Saturday, December 22, 2012

The cold we did not remember....

"And after November came next the chill December,
Yet he, through merry feasting which he made
And great bon-fires, did not the cold remember
His Saviour's birth his mind so much did glad."
Edmund Spenser
Today (Saturday) has felt so much like Christmas Eve. We are privileged to have family with us, and have had such a good time. The womenfolk did some leisurely looking at a wonderful antique mall in Redmond followed by High Tea at the Tea Shoppe I have discovered there. The menfolk ate corn chowder with crackers and cheese and watched football.
Later in the afternoon I was reflecting on how warm and peaceful it was in the house. I was reading, one was working on a jigsaw puzzle, one was watching a Christmas movie upstairs, two were napping, one was wrapping presents and one was at a choir rehearsal for tomorrow's Christmas Church service. I felt so grateful for our family, grateful for our warm and toasty house, and grateful for the Christmas season. But as the quote says above I was most grateful for our Savior's birth, and the fact that as a family we share a common faith of belief in Yahweh and the gift of His son Jesus, and this did indeed 'make my mind glad'.
May you all enjoy the gift of the season, our Savior's birth.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Week-end

This past week-end we traveled again up to Woodland, where we were surrounded by family and activities. That's what December is all about, right?
 Friday evening we attended our annual Singing Christmas Tree program at Joy's church, which included a children's angel choir this year. Our 5-year old Macy was one of the adorable angels, and did such a great job singing, as did her Mom & Dad. Here's Macy with her cousin Trent, who loves her dearly. The program was great, and I felt privileged to attend and hear such great choral music.
 Saturday morning Joy, JoAnn and I attended Joy's Christmas Bunco brunch, where JoAnn and I filled in as subs. The food was great, and the playing fast-paced.
 Joy turned out to be the big winner with 6, count 'em 6! bunco's. She got the grand prize of a scarf, gloves and nail polish. Nice!
 Joy has a VERY tall tree in her living room, 10 or 12 feet at least. It's beautiful, and we all enjoyed the beauty of it. They cut it on a friend's property close to town.
Joy is also in charge of the gift-giving program in her community to families in need of help. She has been collecting donations of clothes, shoes, coats, toys, food and even Christmas trees, as well as money to shop for the above. She has an empty, -cold! office building that has allowed her to store the items, and we spent the rest of Saturday organizing and wrapping gifts. I think we were a big help to her, but we all arrived home bushed, in time to cook some Papa Murphy's pizza, and then fall asleep.
I did take some time to visit my cousin in Vancouver, and I got to see my Aunt Joyce who is now 93. She has Alzheimer's disease, and this was the first time she didn't know who I was. When I got up to leave, she shook my hand and told me 'It was nice to meet you." I smiled, and thought what wonderful years we have had together, and she is still as sweet as her smile.
We drove home on Sunday morning, unpacked and dressed up a bit for the Insurance man's Christmas staff party. We all had a great meal at the Olive Garden, and John and I were able to express our gratitude for a great staff and all their help.
Now it's time for a new week of family members and activities. Hope you all are enjoying yours!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Cookies and Filling the House

I decided to get up with the insurance man this morning about 5:45 and after he left for a men's breakfast I got busy with my writing project. It was dark outside, but cozy in the office and I really enjoyed some good quiet writing time while the sun made it's gradual appearance.
Yesterday and today I had scheduled time with two of my little friends, to bake some Christmas cookies. Brinnay came to visit yesterday afternoon and we made Molasses Sugar Cookies together. She rolled the balls (and she was an expert at that) and then rolled them in sugar before putting them on the baking stone. We got all the batter made into good cookies, and then enjoyed a few together. We read a book about how Candy Canes were first thought up, and the story behind the candy cane. What a fun and precious time it was.

Brinnay brought her Cabbage Patch Doll with her, so I got ours out of the play room so they could have a visit together while we made our cookies.

And then this morning sister Ella came for her turn. We made Snickerdoodle Kisses, where you roll the dough around a chocolate kiss, roll it in cinnamon sugar and then bake. I think she liked eating the kisses the best. We looked at a Tasha Tudor book about holidays, and Ella liked the Corgi dogs best.
Yesterday was busy, and we went from one thing to the next. Same goes for today. But as I reflected on the days one thing came to mind. We have a big house. We thought when we bought it that all our kids would come home with their kids and we would all have enough room. But God in His providence didn't have it happen that way. Julie is too far away to come home frequently, and there are too many little Jones kids to make flying all together a reality. Our oldest Joy is a very busy lady with a big family and a full time rewarding job. They are lucky to drive over the mountains twice in a year, and hardly ever during the holiday season. And so....we are left with a big house, where the three of us rattle around. But yesterday, all corners of the house were full with various activities. Piano students and Moms enjoying the fire of the fireplace to read or do homework together. A friend was on the computer, little ones playing in the upstairs under-the eaves play room, and last night a group of friends caroling together and enjoying cookies and cider. God has been good and gracious to fill our lives with others to love and welcome. Hospitality comes in so many various forms, if I just open my eyes to the possibilities. He is using us to use our house....but we still love it most when our family comes home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Delicious Shortbread

As the Christmas season continues, I'm finding it harder to get up and moving in the mornings. These days are so full of good things that I want to get up, but my eyes and muscles aren't co-operating. The lure of starting my coffee machine downstairs usually does the trick, and soon the smell of the fresh coffee has me moving.
It is hard to continue my routines during these busy weeks, and I miss that. But I am getting a lot accomplished which seems to offset it. I am busy with a writing project right now, which hopefully will turn into a special gift for my three grown daughters. It has been a joy for me as well.
I decided to give the gift of time to 4 of my piano students, and so the first of 4 afternoons of baking will happen today. Brinnay, who will turn five on Friday will help me finish up Molasses sugar cookies. I made up the dough yesterday, and she will roll the balls, and then roll them in sugar and bake. Hopefully she will have some to take home and share.
I have found a real treasure at Trader Joe's this season.
I love these good cookies, and have decided to have one (it's hard to have just one) each morning in December with my coffee. It's nice to start the day with a treat.
Last evening the sunset was so beautiful. It was clear and cool out, but the soft rosy hues of the sun setting spread rosy light everywhere, and I just had to go outside and enjoy it. It's good to find small (or big) things to enjoy during the busyness, and slow for a moment to breathe and give a prayer of thanks.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Another Good Birthday

We rolled out of bed a bit extra early on Saturday, with expectations filling our hearts.
After the usual getting ready for the day, we got in the car for a trip over the Cascade
Mountains. Destination: Corbin University in Salem. We stopped in Sisters for a visit at the Sisters Coffee Company, and were again on our way with an eggnog latte and an Earl Grey At the top of the pass it was beautiful with snow frosting the evergreens, and it was our first glimpse of wintertime. The road was in good condition, our hearts were light and we enjoyed the trip.
Arriving shortly after 10:30, our newly turned 19-year-old granddaughter Kory and boyfriend Sam Anderson were waiting for us with equally light hearts. They joined us and we drove to the exceedingly beautiful Queen Anne style Victorian mansion and gardens called 'Deepwood Estate'. We drove up a bit early for the first tour at 11:00, so we had time to stroll the gardens and snap a few photos.
We brought our girls here during their teens as their grandparents lived close by. We took photos 20+ years ago at the exact same location under an arbor, of the girls with their grandfather and with their Dad. What a great delight it was to continue the tradition.
It turned out that we were the only customers for the first tour of the day (possibly the free open house later that day had something to do with that), and so we had a private tour that lasted about 90 minutes. We all enjoyed the very informed tour guide, learning about Queen Anne architecture, the families that built and dwelled in the house, and history of the Victorian period. The house is truly lovely, and we had the added benefit of Victorian style Christmas decor.
When we finished the tour, we strolled through another section of the gardens, enjoying them even at this time of the year. Several things were even blooming, which attests to the wet and mild Willamette Valley.  
We found a place to eat a Chinese food lunch, and enjoy each other's company. Then we returned to Corbin, dropped off Kory and Sam and were on our way back home.
We drove via Silverton where we stopped to exchange a Merry Christmas with our good friends Glenn and Nancy, and inspect some painting and re-decorating they had just completed. It was lovely, and their home was so cozy and inviting all decorated for Christmas. It was hard to keep going, but that's just what we did. It had been snowing on the Pass while we were in Salem, but the roads were well tended and we had no trouble at all. I read some notes from I and II Kings to the insurance man on our way home, so we would be prepared for our Old Testament Survey class the next morning.
After arriving home, the insurance man hurried into his tux and made it to the Tower Theatre in downtown Bend for a concert with the Mastersingers that evening. He even made it on time!
Kory and I share December birthdays, and they are only a week apart. So, we celebrated together and what a fun and happy day it was. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Good Birthdays

I've had the same problem as Julie uploading photos, but we both have changed with the blogging world so that we now pay for the space to record our thoughts and pictures. It's now back to writing and posting....
I celebrated a birthday over the week-end, and enjoyed a nice day. My mother used to make me a red velvet cake for most of my birthdays, and I seldom do it anymore, but decided to break out the recipe once again. Red velvet things are quite in fashion these days, and you can find it from cupcakes to cheesecake, but they don't have the original frosting which in my mind makes it unique and quite wonderful. We added some baby roses and a glass of eggnog for a real treat. I was so richly remembered by friends and family, and the older I get the more I value these remembrances.
We've had a doozy of a wet storm lately, with lots of rain. I woke up several times in the night to hear the wind driving the rain against the house and windows and skylights. It sounded much like a storm at the Oregon Coast. The insurance man and I got up and walked in the morning, and the evergreen firs were so beautiful with big crystal-like water drops at the end of each green needle. We are having a mild wet month of December. I love lights, all lights including Christmas lights. When the streets and driveways are wet with water and puddles, the house Christmas lights are reflected in the water making double lights and our street outside looks amazing and so festive in the dark!
Our tree is up and I want to be sure and find enough time to sit and enjoy it with Christmas music. I read a wonderful post this morning on the beauty of Christmas music. Mom, if you click on the words 'wonderful post' that are highlighted, it will take you to that blog post. I so agree with what the blogger shared.
Enough for today, and time for a little lunch break.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Apologies or Confessions

Another dark morning, where the sun never broke through, and it turned rainy for the day and into the night. Unusual for Central Oregon to rain for a whole day at a time.
While I was walking on the treadmill I started a new book I had downloaded. It's called 'What I Learned in Narnia' by Douglas Wilson. Chapter 2 was about Confession of Sin, or in other words....the importance of a full, sincere, honest apology. I got so much out of that chapter, and it was amazing to see Pastor Wilson dissect the Narnia series into the various apologies, some honest, some half-hearted, and some not. A blessing to start out the day with some very positive thinking.
I spent the day with daughter JoAnn, and we had such a good time together. I am blessed to have one of my chicks close, and enjoy my daughters as adults and friends. She helped me do some put-off chores and shopping, and it's so nice to have someone to help you, isn't it?
As I got into bed last night, to read a book she loaned me, I heard the wind howling around the corners of the house, and rattling windowpanes. It felt so cozy to be inside where it's safe and warm. And yet, my heart breaks for those not so fortunate, for those who are on the streets, in their cars, and in the homeless camps around Bend. May my heart continue to break for the ones who have so much less, and most especially for those without the knowledge of God. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Relaxed Day

A dark morning, where it's hard to get up and get going. The kitchen felt so cozy after I turned on some lights and started the coffee. After a while the sun broke through
and the day turned lighter.
I start Wednesdays out with piano lessons. After ordering some new material,
Brinnay, my 4-year old student, and I are having fun together. Her sister is working on her first year Christmas music, and can't wait to complete her book and be ready
to play Christmas songs for her family at Christmas.
The insurance man was home for lunch, and we enjoyed a few quiet minutes
together in our day.
I put out my Christmas quilt and shams on our bed, and some festive towels in the bath before being interrupted by my computer guy. I am so thankful that he comes to the house and keeps us in working order. A long time friend, he is truly appreciated.
A surprise dinner out, the insurance man inviting me to Olive Garden last night. Again, a relaxing time together, which will be rare in the month to come. I tried Eggplant Parmisan, and it was delightful. I have really come to love that veggie in this last year. Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quiet with busy-ness, softness with hard times

Yesterday was a fast moving day. However, it started
off beautifully with a quiet silver and pink sunrise.
We had a frosty morning, with frost heavy on the
north side of the evergreens and pines.
I cooked with three other ladies at our local community
food kitchen in the afternoon, and served
dinner to about 150+ hungry folks. What a
blessing this ministry is, and how much I enjoy it.
We got home around 7:00, and I was very thankful
for a crockpot full of vegetables and meatballs in
a beef/red wine sauce. Hot food when you need it.
I fell asleep curled up on the couch, with a blanket and a
pillow...nice ending.

Monday, November 26, 2012

On a Monday

1st Day Towards Christmas 2012
Routines-  I have always fought them, but now am thankful for the day-in-day-out rhythm of them, especially in the mornings as I get our day under way.
God's Word- I am thankful to hold God's Words to His people in my hands and heart.
Writing- Thankful for a good friend to write with, every other Monday morning, and writing about Christmas memories this morning.
Decorating- Started on my Christmas decorating this afternoon by changing dishes and putting out kitchen towels and tablecloth. Listened to good old time Christmas music while doing it.
Cooking- It's so nice to pull out a tried and true recipe, a favorite. We had hamburger gravy (which uses 1 can of french onion soup) on baked potatoes and yummy cole slaw for dinner.
Medicine- I'm thankful I live in an age of medications when needed. I kept a migraine at bay, while I completed my day successfully and went to bed early.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Farewell to Autumn Meditation

The Shape of Autumn
     Autumn is a blurred line between summer and winter. There are seldom days that are just true autumn days. Too often the days are either filled with Indian summer or tinged with winter's edges. We leave summer and progress towards autumn only one slow step at a time, returning to summer for three steps, before moving onward. The lines of seasonal demarcation are blurred, fading and receding, ebbing and flowing, hard to grasp or pin down. Maybe that's why it's so hard to let go of autumn, and why we look forward to it so much, and long for crispness before balmy has left our skin. The seasons blend, wavering and hovering, not to be too closely defined.
     Autumn brings sharp lines between heaven and earth. On a bright autumn day, the sun is brittle in the brightness of it's shining, the sky is sharp on the horizon where autumns' blue meets the green of forest or field. The crispness of air draws a sharpness of hoarfrost on windowpane or autumn leaf, clear and concise in patterns of white. The light, while still sharp in the heavens, finds beams easier to penetrate in the cooler air, striking richness to our souls.
     Autumn brings contrasts of sharp colors and soft raindrops. In no other season, do colors become so intense, sharp and vivid, penetrating our senses like flaming arrows. My eyes can never drink in as much as I want to behold, before they fade and are finally, irrevocably, gone. The fall rains come, dulling everything in the autumn world, dripping slowly and softly. The leaves are extinguished, and become a carpet of wet under our feet, redolent of musky earth. The wind seek cracks in our windows and clothing, prowling around corners and racing down chimneys. The winds' moaning turns to howling, and the bare branches writhe, stripped of summers' softness.
     The shape of autumn is easily seen in the leaves of trees, shrubs and flowers. The shapes of these leaves are never really noticeable in summer somehow, but in autumn each shape become a flaming or glowing reality. The bright oranges, golds, yellows or reds seemingly bring focus to bear on each leaf shape and size. The maple leaves are so easily recognized with their five-pointed shapes, each tip so sharp and strong. The aspen or birch leaves are slender and pointed, while the cottonwoods have velvety soft backs and small sharp points. Who can resist cutting branches of leaves to bring indoors, or picking up favorite ones to savor. Tracing leaf shapes on paper or making rubbings of their shapes is still an autumn favorite for me. The shapes of autumn leaves are as endlessly fascinating as the shapes of seashells, or snowflakes. How wonderfully creative our God is in His very Being, and how varied is our world.
     It's time to say adieu to autumn, perhaps before I'm quite ready to let it go. But now it is hello to winter and all wintertime delights.
May God bless your expressions of gratitude this Thanksgiving, and may you all have a blessing-filled celebration.
My thoughts are with you Julie and family, and Mom and Dad, as we cannot be with you this year. May your week-end be special for each of you. Love you so much......

Monday, November 19, 2012

I love piano recitals!

As I've posted before, I try to host two piano recitals a year for my students.
I have six girls I am currently teaching, and it is a true joy.

 Several of the girls are gifted, and so much fun to work with. They each introduce their songs and composer, then play several selections, and finish with a bow. This is Abigail, age 7.
 And this is Emily her sister, age 11. She is really getting accomplished, and we have a lot of fun playing duets together.
 We recently held an autumn recital, and the house was filled with friends, parents, grandparents, great grandparents, cousins and siblings. We are about to outgrow my living room I'm afraid.
 This is Shayli, age 6, and her sister Brinnay, age 4, also took part in the recital. They are so cute sitting at the piano with their legs just dangling!
 Everyone had a really good time, and I feel so good about the confidence and support of these girls.

And a final parting shot of Shayli, Brinnay and Ella, ready to go home with their celebration bouquets. Ella can't wait to grow old enough to join her sisters at the piano. I hope what they learn will stay with them all through their lives, and they will get much enjoyment from music.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Macy Sweater

 Joann finally accomplished her goal of getting this sweater finished up and given to her intended recipient, niece Macy. She was aiming for Macy's 5th birthday in September, but decided to put a few more rows on, and added the buttons and strands.

 From the back it's almost a sweater/coat, and it's warm and cozy too. This is all hand crocheted, and JoAnn made up the pattern herself. A first experiment in crocheting a sweater for a little girl. Macy picked out the colors she wanted.

A thank-you kiss for Aunt JoAnn.....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lovely Seasons

November 4,2012

 Joy, Kirk and Macy were here last weekend, to celebrate Joy's birthday. On Sunday morning we all woke up 'hot' even though there was no heat on in the house. Since we had just turned our clocks to daylight savings time, Macy was up by 7 am, and came downstairs all dressed and ready to go outside and play. When I told her it was too early, she told me she was hot and needed to go outside to cool off. So, here she is on our porch swing, 'cooling off'. It really was amazing weather, the grass was growing like spring, it was balmy and nearly 70 degrees the day before. I wanted to snap this photo to help me remember that on November 4, 2012 we were still enjoying summer weather. What a long, lovely Indian Summer and Autumn we have enjoyed, and I've tried to absorb every minute of it.
I don't normally write a post about the weather, but isn't weather just the best thing? God did such an amazing job of creating seasons and weather. Two weeks ago we were at the Oregon Coast in a rain storm, and it was absolutely lovely the whole rainy week-end. Today (5 days after the summer weather) we woke up to an inch of snow and winter is here, as more is forecast for our week-end. I love how the seasons transist, with 1 or 2 or sometimes 10 steps forward, then the same backwards until the new season finally arrives with a flourish.
It has been fall yard clean-up around here in earnest, trying to beat the snow fall. We didn't quite make it, but really put our backs into it the last few days. That means trailer load after trailer load of leaves and pine needles to the dump, and yesterday morning the insurance man got in the trailer to smash down the load a bit, and actually rolled around in the leaves like the boy he still is at heart!

I am blessing God today with a grateful heart for the wonderful, amazing seasons full of everchanging weather for all to enjoy.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A recipe for all the overflow garden tomatoes...

 This year I had lots of garden grown Roma tomatoes, way more than we could eat. I wanted to be a little creative, instead of canning them all, so I decided to roast some after watching it done by the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. First you halve the tomatoes, then scoop out the seeds with your thumb, and finally layer them on baking pans.

 Next you sprinkle the tomatoes with olive oil, minced garlic, a little balsamic vinegar, 1 T sugar, coarse salt and ground pepper. Very easy to do. Then finally roast them at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes. At the end I usually add some chopped fresh basil, before using or serving these. (Basil doesn't roast well at high temps) This really makes your kitchen smell wonderful!

I have used these for toppings on home-made pizza and they are wonderful. I have also chopped them into quarters and added them to a pasta dish with creamy sauce. They flavor the sauce and pasta so beautifully, naturally. They can also be served as an appetizer, but they are rather juicy/messy. I froze a bag for later use, and am looking forward to trying out other uses.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Morning with Cecily

Today I was on the phone with Julie, and here's just a part of the conversation she was holding with Cecily at the same time:

Julie: "No, it's not time to change clothes, we're going to have Nachos for lunch in just a few minutes."

Me: "Was that Cecily?" (Guessing, knowing how much Cecily loves to change her clothes)

Julie: "Yes, she had her swimsuits in her hands."

Me: Laughing..."She has not grown out of that phase as quickly as the others!"

Julie: "Here we are in the snow, and I'm trying to keep enough clothes on the kids to keep them warm, and she wants to put on her swimsuits!"

Soon after:

Julie calling: "Girls!.... Girls!.... (Try another approach) Amelia and Cecily! "Yes, Mam?" Please come here. (They are now before her) You have made a mess, and we need to pick it up before lunch. Cecily, there's a blanket, and you need to pick it up and put it away over there. Now...Cecily, you don't want me to have to talk with you again about this....and you need to put on your sweet face."

Julie, to me: "Mom, you should just see her face!"

Soon after:

Julie: "Cecily is calling Bronwyn, 'Shewie'.

Me: "What are you talking about?"

Julie: "Remember, right after Bronwyn was born Cecily informed me I should have named her Shewie? She thought that would have been a better name since she was 'chewing' on her fingers! Well it's been 3 weeks, and she is still calling her Shewie!"

Fun times around the Jones household....and good things to laugh about later!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Gift of God's Presence

This past week-end we went to the Oregon Coast to celebrate a daughter's birthday. It was a stormy, rainy week-end, but we enjoyed beautiful, huge waves and crashing surf. As is usual at the coast, it put me into a reflective, writing kind of mood. After a long walk, my feet had grown sore and I was waiting for a ride back from the insurance man, and enjoying the sounds of rain and waves on sand.

I love staying at a house close enough to the beach, so that I can open a window and hear the sounds of the surf at night, lulling us to sleep. I almost hate to go to sleep because I no longer hear the ocean, unless I wake myself up later to listen again to the deep sounds. Even when I'm lying there trying to concentrate on the sounds, I can only listen a bit before my mind wanders off and I find myself minutes later missing the sounds I am trying to hear. God's presence is a lot like that. I find myself thinking of Him, and then my mind wanders off, or urgent matters or chores interfere, and it's hours or days later when I again think of His presence with me. The ocean is always roaring, and God's presence is always there. It's me who drifts from it.

Another analogy I have found is the stars. They are always shining, always present....daytime, nighttime, storm or fair, it's just me that forgets to look up, or me that is separated by clouds or sunlight. The stars and the ocean are constants in the universe. God's presence is constant with me, as a child of His own, but my humanity prevents me from continually concentrating on and enjoying Him.

Years ago I read a famous book 'Practicing the Presence of God' with writings by Brother Lawrence who lived in the 17th century. I tried so hard to remember to practice God's presence, to keep it before my mind at all times. I tried, and I tried, and I tried, and that's where I failed. I have found after 50+ years of walking with Him, that He gently, always gently, intrudes into my consciousness when He wants me to listen, or simply be aware of Him. It's Him, and not me that is in charge of when He wants me to enjoy or practice His presence. I still try to make it a habit to become aware of Him upon waking and when going to bed at night...but I have found peace and rest in enjoying Him at His wish....just as I enjoy the stars and the sounds of the ocean when they are given me as gifts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin patches from an adult perspective!

 We spent a week-end in Woodland (western Washington) recently, visiting Joy and our granddaughter Kendall who was turning 16. We did a lot of fun things, but Joy and I slipped away by ourselves for a few minutes to visit a Pumpkin patch on the edge of town.
 Joy remarked that she thought this window display was worthy of Pinterest.
 It was fun to enjoy the patch from an adult point-of-view, and we just wandered around and ignored the corn maze and all the children picking out their massive pumpkins, enjoying the fall afternoon and the fun displays.
 The family who owns the patch are good and close friends of Joy and her hubby so we felt free to wander....and enjoy all the lady of the house has accomplished with her property.
 The farm has acres of all kinds of pumpkins, big and small, and Joy's husband drives his restored tractor and wagon around the patch on week-ends, giving tours and helping kids to get their pumpkins back to their cars. He even wears his overalls for the occasion.
This is my idea of one cute potting shed. Complete with sink and running water and electricity inside. Just kind of made fall seem so real...out on a beautiful property. We have all had a gorgeous Indian Summer, with the prettiest autumn I can remember in recent history. Now it's on to snow and winter over here. The cycle of seasons, what a delight!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A new precious granddaughter!

Granddaughter #6
We are so blessed to celebrate the birth of Bronwyn Elizabeth Jones, on October 12th. She and mama Julie are doing well. She was such a surprise to all of us. Julie had anticipated the birth of a rather medium sized boy, (they don't have ultrasounds to tell them the sex of baby ahead of time) but instead out came Bronwyn at 9lbs 2 oz! I am rather slow to get this on the blog, but I had an idea that took me some time to implement. I thought it would be fun to look back at the other seven children's newborn photos and see which one is most like Bronwyn. So, here they are in order of birth:
  1.  Samuel Nils Jones born July 26, 1999

2.    William Carl Jones born February 6, 2001

3.    Benjamin Charles Jones born April 10, 2003

4.    Calvin Haddon Jones born February 24, 2005 

5.     Amelia Sue Jones born April 08, 2006

6.    Cecily Mae Jones born October 2, 2008

7.    Elijah Franklin Jones born January 29, 2011

And now #8... Bronwyn Elizabeth Jones born October 12, 2012.
Which one of her siblings do you think she looks like? Leave a comment if you want to tell us. I know she's pretty! After rounding up these photos and looking at all of them a few things occurred to me. First, although newborns are so precious....they are funny little things aren't they? They seldom look like the person they are about to become. I did notice that Calvin and Bronwyn are the only ones with their eyes open. (Cecily doesn't count because that photo was not really of her newborn. She was the only one I wasn't there for her birth and so have no newborn photos.) This was fun, and I have a hard time believing how fast the years have flown by. I think Bronwyn will be special to me, as my mother was #8 in her family as well. Hooray for #8!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Garden Goodness

It's such a blessing at this time of year to reap the bounty of a summer grown garden. Potatoes, baby carrots, kale...all the goodness God has given in working the land.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Autumn Cozy

 I'm feeling cozy inside this morning, with the overnight temps down to 22 degrees. It was a sudden abrupt end to our wonderful Indian Summer, but somehow with October here it's OK to move on. I fixed a breakfast of green onion, eggs and ham (Dr. Seuss anyone?) along with my favorite roasted pecan maple glazed scones. So good this morning.
 We did have to stick our noses outside, to take out the garbage to the curb, and found this Sumac just about frozen. The colors have been so beautiful, especially with the sunshine lighting them up. All are, burnt red, yellow and still a little light green.
 I am taking an Old Testament Survey class, and have much reading to accomplish. It's Exodus this morning, and so enjoyable to be inside and gleaning from God's Word.

My first morning with the stove on, and it certainly contributed to the cozy feeling around here. Although the yard is not quite ready for Autumn, I am!