Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Memories

My Mom, Christal, has been struggling with health issues for several years since her stroke.  I admire her ability to keep faith in her “healing”.   During this time – she has shown me by example how to handle yourself in unfortunate and difficult situations.  My Mom is feisty too, but she knows when to use it….I’m learning…

For Christmas Eve, we went to her house.  I made part of the meal at home and brought it and “we” cooked the rest with her at her house.  I have wonderful memories of Christmas Eve meals that she prepared for us. 

Sometimes, she gets a little “blue” thinking about not being able to buy Christmas gifts for her 6 kids, their spouses, her 20 grandchildren, 30 great grand children and 1 great great grand child…..who could??? That’s a lot of people!

Unfortunately, even with hiring people we “trust” to fill in hours of time we “can’t” work….my Mom has had several things stolen from her house this past year.  Most recently, coins out of 3 huge old piggy banks – that had holes broken in the bottom and all the money taken out.  My Mom had been putting coins in those banks as for MANY MANY years.  They are now empty.  So, in light of the missing antiques, coins, jewelry and stuff……my girls asked Grandma for an item from her collection for their Christmas gift….she was surprised that they would “want” something like that.  She was so happy to give them something and it not cost her anything.
Justine picked out a doll.  When my girls were little, my Mom use to have elaborate stories that went with each of her dolls in her collection.  Anna wanted a doll too….however, the one she wanted is missing.  So, she picked out a piggy bank that my Mom actually made in a ceramic class she and I took together (we took the money out and gave it to her – several old dollar coins, so I can only imagine what was in the other ones…)


We know Christmas isn’t about gifts.  The true “gift” of Christmas was Jesus! 

I’m not mad about the “stuff” that is missing rather the breach of trust that someone would steal from my Mom.  However, it is a “lesson” too.  From a long line of hoarders…..I see the lesson here.  You should enjoy the things you have, while you have them and not hold so tightly to them – you might not get to enjoy them!

Blessings from Wisconsin!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Wise Men




THE WISE MEN (author unknown)


To Judea’s hills came riding, from Eastern lands afar,

Three eager, anxious Wise Men, lead by a shining star;

Day by day had they travelled, homage and gifts to bring.

Where the manager in Bethlehem cradled an infant king.

Still the Christmas stars gleam brightly upon the world today.

But no journey need Wise Ones take, to lands that are far away.

For many who need loving gifts about us here we see

And Christ says, “If ye give to these, Ye have given unto me.”


I found this poem in an old book from 1922 – 90 years ago.  Have we been so long removed from the true meaning of Christmas?

Merry Christmas Blessings from Wisconsin.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

God in Christmas


For those who read my posts on a regular basis, know that I don’t write a lot.  So, this is a long one…

John 1:1:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

Genesis 1:1-3:  “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light:  and there was light.”

John 1:2-5:  “The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

Luke 1:30-31:  “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou has found favour with God.  And, behold thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a son and shalt call his name JESUS.

Luke 1: 35:  “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

John 1:10-14: “He was in the world, and the world was made by him and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”


I’m no theologian, I’m not a college graduate, I’ve never read the “classics”, I’ve not traveled the world, I can’t program my phone, I don’t understand the remote, I get flustered while driving, I’ve made many mistakes – In other words, I’m not an expert on or at anything! 

One thing I do know, to the core of my being, is that I serve one God.  One God with many names to many nations.  One God who created the heavens and earth.  One God who breathed into man a living soul (Genesis 2:7).  One God who created a perfect garden.  One God who warned man of sin.  One God who provided a blood sacrifice to cleanse that sin.  One God who provided a plan of salvation for our sin.  One God who robed himself in flesh.  One God whose name is JESUS.  Jesus, who lived a sinless life.  One God who was persecuted, crucified on a cross.  One God who paid the price of sin with His blood.  One God who loves this world and all the nations so much….that he suffered and died.  One God who rose from the grave.  One God that conquered sin and death.

Luke 24:46-49:  (Jesus said…) “Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the death the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem; And ye are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

One God who fills us with His Spirit.  Acts 2: 32-33:  (Peter said) “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”

One God who is our comforter.  One God whose Holy Spirit fills our hearts, mind and soul.   Acts 2: 37-39:  “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy ghost.  For the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” 

This post isn’t meant to be a “I believe this way…and this is the right way” type post.  Or, one to argue biblical theology.  There is enough conflict in the Church with out doing that.  This post is meant to open our eyes to why it is we celebrate Christmas.

Each of us has an opinion, God created us that way.  I don’t want to argue with other Christians about “who” God is.  I just want to believe in Him, understand He came to save me and that I need a personal relationship with Him.  My salvation is not determined by what you believe, rather, what I believe.  And vise versa.  This gospel we should share with others, that through this they might be saved as well.

2012 – this next year – can you believe it?  As I see the fulfillment of prophecy, signs of the times you might say.  One can’t help but think – Jesus is coming soon.   I challenge myself to not be satisfied with my life as it is now, but to pray for a greater desire to witness to others.  You know, the Bible doesn’t say without the “Holy Ghost” no man shall see God.  It says without “holiness” no man shall see God.  Actions speak louder than words they say.  If you are a “believer” let your light shine before men this year.  I will try my best to do the same. 

Merry Christmas Blessings from Wisconsin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decorating Vintage Style–Part 2 the Trees


This is my second post about decorating with vintage Christmas items.  We always get a real tree.  This year I put up 2 small artificial ones too. 

On one of the small ones, I put the smaller antique ornaments with bubble lights (not antique). 



small shiny brights with frosty writing. 



For our real tree – the big one.  A real deal even here in Christmas tree country – only $15.  It is really fresh and nice.  It was one of 4 left on the lot.  Sometimes we cut down one from our woods, but then I feel bad for the ones that are already cut down and no one buys.


We mix the antique and vintage ornaments with our homemade and “memory” ones. 



The unicorn ornaments were my Christmas gift from my sister Lynn when I was about 13.  They have been on a tree every year since.



I like trees with sturdy branches so that you can hang several ornaments on each.  I like a “full” tree.  I lost count of the number of ornaments on this one – over 130. 


I also recently “bought out” an estate that had a huge collection of these old mica houses with many bottle brush trees.  I was going to sell them, but I think I will keep them.  I had a few of these before, but now that I put them all together, I really like it. 







Well, a little tour of our Wisconsin farm house at Christmas time.  I hope you enjoyed this.  Many of the items I decorated with are still available at thrift shops, antique shows or shops, Goodwill, rummage and estate sales.  Most are under $10 with a majority under $5 each.  A good time to look for these items is after Christmas when St. Vincent’s and Goodwill are 1/2 off. 

Sending you Merry Christmas Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Decorating Vintage Style


I LOVE old things!  I like to decorate my home with the nostalgia of Christmas past.  I collect many things, especially things that “call” to me.  They don’t have to be in perfect shape – in fact, I like the look of used.

Here is a little group of Angels I have in my entry




The Buyer’s Choice angels I bought at a thrift shop in Colby, WI.  The porcelain Nativity was from one of my “buy out estates”.  The felt table cloth I just bought this year at Goodwill – I love it!  The Tavern Candle angels are from here and there…


The angel NOEL I’ve had for all of my 23 years of marriage.  We use to have one of these when I was growing up. 


“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2:12-14


I have a collection of antique and vintage candy dishes.  Al started my collection, as he has many memories of candy like this at his Grandma's house. 







Al grew up in the Navy and the spent many years in Maryland at the Naval Academy.  It was there that his mom, Marlene, first saw these little felt dolls.  They are Annalee Dolls.  I liked them too, so over the years, we have added some to her collection as gifts.  I started collecting them too.  The vintage ones (pre late 1990’s) were actually made in Meredith, New Hampshire.  Now they are made in China.  I have different ones for other holidays.

Do you remember the knee huggers – those cute little elves?  I’ve sold so many of them over the years – I did keep a few for me.  I also love those little gnomes – some are made of pine cones and spun cotton.  



Look for my post Christmas Decorating Vintage Style part 2 - The trees.
Merry Christmas Blessings from Wisconsin.
Great Holiday Barn Hop

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cheer–1922 Style


I listed some auctions on ebay yesterday.  Three of which are these old books a teacher would use at Christmas time for poems, plays and such.   This book is called:  “Bright Entertainments for Christmas” from 1922.  Here are a few “gems” I found that might bring some true Christmas Cheer to you.


“Christmas Cheer”   By:  Alice E. Allen

Sing a song of Christmas – Pocketbooks so slim;

But hearts are full of loving-ness, Way up to the brim.

When the day has ended, everyone sees clear.

Pennies help, of course, but LOVE makes the Christmas Cheer.


Isn’t that sweet.  At this time of year, many feel the need to spend or charge large sums of money to create a “happy” Christmas.   This is a nice reminder.

Here is another one I liked:


“The Christmas Message”  By:  Jane Andrews

We hear the Christmas message, Brought to us long ago.

Why have the centuries kept it fresh?  Why do we prize it so?

Because it is rich with the gold of love that with bright, exhaustless flow,

From unfailing source in the Heart Divine, supplies our hearts below.

And it tells of the tender, human bond, since ever the world began,

For it teaches the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man.

But how can we carry the tidings, make each man as loving and true

To the poor, the oppressed and the lowly, as they are to me and you?

Let them shine in thought and word and deed, as we work on the heavenly plan; And, blessed by the Fatherhood of God, prove the brotherhood of man. 


I love that!  O.k….the last one, but honestly these are so good….


“The Christmas Spirit”  By Helen M. Richardson

Just a little bit of Christmas for the neighbor at your side,

Who upon the wave of fortune with yourself seems not to ride.

Do not be a miser, hoarding health and strength and power to bless

Share them with the lone one near you who these charms many not possess.

For ‘tis not alone the dollar, soon forgotten, that you spend,

But the hand-shake that goes with it, carries blessing in the end.

Putting the true Christmas spirit into everything you do

You will find it will be Christmas in your heart the whole year through.


I will end with that.  As my wish for you this year – I extend my hand-shake to all who read and hopefully are blessed by your visit here.

Merry Christmas Blessings from Wisconsin!

Growing Home

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Old Fashioned Values–1939 Style


Last week for Titus 2sday link up, I did a post about old fashioned values I found in this old Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife.  It was about what boys think of girls.  This week I thought I would post about what girls think of boys.  This was found in the Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife, June 1939 issue. 


These old magazines are so neat, from the covers, advertising, patterns, recipes and articles.  So, this is what I found in “An Open Letter to Boys”  - applicable today.

“Dear Boys:  We think you’re swell, and we don’t know what we’d do without you.  But may we make a few suggestions?”

“We’d like you to do little things for us, like opening doors, helping us with our coats, picking up our handkerchiefs and seating us at the table”

“If you want a date, don’t be afraid to ask for it.  We like a fellow who has enough self-confidence to think we’ll answer “yes.”.  We can’t ask you, much as we’d like to sometimes.”  (I don’t have boys, but my nephews tell me that girls can be pretty direct now – even they want to be the ones to “ask”)

“The fellow who thinks he’s earned a session of mugging (necking, we used to call it) by taking us driving or dancing or to a movie is all wrong, as far as we’re concerned.  We don’t like to have to pay for our dates.  Isn’t our company enough?”

“You don’t have to spend money on us every time you date us.  We like to entertain you at home, and we consider it an honor to be invited to your home.”

“If you like a girl, treat her so that she’ll know it.  Make her feel that you think it an honor to take her about.  She’ll love it”


I found these old fashioned values refreshing.  I know women today are supposed to be independent and I actually am a strong’ independent, fiesty old gal…but, I still like to have my husband do these little things for me too.  It isn’t a sign of weakness – to let someone show you that they care for you by letting them do things for you…just me…

Blessings from Wisconsin.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

We Have a Winner


For my first “Give Away” the winner is: 

Dr. Momi over at Homesteading at Redtail Ridge

Thanks to all who entered and left such nice comments.

This past Saturday, I set up at a little Holiday Craft Show at the Pike Lake Resort in Hatley.  It was a small show with many local artists.  This is only like 7 miles from my farm and the booth price was $10 – so, how could I not do it.   I had fun visiting with the other “ladies” and did purchase some Christmas gifts. 

Pike Lake Resort has a chef that has been recognized in our central Wisconsin area as one of the “best in Marathon County”  This historical resort is nestled on Pike Lake.   The food was awesome! 




Pictures of my booth. 

Merry Christmas from Wisconsin.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Old Fashioned Values–1939 Style


I bought this cute magazine Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife , October 1939, from my friend Lisa at the Edgar Steam Engine Show and Flea Market:

I loved the picture of the Rooster on front.  I have been reading some of the articles and LOVE it!  I was raised with “old fashioned values” and am raising my girls the same.


I came across this page that said What Boys Think of Us!?   I began reading this article and found it relevant to today’s young ladies.  I plan on having my daughters, Justine 20 and Anna 17 read it.  Here are a few points I thought interesting.

From the 1939 boys:

“The kind of girl we like best might be described as “semi-modern.”  A girl who can be as “crazy” at times as the rest of us and yet rings true.  She can have fun, because, she’s quick and good at sports; but she’s somewhat shy and reserved too.  She’s just old fashioned enough to have a deep respect for her parents and her family.  She may not always be happy about the rules set down by mother and dad, but she doesn’t mutter black things about them to anybody outside the family.”

“Another score in her favor is her conversational talent.  She has opinions on subjects and isn’t afraid to express them.   With the exceptions of  ‘other dates and other girls’, her opinions can be on any subject from necking to presidential third terms.  The necking discussion, incidentally, will yield this information from us if we’re honest:  We think a lot more of a girl if she respects herself enough not to allow every fellow in town to kiss her at any given moment.  (News about the other kind of girl flies around about as fast as word about the “date breaker” – either one is a marked girl.)”

“The ‘semi’ part of this modern girl means that she’s feminine.  while she may be able to knock a home run or saddle her own horse, she isn’t forgetting that she’s a lady.   That rules out smoking, drinking, swearing and aggressiveness-those things just aren’t feminine.”

“We’ve mentioned a lot of things, we realize, but they all come down to this:  We like a girl who commands our respect.  She’s well poised and intelligent; comfortable to be around.  She’s dependable, natural, sincere.  She keeps us guessing just a little bit; her interests aren’t entirely in us—she enjoys her girl friends and they enjoy her.  Above all, she’s feminine and definitely not aggressive.  She observes the regulations set up by her parents and she takes pride in them.  Because she respects herself, we respect her and act as thought we did.  She’s a grand girl, this All-American Girl.  Here’s to her!”


Yet again, another example of values that really aren’t that Old Fashioned.

Blessings from Wisconsin!

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