Friday, December 31

Happy Birthday Kendra!

Happy Birthday Kendra!

Wow we are celebrating everyday it seems... and what a wonderful way to celebrate the ending of the year and beginning of a new one... Kendra you are so lucky to do this every year... see the whole world celebrates with you!!!

You are a gift to me and I am excited to see what God has planned for you this new year! I know it will be filled with adventures and excitement.. because that's how you look at life! I so appreciate how you always look on the bright side of each circumstance.... you understand that life is a gift and is to be treasured!

And I treasure you!
Have a very special Birthday my friend!

Thursday, December 30

Do Not Open Until Christmas

The year is coming to a close and we have so many memories to treasure.... it was the first Christmas with Brayden, our blessing from God... and it was the first Christmas without Jerry's mom, who also was such a gift from God. We miss her tremendously and so wish she could have been here to  celebrate with us.. but we know she is always in our hearts.

Having lost her last January it's nearly been a year. And when sorting out her papers, Jerry came across several sealed envelopes each one addressed to himself, Janet, Allen and David. The envelopes were marked "Do Not Open Until Christmas".  So on Sunday morning Jerry and I walked up to the Poway Cemetery where both his parents are buried and spent some time together.... He had taken some flowers to place, then and there he opened his envelope from her.... it was this incredible poem that we wanted to share with everyone...

My First Christmas In Heaven

I see the countless Christmas times around the world below,
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars, reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Chrtimas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description to hear the angels sing,

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart,
But I am not so far away, we really aren't apart.
So be happy for me dear ones, you know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory of my undying love.
After all, love is a gift more precious than pure gold,
It was always most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other as my Father said to do,
For I can't count the blessings or the love he has for you.
So have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear,
Remember I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Love you, Mom.

We miss you and love you.

Wednesday, December 29

The ABC Boxes

I've been waiting to post this since Thanksgiving.... didn't want to give away any surprises.... now that Brayden received his Christmas presents... I'll tell you the story of the ABC Boxes....

If you remember last month at Holly's Craft Show I had made several Christmas items for sale... one being a Christmas Countdown project. Twenty-five decorated little boxes strung from a clothesline with little clothespins...

Well Darlene saw it at the Craft Show and the next week she asked me if I could make another set but instead of using numbers she wanted to make the ABCs... I knew she had something up her sleeve.. and sure enough she had a great idea to make a set for Brayden for Christmas.

So the plan began... but instead of using the Stampin' Up Kit with just 25 boxes, we needed 26 for the alphabet plus had ideas for extra boxes. I made a trip to Michael's (did I say that out loud?).... and bought the little Chinese take-out box containers in primary colors and some felt sticky alphabet letters to apply. Decided they were cute as is and didn't want anything more on it to be distracting (or possibly chewable). Darlene then took each box and fill them with items that represent each letter... clever hun? Probably mostly with toy animals as it seems easiest to find such items... A alligator, B bear, C cat, D dog, E elephant.. hummm.. wonder if she made it through to Z  ...

So over the Thanksgiving weekend, while we were up at the cabin I took this project along and got them assembled.  I think they turned out pretty cute even as simple as they are..... When Don and Darlene came down last weekend for Bunco, we made the "transfer" so she could get them filled... I'm eager to see the results... Also got the clothespins and clothesline so she could either hang them from the line or use to decorate their Christmas tree.

So here they are..
and see what I did with the extra boxes....

And guess what she came up with for the "X" ???
X-Ray Fish.. how clever!!!

Tuesday, December 28

Happy Birthday Pam!

Happy Birthday Pam!

You are such a treasure and I am so grateful that God has given you to me... see I got the gift of you!! I do hope your year is filled with gifts from God and your birthday filled with love and laughter.

I can remember the time we met... of course at Stamp Camp! I'm so excited and always in awe of God and how he brings people into our lives who are just what we need and at just the right time! You have become such a wonderful friend and I look forwad to so many more great times together this coming year!

Have a blast celebrating life!

Monday, December 27

Barnyard Farm Puzzle

Ol' McDonald Had a Farm... E -I -E -I -O

My husband is incredible... and it's been so fun to see him in his new role as a "grandpa".... remember when Brayden was born he made him the "toy box"... which was really way more than that.. more like a family  heirloom blanket box.. hoping Brayden will keep it in his family for a long time...

As I showed you in my pictures from Chrsitmas, Jerry made Brayden this darling Barnyard Farm Puzzle... yes Brayden is a bit young for it now at six months old... but it's another one of those treasured toys that he'll hopefully keep for years to come.

Here's the overall picture...
with the Barn, tractor pulling a trailer and farm animals...

Each piece is made out of a different type of wood...
 thus the different grains and colors...

And on his farm he had a Horse.... e-i-e-i-o

Here's the tractor....

... and trailer....

The Nanny Goat.... or would that be a "scape goat".. hummm...

He'll keep on making toys til the cows come home.. here's one now....

..... so what's the pig smiling about???

Wonder where Bo Peep is... here's her sheep!

The base of the puzzle has slots where all the animals stand along with the tractor and trailer.

Jerry even made a shelf they can mount on the wall to display the puzzle in Brayden's room.

The Barn itself is pretty cool too.... doesn't it remind you of the Reed Ranch?

Sunday, December 26

Christmas Celebration!

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration yesterday... filled with love and laughter and family and friends! Allen (and Frisco) showed up first... and Allen brought a beautiful array of his handmade ceramics for everyone to choose from.... here's just a few of them...

These "animals" are actually great napkin ring holders... very clever!

Here's a cute little tea pot.. next to a unique coffee mug...

The photo doesn't do this justice.. the bowl was absolutely amazing....
wish you could see the blend of colors better.

David and  Holly and Brayden walked in shortly after and as usual just having Brayden here is gift enough for us! And look at this darling outfit Holly bought for him to wear ... very appropriate and true...

Who needs SANTA when I have Grandma!

Janet, Jerry's sister was here to enjoy the day with us, as well as the Banners, Claire Geoff and Noah. Later Caleb came with his soon to be bride (six days to go!) Rebekah.... what an exciting day for us! And a wonderful surprise my friend Arzu came too... what a fun day to have her here with my family as she has become so dear to me.

And of course obviously SANTA had been here already... he dropped several things off for everyone!

I fixed our traditional Chicken and Beef Enchiladas with beans and rice.... and of course we had an abundance of desserts too! The dessert table starts with my HBJC carrot cake.... get it...Happy Birthday Jesus Christ... after all.. it was HIS party!

The table setting awaits... see those stamping tables come in handy... not only do they come in handy for Bunco game night.. but also Christmas Dinner spread!

Jerry had a darling Christmas Train and Track set up for Brayden to play with... ok it really was for Jerry to play with... complete with train whistle and Christmas music... if you look really close you can see they both have matching socks on too!!!

Brayden spent Christmas Eve with his Grandfather Don and Grandma Darlene who got him this darling "Jeep" walker... he just loved it and it came in really handy to have for Brayden to sit in...

Just look at this expression!!!!

Here's Frisco enjoying his new toy too!

For the past month or so Jerry's been working on this beautiful wood project for Brayden.. it's a wooden jigsaw puzzle of a barnyard scene.. complete with barn, tractor and trailer and some farm animals... Holly and David just loved it.

Jerry's explaining to Holly that each animal is made out of a different type of wood.... she said it was her absolute favorite Brayden toy... what a compliment!

He even made a shelf for it so they can mount it in Brayden's room... after all it will be awhile before he can really play with it. I'll show it better in m blog tomorrow....

Think Geoff enjoyed the "Beer Batter in a Beer Bottle" that Jerry got him.... 

This is my absolute favorite Christmas picture....
now doesn't Brayden look like he's saying..
"He's my grandpa and he rocks!"

Claire is lovin' up on Brayden too....


Together they open his Thomas Train book set.... he just loves Thomas!


Gosh I remember when Noah was that small.... but now he's nearly tallest of all!... here he is all smiles with his new PS3 game.... Call of Duty!

Janet's holding Brayden now.. and Claire's back for more tickles....
and to give him his gift...


It's Poky Puppy and his First Christmas... Bryaden LOVES books.. these are perfect!

Good golly miss molly... baby's got a new pair of shoes!!! oh yes and a ball rattle...

Remember Allen bought a new home this past summer... so he got lots of great things for it.. here he's opening a new weed wacker that Geoff and Claire got him!

Holly got a Santa pitcher with sugar and creamer set.... think she likes it!


Rebekah loves purple... so there's a theme ...
here she is with a new purple shawl... just darling!

And here's Rebekah reading to Brayden.... 
hummm David and Holly will have to keep her in mind when hunting for babysitters!

I made a photo calendar for 2011 for David and Holly and for both grandparents....
it's a collage of many of Brayden's pictures from his first six months....

I know it's something they can treasure all year long!


Time for some dinner... finally.. it only took nearly two 2 hours to open gifts!!!


Whew.. this has been a long day for everyone.... Brayden's ready to snuggle with his daddy!

And finally he's out like a light... What a fun filled day and an beautiful First Christmas!

Think he's dreaming of Thomas the Train???

Thanks Everyone for making our Christmas so special!
We love you all so much!