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



  1. Such lovely and beautiful pictures of your family Betsy and your tree is gorgeous. So glad you had such a wonderful time with everyone there.

  2. Those cross stitch ornaments are precious! I can't believe how many you got done. I can't put up any decor this year thanks to the disaster I am living in so I am really enjoying seeing all the pretty things on everyone's blogs. Your tree is gorgeous! I bet there is a story behind every ornament.

  3. Bravo on the ornaments.. beautiful work. I love the new photos, too. What a gorgeous family you have. Your tree with the presents under it is a super photo! My grandsons are here for the night and will help me hang more ornaments this evening. Did something get delivered to you today from me? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Great photos! Your tree is gorgeous.

  5. The cross stitch ornaments are wonderfully made, Betsy, and I'm glad the stockings full of light were well received... amazing gifts that inspire me to want to be creative and loving as you are. Thanks for sharing more lovely photos of your family celebration...precious times! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’œ

  6. Oh, thank you for sharing all of your family love--amazing.
    The stockings are a wonderful, successful endeavor on your part!
    How thoughtful!

  7. I've truly enjoyed seeing your family photos and delighted that you had that time together. I know what you mean about the house seeming so quiet after the kids leave and go home. Even when quiet is the norm, it doesn't feel normal for a few days. I'm with you about climbing ladders, we are not as young as we once were and our bodies can't take a fall.
    I love handmade ornaments, they are the ones you hold on to and treasure more and more each year.
    God bless you both.
    Connie :)

  8. My dear Betsy thought I'd update you as not blogging. Too unwell. But hopefully as stitches came out today I'll be well again soon, I just need my tummy to settle may end up having surgery to fix it as its getting too much, if anything happens out of ordinary it just goes bananas. .. actually not bananas bad pain too much no matter what I do.
    However that possibility is not today's problem. Stitches came out ten days earlier (yay๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜†) than thought as I've a new skin dr (one of 20 yrs retired) and he has different stitch technique.. and he strapped it up really really well. Was soo good, grateful plus as know it's the mercy of the LORD.
    Now your ornaments are simply amazing, love the name and year addition, not sure if cat or wreath is fav!?
    Love the family photos arent we blessedwe can take and keep these so easily today. Lovely girl's pickie and Pipers hat is lovely three beautiful girls, with glowing eyes of joy!!
    Pray if went to knitting group your health has turned a corner.
    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you.
    Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

  9. I LOVE this post! All those little flashlights in little stocking. What a nice thing to do. You are amazing! You also have a beautiful family!! and the cross stitch ornaments are so pretty. Oh my goodness, and such a beautiful Christmas tree! Glad you're feeling good again.

  10. Your tree is just gorgeous! That is so sweet about the elf on the shelf coming along to report little Miss Pipers behavior! It is so heartwarming to see all of you together having so much fun. I hope you feel all better now and are able to relax and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season with all its festivities! The ornaments you made them are just adorable and so meaningful. I am sure they will cherish them forever. So sweet! Your house looks just beautiful all decked out for Christmas. May the Lord bless and keep you, sweet friend. :)

  11. Such nice pictures. There is love in each one. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Thank you for sharing the photos of your family! They are all good looking and they have beautiful smiles! Your cross stitch ornaments turned out so cute. I love that you have their name and the year...I need to remember to do that on mine. Your decorations are all so pretty inside and out!
    I;m so glad you were healthy for their visit and had such a nice Christmas together. I'm going to go look for that hat pattern! TTYL!

  13. I'm visiting via Far Side's blog. You have a lovely family. I admire your cross stitch ornaments and all the effort you put into making those many mini stockings for the veterans. Have a blessed Advent. GM

  14. Beautiful memories my friend. What a wonderful time you had together. i love seeing your children, grandchildren and you of course!

  15. Your tree is so pretty! It is always so quiet when everyone goes home. Thank you for doing the stockings and flashlights for the Veterans! Your crossstitch ornaments are lovely...I know that takes lots of time! :)

  16. Hi! Family pictures are so wonderful and it is always hard saying good by to family members. Your cross stitch ornaments are really nice. Nancy