Monday, December 30, 2013

Thank You to The Rococo Roamer!!

I'm so excited!!!  

Over the holidays I won a beautiful German wooden smoker!!  

Thank you Brittany Ruth from The Rococo Roamer.  
During the Christmas holidays Brittany visited the Passau Christmas Market and during her visit purchased a beautiful snowman smoker as a giveaway.  I can't tell you how surprised and excited I was to win this little guy!  
Isn't he adorable?
He looks perfect on display along with all my other nutcrackers.  
Thank you Brittany Ruth!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Are You Ready?

I'm not ready for Christmas.  This year we traveled over Thanksgiving (can't wait to share travel photos) and once we returned back to the states, the holiday season was well underway which put me behind on shopping, decorating, baking, etc., and I've not been able to catch up.  This weekend I realized that I won't be able to catch up and there may not be a purchase for everyone on my list. Today I went for a Christmas visit with my mom I was reminded that Christmas isn't about purchases. 

My mom lives in middle Georgia, a farming region in the state, and pecans are one of the region's crops. Every Christmas since my dad died in 2005, my mom cracks and shells pecans as gifts for those on her gift list.  When my dad was living they shelled pecans together at night while they watched tv so this is a tradition she has continued.  But as my mom has aged, shelling pecans isn't so easy to do.  I was so touched to receive her special gift.  She also gave me a little decoration from my younger years in the 60s.  Back in the day we called the little fellow a "Pixie" though today I think these adorable decorations have been re-marketed as the "Elf on the Shelf."   My vintage Pixie now has a very special place on our mantle. 

Tonight I'm treasuring holiday memories and trying not to think so much about all the undone tasks.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Irwin Decorator Set - A Memorable Christmas Toy

We always remember more things at holiday time.  - Mrs. Ennis, Holiday Affair

Do you recall some of your favorite Christmas toys?   Growing up, the only time of year we received gifts was Christmas so gifts from Santa were quite memorable.  You can probably guess my age if you recall great toys like Tiny Tears, Thumbelina, Mystery Date and of course Barbie, Ken, Midge, Alan, Skipper, Scooter and Ricky.  Do you remember Barbie's fabulous gold brocade faux mink trimmed suit? 

Oh, and the year Santa brought me a Barbie Fashion Case I was totally beside myself!  And yes, I'm thinking back to the 60s.
One particular gift from 1967 stands out in my mind and it is also a gift that I played with well into my early teens. The Irwin Decorator Set was something similar to a doll house but it was more that a doll house.  The year I got the decorator set our family was planning to build a new house and to get ideas our family spent lots of weekends and down time going to visit new builds and open houses.  There was lots of talk about shag carpet (can you imagine?) and what colors we would paint our rooms (yes, there was talk of getting my own bedroom) and lots of looking at styles, house plans, brick and tiles.  Then Christmas came and I got my own decorator set with wall panels, flooring, fixtures and more.  The set allowed me to build from the floor up and I loved it!  
 As I think back this creative set might have been part of the reason I ended up being a home economics major.  When I started 8th grade I finally put away my decorator set and started cooking and sewing for fun instead.  

Every now and then it's fun to think back and share some of those meaningful and magically holiday moments.   Hope you are making wonderful memories this holiday season.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Star Window

While on our trip to Lebanon we spent a night in a place called Bouyouti.  I can't wait to share more about the food, people, places, architecture and our getaway in coming posts but for now I'd like to share something about this little window.  
The owners of Bouyouti built a small church in memory of their parents.  On the eastern and western side of the building there is a small star-shaped window designed so that the sun shines into the church from both directions.  These small windows shine a lot of light into the chapel.
I've thought a lot about this little star window and its shining light and was reminded of one of my favorite scriptures.  Today, and during the Christmas season, it seems the perfect time of year for such a reminder.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. - Matthew 5:16.