Monday, November 30, 2015

A Scowl and a Blank Canvas!

It is DONE!!!
 Fall is packed away and I am ready to embrace December first thing in the morning!
 Or at least around 10:00 AM or so!
The house looks bare and lonely without all the 'debris' everywhere.

I stripped everything from the front porch and took down all the burned out strands of lights and put up fresh new ones! Still turning things over in my mind as to what I want to do out here this year!

This was the way it looked like last year.
I can't believe I already had so much done by November 30th!
I'm LATE! But I'm also nursing a head cold that makes me feel like I'm drowning!
Good thing I cleared my calendar of all activities because it's gonna take all week!
And then some, maybe!!

However, as I write, ALL fall is stored away and believe you me - it was a JOB!!!

Just a small portion of all the things my dear husband had to put up in the attic today!

I had a TOTAL of:
24 tubs - packed FULL!
10 big black garbage sacks
11 white kitchen bags

AND I forgot about about the 7 pumpkins and fall garland I bought in Galveston last week!
It's still in the trunk of my car but I'm going to sack it up and tuck it up in the attic all by myself!

I do NOT have the courage to ask Louis Dean to do another thing!

I hauled ONE tub up there to the attic but he did all the rest!
We used all the available attic space over the bedroom and guest room and it was packed TIGHT!

I doctored this pic every which way but I could NOT remove the scowl from his face!!
Next year I may ask my oldest grandson if he can come help me.
I think this was LD's last year to do it.
The insulation really bothers his asthma.
I got most of it down by myself by doing a little at a time but putting it back UP has to be done all at once!

Christmas will be no problem as we have it stored in the old playhouse right outside our bedroom patio. I stored it away last year all by myself and I can get it out with no help!

Maybe some day I can use the storage building - the part that is downstairs - to hold my fall things.
But I'll think about that later!
For now I have a blank canvas and I am so excited about decorating for Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Catching up! Friday-Saturday-Sunday!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving around here and we just kept right on celebrating!
 Friday evening we took Jutta over to Quadville to meet everyone. Jutta first followed Amber's blog and then found mine about 3 years ago.

We had a lovely evening! 

Amber and Mike had put out a platter of appetizers and I had brought a bottle of sparkling wine.
Louis Dean picked up a stack of pizzas and it was a PARTY!

Kailey got my phone and said, "You got pishers, MeeMaw?"
She found them herself!

I remember the days when I could hold all four in my lap!
Someday not even the love seat will hold us all!

I think Jutta enjoyed meeting the quads!

They each take turns sitting with Granddad during the course of any visit.
They ALL get one on one time with him!

Trystan and Harrison like to use my phone, too!
I never thought I would hand a brand new iPhone to a child!
OR that that child could actually operate it!

Kailey is trying to fill some pretty big shoes!!!
It's a wonder she could even pick up her feet!

I thought I would introduce you to Jutta's granddaughter!
Isn't this just the sweetest photo EVER????
Her daddy is the one who is undergoing treatment for cancer so we are continuing to remember him in our prayers. They are expecting a new baby this spring.


The rain continued all night long and well into Saturday.
Jutta said this weather was much like Finland - except that it isn't dark all the time.
In Finland they only have 6 hours of daylight at this time of year.

Louis Dean cooked up a home style breakfast and played some music for her before she packed her suitcase. His favorite - and hers - was 'I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.' Beautiful.

All too soon, our time with Jutta had drawn to a close.
We sang all the way to the airport and wished her a safe flight back to Finland.
It had been a wonderful experience and we had shared many things.
We shared a traditional American Thanksgiving, shared our faith, our love and our concerns.
She and I  shared tears and laughter and had so much fun together.
We shall always remember our time together and what a treasure it was.

When we got home I went for a long walk in the neighborhood.
We still have roses blooming!

Our Mexican Heather is still thriving with the cooler weather!

It truly feels like fall - at long last!!
I met up with my dear neighbor, Ileen, as she was walking Fudge and I had Lucy.
We walked the rest of the way together and it felt so good to catch up with each other.
Then I came home - it had started to rain - and put on my 32 year old pink flannel nightgown and smeared on a layer of Vick's Vapor Rub and my nose and chest and Ben Gay on my neck - AND WENT TO BED!!! I had been fighting a head cold and now I finally just surrendered to it and went to bed.


We watched The Winning Walk on TV instead of going to church this morning.
No sense in spreading this cold around!

I lit a fire and enjoyed the last Sunday of my fall decorations.
Taking down 'Fall' has begun!

The only guests we will be hosting in the foreseeable future are 4 little quadlings!
So DOWN from the attic came all the toys I had stowed away while Jutta was here!

They are all out in plain sight so they don't have to hunt for them under tablecloths or under the table!

Each room in the house will get Undecorated and cleaned before I start bringing in all the Christmas 'debris!' I did put this plaid runner in the guest room to set the stage.

I love our bedroom and I cleaned every square inch!
I intend to use a lot of red in here for Christmas!

I have tried to pace myself and not overdo things.
SEVEN tubs are now full and up in the attic of FALL!
That's just a smidgen of what will be packed and stored away by this time tomorrow night!
Then the decorating can begin!!!
This will be the first year I can get to everything all by myself!
It's all in the old play house right outside my bedroom door.
I can't TELL you how happy this makes Louis Dean!!!!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Introducing Jutta to my Home and Family!

Wednesday morning we packed up and waved goodbye to Casa Del Mar!!

You will notice how LIGHT we were traveling!
Jutta had only the blue suitcase and one bag......the rest are mine but we made it down using only ONE cart!!!

We left the island and made it all the way across Houston before stopping at The Cracker Barrel for breakfast!

Good choice!

We NEEDED this coffee for the journey home!
The Interstate was crowded and it is a long way.
Jutta now realized just how BIG Texas is!!!

Coffee started our day and wine ended it!
We stopped at Target - another first experience for her - and I picked up some sparkling wine which is her favorite!

At long last she met Louis Dean!!!
It is like magic that she is HERE! With US!!!
We sat in the den......

and we sat in the gazebo! That's where we were when Roy and Ruth Ann arrived.

Of COURSE, we had a dinner party!!!
Louis Dean had made a delicious sirloin roast and gravy along with vegetables and his famous dinner rolls!

Jutta and I ended our evening sitting on the driveway with our feet propped and sipping wine while Louis Dean did the dishes before joining us!

This morning we enjoyed our coffee and nibbled on a cinnamon roll before getting ready for the day.
At Casa Del Mar I woke up much earlier than usual and here at home Jutta is sleeping just a little bit later than normal. We know each other so well! I had got up and turned the coffee on at 7:15 and went back to bed. She got up at 7:20! She could have turned it on herself but my house is so complicated! The coffee pots are plugged into a power strip that also controls the garland of lights over the French doors. Only I would know from habit to slide my hand down the side of the coffee cart and flip on that switch! You need a manual to know how things work around here!!

We were off to Fort Worth to spend Thanksgiving Day with my family!
I assured Jutta it would NOT be a long drive!!

Our hosts!!!
My sweet sister, Nita, and her handsome husband, Mike!
They made preparing and hosting a TON of people look easy!

Four generations of strong women!!!!

Sabrina and Mother......

My beautiful nieces - Trish (on the left) is Deanie's daughter and Leah is Nita's.

We had so much food!!!
Deanie and Charlie made a good bit of the spread with all of us bringing something!

Not one bite of the dressing was left! Not ONE bite!!!
Good job, Deanie and Charlie!!!

Louis Dean's rolls were a big hit - as they are every year!
Summer and Sabrina gave us the cute basket liner AND the basket!!!

Everyone loved Jutta!!!

We sat out on the back porch with wine while we all talked and talked!

Louis Dean held court on the sofa!

Mother was in the big easy chair and we all took turns pulling up another chair beside hers and visiting one on one. 

Jutta fit right in!!!
I love how we all mingle and swarm!
Groups would gather and then a few would move on to another room to visit with others while the empty chairs filled right back up!

Nita with Deanie's son.

Two of my children were able to be a part of this gathering!

Summer gives the best back massages!!!
Then Ben turned right around and gave HER one!

Louis Dean didn't stray far from his spot on the sofa!

Deanie and Charlie had their entire family with them today!
17 people!!!! We had 30 people total!!

Louis Dean, Jutta and I were the last to leave but I do want to go on record that I was NOT late today!!!
The rain had started by the time we left which made perfect napping weather and that's exactly what we did!

We spent the rest of this day talking and laughing and crying and laughing some more and singing and eating and just celebrating our time together!
We have just a short while before Jutta must return home.
Her heart is heavy with concern for her son in law and she is the anchor for her family.
God has a plan. He always does. I am so thankful and humbled and honored that He knew He could trust us to comfort, cheer and encourage this most precious lady.
He has truly knitted our hearts together in love!

Every day is a good day to be THANKFUL!!!