Waiting for 2014

The girls and I came to Laura and James’ for New Year’s Eve. It’s a sleepover.

Waiting for the new year to arrive.  We started out enthusiastic.  Winding down now.  Ninety minutes to go.

Who will be able to stay awake?  I’m knitting a Christmas gift hat for Steve and hope to finish before I leave for Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon.

Penny is excited the girls are here.  Loving the attention.

Vacation is winding down.  We’re down to just hours left.  The rest of the family will be over for lunch Wednesday and then I get in the car and head east.

penny and the new year

 

Anna (off camera to right) getting Penny to do a trick while Laura and Maura watch.

 

 

penny and the new year crown

 

Penny sporting the New Year’s Crown

 

 

waiting for new year girls

 

Still awake and ready for 2014. What time is it?   We’re waiting………………

 

 

 

waiting for new yearAnna was swimming this morning at 5:45 AM.  Not sure she can stay awake until midnight.   Yawn.  Maura and Anna on electronic devices.
Added at 11:41pm

No resolutions made yet!

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Henry the Airedale Watches a Movie and Thinks About What to do with his Xmas Gift

One more dog post. There’s been a lot of dogs watching TV on my blog this season. And it’s been kids and dogs while I’m on vacation which is fast coming to a close.

We’ve all missed Murphy, the gentleman Airedale, who passed last Spring.  Such a well mannered fellow, and loved dearly.

Erika keeps asking me when I am going to knit Henry a sweater.

He’s still a pup, exuberant and finding his place in the pack, making his way into our hearts with his humorous antics.  He’s trying to figure things out.

He certainly likes being with his family where the activity is happening.  And did he ever relish his new bone.  (Laura asked if it came from a Wooly Mammoth.)

The handy iPhone camera, pulled out of a pocket. catches a moment without my leaving the family room seat or putting down my knitting.

There will be tomorrow to speak of the last post of the old year, bring in the new year- making resolutions or not.

Watching PollyannaHenry and Michael on the family room floor.

taking the bone outside

Hmmmmm I wonder if I could bury this outside.

Airedale and His Bone

Please let me out with this giant bone.

henry and the doll

And Henry eyes Maura’s horse

And then eyes me!

Henry Eyes the Horse

A p.s. to today’s blog
Henry’s breakfast Time for grandma to go home

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One of the Fancy Apples

A welcome gift.  Fancy fresh fruit. Perishable, DO NOT FREEZE the boxes state.

Tonight as I cut up a couple of perfectly ripe pieces for the family to share,  I remembered another fancy apple I ‘d cut with the apple sectioner at home in Pittsburgh.  Steve’s former colleague had shipped them and his former boss sent some succulent red grapefruit.

Our cracker selection a bit pedestrian but paired well with the cheese and fruit.

Each apple wrapped in green tissue, cradled in a partitioned box,  accompanied by a handwritten map telling which type of apple was in each space.  Refrigerate upon receipt.  

Here in Ohio there were juicy pears in gold foil papers, sheets of green foam cushioning their journey from Oregon.

A box of oranges are in the garage keeping cool.

Doesn’t fruit always taste better when someone else cuts it up and places it on a plate?

You might remember a similar photo of a  cut pear from a 2012  Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise post 

fancy apple

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

Joy and you pair it up with JUMP.  For joy, that is.

Joy to the World (church or another Three Dog Night version).

Joy? An old fahioned liquid dish soap- none available to photograph tonight.

Joy is the emotion I’d most like to capture in a selfie?  (Just thought I’d throw that new word in before the end of 2013  since it was deemed new word of the year.)

Last year’s Christmas card shoot of the grandchildren came to mind. Jumping for Joy.

The grandchildren certainly bring me a lot of joyful moments to capture.

Wishing everyone a new year with lots of joy in it!

foiur kids (1)

 

Photographed Thanksgiving  2012 in Hardy Virginia.

 

 

Ruthie and the kidsPhotographed by Erika’s mother, Marlene.  The grandchildren with me on Christmas Eve.  Feeling about as joyful as one can be!

Men on Ladders Spotted by Maura

Reminded me of the toothpaste billboard in Croatia.  You might remember it, the supposed workers hanging on the side of the building in Zagreb.

Today at the Easton Mall, Maura (5) asked me what the men  on the ladders were doing?   Huh?

I looked up, then pulled out the phone. Thanks Maura.

Good eyes.  I might have missed them.  They are 3D in person.   Here they look flat.

3D Billboard

Easton Mall before the crowds arrived.  iPhone camera is all I had in my pocket.

Uncle Matty Sings the Christmas Blues

Everyone is happy that Matthew is visiting from Zagreb.  He’s either playing the guitar or the piano, telling big brother-little brother stories to his nephews as they fall off to sleep or trying to beat Mark’s Father-in-Law Donald at 360XBox College Football. He helps wash the dishes and keeps us laughing and entertained.

Here are some Matthew moments for the blog followers in Croatia, wondering why he isn’t on the blog!

I hope to get a photo with him before he leaves.  We’ll see.  It feels good to have everyone together, even for a short time.

singing the blues

 

Singing the Christmas Blues –  Erika’s Mom Marlene on the floor by the tree

 

matty and the watches

 

Christmas morning.  He likes his new hat, fresh off the needles.

 

 

matty 1Playing with the new Turkey and Fox Puppets with niece Anna (10)

matty 2 (1)With sister Laura and her husband James  at dinner last Saturday night- Spinach Pie on the right

matty awkward photos

When we were working on the Awkward Photos

matty and his brother and sisterMatty with Mark and Laura Christmas Night right before Laura and James went home.

And Matthew wasn’t keen on being the main feature of the blog.  So here is one more photo of the grandchildren on Christmas Eve to share the post.

GrandchildrenMaura   Anna   Jack and Michael

My Family Actually Gave Me The Awkward Family Photos® Game

Identical GAP dresses

Matching Dresses for the Sisters-In-Law Gap

I kid you not.   I think it was on the sale table somewhere.  It was funny cause Laura and the girls played it and then wanted to recreate some of the photos they’d seen on the photo cards included in the game.  There were challenges to respond to – “explain how you came to have this photo in your wallet.”  Do people have photos in wallets anymore or just in phones?  Remember when showing grandchildren pictures meant you had a vinyl accordion filled with 2×3 school size pics?

Here is attempt one, slightly desaturated to give the illusion of a time past

Inspired by Awkward Family Photos®

We all know that taking family photos can be stressful and not everyone’s idea of a good time.

And it is an interruption.

A demand.

Someone else’s idea.

Cooperation and light-heartedness are essential for success.  Trying to not feel annoyed cause no one is in the mood.

awkward family

 

awkward (1)

 

and I wanted a photo of everyone but it wasn’t working out but Matthew is in from Croatia and Zagreb is far away and the opportunity to get the three siblings plus two in-laws is rare

kids

Laura and James on the way home  with Matthew (in his new knitted hat) and Mark and Erika, the hosts on the left

Matthew’s friends in Croatia have been looking for him on the blog and here is the elusive subject!

Henry the Airedale’s First Christmas With His Family

Henry the Airedale

Jack, Anna, Michael, Maura and Henry the Airedale

Henry seems to be enjoying the festivities so far.  Even tolerated enjoyed kept the Santa hat on for the photo session.  He was sniffing around the presents under the tree, looking for squeaky toys and Kongs, Bully Sticks and such.

The grandchildren fell asleep pretty fast and now, so should I.

Matthew already here from Croatia and Laura and James arrive from Centerline in the morning for breakfast.  Erika’s parents are here, too.  Having everyone together is the best part of Christmas to me.  (And we’re getting along nicely, too!) No small task with so many of us under one roof.

Ate some wonderful Polish food Donald prepared tonight for Polish Christmas Eve.  Homemade Kielbasa and Haluski and Pierogis and then we gathered in a circle while we shared Oplatki, the Christmas wafer.  Donald did a great job as Patriarch, leading the ritual.

Wishing all blog readers a good day, whatever you’re celebrating or not.  I appreciate all the lovely greetings I’ve received.

 

 

Hungarian Nut Roll Slideshow

Today Jaclyn and her sister Shannon baked nut rolls together, carrying on family tradition.

Their mother, Theresa, passed last February.  This post is to remember Theresa , those who knew and loved her and to send hugs to Jaclyn and Shannon as they are missing their mom, especially at Christmas time.

Theresa was one of the four sisters in this slideshow (baking the pizelles)  showing the three sisters making nutroll in Pittsburgh- Linda, Georgeann and Theresa,  while the fourth sister Marlene communicated via SKYPE in Virginia.

You might remember the previous post of the 15 greased nut roll pans  where the retro recipe card is photographed in case you want to make them.

Marlene and I share grandchildren and her daughter Erika is married to my son Mark.

 

 

four sisters and their mom

One of my favorite photos from long ago, taken by unknown photographer

Theresa their mother Marion, Bride Linda, Marlene and Georgeann