Friday, July 21, 2017

Sister Time

Spent a fun 24 hours with my sisters in Oklahoma City.  We chose OKC so that we could all get a chance to see Lisa's twins.  Then we shopped (of course), had a relaxing dinner and a somewhat unrelaxing night's sleep in our hotel as a loud fight broke out in the hall.

The next morning we hung out in Bricktown.  We saw the "mother ship" (Sonic company headquarters) and had a nice lunch at Zio's.  We made a brief tour of the downtown area including the Federal Building Memorial site.

Oklahoma!  where the winds come sweeping . . . and the construction cones . . .

Then I spent a week in Fayetteville.  Ann took off one day and we took a hike.  

I also got to attend two different retirment parties for Ann.  Here's a photo of what she will do a lot of now that she's finished her teaching career - spend time being a great grandma of grandsons (pictured here with just five of nine)!

Mother's Day

This was just a simple day of relaxing around the house.  Matthew and his family were due to arrive late afternoon, so we didn't take off for a hike or anything.  I told Rebecca I'd like a few photos, and I was so pleased with our five minute photo shoot in our backyard.  I love being a mom! I agree with C.S. Lewis ~

“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. ”


In May, Caleb graduated from Pellissippi State with his associate's degree.  He is headed to UT in the fall.  He wanted to do the graduation ceremony since he didn't do one at the end of high school.  His siblings weren't too happy when they found out they had to go to the ceremony (supportive, I know).

There were hundreds of graduates, but the speaker was brief and we made it fun by playing a game with the student's names as they were called out.  Graduations are not my favorite events - they are just too large to be personal - but I am proud of Caleb for finishing in just one year!  He had to take 20 hours in the spring to do it.

Knitting and All the Cuteness

Ann and Carol got me knitting about a year ago, and I have now graduated from washcloths and scarves to baby hats and ponchos!  My grandmother Schaefer would be so proud.  Here is Rebecca wearing the poncho I made for her.  Cold weather was almost over by the time I finished it:

Then I decided to make some baby hats for Lisa's twins.  I had so much fun making these!  And these babies are so cute I could die!  Photo credits to Rebecca at Thousand Word Photography for these great photos.

Rebecca's Birthday

I was out of town again for Rebecca's birthday (it seems like it often coincides with a speech tournament), but we celebrated the next weekend with her girlfriends.  I made a special lunch for them after church on Sunday.  I am glad Rebecca has settled in with a great group of girls.



I made very few photos at Christmas this year.  These stocking photos were made in the wee hours of Christmas morning, right when we got back from the 11 pm candlelight service at Cedar Springs Presbyterian.

We had a wonderful Christmas just hanging out in our PJs, playing games, and opening gifts.  In the late afternoon, we headed to Terry's parents house to spend time with extended family.  This was our first time to put a basket by the door for cell phones (even adults), and that worked great.

The next day we got up early and drove to Arkansas.  Like on so many of our trips, we had a flat. Honestly, Rebecca took more photos during this unscheduled stop than she did of any other holiday event.  I am only including a fraction here:

We finally got to Arkansas, but I unfortunately only have one shot of the kids from our visit there. Here are the Seaman and Huneycutt male cousins:

Lastly, here is a shot of our house finally looking like Christmas because we got a little snow. Ironically, this was the day I was putting away the decorations.

Four Great Gifts

There were four great gifts giving during this holiday season at our house - all given by Rebecca. She is going to have a hard time topping these in years to come, but I hope she accepts the challenge.

When the kids were younger, we had holiday devotions.  It has been just too hard to find a time when we can all be home now.  Our best advent family devotions were spent reading the books Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels.  A few years back, I challenged Rebecca to write her own Christmas story in this same type of advent format.  This year she surprised me with a book of Advent Devotions she had written herself.  She gave it to me for my birthday so that I could enjoy during the upcoming advent season.  What an awesome gift!

If you'd like to, you can even buy your own copy here.

Then for Christmas, Rebecca worked on a very special gift for me.  For years I begged her to learn to play the Sleigh Ride duet with me.  I finally gave up a few years back.  Since there is a piano where Rebecca nannies every day, she worked on this piece unbeknownst to me.  So when I jokingly asked if she would play it with me this year, she was ready to go.  What a fun surprise!  We played it almost every day - sometimes better than others.  We tried to make a good recording on Christmas Day but kept messing up.  I'm including it anyway.  Caleb was our page turner and photo bomber.

Rebecca also gave a special but simple gift to her brothers for an early Christmas - tickets to Rogue One on opening night!

The last special gift was for Terry on Christmas morning.  Rebecca had been working for months on a large painting of Rutledge Falls.  This waterfall belongs to extended family on Terry's mom's side and is where we have an annual family reunion.  Our kids have spent quite a bit of time climbing up the rocks and swimming in the water below.  Rebecca worked hard as an elf on Christmas Eve to finish it up in time for Christmas morning.