Most people dread turning “60” but this was a celebration I was happy to see. Last week my husband Bob (alias Grandpa Bob or Papaw Bob) turned 60 and we celebrated with a 3 day party at a lake resort we love with 80 of our closest friends and family members.
My son and his family flew in from Co; my daughter and her family came from NC; my brother and sister-in-law came from KY.
Two and a half years ago, Bob was going thru a serious illness and we are so thankful that our prayers were answered and he beat this. I wanted to give us something positive to hold onto, so at that time I started planning this party. There were a lot of behind the scene details I had to work out and I felt like I had planned a wedding, but I am so happy with the results.
One of my daughters hosted a large Easter Egg Hunt at her home along with a fishing derby and fish fry. They have a beautiful, large lake on their property. Everyone brought food and the weather was perfect with beautiful sunshine.
Sugar Cookies are the treat they always want me to make.
Retirement is a word I am happy to say. I have been a Registered Nurse for over 42 years. I now have a new status. Retired.
When I became a nurse, we wore white dresses with white hose, white shoes and our caps. Hair was pinned up, make-up was light and jewelry was only a gold wedding band. To people looking back at this, it may seem like the dark ages, but I remember how proud I felt. It was a real honor to be recognized as a nurse. We stood up at the desk when a doctor came on the floor and we carried the charts making rounds. I think it was a real show of respect. Continue reading RETIREMENT..TODAY WAS MY LAST DAY OF WORK→
There are so many different kinds of love we experience in our life. Being a grandparent has given us the opportunity to have been through all of these.
We start with the love of our parents, our siblings, grandparents and other extended family members.
Later in life we have our spouses or significant other, our children and then the wonderful, extreme love of our grandchildren. No two kinds of love are alike but they are each so overwhelming and unforgettable.
I always make cookie trays, candy bags and Chex Mix for everyone to take home. I made double recipes of 10 different kinds of cookies and 30 dozen decorated sugar.
My husband, Bob, helped me cook and we worked on it for 2 days. Our menu was simple and had variety to satisfy the adults and children.
Here are some random pictures.
The first picture was the next morning when I was taking out trash. I looked behind me and my 2 yr old grandson, Hudson,was saying “me help” and dragging bags of trash. We are such a lucky family to have so many wonderful blessings.
We all had family traditions for the holidays as we grew up and were able to continue these when we started our own families.
I think as grandparents we are now in a unique situation.
Many of the traditions can’t be carried on for different reasons. Some of our grown children have moved away and not able to get home for the holidays, and with so many blended families there are more schedules to try to accommodate. A few grandparents are lucky enough to have all of your children living in the same city. Another issue is that once our children are married, they need to share the holidays with their in-laws also.
I think the only solution is to try to incorporate some of your most favorite traditions while being flexible to make new ones. I want to share with you some of the things our big family does that seems to work.
My husband and I have a blended family of 8 children along with their spouses/significant others, 13 grandchildren and a few more from their blended families. Talk about difficulty in being able to coordinate schedules!!
Bob and I have our big family Christmas party the 2nd Saturday in December. This allows the children to attend events with their in-laws and still have their own family time on Christmas. I start all of my holiday tasks the weekend after Thanksgiving.
I decorate my house with family in mind. I have a tree upstairs that is decorated with Thomas Kinkade and handmade ornaments from my friend, Linda Bibbo @ L.B. Bear Christmas Ornaments, so this one is just for looking at. The downstairs tree is kid friendly and full of things they like. I add Christmas to every room in the house and outside. I do lots of shopping and baking non stop for 2 weeks.
We are very lucky because we have 2 big rooms downstairs that we can party in. One has the tree, and is where we open presents. The other is a big empty room that I am able to set tables up in to eat. I also make 20 cookie trays for family/friends. I line the trays up on these tables to fill them.
I still do a stocking for each grandchild. They are not stuffed full like the ones Santa does at their house but everyone enjoys this. Here are mine for this year. I did 18 this time.
Little Boys.. hand held stroble light, LED flashlight,stickers
One of the most fun traditions we started with the grandchildren is a game we play. Even the teenagers still laugh and enjoy this. I originally started it to stretch the evening when they open their presents so quickly.
We call it “THE RACING SANTA GAME”
I have a tub that I fill up with small gifts, cash, and gift cards. The prizes have evolved over the years and change to meet what I know they like.
Here are the prizes in this year’s tub.
To play this game, everyone picks out a Santa or Snowman, we set up a short track ,and the little wind up Santas race each other 2 at a time. The winner goes to the tub and gets a prize.. the loser plays the next person. Everyone wins! The poor little wind up Santa does not go too far and the kids are laughing hysterically at them.
These are a few of the traditions we do at our house. I will share some more in another post.
Bob and I just want special memories to come from the holidays at our house.
I have heard of the Pillsbury Bake-off since I was a little girl. My mother always bought the books and we went through them, admired each recipe, but never really thinking that average people made it to this contest.
In 2006 I became interested in entering contests and truly have been very honored to be chosen as a finalist for the Pillsbury Bake-off 3 times. According to the rules for this, a person may only attend 3 times.
Early last year, the contest rules were posted on the Pillsbury web site. There were 4 categories you could enter. I did enter a few recipes in each one. In June, I received an email stating that I was a potential finalist. After a screening process that all finalists go through, I was confirmed as a finalist.
The following months were filled with completing forms, media events, a photo session, hotel and travel arrangements, getting the lists of ingredients and equipment completed and lots of practicing my recipe. My husband was able to attend with me this time so there was also shopping for clothes for both of us. A facebook page was set up for those of us going to the bake-off, some that had been there previously, and ones who hope to get chosen in the future. There is so much support and well wishes from everyone. The excitement just continued to build.
The bakeoff was being held at the Omni Hotel in Nashville Tn this time. Pillsbury treats each and every finalist as royalty. They were so helpful with questions or concerns. Each finalist was given a Visa gift card and a new microwave before we even went. When we arrived, our hotel was beautiful and all of our lodging and meals were covered by Pillsbury. We also received gift bags with gifts from each of the sponsors.
This is a picture of the hotel as we drove up to it.
Looking out our window in downtown Nashville
When we arrived to register, the hallway was filled with excited people, the Doughboy, and a wall of the finalists recipes on a silk screen.
We then attended an orientation and a sneak peek at the grand ballroom that had been transformed into the contest site with 100 mini kitchens.
Group picture of the 100 Finalists
Next came a reception with our sponsor grocery store. Mine was Kroger. They gave each of us a card with a gift card enclosed. Afterwards was a dinner in another room that had been transformed with different stations for foods, drinks, and a live band playing country music. This was so much fun and a great time to connect with old friends as well as meeting new ones.
The next morning was breakfast and the actual bakeoff!!
The finalists were led into the room by a girl playing the fiddle and the Doughboy!!! A live band was playing country music inside. We danced our way around the room to our assigned kitchen units. The hostess for the event was celebrity Chef Carla Hall from ‘THE CHEW’. PLEASE NOTE THE FIRST FINALIST COMING IN….. she is a wonderful lady 89 years young!! So this goes to show you are NEVER too old to pursue your dreams and as grandparents….you can do this too.
We cooked and baked our hearts out, sampled each others recipes and talked to media, sponsors, bloggers and other invited guests. It was a whirlwind of fun and crazy activity.
We had a few free hours that day so my husband and I walked around Nashville. It was such a beautiful, clean town with so many interesting things to see.
The evening concluded with a Blue Carpet walk and pictures with the Golden Statue of the Doughboy, another very fancy dinner, and then the awards. For the first time in the history of the bake-off, America is helping to chose the 1 million dollar winner. The judges chose the 4 category winners and they were placed on the Pillsbury Facebook page for voting. The winner was announced on The Chew on December 3, 2014. I am so happy to say that one of my friends, Beth Royals won the million dollars!! She is such an awesome lady and so deserving.
I was not one of the category winners but this whole experience was nothing but a win!! I have met so many people that are now a part of my life and true friends.
This post was linked to Grand Social on Grandma’s Briefs.
It is hard to believe that 2014 is going so fast. Fall is one of our family’s favorite times of the year. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where the seasons change and we get to see the real beauty of what God has created around us.
The grandchildren are very busy with their fall sports; football, volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Fall baking has been in full swing in my kitchen. The men are getting ready for hunting season. There are the Halloween parties, campfires, and trips to the local pumpkin patches and farms.
Grandpa Bob likes to get into the seasonal fun too.
Working hard gathering just the right things to decorate with at Butchers Family Farm.
He always decorates the front of our house by himself.
It seems like life just keeps presenting challenges and I decided to tackle a big one by starting this blog. I am very computer illiterate and believe me, I have spent MANY hours, teaching myself things to this point. I have not connected to social media on here yet (mostly because I do not know how) but will do so in the near future. I woke my husband up one night just to celebrate that after hours of trying, I finally got my LINKS to work.
My vision for this blog is to share information with other grand- parents, post some recipes, and to have fun.
I have a daughter that is a Speech Therapist and one that is a Physical Therapy Assistant. They work in the school system, Birth to Three, and Easter Seals. They are going to do some guest posts for me with information parents and grandparents can find very useful. Another daughter is an Occupational Therapist, works in an assisted living facility, and will do guest posts from another point of view from grandparents.
I am giving away a $50 AMAZON gift card to celebrate this new challenge.
Please leave a comment telling me if you have any grandchildren yet and how many. There will be a random drawing Thursday evening.
Where Everything is Always Made with Love