Sunday, December 24, 2023

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Prayer

By Robert Louis Stevenson

Loving Father,
help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.

Close the door of hate
and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift
and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing
which Christ brings,
and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.

May the Christmas morning
make us happy to be thy children,
and Christmas evening bring us to our beds
with grateful thoughts,
forgiving and forgiven,
for Jesus’ sake.

Amen.

This is the life size Nativity at the back of our church.


The angel said to them,“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11

Dennis and I wish all of you the most blessed and happy Christmas!

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Five More Days!

Are we ready? Five days left to get all of our ducks in a row for Christmas. Dennis’s brother and his girlfriend are flying up from Florida tomorrow. We just found out this afternoon that we will be hosting Christmas dinner for them and Mom. The original plan was we were going to join Mom at her facility for Christmas lunch. I have just sent Dennis to the grocery store with a list so I don’t have to go closer to Monday when everyone is shopping. He doesn’t mind grocery shopping and it’s one of the things I dislike most of chores that need to be done on a regular basis. He has called a couple of times asking where things are in the store, but I don’t mind that at all. It’s still better than going myself!

I finished the most recent prayer shawl yesterday. I used Big Twist yarn from JoAnn’s. It’s very soft yarn to work with and is machine wash and dry so I think it will work well for shawls. I used the modern granny stitch. It hasn’t been washed or blocked, so it looks a little strange laying there.

After I finished the shawl, I started another sweater for Piper. This time I’m using the “portage” pattern that I used for sweaters for Mandy and I. She has asked for this white one and also an orangey color. I found the rusty orange yarn at JoAnns yesterday, as they were having a big sale on yarn. I like my cute little snowmen stitch marker, and progress keeper. Aren’t they happy and festive?

Piper saw Santa last weekend. I love the deer peeking out from behind Santa’s chair. 🀣 No, she doesn’t believe in Santa anymore. Someone told her the truth last year, but she still enjoys all the fun things that go along with it.

Of course, she had to have a photo taken at home with Lizzie and the tree. That puppy sure does love her Piper.

And just one more. I think their tree is beautiful. She’s wearing the dress she wore for the wedding in London, along with the sweater that I made for her and the other two little girls in the wedding. I think this is the last time she will wear it, as the arms are too short already. I adapted the pattern to make them all waist length for the girls to go with their dresses.

Mom got a package in the mail a couple of days ago and Dennis took it over to her. His cousin in Denver had sent her this beautiful blanket and a box of cookies and said to have her open it as soon as it arrived. Since Mom is always cold, this was a good gift for her to send.

I saw this on Facebook the other day and immediately thought of a fellow blogger Debbie, (Araignee). Isn’t it hilarious? I enjoy seeing all of the little escapades these elves get up to in December.

It is supposed to be around 50°F tomorrow, so I think we’re going to take Miss Piper to the zoo. Today is her last day of school before winter break. Last time I didn’t make it all the way to the baby elephants and I would really like to see them. It’s nice to finally be close enough to a grandchild to be able to things with them.

I hope you are all doing well and joining the festivities that this time of year brings. But I hope that you always remember the reason that we’re celebrating is Jesus. He was born and died just for you. And He would have still done it, even if you were the only person on this earth. He loves you.

I love this picture shared on FB by a sweet friend of mine! 

From the cradle to the Cross it was and will always be Jesus! Amen!



Blessings and love,
Betsy

Thursday, December 14, 2023

More Christmas!

Hello, life has slowed down a little bit for us this week. I had crocheting on Tuesday and Bible study with a potluck luncheon on Wednesday. Today Dennis took me out to lunch and we had a new reclining sofa delivered to us this afternoon. I think we’re going to love it, but Zoey is terrified of it. She hasn’t left our bedroom since they delivered it at 2:00! It’s now 6:30. Well, she’ll have to eventually adapt won’t she?

I thought I would show you some of our Christmas decorations. Please forgive me if I’ve shown them to you before. I’m sure you’ve seen them in one of our houses or the apartment but now we’re at the condo so they’re in a new place for this year.

In the photo below, you will see the candle holder that Curt made and gave to each couple at the dinner party last week. They’re made out of old wine bottles. You can change the candle inside the bottle by loosening the wire. He also gave us a prepared, clear bottle too. It’s an ingenious way of lifting the glass bottle up and down off of the wooden base that he also made. We have a small nativity set that I’ve had for years and years next to it and my snowflake garland hanging under the island.

This is the nativity set that I made the first year we were married. It’s been the centerpiece of our home every Christmas for the last 45 years. Unbelievably, none of the pieces have ever gotten broken.

This photo shows you a close up where you can see the faces that I painted on. The wire that you see is actually a small string of battery operated fairy lights that light the stable up at night.

This is a quilted picture that a friend in Spokane sent me two Christmases ago. She is an avid quilter and used to go to craft fairs all of the time. I don’t know how she gets everything she does done, because she also works full-time at the family business.

Next is my basket full of snowmen ☃️ that make me smile. I usually leave a lot of the snowman out after Christmas is over to brighten up the house in January.

Even more snowman! I wish you could tell how sparkly the Merry Christmas picture is. It’s a diamond painting that I did earlier in the year. I’m very fond of the little red trucks that are so popular right now too.

And look at these guys! I found them for a total of $4.99 at Goodwill earlier this week. To give you an idea of how big they are, the shelf is about 3 feet long. I Love how happy they look as they’re out and about playing in the snow.

I’m still working on the prayer shawl that I was working on last week. It’s taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. It’s about 4 feet long now and I think I want to make it at least one more foot. It is very soft and squishy though. I’m using Hobby lobby‘s Baby Bee Darling Dear. The color is “pretty in purple.”

Last night I decided to start another prayer shawl just for a little bit of a change of pace from the knitted one. This is the Pando Aspen Shawl. I’m doing alternate rows of the pink and cream. I’m going to have a lot of ends to weave in, but I think it’s going to be pretty. Now it’s harder than ever to go and go back and knit on my plain garter stitch shawl. 😍

I hope you are all having a wonderful December day. We had a beautiful day in the mid 50s. Tomorrow is supposed to cool back into the 40s for the next several days, but you will hear no complaints from me. That’s very warm for December here. Remember to take time and think about the Reason we’re celebrating this season of happiness and togetherness. It’s Jesus!

Blessings and love,
Betsy



Saturday, December 9, 2023

Time Flies

I have absolutely no idea where the time is going these days. I turn around and another week has just flown by. We’ve had a busy week. Monday, Dennis worked all day and I did laundry and cleaned the condo. Tuesday, I crocheted sleeping mats for the open door Mission with some ladies from our old apartment like I do every week. Wednesday morning, I had Bible study with my ladies group at church. This is the group that has hundreds of thousands of women all studying the same thing, all over the world each week. Wednesday night, Dennis and I went to a Home Free concert with my sister, niece, and nephew-in-law. It was their Christmas tour and they were wonderful. Some of you might remember that we went to their Christmas concert last year in Kearney, Nebraska and we both came home with Covid. Home Free is the only acappella country band in the world. The Christmas tour features mainly Christmas songs but they sing a few of their other hits too. The ages of concert attendees ranged from five or six year olds, clear up to people in their 90s! These five young men are very talented.

If you watch YouTube at all you can search Home Free and most of their videos are on there. If you like tight harmonies, I think you’ll like these young men as much as we all do.

I don’t have any photos, but last night Dennis and I went to a dinner party with three other couples at our friends house. They sent out invitations and asked everyone to dress up nicely. We had a wonderful dinner and then played a trivia game that asked questions about Christmas movies. That was a lot of fun! Each couple was sent home with a beautiful candle holder that Curt had made for us.

Today, I was invited to go to a tea with the Jane Austen book club of Omaha celebrating Jane’s 248th birthday! It was wonderful. Here we are waiting for the event to begin. Most of these are ladies that I have known for 40 or more years! I mention Curt and Barb on here quite often. Curt is Dennis’s cousin. Barb is the second from the right in this photo. Jaleena is next to her. Dennis went to high school with Jaleena and I’ve known her since before we were married. Next to her is Sheryl. I met her at church well over 45 years ago. Then it’s yours truly and next to me is Carol. I’ve known her as long as I have most of the other ladies. The young girl on the far right was just introduced to me today, and she seemed lovely. These ladies have all been part of the Jane Austen book club for several years. They have invited Mandy and I to join them. Next year the book being read is Mansfield Park. Mandy is an avid Jane Austen fan, but I admit, I have never read any of her books. I guess that is about to change! I have been to her home in Bath though. When Mandy and I went to the UK after she graduated from nursing school, that was one of the places that we visited.
The food was outstanding, and the tables decorated beautifully.






This was my plate. Before you think I was an absolute glutton, this was technically lunch for everyone, the plates were saucer size, and I didn’t go back for seconds! Most people went back 2 to 3 times. You can see the bookmark they gave us on the right, as well as a little poem, written by one of the members to salute Jane on her birthday.

Sheryl won the door prize, which was a Crosstitch about Jane Austen done by a member of the book club.

On Thursday we didn’t have any plans and it was an absolutely gorgeous day with temperatures in the low 60s! We decided it was a good day to take a drive, so we went to Fremont, Nebraska to our favorite furniture store and we bought a new reclining sofa. Dennis is excited because the middle seat flips down and it has cupholders and an electrical charging station where I can plug in my laptop and we can charge our phones. It will also give us more seating when we have visitors here. We plan to sell our La-Z-Boy recliners on Facebook marketplace. Thursday night we had Bible study over Zoom with our group in Spokane. As I said, it was a busy, busy week.

I can finally show you the stockings that I made this past spring for Alex, T. and Baby J. I took the photos before I added their names to the top in the red space. They aren’t perfect, but for my first attempt at color work, I don’t think they turned out too bad. They are now hanging on the mantle in their home in London and they look beautiful there. I even bought extra yarn, so I can make matching stockings for any more little ones that may happen to come along!

Tonight we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and I made three dishcloths. They are all this color and looked exactly the same.

This is a prayer shawl that I’m making for the hospital. I should have used bigger needles, but I have too much done on it to rip it all out and start over, so I’ve just decided it’s going to take me awhile to finish it! It is so soft and fluffy though and I’m enjoying working on it.

Can you see my cute little snowman, progress keeper, and my Christmas project bag? I adore the camping trailers all over the bag.

We have had commitments every single day for the entire week. Tomorrow we have church in the morning and I’m going to a holiday craft fair with Mandy, Piper and one of Mandy‘s friends tomorrow afternoon. This is why I wanted to have all of my gift buying, wrapping and cards done by December 1, so I could enjoy all of these fun things without being stressed. I hope you are all doing well in the holiday season too. I think this was our busiest week of the month and beginning next week it should just be our regular activities, although even those keep us hopping! Take care, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, filled with blessings, and remembering why we celebrate the season. It’s Jesus! We wouldn’t have Christmas without Him.

Blessings and love,
Betsy

Sunday, December 3, 2023

This and That

How are you all coping with it being December already? It doesn’t seem possible does it? I’ve been busy, busy this week. I put out most of the decorations during the week but waited to decorate the tree until today when Piper could help. It’s fun to have a grandchild nearby that can help with the decorating. We’ve never had that before and I’m taking full advantage of it.

This first photo is the string of advent stockings that I made for Piper. You can also see the Noel cups in the left hand corner. I love these cups because they have fun and happy memories attached to them. When our children were small I used to put them along the back of the stove top, spelling NOEL. Most mornings when I woke up, they were changed to say LEON. It was our middle child, Jamie, who did it after we went to bed at night. Oh, how I miss those days.

Here are the stockings a little closer together, so you can see them better.
I made another 25 stockings a few years ago and Mandy fills them for me! Piper has spent the weekend with Papa and I, so we’ve been able to open our stockings together so far.

Piper is loving her sweater. I finished it on Thursday and she hasn’t taken it off since Friday except to sleep!πŸ˜‚

It looks a little big on her but she’s getting taller pretty quickly so I think it will be good that it’s oversize. She’s happy and that’s the important thing. It even has real pockets. You can also see the snowflake blanket I made last Christmas on the back of the sofa.

Yesterday the two of us got pedicures and had great fun while there. Although it’s been getting into the teens at night, I still wear my flip-flops everywhere. I think I’ve just worn shoes twice so far this winter.
Piper’s toes. Aren’t they cute?

Mandy sent this picture to Piper Friday night. Piper thinks she took it on the plane as they were leaving Omaha. I think it’s a great picture of them both. I wonder how she filtered out all of the background? 

We also have Lizzie for the weekend. Zoey is VERY happy. Here they were both chewing on opposite ends of the same bone.🀣 They are seriously like two year olds. They love each other so much and we all love both of them.

This is the tree Jenny made for me when we were living in our camper in Spokane. Remember when we were planning to travel around the country for a few years to begin our retirement? The best laid plans and all. Anyway, she was appalled that we didn’t have a tree, so she made and decorated this sweet tree for us and Neal made a base for it with his 3-D printer. I think it’s beautiful. We used it last year in the apartment and it’s in our bedroom in the condo this year.

We got a new and bigger tree this year.  Piper and I just finished decorating it after church. It’s nice to see the ornaments after having them packed away for a few years. The star on top has been on top of Dennis’s Mom and Dad’s tree since before he was born. She gave it to me about 35 years ago when she bought a new tree topper. I love its history. It’s at least 68 years old! I made the tree skirt years ago when I gave Mandy the “family” tree skirt. She had always liked it and I promised her that when she got married and had her own tree she could have it. πŸ’œ I had also made it with muslin, fold thread and candlewicking.

I hope you’re all having a great week in preparing for Jesus’s birthday! Hallelujah! Love to you all.

Blessings and hugs,
Betsy