Monday, December 22, 2014

Most Beautiful Time of The Year

This has been one amazing year.  Life has been so busy I realized I haven't even written on my blog in over a year.  Life has gotten so out of my control this past few years that taking any time for myself has been a opportunity I've not allowed myself, and my health has paid the price.

This year many of our friends have lost their spouses, and parents.  Many have seen such sorrow that Larry and I've not had to deal with as of yet in our life.  We've had major diseases strike our family and friends. As I have complained to my husband about not having time to turn around, he reminds me we are still blessed to still have the opportunity to take care of others. As this year comes to an end, life has afforded us more freedom than we've had in over 3 1/2 years.  We are now able to get back into church (which we both missed so much), have time to actually run errands, and get a little rest which wasn't afforded to us for so long.  As we go down this new road in our life, things will change, new adventures will be afforded to us, will we choose well, or not?  I hope and pray our decisions will be the right ones for us, and our loved ones.

We are looking forward to our annual Christmas Eve church service, and dinner with our friends.  Larry and I have always gone to a Christmas Eve service as part of our family traditions, and then go home to enjoy the peace and quite before the busy Christmas Day visitations begins.  Christmas Eve is always been special to us because of the peace it brings to us this time of year. It's all about the reason of the season, not what gift did you receive.  It's about the miracle of the day.

We are blessed indeed, Larry and I may have had a few slips with health issues, some family received diagnoses we didn't want to hear, grandkids may have received a few broken bones and stitches, our grown kids may need knee surgery, but all in all we are good, we are blessed indeed!

I hope and pray everyone has a blessed Christmas, an a wonderful and safe New Year Day.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Time in Tennessee

Yes, it's that time of year when people try and make the perfect Christmas happen.  What many people don't get is, life happens, and life will get in the way of what you think is perfect.  Everyone is so busy purchasing gifts, buying the perfect tree, baking goodies, attending parties, shopping, and more shopping.  We've all bought into some of the marketing of Christmas.  Oh yes, we've all done it!  Who hasn't hoped that the gift they got for that special someone is opened this year and turns out to be just what they wanted?  How many people have over-spent, because they saw a commercial which offered the item you were sure someone needed?  What has happened to the Celebration of Christ in this holiday?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to Bible thump you, or say something like - providing something nice for your family and friends is wrong.  I just think that we are all a little guilty of losing the meaning from time to time.

This Christmas season, since my husband and I aren't involved as we have been in past years with a church program, I tried to bring the true meaning back in our own hearts this year.  We've been so busy putting everyone else first this year, and we've not taken time for us.  So in an effort to carve out a little time for just us, I suggested we attend a Choir performance or three.

First up, was The Candle Light Service of Lessons & Carols presented by The Roueche Chorale & Orchestra last Friday night at Bascilica of St. Peter & Paul.  It was a lovely service that reached across all sections of the cities and different religious groups. 

Second up, last night we went to the Tivoli where we were blessed to watch our youngest granddaughter Lilly Grace perform with her church adult choir.  She was so good, and when the children returned to their seats and the adults finished the program, I kept hearing a slight echo. I wasn't sure, since the sound system the church was using was their own and not the Tivoli's.  There were some sound adjustments when the program first started.  As the evening drew to a close, I realized that it was Lilly sitting beside me singing softly, singing every word to the adult's program.  What was really so wonderful is she sounded absolutely beautiful.  She had perfect pitch, I honestly thought it was an echo from one of the lead singers who was still holding a mic.  I was amazed to find it was our own little angel sitting beside me.

Larry and I were both truly blessed by both of these programs.  We've got to get involved again.  Larry needs to sing.  Oh, did I not mention my husband has one of the most beautiful voices in this town?  I miss him singing solos. 

Third up, tonight we will go to Northgate Mall where we will hear the Red Bank Baptist Church Orchestra perform Christmas favorites.  A treat tonight is one of our motorcycle buddies, Jerry Haddock, is in the orchestra and plays percussion.  We really enjoy listening to this talented group of people.

Here's a photo of Ms. Lilly singing last night.  She is in the front row, black dress, center of the harp.

I hope and pray that each of you find a special place to be this year at Christmas.  We will be at home enjoying the love and fellowship of family.  What will everyone remember later in life?  The time spent with family and friends, not the gift they got this year.  Please find time for family and your friends this holiday season.  Pick up the phone just to check in, drop by for a few minutes-doesn't have to be 1/2 day, enjoy the people in your life.  You will blink one day, and they will be gone.

Enjoy this Christmas, smile, don't get stressed out, hold the little ones, hug the big ones.  Just be yourself and have some fun!  MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rut-ro I Need A Clone

So it is with great fanfare that we welcome the month of September.  Larry and I were able to finally enjoy a couple days off the first week in September.  We were able to enjoy the the mountains for a few day, then it was back home to Chattanooga to pack for my friend Mary's wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Here are a few snapshots of that beautiful day, loved how everyone was going on how there wasn't any humidity, well at 3:30 PM on that deck it didn't matter, it was HOT!  Mary's and my saving grace was those air vents in the lodge, we discovered if we stood over them those long dresses weren't a problem, and then we would go back out for photos.

Here are two photos of Mr. & Mrs. Richard Jernigan, aren't they the cuties.

 Then I need to add one of me and hubby with the bride.  Doesn't Larry look dapper?
Here are a few more with the Best Man "David", Mary's Dad, and Richard's Mother.

After the wonderful wedding weekend, we had to return to work:-(  Something about if you want money, you need to work, hum.  I need to win the lottery so I can enjoy retirement like all our friends.  I digress, sorry.  Oh yeah, back to work, where we were met with lots of fun stuff and issues basically work.  Then Sept 11th rolled around again and Mary (yes the above bride) was walking back to her apartment in NY crossing at a pedestrian crossing with the light GO for crossing.  When she was hit by a car, a women hope out and started filming, I mean come on.  Can't wait for the court appearance of this lady.  Anyway, no broken bones, but will have to wait and see if she has to have PT.

On another note, my family had a wedding too in September.  My brother decided to elope and get married on the 12th.  Life is changing faster than I can keep up with.

September birthdays are a busy time for the Russell family.  My husband's name sake William "Nathaniel" Russell will be having a birthday this Sunday.  He's one bright young man, but of course I would say that, he's our grandson.  Then my darling husband William Lawrence Russell (Larry) and my friend Mary's birthdays are on Sunday the 29th, followed by the son William "Christopher" Russell on the 30th.

Well if you can't tell our lives are busy, but I will try and do better with my blog. When I discovered I've not posted since December of 2012 thus the title I need a clone.

Until later.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Adeste Fideles

Yes, it's here!  Christmas is just a few days away.

While everyone is running around to be with family and friends, watching children of all ages get excited with the pending visit of Santa.  People are attending parties, and various church functions, we can all get too busy.  Everyone needs to stop, and take some time to remember the reason for the season.  Take a little time from your busy schedule to attend a religious place of your choosing (not working, or volunteering at church-actually attending one service as a participant).  While you are at this service remember why we celebrate Christmas day.  I know that our society has gotten so commercial, but if you keep the faith in your heart, the Lord will never be taken from that day of worship......Christmas. 

As I’m writing this today I’ve stopped long enough to listen to Christmas Music, currently I’m listening to Nat King Cole sing O Holy Night, it is one of my favorites during this time of year. If you have time take a listen.

Now since my last blog, Larry and I have been busy getting our home ready for the holidays.  My darling husband reminded me I had 7 trees this year, I told him I was fully aware that I did have 7 trees this year, and if the after Christmas sales happen to be great this year, we will have 2-3 more for next year.  He didn’t seem too happy about the prospect of more trees in our attic.  Bless his heart he has been so helpful this year, and we both enjoy seeing all the trees.  Here are a few samples of our decorations.  Let’s see what makes it thru till next year, we have a 13 month old walking now.  I say that with prideJ With that in mind, we put all the sentimental ornaments up toward the top of the tree, and kept those that little hands can enjoy on the lower branches.  Been a few years since we had a toddler at our house Lilly Grace & Nathaniel was the last two little ones.

Well as I promised with my last blog update here are some photos of our Christmas decorations.  Lets start outside shall we?

Ok now lets move inside, by the way my camera has been giving me fits lately, it's about time to start looking for another one.  Maybe something that will work well either night and inside.  

Next up lets start in the living room, I didn't take photos of the formal dinning room area which is decorated too, just thought we would stick the to main stuff.  Please note in this room is Larry's train, he was so very excited to be able to put his entire track down in the living-room under the tree.  In the past he put the train in the den and he could only use a portion of the track. 

Moving into the hallway toward the Den we've got a build in area for a telephone, which we've always just put this nice little old fashion phone (which doesn't work because we only use cell phones) but it's nice to look at.  Plus this year our friends Lois & Kenneth Johnson gave us a Santa picture which we hung in the hall for the Christmas season.  Notice I've got a satin Noel and Angle by the phone.

Lets see the Office, Bedroom, and Kitchen Christmas Trees.  Our Office has a hand crochet angel made by a sweet lady that is no longer with us from my hometown of Chatsworth. The Bedroom tree is fiber optic which you don't decorate, and the Kitchen is a works in process because it is hard to find only kitchen ornaments sometimes.

Finally here is our Den, yes it has a lot of stuff, but I always say it's never enough.  Aren't you glad I'm not going to take photos of the bathrooms or screen-in-porch:-)

Like Larry and his train, I was able to put out all my Dept 56 Village this year, they are outgrowing my piano.  If I get another one, I'm going to have to move them somewhere else.  The church was a wedding gift to Larry & I from friends, I think it is one of my favorite pieces.

Now lets look at the tree, and some of the tables in the Den. Christmas Time a coming.  

This year we will be hosting Christmas for our families at the house.  Larry and I are going to keep it simple so that everyone can enjoy our time together, and I'm not in the kitchen the entire time.  Costco & Sam's will be catering our meal.  

Here is some of the dishes we will have. If you got any additions or suggestions, please let me know below.  We will have red potato salad, 5 bean salad, Southwest Hummus & Spinach/Artichoke Dip with Hawaiian King Bread.  We are going to have a sandwich bar with pimento-cheese spread (for the non meat folks), honey roasted turkey, lean ham, roast beef, all the cheeses you can think of, pickles, lettuce, onions and various bakery breads.  We will have chips, cheese balls, cheese and crackers, veggie tray.  I will only be making a Veggie & Cheese Tarts and Lilly Grace's requested Fluff Salad with her chosen fruits.  Of course there will be tons of deserts (got a lot of deserts to bake for other get togethers-making some extras), and beverages.  I wanted to make this so everyone could eat whenever they wanted, no set time or formal meal.  The grazers will be happy, and so will I.  People can come and go as needed, eat whenever they want.  Larry's and my biggest deal will be keeping the ice filled and the chilled items on ice.  

From our house to yours we hope and pray that everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas this year.  Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Talk to you next year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is It Already That Time Of Year?

Well as usual I’m right on top of getting things done….NOT!  As you will see it’s been a while since my last posting on my blog.  I’m going to get better at this I’m sure.

Here is what has been happing with our little family.  Here are the birthdays we had since I last posted; just with immediate family birthdays you can see we’ve been a little busy.  This doesn’t even include friends, siblings, aunts, uncles, and brother & sister-in-laws:
Granddaughter – Victoria turned 13
Son-in-law - Chris
Mother-in-law – Ann
Grandson – Nathaniel turned 8
Husband – Larry
Son – Chris
Daughter-in-law – Misty
Father-in-law – Bill
Daughter – Jamie
Grandson – Ayden turned 1
Mother – Ann

Noticed how nice I was and didn’t tell everyone else ages?  Here are a few photos of our grandkids that had birthdays since my last post. Victoria (Tori), William Nathaniel (namesake), and Ayden Samuel.

Speaking of photos, we were excited to receive new photos from both kids this year.  They took the time and managed to get their families together for a family photo.  If you ever come to my home you will see family photo’s everywhere.  That is the one thing I always ask for is photos the kids and their families.  Here are two wonderful photos of Jamie and her family (top) and Chris and his family (below).

Jamie's family L-R Ashlyn (11), Chris, Ayden (1), Jamie, & Lilly (7)  

Chris's family front to back L-R Nathaniel (8) front & center, Isaiah (10) & Josh (16), Victoria (13) & Misty, Chris & Tony (15)

On another note this year we’ve also had health struggles with various family members, some about the same time, which was a little tiring.  My mother-in-law had surgery; my parents have both had their health issues.  My aunt and cousin both are fighting battles with various cancers, uncle passed away, two other uncles are having major health issues, as are many of my aunts.  Neither Larry nor I can get sick this year, we are too busy praying, and helping those that aren’t doing well.  As my mother said time and time again, the Lord will not put more on you than you can handle.

Moving on to something lighter.  It’s getting closer to Christmas, and so many stores are pushing back their Christmas Decorations, and Christmas specials further and further into summer. I actually walked into a store in August and they already had out decorations.  We will be hosting Christmas this year at our home, so hubby and I will be decorating our home this year a little more than in the past.  Normally two – three trees is the average we put up.  But this year I’ve decided each room will have a tree including the bathrooms.  Larry is just so excited…NOT.  He asked me last night, do you have enough trees to do all that, I informed him I did.  Everything is in the attic, which he gave me a big laugh, so I’ve not brought down everything in the past few years right?  I confirmed he was right, this year it all comes down.  Needless to say most men could careless for all the decorations, but my husband loves the trees when we are finished.  He enjoys setting around just listening to music and admiring the trees.  So this year he can be blessed in each room.  I’ll post progress photos, next week.  We rearrange decorations for at least a week after we get everything out, always tweaking a little more.  Can’t wait to see how everything turns out.

Well since I’m going to post something next week.  This is all folks, until later.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Time Flies While Life Happens

Cannot believe it’s been months since I last posted anything on my blog.  Where has the time gone? 

Well for starters we have been extremely busy with family. Then there are our jobs, and daily life experiences (cooking, cleaning, laundry, and yard work).  If you are lucky enough to have friends, and a religious affiliation then you are a very blessed person. My husband and I are blessed with all.

Since the last time I wrote, I’ve now completed my Gray Hair Project.  My entire colored hair has been removed, and now I’m just trying to fine a new style that is suited to my life, and the new color.  In allowing my gray to show, I’ve discovered and embraced the curly hair I’ve been at war with since I was a child. Amazingly it takes no time anymore for me to style my hair. I allow Mother Nature to dry and except for a few tosses of my hair with my hands, that’s it. All is good. 

Make-Up now that’s another story.  I’ve discovered that when your hair color changes so drastically, so too must your make-up, and clothing colors.  I’m still trying to fine the right eye colors and makeup style.  Mercy, mercy, me, it’s going to be along road on this one.  Most of my basic colors that I love still work, the blues, crisp whites, and blacks.  But I’ve tried some bright new colors lately, lime green (still unsure of this choice), bright orange. By the time I figure out the summer colors, fall will be here, and I’ll have more issues with colors.  I just need to clean out my closet and start over.

All of our grandkids are doing well.  All three of our granddaughters are shining lately. Tori our California girl or I should say Victoria as she now likes to be called in public is turning into a beautiful young women and a great athletic her Volleyball team took 1st place several months ago. She will also be having a birthday in a few days, August 20th hard to believe she will be 13.  Here is a photo of Victoria on the right with the team trophy. 

Then we have our local beauty Ashlyn who went to cheer camp in Nashville, and her teams won several awards for her first year out we are so proud of her.  Then of course we must mention Lilly for not having a melt down this year for back to school clothes shopping. I’ll just say last year if you were anywhere near Calhoun GA’s Outlets you would have heard the meltdown.  Lilly has grown so much over this past year.  Still doesn’t understand why she can’t do everything her big sister does, nor understands that she’s not always invited to the same functions has her big sister, but she’s getting there. Here is a photo of Ashlyn team, she is in the back holding two ribbons, one of her with one of her teammates, and the finally one of her and Lilly (you could tell Ashlyn had had enough of all the photos by this one, she wanted her mother to stop).

Well that’s all about out grandkids this time around, next time I’m on the blog our grandsons will have something for me to write about I'm sure. Between the youngest at almost 9 months, and the oldest being 16 these boys keep us smiling all the time too.

In June Larry and I went to Atlanta to see a concert that he had been wanting to see for a while.   Roger Waters that was in Pink Floyd doing “The Wall” at Philips Arena.  We had wonderful seats, and were able to go with my bestfriend Mary and her boyfriend Richard. Just a great evening.  The very next day was June 14th, which was Flag Day, but it was also my dear fathers 80th birthday.  We were able to take that Thursday off and spend time with him and my mother.  Here is a photo of Dad with his cake.

Two weeks later we kept a friends chocolate lab for a week, lets just say that was a hoot.  Here is our buddy Lucky, she is still a puppy who weights 85 pounds of pure muscle.  Needless to say, Larry was the only one able to keep her inline; she would just look at me then go on doing whatever she wanted.  We took her to the cabin in the mountains that week, she played catch with her tennis balls, swimming in the creek, sleeping in Larry's lap, and watching tv.  What a ruff life!

Well folks that’s about our life in a nutshell these past few months, with the exception of visiting my folks weekly, and Larry every couple of weeks, that’s our life. 

Hope to write again soon.  Maybe will have more photos.  Blogs are so much better with photos, don’t you think?