The Frugal Grandma

I have a weakness for Christmas items on clearance, so the adrenaline rush hit when I discovered a mid-January 90% price reduction sale recently.  Whoa… a gingerbread tree kit for less than $2.  This would be fun to do with my two-year old granddaughter! Oh, no…Christmas is 11 months away.
So what.  She is two and we can call it a winter tree. 


Rachel2-8865plCurious fingers open the box and pull out the contents.

Rachel2-8887hfm20plHmmm…pretty, but what do I do with them?

Rachel2-8903It wasn’t too hard to stack the cookies, but the kit frosting wasn’t quite as plentiful as the box portrayed.  Cream cheese frosting would have been easier.

Rachel2-8900dmvOops!  Someone took a bite…

Rachel2-8914Add the pretty candy balls.

Rachel2-8923hfm20dmvEven winter trees need a (broken) star.

Considering that a two-year old tends to have the attention span of a gnat, I’d say lasting one full hour on a project is impressive. On top of that, it held MY full attention for an hour. I did rush the decorative frosting part and pretty much globbed it on. Martha Stewart would have rolled her eyes and tisked

Rachel2-8944Even though the results weren’t as perfect as pictured on the box, it looked just fine to me.  In this case, I declared the process  more important than the results.  I doubt that I will be asked to be a contestant on any of the cake decorating reality shows, anyway.  That’s O.K., I have enough to do already!

“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”

~Criss Jami

Yep, still here…

image001The Mayan Calendar appears to have been inaccurate as far as predicting the end of the world, so I guess it will be worth writing a Christmas letter after all.  The entire buzz about the end of the world seems to be kind of a downer.  Hmmm… what should I write about?

A word that does come to mind is bliss.  Is bliss attainable or just something we dream of? I’d like to think it is something most of us are able to experience if we allow ourselves.  So, here’s a list of things in our lives that we perceive as bliss.

  • Having a crop to harvest even though the drought caused lower yields
  • Sitting on the deck at the end of the day while sipping a glass of wine (Hey, It’s good for the heart!)
  • Preparing and eating a meal with most of the ingredients coming from my garden and locally grown meat (My kids grew up so I now I nurture my garden.)
  • Meeting new people in Jamaica last April
  • Planning and dreaming of future adventures
  • Seeing our 14 month old granddaughter smile and laugh
  • Feeling as though our kids are doing well even if one (Bryon, the chemistry major) lives in a house we envision to be like “Animal House” from the John Belushi era, another lives on the other side of the planet (Elizabeth teaches high school English in Thailand) and the other is discovering the joys and challenges of parenting (Julia and Vince are parents of little Rachel)
  • Having such wonderful care for Randy at the Sanford Heart Hospital
  • Our own cozy bed after being in the Sanford Heart Hospital for a week
  • Appreciating friends and family who have been so generous in their offers of help and assistance
  • Faith in Jesus who died for our sins, so that we may experience true bliss in heaven
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  ~ John 3:16

We sincerely hope that you can find a little bliss in each day, too.

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Randy & Joyce

More rambling about life may be found at:image004

Elizabeth’s blog about her life and travels:

Yes, Santa, I’ve been good!


Mr. Smiley shares a tender moment with Santa.  It is interesting to observe the many reactions to the bearded gentleman in the red suit.  While this little guy is pleasantly amused by the encounter, some children scream with fright while others are puzzled by the whole experience.  To each their own.