Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MONDAY'S PROJECT! (hint...it's not a sewing project!)

Well we have just finished up a nice 3 day week-end.  Since hubby had Martin Luther's Day off, we had considered going to Mel's, but decided against it.  Instead, we hit a movie on Sat. afternoon, (Patriots Day) and did some grocery shopping and errand running.  Sunday was church and then a quiet afternoon with hubby watching football and me doing a little sewing.  But then yesterday, we decided to tackle our closet.  But before I tell you about that, I have to give you some detail of said closet.  First of all it's huge!  Honestly I have no idea how big it is in reality, but it almost seems like another room, lol.  In the center of it are shelves on both sides, plus shelving all the way around the top as well.  LOTS of storage in other words.  And then of course we have LOTS of hanging clothes room for both of us, hooks for more hanging, and plenty of floor space.  Soooo if you know me at all you know what has happened in this closet. When we first moved in almost 6 years ago now, it quickly became the place to stuff, cram, store things I wasn't sure I wanted to get rid of yet (after all there was plenty of space!) plus room for all kind of extra "necessary" things as well, including things I just didn't know where else to store.  And through the course of the next almost 6 years, EVERYTHING I just wasn't sure what to do with, or needed to just get out of my sight for now, was somehow "put away" in this closet.  I will be truthful here and say almost every house we have lived in for the last 41 almost 42 years has had an area that served just this purpose for me.  At our last house it was definitely our garage.  I don't want to get rid of an item, but have really no need for it, and not sure what to do with it, and into the "room" it goes.  Now it sounds like here that I MIGHT be a saver, or even a hoarder, but honestly that title goes to my hubby at our house.  I am more of the ruthless pitcher as we call it.  But there are those "things" you hang onto nonetheless no matter how "ruthless" you might be.  Let me give you a few examples....I went through a period of time where I longed to be one of those women who create those adorable scrap books full of pictures, stickers, and just the right descriptions etc.  Yeah, well I have ALL the gear to do this, and even lots of the necessary tools to do so, and a couple of started albums etc., but that's the end of it.  I have NEVER finished an actual album.  Actually I did do one for my daughter of her engagement year, but of course I gifted that to her when she married.  It's not that I can't do it.....it's not that it isn't a good idea.....it's that I honestly DO NOT enjoy doing it!  lol.  WAY too fiddly for me.  But! I have a gigantic box FULL of all of this kind of stuff in that closet.  Another few quick examples might be....boxes of old pictures (certainly can't get rid of those!), baby books and scrap books for all 4 of my kids FULL of their memories and accomplishments and milestones, things that belonged to my mother that I still treasure, old purses that I can't bear the sight of anymore but are still in good condition, and I guess I could go on and on and on but I will spare you.  LOTS of it needs to be kept, but LOTS AND LOTS of it needs to go.  I have been DREADING the "cleaning" or reorganizing, or downsizing, or the just plain "dumping of junk"  of that closet for some time now.  So you can see why this was SOOO large that we decided to finally "go for it" yesterday, lol  We started at around 9 am and had all we were going to do for one day, done by around 4:30.  We had 6 GIGANTIC bags full of old clothes for good will.  (suddenly I seem to have soo little to wear, lol) and two big boxes full of "things" too donate as well.  In the past when I cleaned closets for old clothes, my old cleaning woman and I would pack them all up and send it to her relatives in Portugal.  Most of the other kinds of things she would take as well and either use herself or pass around to people in need.  For 25 years that worked well for me.  But now without that option, I give some of those things to my kids or people I know who might want them (an example.. I actually had a full on artificial bush/tree in that closet in perfect condition, but with just NO WHERE to go in this house) and a practically brand new set of rugs for a bathroom that my mother bought and I didn't like the color of.  My kids dove on these items.  Now I realize I could no doubt have a garage sale and sell these kind of things, but you can't have those where I live, and the thought of dragging it all to one of my kids houses and doing it there seems like WAY too much work, lol.  One thing I do know for sure, I have reached a stage in my life where it is time to GET RID OF STUFF, not hang onto to it or add even more to it heaven forbid!  Oh, and let me also mention we had a gigantic bag full of just full on trash as well.  Soooo is it done?  Only in my dreams.  Most of it is completely organized now, and the clothing part is handled, and even all the shelving around the top of the closest has been gone through, as well as everything on the floor.  But the entire center section with the shelves from floor to ceiling on both sides has not even been touched yet.   A lot of the stuff on these shelves will take a while to sort through.  Most of it (though not all of it!) is full of boxes of pictures and old memories and memorabilia.  Our plan is to work our way through it slowly maybe one or two shelves at a time, saving those things we can't bear to part with yet, hopefully ruthlessly pitching LOTS of it, and in the meantime keeping it all cleaned and adding NOTHING new to it's contents with the exception of course of an article or two of clothing.  Think I'll pull it off?  Then if, when I finish this little chore, I have every intention of starting in on all of my fabric and sewing "junk"  and ruthlessly pitching and getting rid of tons of things there, and honestly that is such an overwhelming thought I won't let my thoughts linger long there.  I will just start in soon and DO IT.  I will say, that now that the closet is well on it's way, I might actually be motivated and in the mood to continue on with the downsizing of our junk.  I'd like to add that the sewing gear will be the end of it, but that isn't true either.  There is a lot of cupboards in our utility room full of mainly hubby's "junk" that needs to go as well.  sigh...what in the world is all this stuff?  Is it not amazing and or frightening at the amount you can accumulate over the years?  I guess I could have taken before and after pictures, but truthfully it might have altered the opinions some of you might have of me, lol, so I did not do it.

And I have to mention here for those of you who might not know it that Kathy of Empty Nest but Full House passed away peacefully yesterday morning.  Though I have never met her in person I truly felt as though she was a kindred spirit, and my heart has been quite sad.  I will miss her very much. She was a Christian so we can know that she is even now in heaven with Jesus, and for that I greatly rejoice.  She has made it home before me, but I know I will meet her face to face one day there, and who knows, maybe we will even do a little quilting together in heaven.  My prayers are for her husband Charlie, only daughter Robin, and her 4 precious grands as I know this will be a VERY hard season for all of them.

I have a few sewing projects lined up for this week, and a trip to the salon to address these grey roots again, and a new women's bible study starting up as well, so there is lots to keep me busy.  Hope all of you are enjoying your January's!  Blessings to you all, Debbie






Thursday, January 12, 2017

SOME RAMBLING....


Well it's already the 12th of January, so I guess I should get a post up of some kind.  I feel like I don't really have much of anything to say though, so I apologize in advance if this is just a bunch of rambling.

We've had LOTS of rain for So. California, and has it ever been nice.  We need it soo bad.  I do know that no matter how much rain we get, it's never enough.  We've had a drought going for soo long we are in serious trouble, so every little drop helps.

Our week-end last week was the first one in several weeks that we didn't have anything we HAD to do.  Neither one of us were sure how to act, lol.  It was S L O W and relaxing, and I'd forgotten just how nice those can be.  We did go and see the movie Hidden Figures and we both absolutely LOVED it.  I can totally see where it got it's name though, as I may be 62 years old, and hubby 65, and yet neither one of us had ANY idea that any of those women were involved in our space program the way they were.  In fact Katherine Johnson's role was SOO large, I honestly can't believe I had never heard her name.  I guess it's more surprising that hubby hadn't either as he majored in History in college, and is quite the history buff.  It was really more then time this story was told.  Anyway, GO and see this movie if you get the opportunity, as it was REALLY interesting as well as good.

I have finally made my way back to the sewing machine.  I have been dwelling on projects and trying to make decisions on what I wanted to get busy with, but I really don't have anything I HAVE to do....another kind of strange thing for me.  Seems like there is always something.  But Melody mentioned that Luke was upset the other day as she had packed up all of their Christmas decorations and put them up for another year, and this meant that she had taken the Christmas pillowcases off of the boys beds as well.  I have made them pillowcases for several things....Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, the 4th of July, plus many other just little things they like, such as tractors and trucks etc.  They are quick and easy to make and the boys get such a kick out of them.  Well, the one Luke has for Christmas is Mickey Mouse.  His all time favorite everything, lol.  He wanted his Mickey Mouse pillowcase.  She tried to get him diverted with one of his MANY other ones, but he wanted Mickey.  Well, you know what that meant don't you?  lol  Grandma headed to the store and bought some Mickey fabric (that wasn't Christmas!) and whipped him up one.  And I found some Mickey flannel and made him some PJ'S too.  And since of course I can't make something for Luke and not for Sam too (unless it's a birthday of course!) I made Sam some Ninja Turtles since I knew that is his big favorite right now.  Let me show you....

SAM'S PILLOWCASE

SAMS' PJ'S....THEY LOOK KIND OF SMALL IN THIS PIC, BUT IT'S JUST THE WAY I HAVE THEM FOLDED...IF ANYTHING THEY ARE A LITTLE BIG.  I HAD TO USE A PATTERN I HAVEN'T USED IN QUITE A WHILE AS ALL OF THE PJ'S I MADE FOR CHRISTMAS WERE MADE OUT OF KNIT.  FLANNEL WON'T WORK ON THOSE PATTERNS SO I HAD TO DIG INTO MY STASH OF PATTERNS AND IMPROVISE A BIT, LOL

LUKE'S NEW MICKEY PILLOWCASE

AND HIS MICKEY PJ'S.....THIS PATTERN HAD A V NECK WHICH I WAS A LITTLE SKEPTICAL ON, BUT IT WORKED OUT JUST FINE.

On my list for next week are some MORE ninja turtle pj's for Vinny, and an outfit for Capri.  I found a new site that carries  fabric panels, and I am VERY anxious to see how it works out.  Searching for different and unusual fabrics is just one of the things I do frequently it seems.  I have also ordered a kit to make myself a wall hanging quilt, and I am hoping to get going on it soon, plus, it is really time to consider making another quilt.  I haven't made one in a while.

I have also gathered some materials for some new bible studies I want to get involved in, but that's all I really have that's new.  Hope all of your new years are off to good starts.  Many blessings to you all!  Debbie




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

HODGEPODGE WEDNESDAY

MY VIEW YESTERDAY ON A CHILLY AFTERNOON AFTER ALL THE
CHRISTMAS DECS WERE PUT AWAY....



Well it's been a while since I joined in a HODGEPODGE party, but I have really missed doing so, and I have the time, so here I am.  I hope all of your new years are off to a good start.  I myself have a hard time sometimes with the changing of seasons and times.  As anxious as I was to get the Christmas decorations down and stored away for another year, I dreaded it, and not just because it was a lot of work, lol.  I always feel somewhat of a let down....it's over....who knows what lies ahead feeling, and this year was no different.  But I am pushing forward KNOWING that this feeling will pass as it always does, and I will soon find myself busy with whatever it is God has for me in this new year.  I am grateful for all He is and all He will do, and dwelling there, joy fills my heart.

SWEET TELLA AND I


1.  Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.  Hmmm there were soo many that will stick with me, but one that is standing out right now happened on Christmas Eve when we were down at my youngest son's house celebrating with him and his family.  Little 7 year old Donatella was almost giddy from the moment we arrived, is the only way to describe it, as she was SOO excited to give me the gift she had personally picked out for me.  Their children are given the opportunity to be taken somewhere where they can afford to buy gifts for those they chose to (and it can't necessarily be everyone) with their own money.  I think this is such an important thing to do, and such a good way to teach them the joy that there is giving. Using money that is really theirs, either earned or gifted, but saved for this very thing, adds to the pleasure they feel. When it was finally time to open presents she had to be first to give her's out, and she excitedly put her gift in my hands.  It was a small bottle of perfume in a little purse like bottle.  The sparkle in her eyes showed her total joy believe me.  She said, "oh grandma, I know how much you LOVE perfume and smelling good, and I just knew you'd love this!  PLUS, look at how cute this little bottle is....it will looks soo good on your table,"  She shares my love for fragrances, and whenever she is at my house I of course let her spray a tiny bit on her wrist from the bottles that sit on my vanity.  What I LOVE the most about this that she KNOWS me.  That she was soo excited to add to my collection and wanted so much to please me.  I of course immediately sprayed some on both of us, and assured her I would treasure this new addition and save it for only special times.

2.  What was the best thing you ate over the holidays?  Was it homemade or store bought?  If it was homemade did you make it?  Again, sooo many yummy things.  But I think I will go with my oldest son's wife Leah's homemade beef stew.  She prepared it in a gluten free way so that I was free to enjoy it as well, and it was SOOO good.  I guess I will admit that I had myself TWO pretty big helpings, lol.

3.  What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?  For this question I will go with the view of the snow capped mountains we saw as we drove up Euclid St. in Upland on Christmas Day towards my oldest son's house. We lived in Upland for 25 years and it sits right near the bottom of Mt. Baldy for those who are not familiar with it.  I have witnessed those snow capped mountains many times of course over the years, but it never grows old.  It was gorgeous on Christmas Day as it snowed the night before.  Way too hard to beat one of God's masterpieces.

4.  What does fresh start mean to you?  Well I guess to me it means a new beginning.  A chance to do or be something better,  A do-over so to speak.

5.  On a scale of 1 - 10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being?  Explain...  WOW...this will require some thought, lol.  I think I will maybe go with an 8.  I do feel I accomplished much this year in terms of what I set out to do.  Lots of sewing and projects were completed.  My devotional time was increased and improved upon.  I have worked A LOT on contentment and my desire to feel so in whatever situation I might find myself in,  On a lighter note, I did grow out a bad hair cut (for me...not that the cut itself was bad!) and FINALLY found a pair of sandals that fit well and yet looked nice. HOWEVER! there is room for much more improvement.  I have managed to lose around 15 pounds, but it is just a drop in the bucket.  My tongue remains WAY too hard to control, and I NEED to spend more time reading books that will increase and improve my spiritual growth, and less time watching mindless TV.  I could go on, but as always my answers are probably too long!

6.  Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English.  Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness.  Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used.  There were quite a few on this year's list. 

Here's the 2017 list of banished words..

You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption 

Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017?  What word or phrase would you add to the list?   Wow...most of these I had no idea what they were supposed to mean...lol.  But from what I read I think I will go with 831 as an encryption of I love you. Ridiculous, and soo unnecessary.  Why not just say, I love you!?  Not much way to improve on that!  Just odd. What would I add to the list?  Hmm I will go with when people say, "no problem" when they receive a thank you from someone.  To me it imply's that it WAS a problem, or a negative, but they are choosing to "pretend" it wasn't.  A simple, "your welcome" or "it was my pleasure" works WAY better, lol.

7.  Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.  Well I did kind of mention it already in number 5, but to explain it a little better....I do wish I had MUCH better control of my tongue.  James puts it this way in the Bible

JAMES  4:8-9  But no man can tame the tongue.  It is unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who been made in the similitude of God.

It's not that I curse or use bad language, (almost never anyway!) but that I open my dumb mouth sometimes and say things I shouldn't.  Always giving my advice and opinions.  Gossiping and spreading stories around that are not edifying,  Not that I make things up, or can't keep secrets or confidences, but just that I tell things at times that are probably better off being unsaid or untold.  I KNOW that left to myself my tongue will NEVER be controlled.  It is only through the Holy Spirit that I have any chance of that.  But it is one of the top things on my list that I feel the Lord is impressing on me to improve and work on.

JAMES 1:26  If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.

Kind of a sobering verse.  It is soo important that I let the Holy Spirit control my tongue.  I can't hope to benefit from all He has for me, if I do not DO what He tells me is necessary.

8.  Insert your own random thought here..I do LOVE the feel of a new year, a fresh start or beginning, and all the possibilities that lie ahead,  As always the older and older I get the more and more I want to feel my life counts and is worth something.  I want to make a difference and encourage and bless those around me that they might feel the love of God through me.  I do pray that the Lord might strengthen me, and help me to see the opportunities He puts in front of me to do this. Wishing you all the very best He has for us in 2017!

Many thanks as always to Joyce for organizing and coming up with the Hodgepodge questions.  You can see the others who have participated, or better yet join right in by clicking on the picture below. ENJOY!









Friday, December 30, 2016

CHRISTMAS 2016

Well considering it is almost time for New Years, I guess I'd best get around to posting about our Christmas,  I just continue to be a little behind and neglectful of my blog.  But better a little later then never I guess.

Christmas 2016 was really VERY good.  Everyone was well, and our celebrations while not spent ALL together were good.  Early on Christmas Eve morning hubby and I headed down to San Diego to spend the entire day and night with our youngest son James and his family.  We stopped for a yummy breakfast and arrived at their house by about 10:30.  We spent the entire day enjoying GREAT food, opening gifts, playing with grandkids, watching Christmas movies while relaxing, and lots and lots of wonderful conversation,  Everything about it was perfect honestly.  From the chilly weather (not always a given by any means here in So. California) to the tasty food (that I didn't have to prepare...just sat back and enjoyed) and of course just time spent with loved ones.  We went to a nearby 5 star hotel to sleep and then after a wonderous buffet breakfast at the hotel, met them all at church the next morning for their Christmas morning service.  That too was wonderful.  It was kind of a packed house, but that's OK.  Many voices raised in worship in the celebration of our Lord's birthday is honestly pretty hard to beat.  My son kept the message short and we ended with even more singing.

WE STARTED WITH 12 YEAR OLD CAPRI'S BIRTHDAY PRESENTS!

SHE SEEMED TO LOVE THE OUTFIT I MADE HER, AND HER MAMA AND I WERE SURE GLAD WE HAVE FOUND A PATTERN FOR A TOP THAT SHE LIKES AND FIT HER WELL!  I see lots more outfits like this one in the future, lol

CUTE PIC BEFORE WE OPENED THE REST...10 YEAR OLD JD JUST CAN'T SEEM TO HELP HIMSELF....FULL OF MISCHIEF AND FUN.  BUT HONESTLY, DON'T KNOW IF I'VE EVER SEEN A BETTER BIG BROTHER.  HE IS SOO SWEET WITH 3 YEAR OLD VINNY

JOINT GIFT THIS YEAR FOR THE 3 OLDER ONES....X-BOX S ONE  THEY ALL SEEMED TO REALLY ENJOY IT!

THESE TWO PLAY TOGETHER SOOO WELL ON IT, AND TELLA PREFERRED TO SPEND HER TIME ON THERE DANCING, LOL
VINNY LOVED HIS NEW MONSTER JAMMIES I MADE HIM.


IT WAS RAINING WHEN WE LEFT THERE THAT NIGHT BUT I JUST HAD TO SNAP THIS PIC OF THEIR DECORATED HOUSE, LOL. JAMES DOES IT UP BIG LIKE HIS DAD STILL DOES!  LOL
 After service was over we left right away to go to my oldest son's home to spend the rest of the day and evening.  Out middle son lives just a few miles away, and he and his wife joined us there.  It was honestly just another WONDERFUL day.  Lots of fantastic food, GREAT conversations, and time spent with more loved ones.  Everything about this celebration honestly just couldn't have been better either.  How blessed we are....

LINDSEY WAS TO CELEBRATE HER 16TH BIRTHDAY THE NEXT DAY, SO SHE WENT FIRST WITH HER BIRTHDAY GIFT FROM HER GRANDPA AND I.  WE GOT HER THE FIRST PIECE OF TIFFANY JEWELRY SHE HAS EVER RECEIVED, AND HOPEFULLY SHE WILL KEEP  IT ALWAYS AND REMEMBER HOW MUCH SHE WAS LOVED BY BOTH OF US!

OLDEST OF ALL OF OUR GRANDCHILDREN, EVAN AND THEIR DOGS.

JEFFIE HAD SOME SPECIAL SHOES PICKED OUT HES BEEN WANTING, SO GRANDPA AND I WERE HAPPY TO OBLIGE

7 MONTH OLD GREAT GRAND DAUGHTER SOPHIA'S FIRST CHRISTMAS.  SHE IS JUST FLAT OUT ADORABLE IF THIS G GRANDMA  CAN SAY SO HERSELF, LOL.  THE BIGGEST BROWN EYES YOU'VE EVER SEEN, AND THE LONGEST BLACK EYELASHES TO GO WITH THEM.  SHE WAS SOO MUCH FUN ON THE DAY!

MY SON RECEIVED THESE BOXING GLOVES FROM MALIK WHO IS THEIR FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENT WHO CAME TO THE UNITED STATES TO SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH THEM.  HE SPENT 6 WEEKS HERE IN THE SUMMERTIME, AND BECAME SOO ATTACHED TO EVERYONE, HE WANTED TO COME BACK FOR THE HOLIDAYS,  HE TRAINS IN GERMANY AS A BOXER AND A MMA FIGHTER, SO HE WAS ESPECIALLY ENJOYING HIS TIME WITH MY SON AT HIS STUDIO.  SUCH A NICE KID...AND PRETTY CUTE TOO, LOL MY SON WAS THRILLED WITH HIS GIFT!

JOE'S KIDS AND FIRST GRANDCHILD

THEIR WHOLE FAMILY  plus Malik, lol, AND EVANS GIRLFRIEND K

ALL OF US!  MY MIDDLE SON AND HIS WIFE ARE RIGHT BY ME....ANNABEL'S HUBBY WAS TAKING THE PICS FOR US ALL!
OUR HOUSE AS WE PULLED IN LATE CHRISTMAS NIGHT


.We of course really missed Melody and her family.  It remains a challenge for me to not complain when she is missing from our celebrations.  It is hard.  But I've no doubt it is even harder for her as she is away from EVERYONE.  She did send us several little videos of the kids with their gifts which I of course treasured, by I just have to share this one with you.  It is SOOOO adorable of little Luke.  I do have to share what's going on with him though as well.  Several months ago he began losing his hair and was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata which is for those of you who don't know, an auto immune disease that attacks hair follicles.  Most of those who suffer from this condition do not lose ALL of their hair, but rather just patches and thinning here and there.  And most are older then two year old Luke was when this started up.  But Luke has lost all of his hair now, (and STILL looks adorable in this grandma's humble opinion) and truthfully Melody, like any mama, has had a hard time with it all,  She has clung to her God, and is doing amazing well now.  His hair could grow back in within a few months, or it might never grow back again at all.  There is no way of predicting what it might be, as it seems to be different for everyone.  It does seem fairly likely though that Luke will deal with this condition the rest of his life.

MELODY AND HER BABIES....JUST LOOK AT THAT SWEET LITTLE FACE ON LUKE....IS HE NOT ADORABLE HAIR OR NO HAIR?


video
Well that's it for now.  Christmas 2016 is in the books.  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas, and are enjoying these last two days of the year.  I had my granddaughter Lindsey and niece Katie here for the last couple of days for some enjoyable times, and I am hoping maybe next week to get together with some of the younger ones as well.  If all goes as we planned, we will spend some of the next 3 days taking down Christmas and storing it away again until next year.  Looking sooo foward to the new year, and remaining SOO grateful for all of His abundant blessings!  Debbie

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ALL READY! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!


Well it's December the 23rd and as of 11 am this morning I am completely ready for Christmas.  And considering it's been "in the works" for over three months now, I would certainly hope so, lol.  I wrapped the last of the Christmas gifts I had to wrap this morning, and finished up the fabric tree I decided to give to my cleaning woman who is as busy as a bee as I type this.  I've ended up making 7 of those trees this year and honestly I could just keep making them.  I find it wonderfully relaxing and therapeutic for some reason, and I can keep my hands busy while watching TV, or talking on the phone too, so it works really well.  I also got Capri's outfit made, and Vinny's pj's done, and so it is officially time to COMPLETELY relax until after the first of the year.  I put the sewing machine to bed under it's cover, and cleared my work table of EVERYTHING, and here I sit.  It's been raining since about noon yesterday, pretty much non stop, and I've enjoyed every minute of it.  I'd love to do some baking, but honestly I am going to refrain.  I have proven over and over again I simply have no discipline.   Let me show you my final projects for 2016...

 
THERE IT IS....I AM STILL JUST USING LEFT OVER FABRICS ON THESE....IT DOES TAKE ALMOST AN ENTIRE YARD OF FABRIC TO MAKE ONE OF THESE TREES, AND AT LEAST 300 PINS OR SO.  SO I HAVE HAD TO BUY PINS, AND THE STYROFOAM CONES FOR THE TREES,... BUT FOR THE TOPS I AM STILL CUTTING UP EXISTING FLOWERS I HAD ON HAND, AND VARIOUS OTHER THINGS I HAVE AROUND LOL.    SO STILL FAIRLY INEXPENSIVE TO MAKE.  TAKES ME ALMOST 4 HOURS THOUGH FROM START TO FINISH TO MAKE ONE.

JUST A LITTLE CLOSER LOOK AT THE FABRIC.  I TRIED TO SWITCH THE STRIPES FROM GOING UP AND DOWN TO SIDE TO SIDE FROM ONE ROW TO THE NEXT JUST FOR A DIFFERENT LOOK.  IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF FOLDING ONE OF THE SQUARES ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, BUT YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE HOW HARD I HAD TO THINK TO DO THAT, LOL.  DON'T THINK I WILL USE A STRIPE AGAIN.

HERE IS CAPRI'S OUTFIT.  YOU MENTIONED CHERYL HOW YOU COULDN'T IMAGINE MAKING THIS SO QUICKLY, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS HERE I AM SURE YOU CAN SEE WHY.  THE SKIRT HAS ONE SEAM AND THEN A HEM AND A WAIST BAND.  AND THE TOP IS ALMOST AS QUICK.  SOO SIMPLE

JUST A LITTLE CLOSER LOOK AT THE SLEEVES.  IT LOOKS LIKE LACE, BUT IT'S JUST A KNIT.  THESE FABRICS WERE NO WHERE NEAR EACH OTHER AT THE STORE EITHER, BUT THEY MATCHED PRETTY GOOD I THOUGHT

AND VINNY'S PJ'S....THESE TOO ARE SOOO SIMPLE.  BARELY ANY SEAMS.  QUICK AND NON THINKING.  JUST THE TYPE I ENJOY MOST OF THE TIME

CLOSER LOOK AT "MONSTER" FABRIC.  IT'S WONDERFULLY SOFT

Hubby is off tomorrow, and through next Monday so we have a nice 4 day week-end coming up with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day right in the middle of it.  I am soo looking forward to it.  We are going to travel down to San Diego and stay overnight down there so we can spend more time with my youngest son and his family and hit both his Christmas Eve and his Christmas Day services with his church.  We miss the church members down there, and seeing my son and family every week like we used to, so this will be extra nice.  After lunch on Christmas Day we will head out to Upland to spend the rest of the day and evening with my oldest son and his family, and my middle son and his wife. All of it is wonderfully relaxing for us as we are simply guests and usually get waited on hand and foot. We handed the baton so to speak to our kids about 3 years ago for them to carry on hosting the holiday gatherings, and honestly it was one of our smarter decisions, lol.  Soo much easier for everyone.  Easier for them not to have to hurry around with all their kids and make their way over here, and easier for us to just pop over and enjoy.  I do wish we would ALL be together, but we did do that the sat after Thanksgiving, and it is what it is.  It's just hard when there are soo many of us, and their are in-law times to consider too.  Melody is only in California every other year for Christmas, so we will just have to ALL be together every other year.

I do have some plans with various different grand kids coming up for sleep overs etc. during Christmas break, and I am looking forward to all of that too.  I have already been reflecting on this last year (I usually do that AFTER Christmas, lol) and I have as always sooo much to be thankful for. But right at the top of my list I am thankful for that baby that was born over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem.  We celebrate HIM on Christmas and all He has given to us.  Wishing all of you, my dear blogging friends, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Debbie

As always just some more fun pics...

LUKE AT HIS PRE SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PARTY....HIS FACE SAYS IT ALL

MEL AND LUKE.  HE IS JUST THE SWEETEST THING.  HOW I LOVE HIM!

SAM THIS MORNING BEFORE LEAVING FOR HIS PRE-K CHRISTMAS PROGRAM AT SCHOOL.  HE WAS SOO EXCITED.
And if you have a minute and can get to a computer you just have to see him singing Noel.  The look and expressions on his face are just priceless

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JD AND VINNY BRINGING HOME A LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE FOR THEIR ROOM

CODY MADE MASTER YELLOW BELT THIS WEEK AT HIS DAD'S STUDIO.  HE HAS WORKED SOO HARD FOR THIS.  SOO PROUD OF HIM!


AND FINALLY, A LITTLE VIDEO OF DONATELLA PERFORMING IN HER LITTLE CHRISTMAS PROGRAM.  SHE IS CENTER FRONT WITH THE BLONDE HAIR AND THE LITTLE BLACK AND WHITE DRESS.  SOOOO ADORABLE.  HOW I THANK GOD FOR EASY ACCESS TO VIDEO'S AND RECORDINGS ETC THESE DAYS, OR I WOULD MISS SOOOO MUCH.  ENJOY!

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Monday, December 19, 2016

SOME CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION FUN


Well it's December the 19th and we are just a few days away from the big day.  I feel somewhat like I've been celebrating since before Thanksgiving, which I guess in a way we have been! lol.  Seriously I know everyone feels differently about decorating and "doing" for Christmas which I think is only obvious.  We are all soo different and each have to do what suits us best.  I love the decorations and the feel of having my house all "decked out" so the longer it is up the better for me.  Maybe some day I'll analyze why it is that I do, but for now I will just enjoy it.  We set our tree up in the living room of this home, which is where my comfy recliner chair is as well as where I sit to do a great many things....My devotional time, talking on the phone, computer and blogging time, reading etc., you get the idea.  Come early evening or even late afternoon, I go to our family room where the TV etc. is, and that's where I usually spend the rest of my day.  My point being, I don't get much opportunity to look or enjoy the tree in the evenings etc.  Or of course during the time of the day that I am sitting at my sewing machine or work table.  Soooo I told hubby to set the timer for the tree lights for 6:00 AM and to leave them on ALL day until 10:00 pm so that I can enjoy them all day long while I am sitting in this room.  I leave them on at night even though we are not in there because you can see our tree through the window at the front of our home.  Anyway, it was one of my more brilliant ideas as I have SOOO enjoyed the tree this year.  The other morning it was pouring rain and it was a chilly 48 degrees (especially fun for So. California) and so I had hubby light me a big fire before he left for work to enjoy for a while too.  Can't tell you how I enjoyed it.  Here was my view....

HERE WAS MY VIEW FROM MY CHAIR....LOVED IT
sorry to those of you who follow me on social media and have already seen this!

Last Thursday I met my lifetime girlfriend Cindy at our favorite place for lunch and exchanged our gifts.  I am imagining there might come a day when we stop doing this, but we have been doing it for SOOOO many years it wouldn't seem quite like the holiday's if we didn't.  It was it's usual wonderful time.  We sat there for well over 2 hours, so it wasn't our imagination when we started getting "the eye" from our waitress, lol.  I was struck again how much I appreciate her friendship and the times we've spent together since we were but 9 years old.  Only my sisters know me as well.  Anyway, honestly the rest of my week was spent not doing a whole lot.  I did manage to finish up all my shopping, but I've still got a little wrapping to do.  Most of the gifts I give are home made, and that's why my sewing is soooo frantic for a while there, but it has cut WAY down on shopping, except for trips to the fabric store etc.  We do buy toys for most of our grandkids as well which is always enjoyable and helps their parents out some, but that is usually not to difficult to do.  The older grandkids and my kids get money, which suits them as well as makes it easy for us.  I like it when I have the majority of my sewing out of the way by Thanksgiving (which considering I give the bulk of them then I have to be done, lol) because it frees me up in December to mainly just enjoy the gatherings and the special events.  I do have an outfit for Capri to make, and a pair of pj's for Vinny, but that's about it.  Neither one of those projects should take much more then an hour or so to do, so it makes it seem like I haven't really got much of anything at all to do.  I am pre-shrinking the fabric as I type this, so hopefully I will get Vinny's pj's made up this afternoon.

Capri celebrated her birthday this week-end.  She is already 12 years old!  Time goes sooo fast I can hardly believe this.  She had a little party with her girlfriends, and received a karaoke machine from her parents.  I don't have to say much more I am sure.  12 year old girls and a karaoke machine only equals fun...

TALLER ALREADY THEN HER MAMA BY 3 INCH
And then we had a really fun and busy Sat as well.  It was hubby's 65th birthday and we were busy from the beginning of the day until 11 o'clock that night when we finally tumbled back into our bed. First, we picked up our almost 16 (Dec. 26th!) year old grand daughter Lindsey (it was her turn for this event with her grandparents...we trade off taking a few of them at a time) and had a quick lunch, and then headed to Huntington Beach to see our 17 year old niece in the Nutcracker where she was performing as a Snowflake.  We met her mom (my sister Donna) at the door and were thoroughly entertained for the next two hours.  It was just soo relaxing and entertaining and the time sped by quickly...Katie did wonderfully, and it was really fun to see her perform.

KATIE AND LINDSEY AFTER THE SHOW BACKSTAGE

Then! we went back to our house so Katie could quickly change her clothes, and headed down to Claremont to the Candlelight Pavillion to have dinner and see their annual Christmas musical play.  We have been doing this for years and years (since Melody was 3 years old) and it is one of our most fun holiday traditions.  Since Melody married and moved away we trade off taking a couple of grandkids with us each year.  They do have matinee's too which makes it much easier on the little ones, but naturally with the older girls we went to one of their evening performances.  It was as always HIGHLY entertaining, and the food was it usual scrumptious self too.  It was a little different this year in that the play was a comedy, which worked out really well having the older girls for too as they really enjoyed this.

KATIE, HUBBY AND LINDSEY
Lindsey was wearing the dress I made her for homecoming which was adorable on her!

MY TURN WITH THE GIRLS

POSING WITH THE BIRTHDAY GUY

THE GIRLS MADE THE EVENING FUN



LOVED THIS
too many steps and no hand rail for me to go up there to jump into this pic too, lol
All in all a very fun, though somewhat long day. We got home after 11 and as the girls were putting a Christmas movie on, hubby and I went to bed...oh to be that young again, lol.  Sunday we met Lindsey's family at church and after lunch hubby and I finished up the very last of our shopping.  Soo here we are.  Lots of plans for next week-end and hopefully everyone stays well as we continue to celebrate.  Seems like lots of people are starting to get sick....it is that time of year.  I am hoping to get up maybe one more post before Christmas.  Hope you are all enjoying the season too, and are not too frantic with the last minute rush.  Blessings to you all!  Debbie

Just some more fun holiday pics...

LUKE AND SAM HELPED DECORATE SOME SUGAR COOKIES FOR THEIR FRIENDS...THEN THEIR MAMA PUT THEM IN TINS AND THEY DELIVERED THEM TO THEIR FRIENDS.  SHE LET THEM WALK UP TO THE DOOR BY THEMSELVES, AND THEY GOT THE BIGGEST KICK OUT OF IT!  I LOVE THEIR SHIRTS

CLAIRE HELPING WITH CLEAN UP, LOL, AND SPORTING THE LITTLE GINGERBREAD OUTFIT I MADE HER,  SHE'S ADORABLE AND GETTING SOO BIG!

MELODY AND THE KIDS AT THEIR LITTLE LOCAL MALL (NOT REALLY A MALL, LOL) ON THEIR WAY TO GET SANTA CLAUS PICTURES

AND THIS YEARS PIC...CLARE WAS NOT FEELING IT, LOL
And then I just had to show you these few second video of Melody lip syncing this song....a girl can dream, right?  lol  She keeps me amused with these little pics and videos of her little family or don't know if I could take not getting to see them for Christmas

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SOME THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS'S PAST

I honestly don't remember the last time I sat down to write a blog that wasn't about the long list of things I have been doing, or the even longer list of things I have recently made.  You'd think I am sure that there is nothing more going on in this head or life of mine sometimes, lol.  But these last 3 days have been soo wonderfully relaxing and refreshing for me, I decided I would share that instead.  I couldhave or shouldhave been on a couple other projects, and while I have done SOME things that needed doing, aka catching the laundry completely up, watering and even a little bit of trimming to my front porch plants, running to the grocery store, and to the pharmacy, and to get my hair done, I have ALSO spent my time finally catching up on some blogs, reading TWO COMPLETE books (ok, they were quick easy reads by Karen Kingsbury, but still!) and taken two short but sweet naps!  It's been just wonderful. So much of life can be hurried and rushed and spent looking ahead to the next activity, that moments of just doing nothing go by WAY too quickly, or not at all.  And so does opportunities to just be.  Do you know what I mean? I've found myself with more moments to pray, more time to think and ponder what God might want me doing in this season of my life, and more time to reflect on times gone by.

A friend of mine (and I am pretty sure many of yours too) Kathy from Empty Nest but Full Heart, has found herself in the final stages of her battle against Ovarian Cancer.  I've have followed her journey through chemo therapy, surgery, and even more chemo therapy, and have prayed for her and her sweet family faithfully through it all.  She has been a wonderful example of strength, courage, and faith as she has leaned on her God to carry her through.  She was a constant encouragement to me when I decided to take up quilting a few years ago, and she and I have exchanged many a comment, email conversation, and pleasure filled moments through the last few years.  I have never actually met Kathy, but feel I know her very well nonetheless.  She loved her God, her husband Charlie, her daughter Robin, and 4 sweet little "grands" with all her heart.  She enjoyed watching the Cardinals play baseball, and she really enjoy her NCIS series as well, and her trips to her beloved Hilton Head were treasured.  My heart is literally breaking for them all as she tries to make it through her final Christmas season here on this earth.  Thank God she knows Jesus as her Savior and knows just where she is going as she closes her eyes here!  I will miss her posts, remember the BEAUTIFUL quilts she made, and her sweet encouraging ways.  But I will see her in heaven, and this knowledge makes me smile and warms my heart.  Please keep her family in yours prayers as this will no doubt be a very difficult Christmas and time for them all.

Christmas time always makes me nostalgic and I eventually spend some time dwelling on Christmas's from long ago.  I was thinking a lot about that last Sat. as I put the final touches on my table for the annual brother/sister dinner we were about to have.  Mom was ALWAYS the one to set a beautiful table, and we dug out her china and crystal and silver, washing and polishing it all to bring it all together.  As a young girl I LOVED this process and the final outcome from the effort, and remembered Mom's joy and pleasure as she filled the bowls with all of her MUCH LOVED recipes and dishes.  I remember even the special jelly she would put in this beautiful little bowl complete with a little spoon that hung above it for the dishing up of it.  She had a gravy boat, a gorgeous butter dish, and the MOST WONDERFUL lace tablecloth.  I always looked forward to the Christmas dinner and Christmas table for days in advance.  The baking she did before Christmas was legendary as well, and the kitchen would be just full of all of her goodies.  Pies, dozens of different kinds of cookies, fudge, popcorn balls, and her totally famous cinnamon rolls.  We'd feast on it for days and days.  My grandmothers would come and so would a couple of my aunts and uncles and some cousins, and the day would be full of feasting, visiting, and us kids putting on a play at the end of the evening.  The tree was always a REAL one (no one had artificial in those days it seemed) of beauty, and the now old fashioned tinsel hung from it along with all of our old cherished ornaments.  We got a lot of nice gifts of course over the years, but a few that stick out in my mind were the clothes my mother made us.  There was a full length robe one year that for some reason had become almost an obsession of mine I wanted one soo badly, lol, and I wore the thing to pieces until I could no longer get it on.  We usually got a nice new church outfit as well, and we put it on as soon as breakfast was over, and made our way out the door to church.  I guess as I was finishing up last Sat. I thought to myself, how many more years will I do this?  Or be able to do this?  I have a lace tablecloth, a beautiful set of china and crystal, a gravy boat, butter dish, and the ORIGINAL jelly bowl and spoon, but WHO would want it? WHO will do this when I no longer can or want to?  DOES it even matter?   I guess the answer is who knows?  If things I have done for my family through the years are remembered with smiles and joy then I am happy.  If they think back someday like I do and remember the Christmas's of their pasts with the same sense of nostalgia for different reasons then I do, then that's OK too.  The important thing remains the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord Jesus, and the family and friends who celebrate with us.  Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season, and spending time building memories and moments with your loved ones.  Blessings to you all!  Debbie