Saturday, December 26, 2009

'Twas the Day After Christmas . . .

. . . And all through the house, not a creature was stirring.
Not even a mouse!

(Our stockings, including one for the cats, as they appeared in the morning.)

Okay, we did stir, but just barely! We took a nice easy day yesterday, but after the hectic race of the last year (or more), we're all tired today anyway. We started Christmas morning off with a nice big breakfast. Cleaned up from that, sang some Christmas hymns, read the story of Jesus' birth as told in Luke 1 & 2, then decided to head up to open presents at about 2:00pm.

(Elizabeth and her cat, Monika, are ready to open their stocking!)

We aren't the type who like to rush through the presents in a general free-for-all manner. We all sit around the tree and open presents in turn, each watching every present that's opened --- properly admiring things, of course! Our general theme this year, as far as gifts, was "homemade", so there was a lot of "oo-ing" and "ah-ing" and the like, so we weren't through with things for several hours.

(Dad is really happy about his new ID bracelet . . . or is it the chocolate bar?)

There will be pictures coming of all the homemade presents soon, but we've been out shopping all afternoon! My great family gave me some wonderful presents! To name a few: a Wilson cake turner, a cupcake cookbook, needle-felting needles, argyle socks and 300 Victrola needles! Not to mention that my Grandmother gave me my Grampa's school ring! (More on that in another post, though it's visible on my hand in the pic below!) What more could a girl ask for?!

The picture above shows Elizabeth and me with some of our gifts. Click the pic to enlarge it, if you want to. The framed picture is a famous emblem for the campaign to end slavery in the 1800s. Elizabeth actually drew that for me! She's such a great sister! The little blanket on my lap is a present from Mom and Elizabeth. They made a crib size blanket with "Jungle Babies" material and dinosaur fabric for my one-day-to-be nursery. Elizabeth is holding some of her Smurf stuff and a new Nancy Drew book that she's nuts about! More to come on the Smurfs etc. . . .

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly . . .

Christmas Decorations Post #3
We love to deck our halls, though we use lots more than just holly to do it! Here are some more "general" pictures of decorations for you all to see.

Pic #1: Our Dining Room on Christmas morning.
Pic #2: Music Room Display of Old Candles
Pic #3: Music Room and front door with a small tree.

Pic #1: Elizabeth's Creamer Cabinet with lots of 1950s Santa things.
Pic #2: Upstairs Hall to TV Room/Library
Pic #3: Dresser in Mom and Dad's Room (the Christmas pic in back on left is Dad's parents by their Christmas tree in Cuba in the 1950s).

Pic #1: Dad's Bathroom Counter
Pic #2: Tree in Dad's Bathroom w/Hand Painted Ornaments
Pic #3: Tree in TV Room which is decorated using only old balls from 1930s to 1950s! Collecting these is a passion of ours, and this is the first year that we've had enough balls to do the entire tree!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas: It's All About JESUS . . .

When it comes right down to it, He's the only thing that really matters.

That's the message inside of our Christmas cards (which we haven't mailed yet!?) and it's so true. Remember that He is the reason we're celebrating. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

"I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas . . ."

Christmas Decorations Post #2
Here is another batch of pics showing of the decorations around here. I've taken a bunch more, but it takes a while to get them uploaded, so there will be more posts to come. The first shot is our "main" Nativity, which is in the living room. When we were little (that seems like a while ago!), Mom and Dad bought a new piece for us of this nativity each year.

Well, like I said last time, there's a lyric for everything and I am certainly dreaming of a white Christmas. We've had snow for the past three or four days and it's lovely. According to the weather however, we're supposed to have rain and 41 degrees on Christmas day. Ugh. But hey, it might not be the first time that the weather men are wrong.

These next three pics are more decorations in the living room. The tree is a seven ft. silver tinsel tree, so all the balls are shiny, glittery, silver, gold and/or a shade of red. The first picture is our sheet music cabinet decked out for the holidays, and (in the second pic) the wood stove is not to be left out either!

Now for our tiny downstairs bathroom. This is a would-be closet turned into a half bath. Mom uses it for all of her old-fashioned elves and plastic stuff that is left from, or just like, stuff that she had when she was a kid. It also receives the Cuban touch with our "Feliz Navidad" decor!

Well, that's all for now folks, but tune in again tomorrow, same time, same place, for another installment. (Gotta go finish a Christmas surprise while Mom and Elizabeth are still out grocery shopping!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . ."

Christmas Decorations Post #1
As the songwriter says, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas"! I love lyrics. Did you know that there is a lyric for just about every situation? And this one is certainly very appropriate for our house in the last two weeks.

We really like Christmas decorations. Wait, let me say it again, just so that you understand me. We really like Christmas decorations. In fact, we have about 35 large storage bins full of them --- and that doesn't count the 11 artificial trees or boxes full of decorative picks!

There are way too many pictures to put up in one post, so I'll have to separate them. We still have a dresser top, a small tree and our bedroom to finish (today's projects) before we can finally take all of these bins back up to the attic. These pictures are close-ups of the kitchen decorations. The one above is the top of the fridge and freezer. I just finished that last night, except that we still have to hang the ornaments on the tree up there.

We've tried to get a tree and a nativity in every room, and I think that except for one bathroom, we've made it! The other three photos are the area over our kitchen cabinets. I'll get some pictures showing the whole kitchen soon! We also have another (larger) Christmas tree, but I can't get a good picture yet.

We decided to put a lot of the more "whimsical" decorations in the kitchen. A lot of the old Santa things, gingerbread men and the like. The more "traditional" look is in the living room, music room and TV room. More pics coming soon . . .

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember Pearl Harbor!

December 7, 1941. FDR called it a day of infamy. It's a day that every American should remember. Sadly, I think, it is usually forgotten. Thanks to all those brave GIs and fighting men we still enjoy the freedom in this country that we know today. It's amazing that Pearl Harbor happened 68 years ago! Wow!
As the songwriter wrote: "God bless America, land that I love . . ."

(This is also the day that Dad starts his new job! Talk about a day that should live in infamy!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Goodbye, Aline. We loved you.

Two days ago we had to put one of our adorable kitties to sleep. Aline had been born in our dining room on April 15, 2006, along with six brothers and sisters. We still have four of them; the others have all gone to sleep. Aline was a sweet little thing and a true lover. She probably had cancer and she was just born old. We are very thankful for the three & a half years that we had her. Here's a cute pic of her.

On a happy note: here is a picture that I just took of Samwise about five minutes ago. Isn't he the cutest cat ever?! I sure love him a lot.

We've all been busy around here getting our Christmas shopping finished and working on our homemade presents. I'm dying to post pictures of what I am making for Elizabeth . . . but she reads this blog, so I'll just have to wait a few weeks! ;) Tomorrow is Mom's birthday, so I need to go get started making a birthday cake. More later.