May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Memories for 2011

I'm still adjusting to my "new normal".  That would be several without Stephen, living in the SF Bay area of Northern California, DH retired and home all day......and so on.  I had probably thought that I would have a "plan" for our retirement.  I knew it would involve travel and free time to choose activities and hopefully some volunteer time to help out my community in some way.  All of these things have come to pass.  But.......when the fall holiday season begins and the light of day ends earlier, I deal with some sadness issues.  Partly it is because my final time with Stephen was in the Fall and Winter.  I'm also getting used to new traditions with Jon and Lissa's family.  I'm learning that new traditions are okay and I don't have to be in control of the celebrations.  I just need to participate and enjoy them.  So here is Christmas 2011 as celebrated by the Sorenson families of Alameda, California. 
Lissa's cousin Marie came from Seattle to join us.

Grandma TuTu from Hawaii also.  It's all about family togetherness.

Family silliness on the eve before Christmas.
This little elf greeted us at the door on Christmas morn.

The grandmas all decked out in their new winter wear

Warrior Princess got her wish....a bow and arrow set for Christmas.
Dad and daughter going over important safety rules

There are remote control cars for girls.  I think it is called "La La Loopy".

Let's get a little exercise to work off those Christmas goodies
Just what I wanted Mom and Dad!  

And some time at Crown Beach to top off the day. 
And that is Christmas in Alameda.  Fun, Family, Food, and Frivolity.  Enjoying the blessing of being together.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Alien Gingerbread Men

All Christmas celebrations should include Alien Gingerbread Men made by angelic darling grand-daughters.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pillow Perfection for the Holidays

Sometimes inspiration just hits you when you are looking at a quilting blog.  I ran across this pillow design on Jill Finley's web-site, Jillily Studio She was offering it as a down-load or you could order a kit with the pattern from her.  I opted for the those fabric choices that are already made for me.  The pillow seemed just the perfect colors for a holiday pillow for my darling DILs living room.  The fabric came and mellowed for awhile on my desk.  Then last week on Friday, I decided to begin.  It's now Sunday night and it is finished.  I am totally loving it.  I was going to maybe give it to DDIL for Christmas but I couldn't wait.  She has seen it and she loves it and by tomorrow afternoon, it will be sitting on her window seat.  I really need to make one for myself but I'll probably use a little bit different colorway.  Thanks Jill for the pattern and the gorgeous fabrics that made the perfect pillow for the holidays. 
The project begins...not too difficult to make houses
Humble little houses all in a row.

A little snow on the rooftops, windows, and trees for details

Add a strip for a flange and some embroidery for the windows and wreath

 Wreath for the door designed by me
Looking quite cute but it is not yet "fluffy"

Pillow Perfection!  Just right for the darling DILs decor

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Lucky Day!

I won another jelly roll of fabric.  This has actually been my lucky year.  I really love reading quilting blogs and entering giveaways is just the cherry on top of the cupcake.  I don't enter my name into everything and I tend not to blog about giveaways because my blog isn't read too much.  But you can't win if you don't enter and I guess I've entered enough to actually win.........three times. 

Enough suspense.  The giveaway was from Quilt N Queen.  The winnings were a jelly roll of Moda fabrics by designer Aneela Hoey.  The fabric line is called Sherbet Pips.  Now I need to get to the books and blogs and find some inspiration for a project.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It Is Beginning To Look A Bit Like Christmas

After having experienced winter snow during Christmas while living in Maryland, it's a little hard to adjust back to Christmas sunshine and balmy weather in California.  But in reality, the California Christmas weather is what I grew up with.  What it really takes for me to get in the holiday mood, is to bring out the holiday decorations.  Nothing like remembering the favorite items, to make one feel festive.  We're not into decorating a big tree any more so many ornaments stay in their boxes.  But the few things I put around, do make me happy. 
Mom's Santas and mine...always on the mantle

Made this pillow the first Christmas back in CA...2009

DGD preparing a background for my nativity scene with her sister and Auntie Cheryl

My in-laws bought this set for us in Mexico in the 1970's. 

Just a few lighted houses with some 12 Days of Christmas figurines

And the table is ready for treats and tea

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happiness Is A Birthday Party

Is it true?  Has this little one turned 5?  Wasn't she once just a wee one born the day after Thanksgiving. 
November 2006

November 2011

The birthday party was a great success.  Our princess requested a jungle theme.  Auntie Cheryl had great fun shopping and planning for our celebration.  The weather cooperated with warmth and sunshine.  

Celebrating with big sister and Nahn Nahn

A beautiful jungle butterfly

The party planners - Auntie Cheryl and mom, Lissa

Cousins enjoying the party - Dad and Cheryl

Friday, November 25, 2011

Homage to Our Christmases in Maryland

We began buying White House Christmas ornaments in 1995 when we first moved to Maryland.  Along the way we also bought a retired ornament here and there for Jim's mother, Jean.  When Jean passed away, we inherited her ornaments and combined them with ours.  This year I bought a small tree to display them.  All together we have over 20 ornaments highlighting the White House and the metro D.C. area.  I'm thinking that I need a little bigger tree but for now, this will do. 
The Little Christmas Tree all lit up

A new brass ornament is available for purchase each year

All the ornaments are different and unique

They sparkle and look especially pretty with lights

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Thankful Gathering

The tradition has been handed over to Lissa and Jon.  They now cook the main part of the Thanksgiving meal and we gather at their home.  This year Lissa's mom, Linda joined us.  My contribution was Classic Green Bean Casserole.  You know the one with the French's Fried Onions.  I also made the Sorenson favorite potatoes, Secret Treasure Potatoes made with Instant Potatoes but absolutely loved by everyone.  And for the finale, I made my Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with the coconut/graham cracker crust. 
We were soon off to Jon and Lissa's across town to celebrate how much we have been blessed.  We are truly thankful this year for Jon's health and well-being.  Jim and I are so thankful to be able to live here in Alameda close to our precious family. 
Our very own domestic goddess.

Domestic Goddesses need helpers to make the gravy

Table beautifully set and ready

A little pre-dinner game of chess.

Jim, Violet, Makayla and Linda (TuTu)

Father and Son happy together

Place cards provided by Makayla

We all added leaves of thankfulness to Makayla's Thankful Tree