Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone and the Christmas season has officially begun.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister, Carla's, this year. We're all into a traditional dinner with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and pies. Then we sit around for awhile behing miserably, happily stuffed. Then we split into groups to play games. We had Damian's kids for the holiday and they had alot of fun at Carla's playing outside with the dogs and a nice, grassy yard to run around in.

Alan and Mom showing off stuffed bellies.

Carla and Dad playing Wii. I think Dad decided that bowling with the Wii was alot easier than bowling in real life.

Rhonda, Brenna, Joel, Mom and me played a fun game called Whoonu. It was the hit game of the year.

Later, we inticed Alan, Elaine and Carla to play with us.

For the past 3 years, at some point in the day, we stuff socks with goodies for a group of underpriveleged kids that Carla knows about.

We stayed and played until 9pm then went to Mom's house to sleep. The next day we split into groups again and went shopping. Elaine, Shayla, Jocelynn and I went to Paradise Valley Mall and battled the crowd. I have to say it was not a productive shopping day. The crowds weren't as large as they have been in the past and we weren't very impressed with PV Mall. So.... we still have alot of shopping to do before the big day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Visiting Veda

I recently spent a week visiting my friend, Veda, and her family of 6 kids... 2 boys (both are in the military and weren't home) and 4 girls.

She lives on 30 acres and has all sorts of animals to keep her and her family busy. They have horses, sheep, rabbits, chickens, dogs and lots of cats. It seems like that should be enough to keep them all busy, but no... they also home school and always have lots of other projects going on.

Veda's beautiful home in the forest.

Feeding the cats...

and the chickens.

Whenever I go there, we try to get in a quilting project, which all of the girls enjoy.. or have enjoyed. This year though, there was another project going on. Sara is having an authentic Civil War Era Ball to celebrate her 16th birthday. So, this years project was making ball gowns (think Gone With the Wind) which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Veda and I did a quilting project early in the week, but then worked the rest of the week to get the gowns finished. Sara's passion is historical clothing and had already made the younger girls, Ana and Noami's, dresses.

Noami and Ana in their dresses.

Alyssa was in the process of making her corset, so I made her hoop skirt and started the bodice of her dress.

Alyssa in her hoop skirt and the trial version of her bodice.

Veda was making her own dress and had it almost finished. She completed it while I was there but I never got a picture of it.

Sara working on the trim of her bertha.

Sara was working on her bertha (that was a new word for me). A bertha is the wrap that goes around the shoulders over the top of the bodice. I think she was designing it as she went and it is going to be very beautiful with her dress. The ball will be December 7th and they still have lots of work to do for it, but I'm sure it will turn out wonderfully.

Alyssa with Lovie, the dog.

The girls had to practice their dance steps. They were very good and had so much fun learning and practicing.

Noami and Ana practicing

Sara and Noami practicing

Alyssa and Noami practicing....

but it soon was reduced to this. They are sisters, afterall.
(I hope this doesn't happen at the ball.)

Veda and me

Veda and I always have a good time when we're together and sometimes stay up half the night talking. She came to St. Louis to pick me up from the airport this year (3 hour drive one way for her). So we had lots of extra talking time this year, which I think we both needed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bear Cabin Inn

I just got back last night from my yearly trip to Bear Cabin Inn. It's a little bed and breakfast type place that's just for quilters. It is in Show Low which is about a 3.5 hour drive from here in the White Mountains. We left Thursday and came back Sunday afternoon. I go with the ladies from one of my quilt groups, In Stitches. Our website is: We had a great time with lots of laughing and sewing and eating. The place is quite amazing with a huge room set up with a dozen tables for sewing and ironing stations and every wall is covered with foam board and flannel for hanging up projects. Everyone works on their own thing and the host, Carol Webb, takes good care of us. We get fed 3 meals a day with wonderful desserts and anything else we need, she takes care of it. There are 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, so everyone is comfortable and relaxed. Going to Bear Cabin is definately one of the high points of my year. Alan stays home and I think he enjoys the time to relax without me asking anything from him. Here are some pictures of my weekend.

Bear Cabin Inn - The original building is a large double wide mobile home but a large room was added onto the back of the house.

Sewing Room - This is the room that was added on with a deck on the back side that looks down into a pine tree valley.

The dining room seats all 10 of us easily. And the food is wonderful.

My friends, Chris and Jamie, having a laugh. We laugh alot...

Me, snuggling.

My friends: (standing, from left to right) Sheila, Carolyn, Karen, Jamie, Chris, Eve, Kathy, Julie
(seated) Sandy and Linda
(no, those aren't antenna on my head... it was windy!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Kite Flying and Other Stuff

This weekend we had all the grandkids here. The weather was nice on Saturday so we spent the day outside. The kids had discovered that we had a couple of kites that were still in the packages. Someone had given them to me and I had forgotten all about them. There was a little breeze so it really was a good day to try them out. It's funny... after the kites are in the air, there really isn't that much to do, but all the kids had great fun just flying the kites and we did it for a couple of hours.

Jacob was in charge of the bat kite and kept it up for a long time. Until one of the cross pieces collapsed and it came down over the top of the greenhouse, of course. It got put back together a couple of times, but I'm pretty sure that's the end of the bat kite.

Shayla started with the purple kite and I don't think it came down at all until we were ready to put the kites away. They just passed it all around and each kid had fun with it.... even Damian.

Maybe Jocelynn wasn't quite as interested as the other kids.

The kids also had fun riding bikes. Jacob had never learned to ride a 2 wheeler, so we took him down the street to a flat road and he took to it pretty quickly. He'll need more practice before he's able to just hop on the bike and go, but he's learning.

Damian and Alan had to do some practicing of their own.

After dinner on Saturday (Damian made BBQ ribs.. yumm), the kids decided it would be fun to go sledding. This is something I NEVER approved of before, but Alan was in charge of catching so the kids had a great time and, amazingly enough, nobody got hurt. Sheesh.. where do they come up with this stuff.