Wednesday, December 31, 2008

When 42 people are making plans something has got to go wrong. It has nothing to do with communication. It has everything to do with what you hear. For instance. Let's say that I am a little loopy anyway and I'll take total blame for the ALMOST fiasco. We decided to stray a little off the traditional path and have spaghetti for Christmas dinner. We had just done the turkey blow out meal 3 weeks ago. So, we thought that spaghetti, garlic breads, salads of all kinds and lots of desserts would fill the tummies of all our family. Sometime during the day of Christmas Eve I heard my sweet sisters say that they would do all the shopping for dinner. And then I said, "I want to make my special sauce." To which I got a resounding yippeeeee. I didn't stop to think that they would not know what to buy for "MY" sauce. So about 9pm on the eve of this lunch I started to leave for home and we were planning times for lunch etc.....I mentioned getting my groceries they had shopped for and going home to make sauce. Blank stares met my always blank stare. They assumed rightly that since I was making special sauce I'd have to shop because how would they know? OOOOOPPPPPPPPPS. Now, we had spaghetti noodles and NO hope for sauce. The ONLY store opened in our town on this eve night would be 7-11. Runs were made there but no ingredients that I would need. Friends we could call to "borrow" sauce ingredients? At almost 10PM on this eve night? I think not. So, daughter # 1 and I started home wondering how we were going to pull off this late night cooking miracle with what I had in my pantry. As we neared home, I noticed that the convenience store was still opened by our house although they were turning off lights as we pulled in. I knew that they did not stock what I needed but I was desperate. They let us in and locked the door. I mentioned that I wondered if the attached restaurant ( that I eat in at least twice a week ) would loan me some spices and sell me some hamburger meat. They totally were ok with all that and asked what I was up to this late. I told the story of the noodles with no sauce and the guy and girl looked at each other and smiled. They had spent the previous day making stock pots full of homemade spaghetti sauce to freeze for themselves for months. Did I want it? YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME? We did pay them for their time and supplies and walked out with a huge pot of delicious sauce. Had we been 5 minutes later? I shudder to think how we could have pulled off a dinner of slimy spaghetti noodles with salads on the side. Even Pepperidge Farm garlic bread couldn't have cured that.

Not in relationship to the meal but everyone in my house has had runny noses and coughs. We just seemed to all be wiping little and big noses all week. We have kept KLE*ENEX in business. We also learned the wonders and the miracle of nasal saline washes. Sounds gross but trust's a wonderful thing!

My sweet daddy was hand delivering a Christmas card to dear family friends and was bit several times by a dog enroute to their door. No one is to blame. The dog was doing his job as family watchdog! However, several hours in the ER treating leg wounds took up a precious part of our day. Daddy doesn't have much "meat" on his legs so some of the bites looked pretty bad. But, it NEVER slowed him down. He always is on a mission of some kind to help out anyone and everyone who needs him.

This dry winter has brought lots of field mice out of their hiding holes. They are searching for water and they think they found it around my house. We have set traps outside for months now and let me just say. I DO NOT CHECK THE TRAPS. It is not in my job description. Puking children were in my job description years ago. Suffice it to say that they have now found their way into the garage. Amidst......garage stuff. Yeah, let's just call it garage stuff. Anyway........"Santa" left a sack out there to be brought in at bedtime after all the children were sound asleep. A few hours later we went to retrieve it and a hole the size of the Grand Canyon was in the side. The foot long beef jerky stick was nibbled up and down. The pack of Big League chewing gum was ransacked.

Here's the happy little fellow wondering where the rest of the beef jerky is, looking for his nerf ball and wanting another chew of BIG LEAGUE bubble gum.

OH WELL......lots of lost receipts, mixed up presents, gifts that were duplicated, mislabeled gifts, and lots of memories. And lots of love, let me tell you. Lots of love. No, our last name is not Griswold. But, close.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just a short little blurb to let all of you know that need to know and those of you who don't need to know know and those of you who might just wonder a little. I survived CHRISTmas '08. It was quite a celebration full of love, hugs, presents, families, babies, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, food, confusion, shopping, eating, snapping photos, and looking for lost things. Some were found. Some were not. We shared sniffles, coughs, and lots of Kleenex. We ran out of hot water more than once. Cold shower anyone? We filled up 2 houses and 1 - 4 bedroom Bed and Breakfast. But we all had a GREAT BIG wonderful time. Speaking of time. There wasn't enough of it. All of a sudden cars started loading packages and luggage and leaving. Before I was through celebrating.

We had a few Christmas surprises too. More on that when I realize what day it is. What day is it by the way?
Please say a special prayer today for a wonderful young father/husband who is struggling as he battles the last stages of a horrible cancer that attacked him 1 year ago. He is walking down that valley right now with family and friends watching him and praying for him. Please join them in granting him peace from fear, release to breathe without panic, rest from sleepless nights. For his precious wife and children....his parents and other family. It's not a good day at their house. His name is Brad.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A funny thing happened on my way down the ladder with my Christmas boxes. Then back up the ladder. Then back down again. A box was missing. A very important box. Box number 30 0f 32. The box that had all my special ornaments, 2 or 20 Christmas t-shirts, my sheer Christmas green and red beaded table runners, and a bundle of garland in it along with the wreath for my front door. I'm happy that this little Santa made it down. He is one of my favorites. All of a sudden I wasn't in a very jolly mood to decorate. What exactly all was I missing? It wasn't a box you could easily lose. How do you lose a box? But, 10 days later it has never been located. I think it was carried off by a pack of holiday crazed squirrels. So, not to sound like an un-jolly hostess, let me welcome you to the House of Neena minus the box. Where Christmas swirls around months prior to the actual day of Santa. As you step inside the den you are greeted first by an almost lifesize Santa.......

He may startle you at first. Believe me. He has startled me a time or two. Or three as I come around the corner.

He has this little scrunched up Santa face that really looks fleshy and his eyes are looking into your soul.

Moving right into the den to the large tree. The one with the presents under it that are wrapped. There are more that aren't wrapped. And I even confess, that there are more that aren't bought. SIGH. This is a new tree for our family this year. 9' tall with over three million lights. Or at least it seems like it. Actually only 900. We almost needed sunglasses when we flipped the lights on.

First thing I ever bought
on EBAY.

"BELIEVE". "Nuff said.

Our family has alot of sentimental ornaments. Most of them are the missing box. But, moving right along. Reid and Macy made these jingle bells the first year we watched Polar Express and drank hot chocolate. I will always treasure them!

Heather and I made these little snowman heads one year thinking we could make a million dollars on them at the craft sale. We didn't. But, they sure were fun and we did sell them all except for a few we kept for ourselves.

This little gaggle of snowmen look pretty content on their branches for goodness sakes. But, I mostly love the hangar ornaments with Santa's britches and coat hanging.

This silly little tree is for all the little ones in Neena's nest. It's full of Santas hanging on every branch.

Just because I think
he is pretty.

This little guy is getting ready for my annual Cookie Swap on Tuesday night. We'll miss you Connie! If you surprise us, could you bring those cute little mouse cookies? Please come home Connie. PLUHHHHHHHHEEEZE.

My gingerbread babies. All nestled in the corner of my kitchen. There are a few that are my favorites. One in particular has Heather and Ashley's teeth marks on them.
Not from last year but from years ago! Trust me. I didn't fuss at them either.

There are more gingerbread sweeties gathered around my
kitchen and on another tree by the dining room window.

Just a cool crystal vase of red berries because I didn't know what else to do with them.

My lonely little stocking. Waiting

To be filled with goodness. Because, I am good. I really am.

"Just hear those sleigh bells ringing a ring ring ringing a ring. It's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you"

This little smiling guy has brought lots of giggles to our house already this year. He sings very loudly as he throws his head back and rocks around the table in his sled in perfect time. He's a keeper for sure!

This card was sent to my grandmother by her Sister and Brother - law and I am guessing it is early 1900's. It's very old.

This old wooden box is full of Santa books. WHY you say? Because my babies like Neena to read to them. And Neena lovesto read to her babies.

My table is ready to be set. My reindeer mugs are ready to be filled with hot cocoa. Cookies are iced. The turkey is thawing (well not really yet). And from our house to yours......a very Merry Christmas, Blessed New Year, and Prayers Galore.

and Peace on earth and Goodwill to Men. That is my Christmas wish to you.


P.S. I don't know why blogger won't cooperate when loading pictures with
words. I won't even tell you how long I worked on this to get half way right. I am still not happy with the way it skips spaces between pictures and scatters stuff. Sorry. Maybe next year I'll be "smart" enough to figure out something besides blogspot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CONNIE????? CONNIE?????? Can you hear me? I don't want to do cooky swap without you.
Please come home.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't forget the OPEN HOUSE tours coming up this week. I have my tree up as you can see. But, that's all I'm showing until the 15th. Don't forget to pour yourself a huge cup of hot chocolate and come back and tour all the homes.
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Two little cousins set out on a mission one day. Neenas had given them some special boots so they decided to put them to good use. Their first stop would be to visit Tucker, the puppy, at the dog pen.

Jaxon reassures Avery that she'll be fine. Jaxon has 2 big big big doggie brothers named Petey and Tex. And despite her petititeness, she is not intimidated by dogs at all!

C'mon Avery, laughs can do it!

"OKAY, Jaxon. If you are sure! I trust you like that. After all girl, you are my peeps and we are tight. Anyway, here comes your daddy and I think our adventure is over."

Have you ever seen anything so cute?
They had found these that I had bought them for Christmas while everyone was here for turkey day. They had so much fun with them. I think they logged quite a few miles on them already.
*****Pictures and idea stolen from my precious daughter in love******
Speaking of my precious daughter in love. OH yes, and my sweet son.
I AM GOING TO BE A NEENA AGAIN! YIPEEEEEEEEEEEE. Keep us in your prayers because come July 3rd Neena's Nest is getting ready for an expansion.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Don't panic. The counter on the side that says how many days 'til Christmas? It's right. Everyday it clicks down one more.
Excuse me a few days while I collect my thoughts. Decorations are as scattered as my thoughts. When I am back to blogging in a few days I'll be ready to post the Christmas Open House tour at Deena's. Maybe then I'll be ready to be jollier. Until then? Slap me if I look merry.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

21 years ago we lived in town. Not the city, but in town. Our neighbors were dear people and lived next to us when we had no children and they had a houseful. 5 GIRLS to be exact. As my babies started coming along I had a steady stream of willing and able babysitters. In fact, there was never any grass between our houses. We had a trail for 16 years between our back doors. I just opened up the door and yelled for a sitter and never knew who was coming but knew someone would. It was great. Then we moved to the "country" which is 3 miles away. We stayed in contact of course and still see them around even though they are all grown with families. One of them just finished massage school and today I got to be her client. It was wonderful. I think I got special treatment but it was amazing. She brought her table and set up in my living room and I plugged into the headphones for over an hour. My muscles feel less achy, the headache I was getting went away, and I feel like I could run a marathon. But, instead I am going to catch a quick nap and enjoy this relaxed and renewed body!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'll start off this post with a toast! Our oldest daughter and her preciousness took off for a few days in Fredricksburg to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary. They had so much fun just getting to do whatever that didn't involve basketball, baseball, dance practice or a Brownie meeting. Or a science project. Or a scheduled meeting. They had a great time and arrived in time for all the FUN. Happy Anniversary to Heather and Troy!

Anyone that was in this house last week has to admit that it was absolutely wonderfully crazy. We watched the grandchildren play together for hours and hours. The bigger two each had a baby to love on and there was lots of loving. The two little ones, Avery and Jaxon were precious together. It was really the first time they realized that they were family! The last time they were together was in March and Jaxon was so sick with an ear infection she didn't feel like playing but they made up for this time. TOO TOO CUTE. Reid stays with the big guys most of the time watching ESPN and any and every football game that is on. When he gets tired of sitting he hauls out the mower tractor and gives everyone rides around the property. All the little princess pile in the trailer delighted for his attention. Macy baked some with me and did lots or arts and crafts. I have signs and love notes hanging everywhere. All sparkly and girly girl. All that to say this.....we had LOADS of fun. Mom, Dad, Mimi, Jody, Jim, Jordan, all made the pilgrimage back and forth to our house everyday. We had our favorite family guests with us too.....Barbara and Katy came to stay a few days and we love it when they are here. They are our son in love's Mom and sister. They just pile in and make themselves at home. It's like we've known them forever. Plus, we all are in love with and share DNA with Avery! We pretty much finished off any leftovers. Then when it was time for everyone to go, all my kids pitched in and stripped the beds, washed towels, loaded the dishwasher one final time and vacuumed. That was SO SO SO much help. I can't wait to see them all in just a few weeks again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"There was an old woman......" Remember the rest? Seriously, this is what my house has been like over the holidays and I have loved every minute of it. We have had our own family, children, grandchildren, parents, sisters, nieces and we always pick up a few "strays" that we love like family and they pile in too. There have been football games in the yard, basketball games on the driveway, Playstation tourneys, EATING, tractor rides, playing in the leaves, swinging on the old rusty swing set, and just in general FUN. The grown ups keep the children all way over stimulated with rowdiness. Next year, our crowd gets bigger with MORE family babies coming in the next year. ( More about that later ) Right now, blankets and pillows are spread out all over the floor in the family room and it's fixing to be movie night. After that, some make it to a bed ( the lucky ones), some find a couch, and the rest just lie where they can. However, I have MY BED. I usually fall asleep these nights to giggles and noise. It's a long time in between these kind of nights. Paps and I aren't near as much fun when we are alone, I think. We are rather quiet and in a routine. But, this week? Not one single routine. No planned bedtimes. Little teeth brushed? Maybe. Occasionally a crying baby. Nothing I can't handle though. Only one planned meal. The rest of the time we just drag all the food out and it's a free for all! Tonight we ate out. Tomorrow night we probably will too. These are wild weeks, you say? They are. And, I always look forward to them. Because after all, Neena's Nest is the happiest when it is full.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Whatever you do. Wherever you go. Whatever you cook. Whatever you eat.
Wherever you wash dishes. Wherever you nap. Wherever you love. Be thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Most of my day was spent at the church building doing whatever I could find to do to help. Any pan I could find to wash. Any tea I could pour. We had a funeral service for one of our members who was such a special man. A very kind, sweet, and loving man who left his sweet family too soon after a very brave fight with cancer. They lovingly had been caring for him these past few months while he was in hospice care at their home. It 's hard to know what to say. Even for someone like me who always says whatever. He will truly be missed by lots and lots of friends and all his family, but tonight when his sweet wife lies down I know that a tear will fall as she realizes that there are many long and lonely nights ahead while God heals her broken heart. Join me and pray for her as you pray. Her name is Kathryn and she is brokenhearted. As are their children. Cancer is from Satan.

OKAY. I admit it. Peer pressure follows me wherever I go. Honestly. I am a middle aged woman who still gets pimples, likes to hang at the mall, loves to try new makeup, adores fashions and fads, and after my sweet girl JD got me hooked on Gilmore girls a few years ago she thought HMMMMM , I'll really hook her now. She'll love this book series Twilight now turned movie. AND I CAN NOT WAIT for the weekend to see it. Sadly, I may have to go by myself. All my comprades are either in a cast or out of town! Sorry girls.......gotta go without you. It's really ok. A bag of popcorn a diet coke and some smuggled in candy and a little EDWARD and JACOB and I"ll be good to go. But, I'll watch it again with you. I promise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obviously this is NOT my car but it is my car's twin. My car is in the driveway. But, the reason for this story is simple. I just made my LAST car payment. So, now that this has occurred I am starting to worry about what can happen now. I have taken very good care of her. I want to keep her a long time. I do NOT want another car payment. I want to enjoy the extra little $$$$ each month for awhile. It'll almost be like getting a retirement raise! Pretty good, don't you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

I've probably been teaching Bible classes since I was 15 years old. This is NOT to brag but it is simply a fact. I like to stay on my "own" mental level which is not usually above 5 or 6th grade. HA ! I relate to them and in return they relate to me. Once we get disciplinary class rules out of the way, also known as bribery, I never have trouble with them. Well, I guess never is kinda strong. Let's just suffice it say, I don't usually have trouble with them and when I do I just throw them out to sit in the hall for a few minutes and that does the trick. They know I mean it!
I love this painting of the Lost Sheep. It's always been one of my favorite comforting thoughts about God's love for us. Last Wednesday night we were in John 10 and there were alot of the analogies about the Good Shepherd and His sheep so we spent quite a bit of time applying those to our lives. They made up some very creative comparisons! They totally got it. Many of these children are our "van" riders who have never been exposed to the Bible, but they, for the most part, are soaking up the Bible stories. They are really learning to put it in their lives, at school and at home. I am so happy that I don't have to be a perfect person to teach a class. That I can enter into that room with those kids and tell them I am not perfect but I love God's word and I want to tell them why. I am not "equipped" to do alot of things in God's Kingdom but I hope that the things I do glorify him in my own little meager way. I don't really want a mansion over the hilltop. I will be perfectly satisfied with a little one room house over that hilltop. Even a sleeping bag. I just want in on the deal.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

How many times can you say 'no no' in a 20 seconds?

How serious is this child labor law in America now?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

QUICK! Somebody send help. I'm listening to Christmas carols.

I'm actually singing along too. Add to that vision a little holiday swaying. I'm even enjoying it. What about putting all my trees up with pumpkins scattered underneath? OK, maybe not.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To all the veterans....I appreciate the fact that you protect our country and our freedom. For all the generations who served before.....I salute you! God bless you and God bless the USA.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This time last week I was smooching this sweet face. I wish I could smooch it everyday! Sweet kisses for sure. I love the fact that she recognizes me now and remembers all our little private motions and words. She is still my TINY PRINCESS!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I'm not real sure why but I am starting to get a little excited about Christmas.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9