Archive for Holidays

Our 2015 Calendar Project Success

The Family Calendar for 2015 has been polished, published and placed in the hands of all of the family members near and far.  This project turned out to be way more stressful for me than I realized it would be.  Setting deadlines for submissions and my Mom helping with getting the month’s assigned to each particular submitter.  Then the calendar pages with all the family members birthdays had to be edited and updated.  This was quite an adventure to say the least!  This is one of those projects that my Mom (or my parents) just always made happen every year, and it never seemed like a big deal, but it most certainly is.

One of my goals for each picture page of the calendar was to peruse the months and check to see that there were no duplicate pictures.  I looked intently at all of the picture months 10 or 50 times.  In the end and after all was said and done there was only one duplicate.  In my editorial opinion I consider that a great feat, and would take on the task again in a heartbeat.

This calendar brings back such great memories.  When all of the kids were younger, and my Mom was doing the calendar all on her own, they would each count how many times their picture appeared in the calendar.  Then they would make a contest out of who was in the calendar the most.  That in turn put extra pressure on Grandma to try and get a good balance of pictures for each grandchild.  Our Family Calendar is almost a 20 year family tradition, and I love traditions.  You can read all about the history of our family calendar here.

Nowadays, quite a few of the kids are contributors to the calendar, and it has made the project quite an annual event.  Not to mention the fact that  when we are taking pictures at family gatherings during the year someone will inevitably exclaim, “That’s a calendar shot!” This is one of those timeless family traditions that I hope will be passed from one generation to the next for many years to come.

Without further ado, these are the pictures pages gracing the 12 months of 2015.  Enjoy!

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It’s the First Monday of 2015

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Today marks the  first Monday of the New Year and I just wanted to let all of you know that if anyone needs me today I will be sitting right here at my computer putting the final touches on our 2015 Family Calendar.  It seems that I have volunteered for a task/project that has a much larger scope/involvement than I ever realized.  This project is normally headed up by my Mom.  This has been a much more emotional task than I ever fathomed it would be.  Just perusing through all of the pictures to find the right one for my pages has been a journey all of its own.  However, this is one of those family traditions that I for one do not want to let go by the wayside.  So when my Mom asked me if I could help with the calendar for this year of course I said yes.

The Family Calendar is a time-honored tradition started by my parents many moons ago. I wrote about the legacy of our Family Calendar a few years ago, and today the tradition continues.

Now mind you our calendar is a tad late this year, but this tradition will go forward and the calendars will be delivered to all of our family members by the end of this week.  Whew!

Honestly the one thing that I am most excited about for our 2015 calendar is that my Mom has not seen one page of it.  The entire calendar will be a surprise for her as well as the rest of the family.  I am the only one who has been viewing the pages in their entirety. That is the honor of taking on this tradition.

For now I bid you all adieu.  I cannot wait to share some of our family pages with all of you once the calendar is completed.  I already have a favorite month, but I cannot tell you which one it is. That is top-secret, classified information.

I hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful day today.

Merry Christmas to You and Yours…

A very Merry Christmas wish is going out to all of you from all of us here at The Party House in Southern California.  We hope your day is filled with laughter and lots of love.

Here’s a little Christmas memory from 2008.  Just a little family silliness, and a great picture with my Dad who is always missed just a little bit more at this time of year.




Travel Man and I are sending out Christmas love to all of our family and friends, near and far.  May each of you have a blessed Christmas, and the best New Year possible.

Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone. – Charles M. Schulz

Giving Thanks in 2014


This has been quite a year for The Spindle Ranch.  Lots of family activities, and always more, and more that we are thankful for.  This year will bring a bit of a smaller Thanksgiving dinner at The Ranch, but that’s alright. This year this holiday will mark a change in the family dynamic.  It will be the first Thanksgiving that two of my kids (the boys to be exact) are gathering with their significant others and their families for the holiday. I am fine with this.  I have always told all of my kids that every holiday and birthday celebration that we have gotten to share together over the years has been a blessing.  We’re very lucky to have had so, so many celebrations and holidays together.  I always knew the time would come when the kids would be sharing their holidays, and now that time has arrived in full force.

Today instead of sharing with you ALL of the things I am thankful for this year I would just like to zero my focus in  on one thing, or I should say one person.  This is one of those years where I have been ever so thankful for my Mom’s great advice and counsel.  My Mom lives with myself and Travel Man.  She’s been staying with us since my Dad passed away in June of 2013.

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My Mom has been on what I would call the biggest emotional roller-coaster of her life in the past year and a half.  She’s been getting through her own grief,  and she has also had to be in Illinois for a few months at a time to help my grandparents with their health issues.  Everything going on in her world has kept her emotions in overdrive, and that’s an understatement.  However, we do live together which has allowed us to have some great girl time together; watching our favorite TV dramas, trying out new recipes, teasing Travel Man when he’s home, and chasing granddaughter, Madison, around the house two days a week.

No matter what is going on in our house, or what she is dealing with long distance where my grandparents are concerned my Mom will always say to me, “You know you can talk to me anytime, and about anything.”  I know this but I do not always listen, because I do not want to cause my Mom to have any additional stresses in her life.  I will readily admit that there is no better feeling in the world than being able to share your thoughts with your Mumsie and get her loving, constructive advice in return.  That is my Mom, that is who she is and what she does for me.  My thankfulness for her wise words of wisdom know no bounds.  I am forever grateful to be blessed with her presence in my world, and I know (being a Mom myself) that my Mom will always be there for me, always.

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all.  May your world be as filled with the love of a caring family as mine is.



A Week Away


Can you believe it’s only 7 days until Thanksgiving Day is here?  Where does the time go.  Weren’t we just passing out Halloween candy.  There’s a lot to get done before next Thursday, if you are in charge of the  meal planning for your family.  Have you already started your planning and preparing?

Guest listing – Are all your invites out there?

Menu planning – Are everyone’s favorites included?

Grocery listing – Did you check your spice cupboard?

Grocery shopping – Will you get the turkey you wanted?

Pumpkin pie baking??  – My oldest son has taken over this task.  I love it.

Turkey Thawing – What day does your turkey need to be in the fridge to be ready for baking?

Side Dishes – Have you delegated your side dishes out to family and friends?

Drinks – Did you give someone the task of bringing the wine?

This is probably one of my favorite holidays of the year to be with my family, and just eat, visit, and enjoy each other’s company.  No other commemorations or gifts are attached to this day, just counting your blessings and being thankful for the wonderful family members that gather around your table for an amazing meal.

I am in the midst of the planning for our meal for about 10 people this year.  I will be looking forward to letting you all know how our dinner turns out.  Let me know how the planning is going in your neck of the woods.

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