Friday, November 5, 2010

Inspiration Friday Party No. 11 and...

...My poor confused children!

When you have an entire side of the family (mine) that lives out of state, you have to get very creative about celebrating Holidays.
We have had Easter Egg Hunts weeks before or weeks after Easter, Birthday celebrations MONTHS before or after, trick-or-treating where you dress up your 3 year old son, take him out the back door of Nonna and Poppa's house and walk him all the way around the house to the front door just so everyone can have the experience of him ringing the doorbell at THEIR house and saying "Trick-or Treat!" He was very baffled but he got candy so he didn't really care!
Here is a classic example...

"Uhhh...guys? Why did you make us change into these stuffy clothes while you all sit there in your Sweats taking our pictures?"

"Didn't we already have an Easter Egg Hunt?"

"Oh, wait...there's candy? Never mind!"

And at least every other year we celebrate "Christmas" at Thanksgiving with my side of the family, thus adding to the confusion.
Which also means, that the decorating starts early around here.
And, I used to kind of keep it under wraps from other folks.

But, not this year!!
I proudly declare that I am going to start decorating next week! Not all at once, just a little bit at a time.
You know why???
It takes A LOOONNNGGGG time to decorate a house with little ones under foot. is A LOT of work...too much work to only enjoy it for 3-4 weeks...and, well...when it is cold and dreary outside, it just makes me feel good!
So there.

I've also been listening to Christmas music since the week before Halloween...just Instrumental mind you.
And to all of you seriously Loyal Christmas folks who don't break out the music until December First, I say...
It makes me happy!
And isn't it better than me turning to "the bottle" to lift my spirits?
So there.
This year, once again, my kiddos will be celebrating one Holiday two times, but as long as there are treats and presents involved, they don't care. But, if one of my kids marries one of your kids and they come to your house at Thanksgiving and wonder why you don't have gifts for them, don't blame me...blame my out-of-state relatives!

And, just so you know, this is from LAST year.
Not that I need to justify myself!

Okie Dokie! Let's move on to some great Inspiration from last week's party.
I'm going to do things a little bit differently this week and share with you 1 story involving 2 different bloggers.
Lynn over at Blue Skies contributed a post to Inspiration Friday that literally brought tears to my eyes and really showed the true heart of the Blogging community.
She and her daughter Brenna love to cook together but due to some visual impairment, Brenna has not been able to read the recipes herself and has to just "trust" that Mom is getting the instructions right!
Well, Susan at Susan deGeneres Studio heard about this and took it upon herself to bless the socks off these Mother and Daughter Chefs! She created a recipe book for her delicious Pumpkin Pie where every single step had been photographed and each photo came with instructions in BIG BOLD TYPE.

Lynn said Brenna just poured over each page.

She wrote, "how does one explain kindness like that?"

I think I need to go get a tissue...
Ok. I'm back.
If that isn't Inspiring, then I don't know what is!
I'm so proud to be among a group of women, who not only share their home decorating, cooking and crafts. But, who also share from the overflow of love and generosity in their hearts!

Thank you Lynn, for sharing this story with us. And THANK YOU Susan, for being an example of the blessing and kindness that we are called to share with those around us...including those in blogland!

So, what have you all been up to this week? I know I have seen some Christmas decor and crafts already (makes me feel better!) and some great Thanksgiving and Harvest themed tablescapes and decor. Not to mention, an overwhelming amount of yummy recipes that make my thighs jiggle just looking at them!
Link 'em on up my friends!

And have a blessed weekend from
this Southern Girl at Heart,

P.S. I know it says this in the linky instructions below, but PLEASE be sure to make some reference to the Inspiration Friday Party in your post or just grab my button over in the sidebar. Thanks!
Here is how to link up...
1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your address but it will not be visible to anyone else.
2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else!


René said...

This is such a sweet post Vanessa. I will try to link to this party sometime soon.


Lori said...

I have five presents wrapped and ready!

Vicki said...

Great post Vanessa! Your kids are stinking cute! You are such a sweetie to try and accommodate everyone in the family and all the holiday celebrations. I love Lynn over at Blue Skies and needed a tissue last week myself. What a sweet, sweet story! I can't believe I'm first to your linky party! So excited...I've never been first. Thanks for hosting and have yourself a fabulous weekend. Can I recommend, Christmas music and some "grape" after the kids go to bed then get those decorations up! lol Hugs! Vicki

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

That is a very touching story! Kindness really makes such a big impact in someone's life. Thanks for sharing.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Oh my goodness, isn't that the sweetest thing. How amazingly thoughtful!

No need to explain the early holidays, I know lot's of folks that do Christmas at Thanksgiving with extended family. When your one who always has a very long week of Christmas with two different sides of the family and then your own, the Thanksgiving option sounds great! Then again I could enjoy Christmas all year long! :)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Vanessa, I guess we all celebrate in different ways. I bet you kids love doing it twice.

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hey Vanessa- your kids are so adorable!! Goodness your holidays sound similar to mine growing up- But mine were due to divorces and remarriages! I swear my brother and I never knew if we were coming or going!! Btw- kindred again... We have been listening to Christmas music and I decided a few years ago I was starting the decorating after Halloween! Plus, I too, have lots to put up! I'll be back to link up in a bit- gotta go pick my post!! :) thanks for hosting !!

Jemsmom said...

My Christmas shopping is almost complete! I am ready to start decorating, but can't do it until after Thanksgiving! I don't know why, but I am crazy that way!

We have always had crazy Christmases with driving all over the state of Tennessee, but we have decided to be home for Christmas so this is the first year of Christmas at Thanksgiving with my family. We will see how it goes!

What a sweet story about Brenna!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

I definitely understand this! Two of my kids were dedicated twice! Once at home and once at my parents church!
But you are making me tired just thinking about starting to decorate for Christmas this early! I am so NOT ready!
Can't wait to see all your Christmas!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hey Vanessa, You are so funny! My son grew up celebrating most holidays twice so I understand completely. I have also been itching to start decorating for Christmas. Go for it girl!

Karen said...

Thank you for sharing this; how precious. It warms my heart since, I've gotten into the blogging world to see all of those who show kindness and are great encouragers. You being one of those!

~Kristin~ said...

You do what you have to do, right? As long as the kids know how special they are and how much everyone loves them, that's all that matters! Love the story of Brenna and her mom. Pure sweetness.
Have a great weekend Vanessa!

Sue said...

I'm sure they'll have wonderful memories of their multiple holiday celebrations. What sweet pictures of the kids, Vanessa.
hugs, Sue

Melanie said...

I read the same story and it was very touching. I know that I have felt much blog love and support during our move.

You go girl. Decorate that house with Christmas stuff. I wish you could come and do mine. I dread getting all that mess out after I will just be finished unpacking a house:(

Bah Hum Bug! LOL!

Unknown said...

For what it's worth, I think LOTS of family have offbeat holidays. Keeps things interesting, and I'm sure the kids LOVE getting to celebrate everything just a little longer! Thanks for hosting again this week! :)

NanaDiana said...

I have a best friend...and our biggest joke is always when they will celebrate the Holiday...where and why? lol I get it and get the biggest kick out of the confusion it must cause in the kids' minds. I can't believe that recipe book make for Brenna. Makes ME want to cry too. Hugs- Diana

Melissa Miller said...

That is so cute Vanessa. I'll bet they do love the celebrations.

Thanks for hosting! Since you liked my wine tablescape I decided to add it here to your wonderful festivities. It seemed to fit well.

Have a great weekend!
Warmly, ~Melissa :)

Anonymous said...

I've got a week of blog catching up to do but I wanted to get this linked. I'll be back and thanks for hosting!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hi Vanessa,

I hope you have a GREAT time decorating!

I can't wait to see what you do!

You're children really are scrumptious, aren't they?

They're little faces - so cute!

Thank you for letting me link up.


Debbie said...

The fact that you gave a shout out to a favorite story from one of my favorite blogs is the cherry on top to this Inspiration Friday post.

I think your reenactments are clever and fun. What a great way to make sure your parents have those great moments that we all dream of having with our grandchildren.

I wouldn't want to celebrate Christmas twice at my age. My birthday is the day before. Yikes!

Kim said...

Hey Vanessa! Your little ones are just darling. And that story made me eyes well right up! Thanks for hosting this great party. I'm linking up for the first time.

michelle said...

You are a girl after my own heart my friend!! That is exactly what I tell people when I listen to Christmas music wwaaaay before Christmas...It make me HAPPY!!! :) What a beautiful story. I am so happy to have started blogging because I am just amazed everyday at peoples kindness. This really has been an eye opener to me and that there are so many good people still out there! Thank you for sharing that my friend!

I hope you have a great weekend and thank you for you sweet words of friendship on my blog! hugs!

Modern Country Lady said...

You are way ahed of me ;-) but I am getting there- making Chritams wreaths this weekend.
That was a very touching story you posted..thank you for sharing...have a great weekend!

DIYbyDesign said...

Great post Vanessa. Your kids are adorable. Thanks for hosting this party and thanks always for your great comments on my blog. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Traci said...

I'm so ready for Christmas!!! I wanted to start decorating this weekend but there won't be time. This week I did do a lot of shopping for Christmas stuff. I'm going to be a wreath making machine!! Have a great weekend!

Tricia said...

Those are some mighty cute kids! I have little ones too, so I hear you about wanting to get the Christmas decorating going...I linked up some ornaments today since I'm starting to feel Christmasy. Best wishes :)

KimMalk said...

As long as candy and gifts are involved, I'm sure your kids will roll with the punches. They'll know they are loved, regardless. Have fun!

Kelly said...

Thanks so much for commenting and following! Thanks even more for the linky party...I am relatively new to all this blog stuff, but I can't wait to continue reading and linking! Hope you try the ornaments with your kids!

Kelly said...

Great post! I think lots of families celebrate holidays when it's convenient. The important thing is being with family & loved ones. I'm sure that's what your kids will remember :) (and the great treats)

This is my 1st link to your party. Tks for hosting....I'm a southern girl relocated to the northwest :)

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Your children are so precious. Beautiful pictures. Great post. Our family has always been flexible with the holidays. The important thing is to all be together. Sometimes we have 2 or 3 different parties. They are all fun. Hugs, Marty

Val said...

They are going g to love the multiple holidays. We go through the same. Most of my family is in Boston. Your children are beautiful.

Sandra said...

Aw Vanessa, what precious blessings. I loved all of the photos. Thank you for hosting this fun party. Now off to see what everyone else shared.:)

An Oasis in the Desert said...

First, your children are adorable. Second, I completely get the idea of early Christmas decorating. Until last year, I had always had our home decorated prior to Thanksgiving. Then, last year I fell in love with fall decor & wanted to savor it until the day after turkey day. I think it happened because all of a sudden our home's normal decor basics (walls & big furnishings) are the colors of fall & earth. But hear me when I say, the Christmas decor will start going up on "Black Friday." No mad-house shopping for me; Christmas carols & storage boxes filled with my treasures will fill my day (make that several days) with happiness! Happy decorating to you.

Gail said...

Such a beautiful post Vanessa! I agree with you about Christmas decorating. My plans are to start decorating next week myself. I have a confession to make.....I listen to Christmas music all year long.

Have a wonderful weekend.

From the Old InkWell said...

Enjoyed your post. It's the celebrating with family that matters not really when it happens. Isn't that right?! :=)

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for spreading the love!!!
If I were your kids I would be overjoyed!!!! Enjoy each minute-it goes by so fast!

Becca Bertotti said...

Okay, you had me both laughing in a cute way (at how you celebrate traditions with your kiddos) and crying at the recipe book. Seriously! You are such a great Mom, who is teaching your children to be flexible and, no matter what month it is, you can hunt for Easter eggs, open Christmas presents or celebrate birthdays. I love it! Big hugs, Becca

Nancy's Daily Dish said...

Vanessa, This is such a sweet and cute post. Great stories. I loved reading about taking them out the back door, walking around the house just so they could ring the bell there! Funny!


Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Just stopped by from Sailing Simply... Couldn't believe my eyes when I read this sweet post. I AM NONNA -- and my husband is Poppa! (Spelled exactly like that, too!) What wonderful grandparents your kids must have! :-)