Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas with big kids, dogs and exciting news!

Christmas 2007 has come and gone and I'm late getting anything posted about our exciting and busy week. We were lucky to have all the kids home for the holidays this year and no one had to fight bad weather and roads to get here. J & J brought T & L to meet "little" Leo and they had a great time getting acquainted. Next time they meet T & L will be dwarfed by the puppy. It was such a busy few days, that unfortunately I didn't get many good family photos. It seems like we were either cooking, eating or un-wrapping presents (with a long game of monopoly and several games of mexican train dominos thrown in).
This is one of my favorite photos of the week - J and his dog (complete with bandana - sorry other J !) It's always nice to have the kids around again. No matter how old they get - they're all still kids at heart!
J & J and B & N show off their gifts from big sis E. Popcorn bowls decorated with their favorite teams. Goofing around as usual. ( Please note - N is NOT making an obscene gesture !)

Okay - now I can announce the exciting news ! J & J are going to make us grandparents this summer! We are very excited to be grandparents - just not sure if we want to be called Grandpa and Grandma! That sounds so old ! Poor J wasn't able to enjoy the holiday meals very much but hopefully that will get better soon. They are both going to find that holidays will definitely be different from now on. J is showing one of the projects I'd been trying to get done by Christmas (we've known the "news" for a couple of weeks). The piecing is done, so now she'll have to leave it here so I can get busy quilting. My other projects included aprons for all the girls. I intended to get a photo of them modeling them but guess I never got that organized! Leo has happy to have lots of attention from everyone including a cat lover like E! Poor Beamer was confined to the master bedroom and bathroom for a few days. He was happy as long as he didn't see the rest of the animals.
With so much food around, I should have gotten some other photos. This is the tenderloin we had for Christmas dinner. No turkey this year. The ham was on Sunday and a new tradition of Cioppino (Italian seafood stew - even though we're not Italian!) on Christmas eve. I didn't even get around to baking cookies this year, just some coffee cakes and quick breads for gifts. B has turned into the cookie baker of the family and brought over more goodies than we could eat! On Wednesday after Christmas Dennis and I took off for a holiday trip to Arkansas to visit his dad and stepmom. We pulled the Harley in the trailer in hopes we could get to ride in an area of warmer weather. I'll get a post together about how that turned out and the rest of our trip later this week. So here it is, 10:45 on New Year's Eve and we sit here trying to keep our eyes open until the new year arrives. So I guess we are old!

Happy 2008 everyone

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas !

Our Nativity tradition began about twenty-eight years ago when Dennis' grandmother asked what ceramic creation we wanted for Christmas. She was fond of wildlife and we had plenty of ceramic elk, deer and buffalo sitting around. At the time we had one little daughter and I thought it would be nice to have a small nativity set to help her understand the story of the birth of Christ. Not one to do things on a small scale, Grandma Mary presented us with this beautiful large set. I think we've only missed one year displaying the entire scene (when we were in the process of moving) Sometimes, we've had to put the wise men and their camels on another table - but after all, they had to come from far away! There are a few cracks in the stable walls, but super glue came to the rescue and it is still holding together. The cow lost a horn one year too, but I found that in the bottom of the storage bin and glued it back in time for the next Christmas. The angel rests precariously on top of the roof and someday I need to find a better way to stabilize it. Grandma did a beautiful job with the painting of the faces and clothing, even putting little jewels on the wise men's robes. In later years as she grew more shaky, her painting wasn't quite what it had been so we are so happy to receive some of her best work. I'm grateful to still have this family Christmas tradition to remember Grandma Mary by and to be able to share it with you all here and with our family for years to come.

The kids (with dogs!) will be arriving tomorrow and the next day, so the fun begins! It is supposed to be a rare warm December day tomorrow, so a motorcycle ride might be in the plans before J & J arrive. Of course, there is still cleaning, cooking and baking on my list! It will all get done at some point!

I may not get a chance to post again for a few days so it is our wish that you too have a wonderful holiday with your family and loved ones.

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Procrastination Fever and Happy (Harley) Holidays!

The quilt is done. Why do I chose the last few days before Christmas to complete all the projects I've been working on all fall? I guess I have a serious case of procrastination fever. At least Beamer enjoyed sleeping on my lap as I finished putting on the binding. I've got a few other things in the works too, but can't write more about them right now:) Maybe a post next week will show the details! I think my Christmas shopping is all but done. Just a few more packages to wrap and some baking to do. Procrastination strikes again. I think I work better under pressure anyway. If I did finish up early, I'd just find more to buy ( or bake, or make!) . We lucked out again with the weather. After a few flurries yesterday, the rain came and washed the little snow we had away. But it is pretty chilly today. (No, I'm not complaining here as I know some of you in Kansas are now digging out of the snow in addition to the ice!)
The Louisville Harley-Davidson store was having a grand opening of their newly remodeled store so we made a quick trip down to check it out. Their Christmas tree was really pretty. The bronze, orange and brown decorations on the tree were very tasteful and not overly "Harley". I wish my photo had turned out a little better. We drew coupons for 25% off all clothing purchases so we bought ourselves a couple of early presents. Guess I should wrap them up and put them under our tree. Afterall, the bike won't fit and that's Dennis' present for the next several years! The other 105th anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide that we were originally going to buy was on the showroom floor. The color of this one was Copper Canyon and Silver and we both agreed that we like the color of the bike we ended up with so much better. After a quick stop a Lowe's (stay tuned for future posts on our home makeover project!) and an early supper at Cheddar's, we came right home and got right back to work!
Countdown to the arrival of all the kids - 6 days! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We've been lucky!

I will not complain about weather in Southern Indiana. I will not complain about weather in Southern Indiana..... maybe I should write this fifty times! At least I will not complain about the weather as long as we don't get the awful ice and snow that some of you have. Hope our Kansas (and Missouri and Oklahoma) friends and relatives are all coping well.

It was actually 74 here yesterday and Dennis left work a "little" early so we could take the new bike out on the road. I haven't been on it since the first little 30 minute ride we took the day after we picked it up. I tucked myself into my own little easy chair/carseat and we headed up the road to Madison. It is so much more comfortable to ride than the Yamaha but no inner thigh workouts trying to hang on. No worries about falling off either! In fact I could probably fall asleep on boring trips. We've got the headsets now so we could listen to Christmas carols on the radio but still talk to each other without yelling over the wind noise. We're anxious to take a longer trip now but that probably won't happen for a few months. No photos of the trip, sorry. We did stop for a late lunch (early supper) and shop at a couple of the little shops on Main Street for a couple of spur of the moment Christmas gifts.

Thought I'd share this photo of my old St. Nick. He's kind of got an interesting story. My maternal grandmother was quite the gardener and also had a lot of house plants. Evidently she loved to use this paper Santa in her Christmas arrangements but at some point forgot to protect his feet from the water used to keep the greenery fresh. So poor old Santa lost his legs. When I was little, I remember his feet were two wooden spools. Now he sits on my mantle, with his handicap hidden by the artificial greenery. Even after all these years, he can still bring a smile to our family, handicapped or not!
Have a good day!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

This Week In Pictures...

Some pretty roses from my DH for my birthday!
A great group of ladies at a holiday brunch. Don't you love all the cheery holiday sweaters?
Beamer with an early Christmas present from his Aunt K and also claiming my B-day present from the same as his own!
My quilt is back from the quilting lady! It's so pretty. Now I have to get the binding on it and find a place to use it - or display it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Holidays Are Coming

Here it is only December 2 and it seems like we are one of the last in our neighborhood to finally put up Christmas lights and decorations. For some reason, I've had trouble getting motivated this year but once I start it does get a little easier. So this week I worked on the tree. I am so thankful for pre-lit trees! Stringing the lights in the tree has always been one of my least favorite parts of the holidays and it seems like the one thing that no one ever wanted to help with!
Our tree has pretty much looked the same the last few years with lots of gold, red and bright (almost lime) green. This year I've added a little bit of bronze accent since that is getting more popular. I think it looks pretty good! Beamer does too as he has adopted the new tree skirt as his bed. There are not presents under this tree yet! I've got a long way to go in that respect.
Of course we waited until it was too cold to ride the motorcycle to put up outside lights! Dennis managed to climb on the roof without falling ! I guess those old builder's genes kicked in:) K - check out the stocking cap! We made a trip to the Bass Pro Shop and found this interesting pheasant Christmas tree. I've seen ornaments made from pheasant feathers, but never whole pheasants adorning a tree! Of course this goes right along with the entire taxidermy theme of the huge store. If you are ever in the Southern Indiana area, be sure to stop and browse this store. It was designed to fit in the huge space vacated by a local mall. When we first moved here there was a Dillards, several small shops, a large movie theater, food court and carousel in this building. Even if you're not into hunting, fishing etc, it is still fun to look at all their displays. Dennis has been shopping for insulated pants for winter riding and we found some here by Carhartt. He's determined to ride the motorcycle to work as long as he can if it's not raining or snowing! Saturday night we attended Dennis' employer's annual Christmas party. Please accept our apologies for these less than flattering pictures! This year it was held at a local Holiday Inn. The girls who put this together did a nice job and they always make sure that everyone comes away with a door prize. They also had a karaoke contest which I can assure you that we did not take part in! But it was entertaining and the two ladies who won could've held their own at America's Got Talent!

I could have told you all that I dyed my hair and had a total body makeover this week, but most of you all know me much better than that! This is one of Dennis' co-workers, friend and party organizer, Pam. (He looks a little embarrassed doesn't he?) Another co-worker was actually helping clear tables - or was he?? I hope you all enjoy this holiday season safely. Now back to working more home decor! I hope to get most of it done today and tomorrow so I can concentrate on finishing my shopping and doing a little baking and sewing. Until next post!