"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Tuesday, January 07, 2014



My world goes from August to August - meaning the school calendar.  It has been that way for about 35 years and still more to come!  

So I have been on Christmas break more or less....

No we have not had snow yet - maybe 5 snowflakes - but we are out of school today - it is going to be 7 degrees for the high and we don't want our kidlets to freeze!!!  
Actually that is a record cold for here.


The grandson made it to blue uniform which is instructor.  He is second degree black belt working on his 3rd degree in 2 1/2 years about - from now.


Susan from Writing Straight from the Heart last week asked what our favorite Christmas gift was.

Do you see the necklace around Chatty's neck?  
This was my favorite gift this Christmas from my grandson.
(Darla it is a little bit of a bay window now that I look at it.)
Anyway he took one of his medal necklaces and found a little silver medallion that said 
H O P E  !  This is what he gave me for Christmas.
He told me that when he thinks of hope he thinks of me as his hope person.  
Now is he smooth or what?

Hope is going to be my word this year.

No make up!

For Christmas break we went to Calloway Gardens in Pine Mt. GA.
This was the first guy that greeted us!  Good thing he was on the wall.

 Calloway Festival of Lights 
 Cheri - Calloway for you.

 And we brought Disco too!
Disco had a rough time poor baby.

 My daughter and I.

Renea at Simply Sequins - I told you I had a lot of black clothes.
We didn't even plan this, but we all wore black.

Butterfly Garden's Gift Shop

 See Chatty hiding??

The actual butterfly gardens........

 There you can see a butterfly!

  I hate having my picture taken!

I love lights and they had quite a few.

The only problem was that my hubs did not check the car before our trip and the antifreeze was low.  So for the whole hour of lights - we were worried about the car overheating!!!!!!

But they were beautiful.

We got home and just when it was time for school to start - we got this cold wave - and the kids are still home!  lol  Hope you enjoyed the tour.

We also took some time to look at houses - we want to downsize - that is going to be so hard.
And today we are having a real estate lady come to give us an evaluation.
I have been busy!



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Jackie said...

That would have been my favorite gift too!!!
Absolutely wonderful and love-filled. I can see and feel the love that you share with your Grand.
Makes my heart happy.
Hugs and love to you, my friend.

Anonymous said...

you should love to have your photo taken because you are a beautiful woman, that is such a lovely gift from your grandson,
moving to a smaller place is hard , it takes time to adjust, you will question your decisions very many times but in the end it will be the best move of your life!

A Quiet Corner said...

Here's hoping (get it?) that you change your mind about getting your pic taken and that all goes well with the house. Downsizing is so hard but once it's done, it's done. I had a hard time with it, Sandie but am glad we did t!...:)JP

Paula said...

Yes I liked the tour. Hope is a good word to live by. So nice of your grandson to think of you that way.

Sandee said...

What a fun Christmas holiday in pictures. I love your gift and all your pictures too. You're beautiful and you don't need makeup either. I'm just saying.

Have a fabulous day and stay warm. ♥♥♥

Nancy's Notes said...

What a sweet gift, what a sweet boy! Downsizing, that's going to be exciting, just look at it that way! Have fun, Sandie!

Pooja Mittal said...

Y di I hate taking pics, you look way too cute.. No need fur makeup ..
Looks like your entire family loves black , I have must of the cloths in black :)
You looks just amazing in first
Keep in touch,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That is the sweetest gift ever! I am impressed!

Love all the pictures, and I hate pics of me, too. But you look great!

Stay warm...



Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I love your Christmas gift and that is a great word for 2014:@)


Oh, I can see why it's your favorite gift. What a sweet boy, and such a treasure for time!!

Love your photos shared of your Christmas. And heck, if I only looked as good as you without makeup!!!

Susannah said...

Congratulations to your grandson from me. You must have been so proud of the necklace that he made for you and "hope" is a wonderful word to think about and to follow. Your grandson sounds like the perfect kid! I love the pic of your family and I am glad you got away for a few days....love the gardens.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

What a fantastic gift. I love all the pics. Good luck with moving!

NanaDiana said...

I love the pictures of you and your sweet family, Sandie. You look great. I have lots of black clothes, too-it is the family joke- Mom always looks like she is going to a funeral. lol

We are thinking about downsizing, too, but will probably wait one more year until the hubs retires. xo Diana

Louvregirl said...

I had to laugh Sandie, as that is my driveway with snow in your blog post!

Louvregirl said...

CC, You might like my second blog (new) here:


lg! :-)

LL Cool Joe said...

I did grin at the photos of you all in black. You look like the mafia! :D Plus the one of you not smiling whilst the rest of you are! Ha, I'm like that too.

Happy New Year!

jack69 said...

Great photo trip. Oh congrats to the Grandson. WaaHooo!!! What a dude. He is easy to be proud of.
Enjoyed the photo trip, and glad the engine done well.
WOW I guess we are all cold since we are all 10's of degrees below normal.

Stay warm, Spring is just around the corner. (they say)./

jack69 said...

Oh, the kid is slick, I mean smooth!!! LOL

Sandra said...

I would love to see the lights and visit that shop to just look and wow what a wonderful gift, the necklace and the very large complement to you. HOPE is a good word for the year.

Melanie said...

Your grandson is so special. I love the hope gift.
It's been so cold here too. I love winter, but I'll be happy for it to heat up a bit.
I hope all goes well with the evaluation.

Blondee said...

Congratulations, Grandson! Wear that new color with pride. It takes so much hard work to belt up...you are amazing.

What a sweet and wonderful gift he made for you. I am sure it is a cherished treasure.

We have closed schools here because of the cold. Much of the state is either shut down, shutting down or too cold to try to go anywhere. It was -34 here this morning and our high was -22. Brrr!

Shelly said...

What a precious gift, and one that you will treasure for a lifetime, I'm sure! Love the pics and the fun!

Vee said...

What a sweet gift to receive! I was surprised that the kids went to school today because of the cold. Oh well. Guess we're a hardy lot. Some very cute photos here. I enjoyed seeing them.

Sandy said...

Hope is a wonderful word! Without hope in our hearts we cannot have faith. The necklace is great!
You shouldn't hate having your picture taken. You are very lovely and even without make-up, Sandie. Thanks for always being such a bright spot here in blogland. I loved seeing all of your fun pictures. And the little dachshund tearing the stuffing out of the pillow...mine did the same thing!

Sandy said...

Hope is a wonderful word! Without hope in our hearts we cannot have faith. The necklace is great!
You shouldn't hate having your picture taken. You are very lovely and even without make-up, Sandie. Thanks for always being such a bright spot here in blogland. I loved seeing all of your fun pictures. And the little dachshund tearing the stuffing out of the pillow...mine did the same thing!

Kim said...

Oh yeah, that grandson is a real charmer. Great gift

Willow said...

I really enjoyed your post !
What a fab gift.
Once you downsize and adjust you will love the simplicity :)

Munir said...

Such a nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.
It was seven degrees this morning to start with. Our highest was ten.
Keep warm. Stay away from germs. Keep your resistance level up:)

DD said...

I loved the photo tour. Congratulations to the grandson on his achievements, that is very good!
I can understand that being your favorite gift. These grandchildren have our hearts. I know yours is special.
You have a beautiful family and so are you!
Stay warm...It is supposed to reach 40 here tomorrow I believe....in N AL.


I LOVED the tour. You looked like you had a wonderful time. The present your grandson gave you was pretty sweet.

Merlesworld said...

Great to be known as hope, that's a real nice thing to be.
Great tour too

Maggie Ann said...

Love those light displays! That must have been so much fun, except for worrying about the car overheating. That's the way things go.....sometimes! Glad it did'nt overheat.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Thanks for sharing your festival of lights. That is one thing I did not get to do this year. What a thoughtful grandson you have choosing that necklace for you. Not many of my grandchildren give me a gift at all the gifts I get are from their family with all their names on the card. Our schools have been closed now 2 days because of the cold. Hopefully everyone will return tomorrow.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

That is cold!!! High five to your grandson's blue uniform....and the necklace he gave you sounds awesome too. Looks like the Festival of Lights was fun.

Say What? said...

The gift from your grandson is absolutely precious. Stay warm, friend.

Say What? said...

The gift from your grandson is absolutely precious. Stay warm, friend.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Loved seeing all your photos and you look pretty with or without makeup! That is a very sweet gift Andy gave to you. How thoughtful and loving. Best of luck to you as you go about the process of finding another home. We'll probably be going down that road in another year or two.
Take care and stay warm!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You look very cute in your photos...your whole family does! We love Calloway gardens and I would enjoy it at Christmas time! Hope you get to downsize...it's liberating! I just wish I had more storage sometimes...I mean ALL the time! haha!

Pondside said...

The gift from your grandson says a whole lot about him, you, and your relationship with one another. How beautiful!

Linda said...

What an awesome FUN post!!! How could it NOT be since you are such an awesome FUN person???? One full of HOPE I might add!!

Lynn said...

What a wonderful and truly special gift.

I love Calloway - looks like good times!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Your Christmas gift is wonderful!

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Lady, Looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas. We did too... Isn't this weather crazy??? Our low here this morning was MINUS 10 degrees. Schools have been out all week and will be out tomorrow also. The 2 inches of snow we got is still HERE with us...

Love seeing your photo. You are so pretty. You need to just relax and celebrate yourself. I seldom wear any make-up anymore. I'm just happy to be ME.

Great gift from your grandson... I can imagine how special that is to you.


betty said...

I like the necklace GS made for you, Sandie, and what he said about hope and you! A great word for 2014! Looked like a nice trip to see the lights. Did Disco have trouble with traveling?

I think once you get to the other side of downsizing, it will be a good thing, but doing the actual work and having to make the decisions of what stays, what goes, can be hard (unless you are like me and I say "let it all go")

I don't blame the schools for closing with the extreme cold, especially if you aren't use to it. They never closed the schools in Montana, but the kids were used to the extreme temps, had the right clothes, and I think their bodies just adapted since they lived in it daily for long periods of winter time.


Beth said...

What a very special gift. It is easy to see why it is your favorite. I loved all of the photos! You are lovely!!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a sweet gift from you GS. I love the word HOPE! Looks like you had a fun holiday break! Stay warm now. I hope things work out to downsize.
hugs, Linda

Terri D. said...

Love the photos you shared with us, Sandy! Andy is growing up! Wow! Such a sweet young man, who already knows how to wrap his women around his finger! LOL Great gift from your special not-so-little man!

Fabulous Petite said...

Thanks for sharing this photos. They are all lovely and looks like you guys had fun. No school for my son for Tuesday. Too cold to do anything and get a bit disappointed that there were no snow here in Fayetteville.


Aunt Betsy said...

Andy is absolutely precious, as is his gift. This is the first time I remember seeing your daughter. She is beautiful and she looks alot like her momma! Thank you for sharing the photos, I loved them all, especially the Christmas lights.

Theresa said...

My year is August to August too lol. Good luck on the downsizing. That's going to be the hardest thing for me too when the kids move out!

Ms. A said...

Awwwwww, what an awesome necklace AND his opinion of you. Very touching!

Stay warm, woman!

mail4rosey said...

I love the pics! I have a sister-in-law who lives in Newnan, she used to take her kids to Calloway Gardens. :) I've never been but I remember her loving it.

Good luck w/the house hunting!

Debbie said...

I have been wanting to go to Pine Mountain for Christmas for years now. We never have been able to swing it. I've been once, but it was over a decade ago. I love it.

I really loved your Christmas gift from your GS. (And way to go for him, too!!)

Hope is the best of things. It's one of my favorite words, and you know how much I love words.

Biblically, it always means not just wishing but expecting. There's a difference, I think.

So I am HOPING for a wonderful year for you... and maybe a new house too.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Hope you're staying safe and warm Sandie!! And I hope 2014 is your best year ever :)

Inger said...

How sweet, being his Hope Person! Happy New Year to you and your family.

Changes in the wind said...

Loved your special gift from your Grandson and yes it is indeed AWESOME that hope reminds him of you...what a treasure. Loved your trip and all the pretty lights and don't feel bad Chatty, I don't like my pictures either.

Betty said...

That was a special gift!

Wow, 7 degrees sounds very cold to me. I thought 30 was bad.

That looked like a fun trip for the whole family. I had forgotten about anti-freeze. We don't worry about it here and I never even gave it a thought when it went down to 30. I guess it has to get colder to really need it. Anti-freeze and snow tires are two things I've forgotten about living in the south. I think they're called all weather tires now though. Oh yes, and chains. I wonder if they still use them up north? We used to put chains on the tires.

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Love your word for the year and also how you came about choosing it!
Have fun downsizing!!

Tammy said...

I love the Final Analysis. What a great note to end on. I will save that and always keep close by.

Why Sandie you're so pretty! It looks like you had fun winter break...aww heck I still call it Christmas vacation xP

Anywho! Stay warm and be careful with the ice.


Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I get why your hope necklace would be your favourite gift of the year. I have read the Final Analysis before and loved it and I still love it.

Ann said...

it's been bitter cold all over this year. Hope you've been keeping warm.
That is an awesome Christmas gift, so sweet

barbara woods said...

you are a very pretty lady, not fat just too short like me

Susan said...

What a fun, lovely post, Sandie.

The necklace was a true gift from GS's heart. How utterly thoughtful and sweet. How could anything ever be better than being a "hope" person for a grandchild?

And the photos were absolutely lovely of the lights show.

You look beautiful to me! With makeup and without. Just beautiful. Susan

Lee said...

I'm glad you had a nice Festive Season, Sandie...and that you didn't freeze! Boy! Some of the images we're receiving here of the 'big chill' that's a-happening up your way are chilling!

We've had some very hot weather down this way...but these past two days the temps have fallen back to some normality...thank goodness. A few rain showers hanging about, which is great.

A wonderful Christmas gift to be cherished. :)

I ate the best Christmas gift I received...the mud crab! ;)

mare ball said...

love the Final Analysis by Mother Theresa. I've had that in my kitchen for a long time. If I could just remember it and live it daily! Hope your New Year is going well. Love the pic of the dog splayed out. Gave me a laugh!

Retired English Teacher said...

I love the gift your grandson gave you! I love his heart. I think you have had a great influence there. My hat is off to you. Raising my own children was hard enough. I really admire the grandparents who give the kind of helping hand that you give. God Bless.

Who needs make-up when one looks as good as you do!

SweetMarie said...

Your grandson is so sweet! You can tell he has a wonderful heart. :)
The lights are pretty! You have gorgeous skin and your daughter has gorgeous cheek bones!
If you downsize will you stay in the same area? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?? Yes, North Carolina!
You know you wanna!! lol

Sharon said...

Thanks for all the sharing. What a wonderful gift from GS - how very sweet. And congrats to his wonderful success in martial arts. Remind me never to make him mad!! :-)

Your family is precious - and you are beautiful, even without makeup.


Linda O'Connell said...

Loved seeing all of your photos. This cold weather is brutal. We live in a three bedroom ranch, small rooms, but just right for us, as we use one bedroom as an office and we have a large family room in a finished basement, and laundry room. Happy house hunting.

The necklace would have been my favorite gift also.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Lovely photos, Sandie! Downsizing is wonderful! It isn't easy, but once it's done it's liberating. I hope you'll blog about the whole process.

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

Oh Sandie! Thanks for the shout out. LOL I was just thinking that you were definitely wearing black and then you ADMITTED IT. LOL.

Our doggie is so great. We have left her home a bunch lately and she doesn't do anything wrong at all while we are gone. She is a great doggie, unlike the dude in the "laugh" shot.

Oh, good luck in down sizing and getting it all with out too many headaches. Have a grand day and hope it is now a bunch warmer for you? ♥

Anna and Liz Recipes said...

What a wonderful gift from your grandson! Lovely photos of your holiday with the family too! Happy and healthy new year to you!

Tricia Buice said...

Congrats to your grandson. He also did really good with that lovely gift! Wonderful photos of your family. And moving? Sounds scary to me!

Terri Buster said...

Thanks for the glimpse into your holiday family time..I love the lights. I am downsizing too, but just getting rid of all the junk. We won't ever move off this land. Have a great weekend!

Catherine said...

Dear Sandie, What a beautiful Christmas gift to cherish.

I always thought black is slimming. You and your family look wonderful.

Thank heavens the car did o.k..

All the best with the house.

Thank you for the lift. You never fail to inspire.
Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Joyce Olson said...

Do you know that when I was visiting Amanda in Georgia we went to the same gardens and saw this spectacular light display! Wasn't it just so wonderful! You are beautiful and what a sweet gift from your sweet grandson:)
I have been thinking of you all week-hope you received good news from the realtor. We often think of downsizing too.

Miss Debbie said...

Callaway Gardens is a great place to visit and your gift from your grandson is, too! Wow, I know that blessed your heart!!

Dee said...

What a great Christmas gift...such a special gift and to be his hope..wow. I think you look pretty...and black...the best color ever. LOL. It sounds like some major changes are heading your way with house hunting...sounds like fun. I am glad you had such a fun looking Christmas trip with the family and Disco....who is probably very happy to be home :)

Anonymous said...

Hope you were able to stay warm!

Wanda's Wings said...

It has been cold here too, but I stopped complaining about our -19 wild chill when my baby brother said he had to work outside with -40 wind chill in Indiana. My friend took my picture on New Years Day and made up a few wallets. I scared'

Granny Annie said...

Notice how cheerful you are in the photos of you alone and what a sourpuss you are with the family. If I were them I would be cropping you right out of there.

Lucy said...

Sorry I am late getting here. Had a problem with body not co-operating yesterday. Liked them all. You will cherish that gift from Andy the rest of your life. He sounds like a special boy. That was a happy you,, in that picture.

Eva Ason said...

So sorry I'm late :( I love these pictures of you all. I don't fancy taking my pictures either. Happy for your GS to advance to blue suit (yeyy) What a nice xmas gift.