Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thoughts After Christmas

Hello, Dear Friends - I hope you enjoyed your 
Christmas Day celebrations! 

It is raining here in the foothills of the Cascades,
 in Washington State, which signals a return of 
day to day life once again. 

Rain in the 'lowlands' means plenty of snow in the highlands, 
which makes for a pretty scene and 
gives the skiers in the family plenty to get excited about. 

Although, they have been kept pretty busy with the Seahawks
this season! All of my children are die-hard fans. 

So far we have had a mild winter and the ski resorts have not opened yet, 
but after this weekend and heavy snow in the mountains, 
that will change. 

Christmas Day was unusually sunny and mild
and I captured this photo in the morning
before the family arrived for dinner. 

My two 'Lemon' Cypress trees that I found at my favorite 
nursery a couple of weeks ago. 

I have one other that I bought years ago when it was this size....

You can see it to the left after I transplanted it to a large pot. 

These are lovely evergreens that need a bit of shade in the summer,
and are quite happy in pots. 

My table umbrella provides this one with shade in the summer. 

A bit of gardening trivia when I am missing my time outdoors! 

I want to thank all of you for your Dear Christmas Wishes, 
especially for my daughter, Heather, who I am 
happy to announce, did spend Christmas Day with us. 

Her wonderful doctor stayed on duty through Christmas
Eve to get her ready for release, albeit with a 'port'
in her arm for intravenous administration of 
her antibiotics! A home health nurse came
to her home on Christmas Eve to teach her and
husband, Eric how to administer the medicine
themselves, so she can be an outpatient. 

We have to give gratitude to these dedicated
medical professionals who daily go above and beyond
for the well-being of their patients. 

I put Doctors and nurses right up there - one step below the Saints. 

So here she is, on the far right, with some color in her cheeks finally,
and a big smile on her face. 
These are 'my girls', from left to right. 
 Erica, my son Gabe's wife, (our soon to be new Mommy),
my youngest daughter, Jennie, 
my new daughter in law, Jen (Dustin's wife),
and our little patient, Heather, complete with big red bow. 

These are three of my favorite guys,
Eric (Heather's), youngest son, Dustin in his 
Seahawks Christmas sweater, and son, Gabe. 

I can't tell you how happy these smiling faces make me! 

My daughter, Jennie, snapped this of my favorite guy
and me. xo

He has been my sweetheart since I was 13 years old - 
we have spent 45 Christmas' together! 

I still have the ID bracelet with heart charm that he gave me
that first year. <3

We have been very blessed!

But with picture time over, it was back to work! 

Here I am rolling out biscuit dough to serve with dinner -
glasses perched on top of my head. 

The 'girls' set the table....

We always begin the meal counting our blessings. 

Everyone has a favorite one to share, 
and with the New Year just around the corner, 
we share our hopes and dreams for the coming year. 

Then we open presents (we draw names at Thanksgiving). 

Even the pup-dogs get treats <3. 
Weenie-Baby, my daughter Jennie's mini-dachshund. 

Everyone gets sent home with a plate of food,
 two of my decoupaged candles,
 and a big plate of cookies. 

You can see that I had to bake plenty! 

Now the clean-up is done, the house is too quiet, 
and the Mr. and I are relaxing for the weekend, 
holding sweet memories close to our hearts. 

It was a wonderful Christmas. 
Even the paper-whites bloomed on time! 
(They were so strongly scented that it was a bit much at times!)

Now it is time to look back on the year we leave behind, 

and make plans for the new. 

(Can you see the tiny hummingbird on the Alder tree branch?)

Time to make those New Year's Resolutions. 

In these quiet hours, I will be thinking of mine. 

I know one of them will be to pay closer attention to 
the beauty and blessings around me. 

I had the strangest dream last night. 
I dreamed that I was gathering up pennies that 
were falling from the sky! 

Pennies from Heaven! 

I found this poem when I researched what that could mean....

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground.
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I found. 

Found pennies come from Heaven.
That's what my Grandpa told me. 
He said Angels tossed them down, 
Oh, how I loved that story!

He said when an Angel misses you
They toss a penny down, 
sometimes just to cheer you up
to make a smile a frown. 

So don't pass by that penny
when you're feeling blue,
It may be a penny from Heaven
That an Angel tossed to you. 


Here's wishing you Pennies from Heaven in the coming year, 
Dear Friends! 



  1. so glad your daughter was released and even had home-care instructions for her and her husband! wonderful! your biggest blessings are each other. :)

  2. So pleased that Heather improved enough to be at your place for Christmas Day. I trust she will take very good care of herself every winter now. It sounds like you have some pretty special health professionals. I can not imagine being that well cared for around here.
    Enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.

  3. So happy your daughter is home. I hope she continues to do well. Pneumonia is scary, my daughter caught it two Christmases ago. You look adorable in your adorable kitchen. xoox

  4. You are also lucky to be together for son long.

  5. Hi Karen! A very Merry Christmas to you and your family! I have to look back at your last post as I was unaware that your daughter wasn't well. So glad to hear that she was with you on Christmas and that she is feeling better! She looks stunning as do all of your sweet kiddos!! And the girls did an outstanding job on the table! Love that you and your sweetheart have been together that long! It makes for the richest story of love and life! I can feel the happiness pouring out of this post and how strongly you love your family! Here is to many blessings in the new year...especially that new baby!!! All the best pal! Nicole xoxo

  6. Yes, you have many blessings for sure, Karen. Thanks for sharing their pictures and yours,too. My late beloved hubby and I were sweethearts from when we were 14. Oh, the memories and blessings I have with four children and seven grands.
    I'm happy for all of you that Heather was able to join the festivities. You have a wonderful year ahead, Karen.

  7. Hi Karen! Merry End of December to you! We are visiting at the Jersey Shore. I found a penny on the beach this afternoon. Maybe from an angel? Have been praying for your girls. Glad they are on the mend!
    Blessings for sure, m & jb xxoo

  8. Good evening, dear Karen. Your Christmas with your loved ones sounded wonderful! What a blessing to be surrounded by your children their spouses. I am very thankful to hear your daughter is feeling better! I will be praying she has a complete recovery.

    Thank you for sharing your loveliness with us - you are a joy! Love and hugs to you!

  9. Dearest Karen,
    That was for sure another blessed Christmas day with family complete. Next year there will be new life added to the clan!
    We all pray and hope for continued good health and blessings from above; God granting us to grow old together. A scary thought at times...
    You looked so happy; radiating from your face. Yes, the joy of cooking large volume is always great and there is plenty of food left to share and to have some quiet, relaxing time à deux.
    Hugs to you and enjoy the final Sunday of 2014.

  10. Such beautiful Xmas pics of your family. I'm so glad you were all able to be together. Those treasured memories are worth everything.

    I love when you share about your Mr. too. I can feel the love jump off the screen & relate so as my hubby & I have been together since we were 16 & the way you grow up & share in so many ways like that...I think it's rare & so special.

    I said a prayer for your daughters & for your whole family to be blessed with great health in the New Year and that those pennies from heaven rain down to bless you all.

    Thx Karen & Happy New Year. XO

  11. I had to laugh at your son's Seahawks Christmas much going around about the ugly Christmas sweater!!LOL! loved all the photos and the penny poem. Hugs!

  12. It was wonderful that your whole family was able to gather together for Christmas at your beautiful home. You have a beautiful family, and I'm glad that Heather is on the mend and was able to join you. I loved the shot of you and your Mr ... that's sweet that you've been together since you were 13!! But the shot of you baking is priceless too. I bake with my hair tied up and barrettes holding back the strays (not a pretty sight ha ha!!). Enjoy the rest of your weekend Karen :) Wendy x

  13. Hello, I came across your blog from "Writing from Scotland". I love seeing your photos of my beautiful home state of Washington. How I miss those majestic evergreens and the rain. I now live in Southern Calfiornia where there's always sunshine but Washington will always be my real home. I left Gig Harbor five years ago. I wish you and your beautiful family a very Happy New Year.

  14. I am going to follow you. I almost bought some of that golden, weepy cypress , golly it was so expensive, I passed. I bet you just clip it along the road. Well you are all set for Christmas, ,I am late at everything visiting friends in the hospital. Happy new year. yvonne

  15. I am so glad your daughter got to join you on such a beautiful day! You all look as though you had a wonderful time - and how lovely to leave with those biscuits and gifts. We have had a spot of snow here which I found out to my cost this morning has turned to ice - I have been ordered to rest today after falling straight onto my back and banging my head. Snow is lovely but soooo dangerous! Have a wonderful 2015 xx

  16. Your Christmas with your loved ones look´s really beautiful and warm...lovely pictures from your Christmas time!
    Best wishes to you from a cold and snowy Sweden & Titti

  17. What wonderful family photos and look how cute you look with your sweetie and in the kitchen with your apron on. I love the pennies from heaven poem. How makes me feel happy. Hugs, Diane

  18. I hadn't known your DD was ill; I'm so glad she was able to be home with all of you on Christmas. I love the family photos, esp that one of you and your husband. He looks as though he adores you! What a wonderful thing, to be sweethearts since the age of 13! Isn't it wonderful to have the whole family together? Looks like you had a very special time together.
    And what a wonderful dream. It must mean something quite nice, I think.

  19. Dear Karen
    Nice to hear about your christmas and your family!
    Lovely mountains- you have made a great phtoto of it.
    I have never seen a lemon cypress- have a nive colour.

    Happy new year!

  20. Dear Karen,

    I am so happy to read that your children and especially your daughter Heather, managed to spent Christmas with you! You look so happy on the photo's. A beautiful photo of you and your sweetheart too. Oh to be together for 45 years. Lucky you!!

    Wishing you and your family a Happy and Magical 2015. Wishing you pennies from heaven as well!


    Madelief x

  21. This was such a lovely post. Your family is beautiful and looked so happy. I love the views you have from your home. It's lightly snowing here today. Happy New Year.

  22. Karen, I have had that penny poem for many many years, and it's a favorite. What a wonderful post this is. You have such an attractive family with bonds that can't be broken. You know, the hummingbird is my beloved bird, so when I saw it at the end of the post, it made me smile big. Look at all those cookies, oh my, I bet you're tired. Jess does most of the baking at Christmas time, and gives goodies to family and friends. Wow, 13 years old when you met your husband. I was sixteen - we were sooo young, weren't we? I finally got to see your sweet face behind the lovely blog that I visit often.

    I wish you peace and lots of love in the new year. We are blessed, indeed. I hope the new year shines for both of us, my friend.


  23. So glad to read you had all your girls with you for Christmas! It must have been very noisy and very happy!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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