As I sit here today, thinking about all the good things I’ve enjoyed this Holiday Season and eagerly looking forward to the New Year; mulling over the things I wanted to share with my family and friends, I got tickled.

When I went to my “Dashboard” here at the blog and I saw that yesterday more people checked the blog than most of the week. I guess, they were all wondering why I had stopped posting Cookie Exchange Party (*see below) recipes or maybe they just wanted to see if I was too sorry to post anything new? Whatever reason, I do hope the suspense was well worth the wait. I’ll try to toss a few things out there and go back and back post the other recipes. Sorry about that. Maybe just drop a few hints and I’ll get back to you.

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The Metcalf Family Christmas Party

The party was held on Monday, December 13, 2010 from 6:30 pm – 8:00 p.m. at the Golden Corral in Franklin, Ohio. My family had a great time. The kids ate like there was no tomorrow, but let’s face it, at a Buffet what else can you do? I’ve decided not to plan the party for next year. If someone else, in the family, wants to plan the party, we’ll be more than happy to attend. No gift exchange, please.

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This month, as a family we have been really blessed. Anthony and I got to spend some quality time with our family and friends. A few that we didn’t, strike me as odd, the people we try to avoid all year long; we suddenly feel compelled to visit at the Holiday’s? That’s what the Holidays are for I guess, so that no one is left out.

Last week, Christine and I went to see my cousin, whom somehow manages to avoid everyone all year, maybe not completely on purpose, just keeps to himself. We wanted to take him some cookies, from the *cookie exchange party. We knocked and he yelled, “What do you want?” I had to laugh, it didn’t even faze us, and we just yelled back, “In! We can’t stand out here in the cold, all day. It’s freezing out here!” Most people may have been a little put off by his response, but when it comes to family, you just have to laugh and roll with it.

We didn’t stay long, since we were unannounced and I didn’t think he’d be home this time either, just taking a chance. In our defense, we had been trying to call him for days, with no answer, his phone was messed up, and so Christine and I just stopped by (when I was already late for an appointment in Cincinnati). We sat there and chatted for a few, the phone rang and my hubby reminded me that he was in a major hurry (as usual) and I had forgotten to pick him up. So we jetted out the door, but I told him that we’d be back. So he has been warned and hopefully will great us with a warmer welcome next time. He isn’t feeling his best, so I’ll keep him in my prayers and ask you to do the same. We do love him and wish him all the best this Christmas Season and a very happy and prosperous New Year.

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The Cookie Exchange Party

The party was held on Sunday, December 19th, 2010 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. in Party Central aka my front garage with 11 women in attendance. Steven asked to come, but somehow that just seemed odd. I guess in hindsight, I should have said, “Come on son, the more the merrier.”

I do love all the Holiday inspired parties, and games that we play like Christmas Bingo and The Nutcracker, seen on MINUTE TO WIN IT, just too much fun. That Mandy won of course, while talking on the phone.

One of my all time favorite parties has to be the Cookie Exchange Party. Where else can you an appetizer buffet, drink spiced cider and sample all those delicious cookies? I also learned that two of my friends Kathy Reamy and Sylvia Hess neither one had seen the classic Christmas movie, “The Christmas Story.” What? How can that be? It’s a movie marathon on Christmas Day. A must see for any family. No I’m not getting paid to plug it, just another one of those beyond belief moments that seemed fitting to mention in this post. Sorry peeps not meant to embarrass you here. I do hope you’ll still come again next year. I may even play the movie.

But as fate would have it, this year’s party didn’t go off without a hitch. Although for one of my parties, it was about par for the course. I feel like Mary Tyler Moore, when Mr. Grant tells her that her parties are the worst and it would be a mistake for her to have it, but of course, she goes ahead and has one anyway and he’s absolutely right; again. Her party is a virtual disaster. She should call me and we’ll compare notes. My husband, Anthony usually gives me the same speech right before each and every party, he’s a brat. Thanks’ Babe for having my back. NOT! This party was to be no exception; most of the invitees claimed to have had the flu and begged off, but for the faithful few that came, we had a great time. The cookies were plentiful and amazing. I can’t wait for next year’s party. I have a million new ideas. I’m going to look online this year for all kinds of red and green footed party plates to add to my collection and new ways to decorate the tables. I want to deck it out in a lot of red and green candles and sequence then surrounded it all with candy canes and Christmas wrapped kisses. Yummy!

PS: In their defense, my entire family and I had that the same flu that week and it really was a serious flu, so all if forgiven. Unless of course you try to use that same excuse next year. Then we’ll have a problem. Get your Flu shots. I know that I’m going to. I don’t ever want to repeat that again. I may even add it to my Cookie Exchange Party invitations for next year.

(It’s a good thing that my family knows when I’m joking – love you guys).

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Gingerbread Party

Brandy & Mandy had schemed up a Gingerbread Party with sleep over, which I couldn’t have enjoyed more. Watching all the children create and make large messes in my home (well garage/party central) is always a treat. I try never to complain. All messes are cleaned up soon enough, but the memories will last a lifetime. The grandkids were so much fun this year, with only two calamities to speak of, but no one was hurt or nothing even worth mentioning broke, so it was an absolutely priceless experience. I will make a few notes so that next years party will go off without a hitch, and Tiger will have a softer mattress to sleep on. Poor fella, that couldn’t have been good. The yellow guest room, mattress is like sleeping on a rock. I know, I’ve endured it twice, when work was being done in my bedroom and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Please except my deepest apologies and I do hope you will find it on your heart to come back again next year and give it another try.

I wanted to do something totally different this year in the gift department and hopefully it will become a trend. As the Grandparents now, it doesn’t seem to be our jobs to fill up the tree and make everyone’s wishes come true. It’s just to have everyone together in one place and love them as much as possible.

I decided it would best, for me to buy everyone, the exact same gift this year, so that no one could complain they didn’t get the same or as much as, anyone else. Since the sleep-over was originally planned for Christmas Eve, it seemed like the perfect gift; just get each person a pair of pajama’s and house shoes. Then kids were to get a large candy cane and a little red & white sock monkey, but I went to 4 Wal-Mart’s, and could only get seven sock monkey’s. That wouldn’t work, not with 12 Grand’s total – that just wasn’t enough. So I eighty-sixed the monkeys and just bought all the kids Santa hats. I liked it. Plus they looked nice in the pictures.

That was all just going to be, too easy. We ended up having the Gingerbread Party on the 23rd instead of the 24th – I made Christmas Adam jokes, the day before Christmas Eve, is Christmas Adam, oh well, I get the joke. The date was changed which made my perfect gift ideas, a FOLD, in the children’s eyes anyway. Since Allie & Ave were leaving early Christmas Eve morning, Allie, now three years old, ask if they could open their gifts before they went home, and since we had already had the sleepover – no new pj’s, it didn’t make too much sense to them, why they didn’t get toys, or to Anthony either for that matter, since they didn’t all get them at the same time and would have all matched. The girls weren’t thrilled with their gifts. Oh well, I’ll try harder to make it up to them, next year.

Steven brought his girlfriend home with him for the break. We really enjoyed having them both here. Although, the big girls (Mandy, Brandy and Christine), may have sworn off playing Scattergories with Steven ever again. Steven decided that all answers had to be exact; it was like playing a game with Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. Oh well, their used to it. He bought us a “Balderdash” game to play, and helpfully we’ll get “Minute To Win It,” for next year. The board games just keep mounding around here. I told my oldest sister Shirley we will have to have a game night next month, instead of Girl’s Night Out! Shouldn’t matter that much, we mostly just eat anyway! (Insert a little snicker here).

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Ladies Secret Sister Dinner

Our church ladies “Secret Sister Dinner,” was a lot of fun last night. The party was held at the Olive Garden; it had been postponed earlier due to snow and ice. With most of the ladies there, except for Pastor Gary’s wife whom was home sick and Diane Calton, she was working, it was a small crowd, but again, we really had a lot of fun. Those that had participated in the “Secret Sister,” all year gifted and exposed themselves as the culprit that had been secretly gifting their Sister-in-Christ all year; for birthday’s, anniversaries and all Holiday’s; great and small. For those of us that chose not to participate for whatever the reason just brought our exchange gifts in and we played the “White Elephant” game aka Nasty Christmas to receive a small token (w/ $10 limit) of someone’s affection this Holiday Season. I got a lamp Christine had picked out, in which I’m sure she’ll find a way to trade me out of later.

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New Year’s Eve Party

New Year’s Eve Party or not to party, that is the question. This year, may be the year I skip the New Year’s Party and just go to bed early. I may be all partied out; if that’s even possible. We’ll see what unfolds. No real plans as of yet. Who knows invite me and I just may show up.

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Remembrances, Birthday’s, Anniversaries and Notables

To my friends Mike and Kathy O’Bradovic,
Please except my sincere congratulations on the adoption of your first Granddaughter. I know she will become all the things you’ll imagine her to be. She is a great blessing this Holiday Season; enjoy all the love she will bring to your family, both now and in the future. Best wishes to you and your family.

I also want to wish Matt and Diana Reeves a very hardy congratulations on the birth of their first child, a beautiful new baby girl, they’ve named her Addison Faith Reeves. She is a true gift from God.

To Jeff & Sophia,
Happy Birthday to Jeff and Congratulations are in order for the new Grandbabies in your life. I can’t wait to see them. I do hope you come down soon and show them off.

Happy Birthday this month to Chris’ daughters Cassidy and Chelsea Metcalf.

Happy Birthday to my Grandson Trey aka Alan Edward Whiteside III, Grandpa and Grandma loves you.

Happy Birthday to my brother’s only son, Justin Adkins. You’re a true treasure in our family and we are so fortunate to have you to love.

To my Cousin Sandy’s, daughter Cheyenne Comb’s,
I want to wish you a very happy birthday this Thursday. I hope life treats you kind and you’ll be blessed on your birthday.

As for me and my house, I just want to say,
“Enjoy each and every blessing this Holiday Season
and Welcome to the Family,”
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

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The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be. ~ Socrates

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