Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know you all have noticed my absence as of late.  We've been spending time with family off and on since Thanksgiving, and fighting illness, too (I am on an antibiotic as we speak), and working hard at homeschooling (which finished Friday).  It's been pretty hectic, but happy, too. :)  Though school is done and illnesses are nothing too serious (though it did keep me from some travels - Elaina and I are home as the boys and hubby are with his family which is not ideal, but couldn't be helped, and we hope to not have to do it again and maybe work out a time to see everyone in the near future), it will still be a little bit before I'm here more often.  It is the holiday season, after all, and I have family coming in or that has already arrived that I am very much looking forward to see, provided we are all well because, as much as my family loves me, I know they don't want me to share that kind of love, if you get me. :) So far, I am grateful that this antibiotic seems to be doing the trick for me and that Elaina continues to get better.  Hopefully the boys' colds don't morph into something more sinister, but I think they will be just fine, and I'm glad they know how to cover coughs and sneezes and all that. :)  Anyway, I promise that I will be around more after the new year begins.  I have lots of plans for this blog starting in January, so I hope you will be around to share in all of that!
In the mean time, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I will still be answering comments and emails as they come, though it may take me a little longer to respond than usual, but I will get back with you. :)
Just a little story for you all before I end this post and try to get myself ready for the day and see if I'm feeling up to making those goodies for our family party in a few days or if they need to wait another day yet, I want you all to know something about the picture above, the stockings specifically.
You see the one on the middle of the left side?  It's white with pink little flowers on it and lace?  That is the stocking my Granny made for me when I was born.  I love it.  I can't imagine a Christmas without it.  Last year, when I was hanging it up, I realized that I would love for my kids to have a gift like that - a heritage gift.  I asked my Granny if she would be willing to make stockings for my kids (and my nieces and nephews) as something they could have from her, made for them.  She said she would work on it, but didn't know when she'd get them done.
I must admit, I did forget I'd asked her for such a gift, until Thanksgiving.  You see, on Thanksgiving, my Granny always gives us a gift or a few gifts to open that are for Christmas.  It's a tradition we've had as long as I can remember.  This year, the kids and hubby all got a handmade, one-of-a-kind stocking from Granny!  I nearly cried.  How cool are they?  The camo one is my hubbys, the red one with gold is for Stephen, the blue one is Sean's and the red one with lace is for Elaina (the little one is for our cat, Crush, and not from her - it's just a store bought thing).  Now we all have special stockings from my Granny, and I couldn't be more thrilled!  I can't wait for her to see them hanging up there tomorrow afternoon when they come over (provided we are all still improving in health) to Skype with my brother and his family in Africa! :D
What's your favorite Christmas tradition?
Do you have any heritage gifts?
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Thanksgiving Feast and Festivities Link-Up ~ Feature Day

Thank you to all who participated in the link-up party!  You all are the best!  For those of you who missed out, I shared some recipes from the archives on Natural and Free and shared some Thanksgiving/Thankfulness-themed posts here as time allowed last week, and gave people a chance to link-up some of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes, posts about thankfulness or family, Thanksgiving/Autumn crafts, etc.  Today (and I'm sorry it wasn't sooner, but time and "real life" have not been my friends lately!), I am sharing my features in hopes that these posts can inspire you in your Thanksgiving meal endeavors and maybe just with some ideas for next year or maybe some ideas with how to spread thankfulness year round. 

Since there weren't a lot of posts linked up and since I couldn't possibly choose between them all, I decided that all the posts would get a featured spot! :) I am sorry I don't have a badge for you other than the original one, but again, time has not been on my side lately, and I didn't want to delay any longer posting this.  Hopefully next time things will go a little smoother and I will get that feature badge together! :)  Anyway, I hope that  you all will take the time to go through the posts that are linked up.  There are some amazing ideas on there for recipes, ways to teach your kids to be thankful, adorable crafts and more!  Seriously, y'all!  Check them out!  You won't be sorry and you'll gain some great ideas!

I hope you take the time to check out all the fabulous posts that linked up!

If you haven't yet, please grab a badge!