Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back to Blogging-Chloe's Sleepover

After a busy week of Christmas and being sick for the last few days I am up and ready to fill everyone in on the family activities of the last week and a half or so. Chloe's sleepover was the fun activity for the week before Christmas. She planned her sleepover for a month, made invitations, planned the food, and made all sorts of signs and tags for the girls. Including Chloe, there were seven little girls here-Chloe, Rahlee, Jade, Madison, Jenna, Ruby and Sydni. Cousin Lindsay helped to keep the party going too. Things went pretty well for the whole affair, except for a few little times that Chloe got frustrated. All and all I think the kids all had fun both in the evening and the next day. The pictures show the girls sitting in their assigned spots (by Chloe) listening to her read a special story. Not all of them were thrilled to sit still and listen, but we coaxed them into making it through. I gave Rahlee, Jade and Chloe their Christmas present from me-Hanna Montanna or High School Musical, pjs and that is what you see them wearing in these pictures. The next day was very warm and they all had a good time playing outside. Now, Grammy was glad when they all began to leave, but it was fun and a special thing for Chloe to do and remember.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Cool Christmas Gift

Michael's mother Kathy and Katie, got together and made this really cute Christmas gift for our family. All seventeen grandkids are hanging here in a row along the fireplace mantel. You cannot see the little snowmen wreaths very well, but their faces are little frames with a grandchild's picture in it. It adds a cheerful spark of color to our blue Christmas theme. It was so thoughtful and sweet of them to think of such a great idea and put it all together.
Thanks to both of you!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gabe Gives A Primary Talk

On Sunday Gabriel gave a talk in Primary. He is quite a unique, funny and very expressive boy. He did some ad libbing and took a kind of ordinary talk and dressed it up a bit-Grammy and Poppy were amused and proud of their smart and unusual grandson. Below is the text of his talk on Christmas, minus the ad libbing. Go Gabe!

Christmas is an exciting time of the year for kids. We get excited when we see the decorations downtown come up in November, we are excited to see our family put up the Christmas tree, or our mom asks us to make a list of things we might want for presents. Families usually have Christmas activities to go to in December and we like to help make cookies or other fun treats that are our family’s tradition. I like to sit by our fireplace in the light of the Christmas tree and read a book. All of these things are an important part of Christmas for us. But when we are thinking of of all of these special things about Christmas, we sometimes forget that Christmas represents the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

We have a nativity scene in our living room that my grandma had when she was a little girl. It sits in front of the window and has lights around it, so that they give a special glow to the figures of Mary and Joseph and little Jesus in the manger. I can look at this and it helps me remember that Heavenly Father sent Jesus to the earth as a little baby to live and die for all of us, and what I can do to show I am thankful.

The First Presidency of the Church message, in the Friend this month says:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem.

“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him”.

The Wise men followed the light of a star to find and worship the Savior. We worship Him by following the light of His example. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is perfectly obedient, merciful and kind. He spent His time on earth in service, and He gave His life so we could repent and live eternally. Because he came to earth, we know who we are: beloved children of Heavenly Father.

This Christmas, may we sing with joy, pray in gratitude, and carry out kind deeds. As we strive to become more like the Savior, we will have joy and happiness during this wonderful season and peace each day of the year.

President Thomas S. Monson

Prsident Henry B. Eyring

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gatlin Celebrates His Birthday

On Sunday, Gatlin celebrated his second birthday with his family all around. We had a spaghetti dinner and of course, ice cream and cake. He is such an expressive little boy with big brown eyes and always a funny grin for the camera. These pictures are just a few of his silly faces. We love you Gatlin!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Concert-Chris

Christian plays the clarinet for the East Jr. High band. Last night he had his Christmas concert. Mr. Miller has done a great job with his students since he came last year as the band teacher. 7th, 8th and 9th grade students play separately at the concerts. These pictures show Chris and his 9th grade band group. You cannot see Chris in one of the pictures, but he is behind the girl with the clarinet in the front. They played some Christmas songs and other pieces. We all enjoyed the show until we went out to the van and it did not start-again. Chloe had a teacher from last year that she was having fun with and when she heard about our problem she volunteered to take us home. She even left her kids and parents at the school to run us all the way home. Talk about Christmas Angels!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Blue Tree?

Yes, this year we have a blue Christmas tree. Way back in the 1970's, when we lived at 66 S.Capri in Ormond Beach, Florida, blue was in for Christmas. We had blue lights all across the house and blue inside too. Since then we have never gone for blue, but now our living room is yellow with some blue willow dishes and some aqua blue trim so Mom thought that the usual pink Victorian theme might need a change. Lindsay, Kelly and Mom went out Saturday in search of a narrow tree that would not take up too much room in the corner of the room. We found one and brought it home. After the decorating with blue lights and balls and a trip to K-Mart today for some Martha Stewart blue bows, it has turned out pretty nice. We like it anyway and hope Santa will too.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy Holiday! Sleepy Girl!

Chloe started out Thanksgiving Day, helping Grammy cook some delicious dishes for our meal.
During the day she followed Uncle Briggs around and involved him all sorts of her activities. Later she kind of took to Uncle Robbie. It was nice to see her be able to interact with her uncles that she does not see too often. It was a busy day and by nighttime she was sound asleep as you can see in the picture here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Walk in the Woods

When we think of our blessings, one of them we are so grateful for is the property that we own here in North Carolina. It is twenty four acres with a pond and woods, besides the nice big yard and house we live in. Our goal for this blessing is that it be a place of safety and production to provide for all of our great big family, now and in the future. We kind of have a Thanksgiving tradition- a walk through the woods around the property. Briggs and Robbie shared this walk with Mom and Dad and all the cousins. Chloe really took to her Uncle Briggs and walked beside him all the way.

We Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time for the gathering of families together to give thanks to Heavenly Father for their blessings. We remember the sacrifice of the Pilgrims and the divine intervention of the Lord to provide for them Indian friends, Squanto and Samoset, who helped the Pilgrims though the difficulties of their first attempt to live in their new found land- a land that was being prepared to bring forth the Gospel. Thanksgiving is a time for the children to have fun with their cousins and mom and dad to have a good visit with their children. It is a day to give thanks for the blessings of family, food, shelter and a country where we are free. Our Thanksgiving Day was mostly full of kids having fun as you can see in these pictures. Robbie, Briggs, Allison and Kendra were with us and we enjoyed the nice time and good food.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Making Grandma Jennie's Fruitcake-Christmas Begins

It is getting close to Christmas and it is funny how one begins to be nostalgic and think back to their childhood. I remember my mother making fruitcake from her mom's recipe. When I was young, I probably was like most of my kids and did not like fruitcake too much, but in later years I began to acquire a taste for it. I liked her fruitcake because it was a dark and spicy one with just the right amount of fruit. Not too much and not too little. "Claxton Fruitcake" is good but too much fruit. My Uncle Leonard started making it in his later years and sending it to family members. He did a good job too. Soooo.... I got the idea that it would be nice to pass this tradition on to Lindsay. I bought and gathered up the ingredients and on Saturday, we took on the task. I just had to document it for postserity as you can see in these pictures. I do not know how it turned out yet because it is better to wrap it up tightly and store it for a few weeks so the flavors mingle before you eat it. I have them stored away now and closer to Christmas will let everyone know how they turned out. Today, I even bought more ingredients for another batch I hope to bake in a few days. In these pictures you can see that I had Grandma Jennie sitting nearby as her grandaughter and great-great-grandaughter baked her special recipe.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Grandma Meader

I found this picture of Grandma Gwendolyn Meader (1953), that I wanted to share. See the photo album? I have it now. Aunt Alice gave it to me a few years ago. She thought this Norman Rockwell painting reminded her of her family, ten kids and Grandma and Grandpa Meader. They might not have had all the fixings this picture shows, as they were really poor, but the family gathering is what she was thinking of. Layout kit is Harvest Spice by http://www.shabbyprincess.com

Happy Birthday Kendra, Jon and Matt

We celebrated Kendra, Jon and Matt's birthday last night at the #1 China. Dad, Mom, Kelly, Allison, Gatlin and the three birthday kids all had a delicious buffet to celebrate their special day. Jon and Matt were born on the same date, one year apart, the 20th of November and Kendra's birthday is the 21st. Jon is 17, Matt 16, and Kendra is 21 now. Hard to believe! Happy birthday kids! Layout Kit by Simple Girls
from Digi Scraps website.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fooling Around

I was just web surfing today and came upon a new website, http://www.scrapblog.com. You can design all sorts of scrapbook albums on it. There are different ways. This is just one of their templates I was fooling around with. It is only one page. You can add more and have a slide show. It is cute of Emma in her bath.
Check it out.

A Scrapblog Creation of Emma

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ellie and Emma

We have two little grandaughters that live in Arizona, Ellie and Emma. The have had a lot of fall experiences this year too. This is Ellie's third Halloween. See her two previous Halloween pictures here. And it is Emma's first. As you can see by these pictures they had a good time on Halloween night. Grammy misses you, Ellie and Emma!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Birthday Twins!

Well, our little twin grandson's, Andrew and Aiden, turned one year old this week. I think of them as our family's little miracles. Although all babies are miracles, they had a pretty hard beginning to their life and tested the strength of their mom and dad, Adam and Trish. Poppy and I worried and prayed for them a lot too and the Lord has answered our prayers because they are now healthy and strong and growing bigger every day. You can tell by their picture that was taken at their birthday party on Sunday afternoon. The whole family showed up to celebrate and they were so cute as they partook of the twin birthday cakes that their cousin Angela made for them. (She works at Food Lion bakery). Thank you Heavenly Father, for family and for Aiden and Andrew turning 1!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Annual Fall Trip

Every year, Kelly and I (and anyone else that is handy) go on an fall trip up the mountain to Boone and Blowing Rock. We take 221 north through Avery County tree farm country to Watauga County, where the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock are. We love to see the fall foliage on the mountains and feel the crisp air of autumn. This year we took Gatlin with us. He was a good little traveler and seemed to enjoy the day too. We stopped at Boone Walmart to get a few things and as we were leaving the parking lot we came upon the campaign bus of Elizabeth Dole. She was there with Richard Burr campaigning. That was exciting as it was just before the election. We were then to Blowing Rock, about 8 miles away. It was a beautiful fall day there. Such a quaint town with lots of shops and places to eat. We ate at the Knights Cafe. They have really good food and we usually eat there when we visit. Then we took Gatlin to the city park in the center of Blowing Rock. This park has been a traditional place for us to visit since Kelly, himself, was a little boy. Many of our little ones have had fun in this park through the years. Gatlin had fun on the slides, but was a bit reluctant on the swings. He also saw his first snow while we were there. We got in our car and traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway to Linville and then onto 221 to Marion. It was a lovely and fun day for all three of us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Goody's Powders

Well, I finally accomplished stopping my use of Goody's Powders. About a month ago, I decided to go cold turkey and by some miracle of life, was able to switch my use of Goody's to Tylenol. I know this is probably not too interesting to anyone else, but for me it is a great thing, because I am feeling much better all the way around.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Happy Halloween"

Our spooks: Lindsay, Caleb, Gatlin, Chloe, Gabe and Joshua. See our cute Spidey Man.