16 January 2017

Carson's Blessing in California

On January 12th Kent and I were up bright and early to take a flight to LA to visit the Lees over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.  Our flight was delayed out of Chicago so we arrived in LA late, then had about a two-hour and fifteen minute drive to Bakersfield. 
It was very gratifying to me that as soon as Grace saw me, she yelled "Grandma!", ran out the door and flung herself into my arms. This is why I visit my grandchildren so often!
We got to the Lee's house at about 6:30pm, in time to have a quick dinner before going to watch Grace and Sophia at their gymnastics class. Unfortunately, all the pictures I took of Sophia turned out blurry.
 Carson is a good sport about waiting around for his big sisters during their classes.
 Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Kent and Adri repainting the dining room while we were there, but that's what they did for most of the day on Friday while I played with Grace and Sophia was at school.  Here's a picture of Kent in his paint clothes taking a break with Grace.
 Carson wasn't smiling when I left in October, so it was fun to see him smiling and laughing.
 Russ's parents came in on Saturday and we drove out to see the Chevron oil fields. It was an amazing sight.
 This picture was taken near the headquarters building on the Chevron compound.

 We played lots of hide and seek with the girls while we were in Bakersfield. Here's one of Grace's excellent hiding places.
 Here are some pictures of Carson on his blessing day. He's wearing the shirt that I smocked in 1988 when I was told Adri was going to be a boy, so I made a little boy blessing outfit.
 The shorts that I'd made in 1988 were too small, so I made some long pants while I was in California and attached them to the shirt.
The shirt was a bit snug but fit okay, and he looked very cute in the outfit.
Carson was a good boy during the blessing and didn't fuss. Here's their sweet family all together.
Proud Mommy and baby.
 At three months Carson was older than most of our grandchildren have been on their blessing day, so he was definitely more alert and aware.
 After Sacrament Meeting and some family pictures I took Sophia home because she wasn't feeling well. She fell asleep in this box in the family room and slept for quite a while in it.
 I had to include this sweet picture of Grace and Carson with Kent after church.
Both the girls in their princess nightgowns loving on Carson.
 Another adorable picture of the three Lee kids. Love them all soooo much! It's always hard to say goodbye after just five days.

31 December 2016

Christmas in Oregon and Washington with Our Parents

On the 15th of December I flew out to Oregon to visit my parents. Unfortunately, there were snowstorms in other parts of the country, causing both of my flights to be delayed. It ended up taking me almost twelve hours to get from DC to Portland. Oh well, such are the joys of traveling in the winter time!
Mom and Dad were very happy to see me. They had waited for me to arrive so that I could help them put up their Christmas decorations. The picture below was taken on Sunday after church.
Mom liked having this nativity set from Mexico up so much she decided to keep it out year-round.
Here's Mom posing with the lovely Christmas flower arrangement that Lissa sent her.
 We spent several evenings over with Reed and Myra. One evening we acted out the Christmas story. Mom was the narrator and read from Luke,
 And these were the three wisemen.
 Here we are ready to have Christmas dinner. Kent arrived on Christmas eve.
 After dinner we posed in front of Reed and Myra's Christmas tree.
 Jill and her girls came in on the 27th of December.
This picture was taken when Kent was over with his family in Vancouver.
 One day Mom and Jill were sick, so Myra and I entertained Zoey and Anna. We played board games, baked a cake and had a pretty good time.
 The three original Christensen women.
 Dad with Zoey and Anna.
 Dad was doing an amazing job of taking care of Mom and helping her with everything she needed.
 Here's Kent's mom posing with the lovely Christmas flower arrangement Lissa sent to her.
I guess Linda was at work when this picture of the Carson's was taken.
 Kent and his mother. He did some projects for her while he was there.
 She's doing pretty well for an 88-year-old widow!
Kent and I flew back to DC on December 31st.  We're glad we were able to spend Christmas with our parents. It's nice that they only live 45 minutes apart from each other!

19 December 2016

My Christmas Piano Recital, Kent's Christmas Lights Display, and Sewing Projects

Sunday evening, December 11th, was the date of my annual Christmas recital.
This year's theme was snowflakes.
I did something I've never done before--I divided my students into two groups. It ended up that I had thirteen students play at the 5:30pm recital and only nine at the 6:30 recital. It worked out much nicer for everyone to not have such a looooong recital.
I had two problems with the recital this year. The first was that the piano was locked when we got to the main library meeting room in Fredericksburg I'd reserved. No one seemed to know where the key was. So instead of using the half an hour I had before the recital started to set up, I was wondering if I'd even be able to have the recital, or if we'd have to head back to Stafford and have it at the church.
The librarians found a key at about 5:15pm, so we were able to hold the recital there after all. I usually perform a solo number and had planned to do one this year. But I just didn't have time to practice, so I made life easier on myself and only played about 15 duets with my students.
About the only decorating I had time to do was to set up the centerpiece on the refreshment table. I didn't have time to hang snowflakes on the stage curtain and put snowflake lights along the front of the stage like I'd planned, but it wasn't the end of the world.                           
These are the ornaments I gave the students. I usually make them, but this year Kent made them for me.
I had the idea, bought the materials, and painted the pre-cut rectangles white, but Kent did the rest. 
It was very helpful to me so I could work on other projects, and I was very appreciative. I was pleased with how they turned out.
The piano playing snowman was a little too tacky to use as a decoration at the recital, but I asked Kent to get it for me and he had to go to three different Home Depots to find it, so I thought I'd include a picture of it.
It was on display in the piano room, and the kids get a kick out of it.
Every year we see the Christmas lights at the DC Temple when we go to work in the Temple during the month of December. We've brought non-members and family members to see the display, too.
The lights leading up to the Temple are all celestial white, 
  but the other lights near the Visitor's Center are numerous with lots of variety in color.
 It's amazing how many lights are wrapped around each branch on the trees and bushes!
We love this view of the Temple floating above the colorful lights.
I posted some of Kent's Christmas lights last year, but didn't explain that Kent was inspired by the amazing lights at the Temple. 
 This year Kent put up most of the lights on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving day. The lights were turned on the day after Thanksgiving. Kent puts all the lights on timers so they come on automatically every day at 5pm.
 This is the side closest to the main road with the sign to our neighborhood.
This is the view from across the street.
The neighbors and church members tell us how much they enjoy the lights around our house. Each year the display gets a little bigger and more elaborate. Maybe someday there will be as many as there are at the Temple!!

I made sewed some gifts for the grandchildren and for my ETSY store. Here's a pillowcase I made for an order.
 I made three of these piano bags for orders.
 I made this for our grandson Andrew so he can carry it with him to Sunbeams.
 I used some fleece scraps to make these little doll blankets for the younger granddaughters.
 I made our grandson Carson a snuggly fleece BYU blanket.
 And of course I sewed stockings for the two grandchildren who joined our family this year!