Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

This evening I took this picture of our front door lit with the Christmas lights. We have a little celebrating to do in the days to come! Memories of Christmases past are in my mind, resulting in nostalgic thoughts for the little children I used to have and the family and friends who are no longer with us. Of course what's important are the little children of the present and the future. I can't wait to see Gabriel and Scarlett and watch them open their presents!

My friend Dee's daughter Jasmine was married Thanksgiving weekend; there was a bridal shower a couple of weeks ago. Here is Jasmine opening the T shirt quilt that I made last summer. The T shirts were a wonderful collection of memories for Jasmine, as Dee had saved them from all the years that Jasmine was growing up. I enjoyed making the quilt and then to see her now as a young wife taking it to her first apartment with her husband. Jasmine's husband is in the army, stationed right now in Austin, Texas. She joined him there this

On the crafty side, here is my latest Baby Surprise sweater, headed for a little boy living far away. I love this pattern; I've made several of them now. They take about a week of easy knitting, and are always fun because I love to see how the colors and stripes work out. There's very little finishing because the only sewing is a short seam across the shoulders.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas, 2006

Merry Christmas and blessings for the coming year. We hope this greeting finds you all well. We are doing really great!

On March 4 our older son, Tom, married Kelly in Orlando, Fl., and it was a very happy wedding day. Further good news is that Kelly is now expecting with a baby due to arrive in May! Their baby will be our third grandchild. Tom and Kelly live in Hoboken, New Jersey, and work in New York City.

In April we traveled to Cebu, the Philippines, with a group of Jackson residents to attend the opening of the Lingap Center, an orphanage founded and supported by Jackson residents.

While there, Tony was able to reconnect with high school classmates, and also to see his family. It was a wonderful trip.

Our grandchildren are the joy of our lives. Our older grandchild, Gabriel, son of Marta and Steve, lives in Stevensville, Michigan. Gabriel is two and a half years old. Scarlett, daughter of Cathy and Sasha, lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois. Scarlett is 20 months old and so wonderful.

Tony continues to stay busy with his volunteer Hospice work at the State Prison Hospital where he is a spiritual counselor with dying inmates. His blog of his prison experiences can be found at:

Joan continues with English tutoring plus lots of hobbies.

Life is good. We wish you peace and send our love for this holiday season.

Tony and Joan

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Perfect Gift
Many people love shopping, but not me. My friend Dee can find unique and special items for gifts. She always comes up with just the right color and size of something you've been thinking about for months. I wish I could do that! I love to buy special things for people that I care about, but to find just the right item is not easy. In December as the days count down to the holiday, stores are so crowded with frantic people carrying lists, shopping on a deadline, pushing their carts, and waiting in line behind twenty other people in the same situation. This is not what I want to do!
However, I believe I have found just about perfect gifts this year for my two grandchildren, and you can see the pictures here. Gabriel at 2 1/2 loves cars, trucks, tractors, and trains. His favorite movie is "Cars". My gift to him is this Lightning McQueen car which talks and apparently can be programmed to do almost anything. I can't wait to see his face when he opens it.
Scarlett's gift is a "Language Littles" doll named Young-Hee. This doll speaks both English and Korean in a very clear and real voice. The doll already speaks many sentences in both languages and more can be downloaded from the internet. Since Scarlett is learning both languages from her parents, and Young Hee is a lovely soft doll, I think it is the perfect gift for her. Now Scarlett is 19 months old, but when she is five, maybe she will look exactly like this doll.

If only I could come up with perfect gifts for everyone! Really, the only perfect gift would be peace on earth, and this I wish for everyone!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Twins

Please meet the Park twins, Avery and Connor, who live near Atlanta. Kelly has a wonderful friend named Stephanie who was a bridesmaid at Kelly and Tom's wedding last March. At that time Stephanie was pregnant with twins and here they are! I find twins so amazing! I can only imagine the daily care that is involved with parenting two babies at once. I decided to knit matching sweaters for Stephanie's twins, blue (of course!) for Connor and pink for Avery. In today's email I was so pleased to receive these pictures of Stephanie's babies modeling the 5 hour baby sweater.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sugar Drop Cookies
Here's a very easy cookie recipe. I found it years ago on a baking soda package. I think I started making it when I was newly married over 40 years ago. Sometimes I put a walnut on top and other times I put chocolate chips; also they can be baked plain or sprinkled with colored sugar for the holidays.

2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine (I use margarine)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg.
Put the butter or margarine in a large microwave bowl, heat for one minute until margarine melts. Add sugar, vanilla, and egg and mix together. Then add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix very well. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Form into 1 inch balls, press on a greased cookie sheet, and flatten. Add walnut if desired. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 8 or 9 minutes until a little browned on the outside.
These are very nice with a cup of coffee or tea!