Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 16 - Precious Child of Mine...

Day 16

Things I am grateful for....

My family.  My friends.  My dogs.  My memories.  My today.  My health.  My faith.  My home.  My job.  The beautiful mountains where I live.   Seeing who my children have grown up to be and completely overwhelmed by them...

Amanda.   A wonderful mother.  A beautiful soul.  Forgiving.  Loving.  Her laughter makes me smile and watching her in her beautiful home, with her family brings happiness to my heart.   As a little girl, she loved She-Ra and Rainbow Brite.   She loved going to the park and hated to leave.  I had a really really really rough time during her arrival into this world.   Her dad was in the Marines, and in the Mediteran Sea during that time.  I had her at Camp LeJeune NC, just barely 18 years old and no classes or advice at all on natural childbirth.   My grandmother was with me until time for the delivery room, God bless her.   I really thought I would die... actually I don't think I was able to think clearly at all.  No pain meds.  But later, when we got home from the hospital.  Amanda was 2 days old and my mom had also arrived so there hadnt been much time for me to do much with this new little baby.  In the middle of the night, she cried and mom and nanny were both sleeping and I had my first real time alone with my new baby girl.  We sat in the white rocking chair and she looked at me, and I looked at her and the emotion is not possible to put into words.  

Mary.  Words just cannot describe how proud I am of this beautiful child who is my daughter.  Her life has not always been easy.  Her art as a child blew me away.  Her writing in incredible.   Her imagination... incredible.   She didn't live with me during her growing up years but we have found our mother and daughter bond now and it is unbreakable.   I miss her and wish she was near to me physically.  But she followed her soul to Canada and has found at last her heart in England.  But in my soul, she is always by my side.  I remember  sitting in the hospital room with her, all alone after her birth.  I looked into her eyes and a wonderful love that does nothing but grows was born.   She is a wonderful writer.  Artist.  A beautiful heart and soul.   She stands strong for what is right and wrong.   I can close my eyes and lose myself with the memory of her as a beautiful child and I see her as the amazing adult she is.  

Robert.   The only son I gave birth to.  I remember being in the delivery room and I remember the moment he came into this world and the doctor said you have a son.   A little boy who was full of smiles and laughter and getting into trouble.  Who loved his big dog Fred.  Who cried when his father left and wouldn't eat much for two weeks.  And at barely 11, came to me and said Mom if you and Dad get back together, you will just fight.  I want us to be happy.  And he hugged me and gave me every bit of the strength I needed to move forward.   There were a few rough years when he was a teenager and young adult.... and as his mom, I worried so much about him.  But God took care of him  and we all made it through.  Just like us all, his life experiences made him a wonderful man today.  A fantastic father.  A wonderful provider to his little family.  A good person who would give the shirt off his back to someone who really needed it.  That beautiful little boy - grown into a good man.

Justin.  No, I did not give birth to this son, who is such a blessing to our family and to my life.  He entered our life when he was about 12 - best friend of my son Robert.   Justin went through the next few years with some family challenges that either make a person or break one.  This young man - any hardships he faced only made him into a better person.    He became my son when he was 12 and things were going bad in his home and he put his arms around my neck and cried into my soul.  I cannot express the love I have for him or how proud of him that I am.  He is a wonderful father to 2 beautiful little girls and he works so hard to take care of his family.  Our family would not be complete without him. 

Susan.  My beautiful little one.  She weighed under five pounds when she was born.  Such a beautiful baby with big dark eyes.  Nanny always told me I would remember how little she was when I picked up a five pound bag of sugar - because she weighed less than that.   So tiny.  So perfect.  Growing up so close to her brother, Robert.  She loved the Ninja turtles as much as he did.  Riding bikes.  Getting into trouble.  Jumping on the beds.   Shy.  Beautiful.    She is a loyal friend and her family is at the top of her priority list.  She is a incredible mom to three beautiful little babies.  She is down to earth -- real.  Human.  Her faith is strong and her beliefs unwavering.    She is part of my soul and has always been.   She was always the rock I leaned on when things got rough with her brother all those years ago.   She knows the real me.  Probably the only person who ever will.   Susan has suffered great loss in her life.  Incredible sadness.   She had come very close to death too many times.  But God has been merciful and I thank him every day for that gift.  

Rebecca.  My last baby.  She came into this world weighing 5 pounds and 6 ounces.  Bringing her into this world was pretty easy and she decided to arrive while the doctor stepped out to get a cup of coffee :-)    We all adored her and her beautiful curls.  She had definite likes and dislikes and made them known to us all.  She still does.  She loved Blues Clues.  She has a huge collection of bunnies from when she was younger.  Huge.   She loved the holidays and camping and playing.  In the eighth grade she won her first art competition.  That is when I discovered what a wonderful artist she is.  She lost her best friend a couple of years ago.   Part of the sparkle in her eyes left when Jessie left us.
Becky is loyal and is not afraid to speak her mind.  She will gladly tell you her opinion and does not care whether you want to hear it or not.   She loves her family and is a wonderful aunt to all of her nieces and nephews.  She has a soft spot for the babies.  After her graduation from high school, she is now working and I am so proud of how hard she is working and the accomplishments with her very first job.   She loves pink.  And sparkles.  And Audrey Hepburn.   As a child and today, she amazes me with her beauty - outward beauty and who she is on the inside..  

I do not know why this life has given me the above blessings.  I do not deserve the wonder and the joy of each of these souls that I call my own.  But I am grateful.  Eternally.  I can't question why I can only say Thank You and  Every moment for the rest of my life the Thank yous wouldn't be enough. 

Day 16 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

2004 - My daughter Amanda and one of her daughters - Kaylen <3

Day 16 - December Photography Challenge 


My grandson Timmy made this fresh wreath.  They are going to decorate it but I wanted to share the beauty of this Christmas greenery <3

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Gift of Sharing Four Days.....

Day 12

Memory of Christmas Past

This month, doing this blog challenge and doing the Christmas Past photos, lots and lots of memories to sort through.   I guess I have been very blessed.. because all of my Christmas memories are good ones. 

Going back to 1989 -  Robert was 3 and Susan was 1.  We lived in a apartment.  My bedroom had a 1/2 bathroom and I decided to use this bathroom to store the Christmas "stuff".  I wrapped the presents and put them into this bathroom.   Then I would lock the push button lock.  It was a great place.  No way would the kids find it....

One evening I went to the grocery store.   I went alone so the kids were there with their father.   When I came back, I couldn't find Robert anywhere.  It really scared me.  I started yelling at his father "Where is Robby" "   He didn't know, thought he was in his room playing.

I had all kinds of horrible thoughts about him getting out the door, wandering off.  I almost got hysterical because Robby wasn't in his room, or anywhere else in the apartment....and then I noticed it.

The light coming out from under the door to the little bathroom.

I slowly walked to the door and opened it and there he was.

My three year old, Robert.  With his eyes dancing and pure joy on his face.

He had opened ALL of the presents.  ALL of them. 

There he sat on that little bathroom floor with dolls, toys, gift wrap of every color strewn all around.  I would give so much today if I had a picture of that moment.

After I got him out of there and I don't even remember what I told him....... I had to clean up and rewrap everything.....and by the time Christmas morning came... he acted just as happy and just as excited with what Santa actually left for him <3

Day 12 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

2004 -  Becky <3

Day 12 - December Photography Challenge

cup of hot cocoa or cider....

So sorry, it just HAD to be coffee......

Day 13

Christmas Music

What better but the words to my favorite Christmas Song

What Child is This....

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spears shall pierce him through,
the cross he bore for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The babe, the Son of Mary.

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Day 13 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

2003 - Church Christmas Play... Mary got to play Mary and Susan was an angel.

Day 13 December Photography Challenge


Day 14

the "smell" of Christmas

In our house, we love to burn scented candles.   Apples, Cinnamon, White Linen... and the list goes on and on.   There is always one burning somewhere in the house when we are home.

But at Christmas time..... all of the scents are wonderful but nothing is quite like the wonderful smell when the tree first comes into the house.   

Day 14 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share
2005 -- Justin, Robert and that little baby puppy is my Tyson 

Day 14 - December Photography Challenge

Traveled back in time a bit for this picture.....it's a little blurry but the look in my little granddaughter, Kaidyns eyes defines Joy I beleive....

Day 15

Christmas Visitors

Some may write about people with this prompt... but the first thing that came to me were the following Christmas visitors

The spirit of Giving
The joy of Sharing
The love of Family and Friends
The Faith of the celebration
The Quiet of the snowfall
The beauty of the twinkling lights
Being Uplifted by the music...

The Magic with the little children waiting for Santa
The Peace on Christmas Eve...

I just hope to carry as many of these Christmas visitors with me all year long.

Day 15 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

2004 - Susan, Mary and Becky

Day 15 - December Photography Challenge
Favorite Holiday Movie..

My favorite holiday Movies are...


Santa Claus - the movie

Nester, the Long Eared Christmas Donkey

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Days 10 & 11 - Wrapping Paper and Christmas Music

Day 10

"Things that make you Think of Christmas"

Decorating a Christmas Tree
Decorating the House
Christmas Cookies
Baby Jesus
Santa Claus
Wrapping Presents
Christmas Cards
Christmas Music
Spirit of Giving
Family Gatherings
Candy Canes
Manger Scene
Light Displays
Stories of Kindness
Jingle Bells Ringing

Day 10 Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

Christmas 2009 --One of my Beautiful granddaughters - Lily <3

Day 10 Photography Challenge

Wrapping Paper

Here is some of it .....haven't used any yet.  Hopefully I won't procrastinate and wait until Christmas Eve....... 
Who me????  lol

Day 11

The Tree

Sharing....The Littlest Christmas Tree

The littlest Christmas tree,
lived in a meadow of green,
Among a family,
of tall evergreens,
He learned how to whisper,
the evergreen song,
with the slightest of wind,
that came gently along.

He watched as the birds,
made a home out of twigs,
and couldn't wait till, 
he too was big.
For all of the trees,
offered a home,
the maple, the pine, and the oak,
who's so strong.

"I hate being little",
the little tree said,
"I can't even turn colors,
like the maple turns red",
"I can't help the animals,
like the mighty old oak",
"He shelters them all,
in his wide mighty cloak".

The older tree said,
"Why little tree you don't know?
The story of a mighty king,
from the land with no snow?"
Little tree questioned,
"A land with no snow?"
"Yes!" said old tree,
"A very old story,
from so long ago".

"A star appeared, 
giving great light,
over a manger, 
on long winters night.
A baby was born, 
a king of all kings,
and with him comes love, 
over all things."

"He lived in a country,
all covered in sand,
and laid down his life,
to save all of man.'

Little tree thought of the gift
given by him,
then the big tree said with the 
happiest grin,
"We're not just trees,
but a reminder of that day,
there's a much bigger part,
of a role that we play!"

"For on Christmas eve,
my life I'll lay down,
in exchange for a happier,
loving ground.
And as I stand dying,
they'll adorn me in trim,
this all will be done,
in memory of him".

"Among a warm fire, 
with family and friends,
in the sweet songs of Christmas,
I'll find my great end,
then ever so gently,
he'll come down to see,
and take me to heaven,
Jesus and me".

"So you see little tree,
we are not like the oak,
who shelters all things,
beneath his great cloak.
Nor are we like the maple
in fall,
who's colors leave many,
standing in awe".

"The gift that we give,
is ourselves, limb for limb,
the greatest of honor,
in memory of him".

The little tree bowed, 
his head down and cried,
and thought of the king, 
who willingly died.
For what kind of gift,
can anyone give?
Then to lay down your life,
when you wanted to live.

A swelling of pride 
came over the tree,
Can all of this happen?
Because of just me?
Can I really bring honor?
By adorning a home?
By reminding mankind,
that he's never alone?

With this thought, little tree,
began singing with glee,
Happy and proud,
to be a true Christmas tree.

You can still hear them singing,
even the smallest in height,
singing of Christmas,
and that one holy night.

Day 11 - Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

Christmas 2010 -- Amanda, Teresa, Susan, Ela, Gwen and Kaylen <3

Day 11  Photography Challenge

Christmas Music

My favorite place for Christmas music this year...
You tube :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Day 9 - Traditions

Day 9

Christmas Traditions.

As a child, when I lived with my grandparents, I remember how my mom would send huge boxes via greyhound buses (there was no UPS or FEDEX) and the bus service I think was easy to use...anyway, her boxes would be filled with wrapped presents.  So many.  I really looked forward to those huge boxes :-)

Later, when I was 12, I moved to New York with my mom and step-dad -- who quickly became my dad.   My dad worked 6 days a week - every week.  Only off on Sundays and the only holiday he ever took was Christmas Day.

He got home from work every night at 10:07 pm..

Our Christmas as a family was Christmas Eve.  We would open presents at midnight.  I can still remember being so excited for him to come home from work so we could open the presents.

My mom absolutely loved Christmas and the entire house would be decorated.  She even had little Christmas decorations sitting around in the bathroom.

For Christmas dinner we always had her homemade lasagna.

After I grew up and started a family of my own, I kept the tradition of decorating -- a lot but still not as much as my mom :-)   Our Christmas has always been on Christmas morning because of Santa...with my own children.

Now that there are beautiful grandchildren and my kids mostly have families of their own, we get together as a family on the Saturday before Christmas.   Gifts for all the children and drawing names and gift exchange for the adults.   The food is usually light and the house is full and it is wonderful!

My daughter Mary lives far away in Canada and we miss her so much .  Another daughter, Amanda and her family will be moving to Colorado in the not too distant future and Mary may be moving to England.  So the memories of all the Christmas' past will be even more special.   We will continue this tradition in our family with those still here in Virginia and maybe as the kids grow up and their children begin families this family Christmas gathering will continue with them all - no matter where in the world they may be.

So with two of my kids and some of my grandkids moving -- I guess this Nana will become a friend of the airlines again :-)   I look forward to seeing Colorado and the Rocky Mountains -- and who would have ever thought that I would get in a plane and ride in it across the Atlantic to England.  But that will be in my future too.

It has also been a wonderful thing to see my kids start their own traditions with their own families.  <3

Day 9 -  Christmas Past Photo Memory Share

2005 - Christmas party at Duncan Acura Audi - where I worked for 10 years!  I still miss my Duncan family there.

Santa arrived in a red convertible with gifts for all the kids. 
Becky was 9 that year so she got to visit with Santa

Day 9

Photography Challenge


This is the first thing that came to mind.... Amanda's little baby - Sadie.