Monday, December 14, 2009


Happy Monday Everyone ... the Holiday Open House Party was a wonderful success!! It was so wonderful visiting with neighbors and just catching up on this past years events. Everyone is always so busy ... Mark & I were thrilled that everyone took the time to come and sit a spell ... enjoy the friendship of other neighbors as well as good food.

Before our guests arrived, I snapped a few photos to share with you. I made Monogrammed Note Card sets for all the families and had M&M candycanes for each of the kids. Although I knew most of the kids wouldn't be coming, I still wanted a little something for their parents to take home to them ... just to let them know we were thinking of them too!! Most of the neighbor kids are now "tweens or early teens" and would rather stay home playing video games, reading a book or as in the case of Bethany ... doing her homework ... rather than sitting at an Adult party where they'd be bored stiff!! And that's okay ... since they were close by ... it probably worked out for the best!

I also wanted to share my livingroom with you. This is where we have the "big" tree and although there's not much in the way of window dressings, etc. in this room, I enjoy the coziness it has when it's decorated for the holidays. Our tree goes right to the ceiling and there's a lot of lights & decorations and it just makes me HAPPY! The fact that a lot of the ornaments are from family & friends ... makes it all the more special.

Now, on to the party pictures!! You can click on most of the photos for a CLOSER VIEW! I wish you could have come to the party too ... we had plenty of food ... as you will see!!!
Oh my goodness the food!!! We always prepare way too much but Mark & I enjoy working on these gatherings together and although I already know what I want to serve, he always comes up with a few extra goodies to put on the table. Not only did we provide a menu of Swedish Meatballs, Shrimp Coctail, Crab dip, Chicken dip, Beef dip, Cheese & Meat tray w/crackers, Cheesecake, nuts & candy ... but neighbors Christy & Travis brought Sweet & Sour Kielbasa, cookies & candy and neighbors Sheri & Tim brought a nut roll. If you didn't find something here you eat ... you had a problem!!! There was certainly enough to feed another 20 people! There wasn't a whole lot left but what there is we'll be having for dinner tonight!!

Our neighbors have a variety of professions and they are all so unique and interesting to talk to. All are very good in their jobs and are wonderful neighbors ... ready to lend a helping hand where ever they can!! This was so much fun I just might have to make it an annual thing!!!

The young couple across the street (Travis & Christy) where the first to come and the last to leave!! They too are from "back home in PA" and we truly enjoy their company. All of their family is back in PA so I'm glad Mark & I have become their friends and they felt comfortable sticking around and chit-chatting after everyone else was gone.

Our beautiful little neighbor girls Olivia & Emily came by with Mom & Dad for a visit and they are always intriqued by Mark's train under the tree. It's a special Christmas Train and it plays Christmas carols, whistles and sounds like a real train. I wished I hadn't been so hurried in taking my photo ... it's a bit blurry and these young ladies are so adorable and dressed so pretty!! They were on their way to church where their mom would be performing with others in a string orchestra production ... Mom (Christine) plays chello ... isn't that awesome!!

Here is little Emily with her Mom as they were getting ready to leave and go to church! They are both such beautiful little girls and they have a wonderful, God loving family! They are wonderful friends and neighbors!! If they see me outside, they always take the time to say hello and talk to awhile! The girls always enjoy telling me what they are doing that day ... whether it is just riding their bikes ... going swimming ... or going to help grandma plant the garden. They love to share and I always enjoy hearing about their adventures.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I know everyone is so busy this time of the year, it's difficult to get around to let everyone know how much you care and appreciate who they are. So with that being said ... before I run out of time, let me say that I feel truly BLESSED by the friendship of all of you! I draw wonderful warm feeling from all your loving comments and you all inspire me so much! God Bless you and thanks for being my friend!!

Take care ... be careful out there among all the CRAZY shoppers and try to enjoy each and every day & experience ... we never know when it may be our last! And I for one want to be sure it ends on a GOOD note!!


Lana said...

Awesome party pictures Darlene wish I was your neighbor!!! Everything looked fabulous. What a good neighbor you are!!

Teri said...

I'm glad everything went without a hitch! Looks like it was a lot of fun - wish I could have been there too. . .
Teri xx

chercroppin said...

Awwwww, I wish we lived closer too Darlene, I would've definitely loved to have gone!

What lovely treats you had for everyone, and lots of yummy food too!

I also feel so Blessed to have found're the best! xoxo

Julie said...

Darlene--thanks for a little visit with you at home--your home is warm, cozy and wonder so many come year after year! Wish I could have popped in among them all! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Hope the rest of your Christmas prep goes well--still trying to get my tag done...don't give up on me yet! I've been really slow the last couple of weeks!

Much love to you, my dear friend--hope your day is just glorious!

Kim said...

Oh looks like such a fun time together! There is nothing better than good friends sharing good food! Your decorations are beautuful by the way!
Kim xxx

Bonibleaux Designs said...

Oh what a super party! I just bet you all had a blast. We do the same a couple of times a year. It is always good to know your neighbors and who is watching out for you and who you are watching out for. Not many neighborhoods like that anymore!!

Yay! I wish I was your neighbor! even if by a state LOL

Chris Olsen, Glowbug said...

You are truly a blessing Darlene!! I am so blessed to call you a friend!! I have treasured getting to know you better. You bring light to so many!!

It looks like the party was a wonderful success!! Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos. Your decorating is beautiful. I am sure the neighbors appreciated all your efforts and this get together.


Janine said...

Hi Darlene!! The food sounded fabulous!! Send me some!!

Amy Johnson said...

Thanks for sharing Darlene! Your home looks gorgeous and your party looked like a lot of fun.

Angelwood said...

Just love these pictures. Your home is beautifully decorated - what an awesome tree! I wish I was your neighbor.

By the way, I love your blog background - so gorgeous! hugs, Angela

The Rubber Maid said...

Glad a good time was had by all as it shows in your wonderful pictures. TFS.
Also saw I had the featured card of the week at Penny's nice that was. Talk before Christmas, hugs from Pat

Lyneen said...

Sure sounds like fun... wish i lived near by and could have dropped in the food looks delish!