Monday, January 30, 2012


sitting patiently, aiming, making no sounds until suddenly the sound of the trigger ... then.... waiting, waiting those few moments while the camera uploads her latest target. yep...shooting is her favorite hobby.    okay, that may sound somewhat goofy/silly/weird or even cool... but in all reality I'm really not that patient when it comes to waiting.Waiting on capturing the perfect moment!  Especially when the "target" is being pushed around by the wind and the sun decides to disappear behind the only cloud in the beautiful blue cloudless sky!!   

photography has been a passion of mine.  i'm self taught and nothing i do may win a Kodak Moment of the Year Award but to me they are moments in my lifetime that bring peace, joy, sadness, reflection and self growth.  when in nature...i'm closer to the universe.  i'm one with my maker.  i see things others would never understand.  i relish when i see a tiny inchworm creeping across a leaf ~ i'll then invest an hour of my life trying to capture his tireless hike in getting to his planned destination!  

we are here for just a brief moment on this land we call Earth.  if i had my way, i'd travel like a gypsy doing nothing but journal and photographing/  unfortunately that doesn't pay the bill of a single woman! oh and i aced english/grammer in college but have no real use for it.  i write just as i speak...or should i say i speak and therefore it types!  lol  my goal in this life is to leave my children and grandchildren with a love of this planet.  to reuse/recycle.  to make progress for my grandchildren.  i photograph to reflect but then don't we all.  i pray to leave my fingerprint on your heart and the love of My God in your heartt.  i challenge you to photograph your story in 60 days...yep, your whole story.  you create it.  there's no wrong.  it can only be right when coming from you the author
look around your home, why is that picture over the sofa or bed?  what does it say about you?  what does it say you like or desire?  where did it come from.  did you settle on it or has it been there for what seems like forever?  look inside your cupboard.  what were you thinking when you purchased those cobalt blue dinner plates with red dots?  reflect...reflect behind your lens then...don't lend your view to the world (copyright your images because there are virtual thieves out here on the www!)  publish them....make greeting cards out of them to family and friends.  that's right...take that gorgeous photo you snapped and create a postcard out of it!  there's a big, huge beautiful planet we with a ka-zillion (is that a real word) places to explore.   if we all join together we can virtually travel and never spend a dime on a bus or plane ticket!  
happy shooting my friends

ps:  does anyone else miss the click and thumb action from our original 35mm Canon models besides me?  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Project Life!

I just posted about this on facebook. When I get excited about something everyone around me hears about it....over and over!  This is the newest, coolest project I've seen since I became a Creative Memories representative back in 1996!   I love my scrapbooks.  no, no, that's an understatement.  My whole reason for creating and spending the time I do on my scrapbooks is that my children will have them for themselves one remember the fun times, the trips, the proms, the awards all the "times" of their lives.  It became an obsession to me after we had a house fire in 1993 and lost everything, EVERYTHING we owned.  Had it not been for photographs I had sent to family members I would have been at a complete loss!  (Lesson there...get those updated pics in the mail to the relatives!!)  

When I was growing up our photographs were in albums and trying to remove one was an act of congress!  If you were lucky enough to get one free it usually ended up with a rip or distorted in someway.  My parents also kept loose photographs in our living room coffee table.  Even as adults we would sit for hours and go thru' those recalling precious times! that you have a little background you'll see why it became so important for me to give this gift of memories to my children in scrapbook form ~ to carry on their childhood to their children.  

Well, well, well......this new product, PROJECT LIFE,  has taken me by such surprise and I'm absolutely LOVING IT!  It's basically a compact scrapbook.  I can choose a few photographs to tell my story for the week instead of pondering for what seems like hours on which ones to use, crop and put just on one page alone!  

even as I'm typing my mind is going off in it's own direction thinking of what I need to do to get this off the ground and started!!!  (Promise to self made before Christmas:  NO new projects will begin until after Jerseys 1st birthday party which is quickly approaching on Feb 18th)   I"M SOOOOO EXCITED!'s the link, jump on over as I'm going to decide which I want to order!!  (cheezy grin)  

Happy Sunday my friends and happy'll be hooked!   


Thank you for thinking of me.  Your stopping by on your way thru the wonderful state of TN did my heart good.  I miss hanging out with you.  Wish the miles weren't so long...but, then they could be longer!  Just in case I never told you...I like so many things about you.  I hope my actions showed that.  I felt very warm knowing you took the time to drop in!  My door is always open, you are always welcome!  Always.  Hugs to you Don.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

...just saying

Dear Un-named Letter Stalker:  

 How about instead of taking the time to email me a nasty letter about how dumb my blog is....why not actually read some of its content.  If you still feel that way then feel free to mo-zee know there is a button at the top that says NEXT BLOG.  Encouragement gets someone much further than defamation of character.  You,  my friend,  I pray for today, tonight and in the coming days.  Apparently you are very lonely, unsure of yourself and certainly you do not represent the Living Lord that I do.  My hope is you find peace.  You learn to uplift.  You can become an encouraging person.  No, I won't block you for I see / hear in your letter you need someone to listen...someone who cares...yes, I am a total stranger and maybe, just maybe you can open up to me about all the hurt that has caused you to be so dark inside.  I pray God take away a day of my sunshine so you can see what my life is like.  I pray He overwhelmingly bless you with goodness and you be knocked down from the kindness of total strangers around you.  I ask this because I know that once you feel HIS love you will have a deep, a deep inner desire to know more of it.  I dont hate you...that's not in me.  I feel apathy towards you and I love you in His name because HE created you.  Give Him a chance.  He's only a prayer away.  I promise....I promise with all I have in me HE will make you whole and happy.  
In His Abiding Love, 
your least favorite blogger


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Earl Nightingale

I made this a couple of days ago.  Love the quote!  If you like it feel free to pay a visit to  and thank her for her creative designs!   I've had this kit since June I believe and due to challenges with my zip files I'm just now getting around to make something with it.       It's great to have people offer freebies especially when you're still learning!  My goal is to someday have all the creations I make on my own up for grabs!  (there is so much legal stuff involved and I don't want to infringe on anyone's personal creations)   Please remember to jump over and thank her!  I'm heading there now!  Love yall!   


So much a is going on inside my little abode it's crazy!  I'm ashamed that I still have two packages that were never mailed for Christmas and my butt should be ROYALLY kicked!  ugh!! 
I don't mind telling you (that's for Debbie, Daddy & Connie!) that I have the best and I do mean the best intentions sometimes and before I know it the time, day or event has passed me by and my "Good Intentions" are sitting in a box either by the door or in my truck.  Why oh why do I do this?   

Anyway... in my few minutes I have today to try to re-group and re-organize I have allowed time to update a few posts.  30 minutes maximum!!  The timer is honestly set as I have laundry going in both the washer and dryer, baby bibs soaking in the kitchen sink and dishes screaming out to me to be cleaned! HA!  Lets not even discuss the horrible disaster I created in the living room last night and left sitting there at 4am this morning.   Certainly it will find the vacuum or trashcan on its own, right?  

So to update number 1:  

Connor has recently received his First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.  I could not be more proud of his accomplishing this achievement!  The first time I saw Connor participate at Harmony Martial Arts the competition was being held at a local school in the gymnasium. There were SO many kids and adults in this program!!  

  I had literally just landed in Palm Beach and we headed straight there with my video camera fully charged.  The energy that Connor  had was so enthusiastic!  He had a certain number of boards to break, stances to perform and he was beaming from ear to ear!!  I cherish that memory of his face and knowing Aunt Bri was there to cheer him on!!  What a fantastic job he did too!  The hugs I received afterwards were wet, sweaty and most welcomed!!   

  Connor, I adore you.  Your dedication over the past years with Harmony Martial Arts is to be admired!!  (Love the younger pictures of you on their website too!)   You amaze me with your talent and strength!  Continue on the road of learning in all the ways you can and your Black Belt will be just one of the many, many awards to come your way!!  I love you kiddo!  Aunt Bri!  

Monday, January 16, 2012


by ~Shazbar

This weed, skinny standing stark,
face to the sky, holds its small
leaves like beggar's palms to
the sun, the rosette there
circling its throat, an upside-down

It is you, this weed, and it
flourished today from the crown up,
raised and opened
the arms of its seeds, to the sky, sparkling,
with intelligence and the morning dew.

they will release, lift from your mind
like nimbus parachutes, or heavenbound fireflies,
shining ideas leaving behind

that which was rooted.

i so needed this today!

I'm not into fashion. Period.  To me, a great over-sized sweatshirt with the name of a recent visited location is my kind of comfort clothing!  However ~ deep inside me there is a size 6 (she surfaced in 2006 -2008) but I adore certain little dresses and soooooo wish I could wear some of these darling ensembles that I run across!!  This is one of those!  How just adorable is this!!  I want to pull out my circle punch and start creating away and making the granddaughters one of these!  Their moms might find it hideous but I think it is just adorable!!  Imagine with me all the color schemes one could use!  Pastels, Christmas colors, Festive Fall or just teal and silver for the holidays.....ah...the list is ever-growing!    Now I realize it's not a dress you'd wear over and over but geesh, that's what makes is so fun !! just had to share this !   dream on size 6!

 I love to french braid Jaylens hair.  Oh how I would so dare these if I was young again!!  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Today being Friday, January the 13th reminds me of one of my moms famous "Bobbi-isms".

It's mid-September.  I don't recall the year but it's been a while.  My sister Connie and I were sitting at the table discussing my nieces upcoming birthday.  This just happened to be one of those rare Friday the 13th and we were going to have her "spooky party" in Dr. Turks mansion.  Just us girls and a home that was somewhat empty of furnishings as they were having it renovated. It did have the spiral staircase, the wooden library with the sliding ladder, 13 full size bathrooms and an old, old organ in the attic.  The perfect place for a party! 
While in the middle of discussions and planning our mom suddenly says in the most serious voice.  " come my birthday has never fallen on a Friday the 13th?  My sister and I exchange looks across the table.  You know the look...the "REALLY?" look!  Did she REALLY just ask us that?  Bursting into laughter we look and I don't recalled who said it but we ask, "Mother, when is your birthday?" 
her reply, "July 28." gotta love our Mom and her "Bobbi-isms"~  Never a dull moment!  So much so that we created a book  that show a diagram of her brain and the place where her tongue just snaps apart and takes off without the brain engaged.  This therefore causes a well-known Bobbism! 
We love you Momm!
Happy Friday the 13th! I'll be spending the night with you and Connie in a few hours!

The snow came today.  
will i ever not think about you when it falls?
how i want to cherish it, you, our memories ~
like snow 
soft, fun, pure, causing joy
i miss you
i've moved on
but you're never gone
you're not present but you are here..
in many ways
it's so true how we take others for granted
i'm sure i did with you although i promise it was never intended
push me away
push me away from memories
you see i can't tell any story that doesn't involve you
i imagine a life before you,  without us, then i'm left back at empty
everything i had
everything i have
is because we chose us
because i loved you
because you loved me
together we fell
just like the snow
creating a blanket 
on nights
like tonight
silently we fell in love
silently we led our lives
silently you slipped away
i'm so so sorry you were alone
push me away
push me into my now reality
reality without you

sweetheart...i hold on to thoughts of you.  i have so much guilt about you being alone.  you gave me so much.  you left me our world without one thing...the u in us. i miss you.  i will always love you.  i am really as happy as i can be right now and i realize i'm the one person responsible for my own happiness.  i know you are in heaven.  i know we'll be reunited.  these things i know but i have my moments...still...where my world stops and i do nothing but miss you and now is one of those.'s at these moments i jot down what my mind is spinning around in it and i pray to my heavenly father to hold me just a little bit tighter in his  arms.  i miss your arms around me and your feet being so warm.  you would hate my tears.  i miss how you would catch them with your giant fingers and place them on your cheeks so you could "feel my hurt"... breathe bri.....breathe.........................all of this over a little snow.  silly~silly girl i know.
so now i lay me down to sleep
i pray the lord my soul to keep
if i should die before i wake
please never allow others to endure this ache 
i know that's silly and an impossible request and by mornings light this'll be off my chest
goodnight jesus, goodnight god, goodnight children, goodnight love, goodnight mother, goodnight dad, 
goodnight my sisters i'm so glad i have.  
tonight is over tomorrows a fresh start
i love you all
with all my heart 

I'm here:
I'm hurting:
like hell
I'm going:
to church
I'm feeling:
I'm knowing:
i'm loved
I'm wishing:
for a cure
to be held
to hold hands
I'm crazy:
about yesterday
and tomorrow
I'm showing:
your pictures
His love
I care
I'm promising:
to love completely
I'm donating:
a few dollars
my talents
I'm missing: 
your touch
our secrets
unexpected visits
I'm praying:
for love
for salvation
for YOU!  


~got it when I was two, he says
as I trace back time through a line on his chest

Thinking about
a heart removed


Silently touching his past

I feel a strange

My heart~
still pounding beneath my breast

broken so many times
has no visible scars~

~memories by bri

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Daddy shared with me via an email today a sweet letter.  I decided to summarize its story and create something you can snag, share and most of all apply to your life!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding more than GOLD in the restroom!

It's official.  Pain management is a bunch of crap!  I arrive well before my 8:35 scheduled appointment and finally I am taken to the room at 9:40.  Now mind you all I have going today is my precious Jersey is coming over in the afternoon but really people an hour later??  The nurse asks why I'm there and I explain the details of this crazy blood pressure going from 202/160  and causing an ER visit which triggered yet another home health visit which brought me back to you a nutshell.  My blood pressure is 148/80.  Do-able after an hour of waiting.  oh...and my weight is down again!! yippee

35 minutes later after reading every wall poster, checking my email, playing on my phone ....the nurse practitioner walks in and asks why I'm here and I briefly explain and remind him too that he said he would be doing the trigger point injections again in my spine today.  He quickly but politely cuts me off and says we don't have prior-authorization.  Prior-Auth approval really?  We didn't go through any of this before and no one mentioned this had to be done....but...and a BIG  BUT HERE...he says I have a bigger problem.

On your last visit when you gave your peepee it shows you have no narcotics in your urine.  My mouth is gaping wide open at this point?  WHAT?  I was even in the ER the night before and was given MORPHINE and TORADOL by IV!    He states that this is a huge concern as it makes physicians wonder what the patients are doing with the medication.  Well, duh!?  This patient is eating them ( swallowing them actually...just a figure of speech as I've been on them FOREVER!!!)   My mind wonders if the Vesi-Care (incontinence med for Multiple Sclerosis) could cause this as we all remember how very long it took for me to pee the last time.  He says very politely it's not possible and their machines are never wrong!  Therefore in my opinion accusing me of NOT taking my meds.  Boy....if he only knew how I hate taking them and how 4 times a day is too much.....ugh.
I protest.  politely.  I offer to pee again.  He agrees.  He follows me and I begin the infamous chore of begging my bladder to produce...produce anything...ANYTHING!!

The water in the sink is running full hand presses on my abdomen as if this is going to help force my urine to leave the warm nesting of my bladder and thrust it into my urethra therefore allowing me to hear the trickle of success as it hits the bottom of this really strange cup they've presented me with.  ugh....... at this point I now have my other elbow resting upon my leg in a sort of squatted position and I find myself praying.  Praying.  Yes praying!!  Praying and begging not just for the sweet scent of success in a cup but for justice...for God in His busy day to reach down and magically transform hope into urine as he did water into wine.  Then I'm feeling guilty.  Gods busy.  I know he listens and hears my every prayer but this is unfair...unjust...someone, anyone hear on my side.  All I am truly after is relief from pain and this is crazy ridiculous, dumb crap I'm having to endure!!

~~ then....ever so gently I feel a calming...just a brief moment.  A feeling of not being alone but having someone at my side.  WE WILL PREVAIL comes into my head.  I can't help but have tears puddling in my eyes as I realize He is hearing me...He is here...and in that same moment, that very same moment I giggle inside.  I've asked my Lord and Savior for a lot of help and items but  I can't remember ever asking for his help in the Ladies room!!  That anxious feeling that was trying to irritate and rule over me was replaced by the warmth of success filling up a cup.

With my head held high I gladly surrender my goblet of goldeness! Jay and I return to the room where he examines this smaller than a golf ball size knot has taken up residence on my spine.  It's around the T-4, T-5 area.  Just under my last surgical scarring.  He is quick to "gasp" and says I need to immediately follow up with the surgeon as this is not normal.  There is a tap on the door and pretty pink post-it note is handed without words exchanged.  "Now, now, that's more like it, you are taking your meds."  There is a part of me that wants to shout hooray and another part that feels like rolling my eyes up!  Please understand that this is not a direct attack or anything personal against Jay...I like Jay...I just hate all this medical mumbo-jumbo that makes not one bit of sense!!  Its a waste of time and more-so of my insurance companies money!!

He has been told to bring me back in 5 weeks for 5 more trigger point injection shots and advises me this can be done 4 times a year. The funny and sad part about this is.....INSURANCE COMPANY: I'd much rather have these shots than ALL THIS ADDICTIVE MEDICATION IN MY BLOODSTREAM!  HELLO?????   Jay agrees to my comment and shakes his head in disbelief in what our insurance compaines allow and don't allow.  Absolutely crazy!  In the meantime he reorders the Soma (muscle relaxers) that I was able to get off without incident.  He does this has the muscles are soo tight and due to the fact that I'm having numerous muscle spams in my throat, neck and legs from the Multiple Sclerosis.  Fortunately this time it's not 4 a day I can take them as needed.

Lord, would you please allow the little people (the patients) to have their voices heard to this county of PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES and INSURANCE COMPANIES...oh and to the MULTITUDE OF LABS that are overcharging on incorrectly ran specimens on a daily basis!   Please, Please heal Dr. Devyani Sanders.  Bring her back to us.  I miss my homeopathic physician dearly!  P.S.  Thank you for interceding with me today.  I know the restroom and a public one at that is a strange place to call upon you for help.  I'm also sorry for pulling you away from other more important things like world peace, death, violence, war and the beautiful gift of life coming into the world but at the moment I really needed some assurance about all this pain-crap-garbage going on.  Thank you for loving me as difficult and strange as I am Lord.  Have a good rest of your day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Magic of a Homemade Tent 

Riley has just turned 3 and is honestly the first child I've ever seen with such a vivid imagination when it comes to playing with her toys.  I believe in previous posts' I've commented on how well she plays with toys and she ceases to amaze me at her keen seen of imagination during playtime!  When she is playing her world revolves at that moment around what is playing.  Shopping, dolls, dress-up or doctor she is into it 200%.  It's a joy to just sit and watch her play!  In all seriousness she could have a sitcom of her own. Riley is talented and into her characters!  Meme is obviously very impressed!  

Well,  the time has come for her to spend the night with Meme.  I'm sure you're asking why is she just now doing this.  The fact is she just wasn't ready. Maybe Meme wasn't ready. nawww~  She is a Momma & Daddys girl when it comes down to it.  No matter where she is or how much fun she is having, her little head is always turning around and making sure they are within eye-sight!  Not to mention I've just recently moved back into the same state and less than 10 miles from them so hopefully this will be the beginning of many!   : )

I'm not sure who was more or Riley!  Really! The fact that her older sister Jaylen was to be spending the night seemed to make it not so traumatic. I was honestly prepared to have to take her home at 2 or 3 in the morning if she just couldn't handle being away from Mom and Dad and that was okay!  I've had to take home girls much older in the past at the wee hours!

We had hinted around on Christmas about her coming over and how we would build a tent in then den, bake cookies, color and all the things girls do with their grandmothers!  She arrived and was raring to go.

Energy: FULL
Excitement level: HIGH
Juice Cup:  CHECK
Toothbrush:  PACKED

Jaylen,  being the big sister didn't understand all the fuss but certainly played along!  She did realize that keeping a positive attitude helped Riley not get frightened or feel lost without Mom and Dad.  Jaylen would repeat "Isn't this fun Riley?" over and over!  It was so nice having them together and alone for some girl time!  

First thing I learned a lonnnnng time ago is to never mention doing something that you don't intend on doing because little minds never forget those grand ideas!  They will certainly hold you accountable!  We began our night with Riley changing into her princess gown.  One thing about Riley-she is very, very serious about her clothing even at the young age of 3!  When she has picked out an outfit she is all about the "Character" whom she is dressed up as!  So, now that Riley is dressed it's time for Pizza and baking!  Not long after the pizza had settled we decided to get the baking going and I tell you those girls are just silly...funny and silly!

 I have to admit I took the easy way out this time.  My cupboard held all the ingredients to make homemade cookies from scratch like Jaylen and I usually do.  Yet, when I dropped by the store they had marked down all the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough to .50 cents.  How could I resist that deal?  At least we had sprinkles and sugar!   It warmed my heart to hear their little giggles and whispering little secrets to each other has they pinched up the sugar and covered the entire tray with it's little grains!  Neither of them chose to use sprinkles on the cookies and I soon discovered why (as the picture below will show)  the sugar was much more tasty!!

After several minutes I had to step in as the wiser one and limit the sugar or it was going to be a really long night due to energy overload or tummy-aches!  I'm pulling the two sugar bowls away and their little fingers were digging deeper and deeper all the while Riley is trying to lick the fingers from her left hand!  I think I gained 3 pounds just watching them!  

By the time we finished cleaning up the kitchen and brushing teeth I realized neither of them had eaten one cookie!  Sugar...yes!!  Cookie...nope.  Oh was the memory of creating that first batch that Meme will cherish!

We had promised to build a famous MeMe tent.  A family tradition that I learned from my Step-Mom (Pam aka Ninny) in the den so I put the girls to work on thinking out the plan.  We sat on the couch and began planning what we could do to make this right where we were sitting.  One of my fondest memories is how Pam would have us "Think" about know, really plan and challenge me to create something.

  Jaylen was full of ideas as we had done this on many occasions.  It was fun to watch Rileys little mind working and looking around the house for things to use.  Well...below you will see what we accomplished.  They were told to find 6 items to build walls along with the couch.  Our tent consisted of the old coffee table, the computer chair, two chairs from the bistro table, the camera tri-pod and the extra curtain rod.  I don't know how many sheets, blankets and quilts they pulled out of the linen closet but what's a tent without linen?    

We had fun creating our little nightspot and watching it fall (intentionally by me) a few times.  They would laugh so hard when it fell!!  Oh me.... their giggles are something!  We finally managed to get it to stay up and they neither wanted to lay on a blanket but be under 2 or 3.  I have been accused of keeping the house like a walk-in-freezer from time to time!

Once we had again brushed our teeth, our hair and put on the PJ's we began  to settle in for a night of movies.  Strict orders of not going to sleep before midnight always go with movie time!   I tell you it works every time with Jaylen.  She'll be out before the first movie is over!
Riley and I watched The Smurf movie and then while in the middle of Tangled, Miss Riley fell asleep.

Our evening together was so memorable.  Meme enjoyed every second I had with the girls and I'm looking forward to not just more nights with them but when all 4 granddaughters will be staying!  The sounds of giggles and the scent of nail polish thrill me for the up-coming sleepovers!    Yea!

The following morning we indulged in some Cracker Barrel for brunch as it was 10:00.  Jaylen ordered pancakes and okra.  Wow...what a combination!
She knows my two rules when we go out.  #1. If you order it you eat it.  #2. Nothing sweet if you don't eat something of substance first.  Riley ate her macaroni & cheese like she was starving but the truth is she wanted to go back to play with the toys in the gift-shop!
Did I mention that she is again wearing her Princess Dress?  She is being complimented and one lady asks her name and she very seriously says, "I AM SNOW WHITE TODAY, not Riley!"  Too cute.  Larry and Julie are going to have to get her into acting classes soon!  She is so good it's strangely odd, she throws herself into a character!  Amazing...just amazing!  

We ended the day with some birthday shopping for her Dad.  His birthday falls on New Years Eve and I'm sure that'll be a post as well here on the blog!  The truth about my blog is it reminds me of special moments.  I don't want to forget a moment of fun I've had with the kids or granddaughters or anyone else special to me! The fact that my posts are usually a day or two behind...oh well!  I'm religious at blogging them just not posting them for you all to see until I've added my pictures and links! is my open letter to Riley:
go to for this awesome dandelion notepad!

P.S.  I found a great idea for us to do when you spend the night again! It's a way to write down and remember all the things you loved this past year!  Here's a sneak peak at it and where I found it online! shared this on her blog! 

What fun we will have listing all the things you learned and all the things you look forward to this year!  

Sweet Dreams Riley Claire!  Love Meme

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy Holidays?  
In my world it will always be, 
MERRY, MERRY CHRISTMAS!'s almost 2012.  Even my kids are making comments about it being 12 years into the "New Millennium". 12 years!  Where oh where does the time go?  Crazy eh?  My grandmother once told me that the year and months go by fast and I'm really starting to see & feel this now!     
Family getting together and having a great time is my favorite part of any holiday not just Christmas. One of my fondest memories this year was Dirty Santa with Pop, Trish and the extended family.  What a hoot!  I have never enjoyed playing Dirty Santa as much as I did this year.  

There was a 10.00 price on a gift and it was to be a "real gift" you'd enjoy receiving not a "dirty-minded" gift.  My oh my...we started off with the highest number going first.  Number 27 which was Larry   That child of mine is as silly and crazy as Daddy!  Anyway, we must have gone through 9 number before any "stealing" or "trading" began and of course Daddy would be the one to get the "Dirty Santa" going!! 

 Funny thing is each gift he stole he had stolen back away from him.  I tell you I don't think Connie and I have laughed this hard and this long for quite some time!!  What a cleansing that know to just laugh, laugh, laugh so hard tears are streaming down your face!   Well..the evening was beautiful, joyfull and very special!  

Christmas Eve found Bret, Tink and myself relaxing at home.  This is a rarity!  Usually we find ourselves running around do last minute errands and visiting.  It was a nice change.  It gave me time to actually get all the "sweet baking" done.  When the kids were little Christmas Eve was always a time to open one gift and of course get new pj's so we decided to continue the tradition...just the 3 of us! 

Bret had taken the time to STUFF my fun Florida Flamingo stocking!  If I can't be in FL...I can at least decorate as tho' I am!!  He really thought out the contents he filled it with too!  I was very surprised and impressed!  I'm not a sweet eater but when I do I'm pretty predictable.  Junior Mints and Skittles are on the top of the list!  Next we had Carmex, All-in-one bottle/cap opener, Tweezers with these cool handles, new scissors and a 25.00 Zynga Farmville Gift Card!  Mom was thrilled that he took the time to fill up my stocking! (yep....I'm braggin')  

Christmas morning was wonderful as it began with a beautiful service at church.  It's a shame Christmas morning only falls on Sunday once every 7 years...really.  I love it!!  Service started with us singing "Go Tell It On The Mountain!"  We were honored to have Yancy (singer, songwriter and author) join us for our celebration services!  What an incredible beginning to worship and honor the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! 

If you're ever in the Nashville/Murfreesboro, TN area...World Outreach Church is an amazing Non-denominational church to worship!  ~just saying!  

The day continued at my Moms sweet country log home.  Sat back off the road and tucked beneath the trees with an adorable, old fashioned wishing well in the front yard.  Such a beautiful yet simple piece of property that you just don't see now-days!  We filled up on wonderful Honey-Baked Ham & biscuits!  More was there to eat...but I couldn't tell ya what cuz' my eyes and belly on see that ham!! yum!!  When I think of tastes that remind me of the holidays..this is certainly one of 'em!
We ended the day at my son Larrys house this year with more ham and lot of gifts.  Too many gifts actually!  I was so overwhelmed with presents this year that I'm still in awe!  Just seemed like everywhere I turned around I was being handed yet another beautiful package to rip into.  Actually...I'm one of those that wait till everyone, and I do mean everyone, has opened their gifts and then I slowly...ever so slowly torture them by looking at every inch of each gift. I'm really not that anyhow this year I did go a bit faster as I had help from 4 granddaughters!  

As for!  I know before I begin this list I'm going to forget something or someone and I certainly don't mean too!!  My intent was to put everything together and capture a photo of it ALL but...well, I forgot!  Lets see ~  
Not one, but two Pandora bracelets and another charm bracelet!  I'd say after all my years of wearing my charm bracelet everyone knows what I cherish!  I can't choose one as a favorite as they are each so different!  One was from Jersey with MeMe charms and a butterfly to represent her Mom!   My Mom got me the second one with a large silver charm.  Simple with plenty of room for charms of my liking!  Then my little sister chose a new silver traditional charm bracelet with 4 new charms.   A cell phone, a computer, a cupcake and a coffee cup with a dandelion on it!  I love them ALL! My charm bracelet is so full and I've got 20+ charms to add to this new one.  Charms from places I've visited and those to represent special moments in my life.   

Larry and the girls ordered for me an adorable snack jar with all the granddaughters names on it!  Memes Perfect Batch!  Absolutely adorable!!  I never have snacks or junk-food for the main reason ~ ME!  This is a perfect place to store the girls sweet-treats and Brets snack-packs he carries for lunch.  

My perfect gift from Daddy was a 50.00 gift card to the one place I will never tire of.  The one shop I will always feel like going to.  The one shop that I should own stock in!!  Oh..that's right, I do!!  MICHAEL'S ARTS & CRAFTS!  yippppeeee!  I'm 50.00 closer to my new set of Prisma-color Colored pencils that cost 119.00!  This will be my third set in 3 years.  Whew!  So much for finding a new craft that cost less!   
Bret purchased me the coolest Pink & Black tool box full of household tools!  It's the cutest thing!  I wonder if the pink color will keep the guys from sneaking my tools now?  hummm....

Just when I was relishing in my beautiful new "giffys" I remembered I was wearing one. It was from Debbie. It is the loudest, most brightly colored lime green hoodie I've ever seen!  Pink writing on the front:  JUNO BEACH!  Whooopeeee!  I love it!!   If there is one thing my older sister has learned about me and all of our shopping together it's this:  I LOVE HOODIES & T's!  Shopping for clothes for myself is just sheer torture!  She and I have taken up our share of dressing rooms so many times at Bealls it's kinda sad. We can carry in 100 articles and end up purchasing maybe 5.  On a really good day, 10!  I hate shopping for clothing but shopping with Debbie always ends up fun, educational (don't ask) and certain to leave one of us about to wet our pants from laughing.  She certainly knows what I like!  

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm bragging because that is not my intent.  I'm just so overwhelmed at the amount of gifts and the gifts themselves that I received this year!  If giving a gift shows Love...then I am MOST CERTAINLY LOVED!  

Finally, Mr Tommy came into town and took me totally by surprise.   We went to Khols and Target doing some last minute shopping when he said to me, "I want to buy you whatever you want!"  I just giggled and  didn't think much of it until he began picking up stuff and putting it in the buggy over and over.  He was so sweet.  He wanted to make sure I had a nice new pair of walking shoes for the gym and some new jeans and whatever else I wanted or needed.  After more time than I ever spend in a clothing store (except with Debbie) we found my first pair of Nikes.  Yep, my first pair.  I've been a die-hard Avia shoe girl for years! I love them!  Welp scoot over new pink Nikes are so comfortable...and PINK!  (Ever since my back surgeries I seem to stay in walking shoes, I'm not crazy about it but if I don't I pay the price later!) see Christmas was overwhelming for me this year with a multitude of gifts that I never, never expected.  I learned something very valuable this year.  Someone very wise said, "Enjoy receiving, sit back and enjoy it. "  You know what.  I did.  I am!  I am blessed in so many, many ways that giving or helping others has always been my calling.  Nothing grand mind you...but however I can help.  So this was nice no this was many notches above nice!!  Thank you each and everyone for my incredibly beautiful giffys. 

 You all really touched my heart this year more than you'll ever know!  

oh....and how could we forget Brets Internet Tv system?  whoohoo!  We are so up to date with internet/television and phone electronics~~ thanks to his loving working at Comcast!  

Gods blessing be with you and your family during this beautiful Christmas Season and now as we move into the year of 2012!  

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