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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Getting back to normal

Life is returning to a normal routine now. This is the third morning of waking up to a house with none of the family in it. I still don’t like that, but it is our normal.  Alex and Tara just sent me a video of Sunrise at the Grand Canyon this morning. Oh my goodness! It was gorgeous. They drove there in white out conditions last night though and I was very glad to know when they were safe at their hotel. They found a place right on the south rim of the Canyon.  Today they’re heading back to Las Vegas to see a show at Cirque du Soleil tonight. Tomorrow they will fly to Omaha to spend the weekend with Mandy before going home Monday.

I can finally show you the cross stitch ornaments I made a couple of months ago for all of the kids. The cross stitch itself was the easy part. Handsewing the backing on took longer than the cross stitch! I lightly stuffed them with fiberfill and put a hanger on. Everyone seemed very happy with them.

Yesterday I delivered the mini stockings to the veterans home. There are 100 of them in the box and each one has an LED, easy-on flashlight. They were so excited when I took the box in. I have to admit, this was one of the more expensive endeavors I have taken on. Those little flashlights weren’t cheap! The stockings were fun to make though.

As I told you in my last post, Dennis and the boys put the outside lights up last week. Of course, one string stopped working a couple of days ago. I guess since we bought them 18 years ago when we first moved into the house, it was time! Last night Dennis and I went to Lowe’s and bought some new lights and a timer. Now I don’t have to go outside in my nightgown at 10:30 at night to unplug the lights! I thought the timers were very expensive but it was only $10! Well worth the money.  We don’t put the lights up in the peak of the house anymore like we used to. I’m terrified of heights and it scares me to see him up on a ladder so high. We can put the ones above the garage and along the railing by just using a small step ladder and it’s enough. It still gives off a cheerful glow and I think they’re beautiful.

I went to the knitting group at the retirement village  yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It is just my second time going because having been sick, I didn’t want to share my germs with these ladies. Since they all live at the facility they all know each other well. Some live in the cottages which are single living homes surrounding the main building. Some live in apartments that are detached from the facility and some live at the facility itself. It is really a nice place, but hearing them talk yesterday about how much it costs to live there I’m rethinking my desire to get an apartment there someday.  One lady has lived there for 27 years!  Some of them are paying over $6000 a month rent and then you have utilities on top of that. Who can afford that?  Apparently the rate for the one bedroom apartment is $5500 per month and it’s going up almost $300 more in January! I think will be staying in our house a while longer. It’s paid for and that is worth something.

Now for a few more family pictures. Friday evening all four of the kids went out together for some sibling time. Grandpa and Grandma got to babysit, although Kyleigh and Caleb are technically old enough to stay by themselves.  I absolutely love all of those smiles.

Mandy,  Piper and I rode together in the backseat of the truck while Alex, Tara and Dennis were in the front on our way to church Sunday.  Here I am with two of my girls.  Piper’s hat was in my donation box but she claimed it as her own. It is the C.C. Hat. (Copy Cat Hat) and is a free pattern online.  I even saw machine made version of it at Hobby Lobby yesterday. I made one for Mandy on Tuesday and mailed it to her yesterday forgetting to take a photo. I asked her to take a picture of it when she receives it so I can show you. I liked how it turned out so much that I actually started one for myself last night. Would you believe with all the hats I’ve made, I have not kept one for myself?  I always end up giving them away. This one I’m keeping!

I love this one. It sums up Mandy and Jamie‘s relationship very well. He cracks her up. :-)
The gifts are all unwrapped but I’m still enjoying looking at the tree. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite ornaments with you over the next few weeks. Do you see the elf on the shelf on top of the cabinet? He followed Piper here so he could report her activities to Santa.  I sure hope he found his way back to her house because she was very concerned about that! Ha!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and staying warm wherever you may be.

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


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It’s been awhile...

Hello my friends. I’m back! It’s been a while since I posted and although I’ve tried to keep up on all of your blogs, I’m afraid I may have missed one or two over the past week. I have been very busy with our kids and I have loved every single minute of it.

Jamie left with Kyleigh and Caleb on Saturday, then Mandy and Piper flew home Monday morning and Alex and Tara left Monday night. Last night when we arrived home from the airport, the house was SO quiet. I have to admit, I sobbed most of the way home. You all know how I feel about our children living so far away. I love them all dearly and cherish every single minute we had together.

I was feeling much better while they were here, although I still have a cough that is hanging on. Mandy got sick Wednesday evening and pretty much lost her voice on Thanksgiving and for the rest of the weekend.  Apparently there was a little boy that coughed on her on the airplane throughout the entire flight from Omaha to Seattle on Monday. The incubation period would have been right for her to be sick on Wednesday. It’s too bad she felt so bad although I think she still enjoyed herself.

I thought I would share a few of our photos with you. My best friend Jenny came over on Friday and took some pictures for us. I sure appreciated her taking the time to do that.

Mandy and Alex decided it was time to put the tree up on Tuesday. They dragged everything out from storage and then Mandy and Piper decorated the tree.  Dennis, Jamie and Alex put up the outside lights. Our house looks like Christmas!

Here are our three kids all together for the first time in almost 7 years.

Here is Jamie with Kyleigh and Caleb. Kyleigh doesn’t like to be on the Internet so I blocked her face out as per her wishes.  She is a beautiful girl and is in her first year of high school.  Caleb is in his last year of middle school and is a bundle of energy.

Here is my beautiful Mandy and Piper.  I think I told you in my last post that Brad didn’t get to come. They told his department that they had to work Friday morning to meet a deadline that had just arisen and so he obviously couldn’t fly here just for Thursday. Wednesday morning he turned his airline ticket back in for a refund. Wednesday afternoon his supervisor came around and told them they could have the weekend off. Of course, by then it was too late to get his ticket back. We were all so disappointed that he couldn’t be here.

Alex and Tara. We had such a wonderful time meeting Tara in person for the first time. She is amazing and fits into our family perfectly. I can’t wait to get to know her better as time progresses. We have a standing invitation to come visit her in London and if my back would just cooperate, I would be taking her up on that very soon!  Don’t they look perfect together? She brings out the best in Alex and as a mom I appreciate that.
And here we are. The old folks! I believe I am married to the most handsome man ever.

The whole crew! I love this picture and plan to get it framed.  Kyleigh, Caleb, and Piper hadn’t seen each other for well over two years. They had such a great time together and the older kids were very patient with Piper. It was so much fun to watch them interact.  She was so excited to spend time with her cousins.

I have more photos that I will share it with you over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoyed seeing this glimpse of our family as much as we had fun taking them.

Our family means the world to us and I miss the kids desperately already. Alex and Tara flew to Las Vegas last night and rented a car. They are going to Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, as well as a few other spots over the next two days. Friday they’re flying to Omaha to spend the weekend with Mandy. Alex‘s birthday is Saturday and Mandy is planning a party with all of our family there in Omaha.  He hasn’t celebrated a birthday with family in at least 12 years! This will be fun for him. He’ll be with all of his cousins and grandma as well as Mandy and her family.
Monday he flies back to Tokyo and Tara flies to New York City for some business meetings before she flies home to London.

So, we celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday and we open Christmas presents on Friday. I guess I’m pretty much done for the year! Ha!

”Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.”  Psalms 127:3

Wishing you all a wonderful day today.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

A Wonderful Uncle

Just popping in to quickly let you know that Alex arrived safely little after noon yesterday and Mandy and Piper flew in about 10 last night.

Our first stop on the way home from the airport was Zips burgers. Those of you in the Pacific Northwest will know what I’m talking about when I say every time he comes home that is the first place we go. Their fries and tartar sauce are amazing.  He was making a silly face and he been awake almost 38 hours at this point.

He ended up not going to bed until almost 1:00 this morning. He stayed awake until we went back to the airport to get Mandy and Piper and then we all sat up and talked after Piper went to bed.

Piper adores her uncle Alex and I believe the feeling is mutual.

Can you see the teacher in him? He taught elementary school for several years.

She really loves her Uncle Alex.

I can’t believe I don’t have any pictures of Mandy yet. 

Alex took me to the doctor yesterday afternoon right after our hamburgers and I was diagnosed with bronchitis and given antibiotics.  I’m hoping they kick in quickly. 

They have all left me for a few minutes to go shopping at Costco.  I’m resting my back and hoping the coughing stops.

Dennis and Alex went and got their drivers licenses renewed this morning. They said it took them all of five minutes at the DMV.   How often does that happen?  They both said it was the most pleasant experience at the DMV they’ve ever had! I guess most people are out shopping instead of getting their drivers licenses renewed.

Tomorrow Jamie and the kids will drive over from Helena and Tara‘s flight from London will arrive around 10 in the evening. Brad doesn’t get to come because they’re making his entire department work. I guess he gets Thanksgiving itself off, but has to be at work Friday morning so there’s no way he can fly all the way here. It’s so sad. We were really hoping to have all of our chickens in the coop this holiday. But, we’re going to enjoy the ones we do have.

I just wanted to share these cute, cute pictures of Alex and Piper with you. My heart is full. Mandy and Alex have decided they want to put the Christmas tree up together this afternoon, so Dennis and Alex have dug all the decorations out of storage and we’re going to get busy as soon as they get home. Oh, it will be so fun to have my kids help decorate the tree again! It has been years and years since that happened.  I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

“My heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.“  Psalms 30:12