Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Outside my window...

It is snowing again! Third snow of December and we usually only get ice. Loving it!

That Santa!! He really knows what I like!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Playing Santa

This is Stephen's first year to not truly believe in Santa. The dear still sat out treats and milk for the old guy. Stephen blesses me so. His heart is golden...even in these trying pre-teen times.

Virgil and I explained to Stephen that Santa is alive and well and lives within each of us. We told him that when the veil is lifted and we realize there is not an actual man that delivers presents on Christmas Eve that it is our turn to become part of the magic that is Santa.

Stephen played Santa for the first time tonight. As a family we secretly gifted a family in town. What a joy to watch my two special guys sneak to the front porch with a box of gifts. Stephen immediately headed back to me in the dark truck, while Virgil knocked rapidly on the door and ran around the side of the house and back to us. What a pleasure to give to others and to share that as a family. Back in the truck and down the road undiscovered, Stephen declared, "This is the best Christmas Eve ever!"

I could not agree more son! Thank you for reflecting the love of Christ in your glee of giving!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I feel it!

That Christmas spirit! Rising up in my chest. Delightful. Thankful. Wonderful.

Today is my last day of work until January 4, 2010. My guys are home and the next several days will be filled with Merry making. I am blessed beyond measure!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

~merry and bright~

Fun times decorating!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tree Farm - December 2009

On Saturday we headed out to a local Christmas tree farm to get our tree. We went with Virgil's parents, his sister, Melissa, and her three children - Cole, Megan and Sam.

In our part of the world the variety of tree that is typically grown is the Virginia Pine. They are very beautiful trees! Here is Melissa, Cole and Megan with their tree picked out:

And here are Cole and Megan cutting it down!

and then Stephen had a turn:

the conquered tree...

We decided to pick our tree from some that are shipped down from the north. This year, we chose a Frasier Fir. It is so gorgeous! You'll have to take my word on that because I haven't taken a picture of it yet!! :) It smells delicious too!
A big THANK YOU to my FIL and MIL who treated us to our trees this year! Thank you Papa and Nana!
We loved spending the day with you!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 12, 1972

Until one month ago, I had never set eyes on this photograph of myself. I found it going through some of my Mom's photos. On the back is written, "December 12, 1972 - Carla and Amy" in my Mother's handwriting. There aren't a lot of photographs of me as a baby. I was baby #6 - who had time to take photos?! {LOL} But, here I am, not quite 2 months old sitting in my big sister's lap. 37 years ago today! There's a Christmas tree and some awesome Mod curtains (wish I'd come across those!!) I love this photo! Look at Carla's glasses! Look at her smooth 10 year face! Look how huge I am for a not even 2 month old baby!

How neat that I received a new Christmas "memory" for Christmas this year. With this photo I received a peek back to Christmas-time in 1972. Even then I was loved. Even then I was blessed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friday evening filled with Cheer!

This past Friday evening my friends, Abbie and Pilar, hosted a Christmas Giving Party. Each guest brought 2 yds of fleece and we made no-sew tie lap blankets for a small assisted living center nearby. We were spread out all over Abbie’s house. In her kitchen, living room…even the garage. It was great fun! We also played some games, had an ornament exchange and ate some delicious goodies.

Speaking of delicious – have you ever had Gluhwine (pronounced Glu-Vine)? This is a delicious German (I believe) mulled wine that you drink warm – not room temperature, but actually heated up. Friday was my first time to have it. I loved it…perfect for a cold evening.

{I think Abbie said something ornery right as she snapped this photo (disregard the dates!)}
I had great helpers with my blankets!

Ladies spread out in Abbie's Living Room.

We picked the garage - it was cooler and the Gluhwine really heated me up! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

magical. SNOW!!!

Our first snow came early this morning. Magical December snow!! Of course, it is now all gone and cold rain is falling, but it is magical all the same! Just like Frosty said! All I had to do this morning to have Stephen hopping out of bed is open his door and yell, "It's snowing!" He popped out of bed and hurried to his window. I'm tellin' ya...magical!! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's December!!!

Oh, I hope it passes slowly so we all can enjoy it!!
This month I am looking forward to completing some Christmas crafts, finishing up some homemade gifts, drinking lots of hot chocolate, donating, children's programs, band concert, Christmas parties, wrapping gifts, chair naps, Christmas shopping, Christmas music, the possibility of snow, and so much more! Oh and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus!
Happy December!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

more thankfulness

No list of thankfulness would be complete without listing my husband and son. My two greatest gifts! The epitome of unconditional love and acceptance on this earth! They make me laugh every day. They make me whole. My support system, my love life, my reason to do and be. I love my guys!

Monday, November 23, 2009

time marches on

Last year my family celebrated our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Dad, and this year we will celebrate these holidays without Mom. I'm sad. But I am also joyful. I have been abundantly blessed. One of the greatest blessings are the parents who raised me. A girl could not have asked for a more stable and loving home.

As I cook my contributions to our Thanksgiving meal there will be some sadness and some satisfaction. Satisfaction in knowing that I am passing the traditions I shared with my parents on to my son. Satisfaction that I am exemplifying to him that grief is natural and that joy and grief CAN walk hand and hand together!

Friday, November 13, 2009


My sweet Momma went home to the Lord early this morning. She had decided to stop dialysis this coming Monday and we knew the end of her life on earth was near. The Lord decided to take her home while she slept. What a blessing! My mom has suffered so, and I am rejoicing that she is at peace and out of pain and casting her crowns at the feet of our Lord. I will miss her, as I miss my Dad. But how wonderful it is to know my Savior and have faith in his promise. To know that life on this earth is just a blink in what will be our eternal lives.

Today I am thankful for Grace supplied by the Lord to see us through the difficult times.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

~the end of PeeWee football~

Today marked a milestone in Stephen's life. He played his last PeeWee football game. Next, it's on to 7th grade and Jr. High football.

This was his 6th year to play football. A constant in our Fall Saturday lives. Next year (YES!!!!) our Saturdays will be...FREE! Don't get me wrong, I love me some football. But, every Saturday from late August to early November, well, it wears me out!

Stephen's team - 5th and 6th grade Collinsville Pirates won the third place game. I'm SO proud of them. I could see them grow with each game. They became more and more determined and the played as a team.
Yeah Pirates!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I love Fridays! Yes I do! I love Fridays! How 'bout you? {in my best cheerleader voice}

I'm thankful for Fridays because I'm a working gal and Friday means blue jeans and t-shirts, casual supper plans and, this time of year, a high school football game.

Friday means that tomorrow I don't have to get up at the bottom crack of dawn unless I want to.

Friday means Stephen probably won't have homework which means I won't have to help!

Friday means two days [TWO] without excel spreadsheets. Can I get an AMEN?

Ahhhhhhh Friday! I love you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


When I was prego I ate a 6 pack of Mrs. Bairds powdered donuts and a 20 oz Dr. Pepper for breakfast everyday! And I only gained 20 lbs my whole pregnancy. Oh to be 24 again! I also ate copious amounts of chewy sweet tarts, tacos and orange sherbet. I don't think I've had a chewy sweet tart since. There's really no point here - except to say that I had powdered donuts for breakfast this morning. And they were yummy. And I'm thankful for powdered donuts because, dadgummit, sometimes a gal just needs to ingest refined flour and show up to work with powdered sugar stains on her shirt. And, BTW, those donuts come in an 8 pack now. The package grew...kinda like my behind....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

THIS far...

I am thankful for my God!
2 Samuel 7:18 says:
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:
"Who am I , O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?"
Oh how far the Lord has brought me...and continues to bring me on a daily basis. And I don't deserve it! Before I was even born my sins were forgiven. All I had to do was accept!
Thank you God!

Monday, November 2, 2009

~Unknown Blessings~

When I arrived at work this morning and turned my calendar to the new month of November, I found this bit of wisdom waiting for me:

Give thanks
for unknown blessings
already on their way.
-Native American saying
That made me think of Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
With a promise like that, how could I not be thankful for Unknown Blessings?
~Allow yourselves to be blessed my friends!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Giving Thanks Challenge

I think this is a wonderful idea! A way to account my blessings each day in the month on November. I heard about this on my bloggy friend Kristen's site. You can find the details about the challenge at South Breeze Farms blog. I'll be posting my daily thanks in my sidebar to the left. Have a blessed month of November...and beyond!

~my spook~

Stephen dressed as a creepy ogre-ish creature for Halloween!
What would YOU call this creature?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!! {cackle, cackle, cackle}

Witching you all a very Frightful Halloween!
We have a busy day ahead - Stephen's playoff football, home to make treats and chili and get dressed up. Then trick or treating around the town with family and friends. Finally, back to Sister Jill's house for Chili and snacks!
Hope your day is filled with goblins, ghosts and good times!

Friday, October 30, 2009

mmmmm....hot chocolate

So, it's High School Football nite in the ville. I can't go because I have three essays due by midnight tomorrow. And tomorrow being Stephen's playoff game and Halloween...I gotta get it done tonight.
My guys are going to the game. I decided to fill a thermos with some hot chocolate to keep them warm! And, I saved a cup for myself which I am enjoying as I type this. See my "new" mug? A Birthday gift from V and Ste. I love me some vintage Fire King!
This is our favorite Hot Chocolate:
Rich and Creamy Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
a dash of salt
1/3 cup hot water
2 cups whole evaporated milk
2 cups 2% (or whatever you use) milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan until well combined. Mix in hot water. Stir until everything is combined, smooth and thickish. Cook over med to med-hi heat stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes - stir constantly. Slowly add evaporated milk, then regular milk. Stir to combine. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to distribute spices. Let warm on medium heat. DO NOT LET BOIL AFTER MILK HAS BEEN ADDED. Stir often to ensure there is no scorching. Once well heated serve in a wonderful cup with marshmallows or a cinnamon stick for stirring!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Which old witch...

Lost her shoes?

Aren't these adorable! My photo really doesn't do them justice. Go here to see where I got the idea! Mine are filled with Halloween M&M's for a couple of witches I know!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloweens Past

I love this time of year! Such a casual time filled with football and falling leaves, hot chocolate and Halloween, and the anticipation of things to come!
I love the sight of flickering Jack-O-Lanterns as I wind my way through my neighborhood on my way home from work.
I get excited thinking about Halloween costumes and letting Stephen decide just what he wants to be THIS year, and helping him bring it to fruition.
And I get a little nostalgic thinking of Halloweens Past:

Do you wonder what happened to 1999? True to the "terrible twos" Stephen refused to don a costume!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

~tasty soup recipe~

I made this last night and it is a fabulous tasting soup. We sprinkled it with a little parmesan and enjoyed thick slices of crusty French bread on the side.
Sausage Bow-Tie Soup
1 ½ lbs Turkey Italian sausage

1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into 1 inch slices

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 clove garlic minced

6 cups water

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper – more or less to taste (you just want a little hint of spice…don’t go overboard)

½ to 1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper to taste

2 ½ cups bow tie pasta, uncooked

Remove turkey sausage from casing and “crumble” into soup pan. Brown sausage. Before completely browned add green bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until veggies become soft and sausage is cooked through.

Add remaining ingredients except pasta. Let mixture come to a boil. Add pasta. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes or until pasta is tender

Monday, October 26, 2009

13 years of wedded BLISS!

Happy Anniversary Sweet Husband!
Can you believe we've been doing this married thang for 13 years?!
I Love you SO much!
kisses and hugs and stuff

Friday, October 23, 2009


October 23, 1997 @ 5:43 a.m. I received a wonderful blessing:

Virgil Stephen Woods
came screaming
into the world! He was a big, squalling, red ball
He's been blessing my life daily for 12 years!
And he rarely screams anymore...
Happy Birthday Stephen! You are my delight! My Joy! My Reason!
My excuse to do all the fun things in life.
You are a wonderful blend of your Daddy and Me.
YOU have taught ME kindness and acceptance.
YOU have given ME a wealth of happy days.
MY cup runneth over!
Happy Birthday Baby Boy!
hearts ~ momma

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Looky Here!

Normally, I would never, ever, ever post a picture of myself on my blog. At least not one SO close up! {Please disregard the sloppy joe stains on my shirt} However, yesterday I read this post on Miss Jenny's, blog. And, yesterday just happened to be my birthday. AND for my birthday my sister, Jill, made me this awesome beanie and even MORE awesome scarf. SO, I decided to share the picture Stephen took of me trying it all on!

I also want you to look at this:

My cool blog and chick pal, Carol, awarded me this! Carol is awesome fun, has great stories and wonderful photos and recipes. You must check out her blog!

The rules for passing this on are simple ... show some bloggy love to the friend that gave you the award, link to them in your post, then pass it on!
I am going to do like Carol did and pass this on to some of my loyal followers, who will then find out about it when they read this post! :-)
If some of y'all have already received this award, that's ok...just showing you my love and appreciation!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Lei" Off Drugs!

It's Red Ribbon Week at Collinsville Elementary. Today's theme was "Lei" Off Drugs. The kids were allowed to dress in tropical attire. Here's Ste's version! I'm so glad he likes to participate in these things because I just LOVE it!

Stephen's Red Ribbon Pledge:

I pledge to be drug-free and support the Red Ribbon Celebration
by taking a stand in my family and in my community
against alcohol and drug abuse.

I will not fall for drugs!

Monday, October 19, 2009

i HEART scarecrows

Stephen's second Halloween - 1998 (age 1 yr and 1 wk)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall and Halloween

A couple of weeks ago, I actually had a day to craft. So I made four sets of these:
One set for my friend, Becky G, a set for each of my Sisters, Carla and Jill, and, of course, a set for me! These are so easy and inexpensive too. The only thing I had to purchase was orange spray paint. I had everything else. Here's a link to where I got the idea.
I also made this cute-Y for Becky. I'm going to try to get a couple more of these made for myself in the next few evenings. I just love it!!

It's a lantern! Modge Podge, tissue paper and battery operated Christmas lights. So easy and SO fun! Here's a link to the instructions.

Happy Autumn Days!