Friday, December 30, 2011

Post-Christmas Week

I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas. We had a great time at my mom's down in South Mississippi. Gracie is old enough now that she can remember people between visits.  She had a wonderful time visiting with relatives.

When we first arrived at my grandparent's house, she went looking for "Papa" (my Grandpa) who was outside trying to find Smartie, the donkey.  She enjoyed playing piano and reading books with "Ganh-MA" (my mom).  She also was very sweet with Mema (my Grandma), giving her Baby Ruth (Grandma's baby doll) to hold.

My Grandma, 90 years old, has Alzheimer's and doesn't do much more than sleep and sit on her recliner.  She came to table and ate with us, for the first time since we were there Thanksgiving.  I think she really enjoys having people around.  She was quite lucid and looked very peaceful when we saw her before we left to come back home.

My uncle Steve who is a chaplain in the Army and will be retiring in a few months was also there.  Gracie got him to push her around in Grandma's wheelchair and play with Grandpa's puppy.  Such fun memories!

My Grandpa read the Christmas Story from the Bible on Christmas Eve with some commentary.  That was a very special time.  We also opened one gift which was our Christmas nightgowns/pajamas.  Robert's and mine were the same ones we got last year (Gracie is too little to notice or care), but Gracie's was brand new.

I had intended on getting up by 8 AM on Christmas morning so that we could have time to open presents before getting ready for church.  My mom's church was only having a morning service at 11 AM.  Unfortunately, because I stayed up late the night before, I overslept some.  Actually, Gracie woke up at 6 AM.  Robert got her up, but then I brought her back to bed with me.  We got up at about 8:20.  All we had time for was to do our Christmas stockings.  I do Christmas stockings for me and Robert because I still think they're fun.  After church, we came back home and opened up our wrapped presents.  My mom was cooking Christmas dinner which was ready about 2:30.  We had to take it all down to my grandparents' (just down the road).  As soon as we got there, my Grandpa took out his pocket knife, ready to open presents!  Robert laughed and said, "Now I know where Ava and Sylvia (my mother) get it from, ready to open presents!"  Our dinner was really good.  In fact, no one (except my little picky eater, Gracie) left any scraps on our plates.

We had a wonderful time, but it was good to come back home to our own bed (and pillows).  I've been busy this week catching up on laundry and doing a number of errands.  I knew beforehand that this week would be like that, so I declared it "No Brainer Week" in the kitchen.  That's when I fix things that do not require extra thinking or concentration like chili dogs, oven fish (the kind in a bag that you just throw in the oven), tacos, and pizza.  I may also do Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese.

I took down the Christmas tree and decorations on Tuesday.  Several years ago I decided to put all Christmas-related stuff in red or green plastic boxes.  This has been a great way to quickly find all of my Christmas stuff.  This year, I decided to make labels to go on the outside of the boxes, so that we can know what's in them.

A few of my Christmas boxes.  I use the pink duct tape to designate "If this box gets dropped, somebody's gonna cry" AKA breakable items.  The thing under the sheet is Gracie's new play kitchen which she had not yet seen when I took these pictures.

My new Elf on the Shelf approves of my new labels.

More boxes in the Garage. Only one of my Christmas boxes is not red or green: the white box which has Christmas Card Supplies in it.

Robert has the job of putting away the yard stuff.  I may need to get another box, not sure yet.

I typed up the labels in Pages (which Mac's version of a word processor), printed them out, cut them to size, had them laminated at the local teacher store (cheapest place in town), and put them on with clear packing tape.

When I had the labels laminated, I saw that Knowledge Tree was having a 60% off Christmas sale which included The Elf on the Shelf dolls!  I was excited when I saw this because I'd been wanting to get one, but didn't want to pay $30!  I bought the Elf doll for $5.46!  I still don't have the book, but I'm thinking about getting it from the library and then using it to make my own version of the book.  We do Santa, because it's fun, but I tell Gracie that it's a fun game we play.  Basically, I want her to grow up knowing what's true and what's false.  I don't want her to have any questions in her mind or be able to accuse us of lying!

It wasn't until last night (Wednesday) that I had a chance to put together Gracie's play kitchen which was her main Christmas gift.  Robert was a big help in clipping the parts apart with his wire clippers.  I spent 2-1/2 hours putting it together.  This was not my first choice (or even second or third choice) for which kitchen to give her, but I'm not unhappy with the choice.  Mainly because Gracie really likes it.  See the pictures below.

Gotta check the oven (actually the dishwasher)!

She loves hanging her cooking utensils on the hooks.

Daddy gave her a soda to put in the fridge.  I better not find her milk cups in there!

A little bit of rearranging to include her table.  The kitchen will stay in the living room for now.

We still have one more Christmas event which is Christmas with my in-laws in a few weeks.  We're looking forward to seeing them.  I'm glad that Gracie will have the opportunity to play with her cousins.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
May 2012 be the Best Year Ever!

Pin It!


  1. This reminded me so much of growing up and getting to go to my grandparents and stuff. I am loving being the grandparent too though. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm just now getting caught up on blog reading. I'm so glad you all had a good Christmas! Ours was very special. It's great to look back on this year and see how the Lord has sustained us each step of the way. Happy New Year!