A Haven for Vee

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

Okay, let me share my Christmas with the family at the wee haven here. It was a cold, overcast day. We had a lovely afternoon eating, opening gifts, sledding, playing games, eating ... There was way too much eating going on.

I have picture stories.

Somehow Jakob was talked into being the Christmas elf again passing out all the gifts. He did an exceptional job! Sometimes he got the "moms" confused, but that was easily sorted.

Here's our resigned family member Sam who had faced disappointment a number of times already that day. It seemed that no one appreciated the fact that his iPod was on its last legs and that he is very attached to said device and that he would miss it terribly.

Suddenly, things were looking up...

What joy in the camp...loved my daughter-in-law's expression, too. Only wish that I had also been able to turn the camera on my daughter who was a generous auntie giving Sam his second iPod. She had given him the first some years ago when he broke his leg that awful year. She had made sure that Jakob had one as well then. You can see that Jakob is just catching on that he has a new one, too.

*~Auntie Laurel and Sam relaxing~*

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.

~Andy Rooney

It looks skimpy, but there was a lot more on the buffet behind the sofa, which reminds me not to do that again. The snapping of the crockpot just behind those seated at the sofa was unnerving for them. 😏

Another thing to learn...just because I like a thing...the punch...olives...spiral ham...does not mean that everyone anyone else does. I can let a few of these things go another year. It sure was pretty, though. Thank you, Cheryl.

~home from the hill video~

Almost forgot to show the sledding. The Christmas gloves came in handy when the first pair got wet. The red flannel plaid jammies came in handy when the boys came in wet and cold from the luge. Some grandmothers are notorious for gifting red flannel plaid pajamas. 

Jakob and I have a sleepover date in January. I mentioned that Jake could sleep in my bed and I'd sleep on the sofa. He corrected me saying, "Ahhh, Nonni, I know that you sleep there, but it'll always be John's bed to me." Sweetness. God is good all the time.

Doubtful that I'll be back before the New Year so will wish you all a wonderful 2017 and say thank you for all your wonderful visits and comments in 2016.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

After some lovely company today, the house is quiet except for the ticking of the clocks and the crackling of the fake fire. It is Christmas pretty (not perfect) with candles glowing, the lit tree, the wee village cheery, and the carolers singing. It's a foggy night so the fence lights do not cast their light farther than a few feet. Christmas cards from far and near surround me. My heart is full even if it feels heavy sometimes. Everything that has needed doing has been done, until tomorrow comes. 

Wishing you a Merry and Blessed Christmas with your family and friends and may you always remember that as long as you know Jesus you have everything.

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Little Bit of a Lot to Do

I'm supposed to be doing something, anything, but blogging. Yes, I still have a little bit of a lot to do. 

In the meantime, let me share some sweet photos I took at my sister's yesterday when I was visiting with my dad. If you are a praying person, I'd love it if you would say a prayer for him. He fell hard Wednesday evening...right over backwards and tunked his head pretty fair and all because he was trying to pick something up from the floor. I told him that no good deed goes unpunished, which is probably way too cynical by half, but how I feel sometimes. Growing old is not easy.

Anyway, back to brighter things...

My father and I have been having some conversations about the changes he has experienced in a lifetime of Christmases. He has said goodbye to many people and homes and things. 

We talked about how his family celebrated Christmas with his maternal grandmother and her younger children (her "second family") spending the day with them. The tree was always in the front room bay window and his dad usually fetched the tree. This was news to me as I had assumed that my father had to fetch the tree. 

(I remember many a Christmas when my sister and I went on the annual search in the woods behind our home to find a tree.  Dad would usually take the toboggan and his saw and after a lengthy search, he would eventually settle on one. The tree would be loaded onto the toboggan with the trunk under the curved front and my sister would ride the tree in while I trudged along beside. If my parents owned a camera, I'm sure that there'd be cute photos.) 

My father told me that he doesn't like Christmas anymore. I asked him why and he said that he didn't like Christmas trees. What? Well the tree above is the one that he insists must have its lights on all day and evening. (In my childhood home, the tree lights had to be off during the day. ☺)

This is the JOY sign that is directly before him and its lights must be on all day as well. I'm sure that he hates it. Ha!

Dad dozing after lunch. He soon woke to watch an old episode of Matlock with me. We do love Andy Griffith.

My sister has a lot of red in her decor. That's my father's favorite color.

Unless it's blue.

He wanted to know about my tree here so I was able to share a picture on my cell phone.

He looked at it carefully and wanted to know why I had all the books. He enjoys reading non-fiction himself and then getting rid of the book. Having bookcases is just "showing off." ☺

Gotta scoot! As a Christmas gift to you, I'm closing comments today. Read and scoot. You have better things to do!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Hodge Podge

Joyce at This Side of the Pond suggests, tongue in cheek, that we might not have anything to do four days before Christmas. I figure that since she was willing to come up with questions, I could, at least, provide some answers. This is the final Hodge Podge of 2016.

1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list? 

Too much, from wrapping to baking. I may have the cleaning done if I can keep up with it. It is with joy that I report that the fridge is spotless! ☺

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter? 

Its beauty. Certainly not its chill nor its cost.

This morning, I was out the door by eight to do some grocery shopping. I thought the air felt odd, still, and very cold. I backed out the drive and then looked up to see the thermometer on the garage. Couldn't quite make the temperature out, even with squinting, so drove back in to take a closer look.  It was -12°F. That's when it is so cold that the tires feel like Fred Flinstone's on the highway. 

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.

No, I am not elaborating. I have no time for elaborating. I still feel awkward in social situations.  

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?

 I learned all over again that God has this, whatever this is. I have only to yield it to Him. He will take care of me and lead me along.

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings? 

No, I do not care for fried shrimp. I like my shrimp well disguised. I have probably given this recipe before, but it's Christmas and I'm feeling generous. This is my favorite way to eat shrimp and, yes, it makes the holiday A list.

-a package of Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
-a tin of East Point tiny shrimp
-a package of cream cheese
-a container of sour cream

Allow cream cheese to come to room temperature and combine with sour cream. (I use my mixer. A blender can also be used. Do not over mix unless you don't like those little bits of cream cheese that I like so much.) Add 3/4 of Italian salad dressing mix packet. (That's all I can handle; the recipe calls for the entire packet.) Mix well. Rinse and drain shrimp right in the can.(Hoping that you understand that direction.) Then carefully fold drained shrimp into mixture. Chill and serve with potato chips, crackers or even veggies.

If you have a good dip recipe to share, feel free! (I love dip. Way too much. This might belong on question 3. )

6. What sound lulls you to sleep? 

Oddly enough, the laundry going in the dungeon laundry room just below my bed lulls me to sleep quite well.

7. What one word best describes your 2016? 



as in Great is Thy Faithfulness

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well I cannot leave it there. While there has been loss and change and sorrow, there has also been love, faith, hope, and even joy. Many things will change in this life, but we look to Him Who Changes not.

My blogging friends have been among my many blessings. You have prayed me through. Don't stop now!

⛸ ⛸ ⛸ 

Pictured are some pretty gifts of Christmas from Deanna and Deborah and Abby. Deanna sent the handpainted Noel ornament, Abby sent the Advent calendar ornaments, and Deborah sent the gift of teas and a poinsettia hanky that I am using as a napkin. Ahhhh...it was a sweet little Christmas tea.

Thank you for reading today. Many blessings...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Card Exchange

Amy of Love Made My Home hosts a Christmas Card Exchange; this is the second year I've participated. Denise of House at Forest Manor was my exchange partner. How was Amy to know that Denise and I have been happily chatting in Blogdom for years? I  was very pleased with the arrangement.

My card arrived early because Denise read the directions. Apparently, I did not.  So typical of me... I soon learned that I had not when mailing my Christmas cards out of country last week. My postman told me that it was unlikely that they would arrive in time for Christmas. Sure hope that they arrive in time for 2017!

~Denise's Lovely Lang Card~

~and sweet note~

Thank you, Denise!

Now I am going to tuck in the other cards I have received. You may find yours. 

Love family photos! That gooby little mess in the upper left corner of the mirror is me grinning. I chose to leave it there because I really do smile to see family cards.

~and more~

Hope and Peace...a lovely combination!

~on the window sill~

~in the corner~

~in the frame~

~on the wreath~

~Tender Nativity and a Florida scene~

~Happy Holidays~

~Merry Christmas~

Thank you for your visit today. I appreciate it in this busy week of preparations. Due to foul weather, I am running behind, but fully expect to get caught up soon. How about you?

P.S. I was very happy to add more Christmas cards to this post. I love being surrounded by these happy reminders of the love and support that I enjoy from family, friends, and fellow bloggers. God has given me wonderful gifts!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

You're Here

Two very different songs from two different perspectives have provided me with much to think about this Advent season.

One is Joseph's Song by Michael Card. I have loved this one for years. Now Scripture does not tell us what Joseph was thinking the night Jesus was born, but in this song we get an idea of what may have been going on in his thoughts.

Joseph's Song

How could it be this baby in my arms
Sleeping now, so peacefully
The Son of God, the angel said
How could it be

Lord I know He's not my own
Not of my flesh, not of my bone
Still Father let this baby be
The son of my love

Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God
Lord for all my life I've been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, How can I raise a king
He looks so small, His face and hands so fair
And when He cries the sun just seems to disappear
But when He laughs it shines again
How could it be

Michael Card

The second is You're Here by Francesca Battistelli from Mary's point of view. Mary seems to be aware of future events...that sword that would pierce her soul. How much she comprehended that night, I do not know. We know that she pondered things and we also know that life was just so ordinary that she and Joseph pretty much forgot who Jesus really was that time at the temple...it is easy to forget when life is _______.

You're Here 

Hold on now, I gotta take a deep breath
I don't know what to say when I look in your eyes
You made the world before I was born
Here I am holding You in my arms tonight
Noel, Noel, Jesus our Emmanuel

You're here, I'm holding You so near
I'm staring into the face of my Savior, King and Creator
You could've left us on our own, but You're here

Don't know how long I'm gonna have You for
But I'll be watching when You change the world
Look at Your hands, they're still so small
Someday You're gonna stretch them out and save us all
Noel, Noel, God with us Emmanuel

You're here, I'm holding You so near
I'm staring into the face of my Savior, King and Creator
You could've left us on our own, but you're here… you're here

Someday I'm gonna look back on this

The night that God became a baby boy
Someday You're gonna go home again,
But You leave your spirit and flood the world with joy

You'll be here, I'm holding You so near
I'm staring into the face of my Savior, King and Creator
You could've left me on my own, but you're here… You're here
Hallelujah… You're here… Hallelujah... You're here

by Francesca Battistelli

Your thoughts? 

Friday, December 16, 2016

I Need a Silent Night

A few random photos (and not necessarily wonderful ones) of my wee haven. The driveway is my responsibility again. And, yes, I cleared all seven inches of snow by myself. No plow, no snowblower, just a scoop and girl  old lady power.

That deck table needed something. I worked with what I had. The best that can be said is that it is colorful. (Your eyes are not deceiving you, it's a sifter secured with a birch stick.) Ha!

The grands like the wee village and the giant carolers. We are not fussy about scale here.

The wee village lives next door to the Poinsettia Jungle.

↑And just before the lobster tree...


It is so cold here (there, too?) that I ran the fake fire on full blast all day.

My vantage point...

My one attempt at wrapping...

Christmas boys: father and son (my son and grandson)


Love this song by Amy Grant and I'm sure that I have shared it before. Inevitably, I arrive at this place in the Christmas season...in need of a Silent Night. How are you doing?