Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas week

Today has been a quiet Christmas, but that isn't how the week was. My brother Bob and his wife Marie were here Monday through Wednesday for the first Christmas together for several years. It was very enjoyable. We had ham instead of turkey by my brother's choice, scalloped potatoes and all the trimmings.

Bob had given Marie a Kindle for Christmas, plus a $50 gift certificate and we installed it and ordered her first book. In the first sitting she was well into the book and already in love with her new Kindle. We have the same taste in books so often she will take a book I have home with her, now I won't be able to do that when I visit them.

It is rather strange not to have any of our children here for Christmas but with their work schedule and school, they find that difficult to do. Plus, Michelle has her family over for Christmas Eve and that is a tradition in their family. I do believe if Ardmore was a traveler we would be there too, but he isn't. Brian and James and Ashley went to friend's for Christmas.

This is James and Ashley's last Christmas in the United States for at least a couple of years, I think. By this time next Saturday, they will  be in Hong Kong and then on to Ashley's parent's in Taiwan for several days. James will then leave Ashley there and head to Australia for six months of train for Cathay Pacific Air Lines. Perhaps the day will come when I will climb on a plane and head to Australia for a vacation or perhaps China. That would be an adventure!

This year I am most thankful for the internet and Skype. It makes it possible to talk face to face with our children and to attend a Christmas Eve celebration even though we are 2,000 miles away.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

This and That

After having Brian here, even though he was busy most of the time, was great! It was interesting to see him present the Makeover Workshops. He really knows what he is doing and I walked out so much more knowledgeable myself. The time at a workshop goes by too fast and very enjoyable.

Ardmore took him to the airport this afternoon. I spent the time working on our Christmas letter, baking some cookies, and preparing for a speech I am giving on Tuesday at our Toastmaster's Christmas  Party. Don't ask me how I ended up getting involved in doing that, I wasn't there when they assigned it to me. I will do my best with what time I have to prepare.

Today is James' 32 birthday. Time goes by way too fast. I well remember his birthing process still, although the remembrance of pain is fleeting. I can't remember the last time I saw him on his birthday, must be the year he graduated or the next winter perhaps as he was NDSU then and the following year he was serving his mission. From that time on, we have not been together for his birthday.One of the hazards of having children move away from home.

I am excited for him. He has until December 30th and will then be on his way to Hong Kong. He and Ashley will spend the next ten days together in Taiwan and then he will go back to Hong Kong and on to Australia for about 6 months of pilot training with Cathy Pacific.   As much as I know our future visits will be far and few between, I am excited for this opportunity for them. I hope they take advantage of the flying privileges and travel to some interesting places. That may be difficult when they have children but who knows.

I have been using a card table to sew on and decided to purchase a sewing table for myself for Christmas. I hope I am making the right decision on the one I am purchasing. It is $800 and I think I see one just like it for only $549 on line. I hope that is not the case as I am going to be very disappointed if it is.I hope to pick it up tomorrow.

Time to go to bed and get prepared for another work week.

Friday, December 3, 2010

LA Temple

One of the wonderful advantages of having a son in LA is the opportunity to visit the temple. After a late night on Friday, everyone was tired and slept in late. . . but me. I went to the temple at 7:30 am.

The serenity always gives me a sense of peace and lessens the thought of the day. On Saturday, it was on different. As I was sitting checking out who I was doing the work for, I thought of the many hours the person had put in doing the genealogy; then checked the work that had been done for the woman and realized that I was doing the last ordinance! The woman sitting next to me was also completing a woman whose history had been researched by our genealogist partner. What joy there must have been for these two women who work was finally completed and for the woman who had gathered their information. Her last name was Robinson. It was the end of a perfect temple session.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving and a Makeover Workshop

Thanksgiving was great! I flew to LA, no hubby didn't go, he was concerned about water pipes freezing on the farm.I turn off the water when we go but that doesn't give him any consolation. We had a friend who left on a two-week vacation one winter and while they were gone a pipe on the second level of their home cracked and the water ran until they returned. What a nightmare that was!I think it put fear in my husband.

Back to Thanksgiving. Our grown children and spouses arrived on Thursday. Michelle has a heavy schedule at the California University at Stanislaus and had lots of homework so she and Dave headed back to Modesto on Friday. We did have some time to do a little shopping for the great-grand kids at The Children's Place in LA though. They always have the best sales on Black Friday; I spend $104 on about $250 of children's clothes, Great Fun! Dave stayed back at the house where the guys and Ashley played Monopoly. They were down to two players, Brian and Ashley when we arrived home and that evening, Brian won. James said he had never played a whole game where someone actually won. That evening, Brian and I did some some sight seeing at The Grove, joining James and Ashley later. We didn't do much shopping, just a little at Crate and Barrell.

It really puts one in the mood when you go to The Grove during Christmas. The beautiful tree and all the decorations and music. They do a water show at the fountain with the music. I remember last Christmas there was snow coming out of an upper winder and I was like, "What is this? I didn't come here to get cold, I want warm weather." No snow at Thanksgiving, I guess it must be way to warm.

Brian is coming home in about ten days to do some Makeover Workshops in Roseau. I am going to invite him to tell you all about it on my blog. He is a makeup and hair artist in LA and does stars like Mariah Carey, Betty White, and catalogs and magazines like Victoria's Secret and the Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Makeover Workshop is his business, where he teaches how to apply makeup and do your hair.

Time for a few photos from last week.