to be completely honest…


I didn’t put up as many decorations this year as I have in years past.

And…while I think I liked the simplicity,

to be completely honest, the Holidays just about kicked my butt.

I wasn’t ready for December when it rolled around, and I just never caught up.


Decorating the (partially) pre-lit tree took me almost a week to finish and I didn’t decorate

the mantel or the rest of the house until the 24th.

The thought of sharing pictures of the house all decked out for the Holidays went right out the door.


I never even shared my family photo shoot pictures.  (Heck… I barely took pictures on Christmas Day.)

If it wasn’t for my wonderful husband, I might still be wrapping.

This Year… like many others, I took on too much.

My expectations were too high.  I couldn’t get my act together.

I just wasn’t feeling it.

I lost track of what was important.

Nativity on the Square

It wasn’t until Christmas Eve, while sitting in church, passing the lighted candle that it truly hit me.

(it almost felt like a Hallmark moment)


So…while everything wasn’t as perfect this year as I might have wanted it to be

or thought it should be.  It sure was Good!

Here’s to a New Day, a New Year and taking the time to be Thankful!


Christmas Cookies


Looking for a yummy Christmas Cookie Recipe?

Here’s the recipe that I’ve used for the past 30 plus years.

The recipe was given to me by my mom on my first Christmas as a new bride.

I have made them every year since.  (a family favorite)



Sue’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  1. Cream sugar & butter, add egg & flavoring, mix thoroughly.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and stir in.  (I dump)
  3. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 375°.
  5. Divide dough in half & roll out on lightly floured pastry sheet.
  6. Roll thin, but thick enough to pick up the design with the cookie cutters.
  7. Dip cookie cutter into flour before each cutting.  Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible.  The least amount of working with the dough gives the best cookie.
  8. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake 7 to 8 min. or until delicately golden.
  • For the Glaze I dump around a cup of powdered sugar into a bowl.  Add a dash of vanilla.    Add milk one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want.  (hint:  not too runny)

Ring Toss Anyone?

For Nick’s Carnival themed birthday party, earlier this month…

I was given the task to create the Ring Toss Game.

 After washing and spray-painting all the bottles, I needed a cute sign for the game.

Joy letters to the rescue – I just adhered them to scrapbook paper I added to the outside

of the plastic bin that holds the bottles.

I used lightweight Smoothfoam rings painted with acrylic paint for the kids to toss.


Besides the Ring Toss Game there was a Hit the Can, Frisbee Toss, Fishing Game, Shoot Em Up, Tattoo Parlor, Fortune Teller.


Warren especially love the Fishing Game.

So much, he stuck his head in the tub.  (it was unseasonably HOT that day)


There was Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, Corn Dogs, Popcorn, Nacho’s and a ton of prizes.

The kids and adults had a really good time at the party.

This post was sponsored by Joy Sa and DecoArt.

Disclosure:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

This sweet little guy loves his cars.

Warren Loves Cars

My grandson Warren loves his cars.

And…it’s not uncommon at any given time to see him walking around with 2 or 3 cars in his hands.

His favorite being Lighting Mc Queen from the movies Cars.

He’s so cute when he’s looking for a particular one.

“It’s red with blue wheels and it has a spider web on it.”

You mean the Spiderman car?  “Yeah”

Warren layout close up

So… for Warren’s layout I decided to use cute cars puffy stickers from Paper House Studios.

making the roads 9904

For my layout, I started with an 8 1/2″ X 11″ piece of black cardstock and drew my road lines using

a ruler and a pale grey colored pencil.

Paper House Production Products Used:

This layout was created for and sponsored by Paper House Production.


I actually made it to the ocean this year.

Myrtle Beach Layout 09768

Going to the Ocean is one of my favorite things to do…

and it had been three long years since we last visited.

It was long over due.  The beach was calling.

Long daily walks on the beach, soaking up the sun, ocean breezes, good food, reading and relaxing.

It was hard to come back.  I needed another week.  (I need another week!)

Jim and Sue 9530 - Copy

During our week there, we allowed our teen-age son to visit and stay with his best friend who lives

an hour away from where we were staying.  Giving him those few days to re-connect also gave

my husband and I a few days to re-connect as well.

Charleston Collage

After we picked him up we headed to Charleston for the day.

Charleston is one of the most beautiful and one my all time favorite cities.

Charleston 9440

Charleston is steeped in history and gorgeous homes.

I enjoy walking along the harbor, taking pictures and checking out the architecture.

Sweetgrass Baskets

Another favorite is visiting the Market Place where I am always fascinated by the Sweetgrass Baskets,

a true Charleston tradition.   (I’ve invested in a few baskets over the years.)

The baskets may seem a little pricey, but, when you consider the tedious hours of labor that goes into

each one, they’re probably underpriced.

Myrtle Beach

Luckily, we had a few more beautiful days of sunshine together before heading home.

It’s never enough time for me.

(If you’d like you can read last year’s post about not going to the beach here.)

Myrtle Beach Layout 9752

I created my beach layout using Paper House Productions

At the Beach Paper Crafting Kit and the New Beach Mixed Card Pack.

I layered three different patterned papers to mimic the color of the water on the horizon line

and the feel of the sandy beach.

Beach Life Close Up 9781

I love the New Beach Mixed Cards, the pack comes with a variety of pictures, overlays and frames.

(I added thin 3-D foam mounting squares to the back of the frame before attaching it to the picture.)

The Myrtle Beach Sticker (for decorating your phone) was found at a local beach shop.


Here is a list of the Paper House Productions products used:

My beach layout was created for and sponsored by Paper House Productions.

Father’s Day Pool Party Layout

Pool Party Layout 8924

A few weeks ago, on Father’s Day, I invited everyone over for a BBQ Pool Party.

There were 30 of us in all.

It was fun, loud and a little bit crazy.  (Just like this layout.)

Thanks to the week before being warm and sunny, the pool was perfect for swimming.

No chattering teeth or blue lips this year!

Pool Party Layout 8873

For my Pool Party Layout I used the following from Paper House Productions:

Pool Party Layout 8897

This layout was created for and sponsored by Paper House Productions.


Patriotic Tie Dyed Shirts for the 4th of July

We’re at it again.

This past week, my daughter in law and I did a little Summer Tie Dying.

(see last year’s shirts here)

Inspired by photo’s she saw on Pinterest,

Bonnie made these cute Patriotic Tie Dyed shirts for the boys.


We used Tie Dye Kits that come with the premeasured squeeze bottles.

She gathered the shirt at one corner and rubber banded it in three sections and squeezed the

dye directly onto the shirt and then covered it with Saran Wrap.

We allowed several hours before rinsing out the dye.

Too Cute!  (don’t you agree?)

For more summer fun… click on ad below.


Disclaimer:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Mr. Elfsnail’s Garden

Mr. Elfsnail's Garden 8202

This marks the third summer since Nicholas and I started the tradition of creating our

Mini Garden.  And…as we exclaim every year…  “this one’s our favorite”.  (it really is!)

Each year we like to add something new and different for our garden.

It has been noted, that at some point, we may have to get a bigger wagon.

Mr. Elfsnail 8140

Our Garden has never had an official occupant.

So, this year we added Mr. Elfsnail.  (named by Nicholas for obvious reasons)

We picked him up along with a wishing well and a pair frogs at our local Hobby Lobby.

Nick and I (mostly Nick) spent the evening before laying out the garden on the kitchen counter.

We like having a plan and being prepared.

Nick had me outside working on the garden by 7:45 a.m. the next morning.

Have I ever mentioned I’m not a morning person?

adding the water feature

For those of you that may not know about our garden, you can read about

the original garden here.

For our garden…we start with an old broken rusty wagon.

After arranging the fence and arbor, Nick quickly set off to work adding a new water feature

using a small, round, black dish (from a microwave desert) into the dirt.

this is how my other grandma told me to get them out

Now that he’s five and a very confident gardener….he didn’t need any help placing the plants.

the path

The “plan” was to add a small path to the new wishing well using crushed shells.

the path now a beach

And because more is always better… MORE CRUSHED SHELLS.

It’s starting to look a little more like a beach.

We added cocoa bean shells around the plants to make it looks nice.  (love the smell)

the frogs

N ♥ S

That just warms my heart.

Even though it should be Nick loves Grandma instead of Nick loves Sue.

(Maybe he named the frogs after us?)

Wishing Well

Nick loved adding water to the wishing well and making sure it worked.

admiring the garden

Our Finished Garden.

Nick and Mr. Elfsnail's Garden with insert

This really is such a fun project to do with kids.

You don’t need anything fancy to use for a container.

And you know what?  I enjoy making it as much as him and maybe even more.

It’s important to take time and do something together.  (Planting the gardening seed.)

Making memories… My buddy and me.

For more summer fun… click on ad below ↓


Disclaimer:  This blog uses ads and affiliate links.  If you choose to make a purchase using one of the links, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) that helps offset the costs of maintaining this blog.  Thanks for your support!

Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

At the Lake…

At The Lake Title Page

I recently asked my daughter Stephanie to send me some pictures for a family album I was working on.

Stephanie sent me these lovely pictures of her and her husband Zach at the lake.

His parents own a little place by the lake in Conover, Wisconsin that they love to visit.

I love these pictures.  It looks so peaceful there.  (I want to visit.)

Lake Life 4868

I find it hard to believe that she took these beautiful pictures with her phone.

At the Lake 4866

The “At the Lake” layout is my first Design Team project for Paper House Productions.

When it comes to scrapbooking, I consider myself to be fairly simple.  I like layers and clean lines.

I used a variety of Paper House Products from several different collections on this layout.

I love how the Paper House collections work well with each other.

Here’s what I used for my “At the Lake ” layout…

at the lake close up 4919


This project was created for and sponsored by Paper House Productions.

After Christmas Family Fun Day

Christmas 2015 3109

I love getting the chance to be with the family on Christmas.  That in itself is a gift.

But… after all the Christmas Craziness is over, we like to take a day and have a little family fun.

I almost enjoy it more than Christmas.  (it’s more relaxed)

Stephanie and Zach Close Up

In my hometown we have a small town square and parked in the square was this cute decorated

wagon.  I knew it was the perfect spot for a family picture.  I just had to wait until everyone was home.

Nick and Bonnie Close Up

The weather was good.  (a little sunshine and a light snow would of been perfect)

It didn’t take much coaxing for me to get them to go.

They’re all good sports.  (they knew I’d pout if they didn’t.)

Stephanie and Zach 3106

Nativity on the Square

After a few pictures, we headed to the local bowling alley for a Family Bowling Night.

It’d been exactly a year since I’d bowled.

Warren Bowling

The kids even got in on the action.

Nicholas Bowling

Justin Stephanie and Zach Bowling

Bonnie and Warren Bowling

After spending such a nice and perfect day with the family, we woke to a winter ice and sleet storm.

So… today I will be staying in, relaxing and hopefully reading the new book I picked up.

Wishing you all a wonderful and relaxing start to the New Year.