Willow House

Willow House
Simply Good Design

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas poem for 2010

Another of my traditions is to put to rhyme a summary of my past year, here is this year's rendition:

2010 is almost done
A year of ups and downs, it was one.
It is hard to describe, it went so fast
Kinda glad some of it is now “past”.
All our grandchildren are growing
From Madison to Heather, this we are knowing.
So proud are we of those two-- and all in between--
Preschool to college and now some in the teens.
Bruce and I seem to be growing, too
So diet and exercise in our resolutions are due!
This year brought Bruce retirement
He and Bill sold the gas company and home they went.
“They’re catching up” their mom wisely said,
There’s plenty to do at home instead.
Bruce has plans for an office, shop and shed
And cows still need hay and D.D. (Da Dog) needs a bed.
I have “partied” and had fun with design
The Atlantis was fun--with Willow House friends—a good time!
Willow House (the new name for Southern Living at HOME)
From Milwaukee convention I went right along.
During each week it’s Bible Study Fellowship and BBR
And look forward to monthly Bunco and to traveling far.
Robin, Dale, Dusty and Heather
Are at God’s Ranch Road, whatever the weather.
Robin helped her friend with a wedding plan
And drives her jeep whenever she can.
She takes lots of pictures and shares on facebook,
And now for Dusty UP she must look!
Dale’s starting to move the dirt
(For the shop Bruce is building so he can work.)
Still hunting and shooting and Dusty does too,
They both are winners when there’s competing to do.
Dusty played football in the fall,
And, my goodness, he’s getting so tall!
Still likes school about the same,
But lots of girls are calling his name!
Heather’s in college with Art to learn
At Walton Art Center she’s an intern.
She made us some mugs and is doing great,
In ceramics lab she stays up late!
Shari, Mike, Coleman, Hannah, Luke and Mitchell--
Wow, that’s quite enough the van to fill!
Shari still scrapbooks, the memories recording
Staying home with the kids she finds rewarding.
She drives that van to school and to lessons
Lots of birthday parties and PTA sessions.
Mike changed jobs and now works from home
But it’s still “from” a lot, the airports to roam.
Camping and hunting he and the boys go,
Honing survival skills, don’t you know.
Coleman did cross country and is quite a runner
We were happy he spent a week with us last summer.
He and Dusty helped paint the fence a lot,
Well, some of it, till it got hot.
“Hannah Banana” came and visited, too
With the girls we can always find something to do
She still does gymnastics with stretches and bends,
She helps in the kitchen and giggles with friends.
Luke has so many things he can do
He likes scouts and playing and does well in school.
He also took gymnastics and shot the gun.
Video games are his biggest fun.
Mitchell at three is happy-go-lucky
Whatever sister and brothers do is just ducky!
He had long curls till around Thanksgiving time
Now his grownup haircut suits him just fine.
Jennifer, Josh, Jake and Madison
Still living in Springdale where they’re having fun
Jen still works for Sara Lee, and travels some
Really looks forward for week-ends to come.
She keeps everything organized –big to little bitty
And they all went with us to Panama City.
(Well that was a stretch, but it’s got to rhyme,
Or else all this is a waste of my time!)
Josh hunts on our land- with black powder got a doe
Then an eight-point buck with a compound bow.
He’s works in the city of Bentonville
Is deacon at church, then out on the boat and fishes still.
Jake started pre-school this year
Traumatic at first, but now it is clear
He likes his school and believes he will stay.
Plans out what he does and what he will say.
Madison is quite the young lady at two
Likes her babies and playing with brother, too.
I call her Madi, but not around her mother,
And try to remember not to give her peanut butter!
(That’s another story, sufficient to say,
That is something I learned the hard way.)
Well, as this year ends, there is something sad
I lost my mom last month, she’s now with my dad.
She was 96, such a long and good life, and now it seems,
She has “wrapped the drapery of her couch around her
and laid down to pleasant dreams”
Her favorite Thanatopsis from literature teaching
Became her eulogy and her legacy far-reaching.
Bruce’s mom’s still making those rolls
And with her friends she plays dominos.
She goes with me to Republican outings
And loves the great-grandkids with all of their shoutings!
If our family doesn’t stop growing,
I’m going to have to cut the rhymes, I’m knowing.
Well, since it only comes once a year,
I guess the pages won’t matter to friends we hold dear.
As the world turns and changes it brings
I look to the heavens and my heart sings.
Good cheer to you and may you, too, look to Heaven
As we all go forth with 2011.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More of Christmas at my house....

This first picture is my oldest granddaughter Heather's Barbie tree. I have been getting her the Barbie Celebration ornaments all her life. Actually I get all three of my grand daughters the Barbie ornament, but the younger ones take theirs home with them. I put all Heather's together and will give them to her when she has a home of her own ( this college apartment doesn't count, Heather!)

Love putting flowers in the top of ornaments, some ornaments you can even put water and fresh flowers or greenery in. This arrangement I like because of the all the varieties of texture tied together with silver/white. Epsom Salts makes good snow, don't you think?

This is one of my cardboard and yarn creations from years and years ago!

Another of our Christmas jigsaw puzzles, sorry the light reflects the window shade in the picture!

Every year I get ornaments that are appropriate for each daughter, son-in-law and grandchild. (Or, at least ones I think are appropriate with what they like or have done that year) Of course, for the girls it's the Barbies, but this year I got everyone the Roxy Reindeer from Willow House because some of the profits go to support Juvenile Diabetes Research. Bruce was diagnosed as Diabetic this year, (not the Juvenile kind, but Type II) and I just thought this would be a nice addition to all their trees. Then the girls wanted one, along with the Barbies, so lots of Roxy's on my mantel this year~!

Below is my Hawthorne Hurricane from Willow House, oops made this picture before I got the candles on the Renaissance Candlesticks!

My friend Becky, from college, made this Santa for me a few years ago, so it goes along beside the clock my Grandpa Dad got for me at an auction when I was two years old.

Christmas Time's A-Comin'!

It's about this time every year when I start to feel a little overwhelmed with all the Christmas "things-to-do" list. Shopping is done, or is it? Do I have things for everyone and are they kind of "evened out" for everyone? There are gift lists and menus with grocery lists and party lists and Christmas card lists and then my mind is in it's whirl and my back hurts!

This is my first year without my mom. That is also overwhelming at times. Memories of Christmas's past and the feeling that I should be getting something for her and making plans for including her creep in. Since I married in 1964, I've been at my husband's family Christmas Eve celebrations and then my family on Christmas day (with a few exceptions when we lived in Wisconsin and St. Louis and couldn't get to Arkansas for Christmas.) Those years stand out because "people are supposed to be 'home' for Christmas" and those are poignant memories when I could not be. The last few years, we've done all our celebrating with our daughters and their families on Christmas Eve and then I'd have Mom here on Christmas Day. It is right for them to be in their homes with their children on Christmas morning to make the memories and family time with them. But what will it be like for all the planning and getting ready to end and nobody be here on Christmas day?

Well, if there's anything my mom taught me, it is to do "whatever I have to do" and I have learned that change is the only constant in life, so time to start new traditions. Bet if I look around there are others who are needing someone. Whatever I do Christmas day, it won't be sitting here feeling sorry for myself, so I'll start looking. Maybe I'll report back to you!!

Maybe I should have put all the kids Christmas decorations on my tree this year. It's kind of developed into a hodge podge through the years with things they made or I made or my friend Becky made and that is fun to remember the making and the Christmas's past when this or that happened. But this year the tree is silver and gold.

I did put up the candle I made and tried to remember the year. I think I lived in St. Louis when I made it, so that would have been about 1969. It is cardboard with yarn just glued around to make the candle, but I've always liked it :)

Another tradition we have is putting together jigsaw puzzles during the holidays. We may have started it when we were snowed in one year, I really don't remember the first one. My grandmother used to do a lot of jigsaw puzzles and I liked to do them with her, but she never saved them. My oldest daughter, Robin, did several one year and saved them, so it was probably around that time that I started painting them with glue and framing them. Here is one of my favorites. I'll get picture of some of the others for another blog.

What traditions do you have? Do you find yourself doing the same things every year or do you do something different every year? I am torn sometimes between the two. If you do the same thing every year, then the years that circumstances prevent your doing it, it gets sad. Traditions that we hold dear tie us together as families, but the family members who can't be there to do it feel left out. I remember distinctly the years I could not be "home" for Christmas--we lived in Wisconsin in 1967 and my husband was studying for tests in graduate school and our first daughter Robin was 3 months old, so we stayed there until semester ended in January to come home.

In the early 70's we lived in St. Louis, MO and had Robin and Shari and decided to stay there for Christmas. My husband's brother visited us a few days before Christmas, but we had Christmas there with just the four of us.

After we moved back to Arkansas in 1973 we have been at the Locke community Christmas program on Christmas Eve (as was my husband's tradition all through has younger years.) One Christmas day we could not go to my parents because we got about an hour on the drive to Havana and the snow and ice got so bad, the car just turned itself around on the road and that scared us sufficiently to just go the way it was headed--back to our house!

My daughters grew up going to Locke on Christmas Eve. "Locke" means Christmas Eve to them. Jennifer has never known Christmas without doing that and the others haven't missed many! The community has a pie supper the second Sat in December to raise money for it, and they use that to buy candy, apples, oranges and nuts for brown paper sacks for everyone who comes out on Christmas Eve. After a play or skit and kids recite The Night Before Christmas or sing a Christmas song, and everyone sings carols, Santa comes "Ho Ho Ho-ing" in and gives the kids a present and everyone there a sack. Not many communities do that any more and it is an important thing for the ones for whom it is tradition.

Well, Christmas Time is Comin' and some things change and some stay the same, but it comes --and then the new year. So, whatever we do and what ever you do, let's all remember that Christ is the reason that we have the holiday. He never intended us to celebrate his birthday, but his death. The Bible doesn't even tell us the exact day he was born, and it certainly was not December 25, but it does tell his specifically to "remember his death" until he comes again. And that time is "a-comin" too!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Making Christmas Memories

Things I remember from Christmases past are decorations and smells and excitement of family get-togethers. It doesn't take too much to put together some reds and greens and colors and textures of nature and make memories for your family. This first picture was not my design, obviously a little more professional, but makes me think of celebrations and family times.

I remember my grandmothers cooking sugar cookies and the Willow House Hyacinth Mixing Bowl, Ramekins and Measuring Cups remind me of their old fashioned kitchens! Whether it is a Christmas meal, a Sunday dinner, or just a time of baking with the grandchildren, these make me almost smell the cookies!

Gail Pittman's Alfresco collection makes me smile when I put a pie or banana bread in the oven!

Can't have Christmas with red dishes! Willow House Cinnabar collection is perfect for the holidays. Layer that hurricane with peppermints and kisses and you have a fascinating treat for the little ones! When my grandchildren ask if they can get one, the answer is always "yes" because it is easy to replenish!
Holidays are for making memories for the little ones and remembering those in the past for the older ones. This first Christmas without my mom causes me to reminisce. She baked and decorated and wrapped presents for me even though decorating and wrapping were not "her thing". Many were the surprises and treats she planned for me. I remember one Christmas getting a ViewMaster and she wrapped it up and told me whatever I did not to turn the package upside down. I turned it around, held it up and looked under it, and wondered and wondered about it! Of course, it mattered not whether I turned it upside down or not, but that was part of the mystery! My dad and I cut down trees and decorated them. Mother baked and baked and filled my stockings with candy and apples. I also remember one Christmas I was so proud of ordering her some perfume from the Sears catalog and hiding it until Christmas morning. It came in a beautiful blue bottle (and I hope she never put it on to wear out anywhere!)
I hope my girls and grandchildren remember little extras from Granny's house -special dishes, special foods and always breakfast on Christmas Eve!