Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Quick weekend recap

Time for a VERY quick weekend recap:

I worked from home on Friday. My co-worker needed constant attention.

At least I had cute decorations surrounding me.

Mark went to the farm for Friday day and night and came home around lunchtime on Saturday. I watched Love Actually and a couple of Christmas movies on Amazon Prime Friday night. I have a tendency to stay up much later when I'm home alone.

Saturday morning brought heavy rain so I participated in WW via zoom and then I got busy in the kitchen. I made a carrot cake and a pan of brown sugar brownies as Christmas gifts for two of my co-workers. Since I don't eat sweets, I don't bake them as often. I always forget just how much mess I make in my kitchen. The carrot cake required the "peeling" of the big carrots; using the food processor to grate the carrots, the stand mixer for mixing the cake. Oh yes - I almost put a TABLESPOON instead of a teaspoon of one of my spices. That would have been a horrible mistake!! I also had the hand mixer because you beat the egg whites separately and fold those in at the end. I washed and reused my stand mixer to mix up the cream cheese frosting. The brown sugar brownies require a glass container for melting the butter and a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. I had a ton of dishes! I must admit that it gave me great joy to make these homemade gifts and both were received well. 

Mark brought a giant bucket of greenery home from the farm and in between rainstorms on Saturday, I decorated our mailbox. I still plan to put a big red velvet bow in with the greenery.

I also wrapped a few more presents . . .I have to wrap one more big one and put some ribbon on a few. I bought these cute santa bags at Kohl's and used them for giftcards for our church maintenance staff. They do so much for me and for the rest of the staff.

Sunday morning we went to early church and the flowers on the altar were gorgeous!! I know I've mentioned this before but our altar arrangements are done by volunteers every week. They usually bring in a florist to do a fun training session every year or two. They pair the newer volunteers with the more experienced volunteers and they do AMAZING arrangements. We have sponsors for almost every week who pay $60 toward the cost of the flowers. The sponsorship could be in memory or in honor of someone. We also had sponsors for the individual poinsettias and folks can take those home after the last Christmas Eve service.

We ate lunch with Mark's family and hung out with them for the afternoon. We went back to the 4:00 p.m. Contact Christmas Service - a service of stories and bluegrass music. It is one of my favorite services every year. It was extra special this year because our son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter #1, and their friends came to worship with us. We attend the traditional service on Sunday morning but we LOVE the music in the more contemporary service (Contact service).

They opened the service with "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons and they had interwoven a Christmas carol at the end . . .We are indeed waiting on the baby Jesus to be born -- the season of Advent -- a time of waiting. IT WAS AMAZING!! In between each son, one of the pastors tells a story. I left the service with my cup full and we hurried home as quickly as possible because . . .

We had a zoom reunion with our new friends! We "gathered" with the group of folks who travelled to Ireland together back in October. I thought my cup was full when we left the afternoon service . . .and it was . . .but this zoom call filled it up to overflowing.

After our zoom call, we ate a bite of leftovers for supper and talked about what a great day we had. 

Yes, I know I said it was a quick recap . . .but I tend to be a bit wordy! hahahaha!

Did you have a busy weekend?

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sunday Stealing

Thanks to Bev for the Sunday Stealing questions. When I copied and pasted the questions I realized that they begin with #16 so I'm assuming they are the continuation of last week's questions.

Stolen from Fauxklore

16. Do you want any piercings? My ears are pierced. I got them pierced the first time when I was 12 and I still have the original holes where I wear my earrings. When I was a young adult, I had my ears pierced a second time and just a short time after the piercing, I had surgery and had to remove my earrings before the holes had healed . . .I remember the nurse telling me that she would put them back in afterward but I was in pain and just wanted to be left alone . . . so the holes closed up . . . I had them pierced again in the same second hole. When Mark and I were dating he hated that second piercing and I actually let them grow up. I've thought about having them repierced JUST BECAUSE.

17. What’s your mouse pad look like? I don’t have a mouse pad.

18. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader? No, I haven’t. 

19. How do you identify spiritually (do you follow a religion, what do you think about soul/spirit, etc.)? I am a Christian and we are faithful members of a United Methodist Church. I am also on staff at our church. More importantly, we try to live out our faith. We firmly believe in "love God and love your neighbor." Pre-covid my husband volunteered faithfully at a local men’s shelter cooking dinner once a month. We have hosted a study for young professionals in our home each week. 

20. Do you prefer your nails long or short? I keep my nails very short. I’m typing on a keyboard or a laptop/tablet on and off all day and I cannot stand for my nails to get even a teensy bit too long.

21. What are your favorite smells? Right now, it would be ALL the Christmas smells – live greenery on the mantle, live Christmas tree, cinnamon and nutmeg; soup bubbling on the stove. Yes, I know that soup is not a traditional Christmas smell but I threw that in there to see if anyone is actually reading 😊. I do make a lot of soups when the days are colder.

One of my favorite smells of all is the smell of an old library . . .old books. I also love to smell popcorn – especially movie theater popcorn - and I love to smell a fresh cup of coffee. I don’t drink coffee but I think it smells so good.

22. Do you still use a radio or just use your phone/computer for music? Sometime I will turn the radio on in the car but I usually use my phone for music.

23. What kind of socks do you prefer to wear? Let me tell you about my favorite socks! Oh my goodness – I love these socks. The brand is Feetures. My first pair was a gift from a friend. I now have enough for several days in a row. I can buy them locally at a place called Trak Shak but you can also get them on Amazon. I know they are $15 a pair but THEY ARE WORTH IT! Here is the link for the socks.

24. Do you have any family heirlooms? Our daughter’s engagement ring has the diamond from her great grandmother’s ring. Our son has a piece of furniture that my father refinished. I don’t know if we have anything else.

25. Are there any musicians you didn't like at first but grew on you? I can’t think of any.

26. Is there anything you used to love but now dislike? This question reminds me of the one above . . .I’m sure there is something but I can’t think of it. I used to love sweets but I don’t eat those anymore but I can’t decide if I actually dislike them 😊 (probably not)

27. Your favorite place to be aside from your home? First thing that came into my head – traveling with my hubby. In reality, I guess it would be the beach.

28. What is your favorite kind of tea? I live in the south so my answer should be iced sweet tea!

29. Any old home remedies you use when you're sick? My mom always gave us saltine crackers and a coke (coca cola) when we were sick. Now I would still eat the saltines but would probably drink a diet ginger ale. My mom also made “stewed potatoes” which is sort of like a bland potato soup.

30. What level of brightness do you usually keep your phone at? Mine isn’t very bright – maybe a third of the way up.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Oh What Fun!

We have had a fun week. It seems like sometimes we go for weeks without a lot of social activities and then we do a whole bunch of stuff right together.This was one of those weeks with a whole bunch of FUN things to do.

On Tuesday night we hosted our group of young professionals for a Christmas party. Pre-covid our group was so much bigger. We are down to 6-8 young adults each week plus Mark and me BUT we still had fun.

We had party food and while we were eating we discussed how good party food tastes! I actually bought several things from Costco - frozen pigs in a blanket; meatballs (I made a sauce), meat and cheese for a charcuterie board, and pimento cheese and crackers. 

Above is a picture of our sweet group.

Mark and I ended up with great presents from our Dirty Santa game.

I know we are going to take at least 3 weeks off from our Tuesday nigth group because my class starts at the end of the first week of January and I'm not even sure what day the class meets. It is an online Sociology class.

On Wednesday, we had our office party. I didn't take any pictures at lunch but I did take pictures at our activity! We went to Civil Axe and we played hard and we had fun! We also spent a lot of time on Wednesday making our staff video which will debut on Sunday. We make a fun video every year as a promo for our Manger Offering which supports 22 ministry partners plus this year is going to help with a home building effort in our city.

We had to sign a waiver first and get a little introduction to axe throwing.

We threw a two handed axe and we threw a one handed ax. Mark said the one handed one looks like a hatchet to him (in my photos).

Several people in our group were really good! Marie did quite well.

That is Brian (my boss and our senior pastor) in the photo below.

Laura was quite good also!

I threw and threw and threw and my axe would bounce off the board but finally I got one to stick in the dead center! I look positively wild eyed in this photo!!

Our children's staff competed against our youth staff and our children's staff won. Eleanor and Susan were great axe throwers.

On Wednesday night we had tickets to see Christmas Vacation at the Alabama Theater. I remember going to this theater as a child.

We got in line with a whole bunch of other people and we were "wanded" before we were allowed to enter.

While we were waiting in line, we could look at the cute decorations in the window. When I was a little kid, the downtown stores would all decorate their windows and it was a big deal. I remember going to see all of the decorations with out neighbors one year.

This is the massive tree that is in the lobby of the theater.

I've told y'all before - we take horrible selfies. The show was sold out. We looked while waiting and it says the theater holds 2500 but I think the MC said there were 1500-2000 there on Wednesday night. I ended up wearing a mask during the show simply because there were so many people there.

This photo is dark but you can see the cool details - the mezzanine seats are around the edge and then there is balcony seating above. The theater was built by Paramount Studios in 1927.

I'm so sorry that the photo below is such a poor photo. One of the special things at the Alabama Theater is the Mighty Wurlitzer organ that rises from below stage. The organist was dressed in a bathrobe like Cousin Eddie in the movie. He played several Christmas songs and all of those people sang. We also watched a Goofy Christmas cartoon that was quite cute. 

They invited the people in the audience who dressed like the characters in Christmas Vacation to come to the front and they lined them up on the stage. I didn't get a picture but one guy looked just like Chevy Chase.

On Thursday night, we were invited to meet some friends at a local restaurant. I think I've written about this before but our Sunday School class does a really cool thing. We have "out to eat" supper clubs that rotate every quarter. You have a "dinner captain" for each month whose job is to figure out what night works for everyone (or most everyone) in that group. The "dinner captain" is responsible for picking a restaurant, calling ahead to make reservations if needed, email/text the ones in the group with the details. Our group wasn't meeting in December but another group was meeting and they included us. We ate at Little Donkey and I had a great frozen margarita.

This has been a fun week. The first case of Omicron has been diagnosed in Alabama and that person hasn't traveled which means that Omicron was already here. I hope we can make it through Christmas and go to Christmas Eve communion and gather as a family. Once our governor opened the state back up and removed the mask mandates, she said she had no plans of closing us down again. I wonder if we are in for an interesting winter.

Have you done anything fun this week?

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Last Hodgepodge of 2021

Thanks to Joyce for another year's worth of questions! This is the last Wednesday Hodgepodge of 2021!! Feel free to copy and paste the questions into your own blog and answer and link up or please feel free to answer in the comments section!! I'm using a funky green font in honor of the Christmas season :-)!!

From this Side of the Pond
1. How young is young? In the past, according to various organizations who decide these things, age 60 was the 'border age' to old. The World Health Organization has done new research recently and divided up the categories as-0-17 (underage), 18-65 (youth or young people), 66-79 (middle-aged), 80-99 (elderly senior), 100+ (long-lived elderly). Your thoughts on this particular breakdown, and also your thoughts as to where you land? Oh my goodness - I love this new breakdown! I'm not old yet - hurrah!! On the question -- how young is young? My first thought was that anyone under 18 is young. Underage is definitely a good category title. I work with lots of young adults (45 and under) and they amaze me at times!

2. TIME magazine has declared Elon Musk person of the year in 2021. What say you? If you want to know more about how they choose you'll find that info in the link here. If you were choosing, who would be your person of the year? I've always thought that the person of the year should be a "nice" person but I'm not sure that fits Elon Musk, does it? I think he has definitely done some amazing things. I actually looked at the choices for people/man/woman/machine of the year since 1927 and the choices are definitely interesting. I'm not sure who I would choose - it would probably be someone more "down to earth" - someone who is in the thick of caring for others.

3. I read here ten habits of extremely likable people which include-they greet the world with a smile on their face, they ask questions, they're consistent, they put the phone away, they remember names and use them, they keep an open mind and don't pass judgement, they're authentic, they're kind and generous, accountable for their mistakes, and they send thank you notes.  

So, are you likable-lol? Which one of these habits could use some further developing in your own life? What is one habit/quality you'd add to the list? 

I do smile a lot. I am definitely authentic. I try hard to be kind and generous. I say I'm sorry a lot so I think that means I own up to my mistakes. I send thank you notes. I think I'm likable but who knows?? I need to put my phone away A LOT MORE. I work hard on remembering names but I do forget names sometimes. The pandemic helped with this because I could say that the mask was interfering :-). If I added something I would add "Love everyone - and I do mean everyone."

4. One non-holiday related task/job/goal/dream on your to-do list that you hope/plan to make happen before the new year rolls in? I would love to clean out some of my attic before the end of the year. We have a great space but we have crammed so much junk into the space in the last 7 years.

5. Share with us some of your holiday plans. Tomorrow night we are going to see Christmas Vacation on the big screen at the Alabama Theater. I texted with hubby and kids yesterday and we figured out that we can all get together for Christmas Eve lunch. Some of us will attend a Christmas program this Sunday evening and some of us will attend Christmas Eve communion and candlelight service together.

6. Insert your own random thought here. I feel better about Christmas this week. Last week I was in a panic. I didn't put out as many decorations this year but I have plenty. Speaking of Christmas, our church had our Lessons and Carols service this past Sunday. It was so good.  ALSO -- all of a sudden, my blog is acting crazy -- I can't reply to your comments as ME! It shows up as anonymous. I googled it and it is a more common problem than I imagined. I've done the things suggested and it still doesn't work. It is so frustrating! I'm open to suggestions??? (yes - I think that was 3 random thoughts in one paragraph - what the heck!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Weekend in Review

The weekend started with lunch with three friends on Friday. The four of us raised our children together and our sons were all roommates in college at one point or another! Pre-covid our goal was to get together the first Friday of every month. We've been hit or miss for the last year and a half but we are trying to get back into our routine now that we are all vaccinated and restaurants are open for dining. One friend gave me one of my favorite gifts -- I got one last year and I've received two so far this year and I LOVE it. I should have taken a picture of it in the gift bag -- cranberries, a whole orange, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and other goodies. You cut the orange and cover all with water and bring to a boil and then let it simmer simmer and more simmer . . .it makes your house smell divine!

The little Silent Night cross stitch picture in the background was given to me YEARS ago by another friend who now lives in Texas. I love thinking about friends and family as I get out decorations each year.

I bought these cute little cookies at Trader Joe's and tied fun ribbon on them and gave them to some of the girls at work. The cookies hang on the side of your mug!

The weather was atrocious on Saturday so we stayed in. I think Mark almost went crazy. Our niece was graduating from college and we watched on livestream. Livestream graduation is the way to go. The weather outside was frightful but we watched in the glow of Christmas lights!

I wrapped most of the presents that I had ordered. I still have a few to go and I want to put ribbon on most of them before I put them under the tree.

On Sunday, we went to our Lessons and Carols service at church and it was magnificent. I taught our adult class -- I've been teaching from a book "Underdogs and Outsiders" and this week's lesson was about Bathsheba. After Sunday School, we headed to my sweet little mother-in-law's house to celebrate Grace. Not only did she graduate from college on Saturday but she also had a birthday.

We had the cutest cupcakes - that is sweet granddaughter #1 peaking out from behind the cupcakes.

Our niece is always so sweet to both of our granddaughters! We are so proud of her for so many things. She is so smart!!

I started a new book on the weekend -- not on my kindle -- an actual book! I read the first Harry Potter this summer on vacation. Yes, I know I'm late to the game. I've almost finished this one. I didn't expect to enjoy the series but I am enjoying it!

What did you do over the weekend? Anything fun?

Sunday, December 12, 2021

12.12.21 Sunday Stealing

Thanks to Bev for our Sunday Stealing questions. This week the questions are stolen from Fauxklore. Please feel free to copy and paste the questions into your blog. You can answer and then connect with us here. You may also answer in the comments!


1. Have you ever been caught outdoors away from shelter during a thunderstorm? I don’t think I have but my husband has a story where he and his two brothers were in a little boat on a lake here in Alabama and a tornado blew up on them. Their boat was pushed up into a slough and they were trying to jump out and get to shore. The stringer of fish was hung around one of their legs. Oh my goodness, they laugh about that story now but I would bet they were scared to death when it happened.

2. Did you ever build furniture forts as a child? Yes! What fun! More recently our oldest granddaughter went through a phase of furniture forts. When we would gather at my mother-in-law’s house for Sunday lunch, she would have blankets stretched between pieces of furniture.

3. Do you use any medicines daily? Yes, sadly I do. I have to take several allergy meds every day plus I get two shots a month. I’m also on a statin as of this last doctor’s appointment. I’ve lost tons of weight and I eat healthy foods and I exercise but my bad cholesterol numbers are not good.

4. When was the last time you used a disposable camera? I can’t remember! I don’t know if this was the last time, but someone had disposable cameras on the tables at a wedding reception. Can you still purchase disposable cameras? Where do you get film developed these days?

5. When was the last time you flew on a plane? We flew in October – we flew from Birmingham to Philadelphia to Dublin and then ten days later, we reversed those flights.

6. How many first cousins do you have? Let’s see . . .I have 3 on my daddy’s side. On my mom’s side, I have two that I know but there may have been some others that I don’t know. My mom’s siblings were half and/or step siblings.

7. What’s the longest period of time you’ve gone without sleep? I’m a mother of twins. Enough said? Actually, when they were newborns I only slept about 2 hours a night for 10 weeks. I was a zombie. Also, when we travel to Israel, I catnap on the plane but don’t really sleep well – it took us about 30 bajillion hours to get home one time due to snow in Chicago.

8. Did the house you grew up in have a big yard? As a child I thought the yard was tremendous. We had a peach tree and I had a sandbox and we had a clothesline. As an adult, I realized how small the yard was.

9. What has been the most difficult class you’ve ever taken? When I was a student at UAB, I had a lousy psychology professor so I hated the class plus I had my wisdom teeth removed that semester . . .I made an ok grade but I always felt like I was two steps behind.

10. What’s something that’s much more difficult than a lot of people realize? My first thought was “keeping my mouth shut!” Seriously. That is very difficult at times. Also, I teach an adult Sunday School class and I’m not sure that many people know how much time and effort it takes to put together a lesson each week.

11. What are some things a house would need to have for you to purchase it? We live on a park – the view from our front porch is quite lovely. I’ve told Mark that I would refuse to live in a house without a park (or something similar or better). I also love an actual dining room. We have one and use it often.

12. Would you ever go out in public wearing pajamas? If I were invited to an event where the invitation said, “please wear your pajamas” I guess I would wear some sort of pajamas. I did step out onto our front porch this morning in my sleep shirt but it was still dark outside and NO ONE was around.

13. Have you ever had a lemonade stand? I don’t think I have. I’m not sure my kids ever had one either.

14. Do you think you look older or younger than your real age? I hope I look younger but I really don’t know.

15. Where have you lived throughout your life? I’ve lived in Alabama my whole life. I’ve lived in 5 or 6 different cities but they have all been a suburb of Birmingham.


Friday, December 10, 2021

December's 10 on the 10th


Here are the questions:

1. In what ways do you decorate for the winter holiday season?  Do you use traditional colors or have your own color scheme?  Is there a theme to your decorating?

In our neighborhood, the tradition is for everyone to decorate their front yard tree with white lights. It creates a magical feeling to the whole neighborhood. There are a few people who don't - one family is Jewish. I'm not sure if the other few don't do it for religious reasons or other reasons. I usually use greens, reds, gold, and silver - I think those are all traditionally associated with Christmas. I don't have a theme - like an all purple tree or elves in every decoration. 

2. Share a family holiday tradition or recipe.  Is there something new you plan to try this year? When our kids were growing up, we would all meet at my mother-in-law's house and order pizza (good pizza) for dinner and then go to Christmas Eve services at church. We usually meet for brunch back at my mother-in-law's house and open gifts together. We serve cheese grits, a breakfast casserole of some sort, sweet rolls, etc. for brunch. We would all go home and rest a little while and then we would gather with hubby's extended family - cousins galore - for Christmas dinner. We would have full on Christmas dinner with turkey and dressing and ham and all of the sides.

3. Do you have a favorite Christmas book, movie, song or TV show?  Why is it special to you?  Is there a popular holiday book, program or movie you have never seen? I love Christmas Vacation and Four Christmases. They are both "special" simply because we've watched them so many times as a family. I've heard that Die Hard is a Christmas movie . . .and I don't think I have ever watched it. The Alabama Theater here in Birmingham shows Christmas movies every year. I would like to go see one of the movies one year. (After I typed those words, I went online and they have tickets available for next Wednesday night to see Christmas Vacation . . . I bought two!)

4. How do you handle the stress of the holidays?  Do you have some go-to for restoring calm to your life when things get crazy? Does drinking count? If so, I'll have a diet cranberry juice with a splash of diet gingerale and an ounce of Grey Goose, please! That makes me sound like a big drinker . . .which I am not. Every morning, I am participating in the December scripture writing plan and that helps with the stress.

when I got home from work - a tree
with lights only (and a beverage)

tiniest tree ever but it is up
and decorated!

5. What will you wear over the holidays?  Do you dress up for New Year’s Eve? I don't wear Christmas sweaters anymore . . . not after my daughter came home from her freshman year of college to raid my closet for her sorority "tacky sweater Christmas party." The sweaters all went away that year. I do have a few fun pairs of earrings and I will wear those. I don't usually dress up for New Year's Eve because we usually have a few people over to the house and we eat and hang out. That is the one time a year we might actually play a game.

6. How do you feel about snow?  What are the chances you will see a white Christmas?  Do you enjoy any snow day activities?  What will the weather be like where you live in this last month of the year? Snow is lovely. We don't get a lot of snow in Alabama and we don't know how to drive in it. Our city shuts down if it snows very much. Odds are slim to none that we will NOT see a white Christmas. If it snows, we like to get out and take a few pictures and then rush back inside to drink hot chocolate. The high today is in the 50's but Friday the high is 73. The highs from now through the 22 are anywhere from 58-72 degrees.

7. Do you have a gift-giving budget?  For how many people do buy gifts?  Do you buy for the postman, your hair dresser, nail tech, children’s teachers?  When do you open gift?  Who is the hardest person you buy for? We don't have a "budget" per se but I usually spend around the same amount on our kids. This year my husband came up with a plan and I'm going along with it even though I don't like it. We actually drew names so that means I'm not buying for all four (kids and spouses). We usually give our postlady a small gift card for a restaurant. I gave my hair dresser a handmade Christmas ornament made by a friend. In the past, we opened gifts on Christmas day but now that our kids have kids, we are playing it by ear! I need to ask them when we can be together just as a family this year. We all make lists so that makes it a little easier to buy for people but my husband is probably the hardest. By the time you are our age, we have most everything we need and/or want (within reason). He is getting a skeet thrower this year :-) and he picked it out.

8. If you could give a kind of impossible gift to someone, what would it be?  Perhaps something beyond your price range?  Or something you can’t buy.  Something intangible. Let's see . . .if I had lots and lots of money, it would be fun to give $1,000,000 to our church. It might be even more fun to give it anonymously. My boss, our senior pastor, loves Ford Broncos and it would be awesome to give him a new one. It would be amazing to fix up the old farmhouse where hubby and his twin brother stay when they hunt and fish - gut the kitchen, put in new flooring and cabinets. Maybe it would be better to build a house on the bank of the lake. For the things I cannot buy, I would like to give a baby to a whole lot of folks who are experiencing fertility difficulties. Of course, I would like to give true peace on earth to the world.

9. As we bid farewell to 2021, what was your biggest success this year?  Will you be making goals or resolutions or plans for 2022?  If so, what will some of them be? I taught Sunday School a whole lot of Sundays - some via zoom, some in person. We continued to host the young adults - virtually and in person. Both of those took perseverance. I don't make resolutions but I may set a few goals for 2022.

10. Describe 2021 in 3 words.  Name 3 things you wish for in 2022.                           

2021 - can't describe it!

2022 - 1. continued good health for our family, 2. the ability to go to Germany and Italy in June like we have planned, 3. lots of quality time with friends and family

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Silent Night Hodgepodge

 From this Side of the Pond

Thanks so much to Joyce for the questions every week! You can copy the questions and answer on your own blog and join everyone on Wednesday OR please feel free to answer in the comments section.

1. 'Tis the season to be jolly....so are you? I want to be jolly. Normally, I'm jolly. I'm feeling a little frazzled this year. We don't have our tree up yet due to circumstances beyond my control. I haven't finished shopping. I'm trying to be jolly.

2. Do you trim a tree this time of year, and if so is yours all done? What's something in your home-closet-life that needs to be trimmed in the new year? See answer to #1. Our tree is sitting in the garage waiting to be put into the tree stand and then decorated. All of our closets and our attic need to be trimmed. 

3. Are you 'dreaming of a white Christmas'? Is that a possibility where you'll be celebrating? According to this site the top ten places in the US you can count on for a white Christmas are- North Pole Alaska, Crater Lake Oregon, Yellowstone National Park, Winthrop Washington, Aspen Colorado, Ketchum Idaho, Mt. Washington New Hampshire, Whitefish Montana, Duluth Minnesota, and the Lake Tahoe town of Truckee California

Of the snowy spots listed which would you most like to visit? 

We are in Alabama so the chance of a white Christmas is slim to none. I could dream all I want but the odds of it happening are not in our favor. I think it would be cool to visit North Pole, Alaska for Christmas!! Someone I know lives in Truckee, California and her pictures are always gorgeous. They have already had at least one big snowfall.

4. December 8th is National Brownie Day...will you be celebrating? How do you like your brownies-chewy or cake-like, frosted or plain, nuts or no nuts, a piece from the middle or give me the corner? As a child were you a member of a brownie troop? I don't eat sweets so I won't be celebrating but if I were, I would probably be eating a Brown Sugar Brownie. I do love a good brownie with lots of pecans and I want the very middle piece. When our kids were growing up, I would cut the edges off our brownies. My kids called the edges "brownie bones." Mark LOVES the edges!! I was never a member of a Brownie troop but our daughter was for a couple of years. 

5. Share a favorite line or two from a Christmas carol or holiday tune. I love Silent Night - so . . .

Silent Night

Holy Night

All is calm

All is bright

Round yon virgin

mother and child

Holy infant so tender and mild

Sleep in heavenly peace

Sleep in heavenly peace

6. Insert your own random thought here. I'm all out of random thoughts this week! I need to make a list of gifts I need to purchase, Christmas cards I need to finish, what decorations need to be brought down from the attic, etc.  . . .I might not have my tree up yet but I have several nativity sets already out. Much like the very last line of Silent Night - Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born! I need to remind myself THAT is the whole reason we are celebrating - Christ the Savior is born.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Weekend recap

Just jumping in here with a weekend recap. I tried to take a few photos to actually document the weekend but NOT A SINGLE PICTURE is really worth anything! I feel silly posting them but since I made an effort, I'm going to run with it. 

Thursday night, we went to see "Into the Woods" at the Homewood Theater. I really enjoyed it EXCEPT it was too long. We were late getting home but I kept reminding myself that we can sleep someday in the future. The young girl with her back to the camera goes to our church. She and the little girl sitting on the floor in front of her did an amazing job. "Into the Woods" is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and he died just a few days before opening night. This theater is owned and run by a friend of ours and we have thoroughly enjoyed our season tickets. Mark had a hard time understanding the song lyrics and the speaking parts because the piano was fairly loud and it was hard to hear the voices over the piano.

I normally work on Friday mornings, but this week I had a quick hair appointment to cover the gray roots. I don't go to a fancy salon but I think Teri does a good job! Her back is in the far right side of the photo.

I rushed home from the salon and quickly changed clothes. Mark's boss of almost 40 years died last week and his funeral was on Friday morning. He was a good man. He was generous. Mark respected him so much.

the funeral service was at his church
and the burial was at a cemetery near
our house. This portion of the service
was military and they played Taps.
That song always gets me right
in the heart.

The funeral was a little like "old home week" because we saw so many people from years ago. I remember meeting some of those folks when we were newlyweds. When our kids were babies we would go visit Mark at the office. Everyone loved seeing "the twins."

This next photo is weird. I had purchased some new booties and wore them to the funeral. I love them!!

Mark had to spend Friday night with his mom and I watched Christmas movies and did laundry!

When Mark got home on Saturday, we headed to the brand new Piggly Wiggly. It is so nice. They have a HUGE wine and beer department. We bought a few things including a filet to grill for dinner.

On Saturday afternoon, we started dragging the tubs of Christmas decorations from the attic. I decorated the mantle.

We went for a late afternoon golf cart ride around the neighborhood.

On Sunday, we got up and got ready and drove to church. Our sanctuary looks amazing during Advent. Our pastor (remember he is my boss, too) preached a powerful sermon. Our Advent series sounds silly because it is oosely based on Christmas Vacation but the first two sermons have been very good.

We go to early worship and after worship, I taught Sunday School - I'm teaching from a book - Underdogs and Outsiders - a study on the untold stories of Advent. The first week was about Tamar and this week we talked about Ruth. After Sunday School, I ran by my mother-in-laws and gave her a quick kiss and hug and headed home to hang the wreaths on the front of the house. Mark stayed with his mom until his brother swapped out with him at 5:00. We had planned to put up our tree last night but Mark needed a break - so he headed out to exercise and I worked on Christmas cards. Mark doesn't usually stay with her on Monday nights but he is back over there tonight . . .so we still don't have up a tree. His sweet momma is having a few bad days and is needing her "boys" nearby.

Next time, I need to take pictures with PEOPLE in the shots but you can't really do that at a funeral and I kept trying to figure out a place where I could snap a photo during live worship on Sunday morning but I didn't want to distract anyone.

What did you do this weekend? Have you seen "Into the Woods"? Am I the only person in the world who doesn't have a Christmas tree yet? (we did buy one but it has been sitting in a bucket of water waiting to come into the house)