Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dashing thru the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Volume 57

Welcome to the Wednesday glad you took the time to play along today. Be sure to add your link at the bottom of my post and in the spirit of Christmas go visit your neighbors and leave some comment love. Here are my answers-

1. Do you put Christmas decorations in every room of your house? If not, what rooms do you decorate?

We have some sort of decoration in most rooms of our house but I keep things pretty simple. The family room, dining room, kitchen, and sunroom are the main rooms decorated, and since I have a lot of house guests in December I usually add small touches to the bedrooms and bathrooms too.

2. If you could visit one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) which one would you choose and why?

All of the above. Okay, I know that's not a choice but these are all countries I want to visit. Hubs has been to all of them but Iceland and even went ice diving inside the Arctic circle on a trip to Finland. I stayed at home and prayed he didn't have a heart attack because someone had to.

You sit in a steamy sauna then walk out to the ice in your birthday suit and then drop down into frigid water through a hole cut into the ice.

I guess if I must choose I'm going with Sweden because we have friends who live there. Or Norway for its stunning scenery.

3. What does the word faith mean to you?

I think all of us exercise faith in a multitude of ways on a daily basis and have been doing so pretty much since the day we were born. I could insert examples such as air travel, the brakes on my car, or the surgeon preparing to operate. For me though, the heart of faith is best summed up by one verse in the book of Hebrews (1:11)

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

It's been a tough few months around here as we have watched my niece battle cancer. I cannot imagine walking that road without faith. Faith is what allows us to find joy amid life's trials. To know peace when there is suffering. To feel hope for tomorrow.

4. You can go back to your childhood for one day...what day and age would you choose?

I'm going to pick a day that my siblings and I all remember. I was in the fourth grade and my dad had come home that fall after spending a year+ in Vietnam. Sometime later in that school year my sisters and brother and I were picked up early from class (which never happened) and my parents took us to Philadelphia to see the Ringling Brothers circus.

I guess in today's world that doesn't sound like such a big deal but in 1969 it was huge. My dad didn't throw money around and one of the things that stands out to all of us about that day is the way my dad seemed to love buying us anything we wanted. Snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy...these were all big treats to us and he just kept them coming. I think we all remember this day though, not for what we got, but for how we felt. My dad was a Marine and kept his emotions close to the vest most of the time. On this day he wore his heart on his sleeve.

5. When did you last have 'punch'? If its not too much trouble share your favorite punch recipe.

Probably last Christmas although there was a punch served at the party we attended on Friday. I'm not sure what was in it but it had cranberries floating as a garnish and they were so pretty. We always have punch on Christmas afternoon while we're snacking on appetizers. It's so simple and delicious:

one large can of pineapple juice
one jar of cranberry juice
one 2-liter bottle of 7-up

Combine and serve. I usually make an ice ring to keep it cold but regular ole ice cubes work too.

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for something called Grinch punch that I want to try on Christmas looks so pretty and is the color of the Grinch. Click here to find the recipe.

6. Do you fill stockings at your house? Are stockings opened before or after the bigger gifts?

Everyone in my family would agree that stockings are our favorite part of Christmas morning. We fill them to overflowing and a few gifts always spill over into your chair too. There is always a tangerine (clementine) in the toe because there just is. Up until about 15 years ago my mom still filled stockings for her four grown married children and their spouses but in more recent years we each buy a stocking stuffer for our siblings and then the four siblings fill my mom's stocking.

As far as when they are opened, in our house it's definitely before the bigger gifts. We have our Christmas morning routine down pat and we do not deviate from that routine. Ever. I hope my future sons in law are reading this.

7. What takes your breath away?

When my daughters say something deep and wise, when they see a need and act on that need. I feel a rush of pride and amazement, not that they are smart and compassionate, but just that they are so grown up and thoughtful and see the world in a way that I admire.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm using this space today to post my picture for the December photo challenge. Today's prompt is 'decked hall'...

Fa la la la la.


  1. That reminds me of when the circus used to come to the small town I grew up in... It was such an exciting weekend! As a result of just how special the circus could be, I still can't eat Fairy-Floss "just because" - it's circus food in my mind and should be reserved as a special treat at the circus :)

  2. What a precious memory of your dad's treat of the circus and all the goodies he bought you that made you feel special. Love the decked hall! So pretty with the lights. And I must try the pineapple cranberry punch. I love anything and everything pineapple.

  3. I so enjoyed reading all your Q&A!! My DIL and I were talking about faith tonight, e.g. faith in that even though justice often seems elusive in our world, in the end, there will be justice. Believing in God, we have that assurance and confidence.

    LOVE your 'decked' photo! And thanks for the punch recipe. :-)

  4. Joyce, I often think of your niece. I've been praying for her and all of you as you walk this road with her.

    By the way, as I typed my comment, I was listening to Matthew West's "Strong Enough," which he wrote especially for those fighting cancer. I had the privilege of seeing him live in concert a few months ago, and he shared some heartbreaking stories.

    Hugs to all of you.

  5. Interesting that we both came to Hebrews 1:1 for our definition of faith!! :)

  6. Wow! What a day you chose! I'm sure that memory is made of 110% happy. On that, have a very happy holiday season!

  7. The very thought of ice diving chills me to the bone! I am definitely going to try your punch recipe soon! Sounds so GOOD! Your answer to #3 is right on the money. Enjoy your day, Joyce!

  8. Great questions this week. I loved your responses....especially the one about the circus. I loved going to the circus. When I was a kid I wanted to run away and join it. when the train would pull into my home town...they would make a parade out of unloading the animals and stuff. It was grand!

  9. Good morning and great Hodgepodge today! Had me really thinking about "faith" today, too. I'm enjoying your photo tour!! Your staircase is lovely. I always wanted to have a staircase bannister to decorate....but I've only lived in an apartment or a ranch.

  10. Beautiful entryway! Great answers todays them all. My siblings and I all mail things for my parents sticking to where ever they are for Christmas.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  11. I love it when our children ack like grown up! Makes me proud. Good answer.

  12. All of your answers today were great... I liked them all. I will add your niece to my prayer list. Your circus comment brought back a memory of my dad taking us to a circus. I had forgotten about it. Thanks for helping me remember such a precious memory!

  13. I love your entryway ... gorgeous!

    I chose Hebrews 11:1 for my answer to #3 also. ;-)

  14. Thinking of your niece. Our superintendent's son (6yrs.old) was diagnosed with kidney cancer. One never knows what the future holds.
    Will add Hebrews to my list of verses to keep close by.

  15. Loved your answers this week - the story about your dad is a memory to be cherished.

  16. Am continuing to hold your niece up in prayer... cancer is just so, so cruel... sigh...

    love your entryway - made me feel all warm and cozy just looking at it! have a wonderful day!

  17. Too funny- that's my Christmas punch! Except I use Champagne or ginger ale and I don't use an entire bottle of pineapple juice. I used to be we prefer it a little on the tart side. Your decked hall is gorgeous!

    When are the girls coming home? I just have a few more days! Mine will all be here this weekend!

  18. Oh Joyce, I love your decked stairs. I've been dreaming to have such a spot in my home to do precisely what you've done. Maybe, if the good Lord blesses us we can have stairs to deck for Christmas. I'm a kid at heart full of daydreams. There isn't anything wrong with that, is there? =D BTW, I love your childhood memories. How precious! Your dad was a special man, I can tell.

  19. Your "decked hall" looks like something out of a magazine--it's gorgeous!

    I love the circus story--and your stocking tradition! Here's hoping that your tradition will continue for many years, with the addition of several more stockings!

  20. Thanks for hosting, Joyce....I liked your answer to the faith is believing in something we cannot see and touch.....I agree, there have been many times in my life when I know without my faith, I would not have been able to handle the heartache.
    I loved reading about your traditions. I love that you all still participate in the stockings at your Mom's house....
    Mama Bear

  21. I knew there was a reason I picked Norway. You husband has had some amazing experiences. I know that would give me a heart attack! Joyce, that is the best childhood memory story. Great job on your photo challenge.

  22. Hmm ice in a birthday suit that is just crazy but sounds kind of fun.. We did the same thing with our stocking but had an apple or some fruit at the bottom.. Love your picture..

  23. Your hallway is beautifully decked! Thanks for sharing. And the picture of my 'angels' from yesterday... from the looks of the flushed faces, I would say they may or may not have been moving rapidly around the sanctuary. (Not running, of course.) Have a great day! Have faith!

  24. Can you convince your girls to marry orphans? Preferably only children orphans?

  25. Your stocking tradition is fabulous. The punch recipe sounds delicious. Might have to give it a try. I just made some cranberry liqueur that should go nicely in it. :) Great "decked hall." Thanks for playing in the photo challenge. Blessings, SusanD

  26. Oh, what a pretty picture!!! Your childhood memory is sure tops!!

  27. I have been reading all the punch recipes, yours is the only one with cranberry juice. I sounds very holidayey. I like your traditions with the stockings, carrying on a tradition, but making it your own.

  28. My mom decorates her whole house and has numerous Christmas trees. Little Dude scolds her and tells her she has too many and needs to PICK ONE.

  29. #4, the memory is so colorful and vivid and SWEET. A Great keepsake of a memory. Yes, I can remember when going to the circus was a BIG deal. And certainly, coming home from Viet Nam was REALLY big!!

  30. I cannot fathom jumping into a hole in the ice in my BIRTHDAY SUIT! I completely understand your desire to stay home and pray for him - I know I would completely turn inside out as soon as my feet hit that icy water!!!

    Thanks again for the great questions!

  31. My dad is a Marine too, so I can totally relate to your answer there ;)
    I love the clue you dropped for future son-in-laws- smart thinking :)

  32. I love your Grandfather clock! We have one too, currently owned by my dad. Previously it was owned by my grandpa, great grandfather (the first owner i believe since he got it in the late 1800's as a gift. Ill take a picture of ours if you'd like sometime.

  33. Love your answers and thank you for hosting

    Hugs n blessings