Christmas Decorations = Years of Memories...

It has only taken 3 days and I can say that I am FINALLY finished decorating my house for Christmas!  I LOVE Christmas and everybody know it and simply indulges me as I begin to drag all of my boxes out of the attic each year.  Traditionally erecting my tree on the day after Thanksgiving, this year, Robby suggested making the trek over to the nursery where we purchased our tree last year even the day before Thanksgiving to begin looking...for the "Perfect" tree once again.

Once our tree had been picked out and paid for, I knew it wouldn't be delivered until the next day, so I decided to start putting out various decorations.  And once this task has begun, it is difficult to stop!  But over the years I have learned to pace myself...thus, the taking of 3 days to complete the task of making my house look like Santa's Workshop!


My decorations have significance to me, as I'm sure most of yours do to you.  I can remember when and why I purchased them or in some cases, who gave them to me.  But my Christmas tree tells a story; a story of my life as a wife and mom and our family...





Each year this tree holds my children's "First Christmas" ornaments, ornaments they made in school, ones I purchased while vacationing each year, those given to me by students, LSU ones and many more.  Taking out my boxes of ornaments each year is like taking a trip down memory lane.

And then, of course, there is my nativity scene...

I only have this one nativity set and I LOVE it!  It always sits in the same spot each year and I enjoy looking at it daily throughout the Christmas season.  It gives me such peace and serves as a daily reminder of what this season is all about.  This year, I decided to buy another nativity set for Parker...and all future grandchildren to enjoy...

This Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set is perfect for the young child.  Made of plastic, it cannot be broken and they can play with it.  I set it out on a table where Parker can reach it.  What a wonderful way to introduce children to the Christ child and the story of the first Christmas.

And then there's all of our stockings that hang on my hall tree...

Whenever a new member is added to our family, they get a needlepoint, monogrammed Christmas stocking.  Allison is the newest member this year!  Oh yea...and my two little doxies also have stockings hanging here.

I splurged last year and bought this canvas to add to my Christmas decorations.  I bought a black Sharpie and wrote "The Rogenmoser Family" on the reindeer's reign and then put each couple's names on a jingle bell.  Then, I added Parker's name to a bell too; each additional grandchild's name will be added to a bell also.

And then there are my old favorites that I always put out.  I started collecting vintage elves a few years ago and I just love searching for new ones to add to that collection each Christmas. 

I have collected Snow Babies for years; someone usually gets me another one for Christmas.  They made me think of my kids when they were little and put a smile on my face!

And let's not forget Old Saint Nick...

This is the coolest Santa!  He was made by a nearby artist out of pine cones and an okra pod.

And let's not forget our LSU Tigers!  And if you look closely over to the right, you will see one of my very unusual vintage elves; he's purple and gold!

This Santa sits in his sleigh, where little doxies climb all over him...



What a joyous season this is.  It brings back many memories to me and by nature lends itself to making new ones each year as well.   From my family to yours, I would like to wish you all a very blessed season, filled with the joy that only the Christ child can bring.  Merry Christmas!












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A "Different" Kind Of Thanksgiving...

I'm not really crazy about "different"...change...all that stuff, but no matter how I don't like it, things are gonna change (sigh...).  And this Thanksgiving was definitely "different" for me.

This year half of my kids would not be here to celebrate the holiday with me so I decided that I wouldn't host the lunch at my house.  It was Justin, Sarah and Parker's year to be in Arkansas with Sarah's family and Caitlin and Kevin would be staying in Ohio this year.  I was, however, happy that I would get to see David and Codi and Ryan and Allison, so I agreed to just let my mother-in-law prepare Thanksgiving lunch at her house this year and I would pick up again with our Christmas dinner for over 30 people.

As the day drew nearer, I got a little sad about things changing in this empty nest of ours; birds now flew in and out as they pleased as I awaited for a visit.  I never thought I would see the day that I said I missed the noise and chaos that came along with this crew of mine...but I DO MISS IT!  And so I settled in for a quieter version of the holiday this year.

Caitlin invited Kevin's mom and her husband for lunch and decided to tackle her first turkey and dressing.  She called both grandmothers and stayed on the phone with her dad for the better part of the the day before, making sure that turkey of hers wouldn't turn out like the one on Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and her dressing wouldn't be dry.  HEY!  I was just impressed that she had decided to jump in there and tackle the meal, herself.












           OK...So, these are just a few photos she sent me; looks pretty YUMMY to me!


I went and picked my mother up and then we headed over to my mother-in-law's house for our own Thanksgiving lunch...














And then after much chit-chat around the dining room table, I remembered the tree!  Glancing at my watch I saw that the nursery would be closing in about an hour and we had to get down there and pick out the "Perfect Tree" to be delivered the next day...







We found it and arranged to have it delivered the next morning so the Christmas decorating could begin.  I was a "different" kinda Thanksgiving and well, I still really don't like change that much when it comes to my holidays, but it was still a good day and I am thankful for some things that NEVER change...

Like this silly guy!  I just wanted a picture of us and after looking at the picture told him he needed to open his eyes...

                                                                            He did!


From my BIG, FAT FAMILY to yours...I hope you enjoy EVERY minute of this holiday season with the people you love!


















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ROAD TRIP...To Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days

You remember Bonnie & Clyde, don't you?  They are those well-known outlaws who traveled throughout the United States during the Great Depression Era.  Finally caught and gunned down in Arcadia, Louisiana, we down here in the south have done what most southerners do to commemorate such an event...Turn the place of their capture into a flea market! 

It had been many years since I have traveled to Bonnie & Clyde Trade Days so when my sister mentioned a few girls going for the day on Saturday, I decided to tag along...


Of course, there is always someone at these sort of places who is trying to sell a product by demonstration.  And my sister...well, she's the "Gadget Queen" and will ALWAYS stop to listen...

You see (that's her in the middle there...), her arms are crossed and her head is tilted; that is a sign that she is REALLY interested in the product.

                                OH NO!  He's almost got her.  It's the "Try it yourself" move...

And then he said the "Magic Words"..."Two for the special price of...".  That's when she and Linda started rummaging through their purses to purchase one of those peeler gadgets.

                           "TA DA!!!"  He gotcha...Now, can we move on?  I'm starving!

                                             Oh yea...They had all kinds of food out there!

And then we continued our trek through the dusty paths to hopefully find some sort of "Awesome Deals".




                                       I always love looking at these cute southern T-Shirts!


                  And then I noticed this clown.  I wondered if he could make me a bicycle...

OH MY...Only in the south would you find camo lingerie.  Nope!  I didn't buy any, just had to have a picture of it.

It didn't take much for me to convince my sister to buy this cute little one cup, drip coffee pot.  You get the picture, don't you?  I find things to encourage them to buy and I just snap pictures all day!

                                                       And then there was the bull...

You see, there was this cowboy riding the bull around during the day and a sign was hanging off the side of the bull that said, "Bull Rides $10".  Well, the girls tried to get me to ride the bull but let's just say, I wasn't riding it for many reasons.  However, when we sat down to rest for a minute, I was encouraged to go over and act like I was playing "Slap the Bull" and someone would take my picture.  Now I thought that would be sorta fun to do.  And so I noticed that the bull was tied up and lying down...no one was around; it was the perfect time to do something like that.  So, my sister and I headed over towards the bull and just as we approached it...here came the cowboy, walking at neck speed, his spurs clinking with every step and a WHIP in his hand.  He was shouting to me, "Hey! You wanna ride the bull?  I'll ride it with ya!"  I told my sister to walk very fast back to where everyone else was sitting.  He was persistent and I finally said, "NO!  I REALLY don't want to ride the bull".  But I DID want a picture of me with that bull (ugh...).  I was afraid he was going to charge me 10 bucks to take a picture so as soon as the bull stood up, I zoomed in as much as I could and snapped one...


Well, I must say that we had a GREAT GIRLS' DAY in Arcadia.  And when I returned, a friend told me a story about Bonnie & Clyde.  It seems her mother lived there when the two were knocking around town and she remembered Bonnie...that "Fast Woman" who wore the red nail polish!  I laughed that wearing red nail polish was such a scandalous things back then; what in the world would they think about the things women wear these days?!



















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A Thankful Heart...

During this month I have enjoyed reading all of the Facebook posts about the things people are thankful for.  It caused me to ponder if there is anything that puts one more at peace than a "thankful heart".

What is a "thankful heart", you may ask.  It is a heart that is filled with gratitude on a daily (if not moment by moment) basis.  Do you have a thankful heart?  One that attempts to see the good in everything?  One that awakes in the morning thanking God for even the breath that you take?

When I think of being thankful, I realize that I have quite a LOT to be thankful for...


I am very thankful for my husband.  He is a wonderful mate, father, friend, provider.  He is an unselfish person, always thinking of others before himself.  God truly blessed me when he gave me Robby...






I am thankful for a Christian mother who instilled Christian values in me.  I grew up in the 60's with a single mother.  She was pretty ill equipped to deal with life on her own and a small child.  Somehow we made it.  She got a job, went back to school and was able to provide for us.  We did not live an extravagant life style but we had all we needed.  I am very thankful to still have her in my life at the age of 84...






I am thankful that God gave me a sibling.  My parents and sister prayed for many years for an addition to our family and finally after 15 years, I was born.  Although there is a 15 year gap between my sister and me, we have become very close over the years. I am very thankful that I have a sister...





I am thankful for my children.  Having grown up with a much older sibling, I determined early on that I wanted a large family.  God so graciously gave me four wonderful children who have made my life so full.  They are not perfect children, but they are children who have been raised by two Christian parents who have instilled values in them.  Now that they are grown I can say that I am very proud of who they have become.  I am so thankful for my children and that we are a close knit family...






I am thankful for great in-laws.  I am one of those fortunate people who have a great set of in-laws.  They are wonderful Christian people who raised their son in such a way to make him into the man, husband, father and provider he is today.  I do not have drama with my mother-in-law, as a matter of fact, I refer to her as Mother Theresa.  This woman is so kind and unselfish.  She never says a bad word about anyone.  I am very thankful for these two individuals who have been a huge part of our lives for over 30 years...









I am thankful that God has provided mates for all of my children.  Marrying one's children off is bittersweet.  The feelings of letting go are sad but no one wants their children to go through life alone and so when my children were born, I began to pray that God would bless them with a mate of His choosing and bless them with large families as well.  I am thankful for two daughter-in-laws, a son-in-law and a future daughter-in-law...















I am thankful for my grandchildren, born and unborn.  I never knew how happy and content a grandchild could make you.  When they enter your life, all is well and you don't know how you ever managed to live without them.  Children and grandchildren are truly a gift from God.  I am very thankful for Parker Ann and our new little unborn grand daughter, "Baby Jarrell"...











 I cannot fail to also mention that I am very thankful for my health.  When we are younger we simply get up every day without thought to how we feel; we think that we are invincible and never even give a thought to the fact that one day things could change.  I will admit that I was that way; busily getting up every day and rushing around shuttling my children here and there, taking care of their needs.  I never gave a second thought to my own health; that is until recently.  For the past year I have struggled with my thyroid, waking up each day not feeling well and seeking answers to fix whatever was wrong so I could once again get up and just feel good again.  And after a year of praying and seeking a physician who could help me, I can now say that has finally happened...and I am very thankful for that, for my health, for the ability to get out of bed and feel good once again daily.


Thankfulness is a condition of the heart.  It is a feeling of overwhelming joy that God has smiled on you and poured His grace out upon you; His undeserved loving kindness.  A thankful heart is a content heart.  "Things" do not matter; they come and go and fade away and can truly never make you happy.  But the gifts from above are the only ones that truly matter; the gifts of life, love, family, laughter and relationships. For these things I am thankful; thankful that God has the first place in my life and allowed everything else to fall into the place where he would have it.  For me, thankfulness if not just a November thing...it is a daily (if not moment by moment...) thing.  I am thankful.













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