Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Year Gone By...

2015... another year, come and gone. It has been a good year filled with big and not-so-big events. What is most amazing is how quickly it will merge together into the large blur that we call "the past". It seems sad that many of the little moments will be forgotten, but we must take comfort in the fact that it is all those little moments that make us who we are and culminate in the life we now live.

Time is such a peculiar thing... our clocks measure it in precise intervals but our experiences deny that fact... for minutes, even seconds can stretch into a seeming eternity, while whole years can vanish with hardly a distinct memory at all! How can it be that I am fast coming up on 60 years of life and four decades of marriage... yet I also remember nights with sleepless babies that I thought would never end.

As a task-oriented person, I tend to summarize the year in terms of projects completed, goals attained, and in general, items crossed off my "to do" list. Even now I am quite pleased to have all the year-end bookkeeping done and my 2015 photo yearbook complete and delivered. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to capture the above reminder at the home of a friend. I have in fact lived long enough to know the truth of that statement.

... and now I can cross one more thing off my "to do" list... a year end blog post!

Happy New Year and Blessings in 2016!

Friday, November 27, 2015


Welcome... please come in and share a bit of Thanksgiving with us!

The sentiment lettered on our kitchen wall is most fitting for our Thanksgiving celebration, but it is also a reminder of what we choose to do every day all year long.

I typically decorate our home seasonally rather than for particular holidays and I love to decorate the house for fall. I think it is my favorite season. I love the fall colors and they work well with my "year round" house colors of browns, greens, yellow and a bit of burgundy. I do have a few distinctly "Thanksgiving" decorations that I bring out just prior to our celebration. One of my favorites is this set of white porcelain pilgrim children. It was a gift from Bob's parents probably 20 years ago. It's simplicity seems to embody the spirit of the Pilgrims.
These "recycled sweater pumpkins" were a project that Naomi and I did this year. She found the instructions while browsing on Pinterest and we picked up a couple of sweaters from a thrift store.
Our floor plan allows us to set a long banquet style table that extends into our living room. Thanksgiving is the one meal we try to sit down together to share. Most often our gatherings are casual and often enjoyed outdoors. Below is a view of our table from both ends.
Naomi created cute, simple silverware and napkin "pockets" to put at each place; and we decorated the tables with colored leaves from our yard.
And finally, the most important part of the day: family, friends and good food!
Jordan carved up the whole 24 lb turkey. Thanks, Jordan!
Melody and Leslie tossing the salads.
Naomi, who always loves a costume opportunity, chose to dress in a Native American inspired outfit with her suede skirt, shawl and braids with feathers.
This little guy was the youngest guest and was celebrating his first Thanksgiving.
Angela and "most" of her family.
(There were 3 little cousins that didn't make it into many of my photos as they were on the go most of the time!)
Mr.O and his mom had made turkey hats for all the cousins.Here, Miss M. is modeling hers.
Here is the missing member of Angela's family! On the floor, driving a truck of course!
Peter graced us with guitar music while we did the final food prep.
This little sweetie was hanging out in the kitchen with the gals!

Lucas, wielding a turkey prong!
Bob, overseeing the whole operation!
Here is another one of those elusive grandsons!
I grabbed a quick photo of the island once all the food was ready, but before we dug in. I did miss the whole side counter, which is where the turkey, potatoes and gravy were.
We have so many amazing cooks! The menu included turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberries, two different sweet potato dishes (one sweet and one savory), stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, a gelatin salad, two amazing green salads, rolls and kimchi (Korean fermented vegetables).
We were 19 around the table, which included 2 in high chairs and one in an infant seat. We were missing Timothy and Jessica, but were glad that they were celebrating with Jessica's brother and wife in New Mexico.
Desserts included pumpkin cheesecake, cranberry apple pie, cake and fudge!
By the end of the evening the little ones were at the end of their rope. This little guy was being consoled by his Aunt Becky.

Thanks for dropping by!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Too Cute....

 So... the other day I had a few of the grand kids for the day while their moms where out having a "girls outing". The kids got hold of some calculators we had in our school room... and these are the pictures I snapped. They were all busy "texting" and "calling" one another!

 Lest anyone think these kids spend their days on electronic devices, I will say in their defense they had already spent most of the day building with Lincoln Logs, creating elaborate train set-ups, coloring, doing puzzles and playing outdoors!

Little Sweeties!!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ballroom Dancing...

Ballroom dancing is a newer activity in our household; newer in the sense that only our youngest two have gotten involved in it. Lucas was introduced to it by friends, and it quickly became a passion.

Lucas has moved up to the level of Junior Dance Instructor this year and Naomi has just started as a first year student.
Naomi, on her way to her first class.
Lucas in his formal attire. His dance shoes have a special sole that he doesn't wear out of doors, hence the sneakers with his tux!
Lucas, in position, ready to dance!
Here is a video with Lucas and his partner dancing a Night Club Two Step routine:
(bear with the first few seconds of commotion!)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Classic Cars, Glenn Miller music and Swing Dancing...

This past Sunday we attended a Classic Car show up at Lake Sonoma. Lucas was part of a small group of dancers from the Nordquist Dance Studio that had been invited to dance at the event.

I can't say I am a big fan of vintage cars, but there were many beautifully restored vehicles representing the years 1900 to 1954. Car owners were in appropriate vintage attire, and the entertainment included Big Band era music and our Swing Dancers in costume also!

It was a gorgeous fall day with the temperature reaching the upper 80s - a little warm for our dancers!
 Lucas is on the right with his dance partner.
The musicians.
 The dancers!
 A few of the vehicles.
A cute vintage trailer, fully restored and decorated with authentic decor!
Lucas and Naomi.
Lucas chose this vehicle for a photo!

Monday, September 14, 2015


 Our apple tree didn't produce a huge crop this year, due in part to general neglect! The tree didn't get very much water nor did the fruit get thinned at all. Nonetheless, we did get a number of apples. This photo was taken after we had already used several batches so doesn't represent the total.

Naomi has done most of the processing of them. We have done a couple batches of applesauce as well as having a couple of apple desserts. Most recently she has taken to making "bite-sized apple fritters" and they are so good! She got the recipe from Becky who also makes very yummy apple fritters.

We will be bringing the recipe with us on our next visit to Canada!


 So Delicious!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Family Camping... Finale

The campground where we were camping has a full mile of beach on the Russian River. We had looked forward to some water play, but arrived to find warnings about toxic blue-green algae present in the river. We chose to skip swimming, but enjoyed a day of kayaking on the river.

The little folks had their water fun in the campground with buckets of water and dollar store water squirters!
Lucas in the kayak...
Naomi in the kayak...
Naomi couldn't resist at least wading in the river!
Melody in the kayak...
Bob, after returning to the beach...
This little guy got to go kayaking with his dad!
Finally... I had to include this photo of the youngest camper, taking his nap in our trailer!
And one photo (thanks to Miss M), that documents that I was actually there too!
And lastly... Grandpa hitching up the trailer, with Mr. O's help, ready to pull out...until next year!
Farewell Summer!