Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Our October Visit Home

We love our visits 'home!' Since we are gone most of the month every time I return it seems like I'm seeing all things fresh and new!! It's like going to a bed and breakfast and oohing and ahhhing over all the decorations and rooms and the gazebo and how BIG it all seems after living in a 31 foot camper for 3 1/2 weeks at a time!

We left Thursday in the early afternoon heading for home by way of the back roads to The Woodlands where we checked out the newest Trader Joe's!

Oh, my GOODNESS!! We love that place!!

We filled the trunk fairly full by that one stop alone!

I loaded up with $2.99 bottles of wine, Cookie Butter (Product of the Netherlands) that tastes just like COOKIE BUTTER, Milk Chocolate from Belgium.........

delicious cheeses, salami and crackers!
I also picked up a lavender plant and a pot of three herbs for cooking.
Never mind I have HUGE rosemary bushes at home!
I need some for HERE!! I even pulled up some mint and threw it in a pot for my teas!

We had THE most relaxing drive home! Collins Street Bakery is just an hour and a half or so from home so we stopped there for a light supper.

We were home sitting on the driveway with our feet propped up before we knew it!
I always clean the night before we leave so I can come home to a neat and tidy house!

Friday I spent the day with my Mother and three older grandchildren - aged 6,8, and 10.
What did Louis Dean do while I was away? 
(we came in our car so his truck was still at the camper!)
Baked!! And baked and baked some more!!!
Friday was his cinnamon roll day!
I only brought half a dozen rolls back with me - we gave all the rest away!

Saturday dawned crisp and cool!!
This was his roll baking day!
My big chore for this trip was changing out my closet from spring/summer to fall/winter. I have a TON of fall/winter clothes so it is a lopsided exchange!

WHAT a mess!! My house was built in the late 50's and they had not heard of LARGE walk in closets!! Although I have to admit to having THREE closets.
One is in the hall and holds my denim wardrobe.
The other is a TINY thing in what used to be Summer's and then later Amber's bedroom. Their clothes were always squished in and wrinkled as all get out!

It looked strange to see it all empty! I did one side at a time since the closet has sliding mirror doors. Summer painted the 'Linda's Closet' on the back wall in 1983 after our house burned and we had to redo it all. I got a kick out of seeing that again!
 I DID get it all done on that lovely crispy cool day!

Summer, Raynie and Sabrina arrived that afternoon.
Summer had her work clothes on and pulled out all the lawn equipment to do the yard. She gave it a real 'MANICURE!' Trimmed buses and ground cover - she did the whole nine yards!

We all ended up relaxing in the gazebo!
This wasn't our first fire out by the gazebo this season but close to it!

Grand doll Raynie.......

She LOVES Cookie Butter!!
Sabrina says she eats like a little bird!!

This WAS the first fire of the season in the den!
Summer spent the night. As a mother, I am always thrilled when Summer spends the night!
I sleep so well knowing I have a 'child' under my roof again!
  Sherry came by for a visit.
Sherry is Louis Dean's son's wife and we love her dearly!!!

Louis Dean bribed her to stay for a nice visit with the promise of a batch of fresh rolls hot from the oven! She would have stayed anyway but he loves to gift his rolls out!!

Every roll weighs exactly the same!

We made a supper of cheese, salami, fresh bread and butter and a glass of wine!

It was heavenly!!!

Sunday morning Louis Dean was up EARLY baking chicken for the Whitfield Family Reunion at Mineral Wells State Park!

I always take a picture of the old court house in Weatherford which is a half hour from the park. Always!

Four generations!
My mother, me, Raynie and 'Mummers!'

Me, my brother, Lonnie, and his lovely wife, Michele, and HER granddaughter!

Raynie and Katie Love had such a good time together!

My super sweet sister, Nita, and Michele!

We had SUCH a good time!

While the quads were not there - they did get a lot of attention!
Not EVERY family has a set of quadruplets!!!
Fortunately we had photos and a photo book to pass around!

Mother is showing my Aunt Alice the 'Birth Book' Amber gave me.
Aunt Alice is 92 and just now quit driving and had to give up bowling - which she LOVED!! - because the lanes were too far away to walk!!
She and Mother are the two oldest members of our family now.

Mother enjoyed herself!

We were all grateful to be together once again.

Monday morning meant it was time to do last minute chores, clean house and get ready to leave........

but not until we had morning coffee with homemade biscotti from Sabrina!
It was DELICIOUS!!!!
TWO tins!! She gave me TWO tins!
I am being real stingy with it, too!!

Every October I paint a Christmas Santa.....usually painting TWO so I have one for the Fort Worth Family Gift Exchange.
Sabrina usually joins me but last year didn't work out and now we are 250 miles apart on art night - traditionally every Tuesday. I looked and looked and for the longest time I could NOT find the project I had ear marked for 2012.....and FINALLY!!! I looked BEHIND the blank canvas on the easel and there it WAS!!

This Santa is a gift bag I bought last year and I fell in love with it!
I cut the front from the back since it was printed on both sides of the bag and mailed off one of them to Sabrina!
We may paint separately or by Skype but we WILL paint!!

All too soon our 5 days at home were over!!
The car was packed as tight as a drum!
We had one last glass of wine while sitting on the driveway and then Louis Dean was off to bed! At 7:00 pm!!! I stayed up cleaning til nearly 11:00 - finally fell into a deep sleep right before LD woke me up at 2:30 this morning!!

I drive us home on Thursday and he drives us back down here on Tuesday mornings.
I sleep in the back sleep - and though it was a tight fit this trip - I slept all the way!
We arrived in time for me to make the 9:30 am Quad Squad feeding!
Tuesday is one of the days we both stay over there so Amber can take her laptop and get out to do some work.

Louis Dean has been awake since 1:30 this morning and is sitting outside waiting for me so we can light our first fire in the new fire pit he bought for down here!! Supper will be a simple spaghetti and meat sauce and I have promised him he can eat 'fireside!'

It's been a long day but we had a lovely visit back home and are happily settling in to our camper home - once again!!


Sweet Tea said...

I love me a good schedule, but I must bow to you, as the "Schedule Queen". You find a way to make everything fit together nicely. Great photos, and now I'm hungry after seeing all the yummy food!

Vee said...

Oh we've chuckled along as I read this aloud to John. We think you two are amazing and we want one of those biscuits. Your mother looks so happy to be sharing her greats with her sister. Too cute! Lots of cuties in your family.

Chatty Crone said...

I tell you what - you have the best and busiest schedule I have ever ever seen and it looks lie so much fun. So what do you use cookie butter for.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

A wonderful time was had by all. Thank you for continuing your saga.

Bev said...

Wow what a packed full time!! Sounds like you got lots done and had lots of fun too!!

Kelly said...

My goodness, you've been a busy beaver! Looks like you got some great goodies at Trader Joe's. Wish I had once close to me. I've never heard of Cookie Butter. What in the world is it? It looks like peanut butter. It was nice to meet other members of your family. You and your sister favor each other. You're lucky that LD likes to cook and bake. I think if I was away, my husband would just go fishing! Ha!

darlin said...

Linda you've sure been busy, but in an awesome way! Your granddaughter is precious and so adorable. It's amazing your Aunt just gave up driving and now bowling as well, how unfortunate she can't have someone drive her there.

LD hats off to you for the amazing job you do with your baking, now I want some homemade bread, I guess the Polish sweet loaf I picked up today will have to suffice.

Have a wonderful week, I don't know how you do all you do but you're such an inspiration Linda!


Petie@inspirednesting.com said...

Love, love, love all the family time you and yours have together. That's so important! And all that good looking food...cheese, crackers, bread and wine is my kind of dinner too ;)

Linda said...

I'm wondering what counts as 'cool and crisp' temperatures with you! Probably a nice warm summer day for us!
And the price of a bottle of wine! The general supermarket price we would expect to pay would be around £6 - not sure how much that is in dollars except that it's a lot more than you pay. Is it European or American wine? Or Australian or South American, South African - all of which we have a lot of.

Best wishes for your next stint with the adorable quads.

Robin@DecoratingTennisGirl said...

Wow, girl, you are on the go! I might have to have a nap after reading it all! lol. Life is good!

Bernice said...

What a wonderful post, you can fit so much into such a little amount of time..your Grandaughter Raynie is a little doll,your family reunion looked like a great time, and I could almost smell the warm rolls..yumm.

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

You do pack things in!!!!! :-))))


Blondie's Journal said...

I love family reunions...thanks so much for sharing your pics. It does look like your mom was having a great time!

What a busy five days you had and you got so much done along with having a good time with Louis Dean and family. You remind me that I have to switch my clothes out, too. I bet my closets are smaller than yours! It is in the low 40's today and I am grabbing layers of clothes to wear outside.

I hope you have a great week, sweet lady!


PS...those rolls look delish!

Dee said...

Such a busy but happy lady.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

You pack so much into your days...into your weeks...into your life! I think you are living it to the fullest.

I'm looking forward to seeing your painted Santa project.

I have a granddaughter Raynie as well...her name is Ranen (pronounced Ray-nen) and we often call her Raynie.

Carla said...

wow was that was fire place in the picture?
That's cool looking.