Favorite Scripture


Saturday, November 27, 2010


The cast of characters changes from year to year but the time honored tradition of going to the mall for Santa Picture continues....
8 Queens & ONE Prince

The annual trek to the Mall for the Santa Picture and lunch in the Food Court.  
Cruising for Parking and Seating is half the Fun!!  A local Newspaper reporter even stopped to interview our troop while waiting for Santa

A Flash Back from 
Thanksgiving 1988?
Can it be that these same little girls are now all grown up with careers and babes of their own??

Nothing says Thanksgiving like getting tattoos.  These are temporary, right???? 
Have a Do-Nut with those Tats!!
You started all this madness, EEka!!!
Yes, Virginia, those ARE CLOTHESPINS hanging from LaLa's backside!  The game's rules say...you can NOT tell someone they've been "PINNED" NOR can you take a clothespin OFF another person.  The goal is to quietly "pin" as many people as many times as you possibly can.  The "Chain Pinning" is a new technique introduced just in time for the 2010 Thanksgiving Reunion.

PaPaw even got clipped...wait till he sits down...hee hee hee hee

A round of "Break the Ice" or "Ants in Your Pants" is always popular...Thanks to Gran Sarah for the New Games this year!
Looks like Gmama and Grandpeeps are figuring out the rules of the game

We Team Up for a Game of Apples to Apples

After a bumpy start with a stomach bug claiming it's first victims during Pre-Cooking on Tuesday night, the Team rallied...
Thanks Gran Sarah & Dino Dan

The Face of James says it all....
Thanksgiving 2010 was 

Now onto some Quilting projects...perhaps a few Mug Rugs???
Come back for some pictures of my contribution to the Mug Rug Mania

Friday, November 26, 2010


"A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart"
 Jr. Asparagus  from Veggie Tales

This was almost the Thanksgiving that "wasn't" given that I came down with a nasty little bug on Tues. evening while in the midst of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  I am ever so grateful for my sister Sarah, brother-in-law, Dan, and niece Ericka who drove 10 hrs. from NC only to arrive Wed. afternoon and ALLOW ME TO PASS THE TORCH!  

My oldest daughter  jumped in to HELP finish what I had started.  I, on the other hand, LIMPED OFF to bed for 2 hrs., got some sleep and allowed my medicine to work it's magic.  I woke up feeling 200% better, most all of the food cooked and put in storage containers for warming up Thursday, and a feeling of "order having been restored".

Thursday morning found my son and his family of 6 all down for the count with a stomach bug as well.  What more could happen to steal Thanksgiving?  

Dinner was finally served at 1:00 and portions were promptly sent to feed the sick and afflicted who only live 2 miles away.

 Once Friday rolled around, everyone was feeling much better, and the annual trip to the mall for Santa Picture was back on.  This year, it was an all girl trip and Santa was dressed in his Alabama football gear (not a fan of my Santa dressed for a football team).  The entire trek to the mall went off without a hitch unlike in years past when we've  had to wheel one of us out in a wheelchair (story for another time). The Group Santa picture has been a tradition for over 10 yrs.  I especially love getting the pictures out at Christmas and lining them up on the fireplace mantel to see how we have all changed and grown over the years.  The first picture began with my sweet Mama in a wheelchair and it never fails to bring back wonderful memories of the many shopping trips on Black Friday.  Mama and I would get up at 4:00 to make it to the early sales, dig thru the mountains of shirts at some Dept. Store, and then cruise for a seat in the food court.

Christmas Season 2010 is officially open
 Tonight we sit with tummies full and hearts grateful for all that family means.  A simple game of Apples to Apples brought rounds of laughter and team competition...cousin vs cousin...sister vs sister...Grandmother vs Grandchild...all in the spirit of fun and togetherness.  Enough Football has been watched and pies eaten to put everyone into a sports/sugar coma!!  The Grandsons have pulled enough pranks to make us all lovingly distrustful of a simple pat on the back, handshake, or offer to help.  Mischievous minds were in Thanksgiving overload and Oh so Happy for a receptive audience!

 Thank you Dear Lord for the many blessings bestowed on my family this year...even in the trials and tribulations we Give Thanks knowing that You, Dear Lord, are in the details.  Thank you for a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with my family!

.Enjoy the rest of your weekend to all my American Blogging friends and blessings to all my Canadian friends and around the world.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saving Thanksgiving

Saving Thanksgiving

I'm grateful to be guest blogger this Monday over at Stash Manicure hosted by Madame Samm. 
SEW many creative and talented gals who will treat you every morning with a fresh perspective, new tip, great tutorial, or new inspiration for your Quilting habit or perhaps all things crafty!

I've taken a break from Thanksgiving Countdown 2010 
in order 
to Ponder just a moment of WHY I'm THANKFUL this Thanksgiving Season
 I've also made a CONSCIOUS decision FOR 2010 to not allow Christmas to SUPER-CEDE my THANKSGIVING!  I've not put up the first Christmas Decoration or even the first stocking on the Mantle.
Everything is 100% Thanksgiving inspired.


NOT UNTIL the last of my family has driven out of the driveway, the TWO turkeys eaten or made into turkey salad, 
the laughter faded,
the last piece of pie eaten, 

the last sip of coffee taken, 
 the last football game watched 
the last prank pulled by the 5 little Pranksters Extraordinaire, 

  the Trash taken out

will the Autumn decorations come down and the Christmas Wreath Hung!


This very American Holiday has always been one of my favorite times of the year and it's celebration only heightened the sense of excitement for the UPCOMING Christmas Season!!  There is NO such "thang" as "THANKMAS" !!

I have way to many Blessings to allow MY THANKSGIVING to be taken away from me in 2010!

Sew there you have it!! 

Family begins arriving on Wednesday afternoon and the baking begins in earnest!  

New art supplies have been purchased to help entertain the Grandpeeps.
 After all, how will we save Thanksgiving if we don't keep it for our Children and Grandchildren??!!
How can we begin to TEACH GRATITUDE if we SKIP over THANKSGIVING and go straight to Christmas with it's growing commercialization???

I'm so Thankful for my new friends in Blog Land.  This adventure in Blogging has brought me great JOY and a way to preserve the many precious memories created by with my family.

For those of you in America, Many Blessings to you on this Thanksgiving Season.  Our country is a Great Nation, one in which I am very PROUD to be a citizen.


I couldn't help myself...I just HAD to add a little Maxine Humor into the MIX

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Countdown Cont'd

 Thanksgiving Countdown ...Day 2

Thanksgiving Cleaning
You may not have to do this but I HAVE/NEED to PURGE my Refrigerator of all foreign objects 
past due items from 2009...yep...
there was a bottle of salad dressing
with expiration date 
of 2009!  
This drives my chef son-in-law CRAZY! 

I blame my mother for this bad housekeeping habit of squirreling away leftovers knowing full well they won't be used.  It seems so wasteful to throw out perfectly good food 
but ALAS...
it inevitably makes its way to the world of Medicine...
Medicine, you say???..
you know...
Mold grown for Penicillin!!??  
Just doing my part for Science!
NOW...I can fill it back up from my 

 Baking begins in earnest the Monday before Thanksgiving.  I order 3 Coconut Creme Pies from Gibsons BBQ (sinfully good) and a smoked turkey from New Market BBQ (yum) 

I will bake another turkey (plain) plus a spiral sliced ham.  
Some items will be for snacking and eating on for the 4 days my family is here such a dips, chips, etc..

Spinach/Artichoke Dip
Texas Caviar
Veggies & Ranch Dip
Deviled Eggs
Fruit Salad
Macaroni Salad (my mother's unique style)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes
Squash Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Fresh Green Beans
Cranberry Orange Relish
Cranberry Sauce plain
Turkey gravy
Dressing (2 kinds)
Southern dressing (my MIL makes a pan for me)
WV Dressing (oyster dressing)
Sister Schubert Rolls
Sweet Tea/Coffee
Pumpkin Pie/Cool Whip
Pecan Pie
Coconut Creme Pie
Chocolate Pie

And THAT my dear friends is the Thanksgiving Menu
at the
Hillis Farm

After dinner, the guys watch football, I decorate my table for Christmas, and the kids play outside weather permitting or begin the Christmas crafts.  Several years ago, a quilt hanging was signed  and I make sure it is hung for everyone to see at Thanksgiving.  We've only had to blot out one name...
You'll have to twist my arm to get me to tell THAT story!!!

On the evening of Thanksgiving we often go see 
the Christmas lights 
at the 
Botanical Garden!!  
A 1 mile drive of themed lights and my favorite...the "icicle forest" with lots of hanging white lights.  Lots of OOOOhs and Ahhhs from the kiddos as well as the adults.

Back home, it's another round of pie and coffeeand a movie for the night owls.

 The gals head for bed because
Black Friday

The GIRLS go for
the Annual
Christmas Photo with
Santa...a VERY large group
I might add.

More stories ahead....


Sunday, November 14, 2010




The Christie Family

Every year since 1988, my sister, Sarah and her family have driven from North Carolina to Alabama to have Thanksgiving with me.  My older sister, Shelby, and her family came for about 6-7 yrs and then health reasons prevented them from making the trip every year but still continued to come once in a while.  7 children under the age of 12 were camped out in sleeping bags all over the living room.  It reminded me of a children's book written by Cynthia Rylant, "When the Relatives Came".  With all that kissing and hugging, it took a whole hour to get from the front of the house to the back of the house!

 Thanksgiving soon became more like "THANKSMAS" ... a reunion of family complete with Grandmother, sisters, husbands, brothers, cousins, and any one who decided to come along for the fun.  This house was so packed with people you had to watch where you stepped for fear of crunching a finger or toe.  Oh but it was FUN!!  The cooking, the laughter, the games, football, shopping, movies, turning on the Christmas lights on Thanksgiving night, watching Christmas Vacation with everyone piled up wherever one could find a pillow or open floor space.  

Though the numbers have decreased over the ensuing years due to death, bad health, or new family traditions...one constant remains...Sarah, Dan & Ericka.  
Mother passed away in 2003 and Oh how we miss her!  Thanksgiving was more important than Christmas because she got to see all of her "girls" together once a year.  
Nephew Daniel has married and goes to his wife's home, Sister Shelby & BIL are battling life threatening health issues, cousins married, nieces & nephews have married, life marches on...but the Memories of those family Thanksgivings are forever etched into the fabric of this family.

One of my favorite and funniest memories was the Thanksgiving Prank that took on a life of its own!  Who knew A bag of clothespins could provide so much fun??!!  Each child was given a bag of clothespins.  Over the course of  4 days, the object was to pin a clothespin on the back of someone without their knowledge.    You could NOT tell anyone they were "pinned" and once you discovered a pin attached to your person, you could remove and place in YOUR bag of pins (adults always gave their pins to the nearest little prankster). 

No Big Deal you say???  How would you like to go shopping on Black Friday and when you arrive at the Mall wonder why people are staring at you???  At some point you realize you have at least ONE or MORE CLOTHESPINS Attached to your clothing!!!  You can not imagine the curious stares you get from people when they see 5-6 clothespins dangling from your backside and they don't know whether to tell you or let it go. What would YOU DO?????

Try going to a church musical production with clothespins attached to your backside!!
It was even greater fun to "PIN" someone in a very crowded elevator and watch them walk away... totally unaware they had a clothes pin dangling from their shirt/sweater/jacket?!!!!!LOL  LOL  

One year, my oldest sister made SURE all clothespins had been removed from her person before leaving to go home and even laughed about being "PIN FREE"   UNTIL......................their first stop on the return trip to find their MUFFLER and BACK ANTENNA had been "PINNED"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are a strange lot!  Thanksgiving morphs every year to include the newest grandchild or guest to break bread with our family. Some years are quieter than others.  All are memorable and worthy of the Hillis Holiday Hall of Fame!!!
Stay Tuned for more Holiday Traditions
Looking across the play yard out toward the back field on the FARM

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blog Hop


I stumbled across this upcoming Blog Hop during my Blog hopping today and thought it looked SEW interesting.  Since I'm new to the Quilty world of blogging, all these Blog hops are a first for me!!  I'm so excited!  

You see, until last January I lived in the Dial-up world of Internet.  
I know, hard to believe, but I live in a rural area not serviced by cable.  
However, some of my neighbors about 1/3 of a mile could get FAST Internet, but I live on a tangent...or so they say...that is not serviced by any COMPANY.  
Trust me, I tried everyone.  

My sister was desperate to have Internet access when she visited me from NC...SEW..she bought a neat little TECHY gadget from Verizon called MI-FI that allowed her to gain access to the Internet without Dial -up!!  


you can imagine what GMAMA asked Santa to bring her for Christmas...
that's right!....

a Verizon MI-FI of my very own. 

Now I don't get super fast like some of you gals but I sure as heck don't have to use Dial-Up anymore.

.I could play Farmville and have my own Blog...although, I didn't jump into the blog thing until I had overdosed on Farmville which was around June 2010.

SEW...all that said to explain why I'm such a novice to Internet blogging, blog hops, online quilt clubs, etc...  

I'm like a kid in a candy store

Here is the line-up for the Blog Hop:

Thanks to Sherri K. Falls of This & That Patterns (see below)

I am very excited to announce Mistletoe Make & Bake 2010! We have a baker's dozen of designer projects and dozens of cookies recipes for you just in time for the holidays. So get ready to hop through some wonderful blogs, collecting gift-giving projects and yummy cookie recipes perfect for your holiday cookie exchanges!


November 15th-20th, 2010
Here is the line-up~
November 15th
Sherri K. Falls of This & That Patterns 
Monica Solorio-Snow of The Happy Zombie
November 16th
Heidi Kaisand of Chicks & Hen
Monique Dillard of Open Gate Blog
November 17th
Celine Perkins of Perkin's Dry Goods
Kelly Ann Richardson of Kelly Ann's Quilting
November 18th
Lissa Alexander of Moda Lissa
Julie Stewart of Quilts 4 Julie
November 19th
Roseann Kermes of Rosebud's Cottage
Brenda Riddle of Little Acorns
November 20th
Vickie Eapen of Spun Sugar Quilts
Melisa Morrison of Sweet Home Quilt Co.
November 21st
On the seventh day, we’ll rest. And eat cookies!
 So mark your calendar and get ready for a fun week filled with cookie bliss, wonderful projects and awesome prizes!!
P.S. Please help us spread the word about the hop...we want everyone to join in the fun! So please Tweet, blog or Facebook your friends so that they don't miss the hoppin Holiday fun we have in store for you!

Getting a Jump on Christmas Giving

That's my Post for today!  I will be Guest Posting on Monday, Nov. 22nd at Stash Manicure HOPEFULLY!!  Last time I had a virus and couldn't post.  Let's hope I got it fixed. 

Gmama Jane

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Close Call

In the Blink of an Eye

Ryan James

Scott Matthew

In the Blink of an eye, 
my world could have changed yesterday.  An ordinary Tuesday afternoon COULD have altered my world forever.  Yes, there were the Mid-Term elections going on and I had just returned from voting.  Even as important as the elections were and the importance of voting....none of that would have meant anything to me if not for the fact of a few inches and the presence of some concrete....an unfinished side porch extending into the driveway.

IN the Blink of an eye....
two of the people I love most in this world could have been seriously injured or worse...Died.  In fact, for a brief 30 seconds, that felt like an eternity going by in slow motion,  I thought the worst had happened.  In my heart and mind, my world had just come crashing down.

In the Blink of an eye,
I felt numb, dumb struck, and then Gracious RELIEF  ....ALL...
In the Blink of an Eye!

On November 2nd, 2010, at approx. 4:00 p.m. DIL was leaving my house after having picked up #1 Grandson, Ryan, and Scottie "What" (nickname, long story).  #1 Grandson got in the family Jeep and not knowing the difference between the reaction of a straight shift and automatic vehicle, TURNED the key in the ignition,  the Jeep lurched forward & continued moving.  My DIL stood with little Scott in her arms, screaming, not knowing what to do with Scott or how to stop the jeep.  Ryan was scared to death...the Jeep knocks PaPaw's truck forward and SOMEHOW is stopped by running into an unfinished concrete side porch.  One crashed fender, two crashed headlights, and several blood curdling screams later, all is well and no one hurt.

PaPaw & I were in the house at the time when we heard the blood curdling screams and immediately thought one of the children had been run over.  Scrambling to get out the door, PaPaw broke the coffee table.  I don't think I breathed for 5 minutes.  All I could see was DIL screaming and holding Scott.  My eyes told me Scott was hurt or perhaps worse...
In reality, no one's life was in jeopardy just a bruised ego and faint of heart mother.

In the BLINK of AN EYE...........................

Thank You Jesus for my family 
but on this day 
I am thanking you especially for:
Ryan James & Scott Matthew



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