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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, December 24, 2012


I was sitting here this morning, sipping my coffee and thinking about "Christmas's past".

Dan and I had tried to start traditions with our blended family, but it was difficult since we WERE a blended family, the kids all had other places to "get to" for Christmas.  That meant our Christmas morning was a BIG rush.

But the weeks before Christmas I tried to involve our two boys and our girl in making cut out Amish sugar cookies and helping to frost them.  It was a total mess and I'm sure I lost my patience more than once, so maybe it wasn't such an enjoyable day for them. 

We would get them all cut out in shapes of Santa, Rudolph, a wreath, a tree, an angel and a bell, then we would put them between layers of wax paper and stick them in the freezer till just before Christmas.  We would then bake them and frost them...and have them for part of our Christmas breakfast.

As I said, Christmas morning was a hurry up event, but I tried to make it nice.  Dan and I would fix a smorgasbord of breakfast items, including the Amish sugar cookies.  Dan's Mom had some very pretty, plain little red plates, so that helped in making the table a bit more festive.  But at that age, I think all the kids cared about was getting THRU breakfast so they could get to their stockings and the packages.

At this age, they no longer believed in Santa, but I wanted to carry on the tradition of a Christmas stocking for each one of them.

After all of this was over, they'd all rush off to their other "homes" and it WAS all over.  Sigh....

So, this morning, as I said, while sipping my coffee and missing my kids and the frosted Amish sugar cookies to go with my coffee, I felt I needed to share this in hopes that my kids might find time to read it and know that I miss those times and that I am sorry for any thing that I may or may not have done while they were growing up that made their lives less than pleasant.  Love you all, kids....


  1. Gary H. / Battle Creek9:14 AM

    Merry Christmas to you and all of yours !

  2. Charlotte11:55 AM

    Merry Christmas to you and Dan.

  3. Hi Cathy, I bet your kids are thinking about those Amish cookies this morning too.

    I spent the day away from my family in Ohio which made me very sad, but I was with my extended family here in Los Angeles-- My godson and his mom who celebrate Christmas. It was joyful with just the three of us because we could take our time and not have to rush-- This year Godson arrived at his mom's at 10am Christmas morning after (probably rushing) spending Christmas Eve and morning with his dad. I'd like to think we've made some memories together over the years.

    I know how hard it is to "blend families". I haven't been terribly successful at it with my husband's grown kids and now grandkids. But all we can do is try and that's what you and I have done. I think our hears were in the right place. And like I said, I'm guessing Amish cookies came up in conversation today :-)

    Merry, merry Christmas to you and Dan. xoxo jj


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