Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pure Beauty!

This is what I woke up to this morning......pure beauty! As I was getting ready to drive Cassie to school, I saw that the sun had just started to rise & the sky was already turning orange, so I grabbed my camera as I walked out the door. After I dropped her off at the school, I snapped these pictures in our neighborhood on my way home (click on each image to see the full beauty). Completely breathtaking! I just sat there in my car for a few minutes enjoying all the beauty because I just knew it wouldn't last & I was right.....now it's cloudy & drizzling out. One thing I've learned about living in Michigan.....if you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, grab your camera as quickly as possible because they don't last long! Blink & the weather will change :)
I love the way the trees look like a silhouette in this picture!
And another, taken of the lake with the sunrise shining in the water.
I finally got our Christmas tree completely decorated & our Nativity set up. YAY! Jim & I purchased this Nativity set years ago when the kids were still babies & started the tradition of waiting until Christmas Eve to put Baby Jesus in the manger (although he's in the manger here so I could take a picture :). So after the kids would go to bed, the last thing I would do after Santa arrived is add Baby Jesus & each morning, before any presents were opened, the kids would look at the Nativity to see the baby. Although our kids aren't little anymore & it won't be long before Cassie moves away from home, we will continue this tradition year after year after year, even if it's only for Jim & I :)

And now, our tree, all done in purple & gold. This year, we added clear lights to go with the purple ones as last year, the purple lights alone were just too dark & I really like the result. Here's a picture of the tree using the flash & without the lights on.

And here's the tree all lit up. I probably should have waited until nighttime to take this picture, though. Ah well.....I'm impatient :) You can see our fiber optic angel at the top.....I just wish her wings would turn purple ;)

Now, onto some more blog challenges that I found recently. Feel free to play along & use them on your own blog.

The first one is a Christmas About Me challenge:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate, definitely! Don't even like the taste of Egg Nog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He always wraps them.....wouldn't be Christmas without wrapping paper all over place, now would it?

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? It varies from year to year, mood to mood. This year, we have clear & purple lights on our main tree & multi-colored lights on our little tree because that's what it came with (pre-lit tree). We haven't decorated the outside of the house for a few years now, but when we do, it's always colored lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No, I get plenty of kisses from dh without needing any mistletoe ;)

5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually the weekend of Thanksgiving.....that's when we go out & cut down our tree.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Homemade cookies & fudge ;)

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? To be honest, I don't have a lot of holiday memories as a child :( The only one I can remember is the year that my sister Barb wanted a guitar for Christmas. Our Dad played a trick on Barb & got her a plastic toy guitar. Barb was so disappointed until my Dad finally brought out the real guitar for Barb & told her that the plastic one was really for me.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly don't remember. I guess maybe the same year that my Dad did the above trick on my sister & I.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We never used to, but now that the kids are older, we let them each open one gift on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Our real tree is purple & gold again this year. I just purchased a 4 foot tree for our sentimental ornaments.....the ones the kids made in elementary school, ones that we've collected over the years, etc.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love it on Christmas, but after that, it can all melt & go away until next year!

12. Can you ice skate? I used to be able to, but I haven't done it in YEARS!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Yep, my husband Jim :) We got married 17 years ago on Christmas Eve, so to me, he's the best present I could ever get :)

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? God & family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Chocolate Marble Cheesecake that my dh makes :)

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Our Nativity Set (see above).

17. What tops your tree? A gorgeous fiber optic angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Definitely giving! Love to see the look on a person's face as they open a gift I gave them :)

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Silent Night......my sisters & I had to sing it in front of the whole Church on Christmas Eve years ago.

20. Candy Canes? I can live without them.....don't really care for minty stuff.

Now on to another A-Z list:
A - Available or single: Neither.....married to Jim for almost 17 years now!

B - Best Friend: My wonderful & humorous dh Jim :)
C - Cake or Pie: Cake, definitely!
D - Drink of choice: During the day, ice water. If I'm drinking alcohol: Strawberry or Banana Daiquiris.
E - Essential item you use everyday: My computer & my Charger :)
F - Favorite color: Purple & Blue
G - Gummy Bears or worms: Fish :)
H - Hometown: Born in Royal Oak, Michigan, but grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania & also lived in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA for 14+ years.
I - Indulgence: Chocolate, candles & my Select Comfort Bed :)
J - January or February: January because it's Jim's birthday month & February because it's closer to Spring :)
K - Kids & Names: Shawn Michael & Cassandra Diane Louise.
L - Life is Incomplete Without? My wonderful husband, my kids, my granddaughter & my mutts!
M - Marriage Date: December 24, 1989 (yep, we got married on Christmas Eve :)
N - Number of Siblings: 4 older sisters, Karen (deceased), Linda, Barb & Donna. O - Oranges or Apples: Don't really care for either.
P - Phobias or Fears: Spiders! Tornados, thunderstorms & lightning!
Q - Fave Quote: I don't really have one particular favorite quote.
R - Reason to Smile: knowing I have a loving, caring & very supportive husband :)
S - Season: Spring because I love seeing all the plants coming back to life & Fall for the colors.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: Jewls, Lorrie, Kelley & Emily.
U - Unknown Fact about Me: I was published a few times in Mary Beth's Bean Bag World magazine :)
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: All of them? LOL
W - Worst Habit: Not putting hand cream on my hands often enough.....I always wait until they're already too dry because I don't like the greasy feeling.
X - Xrays: Teeth, Chest, Ankle & probably some others that I don't remember.
Y - Your Fave Food: PIZZA!!! :)
Z - Zodiac Sign: Virgo the Virgin ;)

Time to get some things done around the house. Have a great day!



Emily said...

beautiful photos!! I'll do the challenge closer to Christmas, I'm so bad being tagged!!

Kim said...

Those are great photos. Your trees is so beautiful.

Lorrie said...

Benita! Your tree is GORGEOUS! I love the purple and gold... don't think I've ever seen one like it before and I love it! Purple is my dh's fave color.. i'll have to be sure to show him your tree.
Have a Merry Christmas!

Cindy Lee said...

just stopping by to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! your tree is gorgeous! love ya, Cindy Lee