The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “December, 2016”

Game time! ~ 5 Grandmas for Christmas

I woke up normal this morning. Same time. Normal time, thinking about my gym time.

Then it hit me

This is it!

Game time!

We spend so much time planning, and decorating and preparing our hearts each December and I realized this morning….THIS IS IT!


Well, one of them.

Time to make some memories for our young (and old)

LOL so I changed my focus for the day, put on my Santa hat and opened my mind to ‘experiencing’ this year’s Christmas holiday.

Yep, we are all ready!

“…in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be here.”

My elf is ready!

Elf Lana pretending she's a snowman

Elf Lana pretending she’s a snowman

Even our greyhound got in the spirit of things this morning!

Blitzen came by for an early Christmas visit

Blitzen came by for an early Christmas visit

And, if your house looks like ours this Christmas, you have a lot of this…

and visions of sugar and homemade Baklava and chocolate covered popcorn danced in their heads.”

And, for me, nothing spells ‘celebration’ like..

yes, Christmas is a time of celebration

yes, Christmas is a time of celebration

If you have been following this blog for a while you know each Christmas starts early for our girls.

That’s right. The week before Christmas boxes and boxes and cards and gifts come in from our girl’s many special Grandmothers, each with their own very special version of ‘Love’ for their adopted granddaughters.


The more love the better!

Yes, our girls are blessed with about 5 very special sets of grandparents. And the love and generosity they show these girls is touching.

This year that received everything from sweets, high-tech gadgets, clothes, money, toys, gift cards and even a Movie Night or two in the mail.


So we wanted to send each of our adopted family a Christmas card and a glimpse of some of the smiles and kid quotes that happened when opening these great gifts. And one very special version of ‘the spirit of Christmas’.

Thank YOU so very much ladies!

We love you all so much!

And as you can see everything was a big hit with the girls.

OK, I have dilly-dallied long enough. Its 11am and I am being called out to the living room. It seems Grandma #5 is taking her turn at spoiling spreading some Christmas cheer for our girls.

Game time...

Game time…

I hope your holiday is filled with lots and lots of happy smiles.

Time to be a kid again.

And remember the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Ghosts of Christmas Past

So, what’s new this week?

Anything going on with you?

Well! We have a new guest in the house this week. And her name starts with ‘Elf’ and rhymes with Shelf.

Does anyone else think this reminds you of Cher if she were an Elf; and a new way to ride the train?

Does anyone else think this reminds you of Cher if she were an Elf; and a new way to ride the train?

Everyone, meet ‘Lana’, our new Elf (ette) on the Shelf.

She decided to ride the train last night while we were sleeping and stopped to listen to the church carolers (picture ‘A Night At The Museum‘)

Sadly, later this evening we saw her propped up on Kingsford’s Brew House trying to scare away the Two Turtle Doves. (Hussy)

Apparently you can buy rent these little Santa’s delinquents helpers at Target still. Hmmm?

Well she’s helping us keep watch over the girls the remainder of this week.. at least when she’s not getting into trouble.

You see the first night she was here she apparently ate three of the girl’s lollipops and some candy; and left the trash all over the floor.

Last night, of course, she propped her feet up and rode the train.

Tonight I saw her over by a holiday candle roasting some mini-marshmallows.

Are these Elves really legit?

Guess what?

If you haven’t noticed, school’s out this week. Our oldest had a sleepover with a girl from our church after a birthday party at the local skating rink.

A train wreck waiting to happen

A train wreck waiting to happen

These two are practically the same age. Only two months separate them. We have been good friends with her parents even before they were born. So its good to see them getting along and having fun so well.


Do you think that they know I have a blog and are now weary every time I whip out the camera at a shindig?

Do you think they had any fun skating together?


If you look closely you can see Dylan sporting a new grill

(that’s the right slang, right? I heard it watching professional football)

That is right, Dylan is working her way through the ‘braces years’. She has been wearing an ‘appliance’ to widen her jaw and draw back her front teeth and now, last week, she had her first front braces put on.

In the spirit of Christmas she opted for Red and Green braces to celebrate the season.

Can you pick them out?


Yes, she seems to love them, doesn’t she?

You know you can’t talk to a parent with pictures of their kids without the phrase “they grow up so fast” popping out. And the last few days, after some of my Christmas posts, links have led to prior year’s Christmas posts when I stumbled across one of my favorite little videos from the past.

Ladies and gentlemen, you see the 8yr old-almost-a-teenager above. Here is a blast from the past at this girl’s very first Christmas.

Many thanks to youtube and our original nanny Jessica for preserving this great moment in our family.

The first thing that struck me when I watched this video was the love for our first child, really a miracle of sorts, but like most every one’s first child I suppose. Lots of love and no shortage of attention and presents.

The second thing that struck me was the love and playfulness of my father, her grandfather in this video. You see he is in a home now, struck down with a type of Dementia. He is not going to make the trip this year to see his granddaughters for Christmas, nor ever again. So what a treat it is for me to see these fun candid pictures with his granddaughter. Pictures that capture him and his loving, playful personality; the way we always should remember him.

So really, thank you, from all of us to remember him in these candid shots. A pleasant visit from the ghosts of Christmas past.

I also stumbled across our second child’s first video; one in which she has nothing to say. …cause she can’t talk yet. She is flimsy and quiet and cute and innocent and I can’t remember that far back. (apparently it runs in the family)

Here is Skylar’s first Christmas

Another Ghost of Christmas past.

Merry Christmas Week everyone!

Dear God, thank you for the birth of Your son. Let us keep Him front and center as we celebrate this holy Holiday week. And dear Father, thank You for our families that we all may see again over the coming days.  May we all play nicely and keep these very special moments sacred in our hearts and souls. Because things change. Father, thank You for creating all the things; family, traditions, celebrations, memories, and great tidings of joy that we deem special and holy this week. You are the Master of creation and Your acts are better than our dreams. Thank You for Your love ~ Amen

Christmas Light Park

I  mentioned a festive week. How about a Festival of Lights?

With family in town and the great outdoors begging us to get outside for some Christmas cheer, last night we decided to take the kids to our James Island County Park ‘Festival of Lights‘ show.

This is our local version of the drive through light show. It is something the kids look forward to every year. For some reason they were looking forward to toasting marshmallows more than ever before.

20137This year we did the drive through as well. but, with the kids yearning for some s’mors we quickly parked the car and headed for the fires and some marshmallow toasting.

FireWe did. We melted. Our lips and fingers got awfully sticky.  So we set off to see what else we could see.

You know what? I think this Christmas light park is really for kids….

20134So we rode the carousel a time or two. We found the customary Hot chocolate and laid plans to see what else we could conquer….

hot chocolateIt was a comfortably cool night and so we decided to do something we had never attempted before…the walking path light show….

walk this wayThe bright and colorful lights were inviting. The night was young. We had our hot chocolate…and our cell phones cameras and so off we went in search of more adventure!

WP_20131226_025There was the usual fare for picture ops…


We found a gingerbread house we could get in….

Gingerbread house

We even found a dolphin among the land-locked light show…

We found some wonderfully lit trees…

201317and then we found a light display that actually talked to us. Take a listen….

…just in case you have not heard Mannheim Steamroller enough this month.

the display really caught your attention as you walked on by.

Our trail took us to a fifty ton pile of sand that was cleverly sculpted into…

sand castle

..Santa’s Castle. The kids seemed to enjoy the glorified sand castle a little…

sand Castle w D

As the path led back towards the start we came upon a giant Christmas Card display or contest from area school students. I have to admit….they are better than me at this….

Middle school

and a take off on our area’s Shrimp and Grits….

Shrimp and Gifts

and another that offers ‘Season’s Greetings from our shores to yours’

our shores to yours

All in all it was a nice night out. The walking path light show is one we have not done before so that made the whole night a bit more interesting this time too.

And MOST importantly, the kids seemed to really like the lights too, despite our repeated “No’s” to “Carry me, Carry me!


….its a Griswold Christmas!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Christmas Part II – Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany 2016.

It is a very festive time of year for most of us and so I hoped to close out this year with a fun and festive blog or two.

One thing I enjoy as much as anything is meeting new and interesting people. A close second to that is my love to Travel; its one way to meet new and interesting people.

Now we all may not celebrate Christmas the same around the world but I think is it is very interesting to see how others may celebrate.

Here is a great post with some fabulous pics of a couple of small towns in Germany. The FESTIVE decorations look tremendous and wonderfully captured by A Touch Of Cinnamon’s photography. I love it! Could you imagine spending Christmas at a place like this?  It puts my tiny Dicken’s village to shame.

So if you have a minute Travel on over to a Touch Of Cinnamon’s blog for a festive tour in southern Germany close to the Alps. Enjoy this festive part of the world! ~ Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Touch Of Cinnamon

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

I got back from my trip to Füssen and Rothenburg ob der Tauber in Germany late Tuesday night and thought I’d do a couple of quick posts before I procrastinate and never get around to sharing.  If you’re ever looking for somewhere to spend a few days, whatever the time of year, both places are beautiful and well worth a visit.

This post is Part II of my Christmas experience in Germany and looks solely at Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a beautiful Bavarian medieval town on the famous Romantic Road.  It’s not going to be wordy just a few snaps taken from my time there. Hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions, please ask, hopefully, I’ll be able to help.  Thank you and season greetings.  Adele. x

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany – Christmas 2016

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany - Christmas 2016 Rothenburg ob der…

View original post 807 more words

Its the Happiest time of the year…

…or is it the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

(que the music…it goes in with the rest of this early Christmas post)

It is certainly  one of the busiest times of the year!


Howabout with you?

Well with about a week gone by since our field trip so much has happened.

Good Stuff!

The following Friday night my lil’ Dylan sang in our town Christmas tree lighting ceremony; the day before the town Christmas parade. The chorus directors had her right up front and I swear we could hear her singing. She really looked like she was singing her heart out. She loves to sing.


After the Christmas show they played The Santa Clause in the outdoor amphitheater. But I gotta tell you, it was too cold for us beachcombers to stay.

Did somebody say parade?

Its the Christmas Jailbird float

It’s the Christmas Jailbird float. Don’t let their white outfits fool you.

Yes, the next morning we suited up for the town Christmas parade. Our church prepared a make-shift float so that we parents could get our kids to toss some of their Halloween candy away. (wink)

The kids didn’t realize the idea and they were all in. Still, with not too much prior experience in tossing candy from a float in a parade, they might have been TOO into it!

STOP Throwing all the candy!

STOP Throwing all the candy!

Daddy was getting hit in the back by the handfuls and handfuls or candy being thrown. They forgot our instructions on how to TOSS the candy.

About half way through the parade we were all out of candy. Soooo our industrious little kids started picking up left over candy laying in the street from the floats ahead of us, gave it to the other kids on the float and they tossed it again.



I walked the parade to help keep the kids inside.

I may rethink that idea next year!

Or at least stretch first. It seemed to be up hill most of the way.

Saturday night was a little treat for Dad as his fav college team won their conference Championship ( they were picked to come in 4th out of 6 teams)

We actually were down by 21 points at one point in the championship game. But then the bombs started playing (in a good way) and we ended up winning by 7.

It was an incredible night!

A Wonderful night!

Sunday, Christmas tree lighting at our house. I know everyone has their own little rituals or routines that they go through in decking their tree. Here is a bit of what ours looks like:

Let the Decking begin...

Let the Decking begin…

Elf-in Magic!

Elf-in Magic!


This years Dickens Classic

This year’s Dickens Classic village



Then, yesterday, we drove about 3 hours to Greenville, SC so our girls could spend time with their favorite cousin and go watch..

A Charlie Brown Christmas...

at the local kid’s theater.

It was a great time. The play closely followed the cartoon Christmas special and the child actors were superb! Charlie Brown sounded like Charlie Brown. Lucy sounded like Lucy.

And of course we all know the star of the show…


The girls got to meet all their favorite stars…


Downtown Greenville was a really neat place that I had not experienced in quite a few years.

Not New York but South Carolina

Not New York but South Carolina

There seemed to be Christmas street musicians strategically located on almost every block on Main Street in the afternoon. Later that night we got to pick a great restaurant to eat in from a fine menu of restaurants downtown.

Do you think this ‘foodie’ enjoyed the day?


So what do you think?

Is it the most wonderful time of the year?

And a great time to be a kid? (in all of us!)

Add to this wonderful week, we have gotten a lot of Christmas presents delivered to our front door this week.

We have been doing the bulk of our Christmas shopping online you see.

And both mom and I got promotions at work this past week! While I had to apply for mine she was actually hand-picked for hers (show-off). But THAT helped make this Christmas week a little more wonderful too.

That wonderful news, coupled with I get an extra week of vacation this year, had us adding this Dream to our Christmas list this year…

the Disney Dream ship

the Disney Dream ship


..er, Magical!

..So what do you think?

Is this the most wonderful time of year?

I hope all my friends are enjoying this wonderful time of year too with similar weeks; no matter where you live.

YOU deserve it!

Time to conspire by the fire……..

What’s on YOUR Christmas list this year?

Post Navigation