Follow by Email

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday White Wonderland

Hello my friends!
This is what we've been watching out the window most of the day.  Pretty isn't it?
When it turned to a light snow.  Hubby and I went outside to clear the sidewalks and driveway.  
Dennis had a great time with his new toy.  He went up and down the street clearing everyone's sidewalks.  It works like a dream and goes forward and backward with six forward speeds.  I'll be jogging behind this thing when I'm the one clearing the snow.  :-)
The Wonderful Wallaby sweaters were hit and fit very well.  Don't mind the messy kitchen.  I was busy playing with my grandbabies and did only what I needed to in the kitchen.  There are more important things than a perfect house aren't there?  By the way, I didn't leave the milk jug out by accident, it was empty and just hadn't been taken out to the trash yet. 
This was my gift from Jamie & the kids.  I've read some of it, and the writing and photography are wonderful.  I love reading about the pioneer days and the settling of the west.  This book has interviews with people who actually attended the one room schools.  The stories I've read so far are fascinating.
I finished the wristwarmers and I must admit, when it's as cold as it is here right now, I much prefer mittens.  My fingers get COLD wearing these.  Although they are very comfortable.
I have been busy.  Three baby blankets are in process.  We have new babies coming at church and I like to make these together in stages.  It's easier to remember the pattern. 
The kids left yesterday.  Kyleigh had a birthday party today and I'm glad they didn't stay and have to drive over three mountain passes in the storm we've had.

We were able to face-time with both Alex and Mandy's family while they were here, so, in a modern technological way, we were all able to be together for Christmas.

Dennis and I are going to snuggle in tonight. I'll be crocheting and we'll watch some HGTV.

I hope you've all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the weekend.

Blessings,

Betsy

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve.  The turkey is in the oven.  Two of our three grandchildren are here. We've face-timed with little Piper and her Mommy.  One child is home and the rest of our family is flung all over the country and the world.  Our wish for them is our wish for you.  That you will have the merriest of Christmases and that you will take a moment in all of the celrbrations to remember the reason that we celebrate.   
The babe in a manger.
Merry Christmas my friends. 

From Kyleigh and Caleb's Grandma. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Girls Lunch

It's been a busy week of travel and fun and today I get to share a few pictures of our girls blog lunch in Portland.  After flying home from Hawaii on Monday, Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. I found myself once again in the airport security line preparing to board a flight to Portland, Oregon to meet with four lovely ladies.  I arrived and rented a car.  My first stop was breakfast at Elmer's, a very tasty restaurant near Mandy's first apartment in Portland.  I made my way down the Interstate to Happy Valley, a suburb of Portland where Taci lives.  I went to my favorite french bakery to buy bread for our lunch, then wandered around New Seasons, a quintessential Portland grocery with organic and FRESH food.  They also have interesting and orgininal gifts.  Mandy and Brad's house was only 4 blocks from New Seasons and it is my very favorite store in the area.  I found a Starbucks and bought a hot chocolate and then sat and knitted on a pair of socks and read my book for a few hours and then it was time!!!!  Time to meet my girlfriends!

Here they are.  Front left to right, Becky (Grandma BeckyL), Taci, (TACIStudio), Back left to right, Me, Teresa (Teresa Kasner), Gracie (One Saylor's Log).  You can find them all on my sidebar.  These are the lovliest ladies.  I wish you could meet each of them.  (Just look at Taci and Gracie holding hands.)  This is what we do when we're together.  Hug, hold hands and touch each others shoulders.  As if to say, Yes!  We're really here.  All together.  It's a wonderful day!
Taci worked so hard making her lovely home beautiful for us.  Look at her beautiful table setting.  We even had place cards.  There are the rolls I brought.  Gracie provided an amazing green salad.  Teresa made delicious Yukon potatoes, (her recipe is on her blog).  Mandy already made the potatoes today for their Sunday dinner from Teresa's recipe.  Becky brought cookies for dessert.  Taci made a delicious pork roast, cheese, olives, crackers and lots of different drinks for us to choose from.  Oh my! It was all so delicious.  I loved each tasty thing.  And the best was the company.  Oh how we talked and talked and talked.
My little pile of goodies before we unwrapped them
And here they are unwrapped.  Taci made the beautiful dishcloth and a magnet.  Gracie made the pretty beaded star.  Teresa gave us a candy, a red ball to decorate and one of her beautiful red crochet heart ornaments.  Becky made us calendars with a picture from a farm in Hood River, OR.  She decorated it with little sparkles!  Helen in the UK sent each of us a pretty handmade quilted heart ornament.
I've already eaten the candy and hung all of the ornaments on the tree.
It was a VERY long day.  My flight didn't leave Portland until 9:55 p.m. and Hubby picked me up at the airport at a little after 11:00.  I wouldn't change a thing though.  These ladies have become so dear to my heart.  I truly hope I can continue to visit them often.  We were together over 3 hours and I couldn't believe the time had passed SO QUICKLY.  It didn't seem possible that it was so late.

I started these last night FOR ME!  It's rare I keep much for myelf but I have wanted to make a pair of wristwarmers for myself for awhile now.  My favorite color and so easy.  They only take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours each.  I've made lots to give away.
It was a beautifully sunny afternoon today and so after church we took Chloe and drove to the lake.  We  walked around and she ran and ran and ran.  She loves it there almost as much as I do.  This is what is happening here right now.  We've crashed in the family room.  She has Hubby on the floor getting her belly rubbed and we're watching Hallmark movies.  I made spiced apple cider and we're eating cookies and drinking cider.  
Tuesday our son Jamie and our grandkids from Montana will arrive and stay until Friday.  I'm so excited for them to get here.  We haven't seen them since the 4th of July.

I hope you have a lovely, lovely holiday week.  As you celebrate the holiday, I hope you remember the reason we celebrate this day.  It is about love.  The love God has for each of us.  So much love that He sent His Son to earth as a baby born in a manger.  But He didn't stay there, he died on a cross so that each of us can someday live with Him forever.  It's not just a story.  It's not a myth.  It's the reason we celebrate.

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."  John 3:17

Blessings and Merry CHRISTmas!

Betsy

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Hello Everyone!

We're home now but I have a few photos and a tale of woe for you.

Here I am with some friends at the General Store on the Ulapauakua Ranch in upcountry Maui.  They were full of wisdom for me. :-)
Have any of you ever driven the infamous Highway to Hana?  It's quite an adventure.
This is the only winery on Maui, right across from the general store.  Isn't it cute?
Mama's Fish House is a must when you visit.  This my lunch of coconut prawns.
This was Dennis' lunch.  Wild Boar, Fresh Tuna, octopus, poi and a couple of things I cant remember.
My handsome Hubby and I under the Banyan tree in Lahaina.  This tree takes up an entire city block.
We visited the sugar plantation and saw this beautifully decorated Christmas tree.
A close up of one of the decorations.
The Tree topper.
This was a Ford truck used years ago on the plantation.  It's been beautifully restored.

Do you see the black line in the middle of the ocean?  The fin sticking up?  That's a whale right outside our room.  The only camera I had was my iPhone so I couldn't zoom very well but it gives you a perspective how exactly how close it was.  It played in that area for about a half hour before cruising northward.
A short tale of woe.  Our room or lanaii was inhabited by a spiders nest somewhere.  Every night we were bitten, Hubby much, much worse than I was.  He has 16-20 bites on his legs!  Our condo would do nothing until Monday- we had reported the problem the Wednesday before.  By Monday morning we had enough and came home two days early so Hubby could see a doctor for the bites.  Please keep him in your thoughts, a couple don't look very nice but the doctor thinks he got the antibiotic process started quick enough to avoid problems.  Alhough we did have a few things we did that were enjoyable, overall it was not a fun trip and was very stressful.  I spent most of the time washing bedding and cleaning the condo trying to find the spiders.  A lot of money was spent on a not so fun vacation since we couldn't swim, hot tub or walk on the beach after the first night

Oh well, we are very, very, very happy to be back home.  On Friday early in the morning I have a flight to Portland to have lunch with Gracie, Teresa, Taci and Becky at Taci's new house.  I'm renting a car there and then I'll fly back home that evening.  I'm looking forward to seeing my girlfriends!  The only drawback is having to be at the airport by 4:30 in the morning!

I'll leave you with a picture of Piper that Mandy texted me this afternoon.  They baked cookies this morning and then after Piper's nap they decorated them.  The picture is the aftermath of decorating and tasting the cookies!  So cute!
Have a lovely, lovely day my friends.  I'm sorry I've fallen behind on reading some blogs while away but I'll try to do better now.
Blessings,
Betsy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Hawaii Bound

Up at 3:30 a.m.!  Ick!  It was a cold and dark drive to the airport.  After a 45 minute flight to Seattle we had breakfast here...
Have you all heard of the 12th man on the Seahawks team?  It's the fan.  

Then my handsome Hubby and I boarded this pretty plane for a 6 /2 hour flight.
To this!  The view from our lanai, only about 15 yards from the white sands of Sugar Beach on Maui.
We arrived just in time for a sunset walk on the beach and here I am, one very happy girl.
Life is GOOD!!!!!!

Blessings my friends,
Betsy

Friday, December 5, 2014

Finished!

Happy Friday my friends!  Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas at your house?  Just look what we have at ours.  Snow?  Nope.  Ice.  We had freezing rain yesterday morning and again last night.  That, my friends, is about 1/4 of an inch of ice on the sidewalks and streets.  It may not sound like much but oh my goodness, the absolute havoc it plays on the roads!
Last night after Bible study, Dennis and I had to take two ladies downtown, one to the bus plaza and one to the senior plaza where she lives.  Usually some friends drive them, but the roads were so bad they didn't trust their car to go any further than their house.  I have these amazing snow tires on my car that the colder it gets outside, the softer the tires get and they do REALLY well on ice.  Kind of like suction cups!  I didn't want him driving all the way back home by himself so I went along.  It was terrible, even with my car.  The roads glistened with ice and the hills...oh my goodness, the hills.  Needless to say, I breathed a prayer of relief when we were safely back in the garage.  So today is the second day in a row I'm carless.  I've been making him drive my car to work both days because of the ice.  I love, love being "stuck" at home.

My very last Christmas gift is done!!!  Drumroll please!  My I present Caleb's Wonderful Wallaby Sweater in Denver Broncos colors!
It didn't turn out to be absolutely awful.  The top of the hood wasn't supposed to be blue, just the trim around the edge, but I ran out of orange and couldn't find more in that dye lot anywhere.  It kind of looks like a football helmet when it's on, (if you stretch your imagination), so I think it will be fine.

I also put together three more blankets for the childrens shelter.  Two for boys and one more for girls.
One more wheelchair blanket for the Veteran's Home.  This makes a total of 3 for the Veteran's Home and 7 for the children's shelter.  I was going to deliver them today, but since I'm carless it will be Monday if the weather cooperates.
The suitcases have made an appearance and swim trunks and swimsuits have been tried on. (Eeek!) That is NOT a pleasant experience.  SInce we only take carry-on and don't check bags, there isn't much to pack.  I become a minimalist when I travel.  Only this one bag on the right and a diaper bag like tote with lots of pockets.
Tonight is date night with our best friends, Neal & Jenny.  We'll go out to dinner and then come back here for a rousing gme of dominoes.  I know. We're boring.  But we can talk while we eat and play dominoes and that's the entire point of getting together.  We try to do this the last Friday of each month, but the past few months have been crazy with Mandy's move and Jenny's job.  Last week was Thanksgiving  and they had lots of family here so we bumped it back a week.  I'm looking forward to it.

We also have some people we've never met staying here tonight and tomorrow night.  Our  neighbor passed away very unexectedly last Saturday.  He was diagnosed with cancer less than 5 weeks ago.   They are very close to our age and sweet people.  His wife is overwhelmed with family coming in for the service tomorrow and doesn't have room for everyone.  We've volunteered our two guest rooms and she is very grateful.  We do this quite often so its not unusual.  But...we're leaving Tueday and have a family of four people who are using our house while we're gone.  It's another friend who's daughter, son-in-law and grandson who are visiting from New York.  Her apartment isn't big enough for all of them so we volunteered ours since it would be empty while we're gone anyway.   I'll need to get all the sheets washed and have everything presentable for them by the time we leave.  Plus finish packing too.  Whew!  

We get home from Hawaii on Wednesday night at midnight.  Our houseguests may still be here and then Friday at 6:00 a.m. I'll be flying to Portland for our ladies bloggers lunch with Gracie, Taci, Teresa and this year Becky will also be joining us at Taci's new home.  I'll fly back home that evening because we have a full day planned for Saturday!  I'm looking forward to seeing the girls.  It's been quite a few months since we've been together.

I hope your Christmas plans are going well.  Take a deep breath and let it out. :-)  I'm enjoying looking at blogs showing all the decorations and preparations.  In the midst of it all, I hope everyone is remembering the reason for the celebration.  The birh of the Christ child, Jesus.

"Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago."  Isaiah 25:1

Blessings,
Betsy

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quiet

Happy Saturday my friends!  We've had a relatively quiet holiday weekend so far.  It was just Dennis and I and so I made the chicken enchiladas that he requested.
They were delicious.  Larry, Nita and Sophie stopped by in the evening and we shared dessert of pecan pie and pumpkin cake.  Yum.

Kyleigh's Wonderful Wallaby is finished!  I'll try to remember to get a picture of her wearing it at Christmas.  She chose the color and I think it turned out well.
I changed up the pattern to seed stitch instead of garter stitch for the accents around the hood, front placket and pouch.
I really like how it turned out don't you?
And now I've begun one for Caleb in the Denver Bronco's colors as he requested.  I think he's going to love it.  :-)
Yesterday I decorated for Christmas.  I didn't put out as much as I usually do since we'll be gone a lot this December.  We have a friend staying here while we're in Hawaii, along with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson who are visiting from New York.  I don't want them to have to worry about things breaking so I didn't decorate as much.

This nativity gets a prominent place every year.  I made it 36 years ago for our first Christmas together.  I'll try to get a better picture during the day when the light is better.  I hand painted each piece and it will be handed down to one of our kids someday.  36 years and not one piece has ever been broken.  A miracle to be sure, considering we had three kids and I had an in home daycare for 13 years. :-)
The tree.
I made this tree skirt a few years ago.  Mandy had always loved the one we had when she was growing up, so when she and Brad got married, I gave it to her for their first Christmas together.  You can see the Christmas Moose sitting there.  He sings different Christmas songs.
Today I wrapped presents and had a nice fire burning.  It's cold outside.  We have lots of wood scraps from the building of the shed.  The guys were going to take the scraps to the dump and I ran out there and collected them all.  No sense wasting good firewood is there?
I mailed our Christmas cards yesterday and got ALL the wrapping done today.  Monday I will go to the post office and mail the boxes to Mandy & Brad, Alex and the box with the blankets I made for the Navajo reservation.  I will be completely done with Christmas preparations and it's not even December yet!  I strive for this every year but don't always manage to do it.  I love being able to relax and enjoy the season without any panic about gifts or decorating.  Now, I can sit back and enjoy the hustle and bustle.  I've been known to just go sit at the mall with a hot chocolate and watch the crowds as they scurry around.

I'll be heading to Portland, Oregon to see Taci, Teresa and Gracie on December 19, one day after we get back from Hawaii!  Dennis decided he didn't want me to drive the 6 hours each way by myself in the winter, so I bought a plane ticket and rented a car for the day!  In the past it wasn't a big deal.  If the  weather was bad I could just stay with Mandy and Brad until the roads got better.  Now I've lost my free hotel!  I can't wait to see the girls, it's been a long time, I think it was in July or early Augustwe last were together.

I hope you all have a lovely remainder of the weekend and I'll be back soon.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Psalm 100:4

Blessings,

Betsy

Monday, November 24, 2014

Blankets and Some News.

Without further ado...the sweater I made for Sophie last Monday and forgot to post a picture of last time I posted on the blog.  It should probably have been about 2 inches longer but it was too late by the time I realized it.  She loved wearing it.
It has a series of interlocking cables down the back and a turn down ribbed collar.  Sophie has now returned home to her Mom and Dad.  The ship they were on last week made the news for having the Noro virus on it. Thankfully Larry and Nita don't seem to been affected.
A bit of snow fell on our woodpile.  Not much and it has melted now.
And look what lovely Sherri from Sherrisneedlecrafts over on my sidebar sent me last week!  How sweet it this?  I have made hundreds of these blankets in the past years and my copy looks simply awful and is almost unreadable.  Sherri found the original book somewhere and made me a color copy and put it into this folder.  I cannot believe the generosity of bloggers.  Teabags too.  I dont drink coffee but I do love a nice cuppa tea.
It not only has the blanket and matching sweater but it has a lot of other baby items as well.  I can't wait to have time to try making some of these sweet sweater and hats.  Thank you SO MUCH Sherri.  I so appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Kyleigh's sweater has begun.  The ribbing is done and since I took this picture I have finished about 4 inches of the body.  I work on it as a take along project.  I took a gentleman from church to the doctor this morning for an appointment and I got about 2 inches knitted while I waited for him.
Saturday we drove up to the lake to check on the camper since we have had our first hard freeze.  Dennis wanted to make sure things seemed to be winterized sufficiently.  All was well and Chloe and Sophie had a great time running around the field playing.

Wasn't it a beautiful view?  Just a hint of snow up on the mountains.
The grass is really GREEN behind the trailer with some pine needles mixed in.
Another blanket is put together for the Navajo reservation.  This one is about the right size for a full size bed.  I just grabbed squares at random and didn't try to put a patten of any sort together.  I like how it turned out don't you?
Now I'm putting together a red/white/blue wheelchair blanket for the local Veterans Home.  I have almost enough squares for another one.  I think I'm short 5 squares. I'll make them after Christmas gifts are completed.  I still have a sweater to make for Caleb after I finish Kyleigh's.
A bit closer look.
And now for my news.  I'm going traveling again!  This time my handsome Hubby is going with me.  My trip to D.C. was completely paid for by Brad's company.  Would you believe they flew his MIL out to help with the move?  They did.  That trip didn't cost me a dime!  And that's good because now we're going to Maui, Hawaii in December.  We leave in about two weeks and will be there eight days.  We orginally were supposed to meet Alex there.  Maui is about halfway between us and he had never been to Hawaii.  Just when we had our reservations all made, his vacation was cancelled by the University because someone with more seniority wanted the same time off.  Uh-oh!  We couldn't get a refund so off we'll go, just Dennis and I.  I'm not complaining, I know we'll have a wonderful time.  We've been there several times and we absolutely love it there.  If we could live anywhere and money was no object, Maui is definitely where both of us would choose to live.  It's paradise on earth.

So...I'm trying to get Christmas done before we go.  We have made or purchased all of the Christmas gifts except Kyleigh and Caleb's sweaters that I'm working on.  I just have to wrap the gifts.  I even have all of the stocking stuffers!  I'll mail Alex and Mandy's Christmas boxes next week so they'll have them in plenty of time to put under their trees.  Cards have all been addressed and stamped to be mailed on Friday.  I'll decorate next week too.  Ellen is staying here with Chloe and she'll be able to enjoy the decorations too.

On Thanksgiving Dennis and I will be all alone.  The plan is that instead of a big dinner I'll make chicken enchilada's and a pumpkin dump cake for dessert.  Dennis actually requested enchilada's!  I bought a turkey this morning, but that will be for Christmas when Jamie and the kids are here.

And now I'm going to try to finish up this patriotic blanket.  I would like to deliver it to the VA Home before we leave.

I hope you all have a lovely week and enjoy your time with family.

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."  1 Chronicles 16:34

Blessings,

Betsy