Sunday, April 30, 2017

Look what I just found

When you have a workman in your kitchen and can't do anything "normal" all day, you might suddenly come across something to surprise you.

I found a file!!!     In 2009 we went on a trip to South Africa with Kate (James' sister) and Dave. This time Dave and Kate had arranged to book us on a group trip with Kuoni, a Swiss travel company. James had arranged our flights and we were to meet in Johannesburg. It was a really great trip. So happy I found the PDF file "South Africa" and here it is!

Yes, Sunday evening. The backsplash in the kitchen is done. Paco worked hard from 7:55 in the morning (James and I had to take turns to go to church) until 7 in the evening. It looks great though. After a "what's in the pantry or fridge" supper we went for a walk. What a lovely night. A light warm breeze. If you were not afraid to trip (while walking) you could close your eyes and be sure to be in the Caribbean. And it is the last day of April!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Jane is visiting

Exciting times. Helen and William visiting, the baptism, Easter, the remodeling.

Monday April 17

Remodeling? Yes, finally we have made decisions on what we would like to change and how. That half-wall is such a nonsense and gives you a shut-in feeling. Besides, there is really not enough counter space to work on. How do you make cookies with your grandchildren?

As I had reported before, we had picked out the granite. That company took care of cutting down the wall. Walter (from Brazil) was very good. He even relocated two outlets for us.

I tried with a folding table how it might be when finished. We will like it.

Tuesday ... Jane (James' sister) arrived from England in the evening. James had to get her alone because we had other things happening like bringing papers to be shredded in the subdivision and Sarah bringing the boys for some reason.


It's lovely to have Jane visit. Unfortunately I was committed to a German Kaffeeklatsch at 2 pm at Anne's (which really was very very nice) and a meeting at church at 7 pm. And the granite people wanted to come to measure for the templates. You don't discourage that if you want your project done.

But Jane got to see the twins. As she had told everybody in England ... she was going to see her brother's grandchildren in America.


I had to leave the sibling to themselves because I was committed to give a talk about lace and lacemaking to a group of embroiderers and felters. Here are photos one of the ladies there shared with me.
The "beginner pillow". One lady was successful trying a few stitches.

There is a lot to talk about and share. Where to start and end? 

A beginner's pattern.

And since it is Easter ...

I also had bobbinlace eggs!

At the parking lot ... I couldn't resist. Love funny license plates.


Sarah's day off. James and Jane went to watch Caleb at his swimming lesson. I met them for lunch because I had to go church to help the new secretary with something.


Jane was not lucky with the weather for her visit. The only consolation ... it was even worse in England. We made the most of it though. We had several walks when possible. This day we met Sarah with her children at the Farmer's Market. Wade had to work in the morning. Oh, how Caleb likes that Farmer's Market when Mrs. Yoder's is there with her donuts. They are not cheap but sooooooo good. She is at the very end so we can look at all the other things.

The twins didn't say a peep. It will not be long before they are demanding their share. So funny.

No words needed here.

On the way back to the cars we had to study a few puddles.

Back at Sarah's elevenses for the twins.

... and then a walk. Caleb wanted to ride his bike, on which he is really very good.

Of course the weather caught up with us again. Owen wanted to be held and Caleb took the offer to ride like this.

Back again at Sarah's we had so much fun because Colin somehow had learned to clap. 
This VIDEO is precious.
The twins have to learn to share (VIDEO).


Church in the morning of course and then Jane took us out to lunch. We went to the Firebird in Short Pump. It was very nice.

I am not so sure about my fried spinach though. It was very glassy and did not have much taste this way. It's always interesting to try something new though. Liked my salmon.

Our garden does like the rain though. The rest of us ... ?

Bad news on Monday. Owen has a fever since Sunday night. Mommy has to work the afternoon till midnight. Of course we help out. 

For Monday evening we had invited Julie. She had hosted "the British" for Sarah's wedding when beds were in short supply at our place. We had also invited Kim and Mike since they are very fond of England. I had made shepherd's pie (of course with lamb or it would be cottage pie) and everybody enjoyed it.
For dessert Jane had suggested "rabbits in the grass" since it was still Easter. That was enjoyed too.


OMG, hard to believe that a week is already over and Jane will travel home today. Owen is still not better. Sarah had taken him to the doctor. Ear infection. The good side: Jane got to see him again.

First thing in the morning James had received an email that her flight out of Richmond had been cancelled but she had been booked on a different flight and she had an uneventful trip home.

Of course she didn't get to see all her brother's grandchildren. Normally she also includes time in Nashville. She was here for William's last two birthdays. Helen mourned that her helping Aunt was not here for that this year. But Helen is taking William to England in June so they get to see each other then.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Twins Baptism

What a weekend! Wonderful Easter!

Good Friday

Helen and William had to get up very early to catch the plane. William had a very nice experience as you can see by the photo Helen shared.

James picked them up from the airport while I prepared lunch just as the spinach quiche Helen had wished for came out of the oven just the right time. William really wanted Omi's Manchego cheese on bread which the boy got of course.

They were very tired because they had to get up at 4 am to catch the flights but of course wanted to see sister/auntie and the nephews/cousins. Helen took these selfies. 

James was a lay reader at our 6 pm Stations-of-the-cross Service so we had to go in two cars. We had to go early enough because I had promised Sarah a double portion of my spinach salad for the buffet. How did Helen end up at the children's table?

The campfire is just starting but William needs to go to bed. And Helen too.

William sleeps in our room. He was asleep before his head hit the pillow while I was still folding clothes and singing for him. He was very good. Didn't hear anything from Helen either until morning.

Saturday morning. Both had a solid 9 hours sleep. Breakfast? Yesterday's hot-cross-buns. It's an English thing. You only eat them on Good Friday (except for leftovers). We always have to talk about the year when James went to Panera to buy some and was told they had had them for weeks and run out days ago. Really? 

After fruit and leftover quiche etc we decided we really needed some exercises. Off to Meadow Farms.

It was muddy here. William got one shoe a bit wet but not too badly.

James spotted these. Wild orchids. Beautiful.

We usually end up at the farm. The pregnant sheep had triplets 6 days ago but they were too far in the field and we couldn't see them close. The 2 tom turkeys showed off all their feathers.

Toby the donkey was happy to have his head scratched.

Helen took a selfie with Toby.

Back at the house William got his fort built until the tomato pie was done for lunch.

And then it was time to go "over the river". First thing on the agenda was an easter egg hunt organized by Carolyn for the children. William was very much looking forward to it.

While that was going on the twins enjoyed their bottles. Helen didn't mind.

Owen was right next to her but probably thought that they could have turned him at least in the other direction.

They "older" children sorted out their "loot".

Everything looked so inviting and a lot of "grazing" was done.

I had to convince William though that the cake was for after the ceremony.

An opportunity to take a photo of all 4 of our grandsons.

And then it was time to go to church. The Easter Vigil service started at 5 pm. As usual it started outside but of course I didn't take any photos. We each carried the new light in with candles which we  stuck into a container with sand. Then we sat down in the pews.

There were a lot of readings in the beginning of the service and the children were all very good. But the sermon was too short because Colin decided to explode his diaper. Sarah said it was major and even the pew had to be wiped. She carried him out in a blanket to change. Unfortunately he had sat on Wade's lap and his pants were a disaster. Since their house is only half a mile away he decided to quickly change at home. He made it just in the nick of time. When the priest called the baptism parties forward and mentioned that 2 babes seem to be missing I decided to go and whisper to him that their had been an "event". He was very understanding. I am sure Sarah doesn't mind that I tell this story because she mentioned it on FaceBook herself. Yes, this will be remembered forever.

When Wade was back just in time all breezed a sigh of relief and the ceremony was very nice. James had brought a shell for each from his latest "Camino" pilgrimage and they were each used. Caleb helped with the baptism and William was very close to witness as well.

VIDEO!   (I was reluctant to take the video but since it seemed to be o.k. I decided it is nice to be able to show the children later. I didn't have a good place to take it though)

Then we had additional prayers of intercession and thanksgiving during which the music "Jesus Remember me" was played and we were welcome to come forward to light a votive candle as a symbol of our prayers.

There were a lot of blessings of new things and the whole service took an hour and a half including Holy Communion.

Outside: photo taking by the Waller party.

It's nice to have this photo.

Back to the house and more celebrating. Good thing they have a big house because we were quite a crowd. It was a lot of fun and a happy time. Eventually we had to say goodbye

William needed a bath but falling asleep took a little longer today. So much excitement for him. Finally the Easter-bunny could do some egg dying and prepare the table for next morning.


Breakfast. Sliced apples first. (No idea what he is explaining here)

Our church was wonderfully full and the service was uplifting. Afterwards the children were treated to an egg hunt of course. William is done!

The weather was gorgeous and the Memorial Garden in full bloom. The sun was so bright that we had to take a lot of pictures before we got one where William didn't squint or have his chin on his chest. When I look at my daughter I have to be proud of her. She has lost 60 pounds and looks so happy and healthy. 

We had gone in two cars and James had gone home to attend to the lamb roast and the roasted potatoes. The house smelled divine and it was very delicious. Sorry, no pictures. But as always our traditional Easter dessert: rabbit in the grass. I had surprised Helen with it who started making it when she was 6 or 7 from a cookbook Aunt Jane had given her then. Ah, memories. We love our family traditions.

And then we had to bring Helen and William back to the airport. Looking always at the bright side of things we reminded ourselves that it was great that they could come at all.

William had seen a toy plane in Atlanta on their way coming and so wished he could buy it. Helen was worried that they might not be in the same terminal or have enough time. Luckily at the RIC gift shop they had one with which he was very happy when Papa bought it for him. Helen texted the next two photos to us.

The plane probably made up for the fact that he had forgotten his Iggy which is now in the "Nashville box" which collects everything we have to take when we visit there.

Gosh, after all that festive eating we decided to conclude our celebrations with a walk long enough to trigger our Fitbit fireworks. And then we sat back and thought how blessed we are.