Monday, September 29, 2008

A Mother's Heart

Right now I am listening to merrychristmasradio.com which plays Christmas music all year long. I joined Live 365 so I could celebrate Christmas all the time, not just at Christmas. This was very special to me when I found it. You see, my son was diagnosed with leukemia on December 23, 2007; so my listening to Christmas music was curtailed somewhat. He had his bone marrow transplant in June, and I am living on a long in-drawn breath. In the meantime, I realize that there are few guarantees of happiness in life. Some would argue that there are NO guarantees at all. I say, "What about..." a jump into a pile of fall leaves, crisp October air, lengthening shadows on a late fall afternoon, a brilliant autumn in New England, soft autumn breeze, rain-washed sidewalks, children playing in the twilight, clapboard farmhouses, a starlit winter night, a silvery landscape, fir-scented warmth, frost touching the meadow, the country colors of harvest, ringing doorbells on Halloween, letters written on scented sheer stationery, a sugary snowfall, trees silhouetted against a winter sky, a mug of hot chocolate stirred with a peppermint stick, lighted windows, settling down in front of a fire, twilight in Colorado, calligraphy, candied apples, frankincense and myrrh, gossamer lace, a winter fireside picnic, ribbon-tied violets, a burnished western sunset, lingering memories, convent bells, a gentle harvest night, sweet-smelling hay, moonlight on the lake, leaves whirling in the autumn wind that is spiced with the smell of fall, the scent of wood smoke, the pungent odor of a spicy forest, clothes hanging on a clothesline, a harvest moon beaming over cornfields, Southern skies and Southern nights, shadows in the twilight, Christmas Eve communion, the heavy scent of morning glories, leather-bound books, sweet memories crowding out sadness, the smell of snow in the air, roads leading homeward, hometown memories, the moon casting blue shadows across the snow, the smell of honeysuckle, snowflakes dancing against the window, meandering country roads, morning mist, the shimmering silence of snow, nostalgic times of the seasons, monogrammed sweaters, a new dawn, tangerines and oranges that fill the air with cherished fragrance, sucking up the juice of an orange through a soft peppermint stick, the charm of country gardens, a small child slipping his hand into yours, memories of your grown children as babies, love at Christmastime…? These thoughts are from a mother’s heart as her son returns from yet another bone marrow biopsy. These thoughts are truly precious memories. I love you, Joshua.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rudolph Days

In keeping with the Christmas Spirit, I will celebrate Rudolph Day on the 25th of each month. I have my Rudolph Tote ready for these occasions and will be good to go. One of the things that I want to get into the habit of doing is to try out all the new recipes that I see and just never find the time to do. But if I try out one or two recipes per month, I should have a nice selection to choose from when my cooking/baking marathon begins closer to Christmas. Now, how can I do this without gaining my December weight in June or July or August? I have a plan! Since I teach school, I will just make the goodies and take them to school, with parent permission, of course! I can also share with the staff and be able to have my cake and eat it to, so to speak. My first Rudolph Day will be June 25th—yes, I will be in summer school, so I plan to make two goodies to share on that day. Summer school will be over by the time July 25th rolls around, so I guess my husband will just have to take some things into his workplace! August 25th will be a school day with a new group of students, so this will be a good introduction for them to their teacher who is Christmas-crazy! I don’t think, though, that I will get too much complaining, do you? TTFN

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Binderizer

In my classroom, I binderize everything—math worksheets, language arts worksheets, arts and crafts ideas, science ideas. I think you get the picture. (Is binderize even a real word?) Anyway, using ideas from Magical Holiday Home, My Merry Christmas, and Organized Christmas, I decided to become more organized for the holidays. So, I just finished my Christmas Notebook; well, maybe not finished, but at least put together. I bought a white two-inch binder that has a place to insert a cover and a spine label. I also bought two eight-tab packages of Avery labels—the kind that have the oval tabs that look like bright Christmas tree lights. I finally decided on the following sections for my Christmas Notebook:

  1. Calendar Pages
  2. Notebook Ideas
  3. Holiday Grand Plan
  4. Rudolph Days
  5. Christmas Countdown
  6. Menus and Grocery Lists
  7. Tried and True Recipes
  8. New Recipes
  9. Decorations Inventory
  10. Gift Closet and Receipts
  11. Arts and Crafts
  12. Books
  13. Movies and CDs
  14. Websites
  15. Christmas Cards
  16. Miscellaneous

My next job is to read through all the pages I have copied from websites, forums, and blogs and put my ideas and plans in the correct sections of my notebook. So far, I feel I have accomplished a lot; but I realize that the journey is never over—it’s only just begun!! TTFN

Rudy Tote

Leann over at You Would Even Say It Glows talked about getting all her reindeer in a row. I second that!!! To that end, I have begun following the Grand Christmas Plan. I bought a special binder and dividers, and I copied off a LOT of stuff from Organized Christmas and Magical Holiday Home. I also bought House Works and Eliminate Chaos to help me get the house organized. In addition, I have also started my Rudy Tote. I just happened to have a huge, red tote from a publisher that will hold all the items I want to have with me on Rudolph Days--the 25th of each month--when those of us using the plan do Christmas-related things to be prepared for the holidays. A Christmas mug is at the top of my list, and I do have a lot of them in my collection to choose from. I also have Christmas notepads; Christmas pens and pencils; Christmas socks; Pumpkin Spice coffee from Gloria Jean's; holiday hot chocolate in flavors of Candy Cane, Gingerbread, and Egg Nog; Christmas CDs and DVDs; scented candles in Pumpkin Spice, Holiday, Ginger Bear, and Frosted Cranberry; several Christmas books; Christmas cards; and arts and crafts projects (crochet); anything else that puts me in the Christmas mood; and, of course, my Christmas Notebook. I am getting more and more excited the more organized I become! Hopefully my Rudy Tote and the Grand Christmas Plan will keep me on track and prepared when December rolls around. TTFN

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Santa's Helpers

I have just been a reading fool since I accidentally made some wonderful discoveries on the Internet. I was introduced to Magical Holiday Home, My Merry Christmas forums, and Organized Christmas. I had no idea that there were others like me, others who love Christmas as much as I do. Well, there are! Not only do these other Christmas lovers think daily about Christmas, they even have a way to enjoy Christmas music 24/7 at Live 365! I only have one regret, and that is that there is so much help and information on just these four sites that it will take me a lifetime to savor it all! I am sure that many of y'all already know about these sites, but maybe someone will read this post and be as pleasantly surprised as I was. And I am positive that there are still more sites out there as well. So little time, so much to learn! TTFN

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I LOVE Christmas

I teach third grade and have enough Christmas shirts, sweatshirts, and turtlenecks to last from Thanksgiving until January. I also have several Christmas lanyards for my playground whistle, and I have flashing Christmas necklaces and writing pens!! I adore anything "poinsettia" and plan to decorate the "Southern" way with poinsettias when our kitchen/family room remodeling is done. You might ask yourself what is the “Southern” way of decorating. I guess I should have said “a” Southern way instead of “the” Southern way. It goes back to Southern Living magazine which always has a wonderful Christmas issue and which also puts on gorgeous exhibits at home shows. Anyway, my mother adored poinsettias and had an idea of buying lots of them and placing them around the base of our Christmas tree. Wouldn’t you know it that Southern Living had the same idea!! Now, granted, their tree looked absolutely divine because it was either a silver-tip or one of those trees that is grown at high elevations. Ours was normally a cedar, but you just cannot beat the smell of a fresh-cut cedar. I would put our smell-good cedar up against a “home show” tree anytime. One year, though, my older sister just could not resist the lure of a Southern Living Christmas. We went to the home show in Charlotte, and she was entranced by one of the “theme” Christmas trees so much that she bought it right at the end of the show and took it home. It was beautiful with red and green decorations mixed in with pure white cotton bolls—yes the real ones!! That’s as close as my family ever came to a professionally-decorated tree. Mostly, ours was filled with store-bought, homemade, and school-made decorations and a lot of love. The next time I blog, I want to share about some sites that are helping me get organized for Christmas. TTFN!!

Intro

Petrified woman here. This is my first blog entry and I am scared to death!! I think I will make this short just so I can check it out. My hope is that this will be my "forever Christmas" blog within which I can share my love of all things Christmas. I have been inspired from another website, Magical Holiday Home. It is AWESOME and was a true find for me! I hope to post frequently to keep myself on track for Christmas and other holidays. TTFN!