Saturday, December 31, 2022

Last Day of 2022

I went to church this morning [worship service was today instead of tomorrow], and the children played their bells.  So adorable and a great way to ring out the old year and ring in the new! 

Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for lunch - thank you Brandon, for the Christmas Gift Card. We're home now and relaxing.  No plans for going out to celebrate.  We'll watch the crystal ball drop in Times Square on TV.

I went through all my 2022 posts in preparation for writing 'The Year in Review' post.  It was a good year with much to be thankful for.

The rest of my day will be spent going through three new books [and maybe squeezing in a nap since it feels like Sunday].  The J.L. Hudson book I pre-ordered finally arrived and it's a BIG one - weighs about 7 lbs.  Today's a great day for browsing through it.

And two charcuterie books.  I went to a Hallmark store right before Christmas to buy a card and came out with two books!  Wonder if there's a tea-themed charuterie tray/board?

While I was finishing up this post my hubby brought the mail into my office.  I treated myself to a knee massager that had high reviews and a 60-day money back guarantee, and it arrived today. Will let you know if it works in case anyone out there in 'blog land' has knee issues like me.

Now I'm off to make myself a cup of tea to sip while browsing my books.  I wish you all a happy and safe New Year's Eve!  I'll be back in 2023!

Friday, December 30, 2022

A Cardinal Tablescape

Since I was gifted with several cardinal items for Christmas this year, I decided to put together a tablescape using all the dishware I've accumulated so far.  If you've followed my blog very long, you know I have a weakness for dishes, but I try to be reasonable and only purchase [or put on my 'wish list'] what I know I'll use.  I especially enjoy putting together themed tablescapes.

The dishes in this tablescape are gifts from two other Christmases in addition to this year - the Tartan Plaid dinner plates are from Williams-Sonoma Christmas 2017 as well as the cardinal teapot from Simpson & Vail. The Pointsettia Holly Plaid teacups by Grace Teaware, are from Christmas 2020.  I have the teapot, cream and sugar to match, but since this is a cardinal theme, I used the cardinal teapot.  I gifted myself with the Lefton Cardinal Sugar & Creamer and matching teacups in 2019.

After all the pictures were taken and the dishes put away it dawned on me I should have used my small vintage, emerald green Anchor Hocking vases with a poinsettia flower at each place setting. [Note to self for next time!]

I will probably have the photo below made into a notecard.

The salad or dessert plates from Christmas this year are Stechcol Gracie Bone China.  There's no pattern name on the backstamp, but they pair perfectly with the plates from Williams-Sonoma.  It's fun to mix and match.

I'm anxiously waiting for the Lenox cardinal napkin rings to arrive in the mail from E-bay.

Do you have a fondness for dishware and enjoy collecting them?

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Christmas Day 2022

Christmas Day was a quiet, relaxing day at home.  Hubby got a roaring fire going in the fire place, we watched Christmas movies, and ate leftovers - lots of leftovers! 

My family was very good to me with lovely gifts, some of which were tea related.  A tea-themed sweatshirt from Izzy...

Tea from Ellie in a Queen Elizabeth commemorative tin...

Tea and chocolate covered cherries from Landon...  [They do know what their Nana likes!]

In addition to tea, Cardinal gifts were dominant...  two cardinal pillow covers

A cardinal figurine [I already had the lantern], cardinal table topper, and eight plaid/cardinal salad plates.  I can hardly wait to do a tablescape using them.  I ordered Lenox cardinal napkin rings on E-bay today.

I'm going to be warm and cozy this winter with a flannel sheet set [which is already on our bed], two nightgowns, and two pairs of slippers.

My Seiko watch has been faithful for over 15 years [and is still ticking], but the technicians at the clinic where I get my laser knee treatments laugh at its small face and wonder how I can possibly see the time.  ;-)  So my hubby got me a new watch for Christmas.  I'm not high tech so I didn't want a Smartwatch.  I'm very happy with my new Citizen watch with a larger face, and look forward to showing it off at Pain Free Life Clinic!  ;-)

I also received Amazon, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster gift cards.  So many lovely tangible gifts, but the greatest 'Gift' of all is God's Son, Jesus, the Reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Christmas Eve "at Home"

We moved into our house in 1978, and a few years later my mother-in-law passed the torch of hosting the Christmas Eve family gathering on to me, and it's been at our house for at least the last 35 years. This year Steve asked if it was getting too much for me, but so far so good. The tradition keeps our family connected and I'm not ready for it to break off into individual family gatherings. We're making memories our children and grandchildren will remember after we are gone, and they have Christmas Day to celebrate with their individual families.

Hubby getting ready to put lights on the tree trunk this year.

Neither my daughter or daughters-in-law are asked to contribute to the meal because this is my treat to the family.  This year we had 14 for dinner and the meal began with a bacon, shrimp and corn chowder.  It was yummy and the recipe was requested.  I prepared an Italian menu even though we're not Italian - Chicken Parmesan, Italian Sausage and Peppers, Lasagna roll-ups, and Cheesy Potatoes and Corn Pudding [the grandchildren's favorite side dishes].  Rolls were Food Network Sandra Lee's semi-homemade [Rhodes frozen yeast rolls brushed with a melted butter mixture of ranch-style dressing mix, and chopped dried thyme and rosemary before baking].  Granddaughter Brooke always requests them.  Granddaughter, Brianna, is gluten free so I made glulten-free spaghetti and meatballs for her.  Dessert was two birthday cakes for Jesus - a chocolate mound cake that I made, and a decorated cassata cake from the local Italian bakery. My daughter [of her own choosing] brought two plates of decorated Christmas cookies. Beverages were hot spiced cider, coffee, and black flavored Snowflake [coconut] tea.

Knowing I'd be attending a Saturday morning Christmas Eve service at church, I began preparing the meal on Thursday and Friday.  The volume of food was more than I had room for in my refrigerator, so I used the cold garage.  The 5 degree outdoor temperatures froze everything, but but it was easily remedied by longer heating in the oven and stovetop.  

Mother Nature put us under a winter weather warning with threats of several inches of snow, but fortunately we only got a light dusting, so our gathering plans weren't thwarted.  Jeremy drives the farthest - about 67 miles.

We got home from church around 12:30 and I swung into action.  Dinner was set for 5:00 o'clock.

Our tree was almost identical to last year's except for a new angel and the addition of gold and white poinsettia flowers.  It takes so much time to decorate and has to come down so quickly.

Jerry took pics of the tables while I was busy in the kitchen.  The six grands [single and ranging in age from 10 to 33] ate at a table in the family room, while our kids and their spouses ate at the table in the dining area.

Jeremy arrived with his family first so Jerry got a picture of them by the Christmas tree.  It's the only family picture we got - the rest were taken individually when gifts were opened.

After dinner we went into the family room to hear the Christmas Story read from Luke, Chapter 2 by our youngest grandchild, Ellie. 

Then it was time for presents.  We always take turns opening gifts from the youngest to the oldest.  That way we get to see what everybody received.  I didn't get pictures of everyone opening their presents, but I got a few.  Ellie went first.

~ Brooke ~

Brianna - who got to come home from Nashville [which was colder than Michigan] and Sharon

~ Steve ~

~ Lori & Dave ~

After gifts, I read Tom Hegg's book, A Cup of Christmas Tea.

Then the grands changed into their comfy flannel pj's, and just before we were about to have our birthday cake for Jesus, the doorbell rang.  It was Tiffany, John, and the girls who decided to stop by after they left John's family.  It brought our count to 18 and our family was all together with the exception of one granddaughter. Evie and Jules brought in some of the toys they received at their paternal grandparents house, and Landon and Ellie played Hungry Hippo with Evie...

...while Izzy played princess with Jules.

It was a fun Christmas Eve celebration and everyone departed for home around midnight.  Thank you, Lord, for your many blessings to our family.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Celebrating Christmas at Daughter Lori's

My daughter invited us to her home on Friday afternoon/evening, December 23rd, to celebrate with her daughter, Tiffany, son-in-law, John, and sweet little granddaughters Evelyn [Evie] and Juliette [Jules], and Lori's son, Brandon.  Tiff, John and the girls came to our house on Christmas Eve last year but they rotate with John's family, so this was the year to be with them, hence the early Friday evening Christmas gathering.  

Lori prepared a delicious ham dinner with all the trimmings, while Evie and Jules patiently waited till it was time to open gifts.  It was the year for Disney princess gifts - Belle for Evie and Elsa for Jules.  Lori and I were on the same wavelength [unbeknownst to each other] because Belle and Elsa were the gifts of the day for the girls.

They opened their stockings from Lori and Dave first.

Hubby and I gave Jules an Elsa doll [who has big blue eyes like Jules] and a Disney Frozen Fair Isle sweater [clothes always pale in comparison to toys! ;-)].

We got Evie a Disney Belle Time Teacher watch, since she's in kindergarten and will soon be learning how to tell time.  It has a glittery pink watchband, which is her favorite color.  It was fun giving Evie her first watch.  Tiffany said she still remembers getting her first watch. 

Tiffany got a wool cape and hat.

John got a wool Gatsby Cap, but I didn't get a picture of him wearing it.  Brandon got a gift card from Dick's Sporting Goods Store - no picture of him either.

[Tiffany, Evie, John and Jules]

The girls celebrated Christmas at their house before coming to Lori's.  They were excited to have three Christmases - 1 at home, 1 at Lori's and 1 at their paternal grandparent's house.

John posted the picture below on Facebook of their home that's over 100 years old.  I think it looks like it's from a Hallmark movie or Christmas card.

Christmas Eve at my house next post.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

MERRY  CHRISTMAS from me to you!

I took the above picture the first Christmas I worked at The Whitney [2018], and turned it into a Christmas card this year. 

My daughter took the picture below of hubby and me at her house on Friday night, December 23, 2022.

Our annual Birthday cake for Jesus at our family gathering on Christmas Eve.

More Christmas photos coming in a separate post.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Live Nativity and Christmas Candlelight Service

Sunday evening was the live nativity and candlelight service at church.   It was bitter cold - 29 degrees - but the animals didn't seem to mind, and we were all bundled up and prepared for the cold.

We got there early and arrived before the animals.  ;-)  The trailer below transported 2 camels, a cow, donkey, llama, 2 goats, sheep, and some ducks.  Amazing!  The children loved being able to pet and feed them.

A group of teens from the Romeo High School Choir came and sang Christmas carols - outside and inside during the candlelight service.

The Romeo High School Drama Club portrayed Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds and Wisemen.

At 6:00 p.m. we went inside for the candlelight service.   Some of the members of the Romeo High School Choir sang a couple of songs and Pastor Steve gave a devotional before we lit our candles, singing Silent Night.

Our daughter and son-in-law came and brought Evie and Juliette [their granddaughters and our great-granddaughters].  

I wore a black fur hat to keep me warm outside, and had to leave it on inside to avoid staticky 'hat hair.'  My hubby said I looked Russian!  ;-)

It was a great way to begin the week leading up to Christmas.   My Christmas and grocery shopping for Christmas Eve are done, and I'm looking forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord.

This last picture came through my Facebook feed this morning and it was so cute I had to share it.  I don't know who the little guy is, but he's adorable and guaranteed to put a smile on your face!