Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

I'm a happy mama!
My boys' and girls' were ALL home for dinner this weekend.  We havent had a full family dinner since last summer when Kylie was here.
It actually has been a great last week.
I have battled a cold since before Christmas, but feel better with each passing day.
Dream Boy & I have just been enjoying each other's company ever so much.  We just make each other laugh and love having our time together.
I took all the Christmas decorations down last Wednesday & tucked them all away for another year.
I've done a whole bunch of nothing, but have enjoyed every minute of it.
Friday I went to my radiologist oncologist for my 6 month check up.  Everything continues to look good & I continue to remain cancer free for 4 years now.
Saturday Dream Boy & I went shopping at a local furniture consignment store he found.  We bought a new (to us) chair & ottoman, a couch & a leather chair for my studio for under $300.  This store is amazing - the lady who owns it knows how to "style" things.  It was such a fun place to go!  I'll definitely be finding my way back there from time to time, I'm sure.
Actually, when Dream Boy went back to pick up the couch, he & his buddy took our 1962 retro sectional with them.  He thought if they didn't think it would sell, he'd just drop it off at the Goodwill down the street.  They LOVED it & she believes she'll sell it no problem!  
We'll get 50% of the selling price.
Saturday night we went out for a wonderful dinner with a gift card Dream Boy received from work for Christmas.
Sunday we went out for breakfast and then came home to find Son #2 & his girlfriend from Minnesota home.
We had Christmas with GF#2 and she gave me a new Nikon mug.  You know, the insulated mugs that are identical replicas of camera lenses??  I've seen them online & love them and now I have one!  Love.It!
Then Son #2 & GF#2, Libbi the Wonder Dog & I all went down to the local forest for a walk in the snow.  I took my camera and captured a few shots of the 2 of them together.
 We came home from our walk to find Dream Boy in the kitchen making a scrumptious dinner.  Son #1 & fiance' soon joined us, along with the in-laws.
We had a wonderful dinner together & then snuggled up for a FULL family picture.
Tonite we are having friends' over for dinner and Dream Boy is once again doing all the cooking.  Me - I'm doing the grocery shopping this morning for our New Year's Eve dinner.
So, to each of you I want to say thank you for another year of following along with my humble life.  It's nothing spectacular, but it's mine & I love everything in it.  
I thank all of you for reading my dribble and even leaving me little comments along the way.  For encouraging me with my photography & celebrating with me & my family in our little milestones.  Thank you for the friendship's I have made - I have so many kindred spirits across this land of ours & I cherish each one of you!
May you all have a wonderful time celebrating tonite - be safe and have fun.
Happy New Year to you all ----  I'll be back soon!

Dream Boy ended up in emergency this morning with some slight swelling & tingling in his left arm.  We will be bringing in the New Year from a hospital room - he has blood clots in his upper arm, most likely due to the pacemaker he had put in last October.
Through it all, I am still so thankful for this man of mine & the love we share.
Happy New Year everyone!
Hug those close to you tighter than ever!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Memory Collage

Lots of memories made this past year.
Lots of time spent on the beaches and dock.
Family ties and bonds drawn tighter.
My family.
My everything.
So much to look forward to in the coming year.
So very grateful for each and every blessing in my life.
Now and always!
Happy New Year my friends - here's to many more memories waiting to be made!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Memories Made

Did you have a wonderful Christmas?
Did you make lots of new memories to cherish for years to come?
Did you enjoy the laughter & love of family?
We did.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

May each of your memories today be as unique as every snowflake that falls.
Merry Christmas everyone from my home to yours.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Happy Christmas Eve morning!
I'm a little late today, I know - but I slept in.  I so needed it with this cold I've managed get just in time for the holidays.
I have a busy day ahead of me as I spent yesterday doing much of nothing. 
I did get all the presents wrapped, BUT I do need to go out today & do just a few for Dream Boy since I didn't go anywhere yesterday.
We don't do anything big for each other, just stocking stuffers. We are going to Florida for a week in February and we desperately need a new couch, so we're saving for that.
I have potato salad, chocolate pie & Heath Bar Dessert to make today.  
I have the next 2 weeks off from school & my mind is loaded with all the things I'd like to accomplish, but we'll see how much gets done.
With my list for today, I'd better get busy now.
So my wish for all of you is that you enjoy this Christmas Eve & Day.  
Cherish every moment with every one you see.  
I've learned that you never know if this is your last Christmas with those you love.
I keep in my heart & prayers those families in CT that are hurting so bad & remind myself that life is precious & all too short for any of us.
I also know that this is the birthday of the Greatest King to ever walk our earth & because of that gift to us, I know that I will walk the streets of heaven with my loved ones someday.
May all of you have a very blessed Christmas.
Love to you all,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

I've been busy creating, shopping & wrapping.  
I managed to get in my yearly viewing of White Christmas - it's playing on my computer in the background.  Can you see it?
Dream Boy & I were going to go to Chicago today, but I have been fighting a bad cold all week & was so stuffed up this morning my sinus' were packed full.
We ended up sleeping in - I mean really sleeping in!
I've taken my cold meds & I made my own little Netty Pot and cleaned those sinus' right out!
School is now out for the Christmas Break.  Many local schools closed yesterday due to "threats" being made on social media & such tied in with the "end of the world" & copy cats of last week's tragedy in CT.
I don't understand the senseless thoughts that people have.
Our district had not received any threats & chose to remain open.  My phone was ringing off the hook though with parents calling in their kids'.  Some were sick & some parents just didn't feel comfortable sending their kids in.
Needless to say, my classes were considerably small, so we spent the day singing Christmas Carols & watching Christmas Movies......oh, & taking silly pictures.
We had been hoping for a snow day, but the "Blizzard" that was predicted to hit our area totally fizzled out.  Wisconsin, parts of Illinois & northern Michigan got hit - but we got rain & more rain & then a dusting of snow.
It's been 301 days since our area saw a measurable amount of snow.  I was so excited because I thought we'd have a white Christmas, but I don't think so now.
 So - Dream Boy & I are off to finish up some odds & ends shopping here in town.
I'll be back for Christmas Eve Morning Coffee!
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho--appy Monday morning everyone!
How are you doing today?
Is your heart heavy with hurt over the tragedy of last Friday?  I think everyone in America has felt some degree of sadness, anger, remorse, confusion and grief over this tragedy.
Working in a high school, this hits very close to home - too close.  I can identify with those teachers who have been deemed as heroes.  I would protect my students just as well.  Some of them can drive me insane at times, but I do love them all, I truly do.  
In such a season - a season that is supposed to be filled with such joy & happiness & the air is filled with the excitement of the little ones - each one of us feels a heaviness in our own hearts for the families of the children, the teachers and I also feel it for the brother and dad of the attacker.
I've prayed for each and everyone of them and will continue to do for all those who are left behind and learning to live their lives and work through this event. It's going to be a long road of recovery for them all.
Will you join me in this prayer, in remembering them all, not just this week, but in the weeks & months to come?  When you think of them, say a silent prayer - God hears you, no matter how big or small your prayer - He knows.
Okay, I've said all I can say on this matter and want to move on because life does continue and we must live each life as the gift is was meant to be!
On Saturday I spent some time making up Christmas cards to mail out to my "Santa Pic" customers and then Dream Boy & I went to a church luncheon at the local country club.  Yes - the Country Club dahling.  We had a wonderful time, but we both left starving because the portions were very "controlled" ---- er.....small.  But, it was an enjoyable afternoon.
Then we went to a staff Christmas party held by one of my former principal's.  It was potluck & you can better believe we had more than enough food to eat there.  It was a great time catching up with a lot of the retirees, those who have moved onto other jobs and those of us who are still hanging out at the same place.
Sunday morning we went to church and then our weekly breakfast out.  We came home for a few hours & I made another penguin & edited some photos before heading out to sing in the choir at our own church's Candlelite Christmas Service.
Dream Boy & I came home & f.i.n.a.l.l.y. started our shopping ----- online.
Today I'm off to my Monday Morning Prayer Corner and then to school for our final week before break.
Happy Monday my dear friends.
Now go hug someone you love & enjoy this day - a gift just for you!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

I'm a little late to the party this week.  Really didn't think I'd make it at all!  But then I started scrolling through my shots this week & thought I had enough shots I could tweak & bend to fill the prompts.
We'll see what you all think.......

While hatching these cute penguin ornaments I was sitting off to the side and noticed the sparkles hitting the cut styrofoam balls.  So I enhanced them a little in PSE10 and Wah-lah!  

This is the door in the Carpenter's Shop along the Bethlehem Journey.

Decorating Christmas Cards to send out to my Santa Shots customers.  I love being a part of the local Winter Wonderland & helping capture those special Santa moments with the little ones!

Stripes on the candy canes in "Candy Cane Lane" in our local downtown park.

A Few of My Favorite Things
My 2 sisters and my 2 nieces.  My life would not be the same without the joy they all add to my life.  We don't always agree, we can't get on each other's nerves, but we love each other none the less & they make Christmas special for me every year.
I love all of you so much!

So now it's your turn to leave me a little comment & let me know if I pulled it off this week!
Then you can head on over to Ramblings & Photos for more great interpretations this week.
Happy Christmas everyone - I'm off to church to sing in the choir!
You know, make a joyful noise & all that!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

From Pinned to Perfection!

How many of you are on Pinterest?
How many of you pin all these great ideas with the thoughts, "I can do that", but then never do?
Yeah, me too.
Except this one.
He was just too dang cute NOT to make!
Then I took my picture over to Picmonkey & added the frost & snow to keep him from melting!
I found this little fellow over at Craftberry Bush and made him up after school to give to a very dear friend tonite.
BUT this little guy is even more special.  I still haven't made my quilt from my parent's clothes that my sister's & I picked out & saved for that purpose.  So I utilized some of my quilting squares & made his scarf from one of my dad's shirts & the little red beak is from one of my mom's favorite sweatshirts!
Oh my - I'm in love with this little guy & can't wait to whip out several more.
But now - off to dinner with my best friend.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!
Hope you had an amazing weekend?  Ours was busy, but very nice.
Dream Boy & I helped my older sister out & played shepherds Friday & Saturday night in their church's "Bethlehem Journey".
We were outside tending our REAL sheep both nights.  Friday night wasn't too bad, but Saturday night the winds picked up & the temps dropped.  The wind knocked down our barrier & did it ever get cold for a while until we could fix it.
We had over 700 people come through between the 2 night perfomances.
Have you noticed all the black pics on my blog?
Well - I'm not too happy, but ever since I switched to the Google+, I kept getting error messages that I didn't have enough storage space & would need to either upgrade, in other words pay, for more storage OR delete photos from my web album.  I chose to delete photos.  Little did I know it would delete them from my blog!!!
We were so busy last week that I never had a chance to do my Scavenger Hunt Sunday prompts either.  Oh well, tis the season I guess.
Dream Boy was released by his cardiologist last Thursday & he returned to his normal work routine on Friday.  He's a happy camper!  This next week is going to be a long one, catching up on stuff that wasn't able to be covered by those filling in for him during his absence.  He'll be driving to Merryville, IL at least twice this week - a 2 hour drive each way.  BUT at least he gets to come home every night - no more hotels for him.
Have you started your Christmas shopping?   I've started.......thinking about it. Yup, I'm that kind of shopper.  Always have been - always will be.
Two weeks left of school before Christmas break!  Not that I'm counting the days or anything.
This week we have practice for our Christmas Cantata at our church to be performed next Sunday evening.  Dream Boy is again a shepherd - no lines this time, just a silent shepherd - & I'm singing in the choir.  It's been nice being back in the choir.  I haven't sang in over 2 years & I have missed it.
Well, I'm off to morning prayer breakfast & then to school.   I hope you have a very blessed week.
Thanks for stopping by & having coffee with me.  I love our time together.
I'll leave you with a picture of my, my 2 sister's & my 2 nieces all dressed up for our Saturday night performance.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa's Little Helper

Once again I was honored to be asked this year by the local downtown organization to take the Santa Pictures at their yearly Winter Wonderland Celebration.
It was a beautiful evening - warmer temps & no snow or rain.  Although, a little snow would have been nice.  The last 2 years' we had heavy, wet snow & it makes things a little messy.
Oh well - I decided this year I would get in on the shot with Santa!
I'm just a little too big to sit on poor Santa's lap.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Santa Baby slip a sable under the tree for me.....been an awful good girl Santa Baby....
Oh, hi!
Yes, you caught me singing one of my all time favorite Christmas songs!
I was in a festive mood this weekend.  I decorated the house on Friday & put up the tree.  Still working on finishing that.
Friday night a friend had extra tickets for the Kalamazoo Concert Band & their annual Christmas Show, featuring Collin Raye.  So 4 of us went off to the celebration & had a wonderful evening filled with many of the holiday classics!
Saturday Dream Boy & I went out to breakfast together on our way to pick up my "new" car.  Yes, my Rendezvous - my absolute favorite vehicle - is not going to live much longer.  I'm actually surprised it's last as long as it has.
But, it will soon be time to move on = so in September Son #1, who is a whiz at finding cheap, dependable cars, found me a Toyota Camry.  It's been in the garage waiting for Dream Boy to finish recuperating from his pacemaker surgery & finally this weekend he was able to get it road ready.  Son #2 did a front end alignment on it Friday night.  
After breakfast I dropped Dream Boy off to get the car & headed home to finish editing a photo shoot I had this past Tuesday.  Man it feels SO good to be caught up on all my fall sessions.  I can truly enjoy my Christmas season!
Sunday found us in church and then out to brunch afterwards with a bunch of other couples from church.  A quick trip home to change & hang a few ornaments on the tree & I was right back in town to choir practice and then off to my older sister's church for pageant practice.  Dream Boy & I are shepherds in their church's pageant this coming weekend.  She was short handed.
Phew - I have to go back to school to recuperate from such a crazy, busy weekend!
So I'm off to prayer time with my gal pals and then on to school.  This is Dream Boy's last week working out of town - on Friday he should be able to return to work in full capacity!!!
I hope you all have a great week!
Off to get more coffee.......

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

You know how you can look at those prompts & think, "what the wha?"
Yeah, that was my reaction this past week.
So I set my list aside til late Saturday afternoon & started playing around the house.
I managed to get all the prompts once again.  Sometimes I think I just over think it.
And here ya go......

The tree was up for 2 days - all that was missing was the Angel, the lights & the tree skirt!

This is my system when editing photo shoots.  I write the numbers down of those I want to edit & cross them off my list as I go.
Hi tech - I know.

 I am not one to be drawn to the color purple.  So I had to get creative with this one.  A Purple Warhol affect on a jar full of ornaments.

A small portion of my Christmas Music selection......

My favorite bracelet ever.  Dream Boy & the 2 Sons gave me a Pandora for my 50th birthday & I've managed to collect a fews charms.

Want to see more great shots?
Head on over to Ramblings & Photos/Scavenger Hunt Sunday and you'll find plenty of fun!