13 February 2012

The Many Faces of Daniel

We were very disappointed that Garrett, Krystal and Daniel weren't able to join the rest of the family in Utah during December, so I flew out to see them in California in January.
 Daniel turned one on December 30th and had no memory of me since I hadn't seen him since July.  He warmed up to me a bit, but definitely preferred his parents!
Here's Garrett working his fatherly magic by putting Daniel to sleep.

                  Daniel is at such a cute age and is doing lots of big-boy things like playing with legos.
Krystal and I took Daniel to the park while Garrett was at work.
 Daniel love, love LOVES to swing!  He had a look of pure joy on his face while he was being pushed in the swing.

 How about that sweet heart-shaped leaf Daniel found on the ground?  Perfect photo for Valentine's day!
 Daniel likes to feed himself and gets most of his food into his mouth.
 We went to the aquarium in Santa Barbara, and Daniel was a bit afraid of the sea creatures.  Good thing Daddy was there to protect him.
 Daniel isn't too sure about the shark on his stroller---
 Looks like the shark is on the attack!  ( I guess Daddy didn't protect him from the shark)
 Daniel loves books and is good at turning the pages.
 Here he is reading the "Colors" quiet book I made for him.
 In this photo Daniel was trying to charm me into giving him my cell phone.
It worked.
 My time in California was too short but it was fun to spend time getting to know our only incredibly adorable and photgenic grandson! 

04 February 2012

Kitchen Makeover

Finally finished the kitchen makeover today!  My winter home improvement project is complete.  So thought I would share photos of the phases; 

When we bought the house: (Note the teal countertops that Elaine loved so much (NOT!)

Phase I:  The countertops are the first to go.
Phase II:  Next the floor and cabinet color - (Though a year apart) - and beginning of the appliance change phase

It's been fun to see the changes!

02 February 2012

Celebrating the Christmas Season

December started off with the Relief Society Christmas program that I planned, made the invitations and decorated for. 
It turned out as well as I'd hoped it would and I think it was worth the effort.
We collected about 30-40 nativity sets from sisters in the ward and displayed them on the tables pictured below. I saw the idea of using icicle lights along the front of the tables on "Pinterest", and I was glad to have an opportunity to try it out.  I think it looked fabulous!
Each food table also had a nativity set as the centerpiece.
The color scheme was gold and white.
Everyone brought hors d'oeuvres, and the Relief Society provided a hot chocolate bar and gingerbread for dessert.
The day after the Relief Society program, the Relief Society sisters had a Ladies Day out to tour the White House and see the Christmas decorations. I didn't have my camera, so all the pictures were taken by others.
The entry hall.
Window decoration in the entry hall.
One of the MANY live, decorated trees in the White House.
Outside the White House.  This is the back side of the White House, opposite from when we went on the autumn White House garden tour. This back side of the White House is where the press is always camped out.
Most of our Relief Society group.
Here are the invitations for my Christmas piano recital.
The recital was just three days after the RS Christmas program, so it was a crazy busy couple of days!
I used a snowflake theme this year.
Below is a close up of the music ornaments I made for the students this year.  It's an annual tradition to give each of my students a Christmas ornament. 
On December 10th Kent and I joined thousands of other volunteers to put wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the "Wreaths Across America" program.
It was another lovely, mild winter day, as you can see from the photos.
The next several photos were taken in Utah.  The previous blog post was all about Tyler's commissioning into the US Army ceremony.  Here are some of the other things we did while we were in Utah.
We went to the spectacular Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert.
After the concert we walked around Temple Square to see the Christmas lights. I  love this nativity that is all lit up in the middle of the pond, with floating candles all around it.
It's amazing how many lights there are on all the trees on Temple Square!
Kent and I took our precious Stinson granddaughters out for a walk.
We had Sophia's baby blessing.
Here's Sophia in the blessing dress and on the blanket I made; both were made for Adrianne when she was a baby.
Isn't that an adorable little face?
Here's all the family that was gathered in Provo for Sophia's blessing.  Were were very disappointed that Garrett, Krystal and Daniel couldn't be there. It would have been wonderful to all be together.
A three generation shot.
 After we returned to Virginia Kent and I went to the Messiah sing-along concert in the Kennedy Center.
We arrived two hours early to get tickets, and were lucky enough to get to wait inside the building.  The line stretched outside and around the corner with people waiting for tickets.
 It was REALLY fun to do the sing along, which we'd never done before.  We brought our "Messiah" scores with us from home, but wished we'd also brought some sandwiches for dinner.  We got in line for tickets at 4pm, the tickets were given out at 6pm and the performance started at 8pm. I had some snacks with me and Kent bought us a sandwich from a snack bar in the Kennedy Center.
On December 24th we drove to Colonial Williamsburg to spend the day. 
 We spent the day visiting some of the eighty restored colonial buildings, and learned some interesting early American history.  I liked seeing the colonial style Christmas decorations.

 There was a traditional firing of the Christmas cannons as it got dark.
There was a short program with some Christmas carol singing before the lighting of the Christmas tree.
We then went to have Christmas eve dinner with our good friends, the Andrews. They live in Yorktown,
which is just half an hour away from Williamsburg.  It was a fun day.