Sunday, December 22, 2013

52 Anniversary

Today was our 52 anniversary.  I can still hear my mother tell me that I didn't have a choice when I was born {Dec. 27), but I didn't need to get married at Christmas time, also.  But, I do love celebrating our anniversary at Christmas time.
We had a full relaxing day.  We started out the day by going to Sunday School and church.  It was a good service.  Lots of music and a good message.




After church we went to our favorite restaurant in the area.  We went to Hickory Falls.
We remember the first time we went to this restaurant.  It was the weekend we moved into our house in June of '07.. We had spent two days unloading our things from the PODS into the house and garage. Larry and friends came over and helped also.  Our friends Dick and Anne were here on their way home from Michigan to Arkansas.  We decided to go out and eat that Saturday night.  We were so tired and sore that we didn't want to get out of the car any more times than we had to. We pulled into two restaurants and the parking lots were full, so we pulled into Hickory Falls.  We didn't know if it would be any good, but we didn't care.
It was delicious.  We usually get the pork loin, broccoli, mashed potatoes, and salad.  It's always so good and it was today.


After we ate, we did something we have never done before.  We went to TWO movies.  We went to see Saving Mr. Banks.  It is the background of Walt Disney's filming of Mary Poppins.  We both enjoyed it.

After that we went to the movie, The Book Thief.  It was very good. It takes place in Germany during the war.

It was a fun relaxing day to share with my best friend.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Remembrance Service

Back in November I got this invitation from the funeral home that took care of Mom.


I told Howard I really wanted to go. I had not idea what it would be like.  I was really glad that I went.  It was a cold rainy afternoon.  There were a lot of people that came.


 Here is the program that they had.


I didn't know the first song that was sung.  The speaker was introduced.   He talked about memories and sometime they make us happy and sometimes sad.  He talked about his Granny.  Talked about having Christmas as her house.  She was not a wealthy person and talked about some of the gifts he got from her and his Christmas stocking and what was in it.
He then said that the most priceless gift that she gave him was her faith in Jesus Christ.

He said that Christmas is about God giving his Son so that we could have life abundant.
The soloist sang Silent Night and O Holy Night.

Mom would have been pleased with the message.


Afterwards they had a nice reception.  I'm very glad I went.  It kind of finishes out this year with her gone.

What a Mom she was. I'm very thankful to have had her for my Mom.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Decorations are done

I did finally get the tree decorated.  Howard did help me put the lights on.  It is so tall that we need a ladder to get the top ones on.


These are a few of the special ornaments that we have.
Our International Friends get these for us every year.  They are Wendell August ornament.  I really like them.






We got this the year we went to Virginia for Matt and Any's wedding.
This ornament Larry got for us several years ago.  It is TN made

This ornament we got in Alaska.  It is made from clay and then fired.  The streaks don't come out until it is fired.
Another Alaska one.
This is one of the glass bulbs that is painted on the inside.

From Thailand

Our outside is done.  We do not put up lights.  The sled is one Howard had as a kid.




No snow right now.  Maybe before Christmas.

Our dining room table
Cookbook cabinet in the kitchen.

My window sills in the kitchen.  Kid friendly.  I always let them play with them.



The reason for the season.  Howard bought this for his mother when he was in college.  It's the one all my kids remember having.


I just found out this is a Thanksgiving cactus.  I never knew there was such a thing.  The leaves are different from a Christmas cactus.  My sister, Judie, is the one that told me.  That is probably why it always blooms at Thanksgiving.












Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Decorations

Today started out very warm and balmy.  It did rain and then it let up. We went out and put the garland on the lamp post and the mail box.  After we came in it started pouring!  It has gotten cooler, but not cold enough for snow.

Howard helped me and we got most of our Christmas decorations up today.  We have never done this much in one day before.  The tree is up and the lights are on it, but no ornaments.

These used to be Mom's houses.  She gave them to me several years ago.  Matt has the ones I did when he was small.


Howard made the frame and I cut out the figures. We made these while we were living in CA

 I've always loved these simple cutouts.


This cabinet is by our entry way. It is an old one from Howard's folks.

 The white Christmas trees were new last year.  Mom got them for me.  She never got to see me use them.  I took pictures last year for her to see them.
These glass blocks were a gift from Erin one year.  They are my favorite.



Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 at The Graubner's

This is what welcomed everyone when they came into the house from the garage.

Howard made me a shaker peg rack to hang coats on.  It worked very well. Company started arriving on Tuesday.


We had a house full at Thanksgiving this year and I loved it!  Howard's sister Miriam, and her children and grandchildren came up from Florida along with a friend of the family.  We also had Matt, Amy and Abigail here.  Laurie and her four children came and they stayed at the neighbors and the boys at Larry's.  Cris and Ben, Howard's niece stayed at our neighbors also.

We took our bonus room and made it into a room for Andy, Heidi, Bjorn, Leif and Hazel.

I took the study and made it into a bedroom for Carolyn, a friend of the family from Florida.


Because we mostly come in the house from the garage, I made the entry way a place to put puzzles together.
I also put a poster board up on the wall for us to write why we were thankful.


We ended up doing three puzzles during the time everyone was here.




We have some good puzzles workers in the family.

We had so much food.  A lot of people brought baked goods with them and some was made here.

If you would like to see how we cook our turkey Matt made a recording for you to watch.

We had four different kinds of pies made by different members of the family.



This is a picture of a plum pudding.  It was a tradition in the Graubner household at Christmas.  Because Miriam was going to be up here Howard made it for Thanksgiving.  It is just liked by Howard and Miriam.

Larry had Heidi, Hannah and Laurie come over to his house one day and they did French baking.  Here is a sample of some of the baking they did.



We did have fun playing games.  We set up toys and a game table in the garage.
Hazel playing with the old fisher price toys.
Miriam playing with Bjorn and Leif.


Andy playing Funny Bones with his kids.


More serious games.

Or just talking.



Brett flew in on Friday afternoon so he was here for part of the time.


We went up to The Gaylord-Opryland hotel to see the lights, then went over to Larry's for turkey pot pie and venison stew.  Mark shot a doe and small buck on Friday morning.

Abigail sitting in her Daddy's highchair.  I cleaned it up and we are going to take it up to them in January.

Amy and Abigail

Of course I needed to have my Grandma time with Abigail.

I enjoyed having grandkids, children, sister-in-law, and a niece and nephew here .
The Florida crew went home on Saturday.  Matt and Amy left about 3:30 am on Sunday and Laurie and Brett and kids left Sunday after dinner.

I neglected to take family pictures while everyone was here.  It was a good time to have family here.  I'm so thankful to the Lord for providing a big home for us so we can have family.

Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; His mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.  Psalms  100:5