What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Thursday Thankfulness and Life in the Christmas Village

There's a full moon rising out there, and it is so beautiful. My little phone camera doesn't have the special features to really zoom in on the moon, but we can enjoy looking at it anyway and give thanks to the Lord for letting His Light shine on us so beautifully.  God placed the moon and the stars in the heavens for us to enjoy, and so I will give Him praise and thanksgiving for these gifts.

And while I was outside looking at the moon, I also enjoyed looking at our little grapevine Christmas tree on the front porch.  My son Benton and I made that little tree out of the wild grapevines found in our woods around our previous home in the Ocala National Forest. It was a job to do, but I'm so glad we did it.  This little tree has blessed our front porches ever since.

This is a close up of the little Nativity scene on the top of the porch tree. Jesus was born in a stable outside, so it is fitting that this is also outside...

And here's the lit up view of the stable...I'm so thankful for Jesus, that little Babe in the manger...aren't you?

Luke 2: 6-7
"6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

I am thankful for our kids and grand pups coming over to help us set up the train and village last night.
Sugar and Spice were quite curious about everything that was going on.  

Here's Benton putting together the train tracks...
And meanwhile Rose helped me set up all the little buildings for the village.
Our village is the old fashioned Lionel Plasticville type of buildings, and they are not very user friendly like the new cute little village buildings you can buy in the store. These are plastic, and have to be snapped together, and they really don't hold together very well anymore as they are quite old, so we have to tape the corners and carefully set them up on a flat surface and pray they don't fall apart before you can get them set up under the tree.  It's quite challenging, and I am happy Rose is patient and willing to help me with this project each year.

Meanwhile, Benton got the train engine running on the track, and Sugar and Spice went kind of crazy. They had never seen this before and they were very very excited and barking and somewhat afraid of that little black engine going around on that track.  

It took some doing to calm them down, but every time the train started up again, they were right there barking like it was the most exciting thing they'd ever seen. It was really quite funny. Their tails were wagging the whole time.

Finally we got most of the village set up, and then Benton and I tried to get the whole train moving on the track. It took some time and patience as we worked out the wrinkles...mostly the wrinkles in the sheet under the track that kept getting hung up on the train...

You can see the doggies are still quite interested in this project.

Another thing I am very thankful for is that I was able to get down on the floor with a little more ease than this time last year. AND, I was able to get back up without going through tremendous pain. (Still needed to figure out HOW to get back up,  but once I got myself moving in the right direction, it wasn't so terrible). Last year this time I was still recovering from neck surgery and had a very badly frozen shoulder and weak and painful arms. So trying to do this last year was almost impossible for me. But this year, even though I still have some shoulder/upper arm issues on both arms, it is not nearly as bad as before and I am VERY thankful to God for His continued healing.

And, I enjoyed being able to get down and "play" with the trains with our son. Sweet times. We missed having our son Scott here to help us with this,  as he is the more agile of the whole bunch, but we managed to get it done. When he comes home to visit he will be surprised!
This train and village is the same one that our kids played with when they were little boys. My dad, who was a toy train collector, gave them the train, and we accumulated the village buildings little by little over the years.  
Here is a link to the post I wrote about this a couple of years ago. This tells more of the history of the train set and village with our kids. We have a lot of precious memories with all three of our boys back in the day playing with the trains. 

So today I tried to finish setting up more of the village people.

It is a job to get down there on the floor and do this. Maybe one day we will figure out a way to put this up on a table...

But we only do this once a year, and it's definitely NOT done to perfection.  

But it brings back a lot of happy memories and we enjoy being a "child" again at Christmas time...

I try to envision myself living in this little village and putting myself in the place of those little tiny people going about their daily lives...going to church, the kids going to school, people coming and going at the train station...there's a big hospital where people go to get well when they are sick, and there's a skating pond for the kids to enjoy.  

It's just a microcosm of life in the world today...although we don't seem to be as dependent on the trains as we used to be.  That's kind of sad in a lot of ways...but life moves on.
I am thankful for our little village where we live now, and for the people who come and go and live and love and share their lives with us in various ways.

We are blessed to live in a free country...and I pray that never ever changes...may we never take these freedoms for granted...

Well, that's the tour of the Christmas village...Oh...Baby Elva and Lily Grace and their little friends Bailey and Boo Bear are enjoying the train and village too.  

One more thing...
One of our dear and very talented blogging friends paints a new Santa picture each year. Then she takes a picture of it and creates her own special Christmas cards.  I don't know if you know Linda Chapman or not,, from Linda's Life Journal, but I was so thrilled and blessed to receive this beautiful Christmas card from her in the mail and I was just awestruck! Truly she is very talented...and I love that this Santa is holding a snow globe in his hands that has a nativity scene inside of it. What a blessing! Thank you, Linda, for sharing your gifts with us. I feel so honored and blessed to have received this card from you! 
And now I know I need to get busy and send out some cards myself, but I honestly am not sure that I will be able to send a lot of them this year. I mostly send our cards to people that I don't get to communicate with as often throughout the year on social media, etc....some family and old friends who aren't necessarily computer savvy and thus they don't keep up with our daily activities like we all do here, but I want to stay in touch with them and Christmas is usually the only time.  So, please don't be hurt if you don't hear from me at Christmas time via the mail. "My spirit is willing, by my flesh is weak"...LOL.   But to those of you who do send out cards, I commend you and thank you for them. 
Each and every one of you is a blessing to me, and I look forward to hearing from you here in blogland and Facebook, etc., as often as possible! You are very special people indeed.

Okay, that's it folks. I need to call it a night. 
Oh, I forgot the most important thing I am thankful for this week...
my health! I am finally feeling so much better than I was for the past two weeks. I am very very thankful for that!! Praise God!

Okay,  Good night dear ones.
May God bless you each and every one.



  1. Big smiles. This was delightful! 😄

  2. What a fun tradition!! How great that you could get on the floor to help and also get back up this year without too much trouble! My cats would go crazy with the train and village. They would be right in the middle of it. The pups are so cute!! I'm glad you got the task done and are now ready for Santa!! xo

  3. Your posts are a blessing, the train set and village are so cute. We had a train and village around our tree when I was a child. I like the nativity decorations you show; I realize I do not celebrate "the holidays" but rather I celebrate "Christmas" a time of joy and good news.

  4. Everything looks so nice and I too like to imagine the lives of peaceful villages. I think the world is so sad today that we all long for times and places of light and peace. Your children and grand pups are certainly a blessing. So glad to hear that you are feeling better. Enjoy the season and all the love and beauty it offers.

  5. The Santa is gorgeous. If you are like me having the help over to spend time with is as much fun as all the decorations. And long treasured decorations are the best. I so wish I could take a good picture of the moon. It never looks as good as in real life.

  6. Well done, everyone! That is a sweet train set with the village. Such precious memories... And yay for getting down and UP from the floor. That does show progress.

    Yes, I do "know" Linda and her Christmas cards are special. Enjoy doing your cards. 🎄

  7. Oh, the expression on Sugar's face cracks me up! What Tom wouldn't give for that train set-up! I suppose deep down, all men are just little boys when it comes to trains. This looks like a lot of work, but the smiles on everyone's face have me believing they wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
    Thank you for sharing these treasured times with us!

  8. I am fascinated with your train and Christmas village! Mine would have to go on a table. Otherwise, Apollo might try to rearrange everything. Does Sugar and Spice behave themselves with things like that? They are adorable!

    1. Sugar and Spice are well disciplined, but they were very much concerned about that noisy little train engine going around the track. They just barked and barked, but would not get any closer than what you could see there. They were too afraid. After the train was no longer moving, they got a little closer and sniffed, but they wouldn't "cross the tracks". They are sweet puppies and enjoy each other. It's good they have been together since birth and so they are good company for each other. They do have their moments, but mostly just some rough play now and then. They are perfect "grandpuppies". LOL.

  9. You have a great Christmas setup. We used to have a little train around our Christmas tree when our kids were little. So nice that you had help in setting everything up. I get Christmas cards from Linda as well. She is very talented. Have a good weekend. See you again soon!

  10. I always find the moon hard to capture at night. The moon was beautiful in the sky this morning. I am so impressed. Everything is so pretty. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  11. Pam: I always look forward to your posts. I enjoy your interactions with your family. I am glad that Benton and Rose are able to help you with this 'train' project. Peace and blessings to you and yours.

  12. I love your Christmas village! I have just a few pieces on my piano, but not a whole village. For the first time, my husband set up a train track around our tree--yes, we are still working out the 'wrinkles' of the skirting.
    Loved your thoughts on your 'village'...

    1. Oh, Willow, I hope you will share pictures when you "get the wrinkles worked out". I would love to see it. Please let me know!!

  13. Your friend, Linda, is so very talented, Pamela. I love her card design!
    I can only dream of getting down on the floor as you are now able to, even after lots of physical therapy. Yes, I can get up if I'm close to an object that will help to propel me up, but I'm reluctant to even take that chance. I have come a long way, but I still have a way to go. Getting older is not for cowards, that's for sure.
    I do love how your imagination works regarding the train village - I can certainly identify with that! When we travel, I find myself sighting homes, towns, etc., and imagining the lives lived there.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Oh, you sound like me with the travel/sighting homes/imagining the lives lived there. I do that a lot. When we fly over towns low enough to see houses I think about the people inside and wonder if they are looking up at our airplane in the sky and wondering about us up in the air! LOL. And yes, you are right...getting older is NOT for cowards. My Daddy used to tell me, "Oh Pam, don't get old!" and I'd ask him in return, "Well, Daddy, what's my alternative?", and then he'd smile and say, "Oh, I see your point." LOL. I think of that conversation so many times. My Daddy was a sweetheart. He lived to be almost 93, with Parkinson's, and he didn't like how it slowed him down, but he still was amazing all the way to the end. Sweet memories. Okay, have a blessed day my friend.

  14. Howdy there Pam, I love seeing your train set all put up!--so glad y'all had some help to get it all together and running! I know you love it and the sweet memories it has for you. Love all your decorations so far. We finally got our trees up, yay! Like you--I've been out gazing at that big beautiful BRIGHT moon the past few nights. Last night I think it was?---it rose a bright shade of ORANGE, it was so pretty. And I didn't have my camera with me but that's ok....I have the memory of it! I'm tackling our Christmas cards tomorrow!! Yikes...I'm running out of time. ha ha LOL...Happy weekend my friend! Hugs! debbi from debbisfrontporch

    1. Oh yes, that big orange moon on the rise was beautiful. We were driving home from Dixie Cottage (we stayed open until 6) and saw that moon over the lake, but there was no good place at that time to pull over so I could get a picture. I actually went back out and drove around our neighborhood looking for a place to get a picture, but by then it had risen more and wasn't that gorgeous orange moon any more. Isn't that amazing, that we were looking at the same thing at the same time????? Wow! Happy Weekend to you too!

  15. I'm so glad you are feeling better and able to get down and play on the floor! I always love sitting on the floor but it does get harder to get back up now. I like the old fashioned things of Christmas like your train and village. Enjoy your weekend and the beautiful weather. Hugs, Diane

  16. Growing up, we always had a Lionel train around the Christmas tree, a real tree as well. There wasn’t a village but my father used to enjoy setting and running the train. Glad you are feeling better, Linda, and thanks for sharing the photos of the village as well. Yes, Linda Chapman is a very talented artist and I have been graced with several of her Santa cards over the years.

  17. so beautiful! I love old trains (unfortunate my brother ended up with my dads old steam train with over 100 feet of track) I am glad you are feeling better and I am right there with you about getting back up *2 shoulder surgeries in last year* I truly love the old villages (mine are the new kind) I am not setting up decorations this year inside (not with a puppy and kitten) and 2 silly elves. New post up!. hope you have a blessed week

  18. This looks like such a huge project but I love how you do it together as a family - even with the pups helping out! That must make it special...and much less of a chore! I really do like your porch tree. That is something that would sell in your shop!! Hooray for feeling healthy and recovered from last year. What a blessing!!


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.