Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

What a week. Tuesday we had to say "good-bye" to Helen, Ben and William going back home.
Wednesday was our wedding anniversary. 1975 the 26th of November was the day before Thanksgiving too. 39 wonderful years. That's a reason to celebrate. James wanted to take me out for dinner. And he found a very good one. Criteria: close to Sarah's. She was working the pm till 10. Wade had gone with Caleb to his parents in Pulaski already on Tuesday. We went to let the dogs run in the yard for a little while. Then we went to dinner after which we fetched the dogs and took them to our house. Complicated?
The restaurant was "Travinia", nice ambiance, delicious food, they told us if we bought a bottle of wine that they would "cork" it for us and we could take the rest home. We had an appetizer. They decided that it had taken too long and didn't charge us. And we hadn't even noticed because we had time.

It was almost 11 when Sarah arrived. The dogs were excited too.

Thursday we got going early. Can you imagine: she was eager to see her husband and baby?
Snow in the mountains past Charlottesville. And fog in the valley. It looks as if it is filled like a lake.

More fog.

Schatzi is asking "are we there yet?"

Wade's parents house was buzzing with family. Preparations for the feast, watching basketball, watching football, watching the dog show, cutting Caleb's hair? What? Yes, Sarah decided she could do it herself with Carolyn's help. He did complain somewhat but not too bad. The ladies did a great job. It was getting long (I had snipped a lock of a little while ago because it was hanging over his eye. The boy couldn't see).

There was still time before the feast so James and I did a quick run to the B&B we had booked. This is going to be our bed for the night!

And back to the preparations. Mike is frying the turkeys (2 at 16 pounds each). An interesting process. Years of experience!

It was a lot of fun: upstairs and downstairs (big family room in the walk-out basement). I didn't take many pictures. Was too busy wandering around and chatting. But here are two videos (and the pictures are taken from those).

Caleb was hungry and wanted his food before the dinner.

The tables are laid. The right one for the "under 50".

Caleb wasn't hungry any more and didn't want to sit in his chair. Grandpa Mike had him on his lap ...

... and found out that Caleb can be quite strong with the fork (got pierced a little on his hand).

Kathy and Mike with all the family members had prepared a wonderful dinner. And time before and after was a lot of fun. But eventually it was time for us to retreat.
We had the code for the door to historic ROCKWOOD MANOR and had a good night's sleep.
No Black Friday for us. Breakfast at 9!

The owner showing us where to find tea and coffee etc.

I should have taken a picture of the tables (just a few) so nicely laid. We sat down family style until the table was full. A very nice family joined us. Parents, son, daughter and grandma (who sat next to me). We had a lively conversation. Before leaving I gave the older lady a Fröbelstern and when I told them that it's called Moravian Star in English the father got very excited, found his computer and found a picture he had taken of his family under a Moravian star his father had made from metal. Actually it even was a Bethlehem star Made in Bethlehem Pennsylvania.
We did a little exploring before we left. This must be the lounge. Cozy, right?

The foyer! The ceilings, the floors, lovely details all over the house.

I think the floor pattern would be a good quilt idea.

We were upstairs in # 3.

Bye-bye! Did I mention that the house was built in 1876?

And what do you do on your way home for 3 1/2 hours? Sterne!

Back home. All this excitement over. Are we back to normal?
Day after tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. It's time to think of that. I don't think we will ever get bored.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

So thankful

Ha-ha, first line what I am thankful for ... Blogsy seems to be working again. We tried many things ... sigh ... I hope ...
Friday November 21
Sarah and Caleb are here. We are all waiting for Helen, Ben and William to arrive. They left Nashville on Thursday when she was finished teaching and spent a night in a hotel half way. William is an excellent traveler. He was so excited to drive and drive and drive to Omi and Papa in Taginia (I had the spelling wrong in a previous blog).
Not quite walking yet but look at this climber (VIDEO)!

Soon after they arrived and had settled William and I started baking the birthday cupcakes for Caleb. Sarah had put William in charge of the baking and decorating of those.
Banana bread cupcakes.

He is a great and eager helper.

Did you see Helen in the previous picture? Working.
She cut these things Out for Sarah.

We had warned William and yes, Caleb saw the toys and went like a bulldozer. William was really great and tolerated Caleb's style of playing.

This is the new and improved train set-up the master builder Helen had made after Sarah, Wade and Caleb had left.

Saturday November 22
After a good night's sleep and breakfast we continued with our "job". First we had to do some shopping for the icing and decorating. And then we went to work.

What do you do when those little stars keep sticking to your fingers?

The party started at the Wallers ar 3:30pm.

Sarah had had a lot of fun with the decorating.

Do you recognize some of the shapes Helen had helped with?

Caleb's gift from his parents: a grill! Now father and son can do it together.

THE birthday moment. Everybody sing!

Of course there is a BIRTHDAY VIDEO.
And then there is the VIDEO of Caleb and his balloons.
And so the party goes on.

Sunday November 23
What a day. James had to leave very early because in the absence of our minister he took the early and 10am services.
When Helen, Ben, William and I went to church William could not believe his eyes (James was robed). "Papa, why do you wear a dress?" He didn't like that. Otherwise he thought Papa was cool. Just a week ago he had received his first communion. So this was his second time. He was so reverent. Sweet William.
After church we had to hurry home a little. Our thanksgiving turkey was in the oven since we left. Everything was under control and there was always some time here and there to play. Omi had found this new toy which turned out to be a success. We found new ways what to do with it.


Thanksgiving dinner (late lunch) was very nice. Sorry, totally forgot about photos.
James did the turkey and the roast potatoes as usual. Ben did the dressing (which I was never much good at). We had sweet potato with dried cranberries, peas and carrots, sautéed brusselsprouts, gravy. I thought with so much food, who would want dessert? what do I know. After a little while Helen and Sarah went to Martin's for Apple pie and Vanille Icecream. Oh well...
And then we did what you do after the thanksgiving meal. We sat around. And we played.
Auntie had a gift for William. A book: Mousetronaut. William loves everything space!

Caleb is exploring the house. He found the jar with corks and Is rearranging.

Caleb is ALMOST walking. A few steps here and there. Every time he does a real little walk I am too late with my camera. Here are a couple of my tries to catch the moment:
Caleb, cork and crocodile.
Caleb, not catching him walk 1
Caleb, not catching him walk 2
William borrows his father's iPhone and takes a thousand photos of Caleb and us and feet and hands and the beads Helen is stringing for her Chrismons and ...
William is busy clicking!

Papa had an exciting day. He needed some rest. But he woke up when we laughed.

Monday November 24
Sarah had to go to work at 2 pm. Last chance for Helen and William to see her on this visit. So we went over to her in the morning. Ben and James went for a hike.
Helen and I minded Caleb while Sarah got ready. Wow, he us a fast climber if you don't look.

Auntie helped Caleb with his homework for daycare.

We originally thought we would go to the Botanical Garden but then thought we did not have enough time. But there is no shortage of playgrounds.

I have never seen this before. Look at the VIDEO! Cool!

William showed Caleb how to slide down. Caleb was not too sure about this ... yet.

Then we went for a little walk. It started out that Sarah was pushing Caleb and William was on his scooter. What happened?

We went to lunch at the "noodle place" and then Auntie had to go to work.
It was such a lovely warm day that we could be outside just in t-shirts. William helped me snip the dead roses off and trim the butterfly bush. He was so proud to use the clippers.

And then he rolled down our little hill ... more than once. Yes, VIDEO!
Back inside we were having a cup of tea and William was looking around. He had fun when he found this rainbow.

Tuesday - the day Helen, Ben and William were going back to Nashville after lunch. But we still had all morning. James and Ben took William down to the river while Helen was packing and we also quickly went to the quilt store.
Here are photos Ben and James shared.

And here is that picture William took with his Dad's iPhone. Pretty good.

Time to say good by!

It was a wonderful visit. We all had a great time. Lots of chatting. Lots of laughing.