Monday, December 31

Winter Wonderland

We experienced a white Christmas in southern Arkansas for the first time that I can recall. My grandparents live on about 60 acres near Hope and on Christmas Day we looked out to see snow coming down--a big change from the years that we've worn shorts and t-shirts to play outside on Christmas. Luckily the roads were clear for the drive home the next day. Snow is a beautiful treat when you have no where that you need to go.

My cousins ran outside for a photo shoot as soon as they realized that it was snowing. My mom and I waited until the ground was white.

Ollie came to Arkansas for the first time this year. As a result he got to experience snow for the second time. I don't think he's any more fond of it now than he was during the blizzard Tulsa got a couple years ago. At least it wasn't as deep this time.

Ollie wasn't sure what to make of the snow.

Christmas Spirit

I spent the month of December before Christmas in a decorating and baking flurry. I bought a rosemary tree at Reasor's and wrapped red ribbon around it for my table centerpiece. And a big red pot to plant it in.

I modified an idea from pinterest where you take a pretty cake plate and use garland and glass ball ornaments to create holiday decor. On pinterest they used a tiered serving tray.

I made "crack", a recipe from my gramma that is so addictive. It involves lots of butter, saltine crackers and chocolate.

I also made sugar cookies with crushed peppermint in them, cherry coconut candies, buckeyes and apricot horns. I also made a few prune horns since my dad prefers those for some reason.

Most of my recipes turned out in the end, but I had a few challenges throughout the process--mainly with the horns and the cherry coconut candy. I won't get into the details, but by the time I finished those candies I didn't even want to try one. I froze a few in case I finally decide I want some by spring.

Everything was a big hit with my family though. If the buckeye recipe didn't make so many my brothers and cousins might have come to blows, luckily we didn't run out!

I set up my nativity scene, which I still love. Jim Shore makes some of the most adorable pieces, I only wish I had the full size nativity instead of the miniature since so many of the pieces on his site are too big for my set.

I put up my tree! I also culled my ornaments and gave away those that I didn't actually care for--although I opted for just lights and the star to decorate this year. I really like the plain white lights and I just bought the star for the top so I've enjoyed showcasing it.

When I first got my tree a few years ago I didn't have any ornaments. My mom and grandmother both gave me some of the ones they didn't use anymore. However, I've collected more over the past few years. I'm going to try to build my collection with pieces that mesh well moving forward.

I had a lot of fun shopping for everyone this year. I got some great gifts, mostly things I needed for around the house. One of my cousin Macy's favorite gifts was her American Girl doll. It made me wish I had brought one of my dolls and the clothes I've got stored in my attic so we could have played with them. 

A Few Miscellaneous Pictures

I'll end this post with a few random pictures that I took over the holidays this year.

My mom's neighborhood has a flock of wild turkeys.
They made me wait while they crossed the road.
My gift for Macy. A lady at one of the
courthouses I go to makes and sells them.
Ollie finally calmed down on the drive home,
the whole way to Arkansas he kept
jumping around the car every few minutes.
These lights make me wish I had a central walk
so I could do something similar.

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