Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A look back

I can't believe Wednesday is the last day of 2014.  The year has flown by!  I'm going to do something for the last day, that I've done for the last few years, which is to post a picture from the first day of each month with the first sentence from that post.

January
 I got this yummy recipe from my daughter Laura and made it for Christmas afternoon.


February
 This is a satellite image of Michigan on January 27.


March
 This is my Dad and stepmom with Alaina on Christmas. Dad's been having more heart trouble again.


April
 Spring has to be coming - the maple trees have been tapped!


May
I'm taking the back way into work, enjoying seeing everything in the early morning light.


June
 6:45 am, driving into work.


July
 Can you believe it's July already?


August
 Bob's been working on a carpentry project for his Mom.


September
 I've been going to this Labor Day picnic for as long as I remember and it's always at this charming park near my hometown.


October
 I tried a new recipe this week.


November
 This past weekend was my weekend to work, so I spent a lot of my Saturday there.


December
Dec 1 - I got up a little after 5am.

That's it - a glimpse of my life in 2014.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve

We had our family Christmas on Christmas Eve.  This was my year to work Christmas day, so it worked out well.  Aaron and Laura, Alaina and Ruby and  Andrew and Heather all came for the evening.
Disclaimer - my photos are terrible.  I was having trouble getting the camera to focus and didn't have time to fix it.  Sorry!

We started with supper - lots of appetizers and punch.  We had lots of leftovers!

After supper we skyped with Andy and Nikki in Kentucky.  We did our gift exchange with them via skype.  :)

Our kids had arranged a crazy gift exchange.  They exchanged names and had to buy something at a thrift store that had something to do with birds and it had to be something they could use.  As you can imagine, this gave a lot of laughs.

 Here's Laura with her crocheted turkey hat.


The gift Andrew got was probably the one that made us laugh the hardest, although it was also the most disturbing.  It's a turkey foot, attached to an antler to be used as a back scratcher.  Sice he came up with the rules for this exchange, he deserved this "gift".

 After that craziness, we opened our stockings.  Alaina loves Shaun the sheep.  These are claymation videos you can find on Youtube.  Bob carved a Shaun for her, and you can see by the smile on her face that she loved it.


 Ruby just snuggled and slept through it all.


 Here's another gift Alaina liked. I found this cute cat that purred and moved its head when you rubbed its back.  She was happy with it.


 I made a photo book for Aaron and Laura with pictures I've taken of Alaina over the past year.  It turned out really nice.


What kid doesn't like a box?  Alaina had fun riding in this box after the presents were opened.
It was a great evening with the people who are so dear to me!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas parties

Hope you all had a great Christmas!  Since I took a blog break, I have a little catching up to do.  I thought I would start with some family Christmas parties.
We had a gathering with Bob's family earlier this month.  Bob has 3 brothers and 2 sisters, so it's a pretty big group.  Almost everyone was able to make it though, except for a few grandsons who live out of state, and one sister-in-law who was sick.  Here's a few pictures.

 Bob's mom and stepdad.


 Alaina and Grandpa checking out a present.


 Laura playing a game, where you had to see how many marshmallows you could move into a cup using chopsticks.


 The kids had to see what they could make using marshmallows and toothpicks.  Bob's great niece made a net.


Alaina and Bob's great-nephew checking out the nativity.

The Saturday before Christmas my whole family came over for our Christmas party.

My Dad loves holding baby Ruby.

 
 We made a photo book for my Dad and stepmom filled with family pictures.


 We have a tradition of "Santa letters".  A few people get a letter from Santa if they had any questionable behavior.  This is my brother reading his letter. These letters always have the rest of us laughing.


 These two are new to the family this year.  My son-in-law to be is on the left, and my nieces boyfriend is on the right.  They got a combined letter from Santa telling them how blessed they were to be accepted by the family and warning them to behave - and treat their mother-in-laws well or they would hear from Santa next year.  :)


My niece Arianna having fun with Alaina and Ruby.

Christmas season is so busy, but it sure is nice to spend time with family!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh, Christmas tree...

Today I thought I would share some of the special ornaments on our tree.

We have several of Bob's carved Santa's.  I enjoy them every year!


This little bell was made by one of my residents before she came to the nursing home.  It's got such fine details and is so pretty.


This ornament always makes us laugh.  The first time I met Bob's mom and sisters they were working on things for a charity sale.  They were making several of these ornaments and we all thought they were quite ugly.  They got the last laugh when they gave me one for Christmas.  That was about 35 years ago.  It still hangs on our tree (in the back) and brings back fun memories.


Laura made this in Sunday School when she was 6.  It's simple, but tells the real reason for the season!


These bells were on our wedding cake.  I had read a tip at the time to save them and hang them on your tree.  33 years later, we still do that!

 This little angel was made by Andy when he was 5.  It's getting a little worn with age, but I enjoy it.


This ornament was made by my sister-in-law.  She did one for each of the kids.  She passed away 9 years ago of breast cancer, so this is another treasure.

Thanks for looking at my special ornaments.  I'm going to take a little blogging break now.  Like many of you, I'm really busy right now and can use the extra time here.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas.  Remember what it's all about, and keep Christ in your Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas in our home


Welcome to our home! I thought I would show you some of the Christmas decorations at our place.
This sign sits in an old milk can next to our garage entry.  The milk can is an old one from the farm I grew up on,


 Here's our card holder.  I love this time of year when the mailbox holds more than bills and junk mail. :)


This kissing ball hangs over our dining room table.  It was a gift from a former resident who came in for rehabilitation and went back home. 


This is our dining room wall.  I have a big vase in the corner with branches in it.  I always hang these little silver balls on the branches at Christmas.

 I've shown this piece before.  It is always on my table, and I change it out for every season.


 I love snowmen!  My sister Terri painted this collection for me quite a few years ago and I enjoy them every year.


 This nativity set is another treasure.  Our daughter Laura made it when she was about 16.  I love the little animals she included.


This is one of Bob's carved Santa's sitting on the bookshelf.

 This little candy holder always makes me smile.  Not only is it cute, but it comes with good memories. The man who gave it to me was the husband of a resident that I really loved.  After she passed away, he also came to the nursing home.  He was a prankster and loved to tease me.  He passed away about 2 years ago,  but I think of him often.


My daughter Laura made this swag for me a few years ago.


Here's our tree.  This year I added the burlap garland to it.  I usually make a few changes every year.
We don't have a fireplace so our stockings hang on a shelf.  The stockings are all the same, but the initials  tell whose it is.


 This nativity set is in our downstairs family room.  It was new to us last year, but has been used by Bob's family since he was young.  When his Mom downsized and moved into an independent living place last year, we inherited it.   I love pieces like this with sentimental value.


This tree is in the family room downstairs.  It's just a simple, little tree but it adds some Christmas charm to the room.
That's it for today - hope you enjoyed the tour!