Sunday, November 28, 2021

My Decorating Buddy Returned!

My decorating buddy returned to spend Friday night with us - all by herself!
Quadruplets don't get a great deal of one-on-one time as often as singletons do so this was a precious gift both to us and for Trystan and I thank Amber and Mike for sharing her with us. 

We stayed up late watching a Hallmark Christmas movie and eating popcorn.
I don't think Trystan has ever slept all by herself before (she and Logan share a a room at home) and I could tell she was a tiny bit nervous. No worries! Granddad decided to sleep in the guest room and Trystan slept in our room. Win! WIN!!!
She usually gets up on the early side do I these days.
I was up at 7:00 Saturday morning.....

but Trystan slept until a little after 10:00!!
I'm thinking that was a good thing and she felt comfortable here.
"May I interest you in a cup of coffee?" I asked.
We had the nicest day!
More Hallmark Christmas movies and a lot of decorating!!

I could not have finished the living room without her help!
She has a great eye for what looks good and came up with some really good ideas.

I may be one of the last people in the world to listen to music CDs on a stereo with a 5 disk player.
Remember the days when we would 'burn a CD?'
That's what I did to this one. It was a favorite and got scratched so I made a copy.
When was that??? Well over 20 years ago!

Trystan took this long picture telling me her mommy taught her how to do it.
She and I were both pretty happy with the way the living room looked when we got through!
It took us until 4:00 on Saturday afternoon before we stopped to clean up and get ready to join all the other Bells on a Family Movie Date!

It was so much fun to be a part of all the excitement of a movie outing with them.
The film was showing at Amber's favorite theater and we even ate dinner along with popcorn while we watched. 
That was Saturday night and I stayed over at their house after we got back and did last night's journal entry.

This morning Louis Dean and I met up with them all at church.
I love that we all worship's a true joy to my heart to watch these children grow up.
I'm so enormously proud of Amber and Mike and the parents they are.

Louis Dean came home and he watched football while I was back at the decorating and cleaning.
I am so far behind where I meant to be.....and now we have this Internet trouble. Or lack of Internet, I should say. Lillian called me all crying and upset about the nurse that gives out the medications.
I promised her I would be over to see her this week and bring her some peanut butter and sugar free strawberry preserves and a small loaf of bread.....and A&W Cream Soda wit Dr Pepper.
It's the little things that cheer us I'm going to buy her a new Christmas tree and set that up for her. Lots to do and I don't seem to have my normal amount of energy to get it all done.

But step by just keepgoing and pretty soon you have accomplished what you needed to do.

After driving around tonight looking for a place to scarf up some Internet (reminding myself of Sandra of the Mad Snapper!) I ended up where I should have come in the first place - at my friend, Pam's house!
Wonder where I will go tomorrow??

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Thanksgiving in Fort Worth 2021

It was with grateful hearts that we gathered together in Fort Worth at Nita and Mike's to celebrate Thanksgiving! There were 21 of us altogether and we had the best time!

We three sisters!!

And here is Lonnie and behind Deanie is her granddaughter, Andie.
I knew she was growing up but it still came as a shock to realize that she is 18 years old now!!

I would like to announce that I arrived right on time - 11:00!!
To the minute!
However, I forgot the TWO batches of pumpkin muffins the kids and I made on Tuesday.
AND I forgot all the pretty fall paper napkins and dessert plates!
Seems I can't be on time AND remember to get everything.

This is the DEE-licious dip Charity made and we were scarfing it down like crazy!
It's diced cream cheese, chopped jalapeno, and crispy cooked bacon with seasoings and served warm.
I am SO making this for Christmas Eve.

It's always a celebration woth lots of good food!
Leah and Patrick outdid themselves this year!
Patrick made the smoked turkey breast and THE best green beans I have ever eaten!
Leah made the lemon carrots and the cranberry sauce/relish dish......
and she sent the recipes out to us for the veggie dishes if you are interested.
Trust me, they are not  your routine run-of-the-mill dishes but truly a pair of culinary delights!

Deanie has been making the dressing for years and years and Andie now makes it having watched her grandmother time after time. One day, she wrote it all down and can make it  exactly as Deanie did.
It's a good thing to write down the family recipes to keep for future generations.

These two handsome guys are Charlie's grandsons, Tyler and Nathan.
Tyler is who I had in mind when we made the pumpkin muffins that I forgot to bring!
He has always loved them and I meant to give him what ones were left after the meal.
 I was so disappointed I didn't bring them.

Leah and Trish.....
Nita's daughter and Deanie's daughter and two lovely ladies!
Trish was the one who helped Louis Dean get an appointment for his driver's license renewal.
Summer would have liked to be in this photo but Rayne had a bad rash and they decided it best not to come since they weren't sure what it was. 

Leah, her husband Patrick and his mother, Dee.

David and Charity with son Jordan in the background.
David is Charlie's son.

Jordan, Kim - Charlie's daughter, Bailey and her dad, David.

My handsome son, Benjamin!

Trish dearly loves her NeeNee!!

Andie, me and Trish.....

It was a wonderful day of fun, food and fellowship!

Charlie, grandson Nathan and son in law Alan.

I think I got a picture of everyone there and that is thanks to Nita and Leah for sharing their photos!

Nit and Mike make hosting a dinner for 21 look easy!
Some years that number has been double that and they STILL made it look easy!
Thank you, Nita and Mike!!!

I dropped Lillian's Christmas wreath off at the nursing home expecting her NOT to be there but she had decided not to go to her her granddaughter's after all. I told her we would be back next week to set up a Christmas tree for her.

The weather had turned chilly by the time we were heading home and I was so sleepy I could hardly stay I made myself comfy in the den and slept through that Cowboy/Chiefs game!!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Just a note....Our Internet is down at our house so I am over at Amber's to do this journal entry. I think it's a router problem and I'm not savvy about figuring anything like that out. I still have wifi on my phone but I will  have to be creative in keeping up my journal!

Friday, November 26, 2021

Home, Four Bells, Tea Party and Thanksgiving Eve.....

 Louis Dean and I were up early on Monday morning and on the road back to Irving before 9:00!
His dental appointment was at 1:00 and I called at 9:03 to confirm the time.
Alas, when we arrived - we found out the hygienist had not come in - so we had to reschedule for the next afternoon! Louis Dean was hoping to get out of it altogether - but that didn't work!

Summer is back from Arkansas and scored big with her birthday gift for him!

This clever tool will get out any stripped screw no matter what size.

It was a good day.....a cozy  fire, warm socks, and a Hallmark Christmas movie.
It's good to be back home.

Guess who's back??

Our cats!
Amber brought them over Tuesday along with the kids who stayed with us overnight.
We all had such a good time! First, the kids and I got in the car and Granddad got in his truck and followed us to the dentist....

I wasn't taking any chances on him getting lost and missing this appointment!
We circled the parking lot and watched him go in, just to be sure he didn't get back in his truck and go back home.

The kids and I went on to Years to Your Health store which the they found fascinating!


They were such well behaved children as they looked through the whole store, sampled with complimentary tea, and browsed the minerals, rocks and crystals.
The lady who worked there was totally impressed with them and I even took her pic with them.
From there we shopped Aldi which is a lot different from shopping Target with their mom nut just as entertaining.

Back home, Harrison washed the car for me - he noticed how dirty my windshield and windows were.
(My wiper/wash thingy is not working.)

The girls all cut flowers and....

filled bird feeders while I took down a huge strand of burned out lights from the front porch and put up fresh ones.

My first Christmas Card for 2021 came in the mail....

The kids had fun doing one thing and then another and enjoyed running around the front yard playing tag while their granddad and I sat out there watching them.

Trystan helped me finish the porch decorations before we went in to eat supper.

Goulash, garlic green beans, garlic bread and grapes.
The kids all wolfed it down like it was the best food in the world.

It was the first time the grands have spent the night in a good long while and I had bought a brand new camping cot for Harrison to sleep on. They all wanted to sleep in the guest room together and we made it work. Although, after they were in bed and sound asleep, I went in and chceked on them and realized that the cot was pushed all the way up to the cabinet holding the litter box inside - and pillows blocking any way they could get around the cot! I managed to pull the cot down a few inches and removed the pillows and propped the bedroom door open so the cats could get in if and when they need to.
Crisis averted!

For weeks now I have been getting up earlier than in much earlier!
As in 6:30 this morning. I was sitting in the den with my cup of coffee when Trystan joined me.
I asked if I could interest her in a cup of coffee!
We had a cozy little one on one time together - which is a real treat when you have two sisters and a brother all the same age as you.

Kailey was up next and she fixed herself a cup of coffee - which is a little coffee and a lot of milk with a hearty squirt of Hershey's chocolate syrup.
It wasn't long before all three girls were awake along with Granddad and we did our morning reading time together.

Since it was Thanksgiving Eve, I put the ham in the electric roaster and set it out on the kitchen deck.

I had some of the hen and chicks plants from last weekend and we potted the rest of them up for them to take home.

We had a High Tea Party that served as lunch on Wednesday.

They still love their tea parties and it was like old times with all the talk and laughter and Harrison trying to talk his sisters out of their tea cakes!

This was Trystan's plate - all neatly arranged.

While we had our tea party - Granddad had taken over the kitchen and was making his dinner rolls for Thanksgiving!

While his dough was proofing, we cleared the tea table and loaded the dishwasher and then got out of the kitchen so he could finish his bread. He has a hard time concentrating so it is best if no one goes in there or even talks to him while he's baking.

We played hand after hand of NUTS and had such a good time.
The kids are actually pretty good at it and they want to play with the adults on Christmas Eve!

The rolls turned out perfect....thanks to Trystand and me for watching them in the oven and taking them out before they burned! By the time he gets to the baking part, Louis Dean is worn out and has been known to let them burn.

Trystan was my decorating buddy all day long and, together, we decorated the foyer.
She had some great ideas and worked so hard! She truly made a huge difference in how much I got done that day.

We finished a Hallmark Christmas movie just as Amber and Mike arrived to pick the kids up.
We all  enjoyed every single minute together!

The girls each left a little something behind for us to find....

Logan made a rose petal heart for me.

Kailey left this note on our bed......

"You are the best
Thank you for all you do.
Us four kids are greatful to have you.
Your granddaughter Kailey"

Then this note was from Trystan.....
What happened was this......
she and I were decorting in the foyer and she was reaching up to add something and her sleeve caught this little ice skater and he broke his leg.
I found her standing out on the porch looking so forlorn and it broke my heart.
She was so upset at breaking it and I quickly told her it was no big deal! Granddad could fix that up in no time. She left this sweet note on his desk in the music room and was amazed at how fast he repaired it!

It was wonderful to have the kids here and get to spend such quality time together!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Our November Country Weekend.....

 Saturday morning came early! Sherry and Dean picked us up at 8:00 and we headed to Hamilton, Texas for Thanksgiving with Sherry's parents and family.

It was just a two hour drive so we were there not long after 10:00.
They have a wonderful place and I love their elevated deck which looks out to a huge back yard with country stretching out beyond the back fence as far as the eye can see.
This is Les on the left....Sherry's dad. Louis Dean had an absolutely perfect day doing what he loves to, visit, eat, and talk some more. He stayed outside the entire time we were there and we were there all day. 

Father and Son......
As people arrived, new ones would spend some time out there on the deck and then drift back in the house, so the 'cast of characters' were constantly changing. Except for Louis Dean. He held court and enjoyed visiting with the young men of the family as well as with Les.

Ruth Ann and Roy arrived and I snapped this pic of Dean hugging his 'Auntie.'
Now Roy went out to visit with the guys....

You can see what a beautiful day it was.
Sherry's mom, Jean, prayed for good weather and that's exactly what the Lord gave her!

Ruth Ann and I decided to do a little walk about as the kitchen had filled up with people getting the meal ready. 

This place is across the street and up a few houses and I was intrigued by how interesting it was. 
The fence was decorated!! Now THAT'S a thought!!
I longed to get a better look at everything so I knowcked on the door and told the lady who answered how much I admired their yard. The Tischlers live here and they were so sweet and friendly to us.

The first thing Mrs. Tischler said to me was, "Would you like some Hen and Chicks?"

These are hardy little succulents and survive frost and even snow.
This couple had HUNDREDS of these and snapped off a sack full for Ruth Ann and I to share.
(They are easy to grow so I planted a pot with four of them for the ranch when we got back and will take some home to plant tomorrow.)

We walked back to find everyone busy and the food just about ready to serve!
We all held hands and stood in a circle for prayer. 
We numbered nearly 20 or so......It was Sherry's parents, her youngest sister and her daughter and son in law and granddaughter and her youngest son. Then Sherry's daughter and her Jimmy, Roy and Ruth Ann, Louis Dean and I, and Linda and Ken - beloved Dean and Sherry. So that's 17!

The food was amazing and there was plenty of it!

Can you see Roy and Ruth Ann? And Louis Dean, of course.
That's Les in the background and neighbor Ken in the red plaid shirt.

My plate!
And I ate every bite!

Louis Dean did go inside just long enough to make himself a plate and then he was right back out there on the swatter in hand!

We had a smoked turkey breast, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cream cheese corn, squash casserole, and rolls, plus cheese and olives and tomatoes and more and more!

This is one of the many desserts!
Crockpot Spiced Apple Dump Cake.....and it did smell heavenly!

I fell into a serious food coma and stayed that way the rest of the day!

Crystal (Sherry's daughter) just finished her first year of gardening and discovered that she's really good at it! She now has a green house and raised beds and all the building of a garden is now done. 
She has been so successful that I can't wait to see what she does next year!
She gave me a bag of the last of her garden produce!
The purple and yellow peppers are so crisp and good and those tiny tomatoes are sweet as sugar!
I haven't eaten that striped small pepper yet but I'm looking forward to it!

We saw some Christmas lights on our way home last night and we made plans for our Decemeber visit that includes dinnner and a light tour. Since we can't drive at night, the only way we can see them is if someone else takes us! Speaking of Christmas lights, I was up extra early Saturday morning because I wanted to string up the rest of the LED colored lights I'd brought. You could SEE our lights when we were driving down County Line Road!!!

It seemed later than it was last night when we came in. 
7:00 feels more like 9:00 or 10:00 these days.
Still, I settled down to do some art before going to bed.
I need to get my Christmas truck painted in time for the Chinese Christmas Tree!

Sunday morning in the country!
We had our coffee and devotionals before walking down to see the critters at Dean and Sherry's.

We saw Dean out 'walking his goats' he says.....that means he's staking them out.
They each have a chain and he stakes them in a different area every day to graze.
The 'mops' aka Remmie and Rugar are excellent dogs to have out here.
No longer do they have coyotes sneaking in at night and it's been a long time since a goat or chicken has been killed by one.

I never made it down to check out Sherry's new chickies last time we were here......

so I wanted to see them while they were still babies!

So cute!!!
Sherry does love her critters!

Some of their layers are getting older so it's always a good thing to have younger ones coming up.

We all bring our pumpkins to the ranch where it seems like all the critters like them!
I'll be bringing mine down when we come back next month.

I cleaned out the top boy bunk today to get to my bee suit and some of the Christmas decorations I have down here.

I pulled out this handmade quilt sewn from polyester fabrics to use as a tablecloth on our picnic table.
I used to sew all my mother's work clothes - back when polyester knits were so popular.
I recognize all these fabrics! The only thing I do NOT know is - who made this quilt??

Sherry and I checked our bees this afternoon.
We lost a hive last week.
Sherry and Dean checked on all of them and hive #1 was one of our strongest.
However, when they opened it up - the bees were gone.
No dead bee bodies. Just no bees at all.
They don't normally swarm this time of year - but they are not there!
That brought us down to 5 hives.

We were a little nervous when we saw all these ladybugs everywhere.
They were on every single hive and then they were on both of us, too!
Thankfully, all our bees are fine. 
Each hive looked healthy with plenty of bees.
We were suited up and had our smokers - but we could have done this inspection without any of that.
We didn't even need gloves!
But you never know, so we suit up every single time.

We combined all our leftovers and had a late lunch - early dinner this afternoon.
While we meant to go home today before dark....we saw that wasn't going to happen so we opted to spend another night and go home in the morning.
Louis Dean has a dental appointment in early Monday afternoon so we MUST be there on time!

I cleaned up the art table, added some Christmas things to cozy it up, cleaned and vacuumed the front room and prepared for our departure!

While I didn't finish this canvas, I am close enough to know I can do it in one more session!

It was a wonderful country weekend!!