Cuckoo Buds 3 Column

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The True Meaning Of Christmas In Our Home

For us, like many of you, the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love it all ~ the wreaths, the trees all lit up with beautiful lights, the different ornaments and telling the stories behind each one (if there is one), the fudge, cookies and cakes (oh yum!!) and gifts we give to our loved ones and friends.  The kids, and then the grandkids, were taught the first Christmas gifts were the gifts brought from the Magi, the Wise Men, who traveled by camels from far away lands to give the Baby gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Teaching them the Magi followed a star which hung over the stable in Bethlehem.  In the fields, the shepherds heard the Angels singing and were told of the great news of the Baby in the stable in town.
For Don and I, Christmas is centered around Christ.  We try to keep the reason for the season front and center as much as possible. Over the next few weeks, I'll visit many of your blogs and see what you are displaying as I love to see how everyone decorates!  You are all so creative and make such beautiful displays!  And, I'll show some of the vignettes and trees, wreaths, and cards I make, the goodies baked.  In each room in our home, there is one theme that runs constant - a Nativity Scene is displayed to remind us what to focus on.

This Nativity was handed down to me by my Granny.  She brought it with her from New York and she had replaced it with another.  It was given to me the year my daughter was born.  I remember playing with it myself as a child.  She asked me if I had one, and she knew times were really tight for us.  She took this out and gave it to me in a shoe box - and you know, for years, I used that shoe box as the stable, covering it with the sheet I use as a snow blanket!  I bought this stable about 8 or 9 years ago for $3 or so after Christmas!  It was meant for my Nativity, don't you think?

My sisters, cousins and I would pretend we were playing the parts of the Nativity.  My children did the same thing, as did the older grandchildren and now the young ones are.  I remember one year when our two oldest grandsons and our daughter lived with us, every morning Ryan (now 21) would go off to school and make sure each piece was in the exact right place.  During the day his brother, Jeff, (now 18) would take each piece, people and animals alike, and crowd them all around the the manger so they "could all see the Baby!"  For Ryan, it was like torture, he would run in each day to find the Nativity "ALL MESSED UP!"  He would promptly fix it and watch that little brother didn't touch it the rest of the evening.  Next day, same thing!  Jeff so wanted everyone to see Baby Jesus!  

I love Christmas, and I love it all.  And, while I know where my center is, this time of year I'm filled with excitement.  I just love it, and I know many of you do, too!  I've seen some of the beautiful ideas and decorating you've already done and can't wait to see more of them!  Thanks for taking a peak at my very old Nativity.  Near as we can tell, it is around 75 to 80 years old.  As you can see in some of the photos, some pieces are very well worn from being handled by so many little hands.  And, isn't that what He asked?  "Bring the children to Me...I wish everyone were like little children, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these,"  (Taken from stories in Matthew, Mark and Luke.)
I wish us all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas season!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Must Share With My Friends - WHY GOD MADE MOMS

This is too cute not to share with you all of you!  DO NOT DRINK LIQUID while reading this - seriously!


WHY GOD MADE MOMS - - - - - - - - -
Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:
Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Is this adorable?  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!


The Tree Is Trimmed, The Stories Told

. . . we're beginning our Christmas season!  I love Christmas!  It's my favorite time of year!  I love everything about it, except the commercialism.  Our son and his family visited this weekend, and time just went by so fast! 

Oh my, we need some fluffing and straightening on the top!  And maybe a little on the bottom.  Wait!  Who's that peaking around the tree? 

Why it's Grandma's Lisey, as pretty as can be!  Oh my, Elise is growing into such a beautiful young lady!  Daddy is going to need a good, sturdy stick to beat off the boys!  A cute little girl becoming so beautiful right before our eyes!
And, what's this present underneath our tree?  "It's me, it's me, it's me!"  Our baby, sshhhh don't say that out loud, because, "I'm not a baby, don't you know now I'm five!?"  We won't tell her she'll always be our baby!  Besides, she's our present, don't you know!?
Big ones on the bottom, medium in the middle, and little ones on the top - but there are all of these hand made ones - just put them where the look pretty!  That was the go ahead to put everything everywhere!  No matter, they will look beautiful where ever they are.  "Is this one OK?"  "Just perfect, I'd say!"

This one was my Granny's, it's over 100 years old!  And this one Aunt Connie made, and Daddy made this, Uncle Jeff brought me back an Angel from Hawaii.  And these, and those, and this one and that - Isaac and Elise always want to know about family history, which I love sharing with them!

Not really sure these are where they should go.  I think on the tree would be a better spot!  Boys - ever the goof balls!  We had lots of fun, learning where some of these are from, who made which one, even Grandma made a few!  Even their cousins had made a couple. 
I'd love a few more from you, you and you!  The tree is finished for now - I need a box from the shed, and it's dark and cold.  It will wait a couple of days - maybe as I get some of the empty boxes out before bringing any more in! 
Let the games begin!
So Serious!
The games are over, the fun was had, every one was fed, and fed, and fed!  Now I'll start cleaning little by little, a bit here and there.  Look at my photos, read some of my Christmas stories, talk and write to old friends.  This really is my favorite time of the year!

How is your Christmas coming along?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!!

Ahhh - Thanksgiving - A time for reflection of the things that are really important to us.  Our faith ~ the love of our families and friends ~ the wonderful country we have ~ our proud military who stand guard to insure we remain free and maintain our liberties, our way of life ~ our homes, jobs, businesses and all we have and the dream of what we may have ~ we all have different things, and yet some of the same things we are grateful for in our lives.

Today is Thanksgiving - and many of us celebrate with this guy.
My sweetie helped me a great deal this year - we started yesterday, finished up most everything just as the turkey was going in to the oven.  We cleaned the kitchen, made up two sets of serving bowls - one for the two of us today, and larger bowls for dinner when the children arrive tomorrow! 

We went from this...
To this..

And now I'm ready for this . . .
Welcome, come on in!  
I'm so glad you could make it!
Stop him quick - it's the Grinch!

Close the door!  That was a close one!  Trying to sneak out with the goodies already!  He's a sneaky one, for sure!

Tomorrow the big boxes come out, the wee ones arrive (along with a strong daddy to set up the tree!)

For now - It's Grandma, oh, I mean Mrs. Claus in the kitchen bakin'. . .
And, she's got to watch Grandpa, wait - wait - I mean Santa Claus cause he's always takin' . . .

Oh no, I just checked the cookie jar, and there's only one lonely chocolate chip in there!  Not a cookie mind you, just one lonely chip!  Grandma better get up early and start that bakin'!  Good thing dinner is already set to go straight to the oven to be warmed up!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! 

I can hardly wait!  I love the lights, the tree, the ornaments, the baking, eating,  parades, candy canes, the cold on your nose - not so much on my toes, I love the surprise in the little ones' eyes, the awe and the love, the kisses and hugs, the music, the carols, the plays where they're donkeys, and Mary and lambs! 

I love the season - but mostly the reason - our Dear Baby Jesus born Christmas Day!
Away in a manger, our little Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Baking, Cooking and Eating!

I love this time of year!  How about you?  The time of year, getting cooler, the leaves turning colors, dark earlier, and I love Thanksgiving!

I love cooking!  Turkey, ham, yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and what ever vegetable we happen to fancy!

I love baking!  The sour dough bread for the stuffing.  Home made sour dough this year!  Once I learned how to make this bread (my son graciously taught Mom!) it's become a staple around the house.

Oh, and the standard - pumpkin pie and cheesecake!

I love feeding my family and friends!!!  What could be better than gathering with our loved ones?   ONLY EATING THIS GREAT MEAL!!!

Thanksgiving - a time for telling others we are truly thankful for them in our lives.  Being thankful for living in the best country in the world with the best military standing guard making sure we stay free and our liberties are safe.  Being thankful for those we love, all we have, for all we are.  I'm also thankful for each and every one of my blogger friends.

Wishing you all a wonderful and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! 


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hummingbirds, Lizards and ... CATS? Oh My!!

By now, you all know how I feel about my Hummingbirds - they are a daily reminder of God's love and enjoy watching them, feeding them and caring for them for the time we are blessed to have these small little beauties visit. 

It's beginning to get very cold, with some nights dipping down to 30 - 32 degrees, and then we warm again.  The migration has begun, and we are kept amused by the different species coming and going.  They are absolutely beautiful and hard to believe these little creatures are able to travel the distances they do.

Now, while I love to watch these little creatures from INSIDE the house, through the window, the entire neighborhood, our gardener, the pest control guy, and my family know when one of these little visitors show themselves to me - you'd think a dinosaur was running after me!  If they have ears, all of them in my yard are deaf by now!  I scream so loud - - - but here are a couple of babies from my window.
Now, these little guys are only about 2" nose to tail.  They were playing and it was great entertainment.  About two weeks ago, as the weather started turning colder and colder, we noticed there weren't as many lizards out.  Then one afternoon - I saw a culprit with Mama hanging out of his mouth!

This morning, we figured all of the water must be gone as there was not one little birdie at either of the feeders!  As my Sweetie was heading to the door, I yelled, "WAIT - LOOK!"  The culprit was back!!

Our poor, hungry little Hummers were all frantically trying to signal us, chirping, chirping, "Danger, Danger!"   So, I armed myself with my camera, he armed himself with the squirt bottle next to the door.

Our culprit is gone ... and our Hummingbirds quickly returned, hungry and now satisfied!  Now with some energy, they are off to eat those pesky, I mean tasty, ants, and other bugs!

Thank you for taking a peak at our friends today!  Hope you're all getting ready for those tasty dinners, visiting if you have the opportunity, watching the parades, or just relaxing.  Our day to take in all we have to be thankful for!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

American Express Card + Small Businesses = More Shopping Dollars

What could be better than this - shop at a registered Small Business, spend at least $25 using your American Express Card and get a $25 credit on your next statement?  I mean - that's like getting $25 of FREE STUFF!  YEAH!!

There are always details, and instead of me trying to tell you what they are, go here and find out if this is something that will work for you.  I found this at one of my favorite places to shop for craft items,

Are there any of our Blog Friends who have small businesses who are part of this program?  If you are, please let us know!  We'd love to support you!  
This is through American Express, so you must first have an American Express Credit Card, register at the above link for the program, and shop at a Small Business who accepts AE AND IS registered for this program through American Express.  So, please, make sure you follow all of the details set out by American Express.

This is just for your information, I am not endorsing American Express Credit Card, Custom Crops, or any thing else with this program.  I just want to share a good deal with my blogging buddies, if you so choose to use the program.  
For me, 25 free dollars to shop and get crafty stuff is a good deal for me! Hmmm that does mean my list got a little longer!!  he he he!!  I just wanted to share this with my friends and family!

Don't forget "Shop Responsibly!"  he he he!