Monday, December 21, 2009

Let the Festivities Begin

Christmas is always full of so many fun acitivites. This year has been more jam packed than ever, since before Thanksgiving, I'm pretty sure. Therefore, I'm giving you fair warning. Since I'm so far behind on posting, this actual post is about to cover THREE weeks... here we go!!

The first weekend in December was special. I was able to go back to my "home" church and sing in the 25th Singing Christmas Tree. I sang in the 20th and 21st but then my journey at FBC began and a new church family welcomed me!! Since this was the 25th anniversary of the tree, the minister of music sent letters out to all of the people that had ever participated. Some of my friends were returning that had moved away and I wanted to share the weekend with them. I had so much fun getting to catch up with so many people and enjoying my little spot on the 6th row of the tree.
Lauren, me and Michele

our "in the christmas tree" attire...

And who could forget to post about their christmas decor... We used the same mantle piece and decorations on the front of our house and our live tree this year. But HARK-- We have a new addition... A 7 1/2 slim foot tree that we got for a steal ($10, oh yeah) last December at our church rummage sale. We decided to turn it into an old fashioned tree with the big charlie brown lights, glittered garland and all santa ornaments. This little cute thing is in the back of our house and has been up since BEFORE Thanksgiving. We LOVE IT!
our Christmas Card garland in the kitchen

our real tree

Our church staff party was held a few weeks ago at our pastor's beautiful new home. All of the people involved in the Christmas festivities drew a name and then participated in themed days. Monday of that week was "My Favorite Things" day. Everyone had to write down on a sheet of paper what their favorite thing about Christmas was and then their "secret santa" brought them something on Monday that went with their word. Tuesday was "Handmade Homemade" Day and everyone had to bring their person something handmade or homemade by THEM! My secret santa was Dr. Leake. Everyone in the office baked something for the secret person, but not Dr. Leake. He was the creative one for sure. I received an elf hat, complete with a jingle bell and hand-sewn, red glittered, hope, peace & joy ornaments. I was so proud of him. Wednesday was "Movie character" Day and everyone had to submit a paragraph about their secret person and what Christmas movie character they represented... I was the little girl from Miracle on 34th street!! Those paragraphs were read at the staff luncheon on Thursday and then everybody brought a $10 gift card and when you guessed which character you were, then you got to draw your card. A lot of fun was had by all!!
the FBC Church staff

One of my sweetest friends from high school is getting married in April. A few of her bridesmaids threw her an entertainment shower a few Sunday's ago. Abby is PRECIOUS. We've been friends since elementary school. Not only do we share the same name, but we've made many memories together, too!!

I used to spend the night with her and her dad would get up on Saturday mornings and make us breakfast menus. He would draw out every item that was available and we would wake up and order what we would like for him to cook us. Both of our families referred to us as Abby D. and Abby H. In 5th grade, we got to share breakfast duty for the special ed class. Both of us would get to school early and go and get breakfast trays for Mrs. Ladiner's class. We would get to open their milk for them and spend time with them every morning before school. In Jr. High, we became "Abby & Abby, inc." and would be the two that were chosen to decorate our class doors for homecoming week. I am singing in Abby & Robert's wedding and am so blessed to have her as a friend. She is a special girl for sure!!
front row: Jessica, Abby H. (the bride) and her sister, Jessica
back row: Hallie, Cristina, me, April, Jade & Nikki
(I went to high school with all but one of these girls!)

Yesterday was my grandfather's 73rd birthday. We threw a surprise party in his honor and invited his life-long friends, co-workers and family. He has been questioning us for days now trying to figure out why we were going to celebrate christmas a week early and why we were doing things at this time and not that time and yada, yada, yada. It was kind of hard to surprise him!!

right after he was surprised...

two of his grandchildren

and his cake... here's the story on that: about two years ago, my grandaddy started making these little trinket rocking chairs out of clothespins. He makes big ones and little ones. He can make wishing wells... and a few other things I'm sure. He's so artistic that he'll even paint them to match your house!! Haha! So, we thought it would only be appropriate to honor him and his little hobby on his special day!

And today, mom and I held a luncheon for the staff ladies and minsters' wives of FBC. We had taco soup, potato soup, hot ham and cheese and roast beef sandwiches, a fabulous salad and desserts. We all had a lof of fun just catching up and taking a few minutes to relax during the hustle and bustle of the season!!

YUMMY Crescent Dessert bars that I made...

1 can of crescent rolls

1 cup of each of the following: cashew halves/ pieces, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, slivered almonds

1 can of condensed milk


spread crescent rolls in out completely in a 9x13 pan and spread them high enough on the sides of the pan to make a crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Take partially baked crust out and sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, almonds and cashews until covered. Then pour condensed milk on top. Placed back in oven and back for 20-25 minutes.

When finished baking, take let bars cool for 10 minutes. Then take a knife and run it around the edges of the pan. Let bars cool for another hour. Refrigerate until chocolate settles, cut and serve! SO SCRUMPTIOUS!!

and then for this fabulous salad my mom prepared...


1 bag of mixed greens

handful of pecans

1 can of mandarin oranges; drained

1 large container of fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/8 teaspoon of pepper

2 teaspoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of water

Directions: wash greens and combine them in bowl with sliced strawberries, oranges and pecans.

Mix the wet ingredients together and toss dressing into the salad.

SOOO good :)

There are many more posts below... keep reading!! Thanks for taking time to keep up with me!!

Black Friday

For many years, a few of the women in my family leave on Thanksgiving night and go on a weekend shopping get-a-way! This year, me, my mom, my grandmother and my cousin Jesselyn went to Birmingham. We absolutely shopped until we dropped... I, of course, being the one that spent the most money not on Christmas gifts for others, but for myself!!
Black Friday was also IRON BOWL DAY when Auburn and Alabama played each other. Every kiosk and store in the galleria had their tv's tuned in to the game and there were mounds of people standing around and yelling every time a touchdown was made!!


On Friday night, my aunt and two cousins that live in Birmingham met us at California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. It was so fun to catch up! We finished up the weekend by shopping at the Summit and having to call a friend who was coming through Birmingham on her way back to Meridian from Atlanta to pick up some of our packages because we couldn't get all of our purchases AND our luggage packed in the car!

Sarah, me, our grannie and Emily... we were appropriately dressed in Crimson & White...

Easely Amused

I took my chidren's group to Easely Amused in Jackson over Thanksgiving break!! It was so much fun painting RUDOLPH!!

my fabulous group of chaperones AND friends...

Daphne, brandy, Shea, Kerrie, Julie & Amanda

The Georgia Peach Comes to Play

Our friends and old neighbors, The Halls, came to Meridian right before Thanksgiving. Ritchie and Kelly lived right next door before they moved to Madison, and then to Georgia. Shortly after they were in Madison, my sweet friend Mia Katheryn, was born!! We've only gotten to see her several times because they live so far away now, but she is absolutely adorable and so full of life. We always have such a great time when we're all together... and soon there will be FOUR Halls because Kelly is expecting!!!

Thanksgiving Day

My family had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. All of our family gathered around and enjoyed a tremendous feast!! 2 of my cousins have gone off to begin their freshman year of college this year and Thanksgiving was the first time I've seen them since they left. We had a great time of celebrating life, talking about memories, enjoying Harper's first thanksgiving and stuffing our faces for sure!!

Madison, Jamey, Erin, Harper & me

Me and the little pumpkin