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Friday, November 4, 2011

Days 7 and 8 of Our 65 Day Journey

Days 7 and 8

Boy, have I missed being here the last couple of days!  I have lots to share, but before I forget,

Gooseberry Patch is giving away a free cookbook for the holidays!

I don't know how long the giveaway will last, so hurry and get yours!

This is a download!  

Another blogger friend said the Savory Pie Recipe section is awesome!

Last Wednesday, I said I was thankful for F*A*M*I*L*Y.  Can
I take that back?  Just kidding!  But they are the reason I have not been able to blog.  Wednesday night (late) I tried to write a second post for that day, since the first one was very short.  I typed, "Day 6 ~ Second Time," before I started falling asleep at the computer.  It was only 10:20 p.m.!  Very strange for a gal who is normally up all hours of the night, but I was exhausted!

We have a situation that involves two of the grown children, one changing jobs and needing "help" because of her new schedule, until she gets moved and the kids are in a different school....etc.  The one that agreed to help, changed her mind after two, guess who had to ride to the rescue?

LIFE can be complicated at times, especially in a big family, 
because there are more people to deal with consider!

Oddly enough, what I had planned on writing about yesterday was "Avoiding Stress" over the holidays!
(Just goes to show you, life has away of biting you in the butt rear, sometimes.)

Never-the-less, I am going to write about STRESS!  Because, it can ruin not only your holidays, but your life, if you allow it!

We have three grown children with families.  They have given us the joy of becoming grandparents eleven times!  When the youngest of the three was a junior in high school, we acquired two little boys.  We received one when he was three weeks old, the other when he was three days old.  We have never been empty-nesters...not even sure what that would look like around here.

Our oldest daughter was married in May of 1998 (she and our sil having given us four beautiful grands), oldest son was married in November of the same year (he and Melissa have blessed us with three "cotton top" grands).  Our middle (grown) daughter gave birth to our first grandson in September of '98.  Shawn was 10 1/2 weeks early.  Stephanie, while not married, was in a very abusive relationship.  It took another baby (grandson) and five more years to get her out of that relationship.  (Since then, she has met a much nicer guy, and while they are not married, they have given us two lovely little curly top grandchicks!)

Stephanie's boys have always lived with us four boys in the house....presently their ages are:
Elijah (adopted) 15, Teamer (nickname, adopted) 14, Shawn (grandson "the premie" who is now 6') 13 and 
Jailen 8 y/o (grandson).  

*I know*  Early 60's, three teenage boys in the house, along with an 8 y/o.....I'm CRAZY!  You're right!
I'm telling you all of this to let you know, STRESS and I are on a first name basis...we know each other well.

The first few years of my own marriage, my mother demanded we spend the holidays with my side of the family.  My mother-in-love was very understanding and I know (now) very disappointed at times.  I made up my mind, I would never demand our children spend the holidays with us.  If they did, great....if not, be blessed ~ and enjoy yourselves. 

It isn't always easy to "appear" to be gracious.  There have been times I would have really loved to have them here with us.  Fortunately, we live close enough, we see all of the kids often.  DD#1 lives about an hour away, the other two live about 20 minutes away.

So here is what we do....on Thanksgiving I cook.  We normally have company....our company consist of friends who would normally be spending Thanksgiving by themselves.  Sometimes, some of the kids come by in the evening to "graze" and enjoy dessert and coffee.

Saturday after Thanksgiving we cookout, weather permitting, or I cook homemade chili, along with a huge pot of beans.  The kids bring trimmings for Frito pies, etc.

Christmas Eve we cook something special for the boys here....they choose.  Sometimes, it is homemade pizza, but regardless they get to choose.

Christmas Day, we cook a traditional Christmas Dinner and the boys help cook!  (They are getting pretty good at this, too!)  It is "whoever wants to come, COME"!

January 1st, we celebrate Christmas with all the varies from year to year....sometimes Mexican, Italian, sandwiches and finger foods...etc.

The four boys love it....between Thanksgiving and January first, it seems like there is constantly something happening or getting ready to happen.  They have already asked if we can celebrate Hanukkah this is a special time, too!  (This year, I believe it begins on December 21.)  They are not fooling me...I know they are thinking about the possibility of receiving eight gifts (one per day) over Hanukkah.  But, I know they also have learned the historical background of Hanukkah and it's Biblical this is good!

For ten years, this has worked well for us!  Some years, I do not buy a gift (outside of the boys'), until after Christmas.  The sales are wonderful!  My budget loves being able to wait until the sales to shop for the grands!  Plus by then, I know what they have already rec'd and what they really wanted they didn't get...or what they still need.

I have much less stress!  But it is a choice!

So, this is my advice....however you want to celebrate the holidays, make it personal to fit your family.  Don't be locked into a schedule because the "world" does it a certain way.

The foods you serve should reflect things you and your family enjoy!

Remember others, who may not have family.

Last year, the two oldest grand daughters were here on the 23rd of December.  With a little supervision from me, they baked homemade cinnamon rolls for everyone (up and down) on our road (the mile section) and made cinnamon rolls to take home for their own family's.  They had a ball!  Fun they don't get to have at their other grandmothers'!  We made lots of memories!!

Make your holidays stress free!  
Your inter-self will embrace you for it!

Thursday ~ Thankful for "community".  We love our neighbors!

Friday ~ Thankful for the "WORD" of God.  It gives the "peace that passes all understanding."

Be sure and join Shawn and add your own Thirty Days of Thanks!

Today is Friday and many of us are praying for each of you!  If you have a special need you would like us to pray about, leave a note in my comments or you may email me...or you can contact Angela, who's information is in my sidebar!

Whatever the need, know your Heavenly Father desires to meet that need!  HIS love is awesome!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~  
*~ * *
Hey, even with all of the extras here the last two days, I managed to scrub and rearrange three of the shelves in the bathroom, worked more on the kitchen, started my list for Thanksgiving and did a few other things!  Knowing I am going to be "reporting" to you all helps to keep me focused!  Love it!



  1. Cheryl I so love your awesome ideas for a stress free holiday season. Especail the Christmas season. As I sometimes get so over whelmed with work. More than the hubba!
    Coul you please pray for my grandson Anthony whi is 14 there is some living issues at hoand not sure the details thank you. I know the Lord has him and Im just a concerned grandma. Alos pray for my friend John who I care for who is making some very unwise decissions. Thank you.

  2. Cheryl,
    This was a great post for everyone to read. Holiday's should not include the stress of bickering over which family to spend the day with , instead of enjoying the day.
    We spend Christmas Eve at one of the kids home, the Christmas Day is spent with our friends who do not have family in town.

  3. Cheryl
    Wow I hate the bickering at the Holidays grrr. thankfully my family now we all get along and not like..the norm. When my nieces and nephews where smaller we did Christmas Eve at my parents then Christmas morning with the kiddos.

    Thank you for hosting this wonderful journey.


  4. nice post thanks for sharing loves...soraya

  5. Good thoughts that my family is growing with grands, I was wondering how to "do the Holidays" thank for "giving me permission" to let go of the traditional and go with the flow...Both my boys in laws have their family get togethers set in stone, so I'll be the flexible one!! And the stress will disappear...and thanks for the idea of getting gifts AFTER Christmas!! Whew....that's a big relief too! Love you girl!!


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