So indulge me in Texas family pictures, as I recall how nice it was to be around grandsons again, even though Luke was sick (and whiney) for the last couple days we were there.
While Luke was sleeping and parents were away, Austin kept me company, and made this crown just for me, saying he wanted it to look like a quilt. He told me I was the "quilt queen." Of course I loved it.
He's a six year-old cutie-pie alright!
On his last school day before Christmas break, we went to his first-grade class's party. The kids do a musical chairs book exchange - one for girls and one for boys.
His classroom is small and jam-packed with 22 students (995 kids in grades pre-K through 5). I found the new way of learning math to be really interesting, recalling that we were told not to use our fingers to count. I remember sneaking to do it anyway. See number four? That "touch math" is a new concept. Times have changed.
It was enjoyable spending time with Luke (he'll be three in January) this trip because he's starting to outgrow some of his demanding ways. Getting his hair cut hasn't always been a good experience, so I went along... and enjoyed seeing how mom Lyn keeps him entertained.
I got a huge kick out of watching him make faces in the mirror! This lower lip thing was truly funny, and one he kept trying to repeat.
In fact, the next day he was trying it again, and we were sharing funny faces with each other.
We had so much fun as I tried to copy him that he couldn't keep that lower lip stuck out.
Then we'd both dissolve into giggles. I'm so glad we could have this goofy time together before he got sick... and then wasn't nearly as happy.
Dan and I met up with our formerly-from-Iowa Texas friends at wineries along highway 290 - specifically enjoying tastings at Pedernales Cellars and Becker Winery. Lunch and some window shopping happened in the charming, historic city of Fredericksburg. It's roots are German, and at the MarktPlatz we saw this German Christmas Pyramid. It's 26 feet tall, with moving parts, and was very pretty against the cool winter sky.
We sought out Quintessential Chocolates that sells bite-sized bits of chocolatey goodness filled with wine from local wineries. A couple small boxes came home with us.
We were with our friends for too-short a time, but I gifted Patty the Retreat Bag I made for her. This is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags; I bought all the hardware from that shop. The bag looks and functions much as a man's shaving kit.
One of my favorite parts of this bag is the zipper pull. It's a nicely-weighted metal rectangle that says "handmade" and was purchased from Emmaline Bags. Patty says she plans to use this when she travels.
My sweet daughter-in-law made sure I made it to Austin's The Cloth Pocket in it's new location. The outside of the building is so "Austin." I came home with knit flamingo fabric for a new top.
That pretty much wraps up a good visit with family. Now that we're home, I've begun cutting and sewing another project, and I'm writing my next blog post about the results of, and thoughts about, entering three quilts into QuiltCon. Linda