Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you experience God's richest blessings in 2011.  

I have been going back through my year in blog posts and what a year it was!

As with each passing year, we had joy and sorrow but the Lord was with us through it He will be always.

So with that I'll say a fond farewell to 2010

I'll see you next year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Seems like a blur.....

They came, we had a great time and they've all flown off back home.

Seems like a blur!  

Christmas was a bit more special this year having all three grandchildren home!  We felt very blessed as this was the first year the two older grands were with us on Christmas day and as an added blessing, we had our new grandson Charley.  Ashley and Adam enjoyed Charley and he enjoyed everything!

The grandchildren! Charley, 6 months, Ashley 18 years and Adam 14 years.

Ashley and Adam got a kick out of posing with Nana!  Well, at least they humored me.

Charley loves playing with Uncle Matt.

This is a picture I take every year and have from the time they were little.  It took a few clicks to get them to both smile at the same time.  I wanted to get Charley in between them in a picture, but by the time he got to Nana's, the bed just never seemed to get made!

A few days before Christmas Russell's mom came to dinner.  Ashley and Adam always love seeing Mema.

We have have a Christmas tradition popping crackers..... you may call them poppers.... at the end of a meal.  They always have a crown and some little toys.

The host king

The host king, the queen mother and Russell's nephew Prince Chris.

Queen Nana with Prince Adam and Princess Ashley.

Prince David with soon to be Princess wife Arwen and her daughter Princess Devin.

Prince Matthew

A fun little dinner as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the true King of the world, King Jesus.

Nana and Charley, our newest Christmas gift.

I do have a suggestion for anybody who wants a good family picture at anytime of the year.  HIRE A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER.  The pictures were in my mind, I bought the black shirts that nobody really wanted to wear and once again my fantasy came oh, so close.  We lacked one child.....and  between that and getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time, well here are the results.  We did get one with Nana, Pappy and all the grandchildren, but as you see, Pappy was looking at Charley.

One with the children (minus Paul who couldn't be with us) and grandchildren with Charley looking up.

One with great grandmother (Mema).

This is a good one of Tommy, Claudia and Charley.

After we had a big breakfast, with Pappy cooking, and opened presents, we headed over to my brother's for our annual Christmas dinner.  More on that tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Busy!

Thursday night, the grandchildren arrived and were welcomed into joyous, grandparent arms!  This will be the first actual Christmas we have spent with Ashley and Adam, although Ashley has been here during the Christmas season and I have been out there in early December.  I'm looking forward to sharing this time with them and with our newest grandchild, Charley!

Friday, we had lunch with Grandma Duncan. 

Son Tommy came for the weekend to hunt so Adam graciously slept on a blowup bed under the Christmas tree.  Jack and Mikey loved sleeping with Adam!

When they were little, they would pose nicely for pictures.  Not so much now.  Adam clowning around!
And around...

Until I finally resorted to threats, bribes sweet grandmotherly please and they posed nicely!

Uncle David visiting with his soon to be step daughter, Devin.  

Skyping with Claudia and Charley!  

Tommy and Matt back from the hunt.  Adam went hunting and got to sit in the stand with Uncle David.  Later, Grandpa Russell let him shoot the pistols at targets. 

Unfortunately, they didn't bring home any meat!

Off to Church on Sunday morning.

Ashley posing.

Don't even ask me about Adam's shirt.  I think it is a skateboarding thing.  I hope.  

Just a little tease.....I'll be back but it's very busy around here right now!

Merry Christmas!
 Thanks be to God that He came in the flesh to dwell among us and to sacrifice Himself for our sins!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Minute.....

I'm not sure why I'm so last minute with everything, but it's just a fact of life.

I love celebrating the birth of Christ and all the excitement around surrounding him as He, the Savior of the World, God in human flesh, lay in a manger while angels were about announcing Him.   My prayer at Christmas this year is that all who hear of Him would come to know and worship Him.

This Christmas I'll have all my grandchildren at home!  Our newest grandson's stocking is now on the mantel and when the two coming from California get here, there will be ten hanging!  

I bought three new stocking hangers so I could hang them all!  I've moved them around this year to have the grandchildren's stockings use the gift holders.  They are such precious gifts!  

We have had many blessings this Christmas season.  One, which I'd like to tell you about is a neighbor coming to our rescue.  We have a pool in our backyard and a high privacy fence.  With all the oak leaves falling, our skimmer basket gets full quickly and I need to empty it several times a day.  Need to, not necessarily do.  I did, however, empty it the other day in between lots of errands.  That night, after I had my pajamas on and we were just laying in bed talking to one of our sons, the doorbell rang.  We all looked at each other wondering who would be at the door at such a late hour.  Finally I went tentatively to the door and cracked it open.  A man was standing there in the freezing cold with a hat and jacket on and at that time of night looked sort of ominous.  I said can I help you?  And by the way, wasn't that arrogant assuming that HE needed MY help???

He answered....I'm your neighbor, J.G.  I live behind you and I was outside and heard your pool making a really bad gurgling sound.  I immediately changed my whole demeanor and thanked him profusely as I was closing the door and hurrying out to check the problem.  The ONE time I cleaned the skimmer that day, the door had gotten stuck closed and the pool was sucking air (not sure that is the right way to say that....too technical for me) husband fixed it right away and I suddenly said our neighbor was kind enough to come out in the freezing cold to help us and we didn't even introduce ourselves!  I do plan to correct that by taking him a little treat.  They haven't lived there very long and I'm sure the reception from the neighbor in the pajamas gave him a warm, neighborly feeling!  

It's fun to drive through the neighborhood and see all the decorated houses.  Our's is a bit boring.  One of our neighbors has this Santa and Mrs. Clause in their yard.  The sunlight apparently washed Santa out!

I thought they were really cute!  The lady who lives here once asked me if I was a dog trainer as I was pulling my barking dogs down the street.  She had a wild little maltese.  I just said,  Mam, if I was a dog trainer, I sure wouldn't hire me!  I have the wildest dogs in the neighborhood.

And a sweet Christmas story.   The retirement center my mother lives in has a Christmas dinner each year and each resident can invite two people.  My husband and I went and had the pleasure of sitting with mama's best friend and her son and daughter in law.  Mama and her friend are both named Margaret and Margaret is so sweet to come read to our mama at night.  Mama's arms are so bad that she can't hold a book and turn the pages, but she's always loved to read.  We are thankful for our other Margaret!

Our other Margaret with her son and DIL.

Our Margaret with me and Russell.

A nice lunch with great company!

You may not hear from me much while the grands are here!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The decorating begins!

The walls are painted!  A few pictures are back on the walls and the rest are in boxes until after Christmas! I needed to get some decorating done!   

So we have a tree after a small crisis when our old, hand me down tree partly died.  The lights went out on the whole bottom half.  Now when I saw hand me down......this was our second hand me down tree and I demanded sweetly ask my husband if it wasn't time for a brand new tree.  After an hour of trying to get the lights to work, an hour on the computer reading everything he could find about getting the lights to work and nothing working, he agreed that maybe it was indeed time for a new tree.

If you look closely, you see our angel had fallen over and was hanging down crying somebody put me up straight before I lose my halo!

You can see from the reflection that the tree is indeed lit, but it just doesn't show up well.

I love the manger!  A few years ago I glued all the figures down because they kept falling over or out when they were stored.  When I got the manger out of the box this year, I couldn't find baby Jesus!  He had come unglued!  He's back in his place.  When I look at the manger I realize anew how truly amazing that God left his throne of Glory and became flesh and dwelt among us to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin.  

 You can see the stockings are hung.....there are three more to add, a new one currently being monogrammed for Charley and the California grands are bringing theirs when they come on Thursday.

This looks kind of sparse, but we had just hung the mirror and pictures back in the foyer.  I may add to this later or maybe not!  I made the Jesus, Joseph and Mary way back in the 80's when I was in my ceramic phase.  

And then we have the nutcrackers.....bless their hearts they have seen better days.  

And through it all, these boys have been very cold!  I even bought them new sweaters and put a blanket on their bed.  At night they snuggle down under the covers in our bed.  

We're on our way to Christmas, I wasn't sure we were going to make it this year!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The extras in my life!

Thank you to all who were at Pearl Harbor, especially our own Uncle Hugh


Last week a good friend asked me to go see Jars of Clay with her while they were performing at her church.  Believe it or not, I had never heard them unless it was on the radio and I don't remember.  I am not a huge fan of loud music and you know the music is always loud at concerts.  Even as a teenager I didn't like loud music.  But I digress.....the concert was wonderful and I got a couple of pictures.

The opening singer, Audrey Assad was wonderful....she played the piano and sang.  She also joined them in singing a few songs.

It was fun, thanks Sharon!

That was Thursday and on Friday afternoon, I was at another musical event!

  I have been blessed with so many who are like family to extras.  They come in all ages and from many places.  

This past year I had the pleasure of meeting a new family.  A military family, they joined us for worship at our church.  I just watched them for a while, troop in every Sunday with six children and one on the way.  The children were very well behaved, but seemed a little shy.  At some point it was announced that the husband was to be deployed to Afghanistan shortly, as in days after the new baby was born.

An email came out giving women in the church opportunity to help this mama out.  Since I've always had family around to help me with my kids, I thought it wouldn't hurt me to sit with them so their mama could grocery shop.

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting, but the kids are all home schooled and yes, I know my home schooling friends are going to kill me for saying this, but I was expecting them to be odd.  So it was with some trepidation I went out the first time.....o.k. those kids are delightful!  They are completely not odd....sibling fights and all......but are a lot of fun, smart as whips and obviously happy! Oh, yes, and not a bit shy once you get to know them.

Over the next few months, I got to know the kids well....not really so much their mother because she would grocery shop or go to appointments while the kids were with me.  One day during the summer, I told her that I was becoming fast friends with the children, but didn't know her well at all.  So we spent just a little time visiting.  

Time went by, the husband came home and I spent less and less time with them and missed them.  One of the boys who is five would sit with me sometimes during church, but eventually they made the decision to go to the chapel on base.

Their mother was sweet and tried to keep me informed about what the kids were doing and how they were.  In the last few months, I've gone to two of the kid's piano recitals and last Friday I went to probably the last one as they will soon be moving.  At the end of the recital, mama played the guitar and the five oldest kids sang Christmas songs.  They were great!  I took a little bit of video with my little point and shoot and I hope it will load here.

Nope, it won't load.  But I did take a picture while they were singing and got a family picture after the recital.  So here they are singing Christmas songs...on one song three of the kids sang one verse each as a solo.  They were really good.

 Before I had to leave, I got a family picture.  I pray God's richest blessings on this family.

Wherever they go next, I hope someone like me gets to be their substitute grandmother.  The blessing was all mine!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Between two celebrations!

Thanksgiving came and went so quickly!  I had just washed put the paper products in the garbage before I started flinging pictures off the walls getting ready for the painting to begin!  

Remember these samples I painted?  Well.......after three attempts to find a grey color I could live with and deciding that we really weren't red people.  We ended up with this...

Green.....I couldn't be happier.  It is so pretty and soothing and if all the pictures were hung back, I would be even happier.

OH, and if the house were decorated for Christmas....yea, that would help too...oh, and if presents were bought and wrapped and under that non existent tree....then I would be really happy!

We'll get there.....the painters still have a little bit more to be finished and actually Russell hung some pictures.  Three......and a mirror.  That's progress!

If you're wondering about this ...I've decided the quilt will look just fine in a green room.  Just fine.

I had the responsibility of keeping the two disobedient, badly behaved dogs out of the way so the painter could actually paint.  While he was painting in the living room, I kept the dogs in the kitchen area with the doors closed.  Below you can see that Jack didn't appreciate that one little bit.

The kitchen and all that area, we painted the same color it was.

When they're ALL finished and ALL the pictures are hung.....maybe we'll put up the Christmas tree!  I mean we do have grandchildren coming starting on the 16th!  Maybe I really should think about buying presents.

A word of advice......don't start a huge project before or between big celebrations!