Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas 2015 Open House

Welcome and come on in for a spell!

Love the tin watering can filled with fresh green!  Mr. Moose has been in the family for a long time, since 1984.  He is a great memory every year when he emerges from the Christmas box.
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and yes, I did not remove all the keys from this old Corona to make jewelry when it was all the rage a few years back. 

 On instagram you can check out these ladders on my daughter's Etsy site too.  LeaningintoHim. Pick up in the Dallas/McKinney area.
 Napkins I am using...
 This felted Santa mouse is new this year from Ebay.  Old and in perfect condition.
We still BELIEVE and always will!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fixer Upper watch party

Who doesn't love a little Chip and Joanna Gaines?  Who doesn't watch Fixer Upper?  Amazingly, a couple ladies at my party.  My daughter's did get me hooked on this HGTV show on Tuesday nights.
If you don't watch, basically it is the cutest couple from Waco, TX with four adorable children.  They preview three homes with a couple.  All the homes are so outdated or falling down.  One is chosen to fix up.  Amazing transformations!  

So, when Season three started a few weeks ago, I took the three days after Thanksgiving and totally decorated my house and had a girly watch party.  Before the show started we had JoJo time.  At the end of every episode Joanna stages the house by herself.  So, we all brought a little sussie under $10.00, something for your home. Then had a gift exchange and watched the Season Premier, not much watching, but lots of girl talking.  It was a very fun night.

Name that movie?  

 One of my friends had been to Louisiana for Thanksgiving, and brought fresh oranges and satsumas from her sister's trees! Extra party favors for everyone to take home.  They were delicious!
I will be baking more Pecan Tassies and watching the next new episode tonight!
Up next, my Christmas home tour!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Thanks for the fun

Thanksgiving fun memories, I just have to share.
But first, MissAllyAnn is 9 months!

 MissHadley you are going to need a really large bag for those leaves.  Thanks MissLayton for helping Lala crunch cornflakes.  Every southern girl needs to learn this fine art of making the most yummy topping for any casserole.  Of course add butter!
 MissRaylyn has found the new play toy for MrHayes and MissAllyAnn.
 Wait Jill, smile before that cracker goes in your mouth!

 My daughter needs to give me photography lessons. These were all taken with her camera.

 Not sure who is having more fun!
Aren't smocked bishop dresses just the cutest!  Even more cute are MissHadley and MissLayton.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Omaha Beach, Normandy

 It is hard to conceive the epic scope of this decisive battle that foreshadowed the end of Hitlers dream of Nazi domination. Overlord was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.

 After years of meticulous planning and seemingly endless training, for the Allied Forces, it all came down to this: The boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run, and crawl to the cliffs. Many of the first young men (most not yet 20 years old) entered the surf carrying eighty pounds of equipment. They faced over 200 yards of beach before reaching the first natural feature offering any protection. Blanketed by small-arms fire and bracketed by artillery, they found themselves in hell.

When it was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet somehow, due to planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached.

This was the stop on our Viking Cruise from Paris to Normandy, that we had all been looking forward to.  Words can't explain how moving and emotional it was.  Our tour guide gave amazing details on our ride to the site and there is not other way than on a guided tour to experience the Normandy beaches.
 One bunker our troops demolished, one below shown not hit.
 The German bunkers were so far from the ocean, but could send shells 12 miles out.
 Towards the end of the tour we entered the American cemetery near Omaha Beach.
 There was a special ceremony for our group of 150 visitors from our cruise.  There was an inspirational reading that a military soldier had written from WWII, prayer, praise and recognition for all military veterans on our trip, (11 men) and finally our group singing our national anthem.  I am tearing up right now just remembering the moments. 
 They then gave each of us a rose to place at a grave site.  If you actually knew someone buried there, we had two in our group, they took them for a private ceremony at graveside.  Me below placing my rose on a soldiers buriel site.  So thankful for their bravery.
 Omaha Beach
 I bought my first truck for my new grandson, MrHayes, at the gift shop!

 Our last stop was on the beach itself.  I think this may be the only group shot where our whole group was together.  We were great at wandering off into little groups.  It was the most wonderful bunch of friends.  Some of the group had never met when we started the trip, but were great friends all by the end of the trip.
 It was really dreary but not cold and there were two horses and riders racing on the beach!
Such a wonderful lifetime experience! Such sacrifices for our freedom.  

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach (one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion) and the English Channel. It covers 172 acres, and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Included are graves of Army Air Corps crews shot down over France as early as 1942 and three American women.
Only some of the soldiers who died overseas are buried in the overseas American military cemeteries. When it came time for a permanent burial, the next of kin eligible to make decisions were asked if they wanted their loved ones repatriated for permanent burial in the U.S., or interred at the closest overseas cemetery.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

France and Versailles

The Seine river has a series of lock and dams.  The river rises and lowers during 24 hours.  Our bedroom window had this view one morning when I woke!  
when we arrived back from our morning tour, I could see the city from our window.  The great thing about a river cruise you are always near land.
 Did I mention my best friend Jane was along on this trip!? So fun.
 Yep, below is part of the design on the buildings were they "stored" the black plaque victim's bodies, until they could be buried.  
 Churches everywhere!
 The beautiful and serene garden area below was once, long ago the location of the fateful end to Joan of Arc.  She was burned at the stake in the town square, now a church and garden.

 Lots of fun at cafes and walking around!

 Then..... Versailles. Oohlala!
 The below chapel, where when Mass was said, everyone would be seated looking at the King and the King was the only person who faced the priest.  Lucky for us there was someone actually playing the organ when we were there.  We could face the organ player too! No kings allowed anymore.

 Uh, let's sit and chat with the King and Queen while they are in bed!

 Luckily in November, Versailles is not crowded.

 It was the most dreary day of our entire trip.  I am sure the gardens are spectacular in the summer.
The little lucky cherubs below get to stay all year!
Up next... Saving the best and most sentimental part of our trip for my last post.

Normandy Beaches!

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