Monday, December 29, 2014

Grannie's Obituary

Chopper had the whole week off last week and he still hasn't blogged about Grannie!  This is why I do the blogging I guess.  So I'm posting her obituary now and getting him on the computer TONIGHT because I'm a stickler for my books following the calendar year . . . 

Clotield McDaniel, age 90, passed form this life Thursday, November 27, 2014 at Washington County Rehab and Nursing. She was born in Chipley, FL on July 31, 1924 to John Dewey and Ernest (Gilbert) Enfinger. Clotield was a homemaker and was a former resident of Pensacola, FL but had moved back home. She is predeceased by one brother Herbert Enfinger. Mrs. Clotield is survived by her daughter Joann Whittacre of Cottondale, FL, one brother Willard Enfinger of Camilla, GA, three sisters Shirley Andrews of Cottondale, FL, Juanita Killpack of Tooele, UT, and Elaine Spencer of Chipley, FL, 7 grandchildren and many great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at Brown Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow in the Glenwood Cemetery.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Year End Wrap-Up

It really might be too early to wrap up the year but I'm doing it anyway!!

Christmas morning came bright and early -- 6 a.m. Abby comes in my room so excited and talking non-stop: "mommy Santa came and there are presents and he ate the cookies and the stockings are gone and I don't know where they are, Santa must have taken them to his workshop to fix them!"

They were on the couch.  She woke up Megan and they dug into their stockings and then I turned on the tv while we waited for William to wake up.  But we were set to go at 7 so it wasn't too long.

We left one present unwrapped -- a car garage with ramps that a friend gave me maybe 6 months ago and I've kept it hidden for that long.  William was so excited to see it and it served it's purpose beautifully.  I made sure that the first present he actually opened was cars (not hard to do since half his presents were cars) and he was content to play and open a present whenever I told him it was his turn.  In fact, after opening 3 presents worth of cars (thanks everyone!), he started saying "har, more har" every time it was his turn.  And if the opened present WASN'T cars then he sadly said "more har" and went back to the garage, abandoning whatever it was on the floor.

The girls big presents was a horse for each of them.  The size that is designed for an 18" doll like an American Girl doll.  We saw some 18" dolls at Costco (not American Girl brand of course) for a really good price and since Abby was with me I asked her if she wanted one -- nope, just the horse!!  So that's what Santa brought them and the girls have played with them almost nonstop.  I love it when a toy is used!
Fortunately they didn't notice the Target shipping label I forgot on the side of the box!!

My brother and sister-in-law sent them dolls that they brought home from a recent trip to Peru and the girls love them.  They are beautiful!

I'm not going to list every present, those are the highlights.  Chopper bought me a serger!!!  I am so so excited because I do like to make clothes for the girls every now and then and it will be very useful at giving a professional finished look to things that I sell at craft fairs.  Since my friend is taking her queen bed back that we've been keeping in our spare room, it's officially going to be a major sewing room!!  That means if you come to visit, you get the couch!  No offense.  :)

I mostly gave Chopper money for clothes (yes, that he earns) and also some great books for him to read.  We spent the day at home in our pajamas watching movies and playing with toys and it was such a great, low-key Christmas with almost no fighting (because none would not be normal) and very little complaining!



I'm anticipating next year already.  I'm planning to clean and organize the house in January and get on a better routine of family scripture reading and Family Home Evening.  It's going to be a big year I think.  Abby will start kindergarten and William will be potty-trained (hopefully) and switch to a twin bed.  I'm sure that that won't be all!!! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

We opted for a stay-cation this year!  We had actually tentatively planned to drive to Las Vegas to spend Christmas with my family but decided not to after all and now I'm glad (sorry mom and dad).  One reason: William.  The boy does not travel well.  He gets angry really easily when you don't acknowledge correctly what he's saying to you and in the car it's particularly difficult since you can't see what he's pointing at.  Maybe next year.

Chopper took the whole week off of work anyway and it has been so nice to have him home full time.  It means that I get a vacation too!!  We've done some fun Christmas activities this week.

We started the week with a visit to see the lights at Little Elm Park's Santaland (yes it's backwards on the sign and yes Megan is hiding behind Chopper) and their elves village and then Christmas caroling with friends.

On Tuesday it was a trip to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa and ALL their time tickets were gone so we peeked at him from the side but didn't visit -- which was fine with Megan.  She didn't want to talk to him anyway although she was very concerned that I talk to him and tell him what she wants!

But we did ride the reindeer carousel.
William picked the one with the gimpy leg. 

Today we went to visit Aaron's grave.  That was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I would have liked to have spent a little more time but it's cold today with a biting Texas wind and William thinks that rows of headstones equals an obstacle course so we took flowers and said a prayer and left.

It's been a really emotional holiday -- it's the best time of the year and the kids are excited and everything is great -- except for not having Aaron here.  But celebrating the birth of Christ and having faith in his Atonement and Resurrection is what will give him back to me.  It's just been hard.

This evening was fun though.  Taco dinner to remember Chopper's dad, cookies and tacos and carrots left for the reindeer ready on the fireplace. 

All the stockings hung in a row including Aaron's.  I don't know if I ever put this on the blog but towards the beginning of the season Megan was very concerned about how Santa would know that Aaron is not with us.  We talked a lot about how it's the same way that he knows if they've been bad or good.  To which she graciously replied, "well if Santa forgets and puts things in his stocking, then I'll just take them for him."  Can't argue with that logic!!

Afterwards we spread reindeer food outside (oatmeal mixed with glitter so that it shines in the moonlight and the reindeer can see where to land -- super cute thing from Megan's teacher) and came inside for the Nativity story.

Growing up we always acted it out but so far that hasn't really worked well for us.  What was awesome this year were sticker scenes from Oriental Trading.  My mom got them last year for the kids for our family Christmas and I kept the leftovers.  I read the story directly from Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and the girls put the stickers on the page as they heard each piece of the story.  It was the BEST that they have ever listened to that much scripture reading so I have a feeling that we'll be keeping this or something similar as a tradition for a long time! 

We watched Joy to the World afterwards which still runs a little long for their attention and then they were asking to go to bed!  It helps that Chopper has an app on his phone for tracking Santa and it shows that he is now on the East coast so they were pretty intent on getting to sleep and haven't been out of their rooms yet (fingers still crossed)!!  They are so excited for the morning and Chopper and I are picking up big time on their enthusiasm.  It's going to be a great Christmas!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

With Love For Granny

This is the best picture I have of Granny.  And it's the Granny I knew.  I really should get Chopper to write a post about her because she was like a second mom to him and had lived with his family from the time he was three.  But I'm thinking about her now and dug this picture out so today you get my perspective.  Later I'll also post her obituary.

Anyway, Chopper's Granny passed away on Thanksgiving Day and he drove the 12 hours to Florida and the 12 hours back so that he could be at her funeral.  I'm really glad he did.  She was 90 years old and these last few years had suffered a great physical and mental decline with Alzheimers and so, although we miss her, it was good for her to go.  Honestly?  Even though we have other relatives from both sides of the family who have already passed on, I love the thought of Granny being there to take care of Aaron.  I know that it doesn't work that way and that Aaron's spirit doesn't need to be taken care of but when I knew her she just loved on my children to no end.  Hugs, kisses, holding and playing, and feeding!  Granny loved to feed people.  There really isn't a better person to take care of Aaron and it makes me happy.

She was a selfless woman and hard-working.  It was an effort to get her to sit still even when she wasn't entirely capable.  If it needed to be done, she would do it.  She welcomed me into the family as one of her own and our children especially.  When we lived in Virginia she enjoyed Megan and Abby as young babies.  I'm sad that they won't get to know her now.

She lived an amazing full life from the stories that I've heard and that's why I need to have Chopper write a post -- so he can fill it with all the details of her life that I don't know and so that we'll be able to recall them over the years when we read our family history books.  I'll have to ask him to do it this weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

So Many Things!

Well perhaps now I can relax a little.

Of course, it's my own fault for giving myself stress in the holiday season!  The month of November was swamped with preparations for my first craft show (you can read that post here) and opening my Etsy shop (you can see it here!).  Then it was Thanksgiving, decorate for Christmas, craft show, and Grandma's arrival.  She left yesterday and I am ready to slow down a bit (even though we loved having her!)

Our wonky Christmas tree and 2 very excited kids -- Megan is excited too, she's just back in her no picture phase.

My table from the craft fair.  I learned a lot and it was a perfect first fair.  I'm planning on doing others -- just not before Christmas this year! 

One of my Hot-Bottoms -- my main seller.  It's about the size of a cookie sheet and has a layer of batting and a layer of Insul-Bright -- a special batting for oven mitts, etc. that deflects heat or cold back to the source and protects your countertops and tables and looks pretty too!!  I have 3 that I use all the time -- they are awesome!

So we had Grandma for a wonderful week and did a lot of fun things with her.
We took her to the Arboretum on a beautiful day and toured the 12 Days of Christmas displays as well as the Children's Gardens.  I took a few pictures because the ones from our night visit weren't as clear I think. 

Grandma tried to get a picture of the kids in front of every one.  By the 4th one this is how it went -- grumpy face from Megan, William running away, and Abby trying to get him to come back.  Oh well.

Believe it or not, there were very few school groups in the Children's Garden so we had a great time being mostly by ourselves!  We love this place anyway but nearly empty is even better!

We decorated gingerbread houses.  I bought them already assembled from Target and they include a bag of icing ready to go.  I got candy in bulk so that I could buy lots of small amounts and we had a great time. 

I'm pretty sure that both of these pictures are showing a mouth full! 

We did a lot of light displays in the evenings and took Grandma for frozen yogurt.  She brought the girls these beautiful matching dresses and they agreed to wear them the same day!  Score! 
William's new favorite toy is the fly swatter.  He loves to hunt those flies down but yes, it's pressed against his face.  We have washed it and will probably get him one for just him for his Christmas or his birthday or something.

We went to a mall and saw an amazing train display.  William could have stayed the whole day and it was fun to watch.  Each section was a different city or area of the country -- Albuquerque, San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C. and Texas of course! 

And a puppet show! 

We love when Grandma comes to visit and are so grateful that she has the time and the health to do so.  We missed Grandpa this time but maybe he'll come out some other time! 

Now it's on to Christmas!!!