Thursday, November 29, 2012

Favorite grandkid photos from our busy family week

My 2 year olds born two months apart.

They are taking in a "show" on the ipad.

Oscar began to call Mabel's sisters "Sisters" just like Mabel does.  Everyone else was "Cousins."

Reading my birthday memory book.

After their day of performing in school programs, we went to Tia Rosa's for dinner.

They love to sit in this tiled nook.

Oscar, of course, wanted to join the "Sisters."

Four of my girls participating in game night.

Before all the visitors began their homeward journey on Sunday, we grilled pizzas in the backyard and celebrated Julianna's birthday.

Stop!  Please stop.  All my grandbabies are growing up so fast.

Doing the birthday clap.

News of her birth in a faraway state brought great joy and rejoicing just before Thanksgiving 4 years ago.

She has provided shine and sparkle to all of our lives.  Her rendition of "I am a Child of God" on Thanksgiving night brought many a tear to our eyes.  We are blessed to have her in the family.

She had discussed her need for a guitar with her grandpa many times.  He, of course, delivered.

Oscar loves a party, any party.  And he loves his cousins.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lemon tree very pretty

One of my favorite things this time of year are the Meyer lemons on my little tree.  A Meyer is like no other lemon. They are not as tangy and very thin skinned.

This year my little tree was prolific.

I treasure my lemons, doling them out slowly.

I have a favorite lemon pizza recipe that we do on a pizza stone on the grill.  I put a lemon along with onion, garlic, and a bunch of rosemary inside our Thanksgiving turkey.  There was a lemon butter sauce for the green beans I forgot to serve.

This year Nichelle also used these lemons to make a pie, a sour cream lemon pie.  It was delicious!  It's the one at 12 o'clock.  Here is the filling recipe.  It makes one pie.

Lemon Pie Filling

6 Tbls cornstarch
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice ( it took 2 lemons)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3 Tbls unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
2 tsps lemon zest

Pre-baked pie crust

Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt in saucepan.
Gradually stir in cold water and lemon juice, then the boiling water.
Place over medium low heat and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Cook until thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Add butter and stir until melted.
Beat egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl.
Slowly beat in about 1/4 cup of the cooked lemon mixture into the egg yolks. Return to pan with rest of lemon mixture.
Stir in the lemon zest.
Return to heat and cook once again until thickened, about a minute longer.
Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes.
Pour into pie shell.

Cover with Sour Cream Topping:

1 cups of sour cream
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Mix together well and spread over lemon filling.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (should not turn brown, will just set up.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Soup and game night

 It was a great Thanksgiving week with all my sisters in town as well as four of my five children.  There was something happening all the time.

Sister Janis hosted a soup bar and game night.

I can never join in on Scrabble.  The three in the back take it waaaay to seriously.  It's intense!

And this is the only game they played.  It has been like this for years.  Why play Skip Bo or Uno or Scattergories when you can show your finesse at Scrabble?

Before it was over, we lined up by generation and took pictures of those in attendance.  These are grandchildren of my parents and are about half of the total number.

Here are their mothers and my grandson Oscar who currently loves getting his picture taken.

Here are the great grands most of whom are mine being I'm the oldest and all.  You might have noticed that tall boy in the middle and say, "Why he was in the other grandkids picture, too."  He is my oldest grandson and it is hard to define where he should be as he enjoys hanging out with my youngest sister, Jolene's two sons.

He is holding the newest member of the family who is just a week younger than my daughter's new baby.  She and her sister in the green shirt are the grandchildren of my sister, Becky.   I love TJ's  gentleness with his new cousin.

And last but certainly not least, those who are in-laws and were brave enough to marry into the family.  As we snapped away I heard someone comment, "So glad to have them in the family enhancing our gene pool."  My thoughts exactly.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Day and Night

We enjoyed a beautiful Arizona day on Thanksgiving.  It was just right for a Thanksgiving meal outside.  My youngest son, Nathan, was excited to dig into the turkey.

Middle son, David brought his lovely daughters.  Somehow I missed a picture of wife, Sally.

All the sides were moved outside as well except for the fresh green beans.  I found them still in the microwave sans their lemon butter sauce after the meal was over.  Everyone assured me that they were not missed.  Green beans anyone?

Aqua blue seemed to be the clothing color of choice.  That's my sister, Janis, in the background.  She also brought half of the meal.

Our 2 o'clock meal found the sun starting to dip to the west.

Happy Mae had her own special chair.  Her cousin Oscar napped through the entire meal!

I was so happy when these flowers bloomed in time for the festivities.

Niece Jenny found a shady spot under the umbrella.

We set up three round tables, deciding that rounds make for better conversations.

I hadn't seen these nephews in a while as they live in New Mexico.  There had been a growth spurt!

Romina was visiting from Argentina, Nichelle from Salt Lake City, and 2nd son Ryan from New Mexico.

This is always my favorite place to dine in the backyard.

Ryan brought his Emilia with him.

BIL Steve is the father of the nephews from New Mexico.

He is married to my youngest sister Jolene.

My Glen worked hard to get the backyard space ready.

BIL Monty is the father of beautiful niece Jenny, and husband of my sister Janis. They are fellow Arizonans all.

Grandpa made sure that his granddaughters were at his table.  That's my empty plate on the right.  It's empty because I needed to take these pictures first.

I'm pretty sure that my children mostly show up for the homemade rolls! There was a decorated basketful at each of the three tables.

Later that evening we all reconvened at my eldest son, Eric's house for pie and Bingo.  Eric and wife Susan not only hosted Eric's extended family for pies but also had Susan's extended family with them for Thanksgiving activities and dinner this year.  All my sisters were in town this year and that means an extra in-law or two as well as friends.

Everyone brings different pies which are labeled then everyone digs in sampling as many as they like.  After pie, those desiring share a talent and then it's on to BINGO.  Glen has over 50 cards and we had almost that many people last night.  There were prizes and many moans as well as cheers.

The highlights of the talent show this year.  Two little three year old girls, Emma and Julianna, who sang their hearts out, Ruby singing with Sadie dancing while Mabel strummed a toy guitar, and Heather playing a first Christmas song on her cello!  So much to be thankful for on a day which proves that family and friends mean everything!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Week for your entertainment

I was able to attend my sweet 1st grader's Thanksgiving program and feast this week.  It was the perfect way lead into my favorite holiday where gratitude and family make for a special day.

I asked her if the "S" was for her name.  "No grandma! The "S" is for Squanto."

As we entered the classroom, we donned our own Thanksgiving  outfits of hats and collars and even beautiful kitchen garbage bag aprons.  Teachers are resourceful souls.

Each student held a letter of the alphabet and gave us quick instruction about this special holiday.

She knew her Squanto part well.

Look at those faces.  I really do love 1st graders.

They are lively and happy and love to learn.

They also sang us Thanksgiving songs set to familiar tunes.

After the program we enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving brunch provided by the first graders' lovely mothers.  If you are ever invited to a 1st grade Thanksgiving celebration, say "Yes."

That evening, I returned because my favorite 3rd grader was also preforming.  She's the cute one in the middle.  You know, the one with the elephant hat.

There were also snakes and crocodiles and other animals who sang and recited one by one "The Elephant's Child" by Rudyard Kipling.  The big screen at the back showed the illustrations each child had drawn and colored to match the story.  The music teacher directed this program which correlated with their social studies unit.

1st grader loved her 3rd grade sister, but even more, she wanted a chance to wear that elephant hat.  Thanks to both of them for inviting me to the fun.