Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Years Eve 123123 ~Looking Back on the Year ~Remembering the Highlights ~Twelve Months and Twelve Photos

January
Our Son-in-law retired after twenty years serving our country
in the United States Air Force.
Being with family for the Fini-Flight, the Ceremony,
and the Receptions are memories we will cherish forever.

February
The majority of the year was devoted to my recovery.
Thank you to Hubby who drove me to Sanford once or twice every week.
And I appreciate my Physical Therapist who was as good for my Mental Health
as she was for coaching me through my stretches and exercises.

March 
On our annual Spring Break Trip to Georgia,
we had the privilege of spending time with our whole family.
We celebrated two birthdays…a daughter and a Grandson.
We stayed a week with both families in their home.

April
Upon my graduation from Physical Therapy,
I enjoyed the freedom and independence of driving again.
My first solo trip was to the supermarket and it was perfect.

May
We spent nearly a week in my old stompin’ grounds…
met with the family that farms our land,
kept an appointment at the County Courthouse,
caught up with my high school bestie,
honored family at the cemetery,
and visited our family farm.

That last part is not a highlight,
it’s a lowlight.

June
These are the friendships we cherish.
They all gathered to celebrate my birthday
with a home-cooked meal of all my favorite foods.

July
We were thrilled to have our two Grandsons,
and their Mama, visit us for a week.
We especially enjoyed outings to Storybook Land
and our Aquatic Center.

August
Our annual summer road trip with these good friends took us 
to  Minneapolis for a Twins Game, Shopping, and Good Eating.
Rudy looks really excited, but he didn’t know he was going
only as far as the Doggie Day Care.

September
Of course, we don’t pass up tickets and an opportunity to
be in the FargoDome for some Bison Football.

October
An impromptu trip took us to Plymouth, MA.
We spent time with family, an AirB&B on the Beach,
 Fresh Seafood, Golf, The Cape, Shopping,
And Leaf Peeping.

November
Retirement allows plenty of time for our hobbies…
Hubby out in his Woodshop, and me in my Sewing Studio.
We participated in two local Makers Markets this fall.

December
We welcomed family home for the start of our Holiday Season,
Thanksgiving, Pheasant Hunting,
Black Friday Shopping, Christmas Decorating, and more.

New Years Eve is all about reminiscing the bad and the good
moments of the year gone by.
We welcome in this New Year with Wisdom and
Experience to take on all of life’s challenges.

Take care,
~Natalie 

Friday, December 29, 2023

Our Furry Friends are such Faithful Friends ~When Lizzie Meets our Grandchildren

Our Lizzie, our Helper Cat
She’s often by my side (and Roomba’s) when doing
everyday House Chores and Projects.

She joins us at the counter for meals and snacks.
She even has her own little cat plate,
thanks to friends, Debra and Brian.

Lizzie takes a special interest in our grandchildren.
This is our oldest, five years ago Lizzie joined him for
breakfast the first morning of their visit.
Curious Cat had to check out this Tiny Human.

This Tiny Human has always been a Story Teller,
And Lizzie is a good listener.

She shared her chair with Jack when watching movies.

It was no different with little Joelle.
Lizzie was right there when we unpacked
the storage tubs of Christmas Decor.

She joined us when we built a blanket fort in the Living Room.

When the grandsons visit, guess who gets the first Greeting
 in the morning…Lizzie or Gigi?

Lizzie loves to watch the boys play…

…and it was no different with little Jojo.

Lizzie is always right there, joining in on the action,
whatever the grandchildren are doing.

Remember this?
We went all the way around the block.

Our families are all home now, in their places,
Tending to their own work and school responsibilities.
Lizzie is back on duty, helping with chores,
and providing quality control for our creative projects.

A Pet makes a House a Home.

Take care,
~Natalie

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Christmas 2023 ~Sweet Memories Made ~The Greatest Gift of All

Christmas Celebrations are now a Memory,
I hope y’all had a lovely Holiday.

When we sing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas”,
 what we’re wishing for are those light, pretty snowflakes.

Not necessarily the Ice Storm that we are experiencing
 here in our neck of the woods.

Sharing Christmas Eve with these dear friends
is a new favorite holiday tradition.

Christmas 2022
Two years makes it a tradition, right?
Thank you Chuck and Wendy for a wonderful evening.
You two make an awesome host and hostess team.

Meanwhile, our family across the country was making
sweet memories of their own…
spending Christmas Eve with cousins in new Matching Pajamas.

Of course, Santa stopped by in the night, and since Lizzie was a very good girl,
her stocking was filled with her favorite treats.

Another family tradition is spending Christmas Day
at Great Grandma’s House.

Yep, every year we all gathered for Christmas dinner.
We sang Christmas Carols while cleaning up the kitchen.
We opened gifts.
 And then, everyone took a nap.

At the age of 94, Great GMa is no longer expected to make the meal.
Stacy took on the role of Head Chef, and I, her Sous-Chef.

We did have a special guest.
Susie is an Orphan Cat at the Clinic…
And had the pleasure of spending Christmas Day with a Family.

Remember, the Greatest Gift of All was given
 by our Heavenly Father to his children.

It’s the Gift of his Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Take care,
~Natalie

Friday, December 22, 2023

Christmas Family Traditions ~Lutefisk and Lefse ~Yah, Sure Ya’ Bet’cha

This is the generation that will carry on our Lefse tradition.
It has always been a favorite…and we always make it every year.

There are no words to describe how proud I was of our sons-in-law
for getting involved with the Lefse rolling and turning.

Making Lefse is serious business.

Our favorite recipe comes from Audrey Dressen,
one of my mother’s best friends.

It all starts early in the day with peeling the potatoes,
boiling the potatoes, ricing the potatoes,
chilling the potatoes with butter and cream…
Before forming the potato patties, rolling,
and placing it on the griddle.

This was the last time Grammy was able to travel and
spend the holidays with us. She was so proud of her granddaughters.

She loved teaching them the fine art of making
that Norwegian delicacy.

Perhaps you noticed that the first requirement is
to put on an apron. After all, there is a lot of flour involved.

We didn’t make Lefse last year since I was wearing a neckbrace,
 so you can bet we are bringing out the ricer,
 rolling pin, flour, turning sticks, and the big griddle this weekend.

Now, the Lutefisk Tradition…that is a different story.
It did not catch on with my Hubby and In-Laws.

My Daddy was always in charge of cooking the Lutefisk.
He tested it with that fork, and when it flaked, it came off the heat.
Lutefisk and Lefse, tastes like Christmas.

Since I’m the only one here that appreciates that special fish,
no Lutefisk for me this year, but I do look forward to this.

Rolled as thin as paper, on the griddle, till gently golden brown.

Still a little warm, with butter and sugar.

My Mother will be smiling as she watches over us from Heaven…
Enjoying all the beautiful Holiday Traditions of Christmas
with our loved ones there.

Merry Christmas to You and all those you Love.
I’d love to hear about your Holiday Family Traditions.

Take care,
~Natalie

This is How You Party When You Turn 95

Great Grandma celebrated all weekend. Her Assisted Living Facility hosted a lovely party for her. Hubby and his sister are there by her side...