We Did It! Thank You!

AMAZING!  Thank you all for visiting my blog!  We surpassed my goal of 50,000 visitors at 2:46 pm MDT!  I’m truly amazed and honored….. and grateful!  Thank you for helping to make it happen!

I look forward to 2012 being another amazing year with my I am Grateful!  How are You?  Blog!  Stay tuned!

Have a Happy New Year everyone!!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


My 1 Year Challenge Met!

Wow…. what an emotional day!  Today is the official last day of my daily posting challenge for my Gratitude blog.  Though I technically started my blog on Dec 27, 2010, I wanted to take it to the end of the year because it just felt right to do that.

This started as a quest for me to attract more good things into my life by being grateful for what I had.  Having become a student of the Law of Attraction, I’ve been trying to implement it’s philosophies into my life.  One of the big things that is taught is to be grateful for what you have.  Hence my pursuit to begin this blog.  It started as a fleeting thought that it might be a good idea and was confirmed to me that I should do it as I sat in church a few days after the thought had come.   The brother that was speaking in church that day used the term “I am grateful!  How are you?” as part of his talk.  He said that was how he decided to answer people when they asked him how he was doing.  The phrase jumped out at me so profoundly.  I turned to my husband and said… “I think I just found the name for my gratitude blog!”  Hence…. the blog was born with a fabulous title… if I say so myself!

There have been so many things I have learned over this year.  Many of them are things I have learned about myself.   It’s interesting to me to go back to the first few weeks and months of my blog and see how my writing style has changed.  My posts in the beginning we very what you might call ‘matter of fact’.  They were usually very short and didn’t contain much commentary.  It seems that as I grew as a blogger…. I had a tendency to add more commentary or opinions and thoughts to the things I was blogging about.  You might even consider it rambling!

One deadline met! Now to the next challenge!

Honestly…. I have gone back and read a few of my posts and been amazed at the things I said!  I read it and think, “Where did that come from?”  Oh…. not all of my posts are profound and wonderful….  some of them are still matter of fact…. but there are some that have been very good.  I have much to learn about how to use WordPress to be as effective as I know it can be…. but I hope to take some time to go back through all my posts and get them all categorized and tagged.  That’s one thing that I didn’t know how to do for the first several months.  In the process of doing that, I hope I can figure out a way to mark my personal favorites so that they are easier to find.  When you have over 370 posts, it’s harder for your visitors to sift through!

I have many people to thank for helping to make my blog more public and noticed.  Oh… I have a long way to go to be considered one of the top blogs on my topic…. but I’ve been amazed at the traffic that has picked up on it.  Once a couple of friends ‘promoted’ my blog to a group of their friends back in July, my daily visitor number increased a bunch.  Thank you to those of you who have taken the time to tell others about my blog.

I guess the most important thing that has come out of me doing this is how I have grown as a person.  Taking the time to be aware of the things around me…. thinking back on each day and what I had experienced that day has had a profound effect on me.  I truly am so very blessed.  Though my long term goals would take me out of the particular circumstances that I am currently in….. I am perfectly happy where I am!  I have everything I need and am well taken care of and loved.  I couldn’t ask for a better husband or family.  I have intentions for this next year to focus even more on how good my current circumstance are even more than I have!

So…. you may be wondering.  Am I done?  Is this the last post for I Am Grateful!  How are You?  The answer is a emphatic NO!!  I have many plans for expanding some new pages on my blog.  One of which will be titled W.I.L.T..  As I mentioned, I have a lot to learn about how I can best use this WordPress blog of mine to my best advantage and I haven’t discovered yet how a new ‘page’ on my blog can be a daily post like the main page is…..  I’ll figure out how to do it, but those of you that follow my blog may not get daily emails to let you know I’ve posted something in the W.I.L.T. area…. you’ll just have to come back and check it out!

Oh….so you are wondering what does W.I.L.T. stand for?  I guess I should tell you!  It stands for What I Learned Today!  It hit me the other day that if we are observant…. we can learn something everyday!  Now these posts will not be long drawn out philosophies from Wanda…. at least that’s not my intent…..  These post will be short little blurbs about something I learned that day.  They could be funny or profound!  It will be what it is!  That is the section of my blog that I want to commit to posting in everyday.  They can be quick and short.

As far as my regular posts go….. while I’m not abandoning posting…. I won’t be posting daily as I have been for the last year.  My commitment to you as my followers is that I will post at a minimum of once a week!  There may be weeks when I post more… but I promise to post at least once a week.  I’m planning on putting a reminder in my cell phone every Thursday to ask me if I have blogged yet this week….

One other area that I hope to expand on is a 30 day challenge area.  There are a few things I would like to accomplish this year that I’m hoping that by focusing on it for 30 days will make a difference for me.  These will change often…. we’ll obviously the challenge  will be for 30 days!  I’m not promising 12 – 30 day challenges this year…. but I hope to get several in.  Again…. this blog will grow with me and what is going on in my life.

I’m so grateful to all of you for visiting and supporting me on this blog.  It’s the fact that I have visitors actually reading my posts that keeps me motivated to keep going!  I’m amazed that I’ve had people from far across the globe pay me a visit and sometimes make comments….  how grateful I am to all of you!

I believe that so much in our lives will change for the better if we just take time to be grateful for what we have!  There is so much value in how are attitudes can look at things!  I made a comment on Facebook the other day that I think explains this pretty well and I’d like to share it with you.  It’s a quote from Louise Hay, who is the author of You Can Heal Your Life and many many other books…. here’s what she said:

Whenever there is a problem, repeat over and over: “All is Well. Everything is working our for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come.
I am safe!” 
~ Louise Hay

We really can find gratitude in all things!  Sometimes it may not be easy!  Somedays I had to search hard to find something to blog about….. but I did it.  I forged through.  I’m so grateful I did!  I have grown so much as a person this year I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  One of the best things I learned about myself is that I can make a commitment that is hard to do and keep it!  No one forced me to do it…. no one even suggested I do it.  It was my idea and one that I felt was important to keep.  Now I know there are many other things that I can do if I want it bad enough!  I can’t tell you how many times this year my husband mentioned he was proud of me!  I think I’ve even amazed him!

Thanks again to all of you who faithfully read my blog and thanks to those of you who are just discovering it!  I hope you’ll find some words for thought here!

I wish you the best in this upcoming year!  May you have a blessed and prosperous year!   Just keep in mind that prosperity is all in how you look at it!  Even the meekest of circumstances can be a life of wealth if you look for it!

I hope you’ll continue to join me here and even follow me on Facebook….  (See the “Like” button over on the right hand side?  Go ahead!  Join me on Facebook!)   One of my new goals is to get set up with Twitter.  I may use that to post my W.I.L.T. posts so stay tuned!

Thank you again and have a wonderful New Year!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

No Returns or Exchanges!

Holy cow….. I’m SO grateful that I didn’t have any returns to make from Christmas this year!!  Yikes!

As we were leaving Costco this afternoon…. which was still more crowded than I expected several days after Christmas…. the line for returns was pretty long.  I was sure grateful I wasn’t in it!

The Costco we go to most often is very close to a local Mall.  After we left Costco we passed the mall I said to my husband, “It still looks crazy busy at the mall!”  One more reason why I was grateful that I didn’t have any items to return to the Mall either!

No lines like this for me, Thanks!

I’m the kind of person that would prefer to wait an extra week to take something back if it needed to be returned.  I realize that I may miss out on the quantity of things available by doing so…. but I just don’t like the hassle of the lines, the waiting and the parking.  Not my cup of tea.

It’s for those very same reasons that I haven’t checked out some of the new stores at another local mall here in town.  It’s the first time for an H&M and Crate and Barrell to be in Utah, so that mall has been really busy.  That mall has several other popular high end stores that bring in traffic too, so it gets extra busy.  I’m perfectly content waiting for all the excitement to slow down before I go check out the new stores.

I suppose one of the reasons we didn’t have things to return this year is because we didn’t do a lot of gift giving.  We chose to keep our gift giving to each other very limited and share what we would have spent with others.  It was an awesome feeling helping someone else and much less stressful than buying several gifts.  Even if I had received something that I needed to return or exchange this year … I would have waited till next week to do it anyway!

Thankfully all gifts received were lovely….!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Home Movies

When was the last time your broke out the old home movies and sat back and had a good laugh or cry by watching?  Probably not recent enough, right?

I’m so grateful for those home movies that have been captured on film….. even though many of our movies are on a format that’s not as easy to view anymore, or the cameras that took them don’t work anymore.  We need to find a way to get all those transferred to digital format.  My husband is working on that project.  He’s been assigned a couple of big things that he has to have transferred in the next couple of weeks.

His Mom asked him to transfer a VHS tape she has of old family movies and photos.  The funny thing is…. when it got transferred to VHS format we thought we were in fad city!  We were watching a little of that VHS the other night and it was so fun to see my hubby at a younger age.  Most of the scenes we were enjoying the most was footage of softball games with his brothers.  They are a very athletic family.  It’s fun to see that footage of him playing ball at the age where my boys are now.  At least they can get an idea of how he played back then and know that he was once as fast as they are!

He still plays softball and does really well…. but he’s definitely not as fast as he used to be.  I think he’d be the first to admit that.  But, now our boys have visual proof of that instead of just ‘fish’ stories!

The really big assignment my hubby has been given is to transfer the Hv8 tapes that my sister made interviewing my Mom about her life.  We are celebrating her 90th birthday in a couple of weeks and thought it would be nice to make an iMovie of her life including pictures from her past and present.  It’s going to be a big job….. but we will do our best to figure it out.

We have box loads of family movies of our own that we need to digitize someday too.  I know it will take hours of time…. but I’m grateful they are there!  I look forward to reminiscing about our children’s lives!

I’m not sure this generation understands or appreciates how much easier and convenient it is for them to capture home movies!  There are many things that I’ve missed filming over the years…. which I regret….  but it took a very conscious effort to think about it and plan to get the camera out to capture those moments.  Now….. people can just pull out there smart phone cameras and spontaneously capture those moments!  Not just pictures either….but video.  How lucky they are!  I haven’t quite converted to a smart phone that does that…. yet…… still hoping that will happen soon.

Many of you probably have no idea what it was like to film some of the old movies that our parents took.  The huge cameras and the enormous lights they had to use to light the area they were filming….. plus…. nothing was wireless, so you had to have power everywhere you went.  Definitely something most people just did at ‘home’ because of the power issue.  I have very strong memories of those huge lights glaring in your eyes while you were being filmed!

The good old reel to reel movies that we would play for our family home movie night….  so much fun, but not very convenient!  As a matter of fact….. now that I think about it…. I think I may have some of those in storage somewhere!  They need to be converted too!  Crazy!

But how lucky we are to have had that technology… even the old stuff!  At least it’s documentation of our lives!  Before the old cameras were invented….people had nothing other than photographs for memories.  How blessed we are that it’s so convenient now and so easy to share!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Healthy Body and Mind

Once again today I was reminded of how grateful I am for my health.  I’m actually reminded of that quite often…. but today for some reason….. it hit me again quite hard.

I work in the temple on Wednesday mornings.  We see many different kinds of patrons walk through those doors of all kinds of ages from young adult to the very old.  I’m often reminded as I see many of the patrons struggling with health and physical issues at how blessed I am.  I consider it an honor to be able to help many of these patrons with the things they need while they are at the temple.

I’m so grateful that I’m able to help them and that I really do consider myself healthy.  I believe that I try to take good care of myself… though there’s always room for improvement in that area…… but I’m trying to eat better and I’m taking supplements that have had a tremendous impact on my health.  I’m so grateful I know about them!

Life is so precious…. you just never know when something can come along to change all that.  I’ve been saddened by some recents deaths of some classmates of mine…. all due to health problems.  In my opinion….. it’s way too young to die!

I’m grateful for a healthy strong body and mind  (at least, I think my mind is strong!)  I’m grateful that my own family is the same way…. healthy and strong!  I feel blessed beyond measure!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

Sewing Skills

You’d never know it because I don’t sew much anymore….. but I’m awfully grateful for the skills I learned while majoring in Clothing and Textiles at Brigham Young University!  They’ve come in handy many times.

Unfortunately….. many of the things I learned I haven’t really done since then…. but I think I could figure most of them out if I had to!  Though I’m a little rusty in some areas…. I had the chance to put some of those skills to work last week as I made an apron for Ali, my son’s girlfriend.   We drew names for Christmas this year and I got Ali.  I asked Jon if he thought she would like an apron and he said he thought she would like that.

I set about looking at patterns and get extremely appalled at the price they want to charge you for them!  Holy Cow…. it’s ridiculous!  Most places that carry patterns have them on sale all the time for 40% off.  Well….. they reason they say they are on sale all the time is because they have them marked up so darn high that even with the sale price they aren’t losing money on them!!!!  $17 for a pattern at full price?  That’s just nuts!

Here's Ali in her new apron. The polka dot ruffle is the part I used my 'drafting' skills on. Thanks for modeling Ali!

Well….. because I didn’t want to pay $9 or more for an apron pattern…. I decided to use the skills I learned in college and make up my own pattern!  I’d seen a cute apron at a restaurant  that I really liked and decided to make the pattern similar to what I saw.  Even the pattern books didn’t have exactly what I’d seen, so I did the next best thing and made my own!

I went a little easy on myself by taking an apron my son had given me a couple of years ago and using it to ‘slip’ a pattern from, then I adapted that basic shape into what I wanted.  Since I majored in sewing in college, one of the classes I took was Drafting Patterns.  I loved that class.  It taught us how to take a basic pattern…. meaning a ‘shell’ pattern or what some would consider a fitting pattern, and design clothing from it.  We learned how to cut  and manipulate that basic pattern apart to create different design lines, etc..  It was great fun!

Because of that class…. I took a piece of the basic apron pattern I had just made and turned it into a cute circle ruffle.  I was amazed at how well all the pattern pieces went together!  I guess the training paid off…. even all these years later!  It almost made me want to design more things….. almost……

I’m grateful that I learned those skills in college.  Actually…. I learned to sew at a very young age.  My Mother thought it was an important skill for me to learn so she put me in sewing lessons when I was in 5th or 6th grade.  By the time I got to Jr. High and had to take the required Home Ec. classes…. my sewing skills were way advanced for the class and I found it kind of boring.  I mean…. making an apron out of a rectangular piece of fabric compared to learning to sew by being required that my first project was a dress with a set in sleeves and made out of a plaid fabric that required matching the plaid as you cut the pattern….. Making a little rectangle apron was pretty boring after that!

Unfortunately….. because of that experience…. I didn’t think anything they could teach me in Home Ec. classes in High School would do me much good…. after all…. I for sure already knew how to do what they were teaching!   It wasn’t until I went to college and majoring in sewing that I found out that I could have learned a lot of things in High School Home Ec.!  I guess that ‘s just another way of showing that you can’t ‘assume’ anything!!

I’ve learned over the years that I will never know everything and that someone could possibly come up with a better and easier way… so I ought to remain open about it!

Thankfully I learned a lot in college but know there is so much more to learn along those lines!  I’m grateful I know what I know and had fun remembering some of those skills last week with my apron project!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


I just remembered while writing this…. I have some “How To” videos I had my husband make of me making a daybed comforter from a King size comforter, etc…   I guess I need to get those finished and post them soon!


OK….. I’ve talked about my gratitude for modern technology before…. but yesterday we used one I hadn’t yet used and was so grateful we had!

We missed having our daughter Mandy with us for Christmas!  It was her first Christmas away from home and I know she wanted to be here terribly bad…..  and we wanted her here too….. but at least we got to ‘see’ her anyway!

This is just an example of what FaceTime looks like on an iPhone.... this is not my daughter.

When the rest of the family was here, we tried to call her on FaceTime but she didn’t answer.  A while later we tried calling her phone and talked for a few minutes on speaker phone.  My son suggested we call her back on FaceTime and she said she didn’t really want to because she looked like ‘butt’….. (as she called it)………  We talked her into it anyway and I’m so glad we did!

It was fun to see her face and let each of us have some time with her on camera.  We even got to see Daisy, her dog….. Scooter got to say “Hi” to Daisy too….. it was pretty cute to see his head cock sideways when he heard Mandy’s voice talking to him.  He just looked at the computer screen all puzzled….. it was great!  I know he misses Daisy!

I’m grateful for this wonderful technology and only wish that it had been available when my boys were on their missions!  I understand that now missionaries get to use Skype to call home if it’s available in their area.  How great is that!  You don’t get much time to actually talk to your missionaries during that 2 year time they are away from home…… what a blessing it would be to be able to see their fare while you are talking!

It’s so amazing to think about how all this technology transpires through little wires and satellite connections…….  mind boggling, really, when you think about it!

Even though we didn’t get to have Mandy home yesterday…. I’m grateful that I could at least ‘see’ and talk to her anyway!  It was the next bast thing!  Hopefully we will all be together next year!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

The Reason for the Season

I guess it wouldn’t make much sense for me to have blogged almost a whole year about things I’m grateful for and not take advantage of it being Christmas day to express my gratitude for Christmas!

I know I’ve spent the last few days blogging about different aspects of the holiday and how grateful I am for those things….. but I suppose today should be dedicated to the day itself and what it represents.

I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas…. at least not the same as I do…. but I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t take the time to say how grateful I am for that little Baby whose birth we celebrate on this day.

Christmas brings together family and loved ones and makes us do things for people that sometimes we don’t otherwise do…..  but it really is a day to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.

I’m not here to offend anyone.  You have a right to believe what you want… but I also have a right to express my beliefs and how grateful I am for them.

This year, in particular, made the holiday even more special to me because it fell on a Sunday.  While in many ways, some people would consider taking time away from family to actually attend church and worship the Lord as an inconvenience on this day….  however, I felt it was a privilege and just felt right.  We so often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of things surrounding the holiday, that we really do forget to devote sometime to remember why we celebrate this day.

The birth and life of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has been a big influence in my life, as well as the life of many others.  I’m so grateful for the example His life was to me.  I’m grateful for the sacrifice He made for all of us.

The greatest gift we can give at Christmas time is to live our life like He did.  The spirit of kindness and generosity is wonderful this time of year….. but He wants us to carry that spirit with us all year through.

Can you imagine what the world would really be like if we all lived and loved as Jesus Christ did?  What a wonderful world it would be!  I’m grateful for His birth and His life!

May the spirit of Christmas be with you today and all year through!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


This is a time of year for family, food, fun, love and traditions!

Over the years my family has had many traditions.  Some evolved into different traditions over time, some served their purpose for a time and others are waiting to be reborn again.

For as long as I can remember….. the Holidays revolved around family.  My family was never one to travel out of town for Christmas.  With the exception of my one brother, Val, who didn’t really live in Utah once he got married…. everyone else was within a 40 minute drive of my parents house.  Even Val and his family would occasionally make it to our family Christmas gatherings.

I don’t know about you…… but I have great memories of my whole family celebrating Christmas morning together at my parents house.  I’m the youngest of 5 children…. so I got to be a part of this for a long time.  My oldest brothers oldest daughter is only 6 years younger than me, so I was still pretty young when we started having the nieces and nephews sleep over for Christmas.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you where everyone slept…. I just remember we were all there!  They probably shared my bed and my room… but I only remember Christmas morning!

My parents had a very large family room in the basement of our home.  Our home was fairly large for the time it was built….. bigger than many of the other homes in our neighborhood.  We had a room large enough to hold all the presents under the tree as the family grew and still have room for all the bodies too.  It was great fun for me.  I can still see in my head that family room being stacked with Christmas presents!  It was total chaos…. but we loved every minute of it.

As the families got older…. parents decided it was too much work for Santa to bring all the toys to my parents house….. besides….then you had to get them all home!  After that, Christmas morning was spent with me and my parents running to my brother and sisters houses to watch them open Christmas morning.  Now that was crazy!  Each family was in anticipation of our arrival so they could get to their presents!  We rotated the order every year so the same family didn’t have to wait as long each year.  I remember that tradition only lasting a few years.  After that….. we would pick one family to be there with to open gifts…. then we would make the rounds to the other homes to see what everyone else had received.

The finny thing about that was it always meant that mine and my parents Christmas gifts were the last thing opened that day…. and I never seemed to mind.  I always had so much fun seeing what the other family members had received, I was quite content in waiting for my own.  My parents still did that rotating Christmas thing with my family for years!  It was part of their fun!

The best tradition my family every started was our Christmas Eve gathering.  That’s been the one tradition that has been so hard to give up.  Unfortunately…. because I am the youngest…. that tradition died while my kids were still fairly young.  Well…. not really young, but young enough that we had no grand kids of our own to keep the tradition alive.

Let me tell you about out Christmas Eve tradition.  It’s probably similar to many of yours, but it holds so much intense love and memory for me…. it’s what Christmas is about.

We would start with a big dinner for the family.  Even as large as the kitchen and dining room area was a in my parents home….. getting everyone in was a tight squeeze.  We had extra tables set up everywhere…. just as you would expect.  Of course we all brought something to contribute to the meal.  Once the meal was done, the younger kids would head to the basement to play while the adults cleaned up the kitchen mess and put the folding tables away.

Then we would gather in the living room upstairs…. which was another large room.  We decided to start acting out the Nativity as part of our tradition.  It was always fun switching parts and using whoever had the most recent child as Baby Jesus.  I remember we would raid my Mom’s scarf collection and jewelry to dress up the Wise Men and shepherds.  We’d very often take an old towel and cut a hole in the middle of it big enough to put a child’s head through and then wrap a belt or piece of fabric around the waist.  Another towel or piece of  fabric would become the covering for the shepherds head.  The angel would be draped in a sheet with a piece of silver tinsel wrapped around their head.  Over the years, we started actually ‘making’  a few costume pieces. Nothing fancy…. no patterns…. just pieces of fabric cut to work instead of old towels.

The kids would look forward to putting on the Nativity every year.  We finally got to the point one year that instead of reading the story out of the Bible, we used an LDS Primary song called ‘The Nativity Song’.   We would sing all the verses.  As the characters were mentioned in the verses, they would take their place in the nativity scene.  It seemed to work pretty good and would at least keep the kids singing as we proceeded.

Then…. we would sing Christmas carols until the time of the big arrival!  My parents always arranged for Santa Claus to pay a visit and bring one small gift for everyone.  He’d pull a gift out of his big black bag, read the persons name and then they would sit on his lap for a minute and have their picture taken and get to talk to him for a minute.  Our kids absolutely looked forward to that part every year.  The challenge was to keep them occupied till he arrived so they weren’t looking out the window in anticipation.  Early on in this tradition, my parents were able to get Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus to come.  They were adorable and fun…. but time takes their toll on everyone and we soon had to find another Santa helper to do the job.

After Santa left, the kids would exchange gifts with their cousins.  We all drew names so we only gave one gift and received one gift.  It was all part of making the season seem right…. giving a gift to someone else.  As the years went on… the gift exchange evolved into a VERY fun White Elephant exchange which we still love to do.

Christmas Eve was the tradition that was hard to let go of.  As my parents aged and the family got bigger…. they didn’t want to have it at their home anymore, so we compromised and went to the church to do it and the adult children were in charge.

Once the grandkids grew up and started getting married, then we ran into scheduling problems of not everyone being able to make it on Christmas Eve anymore because the other side of the family they had married into had their traditions too.  It became more of a hassle than it was worth…so we started finding another night besides Christmas Eve to have a family party.  The same charm just wasn’t there anymore once we did that….. but it was still special and fun to get together with the family.   Honestly…. I’m amazed that we went as many years as we did without having our own spouses families expecting to share Christmas Eve time.  It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.  Maybe it was just luck, or it was just something that our spouses knew they were getting into when they married into the family!

I’m hoping that this tradition can be reborn again with my own family.  I know it won’t be as easy to pull off because already we have families of my kids significant others wanting to share the night.  If my daughter wasn’t out of town this year…. I think we’d all be here for the evening this year.  However, it’s just not quite the same without little kids involved…. but that will come.   I have big hopes for the coming year…. all of my children have significant others in their life right now and I’m dreaming of them all settling down and starting families of their own.  I’m hoping they’ve all reached the point where they are ready for that!

However, we have started a new tradition in my family.  A few years ago we (or should I say ‘I’) decided we needed to have a family Christmas crafting/baking night.  It has been a lot of fun to get us all together and tackle a new project.  Right now we don’t have a definite purpose or use for the particular project we make…. but we’ve managed to get them ‘eaten’.   We  still try to have a Christmas party for my side of the family so we take them there to be consumed.  The party has been after Christmas for many years because it was easier for people to fit it into their schedules.  Since my Dad passed away and Mom is in an Assisted Living center…. we’ve just scheduled the dining room area at her place to get together, so it’s easier on her.  This will be the first year we haven’t had a family get together for Christmas.  We are celebrating her 90th birthday a few weeks later, so we decided to hold off for the celebration till then.  So…. this year…. our baking project became neighbor and co-worker gifts!

Wow…. I could go on with other traditions we have that mean a lot to me….. but this post is already VERY long!  But I guess that’s why traditions are so important to us….. they hold so much emotion and fond memories it’s hard not to rattle on about them.

I’m grateful for all the years that I had keeping those amazing traditions and the meaning they hold in my heart.  I was very blessed to be a part of it.  I look forward to starting more traditions with my own family as it grows.  My family means the world to me.  I’m so grateful for them!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful Christmas and hoping that your traditions will add to your memories this week!

Please share what some of those traditions are!    Merry Christmas!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


We haven’t done a very good job of digitizing our old photos yet…. someday I hope to post some pictures of Christmases past!


Here’s a little Christmas card from my family to yours!

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Christmas Music

I’ve been listening to Christmas music most of the day today and quite a lot the last few days.  I have to say…. I LOVE Christmas music!  It has always been one of my favorites!

I love the stations you can listen to on Satellite TV.  They play such a variety of music….. from really old things to some of the new stuff.  Many of those songs take me back many many years ago when I was a kid and it brings back such warm memories.

This was always one of my favorites as a kid. I heard one of the songs off of it tonight and that's what made me start thing about how grateful I was for Christmas music!

I can remember stacking Mom’s old vinyl albums on the record player so that we could listen to a several all at once.  I can still see the record covers of some of those albums in my memory.  You know how memories in your head can take you back and make you feel the feelings and smell the smells, etc.?

Christmas music always represented the anticipation of Christmas coming.  Which brought the anticipation of a White Christmas, playing in the snow and time together with the family.  The best time of year.

Being a singer…. I’ve always loved singing Christmas music too.  Since I’ve been blessed to be a part of some kind of performing group since college…. I usually get to sing for others at Christmas time, which I love….. so I’ve always paid close attention to Christmas music so I can pick the songs I would like to sing.

It wouldn't be Christmas without Bing!

I have many favorites and made music my Christmas gift to my parents back in 2001.  I went in and recorded a Christmas album just for fun and mostly for them.  Using karaoke tracks and the recording studio of a good friend of mine…… I went in and literally  ‘whipped’ out 15 songs in one night.  Consequently…. there are a few places that I wished I would have fixed…. but all and all, it turned out pretty good.

I had several copies made and gave many away that Christmas and have given many away since then.  Someday, I’ll work on getting it posted to iTunes so that I can make it available to more people.  In the meantime…. I’ll share one of the songs with you off my album to wish you a Merry Christmas from me!  The pictures we used on the video remind me of the old Currier and Ives pictures and bring back memories of an old fashioned Christmas.  Isn’t it too bad that this generation will most likely never know what an old fashioned Christmas feels like?

And who could forget Andy Williams great album!

I’m so grateful that Christmas music brings me such joy and great memories!  I can’t seem to get enough of it!  Yet…. out of respect to my husband, I don’t start to listen to it till Thanksgiving…. but boy do I try to get a lot of it in after that!  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

What’s your favorite Christmas song / album?

I am Grateful!  How are You?






Merry Christmas from me to you!  This is one of the songs off my album.  It’s the Amy Grant arrangement of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’…. but it’s me singing.