Monday, November 30, 2015

November 29, 2015

Sunday of Thankfulness
November 29, 2015

One of the new rose bushes I planted.
Our Sunday School class was very well attended with a packed crowd.  Church attendance was a little low.  Many people were traveling and it was a cold, wet day.  Closing out the Thanksgiving weekend, our pastor focused on being thankful.  He shared about his Thanksgiving weekend and the thankfulness of having his children and grandchildren all together.  Then he asked for comments from those in the congregation about what they are thankful for this year.  There were some wonderful things shared.
Morning mist on the hibiscus
Often when an occasion like that arises, I hesitate to participate, fearing I might not have understood exactly what the request was.  Yesterday  instead of speaking, I sat there thinking about what I had to be thankful for, and the list was pretty long.  Some I could have shared, but others could not be shared, although they are things that I am very thankful for.  I think God had the people share that He wanted to share.  One man who is new to our church and lives alone was thankful that a staff member included him in his family's celebrations.  One was thankful for a transplant that saved his son's life.  Another was for a wife's eye sight having been restored after she had gone blind.  There were huge things and smaller things that people were thankful for and it was good to be reminded that all matter to God.
New flower bed of fern
The pastor asked us to think about where we had seen God moving in a situation during the last year.  Those responses were also heartwarming.  God is good and I love testimony services.  There are two things I especially love about testimony services.  One is that it helps us to get to know others better.  The other is that if we are at a low point in our lives we are reminded that God is still working and that we may just need to be patient as we wait for God's will to be worked in our situation.
Most of new roses planted are pink
After church and a business meeting, Ron and I went home to eat some of the Thanksgiving leftovers.  They were just as good as the first time around.  Ron napped during the afternoon and later went to the office to take care of some paperwork for the lady who takes care of his mom.  I spent three hours working in the yard, digging a new flowerbed for some miniature rose bushes we bought a couple of weeks ago.  I know they are rather close together, but I doubt all will make it.  Some are not rooted real well.  I need to enlarge the bed but ran out of strength and daylight.
New flower bed for roses
In the yard, I also planted some fern in the flower bed where my chrysanthemum plants died.  I hope the fern does better.  I raised the bed an inch or so hoping that will make a difference.  It has been so wet this year, that the flower bed was staying too damp I think.  I planted the roses in the highest part of the yard.  Years ago when our boys were young, we had a dirt pile in that area where they played for years.  We would use dirt from the pile when needed, but now there is just a slight rise in that area of the yard.  We will see how the roses do there.
Hibiscus plants in full bloom
After I hauled a couple of loads of yard debris to the trash pile, put away my tools, and locked up, I went in the house, cleaned up and collapsed into my recliner.  After eating supper I did a little cleaning in the sewing room and still have much to do after Saturday with the girls sewing in there.
 Red roses still to be planted

Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 28, 2015

Youngest Granddaughter's Birthday
November 28, 2015

Ready to decorate the tree 
After staying up with two of our granddaughters until the wee hours of the morning, I expected them to sleep late on a rainy Saturday morning.  Silly me!  I woke up about 7:00 and read in bed until my husband let me know the girls were awake at about 8:00.  He ventured out in the rain for donuts and milk.  He had already been out in the rain for Christmas tree lights to replace a non-working strand on the Christmas tree in the sewing room. 
This is a chain from satin ribbons that come on some 
of the fabric I purchase from one particular vendor.
We had a yummy breakfast and the girls were ready to return to the sewing machines.  They continued making Christmas tree ornaments.  The oldest of Jeff's girls usually is less interested in the sewing than her next youngest sister, but this time it was the opposite.  They each made several ornaments and had fun experimenting.
 Tree decorating in progress
During the morning the girls decorated the sewing room Christmas tree and worked on getting all the ornaments they had made, placed on the tree until time for them to go home.  They took their ornaments home with them and I think I need to make a few to add to the tree.  The ones they made really looked nice on the tree.
Good helper
We took a break for a lunch of turkey, apple salad, and peaches.  They again passed on the dressing and forgot about the pie in their eagerness to return to sewing. 
This ornament says, "merry Christmas 2015"

The younger of the two and I made a birthday cake for their dad whose birthday was the previous day.  Saturday was their youngest sister's birthday and their mom was making cake balls and cupcakes for that event.  The birthday party had been canceled due to some illnesses.
Where to put the ornaments...
After the cake came out of the oven, I took a short nap on the couch while the sewing continued.  Then I got up and frosted the angel food cake. 
Our son Jeff who had a birthday Friday and 
his daughter who had a birthday Saturday
About 5:45, we left to take the girls back home and had a very cold, misty drive up the valley.  When we arrived, our daughter-in-law had just returned with bags of Chick-fil-A for supper and we all enjoyed the meal before time to have cake and open gifts.
The entry area at our son's home

Our granddaughter was delighted that she got what she wanted, a pink toy rifle.  Actually it is a toy shotgun, but she was delighted and her brothers were jealous since hers was longer than theirs.
Big brother comparing sizes

Saturday, November 28, 2015

November 27, 2015

FUN With Two of Our Granddaughters
November 27, 2015

A fabric Christmas ornament I made last night
 for the Christmas tree in the sewing room

This morning I went in to the office a little late.  Ron had a job scheduled for right after lunch, so I did not arrive until a little after noon.  It was very slow at the office since people who had money to spend were at the malls for Black Friday Sales.
Another ornament I made; the rest 
of the ornaments were made by the girls
We closed a little early to drive to Harlingen about 30 miles away to meet our son and his family to pick up his oldest two girls to come spend the night.  It was our son's birthday so it was good to be able to wish him a happy birthday in person.  He and his wife were not feeling well so we did not visit for long. 

When we got home with the girls, I fixed leftovers for supper.  The girls were delighted to have turkey and sweet potatoes.  I added corn to the choices.  We had dressing and rolls and apple salad.  It was just as good the second time around.

As soon as we cleared the table after supper, we headed to the sewing machines.  I had made some Christmas ornaments from fabric the previous evening so the girls tried their hands at making some.  They made several and had a great time doing so.

The oldest of the girls and I set up the sewing room Christmas tree, but could not do much more with it since one string of lights need to be replaced. 

 It was 2:30 before we turned the sewing machines off and I was able to get them down for the night.  We have had a great time. 
 The sewing room is a disaster.  

Digging for the Christmas fabrics took a while and the sewing table is buried, but I am so delighted that they love to sew and come with amazing ideas. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

November 26, 2015

The Best Thanksgiving Day
In a Long Time
November 26, 2015

Our 18 pound turkey!
There is nothing I can put my finger on as to why this Thanksgiving was so good.  None of our kids were here with us, but I was just overwhelmed with how much we have to be thankful for this year.  Both my mom and Ron's mom were here and that is a lot to be thankful for.  They are both in pretty good health for being past 90.  By the end of the day I was totally exhausted, but it was all worth it. 
 My sister's beautiful centerpiece
The day started out drippy, but by late afternoon, but clouds were breaking up and the late afternoon was beautiful.  It had rained hard while we were on our way to Ron's mom's for lunch, but let up when we were carrying things into the house.
My grandmother's apple salad that was served at both lunch and supper.

Maybe one reason it was so good is that even though our kids were not with us, they were each having a good Thanksgiving where they were.  David and Diana are on a cruise celebrating their 11th anniversary.  They did that last year for their 10th and enjoyed it so much they quickly booked again for this year.  I know they are enjoying their time away from their busy schedules.

Bob and Vickey had a house filled with guests for Thanksgiving and that makes me happy and proud of them.  Several people from Bob's office were there as well as a neighbor with her children.  They love to have people into their home and share their joy with others.  They would love to be with family, but instead of sitting home alone, they fill the house with laughter and joy with special people in their lives.

Jeff and Barbara alwalys spend Thanksgiving with Barb's family.  That is fine, because I get them for Christmas every year.  That is a great arrangement for me.  I love that they work to include all of both families as often as they can.

Stephen and Kristina had plans to have their Thanksgiving feast with her family and again, that is fine.  They plan to be here for Christmas.  I know they have much to be thankful for this year and probably had a great celebration.  I shared texts with them yesterday, but have not had a report of their actual day yet.  Since Stephen works in retail, he needs to be at work today.  Thankfully Kristina has been off all week and that has been good for her.

We are delighted that almost all of the kids can be here at Christmas.  Bob and Vickey won't be able to come this year since they will be moving to a different house about that time.  They will be packing or moving during the Christmas holidays.  We are thankful we were able to visit them this fall.
My mom's three son-in-laws.  They have fun together.
Ron's mother is alone and doesn't like to leave her house, so I fixed Thanksgiving lunch to take to her house.  I made a mistake when I bought a turkey breast for that meal.  I ended up with a Butterball turkey breast Cajun Style!  I never knew they had more than one type and didn't look.  Ron's mother and Ron were delighted with my mistake!  They both love spicy.  His mother told me I could keep making that mistake.  I think God had a hand in that.  All of the food turned out just perfect.  It was probably the best Thanksgiving meal I have prepared in a long time. 

When we arrived at Ron's mom's house, she did not look good and said she just didn't feel good; she was very weak.  By the time she ate several helpings of everything, she had really perked up.  I left all the leftovers with her so she can have a few more servings of all that good stuff.  We had a very good visit and it was good to be with her.
The kitchen crew.  My sister Janet, Mom, and me.
Back at home, I finished the preparations for the turkey and dressing to take to my mom's house for supper.  My sister, Janet did the rest of the food and some beautiful decorating.  She is so creative!  We had another very delicious meal with a fun bunch.  Mom, my sister Janet and her husband Joe Bob were there and my brother-in-law Jim from Idaho was there.  Ron and I enjoyed their company to wrap up a great day.  Joe Bob carved the turkey, but he said it was difficult because it was so tender it kept falling apart.  It was great, as were all the other dishes. 
Joe Bob carving the turkey
Speaking of dishes, Ron washed the dishes at his mom's house, but I left the supper dishes for my sister and we headed home to relax.  I was able to talk to our daughter-in-law, Vickey, before I headed to an early bedtime.  Everyone at supper had talked to Bob except me since I didn't have my amplified phone at Mom's.  It was a great day!

November 24 & 25, 2015

It's Beginning to Smell a
 Lot Like Thanksgiving
November 24 & 25, 2015

Yesterday, was cool and beautiful as the day started.  By late in the day it was getting warm.  My day started with an 8:15 appointment at the heart doctor's office.  It was about 9:15 when I left and he said all was well and to come back in 6 months.  Before going to our office, I went to Staples to get some office supplies.  Our local store have been cut in half and apparently they will be renting out the other half of their building.

It was later than usual when I got to the office.  I unloaded the supplies I had bought and then spent the day working on a couple of projects.  Ron was in the office most of the day.  He was waiting for UPS to deliver parts for several jobs and they did not come until about 4:00.  Usually they are there no later than 2 and often earlier.

During the afternoon I cut out some pieces for a quilt in progress.  After work I went by my mom's house and visited for a while.  I updated her on our boys and their activities.  Jim had been out running errands and when he came in Mom invited me to join all of them for supper (including my napping sister).  I declined the offer since I had grocery shopping I needed to do.  Mom had a pre-Christmas gift for me before I left - Santa in a hot air balloon.

The grocery store I went to was packed and as usual, children were running up and down the aisles which made shopping difficult.  I could not find my shopping list until I went to check out, and then found it.  I had forgotten a few things on it so I had to go back Wednesday.  At home I put away the groceries and fixed my supper since Ron was at his mom's for supper.

Later in the evening I was able to have a good talk with our youngest son on the phone.  Later I talked to our son and daughter-in-law in Albuquerque.  They are having several guests over for Thanksgiving lunch and so they were busy getting things ready. It was late when I got to bed and it was not a very restful night.

Today (Wednesday) I woke to a rainy day.  I didn't know it was coming.  One the way to the office, I stopped at Wal-Mart to finish my shopping and of course got a lot I had not planned to get.

At the office it was a slow day.  Ron was in all day.  They jobs he wanted to do, the customers wanted to put off until Friday.  Once the mail came, I prepared a deposit and took it to the bank on my way home.  I had planned another stop, but the rain had gotten heavier and I  did not want to get soaked, so I came on home.

The kitchen needed a good cleaning before I started on the Thanksgiving preparations.  I am in charge of the turkey and the dressing at my mom's house.  I am doing the whole lunch at Ron's mom's house.   I made some of the things and to make my day tomorrow easier.  Then I baked a couple of pies.  I could not stand it and had a piece of the cherry pie I baked (about midnight).  It is yummy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

So Much For Which to be Thankful
November 23, 2015

God continues to give us things to be thankful for in this week focused on Thanksgiving.  Sometimes it is the little things, that we are blessed with and can be thankful for.  This morning, my husband let me sleep an hour longer, and I am thankful that he did.  It was a nice way to start my day.

At the office, it was slow and I had time to work on a couple of personal projects.  For one - my Christmas letter, I need photos of the family members.  As I went through my photos from this past year, I saw blessing after blessing.  So many good things have happened this year.  So many wonderful people make up our family.  This year we were able to go a few more places than usual.  Most of our cost of the airfare to Albuquerque earlier this fall, had been Christmas, birthday, and Mother's Day gifts the last few years.  So much to give thanks for this week and this year.

God wants us to give thanks for everything.  Too often, I don't remember to do that.  Little things and big things are to be appreciated.  Going through the photos, I saw so many beautiful sunsets and sunrises.  I am not only thankful for that beauty, but for the eyes to see the beauty.  Having lost my hearing, sometimes people ask if my other senses are more keen now to make up for the missing one.  I am not sure about that, but I do know that as I looked at those sunset photos, I recalled what joy each brought not only to me, but often to one of my granddaughters.  When they were buying their new house, I told her I loved the room for the girls, because it had an unobstructed view of sunsets.  She is growing to love them as much as I do.

Big things are also appreciated.  In our business, some days are slow and others are overflowing with work to be done.  This month we have closed a few days for trips to Houston, etc.  Even today was slow, but two or three of the jobs that came in were nice sized.  That means Ron is going to be very busy this week, but there is one holiday in there so he can relax a little.

Our youngest granddaughter has a birthday coming up.  Her mother told me something that the birthday girl really wants.  I thought it would be very easy to find.  It wasn't.  So I asked Ron to start looking on line.  He located one in Harlingen and came in my office to see if I would like to eat at Olive Garden tonight.  I asked him what he wanted to buy in Harlingen.  I know him well.  He told me, so we went to get the item and then I was able to return an un-needed item to Hobby Lobby before we went to Olive Garden for supper.  I know the wishes of a soon-to-be 4 year old are not the most important things in the world, but I am thankful Ron was able to find what she really wants. 

A phone call this evening gave us something else to be very thankful about.  We are surrounded with wonderful blessings every day.  We just need to start looking for them.  In this post where I said that a sunset was a little thing, even as I typed that, I thought, "How can I say a sunset is small?"  It reaches from one side of the sky to the other and is seen by millions of people at the same time. 

I am thankful that our son David and his wife are able to be away this week on an anniversary cruise.  They took one last year for their 10th anniversary and loved it so much it was not long before they booked one for this year.  I am thankful that they can get away and enjoy being waited on for the week. 

I am thankful for the way plans for our Thanksgiving Day have worked out.  God is good.  My sister is doing so much work planning, you would think we were planning for 100 people instead of 6.  She is a good planner.  I am thankful for that.  As long as she watches the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes to keep me from catching them on fire, we have it made! 

One thing I am very thankful for is those of you who faithfully read this blog.  I hope along the way, you are learning a little about how to more effectively communicate with friends or family members who are hard of hearing.  I hope as you gather with family members of all ages, that you will remember those who struggle to hear and talk a little slower and more distinctly.  If you do, they will be thankful for your efforts.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November 22, 2015

Fantastic Day at Church!
So Much to be Thankful For
November 22, 2015

This little girl has been singing solos in church for several years.  
She is a sweet, happy child and I enjoy her.

What an blessed time at church this morning!  Our Sunday School class had a very good attendance and great discussion.  We continue our study in the book of Revelation.

The worship service started with the Children's Christmas Musical.  It was early this year, but that is because it was about Operation Christmas Child and this was the last Sunday to bring the filled shoe boxes for children around the world.

Our church is blessed with an very talented young woman who directs this choir and as always, they did a great job.  We have so many children with the talent and confidence to do solos, duets, and trios.

Just after the service started, in walked an answer to the prayers of many of you who read this blog and follow my Facebook page:  Tate - a young military veteran who grew up in our church and has faced a lot of physical challenges since his return from serving over seas.  Tate came home with a malignant brain tumor and has spent the last couple of years dealing with it. He still has a ways to go in his recovery, but to see him at church, smiling, laughing with friends, greeting people who have faithfully prayed, was something to be thankful for at any time of the year.
Here is Tate with his lovely wife.  I so admire them both.  God is good.

Here is their precious little girl.  She is totally at home in a doctor's office or rehab facilities, as she accompanies Mom and Dad on the almost daily appointments.  God was so gracious to give them this outstanding gift to fill the hard days with laughter and joy.  She is just what the doctor ordered to lift their spirits.

We picked up lunch on our way home and enjoyed our lunch together.  Ron slept the afternoon away and I read.  This evening I worked on the binding for the quilt in progress.  Never have I felt that the binding added as much to the look of the quilt as this one.  I love the way it frames it and ties it all together.

My sister who is visiting my mom has decided to stay all week and will be with Mom for Thanksgiving.  My sister's husband will fly in Thanksgiving afternoon and we will all get together for dinner that evening.  That allows Ron and me to be with his mother for lunch.  I am so glad God worked this all out this way.  We will have Ron and me, Janet and her husband, Mom, and my sister Debbie's husband, Jim together for dinner that evening.  That is a fun bunch.

The neatest thing happened this afternoon.  I got a text message from our daughter-in-law in McAllen.  She included a photo of their oldest daughter, in the kitchen, mixing a fruit salad that is a recipe that I use.  Many years ago I made cookbooks for our boys of family favorites and this fruit salad is in the book.  In the photo, she is spooning the salad into a pretty serving bowl and the cookbook is open in front of her.  I taught her how to make that salad when she was staying with me to help me after I broke my elbow, 2 1/2 years ago.  The photo just melted my heart.  I wish I could share it, but I don't know how to get it from a message on my phone, into my computer. (Later: daughter-in-law emailed it!)

Their church was having a Thanksgiving meal this afternoon and our daughter-in-law and the two oldest girls each signed up to take something.  That is where the fruit salad was going.  I hear it was well received.  It has been a great Lord's Day!