Monday, December 10, 2018

Hat Trick

Notice her fancy bag.  Guess who had to carry it all day...
 A Hat Trick in hockey is when a player makes three goals in a game.  For me, it's when I get to see all of my kids in one day.  Unfortunately rare, but oh so wonderful for this old Mom and Dad.  We started the weekend with our girl.  The Wonderland Express is a display of trains that travel through a romantic and much smaller version of Chicagoland.  Chicagoland is a local term for Chicago and the suburbs surrounding the city.   What we surprised our girl with this time, was a concert at the garden with the Chicago Brass Band, before we saw the trains. 

 A perfectly sunny, crisp and cold winter's day. 

 Grandpa enjoyed being out and about with his two favorite girls.

 Our snow bunny.

 My dearest took a photo of a lovely couple who were having trouble taking a selfie, 
but we didn't remember to ask someone to photograph us.

 This is the entrance to the theater. So beautifully decorated with it's own train.

 We weren't sure of this six year old girl's response to the concert, but she loved it.  We had a sweet snuggle to the music.  It was a variety of music, from Hanukkah to Christmas and at just an hour was just the right amount of musical holiday cheer.

 Then off to another building for the Wonderland Express. The halls are lined with beautiful wreaths and decorations.

 Then into Wonderland!

 This is our third time, so Penny was ready with the sheet of certain places to look for and mark with a sticker. Woo Hoo! This year we found them all.

 The famous "Bean".

 An Engineer handed Penny a train car to pose with.  
Poor Grandpa, I accidentally chopped off this head.

 Chicago is really a beautiful city, in miniature and in actual size.

 The very best part for me is when it snows INSIDE!

 It's magical.

 Such a great day, making more memories for our girl and for us.

 My sweethearts.

 On Sunday we received a visit from Willoughby Drone Works, AKA son Jon. You can find some of his amazing work on his Facebook page.  Penny was very excited to actually see the drone.  We all were fascinated. 

 We all came to the deck to watch a demo.  That little drone can really travel.

 This little one loved watching Uncle Jon fly over the house.
It was up so high it was just a speck in the sky.
 Even our beautiful expectant Momma Charlotte came out for the fun.

Kris and Doug came to pick up Penny and bring some of the baby
 things they used for Penny to Jon and Charlotte..
Here Kris is demonstrating how to use a baby carrier using a slightly older than usual baby. 
How quickly time flies, seems like yesterday when Penny was just a tater tot.

So when everyone went home, Mikey dropped by after work.  There was my hat trick.  Everyone went home with meatballs and sauce for lunch today, and a tired but grateful Grandpa and Grandma went to bed happy for seeing all of our wonderful kids on a December Sunday. 

 Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, December 3, 2018

Deck the Halls

 Kristen our master knitter made these beautiful mittens for her Dad. 

 Kris even made a flap that you can fold back to use a phone!  She knows her Dad.  We were both touched by this sweet and warm gift from our talented daughter.

We had a visit with Kris and Doug and Penny.  It started with a snowball fight, (indoors, with soft snowballs) dancing in the family room.  A beautiful vignette that I featured on my facebook page, made by our babygrand.  She is quite the designer.    Mike and Amanda had our car on Sunday, so we had a quiet day...let me correct that, we had a busy day at home.  There were hundreds of branches that fell in our ice storm.  I dragged the largest to the curb and bagged the rest.  Dearest hung some lights outside and I fussed and decorated a dozen little vignettes.

 Just small trees this year.  With our growing family, floor space it at a premium. 

 Snowing again today after all the ice and snow from last weeks storms melted.

 My geranium is blooming.  A pop of color hardly noticed in the summer, a revelation contrasted by the cold and snow.

 My poinsettia from last year is blooming.  The bracts are light green, a new variety that Elizabeth gifted me with last year.
 Thrifted mittens warming themselves around a pretty candle.

 A salt glazed bowl filled with vintage and thrifted ornaments.

 Reminds me of ornaments we had growing up.

 Even the bench gets the Christmas treatment.

 A Swedish table covering thrown into a five dollar bag years ago at a rummage sale.

 My bear Clarence.  He sits with a Woolrich throw Penny used as a baby.

 Another small tree near the fireplace, with sparkly bobbles and white lights.

 The mantle has a Christmas tree theme.

 Many of the trees I found at the thrift.
 These Pottery Barn wax houses I admired at PB but could not afford.  Several years later I found them for a couple of dollar each... again, at the thrift.

 This was a recent purchase.  This is a Wally Mart reproduction of a very popular sign that is all over the net this year. I really didn't need it, but liked it so much, it jumped into my cart.  Funny how that happens sometimes.

 Did a little stacking and used containers and candle holders to give my display a little interest.

 My little kitchen tree.  So gloomy this morning for photography,

 but here are a couple of close ups. Hey it's Andy!

 My squirrel Filbert.  He was  popular with my nephews when they were young.  I'd find Filbert in the oddest places and situations staged by the boys.  I wonder if they remember?

 A embroidered shooting star made by my friend Mary tops the tree.

 Some of my Christmas towels, potholders and a botanical apron I purchased after the season at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  I already received my gift of a renewal of our membership at the gardens from my sweet hubby.  That's why, every time we visit, no matter what season, we say Merry Christmas to each other.  It's a gift we share and has brought us so much joy.

 Another gift from last year. I find it hard to use the pretty linens, but prefer to display them.

 A cherry red garland around my window.

 Another vignette.  The gingerbread man and lady, gifts from my SIL Mindy years ago, now make an annual visit to my kitchen and supervise the baking.

 Another salt glazed bowl filled with festive red ornaments.

 A little village popped up in the foyer,

along with a "stitch and stuff" I made almost thirty years ago. It is still one of my favorite holiday decorations.

"Gloom we always have with us, a rank and sturdy weed,
but joy requires tending."
-Barbara Holland

I'll be tending my joy, and wish the same for you my friends.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny