Thursday, November 29, 2012

CHRISTMAS is Coming!!

My Santas are DONE!!!
This is the one  I am keeping and then I have one all painted and packed in the truck to take HOME for Christmas! Our family has a tradition! Doesn't EVERY family have at least ONE?
On Christmas morning as many family members as possible gather at my sister's home for breakfast and then we do a Chinese Christmas Tree gift exchange! This is SUCH a fun thing to do and we spend a lot of time and thought on the gifts we take! I have taken different things over the years but for the last several my 'gift' has been a Santa painting. I paint a new one every year - 'NEW'  as in taken from a card or gift box and/or bag - and then painted up on canvas in oils.

I barely finished this one in time!!
As soon as we had our morning coffee yesterday I was out there putting on the final glaze.

My palette had seen better days but it served its purpose until the very end!
I lay out the paint when I start a new picture and then FREEZE it (by placing a palette paper on top, folding it in quarters and placing it in a freezer bag) in between painting sessions.

We spent today in Quadville and I admit it was hard to say goodbye to these precious babies!!
We realize what a blessing it is to be a part of their lives - especially since we have been there for them from 'the beginning!'

Louis Dean was determined to spend some 'Quality Time' with each one of the babies today - 
knowing it will be nearly a week before he holds them again.
Little Logan - who SMILES as big as she can every single time you say 'PRETTY!' - is usually most comfortable sitting BESIDE her Granddad where she can see what is going on.

However......Louis Dean has convinced her to be a 'Shoulder Baby' as well!!
He does have a way with these quads!!
He held them all during the course of this day! For EXTENDED lengths of time!!
SH! Don't tell Amber how much we spoil the babies!!!
How can we RESIST??

In between feedings, diaper changes, laundry and tummy time I wrapped presents, made Popcorn Crunch....

.....and worked on the quads Christmas gift!
A denim play mat for their tummy time.
All I have left to do on it is the 'quilting.' I will 'stitch in the ditch' along the denim squares.
I will do my best to get this done in time for Christmas!

Harrison and I had a BALL today as I made some weird mouth 'music/noise' and he laughed and laughed until he had TEARS!!! And so did I!!! We had so much fun together!
I usually put the TV on to the 'Toddler Tunes' and then sing/dance/entertain them.
Sometimes it works - and sometimes I am a total DUD!!
The thrill of it all!!! You never know when you will be a STAR in their eyes!

As I write - Louis Dean AND Lucy are both sound asleep - AND SNORING!!
The truck is all packed, the camper is clean and everything on our 'To Do' list has been DONE!!!
All that's left is for me to pack up my laptop and turn in myself.
3:30 am comes early!
He wants to be on the road by 4:00!
That's fine with me because I will be snuggled up in the back seat!
I promised him we can stop for breakfast at Sam's Cafe  in Fairfield, Texas.
They have a buffet Louis Dean dearly loves!!!
It will make a nice break in the drive home since it is half way or so!
And I AM anxious to get 'home.'
I want to see my other four grandchildren and my oldest two children.

It's a wonderful thing to be able to live in TWO worlds!
I am so grateful God has worked out all the details of our lives that we can DO this!!

And by the way!! Have you noticed my new Christmas Blog look??
Part of it I did MYSELF!!
The header my talented daughter, Amber, did FOR me!!

She is a professional writer and you can check out her blog - which includes a tidbit where the quads were mentioned in Houston Modern Luxury where she was a senior editor before quads 'BQ' and is now a freelance writer and a regular contributor editor HERE!!!

I guess it's time for me to sign off and go to sleep!!
Catch you all later!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday in Quadville

We are back to our 'normal' routine this week.
Louis Dean and I BOTH spend the day in Quadville on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I go alone on Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
He's OLDER than I am and needs more rest!!!
The quads seemed exceptionally sweet today.

I took this picture when I first arrived this morning and the babies were still in the nursery.
Kailey was as happy as she could be and was holding Trystan's hand - right BEFORE I snapped this!
Trystan - on the OTHER hand - was NOT so THAT moment!

Here she is just minutes later!
'Grandma!!! WHAT are the plans for TODAY?'

Louis Dean and I both were happy to be back with the quads - together!
Monday LD stayed in the camper while I went off to join Amber and her nanny in Quadville.
But left alone, Louis Dean is apt to get in trouble so it's better if I keep him close!

At long last we got a picture of him with all FOUR babies!!
We're over there all the time and yet forget to take pics of us all together.
I took pics of him.......

Then HE took pics of ME!
Soon we hope to get Amber to take pics of US!

I put the TV on to 'Toddler Tunes' and was TRYING to entertain Harrison and Trystan as I sang along to 
'Skinnamarinkydink SkinnymarinkyDO!!! I love YOU!!!'
They were NOT impressed!

Louis Dean did squeeze in a little nap - along with Logan.
Not normally a 'shoulder' baby - I think her Granddad has finally figured out how to make her comfortable.

I mean they REALLY napped!!

Meanwhile the rest of the babies and I were doing Tummy Time on the floor!

This is probably the MOST fun time in the day!
Just watching the babies is fascinating!

Four babies. Four very DIFFERENT babies!
They each have their own distinctive personalities.

Logan woke up from her nap in time to join the others.
They may be babies but they have a very active and full schedule.

Louis Dean and I arrived home to let Lucy in (she stays in her kennel when we are gone) and check on our supplies before making a quick trip to the grocery store.

Tonight has been a relaxing evening of TV watching.
NCIS, NCIS - LA, and Vegas!!
We actually don't watch TV very much any more - but tonight we ARE!!

It's just a little TOO chilly to be sitting outside!!

Sometimes it's good to be in where it's nice and warm!!

PS.......I am trying to be a grown up and do my own blog decorating!
I wanted a change and decided on a Christmas background.
The header is a bit more difficult.......
I'm sure Amber will come to my aid and fix it for me!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I am a HAPPY Camper!!!

The days following a holiday are almost always exhausting for me!
Thanksgiving was no exception! I had used up just about every bit of energy I had -
physical, mental, spiritual AND emotional!

We spent Friday in a stupor of sorts. Stupors can be GOOD things.
Louis Dean says they are one of his FAVORITE things.
Stupors mean you simply SIT and BE.
That's probably something we could do more of and be better off.

We headed back to Amber and Mike's late Friday afternoon.
Jesse and Cynthia had left late morning.
They had been a big help!  
Jesse helped Mike put up the Christmas tree and haul down all the decorations.
We kept the babies while Amber and Mike took in a movie.

After we fed the quads Louis Dean was going to take advantage of being over there and take a long hot bath!

I snapped this pic as he was SNEAKING off with an extra piece of pumpkin cheesecake in his hand!

While he was soaking I was opening up a box of goodies from our good friend, Dawn.
Just LOOK at all those scrumptious COFFEES!!!
And the BOOKS!!!
Just what we needed!!
I immediately brewed me up a cup of the Pumpkin Spice coffee and opened up a new book!

We spent the entire day Saturday doing projects around the camper.
We're really not 'home' very much and I had several things I needed to do.

You can't see this very well but I wanted to paint the white trim around this window.
It was heavily smeared with SOMETHING like putty. I thought it wouldn't show up as much if it were painted!

So I did and it doesn't!!

Then there were these worn cupboard drawers I wanted to trim out ever since we started this camper redo!

So I did THAT, too!
Plus some general cleaning and organizing.
We are going home next week and it's always a challenge to take some clothing back and bring in some fresh and different things to wear.
I took ALL of fall down and we have it packed in the truck ready to roll.
We'll be making the trip in the TRUCK this time.
We STILL don't have A/C and since it's nearly December you wouldn't think that would be a problem - 
unless you live in TEXAS!! We'll be carrying Lucy with us as well but will leave Maggie here.

As night fell we hung fresh garland and COLORED LED lights in the gazebo.
I have to admit they are pretty!

We had enough lights but needed more garland!

Saturday Night's Entertainment?
Home Alone!
Louis Dean had only seen that movie ONE time!!!
I can't even COUNT how many times I have seen it!!

This morning we got ready for church.
Louis Dean is sporting a brand new shirt with fancy buttons!

Second Baptist in Katy, Texas is all decked out for Christmas!

We arrived early enough for a cup of coffee and some people watching!

Lots and LOTS of people!!
Does our hearts good to see so many people going to church!

We went home for a quick sandwich and then were off again!
Sam's (more garland!), Home Depot (Christmas tree) and the Dollar Store (everything else!) -
and then we started!


Louis Dean is SUCH a good sport!!

We have the garland, lights AND tree up and LIT!!

I'm a happy camper!
I admit to feeling a little blue after Thanksgiving and missing the magic I always felt when I pulled Christmas decorations down the day after.
I am so thankful for my sweet husband who is sitting out there by the tree right this minute waiting for me to pour our wine and join him.

I know it's early but let me be one of the FIRST to wish you......

a VERY merry CHRISTmas!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Table FULL of Family!!

This Thanksgiving Day there were more adults than there were babies in the Bell house!
Amber thought this first Thanksgiving when the quads are too young to travel they would be spending the holiday alone. Not so! We decided to stay down here in Houston rather than fight the traffic to go back home. Especially since we already planned to go home for our visit at the end of the month.
Amber's dad called to see when would be a good time to visit the quads and THEY were free to come down HERE for Thanksgiving. Win! WIN!! Amber had BOTH sets of her parents - at the same time for the first time since her wedding day 6 years ago!

Louis Dean and I were just talking and we remember ALL the parents - including Mike's! - gathering at Texas Roadhouse in February 2010 when Amber and Mike returned for a visit mid point in the year they lived in Aberdeen, Scotland. Children - no matter the age - always seem to bring families together!

The two grandmothers! So many babies we could ALL hold one!

My beautiful daughter!

I love Trystan's little cheeks!
SHE sat at the dining room table with us and tried a tiny taste of my sweet potato casserole -
and she LOVED it!!

The quads Thanksgiving menu was pureed acorn squash.

Every baby got their own bowl, spoon AND feeder!!

Holiday or not - the babies get their daily Tummy Time!

Jesse and his wife hit the grocery store when they got into town and bought lots of goodies for this tray of appetizers!

There was PLENTY of food!
Louis Dean and I have been cooking all week!

Dessert was Pumpkin Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory!
Amber had heard about it and we found one - at Sam's!
(It WAS very good!!)

Louis Dean manned the camera for us!

He looks so innocent here!
He was really trying to talk me into giving him a SECOND piece of cheesecake!
(He didn't get it!)

By the end of the afternoon we were all just as tired as Trystan!!
Eating and football watching can be exhausting!!
We were excited over the Texans WIN and disappointed over the Cowboys LOSS!

We came back to the camper and after a little bitty nap - took ALL the fall decorations down!
This place looks EMPTY now!!
Tomorrow we'll string up the colored lights which are Louis Dean's favorite!
Before he and I married I NEVER used colored lights!
But he loves them so!

After a pretty warm day - it has turned into a chilly evening.
I put my robe on and we watched the movie 'Blind Side' on TV while we ate a supper of crackers and milk.

While I finish up this blog post......

Louis Dean is sitting on HIS side of the table listening to music.
I think it's about time to put this day to bed!
We're off tomorrow so we will be hanging around the camper doing little projects.
It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!