, carpools, and the whole shebang!  She really cried when she opened her canvas.  Family is the most important thing in her life & it shows in everything she does for them!

I consider all of these ladies to be part of my family.  They have supported me in the good & the bad, they love me unconditionally & are there to catch me whenever.  We do the same for each & every one of us, what goes around between us comes around 10 fold!
Merry Christmas my Masterpiece Memories sisters!  I love you all!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On The 17th Day of Christmas...

I got dinner made for me by my hubby.  I had to work at the store after school today & he had chicken alfredo, salad & garlic bread ready for us when I got home!!!  How sweet is that??!!??
He also had a fire built up in the wood burner to make the house nice & toasty!
I also had my last day of school for this year!  The next 2 weeks are for playing & sleepin in!
I even got a few gifts from some students.  A beautiful candle dish, a cute little snow figurine, a handmade card and Milky Ways!!!  Yumm-oh!
So tonite, I'm gonna put my feet up in the recliner & just relax in front of the warm fire......until a hot flash kicks in & I need to go outside in my t-shirt & jeans to cool off!
Maybe I could make a snow angel, that would cool me off pretty quickly & leave a steamin hot angel imprint in the snow!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The 16th Day of Christmas......


I received a wonderful package from my friend, Antonietta in Italy!!!  So sweet, so very, very sweet!
We met a little over a year ago when she started following my blog.  I need to use a translator to read her blog as it is written in Italian.  Good thing for me she can read & write English!!
Antonietta teaches younger children & at Halloween she asked me about our traditions & such.  So I sent her a little care package filled with trick-or-treat goodies to share with her students.

Today I received a present from Antonietta.  It is a box filled with wonderful sweets & treats!
It includes:
* A small tin of Nutella, the best Italian cream chocolate!
* Italian Marmalades
* Lentils to cook in the last days of the year (so you can count money in 2010).  This one I'll have to do some research on because we could use a little extra cash flow around here!
*A small "Paneltone", which is a typical Italian Dessert.
* 3 candles
* A small block notes for my thoughts
* A small savor (soap)
* A small protect hand (potholder)

* 2 hangs (ornaments) for my tree
What lovely gifts that I will truly treasure & savor in this marvelous Christmas season.
My hubby saw the package when he came home & said,
"Well, I guess I need to start saving money so you can take a trip to Italy!"
I told him to make sure to save enough so he can come too.
Thank you my dear friend way across the ocean blue.  Thank you for your kindness & love.
Christmas blessings to you & your family too!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On The 15th Day of Christmas...


Yep, I missed another day.  It was a crazy, long day ~ not all filled with Christmas cheer. 
Of course I was at school all day after having a 4 day weekend due to 2 snow days last week.  Yeehaw!
I then went home & spent the next 3 1/2 hours making home made chicken noodle soup & salad for dinner & editing my almost 400 pics of the 2 senior shots I did this weekend.
I left my house at 6:30pm & returned just before 11 after sitting in a 3 1/2 hour School Board Meeting.  They were presenting to the board the proposed budget cuts to be made after the 1st of the year.  This is the 1st round & only 1/3 of it.  Not pretty........but for now I still have a job.  Our congress people seem to think that we can run our schools on basically nothing! 
So - I wasn't able to post yesterday.
Today I'm posting pics from my 2nd photo shoot.  I have never done one with a cat!  He was awesome - my senior gal carried him all over the grounds where we were taking pics & he just hung out in her arms & looked around.  He never clawed, dug or tried to escape!  His name is Clyde - isn't he gorgeous!
Well, now off to finish some Christmas presents for my friends at school & to make a batch of party mix!!
Toodles all - and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On The 13th Day of Christmas....



Well, the 12th day of Christmas just kind of got away from me!!!
I had to work at the store all morning & early afternoon.  I came home & my hubby had my lunch ready for me.
After a quick check of my equipment, I met a student for her senior pictures.  We got a mess of snow this past week & it was a gorgeous, yet chilly, winter day here.  We spent 2 1/2 hours trecking around the local areas getting shots. Her hot pink dress looked so pretty against the stark white snow!

We finally ended up at her grandma's house who had several white birch trees on her property.  I LOVED how this turned out.
When I got home my hubby & I went out to eat.  A rare treat, we are really trying to save money & not eat out so much.  We had chinese - yummo!  I was chilled to the bone & had a pot of tea which warmed me to my very core.
Afterwards we did a little shopping & then came home & did a little more shopping on line.  How easy is that?  Love it - you just gotta love it!
Then I worked on editing pics & it was an early night to bed for me.
Today we went to church & had a Christmas breakfast for one of our pastor's & his wife in our Sunday School class.  They were so touched!  It was a potluck type of affair......again - yummo!
After church we came home & I'm heading out into the great white countryside for another senior picture session.
When I return it's a trip up to see son #2 & take him out for a quick bite as he's been buried under the books all weekend prepping for his exams tomorrow.
Merry 13th Day of Christmas everyone!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

On The 11th Day of Christmas....


I got another snow day!!!  I lvoe the time off.  Thought I haven't completed all the things I should have or could have, I've enjoyed just having this time to myself!
Yesterday I baked & shoveled.  Today I ventured out in the brutal cold & heavy snow with Libbi trustfully at my side to pick up some pictures & some more baking goods.  Then I came home & Libbi & took a nice cozy nap & then we went out and shoveled again!
It's been a very nice 2 days off.  Next week I only have 4 days of school and then I'm off for 2 weeks for the Christmas break.
Oh - & another thing, my youngest son Shaun called me today & told me he received another honor in soccer.  He was very choked up when he told me that he was nemed to the 1st team - All Region.  WOW!  He had me "choked up" right along with him.
So now to snuggle in with my hubby & watch a movie with a little "Christmas Cheer".

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On The 10th Day of Christmas......

I got a snow day from school!!!   Now I still had to go in late morning for a meeting regarding budget cuts, but we don't want to talk about that now.
We got a snow day!!!  Woot!  Woot!
So, I spent the afternoon baking cookies (& hiding them) for giving away.  I baked two batches.  White chocolate chip chocolate cranberry cookies & chocolate chunk cookies.


Then Libbi & I headed outside.  All bundled up in my winter garments & armed with my trusty shovel we started digging out.  Steve & I shoveled about 4" off last night & I just shoveled off another 4" at least!  Libbi runs around & around jumping at the snow as I throw it.
After an hour of shoveling we took some time too play - Libbi's favorite thing!  There are plenty icicles hanging as the temps are in the low teens.  So her favorite game is hide & seek.  I throw the icicle, it hides in the snow & she tries to find it.  Believe me, she could on doing this for hours - but it was getting a bitt chilly by then.
We were under a blizzard warning that was supposed to be lifted at 4pm today, but they've extended it now until 6am tomorrow. We are expected to get anywhere from 2" - 6" more inches overnight.
I'm not complaining.  I live in Michigan after all & what else is it supposed to do in December?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On The 9th Day of Christmas.....


A BLIZZARD!!!!
Yep - we are in the midst of a Blizzard Warning until late tomorrow afternoon.  Right now the snow has let up a little bit, but it's icey cold & freezing up out there.
So with so many things cancelled tonite - I have no place to go...except to the creative space to finish Christmas cards, Christmas gifts & a cat album.
So I'm gonna snuggle up & maybe build a fired & crank the Christmas tunes & get busy!!!
If you live anywhere near me - be safe.  If you live anywhere far away......like California......I don't want to hear how beautiful the palm trees look swaying in the breeze!!!!
:)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On The 8th Day of Christmas....


I have a kitty in a bag!  This is Angel.  She is my daily reminder of the angels who surround me & protect me every day.
Angel was my mom's kitty, a gift to her from my older sister when my mom was really sick in 2003.  Can you believe that she was almost pure white when she was little with just a streak of red down the back of her head & shoulders?
When my mom & dad began talking about moving from their house to a smaller place in 2006 she asked me if I would take Angel if they moved somewhere that wouldn't allow pets.  I told her I would!
Well, mom went home to heaven in May of that year & Angel became my dad's guardian angel until he passed away in 2008.  The 1st thing my sister said to me, "you are taking Angel, right?"
It has taken the last year & a half for her to warm up, it might have something to do with the miniature white horse of a dog that doesn't know what it means to walk softly.  But now Angel roams the basement whenever I'm there, jumping on my creative counter & laying wherever she pleases, walking all over the computer table when I'm at it & her newest play station......this green plastic bag on the floor.
She's my Angel - an angel sent from my mom to watch over me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

On The 7th Day of Christmas..........


So for the 7th Day of Christmas my hubby & I took a trip to Wal-Mart & stocked up on underwear!
A local shelter, "Ministry With Community" was hosting an underwear party tonite!  They were looking for socks, underwear, hats, gloves, mittens in all sizes for adults & children to hand out to the homeless this winter.
So off we went & filled out basket with long johns, undies, hats, gloves & mittens.
A couple of weeks ago I filled 3 shoeboxes for a friend who was trying to fill 35 boxes with Christmas goodies for a young teacher in the projects of Chicago.
The teacher came home this past weekend to visit his parents & he was overwhelmed at the boxes and all the goodies to take back to his students.  He just found out last Friday that the local charity organization who usually donates toys to these kids had no funding this year to buy them.
I'm not telling you all this to brag, but to share what a great feeling it's been to know that in small ways, we are helping little children & adults through a rough time.  Steve & I are so blessed to both still have jobs & health benefits & healthy families, a warm house, food on our table every day & vehicles to get around.  We are really feeling pulled this year to help those that we can even more.
Merry Christmas to each of you & may you find a small way to touch someone else this Christmas season!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

On The 6th Day of Christmas.......


I admit it, I'm a little bit of a fanatic when it comes to classic movies.  Especially White Christmas.
I watched it earlier this week when I was working on Christmas gifts & cards & then again last night while putting up the Christmas tree.
I am SURE that I'll watch it at least one more time before the season ends. 
I get so mad at Betty because she's so hard nosed & won't listen to anyone & just assumes.  But then she comes around & hears the truth & her & Bob end up happily ever after.
I love watching Danny Kaye dance & I can't believe how stinking skinny Vera-Ellen is!!  Her waist is so tiny!  I think the only body part on me that's ever been that small around is my wrist!  :)
Do you have any holiday favorites you love to watch over & over?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On The 5th Day of Christmas.....


On the 5th day of Christmas we set up the Christmas tree.
It's a bit different now that the boys' are older.  Gone are the days of trudging out to the tree farm & spending what seemed like forever picking the right tree out.  Gone are the days' of when we were first married & spending the WHOLE day searching from farm to farm for the right tree.
But NOT gone are the memories.  Every year I look forward to opening the boxes up.  Last year we even discovered the new LED lights that reminded me so much of the big colored bulbs we had on our tree as little girls.
I love opening up the boxes of ornaments.  So many memories there.  Chad & Shaun's 1st Christmas ornaments given to them by their great Nonnie Root.  The train ornament that can be plugged into the light string & the train goes round in circles while the city is lit up behind it.  The icicle ornaments, our ornaments from when we were first married.
We don't have "fancy" tree, but a tree filled with love and many, many happy memories. 
Shhhhhh.........if you sit quietly you can hear the boys' giggling as they try to quietly look at presents under the tree to see who they belong too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

On The 4th Day of Christmas....


As I was trying to figure out what to do for our family Christmas card this year I found myself without a clue!
I looked through magazines, bought a special edition book on Cards & still no inspiration.
Then while sitting at my creative counter I was looking at my "wall of inspiration" and found my word for 2009 - "Believe" staring me right in the face!  Then I turned to look at my shelves & saw my photo holder with the word "Believe" emblazoned on the front.
From there, my idea was created.  I believe truly & with my whole heart that the Christmas season is because of the birth of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.
I believe that He is my ultimate salvation & because of Him & through His blood, I am saved & will spend eternity in heaven with Him.
As the inside of our 2009 Christmas card says,
"The Lord has come!  Let the world Rejoice!!!"
I believe.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On The 3rd Day of Christmas.......


I spent over 5 hours at church today & totally, completely forgot to take pictures.  You'll have too take my word for it, it turned out lovely!!!  We had a 10 year old girl helping us out & she found such joy in putting the manger scene together in the center of the stage!!
Half of my time there was spent cleaning out our "flower closet".  It truly looked like someone or several someone's would just open the door & throw things in & quick slam the door shut before everything fell out.  Not anymore!!!  You can actually walk in, turn around, find what you're looking for!!
I had lots of helpers setting up the church.  They put together 11 trees & 2 nativity scenes.  One in the entry way & one on the front stage where a live nativity will be going on Christmas Eve. 
Despite the fact that I tore my jeans, hit my head on the low beam in the closet & cut my finger on a broken piece of glass it was a good feeling to accomplish so much!!
Then, when my hubby & I left church I had to brush off my car!!! Yep - it finally snowed in Michigan.  We had a bit on the ground last Friday morning, but it was gone as soon as the morning light came around.
But tonite we got a lot.  There was almost 2 inches on the ground when we left church & it was coming down pretty good.  The roads were slushy & the weather is calling for 3-5 inches by tomorrow afternoon.
So on the 3rd day of Christmas I got a HUGE chore done that I've been putting off AND I got snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!!!
Til tomorrow.......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On The 2nd Day of Christmas.....


On the 2nd day of Christmas I got to start rehearsal for our yearly Christmas Eve service at church.
It's a tradition I have done ever since we started going to Haven Church.  Whether in the choir or on the praise team, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year to sing.  Last year I was unable to because of my surgeries.  I couldn't risk hurting my vocal chords, so I had to let them rest.  It was so hard to sit in the Christmas Eve service and not even be able to join in singing the hymns with the congregation.
This year I'm able to be there.  Though I struggle with my voice from time to time, I've learned how hard to push & how hard not too.  I'm just thankful that I am again able to participate!!
I love the old hymns of Christmas & the story they tell.  Our service is entitled "Do You See What I See?"  Of course we are singing this song!!!
Tomorrow night I get to start decorating the church - bringing to life the "park scene" that we see so often in our local parks at this time of year.  I have several hands coming out to help with this as it can be such a big task - but it is so much fun to put together!
So hopefully I'll be able to take some pics tomorrow night and then you'll be able to "see what I see."
Have a wonderful evening!!!
Christmas blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

On The 1st Day of Christmas........


On the 1st day of Christmas,
my mom & dad gave to me.......
39 years ago........
a baby sister called
RoOoOOObin!
That's Robin on the left & she was born 39 years ago today!  Wow, doesn't seem possible.
We are 10 years apart (so now you know my age).  I remember my dad coming to school to tell me that morning that I had a new baby sister.  My teacher made everyone in the class be very quiet when I returned to the room.  He brought me to the front & demanded everyone's attention.  (this is the one & only year that I was truly the teacher's pet - seriously!)  Mr. Bolt said, "now Patti has some very exciting news I believe."  That's when I told them all that I had a brand new baby sister!
She has always been my friend, a pest, a confidant, a shoulder to cry on & my hairdresser.  :)  I love her dearly for everything she is.
So - that is my Christmas story for the 1st day of Christmas.
Happy birthday dear Robbie - love you tons!!!
Merry Christmas to all of you & may you find joy in each day of this miraculous season!!!!