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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas 2017

These are a few of the photos we have captured to help us remember Christmas 2017. We have gathered as family and with church family, telling the story with music and lights and books and candles. We have laughed and wept and loved each other, thankful for another Advent and Christmastide!

First Baptist Church Richmond, Christmas Eve 2017

While visions of sugarplums dance in her head...

Nora, keeping warm./

Skye and Nora, Granmary, and Kristen went to the Nutcracker .

Our very own Chritmas Fairy

Dr. Pepper Bread

An honest to goodness Orange Marmalade Cake!

Oliver loves Papa Joe

Snow, December 8, 2017  FBC Richmond

Sean and Teion, Lauren and Skye

Jeremy and Michala, Maddie and Jordann

Ben and Kristen, Nora and Oliver

Nora helping celebrate our 54th anniversary at the Swinging Door.

Shady Oak Nativity blocks

 Christmas Tea Tree

 Woodland Bird Tree

Cookie Cutter Tree

Bare Branch Tree

Family Tree

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow Day!

We rarely have snowflakes falling at our house, but a few days ago, we had alot of them!  Big fluffy flakes began falling about 10:00 pm on Thursday night, followed by amazing flurries blowing around the outside lights. Nora and Oliver's first snow - terrifically exciting and wondrous for Nora, and simply a little puzzling and cold for Oliver, although he laughed as well. What a joy to see that wonder in Nora's eyes!  After young and old alike were in bed for the night, it continued to snow so that by 3:00 a.m. our lawn and landscape were covered when I peeked out to look - magical anytime when you see it so seldom, but especially so in moonlight! By the time I got up and pulled on my robe the next morning, little ones and parents were out making angels and a snowman while they could. We knew the melt would begin as the sun warmed the day. Nora did not know that, even though it had been explained. She was very sad to see the snow go. I am thankful for this special gift for us at Christmastime. This year we don't have to say the only snow we got was on Christmas cards!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November Celebrations

November is a month of celebrations for our family. This year we added a few. Michala's birthday, my 77th birthday, Skye's 15th birthday, a successful surgery for her, all led up to a busy Thanksgiving. We had a bountiful spread of food and 17 of us spread around 2 tables.

Thanksgiving 2017

Before all the dishes were washed and put away, Ben began pulling out Christmas decorations and trees from the storage closet!  Trees were up but not yet decorated by the Sunday after Thanksgiving which held 2 big events for Olive- his baby dedication at First Baptist Church in Richmond (a whole pew of relatives) and his first birthday!  More people arrived to celebrate with pizza and birthday cake. 
Nora and Oliver all dressed up for church.

Joe and I are in a group that meets for dinner and poetry readings and the meeting on November 28 was at our house. By that evening, we had decorated 6 trees, wreathed all the doors, and placed our many nativity scenes. Nora helped with everything and Oliver is old enough this year for his blue eyes to shine with wonder at all the lights and color.  So we end November and begin Advent and the approach to Christmas, thankful for family and celebrations.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Birthday Rose

This week I celebrated my 77th birthday with a variety of celebrations, greetings, phone visits, hugs and meals. On the morning of November 14, Joe brought me this rose. I am thankful that at almost 54 years of marriage, he knows I love a flower cut from our garden best of all and that he will go out and find one to bring to me in a perfect little vase. He gave me a new Kindle for my books and music, and  Ben made me a strawberry smoothie. He and Kristen knew I would love the new Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds book. Hugs and Happy Birthdays from Nora added to my morning. We all made a trip to Costco for family groceries and lunched at P.F. Chang's in Sugar Land. All day the phone rang with happy greetings from my family, including all 4 of those in Nevada. In the evening, Joe and I joined our poetry group from church at a friend's home for dinner and poetry reading. Desert was a cherry birthday cake with candles and our friends' rendition of the birthday song.

That did not end the celebrations. Today, we all gathered with Sean, Teion, Lauren, Skye, and Kasey at a fusion restaurant in Sugarland Town Square called Jupiter's. Waffles, fried chicken, pizza, and sweet potato waffle fries filled the table!  More gifts, including a sweet nativity Christmas ornament, and a picture taking session by the giant Christmas tree in Town Square completed the morning.

I am savoring all the sweetness - not the kind found in the food. I am grateful for my family, and grateful for each day given to me to love them.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Cousin Connection

"Skye" was one of Nora's first words, something Skye mentions often. As they grow and change, I hope the pleasure they express now will remain. When I was a busy young mother raising three little boys, I had no idea that their daughters would have such fun together.  I am glad these girls get to enjoy their cousin connection often.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

No Tricks, Just Treats!

As October days count down to the end of the month, Jack-O-Lanterns dot our house and yard and costumes get tried on. Oliver and Nora practice trick or treating, we fill the treat baskets, and get ready to greet our October 31 visitors. Ben made a spider web for the front door complete with its resident spider. He and Kristen will help Nora carve one of our pumpkins this weekend.

Joe and I have always had fun counting the number of kids who come to call, keeping a tally like a domino score. Some years there have been many, some years only a few, but we enjoy acting surprised and trying to figure out who is under the masks.  When our boys were growing up, their costumes were always homemade.  Through those years, costume projects included lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) as well as bats, wizards, and vampires. The ones remembered most fondly are R2D2 made from a meat smoker with silver paint and blue tape, a furry Chewbacca, and Hans Solo. The crocodile from Peter Pan was Sean's request and a challenge for any seamstress.  This year, Nora is deciding whether she will be a Troll, a Fireman, or a Princess, and Oliver has already been wearing his Tyrannosaurus hoodie. But he may choose the lion hoodie at the last minute.

The dressup trunk has long been a favorite for the grandchildren year round, but there is a bit of magic in the evening when other people are in costume, knocking on doors, collecting treats. I will put on my jack-o-lantern earrings and be ready!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Birthday Greeting

We are celebrating Jeremy's birthday tomorrow - long distance. They now live in Nevada, too far to join him for a hug and birthday dinner. But celebrate we will, with a phone call or Skype!  He is faithful to call and I love the phone visits.

 I am glad you have the chance to travel and ski and climb mountains and work as a pilot. You followed an early call; from the time you were three years old that is what you wanted. I am proud of your integrity, your dedication to your family, your good parenting,  your determination and sense of adventure!  Happy Birthday, Son.  I love you!