Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back In The Saddle

Now that Christmas is over and the decorations are all packed away until next Dec. it is time to get back in the swing of things and start creating again.
Been working on some more soldering and have these pieces all ready to solder. I had originally planned on just making up about four pendants but I kind of got on a roll and just kept going! I love it when my creative juices get rev'd up and there is no stopping.

About 3 years ago I purchased a cute lamp while up in WA visiting my daughter. We were out shopping and stopped at this darling home decor store near her home when I spotted this polka dot lamp. I just had to have it. I had no idea where I was going to put it, but since it was my colors and so unusual, I couldn't pass it up. The problem was that I misplaced the base of the lamp and have not been able to find it since. While cleaning out my back closets I happened upon it. Yippee!!! I had a spot waiting for it in my studio next to the bunk beds.
I think I must have a "thing" for fun black and white lamps cause I found another one last spring when out shopping with Jami. Again, this lamp sat on a shelf waiting for just the right spot for several months. After taking down all the holiday decor I realized that it would look great on the table behind my sectional. So I changed some things around and presto-chango, a new look!

I moved this sweet little lamp to my entry chest and I love it there. It provides a warm, soft lighting as you enter our home.

It was also time to do some rearranging in my wall openings. Looking at these pictures I realize that you aren't able to see that my walls are a light green. Well, they are. And that helps to make the black and red items pop.
Decided that my dining room table needed some flash for these winter months, even though it is in the high 70's here!!! So I brought out the silver, crystal and red to glam it up a bit.
Today we spent the late morning and early afternoon celebrating the life of our dear friend, Herb Betcher, who lived with his wife, Millie, a few houses down from ours here in Trilogy. Herb was 79 yrs. old and died suddenly a couple weeks ago. Frank had the honor of eulogizing Herb today at the service and did a wonderful job. We are all going to miss him terribly as he was a man who lived life to the fullest, with a wide smile, a kind heart and an enthusiastic attitude towards life.

As one life is taken another one is given......our Jami is in sparatic labor right now and will probably give birth any day. We really thought it was going to be last night since she was have strong contractions for several hours...but then little Sofia must have decided that she liked her little warm cocoon and didn't want to leave just yet, much to Jami's disgust. So we will see what tonight brings. I will lay out my clothes, toothbrush and comb just in case!
Now it is time to log off and curl up in my favorite chair to read my new Somerset Studio Artful Blogging magazine. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up some tips to improve my blog.
Good Night!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Less Than 24 Hours Left

We are so sad that we will be saying good bye to our family tomorrow. Theses past nine days have gone by so quickly. We have had so much fun with them and Hanna is really going to miss them. On Christmas Eve we went to church for the noon service and than the kids played on all the special activities that were provided. They loved the bounce houses and bounce slide.
Here they are taking a ride in the horse drawn wagon around the church. As you can see the weather was perfect.
But their favorite was playing in the snow. Well, they liked the frosted cookies a lot too!
Then it was on to Jami and Mike's house for Christmas Eve dinner......but first, a dip in the hot tub with Papa and Hanna's friend Cade Mullane.
I gave them the coolest thing on Christmas Eve. They were rubber teeth that twinkle colored lights in their mouths. They were a real hit.
Chef Mike, in his Swedish apron, prepared a roasted goose, Swedish Meatballs and a delicious Swedish potato dish. The night before he and Jami had rolled 80 meatballs! On Christmas Eve Jami was having a lot of contractions. By the middle of the night she got up and took a shower because she thought for sure she was going to have her baby........but the contractions stopped later in the night!
Jami's tree looked so pretty with the pile of presents surrounding it.
The kids loved opening their stockings. They had put out cookies for Santa the night before and he ate all of them!! They weren't sure if they had heard him and his bells during the night or not.
Santa brought Hanna ALL princess gifts. She was in heaven.
But Cade's best gift of all was his Batman suit from Gram. The wings retract with the pull of a strap and then expand out several feet when he pulls the gold cord. Very cool!
Papa's favorite was Cade's Buzz Lightyear and Woody!
These are the canvas art pictures that I made for the girls Both the pictures have some glitter around the edges of the picture that is hard to see in these photos.

These pictures came out great. They were kind of an experiment but I am really pleased with the outcome. I hope to be able to do some special orders for people of their children.
I spent several hours at Jami and Mike's home this morning helping them take down their Christmas decorations and putting up some new items around their house. This is their diningroom display that I did for them. These were some of their Christmas presents.
So now we are winding down with the kids. We will all go to In And Out Burger for dinner tonight. Then it's time to start packing them up to head home and for me to get all my Christmas decorations down and put away. We are anxiously awaiting Sofia's arrival. Can hardly wait to rock a new infant again. This has been a great holiday and we look forward to 2009 bringing us good health, lots of family time and continued spiritual growth.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On Our Way To The North Pole!!

On Sunday, December 20th we loaded up the whole family, along with the Mullane family, and headed off to Williams in northern AZ (3 1/2 hr. away) for an overnight stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Lodge and a ride to the north pole on the Polar Express train. The kids were excited and knew that we would all be seeing Santa that evening.

Frank and I had made these reservations almost a whole year ago as it sells out in the first 6 weeks of the year. The trip up was beautiful with several inches of new snow along the way.

After checking into the lodge we hit the indoor pool for some swim time. This was a treat for the kids since it is too cold to heat our pool in the winter.

Time to start the fun!!!

Cole was having so much fun he just had to dance on the bed!!!Then it was time to put on the PJ's and head over to the restaurant for the big Polar Express dinner buffet. But first, a quick stop to play in the snow on the way. Brrrrr....

Oh, and of course we had to stop at the gift shop! Never know what you might find there!!

Even though there was ham, turkey, dressing, gravy, corn, etc. the chicken nuggests and macaroni and cheese were the kids number one choice for dinner.

After dinner it was time to head to the train with 2,000 other passengers!

After boarding the train the elves and chef brought everyone hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. That was a big hit with all of us.

As the train sped towards the north pole we all followed along in our books (which had been signed by Mrs. Claus and one of her Elves earlier in the evening when the kids were playing in Santa's Village) as the story of the Polar Express was read to everyone.

Here we are making lasting memories.

Suddenly the train started to slow down, faces were pressed again the train windows as eyes were drawn towards a brightly lit north pole town. Right there in front of us stood Santa in his enormous sleigh, waving to all the passengers on the train. His bag was absolutely jam packed with gifts and was large that it almost couldn't fit in his sleigh. One of his elves was standing next to Santa's bag with a long, long list of all the children's names, checking them off one by one. Santa's reindeers were harnessed up and ready to fly. How will they ever get that heavy laden sleigh off the ground???
A few minutes later the door to our train opened up and who should appear but Santa himself!

Santa stopped at each person's seat and gave all the children a big silver bell.As he was leaving our train we all sang Jingle Bells as the kids rang their bells. It was all so much fun and very exciting when Santa came to each one of us to wish us a Merry Christmas!

Here are some pictures of one of the evenings when we drove to Mesa to walk through a street that is filled with lights, music, decorations and a Bethleham walk.

Jami was a real trooper....over 8 months pregnant and still participating in all of the activities.

The cousins were so happy to be together again. They made a beeline for Hanna's toy-filled playroom.

We all met Bre, Kyle and the boys at the airport the afternoon of Dec. 18th. Luckily, they were able to get out on time just hours before the second snow storm hit the Seattle/Tacoma area. They drove in snow flurries to get to the airport at 5:30 in the morning.

Finally, together again!!
We are now gearing up for a big Christmas Eve tomorrow. It will start at noon when we go to church and then let the kids play at the church's Christmas playground. They will be able to sled down the snow hill, eat treats, jump in the bounce houses and pet the animals in the zoo. Our family will enjoy not only ham and asparagus but Mike and his mom will prepare a Swedish meal too. Christmas morning will be spent at Jami and Mike's home. It is a special time for us and we so enjoy having our family together. My mom will be joining us this year too. The grandkids are at a great age for really understanding the whole reason for the season and will celebrate Jesus' birthday with a small cake first thing Christmas morning. Hanna, our 4 yr. old granddaughter, told me that Christmas morning will go like this: first sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat cake, open our stocking, eat some breakfast, "watch a little Noggin" and then open our Christmas presents!!! We'll see if she remembers to watch Noggin!!! I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope that you will be able to celebrate it with your family and loved ones. We are extremely thankful for all the wonderful blessings that we have enjoyed this past year as I'm sure all of you are. We are anxiously awaiting our fourth and final grandchild (Sofia) any day now. Jami is experiencing contractions, but nothing real regular yet. We will let you know as soon as she makes her appearance. Meanwhile, CHEERS to everyone!