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A Happy Birthday is in Order.

Today is my daughter, Hilary’s, birthday.  Just wanted to take a minute to wish her an especially Happy Birthday, just because I’m her Mom, and just because I can.

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This picture is a blast from the past for my girls.  Hilary’s about a year old here, and her big sister, Naomi, was always helping to take care of her.  Ironically,  now they work together and get along just fine.

Happy B-Day Hilly!!  Wishing you wonderful things for the year ahead.

The Sweetest Gift

1-2013-01-025This little Miss gave her Papa (aka Travel Man) such a sweet gift today.

He is in Thailand, and tries to Skype with us whenever possible.  We got a Skype call this afternoon, and Miss Madison just happened to be here with me and she was also awake.

I brought her over to the computer with me and she focused right in on her Papa.  He was talking and cooing to her of course.  And then it happened.  She broke out into the biggest, sweetest,  most precious smile.  I know it  made his week, and helped just a smidge with the fact that he is so far from home.

We’ll see you next week Papa!  Happy Weekend everyone.

Planning a Party – Facebook Style

checklistFor the past two weeks the ladies/girls (sorry twenty something’s you will always be my girls, even though I know you are fine young ladies) in our family have been planning my brother’s fiftieth birthday party.  It has been such a fun  time.

First I need to give you a little back story.  The ladies/girls in our family have a private group on Facebook.  We call it Renee’s Revelers.  Girls only, no boys allowed.  We use this page to encourage one another, vent about life, and just generally have lots of chatty, girly fun.

So this turned out to be a perfect location to do our private party planning so my brother could not find out what we were up to.  Tee-Hee!

My role for this party was Project Manager.  Once we had decided on a date, and the theme it was time for the brainstorming to begin.  There were separate posts on our page for decoration ideas, food ideas, and  entertainment.  I will be the first to admit that the threads of comments got a little crazy after the first couple of days, and it got kind of crazy to follow.  The other girls will attest to this too.

Then I plowed through all of the comments and made a to-do list, and a who’s doing what list.  That was a Word document, and it got posted back to the Renee’s Reveler’s group so everyone would have an easy read of what was happening.  Also that way I could have an accurate checklist to keep us all in line and on track.  This was a really fun way for my sister in Montana to stay connected with what we were planning, and throw in her two cents.

The other fun project that evolved on the girls page for this party was photo posting.  My sister was putting together a DVD montage for my brother to document his first 50 years here on planet earth.  We used the Reveler’s group to post pictures for my sister to download and add to her collection.  She would let us know a specific time period she needed a picture from, and the research group( i did not do much picture hunting) would peruse their photos and post it for her.

We had a great afternoon of making party decorations together once all of the to-do’s were in place.  The group effort by the ladies/girls was tremendous.

We had such fun we’re looking for our next project to plan together!  The party planning and decoration creation, and food planning was a great success.  More on the party later.

How did your last big party planning go?

On becoming a Grandma, again.

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Madison with her Nana.
December 2012

For any of you who follow my blog regularly you know that last November we welcomed our granddaughter into the family.  Such a sweet, little cutie pie.  It’s amazing to me that when the family tree expands, your heart just becomes filled beyond overflowing with happiness and joy.

It’s a multi-part thing; you are ecstatic to have a new member in the family, you are ecstatic to see your children become wonderful parents.  And nothing can compare to the joy on your own mother’s face when she becomes a great-grandma for the second time around, our resident, “Nana”.  Plus, in my family we are especially blessed because my grandmother shares in this joy long distance.  So,  we have a great-great grandma in the family.  We are able to Skype with her once in a while so she can say hi to all the grandkids, great grandkids, and the great-great’s too!!

5th Generation - July 2006

5 Generations from July 2006
My Mom, Grandma & myself
Standing is daughter, Naomi with Evan.

My Grandma sent me a little note over the holidays, she still likes to send “snail mail”, which I love.  She has seen many, many pictures of her new great-great granddaughter since her arrival, and this is what she wrote to me:

“What a unique child Madison is.  Her face is so “knowing”.  Her eyes are seeing and processing everything, if she can keep her busy little mind awake.  She is truly beautiful.  I’m so proud of her, and of Evan too.  Such wonderful kids- my great-great grandchildren!  I feel like I had a little part in that along the way.”

I think my Grandma’s words sum up the feeling that any of us who are grandparents have.  That in some small way, you had a tiny little something to do with that new life that just came into the world, and expanded your family tree.

The Colors from My Summer Garden

This afternoon I have been working on getting the summer photos organized.  There are just a few that I want to share with all of you from my garden.  Especially since the summer gardening season is winding down for many of us “green thumbs”.

First up – the lovely jalapenos.  Mild and yummy just for me, since I’m a huge “spice weenie”.  I don’t like the heat, just the jalapeno flavor.  I’ve harvested close to 8 dozen of these beauties.  Can’t wait to share my daughter’s roasted salsa recipe with you. 

Next up – the mini pumpkins.  This is a Burpee variety of pumpkin, called Small Sugar.  They can probably be used for pumpkin baking, but for my purposes they will most likely just be decorating the house for fall.

Then there are the sunflowers.  Evan and I had planted the huge, big sunflowers, and right after they bloomed they got attacked by this ugly fungus and I ended up chopping them down.  But they were gorgeous for a little while.

There were also had the small sunflowers, which made a great backdrop in the garden. I had cut some of these and brought them in the house too.  But, they still had so much pollen dropping I only did that once.  They were a little messy, but very sunflower pretty.

Then there was this little sunflower, and I think he was saying, “Do I have to wake up today?”  Kind of funny.

Last flower of the day is the lovely zucchini blossom.  I took a lot of pictures of these blooming, because the flowers are huge.  This is one of my favorites.  I’m still harvesting a few zucchini, and making all kinds of baked goodies from them.

Now I am in the process of planting for a winter crop of cucumbers, sweet corn, spinach and lettuce.  This is the first year I have attempted plantings after the summer harvest.  We are fortunate here in California to have a second growing season, and this  year I will be taking advantage of it.

How did your garden grow this summer?  What is your favorite fruit or veggie from your summer garden?

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