12 December 2017

DC Temple Lights and Kent's Stafford Festival of Lights

 Kent and I had a couple of times to see the DC Temple Christmas lights early in the month.
These first pictures were when we went to work on our Friday night shift. This photo shows us more clearly,
 but this one is better to show all the white lights on the trees leading to the Temple.
I love this picture because of the dusky lighting in the background and because it shows the stained glass on either side of the entry way.
I took up my Bible study friends to see the Temple lights on the Monday after the Nativity exhibit.
 These are all the lights around the Visitor's Center. We attended the nightly concert they had in the auditorium.
This tree was particularly full of lights. 
 It seems like every year the lights are a little bit different.
 This view was taken from the parking lot of the visitor's center.
I love this one with the temple surrounded by the colorful Christmas lights.
Each year Kent's Christmas lights display is a little bit different, too. This year he hired someone to put lights around the second floor roof lines.
This year he was inspired by the nativity exhibit to purchase a small vinyl nativity to put in the front of our house.
 This is the sign at the entrance to our neighborhood (which is on our property.)
Here it is again when we had an unusual light snowfall on the 9th of December.
 This is the sidewalk and gate on the left side of the house down to the backyard.
Here it is again in the snow.
Here's the view on the other side of the gate.
These are the light flowers Kent made to go with his "flower garden" theme. 
 These are the trees to the right of the house closest to the road.
 The same trees in the snow from a bit farther away. I love the lights on the little bridge!
Both the lighted fence swags and the azalea hill lights in the back yard (in the distance) were new additions for 2017.
Here's a close up of the azalea hill. It takes Kent several days in the month of November for him to put up all the lights, but they really are some of the prettiest lights in our area.

19 November 2017

Another Visit to Texas

Now that both our daughters are living near Houston it's easy to find an excuse to go visit. Just a few days after I got home from Oregon I was on the plane again heading down to Texas.
With the Stinson girls.
With the Lee kids.
 I made some mint brownies, and Carson was happy to lick the beaters afterwards.

 It seems like I rarely get pictures of the kids with their daddies, so that's why I took these photos of Russ with his girls,
and Jason with Savannah.
 Kiera hanging out in her kitchen.
 The Stinsons have a motorized carriage that's lots of fun for the kids.
 I love this picture of the three girls!!
 Speaking of three girls, it's been awhile since we had a picture of me with my two daughters.
 Loved this picture of Carson because it shows his light blue eyes.
Some day I'm going to do a blog post with just pictures of me with the grandchildren at the piano! I was trying to work with Sophia at the piano, but Grace wanted in on the action.

12 November 2017

Last Minute Visit to See Our Parents

In October I received the bad news that my mom had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She'd been complaining that her stomach hurt, but nobody took her too seriously. We didn't have anything scheduled for the first weekend of November, so Kent and I decided to fly out to see our parents.
Kent spent most of his time with his mom, but didn't get any pictures of them together.
He took this picture of the garden to show the Japanese lanterns in it. We brought some of them over to Virginia and are growing them in our yard, too.
Jill and Brett came out the same weekend, so the "original six"(not seven, since Gates's death) were together. Reed and Myra hosted a nice family Sunday dinner for all of us. Kent and Brett's wife, Jill, were also there.
Kent came out on Sunday to go to church with my side of the family. It was testimony meeting, and I bore my testimony about "being born of goodly parents."
This shot is pretty much how Mom and dad spend their days. Even though the apartment is warm, Mom is always under that cozy fleece blanket.
I helped Mom put up the autumn decorations. The two autumn wall quilts I made for her are hung above the family pictures. Kent and I realize how fortunate we are at our age to have parents still living, and we're making an effort to visit our parents more frequently.

01 November 2017

October Entertaining

On October 3rd I hosted a birthday party at my house for Nancy, one of the ladies in our Bible study group. 
I was glad that all five of us were able to attend, plus Nancy's daughter. (who took this picture). It was a good opportunity to use my autumn themed decorating ideas. 
This little bonsai maple tree I made in Japan has been one of my favorite autumn decorations for more than twenty years.
I bought these glass pumpkin ornaments in Germany.
 I found these small ceramic pumpkins at Tuesday Morning to use as holders for the place card names.
 I used my French dishes because they have nice autumn colors and pretty scenes on them, and my rust colored table cloth with autumn leaves on it.
 I created some napkin rings by tying a bow of wired ribbon and added a metal leaf and a bead.
I served Swiss chicken cutlets, sweet potato yeast rolls (they have a nice orange color) and green salad. As a take-home gift I made individual apple pies in mini-mason jars. I wrapped them up prettily after I took this picture.
At the end of the month I hosted my annual Halloween piano party for my students.
 Several years ago I created a scavenger hunt for our yard using music clues. I have mostly different students now, so I used it again this year. Because of the work it took to set up the scavenger hunt, I didn't get as much decorating done as I have other years.
 I also wasn't organized enough to get some group pictures with me in them, like I have on other years.
This picture and the one below were taken after the party was over.

 Bible study was on Halloween this year, so I decorated some milk bottles using haunted houses I cut from vinyl. They turned out very cute!
I filled them with an orange/pineapple juice with some coconut flavoring added, and a small amount of 7-up. It was very good.

I've gotten lots of use out of these treble clef glasses I found at the dollar store several years ago!!