I doubt many people have noticed, but I’ve been MIA for the past week or so. Due to the hectic pace of the holidays, my blog simply had to wait. I’m going to attempt to go back and recap what’s been going on during my absence, but it will take more than one day to do it!
On last Wednesday, 4 days before Christmas, our daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, aunt got sick. This aunt is Jennifer’s mother’s younger sister–and she was 8 months pregnant. The aunt got sick with toxemia, congestive heart failure, and pneumonia…all at the same time! Long story short, her baby was taken two days later via c-section, and the aunt spent some time in ICU. It was a scary time, leading up to Christmas, for this family. The baby weighed a little over 5 pounds, but he still spent some time in the NICU. Fortunately, the aunt’s health rapidly improved after the c-section, and she was released from the hospital on this Wednesday. As of this writing, the baby is still in the hospital. I forgot to mention that the couple also has a 9-year-old daughter, Emma, who probably just endured one of the scariest and most unforgettable Christmases of her life!
Despite the ordeal with Jennifer’s aunt, on the Thursday evening before Christmas, our entire family was able to meet up after work for a Christmas outing together. This wasn’t an easy feat with 5 people working in five different cities! We met up in Metter, GA, ate supper together, then toured Guido Gardens to look at their fantastic Christmas lights. I don’t know what was more enjoyable–the meal or the lights!
I love Guido Gardens, and we hadn’t been for a visit in over two years, so I was excited about revisiting. Some remodeling had taken place, and a museum has been added since Mr. Guido passed away in 2009. The museum detailed the history of Michael Guido and his “Seeds of the Sower” ministry. It also included some interesting memorabilia from his career. While the gardens are still as beautiful as ever, it just wasn’t the same without Mr. Guido greeting the guests inside of his little glass chapel…Here’s a photo of Jennifer and me in front of the chapel.
An interesting thing happened as our family was touring the gardens. Over beside the little glass chapel, near the replica of Noah’s Ark, I ran into the family that I used to baby sit for about five years ago. Those twin baby girls sure have grown since I left them back in 2007! It’s hard to believe that I used to rock them and change their diapers! I stopping babysitting the twins so I could stay home and enjoy our granddaughter, Madison, more often. All three girls have grown a lot since those days…See what I mean?
On the way home from Guido Gardens, we stopped by a place we refer to as “Santa’s House”. This place is a “wonderland” of all kinds of Christmas decorations and lights. On the three days leading up to Christmas you can visit with Santa–and take all of the pictures you want–for free! We enjoyed the lights and decorations, but granddaughter, Madison, wasn’t in the mood to visit with Santa. She steered clear of him!
Here’s a photo of Santa’s train table. You can’t really see them, but there are all kinds of working miniature amusement rides on that table–a ferris wheel, a scrambler, a carousel, and more…
We walked around outside of Santa’s house and took a look at all of his outside decorations, too. We also saw one of his electric meters–that baby was spinning! I think it’s wonderful that there are still a few people left, during this tough economy, who are still willing to pay the price so people can enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas! Thanks, Santa! (We didn’t see nearly as many light displays this year, as in the past.)
Here’s a photo of one of my favorite outdoor pieces at Santa’s House–the Christmas Camper! Santa would open the door of his camper, and stick his head out every minute or two…
Thursday and Friday before Christmas were spent in the kitchen–making candy! I didn’t get to make any last year because I was sick with the flu, so I had to make up for lost time this year! Ed was off from work, so he joined me in the kitchen.
I made fudge and buckeyes, while Ed made peanut brittle. The first batch of peanut brittle didn’t turn out, and ended up in the trash can. After that, we tried Paula Deen’s recipe for “Nutty Brittle” which turned out pretty good. She didn’t say to stir the nuts while they were cooking, so we didn’t. We almost had a disaster with scorched nuts…If you ever use Paula’s recipe–stir those nuts!
We also tried Paula’s recipe for divinity. We were so close…but didn’t quite get there. Our divinity wasn’t divine! Our balls didn’t harden! I think we should’ve cooked the syrup about 1 more minute! Would you believe that we used 4 cups of sugar and 5 cups of pecans in that candy! Wow!
On that note, I think I’ll end this post! I’ll be back another day for Christmas Catch Up part two…Have a great weekend, everyone, and a Happy New Year!