Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Decorating all around the House!

Yesterday I spent most of the day decorating for Christmas. I had alot of fun doing it! Since we are in a smaller home I thought I would have alot of challenges but I really didn't! I'll take you on a tour of what I have done so far!

Here is our front door wreath-welcome everyone!

Here is our bannister right as you come in the door. I love garlands and lots of little white lights. John realized half the little lights weren't working so today when we were out he got some replacements. He'll do that during the week. Thanks sweetie!

That now brings us to the little cupboard in the entry hall. I have been collecting a few Santas as you can see! Some are handcarved by a man in NJ. I used to buy them from him when we lived there.

Once inside our front door if you go to the right you would be in our Dining Room. Here is the Dining Room all decorated for the holidays!

Here is a closeup of the Dining Room table arrangement.

This little Waterford crystal angel is part of a set. John and I went to Ireland 5 yrs. ago to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and we brought her and her sister back with us! Every Christmas we put them on the Dining Room table.

When we lived in our Victorian house in NJ I started John on a collection of Dept. 56 New England Village pieces. He loves New England and he went to college there so it was a nice reminder for him. This year I set the New England Village up in our Dining Room.

There are so many pieces to the New England Village I had to continue it on another antique table we have in the Dining Room.

A few years ago John gave me this Willow Tree Nativity. I have other Willow Tree angels too in another room. I have to find the box that has my childhood bible in it. I received my Bible in Sunday School when I was in 3rd Grade and every year I put it with the nativity. I also place a white dove in the greens. That was a tradition my grandmother did every year and I have continued this tradition.

I have collected Dept. 56 Dickens Village pieces for probably for 21 years! I have stopped buying pieces but I put it out every year. I just love it!

I have quite a few Byers Carolers. I put Santa with his Reindeer on the breakfast bar ledge that divides the kitchen cooking area from the breakfast room eating area.
The following pictures are the rest of the Byers Carolers I have, which this year I put on the ledges that divide the kitchen and eating area from the living room.

Here is my 1st stocking! My grandfather bought it for me 50 years ago in Newark, NJ! I treasure this so much.

My grandfather also bought me this ceramic Santa the year I was born. I put this and my first stocking out every year! My grandfather loved Christmas!

This is a special decorative painting plate I bought from a woman named Jane Guthrie. She lived in NJ not far from my house and I went to her studio with a friend (who has now passed away). I had such a good time that day with my friend, it was a wonderful memory for me. I put the plate out every year as a reminder of my friend.

When the girls were little I decided I need a night out to myself. I found out from a friend this woman was giving decorative painting classes in her home. She had a little boy that was very ill and needed the extra money. I signed up for the class and did quite a few pieces which I gave as presents that year for Christmas. I decided to paint on this old sled I bought at a local auction. I haven't been able to paint anything that well again. I had alot of fun, but that year was a special year for me because the lady teaching the class told us on our last class before Christmas that her sons leukemia had gone into remission and it was because of all the prayers all of us had said for him! Miracles do happen!

Here is a closeup of Santa on the sled I painted! I just love the flow of his beard! Wish I could paint like that again!!

This cute little "Peace" pillow says it all! Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards men.

Friday, November 27, 2009

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day! We all had a really nice time. Megan, Ken, Jenny and Kevin joined John and I for dinner. All the food came out really good and we ate way too much! Here are some pictures of our gathering.

Starting on the left: Megan, Ken, John, Jenny and Kevin. I'm not in this picture because I was taking it.

Here is another picture starting on the left: Ken, John, myself, Jenny and Kevin (Megan was taking the picture that time).

We also watched a movie after we ate, then had the pumpkin and apple pie. We called my parents and talked to them for a bit. I called my sisters and talked to them and their kids. It was a good day had by all! Today I started the Christmas decorating but didn't get very far. I realized John has to get all the Christmas boxes down from the garage attic. I would do it myself but the ladder is too high and it wouldn't be safe. I'll have to wait until tomorrow a.m. He's working really long hours at Best Buy but we are thankful he has that job!! Everyone have a lovely day and evening!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have been preparing for Thanksgiving most of the day!

Hi Everyone! I have been cooking and baking and now I've got everything done for tomorrow that I can do today. I made an apple and pumpkin pie, made my stuffing, set the table and polished the silver. The house smells wonderful! John will be leaving for work soon and he said his Best Buy Shirt smells wonderful just like all the baking I've been doing! I've taken a few pics of my day and what I've accomplished. Enjoy! Everyone have a lovely holiday and if you are traveling be safe! Give thanks!!

Flowers are always pretty on the breakfast room table, especially all the autumn rich colors!

I started out this morning by making an apple pie. I used Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe and the apples were Macs. I love them for my pies.

I then cooked the milk (pie) pumpkin I had, made another crust recipe up and made my great grandmother's pumpkin pie! Can't wait to have this with vanilla ice cream!

I've had this little turkey redware plate for about 20 years. I just love it!

These little praying pilgrims have been on our Thanksgiving table since we got married in 1979! The girls always helped me place them on the table-it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them!

This turkey has been at our Thanksgiving table as long as the pilgrims have!

The Dining Room table is all set and ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner to begin. I don't have any of my green depression glass out yet and no glasses. I'll do that tomorrow.

This is John's great grandmothers China and her silver. I love the pattern.

This is the butter dish in the china pattern also with her little butter knife. They just don't make things like this anymore!

This is a beautiful Pink Depression Glass Compote that I picked up at a depression glass show about 18 yrs. ago. I love all the goldwork on it too!

The compote came with this little clear glass ladle. The handle has a rope pattern on it, very dainty.

This is one of the silver serving spoons from John's grandmothers set. I love this spoon, such lovely details.

I want to give thanks for all my family, friends (blog friends included :)!). We have our health and each other! God Bless you all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giving thanks all week!

John and I were talking yesterday about all the things we have to be thankful for. The list is many. One of the things I'm thankful for is my blogging friends. You all have been with me through good time and bad times. I really enjoying reading about everyone's lives and all the crafty things some of you do. I have met a blog friend this year, which I am truly thankful for! I've had someone who was a part of my life in NJ pass away after a long period of time fighting lung cancer. I am very thankful I knew Alice Tallamy. She was a lovely woman. Friends are just lovely extensions to our families and that I am thankful for! There are way too many things to mention here what I am thankful for but I'm so thankful I'll be spending Thanksgiving with both my girls and their husbands! Everyone have a lovely holiday season and remember to hug someone or do a special act of kindness for someone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've been awarded the "Green-thinker" Award!

I been awarded the green thinker award by Michelle from I had posted a comment on another bloggers blog about what our company does (building "green" LEED buildings) and Michelle posted on my blog about this award!

Thank you Michelle! Everyone think green!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I've started the "holiday" book reading!

Last night I started reading Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle. This book is from the Coffee House Mystery series. It is good so far and I hear that it will not disappoint! I have read all but one book from this series, which is on my to read mountain. The other holiday reads I've got on the pile and I will read this holiday season is Angel Lane, A Crossword in a Pear Tree and I think I have one more on the pile too but I can't remember the title. I'm sure I'll be adding more to that pile too. When I'm done with Holiday Grind, I'm going to have a giveaway for it. Everyone happy reading!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pictures of the Botanical Garden Visit

Sunday John and I took my parents to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Gaston County, North Carolina. This garden is only about 25 mins. from our home. I had taken my Mom there in June. There weren't many flowers blooming but there were beautiful seed pods, ornaments grasses, fountains and berries there. I want to go back between 11/27-the end of December. They were putting all the lights up in the gardens and hanging them from trees and pergolas for the holidays. It should look beautiful at night! Here are some pictures I took while we were there.

When you walk into the entrance of the building you are standing under this beautiful stained glass dome!

The is the center of that dome. It is absolutely gorgeous.

This is a picture of my Dad and I. My Dad never likes his picture taken so this was something that he agreed to this! Look how tall the ornamental grasses are! I am 5'9 1/2" and it is towering way over my head!!

Here is a view of the gardens.

Outside the conservatory where they house all the orchids they have 2 of these beautiful coach lamps on lightpoles. They are really beautiful.

There is a wall filled with orchids! They are all so beautiful. Next are a few of the specimens that were growing on the wall.

Next to the wall of orchids was this beautiful waterfall. The water cascades over the stones and drops about 15' to a beautiful pool. All the orchids on the wall reflect in the water and look so gorgeous!

In the conservatory this fern was growing there. I love fern fronds when they are unfurling and that is just what this one was getting ready to do.

I had never seen a varigated banana tree before. Even the banana fruit was striped! Very interesting.

Here is one of the 13 fountains at the gardens.

This is the top of a fountain that crosses over the walking path. There is a sign before you enter "Cross if you dare and don't mind getting wet". Kids usually love to run through this fountain. I just loved the way the sun hit the water!

Here is another fountain along the path.

Camellias are blooming down here now and here are some white ones. Don't they look great against the beautiful deep blue sky!

There is a part of the garden that has topiaries. This little bear was so cute, I just had to snap a picture of it!

I hope you enjoyed the tour! It was in the low 80's, bright sunny day and just enjoyable! It was a good time had by all!