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December | 2016 | December 2016 – A Grand Journey
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December 2016

The Family Christmas Picture

Family By December 22, 2016 Tags: , , No Comments

How can taking a simple family photo be such an ordeal?  All I wanted was to snap a quick picture to include in my Christmas cards.  Of course, in order to do that you have to get everyone’s cooperation!

My oldest son has never liked (or been agreeable to) getting his picture taken.  As you can see, he is the one with his tongue sticking out.  You would think he was 6 years old, instead of a successful, well-respected manager and engineer with two children. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My oldest granddaughter also won’t cooperate getting her picture taken.  And, despite the fact that the youngest granddaughter has a great smile, she will only scowl in a staged setting. Sigh….it just shouldn’t be this hard!

After much coaxing and the promise of treats, my son got his tongue back in his mouth, the girls stop crying and agreed to face the camera.  However, I guess actual smiling comes at a higher price!  Next year I need to plan ahead…maybe the promise of a pony?!!!

Have a wonderful holiday!!!



Cookie Decorating With a Pre-Schooler

Grandkids By December 14, 2016 Tags: 2 Comments

We had our 8th annual Cookie Baking Day last weekend.  This is what the event is called because of how it started but actually we don’t do any baking on the day.  It is more of a cookie decorating/cookie exchange party.  It’s an all day event.  This year we had 11 women and one 3 year old in attendance.   cookiedec-resized

My granddaughter attended last year but this time she added quite a bit more fun and personality.  She took her job (as a cookie decorator) very seriously, attacking the decorating with enthusiasm.  She crafted lovely 3-D creations. I think she out decorated all of us.  Her box was full by the time we were done.  We decorated for almost 4 hours and she hung in there with us to the end.

While we iced and sprinkled she entertained us with stories of her classmates, critiques on our finished cookies and she conducted a quiz on what our favorite toy was.  And of course, we discussed princesses…in depth.  It was a lot of fun.cookiedec7-resized

Here are a few of her cookie creations.

Merry Christmas!cookiedec5-resizedcookiedec4-resized







The Fake Christmas Tree

Family By December 7, 2016 Tags: , 1 Comment

When my kids flew the coop…actually, when the first one went off the college, I decided to buy a FAKE Christmas tree.  I thought it was a reasonable purchase.  Real trees can be expensive AND the worst part is…they shed!  The shedding is annoying.  It doesn’t matter how fresh the tree is or how diligently you keep it in water, it just wants to drop spiky pine needles all over the floor.  Buying an artificial tree and then reusing it year after year sounded very budget friendly and “green” to me.  However, my teenage children (at the time) didn’t see it that way.  You might as well have called Mrs. Grinch. My youngest son was especially distraught and I heard about this betrayal of Christmas for the next few years.  They eventually got over it, declaring they would never, ever have a fake Christmas tree in their homes. Ever!

I have had this artificial tree for more than 10 years now. This proves my point about it being economical and green.  But I evidently, for some strange reason, had never assembled it by myself.  I had farmed that job out to whatever children were hanging out at the house at the time.  Now that everyone is busy, it falls on me to get it up and decorated. The tree is actually a colored coded puzzle, with many pieces.  Thankfully this year I knew what I was doing.  Last year was a different story.tree2-a

I put the tree up early this season, we were watching the grandkids on Black Friday and I wanted them to help decorate it.  That part went fine.  It wasn’t until the next evening when my husband and I were curled up on the couch, watching a movie that we heard the crash.  My decade old, fake Christmas tree had taken a nose dive in the living room.  Bummer.  Nothing broke, expect the tree stand, luckily I had only let the grandkids put on non-breakable ornaments.  But it was still a bummer.

I am hosting a big Christmas cookie decorated event in a few weeks so I needed (or felt like I needed) a Christmas tree . Otherwise, I probably would have waited until the after Christmas sales and looked for a new one.  The next afternoon, while I was pondering this, my youngest son, the one who years ago thought I was the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, showed up at my house with a brand new, easy to assemble, artificial Christmas tree.  I was shocked, surprised and touched.  He had a big grin on his face, shrugged and then put it together for me.   Long live my new, FAKE Christmas tree!tree-a