Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas 2014 (an early start)

When I was a child, we drew names for Christmas in our family. We only had to get a gift for that person, but we could get others if we would like. On Christmas Eve, we each got to open the gift from the person who drew our name. As we grew up and left home, drawing names became logistically challenging, so we just set up a system that for any given year, you have the person just younger than the person you had last year. If you had the youngest last year, then you have Dad this year.

Anyway, this year my sister Shaunda, just younger than me, has my name. She sent me a package that arrived December 1 with instructions to open it when it came. I Skyped with her and her family while I opened it. She and her sweet family have given me a gift to open for every day between Dec 1 and Dec 25, with each one labeled on the day it was to be opened.

Here are the daily gifts thus far--I am totally loving this! It gives me something to look forward to each day.

December 1: A recent picture of her family, and a personalized recording greeting message, along with popcorn and hot chocolate. Going to break out the hot chocolate tonight (see December 7)

December 2: Lifesavers

December 3 and 6:
letters from a niece and nephew

December 4: colored pens and notepads

December 5: Christmas socks

December 7: Marshmallows and cranberries to string during the First Presidency Christmas devotional tonight. Will pull out the hot chocolate and break out the Christmas socks too!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Blast from my childhood

My mom found this recently and sent it to me. I drew these as a thank you when I was 5 or 6 for some clothes my grandmother had sent. A flood had hit her area and there was a lot of damage, including to a clothing store that was filled with mud. They sold the clothes at a huge discount, so my grandmother bought several for her grandkids. She had to soak them in several tubs of water to loosen the mud. She didn't want to use her nice washing machine, so they brought out the old Maytag Wringer clothes washer and washed them several times. When they were finally clean, they were really nice clothes.

Fall foliage

My brother-in-law asked this morning if fall was here yet and if I had any pictures. These are for your Ross! Just took them today. It has been a cool, dry summer so I am not sure if the colors will be as vibrant as usual. There are a few that are going directly to dry and brown (like the first one below)

taken inside the car just before the light turned green

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vacation: BYU game (Day 6)

I sadly left the Catskills Friday morning and headed to Hartford, CT for a little tail gating before the BYU-UCONN game with friends from my congregation. I missed a turn which would have put me on the highway and GPS directed me to backroads the whole way. So glad I missed that turn. Couldn't stop to take pics, but another beautiful drive through the CT side of the Berkshires.

Tailgating with my friends--we all knew this Y was for BYU, but one of my CT friends pointed out this looked like Yale. No wonder we got some funny looks!
Decked out in my Cougar gear
In the tailgating area I saw an Ohio State flag, so went over to say hi. They are UCONN fans, but OSU fans most of all (note the OSU flag is ABOVE the UCONN flag). We reminisced about Ohio State,but didn't talk too much about BYU vs. UCONN. Very nice fans.
Inside the stadium--caught the last of the warm up.

 Here they come! 
 Their bench was in front of us
Some live-action shots. Didn't catch any of the 7 touchdowns though

Beautiful sunset!

BYU won 35-10. We went down to the bottom of the stands after the game and high fived all the players. Never done that before--it was fun!

Stayed in Hartford overnight and then headed home. Vacation was over, but it was such a great vacation. Saturday I unpacked, went shopping, went through a week's worth of mail and other ordinary, non-vacation sorts of things.

Catskills vacation: Day 5 (Thursday)

Went on a round-trip scenic train ride through the Catskills, from Arkville, NY to Roxbury, NY. It was about 45 minutes each way Loved it! The first part was the most relaxing part of the entire vacation.

About a 30 minute drive from where I was staying, and of course the scenery was breath-taking the entire way. Was there plenty early, so walked around and took some pictures before they were ready to board.


 Boarding area
And we're off! We followed the river and mountains the whole way. I saw a lot of eagles, hawks and blue herons, but wasn't quick enough to catch any on the camera. I even saw an eagle eating a fish. Pretty cool

 A little bit of fall color was starting to appear

 This is at the Roxbury depot. I love stone walls!


Lots of kids enjoying the day
Love red barns!

It was a beautiful day to go for a ride. A couple told me there are several fun scenic train rides in Massachusetts--I will definitely check it out. I have never been before, but always wanted to go.