What is THIS all about?

Thanks for coming to my Blog! I am a Daughter of a King, Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of five, MomInLaw of two, and Gram of three. Designing and creating feeds something inside of me! This blog will be sharing about my faith, my family, my life, my creations and collections. I am on a journey to learn balance and will be sharing about that as well. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Graham Cracker Structure Giveaway

For those of you who guessed about 
the structure my hubby made when we made our Graham Cracker Christmas Village,
I would not have guessed what it was either
if he had not told me!


This picture shows what it would look like closed and where
no one would even guess what would be stored inside...

This picture is with the "door" or hatch open...

You must think three dimensional, and realize it is a circular staircase,
descending into a cold storage area.

It looks to me that there are six to nine shelves,
each shelf holding ..a....hmm..... a six foot circle
of "containers" of a similar type item...
possibly a liquid...
with a colored cap on it..
Maybe a Bottle???

He happened upon this picture and knew right away that for his
architectural wonder, made from only Graham Crackers, you must realize,
He would "build", if that is what you want to call it.....a

SHEFFIELD CIDER
CELLAR!

I thought that was such a clever idea, once I got over the automatic thought of
"Is that ALL you are going to make? You cheated!'
I think he would really like to build one of these! LOL!!!

He makes the most unique Graham Crackers houses I have ever seen!

This is the one from LAST year, Christmas 2012...





 It is a Rock Climber Tent hanging from the cliff,
decorated with Christmas lights....
So clever... He makes me smile and laugh every year.
Our family loves this tradition, along with the
other Christmas Traditions we participate in most years.
Decorating our home for Christmas, with the same decorations
we have had for years, adding a few more here and there,
Gifts to each other, of course, our Church Christmas Party that always
focuses on the Birth of the Savior,
(They do have a Santa Visit on another day for the young children.)
Christmas Concerts for the school Choir and Band,
 lots of singing and instrument playing during the month of December,
 adding new Christmas Ornaments for each member of the family to the tree each year,
playing games and laughing until we cry or can hardly breathe,
Watching the movie "White Christmas" as many times as we can, along with
ALL the other Christmas movies we have,
and the sentimental Hallmark Christmas Movies, we LOVE THOSE!
Christmas Caroling and Hot chocolate afterward on Christmas Eve,
 delivering treats to those who are still
willing to open their doors for our singing after all THESE YEARS!!
and we just enjoy each other's company.

Tonight, not quite midnight, all is quiet in our home.
The "invalid parents", Hubby and I,are trying to continue recovering
from illness and the two kids who have
"cabin fever" have gone to New Year's Eve parties of their own,
since we are not up to the games and crying from laughter tonight.

In the quiet, I think about the last year of our lives, and all
the many blessings we have received. The health and strength we
have been given to get through some difficult experiences,
for our Son returning safely from two years in Brazil,
getting to see Daughter*1 and her family after a year,
and for some years free from intense anxiety,
Oh, how grateful to God I am!
I know my life is good, and even without all of this,
I have the love of family and friends that grows and strengthens,
every day. Some years, Christmas has been VERY Difficult,
and I pray that I can be able to recognise "difficult" in the
lives of others, and know how I might lift a burden or
lighten a heart.

It is a wonderful life!

Thank you, friends and followers, for the "wonderful"
you have added to my life over the past year of my blogging!

I was "running" when my "First Blogiversary" happened!

Here's to an AMAZING 2014!!!

I had in mind for this to be a PS to the other post...
"PS" SHOULD mean Pretty Short.....
but you know me!!  (don't ya....)

Happy, Happy, Happy Everyday!!
Betsy

Seasons Greetings to One and All!


I hope you all had an excellent Christmas Day, giving and receiving gifts in
remembrance of God's gift to us of His Son! 

I hope you are all happy and well!




Christmas Hugs and New Years Kisses
to you all!
Let's make it a great 2014!!!

Betsy




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

15th Annual Christmas Tradition ~ Part Two and Giveaway

Welcome back! 
Continuing.....

SonIL*2 creating...he is an excellent artist
and very creative!
Daughter*4 enjoying candy and watching
BroIL fix her wire...What are they making???















Look at what they made!!!!

They were trying to out do themselves after the carousel last year. I would say they succeeded!

Hubby's Mom decided to go easy and made an igloo out of Mini Marshmallows.

I love the teeny tiny marshmallows I got for hot chocolate, but they decided to use them as snowballs
in decorating their Cottages!

I decided that I deserved a pre-made gingerbread house kit after all these years of being such a fun mom
so here is my rendition this year. Usually I just get a kick out of all of theirs.
Just a plain old plain old, but it was fun.
And my hubby??? What was HIS Christmas ... hmmm....  
what would I refer to it as...oh, ... structure!











This didn't take him hardly any time at all to make... 
Was he cheating?? And what is it?

Look closely at the above Picture and if you can guess correctly what it is....
I will send you one of what is in the picture in the mail this week!

He is a sneaky guy when he makes stuff...
**shaking my head**,  but I did laugh and think it was very clever!!! 

Leave a comment below and your guess at what it is....I will contact the winner on Friday and 
get it in the mail to you right away! 

 Here is our completed "Cracker Christmas Village".




It sits on top of our computer armoire. I haven't told you about the armoires... oh boy, what a story!
And that lovely candelabra on the right is a birthday gift to me from my kids!
I will have to tell you about that too!

Too many stories and I take too long telling them!
Hope to be here more often posting.
hugs and Christmas Cottage love,

Betsy

15th Annual Christmas Tradition ~ Part One

I have been a busy bee and have taken lots of pictures, but have not done any blog posts!


 I will begin with Thanksgiving weekend, and eventually post about
the other things! I am sure you can tell what we have done every Christmas for
all these years, and now there is no getting out of it.

Daughter*3 and her roommate, who was here for Thanksgiving.
Hubby, explaining why he shouldn't be in trouble
for his VERY easy project...
Daughter *3



















First, we plan and plot, and see what we can make differently
than what we have done before.

I always wonder what everyone will come up with.
I never cease to be amazed at what they decide to make.

A "Pine Tree House"...can you tell???

Sometimes, they don't look anything like what they are supposed to be, and other times you can tell exactly what it is!

Daughter*2 



And other times,
we are just feeling tired and just stick with what we
do best... Christmas Cottages.

We aren't like everyone else,
we don't use gingerbread cookie pieces,  we are lazy and just like to use Graham Crackers to make our  "Cracker Christmas Village".

When we started making these, our oldest was 14 and the youngest was 18 months and it just made sense to
make them easy and doable.

My MILaw has been a cake
decorator for years.  We use her Royal Icing Recipe because it dries hard and holds the houses together
 very well. This started out as a Grandma and Grandpa time with our family.  It has been so much fun!  I was having extreme anxiety the Christmas my MILaw suggested it and I just felt sick about doing it. It was overwhelming.  But she bought and brought the stuff, and it was great for the kids.

It has become a tradition and even the years I have had anxiety we have still done it.
Candy lasts forever, as long as you don't want to EAT it!!!
 
and her "Christmas Cottage".




We have had many cracker things built through the years...my hubby comes up with the most ....a....clever.... ;) things to make.
One year, it was an outhouse, with a Nerds banana on the side, for the moon on the outhouse...
One year it was a cliff tent, hanging with a string of lights on the outside...
SILaw*1 made a tank one year,...you can tell he works for the Army! SIL*2 and Daughter*4 made a carousel with swedish fish and molded starburst candies as the animals.
We have had a log cabin made from pretzels,
complete with a fireplace and smoke coming out of the chimney.We have had a sled with marshmellow snowmen riding it. We even had a mobile home that looked about like the one we used to live in. A candy necklace was used as the lights around the roof of the trailer.
Once, we had a "Mansion" that collapsed from the  weight of all the frosting and the treats on the roof... It was very hilarious! but you had to be here to understand why it was so funny...

Our only Son
Our son returned from a two year mission in Brazil for our church this last August, and it was so much fun having him here to create with us instead of just sending him the pictures.

He was the "Mansion" architect all those years ago, and still is pretty creative on his projects for the Graham Cracker houses.

We all love music, but he plays the most instruments of anyone in the family,  so what do you think HE made....
"A Baby Graham Piano"

ha, ha, ha....





I bought this vinyl tablecloth a few years ago, on special after christmas,  so we could have a festive easy clean up for our event.

It makes a great backdrop for the pictures. I wish I would have taken pictures each year, I don't know what I was thinking. I will be taking them from now on, however.



One of my nieces came to our home for Thanksgiving because she could drive here with our kids the 650 miles, and she didn't have to purchase a plane ticket to go home back east. It was wonderful spending time with her. Her parents, her mom is my sister, introduced me to my hubby. When I was in high school, they lived across the road from where we built our house. Her father's family also lives here so she was able to visit with them.

Niece from Kentucky
Didn't she make a cute little house?

















This was supposed to be a quick post.... yeah right, I have much to learn...

Okay, it is so confusing on my template right now, I will have to make a Part Two!! Hopefully you'll follow over!  When I get it posted I will add a link HERE to take you to Part Two!

Happy Christmas Cottages to you!
Hugs,
Betsy