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

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, 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.

Trick or Treat

"Trick or Treating" is a much anticipated night for all the kids in our house. This year it seems that the trick was on the Gilliams though. The evening leading up to the time we would leave for our fun night, was quite frustrating and wild, to say the least. Not only for the Briggs Gilliam home, but for the Adam Gilliam home too. All calmed down by 6:00pm though and Allison and I were off to our church's "Trunk or Treat" with a car load of kids and a baby. But since it was was getting late and dark, we decided to skip "Trunk or Treat" and head on down to State Street in Marion. Gabe was sick but he insisted on going and made a heroic effort to keep up with all of us. Gatlin caught on quickly to the ways of begging folks for candy and looked so cute in his little Spider Suit. The evening started out wild, but ended quietly and another successful Gilliam Halloween was over.

Pumpkin Results

Pumpkin Carving 2008

Of course the American ritual of pumpkin carving has to have yearly attention if kids are around. This year I bought Lindsay some giant pumpkin seeds. We never got around to planting them until
the summer had worn on a bit. I anxiously awaited the seeds to sprout and grow and only one vine appeared. It did grow and in the end produced only one pumpkin. It never got to the giant stage, but was big enough for a pumpkin carving the night before Halloween. Lindsay, Gabe, Chloe and Gatlin had a busy time in these pictures, carving away. Clipart by Lisa's Original
Country Clip Art