Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year End Reflection and Highlights~

Tomorrow will be the start of yet another new year.  I remember thinking time stood still when my girls were younger. "What"? you say.  Trust me, those of you who are parents (or have dealt with young children) will understand.  You know, the days when the kids are fussin', fightin', dad's out of town, dinner has yet to be served...and all you want is for it to be their bed time. And bed time is HOURS away!!

Well, now that they are older so am I but we're not talking about me it seems time just flies by..."the days are long but the years are short".  So much truth to that!

While I haven't blogged as much as I had planned/wanted to in 2016, I posted when I felt led to.  Big difference.  I had chosen the word intentional back in January of 2013 as my word for the year, rather than a long list of resolutions that would go out the window a week or so later.  It's been a work in progress, but I really think after the events of the past two years that I have been better about being in the moment.  Isn't that really what it's all about?

I will however share my top posts for 2016.  A couple surprised me.  I expected several of the recipes we shared to rank in the top 10, you people do love your food as do we, but one in particular resonated with a lot of you and drew a lot of attention.

Without further ado...

Top 10 from 2016

10. Sweet and Sticky Chicken

9. Paleo Short Ribs with Garlic and Rosemary

8. Hello September

7. Paleo Mexican Casserole

6. Blueberry Brisket

5. Checking In and Where We Are

4. Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken

3. Pray for our Teacher and Back to School

2. Merry Christmas 2016 and Santa's Prayer

1. Ikea Lack Hack-Blog Hack by Daughter

My very talented oldest daughter is a girl who knows how to use power tools y'all!!!  The Ikea Lack Hack was one of her first projects and it has drawn attention time and time again, here on the blog and on Pinterest.  And, in case you missed it on IG or FB, here is her latest creation...

She created this beautiful porch swing for my hubby and I for Christmas.  For as long as she can remember (we are talking since she was old enough to understand what a swing was), I have begged, pleaded, nagged, asked for one.  It was worth waiting 20 plus years for this one, hand crafted by my daughter's own two hands!! hubby you will be off the hook once it's hung, pun intended

We also learned in the process that even though they are 23 and 26 (I didn't say almost 27 Elie ;-), they still are in cahoots with each other and can keep a secret from their dad and I :-0

To my fellow friends and bloggers who have stuck with me through this past year, I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I look forward to seeing what's in store for everyone in 2017, and pray God blesses each of you and your precious families. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016 and Santa's Prayer~

I stumbled upon an ornament a few years back of  Santa kneeling over Baby Jesus.  This is the poem that goes along with it.  It's with repeating...

Santa's Christmas Prayer

On Christmas Eve the other night
I saw the most amazing sight,
For there beneath the Christmas tree
Was Santa kneeling on his knee.
His countenance was different than
That all-familiar, jolly grin;
His head was bowed, with hand to breast,
And slightly tucked into his vest.
For there in a nativity
Was Jesus and His family,
And as I heard him start to pray
I listened close to what he'd say.
"Lord, You know that You're the reason
I take pleasure in this season.
I don't want to take Your place,
But just reflect Your wondrous grace.
I hope You'll help them understand
I'm just an ordinary man,
Who found a way to do Your will
By finding kids with needs to fill.
But all those centuries ago,
There was no way for me to know
That they would make so much of me,
And all the gifts beneath the tree.
They think I have some hidden power
Granted at the midnight hour,
But it is my love for You
Inspiring the things I do.
And so when they begin to open
Gifts for which they have been hoping,
May they give You all the glory,
For You're the One True Christmas story."


Merry Christmas everyone.  May God's love surround you and your precious families tomorrow as you celebrate Jesus birth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Simply Christmas 2016~

Merry Christmas friends!

The sun finally came out today, which allowed my sweet baby girl to take some long overdue pictures of our Christmas decor to share with all of you.

I will let the pictures do the talking since there are so many, and I want you to make it to the end.

Welcome to our home...

someone is always eager to greet our guests!

The foyer.

Monogrammed wreaths adorn the french doors leading into the office.

The powder room.

The library.

Our Christmas village a top our piano.

A simple vignette in my favorite dough bowl.

A sweet message on a pillow and hubby's childhood rocker.

A simply vignette.  Our favorite Christmas book, Let's Keep Christmas a sermon by Peter Marshall.

It's all about plaid this year!

A few more of our favorite books.  Highly recommend Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree.  A sweet gift from a friend who always admires our monster size tree!

We decided to hang our cards from some jute twine this year.  So many have beautiful backs as well as fronts, this allows us to see both!

Our vintage white tree adorned with Shiny Brite ornaments passed down to me by my sweet 98 year old MIL.

The dining room.

The kitchen, the heart of our home!

Our family room, complete with Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree...all 12 feet of her!

My favorite vignette, my Willow Tree nativity gifted to me by my sweet hubby a few years ago.

A beautiful hand written verse from 1 Corinthians a sweet friend gifted me last year as we studied the book in Bible study together.

and yes, the pups are spoiled in the house...all "5" of them!!! Thinking it might be "6"next year as baby girl has her heart set on a Golden Retriever puppy to train as a therapy dog. 

The fireplace and mantle, always a favorite.  It's all about what's in those stockings come Christmas morning in our house!!

You'll find ice skates here and there...our girls put in many hours at the rink back in the day, before school and after school.  Each scuff represents a lot of hours and things learned (sometimes the hard way ;-)

Love this pillow I found at Home Goods this year.  

And because she is the "princess"...we'll leave you with this sweet one.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, may God bless each of you and your sweet families this holiday season and in the New Year!  

I am grateful for each and everyone of you and your friendship.

With love and gratitude,