Monday, December 5, 2016

November 2016

Where has the time gone.  November came and went.  We had three sets of company come.  Miriam (Howard's sister) and her friend, Carolyn, came for a couple of days from Florida.  Carolyn was just finishing up chemo, so we just relaxed and played a lot of games.  Tammy and Elroy came from Michigan and did a concert for our church.  We had it in a barn that friends of ours have.  It was a good evening.  Robin and Kez came next.   They are friends of ours from NC that we met in Alaska.  They have served with GraceWorks several times.  The Christmas lights at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel had been turned on that weekend so we took them up to see the lights.
 Tree made from poinsettia's.  Robin and Kez
 Some of the magnolia trees wrapped in lights.
 Luke 2 passage of the birth of Christ
 The outdoor nativity.  There is a loud speaker with the voice of someone reading the Luke 2 passage.
One of the areas inside.

I also got two puzzles finished.  One was one that Laurie got me of the National Parks.  It was so fun doing it and remembering all the National Parks that we have visited.

Cheryl got me a puzzle for my birthday last year and I had not had a chance to do it.  I did get it done.

The 14th of November I had surgery.  Erin came down to spend a few days with us.  She took this pic of me just before surgery.

Then she took this pic after surgery.  She thought it was so funny.  I'm sleeping on the bed, and Howard is sleeping on the chair.

I was in overnight and then came home.  I've been doing well.  I just can't lift, do housework and etc for 8 weeks.  Howard has been a BIG help!!

Larry had Thanksgiving at his house this year.  Matt, Amy and the girls came down from Northern KY, and Laurie, Brett and three of their kids came from east TN.

 Howard and Matt made pies here at our house.
 Pumpkin (Howard)
Apple (Matt)
Rachel had such a pretty table set.

Coming from a family of cooks, we did not lack for food!!

The kids that were staying here had promised to help Howard put up our Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving.  
They were so helpful.  Thanks to Laurie, Brett, Hunter, Daria, Matt, Amy and Abigail!!  I'm very grateful!!

Brett was the master stringer of lights.

Matt putting my glass blocks over hutch

Laurie doing my side board.

It was always Matt's job to do the nativity set up.  He and Abigail did it this year.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.

I have some wooden figures that I painted several years ago.  I usually set them up in the window sill in the kitchen, like this.

I gave the box to Abigail and told her she could set them up in the window sill.  This is how she set them up!

They are all looking outside.  I love how she did it!!

I had a little ceramic sheep around here.  I gave it to Abigail.  After they left I found it in the nativity.  I guess I will keep it there!!

Brett, Laurie and family left Sunday morning to go home.

Hunter, Brett, Laurie, Ryan and Daria

My oldest and youngest children.
Evelyn (grandchild), Matt and Laurie

Abigail, Matt, Amy and Evelyn ready to leave Monday morning.

Matt sent this pic when they got home Monday night.
Abigail and Evelyn

I love reading to the girls when they are here.  This book belonged to Matt when he was little.

I pray you have a very Blessed Christmas.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Family and Vacation

We have had some good family times and Howard and I also got to have a vacation.  First Daria spent about 10 days here while Laurie and Brett went to CO to see their new grandson.  We had a good time with her.  She is Laurie and Brett's youngest.  One night we each made our own pizzas.  

After Daria left we had a couple of days to get ready for our vacation before we got more company.  Matt, Amy, Abigail, Evelyn and Amy's parents stopped and spent a couple of nights on the way home from their vacation.
 Is there anything better than Grandpa reading a story to a grandchild?
Abigail and Grandpa
 Evelyn almost always has a smile on her face
The girls played upstairs while we were waiting to leave.  Amy's folks car had a flat tire so it had to be fixed before they left.
 We drove almost as far as Matt and Amy's house in northern KY and had lunch with them before we went our separate ways.
Abigail, Amy, Evelyn and Matt

Howard and I went on a vacation to Maine.  We have not been on a "vacation" in a long time.  Alaska is not a vacation for us, as much as we love going there.

These are just a few pictures from our trip.

We had been in the southern tip of Maine back in 2000, but wanted to explore it more.  Larry and Rachel have spent a lot of time there so they gave us some great tips on places to visit.

We saw this L.L Bean car going down the road in NY on our way to Maine.

 High on Larry's list was L.L. Bean store in Freeport, ME.  We did enjoy going there and we even bought a few things.
We did stay in Freeport two nights.  While there we visited a Shaker community in Sabbath Day Lake.  It is the only Shaker community that still has some Shaker's living there.
One evening we drove out to the port. It was so pretty.
One morning we had breakfast at this McDonald's.  It is in a historic home.
 It's not the usual McDonald's
I even talked to this man while I was there!!
This was one of four lobster rolls we had.  Oh my, they are so good!  Usually we would split them when we bought one.  My mouth is watering as I look at this picture.

 This lighthouse in New Bristol we could go up into.

 Coming down the stairs
The ocean view from up in the lighthouse
We did see a little color change, but we were too early for a lot of color.

This is the Penobscot Narrows Observatory that is up on this bridge.
We did go up to the top.
 Bridge from the top
 View from up top

It was quite fascinating!

 We visited Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor, ME

We wanted to hear the thunder sound as the waves came in but we were not there during high tide.
This is another light house we saw, but could not go out to 
We love this style of house that we see all over New England.  Everything is connected.

We had another lobster roll at Corea Harbor one day.  It was one of the few days we needed a sweatshirt.

We rented a 100 year old house with friends of ours from CO.  We each traveled our own way during the day, but spent some time in the evenings together.
One of many churches we saw.

We drove over to Campobello Island in New Brunswick, Canada on one of the days.  This was the summer home of Franklin Roosevelt.  The island was very interesting.  Howard hiked out to a light house.  You can only go out to it when the tide is out.
 Howard has just climbed the stairs.

See the narrow stretch of land.  That is what Howard walked across to get up to the light house. At high tide, it is under several feet of water.
East Quoddy Head light house.

We visited Roosevelt's summer home.  It was very interesting to go through.
We drove back into the United States and saw this flag.  I've never seen one like this.

 This is the eastern most point in the US.  This is the West Quoddy Head light house.
We wanted to go back to Schoodic Point when the tide was up.  We had to do it in the morning. Wouldn't you know it was the morning we got rain!  But we did it anyway.  It was beautiful.
Howard, Ann, Steve and Vicki (our friends from CO) 
 The waves were awesome.

Notice the waves in the back ground.

 The secretary that Larry had for about 10 years is from this area of Maine.  Her folks invited us over for lunch and showed us around the peninsula.  This is their house. 
Vicki holding one of the lobsters that Jim trapped. 
Maggie and Jim were such gracious hosts.  Maggie made us a delicious chowder for lunch along with blueberry muffins and later blueberry pie.

 We drove down to Roque Bluffs State Park.  

It was a beautiful beach.

 It was time to say goodbye to our friends and to Maine.
Howard, Ann, Steve and Vicki

I love this with the shadows showing in the pic.  This is the house we stayed in.
Heart Sisters!
I love White Mountain Puzzles, so we stopped at their headquarters in NH.  I did pick up some puzzles to do this winter.
 One of four covered bridges we drove over 

 We stopped at King Arthur Flour headquarters in Vermont.  We had orders for things to pick up for Laurie, Larry and Erin along with some for us, too.
It is a very interesting place to visit. Wish we'd had more time to sample something in the bakery, but we got there just a half hour before closing time.

 The Old Vermont Country store was a walk down memory lane!!

In Vermont we also visited the Robert Frost home museum.

This is the first church in Vermont.  They still hold services here every Sunday.

This is the Bennington, VT Battle Monument.  We went up in the top of it also.  It is the tallest structure in Vermont.

That pretty much wraps up our vacation.  I have only put in a FEW pictures.  Maine is beautiful.  We would like to explore NH and Vermont a little more.
We drove to Erin and David's, west of Indianapolis.  We watched their kids while they attended a conference.

 Clayton's favorite position to read.
 McKenna and I worked on a sewing project

Colter finally had time to play a game one night.  He has lots of home work.

When we left their place we drove to northern KY to Matt and Amy's.  Matt had two days off while we were there.  That doesn't happen very often,  Saturday we went to a park in Cincinnati.  We parked in KY and walked across the bridge.  The park is along the river.

 Really neat slide the kids enjoyed
 When you step on the keys it plays the pipes
 The Flying Pig.  Abigail is up in the pig and Matt is making it move
 A water area.  As you pump the water it goes down different pipes
 The bridge we walked across
 The picnic tables are on a railroad track.  You can move them as needed for large or small groups.
The Cincinnati skyline in the background.
 Is there anything better than Grandpa reading?

Matt took us to the Ark Encounter on Sunday.  Abigail got to ride with us!!

 Howard and Ann with the Ark in the background

It was really interesting to go through. The exhibits were very well done.  I would highly recommend it for anyone in the area.

We stayed until sunset.  Matt has gotten some beautiful pictures of the sunset from there.

We said goodbye the next morning and we are back in TN!!

Matt, Abigail, Amy, Evelyn, Ann and Howard
It was a great vacation,  but as always, it's good to go and it's good to come home.

Ending 2017

It has been awhile since I have blogged, so I thought I would just do a catch up.  We had Thanksgiving at our house this year  Brett, Lauri...