Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Caleb is turning 4

Happy Birthday, Caleb!

But first Sarah had plans what needed to be prepared. Tuesday Nov.14 was Sarah's day off and James and I had promised to help.

Theme of the birthday party was "drive-in movie". We made 8 little cars from big diaper boxes.

Trying out the set-up downstairs. Looking good.

Friday I had to leave the end of the CR Bazaar to other church volunteers. The Opera was waiting for us. The Girl of the Golden West by Puccini. Because of the rush-hour traffic at that time we left as early as we could and even were on time for the pre-performance lecture which was also splendid. We enjoyed the evening very much.

The party was Saturday. Caleb said again and again that it was not his birthday but just the party (so cute - his birthday was actually the next day). It was at 10:30 am ... a good time for parents with children who still take naps.

I think Sarah did a super job with the birthday cookie (chocolate chip). The two cars have names but Omi is not clever enough to remember them.

Party downstairs was too cute with popcorn and juice drinks etc.

The baby monitor was also set-up upstairs. Parents took turns downstairs.

And there always comes the point of the birthday cake/cookie. This is a really cute VIDEO!

After everybody else had left except the 4 grandparents and Grayson and his family, the two boys played nicely together, sometimes under the table.

Lucky that the party was early because we also had our Richmond Forum season tickets for the evening. We really would not have liked to miss hearing Barack Obama. It was very interesting and at times he was quite funny.

It was a shorter one than usual without intermission so we were home earlier and could stage everything for next day's drive to Nashville.

Busy times? You bet!

Monday, November 20, 2017

I did it again

Yes, time flew again. I have already told James that I might be involved in too much. So much to do, so little time.

I did manage to update the Israel blogs though and even wrote a "summary" about our Israel trip. To keep it in the right order I did backdate it and here is a LINK! in case you didn't see it.

November started off with still lovely warm weather. We went for walks (at least in the neighborhood) as often as we could.

Nov. 5 the Bishop came for his visit. The children played a song with the children's bells.


That day James also had to change all our clocks (those who don't do it automatically) to winter time. I think there are 8 who need it. What a bother. It's the master of the house's job, ha-ha.

It also got colder and walking was not quite as much fun. But I do love the colors.

In the effort of getting our house uncluttered we decided to start by putting things we can't take care of or need at the moment into a climate controlled locker. We had taken several doors off in our house and certainly have to keep them. People after us might like the doors where they used to be. We also want to take some screens out of windows we never open. Good place for them not to get broken. Where else do you keep things like that?

This was our first day start. The utility room and my queendom look already much better. But much more effort needs to be done on my part. Sigh.

Yup, working on things for the church bazaar. Sigh again. I would be much better off if I didn't like to create things that much. Somebody bought all the angels to give as gifts.

Friday November 10 - I had volunteered James to help the ladies to set up all the vendor tables for next day's Holiday Market. I had volunteered to be in charge of our own crafts. James and I went back in the evening to set that part up. I had not felt like doing it when everything else was going on but was quite happy with what we had done later. My patient James is so helpful.

Saturday - We didn't seem to have as many customers this year than before. Who knows why. But we still sold quite a lot. And leftovers were also offered Sunday morning.

Kim in charge of the church's bake sale. I had also baked and brought things (just another 5-minute job the day before) like others did but Kim is the best baker of all.

Ladies minding the raffle sale near the entrance. You can see the making of the Advent calendar HERE!

Sarah had to work that weekend. So Papa went to join Wade and the three children in the morning. He brought Caleb back to spend the night with us. I was a bit tired from the bazaar but the little guy is a lot of fun too.

We made spiders for dinner with spaghettis and hotdogs. 

He loves going to church with us. He went with the children to the front for the children's sermon and even said something through the microphone when asked.

After church we brought him home and then went back to the church to pack up all the craft leftovers.

Friday afternoon in the following week (11/17) we got everything out again. Like last year I had reserved a table for the church leftovers at the CR Bazaar. We had trouble to display everything but we did sell enough to declare it a success and are happy.

I had taken the leftover green wreath and had pulled the red silk flowers off. I used it to display the samples of the 9 years of Christmons at St. Martin's. I had started in 2008 to give a different Christian symbol ornament to each child in our congregation. I am heavily working on the one for this year. I am unfortunately way behind with my efforts. But doesn't it look nice. I suggested that we use this wreath each year to display the samples at church.

The day before (on Thursday 11/16) James wanted to drive to Colonial Heights to "look" at a new car. I had persuaded him for a while to get a better model. There was really nothing wrong with the one he had but the newer models have so many more safety features. At our age ... why not? And when you seem to get a good deal ... It's a good thing.

Family tradition: you have to go out for Chinese food afterwards. Can you see the sign in the above photo? Peter Chang!
We have done it ever since the girls were little and our Chongs in Reidland was just around the corner. We only once didn't do it and promptly somebody drove into us very soon.

And then there was Caleb's birthday. But about that in the next blog. I better get back to making more Chrismons right now.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Time flies

Already November. But here are still photos from October.

Tuesday 17
The boys are gone. Back to just James and me. Mixed feelings. A friend had given us a coupon for Tokyo Sushi which is in walking distance to our house. The weather was lovely and we had a delightful lunch.

Thursday 19
Finally got all the info for the workshop I am to do at our church ... making advent wreaths with real greenery on Saturday December 2. Priced the material we need and found where we can get it. You would think but not that easy.

Friday 20
James and I try to go for a walk every day. This guy was on the driveway in front of the garage door. I could have driven over it. Luckily for him/her that I saw and transferred him/her to the azalea. Erie how he/she looks at you. Of course I was almost laying on the driveway to take the photo.

Monday 23
Finally got around to fix Caleb's teddy. I saw too late that it had come from Build-a-bear or I would have brought it there. Sarah had to work on that weekend and I had been to their house. Caleb came running and said his Mommy had told him to give me the bear to fix. Good call.
I got a hug when I returned it!

Saturday 28
Many great days in October weather-wise. James grilled a steak for him and salmon in foil for me outside. AND ... we ate it outside too. Steamed cauliflower with sautéed onions ... healthy?

Saturday 28
We also went for a walk at Crump Park (Meadow Farms). We only had intended to go for a walk but it happened there was a one day event in the old house. It was set up as a wake. We took advantage and took a (free) tour including a walk to the cemetery in the woods. It was very nice and informative.
Afterwards we went around outside. Couldn't resist taking a photo of this guy. Quite happy with my efforts.

End of the months! Every day in the last week I was working on the monthly church newsletter. I always feel like celebrating when I have it finally done and (electronically) mailed off. In case you are interested:

Top of my to-do list since we are back home is getting ready for the church bazaar, officially called Holiday Market. I was for some time in an awful panic. At the ECW (church ladies) meeting in August, I had led a workshop cutting out things ... turkey parts ... angel parts ...
I couldn't find what we had done. I searched the whole house half a dozen times. And then ... one day ... I found it. Yeah, yeah, it had been in plain site all the time. So now it was time to put the final touches on. Progress!

October 31 ... Halloween
But also Reformation Day. Known to you if you have grown up in Germany. And this year it is the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door.  I had to think all day how one person CAN make a difference. How he has changed society!!!

I used to really not like Halloween. Ever since my first year. I arrived October 6 hardly speaking English. Our apartment was on the 15th floor in this huge building of 300 (?) apartments. James called me after lunch that his secretary had informed him about this day's happenings. I went to get the candy and opened and closed the door to the hallway several dozen times, never understanding what those kids were saying.

I found this on FaceBook:

Sarah asked us whether we wanted to come over. Some extra hands with her three are always helpful.  It was quite fun. I might start enjoying Halloween.

Owen wore Caleb's first time. The red-chilli-pepper sleeping sack from Maren. It was a little snug but he didn't mind too much. Somebody on the walk called him a cute strawberry though.

Colin wore Caleb's second year outfit. He was a little dragon.

Caleb was a race car. I think Sarah had ordered the outfit on line and it had come some time ago. He slept every day with it and still liked it.

After it was dark and way past the twins' bedtime Sarah and I went back to the house and put them to bed. I stayed and she went to join the others again.
Caleb arrived happily with candy in his pumpkin. He was very good about not wanting to eat everything right away and even shared. I got his two Almond Joys after he had heard that they were my favorites. Sweet boy!

Happy All Saints Eve!