Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Birthday to You!

It may be his birthday today, but the kids wanted to celebrate it when we were all together a couple of weeks ago, (except for the newlyweds who were on their honeymoon), so that means the pictures are all ready to post now.
We started the celebrating with a delicious, yet very simple, dinner of salad, pork roast, baked potatoes, green beans and my brother-in-law's yummy homemade bread and jam.
Then it was time to for the party! According to David, it's not a party without hats. He liked the idea so well he wore two; Wayne said one was too much, and that it was choking him. I'm glad he was a good sport and wore it long enough to get a picture.
Then the gift appeared!
As you can see, the little kids enjoyed his humongous present as much as, if not more than, he did.
Inside the giant refrigerator box was a doll-house refrigerator.
Image result for doll house refrigerator tomy
One of our running family jokes is that every present is a refrigerator. The kids figured it would be nice to have that actually be the gift this year, with the understanding that it's also a symbol of the father's role to provide. We're grateful Wayne's fulfilled this role so admirably.
The balloons will be popped and thrown away, and the box will return to being a children's toy until it disintegrates, but the loving thoughts (along with the letters and pictures that were also underneath the balloons) will last forever. And so will the memory of the laughter and fun surrounding the opening of this great gift.

Lighting the candles was a multi-person effort, but it was managed without burning down the house.
And they all got blown out in one try!
Happy Birthday to You! We love you!!
Not everyone stayed still long enough to get a picture! I guess that means they were having a good time.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beethoven Sonata #31

Here's the blog post reporting that I did finally play Beethoven's Sonata #29 for Wayne. That was a long time ago! I know I played #30 at some point, because my bookmark is on #31. I'm hoping it will take less than another 7 years to finish the last two.
Image result for beethoven
Since I've learned that music has greater meaning if I know some of the story behind it, here are a couple of links to study to help motivate me to learn this sonata.

About the Piece

A Recording of the Sonata

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Our Anniversary Get Away

Time to record memories from our great little anniversary trip in 2016!

The Best Western (don't forget the "Plus"!) was a great place to just relax, and we could have gone swimming but we chose to read on the deck instead.

We enjoyed dinner at Seasons 52, and appreciated their willingness to enhance our celebration with a complimentary dessert and photo.

Blackened Steak and Bleu Cheese Flatbread, Lump Crab Wedge Salad & Rainbow Trout with Heritage Carrots

Breakfast was included at the hotel, which was nice and ordinary, and then we were off to explore "Downtown at the Gardens" - a unique outdoor shopping mall.

We wandered around all the shops looking for a souvenir, and finally settled on a spiralizer from Sur La Table. That may seem an odd choice to some, but it lives up to its purpose to help us remember our great little trip.

Rudolph Day - Looking Back and Looking Ahead

It's Rudolph Day! Do you know what that means? It's something someone put together many years ago to help with spreading out Christmas planning throughout the year, to help make the Christmas season less stressful. You can read more about it here - Rudolph Club. Sometimes I've actually done something about it, but never consistently. (At the bottom of this post, I'll put links to some of the months I actually completed something, so that they're all in one place.)

I remembered this today because this year we're planning on having many visitors for Christmas, and I know I'll be much happier if I do as much preparation ahead of time as possible. About twenty-five years ago I tried following the Holiday Grand Plan, and while I liked it, it just didn't fit our lifestyle. Another year I tried the Christmas Countdown (six weeks instead of eighteen devoted to holiday prep and housecleaning), and that was pretty good, but it wasn't quite "me" either. This year I thought I'd look at them again, and I found something else called the House and Holidays Plan. It looks promising.

The plan starts next week. I'm not in the middle of the first week of school or seminary or soccer or anything else that made sticking to a long-term plan difficult in the past, so here's my public declaration that I'm going to give it a try. Feel free to follow along if you'd like. Over the years I've learned that even if I don't complete every task on the list, I do more than I would have otherwise, and that's always a good thing.

Here's the schedule for the "Fall House Cleaning" (and in addition each week will have some holiday prep chores like planning menus, wardrobes, travel, and/or gifts).

1 - August 28 - Planning/Paper - Office/Den
2 - September 4 - Calendar - Craft Room
3 - September 11 - Me & Mine - Master Bedroom
4 - September 18 - Close to Home - Children's Bedrooms
5 - September 25 - House Room - Guest Room
6 - October 2 - Wardrobe - Clothes Closets and Laundry Room
7 - October 9 - Bedding & Bath - Linen Closets and Bathrooms
8 - October 16 - Family Spaces - Family Room
9 - October 23 - Public Spaces - Living Room
10 - October 30 - Cooking Space - Kitchen
11 - November 6 - Food Storage - Pantry
12 - November 13 - Dining Spaces - Dining Room
13 - November 20 - Entry Space - Entry and Coat Closets
14 - November 27 - Storage - Attic and Garage
15 - December 4 -Final Clean - Minimum Maintenance
16 - December 11 - Nearly There - Minimum Maintenance
17 - December 18 - Celebration Time
18 - December 25 - Christmas and New Year's

I need to remember this!

Past Rudolph Day Posts:

And that's as far as I got. Let's see if I can do better this time around!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Tale of Our Wedding Reception

Another year has rolled around, so it's time for another "wedding memory" story. (Here are the past ones: The Poisonous Berries, The Wishing Well, The Temple, Wedding Gifts.)
Our reception was a fairly typical, do-it-yourself one, held in the cultural hall of our church building. I don't remember too many of the details now, but I know my mom worked hard and a lot of friends helped. One friend made the cake, another made hundreds of mints, others helped with the decorating. 
One of the "big" decisions a bride faces is choosing the colors for her wedding. Because my favorite color is blue, and because I wanted to honor my patriotic birthday, I chose red, white and blue. I still remember how aghast Wayne was when I told him, and I remember feeling so hurt that he didn't trust me to make everything look classy and nice. Fortunately, we got over that, especially once he realized I had never planned on having the royal blue of American flag, but a baby blue.

With the baby blue, we used a bit of red in the centerpieces. (I'm not sure how we came up with the idea, but I do remember making these fabric baskets, and then giving them away to those who helped us with everything. I used mine as a sewing basket for years and years and years, until it finally fell apart. I keep telling myself that one of these days I'm going to recreate the pattern and make another one, just for memory's sake.)
We used more red in the flower arrangements.
Oh, and I guess there was some red in the favors that our little sisters passed out. Isn't it nice that Holly's wheelchair color-coordinated with everything?
We bought yards and yards of sheer blue fabric to use in decorating the room and making a backdrop for pictures and the receiving line. It was later re-purposed into a few things, including the bed skirt for the crib so I wouldn't have to look at the storage boxes under it.
We didn't serve dinner or even finger foods as I recall, just cake and punch, along with nuts and mints. So, I imagine the cake cutting ceremony took place fairly early in the evening.
Tossing the bouquet took place near the end.
We even opened our gifts that night. Totally would not recommend that to anyone in the future!
And then the reception was over and it was time to leave!