Friday, December 31, 2010

December 30

Ahh...2010, the last year of the first decade of the 21st century.  364 days later, and 6556 (yes count them) 6556 photos later the year has come to an end.   We have been through a track season, a soccer season, 3 baton parades,  two 5 k races, me turning 40,  and Chris landing a job.   It has been a year of many activities but more importantly many blessings.  Has it turned out the way we intended?  Absolutely not, but it has turned out the way God intended for us, and that is the best thing.

We still own our house in Georgia, and yes, we would have liked for it to be sold and us in our own house here, but we have given it over to the best real estate agent ever, God, and we know that he has an ultimate plan for that house, either he has the perfect family for it, who just has not made their way to Georgia, maybe he plans on returning us to Georgia, maybe we still have it so it can bless the people who are living in it. We have no idea, but we know God does, and that is good enough.

 We have settled into a church home.   Now, this was hard for us, we kept comparing churches to our church in Georgia, but finally realized no two churches are exactly the same, so after a year, and lots of prayers God led us to this church, not necessarily the one we would have picked, but it is the one He picked, and that is good enough for us.   He has also led us to a wonderful loving life group as well.

Financially it has not been an easy year, however, we are a little less in debt and continue to learn we really do not need much to live and be happy.   I just hope we can instill that attitude into our children.

We are happy, healthy, and alive.   For that, we are soooo, sooo thankful.  And for the people God has blessed us with, we hope we are as much as a blessing to you . 

Looking forward to all God has planned for us in 2011.

 Love and Hugs
Enjoy the LittleThings

December 28

Indulge...oh the indulgences at Christmas Time. There are many for me, sugar cookies, peppermint, and new found favorite, candy cane popcorn.   But I still have to say my favorite Christmas time indulgence is Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.  I make sure to have one each Christmas!

 Disclaimer, I did not take this picture, I am not that good, I found it at this gentleman's  Flickr Page, and he gets all the credit for it.

December 27

I have been off since December 21, and its back to work for me today...blah. Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to work I go...

December 26

The Day after Christmas.  Both Chris and I are home.  We have to take back one gift, Phoenix's cell phone.  But, we did decide to go to the movies.  This seems to be typical for us the day after Christmas, whether Chris is off or not, I seem to take the kids to the movies the day after Christmas, may be so we can all decompress.  Not sure.  We went and saw Yogi Bear.  To me it was the cheesiest, stupidest movie I have ever seen, however the kids were tickled pink and laughed out loud most of the movie making the 26 dollars we paid for the family to see it well worth it.  And yeah, we got the phone exchanged.

December 25

Our kids are weird...weird I tell you.  The woke up, tried to come into our room to wake us and when they encountered a locked door the turned around and sat on the couch to wait for us.  What ever happened to banging on  your parents doors to get them up immediately to open up gifts from Santa.  We were up anyway so we padded out into the family room and the unwrapping frenzy began.  

We spent the morning unwrapping all the gifts..BB Guns, Video Cameras, American Girl Dolls, Nintendo DSI XLs, clothes, Bionicles, art kits, rocket kits and the list goes on.   Was so heartwarming to see the kids faces.  Santa really hit it this year.   

The afternoon leading up to our guests arriving was spent building rockets, shooting BB gins, talking to family, and checking  on the brisket. 

We shared dinner with one of my oldest friends and her husband and when they left, we collapsed in our beds and I for one, slept like a baby, happy and content!
All in all, a very relaxing and blessing filled day.

December 24

Christmas is here.   And I wanted it to be so special and memorable, yet I had the biggest monster mom moment...I felt so bad.   However, all three of us (me and the kids) were tired, I was kind of weepy about not having any family around, they were pushing each others buttons as well as mine and I just lost it and I felt terrible.    I took a deep breath, apologized, and suggested we go watch a movie in our room in the hopes we would all fall asleep, and eventually we did, only to wake up when Chris arrived home at around 6.  Our usually tradition of attending Christmas Eve Service went out the door.  Phoenix had not been feeling good so we scrapped going to a friends house for a Christmas Eve Celebration.  I really felt we needed to regroup as a family, so we made a pizza, opened up our PJ gifts, changed into our PJs and settled in to watch a Christmas Story.  The kids went to bed around 11, and I think I did an ok of salvaging what could have been an other wise awful day....

December 23

One of the best Best Birthday Gifts I have ever received, from my dear husband of course, and I cannot wait every for Christmas to get here so I can display it!

December 21

Our House, Right Now, This year, In Texas.

December 20

I love being surprised.   I really do..but gifts and cards that is.  But I am rarely surprised by much anymore.   But I guess that is ok.  This year, I participated in a Christmas Card Swap over at  If you love to handcraft cards and receiving handcrafted cards, I would highly recommend doing this one year.  This year I made 33 cards, sent them in and received 24 cards back (you see there were 3 groups of 11, you were required to make 11 cards for your group, making one for every participant was optional which is why I only got 24 cards back).  Anyhow, when my monthly pizza box arrived with my kit, it had another pizza box full of these absolutely beautiful cards, and all handcrafted, and although I knew they were coming I was still quite surprised to receive them.    It seems like fewer and fewer Christmas Cards arrive to the Gibson household every year, all these cards were an unexpected blessing.   Loved them!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 19th

I wrote a letter to Santa was kind of fun.  I should do this every year.

December 18

I AM SOO EXCITED!  Not only am I cooking Christmas Dinner this year, but we are going to have company, yes, I said company.  My BFF Lori and her crazy family of 6 are coming over to Celebrate Christmas with us,  yup.  Loru, Bob, Robbie, Blade, Gabby, and Natasha are traveling over the hills and through the woods to eat with us.   What are we having you ask?  Well  the menu is as follows:

Smoked Beef Brisket (we are in Texas after all)
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes (My Signature Dish it seems)
Brussle Sprouts Sauteed in Butter and Garlic
Rosemary French BRead with Garlic Butter
Apple Pie pics....but I love having company at the Holidays!  Merry Christmas!

December 16

So thankful for so many things and have never taken the time to just reflect on those things or write them donw.  I so often think about creating a gratitude journal but I never get aroudn to doing it.  SO rigth her right now I am going to list just a minute fractionof what I am thankful for right now.

~ My husbands hands (i say this often because they save us so much money every year) ~ Our children who bless me every day in so many ways ~my job since it keeps  a roof over our heads ~ our vehicles which allow us not only to work but also afford us so many other opportunities we otherwise would not have ~ our computer which allows us to keep in touch with so many of our friends and families ~ our phones ~ the simple pleasure and luxury of a morning cup of coffee with a little bit of cream ~  my bed ~ my parents without whom I would not be who I am today ~ the freedom to worship my God my way ~ my savior Jesus Christ who was perfect and died, so that I may live forever ~ my church family ~ our leaders in Washington, complain as we may, they still have the unenviable task of running this country and they cannot make everyone happy all the time ~ my friends who just accept me as I am (I know that is hard sometimes) ~ cousins who are like sisters ~ books which allow  me to escape to other worlds ~ the privlege of prayer ~ the means to bless our children this Christmas ~

Hugs and Love
Enjoy the little things.

December 15

I am blessed with a December Birthday, today to be exact, and I am turning 40.   And I have made sure everyone has known that, and they all responded as they should.   My coworkers decorated my cube, my husband has planned a dinner out with my friends, and even better yet, two whole days without the kids, and even though those two days will  be filled with Christmas Shopping, it is well appreciated, as it allows us to get so much done we otherwise would not get done.  The only bad thing about a December birthday is that it makes it really hard to have a get together, people are out of town, people are busy getting ready for the Holidays, it is just a busy time of  year, but regardless, I am so grateful for the time I got so spend throughout the past month with some wonderful people celebrating my 40th year walking this earth.  I am so blessed, and so thankful for all of them in my life!

A group picture from my Birthday dinner at Magic Time Machine...FUN (yep that is Pocohantas who jumped into my picture)!

Hugs and Love
Enjoy the little things.

December 14th

Have you ever really thought about how your Christmas Gifts get distributed?  I actually never have!  By the time Christmas Morning rolls around we have so many gifts under the tree it is somewhat sickening.   We only allow the kids to open one gift under the tree on Christmas Eve and it is always Christmas PJs (so they look good foir Christmas Picutres the next day).  When the kids wake up Christmas Morning to the addition of Santa Gifts to the already overflowing tree an unwrapping frenzy follows.  I will say as they have gotten older, they do take turns opening their gifts.   One will grab a gift open it, then the other one will grab a gift and open it.  they are not picky as to whether they open Santa Gifts first or not, but they will pick a box intentionally if they think it is the box that has what they especially want in it and when they come across one for the adults they bring it to us, and we only open our gifts after they have opened all theirs.   We let them tear through their presents, stopping a few times during the frenzy to gather up the gift wrapping to put in a trash bag, but for the most part it is a uncrollable, unrapping frenzy, and I would not have it any other way.

A peek into the unwrapping frenzy.

Hugs and Love
Enjoy the little things.

December 12

One of the blessings (or curses depending on  how you think of it) of growing up in Orlando was having Walt Disney World in your back yard.   Back in the days I was in high school and the first year of college what is now known as Downtown Disney was referred to as Disney Village, and it was not nearly as commercialized or popular as it is now, as a matter of fact I remember it as a well kept secret.   Every year Disney would hold a Live Nativity at Disney Village and we would go watch it as a family.  It was such a moving production, every year I would get goosebumps whenever the drummer boy made his way to Baby Jesus' bed.   We only did this as a family a few years, I have no photos of this short lived annual trek, and I would continue to go until I left Orlando to go to college in Gainesville, but I remember it as a fond and special memory with my family.   The last time I went to Downtown Disney with a glimmer of hope that the may have the production at Christmas, I was sadly mistaken.  I was greeted by full parking lots, a throng of shoppers, and really no remnants of the quaint village I remember from my high school and college days.  And definitely no signs of the real reason for the season.

December 11

Oh Christmas Tree.  I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas trees.  I love the IDEA of a beautiful lighted Christmas Tree in my living room, where I envision me spending peaceful nights sippping coffee or cocoa when everyone else has gone to bed...YEAH RIGHT. This never happens though.  

Buying the tree and decorating the tree is such an ordeal.  Not sure why it is or if it has to be, but it seems to be in our house.   In Georgia we had started a tradition of cutting our tree down and bringing it home.  The one year we did that does hold some awesome memories, but then we moved to Texas, and the closest farm is a two hour drive.  Just not an option.  The past two years one of us adults has run to the store to pick one up, so it has not been even undertaken as a family.

Our Christmas tree style is very sentimental, all the kids ornaments they have made throughout the years are lovingly and proudly placed on the tree each year.  We try to buy an ornament every place we visit, and those too are placed lovingly and proudly on the tree.   This year, the kids actually asked about many of the ornaments we brought back from Alaska on our honeymoon, and it was fun toi reminisce about our honeymoon and share it with them.  

In the end, yes, I love the lighted, ecelctic, tree, however, those eveninngs I dream of sitting in the dark room with nothing but the Christmas Tree Lights on sipping a cup of coffee just never materialize.   I'm thinking I have to schedule that into my evenings!

Our tree this year.

 Hugs and Love.
Enjoy the little things.

December 10th

What is it about wrapping?  I love the idea of beautiful paper, coordinating tags, and ribbon, and making the packaging as much as part of the gift as the gift itself.  HOWEVER, it never happens for me.   Usually I find myself wrapping gifts to be sent out while I am in line at the post office, no joke here.   And, well, Christmas Eve, instead of enjoying a nice cozy night watching a movie with my husband, which is what I would rather be doing, he and I find ourselves spending the entire night wrapping gifts.  Every year we say "We are not waiting until Christmas Eve to wrap" and every year Christmas Eve finds us up late wrapping gifts.  

Heck, I still have a pile of gifts I made for friends in Georgia and family in Ohio, still sitting in my craft room because I never got them wrapped, it has been a year people, and there they sit, and will likely sit for another year.   I suppose we could add waiting until the last minute to wrap to our Christmas Traditions.

December 9th

Year after year, when I think about Christmas traditions, I think of how we have not done a very good job of creating treasured family traditions for our kids.

When I was growing up, we had several traditions, but the most treasured one was opening  family gifts on Christmas Eve. As a Navy family, it was rare we were in Ohio with the rest of the family for Christmas, but we still received gifts from those Ohio family members, tons of them when we were younger.  And, since the Ohio family had the annual Christmas Eve get together on Christmas Eve, my parents let us open their gifts so we could call into the party.   I really treasure the memory of that tradition.

Now that we are in Texas and my bestest buddy in the whole world lives a short 40 minutes away, we instituted the annual Bambach-Gibson cookie/crafting day.   Her kids came over and we baked dozens of cookies, and made dozens of ornaments.   That was a fun day, and a tradition I hope we can keep going.   The kids were not too interested in the baking, but they did love the ornament making and they enjoyed making marshmallow hot chocolate stirrers. 

With our kids, we allow them to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and it is the pajamas, and we all wear our new pajamas to bed Christmas Eve.  Not sure how they feel about that tradition, but it is what it is.

A few years ago in Georigia, we attempted to start the cut your own tree tradition, however, since we have moved to Texas and the nearest cut your own tree is hours away, that went by the wayside.  In Georgia, we had our annual Christmas Dinner with self named Saturday Night Supper Club friends, but we are not in Georgia anymore. 

One tradition that has stuck year over year for me is making my Christmas Cards.  I have made them for 4 or 5 years now, and I still enjoy doing it. Now I find Phoenix making random  Christmas cards to send to people and she has a pretty good eye for them (especially for a 9 year old). 

I really hope we can create some more family traditions with our Children, whatever they might be.  Suggestions anyone?

I will leave you with photos from our annual craft/cookie day.

Hugs and Love
Enjoy the little things.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 17

For my Birthday I took December 16th and 17th off, and so did Chris, and for the first time that I can remember Chris and I went shopping together and finished off our Christmas awsome.  We had our list, we checked it twice, and basically caounhted every one as nice and tackled the list.   And for the most part, we got it all done, only having to go to three store for the one elusive item on our list, only to find one left at the last store went to, whew! 

My Christmas gift giving ebbs and flows, some  years I know what the perfect gift is for a certain person like the Memory Wreath I made my nana many years back,a and some years it is a struggle.   This year I think my perfect gift is a scrapbook I made for my BFF documenting our first reunited year after not seeing or talking with each other for 27 years.   I wish I had made two because I know it is the perfect gift.   But I am not always so lucky every year in finding the perfect gift for even just one person.    I just don't think it is supposed to be that hard, and I honestly think I make it that hard, especially when it comes to my parents and Chris.    I alwasy fail miserably when buying for Chris, and he always does an awesome, thoughtful job when buying for me.   One of these years, I will find him a perfect gift, it just has not happened yet.  I'm waiting for that year.

December 13

One of my most favoritest (its a sentance and a word, I jsut made it up) parts of Christmas is the Christmas music.  I love Christmas Music.  I love the traditional Christmas Hymmns and the new modern Christmas Songs as well.  I just love the feeling of Joy many of those songs impart.   I even love those cheesy songs such as Granma Got run Over by a Reindeer.  
If I were to create a playlist on my Ipod (no, I don't have an Ipod, I had 2, but left both of them at the gym never to be seen again) these would be in a playlist labeled, Favorite Christmas

Joy to the World (my absolute favorite Christmas Song)
Silent Night
Little Drummer Boy
Grandma Got Run Ovder by a Reindeer
Christmas Shoes
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
Jingle Bells
Frosty the Snowman
We Three Kings
Jingle Bell Rock
Christmas Carol

Oh, I like so many more, but these are just a sampling of my favorites.  

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 6th

 I have so many good Christmas memories.  My parents always made sure we had Christmas, even the years we were traveling from one City or another for a military transfer, usually those years we would swing by Ohio to spend Christmas with my mom's family, and attend the annual Christmas Eve get together.  I will admit, those years hold some of my best memories.

But I have to say, my favorite Christmas memory is the  year my and my first husband lived in Nebraska (1995).  We decided at the last minute to drive straight through to Toledo and surprise everyone by showing up to the annual Christmas Eve party.  We had to tell someone so we told my Nana who in turn told my Cousin Shelly.  But they were the only ones who knew.   The drive to Toledo itself was miserable, but once we arrived we had a day all to oursleves with my Nana before we left for the party.  Shelly came over, and spent some time with us, she was pregnant with her first baby and had just found out, she was so excited, as I was excited for her.  My cousins Kip, Kraig, and Kent all called separately to see if Nana needed a ride to the party, she told each of them one of the other ones were taking her.   We were late (not uncommon when I am involved), however my Uncle Bill and his family were even later.   Kip, Kraig, and Kent were confused because each of them were there without Nana.  We knocked on the door, and walked in, and managed to surprise everyone, and in my family that is a huge feat, even my Uncle Bill did not put two and two together when he arrived and saw our car with the Florida tags in it.  I can say this was the first year I "made" soemthing by hand, it was a Memory Wreath for my Nana. Now, remember this was way before internet, somehow I managed to get letters to all her kids and grandkids asking for pictures of them and momentos that would represent them.  They sent them all back to me and I deocrated a wreath with small picture frames and the moementos.  She loved that wreath.  I love that wreath, it is now in my possession, and it brings back such warm memories.  

During that trip I also spent some time with my grandfather and his family.  I visited my Great Grandma Reese.  It was my last visit with while she was still relatively healthy.  

That was the last Christmas I spent with my Nana, she died years later, but in those years I had never made it back fro Christmas.   Uncle Bill and My Cousin Kip are no longer with us either.  I miss them all.    The annual Christmas Eve get together has waned in recent years with all of us grand kids having our own families, and being tugged in every direction, kind of sad, but so grateful to have those memories to hang on to and  so wish my kids had experienced one of those get togethers.

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 4

This year, it is so..well just so nice, that we are all here, and able to decorate the house inside and out together, well Chris did the bulk of the outside of the house,  but we did it, and it feels so much more like Christmas. 
The other night after we put the tree up, Griffin fell asleep on the couch next to the tree.  He is still at that age where the Christmas Magic is still "magical".   As I looked at him, I thought to myself, this is just perfect, yes, perfect, our little family all together to enjoy the entire Christmas season.   I cannot think anything much more perfect than that, except for the rest of the family to be here with us.

Merry Christmas, enjoy the little things

Hugs and Love

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dec 3

Yayyy!  I feel very accomplished, Christmas Cards Done this year, three different versions.   I am still at a stage where I love making the cards, and am not naive enough to think I will  make them every year forever, but for now it is a great feeling of accomplish when they are complete before December.  This year I am just waiting for the family pictures to put in them before they go out.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dec 2

It never failed in Georgia, when the dog days of summer ended and Mother Nature splashed her paint brush all over the trees up and down the mountains with every red, orange, adn gold shade imaginable, I would say to myself, nothing could be more beautiful.  But then She would cover the earth with snow, and ice, and my breath would be taken away again, so magnificent, magical and peaceful is a fresh snow covered landscaped yet to be disturbed.   And even more so when She does it for Christmas. 

This time last year we already had snow.  And Mother Nature unleashed a doozy of a blizzard on us on Christmas Eve giving my children their first ever white Christmas.   I do hope She does that again, but even if she does not, I love the cool crisp weather, allowing for the crackle of a fire pit out back, or cozying up in the family room.  I am not sure what it is, since I spent the majority of my life in a tropical climate, but there is something about cool crisp weather making it feel more like Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1st

It is December 1st already.  I cannot believe it.  Twenty four more days until Christmas.  And for me, the next 14 are busy, busy, busy.   This Thursday is the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree in the Square in Denton,  and we are so going this year.   Saturday Phoenix has a parade, then we have caroling at a local nursing facility, then a sleepover with the 5th and 6th grade girls from Club 56 at Church.  We are making Christmas Gifts for their parents.  I am in Louisiana Monday and Tuesday for meetings.   Then next Saturday is another parade for Phoenix, I am already tired just thinking about it.  And next Sunday is the first annual Gibson-Bambach Christmas Ornament and Cookie making day.   The following weekend is my 40th birthday celebration weekend (I cannot even believe I am almost to that milestone in life, I still feel 12). So it will be a whirlwind between now and Christmas!

Every year I embark on the Journal your Christmas Journey (check it out at, and every year I never get it all done.  But that is OK.  I love the idea of it, and have decided I will get done what prompts I can get done.  I have done this for two years, and I have to say going back and reading the entries and looking at my scrapbook pages have brought back some sweet sweet memories.

The first prompt of the project is always the Manifesto where we state our intentions for the season....well I think this about sums it up this year not just for the Christmas Season but for every day in general after that:

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!  Relish the season and take time for the little things! 

Hugs and Love