17 November 2015

November Visit to Houston

I took a quick trip to Houston to see the Stinsons and the Lees in the middle of November. While I was there I was able to watch Kiera and Savannah's Primary program, which is the main reason on went to visit. I did lots of other fun things, too. Below I'm posing with the three older granddaughters and they're holding the church bags I've made for them (and a photo bomb by Grace.)
Adri taught pre-school while I was visiting, so I got to help her with that.
Grace wearing a very non-grumpy cat looking face! She loved going to pre-school with the big kids.
I love, love, love moments like these in the two following pictures. This is why I go visit the grandkids as often as I can.

While I was in town I went to watch another of Kiera's soccer games.
Her daddy volunteered to be a coach and Savannah cheered her on from the sides.
Kiera was very delighted to receive an award that day.
On another day I went to the Houston zoo with the Lee girls.
Gracie loved to see the lions.
The zoo was starting to set up their Christmas displays so I took this cute picture of the girls.
We rode the carousel.
Sophia loves pandas so she naturally chose to ride the panda on the carousel. Gracie was just happy to be there and is too young to be picky about what animal she rides.
I just had to snap a picture of Gracie's naturally curly hair. It's adorable. I just can't believe how light it's getting to be, since she started out a brunette.
Sophia is a collector, and as we walked through the zoo she picked up these leaves that had fallen onto the path.
We also fed the ducks at the pond outside the zoo.
We didn't get any other pictures of all of us together, so wanted to put this in.

10 November 2015

Things We did in October and November

 Well, I probably should have titled this "Things I did in October and November", since as I was uploading the pictures I noticed they mostly had me in them. Kent does makes an appearance at the end of this blogpost.
I spent a day in DC touring the Woodrow Wilson House and the Masonic Temple. We actually started off the day with at stop at Georgetown Cupcake, but I didn't take a picture of it.
Had to get my picture taken by this lovely grand piano in the Woodrow Wilson House. Our tour guide told us it was the one antique in the house it was okay to touch!
This is a better view of the music room.
 Afterwards we toured the Masonic Temple.
 This is a picture of the main meeting room. I'd toured the Temple before several years ago but it was interesting to go again.
 I put on a little luau for my Bible Study group.

 We had Hawaiian Haystacks, Hawaiian rolls, coconut cream pie and individual pineapple upside down cakes.
  Later in the month I was able to see the LDS pianist Josh Wright perform at the Washington DC temple visitor's center. He was amazing and made me think I should definitely practice the piano more! (Sorry about the blurry picture.) He played several works by Chopin.
The funny thing about the video I'm inserting in here is that I took it at a slant, so it looks like Josh Wright is performing on a ship that's definitely listing to the left.
video
I had my annual Halloween piano party at the end of the month and wore my piano costume.
I divided the group into younger and older students.
One activity I did with my younger students was to make a jack-o-lantern face using music symbols. (I cut them out of black adhesive vinyl with my Silhouette so they'd stick on the paper.)
 The older kids did more challenging music games. . .
 Like this matching game with words spelled out on the staff.
The weather was pretty warm, so the kids ate their pizza outside under the deck.
 I used my black painted spooky chandelier for ambiance.
 At the beginning of November we had a new roof put on the house. It was an unseasonably warm 77 degrees that day, so Kent chose a good day to have the work done!
  They had a big crew and were able to complete the work in one day.
 I was impressed with how careful they were to cover the house so there wouldn't be any damage to the siding.

 At the end of November Kent and I had the delightful experience of seeing the play "A Christmas Carol" performed at Ford's Theater in downtown DC.

 The play is performed annually there and Kent and I had gone to see it in 2002 when we lived here before, but I don't remember thinking it was anything special when we went back then.
 This year, however, Kent and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very well done and they sang lots of Christmas carols, so it was a great way to kick-off the Christmas season.

08 November 2015

Autumn Colors in Virginia

During the month of October we did some leaf-peeping right here in Virginia. Kent and I had the chance to stay at the Homestead, one of the most historic resorts in the Allegheny Mountain. We were there at the peak of the fall colors and had lovely weather, as you can see.

The resort was built around the largest hot springs in the state of Virginia.  

 It was an elegant old hotel.
This is the front lobby, where afternoon tea is served daily.
This was our room.
The next pictures are just some of the vistas we saw as we made the drive to the resort.
Not far down the road from the Homestead is a famous Virginia waterfall called Falling Springs. This picture was taken at the viewpoint overlooking the falls.
 We had fun hiking around the head waters of the water fall.

 Can you find Kent in this picture?
 A larger view of the waterfall.
 Also down the road was the oldest humpback covered bridge in Virginia, first built in 1857.

On another day I drove along Skyline Drive with a friend in Shenandoah National park to see the fall colors there.
We saw an eagle and two bear cubs, as we were driving, but the bears ambled off before I could get my camera out to take a picture.

Yes indeed, in 2015 we had another stunning autumn in Virginia!