Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ready or not, Christmas is coming!

And I'm getting pretty ready!

I started playing Christmas music yesterday in the tea room in LoneStar Antique Mall (5605 Denton Highway, Haltom City, TX).

And soon I will have LOTS of my own Christmas CDs for sale!!!! (I have a few now.)
They're 'Public Domain'... which means I didn't have to pay to record each one ... and that means they're OLD.... well, I play them in an antique mall, so it is appropriate they're antique songs! 
AND I LOVE THEM.
I put up a few in Mother's and my booth...
and will get more soon!

I also put some on the tea room piano...

And Myra B. and Kathy F. C., ... I will send you one (or more). Let me know your address... and you will have one... well, for a price.  My husband has told me that I can't just give them away.  We need to eat, you know.  (You can FB message me your address.  They're $14 which includes postage. You can make out your check to me, Nancy Carmack.)   (Thanks for your encouragement!)

Anyway, I'm excited.

---------

In other news, my great niece Caroline (who will be 9 Dec. 28th) got to help lead worship at First Baptist Church, Grapevine recently!
Here's a picture....
That's Caroline on the left. 
Isn't that wonderful?!



In other news, little Nell, my granddaughter, likes to wear her Halloween costume often!!!
Here she is the other night.
She wanted to be Princess Leia for supper time.

 Here she is on her 2nd birthday, November 11....

And here is her cousin Caroline near her 2nd birthday in 2008...
So yes, they do look a like.
And now that sweet little girl eating that biscuit beside Bear
is leading in worship at FBC Grapevine.
Wow.

I'll show you that picture again...
I love it.

It's a great life.
Yes, there is awfulness in the world... but there is also wonderfulness.

Here are three pictures of an example of the wonderfulness...

That's Nell's little brother, Liam.
Here he is with his dad (my son)..
Isn't that sweet?!
Mm.
----------

I have a poll up (upper right) that needs some more votes!
Thanks!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I've never known Black Friday personally.

Almost every year I think I'll venture out.. just to people-watch actually.



But then I remember the first weekend at Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall many, many years ago.
Will, Laura, and I went there on that Saturday and had to park on some grass... and walk and walk to the mall.  And then the crowd was crazy. And that big food court was super crazy... with people sitting all around on the floor eating their 'fast' food.   And the music was blaring loudly on the speakers.  As we walked in the crowd I remember thinking, if I don't hold Will and Laura's hands I may never see them again. 

And that night I got sick to my stomach and 'upchucked' A LOT.

So super huge crowds really aren't for me.

By the way, the name of 'Black Friday' has this history according to all-knowing Wikipedia...

"The day's name originated in Philadelphia where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss ("in the red") from January through November, and "Black Friday" indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or "in the black".
.
.. hence "Black Friday".

Usually I decorate for Christmas on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  That would mean getting help (from my offspring and their spouses) getting all the decorations out of the attic.
Well, this year is so different.  SO DIFFERENT.  ALL of our Christmas decor (including stockings and everything) is packed away in storage... and we're clueless as to where exactly it is in there. 

So.... life is different this year in this apartment... and well, I'm chillin'!!

I did pick up some 1/2 price Hobby Lobby Christmas stuff... and it cost about $19.99 in all... so clearly it is a low-maintenance holiday season.
(Frankly, that is making me smile....
Though I do love all our stuff in storage... manger scenes, special ornaments, etc., etc.  Yeah.)

I'll leave you with some other Black Friday cartoons...


 


I HAVE participated in Cyber Monday, but not for long.
I don't like feeling crazy.
---------

On a totally different note, I have a new poll up (upper right)...
and it has nothing to do with Black Friday.
It's with a picture of a cute little dog...
and YOU get to choose a name... 
out of 6 choices.

Please vote if you at all can.
Thanks!!!

----
By the way, Sam and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with Mother at her retirement center.
Tomorrow Mother, Will, Bailey, Nell and Liam will celebrate the holiday together.
We'll FaceTime Laura and Ryan... (they're in Oregon). 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude Is HEALING...

... so Thanksgiving Day should be REALLY GOOD for us...  if we indeed give thanks.
... Seriously.


I found some articles on GRATITUDE that are so worth the read...

Click HERE for the article about how gratitude may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Click HERE to find out why resilient leaders need to embrace gratitude. 

And you can click HERE for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY'S article ...
"Cooking Up More Gratitude This Thanksgiving"
with the subtitle 'Why feeling truly thankful isn't always easy,
and what you can do about it". 


And here are some cute 'signs'...

I know we should be thankful everyday of the year.... but for sure on Thanksgiving Day!!!

(I am going to try to be more thankful than usual this Thanksgiving.)
(I dare you to, too.)

-------

I have a poll up (upper right).
It needs more votes.
Thanks!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I know how to have fun...

I've discovered the most fun way to celebrate a birthday.... like Anna's 5th birthday!!!
(Anna is my dear late twin's granddaughter and my great (and wonderful) niece.)

Here she is at Wendy's where she was enjoying a chocolate Frosty. YUM.
We had just come from Toys "R" Us where she picked this out as her present from Sam and me...
First she saw something really expensive (a big Barbie house), and I said, "That's too expensive."  Then I said, "How about this?" (and pointed to that big Barbie).  She immediately said, "Caroline would like that!"
And I said, "Anna, this present is for YOU!!  What do YOU want?"
And then she picked that same Barbie.

A minute later she saw some Legos and immediately said, "Andrew would like those!"

So you see, she is always thinking of others.

Here she is with those 'others' (her older siblings) and Nana on her Nana's porch....
Notice the off-white scarf around Nana's (Mother's) neck.
Caroline (the oldest on the left) made that for Nana a while back. And Nana loves it.

And notice Anna's darling dress.



Here is part of the skirt of it...
Isn't that precious?
She wore that to her Thanksgiving feast that day at her preschool.

After Anna's preschool was over Elizabeth took the kids to Nana's (Mother's) and Nana had some super games to choose from.    They picked OLD MAID... and here they are playing....
After they'd play a round, Anna would say, "Let's play it again!"
And they did... about 4 times, I think.
Now that's fun.

And then Anna and I went birthday-gift-shopping at Toys "R" Us ...
and then to Wendy's for a Frosty.

Here she wanted to show me what some chocolate Frosty would look like on her nose!
I was tempted to lick her nose.
(But I didn't.)



Little Anna is always full of fun...
And I loved being with just her for a while Thursday afternoon.

I somehow came upon the idea of celebrating each of Elizabeth's kids' birthday by spending time with them, picking out a gift, and then having a treat together. 
As we drove to the places we got to talk...
just the two of us.

In August I did it with Andrew. 
Click HERE for the post on that.

In December (or early January) I will have a special time with Caroline -
who will be 9 (NINE!) Dec. 28.
It will be interesting to see what she picks out as her gift (I do have a price limit, btw)
and what treat she wants to eat.
And I mainly look forward to the visiting with her...
just she and I (uh, her and me).

I found out Thursday that little Anna likes to say 'seriously' after lots of her statements.
Really.
Seriously.
--------

I have a poll up... (upper right)...
if you haven't voted I would love for you to... 
even if you have to get to your laptop to do it.
:)

My last poll showed this:
Out of 11 votes on "When are you most productive?" -
- 6 votes were for the morning,
1 was for midday,
2 for afternoon,
0 were for evening,
and 2 were for late night.

Interesting!
(I voted 'morning'.) 
-------

It's Thanksgiving week.
I hope you're being thankful!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

We got to know an absolutely wonderful man this past week...

His name is Al Grotz, and he died suddenly a week ago Sunday, of a heart attack, having had a good physical exam just a month before.
He was just 66.
(That is sobering: we all need to be 'ready'.)

Al's daughter (technically his step-daughter) contacted Sam through her dear friend, our niece Elizabeth, and asked if Sam could officiate at his funeral.  (Somehow Al's own pastor couldn't do it, and Sam was who Sara thought of.)  Wow. What an honor.
You see, not only is Sara a dear friend of Elizabeth, she is also a dear friend of mine --- often calling me 'Aunt Nancy'.

Sara's own dad died when she was just 10 years old.  And now her second dad has died.
Yes. Life has been hard for Sara.

The night after Sam met with the family, to discuss the funeral service, he came home and after I asked him how it went, he just said, "Wow. I'm inspired." And then he began to tell me a few things he learned about Sara's dad, Al.

The thing that struck me (among many things) was the list of 5 things Al did every. single. day.
Sam told me that ... and then it was said at the service, more than once.

Here's the list... of the things Al did everyday ... yes, every. single. day.
1. He read the Bible.
2. He prayed for everyone.... and his family emphasized: he prayed for EVERYONE.
3. He walked his dog.
4. He did the New York Times crossword puzzle.
5. He told his wife he loved her.

Whoa.
Is that not inspiring?!

Earlier in his life Al sold insurance, then he decided to do what he REALLY wanted to do: TEACH.
He taught history at Kennedale High School for several years and after he retired there he taught at Tarrant County College.
It was clear he was a fantastic teacher.  Some of his former students spoke at the funeral, and oh my, their words were awesome. AWESOME.
It seems Al was a quiet kind of man... soft-spoken... and profoundly wonderful in his love for teaching and his love for his students.

Oh, and he was an elder in the Lutheran church.

Oh, there's so much more to tell you...
... and maybe you can click on THIS and read the words Sara spoke at the funeral (it's so worth your time).

And you can click HERE for his obituary.

Now I'll show you some pictures...
That's Sara with her dad, and their dear dog.
(In lieu of flowers, it was requested that donations
be made to the Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas (dalpal.com).

(Isn't that picture wonderful?)
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas, dalpal.com, or a local chapter of the Humane Society. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=alfred-lawrence-grotz&pid=176544810&#sthash.SmYxmFBW.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas, dalpal.com, or a local chapter of the Humane Society. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=alfred-lawrence-grotz&pid=176544810&#sthash.SmYxmFBW.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas, dalpal.com, or a local chapter of the Humane Society. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=alfred-lawrence-grotz&pid=176544810&#sthash.SmYxmFBW.dpuf
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas, dalpal.com, or a local chapter of the Humane Society. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=alfred-lawrence-grotz&pid=176544810&#sthash.SmYxmFBW.dpuf


Here's a picture of Al and his wife, Carolyn (Sara's dear mom).  
This shows another love of Al's (besides Carolyn): Golf.

Now I'll show you pictures of Sara and her dad at her wedding...
I think you can click on that and make it bigger.
(Oh, Al took dance lessons just so he could dance at her wedding!)
(Wow. There are so many inspiring things about Al.)
(The wedding was on September 7, 2013.)

Speaking of wedding, I must put up some pictures of the bride and THE GROOM, TOM...

I think this next picture was taken on their honeymoon, in Paris....
Tom (a Dallas attorney) now works with Sara as advocates for students in 15 DISD high schools... helping them apply and get into GREAT universities.
(I don't know their titles... but they're important (the titles, AND Tom and Sara!)


So now I will close with some pictures taken a few years ago... 
first of Sara and my niece Elizabeth with baby Andrew...
I'm thinking that picture was taken about 6 1/2 years ago, since Andrew is now 7!



Here are Sara and I that same day...
(Yes, we both look a little different now.)


Sara sometimes attended our weekly family suppers...
and would bring beautiful flowers!!!!
Aww... little Caroline smiles sweetly, too!

So Sara is experiencing life without her dear dad Al. 
It's only been a week.
If you will, say a prayer for comfort and peace for her, and her mom,
and her stepsister...and all of their family.

Life will not be the same.
And the holidays will be hard.

But we are all better for having known Al.

---------------

I have a new poll up (upper right)...
Please vote if you can.
It's totally anonymous,
but doesn't work well with cell-phones, I understand.

Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday Whimsy...

... from LoneStar Antiques (5605 Denton Highway, Haltom City, TX)...















One of those pictures was (is) part of Mother's and my booth. 
I worked in the booth yesterday... 
and then got obsessive and had to redo some stuff today.

You have to be creative AND decisive when you have a booth.
Well, I guess that would go for having a life.

Next month I'll have a Christmas Whimsy post.
There is some super fantastic Christmas Whimsy in LoneStar already.
Mm.

-----------

Well, I decided to put up a new poll (upper right).
Please vote if you can.
I love to see how the votes go.
Thanks!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reminders from Facebook...

All over Facebook there are reminders to pray for Paris... and how to think about the terror there.

Here are a few I particularly like...



And several Facebook friends showed their support of Paris
by posting their pictures in the colors of France.... 

Here are a few of those...


There are many, many more, and I like them all.
(And I like Facebook.)


And I particularly like this that I saw on FB this morning...
Isn't that great?
 -----------

I'm going to take a rest on putting up a new poll for now.
I just can't think of one that would be appropriate in light of the terror attacks.


I'll close with this wonderful Bible passage.

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46:1-7