Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!


  I hope 2010 brings you all good health, peace and happiness. 

Thank you to all the blogging friends I have made in the few months since I began my blog in September. 
I have made some wonderful friends that I wish I could meet in person.  I read every comment that you all leave and appreciate each and every one.
May you all have a Happy New Year!

Thanks to http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/ for my image.

Blessings and Hugs,
Donna


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Surviving Christmas & Gifts from Amber

My family and I survived our first Christmas without Amber with us.  Of course she was here with us in spirit.
My husband and I had decided to not get each other gifts for Christmas so we did not purchase a thing for each other.  Jennifer also agreed to not get us anything either.  However on Christmas Eve Jennifer came home bearing gifts.  I told her she broke the rules and quickly responded that she did not...the gifts were from Amber.  Jennifer had written a message in a sweet Christmas card how Amber told her what to buy and she would want us to have the gifts for Christmas. The gifts were exactly what Amber would have given me!  Jennifer knew Amber so well  : )


This is what Amber bought me...Jim Shore figurines with a sewing theme.  Amber always shopped for anything sewing related for me.  These are adorable with their needle and thread and the thimble hat.  Look at the cat sitting in her lap on the ball of yarn.  Too cute! 


And of course I love my bunnies! These ceramic bunnies are reading their books.  Amber loved to read.  One bunny has his magnifying glass out reading like I sometimes have to do these days.  The other bunny has it's feet together.  So sweet!
Jennifer also included other things I adore.  I cried and cried when I realized what Jennifer had done for Amber.  Such sweet sister love!  Jennifer said Amber was with her as she did her Christmas shopping. 

Jennifer, I know you read my blog and I love you!  Thank you for shopping for Amber this year!  How sweet and thoughtful!  You were always a good "Sissy".

God Bless,
Donna

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our First Christmas & Remembering..

Our first Christmas without Amber.  This has been the most difficult holiday season in my life.  I have had many trials in my 50 years on this earth.  My mother passed away a few days before I gave birth to Jennifer 28 years ago.  My dad passed away the day after Christmas last year.  Amber was diagnosed at the age of 10 with a rare form of muscular dystrophy.  Having to purchase and let Amber decide on the color of a wheelchair knowing she would be confined to it the rest of her life.  My husband being unemployed for about 2 years and we oftened wondered how we would pay the bills and pay health insurance. Jennifer was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2000 during her first year of college and was very ill.  My family endured my own health crisis in 2001 after complications from surgery, developing ARDS and spending 3 weeks on a ventilator in ICU wondering if I would live.
I believe the good Lord let me live to care for Amber because He knew she needed me.
But this has been the most trying time of my life.  I have spent many hours crying over the loss of Amber.  I miss her so much.  I do know one thing she is looking down on me as I write this.  She is spending her First Christmas in Heaven.

My girls - Christmas 2007
Amber has on her "Believe" tee shirt with a snow angel!  How appropriate for such a sweet girl!

As I mentioned in a previous post I did not know whether I would decorate for Christmas this year. Jennifer reminded me of how much Amber loved for me to decorate for Christmas each year and she would be disappointed if I did not even put up a tree.  So I pulled the decorations out of the basement.


I wanted to make a heavenly scene near our front door for Amber.  I found a poem "First Christmas in Heaven" at a craft show and gathered some of Amber's favorite things.  She purchased the little snow houses with the snowmen last year and I added some gold sheer fabric with white lights.


The picture is of her dressed for her senior prom in high school.  The poem is framed and in the middle for everyone to read.


And the Reason for the Season nativity scene under my cloche with an "A" ornament I placed in front with angel wings on each side.


I placed an angel, a feather tree and her baby shoes in her wheelchair along with a special Precious Moments throw she gave me many years ago.  I can't part with the wheelchair just yet. I can still smell her on it.


I also put her tree in her bedroom as she would have wanted..  It is decorated with snow angels, stars and snowflakes.  I light her Yankee Candle every night.  She always had a candle burning in her bedroom. 


I want to thank Becky from http://sweetcottagedreams.blogspot.com/
She sent me this beautiful card along with the Faith ornament below.  Her precious son Jordan also went to Heaven this year.  Oh how they must be celebrating!  Can you imagine spending Christmas with our Lord and Saviour!
That has to be a wonderful party :)


I have the faith ornament on my tree.  I will always remember it's special meaning.  Thank you Becky.  I know your pain along with other bloggers who have lost children this year.
If you haven't told your loved ones today you love them - take a minute and let them know they are loved.  Just 3 simple words - "I Love You".

Have a Merry Christmas!
Blessings and Hugs,
Donna




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Piano Room Tree

We have a room in our house we call the piano room. We have always called it that for lack of a better name. It holds the piano and many pieces of antique furniture.  I decorate it for Christmas with ornaments I have collected and my family has given me over the years.


Here is a little tree I found at Hobby Lobby this year and decorated it with acorns and pinecones. 


I love teapots and I have many in this room.  This is a teapot set with snowflakes.


My daughters and I have collected Precious Moments and I have had this angel for probably 15 years.  She stays out year round on the mantle.  I think she is beautiful.


A look at the mantle with the stockings.  I made them too out of scraps and leftover lace trims.


The tree did not photograph well.  It has twinkling lights with ornaments I have made over the years...smocked ones and angel ones.


A shoe ornament I found this year.  Jennifer and I both love shoes!


A purse I also found this year.  I bought it to remember Amber...she loved her purses!


A dainty teacup and saucer.  I did not take pics of the teapots.


This is a little lamp that connects into the lights and lights up like a real lamp.  Love it!


A star ornament I made last year out of paper mache stars and covered with scrapbook paper along with glitter and embellishments.


Precious Moments ornament that says "Wrapped in Love for Donna"


Bears in a victorian baby stroller waiting for Christmas.


A Boyds bear angel I have sitting in an antique chair.


The mantle with white poinsettias, large ornaments and butterflies.

I hope you have enjoyed just a little of my tree.  I could not decide whether to  put it up this year, but my husband, Amber and Jennifer have given me so many of the ornaments.  Each time I unwrapped each ornament so many memories came flooding back.  Such sweet memories : )
I know Amber is watching from above with a big smile on her face.

Thanks for visiting.
God Bless and Hugs,
Donna

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gingerbread Tablescape

I am participating in Susan's Tablescape Thursday at http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/.   Susan is so inspiring with her tablesettings. She always has a beautiful table set.  Stop by her blog and visit to see other blogger's tablescapes.





My husband gave me the gingerbread arrrangement I posted about in the previous post.

This is my kitchen table set for four. We have shared numerous meals over the years at this table. So many memories.  I am so sad that our Amber is not here with us this year.  I know she is looking down on us :)

I have always loved gingerbread men and the tree in our adjoining dining room is decorated with a  gingerbread and cooking theme.  I posted it also in an earlier post.


I have collected Pfaltzgraff Winterberry dishes for several years.  I think these dessert glasses are too cute!  I buy something to add to my dishes every year.  My collection is slowly growing.  I love the place settings with the filigree pattern and the holly design.


The red chargers I purchased at Walmart and the flatware is Reed and Barton.


Love the spoons in the arrangement!


The peppermint tablecloth I made several years ago.


I purchased the votive holders at Yankee Candle.
Love these!


And him too!



The napkins I embroidered with snowflakes many years ago!



And finally the light fixture over the kitchen table.  I have red hummingbirds hanging from the greenery along with the acorns.  I found the hummingbirds at Walmart and the acorns at Homegoods.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed my kitchen tablescape.

God Bless,
Donna

It's the Little Things...

It's the little things in life that make me happy. This year my husband and I decided not to buy each other gifts for Christmas.  With Amber's passing it has been a very emotional time of year without her here to enjoy Christmas with us.  She loved the trees and lights and the real meaning of the season.  I have decorated the house just like she would have wanted with the trees and pretty ornaments.
So when my husband was looking through the paper he saw this Christmas arrangement and came home from the florist with these flowers. 
I was having my group of old school friends over to the house for our usual "girls day" before Christmas.  He thought I should have this for my centerpiece.

The flowers are arranged in a glass mixing bowl with gingerbread men!  It is so cute!


The mixing spoons and cinnamon sticks are included!  Perfect for the cook!


A closeup of one of the roses....beautiful!

It was so thoughtful of him to remember the little things that mean the most.
I have such a sweet caring husband....now I know why we have been married for 32 years.

  I have a tablescape I am going to post tomorrow using my so so cute flowers.  You will have to come back and visit.

Thanks for visiting.
God Bless,
Donna

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I have always loved making and collecting Christmas ornaments over the years.  I have many that my girls have made thru the years in school and just for fun.  They mean the world to me and are so precious!  I put them on the tree each year.
 I have always tried to make several every year to add to the tree.  My tree says NO MORE!  It's dripping with ornaments!
I thought I would share some of my ornaments on my gingerbread tree I have in the dining room on my last post. 

This is a recycled light bulb I painted it like a snowman and made him a top hat.  I painted this one in 2000.  I gave many as gifts.


This is another snowman lightbulb with a chenille hat I made.  Please forgive my poor photo skills.  It is cuter in person.


You Light Up My Life!  I made both of my girls one in 1999. The saying is so true...how our children light up our life!  So many memories especially this Christmas.


I have always loved to bake so I just had to have this cookie sheet with gingerbread men.


This is a Hallmark ornament Jennifer bought me last year.  It reminds me of the refrigerator we had when I was a little girl.  If you look close you see the M&M lights on the tree.  These are at least 20 years old and I put them on the tree each year. Who doesn't love an M&M?


The fridge opens, the light comes on and there is food inside!  Too cute!
All stocked for Christmas dinner.


This reminds me of my mixer I use nearly once a week to bake something. 
We love our sweets!


An old stove.


I wish I had a real one of these right now!


And to top it off ...a sundae! 

I want to mention a giveaway that Glenda/Midsouth is having. 
She is having a great giveaway...just thought you might want to enter :)

Thanks for visiting.
God Bless,
Donna

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tablescape Thursday & Home for the Holidays

This week I am participating in Susan's Tablescape Thursday at http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/ and Rhoda"s Home for the Holidays  at southernhospitalityblog.com.  Please visit both of the sweet ladies and see how everyone in blogland is decorating this holiday season.
Thank you both for hosting these events.






My tablescape is a gingerbread theme.    The plates are Butler's Pantry Gourmet and the peppermint plates are after Christmas finds at Yankee Candle along with the gingerbread men votives.  The peppermint plates are really candle plates however I am using them as salad plates. My glassware is Winterberry and the napkins I posted earlier this week, I embroidered a couple of years ago.


I have decorated a tree in my dining room the last 2 years with gingerbread cooking themed ornaments. I love putting this tree up every year.


This the centerpiece...a Gingerbread House that is a cookie jar.
I found this after Christmas last year at Cracker Barrel.  Love those after Christmas sales!


The little elf is going to help me bake this year :)


Another view of our dining room with the bay window decked out with snowmen and gingerbread men.




A closeup of the Gingerbread cookie jar.




Here is a better picture of the tree. 
I will post later on some of the ornaments.  They are so cute!!


A snowman I made last year ..I was going to use him on top of the tree but he was too heavy so I put him in the bay window with the gingerbread man.


Our kitchen light fixture with greenery and acorn ornanents with hanging red hummingbirds.

Mugs I have in a kitchen corner.


Another snowman cookie jar.


I have all of my holiday spatulas out for the holidays.
Jennifer bought these at Williams Sonoma.


I love this old red truck I found this summer at Hobby Lobby..I put a tree in the back to decorate for Christmas.


I love Smores so I had to have this at Cracker Barrel several years ago.  The big one is a cookie jar, the small ones ..salt and pepper shakers and the mugs to match.  Love them!!


Closeup of our kitchen table arrangement.


The stockings are hung on the mantle in the family room.  I love my glittery trees!  They are very whimsical.


Santa's boots by the fireplace.


And finally the big fat Christmas tree loaded with ornaments from the past 32 years we have been married.


Another view of the mantle and fireplace.


And finally this is the Jim Shore bunny Amber gave me for Mother's Day.   In his hands he is holding a wreath for Christmas.  He can be changed for each season.  I will treasure him forever.

I hope you have enjoyed some of my Christmas decorations.  I didn't know if I would be able to put up a tree this year with Amber's passing, but she loved Christmas and would have disappointed if I had not decorated for the season.  I will post her tree in her room in a later post.  I also have a victorian themed tree in a more formal room we have I will show you later.
Thanks for visiting.   I love to read your comments.
God Bless,
Donna