Thursday, November 29, 2012

He who has no Christmas

I'm in the creative mood!  Painting, sewing, name it the last three weeks have been full of arts & crafts!  Here's a quote I ran across last year and it stuck with me.  So...I decided to make it match the rich tones in my nativity setting and place it in a small frame next to it. 
 Feel free to share!
  Just right-click and save to your computer, then click to print.     

(Download the bottom one, it's the original size and doesn't have my stamp.) 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A photo-post from our 1st Annual Fall Festival! 

I've never planned a Halloween Party.  We just never "celebrated" it if you will.  The kids generally went "Trick or Treating" at the mall and to our immediate neighbors but going all out for Halloween just never happened. They never dressed like horror creatures and have never been allowed to watch anything like horror movies in our home nor bring such books into our home. 
 It was a conscious decision I made as a christian and as a mother.  
Well...while in high school my younger sister was reading The History of the Tennessee Bell Witch for an English class.  She literally freaked out one night.  Thinking she was being followed, eyes were watching her, she slammed doors, screamed, kicked and cried while my friends and I watched feeling helpless. I had just attended a youth party at church with friends when we walked into the door and saw her actions.   It left a very lasting impression on me.  The fear in her face and in my step-mom's was terrible!!  Since then,  I have felt that celebrating Halloween just honored gore, horror, death and things in Satan's world.  I believe that many celebrate the life of Satan and it scares the crap out of me! It's a world I want nothing to do with.
  I will forever celebrate the life of Jesus Christ!

When the kids first talked about a party I was eager to bake, cook and create.  I wouldn't however do anything grew-some, scary or freaky!   I don't put my personal beliefs aside for anyone or anything.  I learned years ago, "If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything!" 
 So....that being said....Pinterest here I come.  

It can be fun! Fun for ALL ages!   
I really prayed that anything we did as strange as it seemed would be to bring joy to the kids and make the parents feel the "fellowship" of everyone being together.  I learned too that  no matter what someone believes...there is a chance for you to share God's blessings! 
I hope this makes some sense! 

Here's a look at some of the fun we had!   
We had the party in the garage which worked WONDERFUL!!  The wood burning stove added some warm heat for a night that turned out to be absolutely COLD and recording breaking!

We counted over 50+ in attendance an hour into the party!!  Whoopeee!! 

Around 7:00 we began playing the games and after the 4th game one mom said, "Oh My Goodness...this is amazing!  I feel like I'm at the county fair!"  This was just what we wanted!!  Not just a party where everyone lingers and chats..we wanted interaction!!  We got it!!  At 9:00 the kids still were still playing games one by one and crawling in the maze as the parents started dancing to the Monster Mash, The Macarena and YMCA!!  FUN!!!    

 Miss Bella in front of one of the many backdrops Jamie provided for photos!

 Brother and sister, Bret and Stephanie   

 Devin playing Balloon Pop and loving it!

 All ages made Foam Pumpkins!  

 Jason is such an adorable child!  He did great with Pin the Nose on Mr. Pumpkin

Jaxon and the Pinata.  Thankfully Mr. Lee was there and showed us the proper way to "hold" a pinata so it can be busted!  Who knew??  There are two strings to hang attention!!  

Miss Jaylen posing for one of many photos!  She was loving this!

Jersey won two rings playing the "Duck Pond"

 She did not like the popping sounds!  

 Wrap a juice box with gauze and you get a MUMMY!

 Pumpkin Poop.  By far the kids favorite snack of the evening!

Stickers, Stickers and names on pumpkins!

 all I can hear is that "bee song"  lol

Zoey loved the duck pond!

 Zoey is simply adorable and growing too fast!

Photo booth with Hello Kitty and Caillou!

Trying to capture a group shot was to say the least a challenge!  Hilarious!!  We're missing a few kids in every shot!  

 Alyssa was the Queen from "Once Upon a Time"  a new show on TV (?)
Alyssa does makeup/facials at Merle Norman Cosmetics as well as for weddings/photography settings

 Bret was a zombie and Tink was Lady Gaga.  Those shoes were crazy!!!!  I actually tried them on and  woah! I was at least 9" taller!! Tink also does makeup on the side! 

 Life long neighbors, Cynthia and her hubby Richard!

 Mrs Grace is a blessing!  She loved the maze along with Me and Larry!!  It was so much fun!

 Swing time!!

 I adore this photo of Carson and Peyton!  The backdrops were such a hit with everyone!

 Michael Jackson (oops that's Megan) Bret and Tink....see the shoes now!!!

 This is the front of my costume!!  Election 2012 Fun

 Sisters, silly silly sisters Jaylen and Riley!

 Amazing to me what I have learned to do in photoshop!

Zoey playing, "BOO!"

 Alyssa's 2nd place ribbon..her 2nd win for the night too!

 Loco Lockup Larry!  My oldest crazy child!  Thank you for making the dance floor come alive Mr Karoke!
One of the many crafts made by me and Stephanie!

I LOVE this shot inside the maze!!!

So here's the famous maze.  Jamie worked on it all day and it was sooooo worth all the hard work he put into it!!  He taped, taped and taped!!  It was actually VERY DARK inside the maze and we gave the kids little pumpkin lightup lanterns to carry with them!  From me, age 49 (the oldest) to the very youngest 18 months....everyone who went thru this enjoyed it!!  The kids just squealed with delight while they were inside it!  Great, Great Job Jamie!!

 I tried to capture a few photos from inside....of course the flash would go off so you can't see how dark it was.  It was fun!! Grace had a fit playing inside it!'s the things that cost the least that bring much joy!!  

Fun with marshmallows and pumpkin decor!  

and finally....the winners of the costume contest:  
Originally our costume contest was to be voted on but several of the kiddos had left by 10pm and we had Stephanie and I had a chat with Jaylen and she ultimately, unknowingly decided on all the winners!  It worked out trophy for every family represented and that wasn't planned!  I thought it was sweet that she chose her little sister as the cutest!  awwww.....Riley was thrilled!!  

All photos are copyright protected and watermarked. 
 Feel free to share but link-back to my blog...Thanks!!

So there you have it....our 1st ever Halloween / Fall Festival.  It was a wonderful experience to participate in!  Our hope is that next year we merge some of our games and decorations with the Mt Juliet Cruise In Trunk or Treat.  
Who knows.....we may have started a tradition here for the granddaughters!!  
The main focus was family, friends and fellowship!!  We pulled it off!!  

November is here! 
 To begin the month off I'm shouting out, "HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"  
Today is my sisters 53rd birthday and just typing the numbers 53 is all too weird!  Where oh where did the years and days go?  Wasn't it just a "couple of years ago" that we surprised Daddy for his 50th??  Geesh!!!  Randi Jo was just a baby and Bret was a newborn!  Oh me.....that means "a couple of years ago" has actually been over 25 years!  Whew.........Crazy, isn't it?!  Amazing when you reflect back how it can seriously seem like yesterday!  

Anyway....We decided to celebrate YOU today!  I wrapped your gifts which will go in the mail this weekend....Jersey and I baked you an Apple-filled spice cake and we're sharing it with the rest of the family tonight after pizza!  We can Skype you and sing Happy Birthday!?  
There are not enough adverbs or adjectives to describe how it feels to have you as my sister!  I'm so lucky to call you my sister but to truly very fortunate to call you my dear, greatest friend!  I can't imagine me being the older or the younger sister.  Many girls "wish" their life's away and I can honestly say that being the Middle Sister to you and Connie has always been a gift in itself!  I am very fortunate to be stuck right in the middle of you two!  Two friendships and sisterhoods so unique and special in their own ways.  I'm  so thankful God gave me YOU!   

 It's hard to believe that two years ago you we were able to surprise you with your trip to San Francisco for the end of your 50th!!  Whew....A lot of sneaking, behind the scene computing and tiptoeing went on to pull that one off!!   Big George was so proud!  I was so proud of him and I couldn't believe your face when you realized what was going on!  Somewhere between the tears of loving you as my sister and loving Big G for doing this for you and knowing that I would have the boys...I was reminded that true love does exist!  : )   I love you two and I love the way you respect and honor each other! 
  Enjoy today as I know you will with those boys and know we still love ya~ way up here in Tennessee too!  


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