Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Top 10 of 2008

In celebration and reflection of another year gone by, Jules from The Roost is hosting a end of the year par-tay!

She wants participants to choose their Top 10 photos from 2008.

Easy enough, right?! Ummm, yea.

So I consulted my handy dandy Photoshop program only to discover that SOMEONE has taken close to 1 million 3700 photos THIS YEAR!

In this anonymous person’s defense, there was a lot of scanning of old photos done this year. As well as, one 9 year old who also contributes to the photo taking addiction fun.


Moving along.

May I present to you a very tiny stroll down memory lane at the GRITS household from 2008:

February 2008, the hubby became deacon at church and I became known as Lillian.

P4120090_edited-1 Big birthday for me this year, the big 4-0. Hubby threw me a not-so surprise birthday party. Complete with video.

P4240008In honor of my big birthday, I hosted Girls Night Out, 80’s style. Except my friends wore 80’s dress in BLACK to mourn the passing of my youth. *sigh*

P5250068 Hubby, with the Princess in her favorite spot, that she is almost too big for.

Rare moment where someone was caught sharing the love with Dad.

P9140029 This was the year, Lego-Man, got brave. Here he is jumping off a boat dock into the lake.

DSC_0029_edited-1 The Princess insisted on playing flag football. She did. And also ran for a touchdown from one end of the field to the other in her very last game.

P7110009 We had a summer of “spend the night” parties. They took turns in each other’s room all summer long. And continue to do so each weekend. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

PB010049_edited-1 Welcome to the home of Alabama football. Roll Tide!

And in case you missed it, THIS would be my very favorite photo of 2008. These are the littlest cousins:


So glad you came by….for more Top Ten 2008 photos click here to visit my bloggy friend, Jules over at The Roost where you might just catch a glimpse of Mr. Perfect.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2009!

Happy New Year, bloggy peeps!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Say Cheese!


This Christmas we had the pleasure of having my brother and sister-in-law home for the holidays.  They are currently stationed in South Korea and have not been home for Christmas in a couple years.

Because ALL the siblings and ALL the grandchildren were actually present and accounted for, I mandated an updated family photo. 

Our last whole family photo was taken 7 years, 3 grandchildren, several bad hairdos, and one weird mustache ago. 

And who knows when we will all be together again.

Thanks to Lego-Man’s handy dandy cheapo telescope tripod and my super-duper photography skilz, I think we came up with a couple of winner photos, like this one:





And just to mix it up for the kids, we added a couple of funny face photos:




Notice my hubby, back and center, who is the only goofball who did not make a funny face. 

Party pooper.

And, this photo just HAD to be shown.  Check out the sneak attack by my brother, top right, on my brother-in-law.



Good thing neither will be running for public office.

I hope. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All












And to all a good night…see y’all  soon!


“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”  Luke 2:14

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please pass the salad

For lack of time and good blog material, I am going to share another favorite holiday recipe with y’all. My family makes this at just about every one of our gatherings.

Forgive me if you’ve already added this to your favorites list, but perhaps there are some who have sadly missed out on this slice of heaven.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad:

You will need:

2 2/3 cups small pretzels

3/4 cup margarine (or butt-ah) melted

1 cup + 3T sugar

8 oz Cool Whip

8 oz Cream Cheese, softened

2 cups boiling water

2 small boxes Strawberry Jell-O

16 oz frozen strawberries, thawed

1. Crush pretzels and mix with melted margarine and 3 Tablespoons of sugar. Press into bottom of 9x13 inch dish. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes then let COOL.


2. Cream the softened cream cheese with 1 cup of sugar. Then stir in 8 oz Cool Whip.


3. Spread cream cheese/cool whip mixture on COOLED pretzel crust! I try to make sure all the edges are well covered to prevent the top layer from leaking through resulting in a soggy crust.


4. Mix Jell-O with boiling water. Add thawed strawberries. And let this mixture cool and begin to congeal.


5. Once the strawberry Jell-O mixture begins to “set”, pour over the top of the cream cheese layer.


6. Let it chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Favorite


One of my most favorite things during this time of year is this Spice Tea mix that my mother has made for as long as I can remember.  On cold winter nights this really hits the spot!


I thought I’d share this little recipe of goodness with you:


1 3/4 cups instant tea mix

2 cups Tang breakfast drink mix

1 1/2 cups sugar

Powdered Lemonade mix – amount needed to make 2 quarts

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon


Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight container.

How much mix you use in your hot water is up to you.  I generally use about 1 Tablespoon per mug.  You can add more or less to your liking.

And as an added bonus, try adding some crushed peppermint to it. 


This also makes a great last minute gift.





Saturday, December 20, 2008

Comfort and Joy

It's late and it's been a L-O-N-G couple of days for me.

Friday I was on call 24 hours at the hospital and it was crazy busy....making rounds on patients from the day before, seeing patients who were added to the seemingly endless surgery schedule, and visiting folks scheduled for surgery Saturday. I wasn't sure when the madness would end and I wanted the 24 hours to come to an end quickly.

It didn't, not soon enough.

During my crazy day, I noticed a name on the add-on schedule.....the same name as one of my neighbors. Sure enough, about an hour later he rolled into our "holding area" to be evaluated before his unplanned surgery. You see, a few hours later he was running an errand and slipped on a concrete ramp tearing a tendon in his leg, which required immediate surgical attention.

We live in an older neighborhood with many "older" residents, including both our side neighbors. We have grown to care for them and "watch out" for them, just like they do for us. I feel like they are family!

While talking with Mr. Joe, I asked him where was his wife, Mrs. Rosie. Although his grandson was with him, I knew she would be worried about him.

Mrs. Rosie was taking their youngest daughter, Deidra who is 35, home from the hospital. Deidra had been in the hospital for the last week after a SEVERE ashtma attack. Which, at one point, required her to be on the the "breathing machine". She was making progress and finally able to go home.

I had the privilege of taking care of Mr. Joe during his surgery and checked on him before he left the recovery room to go to his room. He let me know that Mrs. Rosie was up in his room. I told him I would go check on her before I made my final rounds for the evening.

As I got off the elevator and turned the corner, I met Mrs. Rosie in the hall. She hugged me and when I asked her where she was going she told me she had to go to the emergency room. She said Deidra was coming back to the hospital. She had no other details but a bit of urgency in her voice. I scribbled my cell phone number down and gave it to her to have, just in case.

I said a prayer for my neighbors and their daughter. Finished my rounds. And finally got a few hours of rest before coming home this morning.

My phone rang about lunch time, I didn't recognize the number but answered anyway.

I heard Mrs. Rosie's quivering voice on the line....she immediately thanked me several times for taking care of Mr. Joe and then she said, "she's passed, Deidra's passed". She began crying and said, "my baby girl is gone".

My sweet neighbor's 35 year old baby girl won't be sharing Christmas with them this year. The Lord chose this time to take her home.

I wish I knew why! Parents shouldn't have to bury their children, but my neighbors will.

As we came home this evening, our neighborhood luminaries were lit. There were trees, reindeer, stars, inflatables and manger scenes adorning yards all over....but not next door. The lights, decorations and nativity Mr. Joe and his grandson put up earlier this week sat in darkness.

Please take time this holiday season to say a prayer for Mrs. Rosie and Mr. Joe and all their family. They have 6 other children. Pray God will COMFORT them and heal their hurting hearts. And remember Mr. Joe as he recovers from his surgery.

And then take time to thank God for sending his son, Jesus, that we all may know the JOY and true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

‘Fro Me to You – Christmas Pageant

I bring to you week 3 of my ‘Fro Me to You Christmas spectacle spectacular.

Once again brought to you by our dear Texas hostess with the mostest, Kristen over at We are THAT family.


This week’s photo comes from 1976. Which might make you think of star-spangled celebrations in honor of our great country’s 200th birthday celebration. Of course, it might not remind you of anything since you weren't born......sheesh, don't rub it in either.

It’s ok to think those things; however, from here on out, I want you to think of the Greek Orthodox Christmas Pageant of ‘76.

Think of children dressed as angels (who ought not be), shepherds, and lambs sitting on a stage covered with hay. And said children surrounding the precious baby Jesus in a manger!

Now close your eyes and go to your happy place and envision such beauty.

Are you there?? Can you see the sweet children dressed as in the day of Jesus?? Do you see the lambs too??

Did you envision something like this:


I thought so.



OHHHH, you want to know which one is me….. seriously, you can’t find me without help.

OK, fine.


Yes, yes….there I am in my angelic glory, the rosy cheeked one 2nd from the left. The cute little blonde in the middle would be my little sister! I think my twin sister is peeking at the right middle edge of photo.

So, if somebody asks you what the first thing that comes to your mind when they say 1976….don’t say “bicentennial”. The answer should be “the best little Greek Christmas pageant ever”.

To see many more photos that have never graced the pages of any scrapbook, click here to head over the Kristen’s site. If you’re new here, dig out those photos and join in the Thursday fun!

Merry Christmas ‘Fro Me to You!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas- Mission Accomplished

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….you know how it goes. And, now, we do too at the GRITS household.

The Christmas tree is no longer nekkid. The stockings are in place and I think this is the first year ever that I’ve got a wreath on my door. Seriously.

It’s taken me a bit longer this year to get my holiday groove on. In case some are new here, ALL of my usual Christmas decorations are in a storage unit that is currently housing the belongings of a friend who had a stroke earlier this year.

I can honestly say I didn’t really miss the never ending fluffing and the ridiculous plug matching of the pre-lit tree.

Is it just me or am I the only electrical buffoon who can’t seem to get the right wires connected to make the entire tree light simultaneously???

To save money on decorations we really don’t need, I went with ye ol’ shiny Christmas ball theme! Thank you Target for the $2/box. What a steal.

The Princess and I also made a quick trip to Hobby Lobby and bought a few pre-painted wooden items, glitter glue and ribbon. *poof* Instant homemade ornaments to hang amongst the shiny round objects. Because nothing says Christmas ornaments more than hand crafted.

I’ll spare you the chatter and let you take a look around.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you a Greek GRITS Christmas:





No fireplace here, so I transform the kitchen area counter in our mantle/stocking area.

Let’s get a closer look there:


A few extra decorations strategically randomly located:

PC120164_edited-1( Sorry about the glare)

PC120172I love my card holder from Southern Living at Home!





This, sadly, is my first attempt, EVER, at making a bow. Looks like a need a few more lessons…and preferably not from some lady named Nancy on YouTube. Anywhoo.

Of course, you won’t make it out of here without seeing my cutie-patootie kids and their Christmas trees:



For those of you who notice the details, yes her tree is bigger than his; however, his has super cool fiber optic lights and, well, hers is pink! And it wasn’t an issue.

Looks like somebody else got caught up in the Christmas spirit, meet Bailey-Claus who is celebrating her 13th Christmas with us:


We’re not real fancy here, as you can see. But I hope you enjoyed looking around at our Christmas decorations!

Please click on over to both of the following sites to enjoy more beautiful holiday decorations!



Merry Christmas, y’all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

‘Fro Me to You-- Bar-Bee, Bay-Bee

In continuation with my December ‘Fro theme of Christmas Spectacle Spectacular, I bring to you a Christmas photo from around 1975 –ish.

This would be the year of the Barbie, which is funny because I was through and through a TOMBOY! Yet, I had every Barbie big item known to man, ummm, girl. But I also had a GI Joe!

Check out this little photo flashback with the Barbie Country Camper:


That there is a vintage toy today, in case you didn’t know. I do, because someone who slightly favors the brunette above has asked Santa for the exact same Country Camper.

Stay tuned to see if Santa pulls through. *wink*

Now, check out the lower portion of this photo, it’s the Barbie Friend Ship airplane:


Anyone else have either on of these during their childhood??

Unfortunately I have no photo of the 3 story Barbie dream house….remember the one with the string that pulled the elevator up and down??

I absolutely love looking at the old photos. You may not notice the other little things in the photos, but I remember being SO excited about the Smokey the Bear doll which “talked” when you pulled his chain string. ”Only you can prevent forest fires.” I remember that milkshake maker, and how the shakes tasted powdery.

I have some GREAT childhood Christmas memories. How about you?


For more great memories and pictures, click here to hop on over to Kristen’s at We are THAT Family to check out more fun ‘Fro posts.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Did she just ask that?

I spent the better part of my morning wandering all over creation in search of some reasonably priced Christmas decorations.

I made the usual round through Hobby Lobby where I found all the Christmas decor on sale for 50% off! I walked away with all the makings for family stockings, miniature ornaments for two small trees and the possibility of having a cute lighted garland across the kitchen bar.

See, for a second there I had you all fooled that I might actually know something about decorating a home, without professional help. *snicker*

I do watch HGTV. Sometimes. That DOES count. Or not.

Next stop, Michael's, where I wandered around aimlessly for 30 minutes before making a final decision on what I thought was cute Christmas ribbon and floral wire. Which, in my mind, these two items should go together. They may not. I'm not sure.

As if I was not overwhelmed by the first two stores, I was a glutton for punishment and entered the DOLLAR TREE Zone! Wooooo! You just never know what you are going to get and what condition that store will be in.

Let me just say, Christmastime is not the time to wander around this store. However, I did find a few more cute decorating items for just a buck a piece. I waited patiently in line behind Thelma and Eunice and for their 17 bazillion items to be counted, the tax to be added and for Congress to pass a bailout package to help these dear women pay for today's purchase.

As I got to the checkout counter with my 6 measly items I hear from behind me....."Hey ma'am can you tell me what the price is for this?"

I looked at my cashier and with eye contact alone I verified THAT conversation just happened. I think I did a pretty good job keeping myself composed, but, oh man was it tough. I might have actually let out a small snort. To which the cashier responded, "people ask that ALL the time."

Really?! Funny how one question can make your whole day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deck the halls, y’all

It’s kinda beginning to look a little like Christmas here at the GRITS house.  And I mean just a little!

Long story short, due to helping a friend out during a time of illness, we cannot get to our usual Christmas tree or decorations in our storage room this year.  

Most people would probably be excited and use it as an excuse to get all new stuff.  Not me.  Because I am cheap. 

Today we ventured out to a local Christmas tree farm to find the tree of our dreams.

We had a little help in sizing up our needs, meet Shorty and his little friend McShorter:





Apparently someone was taking too long choosing the tree and our helpers needed to rest their weary souls in the farm’s front loader bucket thingy:




Here’s the best part of the trip:



This just might qualify me to be a member of THAT family society.

Yes, that is my car with a Christmas tree tied to the roof!  Where have you seen that done before??



Exactly!  Christmas Vacation!  A holiday favorite.

Well, we certainly looked like the Griswolds with the tree strapped on top of the car.

And, thankfully, we made it home without any sort of Christmas tree incident.

And due to our pre-scheduled Alabama football game, which we are not going to talk about,  this is as far as we got with our decorating:




I am now trying to decide what to do about the ornament situation.  Any suggestions from you decorating people??

Since I cannot get to my current collection of the world’s cutest Hallmark Ornaments, I was thinking about going with a typical CHEAP ball ornament theme since I have to get other usual decorations…..tree skirt, stockings, etc…which are 50% off at Hobby Lobby! 

I am on call for 24 hours on Sunday and Tuesday, so I am thinking the tree will have to wait for me until sometime Wednesday. 

Stay tuned, Christmas loving folks……Christmas at the Griswolds GRITS house is coming… day and decoration at a time.  Until next time, enjoy this :