Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where DiD it GO?

Christmas has come (sound of a Texas tornado) and gone (deafening silence).

I love the Christmas season, for so many reasons. Aside from celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, it also feels like people open their hearts for more joy. We "make time" for those that we care about.

This year, for us, was the absolute height of happiness, and the reality of break your heart sadness.

I'll start with sad, so we can end with joy.

My MIL Jane spent 7 weeks in the hospital fighting cancer, a raging staph infection, and pneumonia. She is not through fighting altogether, but she did come home a few days after Christmas for hospice care. I have often described her as the quiet matriarch of our family, she is so much more.

All of our family spent alot of time at the hospital, but were determined to continue to share joy with others we loved.

So what else did the month of December bring to our household:

A progressive dinner party, including a marshmallow gun war with my staff

An awesome evening with Elfis and the Sleigh Riders

A luncheon for John's staff, they are simply amazing ladies, I love them so

A christmas card photo that made us love sweet Gracie even more (if that is possible)

A gingerbread house party, I had more fun than the kids

A quiet evening at home with one of my best friends

A Christmas Eve gathering with my family, ultimately we were "iced" in

A Christmas Day dinner with John's family, Rich & Lori are the ultimate hosts, it was wonderful

A Christmas evening with our kids

A Christmas "Santa" morning with our kids, I hope they never outgrow it!

The dreaded Christmas "undecorating" begins today (deep sigh).

It was our LCBM...(last Christmas before Mackenzie) year we will be grandparents. Actually, I am going to change this title to LCBG (last Christmas before grandchildren). John and I are so looking forward to this new experience. We are prayerfully hoping God blesses our children with their own precious angels. It would be so wonderful to have several little Spies & Spurlins rocking around the Christmas tree!

I hope to post before New Years, I hope to spend some quiet time reflecting on this year and what it has meant. Just in case...know that when you visit me here, it fills my heart with joy. Blogging has introduced me to so many new friends, and strengthened other relationships. I always look forward to your comments, to know that you were here. I encourage you to always leave a comment to the blogs you visit, to us it's like finding the golden Easter egg!

Thank you for being my friend, my loved one...Happy New Years! I can't wait to see what 2010 brings to our blessed family.

So for this one it truly was

A Merry Christmas to All....AND to all a Good Night

Monday, December 28, 2009


No time to post yet...but if you would like a "sneak peek" at our wonderful LCBM, click here:

Later...(hope your Christmas was wonderful...when are we going to get together?)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

KING Size Comfort

“Considering God decorated the heavens–His own dwelling place–it seems no less fitting for us to dress up our homes with strings of lights, carols that worship His name, and symbols and seasonal reminders to help us celebrate the birth of His Son. “ Karla Dornacher
I borrowed this from one of my favorite blogs (thank you Aunt Ruthie).

There are times that I feel guilty for decorating our home, and for having a "wealth" of beautiful things. Please, I'm not boasting, it is just that I do not make, have or collect anything for our home that I do not love.

My "wealth" of abundance is comprised of things that have been loved by our family for years and years, "treasures" (John and I often disagree on what is a treasure / smiling), dollar store things with "character" or maybe it's not really a Christmas decoration at all. But it has immense value - sentimental, romantic, not at all monetary.

So, as God decorated the heavens, I love to decorate our home. I don't know why, it's not like hundreds will parade through for the grand tour. There are not television or magazine cameras that will visit...but perhaps YOU will.

There is NOTHING that gives me greater pleasure than having our home full of people. There is NOTHING like the feeling of going to bed totally exhausted because you made that extra dozen of cookies for the kids tomorrow. There is NOTHING like the look on a child's face, and the wonderment of lights, tinsel and angels. I simply love all of those feelings. I always have, I honestly hope I never lose my desire or ability to "dress" the house up for the holidays.

I hope that our family will always look foward to coming and feeling loved on as they step through that front door. Loved, that's a great feeling, and my "forever" goal.

We don't have huge oversized bedrooms with king size beds in every room. We do have comfy soft beds, with winter flannel and touches of lace on very soft sheets. (And yes, guests have found mints or treats on their pillows at night). Warm, cozy, and hopefully the feeling of a "big hug" for those that will stay.

I do feel like our bedroom is a sanctuary. I love to layer bedding by the season, and can one really ever have too many pillows on their bed? ;p

I love to cuddle in at the end of every day, and CAN'T WAIT until Mackenzie and our other future grandchildren all pile in and fight for a spot. It's a big bed...LOTS of room for Lolli and Pops to snuggle with LOTS of grandchildren ;p (love you Nicole & John and Justin & Casey)!

If you are visiting me today, I thank you and love you for being here.

At this holiday season, I am really reflecting on my multitude of blessings.

Not the "stuff", the blessings:

a Savior and King that loves us, that has "decorated" Heaven for us
a husband that takes my breath away
children that have found that special place in their heart for me
family that makes my world go round
friends that are faithful
opportunity to love on people
kids, some who will never know my name, but some that I will never forget
and there is so much more...

So, as I close this post (because there is one more batch of maple pumpkin bars to get ready for tomorrow)...know that I have loved this time with you.

This becomes one of my treasures.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

YIPPEEE, You're Back

I would really rather just sit here and talk, I've missed you! OK, want to warm that cup up before we roam around the house? But promise me, we will catch up before you go - deal?

I'm glad you recognized it, that nativity is probably the one thing I look forward most to finding when we decorate. Yes, it is olivewood. John's parents brought it back to him, it has more sentimental value than I have words for, maybe now more than ever.

Heck no, it was really easy. Thanks, I love it too! Just start out with three shoeboxes, a yard (or so) of net, a strand of white lights and I like to put a sheet of glittery "snow" for the ground.

I placed the boxes where I wanted the elevation, laid down the sheet of snow felt, positioned the lights and the netting at the same time, then positioned each piece of the nativity.

No, I like to leave the table set, ok...yes, I am a weirdo. But you already knew that ;p We've already had two dinner parties, two more coming up, and it really does help to have it already set. Plus, I love for all my friends to get to see my Christmas settings. Look how romantic it is at night...LOVE IT! Yes, that is the "famous" ice that is a long story, huh?

Those are the plates that John and the kids started for me last year. They are Johnson Brothers Friendly Village. Each piece has a different pattern on it. Yes, the dinner plates are my favorite too...a little red schoolhouse and church in the background, snow coming down...fits us like a glove, doesn't it? (you may click on the photo to enlarge the image)

I still can't believe we were lucky enough to find that sideboard, it has given us so much extra space, and I love how it showcases each season. No, it's the same old Santa, just different things placed around him. None of them are Christmas things, just reinvented them for Christmas.

No you haven't seen that before, I just painted it. Heck no, it's not canvas, I wouldn't know how to paint a canvas, it's a thin sheet of wood. See on the back side, it's the pumpkin scene we had in here over the Autumn months.

No, same drapes, I just looped those metal snowflakes over them. Look, they jingle! Heck no, they weren't expensive...another dollar store find! I love our dollar store, but you have to be quick. They only have a few of everything they order.

Well, I was going to make you some fudge, but ran out of time. Maybe you can come back over tomorrow? The bedrooms and baths each have little touches of Christmas...spread the cheer you know!

No, it's not my stereo system. I have Pandora playing...have you tried it? Log on to, you can create your own genre of station, just as many as you want, and it's FREE! You know me, I LOVE FREE!

Tomorrow is good, what can we make to go with our fudge? Great, bring me the recipe!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Payback...I Deserve It Flo friend Flo is one of my favorite bloggers.

#1 Her posts almost always include GREAT photos, mostly of those two precious cutie pies (never could get enough of them)

#2 She's never afraid to laugh at herself

#3 There is usually a pearl of wisdom woven throughout

I giggled at her most recent blog which describes her trying to capture the perfect Christmas photo

I had also smiled alot at a new blogging friend trying to do the same thing

Tonight John and I tried to capture our Christmas card photo using our not so professional (ok, our absolutely not professional) camera and tripod. How hard could it be to get two "mature" folks to sit still long enough? Really, we don't move very fast at all, for anything, anymore ;p

Too serious....

Hey, wait for me...

I mean it...

Well, we did finally get a good one, but rest included her!

I love that girl...(Gracie, you're the only other mature woman I would share him with). Now, I'm giggling you think she would give me any choice?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Marshmallows + Great Food + Elfis = GREAT Week (so far)

We'll get back to the Christmas tour (tomorrow)...

So far, this week has been crazy busy and CRAZY fun!

John and I both know that we have so much more than a "job". We love who we work with...and who we work for.

Let's add it up:

day #1
marshmallow war + great food + great company

day #2
lovely ladies + good friends + more food ;p

day #3
Elfis + lots of kids + big smiles + GREAT voices

Equals = lucky us, a great life, and excitement for what the rest of the week holds!

I LOVE this time of the year, I LOVE my life!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Little Christmas Magic

Where have you been? Get in out of the cold. Here, give me your coat, go warm up by the fire. Do you want pumpkin spice coffee or hot cocoa with marshmallows?

It feels like forever since we've been able to just visit...why don't we make more time like this?

Sure, I'll take you around the house...but are you sure you are warmed up? Bring your cup with you.

Yes, I did switch out the drapes for the Christmas season. Heck no I didn't sew them, I barely had time to hang them! No, they're not expensive...actually they are dollar store tablecloths, no kidding! Sure I can show you...this is how I started...

They are just the ring with clips you can buy anywhere, I gathered the tops with the red cloths. The plaid cloths are just tied with a handkerchief knot...really easy, thank goodness! Yes, you can do it...just be patient, if you need help, just call I will help you. I think it IS a wonderful idea to buy the cloths when they go on sale after the holidays, it was fun to match the patterns..

Thanks, but no, the topper ribbon is not alot of ribbon at all! It's an illusion... I took a strand of wired ribbon that was about 12' long, and tied 12" ribbon in knots the length of the ribbon. Then, I just tied it to the top of the tree and pulled the ribbons out...see...(you can click the photos to make them larger)

Me, too, I love traditional ornaments! A few of these are dollar store finds, but I always love to see the ornaments that the family collected (even before I was part of it!). They are like family treasures that no one can appreciate like we do...the memories of those Christmas' are priceless.

It makes me happy to see this wall as you enter the front door...I know I'll hate to take it down when Christmas is over.

Come on, sit down, want a piece of chocolate cake? Gosh, it's good to have you here...

O.K., we'll look around later...let's visit, tell me, what's new in your life?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yes, It IS Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas

It is important to our family that we remember the true reason for the season, our Savior born on Christmas Day. We love to celebrate CHRISTmas.

I laugh at myself this time of year. I am always just a little shy of "normal" (ok, maybe alot shy of normal), my oh my - CHRISTmas sends me over the edge. I just can't get enough, I love the colors, the decorations, the smells...and it's oh so special when you get to share your CHRISTmas home with your friends and family.

We are in full swing (me, the elves and Gracie) in getting our home ready for our guests, and growing more excited by the day!

I haven't yet finished decorating our home, but I thought maybe just a little peek as we work our way through could be, here we go fellow CHRISTmas lovers: (btw i heart u)

Remember the old headboard that I bought, and hung during Autumn?

Well, here is how the old girl looks all dressed up for Christmas...

Last night I finished the artwork that will hang in our dining room...

Man, I am having to get back to work! Those elves are whining that they are having to do all the work ;p

Thanks for stopping by, don't be a stranger!