•♦•C'mon, Let's ALL try this RECIPE...•♦•

...and bake ourselves a HAPPY YEAR!!

Take twelve whole months,

Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy,

Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or

thirty-one different parts,

but don't make up the whole batch at once.

Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients:

Mix well into each day one part of faith,

one part of patience, one part of courage,

and one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope,

faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.

Blend with one part prayer,

one part meditation, and one good deed.

Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,

a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,

and a cupful of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love.

Cook thoroughly over radiant joy,

garnish with a smile,

and serve with quietness, unselfishness,

and cheerfulness.

You and those around you are bound to have a HAPPY [new] Year!
Wishing you and yours a very Happy, Healthy and Blessed New Year...
May we ALL find that we have within us, the ingredients needed to make 2011 the absolute BEST!! 
Here's to YOU-My Friends!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, kind words, milestones, laughs, tears and ((hugs)) with me and for making it such a delightful year...I'm truly blessed!!

✲♥✲ Christmas Love ✲♥✲

dining room cupboard


Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. But
once again,  despite my plans, chaos prevailed. I had cut back on nonessential
obligations-- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and yes, even the
all American pastime, overspending. Yet, still, I found myself exhausted, unable to
appreciate the  precious family moments, and, of course, the true meaning of Christmas.
My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a
six year old filled with hopes, dreams and laughter. For weeks, he'd been  memorizing
songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be
working the night of the production.
Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me
there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the  presentation. All parents unable to
attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed
happy with the compromise.
So, just as I promised, on the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in 10 minutes
early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw
several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students
were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged
on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
Because the public  school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as
"Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment -- songs
of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. The melodies were fun, cute and
lighthearted, but nowhere to be found was even the hint of an innocent babe, a manger,
or Christ's sacred gift of hope and joy. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas
Love", I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.
Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates,  adorned in fuzzy mittens, red
sweaters and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row -- center
stage -- held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the
class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H
is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented
the complete message, "Christmas Love."
The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her -- a small,
quiet girl in the front row who was holding the letter "M" upside down. She was
entirely unaware, that reversed, her letter "M" appeared as a "W." Fidgeting from
side to side, she soon moved entirely away from her mark.
The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at the little one's mistake.
But in her innocence, she had no idea they were laughing at her as she stood
tall, proudly holding her "W".
One can only imagine the difficulty in calming an audience of young, giggling
students. Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter
continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush
came over the audience and eyes began to widen.
In that instant, we understood -- the reason we were there, why we celebrated
the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos there was a purpose for our
festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
And, I believe, He still is.

Amazed by His presence…

Humbled by His Love…

Christmas Love is a true story, authored by

Candy Chand-

I wanted to do a different kind of blog entry for this special month of December.  Not just my ramblings of holiday busyness or what kind of crafts I’ve been working on, more than just words about the holiday hoopla and prep…I’d never read this story before, I thought it was sweet, but also significant .  Christmas has a special meaning for all of us, more times than not, the meaning just seems to get lost in all the festivities-aka-holiday chaos.

As in the story, I too wanted to cut way back this year.  Make some much needed changes around here.  Keeping in mind what means the most,  purging the rest!

So when I came across this little story it seemed just perfect addition for my post!

I knew exactly what I didn’t want this holiday season:

STRESS, nonessential obligations, Obsessing, ENDLESS Decorating and Tweaking. [Even tho I enjoy decorating and tweaking]….

I knew exactly what I did want:

I wanted time… time to spend with my family, time to just relax and take in ALL that is Christmas!!

I told myself a while back…

‘I’m NOT going overboard with decorating!  Nor with shopping!‘ …and as we all know, I absolutely won’t go overboard when it comes to holiday baking (lol)!

After all, it’s not about “the amount” decorating or shopping or baking we do… It’s about finding a that harmonious middle ground, a peaceful calm feeling, a feeling that makes our hearts sing… rather than our nerves frazzled!

Being with family and friends, giving more than receiving…that’s what it’s all about!

Truly, every day should be celebrated as if it were CHRISTMAS….

Every day…should be filled with the SIMPLE LITTLE THINGS that bring us pleasure, that keep us well grounded and genuine, those things that make our hearts sing with love.


I celebrate my beliefs….

I celebrate my family and friends, I’m blessed with the best!

I celebrate my modest little home,  large and magnificent it’s not…. but warm and welcoming it is!

I have more than some and far less than most…

But I celebrate it all, because I know it’s simply enough and it’s just perfect for me….

I am amazed and humbled every single day and very grateful for what I have! 

SO I choose to celebrate all my simple little things which bring me much joy and love….


No matter your beliefs, no matter ‘Who’ or ‘how’  you choose to celebrate this season…

Remember what it’s all about.  Just take a step back and look around, for you too, have less than some, but far, far more than most.


Just be grateful, be thankful…

LOVE who and what you HAVE, Love where you are right now in life, make Peace with the rest and enJOY life’s  simple little pleasures- for they are a true GIFT! 

Love, Peace & JOY…is the true meaning of Christmas

and for me

that’s what CHRISTMAS  LOVE is all about!

…may you surround yourself with what is most meaningful to you, may you not OBSESS….

but enjoy the ‘ALL of CHRISTMAS’…May you ‘FEEL THE CHRISTMAS LOVE’…without the HOLIDAY STRESS Winking smile

Decorating simply, with

~•✲•~Christmas Love~•✲•~

dining room corner

On a shelf, a simple cedar garland, some golden-brown pears…Baskets- hand woven by a friend,

Pewter, a gift from my Gram to my parents, handed down to me….the perfect holiday blend.

Christmas Love♥

dining room wide shot

I made the decision to put the tree in the dining room this year. 


One main tree, in our home this year…simply displayed…

in drieds that I grew in my gardens, pheasant feathers …and at the base, a  simple coverlet I laid …

Christmas Love♥


My Mantle- decked out for the holidays; it may be a bit “ho-hum”  to some……but not to me!

…all it really needed with my favorite dignified Sheep was a lighted garland and a simple unadorned tree…

Christmas Love♥



city of David

Pewter… from mom and dad and some gifted to me by friends…

One Glorious Angel …with a magnificent message to send…

Christmas Love♥



dining room 3

On the dining room Table sits Olde Santa and his Reindeer…

center piece A ♥ gift from my hubs, my sweet ‘other dear’

….Christmas LOVE♥



family room4

No tree in the family room? 

Yes, that’s right, we don’t miss it a bit…

there’s still plenty of holiday glow…..

once all the candles are lit!

hospitality door box1

In keeping with my plan, I opted for NO TREE in the family room, instead I wanted to create a simple yuletide focal point in this room.  So I designed this door box, Hubs made it for me and I dressed it with greens from the real Olde Weeping Cedar. family room door Tall, skinny, undecorated trees flank the door as a large rusty Angel hovers above, scattering blessings on all who enter…

Yes…this is….Christmas Love♥


santas bagSanta Claus with his bag fulla toys!

What can I say…like a kid…the jolly ole elf just fills my heart with joy!

Christmas Love♥




kitchen cupboard1

Quaint and Unpretentious…Nothing grand in here…

just a cozy warm feeling of holiday cheer!I



kitchen tree no lites

A small tree in an Olde Wooden Pail…

So simple and plain…

kitchen chair-bonnet

…Dressed with nothing more than a dried berry-orange garland, it exudes the yuletide season… all the same!  stocking

…an olde wooden chair, a bowl of Christmas Eve eats and a stocking chock fulla olde thyme treats…

Christmas Love♥



kitchen window box

This end of the Kitchen faces our drive

A candle glows in the window as we look out to see our holiday guests arrive.

Christmas Love


A Feather Tree, Two Belsnickles and some Snow Flakes made of salt dough,

greet  family and friends as they come in from the cold…

Christmas Love♥



I thank you kindly for stopping by. 

I extend to YOU and YOURS…

The Merriest of Yuletide Blessings …along with my Christmas wish;


May we ALL just be  grateful, thankful for every little thing in our life

May we Love what we have,  let go of the things we can’t change, for those are the things that cause us strife….

May we grow a little each day,

in Peace  and  in Contentment…

and never hold onto worry or live one minute with resentment…

May our Thankfulness for the simple things carry on  and on

throughout this holiday season,

into the New Year… and  BEYOND

Wishing You  Much

‘Christmas’ Love,