Sunday, December 25, 2016

A little bit of December

I'm sure December is busy for everyone I know, but ours seems especially so, I think because we also have a number of birthdays added to the mix.  My Mom always made mine special because the Christmas decorations went up on My Birthday.   My brothers who's birthdays were the 23 and 25 weren't celebrated in Dec at all....we waited till Apr so they would have a whole separate event to enjoy. Now days, it seems the middle of the month just isn't enough time to enjoy the season, so at our house, decorations go up on my daughter's birthday, the 1st, and the tree is put up on mine.  Now we have added a few grand kids' birthdays to the' December birthday club'.  I keep thinking that I don't have to work or keep a big house and yard up, but my days still seem full. I guess it's partly that my energy is a bit lower than it used to be.  Whatever the cause, it's still a challenge to get everything done, but I sure do enjoy my sweet family.
I didn't get photos of all our events, but here are a few.
 The two Seattle daughters came down for a short weekend with Alicia.  I snuck in a little time with them too.

 We have begun decorating gingerbread houses with the grand kids.  We just managed to get it done with all the AZ families...and sent the houses to Seattle for their parents to do with them.  Works of art!

 Ben had his birthday....

 And there was a program produced and performed by the cousins in honor of the occasion...

For the last few years, my birthday was celebrated at a buffet restaurant.  It is easy, no planning necessary, people come when ever they can, eat what they want, and we all get to hang out.  Thank you husband for a wonderful birthday gift.

How does it feel to have a daughter qualify for Medicare Mom? 
 So glad my sister and her family could come.

As you can see, everyone found something tasty!

 Oh...and there are lots of desserts!
My cute sister and her baby...ready to be Santa's helpers.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  By that I mean I hope you found joy in some of the moments of this Christmas season.  I have been a little surprised lately that several people I know feel the need to 'be more honest' about their lives and troubles.  I record and document the joyful, fun times of life, not to imply that that is the norm of my life, but to emphasize the positive.  I don't mean to give the impression that my life is idyllic or without daily difficulties, some very trying, occasionally even heart wrenching.  I don't assume that yours is any different. You see, these trials and traumas are the main reason we are here right now.  We already experienced a perfect existence with our Heavenly needs unmet, no loss, sickness, depression, loneliness, injury, sin or heartbreak.  We had to leave Him to experience these things.  That is why the Angels' news was of 'Great Joy" ! The tiny babe's birth meant that all these trials are temporary.  He doesn't offer us a way to skip them, rather the promise that He has triumphed over all of them and He makes it possible for us to do the same.  This understanding allows Joy to be found, even in the midst of our messy, uncomfortable lives. He is our Hope for a Joyful New Year!  May you find it so in your life too. God Bless Us Every One!

Friday, December 9, 2016

We didn't get enough soooo Back to Seattle for Thanksgiving!

It's become a tradition to spend Thanksgiving in Seattle, and I am enjoying it thoroughly, even though we were there just a month or so ago.  I decided to pass on a few Halloween decorations. They were well received.

She really was happy to get them, I just didn't catch the smiles.

This was one of her mother's cherished toys as a little girl so it tickles me to see it cherished again.
We enjoyed playing in the park.

Another Mom joined in on the imaginary journeys of this train engineer.

This one moved too fast.

Clever Mom brings a cloth to wipe off the slides....a problem we aren't used to in AZ.

To the top all by himself.

My little vase was fun too.

Poppop is the best of all though!  No surprise there.
The most darling little turkey ever...and one of the greatest blessings I'm grateful for!

Love our centerpiece too!


 She's working on a thanksgiving craft.

The lollypop turkey lost a tail feather.

or two

So cute!

 Relaxing after a wonderful dinner!

Caught in the act!

We are so blessed to enjoy such a loving family, those in Seattle and those at home in AZ.  We  truly count you as Heavenly Father's greatest gifts to us.  Thank you! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Train Trip's End...Seattle

I missed a couple of photos from our 'last supper' on the train.  Did I mention the food was very good?

We made it to the Victoria Station in Seattle rather later than expected.  We were held  up at a little town by a passenger who needed medical care...we waited about 30 minutes for the ambulance to come get her and take her to the hospital.  Therefore our train arrived at Victoria station just as a football game was ending at the adjacent stadium.  Poor Geneva and John had arranged transport for all of us but couldn't get to the station as all roads to it were blocked for the game traffic.  That station was worth seeing though....reminiscent of a bygone era...when passenger trains were The way to travel.

We finally decided to just walk a bit, found a meeting point and most of us headed to Geneva's house.  I'm told it was a giant sleep over.  Rod and I went to Elena's...thanks to Aaron coming for us.

Activities during our visit included a visit to John's new place of employment....Face book.  A very cool 'office' building.

A perfect photo op setting

It was windy out on the deck.

But such a view!
We also enjoyed a fun rainy day at a pumpkin patch.

Grandma's treat of hot cider and doughnuts was wonderfully tasty....especially in the cool Fall weather!
Just being together was the best part!  Great Grandma loved getting to see the girls' homes and spend time with those darling kids.  The rest of us loved it too!

Then there was the ostensible reason for the trip...  The wedding reception for Caissa and James.
It was beautifully decorated, and it was so fun to have so many family members there.  Jeff and Chris especially loved getting to see the babies....they essentially adopted some of our grandbabies while Rod and I were in Spain. 

Self serve ice cream was a big hit!


We had such a great time!  Thank you Mom for treating us to a memorable trip!