Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Carols

Hi!  I don't know about you, but I have been listening to Christmas music for about three weeks.  I haven't started decorating my house, but in my heart, it is Christmas!!!  I adore Christmas songs - mainly the classic songs from Bing Crosby, Gene Autry, Burl Ives, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and Dean Martin! Seth and I merrily sing along the entire way to school and work each day.  Seth has been introduced to The Carpenters, Kenny Loggins, Brenda Lee and many more! We also love songs such as "The Grinch", "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas" and "Dominic The Donkey".  This one is sure to crack you up!! Seth has also discovered the Jackson Five - They sing his favorite version of "I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus".  

Christmas music brings back so many wonderful memories.  Gene Autry reminds me of the Christmas parade in my hometown in Mississippi.  After the parade, Santa would ride through the neighborhoods and threw candy to children with Gene Autry playing through a loud speaker.  

Recently while riding home from school, Seth and I heard a Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass Christmas song.  I exclaimed to Seth, "Papa LOVES Herb Albert!".  We decided to call my dad right then and tell him what we were listening to thanks to the Holly station.  Sure enough, when we called Papa, he finished my sentence when I started saying "We are listening to Herb...."  He said he and his coffee drinking buddies had been talking about HA and The Tijuana Brass that very day!!  What a hoot!

Certain songs remind me of special friends.  All the classic singers remind me of my dear friend from college, Bo.  She knew every song ever sung by Frank Sinatra.  "Christmas Guest", a fabulous country classic by Grandpa Jones reminds me of my precious friend, Wanda, who worked with me when I was teaching.  We would get so excited each year when we heard it for the first time on the radio!   It is the sweetest song ever! 

It is just not Christmas until you've heard Burl Ives singing "Frosty the Snowman"! 

All of the songs from the Rudolph movie remind me of the year my friend Laurie and I organized a Singing Christmas Tree with our second grade classes. We worked for weeks learning approximately 12 songs including "Jingle, Jingle, Jingle" and "We're A Couple of Misfits".  Our children were so precious we decided to overlook the fact that our Singing Christmas Tree looked more like a Singing Christmas Shrub!  

I suppose my all time favorite Christmas carol is "Oh, Holy Night".  With this song, it really doesn't matter who sings it - it always gives me chills.  Celine Dion's version will bring tears to your eyes.  What a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is truly about!  

What are your favorite Christmas carols?  Which artists and songs make the holidays special for you?

As always, thanks for visiting Buttercup Bliss!  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.  I hope you and your family enjoy this most special day.  The other day I was organizing some things to put in the attic  when I stumbled across a board book that Seth and I read many, many times when he was a toddler.  It is just absolutely perfect for this time of year so I wanted to share it with you.  

Thank you, God 
Written by P.K. Hallinan

Thank you, God, for all that you give --
For the friends that I have...
For the home where I live.

Thank You for meadows of beautiful flowers.
Thank You for rainbows and soft April showers.
Thank You for beaches with warm summer sand.
And thank You for snowflakes that cover the land.

Each evening You bless us with heavenly light.
Each morning Your sunrise gives flight to the night!
So thank You, dear God,
For all that You do --
For answering prayers and for miracles too!

Thank You for feeding me, day after day.
Thank You for leading me along the right way.
And thank You for angels that I can't really see
But somehow I's certain keep watch over me!

Thank You for family and my relatives all,
Thank You for animals, the great and the small.
And thank You, dear God, 
For all that You are --
From the cross on the hill
To the Bethlehem star.

Yes, I thank You, dear God, for life without end,
For  hope and a future, and for being my friend. 
And I thank You for all of the wonders I see.
But mostly I thank You....
For just loving me.

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
Lisa, Jon and Seth

P.S. In case you are interested in purchasing this book for your child or grandchild, you can find it at  I have attached the link: here

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ready, Set, COOK!

It's official!  I am turning into my mother! I have been working on my Thanksgiving dinner menu for two weeks!  I made my grocery list and went shopping - and went shopping again!  I always manage to think of another item or two that did not make it onto the original list.  Doesn't that drive you nuts?  My mom always kept an ever  changing list going during the holidays as she prepared menus, shopping lists, things to do, etc. She always made holidays so special! 

I began cooking this afternoon in anticipation of my family coming to Mobile for Thanksgiving.  I am so excited!!  I can't wait to get up in the morning and watch the Macy's parade while sipping coffee and cooking up a storm!  This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions that I loved sharing with my mother.  In fact, I wrote about Thanksgiving traditions in one of my very first blog posts ever.  You can read it here

I have quite a few cookbooks, but most of my favorite menu items come from my trusty three ring binder that is chock full of yummy tried and true recipes - this binder has been on my kitchen counter all week! 

So far, I have made sausage balls for Jon - that is his favorite holiday snack.  I also made a homemade carrot cake, a first for me!  The corn bread is ready and waiting to be made into dressing in the morning.  I also picked up the smoked turkey breast today.  The ham will be put in the oven bright and early in the morning (making a ham is another first for me! I will be using my friend Lynda's special homemade glaze.)  Now I need to go to bed early because I will be up early making the ham, dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, cream style corn, bacon wrapped asparagus bundles and especially for Paige and Spencer, Lesueur English peas and Sister Shubert rolls.  In addition to the carrot cake, we will have homemade chocolate pie (my sister's speciality)!  Have I forgotten anything?  Believe it or not, this is a pared down menu because there will be just seven of us tomorrow.  Crazy, I know!  I also left off Spinach Madeline this year in favor of a new recipe I am trying:  Bacon wrapped asparagus bundles. It sounded so yummy I just had to give it a try! What are the "must haves" for your family?

I have also set the table, complete with my beautiful Gorham Buttercup silver for which this blog is named.  I polished it yesterday and it made me so happy to see it on my table!  Here is a quick look:

Spode Woodland Turkey salad plates are just perfect for Thanksgiving. They go perfectly with my Wedgewood Strawberry and Vine.  I am so glad I chose these classic white dishes when Jon and I got married.  They will never go out of style and look perfect when paired with seasonal salad plates. 

See you soon!! But first, I have to put my apron on and get back to cooking!! 

This week I am joining the following parties:

Come join in the fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thirty Days of Thankfulness

It is that time of year: A time to reflect on all the blessings that we have in our life.  I am thankful to God each day, but I will admit that there are time when I get down.  Sometimes I need a reminder of how God has blessed my family.  It never hurts to sit down, have a cup of coffee and simply make a list of the many, many things for which we are thankful!  
1) I am so thankful to be a child of God. 
2) I am thankful that my parents loved me and brought me up in a Christian home where I was shown God’s love at a very early age.
3) I am thankful for every single moment I had with my sweet mother.  I was blessed to call her Mama.
4) I am thankful that I still have my father.  In addition to being an awesome dad, he is the best Papa to Seth, Paige and Spencer.
5) I am thankful for Jon, my amazing husband of eleven years.  He is a fabulous husband and an extraordinary father!
6)  I am thankful that God allowed me to be a mother.  Seth is the most precious gift that I have ever received.
7)  I am thankful that Anita is my sister and best friend.  
8)  I am thankful for Paige and Spencer, my niece and nephew.  They have brought me so much joy over the years.  Being “Sissy” to these two has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life!
9)  I am thankful for my step-sons, Matt and Drew.  They gave me my first glimpse of motherhood.  They are growing up to be awesome young men!
10) I am thankful for my darling in-laws, Lonnie and Mary McCartney.  They welcomed me into their family with open arms! 
11) I am thankful for the strong friendships I have with several dear girls. There is nothing quite like a close group of friends! 
12 I am thankful for a snug, cozy and beautiful house that we call home.  In a world where so many do not have a safe place to live, I know that our home is a beautiful blessing!
13) I am thankful for a large extended family full of grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.
14) I am thankful that I live in America, land of the free and home of the brave! 
15) I am thankful for all of the members of the Armed Forces who protect our country and our freedoms every day!
16) I am thankful for my precious furry babies, Bentley and Clarabel.  Animals give unconditional love and I am so thankful for them. 
17)  I am thankful that my mother taught me how to cook and clean!  I love all things related to homemaking.  That is one of my mother’s gifts to me.  J
18) I am thankful that I am Southern Girl!! 
19)  I am thankful that although I live in Mobile, I work in Small Town America!!  I am so glad that Seth and I go to school and work in such “down to Earth” communities where kindness is a given!
20)  I am thankful that I am blessed with such a great job!  In addition, I am so thankful that both of my “bosses” are wonderful, caring, Christian individuals!!
21) I am thankful for all the years that I taught school.   I have so many precious memories of the children I was fortunate enough to have in my classes through the years.
22) I am thankful for eyes to see and ears to hear J  I am thankful that I am able to walk and run!! I am thankful to the doctors who have worked so hard to keep my Crohn’s under control.  God is so good!!
23)  I am thankful that I was able to lose 26 pounds this past year.  This allowed me to no longer have to take blood pressure medicine! Woo Hoo!
24)  I am thankful for random acts of kindness that happen in the world around us each day.
25) I am thankful that I was brought up in a loving church.  Pearson Baptist was such a huge part of my youth and for that I will always give thanks.  Friendships that were formed there still bring me happiness today!
26) I am thankful for Seth’s silly laugh, and happy smile!  I am thankful that he looks just like his daddy!  His blue eyes just melt my heart!!   I am thankful that he is such a little athlete!!
27)  I am thankful that Seth got his dad’s beautiful singing voice!  I am also thankful for music!  I LOVE to sing and listen to music every day!! Music can always bring a smile to my face!
28)  I am thankful for the gift of reading.  I end each day by reading an assortment of books.  This makes me so happy!  Whether I am reading God’s word, Christian books, or any other books for pleasure, it is always fun to relax at the end of each day with a good book! I am thankful for wonderful Christian writers such as Elizabeth George, James Dobson and Elisabeth Elliot.  I have learned so much through their wonderful Christian example of how to live. 

29)  Iced coffee!  Enough said :-)
30)  Life is a precious gift! I am thankful to be alive each and every day!!
As we anticipate celebrating Thanksgiving, take time to stop and be thankful for life’s many blessing!  What are you most thankful for this year?