California Trip – so far

Safely arrived in California Thursday afternoon.  It has been non-stop ever since.

Thursday evening we went out for dinner with my sister and brother-in-law.  All of us enjoyed a delicious breakfast for dinner.  French toast with lots of peanut butter and syrup.  Yum, the only way to eat it.

On Friday, Hubby and I Christmas shopped, went “up the hill” to Hesperia to see son Darin’s and DIL Shannon’s new house that they had just moved into.  I should have taken pictures.  Lovely big beautiful house.  

We then went to the first of many Christmas parties.  It was an outdoor party with delicious looking food and a live band.  I say delicious “looking” because we were too cold to stay and had to leave before the food was served.  I heard later that the party went on into the wee hours of the morning and a good time was had by all.  Hubby and I were the “oldsters” at the party and just couldn’t handle the cool California night.  

Saturday, a little more shopping and then cooking in preparation for the Christmas party at my niece’s house.  This party was my sister’s family Christmas party.  Even though we are not immediate family, we are always invited.  Fortunately she has a beautiful big house that accommodates this huge family comfortably.  There were about 45 people who makes my sister’s immediate family – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I can’t even begin to describe the food – pot luck – but I’ll try.

Beef enchiladas – macaroni and cheese with lobster – salads of many kinds – fried chicken strips – beans of all kinds – prime rib – potato cheese and ham casserole – manicotti – meatballs – buffalo chicken with cheese – baked potato chunks with blue cheese – apple betty – cake – candy – cookies – I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, but that was the gist of it.  Why oh why didn’t I get a picture of this spread??

The special guests were the three babies that were born during this past year.

Liam

Sophia

Gavin

and yes Santa!!! 

We had the best time playing the gift exchange game where one person opens a gift and the next person can “steal’ it or any other opened gift or take a new one, and so on.  You can only imagine 42 people playing this game, stealing, laughing, etc.  Great fun.

The tree was so festive and beautiful.

Sister and brother-in-law joined their grandchildren and Santa for a beautiful Christmas picture.

Yesterday we took time to organize all the toys that were donated by my son’s Speech and Debate class.  Son Dave is the teacher.  These toys will be distributed to less fortunate children.  What a blessing.  

Look who joined the picture.  That’s my great-grandson, Deegan and of course, my little Meeka had to jump in too.

We ended the evening at daughter Karla’s house.  Son-in-law Carlos BBQ’d –  which is always a treat.  He makes the very best Tri Tip on his BBQ.  I don’t think I’ve ever had any better.  We stayed quite late, just talking and catching up, listening to great music, laughing and just enjoying each other.  Granddaughter Katrina was also there.

That’s about it for the first few days in California.  Lot’s more to come!

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

FINALLY RAINING IN SUNNY ARIZONA

LOVE WATCHING IT RAIN IN THE POOL

Baking! Great Grandchildren! Fun!

Thursday we are going to southern California to spend Christmas with our family.

Really looking forward to spending time with these little treasures.

 Great grandson, Deegan and great granddaughter, Leila.

Can life get any better than this?

Started baking today, made many many mini pumpkin loaves.

Got loads of them wrapped in foil and in the freezer.

The kitchen just kept getting messier and messier

Of course I need my stool to sit on when I get too exhausted to stand.

 Made dozens and dozens of cookies, chocolate chip, pumpkin spice, peanut butter, and sugar cookies

Oh the kitchen got messier and messier.

Well, everything is packed away.  The kitchen is all put back together.

California here we come!!!!!

Life is Good.

The Girls Christmas Photos

I wanted to take the girls to get their Christmas pictures taken this year, but it’s not going to happen before we leave for the Christmas holidays. So we will have to make due with last year’s photos. They are pretty adorable if I do say so myself.

Sugar and Meeka wish you the very best

of Christmas holidays ever.

 We used this picture of the two of them for our Christmas card.

Sugar Plum born 9-11-01 Age 10

Look at that sweet face!

Meeka born 5-20-03  Age 8

The little imp!

Don’t you think they look so cute in their Christmas collars mama made them?

I’m pretty sure Santa is coming to bring them lots of treats and toys.


Birthday Wishes

Tomorrow is my little boy’s birthday, my youngest, my baby.

Okay, so he is going to be 39 years old.

A mother’s love never changes, except that it just grows deeper and stronger.

 

You have been a true joy in my life even through the tough times of your youth.  We have come so far together.

With you I have experienced love, tears, joy, patience, worry, pride, and  much gratitude.

Happy Birthday Darin!

Random Decorations

No tree this year because we will be out of town for Christmas.

But I still had to put out a little Christmas cheer.

Even my lovely village that I haven’t put up since 1999.

My table usually looks so beautiful when I have all my Spode Christmas dishes out.  I haven’t decided whether to take them out of not  – just for our enjoyment.  Not having Christmas here this year!

Maybe we will have company next year and I can go crazy with the decorations.

Such a Good Napper

Such a good napper my little Meeka is.  

Ah, this feels so good!

What’s that? You want me to wake up?

Oh my gosh, look at the eye she is giving me.

Ah, never mind, I’m going back to sleep.

Yep, little Meeka is my definition of unconditional love.

Christmas Sweaters

One of my favorite things about this time of the year is that I get to pull out all my Christmas sweaters and shirts.  I have been collecting them since about 1994 – the same year I started collecting my Christmas Spode dishes.  I have quite a lot of each.  So I’m really excited, the sweaters are at the cleaners, the sweat shirts, etc. have been washed and they are now hanging in my closet for daily use.  Well, my sister, who is over a decade older than I am called me to tell me she will not be wearing her Christmas sweaters this year because she has noticed that only “old” people wear them.  I tell her WE ARE OLD!!!!

Well, I don’t let that bother me, I put on one of my favorites and enjoyed wearing it to church this morning.

My granddaughter is hosting our family Christmas Eve party this year.  It will be her first time.  She is very excited and has lots planned.  She texted me and asked me if I could bring all my Christmas clothes because she is having an “ugly” Christmas sweater contest and not everyone has Christmas clothes!

Is someone trying to tell me something?

Well, I don’t care, I’m old and can do and wear whatever I want, right?  I’ll bring the sweaters though because I a good sport.  All I can say is that I better win!!!

62!

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I will be 62 years old.  Wasn’t I just 30?  It never ceases to amaze me how life just seems to fly by when you are not looking.  I’ve lived through good times and not so good times, and I have learned a few things in my 62 years.  So I thought I’d share a list (in no particular order) of 62 things I know to be true for me.

  1. Life is Good, no matter how it might be showing up at the moment.
  2. I have lived through things I never thought I could – I will always be okay.
  3. I have choices, always – I may not like my choices, but at least I have them.
  4. People treat me pretty much the way I treat them.
  5. It’s important not to set limitations on myself.  I am capable of more than I could ever know.
  6. You pretty much get what you expect, so pay attention to your expectations.
  7. Music soothes my soul.
  8. Dogs show us the real meaning of unconditional love.
  9. We truly are ONE.  If I hurt someone else, I hurt myself.  If I’m kind to another, I’m being kind to myself.
  10. Families can be a handful, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
  11. It’s all in the way I look at it.  Attitude is everything.
  12. It’s not worth it to allow myself to worry and become stressed.  I’ve found out it’s better not to make that choice.  (Yes, it is a choice.)
  13. Two or more people can see the same thing and interpret it differently.  It doesn’t mean there is a wrong or right way.
  14. I don’t have control over situations or others, I can only control my reaction.
  15. The words “blame” (as in I blame someone) and “fault” (as in it’s your fault) have no room in my vocabulary.
  16. I do better and feel better when the sun is shining.
  17. It’s important for me to keep a gratitude list and add to it every day.
  18. My children and grandchildren can do no wrong in my eyes.
  19. Holding on to resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.
  20. There is nothing wrong with having abundant amounts of money.
  21. Keeping in touch with friends and family is my responsibility.
  22. Prejudice has no place in my life.
  23. It’s important for me to stay in the “now” and out of the “how.”
  24. When I let go, Life flows so much more easily.
  25. If I don’t get something I’m looking forward to, it usually means that something better is coming along.
  26. I certainly don’t know everything, but I can pretty much find out whatever I want to know.
  27. I love cooking, it’s always better than eating out.
  28. I’ll never understand new math.
  29. It’s the little things that count and at the same time, I don’t sweat the small stuff.
  30. Someone is always on my side.
  31. Making a decision to be a loving person is the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
  32. It’s my not business to judge others.
  33. Don’t give unsolicited advice.
  34. It feels good to send out loving healing thoughts to others.
  35. Everything is exactly as it is supposed to be at any point in time.
  36. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
  37. I’m okay just the way I am.
  38. To give is great, but it takes work to be open to receive.
  39. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.
  40. Taking drugs is stupid.
  41. Smoking is stupid.
  42. Okay, so the last two were judgmental, but it’s what I’ve learned.
  43. I am worthy.
  44. There is no room for jealousy in love.  You can’t be jealous and loving at the same time.
  45. It’s not only okay, but necessary to create healthy boundaries.
  46. When people are mean to you or complain about you, it says more about them than about you.
  47. Sometimes people just need a smile or a friendly ear.
  48. Chocolate coffee is to die for.
  49. If you want to enjoy the ocean, you have to leave the shore.
  50. If you take good care of your body when you are young, by the time you are my age, you will be very happy you did.
  51. Don’t take people for granted, it could be your loss.
  52. Nothing is the end of the world.
  53. It’s useless to feel guilty for other people’s feelings.
  54. Chicken noodle soup really does help to heal.
  55. It’s not okay to dress or make my appearance to please anyone other than myself.
  56. It’s not okay to try to make someone else responsible for my joy or happiness.
  57. It’s important to just be myself, everyone else is already taken.
  58. I will never understand the cruelty and bigotry of some people no matter how hard I try.
  59. I will also never understand why it is so hard to lose weight.
  60. All Life is a blessing.
  61. Forgiving others ALWAYS benefits me.
  62. Last, but not least, God loves me just the way I am.

So these are some of MY life lessons and may not apply to anyone else

The little dog in the pictures was “Ginger” the wonder dog.  Her Mommy and Daddy were very close friends of ours when we lived back in Missouri.  Ginger passed away a few years ago, but I have many, many fabulous pictures of her posing in all sorts of clothes and various situations.  She was truly adorable.