Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Holidays With Family

Our Christmas holiday has been very busy, but very good. So many things going on and places we have been. Disney was gorgeous for Christmas and we enjoyed our time there together. The decorations, parades and just the families together was amazing. It is always a place where you see so many different people from all over the world come together. It gives me hope when I see so many families together. Parents, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins, etc....!

We got to go to church twice in Peachtree City so we were able to see all our old friends that were there and visiting with grandparents. Lots of precious new babies being passed around. I love that! Jamie holding Courtney's baby Hunter and Courtney holding Jamie's little Joey. Both just little kids themselves just yesterday.

DH has headed back to the work force and we have all headed to the beach for a little get away before Savannah goes back to school. Les and the kids are down too so it is a lively and loud little cottage!

Dad has had some sad news. His sister-in-law Luke passed away yesterday morning. She was the wife of one of his favorite brothers, Jim. When mom and dad were first married and used to hop in the car on weekends to go to the beach, it was to Jim and Luke's that they would go. They saw Luke last month and said their goodbyes, but they will be going to the visitation tonight in Andalusia and back to the funeral in the morning. I will get to introduce Savannah to some cousins that she has never met.

It is a glorious day here in Grayton! Cool but sunny, quiet and relaxing. Les and I are in one bed together, while Sydney and Savannah are in the other. We have laughed, giggled, tickled and been silly sisters and I think it has really tickled Savannah and Sydney seeing and hearing us just be sisters together. Les is the best sister! I am so blessed!

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Atlanta fun and a Disney Vacation

Monday morning we were up early in Atlanta to fly to Orlando. We drove down and stopped at the Varsity on the way in to Atlanta. It's hard to pass it by. We had a wonderful visit with Mom and Dad. Mom had been cooking for three days our early Christmas dinner. It was fabulous! She fixed all our favorites.

Then the mexican dominoes began! Mom, Les, DH, Todd and I all played until it was time to go to bed. Mom was the winner this trip. DH pouted. He REALLY likes to win all the time. Savannah and Nick were off playing on computers, and listening to ipods while Sydney had fun writing us winner play checks with a checkbook that I had given her from Pottery barn kids. They have the best pretend play stuff!

Monday we were up early for Poppy to drive us to the airport. Smooth flight, so DH was happy. We were thrilled when we drove under the Walt Disney World sign!

DH forgot his camera cable so I may not be able to post pictures until later.

The Christmas trees here are incredible!

Savannah and I are off to our Mother/daughter spa day in a little while!

Thanks to Inez for holding down the fort at the house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas with Jax and Savannah

Jax and his mommy and daddy came over last night to exchange gifts.  Savannah picked out some really cute things for Jax, but of course his favorite thing was the string that had tied up his daddy's package.  

We also measured Jax up against our growing wall in the laundry room.  I have Savannah's heights along with Nicholas, Sydney and now Jax. 

When we redid the kitchen and laundry room last year, we had to paint around the heights once again.  I will be able to see all the colors my wall has been in the past!

Aunt Julie is the best maker of cupcakes and she was so excited to get the cupcake holder stand from Savannah!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

              "The world is a book,
        and those who do not travel
            read only a page."
        -St. Augustine

Blue Wit Jay

I just received a Christmas card from my brother-in-law Jay and found out he has his own blog now.  He probably told DH some time and DH forgot to tell me...that's usually how it goes around here.  DH tells me what I already told him!

Jay is DH's partner in business at the furniture store. 

I need to get him to explain to me the meaning behind the name blue wit. I'm sure it has a good one.  Jay is very talented and the very best of Uncles.  He lived with us in an apartment in Nashville when he was going to high school before his parents moved up here and we became very close then. I wasn't much out of my teens then myself. We all had a lot of fun. 

When we moved into our first house and I was sick those few years, Jay put in a rose garden for me and it was so beautiful! Now he has a spectacular garden of his own.

When we were at Millview church, I taught the 4th & 5th grades for years and Jay became my helper, then co-teacher and when we left, he has carried on and is an excellent teacher who has taught a whole lot of Bible knowledge to a bunch of youngsters. 

My first dog Gretchen loved Jay probably more than me and slept in his room.

Anywho, he's special to us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Paper, Ribbons, and Tags Oh My!

Most of  you who know me know that I love wrapping paper, tags, cards, and ribbon, ribbon and more ribbon!  I have been having fun sorting and wrapping gifts for my loved ones.  I love to choose just the right paper for the individual, all the while listening to Christmas music.

Savannah is a great help with wrapping too and gets better every year!  I love wrapping presents so much that when I go home to Georgia, I will want to wrap Mom's stash too!  Mom loves that!

When I was little I wanted to work at one of the wrapping stations and wrap all day.  I buy huge rolls of paper from Nashville Wraps and have a different theme every year.  Last year was the red with the citrus green color.  This year I am wrapping more old fashioned ways.  Lots of brown paper packages tied up with string! 

I tend to buy Christmas paper wherever I am.  In Birmingham with Kimberly, I found some pretty green toile on brown and polka dotted boxes that can be used for gifts or baked goods.

Raffia, tulle, satin ribbon, wired ribbon, slinky like ribbon...I use it all.

If I am in Atlanta on the day after Christmas, Leslie, Mom and I always have to go to Buckhead to the Container store first thing for the great sales!

This past year I discovered Etsy on the internet and bought all the seashore theme tags that decorated the beach cottage Christmas tree.  They have some really neat people that make fabulous tags!

So, have fun getting into the spirit of Christmas in whatever way makes you happy and if you need to borrow any paper, you know where to go!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This morning when I was getting ready, I needed some hair mousse from my bathroom cabinet. While I was trying to get it out, everything else wanted to fall out on the floor.

In that moment I came up with my first 2009 New Year resolution.  Note to self- Clean out bathroom cabinets!

I have like one inch worth of space in front.  Everything from the back of that inch is stuff that I have not used in a while and probably needs to go anyway. I have more lotions, shampoos, some almost empty bottles that I just didn't want to get rid of at the time. I have also been known to toss it in.  Oooh, my Nonnie would get me.

It's ridiculous to have a total of 4 inches of space in 4 cabinets! 

"Simplify, simplify!" -Thoreau   He's right!

That is what I am going to do!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Get on the Ladder!

Okay, this note is for my 73 years of age Dad and for all to see so you can get him too....



We love you too much!

(Les and I blame it on that stubborn Hallford gene)

p.s. ...and someone will be WATCHING when mom is at the beauty shop!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time Was Had By All!

I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful time we all had this weekend!

The weather was wonderful, Dickens was a blast and the company was the best!

We shopped in the quaint downtown Franklin shops, ate at the 'Loveless Cafe', drove on the Natchez Trace, shopped at Phillips Toy Mart (the best toy store around), drove by Alan Jackson's magnificent mansion and saw Christmas lights.

The first night we were all up until 2:00 or 3:00 am.  That would have been 3:00 or 4:00 on their Georgia time.  We had to catch up!

Charlotte, Mandy, Cleo, Mom and Leslie, thank you so much for coming to visit!

...and Happy Anniversary to my darling husband today!  

Friday, December 12, 2008

"I Need A Silent Night"

I am enjoying listening to a new Amy Grant Christmas song.  She sang it for the first time in public at the Lipscomb University 'Lighting of the Green.'

It's called I Need A Silent Night.  And I love it!  It's about all the rushing around that can happen while shopping for presents and needing some Peace.

Amy says that the song was inspired by the holiday traffic at the The Green Hills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee. (Best mall in Nashville)

Her daughter Corrina Gill does the sweetest recitation of the Luke account of the birth of Jesus.

I Need A Silent Night

I've made this same mistake before too many malls too many stores
December traffic Christmas rush it breaks me 'til I push and shove

Children are crying while mothers are trying 
To photograph Santa and sleigh
The shopping and buying and standing forever in line
What can I say?


I need a silent night a Holy night to hear an angel voice
Through the chaos and the noise I need a midnight clear
A little peace right here to end this crazy day with a silent night

December comes then disappears faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace
Or was the world a different place

Where people stayed home wishing for snow
Watching three channels on their TV
Look at us now rushing around trying to buy Christmas peace.


What was it like back there in Bethlehem
With peace on earth good will toward men?

Luke 2:8-11 and Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Savannah is SO Happy!

No school because of snow.  We Southerners freak out and cancel everything at the drop of a snowflake.  And the kids love it!!

Savannah is doing the happy dance...because her school was cancelled for tomorrow!!  Her friend Katie says there isn't even a flake in Nashville where she is.  Isn't that funny?

December Book Group

Tonight was our December book group meeting.  Our group has been together now for almost 25 years.  We have approximately 20 members and generally have around 12 every month. We actually had a great crowd tonight with the snow on the ground.

December is a lot of fun because we all bring beautiful ornaments and play dirty Santa.

Next month we choose our books for next year.

Blessed Snow!

Our first snow of the season!  It is so beautiful!  I finally pulled out my Christmas stuff last night and started putting it out today.  It was glorious to decorate and watch the snow.  Harvey and Azalea loved running around and leaping through it, just like they were running in sand at the beach!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Georgia Friends Coming to Music City, USA

I am so excited to be getting ready for some of my closest friends in the world to come this weekend!!  My mom and sister are coming and I always love when I get to spend time with them. But also Cleo, Charlotte and her daughter Mandy are coming.  These are friends I grew up with in Peachtree City, Georgia.  Charlotte gave me my lingerie shower 23 years ago when I was getting married, and Mandy and Courtney were my flower/rice girls at my wedding.  They are also my travelling buddies.  Charlotte loves to travel and see the whole world like I do.  She likes to see it all and do it all while having fun too!  And she is a wonderful travel guide, making sure all things are done right!  I know you have heard me mention Cleo.  She is also a smart, fun, and classy Texas lady who is also the country music lover of the group. Lots for her to see here in Music City, USA

This trip is a girls get away weekend.  Mandy is coming from Memphis and the rest are coming up from Georgia, stopping through Chattanooga to have dinner with Charlotte's sweet mom.

Anywho, they will get here Friday night and I can't wait! 

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Jane Austen Christmas

Here is a little peek into some delightful fun. 

Our Jane Austen Christmas Recitation Get Together.

Jane kept an eye on things perched over gingerbread cookies in her likeness, yummy little lady sandwiches, sour cream pound cake with Elizabethan lemon curd. Elaine even made some meat 'pasties' that were delicious! Two whole pots of blueberry bliss tea, a table full of paper packages lovingly tied up with ribbon and string.

We all read from our favorite books and/or journals with favorite Jane Austen quotes, favorite tidbits from Louisa May Alcott, Elizabeth Goudge, Tasha Tudor, C.S. Lewis, Christopher Morley and Longfellow.


Jodie made beautiful greenery arrangements for us from her yard, each with a loving quote that she chose.

Jane Austen cookies

Elaine's homemade pickles topped with a bottle brush tree

A brown bag full of beautiful tags

...and Clare was there in heart and spirit.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Visions of Sugarplums!

Last night was Kimberly and Truman's annual Christmas party! We had a wonderful time visiting with old friends from college days and with new. 

Kimberly had the house decorated like a Christmas dream!! When I walked into the dining room for some of her yummy desserts and appetizers, I looked up, and woven and hanging through the chandelier were beautiful glittered glass treats!  The first thing that came to mind were, "visions of sugarplums dancing in my head" from the book 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.' It was truly lovely.

Mostly though, Kimberly always makes her guests feel welcome and at home.  I told her on our shopping trip to Birmingham that she is a 'giver.'  That is her gift. She gives and gives to delight others.

Last night it was a delight to be in their home for a night of cheer!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Adorable Class

These are my adorable Wednesday night Bible class kids!

They are sweet, really funny, cute, so helpful, still climb on the tables, hide under the tables, love to color, love to listen, love to sing and LOVE to talk and tell me the FUNNIEST  stories that I know would cause their parents to blush!

They bless me every week!

I was missing two more boys and one more girl who were absent.  It can get wild and crazy in there!

Aren't they cute?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Amy Grant & Friends at Lipscomb's Lighting of the Green

Tonight was the 4th annual Lipscomb University "Lighting of the Green" with Amy Grant and friends!

It was the best yet, even though we were bundled up like eskimos!

It truly feels like Christmas now!  

Savannah's chorus has sung back-up for Amy Grant for the past few years and it just gets better and better!

They practice the day before with her and her guests and she is always very kind to them.  The Nashville Pipe and Drum also marched in and finished the program off.  There is just something about bagpipes that is so moving.

Great friends and parents of one of  Savannah's best friends, Dan and Jeana are trying to stay warm!

Nashville Pipe and Drum

Monday, December 1, 2008

          Mrs. Elizabeth Cooper Crockett Smith
           April 4, 1942 -  November 30, 2008