Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

The weather was so mild.  It did not feel like Christmas at all.  Then the family came and it WAS Christmas Eve,  All of my family, my husband, daughter Kris and Doug, Granddaughter Penny,  Son Jon and Charlotte and even  Son Mike traveled from Ohio to be with us.  We missed Mike's girlfriend Amanda who was visiting her family in Michigan, but otherwise we were all together.
All my brothers, their wives and kids and  most grand kids were there too.  So very sweet to have a full house.  I made some traditional Polish cookies, Kolaczki, and stuffed cabbage, Gulumpki, along with Lasagna, Italian Beef and Chicken, mashed potatoes, and pierogi..  There was a romaine salad with pears, cranberries and pecans,  some fresh fruit and a veggie tray.   Of course there were two big cookie trays, and trays went out to the neighbors and friends and family.  Everyone ate and and enjoyed.  We played our lottery game with a mountain of gifts.  It was so noisy, and silly and fun with the little one's helping out as gift pickers.

My brothers were nostalgic remembering Mom's Gulumpki, and there were a few teary eyed moments remembering Mom and Buscia.  It was also sad remembering Monika's Dad who recently passed.  It's always hard when someone is missing.  So there were plenty of hugs all around,
The kids had a great time, the cousins reconnected and my sister-in-laws and I talked and laughed.
My Honey and I had our quiet moment when we walk outside to gaze at the luminaries, and thank God for the amazing blessings of our life together.
Our dear pals Jean and Tom gave us this sign and it's so perfect for summing up our holiday...

I even managed to round up the whole family for a photo.  My treasures, my family! Another Christmas is history, a warm memory to place in my heart.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Time is Here..

 I've been everywhere, done everything, but I need more time.  Don't we all?  .
We had a small visitor this weekend and where Penny goes, fun follows.  On the way to our house, Grandpa took us through Rosemont a local burb with fancy lights.  Penny was so excited and said the lights were so beautiful they made her want to cry.  Where she got this sensitivity at three years old, well, I'll never tell! (She is my granddaughter after all ;-)   We found a closer display on Saturday that she also enjoyed. We were able to walk through a park and enjoy the lights.  She engineered the train and ran to all the different displays.
 We had the nicest time.  Penny and Grandpa are so sweet together.
 Sunday afternoon was just for me and my guy.
This is Marty the bagpipe player, warming up for his performance. We met a couple of years ago when we attended our first Winter Solstice Bonfire at Somme Woods in Northbrook, Illinois.
 This year 400 people attended!
 Marty and the drummer John  lead the way into the woods.
The huge pile of wood, mostly invasive species that are cleared by volunteers, is set ablaze to celebrate the shortest day of the year. Being in the woods, bagpipe playing and feeling the heat from the fire is a wonderful break from all the hustle and bustle of holiday prep. I look forward to this day.
I've been busy baking, and that went pretty quick.  Unfortunately I usually keep the cookies in our unheated garage.  This year with our above average temps, I have stopped buying groceries so I have enough room in the refrigerator for cookies!  Eventually I'll have to make up my cookie trays and turn off the heat completely in the house to keep them fresh!  Hard to complain about an abundance of cookies ;-)

Since I won't be posting again until after Christmas...Merry Christmas to all of you dear friends.  Wishing you Peace, Love and Magic Moments!  Peace on Earth! Enjoy this beautiful season!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Around the House

 A lantern here...
 Amaryllis there...

 Touches of Christmas are finding their way into my displays and vignettes.
 I found this little coffee table at the thrift for $2.99 and could not walk away.  It's a little rough on the top, but a perfect size.  The slotted shelf holds a rattan basket perfectly.  Right now I'll cover it with a runner until I can spruce it up.
 A quality piece of Lane furniture.  Mid century modern, who knew.  Saw a similar piece on EBay for almost $300.
 The fireplace in our family room. It is actually a little different now.  Found a box with icicles and icicle garland for the tree.  Added a frosty touch.
 My big purchase this year, this banner from Pottery Barn.  Came in a tube of three.
Our family tree covered in ornaments from our 40 years together.  There are wooden ornaments from our first tree, baby's first Christmas, rattles from my babies, things the kids made.  So many memories fill this tree.

This little tabletop tree is in the living room.  Using the same banner on the tree as on the family room mantle.
Notice my messy boxwood wreath on the door.

 My kitchen vignette.  Gingerbread people  and towels, candy cane tins...
This salt glazed bowl.  Not the prettiest bowl, but spoke to me.  Take me home...  So I did.
I bet she's as old as me at least.  (I'm sixty)
 This year the old ornaments found a home here.
 Some old, some newer, all pretty and sparkling.
 Put some in this wire cloche.
Topped the tiny tree on the buffet with a star embroidered by a friend.

Looks like the sun is peeking out after some gloomy rainy days.  Some grocery shopping, then comes the baking.  Plenty of time...TEN DAYS!  Better get started.  Thanks so much for dropping by and for your kind comments.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 9th, Christmas Checklist

 Cookies baked...NO!
 Baby Jesus under the tree...NO!
 Candles in the windows...Check!
 Cute displays everywhere...NO!

 Shopping at our favorite place, Northwind Perennial Farm...Check!
 They really should charge just for the inspiration.
 Beautiful greens...
 Amazing displays...
 Lush wreaths...
 Angels sing...
 My favorite dirty window.
 The barn seemed extra cold compared to outside.
 Yummy goodness to enjoy.
 Little Church.
Sweet hubby.

We were taking care of our baby grand from Wednesday through Sunday, and she was sick.  Checked out by the doctor, ears, throat etc.all checked out.  So she came to Grandma and Grandpa's.  On Thursday I hosted our Guild Christmas Party.  Eighteen lovely ladies and two little kids.  It was a delightful evening and Penny had great fun with her pal Jake.  The next few days were a blur of fever and snuggling, tea parties and cat videos.  We pushed her bed right next to ours and I watched her and worried about her.  It's been a long time since I had a sick child to care for.  I guess we did the job well.  When we picked up Mom and Dad at the Airport and dropped them off at home, Penny ran back for one more hug for Grandma and Grandpa. Precious time that is still a dream to us.

Some things are done, some things will eventually get done and some things will wait for another year.

The spirit of a household reaches farther
than the front door to the back.
It shines forth from a child's eyes and shows in
the way a man hurries back to his home.
-Author Unknown

Today I'll take some photos around the house as I make some progress on my Christmas Checklist.
Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day!

Monday, November 30, 2015


 As usual the morning was my moment of calm.  We had a small crowd this year, 14.  My SIL lost her Dad the day before Thanksgiving.  We were so fortunate to know Opa as he was called by our niece Emma.  A kind man who will be missed by us all.  Jeff and Emma came for dinner and brought home desserts for family staying with Oma.
 The table set, and desserts made ahead of time.  Try the Pioneer Woman's pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  It was a big hit with our crowd.  I used the Trader Joe's old fashioned graham crackers for the crust, it was delicious!
 Brown paper runner, burlap leaves...made for a pretty table.
 Little favors that everyone forgot to take home.  Candy for the boys, simmering potpourri for the girls.
 One quick shot as my family sat down.  Have I mentioned I love my family!
 Some of the eats!  We had so many leftovers!  I guess I can only cook Thanksgiving for 25. ;-)
 Penny took this photo of her Grandpa! This guy makes it all possible.  Thanks honey, for all your help and love.
A beautiful gift from my SIL Mindy.  A wonderful day, so much to be grateful for.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy this beautiful day.