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Monday, January 29, 2018


Bring on a new year!
Hmmm....no resolutions for me!  But my goal this year is to let my hair go to its normal color.  I have just been getting very curious what is under all the color.  I want to see if I even like it or not.  Worse case is that I don't like it and end up coloring over it all again.
January is a full month of birthdays, Johnjohn turned 42!  Yep, and Emily turned 19!  Why not admit I am getting older when my kids and grandkids are at the age I feel I am?
John, my Dad and Ariel all had birthdays too.

Bazzel is aging too.  He spends most of his time sleeping, but still brings in a mouse or bird now and then.  Last summer, he brought in a humming bird, and ate it completely right there on the spot!  wings, beak, feathers, feet.  I felt awful!  A week later,  there was another dead hummer!  I have no idea how he is able to catch them!
I started sewing lessons for Arianna.  She took to it as if she has been doing it all of her 5 years of life!  Unbelievable how she knew just how to work the foot pedal and ease on the machine to start sewing.  She threaded the needle like a pro! The whole time the machine is running, she has a little giggle going.
Once Arianna got home with her first project, a pillow, Josiah thought he should learn to sew too.  So of course we had a class for him then too.  He went right for it, just like Arianna and amazed me how fast he knew what to do.  I think that driving the little cars I bought them helped them know how to work that foot pedal.
Second week was a tic tac toe board, with buttons as playing pieces.
 They pinned and measured and sewed the lines, with a little velcroed pocket for storing the buttons.
 Lina got into the sewing mode to, but took a little more help than the other two.
 We will keep on with the classes as long as they want to keep on sewing.
I have been busy knitting in the evenings.  I made a hat with garbage trucks on it for Josiah and a sweater for Arianna.  I just now started one for Lina.  I will post the sweaters next month.
Bonnie was out for a visit.  Always with camera in tow, but once again, the mountain was behind clouds.  In the two+ years we have lived here, she has never seen the mountain from my house!

The month started out with some pretty crazy skies.  Beautiful sunrises, sunsets and weird clouds.  But it has ended with clouds and we have barely even seen the mountain the past couple of weeks.

We had some really rare clouds one day.  They made the news on TV and everyone had pictures of them on Facebook.  Asperitas Clouds.  They are one of 5 newly named types clouds

I can't believe I have the month posted before the month is over!
We are looking forward to heading south to Winnetka for Gabe's birthday next week. We are going to take the train along the coast route this time.  My parents are going with us.  We have a sleeper car as it takes 33 hours to get there!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

December, always a busy month, full of traditions and family and memories to be made!

The leaves were gone and a new color came to the canyon.
I started my usual 'get the decorations up and cookies baked' routine.  I made little boxes of cookies and froze them to be ready to give to the neighbors and friends and family.  I also made each of the grandkids that were coming to Christmas Eve dinner, their very own favorite pie, it was a mini pie.  They thought that was pretty fun.  Lina request a cherry pie...she has NEVER had cherry pie, but she insisted it was her very favorite.  I guess she saw it on some show.  Anyway, she loved it and now maybe she really can say it is her very favorite.

It is always fun to see my old decorations and have the memories that go along with them.  
I put a tiny tree up in almost every room.  The guest bathroom had a seashell theme, the toy room, guest room and my bedroom were all decorated and ready for company.
John put the outdoor lights up, that is his territory.
Last year, Arianna re-arranged my Nativity scene to make all the figures circle around Baby Jesus.  "Everyone wants to get a look at Him" she said.  I thought it was so cute, but set it up all spread out again this year, just to see what she would do.  She didn't disappoint!  As soon as they walked in, she immediately went over to the table and rounded them all up, so everyone could see.  She gets it!  She knows that Jesus is the center of our Christmas. 
We attended two Christmas programs, one with Arianna and one with Josiah performing.  They did great, even though they had missed most of the practices at school while they were gone to the Dominican Republic.
 And we could not diminish Lina's 3rd birthday.  I took them shopping for her gift.  She knew exactly which baby she wanted and was not about to be swayed, I even tried getting her to buy two babies but this one was all she wanted.  Afterwards we went to Mexican food together.
 Her party was a ballet theme with another cake made by Great Grandma.
I just cracked up one evening as we watched a show on PBS called 'Cats'.  Bazzel really paid attention!
We took the kids to see 'The Star'.  I think it is my very favorite Christmas movie now.  I never buy movies, but I am going to get this one to always have.  I love how it told the story of Jesus birth, and it wasn't just a cartoon, it had solid a Christian message of sin and forgiveness, the reason we were given such a special gift. We all loved it!
 we had to play on the toys while we waited to get in...
The kids stayed the night and I braided the girls hair into crowns.  While we ate popcorn that we popped over the fire, Josiah found a piece of  that looked like a face.  When we played Jenga, he decided he had a better idea for the little blocks of wood. The green lights are their new shoes that their parents bought them.  They change all colors and flash.
The holidays always means a few extra gatherings of friends and families.  Here are a few of those.  I didn't get them all photographed, next year I will try harder.
We had a special treat waking up on Christmas Eve to a little bit of snow. 
(the picture below was taken by Ariel)

 The snow was topped off with a little ice.

 Here are some shots from my parent's place on Christmas Day.  I just realized I used the tractor in both collages.

I bought an espresso machine when we first moved here.  There is a perfect little nook to put it in.  But it was missing a grinder all this time.  I thought I didn't really need one.  But the grinders at the store have not been very dependable and I have had to come home and re-grind my beans every time for a few months now.  It is messy and takes forever with my tiny little grinder. John went online and ordered me a really awesome one.  Of course I saw it in my shopping cart on Amazon, when it arrived, I put it in his chair and told him he needed to wrap it up and put it under the tree.  Instead, he unwrapped it and put it on my counter.  So I started using it early.  I am so happy with it!  I can't believe I managed my espresso without it.  I got John a vacuum cleaner.  Really!  When he retired, he insisted on having a chore, I gave him the vacuuming.  The vacuum cleaner was getting to be a struggle to use.  So he got a new one.  hahaha ok, so I did get him a couple of little things along with it.
Once again, I am so grateful to live in this era of internet.  We were able to see the California grandkids open their gifts and they watched us open ours.  It is so 'future-world'.   I remember when I was in grade school seeing movies on how the world would be someday.  We watched 'The Jetsons"  and saw them talking on TVs to each other instead of phones and thought it was only imaginary.  And now, here we are.  It really helps make it bearable to have Dennis, Abby and Gabe and Daniel away at the holidays.  But I would rather have had them here!
Afternoon brought John and Jessi  with their families. 
Ariel brought me flowers.

 We started out with gifts...
 and then had a really relaxed dinner together.
ending up with their very own pies...
and the traditional birthday cake for Jesus.  
 This year, it almost caught on fire!
 This year, since Josh turned 16 in November, we are taking the kids to Florida for their gift.  All of their presents were hints of where we were going to go.  I gave them a list of ideas and they are in the process of picking what we will do while we are there.  We won't be going until August, so we have plenty of time to figure it out.
Christmas Day, we started out with a brunch.  Everyone had stayed the night and the party from the night before continued on.  We ended up at my Parent's in the afternoon for dinner and gifts.

The Christmas snow melted off and turned the river from crystal clear to super high and muddy as it melted off.
The fog in the canyon was so gorgeous this day as it lifted off.
 The mountain has shown off the new snow

 We had a weird sunrise one morning, it reminded me of the smokey skies from the fires last September.
  the fog keeps amazing me
I will end the month, and the year, with this shot I took of the mountain last night as I went to bed.  The full moon was so bright, I could not go to sleep without a photo of it.  So I got up, tip-toed downstairs, set my camera up on the tripod and snuck outside into the freezing cold to shoot. That golden glow in the canyon has me baffled.  There is nothing down there.  I am guessing it is a reflection of the moon off of the fog.
And so another year is over.  I read things other people post about what they accomplished this past year, and it makes me wonder what exactly I did.  It was a good year.  It was a busy year.  I watched my grandkids grow. I watched my dear sweet Irene as she left this world.  I miss her.  We are so thankful that we made sure and saw Bobby on our trip to California for Gabe and Daniel's birthdays, we had no idea that two months later, he would be gone.  It was another reminder to not put things off.  To make the most of our time. I watched Emily graduate, go away alone for 3 months on a mission trip and get her first job when she arrived home.  In the period of just a couple of months, all three of my kids faced a cancer threat, Dennis even had to have surgery before we knew for sure he was cancer free. Josh got his license. I am passed the 3 year mark since I had cancer.  Maybe I am not able to say "I did ___", but I can say I was blessed with another full year to be a part of each of the lives of my kids and grandkids.  That my parents are alive and healthy and my sisters live close-by.  For all that is, I am grateful and hope that in the year to come, I will use each day, each minute, each opportunity completely.