December 31, 2015
I've never liked the word "resolution" so I substitute the word with "goals" which for me are gentler and more realistic. My goals for this new year of 2016 are quite simple:
- be outside more ~ easy now that we live in the country with peace and quiet all around us
- save more money this year to pay down our mortgage ~ we've made a good start with our savings
- use my time more wisely for creative art instead of just working and not creating art
- continue to find ways to have my team take on more of my tasks so I can create more art
There we go. Easy peasy! Nothing that isn't achievable, all very sensible. Now tell me, do you have goals set aside for this year? If so, please share so we can applaud your enthusiasm!! Share them here or send me a note. Waiting ....
We have noticed a pattern in our day and it centres
around what we now call "The Magic of the Deer."
In the morning, we look to see if our deer family has
come through our land. And then we spend time each
day just watching. As soon as we spot them coming
down the drive or through the trees, the "magic"
begins and we become absolutely still as we watch.
Taking pictures or just gazing, they capture our attention.
Dd C2 made it very clear that she is not a fan of
gift bags. She loves the idea of shaking a box that
has been wrapped up in pretty paper with a bow.
Then ripping open the paper to reveal the gift inside.
So we decided to trick her this year and wrap a
small gift in a series of boxes, with each box
individually wrapped! It took her quite a while
to open up the final box, and she was tired at the end.
Opening, opening ....
.... so much paper!
I'm sure in the end she had wished a gift bag would
have been under the tree instead of the boxes!!
Today, we experience three very nice things that made the end of the year even sweeter. The first was news that our charity that we started and are actively and passionately involved in each day was chosen to be the Charity of the Month for August of 2016 by our local fondue restaurant. This means not just funds for our programs but great exposure for our organization as well. We are so excited and this is so timely as we have two big Walks each fall, so the promotion will be so beneficial for our little charity.
The second thing that happened was dh booked a trip to our favorite island off the West Coast. We be gone again for ten days, like we did back in October. But because we have a long weekend in the month of May, when we'll be away, we'll only have to claim five days off work. A ten day break, paid for, but only five days taken as actual holiday days. Two full weekends means two Saturday Markets. Yes! Can't wait to go again. This trip always makes winter go a bit faster.
And the third great thing today? Dh brought home my favorite desert to celebrate ~ a key lime pie. We had our first piece tonight and it was pure Heaven. Should last us all through the weekend ~ pure bliss!
So how was your last day of 2015?
Anything special happen to end the year?
As dusk began to fill our afternoon, we started
making our festive dinner. Our dear friend T,
who is a true Brit, joined us and we had a great
meal. Yorkshire puddings, roasted cornish hens,
sausages, veggies and a winter salad. Oh, and a
lovely baked whole wheat loaf with fresh butter.
Puddings in the oven.
Dh, dd C1, grandbaby B and T. Dd C2 was taking
her pup outside for a walk before dinner.
T being served by me!
Dd C2 helping B open her Christmas Cracker.
Mmmmmm .... so good!
And then it was all gone!!
How was your Christmas Dinner?
What was on your menu?
We have tons of pictures of the kids opening gifts
but I don't have their permission to post so I've
limited my pics tonight to just dh and I for now.
A couple to fill some time of me opening treasures.
A coloring book to keep my hands busy when I
can't sit still. This is a big issue right now!
A tiny gift with a lovely outcome ....
.... it's a gift card to Chapters/Indigo. Yes, books!!
And then the surprise gift, from all our kids to me.
Had to take my glasses off to see better. A pretty
box. But what's inside? I was racking my brain.
And then the moment I realize what they did.
They designed a family ring for me with all 8 of us on it!!
Sorry for the silly shot. I was not trying to be rude,
just showing what it would look like on my finger.
Not in true scale of course. Waiting now for my ring
to arrive so I can wear it for real. Feeling so loved!!
Did you receive a gift that was totally unexpected
and so very special? If so, tell us all about it!
I love Susan Branch's books. I've gathered quite the
collection over the last few years. This year, I had
a very hard time answering my families' pleas of
"mom, what do you want?" Then I thought of Susan.
And my gifts were very Susan Branch indeed! A
large calendar blotter for my desk in the Great Room.
Two books, "Autumn" and "Fairy Tale Girl" were
in the mix as well. Looking forward to reading both.
My dh has for years "hinted" that one day, if he was ever able to have a theatre room, it wouldn't be complete without a real popcorn machine. In red, of course. And he knows I hate the color red!Since moving into our new house, the theatre room has been a project to put together. Now that it's finally complete, it was just missing one item. A popcorn machine. And dh has been looking actively for searching since we unpacked. Unfortunately, every one we came across was bright red. I kept saying "no, not until we find one in a different color" to which he would reply "but they only come in red!!" I was very shocked to receive an email from Costco back in the fall with a sales flyer and guess what was a featured product? Yup, a popcorn machine, in black with white and green trim. How perfect is that? I'm not good at keeping secrets and this was a really hard one to keep but totally worth the look on his face when we took him down to the theatre room after gift opening. Told him I needed the ladder that was down there to hang up a garland that was down. He fell for it and walked down to giggles with his girls hiding out in the room to see his reaction! So happy he was thrilled with this special and very unexpected gift. We finally tried it out the other night and it worked beautifully.
Filling the bin. Smells soooo good!
The first serving for dh.
One happy guy!!
After icing cookies, eating brunch,
making up goodie trays and opening
our stockings, it was finally time to
see if St. Nick had visited our house.
And he did! We were very blessed with
many lovely gifts under and beside our tree!
My dh went from making food to playing
St. Nick, wearing my dad's Santa hat. A
tradition he brought down from his dad,
my grampa and now to his kids and his
grandkids and even his great grands.
A lovely relaxing time of opening gifts
and marveling at how each has meaning.
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is opening
up our stockings that are hung up the night before.
We couldn't hang them on the fireplace this year as
we couldn't find any stocking hangers that are heavy
with weights so we improvised and used the staircase.
It worked but I really had my heart set on the fireplace.
Hoping we can find some hangers for next year.
We don't want to install anything permanently on
the fireplace because it's made of stone. I'd be
scared of creating a crack. So hangers it must be!
It took a while to get them down but worth the wait
at all the little treasures and yummy chocolate inside.
Do you hang up stockings on Christmas Eve?
If you do, what did you find inside this year?
When we wake up in the morning,
it's usually pretty sunny. But this
year, on Christmas Morning, we
woke up to fog and overcast skies.
We had a relaxed beginning to our day that
included icing more cookies and putting the
Christmas trays for the day together. This way,
we can snack all day until our big dinner.
Sugar cookies, shortbreads, butter tarts, rum balls,
mint cookies and varied squares soon filled our trays.
My three favorites: pink sugar cookie, a warm
butter tart and my shortbread melting moments.
As dh started to make breakfast, it got
a bit lighter outside. The day was warm.
But definitely not as sunny as we're used
to at this time of day. It was still lovely.
Once our big breakfast off cheesy eggs, bacon, whole
wheat toast with raspberry jam and chocolate milk.
After breakfast, we made some more trays with cheese
and crackers, and foccia bread with dipping oils.
A yummy day with lots of treats and good laughs!