April 16 – 30, 2013

April 16 – Tuesday
Eve, Eden & Claire blossoming at a botanical garden.
April 17 – Wednesday
Story Time!
Hannah can sit still for about one page.
April 18 – Thursday
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
April 19 – Friday
Claire & Justus took a weekend trip to MS.
She wanted to finish the little quilt she started on her last visit.
Painting with thread
Claire & Amy had a fun photography assignment.
Joel & a friend took them up in their air planes, and
they each took pictures of the other plane!
A peek into the back seat –
Joel’s little pilot-in-training, Georgi.
April 20 - Saturday
My “cousin” and childhood friend Charlene and Aunt Vera Rose.
I traveled to VA for Charlene’s mother’s funeral.
Mother may be 88, but she can still make a terrific meal!
She served it on her best china and made me feel so special.
April 21 – Sunday
Mikayla sharing a hymnal with Grandfather
Sunday Evening
The Barnwell Men’s Chorus had their 20-year reunion,
and we got to hear the group at our church!
April 22 – Monday
I sometimes like to ride along with Glen when he feeds hay
to the cows. They come running like it’s candy!
April 23 – Tuesday
What’s wrong with this picture?
Yes, that is a baby possum with her adoptive family.
Gabriel’s pet cat had kittens – two black, one tabby and this!
April 24 - Wednesday
Hudson is very sure that he is old enough
to play games with the big kids.
April 25 – Thursday
Remember that pallet Tina was tearing apart
for a mysterious project? She made a Pottery Barn knock-off
sign to hang in her boys’ bedroom.
She also made a lovely bouquet for my supper table.
Karleigh was pleased to set the table for me.
April 26 – Friday
Claire attended a conference for portrait artists.
The first evening there were 5 models dressed in colonial era garb.
Three artists painted each model side by side for 2 hours.
Check out that tool box!
Two hours later . . .
The conference attendees walked around watching the process
and then voted on their favorite.
This guy won the “Face-Off.”
His reward was to paint another portrait up on a stage
in front of 800-plus critical artists. What a prize!
Artist James Gurney, sketching “in the wild” -
Go to his blog to see what he drew:
April 27 - Saturday
An impromptu group was asked to sing at the
Senior Citizens Seminar Glen & I attended.
April 28 – Sunday
Tina found this cartoon Claire doodled back in high school.
April 29 – Monday
Eve made a cute Pippi Longstocking all dressed up
for “character day” at her school.
Dexter helping me do an overdue job! Whew!
Super Brock and Aunt Claire –
conquerors of evil weeds in the flower kingdom
Herbs & flowers
Any recipe suggestions for cooking with fresh herbs?
April 30 – Tuesday
John had his first haircut at 6 months.
“During” (Hudson waiting for his turn)
People say he looks like my baby picture now! Aw!
What do you think?

April 1-15, 2013


April 1 – Monday

Mikayla & Gianna on swings take a break from

playing “Mommy” to just be little girls!



April 2 – Tuesday

I think our small town is beautiful this time of year

when the dogwoods and azaleas burst forth in bloom.



Claire had a fun little photoshoot with Becky.


April 3 – Wednesday

Lucky stood guard while Glen and Justus smoothed our bumpy lane.



April – Thursday

Sarah and Heather D., my fellow travellers to VA,

browsing through photo albums at my Mother’s house.



Mother was working on one of several quilts she recently made.



April 5 – Friday

I took my mantel clock to have it repaired.

There is something so fascinating about a clock shop!

The stories these melodious voices could tell!



The repairman can take apart a clock

and put every single part back in the right spot. Amazing!



April 6 – Saturday

I love to sit with Mother and enjoy a leisurely breakfast

while watching wildlife out her front window.



Canada geese on the old railroad pillar -

Can you see the eggs they laid up there?



A duck flew way, way up on a tree branch.

I didn’t know they could fly that high!



This little cardinal stood out against the branches.



A squirrel going to her home in the tree.


Barbara treated us to lunch at DQ!



April 7 – Sunday

Mother, Barbara, Sanford, Sheila and I took a trip to Delaware!

Going through the lunch line in Polly’s kitchen



The taco salad was as delicious as it looks on Polly’s beautiful dishes.



Around the table there were several animated conversations

going on at the same time. I guess we talk with our hands!



I love this picture of two old friends catching up on their lives!



Polly’s favorite room is her sewing room.



Polly giving me a little peek into her covetable fabric stash!



Sunday Evening

We listened to our friend Ken give his testimony

and tell about his “cancer journey” at church.



April 8 – Monday

The weather cooperated perfectly for Claire & her friends’

day at the beach in Savannah.



April 9 – Tuesday

Is this safe?


April 10 – Wednesday

Sitting on a grassy knoll, listening for a humming in the air


Instead we heard shouts of laughter from excited children!

It looks like Adrian is dancing a jig! 


Then we all watched and waited . . .


They’re here!! My nephew Alex H. and his friend Andrew

stopped by on their way to Sun ‘n’ Fun Fly-in in Florida.


Adrian & Preston just couldn’t wipe these grins off their faces!


Hudson & Ginger’s turn to explore the cockpit.

Huddy looks intensely interested.


April 11 – Thursday

Do ya reckon Bubba would like to get his hands

greasy and help Mr. Glen?



April 12 – Friday

Bethany knows I love crab apple blossoms.

Hannah came running to give me a branch. They smell heavenly!



Our diningroom table when the branches were being put into vases


April 13 – Saturday

We went to “Chicken Swap Day” at Glen’s brother Philip’s farm.

Addi didn’t know what to think of the donkey in the trailer.



There were many more animals to swap besides just chickens.

I believe this kitten has Riley wrapped around her paw.



Scott weighing out garden seeds for Glen.



April 14 – Sunday

We put our dinners together with Loren & Renee and both invited guests!



Dave and Cora Y.



Steve and Diane Y.



Joyce Y.



Tresa M.



Patrick D.


Uncle Edgar & Aunt Evelyn S.


Loren, Renee and children



April 15 – Monday

Claire had a fun job today -

Karis Belle’s baby photos! 



She won’t lack for “mommies” to smother her with kisses!



March 16- 31, 2013


March 16 – Saturday

Smoked eggplant spread on fresh baked bread -

this delicious snack compliments of our Romanian friends.


March 17 – Sunday

Duane and Janice S. hosted us for lunch and the afternoon.

A lovely sunshiny day for the children to eat outdoors!



I didn’t need much encouragement to pick all the beautiful

camellias I wanted from Janice’s many bushes!



March 18 – Monday

We learned Glen’s daddy passed away peacefully this morning.

He was 91 and had been longing to go Home!

Here’s an old picture of Glen’s parents, John & Mildred with baby Loren.



March 19 – Tuesday

When big Bubba came wearing farmer’s bib overalls,

Glen dug his matching ones out to show him.

He was impressed!


March 20 – Wednesday

 It’s that time of year again –

Time for the bachelors to tuck cornflowers

into their buttonholes and go a-courtin’!

“Bachelor’s Buttons”



A beautiful cake from Wagon Barn Market -

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Tiara



March 21 – Thursday

Converting sheet music into shaped notes.

When a person needs to wear two pair of specs to see,

 I’d say they need new glasses!



March 22 – Friday

Sons around their Daddy’s casket


March 23 – Saturday

Visitation for Daddy

This display was on his casket.



A picture-board showing his life



Daddy was a carpenter, farmer and mail carrier.

In his earlier years he ran a heating & plumbing business and also a concrete plant.



These girlies made good use of their time while Daddy and Mama were visiting.



March 24 – Sunday

Lightning, thunder, rain and more rain during the night!

Our backyard looked like a lake this morning.



Children taking a last look at Great-granddaddy.



Walking to the gravesite





The grandsons sang two songs at the grave.



The family covered the grave while little ones watched.




March 25 – Monday

Happy Birthday to my dear Mother!



Today the back yard looked like a parking lot!

Since Harlan & Marilyn’s family came down for a few days,

we had a family reunion.



Two arms full!


I believe Keaton likes his Grandfather!


We took advantage of being together to celebrate

Royal’s birthday which is tomorrow.

He loves meringue puffs, so the girls made him a special batch.



Now it’s Eden’s turn to show me she has lost a tooth!



Dexter and Eve playing a game of “Trouble”!


“This is the way the ladies ride, the ladies ride . . .”



March 26 – Tuesday

I thought Bubba was being extra quiet in his chair,

and this is what I found.



March 27 – Wednesday

It has been unusually cold this spring.

Even the egrets are wearing their winter coats!



When they saw me approaching,

they unfluffed themselves, and sailed away.

It looks like they lost several pounds each!



March 28 – Thursday

Glen put casters on Claire’s taboret for her art supplies.



March 29 – Friday

Claire practicing to make Resurrection Cookies with

the primary children’s Sunday School class.

She used this recipe, but added a little marshmallow in the center

to represent Jesus’ body wrapped in clean linen.

(It disappears during baking!)


March 30 – Saturday

Tina came over to dismantle a pallet for her latest decorative craft project.

You’ll have to check back in later on to find out what it is.


“Would you like iced tea with that?”

I took lunch to Glen in the field. It was just picnic weather!


March 31 – Sunday

Happy Easter!

We were invited to a sunrise service at Lewis’s pond.

We didn’t actually see the sun, but we knew it was shining behind those clouds!


While waiting for the service to begin, Glen’s cell phone rang.

It was Royal telling us that Karis Belle made her debut early this morning!

She was born 3-31-13 at 3:11 am.


The children were so excited to go see their new sister.

They just couldn’t wait!



“Oh, Daddy, can I hold her?”


“She is so tiny and sweet!”



Her auntie thinks so too!


The very happy family!



~ Parting Shot ~

Brock’s invention after watching

this video of a Rube Goldberg machine:


March 1 – 15, 2013


March 1 – Friday

Washing dishes after the supper

Glen’s siblings and spouses had together.

We sang several songs for Daddy.



March 2 – Saturday

Brock came bouncing in the door proudly displaying

a snaggle tooth grin. Before the evening was over,

he came running to me with the 2nd tooth out!!

And no wonder – the permanent ones were pushing them!



March 3 – Sunday

Can you guess what went on at church this morning?

It’s always a blessing to reminisce on what my Lord has done for me!



And on what I can do for others.


Julian & Jodie came over, so our family got together for lunch.

John was introduced to his cousin & future playmate, Keaton.


I love these times!


We had two tables pushed together.


Addie, food connoisseur, inspecting her plate with suspicion!



Ginger playing dress-up at the children’s table



Dexter catching up on the comics with his uncles!



Sunday Evening

We went to hear the singing Bontrager Family.



March 4 – Monday

Claire used tempera paints to decorate a mirror

for Marilyn’s bridal shower.



Bubba wanted to help.


Even though Marilyn “smelled a rat” shortly before her surprise shower,

it was a happy time for her!



Her future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law from Pennsylvania

were able to be there too.



The guest who came the farthest was dear Aunt Kimberly

who attended via Skype from Thailand!



March 5 – Tuesday

Cayla & Bubba joyously sliding down

while Kaitlin waits her turn. So carefree!

They give no thought for the morrow,

much less for shoes & socks on a chilly day!



March 6 – Wednesday

Glen faithfully winds our clock every week.

We bought it years ago at my Great-aunt Mary’s sale.



March 7 – Thursday

When I asked Katy Mae what they were making,

she said, “Pecan Cake.” Yum!



March 8 – Friday

Little Bubba is a good eater.

He opens his mouth wide and doesn’t need a bib!

(And he doesn’t spit out pureed peas!)


March 9 – Saturday

Every spring we burn out the old growth from our pampas plants.



Artsy weeds


Claire waiting patiently for the pecan brush pile to burn down, so we

can roast hotdogs and marshmallows on a beautiful spring evening.



They used to make clothing out of flour sacks. We found a feed

bag makes a perfectly good table cloth, seat or fire shield!



March 10 – Sunday

Mikayla was busy drawing during Oana’s baptism.


Loren & Renee invited us to spend the evening with them since

Renee’s parents are visiting this week.

King Hudson ready to preside over the feast!



After supper we trekked out to the wooded property

to show Dave and Marlene where Loren & Renee are planning to build.



This little snuggly bug travelled well!



The property has a little stream running through it . . .



. . . and plenty of room for exploring . . .



. . . and discovering! 



It’s truly a dream-come-true for these town-children!


House site!



March 11 – Monday

Claire & Mandy had so much fun shooting a 1950′s style

photo session with Jennifer and her classic car.


March 14 – Thursday

When I saw these criss-cross lemon, brown sugar cookies on someone’s

blog, I knew I had to try them. I wasn’t disappointed with the results.



March 15 – Friday

Glen was blessed by the time he spent at

FBEP’s REACH missions conference.

Approximately 40 missions came together to share ideas and to learn.




February 15-28, 2013


February 15 – Friday

Cold winter evening, perfect for curling up with a book!



February 16 – Saturday

Brock was my helper this morning.



Justus helped Dexter make a “rocket” using vinegar and soda,

a water bottle, four pencils and some duct tape.


February 17 – Sunday

At the JAM Kids Club, the children are learning

hand signs to help them memorize the 10 commandments.



February 18 – Monday

It’s time to trim the grapevines.



February 19 – Tuesday

We went next door to wish Halee a Happy Birthday.

Watch out, Kitty! You know what they say about curiosity & cats!



February 20 – Wednesday

Brock’s monster truck cake has chocolate donut wheels!




Dexter’s classmates helped him make this

big birthday banner as a surprise for Brock!


February 21 – Thursday

And the very next day Mikayla celebrated her birthday.

Her gumball cake choice was approved by her friends and siblings!

They had fat cheeks all evening!



Are birthdays ever complete without “Pin the Tail On the Donkey”?



I went with Glen to feed the cows protein.



Justus & Claire enjoyed time around the fire with the youth.



February 22 – Friday

Katie Lynn trying to play and keep an eye out

for her school bus at the same time.



February 23 – Saturday

After dark we heard Justus’ dog Lucky barking and barking.

Finally Glen and Justus went out with their guns to see what they could see.

 All they found were several holes dug in the yard. Armadillos we think.



February 24 – Sunday

Glen and his daddy compare hand sizes.


The younger classes nervously awaiting their turn to give an early Easter program



The upper grades and teachers gave a wonderful rendition of “The Easter Anthem.”


February 25 – Monday

And look what we found in our driveway this morning!

I don’t know which is uglier – the armadillo or the vultures!



It gives me the chills to hear the sound of large wings beating the air

above me and sense a horde of beady eyes staring through me!



February 26 – Tuesday

Bubba, Karleigh and Brittany take advantage of the warm weather.



Bubba and Cliffie picking “flowers.”



February 27 – Wednesday

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

No really, it actually IS one small step!

I don’t know how mud can be “cute,” but when it’s a toddler’s footprint, it just is!



When I checked to see what kindergartner Katie Lynn was drawing

in the driveway, I found the whole alphabet! Good job!



February 28 – Thursday

When Bubba spied Brigham napping in his little bed,

he decided to take the bottom bunk!



February 1-14, 2013


February 1 – Friday

When I stopped by the school this morning, I found

these gals diligently studying out in the fresh air and sunshine.



February 2-8 – Saturday-Friday

Sewing Retreat!

That wonderful time of the year when my sisters, our mother,

and some of the next generation get together to sew.

We each made a cozy little sewing station and settled in.




When Julia came, she thought she could just sneak in on us.

But we surprised her!!



We met in Hilton Head, SC this year, so it wasn’t far away for us.

Glen, Curtis & Jason visited us one day.

Look who is getting into the fridge!



Even a few of the great-grandchildren came.

Little Hannah is mesmerized by Jolene’s phone.



Tina lays out both sides of her jeans/flannel comfort.



Dexter got inspired to use his mom’s fabric scraps

and make his own little quilt.


He carefully laid it out on a bed first, as he had seen her do.



Brock is careful to keep his fingers back from the needle.


Mother gave each of us a hot pad she made.

They all have a camping theme.


My “Hidden Wells” quilt is starting to take shape.



Whenever I see this picture, it almost makes me cry.

We are sniffing Polly’s quilt made of Father’s shirts.

Oh my! It seems like Father should be here!



When we wanted to take a break from our labors (play?),

we went for a walk on the beach. Who minds a few raindrops?



Who minds a little torrential freezing rain & hurricane strength winds?

Not really. It was actually nice and refreshing.


Hannah discovering the joy of beach sand



A highlight of the trip for Claire was a visit to the studio of

world renowned portrait painter Joe Bowler.



Mother made quite a few of these beautiful velvet pillow tops.


Wouldn’t you like to be a first grader again and have a book bag like this?


Some of our projects. (Several of our group had already left.)

It was a very satisfying week.

Check out the other blog posts about our sewing retreat:







February 9 – Saturday

I decided to make valentines for my grandchildren instead of buying them.



February 10 – Sunday

This evening was the southern reception for my nephew Aaron and Sarah B.


Sarah making sure Aaron’s belt is just so!


February 11 – Monday

Hannah surprised us by giving us a valentine and a plate of cookies!



February 12 – Tuesday

Claire went to Mississippi with Julia after the sewing retreat.

She spent the week doing her favorite things: painting,

eating out with family, sewing with Aunt Julia, and photography with Amy!

Uncle Paul gave her a ride in his plane.


It was a beautiful evening which inspired her. . .



. . . to make this textile painting.

(It’s not really painted, only pieces of fabric

which will have thread details added later.)



She also rode with Gabriel in the grain hauler truck and



spent time with him in the shop where he is building a legal eagle.



February 13 – Wednesday

Lauretta E. hosted a delightful farewell luncheon in honor of

Janet H. before she moves away. She will be missed!



February 14 – Thursday

Happy Valentines Day!



Gabriel came for a short visit bringing Claire back home.



Gabe teaching Dexter the fine art of popcorn eating!


January 18 -30, 2013


January 18 – Friday

I look forward to being in balmy Florida this time every year.

We bumped into Gerald and Lauretta among the rows of quilts

at the Haiti Benefit Auction.



Aunt Evelyn liked this quilt.



January 19 – Saturday

She has the rapt attention of her audience,

Aunt Melba & Julia are drinking in her every word,

but Uncle Willard looks incredulous.



It’s always interesting to watch the quilts being sold and listen to

the auctioneer describe their attributes and selling points.



Fresh water wells for Haiti!



What is this? Some kind of giant donuts being deep-fried?



No, they are bloomin’ onions – Oh, so good!



Julia, Ada & I with Ella, formerly from Romania, who met us at the sale.

It was good to catch up with her.



January 20 – Sunday

This week the Kid’s Club reenacted the 10 plagues of Egypt,

complete with jumping frogs, falling hail,

fly swatters and water turning to blood!



January 21 – Monday

My SIL Joyce brought her newborn baby goat to show Daddy B.

She is bottle feeding her every two hours, since her mama wouldn’t take her.



January 22 – Tuesday

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

My dryer quit working and I don’t have a clothesline!



January 23 – Wednesday

Since some of the grandchildren were spending the evening here

anyway,  we decided to throw a spur-of-the-moment party

for Giles’ 9th birthday several days late and

Preston’s 7th birthday a few days early.

We whispered our secret plans to the girls and

asked if they wanted to help in the kitchen, icing the cupcakes.



I think our little plan was a success!


We thought it was nobody’s birthday today, but we were wrong!

What a delight to hear news of Julian and Jodie’s dear baby,

Keaton Charles.



January 24 – Thursday

Claire putting the finishing touches on one of her latest portraits.

She keeps a paintbrush busy!



January 25 – Friday

Making fresh orange juice the easy way.



January 26 – Saturday

Justus on a ski lift in WV.

He can’t tell how cold it is because he’s looking at the world

through sunshine-tinted glasses!



Part of the skiing party went with him

to Uncle Terry & Aunt Barbara’s house.

I would know where they were just

by the quilt there in the background!



January 27 – Sunday

I could hardly wait for this moment to come!

Can’t you tell we are smitten?



Claire welcomes her newest nephew.



And now they are three!



Oh dear baby, you just don’t know how much you are loved!



Prayer of blessing for little Keaton.

(The hands on this picture belong to seven different people!)



January 28 – Monday

Cool-dude Hannah helps Mommy, Auntie and Grandmother sort pecans.



January 29 – Tuesday

Katina is pleased with the way the new mural at the bakery turned out!



January 30 – Wednesday

Justus getting his hands greasy on his current fixer-upper!



January 1 – 16, 2013


January 1 – Tuesday

Poor Dexter fell asleep on the way to our house to celebrate his birthday,

and didn’t wake up until almost time to go home!

Aunt Becky always gives him a quarter for every year of his life,

so this year his card was heavy with $1.75.

  He said, “I CAN’T WAIT until I’m a hundred!!”


You can’t tell it, but this dinosaur model is clear on one side

so you can see all its innards. The brains and heart were squishy!


January 2 – Wednesday

We were invited to Curtis & Tina’s house

for a spaghetti supper & games.


At the door was a sign that said, “DANGER” in child’s printing.

Inside was a stool with a plastic snake.

The boys strung up a “trap” all over the place.

Brock scooted under the string and wanted me to follow.

Even though it would have been easy to just step over it,

I bent down and crawled under it.

Brock watched me and then said “You’re huge!” happy


Brock made the meatballs from a recipe!


January 4 – Friday

Come in. Sit down. Relax. Converse.
Our house doesn’t always look like this.
Sometimes it’s even worse!


January 6 – Sunday

Glen leading songs at church this morning.


Our dinner guests:

U. Byard and A. Rosie H.


Maryann Y., Karen & Nevin S.

Christopher, Wade & Randall


Jason, Bethany & Hannah


Justus with Fred L.


January 8, 9 – Tuesday and Wednesday

Glen & I flew to Munich, Germany where we met

Paul & Julia G. and Aden & Ann Marie D. and flew on to Romania.

We were flying against time, so I don’t know where one day ended

and the next began!


Our group. It was Aden and Ann Marie’s first time in Romania.


January 10 – Thursday

This afternoon we visited a home for the elderly.

It’s a wonderful place where needs are met with love and care.


These dear friends, Maria & Pavaluc, served us a delicious meal.


January 11 – Friday

Horatiu and Gina served us a morning tea.

They wanted to surprise us by taking us someplace special.


They took us to the nearby mountains!

I forgot how COLD this white stuff is!!


What do you think? Is fur a good look for me?


Warm hearts


We took a ski lift to the top.


So beautiful, and so quiet.


My feet were ice blocks till we got back down.

This really did help!!


On the way back, we stopped by the ole swinging bridge

so Aden & Ann Marie could experience it!


We were invited to Adi and Arianna’s house

for supper and warm fellowship.


January 12 – Saturday

A highlight of today was going to see the HOPE girls.

They were the orphan girls Ada Ruth mentored years ago.


Ada Ruth is back living with them now, and they dearly love her.

Romanian style pizza is made without sauce and served with ketchup!


January 13 – Sunday

We got up early and went to a church in Bucharest.

Sorin translated for Paul & Julia.


In the elevator going up to where church was held.

Can you tell how Julia took this photo?


The holiday decorations above the streets were interesting.

I would love to see them all lit up!


This unique truck was advertising a phone service.

Check out the windshield wipers!


Sunday Evening

We went to The Potter’s House for church this evening.


This couple sang for us.


Newly weds, Gabi and Mia came to visit us.

We weren’t able to attend their wedding,

so we brought them one of Claire’s prints as a gift.


January 14 – Monday

Ada Ruth took us ladies shopping. She is fun to be with! –

Not to mention that she translated for us!


Supper with Iosif and Cornelia and family

Julia posed for little Iosif and Lois who painstakingly drew her portrait.

Look at all the detail they put in!


January 15 – Tuesday

SHEEP X-ing!

A shepherd with his flock of sheep is a common sight.


Glen chatted with this one. I don’t think either understood the other!


We stopped by to visit a gypsy village.



January 16 – Wednesday

Homeward Bound! 

. . . . . . Meanwhile . . . . . .

While we were gone, Claire spent several days

in NYC visiting Harlan, Marilyn and girls.

This little corner of Harlan and Marilyn’s house

produces many pieces of furniture & wooden works of art!


Claire enjoying a hot chocolate party with Eden, Eve and Claire


Eden playing with her iPad or Kindle.

She played with it quite a while,

swiping the little car with her finger to make it go.


On the way home Claire stopped by to visit Grandmother!



December 17-31, 2012


December 17 – Monday

Karleigh & Kaitlyn wanted to decorate Christmas cookies.

It was harder than they expected but I thought they did a good job!



December 18 – Tuesday

Dexter & his classmates sing their hearts out

in the choir for his school’s Christmas program



December 19 – Wednesday

Once upon a time a little ole lady made a gingerbread boy



While he was still hot out of the oven,

a real live boy gobbled him up!

In the end, nobody was sad, because

that is exactly why the gingerbread boy was created.



“Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!”



Vincent rose up from his bed and walked on crutches

so he wouldn’t miss out on Christmas caroling!



December 20 – Thursday

Yay! Boxes at the door –

It’s that time of year again!



December 21 – Friday

Claire made “promise cookies” with a verse tucked inside.



December 22 – Saturday

The first and last mud puddle ice of the season this year.

Do you see anything in these shapes?



I cast a frosty blue shadow almost all the way across the golden field.



Harlan & Marilyn arrived this evening!

Getting reacquainted with little Claire.



These girl cousins didn’t need to get reacquainted.

They hit it off right away playing house together.



December 23 – Sunday

Five little girls all in a row at church this morning!



Four generations



December 24 – Monday

We had to rise and shine early not to miss our ladies’ breakfast out!

Excuse our sleepy eyes. We haven’t had our coffee yet.






Whose idea was this anyway!?

Uncle Gabriel came armed with a helium tank and lots of balloons!



Eager to receive a little Christmas Eve present



Daniel Boone wannabees trying out their new weaponry –

Raccoons, beware!!



The girls disappeared into a dark hallway

to test out their pink princess flashlights.



When these boys sent a note skyward with the last of the balloons,

their Grandmother breathed a sigh of relief!

(I am a little jumpy when balloons pop unexpectedly!)



December 25 – Christmas Tuesday

I thought this was a fun picture to take, but Hudson disagreed!



The children found poppers on their plates at Christmas brunch.



Mikayla anticipating the pop!



Reading the Christmas Story



Breathless! We opened our gifts one at a time so

everyone could share in each other’s excitement.



Is Giles happy, or what?



Mikayla & her doll twirling in their new

look-alike dresses made by Aunt Bethany



You can do it, Harlan!



Addi watched her daddy taking a movie,

so she decided to try it with a toy camera.



Not just anyone would be THIS happy about

getting a bug zapper for Christmas!



Yes!! It’s just what I wanted!



Julian’s turn.



I got what I wanted too!

A book by my favorite author – “Tea & Trouble Brewing”



Glen decided to try out his new Papa Bear-sized lawn chair right away.


Whoops! He was not expecting that!



Finally, when all the wrapping paper had settled,

there was still one mysterious little gift left on the hearth,

addressed to Grandfather & Grandmother from ???



AAAAAAHH!!!!! Who gave this!?!



There can be no doubt it was from Katina & Curtis!



I had the privilege of telling Dexter & Brock the happy news.



Dexter looked incredulous at first.

Then he ran and leaped into his daddy’s arms and

gave him a big hug! Priceless.



Triplet Cousins – These three inherited the same color of hair

and eyes and the same lower lip perfect for kissing!

(although Hudson isn’t so sure about that…)



The two “Gigis” – Gianna & Ginger



Uncle Curtis calling for HELP after he was attacked

by a small army of miniature people.



December 26 – Wednesday

We hosted the ten oldest grandchildren for a sleepover.

The first item on our agenda for the evening

was a small program for Great Granddaddy.



We had an Asian supper on the floor.



They loved trying out their chopsticks skills!


We made a gingerbread village after supper.




“There are too many kids in the tub . . . !”



Ten little monkeys jumping on bed in the livingroom



December 27 – Thursday

Dexter gets a hand from Uncle Justus making his early morning music.



Stringing popcorn, cranberries & orange slices is a fun craft project.

Gianna needed salt so she could sample the “beads”!



They made a wreath and garland for my kitchen.



It’s beautiful!



We had a hot dog roast at our friend’s house.



Relaxing by the fire on a crisp winter’s night.



Rotating to keep warm



Scooping up a golden shovel full of fire



Eden roasting marshmallows for S’mores



“Wheeee! Do it again, Daddy!”



December 29 – Saturday

“Nibble, nibble like a mouse. Who’s that nibbling at my house?”



I was glad to have mason Cowboy here

to rebrick the damaged part of the wall.



December 30 – Sunday

Gianna was pleased to show me her Sunday school verse card today.




December 1 – 16, 2012


December 1 – Saturday

Ginger was my little helper at the grocery store today.

The little girls beg to have their hair braided into “puppy dog ears!”


We saw this giant turtle taking a stroll in the parking lot.

His owner was nearby making sure he did not run away.



December 2 – Sunday

It was our pleasure to attend baby John’s dedication at church today.



Big brother Hudson getting some Aunt Tina love during the prayer.



After church young scientists Preston, Adrian and Dexter experiment with

starting a fire using a magnifying glass. 


Loren’s birthday.

Ginger is probably thinking how glad she is that isn’t her gift!



We took an afternoon stroll through the lovely woods where

Loren & Renee plan to build their house.



Ginger said her daddy made this princess throne for her.


Hudson truly believes he is big enough to do this.

His mommy disagrees!


December 3 – Monday

Janelle and Bonita love picking up pecans.

They have spent many afternoons here, happily gleaning little treasures.



December 4 – Tuesday

Katie May said she wanted to look like a Mennonite girl!



I loved going to the Annie Moses Band Christmas concert.

They are an extremely talented family from TN.


This harpist also played the mandolin. Such beautiful music!


The violist reminded me of my brother Oren and also of my son Royal!



December 5 – Wednesday

Little Bubba learned to pull himself up.  Uh-oh!

Now he can check out his future playmate in the bassinet!



I wonder what sort of tale Katie Lynn is composing

with characters from the nativity?



Getting at an overdue job – vacuuming the van!



December 6 – Thursday

My daughters & I went to Jodie’s baby shower over in SC.



For one game, Claire had interviewed Julian earlier and

then had Jodie guess what his answers were.



“The baby will probably be up 400 times at night, Julian?!”



It was my job beforehand to count all the buttons in this jar

for a guessing game. It was well over 1000! (Bless my heart!)



Jodie’s mom Ruth had everything decorated so beautifully

with a wintry blue theme because the baby is a boy.



Isn’t the baby-rattle cake just darling?



Jodie’s sister Alysse writing down a list of gifts.

This baby boy will have a little girl cousin just his age!



December 7 – Friday

I replaced the cobalt blue glass in my kitchen window

with red for the winter.



One afternoon in December, traffic comes to a halt

in our town for “Christmas on Liberty.”

All kinds of activities & booths are set up along Liberty Street.



We have neither snow nor hills, but

that does not stop us from having fun, does it?

The line was long at this popular attraction.



Carriage rides



The conductor helping children into the train



A sweet live nativity with children as the actors.

I am not sure who the character on the left is supposed to be!



Mary kept looking at her baby so tenderly.


These fine gentlemen were giving away free mistletoe tied with a ribbon!


Look who I caught under the mistletoe!!

He had just walked in the door after his trip to Indiana.



December 8 – Saturday

Brock busied himself with drawing while waiting

for the Christmas parade to begin.


I loved this float.

These children dressed as snowmen probably never made a real one.

We might as well enjoy the beautiful weather we have!


Hey, Dexter! We see you back there!

He was on the far side of his school’s float, so we nearly missed him!


Catching candy is always a highlight.


Hudson’s expression never changed for the whole parade,

except for a small peep when he heard the fire engine siren.

I wonder what he was thinking!


John, on the other hand, gave his mommy his

first sweet smile just when she had a camera handy!


Loren’s children brought their bikes.



December 9 – Sunday

There are so many delightful events to attend this time of year.

We went with Royal & Jenn’s family to see

living scenes of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

 At the first stop we had to register our names for the census.

Then we had to pay our gold coins to this soldier for taxes.

A passage of Scripture was read at each station.


The angel giving the good news to the shepherds!

They did such a good job. You can see this was indoors.


The Nativity


The Last Supper

Those guys (& that girl with a moustache) had to be

stuffed with bread & grapes by the time the evening was over!


The Crucifixion scene was outdoors using three trees on the church property.


It almost made you cry.


The empty tomb


This is Heaven’s Gate.

When they called our names (which they had from the census), 

we each walked the path into heaven. Yay!

Afterwards they served a meal! We loved it.


Then we went to another church where Christmas cards came to life!


December 10 – Monday

The blackbirds are invading us! I hope they are eating weed seeds!


December 11 – Tuesday

It was “art day” at our house.

While Claire worked on a portrait, Brock painted a barn.


Bethany painted a camel for her nativity,

and Tina painted a dinosaur for Dexter’s room!


The artist and the happy recipient of her artwork after school.

I think it looks like a children’s book illustration.



December 12 – Wednesday

It tickles me the way Cliffie and Kameron go up to the fireplace

and the lamp post light and try their best to blow them out!




The kettles have been bubbling with all kinds of goodness this week!



December 13 – Thursday

Happy Birthday, dear Jenn!


Addie showed me how she can make a face!     



December 14 – Friday

It’s always a pleasure to go to the parent/youth banquet,

put on by the youth. The beautiful appetizer table


Table settings


Behind the scenes Bethany and Jason worked hard.


I was designated baby-sitter for Hannah. Do you think I minded?


The youth had a thought-provoking program afterward.

King Herod and his two henchmen



December 15 – Saturday

This poor little tree cracks me up.

Every time we drive by it, I think of Charlie Brown’s tree!


December 16 – Sunday

Vincent thanks Alecia for the cookies she & her mommy made for him.

Since his soccer accident at school,

he usually has a crowd of children around him after church.