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Monday, September 29, 2014

Piper's Birthday!

PHappy Monday everyone!  

Two years ago today little Princess Piper burst into our lives and nothing has been the same since!  She is two years old and has stolen a HUGE part of her Grandma's heart as all of you must be aware of by now!  We had her party last Sunday when Brad's parents were here, but we couldn't let this day go by without acknowledging it.  Mandy baked her these cupcakes last night.
This morning she had a cupcake while still her her jammies at 9:00.  It's her birthday.  Don't judge.  :-)
My head is cut off here but look how happy she is with her new Elmo slippers that we got for her.  She loves "Elmore" as she calls him.
We took her for chinese food the other night at a buffet.  She charmed everyone and look at this face!  The food was a hit for sure.
Saturday a friend called and asked if Dennis and I would like two free tickets to see the Gaither Vocal Band. The tickets were way up in the balcony so this picture isn't very clear but oh my!  It was a wonderful concert and a blessing for sure.  Hubby and I haven't done much together lately so it was sort of a date night and we had a wonderful time.  I've always enjoyed the GVB and we've seen them in concert a couple of times before. It was 3 hours of soul inspiring music and we're very grateful for the gift of the tickets that allowed us to attend.
The next three photos are the view from the balcony level outside of the performing arts center where the concert was held.  It is of the Spokane River and Riverfront Park where the World Expo 1974 was held.
Riverfront Park.  The structure you see on the left is the last standing of five that were for the different continents during the Expo.
The  Clocktower, a symbol of Spokane.  Isn't our town pretty?
Mandy's Wonderful Wallaby is done.
Piper's third Wonderful Wallaby is also done!  Mandy says I need to make myself one because it feels like a nice warm hug on these chilly fall mornings.  I gave the smaller orange one that I made for Piper to a little girl at church and it fits her perfectly.
But...we now have a set of twins expected at church and the shower has been set for the end of October.  I have two baby blankets to make and two hat/sweater/bootie sets to try to finish by then.  Do you think I can do it?  I have my doubts because, after all, I want to play with Piper too.  The babies aren't due until February but she expects to deliver early and I think they want to have the shower early to avoid the holiday months.  If I don't finish in time I can always give the gift to them after the shower.  I started this blanket yesterday.
I hope you're all enjoying fall's arrival.  We winterized the trailer this past weekend and the lows are dipping into the 30's F at night.  I think that even if I'm not ready for the summer to march away, it's happening anyway.  :-)

Hubby has been working in his new shed building a workbench/potting bench and moving shelves out there with the gardening tools and pots.  The garage is looking much better with clearing things out.  I'll also be making a trip to Goodwill with a trunkful too.

Have a lovely day my friends and I'll be back soon.

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

Blessings always,

Betsy

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family Fun!

Well looky who gets top billing on Grandma's blog?  Big surprise for you all isn't it?  :-)  Precious Piper is the light of my days lately.  Can you see why?  Who else can get such joy from a bucket on her head besides Piper?
The addition to the decor of a few mini pumpkins from our garden at the lake which has now all been harvested.
...and a pumpkin and some acorn squash.  These are destined for the front porch as soon at the temperature lowers a bit.  Otherwise on our west facing porch they will be cooked soon!  (We're planning to cook the acorn squash this week anyway.)
So, we were wandering around Sears a little over a week ago and I spotted this bistro set on a HUGE clearance.  They had sold the matching table, chair and loveseat/coffee table earlier in the summer and just seemed to want to get rid of this set.  It was ridiculously low priced.  We've been looking at these sets for a year or two, but spending so much time at the lake it didn't take a huge precedence in our life.  However, at this price we didn't really want to pass it up either.  So home it came.   

We had something else here before that was waaay to big for our 10 x 14 deck....
.....it was this table and chair set.  We moved it underneath the deck and enjoyed it a lot this week while Piper played outside.  Do you see what may be my last rose of the season peeking over the chair back?  I do like the table here.  It's just down the deck stairs and very convenient.
We also have six more straight chairs and a few little tables for additional seating.  Isn't the shed pretty?  Hubby has been enjoying arranging, rearranging and showing it off to friends and family.  He's planning to build a workbench in there very soon.  Next spring I plan to plant a few rose bushes next to it and we'll replace the tree that blew down in the last big windstorm.
Another picture of Piper, just because I can.  It's a Grandma blog...what can I say?
We had VERY special house guests for the past week.  Brad's parents, Dennis & Marilyn came out to stay with us.  They arrived last Tuesday and left this afternoon.  They live in Nebraska and were so excited to come out and stay with us and play with Piper before the big move.  We REALLY, REALLY enjoy spending time with them.  I wish everyone could get along with their in-law's this well.  We're tentatively thinking of a cruise sometime together, if I can convince Hubby to get onto a cruise ship.  We had a wonderful time.  Marilyn taught me how to make potato dumplings and we froze 10 lbs. of dumplings in ziplock bags for us to enjoy in soups, eggs, etc. this winter.
And I think Piper had a super happy time too.  This was taken at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane on the over 110 year old carrousel.  This little girl has four grandparents who adore her.  You can see by her face that this is a new experience for her.  She sure enjoyed it though.
Here she is getting ready to take Hubby on a ride on the golf cart at the lake.  Marilyn and Dennis camp at a similar spot in Nebraska and enjoyed spending a couple of days with us at the lake.
And this little girl?   Well she's turning two years old next Monday.  We had a birthday party for her last night so all of us grandparents could be with her for the party.  I adore the expression on her face in this picture.
She looks like she's sneaking up on the cake here!  A few other friends joined us forthe party.  Neal and Jenny and Larry and Nita who are all family to us.  Piper loves them all and I think they feel the same.  It's too bad Daddy had to miss her party but he face-timed several times throughout the day.  Mandy mde her pretty pink cake and Grandpa grilled burgers.
Last but not least.  HERE'S  MY CHRISTMAS PRESENT a bit early.  WIth all the dire predictions about lots of cold and snow this year, Dennis decided I needed to have a bigger snowblower.  Now I can do the sidewalks up and down the street quickly!  It has 6 forward speeds and 2 reverse speeds.  I think I'll be jogging behind this thing!  :-) Now wouldn't you all just love to see that?
I finished Mandy's Wonderful Wallaby last night but forgot to get a picture.  I'll do that soon.  I've started another matching one in a larger size for Piper so she'll be able to wear it longer.

I may be taking a trip to the East coast soon and be able to spend a bit more time with Piper and her Mom.  There's a good chance that I'll be taking Brad's place on the flight to D.C.  He thinks it would be good for Mandy to have me help her settle into the new house for a week or two and help watch Piper while she unpacks the house.  He's working very long hours and it wouldn't be easy for him to come back and fly with her, Piper, the dog and two cats.  Obviously Mandy will need help and oh darn!  I may get to delay my goodbyes for awhile longer.  Time will tell.  The house is coming right along and could be finished within a few weeks.

And now, I'm off to bed.  It's been a busy few weeks and without Marilyn and Dennis the house feels a bit empty tonight.  I dread to think of how it will be without Mandy and Piper.

Have a lovely week my friends.  I'm trying to keep up with all of your blogs as best I can these days.  Please forgive me if I miss yours.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Blessings,

Betsy


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Autumn????

Happy Thursday everyone!  The calendar say's it's still summer, but boy howdy!  It's cold here in the Inland Northwest.  It was 39F here last night and the high is only to reach in the low 50's today.  I think autumn is coming soon this year.  The sun is shining brightly though and I'm enjoying today with this little girl.
This is a dress I found her at a shop called "Other Mother's".  They sell gently used children clothing, furniture, maternity clothes, etc. on consignment.  I picked up this dress for just 3.99.  I also bought her the prettiest dressy dress for the same price.  I'll have to take a picture of it.  It's gorgeous and will be a great dress for church or Christmas even.  I got her a few tops and jeans and a pair of shorts, even brand new princess snow boots!  All for just $26.00.   She's so fun to shop with.  Very helpful and likes to sit in the cart and hold the purchases of clothes, yarn or even groceries!   Have I told you how much I adore this girl?
Mommy should be back in Spokane on Sunday and then I'll have to share her again.  Bah Humbug!  Just kidding.  I miss Mandy and enjoy being with her too.  I'm refusing to think about the more permanent separation that is imminent.  Brad and Mandy have purchased a new home in Maryland and should close within 60 days.  It is a new house, just being built.  That means we get to keep our girls here a bit longer than originally thought.  We're very happy about that but we know their family needs to be together soon.  It's a catch 22, isn't it?

Piper and I put out the fall decorations this morning.  She really is a big help and carries things very carefully.  This scarecrow basket is a new thing this year.  I had all the pieces in a bag in the closet and I just found an odd basket in the laundry room and stuffed everything in it.  Then I hot glued a few leaves onto the front.  Total time.  3 minutes!  I think it's kind of cute don't you?  He's living on my kitchen island for now anyway.
The woodstove with it's fall regalia.  Also something a bit new for me.
I picked up these fall mini bushes, (2 of them), at Michaels this morning for 40% off.  Each stem was originally $2.99.  Not too bad.  A little over $3.00 for some pretty fall flowers.  I tucked a few leaves into the flowers and sprinkled them among the birds.  I really like my bird collection and tend to keep them out throughout the seasons.
Even the Holy Family got a few leaves around them.  I bought a bag of these leaves a couple of years ago and just reuse them each fall.
Another purchase this morning at Michaels.  Originally $6.99 and I got it for 40% off too.  Great deals.  Please don't look at the paint scratches.  I have a plaque up here most of the year and it has scratched the paint.  A little paint touch-up is needed on a warmer day.
A little table on the other side of the front door.  When we had our house painted a couple of years ago, the painter surprised me with this free-hand painted angel and Bible verse.  I LOVE it.  No doubt where we stand in our home is there?
I think I have had this guy for about 20 years.  He hangs on the wall just inside the front door and welcomes all who enter.
I think that's about all of my fall decorating.  I don't do a whole lot for fall as it's not my favorite season.  The reason for that is that winter comes next and I really do detest winter.  When Dennis retires we're thinking of moving somewhere warmer since we have no children close by anymore.  We'll see.  That's several years away.

I saw a similar pattern to this blanket on a blog earlier this week and I thought I would show you mine.  I don't know if I've ever posted a photo of it before.  It hangs over a queen size bed about 10 inches on all sides to give you an idea of it's size.  It was so much fun to make.  The flower were really easy and I like the green "leaves" and the bed of gray they lay on.
This is the border, a very simple double crochet.  This blanket lives on top of a quilt in one of the guest rooms.
This is Mandy's dog Polly who is staying with us too.  She gave us quite a scare the past couple of days.  To make a long story short, she was very sick when we woke up yesteday and spent the entire day at the vet.  The final diagnoses was bleeding ulcers.  She had lost a LOT of blood and is now anemic, dehydrated and her bone marrow is depleted.  All within 2 days.  I had to pick her up and take her for an ultrasound in the afternoon where they determined that they don't believe she has cancer, just the ulcers.  An interesting note is that the ultrasound showed she only has one kidney!  She is SUCH a sweet, sweet dog ang I love her like my own.  She has a boatload of medication, special food and has to go back tomorrow to have her blood checked.  And she's a trooper through it all. 

I took this picture a couple of minutes ago.  She's so much better today it's amazing.  She's much more alert and even wandering around the yard some.  I'm so very relieved.  Poor Mandy and Brad.  They were so worried about her and so were we.  But Grandma is taking good care of Polly and Piper is helping with kisses and hugs.  Polly is so good with Piper, even when she's sick.
I think we'll be heading to the lake this weekend and bringing all the liquid foods home so we don't have to worry about them freezing.  From the sounds of it, this winter could be pretty bad if you listen to the forecasters.  They're talking about an early winter that lasts possibly into June of 2015.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and sunshine wherever you may be.  I feel so blessed to have you all as my friends.  That's how I think of you.  We may never meet in person, but our lives have touched through this amazing thing called blogland!  Wonderfulness!

Blessings,
Betsy

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Building Week

Happy September my friends!  I know, I know.  It's been September for a week now, but I've had a busy week and although I've tried to keep up with reading my friends blogs, I haven't had a moment to write a post of my own.  Here I am though and ready to update you all on my exciting life. Ha!

Monday, September first was Dennis' and my 36 wedding anniversary.  God blessed me more than I could ever deserve when he gave this man to me.  He is the love of my life and I am SO grateful for him.  He is wonderful and I wish every woman could have a husband like him.  We met when I was 15 and we married when I graduated from high school at 18.  Yes, that makes me 54 years old!  He was a handsome guy in an U.S. Air Force uniform when we met in church.  I love him and miracle of miracles, he still loves me too!  

Remember when our tree blew down a few weeks ago?  Well, Dennis wondered why it couldnt have been the tree that used to live in this corner of the yard that we had planned to remove anyway.  This was what the corner looked like after the guys took it and two BIG bushes out on Tueday.
The three musketeers built us a shed in just two days.  In pouring rain and cold the second day.  I love these guys.  Seriously.  Jeremy, (on the roof), was our son's best man in his wedding.  They have been friends since the 5th grade.  He owns his own concrete and excavating company but he takes VERY good care of us.  He fixes and builds anything we need done and does a wonderful job.

The guy at the bottom left is Wes. He and his sister grew up with our daughter Mandy and his parents are Paul and Lori who camp next to us at the lake.  Brian is in the middle and we've just gotten to know him in the past few years.  All three of these guys go to church with us and we would trust them with anything.

Jeremy put three windows in on all three sides except the front.  I like the window panes don't you?  Jeremy chose them for us when we said we wanted a window of some sort for light.
All done with the building part of the job.  I watched Wes build and shim the doors.  Now I know why single doors are so much easier!  :-)  I tried to warm them up with coffee and homemade banana bread on Wednesday when the weather was so icky.
Hubby and I primed the entire shed on Friday.  I helped while Piper napped and then he was on his own!  She likes to play with paint too much to trust her to stay away.  
Hubby putting the color on.  It was HOT yesterday.  Almost 90 degrees.  But the nights are in the 40's and low 50's.  Fall is on it's way.
All done!  Isn't it pretty?  It's BIG.   10 x 12 feet  Dennis is going to build a potting bench in it for me and we'll be able to store lots of things that are in the garage in it so that he can actually do some wood working in his garage this winter.  It's been so crowded with the snow blower, lawn mower, power washer, air compressor, bikes, etc., that he has't had any room to actually work in there.
Now I have to figure out if we're going to replace the tree that blew down and if so, what kind should we plant?  I also want to put some rose bushes in that blank area by the side of the shed next spring.

We've been wanting a shed for several years now and it's one more item checked off the pre-retirement "want" list!

My friend Marilyn has recently been diagnosed with cancer and last week lost most of her hair and so she had the rest cut off.  She needed light blue hats to match her work uniform so I made these for her in one day.  Both are chemo caps.  The one on the left is called "seeds of hope"  and the one on the right is "wings of hope".  You can't tell, but it has wings like butterfly wings in the pattern.  I hope they give her a bit of a hug from me when she wears them.
Here is the latest update on Mandy's Wonderful Wallaby.  I'm amazed at how much longer it's taking than Piper's.  An adult size is a LOT more knitting than a toddler size.  I go 'round and 'round and it doesn't seem to get any bigger at all.  But see, the pouch is done and now I'm working on....
....the sleeves.  This is sleeve number one.
And no post these days would be complete without a photo or two of my Miss Piper.  Here she is supervising Grandpa's painting of the shed.  She is very intent on the job he's doing isn't he?
I adore this face.  We took her out to the lake yesterday and Grandpa was pushing her on the BIG swing.  She usually gets into the baby swing, so she thought she was really something when she held on all by herself and Grandpa let go.  Oh my goodness I adore this child.
This was on the car ride home from the lake.  She was exhausted and we were sure she would fall asleep while we drove home, but nope.  She entertained us by singing "Let it Go" from the movie "Frozen", complete with hand gestures.  Be still my heart.
Mommy flew to D.C. on Thursday to look for a house with Daddy so it's been Grandpa, Grandma and Piper this week.  Oh and the two dogs and two cats.  We're doing fine but Mommy is missing Piper something terrible.  I think they've found a house.  Time will tell if it all works out as these deals seem to keep you on pins and needles till the end.  The movers made it there and have put everything into storage.  It seems so very, very far away from us but I'm really trying not to think about it and I'm enjoying every second with my little princess for now.

I hope you're all enjoying the late summer weather.  It's so beautiful here that I'm wishing time would standstill for just a little while and let me breathe in these days.

Blessings always,

Betsy