We had a very enjoyable holiday over the last few days. We did do a little driving, but not terribly much. It takes about 3 1/2 hrs. to drive to Jackson, MN, where we gather for the Hansen group. We were there in plenty of time to help with the meal set-up for the ~25 people who could make it. The food prep is all shared by the families, and sister-in-law Jean has a big open home that can accommodate all of us sitting down to eat at once. We spend the afternoon visiting, playing card games, snacking, and then we have a little Christmas "service" that is our tradition. Complete with reading the story of the birth of Jesus, candle lighting and singing of carols. It is memorable and important for all of us.
After the hubbub of that gang, we spent the next day in relative quiet at the home of my parents. They live about 30 miles away from Jackson. My mom loves to cook a traditional meal, so we had ham and turkey and all the fixin's together with my brother and sister-in-law. Ian, Ben and Brita were with us, but because Ian had been up the night before with a bad croupy cough, they decided not to risk staying overnight and took him home to his own bed. Thank goodness, his cough improved and we were so glad for that.
On Christmas Eve day, Ian needed a babysitter since both mom and dad had to work. So he came to visit us for an overnight! How lucky can we get?! We had such a good time playing, learning, exploring and entertaining each other. Brita and Ben joined us Christmas morning, and we had a good lunch of several appetizers, salad and a tray of cookies and candy for dessert. We tried to learn a new game, Farkle, during naptime. I know it's a pretty popular game, but we found it a little hard to follow and none of us had ever played before.
Ian looks a little sad below, I think he was not happy because he knew he was leaving Grandpa and Grandma! But he did get to go home and open up a bunch of other presents, so I'm pretty sure he forgot all about us quickly!
Yesterday I was putting away some of the Christmas wrapping supplies, and found a favorite old album on the shelf. This was from about 1979 or 1980, a singer, Nicolette Larson, that I really liked. I would like to hear it again, especially her songs Just in the Nick of Time and Dancin' Jones. This was music that I would put on the record player and turn it up when I was cleaning house, and it made the job much easier! I wonder what happened to Nicolette? She was partly responsible for my daughter's middle name, Nicole.
I finished some quilting on this quilt yesterday--
I don't remember the pattern but I will find out. It is going to be a class at Bear Patch this winter. I quilted it simply with a flower pantogram. Here is how a pantogram works--
It is a stitching diagram printed repeatedly on a roll of paper, laid on the table that supports the longarm. Normally, those white rollers would be holding the fabric of the quilt. You can see the needle at the top of the picture. On the bottom right, the little blue thing is a laser light clamped to the carriage of the machine. You can just make out the little red light on the paper below it. As I steer the machine to keep the laser light on the stitching line, the machine is running and the needle is stitching on the quilt fabric. This is a good functional way to do some quilting that gets the job done faster than most freehand designs.
And that's the lesson for today!
P.S.--sorry for the weird picture placement and spacing, having a few issues with them not following my directions! They are all supposed to be appearing in the center of the page, according to my formatting, but something is not lining up correctly!