Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A Hodgepodge to Remember

Welcome to Wednesday, and the last Hodgepodge of the year. Actually, the last blog post of the year since today is New Year's Eve. We'll ring in 2015 quietly, at home, with some of the kids, maybe some friends, snacks, and games. We might even make it 'til midnight! Lol.

Thank you to Joyce, our hostess, who faithfully meets us here each week with some always-interesting questions to get us thinking, blogging, and connecting with friends all over the world wide web. It's just about time for Joyce to wear that beautiful mother of the bride gown, take a deep breath and enjoy every moment of her daughter's big day. Be sure to click on the button below to pay her a visit and share your good wedding wishes.
And now, here are her questions and my answers:

1. Share a favorite moment from your Christmas holiday celebration.

Having all the kids and grandkids together for a meal around the table is always a favorite, and we were blessed to accomplish that when we celebrated on the Saturday before Christmas. Christmas Eve Eve at David and Shylah's church in Dayton was special, as was lining up these cuties for their Christmas Eve performance here in the 'burg. I guess that's moments, plural. :)

2. What would you say has been the biggest news event during your life so far?

There have been many big news events during my life. I guess that's how it works when you've lived a loonnng time. Lol. News events are big these days because we watch, tweet, post, snap, and scroll through everything as it happens. Technology brings us up to the minute face to face with all the events, both big and small.

I remember the first lunar landing, on July 20, 1969, as one of the big news events in my life. I was nine years old, and phones were still attached to the wall, computers were the size of a football field, and cameras had film that took three weeks to get developed. The wonder of a man actually walking on the moon was almost more than we could imagine. My brother and I got to stay up late to watch Neil Armstrong climb down that ladder and say those famous words, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."
Many years later, grandson Matthew had the opportunity to meet Neil Armstrong at an event at Purdue.

3. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2015 is Marsala. What say you-like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?

I'm guessing my niece, Caroline, will like it since she's an Aggie and it looks like an A&M color to me!
I like it fine, would consider wearing it, and would be happy to sample the liquid for which the color is named. :)

4. Would you rather meet your ancestors or your great grandchildren? Explain why.

Oh, my great-grandchildren, for sure! Because, children.

5. Share one life lesson learned in 2014?

6. What was your best or favorite purchase made in 2014?

I recently found these chairs on Craigslist, for sale in an antique shop in Lafayette. They were originally in the lower level dining areas of the Purdue Memorial Union, and I thought they would be perfect for extra seating in our basement. I knew they were just what Jim wanted for Christmas! :)

If trips count as a 'purchase', then I would include the cruise, the beach, NOLA, and Haiti among my favorites this year.

7. What is one thing you're looking forward to in the new year?

A new baby granddaughter and a new daughter-in-law, both due to happen in March. And yes, that's two things. :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

For folks who enjoy making resolutions for the new year, which may or may not include some sort of diet and exercise plan, the Anne Patricia Lamott Anti-Diet is worth the read.
"God bless you all real good."

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday Scraps

Christmas has been celebrated, kids have come and gone, presents have been opened, meals shared, and another year has just about passed. Whew! Years go by quickly now, and I become keenly aware of the shortness of life, the importance of spending time with people you love, and the value of trying our best to keep our focus on counting the blessings of each day. My mother-in-law, Alberta, had several verses written on the inside covers of her Bible. This one was there twice: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." Philippians 4:6 NLT. Good words to remember.

To wrap up Christmas week, I looked back through my phone photos for some scraps to share.
Last Tuesday with Noah, he thought it great fun to crawl into the dogs' crate. I promise I didn't put him there!
Grandpa and Uncle Big Jon put together his new table and chairs. He liked it!
We left Noah's house on Tuesday and drove to Dayton to attend the Christmas Eve Eve service with David and Shylah at their church, Fairborn UMC. I am so glad they have found a church home there, and we were thankful for the opportunity to attend this special service with them. And, there was a HORSE in the service. Yep, a horse. As the praise band sang the Christmas version of Hallelujah, church members acted out the Nativity story, complete with Joseph leading Mary around the auditorium on a horse. Andrew, Darci, Haleigh and Ella joined us as well, and the girls liked the glow sticks they distributed to the children for the candlelight part of the service.
Christmas Eve, back at Greensburg UMC, the children sang and held their (battery operated) candles to the strains of Silent Night. I do get a little nostalgic remembering so many Christmas Eve services in this sanctuary. I sang there as a child, when we held little penlights during the candle lighting. Our own children sang, wearing the famous white robes and red bows, and even one time in angel wings. And now, here I am, directing, as Matthew, Haleigh, and Ella stand and sing in the very same place. God is good.
After the service, we went to Nana and Boomie's for soup and birthday cake. Happy Birthday to Jesus!
And a photo bomb by Andrew. :)
Ella enjoyed her cupcake. At least the icing.
Adam and Courtney in their Christmas jammies. This is their second year for that tradition.
Sometime during their visit, the left me with some surprise photos on my phone.
Quiet Christmas morning by the tree.
My dad after Christmas brunch with his new book by Gary Ferguson.
Noah having a little Christmas night spaghetti.
JibJab keeps sending me invitations to make a dancing card. I'm not going to pay for that, but the still shot of the boys is pretty cute.
As is this throwback Christmas card from 1994. I told you it was Saturday scraps!

Next year, we will have another stocking to add to the full mantel, for Jennifer and Bryan's little girl, due in March, just (hopefully) before Adam and Courtney say 'I do.'  
Looking back, looking ahead, giving thanks. 
Joy to the World!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmastime Is Here!

Christmas happened around here on Saturday, beginning with a trip over to the cattle farm to see what Santa brought the good little children at Andrew and Darci's house.

Haleigh and Ella received Bitty Baby Dolls. So much fun!
Matthew was especially pleased with his own bag of pistachios. Lol.
Later that afternoon, Jim carved the roast beast beef tenderloin.
I tried to get a photo of everyone around the table, but this was the best I could do.
Haleigh and Ella opened cradles for their babies at our house. Here is Ella with hers. Word has it that the entire cradle was in bed with her later that night.
The big boys in the house received some cash, but had to solve a puzzle cube to get to it. I know, really Mom?
Jon got a little frustrated with his. :)
I think Andrew was first to solve.
Or maybe it was Adam, the engineer.
Bryan and Jennifer worked on his together.
Dr. David's was especially tricky.
Good thing he had Shylah to help!
Little Noah, who likes all things Santa, entertains us with a HoHoHo!
I found these cute Elsa and Anna hats for Haleigh and Ella on Etsy. They jumped right into character.

 It's all about the braids.
 Haleigh/Elsa and Courtney shared some giggles.

Jennifer, Bryan, and Noah.
Darci, Andrew, Ella, Matthew, and Haleigh.
Ella, Matthew, and Haleigh.
Sweet smiles.
We were blessed to have Grandpa Stewart join us for our meal, and gift-giving.

We thought it would be fun to get a photo of the grandkids, but you know how it is when you try to get 4 little ones to look and smile all at the same time.
 There's some silliness.
 And some kissing. And fussing.
Some boy time.
 And some giggles.
 Finally. :)
The evening ended with some game time in the basement. A new edition of Trivial Pursuit and Telestrations. Fun!

Sunday morning brought church, rehearsal for Christmas Eve with my darling little cherubs, and lunch at Carriage on the Square.

On Sunday evening, I enjoyed a very special outing with these three ladies. We had a date in Cincinnati that included dinner at the Grand Finale...
and a concert with our bff Sandi. She's got another cruise coming up!
She sang lots of Christmas favorites, including 'Come Let Us Worship the King.' I'm hoping my little choir kids sound just like her when they sing it tonight! THAT will be a Christmas miracle!

Her daughter Aly as been on tour with her this month, and they take a selfie with the audience at every stop along the way. I don't think we made the selfie since we were way over on the side.
I borrowed a few photos from a twitter feed since the seat location and camera were superior to mine. This is a sweet one of Sandi and Aly after Aly sang.
A special treat for Sandi was having her parents and her brothers in the audience. She told about growing up with family carol singing at home around the piano, and then invited her dad to the stage to lead us in the singing of 'Silent Night.'
It was an amazing evening of worship and fun with Sandi, and especially with four good friends. We were blessed to be able to make time in all the Christmas busyness to be together to celebrate our friendship and our Savior. (There was that man sitting in front of us who observed that there may need to be some sort of alert issued when we are out together. Not sure what he was talking about… unless it was the small outburst when Aly mentioned the upcoming cruise…)

The only teeny smudge on a bright and shiny weekend was that my team lost. The photo pretty much sums up the season. (And what do you think you're doin' to my quarterback?)

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and many blessings for the coming year!

Come let us worship the King!
Jesus the Savior is born.
For the Lord will reign over all the earth.
Come let us worship the King!
Jesus the Savior is born.
For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised,
Through all the earth,
Let us worship the King!