Friday, December 28, 2012

Lots of Good Stuff Happening…

Wow, where do I start, there's just been so much happening, and not just because of Christmas!!

Speaking of which… if I missed getting you this message any other way...

We had a quiet Christmas at home, just Jeff & I, and we enjoyed it!!

We listened to beautiful Christmas music all day, just hung around the home… as it got dark we had a very nice dinner with Mini-Turkeys (Cornish Game Hens), complete with lots of lit up candles and inside Christmas lights…

Santa did good, he remembered my Pickles again this year (a family tradition since I was 2 years old)…

I've been busy getting my studio set up, lots of stuff still on order, but at least its a start…

I made this set a couple days ago with the equipment I have on hand…

And I've been working on these as well (still quite rough)…  read more on my studio & it's happenings in my latest post on my Art Blog.

Never to be people that are all work & no play… Jeff & I checked out a German restaurant (Black Forest Inn) in Minneapolis that we hadn't visited before… love the holiday decor… and the food was good too!  I highly recommend the Sauerbraten, the German Potato Salad, and the Red Cabbage… Mmmm!!

That's the latest… hope your holidays have been fun, festive, and full of family!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating with loved ones!!

This year our Christmas celebration with the kids (my son Tim & his wife Marta) was early, they'll be at Marta's family on Christmas Day...

So we celebrated early, yesterday actually… and though dinner was simple (Cock-a-Leekie Soup and fresh baked Artisan Bread) it was home made… But before we ate we opened our Christmas Socks (a tradition for us) & our gifts…

This is after dinner, with some bread & butter still on the table & the decorative candles still lit...

More candles & some Christmas Cards on the Piano (only time of year I let anything sit on the Piano)...

Our guests of honor, Marta & Tim… we very much enjoy getting to spend time with these two!!

Hope your celebrations are filled with Family, with Love, and with Joy!!

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun with Friends!!

I just finished watching "The Grinch", the Jim Carey version, and I've decided that I've finally stopped being a Grinch this year… its about time!!

Why was I Grinchy?  I've been grieving a family member who passed unexpectedly (my brother's wife), and I've been sick…

What has changed?  I'm finally getting well, and I'm hearing that my brother is doing better too… Also, in the last couple days I've had the chance to spend time with several people I enjoy - my hubby (I always enjoy his company), the Young Adult class at church (great group!), my Small Group from church (wonderful & supportive), and I spent some time today around my friends Susan (here at the house) and Jen (at a coffee shop)…

While out & about with hubby we got to Christmas shop, mostly for the kids in the extended family - that's always fun!!

While visiting with Jen I got to play with Larkin… she's such a little delight!!

What is it about kids, they just make me smile… I love little kids!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Concert & Snow & More Concerts & More Snow!!!

Busy as usual around here… that with me feeling very under the weather, but determining it was my allergies run-amok… very amok!!

On Saturday Jeff's band did their annual Christmas Concert...

It was held in Benson Great Hall at Bethel University… a beautiful location!!

And the music was (as always) wonderful!!  Jeff's in the back so you can't see him… but he's there!  It was late by the time we got home, with not a snowflake in sight despite the forecast of a big storm…

But we had us some snow on Sunday, and more snow, and more snow…  Jeff shoveled the driveway before we left early in the morning for church, it was only a few inches at that time - but it was wet & heavy & still coming down.  Later, at about 2 in the afternoon Jeff had to use the snowblower on the driveway - a lot more had come down and the plows had been by… and we had a concerts (two) to perform in…

A friend posted this picture from the first of the two performances - when more pictures and/or video are available I'll try to post… obviously we were in it so we couldn't take pictures or video… Oh, and that chimney in the set - Jeff made that (someone else painted it)…

By the time we got home Sunday night this is what we saw on the upper deck...

This is the Lower deck, I took this picture Monday Morning - about a foot of snow from this storm!!

Yep, Monday morning the snow blower was out once again… Jeff did both our place and one of the neighbors...

A little later Monday morning and the sun was shining...

Yes, those are deer tracks going through our yard…

Traffic has been terrible the last couple days, I hope that it warms up a bit tomorrow as forecast, the roads need to melt!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I'm still here...

Were you wondering where I'd gone?

I had blogged previously about a death in the family (my Sister-in-law Jan), and I've been "back home" to spend time with my Mom & Brother & other family members… Since getting back I've been both Busy & Under The Weather… Here are some random pictures from the last couple weeks (and one old picture I just couldn't resist)...

One thing we did while I was back home was to go through old pictures with my Mom & Brother, this is a cute one of Mike (my nephew) and Tim (my son) when they were young…

These two were great buddies though as different as night & day… Mike (on left) is only 1 Month & 1 Day older than Tim… Two very happy guys!!

This is my nephew Mike now, with his baby boy Jacob… Mike's still a happy guy!

Jacob is a happy little guy too, smiles & laughs a LOT - and that at only 3 months old - we tell Mike that Jacob is his Clone!

Jacob again, this time with his pretty Mommy Salina… big smile on the little guy this time!

While in California Mom & I stayed a couple nights with my Aunt Pat, going to her house brought back so many childhood memories!!  Of all my Aunts & Uncles I spent more time at this Aunt's house than any other when I was growing up… very comfortable place for me to stay!  I really enjoyed getting to spend some time with Aunt Pat, I haven't had many chances to spend extended time with her since moving to Minnesota 16 years ago, this time was precious.  I also got to visit for a couple hours with my cousin Shelly (Pat's daughter) who's been going through Chemo, it was great to visit with her & see her beautiful smile!!

Aunt Diane - I stayed overnight with her my last night in California, she treated me to a dinner out.  Aunt Diane lived with my family for about a year when I was a teenager & she was student-teaching… In a lot of ways she's like a big sister (I don't have any sisters) it was great getting to spend some time with her & check out her new place - so cute!!

Because I was more concerned with spending time with my Brother I scheduled my flights before knowing when Jan's memorial would be… and it didn't happen until I was already home.  While the memorial was happening in California my doorbell in Minnesota rang, and the flowers pictured here were delivered (from my church in sympathy) - God has amazing timing!!

Other stuff going on in my life…

I've gotten the go-ahead from Jeff to set up a Jewelry Making Studio here at home, and I've started to acquire "stuff", read about that here on my Art Blog.

I've also been trying to nail down the lyrics to a song (part of a drama) for a Choir Concert coming up this Sunday - at Calvary Church in Roseville Minnesota, 4 & 6 PM (link here to more info).

If you're in the area we would love to have you come enjoy the Christmas Music & Drama…

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Little Excursion...

Locals will know that Red Wing isn't exactly a Twin Cities suburb, and for Jeff & I it's about an hour drive (or so) from home.  Red Wing was our destination yesterday, Jeff had gotten wind of a particularly good Brass Band concert & was itching to go… and I needed the distraction… so in the late afternoon we headed down to Red Wing, wandered the shops, had a nice meal, and enjoyed a wonderful concert!!

Inside the Sheldon Theater in Red Wing Minnesota.

Nice details are all through this small but very nice theater.

The Sheldon Theater Brass Band - they were a very good brass band & gave an excellent Christmas Concert!

Jeff & I enjoyed our time in Red Wing so much that we decided that if we need a place to go for a weekend getaway this is a good candidate - but we'll wait until a time of year that has leaves on the trees rather than snow on the ground… that will make it more comfortable for wandering around outside - it was downright cold yesterday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Giving Thanks!

I have much to Thank God for… even though the last few days that's been with a heavy heart (more on that later)….

We had a lovely Thanksgiving here in Minnesota, here's the pictures to prove it!!

This was the day before Thanksgiving… Peter was still hanging around causing trouble...

Still the day before - my home-made Pumpkin Pie, fresh out of the oven… I love it when they come out of the oven, they're always so "poofy"...

Setting out my favorite Thanksgiving table decoration...

Yep, that's Peter showing up just in time for Thanksgiving dinner...

The family hanging out...

…and goofing around…  Callie

Kim & Ben

Aunt Carol & Uncle Chuck

Uncle Bob



Kim, Whitney, Dylan, Brian

Tim, Marta, Jeff

Dylan & Ben

Day after Thanksgiving - we've got Snow!!  Even that doesn't deter Peter from pigging out on pumpkin… kinda looks like he's blowing in his paws to keep them warm, in reality he's eating some pumpkin & squash seeds I added to his pumpkin bowl.

Jan & David - the Lovebirds snugging on the couch
 at Mom's last Christmas. I love this picture of them!!

My holiday this year was saddened by the loss of my brother David's wife Jan who passed away in her sleep on Wednesday, it was very unexpected.  Below are some of my thoughts that I'd placed on Facebook - and felt those who follow this blog rather than Facebook might want to see.  My brother lives in California, I live in Minnesota, the distance makes this hard - I'm planning on heading out soon.

I was glad for my Son & Daughter-in-Law, as well as some of Jeff's family, and for the distractions & joys that celebrating Thanksgiving allowed.

I hope all had a Thanksgiving that was full of family, joy, and gratitude to God for His many blessings!!

Copied from my Facebook posts:


To my praying friends, please pray for my family as we lost my dear Sister-in-law Jan this morning. Please pray for my brother David, his kids Amber & Mike, and the rest of the family as we work through the pain that comes with a sudden unexpected loss.

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day:

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 
1 Thes 4:13-14

...we're missing you Jan, I look forward to being with you again in eternity

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day:

Today I am Thankful for Family!! Near or Far, walking the Earth or in Eternity, they remain close to my heart.

All month, as I've been doing a month of Thanksgivings, I had been planning on this specific day to give thanks for Family. Little did I know how poignant this would be with my brother David's wife passing away unexpectedly yesterday... but God knew! Jan is celebrating the Ultimate Thanksgiving in the arms of her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Today I'm Thankful for Technology & how it helps us connect with people who are near to our hearts, even if they are geographically far. I think of my friends Phyllis & Rich, whose daughter just left for a 2.5 year missionary post in Africa as a doctor - how Skype helps them see & speak to her face-to-face from the other side of the planet. I think of my own family this week, as Phones & Faceboo
k were the means to contacting my brother & locating my Mom during a family emergency.

But much, much more than that… I'm thankful that because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ I will someday be reunited with my sweet sister-in-law Jan in eternity. Jan walks streets of gold with her Savior, I'm jealous & I miss her!! I thank God I had the privilege to have her as part of my family!!