Monday, December 30, 2013

December 2013

December is always a busy month and we were no different. 
We enjoy having roommates.  Watching Baby C venture through his first holiday season has been fun...
and a challenge.  
Drahma and Papa have this very cool tree in their living room now. 
Mr. T is playing soccer.  We have been attending his indoor soccer games every weekend. 

Tree hunting for this cute little family.  

Baby C didn't think too much of Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

New headwear for Drahma and Momma.

10 month old

My 'guys'.  Aren't they adorable? 

We found a friend at Costco. 

These are the sweetest blue eyes.

There is a pink pig up by the house - 
we watch for it every year.  
We didn't think they were going to put it up this year.  

A Friday night sleepover combined with a snowstorm. 
We walked cookies over to the house with the pink pig.  
We shoveled sidewalks
and had a snowball fight!

Our Tennessee Grands - growing up too fast. 

Our oldest granddaughter and her handsome young man.

My handsome nephews and beautiful nieces.

Our oldest daughter and son-in-law celebrated 25 years of marriage with a family gathering in Jamaica - 
and a renewal of their vows at the site of their wedding. 
Our Jam-Texan Grands.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Crafting with my Girls

Erin discovered another U of I alumni here in the Treasure Valley. 
Her and her husband own the Indian Creek Winery.  
They were holding craft day - creating with wine corks - and we knew we wanted to arrange with our favorite girl posse for a morning out. 

 We quickly confirmed availability with my daughter-in-laws and signed up. 
If you have never been out to Indian Creek Winery I highly recommend the visit. 
Granted our visit was December, but the small store heated with the pot belly stove was cozy warm,
the staff (all family) was charming and friendly.

Kristen and DIL Britnee

DIL Karissa
Britnee, Deb, Erin
Our trees

Just us girls.

With my Girls

I am looking forward to returning when the spring weather returns.  
The flower beds are intriguing and I suspect I will find one or two blooms to photograph.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 21, 2013


We traveled to Tennessee to visit family. It was a crazy, cold weekend itinerary involving football games and marching band competitions - and our talented son-in-law cooked up a batch of his infamously delicious gumbo! 

Here's what I learned from Wikipedia.  Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th Century.  Typically  it is a strong-flavored stock with meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables.  It may also include the trio of celery, bell peppers and onion, know as the "holy trinity" in Cajun cuisine. 

Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux,  the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filĂ© (kombo).  Creole gumbo contains shellfish.  Cajun gumbo varies but often has a dark roux with shellfish or fowl, but not together. Gumbo is traditionally served over rice.

 Danny added smoked sausages and diced chicken breast to the pan to brown.  

The next addition into the pot was two packaged of cut okra, partially thawed.

And a few bay leaves...
Garlic salt, basil, oregano onion... 
and two sliced jalapeno peppers.  

Danny gave the roux another stir.
...and then added it into the pot of gumbo ingredients.

And after an hour (or more if you want) simmering to blend the ingredients.  

We served the Gumbo over a bowl of steamed brown rice.  

Friday, November 1, 2013


We were invited to fly to Nashville to visit with Mike's daughter and family. 
It was also a chance to meet Danny's cousin Dena and Aunt Cathy, who share their home. 
Dena is a very sweet person whom I truly enjoyed getting to know better.  
She is caretaker to her Aunt Cathy. 
So caring and giving - makes you want to be a better person.

Naturally we spent a day visiting the Grand Ole Opry.  
Even if you aren't a country music fan you should still go visit.  
The history behind the scenes was very exciting.  
And since I am a fan of the show "Nashville" I really enjoyed the 'behind the scene' stories. 

Natchez Trace Bridge

We enjoyed a brunch at Loveless Cafe - famous for their biscuits.  There was an hour waiting time but we were able to pass the time wandering around the property and the many little shops.

Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Durham Manor

Baxter found a cozy place to nap with Papa. 

We were also able to enjoy some time with granddaughter Mikayla.
Mikayla is ready for Halloween - they were inspired by the movie "Castaway"

Caleb is a inspirational musician. 
We also had an opportunity to see grandson Caleb march with the high school band at a football half time and then participate in a marching competition at Vanderbilt University. 

Thank you Tonya, Danny and family for a very special weekend.