Saturday, December 31, 2011

To all our friends, near and far, may you have a healthy and happy 2012. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas With The Grands

Happy Friday to you~As promised, I finally got the pics from our big family celebration.
Here is our youngest, Kim and her hubby Eric with Peanut and Miss D.
Carrie's hubby, Brent, with their youngest Miss Sunshine.  I love watching the toddlers get into Christmas.
Oh the boys are so silly! 
Carrie looking at a gift certificate from hubby and I, Miss A in my lap.  I have lots more but since I am going for a walk this morning, the first in over a week, I will share more tomorrow.  My cold has left my head and today I sound as if I have a frog in my throat-oh well.
Have a great day friends.
Hugs, Noreen

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yesterday our sil took the two grandsons and hubby up to Wyoming to go snowmobiling.  I love that the guys enjoy their time together.  
 Above, both the grandsons are wishing they could go out alone-no way. I am told they loved it and I see many trips in the future.
Hubby with the youngest grandson; on the way back they traded so each boy got a chance with his grandpa.
I went out with our girl and her girls and then spent the afternoon relaxed, reading. 
I hope you are having a wonderful week my friends; it's so hard to believe that 2011 is almost over.  We don't have any plans for Sat. eve and just waiting to see what develops.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Yesterday morning I thought I'd be uploading photos when we got our camera back; actually I came home and put the photos on the laptop but I could only retrieve the ones from Christmas morning.  Apparently, the reason hubby brought home the wrong camera was because all our photos were on it-oops.  Today I'm going to go to daughter's house and get her memory card so I can put them on my laptop and hubby's. 
I did find this pic of the necklace I received; as I said I have nine beads on it to represent our nine grands. I love it!!!!  I think it will look best with a v-necked top and right now it is tooo cold to have anything on but a turtleneck and sweater.  I'm still fighting this head cold and thought it had gone into a sinus infection during the night but this morning I'm feeling better than yesterday.  I hope you are staying healthy and getting lots accomplished this last week of 2011.
Hugs today, Noreen

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Tuesday to you.  Well, I thought I was going to load our Christmas photos only to discover that we grabbed our daughter's camera instead of ours. Not hard to do because they look identical but unfortunately aren't.  So I guess I'll have to wait til later when we go and exchange cameras.  We had a wonderful time last
night, filled with gifts, desserts and children playing.  Our kids spoil us rotten; we got gift certificates to our favorite restaurants, homemade hand cream, a homemade neck pillow that you can heat in the microwave, clothes, a golf shadow box for hubby's golf corner, etc.  I got a beautiful necklace that had beads on it for each grandchild; a new Beth Moore book on Paul, socks, and hubby upgraded our flights to the islands next year, as he knows I hate how cramped economy is on a long flight.  I loved seeing how excited all the grands were about their gifts and I loved that our girls loved their Alpaca wool I got them.  All in all it was a wonderful Christmas.
Today we are hoping to go to the gym, we have guest passes and want to try it out.  This afternoon we may go to the movies; I have a bit of a stuffy nose and I'm hoping the decongestant kicks in soon.
I'll be back later to upload our pics, but until then have a good morning. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Good Morning Friends,  While many of you are undertaking the task of cleaning up the reminders of celebrations yesterday, our family opens all our presents tonight. We had a wonderful Christmas Day, that started out at our youngest daughter's home watching the grands play with their new toys and then having a great breakfast. At noon, we headed over to our oldest' home for a lunch/supper and some card games.  Our sil's mom was here and it was great to get caught up with her.  Hubby and I had a very relaxed afternoon and evening, snuggled up on the couch.  Tonight not only do we open our family gifts, but we'll have dessert and play games as well.  I'm making a yummy chocolate cake that is gluten free and each family will contribute to the spread. 
I've  been blessed with the most loving of families, they are the best gift a gal could have.  I hope your Christmas was joyous and fun and that as the year draws to a close,  you'll anticipate more adventures for the new year.
Hugs, Noreen

Saturday, December 24, 2011

From Our Home To Yours, We Wish You A Merry  Christmas!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Traditions

When I was a child, there weren't many traditions around the holidays, but my dad and I always went to midnight mass and then came home to have some eggnog and holiday bread.  Since we opened our presents that evening, we never got up early on Christmas.  Hubby's family had lots of traditions and fond memories so it was only natural when we had our girls that I wanted to start lots of traditions for them.  I think the most important memory that also ushered in some traditions, was the birth of our daughter Kim on Christmas morning.  From that point on, we always hosted a Christmas Open House, with a sit down dinner, because we were staying home on Christmas. Like many others, the girls and I always made cookies to share with others-they always loved giving to neighbors. We always celebrated Kim's birthday the first weekend in December, we didn't want her feeling like she was cheated out of a party. When we lived in Silicon Valley, we always drove up to the Santa Cruz mountains to cut our own tree and the girls loved the family that owned the tree farm.  On Christmas Eve, we would pile in the car and drive around looking at Christmas lights, with Christmas carols playing in the background.  There was an entire cul-de-sac, in Santa Clara Ca,. that was decorated to the max-I mean even in the days when there was an energy shortage, people still had incredible outdoor decorations; of course there were coffee cans where you could donate if you wanted to.  Oh how our girls love this!  When we got back home, there was always a Christmas movie that we watched before bed and then off they went. When they went to their bedrooms, there was always a new pair of p.j's waiting for them.  At that point, hubby and I would haul out all the presents from the hiding place in the garage and begin a marathon wrapping session, for nothing  was allowed under the tree before Christmas morning.  It was so incredible to wake up to all the presents under the tree; however there were many Christmas eves when hubby and I would stay up til two or three in the morning wrapping.  Needless to say, often this mom did not want to get up at six o'clock and my girls do remember my being somewhat grumpy(which I was, due to sleep deprivation).  After presents, we would have pancakes and then begin the clean up before everyone showed up to celebrate with us-a full sit down dinner for around 115-20 people.  Those were the days when I really stressed over that large of a group; hey now it is just a few more than our family-how times change. I will say that everyone brought a dish to share which helped out alot but I was not skilled in the art of entertaining and cooking, so it was always a day that I was stressed.
When we moved to Santa Rosa, Ca. we continued these traditions but had to find a new tree farm-we were successful and loved our new place. The girls continued to get new p.j.'s  and for a few years, I also got the grands new ones but then the numbers grew so I let that one go.  My girls continue our traditions and they also rotate whose home dinner will be at; so it is easy for hubby and I just to get in the car and go.  Traditions usher in fond memories and enrich a families life.  We were and are so blessed by our daughters & their families and celebrating the birth of our Savior; I have much to be thankful for.
Blessings on your day.  Noreen

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Wonderland

We woke up to this today-isn't it pretty?!  I love the beauty of fresh snow; hubby not so much.  Of course, when we have to get out and shovel the driveway and sidewalks, it is no surprise.  Hubby has a weekly game in a neighboring town, he has just started playing Wallyball.  I imagine you are wondering what in the world Wallyball is, it is not the big box store.  Actually, it is a combination of Volleyball and Handball played in a Racquetball court, with a smaller ball.  Sounds interesting-I've not yet seen it. 
So this morning, I have a very relaxed time in which I hope to get caught up with you, my blogging friends.
In the event that I don't post tomorrow, from our home to yours, wishes for a very Merry Christmas filled with love. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jesus is Alive

I saw this yesterday on a friends blog and loved it. I've never heard it before  and thought it was perfect for this day, this week.  I hope you enjoy it too.  May your day be blessed as you prepare for the celebration of His birth.
Love, Noreen

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Flicks

One of our family traditions is watching holiday movies; our girls grew up watching the Little House on the Prairie Christmas special.  Each year we would sit together as a family and enjoy this classic as well as Miracle on 34th Street.  Many would not consider Little House a classic, but for our family it was. Each year hubby and I try to add a couple of videos to our collection, for the grands.  This year I had heard about these two movies and we got them for a bargain; both families watched Santa Paws and thought it was such a cute movie.

Our oldest daughter's family watched the video below and of course loved it. Our youngest daughter and sil choose not to watch it because her hubby travels internationally so much and they didn't want their young girls worrying about someone burglarizing their home. 
If you are looking for some lighthearted Christmas movies, gives these a try-but you may want to preview The Dog Who Saved Christmas before letting young ones watch it.
Have a wonderful day!
Hugs, Noreen

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss O

Our little Miss O turns four today; Happy Birthday our girl.  It is hard to believe that just four years ago Papa and I were tromping through the snow in our p.j.'s and snow boots so your mom and dad could go to the hospital. You are so much fun to be around and we are all blessed by the girl you are.  Miss O is very much an independent girl at four.  She adores her siblings and will often copy them but I've been told she is also very adventuresome.  She might be holding her own with her brothers or off playing with her little horse figurines or baby dolls.  When she is with you, you often hear her above all the noise; she loves life and it shows.  I can't wait to see you mature and grown for I wonder what paths the Lord might take you down.
May He continue to pour out His Spirit on you and may you grow in wisdom and understanding and walk in His precepts. 
Papa and I love you very much!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy, Happy Saturday friends.  I've had a full couple of days; yesterday I spent time with my girlfriend from Ca.  We went to several thrift stores, didn't buy anything and also I introduced her to a restaurant here called Noodles & Co.  I love this chain because the food is cooked to order and relatively inexpensive plus they have gluten free dishes.  Today I attended a Christmas brunch at our local church; such fun and really made me feel like we were ushering in the true Christmas season.  We delivered a Christmas bag filled with goodies and now I can just relax and catch up on blog friends.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday greetings to you dear friends,  I hope your week has been one filled with restful times during the craziness that so often encompasses this month.  There are several ways that I get settled and find refreshment; sometimes it is singing of praise and worship songs and other times it is being outside in nature. As you know the mountains always bring a peace to my spirit and I love venturing up there.  These photos were from the other day when hubby and I went up there.

 I just realized that the clouds in this almost look like a dinosaur or a giraffe.  This is Longs Peak and many folks actually hike to the top; if we had moved here when I was young I would have tried it, but unfortunately it is too much of a hike for me now.  One has to leave before dawn if they hope to get to the top.  It is much more of a challenge than Mt. Lassen or Mt. Rainier was.  I have met one 80 yr old gentleman who climbed it for his birthday; he had done it many times before though.
I came back refreshed and filled with awe at the beauty of His creation.  Hubby would need to go to the beach for his experience.  In quiet moments I will yet praise Him. 
I'm going to our last study of the year this morning and also a luncheon afterward.  Hoping you have a day filled with the wonder of His love.
Blessings, Noreen

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The High Places

Yesterday hubby and I headed to my favorite place, Estes Park, also referred to as the High Places.  It was a beautiful day there, the temps were higher than at home and I believe there was less snow on the ground.  We were hoping to see lots of Elk and we also needed to renew our annual pass to the Park but alas we struck out on both of those.  We spotted these ducks on the Big Thompson River and hubby ran along the road to get these photos while I stayed in the car.  What a man I've got!

Loved seeing these swimming all in a row; this area of the river was pretty clear while other parts of the river was mostly ice. 
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cherubs

Good morning friends,  Here are a few more photos from the Christmas program Sunday night. Oh how I love these blessings!  
 Daughter Carrie with her youngest, Miss A aka Sunshine. 
 All of the children, except the babies. It is hard to believe that there are more children in the church than adults.  Future warriors for the kingdom of God.  This was the rehersal.
 Miss A, so very precious.
Lifting voices and praises to the King of Kings.
Have a wonderful day dear ones.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Childrens Christmas Program

Last evening all the grands, except the little ones, were in a Christmas program at church. I love seeing them decked out in their finest Christmas clothes and singing.  Hubby and I have a brand new camera; I'm thankful we had the extended warranty on our old one because Nikon junked it and we got a replacement, actually an upgrade free of charge. Now we can take better photos-yippee!!
Little Miss D, looking like Shirley Temple with all those curls.
Miss F, the exact image of her momma at this age.
Our Miss O, so very precious.
My Peanut, Miss M, ready to sing.
Mr. B, always ready for fun.
Mr. J, growing into a young man so quickly.  He reminds me of his momma too-his expressions are a family trait.
WE all had a great time and I have more photos to share; still learning about the options with the new camera.  I'll have more later one today.
These grands make my heart sing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Favorites Part 2

Happy Friday!  I hope your week has been productive and fulfilling, no matter what your circumstances.
I continue to be amazed when I hear friends sharing about their lives, living with stage 4 cancer and how much joy and hope they have; I always want to live like that regardless of what is looming on the horizon.
I decided to share a few more photos of my Christmas decorations and am missing our camera so; we are still waiting to hear it is on its way to us, all fixed.  Meanwhile I struggle with our old camera, but I'm still thankful that we have a digital camera at all.

My first and original village started by my mother in law.  We always set it up on the dining room buffet.
My antique school desk with a few snowman.
A bit blurry but this is my nativity scene that I got about 28 years ago; I still love it.
What more could be said?  I love the figurine with the angel bowing before the baby Jesus.

We are going out to run errands this morning and later on I will have Miss S, age 6, over to put a binding on a quilt she made for her cousin.  Got to love seeing your hobbies/passions passed on to the next generations.
On a side note:  our sweet Reggie has been having mild seizures and I'm growing more concerned about him. As many know, back in the summer, after a major grand Mal seizure, the vet said he probably only had 3-4 weeks.  We've now had 4 mos. and I love the days of grace with him.  The seizure he had on Saturday and today are very small; more like he can't walk steady and has overall weakness.  I pray we have many more days with him and trust that when its time, I will know-not a minute too soon or too late.
Blessings on your weekend dear friends.  Noreen

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Thursday to you!  I have a list of thanks a mile long each day but just want to focus on a few items today.  
Yesterday I drove down the road apiece, about 45 minutes to meet my two blogging buddies for lunch.  I have known Marlene, on the left, and Pam,on the right, for about 3 yrs now.  These ladies are incredible women of faith, nanas, moms and bloggers; plus they are just fun to spend time with.  We try to get together every three to four months as schedules allow and I cherish the time we spend together.  Marlene is an accomplished writer and I always love hearing if she has any new stories in the works.I got to meet two of Marlene's grands and also her daughter-what a wonderful family.   Pam does childcare for her grands and that touches my heart; having done childcare in my home for years makes me reflect on that time when I hear her stories.  I am so thankful that the Lord brought us together, via blogs, to share fellowship.  There are a couple of other ladies down the road that I haven't met but would like to. 
We had a wonderful lunch in an old home that was built in the 1890's and converted to a very nice restaurant. I should have taken a photo of my salad because it was so good! 
Today I'm off to bible study, which I am thankful for, and later we head up to the mountains to have dinner with friends.  I just hope it isn't snowing this afternoon and evening while we are traveling. 
I hope you have a wonderful day filled with the Love of Jesus; don't forget to stop and give thanks for the blessings in your life.
Hugs, Noreen

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Pet Parade

Good Morning Friends, You know how much I've enjoyed participating in many of the weekly themes,so I wanted to join Bunny Jean again with the following photos.  I have to admit these two fellas aren't pets but I think they epitomize Christmas in a child's eye.   Each year our local Golf & Country Club, where hubby works, brings these two beauties in for the month of December. I'm not sure where they come from but we love sending our grands over to see them.  Don't forget to visit Bunny Jean's blog and see all the cute pets participating in the Pet Parade.

I attended my first Christmas party last night and it was such fun!  Today, I'm headed down the road to meet my two blogging friends for lunch.  We are a tad bit warmer today at 14 degrees, seems downright balmy out. Hope you are having a good week so far.
Blessings,  Noreen

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tablescape Tuesday

I have often admired the creative gals who share their beautiful table settings each Tuesday.  Very don't have guests for dinner very much, so I never had one to share.  Last night, we had some neighbors over for a holiday dinner and I wanted the table to look extra festive.  I took this shot before I lit the candles and if I could have, would have added more bling to the table.

I found the red chargers at a garage sale this summer and I think I only paid $2.00 for them, got to love a bargain!  I had the place mats but just found the red linen napkins at Target; added some fake Holly to them and loved this look.  The red candle luminaries were from another garage sale and I added little tea lights as well.  I had some gold spirals that I also put on the table; I can tell you that it was so fun to get so festive.  The water glasses were from an estate sale that dear hubby had found years ago but forgot we had. 
A great time was had by all and I think I've been bitten by the tablescape bug, I want to do it again.
Hope you are staying warm today, it was -2 last night and just 5 degrees here this morning. 
Blessings,  Noreen

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy Monday to you dear friends.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend, we certainly did.  On Saturday a package arrived from Teresa, aka Grammy Girlfriend; I had won some vintage ornaments and was so excited when they came.

I love this box!

This cross is beautiful-can't wait to hang it up.
This has got a bit of glare-so sorry but also will look stunning on my tree.
I love the silver balls-in fact hope to use it on my table tonight for a dinner we are hosting. The long ornament reminds me so much of the type my mom used to have.
A cute little Santa, a pillow that makes me smile, some bells and a glittery package will all add a special touch to my tree.
Teresa is a wonderful gal who decorates homes for Christmas, among other talents.  Her designs are incredible and after watching HGTV's Holiday Homes, I think she should be on this show-her designs are much better.  Poor Teresa hurt her ankle the other day while decorating, please go say hi to her and get to know her blog-you won't be sorry. 
It is also interesting that this weekend hubby and I went to a Holiday Home Tour, with six different homes, that was raising funds for our local high-schoolers.  I can say that Teresa's designs put these homes to shame.  It was fun but I am so in awe of Teresa's talents.
Thank you again Teresa!
Our temperature this morning is at 2 degrees-a bit cold to be outside, so hubby and I are doing all the prep for our guests tonight.  Have a great day. 
Hugs, Noreen

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Pet Parade

One of my blogging buddies, Bunny Jean of is hosting a fun and easy tribute to our beloved pets so I decided to participate, much to Reggie's dismay.  I will try to get a better photo of him in the coming days but for now this is about as good as it is going to be.  Please stop by Bunny Jean's blog and say hello and join in.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Thursday All~ Well, I would love this to be our farm but it isn't, however this is what we woke up to this morning-another 7" of white stuff.  I'm thankful that hubby and I are still able to get out and shovel; Reggie is thankful that we actually clear a walkway for him and a large patch of grass.
I am thankful that I am able to stay home today even though it means missing my weekly bible study; a kick- back snow day sounded much better to me.  I am thankful that we had a good time last night with our friends at the dinner theater and that it wasn't snowing on our way home.  I am thankful for this wonderful season and the celebration of our Lord's birth.  I am thankful for collections that span time and bring back many fun memories.  I am thankful for good friends here and far; they certainly make life more fun!
Have a blessed day, Noreen

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Christmas Things

Happy Wednesday to you!  I've been mentioning decorating our nest for Christmas so thought I'd share a few of my favorite things with you.  Most of my collections are almost 20 yrs old and I only add candles and small items now.

My snowman collection goes nicely on top of our kitchen cabinets.  This is one area of our home that I love-a big country kitchen with tons of space.
My dear sister of my heart gave this Lizzie High Collection to me about 20+ yrs ago; I still love it and think of her constantly during the holidays.
I love the look of these candles with the angel.  My sister gave the angel to me the year before she went home to glory.
Our puzzle table in the family room; my bff Barb in California made this Snowman wall hanging for me last year and also gave us the cute snow couple figurine several years ago.  Boy does she know me well.
This is the smaller of my two Victorian villages; my girls and hubby gave me this 20+ yrs ago, the same year my sweet mil started me on a Dickens Village.  I haven't put this up for several years but this year decided it would look great in the corner of you family room.  It is the perfect place for it; I will show my other collection when it is lit up-hubby always puts it up.

Our sleigh in the family room-I often take photos of the grands in it.
I always love seeing how other gals decorate-it give a glimpse into who they are. 
We are headed to a dinner theater tonight, our friends are taking us as a thank you for dog/bird sitting this summer.  It should be so much fun but we are also expecting a huge snowstorm during the night and tomorrow.  I guess winter has finally decided to arrive.
Blessings, Noreen