Monday, July 28, 2008

Too Long Away

My time away from blogging ended up being a little longer than I had originally thought it would be. It has been such a busy week and I have simply not had the time to spend on the computer. I don't know how I can constantly convince myself that there will be more free time ahead for me, but somehow my mind actually believes that.

As I said in my last post, we were blessed to have our son and DIL's ten children spend four days with us. Although there is not a moment of rest, we had so much fun with them. Our DIL is very well organized and the children have regular schedules for everything. This actually makes things much easier. I have not spent so much time in my kitchen in many weeks. Breakfast is served, followed by snack at 10:30, lunch at noon, mid afternoon snack at 3:30 and dinner at 6 p.m. The dishes are hardly cleaned before it is time to think about that next food preparation. The three year old would ask each night as we tucked him in bed, what was for breakfast the next morning. That was the last thing I wanted to think about at night but I couldn't help but think how excited he must get at the thought of his next meal.

The children are wonderful help and each wants to do their own share of whatever it is we are doing. I showed the girls how to make a great monkey bread and that was such a hit that we made it three more times while they were here. EVERYONE wanted to help with that project and I must say that too many cooks did NOT spoil the soup.
We did all sorts of wonderful things together. Grandpa took the boys to pick blueberries one afternoon while the girls stayed home to sew during nap time for the little ones. We made wonderful blueberry muffins and a delicious blueberry coffee cake once the men brought us their harvest.
The girls have been wanting to make harvest aprons for working in their garden and collecting the chicken eggs. I think they did a great job on the project and they were thrilled with them. The aprons are generally worn long except when they have an item to wrap up inside of the apron. At that point they gather up the apron by stringing ribbon through buttonholes on the bottom and securing at the waist.
We picked some corn in the garden and it was great fun to peel it for cooking. It was also fun to play with the corn silk. Green hair anyone?
And how could someone not enjoy getting up to a face like this each morning?

I had a day to clean up, wash bedding and pack up for a trip to Paso Robles -- about three hours north from us. My brother and his wife want to eventually retire up in that area and have just purchased a home there. My sister, her husband, my husband and I went up to see their new place and spend a few days up in the area.
They were having the Mid-state fair while we were there so we all attended it one afternoon. It was fun, but I must say that our local county fair is much better with many more folks entering their items for competition. We did watch some of the livestock events which was fun. Alan Jack*son was performing last evening and I would have begged to see him if we weren't returning home that day. One event was where a horse rider had to separate one calf from a small herd and keep it apart from the others for a certain period of time. The horses were simply amazing in their actions to keep the calf separated. I'm sure the rider had something to do with the success as well, but the agility of the large animal was so interesting.
We stayed at a wonderful hotel in town and enjoyed some delicious meals at local restaurants. The hotel provided us with transportation to and from dinners -- a carriage ride. Chester delivered us in style but we always chose to walk home afterwards. I am not sure that Chester could have carried us all after we had feasted. Plus....we needed to walk back.
My sister thanking Chester for getting us to dinner safely.
The night before we left I was up sewing into the wee hours of the morning. Our granddaughter turned eight and so wanted me to make her some dresses for her birthday. Since I didn't have much free time while they were staying with us, I had to do an all-nighter to get them done in time for the party yesterday.
I found these darling labels at a quilt shop in Paso Robles. I couldn't pass them up.
Ms. H opening her gift.
Today was a day of wheelchair adjustments, banking, shopping and lunch out with my mother. It is amazing how the time goes by so quickly when we have so many errands to run. We are always amazed when we look at our watches.
That was my week and this week will be busy again as we are trying to get my FIL's home ready to put on the market. We have had several months to sort through boxes of letters, photos and what not. Now we have to get serious about it and get it listed. It would be nice to see a quick sell on it but with the market the way it is, I am certainly not counting on that.
I apologize for this post being all over the place and hope that I have not put everyone to sleep reading it. Guess that is what happens when you don't post very often. Now I am going to check to see what everyone else has been up to for the past week.


  1. Sounds like such a busy time, but I know how much fun both you and the grands shared! Your DIL must be very organized indeed.
    I'm very familiar with Paso Robles. My Grandma was born in Templeton and their family farm was there. She graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1927 and returned year after year for the reunions.
    I'm sure it will be a wonderful place to retire.
    Best wishes on selling your FIL's home. The market is awful here, and I'm sure much the same in your area.

  2. You were not joking when you said you would be busy! Wow! Lovely photos of a really special time with your grandchildren!
    I hope the sale of your FIL's home goes quickly. I had to pack and sort my parents home for sale 11 years ago, and it was not the most stunning time of my life! The market here is also dire.
    It is lovely to have you back posting!

  3. wow!!! The dress is amazing and complete with a tag! That is the coolest!!!
    So much business going on! I hope you sell your FIL home with no problems and quick!!;) Rough time for selling i am sure!
    Your grand kids are all so beautiful! fun times!

  4. Don’t apologize for being "all over the place." It's great to catch up on all you've been doing!

    The photos of your grandkids are absolutely darling! It must be so much fun to have them all around you (and a wee bit exhausting, too!) Those dresses and aprons you made are too cute! And what a great find on those labels!

    Oh - will you share you recipe for monkey bread, next time I see you? I have a feeling my stepson would love that!

  5. Your grand kids are beautiful, but you must have been busy, just as their parents, I guess.
    You made a lovely dress for your grand daughter. I love the label.
    What is monkey bread?
    And i'd love to have the pattern of the harvest apron: I often go in the garden, and start to pick whatever I can find to eat (it is a small garden), and I always end up with my hands too full. An apron like this one would be nice :-)
    Keep enjoying your family !

  6. It sounds like you had a wonderful time with all your grandchildren! We love monkey bread, too. :0) The dresses you made are beautiful and I love the sweet tag, too!

  7. You sure have been busy! Those kids are just beautiful! T was just standing here beside me and asked who those kids are and I told her that they are your grand kids and that you have 20 grands and I only have 2! lol! She thought that was really funny! Now she is picking cucumbers out of the garden and feeding them to the horses. D is here with me building things with Le*gos.
    Those dresses are just adorable!!!!!!!!! I am not very good at making clothes other then pj's but I should give it a whirl! The label is so nice!
    Your DIL MUST be very organized. I know our friends with 8 children are super organized and their household runs like clockwork. Those are the best behaved children at our church!
    Yes, the lake water is fairly warm this time of year. Well, what we consider warm, probably in the 70's
    It takes a bit of getting used to but feels good and refreshing.
    Well duty calls, must get some dinner going for these two little ankle biters. R and J are at a sales meeting on an island off Portland and DIL is having a make up party.

  8. It was good to come over and catch up with you. You have been incredibly busy - as most of us retirees seem to be! I think it's fabulous that your 10 grandchildren are so well behaved and helpful - and that their mom is so organized. She must be amazing.

    You are a busy, wonderful grandma!

  9. I love these types of random posts:-) I think it's wonderful that you were able to spend time with your beautiful family....10 children, wow! They're all adorable and I love how helpful they are. I'm sure they had a super time with you and grandpa!!

    Also sounds like a fun time in Paso Robles. I love fairs:-) Oooooh, what a shame you didn't get to see Alan Jackson performing, he's one of my favourite country singers!!

    The dresses you made for your granddaughter's birthday are adorable and I just love the labels!! xoxo

  10. Gosh, you have been busy! I have such a difficult time wrapping my mind around 10 children. I have a friend who has 5 and I get exhausted from watching! lol But, it is a blessing to have such lovely children. Beautiful dress you made for your granddaughter. Keep well!

  11. Woww Mary, what a wonderful time you spent with the children !!! I was a biology teacher for 14 years and i know how kind of energy they can bring to us.
    Very beautiful dresses and I like "Grandma made it" :)).
    Good luck with all your plans for next week.
    Hugs, Sma

  12. I enjoyed reading reading about your grandchildren's visit!!
    What beautiful kids!

  13. It sounds like your summer has been busy and fun-filled. Those grandchildren are such a bunch of cuties! I remember our oldest daughter's very blond hair turning green from swimming in a pool while we were living in Australia :)
    The aprons are adorable. What a fun project!
    Like you, I've been too busy to blog much, and now my computer is down after a big storm and electrical problems. Thank heavens my hubby is willing to share!
    I've enjoyed catching up with you :)
    I'm amazed that you've still found time to make quilts, and those little dresses are so pretty. What a sweet grandma you are :)

  14. What darling grandchildren you have! What a blessing to have so are SO lucky! Love the dresses you made and the girls' aprons. Sounds like you had a busy but wonderful time!