Sunday, December 23, 2012

♥ Days of Christmas ♥

Christmas is a beautiful time. I just love it! Time flies though, which is exactly the reason I like to start the season early.

We’ve had our main big tree up since the first of November, with all of the rest of the décor following within a week or so. I just never get tired of that cozy atmosphere!  I don’t ever have to worry about the tree lights being turned on either……it’s the first thing Luke does in the morning when he gets up.  :)

We’ve enjoyed all the wonderful activities that come with the days of Christmas…………

Gathering together in here watching Christmas movies...............

Christmas light looking.......

Picture taking......

Getting dressed up for Christmas festivities..........

Cookie making.....

Gingerbread train making.......

Ornament making......

Having a little fun with food.......

A Happy Birthday Jesus party ................

And now Christmas will soon be here!  

Tomorrow evening we'll be hosting Christmas Eve dinner here at our house, so things will be busy, ........but a good busy.......making more memories!  Then we'll be off for a visit to my brother's house on Christmas Day after all the gifts have been opened and we've enjoyed our Christmas breakfast.  :)

So just in case I don't make it back here until after Christmas.........

From our family to yours........

Merry Christmas !!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

♥ A Cozy Christmas Tour (Our Home) ♥

I’m so thankful and blessed that Jason loves Christmas ever bit as much as I do. He’s always willing and ready to get down the tree and start the Christmas decorating.

There’s one part however that he’s never really enjoyed. That’s putting lights on the house. But he did it for years………for me, because I loved them!

Bless his heart, one year, he MADE icicle lights. Now this was before you saw them everywhere available to purchase. We saw a Victorian home that had them outlining their house and I fell in love with them!  We stopped and asked the folks where they purchased them (well Jason asked for me) and they said that they made them. So Jason came home and spent hours making them by stringing lights onto wire (made from clothes hangers). They were much prettier than the ones you can even purchase now. They hung so perfect! We used those for years and they were beautiful.

However, he finally convinced me that he wanted to try something different and that I would love it. He explained his plan and I wasn’t really that impressed. But then again, I wasn’t the one out there hanging lights every year (on a steep roof), so, I reluctantly agreed to it. He said he’d try it and if I didn’t like it, we could reconsider it next year. I thought that sounded fair.

That was the beginning of our new outdoor Christmas décor. I still love looking at lights, and I think they’re beautiful! But this just seems to fit our home. We get lots of positive comments on it and how it glows.

Our outdoor Christmas decor these days is just simple wreaths, greenery, and bows illuminated with flood lights.

Jason is happy. I’m happy. That’s a good thing.  :)

Welcome!  :)
If you're stopping by for the first time and you missed the interior photos, I'd like to invite you in for a cozy Christmas tour.  :)  You can visit the following links:  The Living Room, The Sunporch, The Kitchen, The Dining Room, The Cedar Loft,  The Foyer & Staircase, and Bedrooms, Bath & Hallway.

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Merry Christmas!  :)

Linking to:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage's A Favorite ThingElaine's Sunny Simple Sunday.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Faithful Friday - "A Wonderful Christmas Morning"

A Wonderful Christmas Morning!
(author unknown)

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone.

The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.

He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whoever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people.

I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal. That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home.

One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana I wondered? I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys - then hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boy’s pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans.

Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll. As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.

Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

Father, I ask you to bless our friends and relatives reading this story right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power or let them be the ones bringing love and joy in someone else’s life. Amen.
Source:  Thoughts About God
Thank you for joining me today for Faithful Friday.  I hope this story blessed you today.  It touched my heart and reminded me of a few things:  God always provides; He never leaves us; He cares about what we're going through; and God uses people to make a difference! :)
If you'd like to participate in Faithful Friday, you can link up with Joy here.  Be sure and stop by and enjoy the other Faithful Friday posts!
I'll be back tomorrow to share a few photos of our very simple outdoor Christmas decor.
Have a great weekend!
♥ Blessings, Tammy ♥  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

♥ A Cozy Christmas Tour (Bathroom, Bedrooms, and Hallway) ♥

This year, my Christmas décor didn’t include many “trinkets” and “stuff” sitting around. Those things were left in my Rubbermaid tubs. Instead I stuck with mostly greenery, berries, and pinecones…..things that seemed more natural. Keeping it more simple just seems more peaceful to me and I’m really enjoying it that way this year.

Therefore, for those places where I wanted little touches, I used only small trees. I didn’t even put anything in our bedroom this year, although I have to admit I miss having the glow of a little tree in there. I might do that differently next year. :)

This year, here are the small touches to the downstairs hall bathroom, Luke’s room, Joy’s room, and at the end of the hallway…………..

I love this little twig tree decorated with stars.

Luke's room just has the small tree on his nightstand decorated with little cars.
It's hard to tell, but there are dump trucks, school buses, police cars, and ambulances....all kinds of vehicles hanging on Luke's little tree. 

This year, Joy decided to put lights on her twig tree in her room instead.  She's thinking she loves it so much, she may just leave them year round.  :) 

Sometimes we have the little stove in our bedroom, but this year it's at the end of the hall.

Thanks again so much for stopping by!  I've really enjoyed your visits and comments!  I know everyone is busy with Christmas!  I hope you're making lots of Christmas memories with your family! 

I'll be back tomorrow with a Faithful Friday post, and then another Christmas photo tour on Saturday (of the outside of the house).  I hope you can stop by for another visit!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

♥ A Cozy Christmas Tour (The Foyer & Staircase) ♥

I think that our new staircase just may be one of my very favorite things to take in this Christmas.  I just love the wooden stairs and staircase wall.

Again, it’s all very simple, but it just feels warm and cozy to me. It has that cabin feel, which is my favorite! I can’t tell you how many years I’ve wanted to remove the carpet from those stairs and have wooden stairs. So this is a Christmas gift in itself.  :)  Can you tell I'm excited?

Today, this is what I’m sharing……our foyer and staircase. This is what you would see if you were our front door guest. So, come on in!

The kids like writing the countdown to Christmas on the chalkboard the snowman is holding.
Tree on the staircase landing

Later I added the greenery and Christmas books to the staircase basket.
Luke likes picking out books from the basket for me to read to him.
Thanks again for stopping by!  I have two more days of Christmas pics to share which I will do tomorrow and then again on Saturday.

Christmas is amost here!  :)   Are you ready?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

♥ A Cozy Christmas Tour (The Cedar Loft) ♥

The Cedar Loft is the name we lovingly gave to our little cabin above the carport/garage.

It was a labor of love, but it was so worth it! It’s our little getaway that’s about 20 feet from our backdoor to the stairs leading up to our little cabin loft.

So today, that’s the cozy Christmas tour I’m sharing with you.....The Cedar Loft.

We’ve spent four nights last week out there. It was so snug and cozy. We enjoyed Christmas movies and (way too many) snacks. :) When we were “moving things back downstairs”, Luke remarked, “It’s sad to leave”. He's right. It really was a fun stay, especially since Jason was off work those four days.

The Christmas décor up there is very simple. It’s a good thing I like simple, I suppose, because simple also fits our budget. :)

So, come on in and enjoy your visit!

Jason made the TV cabinet.  It's one of my favorite pieces of furniture.
We made all the decorations on the tree (with the exception of the beads)....prim candy canes, twig stars, and rag garland.

I found the little log cabin at a thrift shop.   

The stockings came from Dollar Tree.  I tea stained them to make them look old and well loved.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  :)  I'll be back tomorrow with more Christmas pics.  I hope you're not getting tired of them!  I just took too many to put on one's much easier split up into separate posts! 

♥ Tammy ♥

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pinned it, Made it! Monday ~ Week 21 ~

Wow! It’s such a busy time of year, but such a beautiful time of year….a season of making memories!

Pinterest is a place running over with ideas to help us out with that very thing. And today is Pinned it, Made it! Monday! I hope you can join in and share something you’ve pinned and made or tried out from Pinterest too!

Today I’m sharing a couple of things. First of all, Luke and I made candy cane sleds from my Fun with Food board.

Because Luke had eaten quite a few of the candy canes, and then broke a couple, we only had enough to make three of the sleds, but the three we made were fun to make and Luke is waiting patiently impatiently to eat them.

Here’s the original pin:

And here are ours:

We also used the regular size candy canes instead of the mini ones.  We already had those on hand.
Oh and we had vanilla icing instead of chocolate.  But I kind of like it....looks like snow!  :)

Secondly, ole Pete the Elf has been having a few more adventures this week. Again, I’m sure we may have seen a couple of these ideas floating around Pinterest somewhere, as well as implementing a few of our own. But Pete is quite the adventurer…….

Pete was reading a Christmas book to a little barbie girl.
Watching TV with the dollhouse family.

We left the snacks out.  Pete had a good time eating cookies.
Pete was trying to squeeze down the log house chimney.  :)
Pete was climbing the light over the bar in the Cedar Loft.

Riding a horse way up on the ledge of the loft....can you see how high up he is?  :)

Now it’s your turn!  :)

To participate in Pinned it, Made it! Monday, here are the guidelines:

1) Just do a post about what you’ve pinned and made from Pinterest, then come back over here to Country Girl at Home and link that particular post (not your blog in general) on this post below.

2) I don’t mind if you link up more than one post….multiple entries are fine.

3) You must add my Pinned it, Made it! Monday button on your post or sidebar of your blog linking back to Country Girl at Home. You may get this button code on the page at the top of my blog labeled “Buttons”. Just copy and paste the code into your post.

4) Be supportive and visit blog entries. I do ask that you visit at least one and leave a comment there. And don't forget to leave me one here! :) We all love comments, don’t we? It’s encouraging and uplifting!

5) By linking up and participating, you give me permission to use your entry photo if I decide to feature an entry.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you can join me tomorrow as I share more Christmas photos……this time from our Cedar Loft.

** PLEASE NOTE** With next Monday being Christmas Eve, and the following Monday being New Years Eve, I will not be hosting Pinned it, Made it! Monday on those two days.  I'm sure we will all be busy spending time with our family making lots of memories!  But I'll be right back with it the following Monday, January 7th.  So keep pinning and making in the meanwhile!  :) 

Have a great day!  :)

♥ Tammy ♥