Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sweat socks, softball, sports and life

This ornament is the perfect reminder of my Uncle Hank. My dads youngest sibling. 10.5 younger than dad. 12.5 years older than me. Uncle Hank was one of the people who instilled the love of sports in me. I remember thinking he was a little crazy hollering at a TV and the game. Who gets that passionate? Hmmm, yeah friends, that's where I get it. 
He loved sports. Any sport. My oldest son reminds me a lot of him. It didn't matter if it was baseball, softball, football, hockey, soccer or who knows what else. If there was the chance to compete and hang with fellow enthusiasts, he was right there. 
At family reunions, he was the "adult" that made sure all the other adults got out there with is kids for annual Angle reunion softball game. Anytime we were together, he was pitching to us. Talking about improving your stance or loudly vocalizing how we could better field a ball. 
At Christmas, since Uncle Hank was the last kid at home, he came with Grandma and Grandpa if they came to our house on Christmas. This is in addition to our annual pilgrimage to GC. He always had another little extra gift for us. Did he get it did grandma? I will never know. Whoever did the shopping was very attuned to what he meant to me at that age and what my memory of him will always be. Sports. This Christmas sock ornament makes me think of the striped tube socks of the 70's that would be perfect example of the era. 
Remembering my first sports hero, 
From Tulip~

Friday, December 4, 2015

My mom always makes Christmas special

Since I was very small, actually as long as I can remember, my mom has always done some sort of handwork. She knits, crochets, and used to do embroidery. 
If my grandma made a lot of my clothes, my mom knitted a lot of my sweaters, mittens and scarves. Mom can sew too, but I think she likes to sit with us in the living room instead of off somewhere at a sewing machine. 
A huge percentage of the ornaments on my tree are homemade ones, made by my mom. The bell at the bottom is just one. Besides ornaments she made lots of other things for me. 
When I played with Barbies (yes I did believe it or not) she made some furniture clothes and things for them. I think she firmly believes in not having idle hands. Very glad that was passed on to me. I have a hard time even sitting still so doing something while I sit with my family is a plus. 
Thankful for a hardworking crafty momma,
From Tulip~

Memories of my childhood.

My grandpa Barnes had a sister. Bufa Mae or Mae Mae to us kids. We always went to her house for many holidays. She was an example of homemaker. She cooked and sewed. She quilted and baked. Made all sorts of crafts. She was a farmers wife. I should hope to be what she was. 
She had the most awesome sewing room. I remember being amazed by all the drawers and cabinets. They were filled with fabrics and trims along with every notion I had ever heard of. 
The most important cabinet was in the bottom where there were some assorted toys. Not sure that they were any more exciting than any other toys, but they were ones that we didn't get to play with often. So that made them more fun, or at least so we thought. 
The replica ornament at the bottom was the main toy in here cabinet, along with all the animal accessories allowed us town kids to farmers for awhile. 
So thankful for memories of Mae Maes house. Their cuckoo clock, farm toys, all the interesting mind toys that my cousin had and lastly the pretty ceramic church that sat in her bay window. It was a music box. Played (and still does) Amazing Grace. I was lucky enough to buy it at their estate sale. Now it graces my home. Currently it's sitting with the Christmas village. 
Thankful to share momentos with my kids from my childhood, 
From Tulip~

My Favorite on Christmas and Everyday

On our first Christmas, my MIL was looking at our tree and it was filled with ornaments that said my name on them. Along with a few first Christmas ones that was about it. 
A day or two later, she came back up to our house with a shoebox. Inside were David's ornaments from childhood. She said she didn't think he had as many as I did, but wanted to share his to help fill up our tree. This one was one of the several that were in the box. Sort of reminds of him. Simple, unassuming. 
One of the things I am most thankful for is my husband. For all that he does and all that he is to us and those around him. He's my voice of reason when I need it. He's the arms of comfort when I am sad. He's lips that kiss me sweetly everyday. In this world of everything is disposable and wondering if anyone knows what forever means, I never question it. I know. It's my Farmer. My forever. 
Thankful to called Mrs. David Hasekamp today and always,
From Tulip~

Christmas is Special

Obviously that's no earth shattering news. As Christians we realize the historical and spiritual significance of Christmas. But it's a special time of remembering those who mean the most to you. People show their love and affection in a multitude of ways throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. 
In the neighborhood I live in, there are a few things that just seem to ring in the holidays. Neighbor gifts of sweets are popular at Tulip. Sweet breakfast rolls, homemade pecan toffee, and my MIL's pies are some of the community favorites. 
As a kid growing up, one of the things I looked forward to was the personalized Christmas ornaments from my Aunt Ethel. I think the first one was a snow man in 1980. Then each year after for about 30 yrs we could expect some sort of sweet, cute awesomeness. We knew she looked most of the year at different ceramic and craft shops. Generally the choice was made in early fall and the order placed. All of the nieces, nephews, friends kids and more received these. 
We didn't need an ornament to know how special we were to her. She showed us everyday. Now that she is gone, I am thankful to have a box full of reminders of the time we were blessed to have her on this Earth. With each ornament placed on the tree, the memories come flooding back. She will never be forgotten by me or many others. 
Merry Christmas in Heaven Aunt E,
From Tulip~

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Love of Learning

While we are raising our kids as 4-Hers, I was a Girl Scout. While they didn't have a cattle showing badge, I think I learned some awesome life skills. 
Cooking, sewing, gardening, crafting and more. All things I utilize to this very day. We went on camp outs where we learned basics of taking of ourselves. Putting up the tent, building a fire, cooking over it, hiking. At the time probably s'mores and finding and casting deer hoof prints were probably my favorites. 
Something I never thought of at the time, but value it now looking back. I learned to rely on other adults. Leaders were great ladies like Patty Robinson Parrish, Karen Sage, Teresa Schneller, Susan Thornhill and Carmen Morrison. All had influence on my life and for that, I am thankful. 
Looking at this ornament I am reminded to simpler days when crafts, cupcakes and companionship with my peers were plenty to entertain us on a Saturday afternoon. Amazingly everyone was always there, no one had other things going on. Wish my kids lived in that quieter time. 
Looking at Santa and knowing my Christmas list would be very different than the first this ornament was on my tree,
From Tulip~

How Sweet it is!

The ornament pictured is a cheap ol Dollar General purchase. Not old. Or unique. But when I look at it, it brings back the sweetest memories. 
I am thankful to have the sweetest memories of Christmases away from my own home and at my Grandmas home. We lived in the same hometown with one set of Grandparents growing up and my memories of that set are many and of everyday things (I have some plans for a future series about them). I think the reason I seem to keep going back to my Angle side of the family in these Christmas posts is that at the holidays was the one time of year we always saw them. We always went to Granite City, my dads hometown. Growing up in a small town with only one railroad going through it, GC,IL was a whole other world. One I loved as a child and miss as an adult. 
I loved that you could smell the steel mill. I loved that there were stores that I had never heard of. I mostly loved that there were my grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins that I rarely got to see. 
My Grandma was an awesome cook. Although I couldn't tell you one specific dish she made. They were all good. The food that was most memorable, was the box of ribbon candy that always could be found at her house at Christmas time. Store bought. Not the Amish candy I was accustomed to at home and always wondered why my city family thought some ol peanut brittle was so wonderful? I know now that specialness sometimes is just something out of the ordinary. 
Life is a little sweeter when you have the opportunity to experience a diverse variety of things. For me, I am thankful to have grown up in a small town, but also getting to experience life in a city even if it was only once in a while. 
Seeking sweetness at Christmas and thankful for it,
From Tulip~

Many Christmases Later

The ornament at the bottom of this post is hanging on its 26th Christmas tree. We got it as a wedding gift. I remember in the  heat of the summer digging through our Christmas stuff for a string of lights so I could use the light socket plug with this ornament and watch the little porch light go on and then switch back and forth from the porch to the inside light. I guess I was easily entertained. A few years ago the light quit working. But the ornament still gets hung every year as a great reminder of the wonderful early years of our marriage. 
So thankful for those first years. We did lots of growing up and growing closer. In this world of disposal everything, I am thankful and blessed for the long lasting love and successful working relationship we share. 
Thankful for Christmases past and looking forward to Christmases future all shared with my Farmer and our old ornaments,
From Tulip~

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmases Past

Some of my favorite childhood memories are visiting my dads family. We were the part of the family who lived away from the rest. About two hours away. 
My memories of Christmas at my Grandma Angles are filled to the brim with family. Cousins, lots of cousins. My first cousins and my dads. 
I remember ribbon candy. Receiving special dated ornaments. Lots of games played at the kitchen table. 
Did we exchange gifts? Of course. But the love of family is what I remember the most. I am the only granddaughter out of nine grandkids on that side of the family. So that being said, the games were SPORTS. I had to be able to hit a baseball and hold my own with the boys. 
I remember the ride to Grandmas. Counting certain colored cars on the interstate. There was the year that the roads were very bad and it took twice as long as usual. 
The meal at Aunt Olivia's. Aunt Ethel's bubble lights. Aunt Ginny forget how many cards she bought in the game and after counting realizing she bought too many. Uncle Hank loudly rooting for his team in the game. Dad meeting us in his semi at the edge of town and then dropping him off so he would drive his next load to who knows where. Visiting tons of great aunts and uncles. Them visiting my grandparents when we were there. 
Ornament at the bottom was first my Grandmas, then my aunts, now mine. May it become part of my own kids Christmas memories. 
Enjoying the fact that my Christmas tree is my seasonal trip down memory lane,
From Tulip~

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Advent Season is upon us.

Social media creates trends in posting and sharing our thoughts and feelings about everything from political issues that are far reaching to the smallest social issue so personal that without the prompting most of us would never address. 
For several years it was the IN thing to do Thankfulness posts for the entire month of November. I played along. After a year or two I felt like I was repeating myself year after year. Now with Timehop on my Smartphone it became abundantly obvious that was certainly the case. As I met other bloggers, I tried to take it a step further. I added a Thankful Thursday post to my blog. Last year, I really went nuts and attempted to blog for 30 days about something I was thankful for. As if that was easier than a sentimental Facebook status update. 
This year I decided I wasn't going to participate. Not that I am not Thankful for the many blessings in my life, but I wanted to remind myself and others, thankfulness isn't a season, it's a lifestyle. 
With all of that being said, I am going to attempt to try my own version of being Thankful, sharing a little about myself and what's special to me. At the bottom of this post is an ornament. There's a picture of my family. This represents many of the things I am most thankful for. 
-A hard working husband. 
-4 happy healthy kids. 
-A beautiful farm to raise them on. 
-An awesome childhood friend who took the picture. 
-A magazine article that allowed us to share our life with its readers. 
-A beautiful Christmas ornament that at a glance reminds me of love, friendship and blessed life on our farm. 

Advent started at church this past Sunday with the lighting of the first candle and this morning with the first door opened on Seths calendar. And lastly as a blogger my sharing of a quick story about us. Will I accomplish blogging everyday of Advent? Maybe? I pray that this personal challenge accomplishes my goal of slowing down in the hectic holiday season, taking time to be thankful and savoring the moments. 
May your entire Advent and Christmas Holiday be Merry and Blessed,
Hope to see you back tomorrow,
From Tulip~