Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

It was a wonderful Christmas at the Gottwals!

I set the table for our big Christmas dinner using my fancy china.  It is Old Country Roses, same as my mom's.  Most of the dishes and glasses still had the price tags.  It's a shame that in 3 1/2 years I haven't used much of my china!

I did a very simple centerpiece.  I cut off some greenery from our Christmas tree and put candles in the middle.  I didn't even use a tray or anything--I put everything right on the table.

Meanwhile, my dad worked on the turkey (it was so yummy!)...

My aunt made the dressing (also yummy)...

Mom did everything else.  She was like a flash around the kitchen and I never got a good picture of her.  Meanwhile, downstairs in the den, Shane and his mom and brother were equally busy watching A Christmas's tradition!

We served dinner buffet-style on the buffet in the living room just beside the dining room.

YUM!  Turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, greens, sweet potato, deviled eggs, and avocado!

My dad is fun and cheesy.  "Take a picture of me with my food!"

Shane (not to be outdone by my dad)--"Take a picture of me like I've already eaten and I'm licking my plate clean!"

Then we got down to business.

For desert we had strawberry pie and ambrosia--the food of the gods (with my dad, everything's a history lesson).  We make our with oranges and coconut--mix them and let them hang out together in a bowl in the fridge overnight.

I tried to correct my dad by explaining that in movies set back in time they don't eat ambrosia, they eat huge legs of meat...Dad said, "Like this?"

I would say the meal was a success.  This is my plate after seconds.

We sat around talking for a while.  I asked Shane to invite everyone down to the den to hang out.  "Come on, everyone," he said, "let's go down to the den.  Just follow my servant!"  I suppose I'm his servant now.  HA!

We opened presents together.  We always open them one by one so everyone sees what everyone gave/got.  Here Aunt Ouida is opening a present from Aunt Miriam.  Aunt Miriam couldn't be with us at Christmas this year but always sends us great gifts.

It's a doll from Indonesia!  Beautiful!

Shane wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a decent picture, but he LOVED this sweater vest, also from Aunt Miriam.  She said when she saw it on the mannequin, she thought, Shane could wear that while selling books.  And she was right.

I got a great sweater from Aunt M, too.  Ten seconds after Shane took this picture I changed into it. 

Dinner served, presents opened, some of us needed a little rest.

A wonderful day spent with family.  Looking forward to my brother and his wife coming in today!  Hopefully they will be home when I get home.  I'll be off work next week until Friday. 

How was your Christmas?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our God Provides

As a young girl in the late 1920s, Grace Ditmanson Adams often traveled with her missionary parents through inland China. Later, she wrote about those trips and the crowded places where they stayed overnight—village inns full of people coughing, sneezing, and smoking, while babies cried and children complained. Her family put their bedrolls on board-covered trestles in a large room with everyone else.
One snowy night, they arrived at an inn to find it packed full. The innkeeper expressed his regret, then paused and said, “Follow me.” He led them to a side room used to store straw and farm equipment. There they slept in a quiet place of their own.
After that, whenever Grace read that Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7), she saw the event differently. While some described the innkeeper as an example of uncaring, sinful mankind who rejected the Savior, Grace said, “I truly believe that Almighty God used the innkeeper as the arranger for a healthier place than the crowded inn—a place of privacy.”

Through eyes of faith, we see God’s provision for Mary. Look for the ways He provides for you.  — David C. McCasland

This is from Our Daily Bread entry for December 24th.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One More Wreath...

This is a wreath I play around with a little bit every year.  The first year  I made the bow and put in some pine cones and leaves (spray painted gold, which was my first crafty project EVER).  Last year I wrapped some lights around it and hung it in the bay window in our bedroom.  This year I took out the lights and stuck in some holly berries and miniature ornaments.  It hangs at the top of our stairs.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!  I may be on here and there  throughout the rest of the week and into next week, but no promises.  I'll be enjoying time with my family!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Currently Reading - Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen is amazing.

The Lady of Milkweed Manor is her first book and I picked it up on a whim.  It's one of my very favorite books EVER.

She makes me feel good about recommending Christian Fiction to people.  Actually, she makes me happy that I can read.

Her newest book, The Silent Governess wasn't supposed to come out until mid-January.  I got it in the mail Tuesday.  I had a little party.

Even if you don't like reading you can buy her books and stare at the covers.  They're so pretty!

I'm linked here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Grab Some Confetti

If you don't have confetti handy, grab a handful of whatever's around and throw it up in the air.  It's a celebration!

My mom completed her Master's Degree last night!!!  She's been working really hard (really hard as in normal people do this degree in 2-3 years and she did it in less than 1 year) and deserves a big party!
Here she is with her diploma:

Just kidding!  That's not her diploma.  That's a picture from a family reunion we went to in September.  She got to hold the sign that said whose decedents we are so I doctored it up a bit.  Hehe.  (Hope you got a laugh out of that, Mom!)  Her degree from Liberty University will be much fancier than that!

We are all SO PROUD of you, Mom!!! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Favorite Things Friday

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday.  I like to take Fridays to look around my house and appreciate the things I have.  I seem to spend a lot of time in I-wish-I-had and so Fridays I take a step back and go to I'm-so-glad-I-have.

Today I'm going to show you a few Christmas decorations that never made it into other posts but deserve notice.

First up,this Nativity from Chile.  My mom gave it to me.  She collects nativities and has maybe 100.  Probably more.  I put it in here, but you couldn't see the people when I took a picture with the top on.

On the other bookcase, we have this snow globe.  It's actually Shane's.  Recognize it?  It's the kid from A Christmas Story.  Somehow I'd never seen this movie until I met my husband.  It's his favorite Christmas movie.  If we're somewhere with cable on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, we try to catch part of the 24 marathon of it on TBS.

I bought this set of stocking hangers the first Christmas we were married.  (It's really a nice shiny silver color, not all smudgy-like.)  I love trains and love these but there are a couple problems.  1--They're too lightweight to really hold up stockings if there's anything in the stockings and 2--We don't have a mantle.  I know I've talked about our mantle before, because we do have one out in the shed in the back, it just doesn't fit around the fireplace insert.  We'll just call it a work in progress, ok?  So here they are at the end of the counter.  It's the first thing you see when you walk up to the kitchen from the den (along with the potato chip bag behind it, hehe) and I'll figure out some use for them.  Or I may not.  Who knows.

I know other people have talked about how they have a certain candle that smell like Christmas.  Here's mine.  Someone gave this to me a couple Christmases back.  It's from Hallmark and the scent is Cinnamon, but it smells more like Christmas than just cinnamon to me.  I just love it!

Now I'm ready for Christmas!  Well, almost ready.  I'm still waiting for Shane's gift to come in.  (Mine from him came in yesterday.  I'm DYING to find out what it is!!!!!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Did I Miss It?

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby and they were taking the Christmas stuff down to put up Spring decor.  Like outdoor decorations and stuff.  Did I MISS Christmas???  What's going on, Hobby Lobby?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Decorating the Bookstore

The last couple years we've been putting up our pre-lit Christmas tree here at the Warner Robins store.  This year we had no room for a tree so I was going to do some other decorations around the store.

This is as far as I've gotten:

I was going to put up a quote from How the Grinch Stole Christmas on our chalkboard, but that hasn't happened {yet}.  These are the quotes we have up now:

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me" -C.S. Lewis

"No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books."  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I may not be posting tomorrow because I'll be home all day getting the upstairs ready for company next week (can you believe Christmas is next week?!?!).  Are you ready for Christmas?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Deck the Halls

 A couple of the ornaments on the tree are handmade.  The snowflakes hanging down everywhere are from the Dollar Tree.  As a tree skirt, I took The Nester's advice--I didn't buy anything, I just used a red throw blanket. 
Here's the story behind my ornament wreath.

I blew out one of the candles before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of the piano!  Oops!  More about decorating the piano here.

The keys above the couch have nothing to do with Christmas, but I did make them and the globe bowl on the table beside the couch.

For the story behind my Jim Shore decorations, read this.  And I finally like the way my bookcases look.

This snowman candle holder was the first thing I ever spray painted.  I bought it in all of it's brass glory at Salvation Army.

Shane and me after a successful Christmas party!

All these pictures are from our den and kitchen dressed up for Christmas.

Linked up to The Nester's Tour of Homes and Kim's Dare to Deck the Halls and Thrifty Decor Chick's Christmas Tree Party and Hooked on Holiday House Tours and Southern Hospitality Home for the Holidays 2009.  That's it.  The end.

Thanks for coming by!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Ornament and a Sneak Peak

Yesterday I got my ornament from the exchange I participated in.  My swap partner lives in England and so here is my British penguin.  Is he not the CUTEST thing?  She sent me some chocolate, too, which means she's my new BFF.  A million thanks!  (And I think I just figured out how to take the perfect blurry lights Christmas tree picture!)

And we are all set for our Christmas party tonight.  I'm planning on taking lots of pictures of all around our house since Monday is The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes and Kim's Dare to Deck the Halls.  Here is a sneak peak of the right side of our fireplace.  Thin styrofoam snowflakes from The Dollar Tree 6/$1.00 and stockings Shane and I bought last year at Cracker Barrel. 

Come back Monday--I can't wait to show you the rest of our house downstairs.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Favorite Things Friday -- Christmas Ornaments

Welcome to Favorite Things Friday.  I like to take Fridays to look around my house and appreciate the things I have.  I seem to spend a lot of time in I-wish-I-had and so Fridays I take a step back and go to I'm-so-glad-I-have.

I could have gone CRAZY with today's topic, Christmas Ornaments.  But I will keep it short. 

Here's a little raspberry from my aunt.  She lives in NYC and brings me cool stuff.  She gave this to me two years ago for Christmas. 

This peacock was my grandmother's.  She always wanted us to hang it near the top of her tree, even though the rest of her tree always had a red and white theme.  Now I'm seeing peacocks and other birds on Christmas trees in all the cool magazines and blogs...can I just say that my grandmother started this trend?  Great.

My parents and my brother and his wife live in out of state, in different states.  We're sort of a spread-out family (to say the least).  Anyway, the last four Christmases all six of us have gotten together.  The first year everyone came to our house, then we went to Washington DC, then last year to Orlando to Disney World and this year they're all coming to our house again.  Anyway, I picked these Mickey Mouse Ears up last year while we were at Epcot.  I thought they were adorable!  I have another ornament that Courtney, my sister-in-law made for us from our Washington DC trip.  We'll have to come up with something to commemorate Christmas at our house this year.

What are your favorite Chrismtas ornaments?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

$6.50 Christmas Trees

2 cones from dollar store

12 feet of garland from Hobby Lobby $6.99 @ 50% off


2/$1.99 Stars from Hobby Lobby  @ 50% off.

Hot glue gun.  The end.

They're kinda wacky and need haircuts...just perfect on my newly cleared off kitchen counter.  (Recognize the picture beside the trees?  You saw it here.)  I'm not crazy about the stars, even though in real life they are a perfect match to the garland and not orangey like in the picture.

I REALLY cleaned up our downstairs yesterday.  Can't wait to show you tomorrow!

Linded to Transformation Thursday and Living with Lindsay.