Monday, December 31, 2012

Closing Up the Camper

We have spent most of this New Year's Eve Day closing up the camper
 in preparation for our January trip home!
All of Christmas is down, packed and loaded ready for us to leave in the morning after our coffee.

It's been a cold, dark, rainy  day here at the RV park.
I actually LOVE cold, dark, rainy days!

While I took most of the decorations down - and all of the colored lights -
I ADDED a strand of white lights here over the kitchen window.

I kept the winter white cool LED lights over the bed for now.
It just looked too pretty to take down!
The Christmas wired paper ribbon is gone.....
but the LIGHTS remain......a little to Louis Dean's dismay!

I'm also keeping the winter garland over this window.
How can Louis Dean argue with keeping a WINTER garland up??
He really is such a good sport about all my 'debris' as he calls it!

My chickens are back!!
I've missed them!

However, I have kept that LARGE tiny area of counter space to the left of the sink free and clear!

I took Lucy for a walk and we both enjoyed it!
Dark, misty and subdued.
Good for a bit of reflecting while I walked.
2012 is all but over.

2013 is stretching out before us.

We'll close out the year here.....and head home for the first week of the New Year.
We will see family and catch up with everyone 'back home' before returning.
I have many things to write in my Country Diary tonight -
recapping the year with its highs and lows....
challenges and victories.....
struggles and failures.....
accomplishments and successes.
I have much for which to give thanks.
Louis Dean and I are closing out our 8th New Year's Eve together.
I am so blessed!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Mother's Heart

My 'Mother's Heart' has been filled to overflowing this weekend!

Friday night Louis Dean and I were all prepared and waiting for Summer and Ben's arrival.

I was outside watching for them as soon as they called for the code to get in the RV park!
They could hear me calling, "Over here!!!" and waving frantically!

I had a supper of potato soup, sliced ham, and garlic toast ready with the heater on and candles lit making the camper all warm and cozy!
Ben said it looked just like HOME!

He was comfy in the girl lower bunk.......

and Summer was fine with the sofa bed!

We were all snug as a bug in a rug!

It DID get cold but we had that little heater you see down there on the left.
AND we had lots of warm covers!
I loved how both Saturday and Sunday mornings Ben would go from the bunk and climb into bed with his sister til the camper warmed up! Mothers LOVE seeing their kids enjoy being together!!

We headed over to Quadville for Ben to meet the babies for the very first time!
He proved to be a natural and was soon holding them two at a time!

Spoon feeding? No problem! He handled that too!

Home made baby food?

I can do that!
And so he DID!
We all pitched in and helped pare, core, peel, cut, chop, steam, and puree various fruits.
Many hands made light work!

We enjoyed the fried potatoes made in Ben's honor!

The dinner menu featured comfort food.
Meat loaf, company mashed potatoes, cream cheese corn (Ben's favorite!), green bean casserole (Amber made this for Summer!) and Louis Dean's dinner rolls (frozen since his last baking spree but still delicious!) and cheesecake for dessert!

It was a wonderful day!

Summer, Ben and I played NUTS!!!!
I LOVE that game!
Summer was the winner - this time around!

Uncle Ben held a lot of babies!

So did Aunt Summer!

The quads did not lack for attention!
If Granddad is there he usually has a baby - or TWO! - in his arms!

I enjoyed spending the day with three of my CRAZY kids!!

Saturday ended with the reading of my Christmas letters to everyone.

This morning Summer, Ben and I attended church together.
We grabbed a bite of breakfast, hit up the HEB for some steaks for our Sunday dinner and stopped by Amber's to retrieve the things we FORGOT last night!
We always forget something!

Summer and Ben were the FIRST to use the new party kitchen/grill at the RV park!

We had so much fun just being together!!
It did my heart a lot of good to have my kids enjoy being with ME as much as I enjoy being with THEM!

All too soon it was time to say good bye!

While I was NOT ready for them to leave - I am happy that we are going home New Year's Day 
and I will get to see Ben once more!

I close this post with this picture of my dining room taken last April.
I hope to host another meal for Ben here before he flies home to California on Friday.
I'm kind of excited to go back and see where I 'used' to live!
It's funny how 'home' seems to have shifted in my mind to being this 31 foot camper!
Home is where the heart is and I am comforted in the fact that I can entertain family and friends no matter WHERE I live!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Everything is Better With BACON!

Who doesn't like crispy brown BACON??

The grease is like a secret ingredient when I fry potatoes!
I bought a package of maple cured bacon yesterday mainly for the BACON GREASE!
 Everything tastes better when you fry something in a little bit of bacon grease!

I am always amazed at how MUCH bacon shrinks!
It goes from THIS.....

to THIS!!

All to get THIS!
The 'secret ingredient!'

Louis Dean and I are sitting in our warm little camper waiting for my youngest son and my first born daughter to arrive!! I have a pot of potato soup for them and will be making some garlic toast as soon as I hear they are close! I am so excited you would think I'm in a Hallmark card commercial!
Our first overnight guests in the camper!!!
Benjamin is the reason for the grease!!
I boiled some potatoes when I got home from Quadville today and will fry them up along with some onions in a little bacon grease for breakfast in the morning!
This is his FAVORITE meal!!
He's been living and working out in California and tonight will be the first time I've seen him since early LAST December! 

As cold as it is (and it IS cold in Houston tonight!) Louis Dean and I put our gazebo back up!

I plugged the lights in and it is all bright and welcoming!
I think they will find us!
Like Motel 6 - we're leaving the light on for them!
We'll be waiting!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's All in a Day.....and Night!

A schedule is crucial for moms of multiples and Amber has hers down to an art!
This helps Louis Dean and me  know exactly WHAT we should be doing and
 WHEN we should be doing it!
It also enables Amber to get away for a lunch date with her husband as she did today.

This place may look like a Babies R Us gone wild but Harrison has everything he needs
for his daily routine! 

So do his sisters!
The babies are hitting milestone after milestone and seem to be learning something new every single day!

I wish I knew what they are thinking!

I know they love their Grand dad and can't believe it if he walks by and doesn't pick them up!
He is seldom seen without a baby in his arms!

Trsytan is the picture of peace and comfort here.
I held her and she was crying so I handed her off to Grand dad
- it didn't take him 5 minutes and she was asleep!

Sweet! SWEET!

Tonight Amber and Mike went out to dinner with friends -
she is wise in getting out when she CAN!

Louis Dean and I did the whole bedtime routine and it works like a charm!
Each baby gets changed into PJ's and an OVER NIGHT diaper - this is IMPORTANT!
Next is their 8 oz of formula WITH rice cereal mixed in.
Easy peasy!
Then we read. Tonight I read The Twelve Days of Christmas to them.
This was one of the books Summer gave Amber when she was a baby!

One by one we carry them to the nursery where we zip them up in sleep sacks, turn on the sound machine and keep our voices soft and quiet.

After they are down we retire back to the den where we watch them on the monitor til they are all fast asleep. I love how close the babies are to each other. They sleep two to a bed and STILL inch as close to their sibling as possible.

This is Linda reporting from Quadville......
All is calm.
All is quiet.
Good night.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Tree is DOWN!!

I don't think I have EVER taken  the tree down so soon  after Christmas!
However, it was time for THIS one to GO!!
Normally it's dark when we get home from Quadville - thanks to these short winter days!
This morning I left Louis Dean at home to rest - he continues to suffer from allergies.
You can bet your bottom dollar we will be at the doctor's office 
when we go home for a few days next week!
I came back to the camper after the 3:30 bottle feeding so I could have a few hours of daylight to work.

I had plenty to do!

Louis Dean had not expected me home so early so he had to come to the door to see what was going on!

The tree is DOWN......and gone!
LD helped me load it in the truck and maneuver it into the 
dumpster! I was in a hurry since those trash bins fill up FAST!!

By nightfall the patio was all cleaned up, trash unloaded, 
things organized and all is ready to put the gazebo up again!
We will be doing that just as soon as Louis Dean feels like it - and as soon as it warms UP! 
Tonight will be another cold one dipping down to the freezing mark!

I want to get the place all spruced up as soon as possible!

Ben - photo taken at Summer's house Christmas night

My youngest son (who lives in California) is coming to visit Friday night!
He and Summer are driving down so I will be hosting and entertaining in the camper for
the very first time! I have cleaning to do, menus to plan and food to prepare!

He spent a WHITE Christmas in Fort Worth.
My sister, Nita, took this pic Christmas Day!
First white Christmas in the DFW area in 83 years -
Christmas day 1926!

Ben - photo taken at Nita's on Christmas morning

Just look at the dimples on that guy!!
I can't wait to see him!
It will be his first meeting with the quads!
We will spend the entire day Saturday with them!

I know.......I use way too many exclamation points!
I can't seem to help myself.......