Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!  I hope you are having a wonderful holiday!  In honor of the big day, I thought I would share some of my pictures from over the years.  Enjoy!



1982.  I love this picture.

Santa brought a train for Andy and I got a kitchen set.

Christmas card photo 1984.

Libby and Deacon in 2001

Ky#1 first Christmas 2010
K#2 first Christmas 2013.  Fast asleep in Aunt Meggie's arms.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

What Christmas means to me

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people.  For many different reasons.  It has always been a struggle for the people in my family.  My Grandpa passed away Christmas 1987.  (I was just getting ready to turn 8.)  He had been sick for awhile.  Lots of different conditions caused his death.  The primary cause of death was a brown recluse spider bite.

I have such a sparkling image of my Grandpa (or Hoo-Hoo as my older cousin named him).  He LOVED his grandchildren and just did everything with us.  Christmas was his favorite holiday.  It was really special to him for a lot of different reasons.  For you to really understand must know he was a Presbyterian minister.  He always made the holiday special for us.  Arriving with a GIANT stuffed Santa Claus.  We have hundreds of hand made ornaments that he made over the years.  Christmas was his thing.

Christmas tree I still have from my Grandpa.
I know some members of my family still struggle with the holiday because of his passing.  But I am not one of them.  Is that terrible of me?  No I don't think so.  If there is one thing I do know about my Grandpa, it is that he would not want anyone to be sad at Christmas.  In the depths of my soul I feel like he passed along his Christmas spirit to me.  I know that may sound weird but I just feel it.  I absolutely love Christmas.  Decorating, shopping, cooking, baking, going to church, the music, family and friends, more decorating, movies.......I just love everything about it.  It is just a magical time of year and I feel so alive.

I know sometimes my family thinks I try to go a little over the top at Christmas.  But for me I am just trying to keep his spirit alive.  No matter how long it has been, I carry him in my heart.  And I know he is there with me.  Loving every minute of it.
My Grandpa

Grandpa is at the door and he brought a friend.  One of my favorite memories of him.

Santa is here!!!

Santa was a hit

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Billy Peeble

In honor of Christmas, I would like to share with you a poem that my Grandpa use to read at his Christmas Eve Services.  (He was a Presbyterian minister.)  After my Grandpa passed away, my Dad kept the tradition alive reading the poem to us.  So today I would like to share it with you.

By James W. Foley
Billy Peeble he ain’t got no parents—never had none ‘cause
When he was borned he was an orfunt; an’ he said ‘at Santa Claus
Never didn’t leave him nothin,’ ‘cause he was a county charge
An’ the overseer told him that his fambly was too large
To remember orfunt children; so I ast Ma couldn’t we
Have Bill Peeble up to our house, so’s to see our Christmas Tree.
An she ast me if he’s dirty; an’ I said I guessed he was
But I didn’t think it makes no difference with Santa Claus.

My his clo’es was awful ragged! Ma, she put him in a tub
An’ she poured it full of water, an’ she gave him such a scrub
‘At he ‘ist sit there an’ shivered; and he tol’ me afterwurds
‘At he never washed all over out to Overseer Bird’s!
‘An she burned his ragged trousies an’ she gave him some of mine;
My! She rubbed him an’ she scrubbed him till she almost made him shine,
Nen he ‘ist looked all around him like he’s scairt for quite a w’ile
An’ even when Ma’d pat his head he wouldn’t hardly smile.

“En after w’ile Ma took some flour-sacks an’ ‘en she laid
“Em right down at the fireplace, ‘ist ‘cause she is afraid
Santa Claus’ll soil the carpet when he comes down there, you know
An’ Billy Peeble watcher her, an’ his eyes stuck out—‘ist so!
“En Ma said ‘at in the mornin’ if we‘d look down on the sacks
‘At they’d be ‘ist full of soot where Santa Claus had made his tracks;
Billy Peeble stood there lookin’! An’ he told me afterwurds
He was scairt he’d wake up an’ be back at Overseer Bird's.

Well, ‘en she hung our stockin’s up and after w’ile she said:
“Now you and’ Billy Peeble better get right off to bed,
An’ if you hear a noise tonight, don’t you boys make a sound,
‘Cause Santa Claus don’t never come with little boys around!”
So me an’ Billy went to bed, and Billy Peeble, he
Could hardly go to sleep at all—ist tossed an’ tossed. You see
We had such w’ite sheets on the bed an’ he said afterwurds
They never had no sheets at all at Overseer Bird’s.

So we ‘ist laid and talked an’ talked. An’ Billy ast me who
Was Santa Claus. An’I said I don’t know if it’s all true,
But people say he’s some old man who ‘ist loves little boys
An’ keeps a store at the North Pole with heaps an’ heaps of toys
W’ich he brings down in a big sleigh, with reindeers for his steeds,
An’ comes right down the chimbly flue an’ leaves ‘ist what you needs.
My! He’s excited w’en I tell him that! An' afterwurds
He said that they never had no toys at Overseer Bird’s.

I’m fallin’ pretty near asleep w’en Billy Peeble said:
“Sh-sh! What’s that noise?” An’ w’en he spoke I sat right up in bed
Till sure enough I heard it in the parlor down below,
An’ Billy Peeble, he set up an’ ‘en he said: “Let’s go!”
So we got up an’ sneaked down stairs, an’ both of us could see
‘At it was surely Santa Claus, ‘ist like Ma said he’d be;
But he must have heard us comin’ down, because he stopped an’ said:
“You, Henry Blake and William Peeble, go right back to bed!”
My goodness, we was awful scairt! An’ both of us was pale,
An’ Billy Peeble said upstairs: “My! Ain’t he ‘ist a whale?”
We didn’t hardly dare to talk and got back into bed
An’ Billy pulled the counterpane clear up above his head,
An’ in the mornin’ w’en we looked down on the flour-sacks,
W’y sure enough we saw the soot where he had made his tracks.
An’ Billy got a suit of clothes, a drum, an’ sled an’ books
Till he ‘ist never said a word, but my, how glad he looks!

An’ after w’ile it’s dinner time an Billy Peeble set
Right next to Pa, an' my! how he ‘ist et an’ et an’ et!
Till he ‘ist puffed an’ had to leave his second piece of pie
Because he couldn’t eat no more, an’ after dinner, w’y
Ma dressed him up in his new clo’es, an Billy Peeble said
He’s sorry he’s an orfunt, an’ Ma Patted Billy’s head.
W’ich made him cry a little bit, an’ he said afterwurds
Nobody ever pats his head at Overseer Bird’s.

An’ all day long Pa looked at Ma an’ Ma she looked at him,
Because Pa said ‘at Billy looked a little bit like Jim
‘At was my brother, but he died oncet, years ago,
An’ ‘at’s why Billy Peeble makes my mother like him so.
She says ‘at Santa brought him as a present, ‘ist instead
Of little Jim ‘at died oncet. So she ‘ist put him to bed
On Christmas Night an’ tucked him in an’ told me afterwurds
‘At he ain’t never going back to Overseer Bird’s.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Visit to the Christmas Story House

I woke up this morning to a text from my Mom, "Where is the blog on the Christmas Story House?"  Ummm I hadn't gotten to it yet, thankyouverymuch!  (My final is next week.  EcccKKKK!  I don't want to talk about it.)  Anyway as I tempted you in my last post, I went to visit the Christmas Story House in Cleveland over Thanksgiving weekend.  I thought K#1 had seen the movie and it would be a fun trip.  (Ummm she hasn't seen it.  I will fix that!)  This is by far one of my favorite Christmas traditions.  I adore this movie.  I don't even care how many times I've seen it.  I love when the marathon is on Christmas Eve/Day.  You better believe when I am cooking, it is on.  I have every leg ornament that was ever made, along with a smaller version of the leg lamp.  I guess this makes me a fanatic!

I have always heard you could go visit the actually house where they filmed in Cleveland.  My parents only live about an hour away.  One of my high school friends posted about her trip on Facebook and that was it.  We were going!  (Thanks Elizabeth for the great idea!)

Here in the middle of a Cleveland neighborhood is the actual house they filmed some outdoor scenes.  A few were shot inside.  The majority of the filming was done on a sound stage and outside in Canada.  They also have a museum with clothes and props from the movie.  And of course a gift shop.  The day we were there, the elf from the department store scene was signing autographs.  (For a fee of course.)

The house.  We had to wait about 20 minutes to get inside.  Luckily it was a pretty warm day out.
Our tickets.  Kids under 6 are free!

Me and K#1

With Gammy.  Don't look so happy K#1!
The house looks quite large from the outside but it is actually pretty small inside.  Much smaller then I imagined.

You can barely see the leg lamp inside.
Once we got inside, the staff encouraged you to touch everything.  Say what?!  Usually they say look, don't touch.  K#1 didn't know what to think.  You could pick up the leg lamp, the BB gun, bowling bowl, sit on the bed, play with the typewriter, 'eat' the soap, sit at the dinner table........whatever you wanted!  That was pretty cool.  The staff was amazing.  You could tell they are very passionate about the movie and their job.  I would fit in for sure!

Leg lamp

'FRAGILEEEEEEE.  It must be Italian.  Honey I think that says fragile.'  I could recite the whole movie for you.

The family

K#1 just marched right up to that leg lamp and ran her hands up and down it.  Just like Ralphie.  She said she liked the way the net stockings felt.
I don't know what made me look for this but there was the pile of cords on the floor.  Remember the scene where they spark and blow a fuse?

Going up the stairs.  In this pic I couldn't get Gammy to hold still.  Not K#1.  She's perfect.

The staff member in this room said go ahead.  Hop on up there.  Ralphie and Randy's room.

This was her favorite part.  We had to go back twice.  Business/typing teacher Gammy was thrilled.

Calling to tattle on K#1


'Be Sure to Drink your Ovaltine.'

Hiding under the sink like Randy.  She even let me close the doors.

'Don't eat the bird.  You'll get worms!'

The backdoor which Ralphie came out to shoot his Red Ryder BB Gun.  And broke his glasses.
Some wild child running in the backyard.  They actually filmed the robber scene here.  Newer fence of course.

Shed in backyard.

K#1 was a very good girl.  I think she had a good time.
If you are ever in the Cleveland, I'm sorry.  Whoops I mean you should check out the Christmas Story House.  I would love to go back someday on an 'off' day when it is not so busy and I can really check every detail out.  Thanks to my Mom for driving and going!

I can't wait to watch the movie again and compare what I saw with what is in the movie.  Good thing I own a copy!

My souvenir.  Fits in with my Sarah Plain and Tall houses from years ago.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving recap

I hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Mine was fun-filled.  Lots of time with the family, shopping, naps, and more family time.  Here are some pictures from my week home.

I cooked most of the Thanksgiving dinner.  And I am just telling my family year we are going out!!!  It was exhausting and just not enough time in the day.  I did the turkey, sweet potato casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, homemade (no cans of soup used) green bean casserole, gravy, and spinach artichoke dip.  Mom assisted me and did the mashed potatoes, stuffing (regular and oyster.  Not from a box.), and her famous creamy apple pie.

The cutest little dinner guests.  Our table seemed fuller this year with these two. 
The family. It is so hard to get the girls to both look at the camera at the same time.  And Grandpa as well.

Baby K had her first birthday on November 26.  Unfortunately she was sick with the stomach flu all weekend long!  We didn't really get the chance to celebrate her big day.  (I didn't even make the cake!)  We did get her presents opened with a little help from big sister.


Poor Baby K didn't feel too good.  She was all snuggles.  I was quite happy with that as I was exhausted from cooking.  As you can tell.

Friday we had K#1 with us.  It was a pajama kind of day.  Naps were had and movies watched.  Of course what else should be done on Black Friday?!  K#1 helped me get all the Christmas decorations out.  She really got into it which just thrilled me to pieces.  I love decorating for the holidays.  I think I may have found my protege!  She did the tree beautifully and stayed with it until the end.  (Last year she hung one ornament and was done.)  If there is one thing I can pass onto her it is this.  My Grandpa passed it on to me and I pass the torch onto her.  He would have loved nothing more.


Finished product

Saturday we took K#1 home to her parents.  (Boo hiss!)  Not without eating out and shopping at Target.
Daddy and Baby K.  Don't they look so much alike?  And I'm not talking about their big foreheads....hehe.  (I can make fun because I have one, too.)

I LOVED shopping at Target with this cute little lady.

And just to tempt you.  I will have a future blog coming up on my trip to the Christmas Story House.  It was pretty cool.  Have you seen the movie?  It is my favorite and I torture my family with the marathon every year.

Me, K#1, Gammy (aka my Mom)
Have a great weekend!!!  :-)