Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Memories

Hello, Dear Friends, I hope you all had 
a lovely Christmas! 

It always seems to go by too fast! 

I caught a bad cold in the week before, 
so many of my plans were put by the wayside.....

Christmas baking, last minute shopping.....

But I did manage to put together some gift baskets. 

We draw names every year and I picked 
my daughter-in-law, Jen, and Ramblin' Man
picked daughter, Heather. 

We had fun putting together gift baskets for them both.

The sweet 'winter scenes' gift boxes were part of
their gifts and I filled them with red wooden bead garlands
instead of the cookies I intended to bake :(

I found these darling gift boxes at Celestina Marie Designs,
one of my favorite Etsy shops.
Celestina has a wonderful blog called
Southern DayDreams
where you can find a link to her shop. 

She also makes darling tags. 
I found some wonderful things at her shop to help
fill the baskets - a wall urn, a small shelf, a painted sign......
I will take photos of them hung in my two girl's homes
next time I visit. 

Another Etsy shop I love is Stephanie's shop,
Rose Petal Blessings,  
from The Enchanting Rose blog.
You can find her shop-link there. 

She sews the most delightful little things and 
I found these darling little sewing baskets 
and set of coasters at her shop.

I also gifted myself with this sweet little basket :)

Both of these ladies go the extra mile with their
beautiful packaging, thoughtful notes and extra gifts
included in their shipments.

We had fun stuffing the baskets so full that they couldn't
hold another thing and some things had to travel separately. 

Both daughter's are wonderful homemakers and love 
to decorate their beautiful homes. 

DIL, Jen just remodeled her whole house
(which I will show you in my next post)
and Daughter, Heather is moving into a new home
in just a couple of weeks. 

Of course we have two little Grandsons, now,
and couldn't resist a few things for them! 

I even managed to bake a gingerbread cake (from a mix)
 Christmas morning to bring to the festivities.
Do you like my impromptu 'Poinsettias' ?

We were invited to my son, Gabe and wife, Erica's
home for Christmas dinner with our's and Erica's

I wore my late Mother-in-law's Christmas pin.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and the ride over
was lovely.
Can you see the fresh snow in the foothills?

We had the wonderful treat of seeing Mt. Rainier, too.

During the winter months, 'The Mountain' as we
call it, here in Western Washington State,
is usually hidden behind thick clouds.

Once we leave the open farmland, we travel through
thick forest skirting the foothills on our 90 min. drive.

We pass a few Christmas Tree farms on our way :)

After many miles we come to a beautiful, historic
town all decorated for the season.

We're almost there.....

It's a 'Grinchy' Christmas!
A favorite Christmas movie icon :)

Can you see my Grandson, Ethan's new Tee-Pee?
I made the Santa years ago.

A gift from Santa.....

His favorite trick - coming out from behind
the flaps to a round of applause!

Another gift from Santa - his own little table and chairs.

Sitting on Granpa's lap while opening gifts.

It was wonderful to see his reactions.

Look what Santa left behind!
 A little elf!
Our new Grandson, Gavin is
already 2 mos. old and you can tell
he doesn't like to eat much. Lol!
Check out those cheeks!
Just right for Gramma kisses xx

Time for us to eat!

Pita guacamole Christmas trees with pretzel trunks
and red pepper ornaments.

Baked ham, scalloped cheese potatoes, stuffed mushrooms,
salad, green-beans and rolls.

Apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies
along with gingerbread, for dessert.

(Diet plans are definitely in my New Year's resolutions!)

Then a rousing game of 'Pie in the Face'
with the final stand-off between the two Grandpa's.

Guess who lost........

All 'the girls' wisely declined to play......

There was one very special gift
from the family.

A Noble Fir tree to plant
in commemoration of their Nana,
that we can decorate each year
in her honor.


All too soon it was time to leave.

Kisses and hugs all around,
'Merry Christmas and Happy New Year' wishes, too.

Then the long drive home,
happy and filled with good food
and wonderful memories of
another Christmas,
 too soon come and gone.

Thank you, Dear Friends for all of your sweet visits
and kind comments on my last few posts.
You are all such wonderful, thoughtful friends.

I know I have been neglecting you lately,
but I will be catching up with all of you this week.
I've missed visiting you!



  1. Dear Karen,
    it looks, like you had a wonderful Christmas, filled with so much Love and Joy! Thank you for sharing all those wonderful pictures with us!
    Wishing you wonderful last days in the old year!
    sending much Love and hugs and blessings to you, my dear friend, and wishing you a Happy New Year 2017!
    Claudia xoxo

  2. What a wonderful Christmas you had! Your grandsons are just adorable! I want to kiss their cute cheeks:) Wishing you a wonderful new year!
    Hugs, Cindy

  3. What a lovely time you all had - love the pie in the face! Take care my friend xo

  4. I am wondering what Mandarin Garden sells in Christmas season. Is it a Chinese lantern arranged for the season?

    1. I think it is a Chinese restaurant! But a nicely arranged Chinese lantern would make a nice gift! :)

  5. Karen, hope you feel better now!!
    Thanks for sharing these pictures.
    Wishinf you a Happy New Year

  6. You created some amazing masterpieces to deliver to your daughters Karen! Love the glittery scene on the gift box. The drive over to your son's home would be half the fun ... what beautiful scenery you travel through. I'm so glad you had such a good time with your family. The grandson's are adorable ... cheeks and all ;) I love the gift of the fir tree that will keep your dear mother-in-law's memory close to you each Christmas now. Happy New Year!
    Wendy xox

  7. What lovely gift baskets you made with gifts included from two of my favorite bloggers! your grandsons are just adorable and I know spending time with your family was the best gift ever. The fir tree is such a wonderful gift to honor your beloved mother in law.
    Happy New Year, sweet friend!

  8. Looks like it was a wonderful Christmas! Your gifts look thoughtful and fun and the meal looks delicious! The memorial tree is very special. Always so nice to get together, especially with the little ones!
    Hope your cold is better now...I came down with one the day after Christmas...that time of year, I guess! Wishing you a happy, healthy 2017!

  9. I'm sincerely so glad to read that despite your recent, heavy loss you have found the right Peace for spending your Christmas Time inside your so cozy home together with your dear ones... you're blessed by so lovely babies, darling Karen !

    With my heart filled with joy,
    I'm sending all my best on your New Year coming.

    With utmost gratitude

    Xx Dany

  10. Wonderful Christmas memories, Karen!
    Yes, Christmas does go by too fast, every year. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. :)
    Drawing names for the Christmas gift exchange is a great idea. (Perhaps we should adopt it too.)
    Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year 2017!

  11. WoW!! looks like you were blessed with a beautiful christmas. i do like the poinsettias on your cake and all the time and thought you put in to your gift baskets!!

    you have beautiful grandchildren!!!

  12. So sorry you were sick just before Christmas but were well enough to go join in the festivities! It all looks like great fun. I love the idea of overstuffed gift baskets. I may have to try that next year for my daughters. Happy New Year and I look forward to your lovely posts in 2017!

  13. Thank you for sharing your family Christmas with us here in blogland. It goes by too quickly! All the best to you and yours for a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR 2017! Aloha!

  14. What a wonderful Christmas get together with your family, Karen. We did much of the same thing, as we went to Jess' husband's family for Christmas dinner, and then spent Christmas day at my house. It's a time that is filled with good food, love, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The Noble Fir is very special to remember your loved one. The ham and scalloped potatoes and sides look delicious. What a great time having spent time with the babies too. I've seen those teepee tents around lately, they are delightful. I'm sure they loved your gift baskets filled to the brim with goodies.

    I hope the new year is a bright one for you, Karen. Looking forward to seeing your daughter-in-law's remodeled home.


  15. Your grand babies are so cute! I am sure Christmas was a wonderful time with your family! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  16. Your grand babies are so cute! I am sure Christmas was a wonderful time with your family! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  17. You captured some lovely and fun moments in your photos, during your Christmas celebration, and I enjoyed viewing them! Thanks for sharing the clever guacamole trees, as well as the sweet memorial tree. I admire your mountain as I do our Mt. Hood who has let us appreciate her stunning white snowy coat briefly recently. We are enjoying our days of celebration, too, and are doing some puzzling now trying together new puzzles :) Wishing you well, Karen. xx

  18. I really loved hearing all about your Christmas and enjoyed the pictures, Karen! It really is all about family, isn't it? I feel for you with the head cold, I have one now. Grrrrr...

    I especially love seeing pics of your grandsons, they are so precious. They really make the holiday fun after that gap between the children and them.

    Wishing you a wonderful New Year..hope to get a post out tomorrow if my head feels better! lol!



  19. Hello, looks like you had a wonderful Christmas! The grandchildren are adorable. Yummy food! Enjoy your day and the weekend ahead. I wish you all the best in 2017, Happy New year!

  20. Sounds/looks like a great Christmas! Best wishes for a fantastic 2017!

  21. Karen, what darling grands! Everything else just flew out of my mind after I saw them! And Mount Rainier - out of the clouds, just for you!

  22. Dearest Karen,
    Well, you were still lucky for having your bad cold before Christmas... regardless the things you were unable to finish.
    Pieter got sick on Friday and was in bed very early. We did drive on Saturday to Florida in 4 hours, Pieter did the first 1.5 and I did the rest. Our Midnight Mass by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra was heavenly and to think that A.W. Mozart wrote this when he was 17... Incredible, what a genius he was!
    Christmas day I used to pamper my feet, in the sunshine with the sliding balcony door open. We were at the top floor, 19 high and River view. It was 80 degrees. That changed the next day, more windy and cloudy when we made the rounds of Costco, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market to stock up on everything before driving home. That would safe us a trip to Atlanta! Glad I made it home, driving solo but I was quick into the bed after putting things up. The flannel duvet cover felt so good. Still sneezing and not feeling 100%. Can't use any over the counter meds due to my chronic kidney disease but by eating fresh fruits, drinking plenty of water and eating well, I hope to shed it soon.
    Sending you best wishes for the year's ending. You at least had some very special and fun family time. A 90 min. drive is nothing for being with loved ones...
    It kind of hits me harder every year for having to live through the dark days of Christmas without any family nearby.

  23. Oh poor Karen! Such a bummer time of year to be sick. I'm glad you were able to feel better by the time all the festivities were going on and enjoy being a part of that. The gifts you put together were beautiful!! I love that you support etsy artists too.

    Your grandsons are so beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your family and their homes with us. I gobble up every photo and feel like I'm one of the family. ;)

    I'm wishing you all a very healthy, happy, magical, fun, exciting, cozy, loving, beautiful, and blessed New Year!! xoxo

  24. I'm so pleased you shared all of your photo's ... looks as if you all had a very special time. It is so nice to spend time with the family and have fun together.

    Your grandsons are just adorable, don't they always make you smile ...

    I hope your cold has completely gone now.
    Sending my good wishes for the coming New Year

    All the best Jan

  25. Sounds like the perfect Christmas, so glad you felt well enough to take the trip to their house and to share it with the grandbabies is always a joy. We bought our daughter a little tent castle when she was little and she would come out from the flaps the same way, brought back memories :) Such a special treat to see the mountain!!

  26. What a wonderful Christmas! Dear little Gavin, hasn't he grown! I wonder what he made of it all. Have a Happy New Year. x

  27. A lovely Christmas, so many new memories made :) Your little grandsons are so cute and yes they both have kissable chubby cheeks.
    Wishing you and your family all health and happiness for 2017.



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