Monday, October 14, 2019

Family Relationships Summit

A Family Portrait from 2009... Time Flies!

My family and I are excited to get started "attending" the Family Relationships Summit online today through Saturday! Many of the speakers have blessed and challenged me in the past. Want to join me there?! Just click here to learn more!

Friday, October 4, 2019

My Last Grandparent

My last grandparent is now with Jesus. 

What a thrill for Grandpa! He has been failing for several years as he approached and passed his 103rd birthday, so he was ready to leave behind a worn-out body and be with his Lord. But it is still a loss for us. 

It was a special blessing that all five of his children could be with him in his last couple of days - Mom and her sister taking the night shifts.

Grandpa's 100th birthday - 2016
The funeral will turn into a family reunion as all but one of the 18 grandchildren and many of the nearly 40 great-grands will be able to gather. What memories we have as we all grew up within 9 miles of Grandpa and Grandma's village home!

Summer visits included tours of Grandpa's gorgeous rose-beds, autumn filled his apple orchard with a delicious crop at the back of a big, immaculately mown lawn, winter held games of Texas Dominoes or Skip-Bo, and visits in all seasons brought Grandpa's inevitable question (usually in Norwegian), "Is it time for lunch?" (Note: this was NOT the noon meal, but a mid afternoon treat of Grandma's baking plus coffee for Grandpa.) I wonder how many times he had "lunch" some afternoons with so many children and grandchildren to stop by!

Since Grandpa loved classical music, a visit would rarely pass without his asking me to play something for him. I can still see him settled in his recliner at the right corner of the piano soaking up our favorite Norwegian compositions by Grieg, some rich Bach, or a long-winded Beethoven sonata. 

A few of the family at Christmas 2016

Many childhood memories were also made at the lake cottage Grandpa's parents bought soon after he and Grandma were married. 

The last year Grandpa was able to join the 4th of July family gathering was in 2016.

Some sweet memories at the lake are the annual Labor Day camp-outs Mom started years ago.

For all the years Grandpa joined us, he ended each night around the campfire with prayer for his family and nation.

Much has changed since Mom (third from left, back row in photo below) grew up going to the lake at the end of long, hot days of farming. But the love in this growing family has remained rooted in a conviction of God's love for us.

As long as I can remember, Grandpa and Grandma made our birthdays special by coming for a meal and cosy evening together. 

But after moving to the nursing home five years ago, it was much harder to get out. Thankfully Grandpa was able to make one visit to Maren and Jason. He always lit up when we talked about Jason and his greenhouses. Grandpa had to wait many years for his eldest granddaughter to be married!

Grandpa wearing a new kofte (sweater) from Norway - 2016

Grandpa's Norwegian heritage came out more than ever in the later years as he reverted more often to his first language. He didn't begin learning English until a neighbor girl taught him at age four, but his English was some of the richest I heard spoken in everyday life. We will miss hearing Norwegian and praying "I Jesu Navn" along with him. 

Mom will also feel the lack of her weekly visits to feed Grandpa breakfast at the nursing home.

 Last Christmas Eve was a special time for Mom, Dad, Elsa and me to celebrate once more with Grandpa. We had a quiet evening singing Christmas carols (Grandpa sang along a few times!), reading Luke 2, and sharing our supper with a few traditional Norwegian treats before he needed to sleep again.

I'll see Grandpa again when we celebrate all together with our Saviour!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Baby Showers

In a year where we personally know more than twenty new babies on the way - seven of whom are among my maternal cousins (and four of those for first-time parents in their upper 30's), I have my work cut out making gifts!

How special to meet each new cousin - two of whom were named after our grandma Alice!

This Alice first discovered the joy of stuffed animals with my amigurumi polar bear.

Even more special is watching my own niece or nephew grow and kick - though Maren needs more naps in consequence!

When a friend made her every-other-year visit from the east coast, we had a little, early baby shower at the lake. Elsa gave some of her wooden baby hangers sheathed in wool crochet, and I gave a tiny pair of Scandinavian wool mittens made even before Maren and Jason were married!

Time for a rare family photo when we have a photographer on hand!

Monday, September 23, 2019

Soup Season

The days are once again chilly and nights in the 50's. We are wearing wool socks and wool slippers, burning unscented candles, and making more soup again!

The Instant Pot is helpful for cooking up frozen chicken to add to my Lemon-Ginger Coconut-milk soup.

Dirty dishes are endless!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Summer Harvest 2019

Dad's raised-bed gardens flourished once again, and we are eating well!

A delicious salad comes together in minutes by chopping up some cabbage, cucumber, tomato and carrot, and tossing it with some oil, vinegar, and dried herbs.

Besides all we can consume and give away fresh, much food is going into our freezers and canning jars as well. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Summer Project

Here is a sneak peak of a design project I have been working on all summer to prepare for an autumn release with Reywa Fibers.

More later. ;-) But for now... back to editing patterns and winding yarn for kits!