Sunday, December 31, 2006

David prepares for New Year

David brought me a package of microwave popcorn while they were here. The kids each enjoyed a bowl and then David amused us by wearing his empty bowl as a hat. I hope he doesn't graduate to lampshades!

P3 with tower

The kids were here for a couple of hours while Amy went to the chiropractor. P3 wanted me take this picture and post it. Doesn't he look proud of his work?!

Last posts

Somehow, I ended up with two Christmas trees. Both were small fiber optics. One was my mother's last tree and the other was one that Charlie found in the house he is cleaning out. The kids seemed to enjoy them. Actually, they were initially relieved. "We wondered where the presents would go if you didn't have a tree."
This will probably be my last set of posts for the year -if in fact I get them all posted by year's end. I am certainly ending this year in much better spirits than I ended last year. I am feeling so much better and there are wonderful things to look forward to -not the least of which is the birth of another baby niece.

Oh Christmas tree....

Friday, December 22, 2006

Harrison First Pics

Jeremy is a big Star Wars fan. The Harrison part of his name is for Harrison Ford.
Hannah will be the perfect big sister!

Harrison William Stockwell

Harrison William Stockwell was born yesterday, December 21, 2006. He was 8 lbs. 12 oz. and 20 inches long. His first pictures are adorable! What a joy for all to have a new life in the family! How wonderful for Harrison William to have such godly parents, committed to guiding him along the Lord's path.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Train display at Emlenton

Singing chicken

David enjoyed the singing chicken at Fat Chaps!

Emlenton Outing

It was another wonderful excursion day as we set off for Emlenton! We met Dieter at Fat Chaps for lunch and conversation. The room was decorated in trains! The sugar holder on our table was a train engine. The clock beside us on the wall had a train on its face and signalled the hour with a whistle blast! After lunch we headed over to the Emlenton train display which Dieter helps to set up for the public. The most surprising thing for me was meeting Annette, an old friend of mine from the Gibsonia Wal-Mart. She was with a friend checking out the antique stores and they just wandered into the train display. What are the odds of that happening at the same time I am there with the kids?! We all enjoyed the display very much. There is always a list provided of things to find in the display, which is a big part of the fun.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ball Factory and water Pools

This is a sweeping view of the two areas.

Ball Factory

The ball factory allowed the kids to figure out various ways to move the balls through the factory.

The shadow wall

The plumber


The kids all had a great time playing with all the water things.

Rocket man

I think David's favorite thing might have been the rockets. He couldn't reach to load them, but every time he launched one he laughed so loud you could hear him everywhere on the floor.

Rock climber

Joyce pets the lizard

A worker brought out this lizard which was a big hit with all the kids.

Lime Quarry

To the right is a lime quarry. It shows the whole process of digging the rock and sawing it into blocks and loading it onto the train.

Amusement Park

This amusement park is part of the train display. It shows representations from 3 local parks, but Kennywood is featured predominately. All of the train display shows life in the Pittsburgh area from the early 1900's.

Fountain and Balls

This captured everyone's attention as we entered. It was fun to put the balls in the stream of water and see it bouncing on top or arcing across.

Carnegie Science Center

Yesterday, I had the fun of going to Carnegie Science Center with Paul and the kids and Marilyn and Wendell. We all had a wonderful time! The Center has several floors of interactive exhibits that appeal to all ages. Of course the train display was a huge hit. I had a personal tour guide who helped me to see much more than I would have noticed on my own.

Mrs. W's Christmas Tree

Tuesday 4H

Tuesday evening I had the fun of taking Joyce to dinner at Kings, then shopping, and finally to her 4H meeting.
At Kings we checked out the rag garland on the tree- very country- I think it would be fun to make one. We had lots of time, so we went to the Thrift store and the Dollar store looking for small ornaments.
It was so nice to see Mrs. Weaver again and to observe the 4H meeting and Christmas party. Many crafty items gave Mrs. Weaver's home the Christmas spirit. The tree was covered with hand made ornaments and was beautiful. The girls made Christmas ornament picture frames to hang on their trees. There was a gift exchange and all the girls came home with a bag of gifts and goodies.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


What a beautiful day! The sun is shining! The sky is blue! BLUE! Just like in the coloring books! The temperature is 47 degrees. Church was wonderful today. Another good sermon from Vince followed by a potluck dinner. The congregation attendance was down today. Part of that is owing to Julia P. who was born this morning at 7am. She is about a week early. I believe her due date was the 17th. At 8lbs. 4 oz. she has the biggest birth weight amongst her siblings.
On the way home from church P2 spotted Tommy B outside, so we went up to say "hello" and have a short chat. He is doing well. He said that the Christmas tree sales was slow, but maybe if we get a really good snow people will get into the spirit of Christmas. I remember that when I worked at WM the Christmas season would always pick up if there was a bit of snow flying. There was not much snow down by the church. Up here we have a few inches. Every time I see Tommy I think of Eddie B., his father and my cousin. He is the very image of his father. And then, of course, I think of his grandmother, my Aunt Gracie, and I am off down memory lane again...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My neighbor...

I stepped out to get a picture of my car in the snow and saw my neighbor, Doris sweeping the snow off the walk. She is a lovely person! I hope we are neighbors for a long, long time!

Snowy car...

I am not planning to go out until the storm passes and everything is clear for driving and parking. Amy said the roads were ok, but the mall parking lot was not. I am so thankful that I am warm and dry in my snug little cottage.

First Big Snow of Winter

Not the first snow this winter, but the first BIG SNOW! It began early this morning and quickly covered the ground. It is hard to know how much has fallen, because it is so windy and blowing the snow. Amy brought the kids here today. They are so much fun to have around! They sang some goofy Christmas songs for me and I fixed them hotdogs and baked potatoes for lunch. I could hardly believe little David had 2 hotdogs and P2 had 4! Then Amy came in with McDonald's and they ate again. They are surely in a growth spurt.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

P2 and David

Behind them is the track for the incline. There was a bigger train running up near the ceiling that they are looking at. David looked ecstatic! There was a McDonald's train that ran on the main display. Every time it came into sight David pointed to it and shouted, "Bubba!"

Underground Railroad

The store is a caboose car! The display is down stairs in the basement. It was so packed with tiny recreations of life in the USA that no matter how many times I walked around it I always saw things that I missed before! Much of the display is animated. Hot air balloon representations floated over all. The main display was too high for David, so he had to be held to see, but there were windows below that were just at his eye level.

The Thomas Room

Kraynaks is a toy store/garden center. They have a room set aside for children to play with Thomas trains. The kids all loved it, but David cried when we had to leave.

David and Joyce at Kraynaks

I don't know how many displays they had, but all were beautiful. I would like to have lingered at each longer to take it in, but we were in a line and had to keep moving.

December begins...

December 1, 2006 began much differently than last year. Last year on December 1, Dr. Marwaha told me that I almost certainly had cancer, but we could not begin to treat it without tests to verify. I stopped at Blairs on the way home to find Marilyn having a stroke. Marilyn survived, and my doctor was proven wrong, but it was a very difficult time. I quit my job, moved north, and had a number of other health problems to cope with. God was gracious and provided me with much help in the form of family members and all the while He nourished my soul and comforted my heart.
This year, on December 1, I was invited to go to New Castle with P2, Amy, and the kids. We visited Kraynak's where we toured their numerous Christmas displays and then went to dinner and on to the Underground Railroad. It was wonderful fun!


Joyce at mall for WOC

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The guest of honor

Bear baby contest

Keith and John were partners dressing the bear baby. Their wives were the opposing team. The ladies won this easily. The guys...well, they could use some practice.

The tables

The tables looked so festive, especially when Amanda added the balloons. You can't see them in the pictures, but their long ribbons hung down to the table level. The kids loved them- and so did I!

Joyce transformed

Joyce preparing decorations

The baby shower

Friday, after Thanksgiving, we had a family shower for Amy. This was Joyce's idea. I think she is especially pleased that she will soon have a baby sister! We worked together on planning, making decorations, shopping, etc. It was loads of fun and the shower itself was fantastic! We met in the community room at Sunbury Fields, which was just perfect. Everyone brought something to eat and a gift. We had chicken croissant sandwiches, cheesecake, fruit salad, a chocolate fountain, and more. There were games for the kids and for the adults. The bear baby contest was a huge hit, but the balloon relay for the kids was probably as much fun for the adults, who watched, as it was for the kids, who participated. Joyce became Cinderella in a beautiful junior bridesmaid dress. She looked so grown up. [Unless you noticed her feet. She was wearing her little girl shoes and socks.] Many thanks to everyone who came and helped make this a truly memorable event!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hartwood Acres

After Thanksgiving I went with the Blairs to Hartwood Acres where we saw beautiful light displays. Since it was Thanksgiving it was not busy at all. We drove right through at our own pace with no waiting.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Wendy and the buffet

I tend to think of November as a bleak month, at least weatherwise. It is often muddy. The brightly colored fall leaves are gone. The branches are dismal without them. The best thing about November is Thanksgiving. Often, by Thanksgiving we have snow, but not this year. The snow covers the barren ground and makes everything sparkle in the bright sun. The night seems less dark with moonlight reflecting off the white blanket. Even the trees brighten up when lined with white glistening snow. This year, the temperature was far too warm for snow, but we can dream about it. Having family, good food and thankful hearts makes up for any dreariness of weather and we certainly had those in abundance!

November Trees

Remembering November

It is hard to believe that November is over and we are well into December. I did not blog much, but I did enjoy the time! The kids were here a few times. I am spending more time at their house these days, working on special projects. Thanksgiving was great! We met at JJ and Keith's home [my old place] and had a wonderful dinner. Everyone brought something to share and JJ cooked the turkey. The shower we had the day after seemed like an extension of the good time even though we gathered up here at Sunbury Field's community room.

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