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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