December 2, 2021

Birthdays, Snowflakes, and Puppies




Twelve years. We are all so thankful God blessed us with this beautiful, easygoing, creative, music-loving soul. Flynn Grace, you are loved.

And then this. Twenty-five! Our firstborn is twenty-five. A lovely, confident, hardworking, selfless, Taylor Swift loving, fashion icon young lady and loving wife. Madison Marie, we love you!



What else have we been up to? We watched some snow fall.  We took some naps. We thought about decorating. We even pulled the tubs down off the shelves. And then we snuggled by the fire some more. How about you, my friends? How is December treating you so far?

Enjoy. And this year, keep it simple.

Billie Jo








December 1, 2021

Thoughts On Christmas

 


Hello, my friends. Sorry for the extended absence around here. For the past few days, this has been my view, along with my sister Margie who has spent some wonderful time here with us. We watch our favorite old game shows like Match Game, Password, and Sale of the Century. We watch the snow and take cozy naps. We drink cocoa and coffee and call our Mom. 

I am also spending time reevaluating our Christmas traditions this year, as my children are older, and so am I! Some will stay the same, while others will evolve and change to accommodate our changing family. However, the magic will remain. I will always watch the sky on Christmas Eve and listen for the sound of sleighbells. I will always marvel at the wonder of a tiny baby born in a stable. And I will always savor every moment we spend together during the most magical time of the year.

Have a cozy day, my friends.
I'll be back again soon.

Billie Jo

November 15, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee

Good Monday morning! How was your weekend? Quiet here. I did manage to deep clean the family room. And that is about it! Progress, right? I also spent some time with these lovely people...

My Madison, her husband Nicolas, and their pup, Draper. You know, I used to be sad thinking how quickly my children grew. I wanted to stop time, to keep them little and with me forever. But then I would have missed out on the incredible person this one became and the extraordinary man she found across the ocean and, yes, even that furry little pup who never seems to realize Mocha is not playing with him when she runs and hides under the dresser. 



Shoutout to the husband who takes charge of exterior decor every season.

One last shot of our backyard before we packed it away for the winter. Can you spot our visitor?

And lastly. If you come across this in your local grocery store, pick one up. 

Happy Monday, my friends!


Billie Jo

November 12, 2021

Happy Friday!

 




This pretty much sums up our week. And I am not unhappy about it. This week has been a hodgepodge of the seasonal variety. We packed away Halloween, wrote Christmas wish lists, planned Christmas decorating, inventoried Thanksgiving menu items, turned the fireplace on in the chilly mornings, turned it off in the warm afternoons, took walks, watched Christmas baking shows, and ate Halloween candy. 

Meanwhile, I am thinking about tackling the family room this weekend. This may or may not be due to my dropping the television remote and finding it under the couch, which currently houses far too much dust, dirt, crumbs, and socks. I plan on vacuuming and wiping things down with vinegar water, opening the windows for some fresh air, and washing the winter throw blankets. All this is in preparation for the many cozy evenings we will spend here together. And I always feel better cleaning before I put up the tree. Go figure.

Have a cozy weekend. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

November 10, 2021

Currently, I Am...

 Enjoying:

Drinking:
Reading:

And highly recommend each one!
Happy Wednesday, my friends!

Billie Jo

November 8, 2021

Monday Morning Coffee

 


Good morning, my friends. I am currently snuggled on the couch with my coffee this morning, a cozy fire in the fireplace taking the chill out of the room. I am drinking from one of my favorite Christmas mugs today. It is from Willams Sonoma, a gift I gave myself last year. It is the only Christmas around here so far, but Halloween is all tucked away, and for the time being, I am enjoying the bare, if dusty, look of our home. Christmas will be unpacked here soon, but for now, I am enjoying the anticipation and planning. 

Today is quiet. Homeschool, dinner, laundry, and The Holiday Baking Championship/Steeler Game tonight. Dinner tonight is a new recipe, Crockpot Honey Garlic Ginger Chicken. I will let you know how it turns out! Have a good day, whatever you are up to. And if all the craziness and frustration in the world today start to get to you, turn the news off. Go back to a time when the world wasn't "woke." We have been watching old game shows like To Tell The Truth, What's My Line, and Match Game. They can be found on BUZZR, one of our favorite channels.

Have a great day, my friends. Thanks for visiting!

Billie Jo

 

November 5, 2021

November Days And An Easy Dinner

 







Usually much more muted, November is certainly showing her beauty this year. It is cold but sunny, and the leaves are hanging on quite a bit longer. This week we noticed the dark coming earlier, the evenings lasting longer. We gather together after dinner, light the fireplace, and watch tv together. 


Dinners are heartier these days. This week's favorite was an easy Baked Penne. I boiled some penne, drained it, and put it in a baking dish. Then I topped the pasta with fresh mozzarella slices and our favorite pasta sauce. Finally, I shredded fresh parmesan, covered the whole pan in foil, and baked until it was all hot and bubbly. I added an easy Chopped Salad Kit and these delicious Dinner Rolls

And finally, I leave you with this shot of our evening visitor last night. Isn't he amazing?! And not the least bit concerned with us!

Have a lovely weekend, my friends. Not too much going on around here except packing away all our deck furniture and clearing the front porch of all things fall and Halloween. How about you? Whatever you do,  enjoy!

Billie Jo

November 1, 2021

Halloween 2021!

Happy November, my friends! Halloween 2021 is but a happy memory, and discarded costumes litter our floors. In the bright morning sunlight, the decorations that only last night seemed so spooky now look oddly out of place. Time to pack them away until next year, when we excitedly begin again. We celebrated Halloween with our 2nd Annual Halloween Party, and my kids took it up a notch this year! Their costumes were a secret until the party, so seeing what they all came up with was fun.

 
Madison searched forever to find the exact dress I wore when I was in high school! She came as me in 1987, when I was queen. Nicolas even shaved to recreate the 80's look! She did a fantastic job recreating the entire look.  Here is the photo she used as a reference!

P.S. (She found the dress on Poshmark. In the VINTAGE section! LOL)

Peyton and Chris went entirely against type and did a fantastic job! They put 100% into their costumes and literally become them! It was so funny trying to get Peyton to not smile because she is always smiling!!!! 

Rhett and Kyrstin needed no explanation!!!!! Rhett even did a spot-on commercial for his favorite KFC! And Kyrstin was the cutest chicken around!

Flynn looked perfect as a detective with her sidekick, Draper. She picked out every aspect of her costume, and we loved it! Bonus for me...all items are reusable!




We enjoyed games and prizes and snacks galore! Peyton once again provided the most amazing dessert to finish off the night!

Goodbye for now, Halloween!
See you next year!

And welcome, November.
We look forward to the quiet and peaceful anticipation you bring as we plan for the upcoming holiday season.

Have a wonderful Monday, my friends. And for my fellow Catholic readers, Happy and Blessed All Saints Day!

Billie Jo