"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


That's The Way the Cookie Crumbles...!

My daughter Annie takes after my mother and has an over-abundance of the "socializing" gene. She loves to plan and host any type of get-together. On Sunday it was a Family Cookie Swap....(as in the females made the cookies and the males ate them!)

A plate ready for one of the Judges.

Since the party was on Sunday afternoon, both my daughters and I got together.............at about 10 p.m. on Saturday night. ...Uhmmm...that is when we were starting!  We had to make 5 dozen cookies each. Annie said that at a "real"  cookie swap, we should have an even dozen per person to trade. (Thank goodness this was not a "real" one!!)  The funny thing is, all of the cookie bakers except for my mother and my daughter-in-law were all making their cookies at midnight. Does that tell you anything about our family?  Yes, we are a bunch of procrastinators as well as night owls!! Hoot. Hoot. 

Even with "only" less than a dozen OF EACH KIND per person, there was still a LOT to go around! 

I made the Red Velvet Whoopie pies and the Devils Food pies (as seen in the blurry pic).  My little just-turned eight year old niece made the Santas out of Nutter Butter cookies. She had no pattern and was very proud of her efforts!!!  She also gave each dessert a name and wrote it down as soon as the person walked in the door carrying their foods!! She was quite a little hostess!

Since the men that came seemed to be hanging around the cookies, we put them to work as judges! All names were taken off of the judges plates before they tested. 
I think they might have known from what kitchen a few of the batches originated! I hope they weren't talking about my cookies in the picture above! ha!

They took their jobs very seriously, as I took these pics through the french doors as they were discussing their likes and dislikes. They mulled over their decisions for over 30 minutes! 

In the meantime the Cookie Bakers waited...............

and waited....and waited!!!!

The winners were announced!!
Taylor got first for her Peanut Butter Balls.
Annie got second for her Cherry Shortbread cookies
Libby (my other niece) got third for her Monster Cookies.
And Caroline got Most Creative for her Santa Cookies!!!
And we "old" women...
Well we are already planning on what we can do to 
bump those younguns' out of the Winner's Circle next year!!


Peace on Earth........

Edited to add: I did this one last Christmas but I enjoyed it so much I thought I would post it again. In fact, I need to just create it again...next week...after finals!

Peace on Earth.....Goodwill towards man.......

Quite by accident and without any planning whatsoever
did this week's tablescape come together.

I had an old map from the 1940's I had found in the trash several years ago. When we moved into this house I had the map framed in a simple frame. When I did my Christmas decorating, I moved the map into another room from where it usually is and I added a banner of gold glitter PEACE letters.

Then I borrowed another gold glitter PEACE sign from where it was 
doing its decorating job. (I guess that makes it a moon-lighting PEACE sign, huh?)
I brought in one of my globes for the center of the table.
(I used my round table since the earth is round. See the reasoning???)

My daughter Taylor had bought me a four-pack of these VERY cute glass ornaments she bought at Hob Lob for 50% off.  I had a semi-genius idea that they would make great place card holders.

Taylor also had a "Peace on Earth" rubber stamp that I used to dress up the place cards. It worked out perfectly! I used my red dishes (for the season) and threw in an aqua dish or two to match the maps and globes.

I had a bunch of cloth napkins I had bought at Dillard's this summer on clearance. The napkins had lots of small circles, so I threw them in, continuing with my round/circle theme.

I also have a bunch of aqua and red glass fishing globes that I scattered around the big globe. In case you can't tell, I added a string of lights to the inside of the wicker table as well. It made all the glitter and glass really sparkle.

For picture-taking purposes I pushed the table clear against the wall, trying to avoid all the glare from the windows. No matter what I did, I got glare from either the windows or the Christmas lights. So, go with me and act like I meant to have the light reflection everywhere!

I think the colors of the table are so bright and pretty. I love red and aqua separate and together.

See what I used to make my place cards?  Blue paint samples!!!!   We had a bunch of them here from another craft project and when I was getting out the 'peace on earth' stamp, I saw them and thought they would be perfect. I used a glue dot to stick on the place card to the glass ornament. I added the red shred after I had begun taking pictures. I think it is just what I needed to finish off the tablescape.

See all the circles? I love how the table came together without any planning. 
(Thank you Taylor for the ornament inspiration!)

My mom has a collection of small porcelain Santa Claus's that represent countries all over the world. They are only about four inches tall. I thought (if I were to ever be gifted them!!!)
that they would be perfect circling the entire globe.
Wouldn't that be cute?
I will have to suggest that to her!!!

So a map that was moved to a different room and a quad pack of new 
ornaments led to this cute little tablescape.
It was so much fun to pull together very quickly.

What a wonderful message for the Christmas season...and all through the year.
On earth.
Goodwill towards man.

I am linking this with Tablescape Thursday and Open House Party and Stone Gable


Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.---Robert Frost
When I was putting my mantel together I kept thinking of
Robert Frost's well-known poem Fire and Ice.
Ironically, there is no fire in my fireplace,
just an empty space!
But I filled it with a tin Santa and a basket of mercury balls.
But the "ice".....I have plenty of that!
Since this was the first time decorating the mantel for Christmas,
I was not quite sure how I would do it.
We had a fireplace in Kansas
and I got out the garland, lights and ribbon 
we had used there.
(And not used at all for the last three years!) 
Even my husband, who rarely says anything at all 
about my decorating
told me the fireplace was about the skimpiest thing
he had ever seen. 
I got back into my buckets of goodies and took out
two more lengths of greenery and
two more strands of lights.
I ended up with three strands of greenery and 300 lights
on the mantel.
I had to center my plaid ribbon as I had no more of it..
I also included a strand of "iced" cherries I had in my stash.
I was determined to use what I had and not buy 
anything new.
That was my only plan.

My fireplace mantel is 7 feet long.
It is topped with a gianormous mirror.
Although I am not a fan of the monstrous mirror,
with all the glitter and lights
the reflection from the mirror is very pretty at Christmas.

I bought the silver trees and mesh reindeer at Dollar General years ago.
I bough the galvanized reindeer at Target after Christmas years ago.
The giant red balls are from K-Mart.
The iced cherries are from Hobby Lobby warehouse/discount store in OKC.
As you can tell there is nothing expensive on the mantel.
Displayed together though, it tends to look a little better!
To photograph the entire fireplace I have to go clear across the room.
Then because of the mirror I have to worry about my own giant head showing up!
Then of course, I am trying to take the photographs after work and it is already (almost) dark!
Grin and bear it as you look through the pictures....

I like this one where you can (kind of) see the reflection of our Christmas tree.

The mesh reindeer were almost impossible to photograph. Hmmmm.

I have the brass horse on the fireplace all the time.
For Christmas I put a small green wreath around his neck.
It makes him a little tipsy! My sons think I need to take it off for 
Christmas, but I left it on there and thanked them for their   advice.
All of a sudden all of the males in my household 
have become expert decorators!
We open our big wooden front door so all our 
can see our fireplace as they drive by.
The fireplace is centered on the wall opposite the 
front door
so it works out perfectly.
Despite my poor photography skills I hope you enjoyed
my Fire and Ice mantel.
(And yes, Robert Frost, I agree...fire and ice CAN be strikingly similar!)
I have linked this with Wow Us Wednesday's and Southern Hospitality's and 
Farmhouse Friday. mantle tour. Go by and enjoy all the Christmas beauty.


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