Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hectic Holidays

With the hustle and bustle of the Holidays I've gotten behind in my blog posts. Big surprise. Here is our Christmas season in photos. 

On December 9th we drove to Winona to pick up Brian.  He had a big paper due, so we went later in the day.  We hit Lake City and Lake Pepin just in time to see the moon rising over the lake.  A couple of quick pictures and we were on our way again.  Having Brian home for the holidays has been a treat!

When I run out of ideas of what to take my picture of the day of, I look for Christmas decorations.  This is one of many horse ornaments on our tree.

After 4 years of not playing, Billy has decided to play basketball again this winter.  It's in-house ball, they call it "Swag Ball".  Their team is pretty good so far.  It helps to have at least 3 boys in the 6'4" range.  Billy is #34 on the left.  His shooting is rusty, but he's the rebound king....or so I'm told.  I'm just glad that he's got something to keep him busy in the winter.

Back to decorations.  A white bouquet with Christmas light bokeh in the background.

Another rocking horse on my tree.  The days are short in Minnesota this time of year.

Eric's birthday was December 13th, his parents came down and we celebrated his day on the 14th...then headed off to a basketball game.  Billy's playing gives us something to do in the winter too.

 I had seen a cool experiment on Facebook to try with zoom lens.  Tripod, sloooooww shutter speed and zooming out while the shutter is open can give you results like this.  I posted it on facebook and one of my friends said that it looked like the angel was blasting off!

 Back to the decorations.  A rocking horse from 1984...one of the early ones in the collection.

This is one of my little reindeer candles....in the middle of a gloomy day.  It's a welcome event when the days slowly start getting longer.

A "swag ball" picture of Billy shooting a free throw....taken with my camera phone.  Some days I just don't feel like being that mom with the camera.  Basketball pictures are tough though, even harder with a cell phone.  Maybe I should just not worry about being the camera mom.

Part of my snow village.  There are a lot of horses in the village.  Imagine that.  I've been tempted to take a sharpie and fill in some of those beady little eyes on the figurines, but I'm not brave enough.  Why do they make them with such small eyes?  Some of them are creepy looking to me.

I thought I'd share a picture of a typical evening before Christmas around here.  Brian on his laptop, Eric wrapping gifts in front of the TV...usually with the cat sitting on the table keeping an eye on things.  Eric isn't crabby about the wrapping, he's just concentrating.  I do most of the shopping and neatly boxing things up, he does a lot of the wrapping while I'm doing other stuff.  It works for us.

I took some time and baked a few kinds of cookies this year.  These are my favorites, peanut butter blossoms....yum! 

I have made gift jars for my aunts and uncles for a lot of years.  This year I made Holiday M & M Oatmeal bars.  I mixed up a batch for us too...yum again!

We went to my mom's house on December 23rd.  This is her little tree in her kitchen.  Little white lights with red decorations...it is very cute.

There was snow at my mom's, a nice change from here.  I took this picture of frost on a weed in the horse pasture on Christmas Eve morning.  We spent a wonderfully relaxing day with my mom, my brother and his son.  A house filled with love, just as it should be.

 Christmas Day we were at Eric's parents house.  After church we opened gifts and then ate the Christmas feast.  Billy mashed the potatoes, here is a picture of his cousin Becca holding the pot while Billy scoops the potatoes into the serving bowl.  They were cute working together.

We had a family picture taken in the music room.  The boys clean up pretty good...all of them.  It was a wonderful day to celebrate the reason of the season.

We came home Christmas night to open gifts here.  I miss the days when the boys were little and in awe of the day, but I'm loving these days where both boys are home and laughing and just enjoying time together.  Life is good.

Here are some lights on our backyard fence.  It was 52 degrees the day after Christmas.  Unheard of around here.  A 75 year old temperature record was broken.  Crazy.

And last but not least, another decoration.  A new shepherd, or maybe he's a goat herder, for my Willow Tree Nativity set from Eric.  I like it!

Christmas is behind us, the new year is quickly coming...I hope that you've had a wonderful Holiday and are making some fun plans for the New Year.  2012...it's going to be a good one!  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Beginning To...

...look a little bit like Christmas around here.  The garlands are up.  I hang ornaments on my garlands, I like the sparkle.  This one is on the stairs.

These ornaments are on the garland in my kitchen.  I really like how these sparkle.

Our tree is up, it has lights and a shiny strand of beads...but only a few ornaments.  My intentions have been good, but I keep getting little design jobs to do, and work comes first.  I have a collection of Hallmark rocking horses, all stored in their original little boxes.  That means that they all have to come out of their little boxes and tissue to be hung on the tree.  So, instead of tackling it all at once, I try to hang up 10 ornaments whenever I go near the dining room where the tree is.

Ten at a time, until I have a bigger chunk of time...slowly but surely it's beginning to look a little like Christmas around here.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 5, 2011

He Makes Me Smile...and other stuff.

A short and sweet post. This is Billy, sometimes the kid just plain makes me smile.  Brian does too...but this one is going to be about Billy.  Billy was at Youth Group at church last week.  There was a little boy there that has a sister in Billy's group.  The little boy, Will, is a huge E.P. High School Football fan.  He was thrilled to see Billy and ask him all about the big championship game.  Billy had a concussion near the end of the season and wasn't playing, but he was on the field with his jersey on and that was enough for 8 year old Will.  Will wondered if maybe Billy could get some of the autographs from the players on the team.  Billy said sure, he could try.

Will made up two sheets, one that said EP Rocks on the top and Will # 1 fan on the bottom.  The other was a special sheet just for the star running backs autograph.  It said "Will your Bigest fan EP!  Your awesome Larson, Will". Billy got on facebook and asked a few of his team mates if they'd be willing to sign the papers at school...they were.  He tracked them down at school and got most of the starters signatures...and that oh so special autograph from Andrew Larson.  Billy got some good natured harassing...a couple kids teased him that since they were for Will that they were really for Billy himself.  He didn't mind.  At church on Sunday morning the papers were hidden in Eric's jacket sleeve until after the service.  He finally found Will and surprised him with the Autographs.  Will's eyes got really big, he squealed and then leaped into Billy's arms.  It was SO cute to see his reaction...and good for Billy to see just how much a little thing can mean to a kid.  And yes, he does make me proud, and he makes me smile.

He makes his dad smile too.  My photo of the day for Friday is of Eric, I don't take enough pictures of people...going to have to try and change that!

My photo of the day for Saturday isn't of a person, it's of Raspberries!  I'm doing a job that needs a photo of raspberries, this is one of the shots that I took.  I'm not sure if I'll be using this one or not, but I like it.  It's sort of fun to take pictures that will actually be used for something...and more fun when I can eat the props afterwards...yum!

We took a quick trip to visit our folks on Sunday.  By the time we had lunch and watched the Vikings lose yet again, it was almost dark.  I took this picture from under my mom's front porch.  I know it's not a good thing, but she gets the best icicles!

 I spent a little time putting lights on our Christmas tree today.  It's a bad feeling when you are almost done and look down to find a little bulb that had fallen out of one of the strings.  I counted my blessings when I found the empty socket almost right away.  I have to admit, I don't like putting the lights on.  I thought I was done, but then I plugged them in and it doesn't look nearly enough lights.  Sigh.  I better get back to work.

At least the Angel is lit.  My wish for you is that all of your lights work on the very first try.  Thanks for stopping in!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Intermittent Blogger

I'm still here, just not blogging very often.  So, another picture heavy post to catch up with the last, oh, three weeks or so.  Things have been a little busy around here.
Three weeks ago it was still late fall around here.  My little scare crow was still parked on my front step.

 We had a fairly warm, and very dry fall here in Minnesota.  We are very short on rain.  Now that it's December 1st the moisture that does come will most likely be snow.  That thought doesn't seem so bad now...a white Christmas would be nice.

The squirrels have been busy keeping my bird feeders empty.  I don't know if it means that it's going to get cold or if it just means that squirrels like to eat...and eat.

 Billy's football team kept winning and winning until they got into the State Tournament.  Unfortunately Billy got a concussion in practice and hasn't been cleared to play.  I'm glad that they are being cautious with it.  This picture is before the Anoka game...the cheerleaders make the signs and the players burst through it when they enter the field.  It's fun to see what they will come up with each week.  The Anoka Tornado's didn't touch down that night!

 I had some frozen apples in the freezer that needed to be used, it seemed like a good time to make a trial pie before Thanksgiving.  That was my excuse.  It was yummy.

Eric and Billy took some time to do a little last minute yard stuff...like bringing in the bird bath so it doesn't freeze and break.  It's good to have a teenager in the house, I don't have to lift stuff that way.

I took a little trip with 3 girl friends in the middle of the month.  Our girls weekend trip became a during the week cruise.  We boarded the ship in Miami on Monday the 14th and sailed out that evening heading for the Bahamas.

The weather was perfect.  Our first port was Nassau.  We took a cab and then a ferry to a beautiful little island called the Blue Lagoon.  Sun, sea and sand...a perfect day.

Day two we stopped in Free Port.  Our snorkeling tour was cancelled because of the wind, so we had to wing it.  A fun day followed by an unusual sunset.  The best part was spending time with friends.

Our third stop was at the Stirrup Cay...a private Island owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines.  Basically a beach and a barbecue...and time to soak up the sun and relax.  Perfect.

 We arrived back in Miami Friday morning, flew to Orlando, flew into Minneapolis around 4:30, a quick trip home and then on to the Metrodome for the football game State Semi finals.  I got to take pictures on the field, it was lots of fun.  I like this one of two of Billy's classmates...Tyler and Tony.  Eden Prairie won and got to play in the Championship game the following week.  Very exciting to see the home team do so well!

 A busy week meant for a tired Saturday.  The snow was a little hard to get used to after the white sand of the Bahamas.  I pretended that they were sand dunes, not snow drifts.

 I had spent a lot of time editing football pictures, so I didn't really feel like taking my photo of the day, but did take a quick snapshot of my Angel of Hearts.  I liked the way the light was hitting her in the late afternoon.

I had rented a 100 mm to 400 mm lens for the football game and decided to test it looking out of my window.  Very lazy photographer.  I like it...I think.

Hungry squirrel with the big lens...up close and personal.  Hey...drop those seeds you glutton!

Trying to get the house ready for Thanksgiving, I did take a second to snap a little chickadee with the long lens.  Over exposed, but I like how isolated it is.

My great niece Avery was one of our Thanksgiving guests.  If there were cute laws she'd be breaking them! Oh, and happy 50th birthday to me...oye.

Football championship game, on Brian's birthday.  He comes home from college for the weekend and we leave to watch football on his birthday.  Parents of the year.  But he didn't want to go to the game...the Championship Game!  I was supposed to get a pass to be on the field to take photos, it didn't happen.  I used the long lens to take this one of the pre-game prayer from the stands.  The boys managed to win it all...13-3 against rival Wayzata.  It was an exciting game.

My friend Eileen brought me some flowers before Thanksgiving in honor of my birthday...aren't they pretty!  It made it almost worth it to get older.  Almost.

This was my Thanksgiving center piece a few days after the party.  I love the colors of fall and of Thanksgiving.  Christmas will have to wait a few days!

 Sunday night we went to the High School football banquet.  I guess there was a lot to celebrate...the banquet was almost 5 hours.  I'm thankful for padded seats.  Billy got his varsity letter, that was cool.

Little center pieces I had on my little table.  They finally opened up.  I thought they were cute.

Bad lighting makes for a cardinal silhouette....I still like him.  The snow melted.

 My good friend Kris took me out for my birthday so Eric took my picture...it's always wonderful to have girl time!

And last but not least a picture of the end of my Thanksgiving bouquets.  They are fading fast, but that's ok, I've started hauling the Christmas decorations upstairs.  It's time.

Thanks for stopping back, it's always nice to see you here!