About The River

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Word is, it is a GrOwInG Up HoDgEpOdGe

It is Wednesday, it is time for the Hodgepodge.

Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1. Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.
Playing games with family and friends. We love to play games. Pictionary is one of my favorites. We laugh and tease. It makes for a special time.

2.  If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?
 It would be a Memior.
  Her Boys are Growing Up

 3. What made you feel patriotic this year?

I have been following the Honor Flight. I love listening to the stories of the Veterans who have taken the flight. I am going to ask my friend Marv (aka my Garden Mentor) for permission to honor him. He served in the Korean War. His stories are full of everything that war is. Our boys love him and are in awe when he shares his stories from the war, which is not very often. 
Click on the link below for more information regarding the Honor Flight.

4. What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again? 

Our garden season. I would do it all over again. It was fun and plentiful. 
We had rain when we needed rain. We had humid days when we needed humid days.
It was a great summer for gardening.

 5. What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?

Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly
This was a song I would sing to my boys when they were little.
I still hum it to them.

 6. On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?

2015 was a good year for us. We have grown as a family with the changes of having teen aged boys. Our oldest son is learning to drive.  Learning to let go as a mom and letting her boys go out into this big world.

We had a major house project completed. You may remember our East basement wall caved in and out. GULP!
We had a great mason lead the project and we have a house that did not fall down.

We also had our share of sadness. A dear family friend pass away this Autumn of 2015. 
We also lost our cat Mr. B.

7. What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?
I am excited for my boys to continue to GrOw Up. I am excited to see where God will lead them. 

I have a dream I am going to continue to work on in 2016.
It has to do with flowers....I will keep you posted.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

 Good Bye 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Chance to Do....

"With each day, I give 
thanks for the blessings of
 life--the blessings of 
another day and the chance
to do something with it."
 Mamie Till Mobley, Author

As we come to the end of another year, we reflect and look ahead.
Dreams, goals, resolutions...whatever you call it. We all have them.
I want to do this_____  in 2016.
I have a goal to ______ in 2016.
I am going to work on my dream of ______ in 2016.

Do you have a dream, goal, or resolution you want to reach for this new year?

I do and I am going to continue to share it with you right here on The River this coming 2016.
Some days I feel small in this big world, and I want to give up. Some days I get scared and I do not want to try. Some days I feel like, so many people already do this...why would they like mine.

Then I remember, God made me who I am for a reason. And I need to follow Him and my heart to do just what He wants of little ol' me.

"Don't be sad because you are small." said Mrs. Field. 
"Small creatures can do wonderful things."
Something Wonderful
Jenny Nimmo

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

 Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season.
I will be taking the next week off to spend time with family.

We are a silly bunch!

Have a great time celebrating with your loved ones, friends and family.
Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Merry Christmas Hodgepodge

Merry Christmas Hodgepodge, it is Wednesday, time for the fun of the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

1. What's your biggest 'first world' problem?

Our new kitten likes to chew power cords! He chewed my phone charger right in half! 

 2.  Each year Time Magazine names a 'Person of the Year', someone who has 'for better or worse...done the most to influence the events of the year.' It was recently announced they've named Angela Merkel Person of the Year for 2015. You can read more about this year's selection here. Your thoughts? If you were in charge, who would you declare Person of the Year? 

I do not know a lot about Angela Merkel.  I am not able to give my opinion. What I read from the link, she seems to be trying to help our world. I give her credit.
If I was in charge, who would I declare Person of the Year?

I would pick Trooper Casper. Please read the story here. A Wisconsin State Trooper who died in line of duty to keep Wisconsin citizens safe. I would add to that all the men and women who keep us safe each and every day and we do not even know in all the ways that they do.

 3. Do you have a nativity set in your home? If so share it's history and how you display the pieces.

Yes, we have three.
My favorite was a gift from my sister, my Willow Tree Nativity.

 4.  Do you make an extra effort to give back in some way during the holiday season? How do you encourage those who need encouragement this time of year?

 We participate in Operation Christmas Child. Click here for more information.
Each year the boys add a letter to our boxes. One year we were blessed to receive a letter back from the child who received one of our boxes.
We also Ring, Ring the bell for the Salvation Army. This will be our third year doing this, it has become a fun family time.

 5. Who is your favorite person to shop for? Why?

I love to shop for my two boys. I just love to see the surprise and joy when they open a gift.

6. What's the last delicious thing you ate?

 This amazing cupcake!

 7. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is________________.
Be kind!
We were at a store a few days ago, the poor check out guy was having a day! Taking time to give him a smile and laugh. I also helped him bag my items.
Be kind!

  8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nutcracker in the Castle

Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes. I enjoyed a wonderful birthday, I went to a castle and I saw Clara, Drosselmeyer, Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy.

Nutcracker in the Castle
The Paine
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 

 In August we visited The Paine for the first time for Dressing Downton.
It was during this visit I learned about Nutcracker in the Castle.
We planned to visit on December 12th for my birthday.

 My husband and I strolled the garden in the late Wisconsin afternoon. Do you notice, no snow, yes, it was a warm evening for December. It was a lovely stroll in the garden.

 Peeking into Sugar Plum Fairy's Cupcake Cafe

 Looking at the backside of The Paine.

 Another peek at Sugar Plum Fairy's Cupcake Cafe

Entering the Castle, with the lovely Elmwood String Quartet playing the Nutcracker.

 We enjoyed punch and cookies and music.
Drosselmeyer is the narrator of the theatrical  performance. We are escorted from room to room in the castle and hear the story of the Nutcracker.

 Each room is decorated so beautiful.
Photos are not allowed except for the first large room.

As we go along we are to look for mice. 
Mouse Hunt....53 mice are hidden all around the castle.
We are treated to a lovely ballet performance in the Land of Afar.

 Chocolate cake with peanut butter filling, peanut butter frosting and candy top

 My husband and I had a treat at the Sugar Plum Fairy's Cupcake Cafe.

Each cupcake had a name and description
I picked out Clara.
My husband picked out Nutcracker.

White cake with strawberry filling, whipped frosting, sparkle sugar and sugar pearls

 The other flavors that you could pick from...
Sugar Plum Fairy
Confetti cake with whip filling, butter cream frosting and sugar pearls
 Chocolate cake, chocolate silk filling and fudge frosting

It was a lovely evening and a special birthday. 

A special prayer request for another December, 12th birthday girl, Diana.
Diana blogs over at Nana Diana Takes A Break

Her family needs extra hugs and prayers.

Thank you! 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It is a 12/12 Birthday

Happy Birthday
Having a December birthday is not always the best thing. Having a sister who has a birthday New Year's Day is also not such a great thing. Growing up we had to share our birthdays! While growing up many of our birthday gifts where wrapped in Christmas paper. Our one Grandma would combine our birthday gifts and our Christmas gifts!
 "Oh Gee Whiz! Mom, why could you not have had me in July?" 
Summer birthday's have all the fun.

Ha, Ha!!
I actually think I have the best day of all.
Thank you, Mom for having me on 12/12 and my sister on 1/1, how cool is that!

 I had a very special birthday in 2012, 12/12/12!
My husband took the day off of work, my boys took the day off of school and we had a 12/12/12 ski day!

12/12/14 was a special birthday too. My sister treated me to a weekend in Chicago. It was the beginning of a new tradition for us ...  Sister's Weekend!

I will be off celebrating another special birthday.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Carol of the Bells - Hodgepodge

It is Wednesday, time for the Hodgepodge.
Joyce asks the questions.
We answer the questions.

 1.  Many families have a story they love to tell every year around a holiday. Does your family have one? Are you the star of that story, or does another family member take center stage? Share your story if you want.
We do like to share stories. We usually take turns remembering Christmas pasts.
One of my favorite is  from both my parents. I grew up on a farm. My parents always said the animals in the barn talked at Midnight on Christmas Eve. As a little girl, I could just see my two favorite cows, Kate and Baldy visiting.

 2. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?
It depends on who I am going to share the opinion.
I had a bad experience with this and I am more cautious today. This is a hard one for me.

3. Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time have chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color? You can read the thought behind their selection here, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue. So what do you think? Are these colors I'd find in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?
I love blue and rose/pink is my second favorite color.
Yes, to finding the color in my wardrobe.
No, to my home.
 4. If you could be in a Christmas carol, which one would you choose? Why?
Carol of the Bells
I love how so many musicians have played this wonderful carol.
 5. December 9th is National Pastry Day. Will you celebrate? When did you last purchase something from a bakery? What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry? Do you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?
We do love a good bakery!
We love all kinds of treats from the bakery. I grew up in a Polish/Bohemia area of Wisconsin. Poppy Seed danish, pastry, muffins, rolls and bread. Oh, my! I love heading back home for some
good ol' Poppy Seed!
6. When it comes to holiday decorating_____________________________.

I enjoy it!
 7. When did you last laugh so much it hurt? Explain.
On my Sister's Weekend trip in October. My sister and I had coffee at the Black Cat Coffee House in Ashland. It was busy. My sister asked me to find a place to sit. She would wait for our order. The people next to us sat down, and the one lady looked to have my coffee drink. I texted my sister to be sure she got my drink. She texted back and said it was stolen by  a lady. I texted back, I think we are sitting next to the lady. Ha, it was true, the lady took my drink. The Batista made me up another coffee drink. Of course we laughed and laughed about it. We laughed about other stuff too, like my sister driving right past the restaurant we were to meet at. I had to call her to find out why she drove past because I watched her drive right past. 
Just good old fun sister laughing.
 8.  Insert your own random thought here.
 Lifting our Nation and World in prayer!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Honoring Wisconsin's Veterans ~ 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree

 Each Christmas students of Wisconsin are asked to help decorate the Capitol Christmas tree. Each year the Capitol has a different theme. 2014 - Honoring Wisconsin's Veterans.
Our boys made up an ornament with my Grandpa Sam who served in WWII.

The boys received a nice photo of the Governor hanging up the ornament and a letter saying the following;

Thank You!
Thank you for your creative contributions to the 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree. It was fun to see your imaginative interpretations for this years's theme - Honoring Wisconsin's Veterans.
Wishing you all the best as you finish this school year.
Govenor Scott Walker

The boys really felt proud to receive a letter and photo of Great Grandpa honored in this way.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 4, 2015

Candy Corn Thanksgiving

 Candy Corn Thanksgiving
Each Thanksgiving I create the table decorations. This can be a bit of challenge, because the decorations have to travel a good two hours to my parents farm.

A Candy Corn Thanksgiving
Using our own pumpkins (smile) I made up candy corn pumpkins.

 I sprayed each pumpkin top with white spray paint. I used a card board box to help balance the pumpkin. For the bottom I used yellow. I left the middle the natural orange of the pumpkin.

 Using some of my stamps I made up the place names and added them to the candy corn pumpkin.

Do you make up place names for your dinner parties?

God bless all those that I love;
God bless all those that love me;
God bless all those that love those that I love.
And all those that love those that love me.
From an Old New England Sampler

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Happy December it is the Hodgepodge

Happy December
 My favorite month of the year!
December is my birthday month! Christmas! And the start of Winter.
Now before you toss a snowball at me for that last comment, let us start the Hodgepodge.

 Join Joyce and the rest of us for all the fun!

 1. Did you watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special Monday night? Who's your favorite Peanuts character and why?
"Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."~Linus  

Would you agree? 

Yes, we did watch The Charlie Brown Christmas special.
My favorite Peanuts character is Linus. He makes me smile. My boys have blankets...at age 15 and 13 they still have blankets. I do wonder, will we be making  sport coats out of them?

I will agree with Linus. I am a gardener, and I always seem to find peace when I am gardening.

2. Describe a sound from your childhood. What does this sound bring to mind? 

Old Time Country Music. My parents played cards with my grandparents every Sunday afternoon and they would listen to the Country Count Down. My sister and I would play with all the fun toys our grandma had for us.

3. You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you? Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least)-see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone or celebrate Winter Carnival in Quebec? 

The Winter Carnival in Quebec would be my first choice. Yes, winning a winter wonderland trip would be so much fun for me. Winter is my favorite season! I love to xc ski! I am still waiting on some more snow to head out for the 2015/2016 season. 
 4. Who or what keeps you humble?
Proverbs is my favorite book of the Bible. The book of Proverbs helps me stay humble.

5. What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most? Explain.
I love decorating! I enjoy putting up our Christmas tree and looking at all our ornaments. Many of our ornaments are homemade or given to us by loved ones. They all have special stories or memories attached to them.

6. Gingerbread-yay or nay? Is making a gingerbread house part of your family holiday tradition?
Nay-no we never have gotten into making gingerbread homes. My husbands mom use to make lovely ones.

7. What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into a new year?
We had four trees die this summer. We have one more to cut down. I would love to see this project out of the way!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My boys are getting so excited for the Star Wars movie!
How about your family?