Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas to Everyone! Enjoy the time with your matter what you plan:)

From our growing and wonderful family to yours…

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Super Saturday #28

Hurray for Super Saturday #28…

Beautiful things, exciting things, inspiring ones…I’ll share with you those things that bring me joy and make me happy!


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) a working fireplace…thank you, Chad:)

2) Christmas tree and our ornaments:

old handmade and new beautiful...all mixed up!

can you see Yoda and ET?

sand dollars and Roxy prints:)

...from F2's childhood...

mixed 'em!


3) a beautiful Willow Tree nativity set…a wonderful gift in the past couple of years:

only a portion of the set...

Because the 3 of us left town for Christmas after F2′s death in ’96 and continued to leave for Christmas for many years, all the Christmas decorations stayed in their boxes. When we decided we could handle being home again, the ornaments brought sweet and wonderful memories back for all of us. Now, we love to see them and talk about each one. C even asked that I write a list of ornaments and how we got them or what they meant…great idea, right?  So instead, I took photos of them in groups that could be described…hope they make sense!

Appreciate what you have for Christmas and make as many memories as you can…  they will light up your lives forever:))


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Holiday ‘Presence’

Ideas for creating that joy on Christmas morning that we all are longing for….  past post #2:


Now that your children’s gifts to others are taken care of … see previous post… what do you want to do about their gifts from you and from Santa?

If your kids know that you buy them some gifts that you want to be surprises for them, you can give them some tips about not looking around for presents because of the chance of “wrecking the surprise”. If they can learn to delay gratification and wait for surprises, their Christmas mornings will be sooo exciting, and they will have developed a useful character trait.

If they’re not looking for your gifts, they won’t ‘accidentally’ find Santa’s gifts!!!

I had always thought that Chad and Scott didn’t snoop when Christmas came around because they liked to be surprised. Wrong!! I just discovered that…instead… they were nervous that if they found  surprise gifts we wouldn’t let them have them!! I’m sure we never said that exactly, but they could tell from our voices that snooping was not a good thing.

If you want Santa to last…always keep separate wrapping paper, labels, bows – only to be used by Santa. At our house, Santa wrapped some gifts and left others unwrapped by the tree – and other unwrapped trinkets in the Christmas stockings. Last minute wrapping of Santa’s gifts is always a great idea.

It’s less confusing if all family gifts are wrapped ahead of time with the whole family involved (and in our house put away until Christmas Eve). So all you need to be concerned with on Christmas Eve after the children go to bed is wrapping Santa’s gifts and arranging the presents under the tree.

whether the presents are wrapped by Mom and Dad
or by Santa
or left unwrapped by Santa
or packages from friends and families

Make sure your kids appreciate each gift individually. More to come in Part 3!!

If you do appreciate the idea of giving, whether through Santa or through another avenue, planning ahead of time is always important. Family values come first!!

Happy Parenting!
D and C

Super Saturday #27

Hurray for Super Saturday #27…

Beautiful things, exciting things, inspiring ones…I’ll share with you those things that bring me joy and make me happy!


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) Christmas cards…ready to be mailed:)))

2) a Michigan State win…hurray!! On to the Rose Bowl!

3) finding very old-fashioned ‘elves’ while putting decorations on the Christmas tree…

in this mess...


these little guys are probably close to 40 years old…way before the ‘elf on the shelf’ phenomenon!!

So much fun, this time of year….find it and enjoy your happiness!!


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Christmas tips

For any of you wondering what got me started blogging in the first place…

I was very much interested in helping parents – with ideas to share about children and Christmas – always hoping for respect, manners, and joy to be a major part of every child’s world.

From December, 2010 … Part 1 of 3


This is the first of a three part series on holiday gift giving.
Today we’ll talk about the “giving” of presents. How do you involve your children in the giving spirit of the season?? Well, the operative word here is INVOLVE!

Decide with your children who they will give gifts to: Mom, Dad, brother, sister, grandparents, teacher, and anyone else you think appropriate. Remember that some of the most precious gifts family members can receive are those that have been made by the children in their lives.

Then decide, based on the child’s age, who will pay and how much. When children are very young, obviously the parents will be in charge of buying gifts and helping with decision-making. As children get older they can begin contributing some of their own money as the decision of what to give becomes more their own. Many schools offer Santa Shops where kids can purchase inexpensive items for all of their special people, and in some cases, the Santa Shop elves even help them with wrapping presents before the kids take them home.

Do include your children in the wrapping of gifts to give to family members. Involving your kids in thinking about what to give, who to give to and why, and preparing the gift increases their ability to care about others and to think about someone besides themselves.

an obvious overabundance!!
gifts of clothing can be fun:)
Christmas photos when they’re young…
…and when they’re older – always important!!

Remember to teach your children important messages in the little things you do every day, especially during the holidays!

Happy Parenting!

D and C

Super Saturday #26

Hurray for Super Saturday #26…

Beautiful things, exciting things, inspiring ones…I’ll share with you those things that bring me joy and make me happy!


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) Thanksgiving with these folks!!

2) hosted here…

the new Mr. & Mrs. hosted:))

their newly beautiful dining room

S made this bar/buffet :)

table looks great, doesn't it?


3) food…before and after…

What is all that, you ask?? I took 2 appetizers, a veggie, and a salad…

pineapple meatballs...crockpot

cheese sausage bites

green bean casserole and brussels sprouts slaw

the turkey was brined and smoked...delicious!!

busy carving

full plate

...and empty!!

I am always thankful for my wonderful family!! This year was especially exciting in so many ways….adding beautiful people to bless us all, being able to enjoy an incredible meal with the newlyweds in their beautiful new home, and always being grateful for wonderful memories:))


Happy Parenting and Thanksgiving to you and yours!

D and C

Drinking Through Europe!

Our recent European trip was wonderful! We saw Prague, Passau, Linz, Salzburg, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, and Budapest and after checking out the photos…it seems we drank our way through the trip:)))

Not that anything’s wrong with that!!

Check these out:

Prague hotel

in 'The Crazy Goose' in Prague

pub crawl

more beer in Prague

at dinner on the River Beatrice, Passau

toasting with a Blue Danube

in the lounge before dinner

in Passau, more beer!

at ...wait for it... The Shamrock Pub, in Salzburg

at a wine tasting in Durnstein...wonderful winery!

guys with...yup, a beer!! in Durnstein

look!!! It's not alcohol!! Viennese coffee in Vienna:))

on the boat, Budapest....a champagne drink with a dried hibiscus...

wine each night with dinner

Lots of wine and beer with cocktails before dinner…we did lots of toasting to an amazing trip!! Loved it:))


Happy Parenting!

D and C


Super Saturday #20

Hurray for Super Saturday #20…

Beautiful things, exciting things, inspiring ones…I’ll share with you those things that bring me joy and make me happy!


Here are three things that make me happy:


1) reminiscing over photos…Danube River Cruise starting with 3 extra days in Prague, awesome! Just a few for you to see of the many 100′s I took!!

Prague Castle

in a train station!!

beautiful stained glass

my buddies, just arrived from long flight!! Gorgeous hotel...Boscolo!


2) birthday dinner for Chad…I fancied up the table, a rare occurrence….but got down to basics for dessert!

potato soup and then pot roast...

the 'famous' cake knife, a smaller version of our favorite bump cake, and a sneaky 'candle' to blow out:))


3) I added another Meals on Wheels day to my schedule…now I’ll be doing the same route on Tuesday one week and on Thursday the next! It’s nice to get to know the people from week to week. They’re not always the same but many are there some weeks and back again later weeks. It may be time for me to grab some flowers again to pass out to these sweet people!


Find your happiness and spread it around…happy Fall and Happy Sweetest Day!


Happy Parenting!

D and C





Extra Holiday Stuff

Starting to take the ‘holiday’ stuff down and return it all to the basement…but I only do a little bit at a time. I really do love all the decorations, and it’s hard to go ‘cold turkey’ back to what all of a sudden seems very empty!!

still up...not quite ready to take it down

a yummy 'signature' drink

d making those cocktails

LOVE photo cards

the boys actually made these in the 5th grade!

the couples:)

love them lots!

Thanks for letting me share….


Happy Parenting!

D and C

Thanks, Santa!

Christmas is over…the giving, the receiving, the hoopla, and the excitement. Now is the time for the gratitude! I’m sure you and your children shared their thanks with those who were with them during the holidays, but what about those who sent their gifts?? Have your children written their thank you notes yet?

For some reason…I never seem to see the idea that kids could also send a thank you note to Santa! They are always eager to send out those ‘requesting’ letters before Christmas. But what about being grateful for what was received?  The poor old guy gets left behind…I wonder why…      Is it because we as little folks never wrote notes ourselves? I don’t remember ever writing a thank you letter to Santa, but now that I think about it, I think I should have!

So let’s start a grateful campaign…have your children write a sweet note to the ‘happy old soul’ and give them the idea that thank you notes are always a great way to go:)


Happy Parenting!

D and C