Thursday, December 6, 2018

Really Random Thursday, 12/6/18

December! This year seems to have just flown by.

We began this week with an early family Christmas present. Earlier this year, we saw that Lion King was coming to Fresno.
Mark and I have seen it three times--twice in Los Angeles and once in San Francisco. So it's safe to say that it is one of our favorite musicals. This time all four grandkids are old enough to enjoy it as well.
The music is beautiful, but the costumes are the most amazing part of this show. The giraffes are my favorite.
After the show, the cast was raising money for some good causes, including one here in Fresno.  Gabe told the actor playing Pumba that Pumba was his favorite. Pumba, in turn, said Gabe was his very favorite audience member. I loved that, as at age 7, Gabe still happily believes it to be true.
It was such a wonderful afternoon. Time spent together with family is my very favorite gift.
One of the largest churches here in Fresno, Peoples Church, has undertaken a major building project. They have a very large sanctuary and additionally a beautiful chapel. I have photographed quilts in front of each one--those will be separate posts.

Anyway, they decided that they wanted to add a children's center. In the same place as the chapel! So...they decided that moving the chapel was the best option. Gabriel keeps telling us that he wants to be an architect, so Mark thought he might enjoy watching the process that goes into moving a building. For weeks, Mark has been picking him up from school every other Thursday and going to check on the status of the move. They have watched the cement pad being poured in the new location. They have watched the facade around the front pillars being removed. They have watched the building being jacked up and big steel beams put underneath it, on eight dollies (one of the TV stations called them "holy rollers"--ha) in preparation for the move. During all this, Gabe has been completely fascinated, and has even met some of the project managers. I think they were impressed with his interest.

Finally, this week they were able to watch the move begin. The chapel weighs 220 tons and is 8,000 square feet, and they are only moving it 340 feet.

This is a series of photos from a video by a local TV station.

Gramps had to document this as well.
Gabe even got a t-shirt! I think he and Gramps have enjoyed watching this (probably) once-in-a-lifetime event.
And I no longer have to be the helper in hanging the Christmas lights outside. Levi has taken over my job!
We took him to Red Robin for dinner after all that work. Being the baseball fan that he is, this was his favorite item on the wall of the restaurant.
We found this nativity set that Mark made probably the first year we were married--and gave to my parents. My father doesn't really have space in his room for it, and I'm thrilled to have it in our own family room. All the pieces fit together in the manger like puzzle pieces, making for easy storage. I love its simplicity.
I finally made this little pillow for Mark. His heart still belongs in the state of Minnesota.
And just in case you were wondering...

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Really Random Thursday, 11/29/18

I hope all of you in the US had a lovely Thanksgiving.

For the last several years we have started our Thanksgiving day with a turkey trot, the entrance fee being two cans of food for the church food pantry.

It always takes a long time for trees to show their fall colors here in the central valley, but when they do, they are spectacular.

It was a good morning for a two-mile walk (I've never done the longer five-mile). I still push Ella in the stroller--two miles is quite a distance for little legs.

Just a random picture of crazy hair.
It's an invigorating way to begin the day--a little exercise before all the fabulous food that comes later.

A few days before Thanksgiving, Gabe designed his own dot-to-dot, a four-part masterpiece complete with a color key. Aaron, Christa, Charlotte and Levi each had a part that they needed to complete. With instructions to return by November 21.

It was quite complicated. And when all the parts were finally set side to side, this is what it looked like. I was quite impressed.
A fun tradition is the cute placecards that Grammy makes each year with the grandkids.
Charlotte is learning how to do lettering and used her skills this year.

The kids table has expanded to seven.
Charlotte, now that she is in junior high, has graduated to the adult table.
For the third year in a row, Gabe has also provided the entertainment. Two years ago he formed a band with his dad and siblings. Last year it also involved music. This year he was a stand-up comedian. He is always entertaining.
Mark and I left on Saturday morning for a weekend in San Jose. Our first stop was the San Jose Quilt Museum. I need to remember this for a future photo op.
I forgot to get the information on the quilter who made this--it was my favorite.
This was made by Margaret Black--the matchstick quilting provided beautiful texture.
This has so many tiny pieces, made by Maria Shell.
Yarn bombing outside the museum.
After checking into the hotel, we parked the car and didn't get into it again until we left on Monday morning. A holiday tradition in San Jose is Christmas in the Park, 550 (yes you read that correctly-550!!) decorated Christmas trees. We wandered around during the afternoon, with plans to come back in the evening.
We found this planter filled with snow. Oh, wait...of course it was really just cotton--a disappointment to this Minnesota boy.
We wandered through the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel.

We had pizza for dinner, where I spotted this bottle of wine with a quilty label.
When it got dark, we went back to see the trees.

The trees are all decorated by community organization, schools and churches.  Ordinarily this tree would not have gotten my attention. This year, it has an entirely different meaning.
We had a late-night snack in our hotel of this delicious brie. So yummy.
On Sunday, my birthday, we did turn the car on long enough to take this picture. So weird when your car reminds you of your birthday.
The main reason we came to San Jose this weekend was to see Darci Lynn, the 2017 winner of America's Got Talent--an incredibly talented ventriloquist who is only 14 years old!! The venue was right next door to our hotel, a beautiful older auditorium called the City National Civic.
The show was really great--if you have a chance to see Darci Lynn, we highly recommend it.
We ended my birthday with a fabulous dinner at Original Joe's, a restaurant nearly as old as me, started in 1956. We had pasta, and when Mark told the waiter it was birthday, he brought vanilla and pumpkin gelato. We sat at the bar and were able to watch the chefs prepare the food--Mark even picked up some good ideas which he has already tried. :)
Levi had his orchestra concert.

And of course we have been bombarded with ads, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. However....we have tried to heed this advice. How about you?