Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas was a bit low-key this year.  We didn't even really take many photos.  It was a quiet day - filled with love and family... but the camera didn't make much of an appearance this year.  Here are a couple of photos... just to prove we actually did celebrate... especially "Skittles" as you can see by the photo below!
 John in his new robe and jammies... with Miss Coco

Went with colored lights on the tree this year.  It was nice for a change.
We hope your Christmas was Merry & Bright!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Very Ya Ya Christmas

This year it was my turn to host the Ya Ya Christmas Party.  I had a great time planning the evening, decorating the table, and preparing for Miss Brenda's birthday!  There is never a dull moment when my girls and I get together - and there is always a ton of laughter and fun too.  This evening was NO exception!

Happy Holiday's to Everyone!

My tablescape for the evening
A little mood lighting
My girl Adrienne & Me
 Adrienne, Laura & Kathy
 Jamie & Adrienne
 Miss Brenda preparing the soup
 Adrienne, Jamie & Laura during present opening
 Miss Brenda with the birthday present I gave her
Laura made the cake and INSISTED on putting ALL the candles on to account for Brenda's years.  It was hilarious! 
A little photo editing fun with Piknik in Picasa

Monday, December 6, 2010

And The Winner Is...

This is the photo we chose for our 2010 Christmas Card.  I love it when Laura takes our photographs.  She ALWAYS makes us look GREAT!  Thanks my friend... you're the best - and I love you!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Family Photo Shoot

Last weekend we took family photo's for our Christmas Card this year.  Our friend, Laura Peterson, is an amazing photographer.  She always makes us look SO GOOD!

Here is a "sneak peek" of some of our favorites - but none of these "made the cut" for the actual card. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving and hope you did too!  Here are a couple of photos from our day with family.  It was a small gathering this year, and fairly quiet... but that was nice for a change.  Just relaxing, and eating and visiting and eating...

 Our niece and nephew - Erin and Joe

Richard's sister Kelly - her husband Jay - and Richard

The men standing guard by the turkey!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My New Front Door

Our home was built in 1946.  It was the first home in the neighborhood.  We replaced our front door when we first moved it.  To that point it was a double door.  Cute - but not my style.  We replaced it with a mahogany door with fan light on the top... but that didn't help the glass block that were in the wall on either side of the door.  I've never liked the glass blocks installed in this way, as they looked "just stuck" there.
So, I asked our friend Robin Wengert - owner of Green Rising Construction - to take a look and see if he could come up with a design that would transform my entry hall.  We discussed framing the glass blocks, but then Robin came up with an idea... here he used painters tape to show me what he had in mind.  I was sold!
Green Rising Construction believes in recycling, re-use, and sustainable building.  Robin carefully removed the trim from around my front door so that we could re-use it in the house if ever needed. 

I could have never imagined the amazing transformation awaiting my return home from work one evening!  Using mahogany trim he created a frame for the door and glass blocks.
It's like a completely different door... and definitely a spectacular entry way! 
In the space above and below the glass blocks, a blank space was created.  We discussed different options for the space.  Together we decided that glass tile would complete the look - and he helped me choose a color combination that would compliment the color of my door, and the entry hall. 
The glass tile is partially made from recycled glass - which I thought fit in perfectly with Green Rising Constructions belief in sustainability. 
I couldn't be more thrilled.  I keep walking into my entry hall and staring at my gorgeous front door.  What a work of  art!  Thank you Robin for adding beauty to my home!  (Check out Green Rising Construction on the web -

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Genealogy - Sentimental Sunday - No. 59

This is my Dad and his Mom, my Grandma Julia.  Based on when my Dad was born, I would say this photo was taken in late 1920 or early 1921.   

Been thinking about both of them a lot lately.  My Grandma Julia's birthday would have been last Friday - so she's been on my mind. It would have been her 108th birthday.

So, Happy Birthday Grandma... and I love and miss you Dad!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Image found here

I'm not quite sure where the last two weeks have gone.  We've been crazy busy - and I feel a little like the Tasmanian Devil above.  Life is good - we're still alive - but all of sudden we're almost halfway through November and I haven't updated the blog since Halloween.

Can't believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away - and Christmas will be fast on her heels.  I am so NOT ready for the holidays this year.  Haven't even started to think about our Christmas cards, and by now I usually have about half of our Christmas presents purchased.  Oh My!

Well, I best get off the computer and get my rear-end in gear.  Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween - Sentimental Sunday No. 58

Halloween 2007

We've always enjoyed Halloween. John really loved it, and enjoyed going trick or treating when he was younger. Now, he still likes to decorate for the holiday - and we usually make a pretty cool display in our front yard. But, this year we're not quite sure where October went... so there's not much going on out there.

Anyway, here are some photo's from Halloween's past. Wishing everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary

Twenty-six years ago today - we met.
Exactly three years later we were married in front of our family and friends on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
Each year we celebrate our love.
Each year we celebrate our joy and happiness.
Happy Anniversary to us.

... And they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Davis Washington Austin - Sentimental Sunday No. 57

Davis Washington Austin ~ 1827 - 1903

Davis Washington Austin was my 2nd Great Grandfather.  He was the father of my Great Grandmother, Anna Elberta Austin - who I wrote about last week.
Original Certificate of Marriage

D.W. Austin married Amanda Seals in 1847.  They lived in Butler Alabama until they moved to Pensacola, Florida - where he worked at the Naval Yard.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he worked there building ships.

When the war began he organized a company of soldiers to join the fight, with himself as captain. Unfortunately for him (or perhaps very fortunately), the people making the decisions decided he was too valuable to the Southern cause as a ship builder and he was detailed to the Naval Yard building ships for the South. After the war he returned to Butler County.
Reverse side of Marriage Certificate - listing family births

Davis moved to Birmingham in 1871 and remained there until his death in 1903, at the age of 76. He was a contractor and builder, the Jefferson County Corner, a deputy sheriff, the jailer and in his later years engaged in real estate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anna Elberta Austin - Sentimental Sunday No. 56

Anna Elberta Austin was my Mom's maternal grandmother; my great grandmother. She died when I was almost four, on August 12th, 1963. She was born on October 30th sometime between 1868 and 1871. She lied about her age her entire life, and even erased her year of birth, and those of the two children before her, in her parents records.

Graduation Photo, circa 1888
Anna Elberta Austin, seated first on left.

I don't personally have a lot of memories of her, because I was so young when she died. But, I do have little glimmers here and there. I do remember she was always very nice to me. And I remember her little black coin purse that she would take out and open up to give me a quarter when she saw me, always saying "Let's see what Danny Bert has in her purse for little Cindy".  (We all called her "Danny Bert". My Mom was the first grandchild and she couldn't say Grandma Elberta; it came out "Danny Bert" and that's what she was called from then on.)

I can tell you is that she was a formidable woman.

** She worked in Washington D.C. for General Pershing.
** She marched with Susan B Anthony for the right to vote.
** She was with the Woman's Temperance League to bring about Prohibition. Although I was recently told by my cousin Nona that she had an ulterior motive for doing so. Her husband was notorious for going on "benders" and leaving her and the kids alone. So, she wanted to bring about a stop to those escapades - and wanted a chance to go around to the bars to try and find him.

I recently visited her grave in Santa Monica, CA. I wanted to pay my respects to her, and document where she is buried.

She was a strong woman, perhaps a little crazy - based on some of the stories I've heard, and a woman that wasn't afraid to speak her mind.  I admire her fortitude of spirit and her willingness to speak up for what she thought was right.  And, as a woman who has the right to vote - I'm thankful for the work that she and so many others did in those days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fun Trip To So Cal

Last weekend I went to Southern California to visit family and friends. It was a quick trip that was filled to the brim with love laughter and happiness.

My specific reason for going was to spend time with my cousins and to interview my cousin Nona. She is the matriarch of our family and I wanted to interview her on camera about our family history and her recollections of the Depression and World War II. It was amazing; she was amazing. I'm working on putting the movie together. Should be about 30 minutes long. She was fantastic.

Here are some photos of my adventure -

My good friend, Lamarr and me.  We've been friends for 28 years.  Obviously we met while still in diapers!

Had an opportunity to have dinner with my friend Mario and his girlfriend Becky.  Mario and I went to grade school together.  Haven't seen each other in 17 years.  It was a blast!

Here are some of my cousins - Left to Right -
Jasmine, Blakely, Nona, Kim, Mikki, Molly and Me

My cousins Ron, Mikki and Kim
Mikki is holding one of two of her new granddaughters - Pandora

Four Generations Photo -
On the right are Molly and Dicky - They are Mikki's kids  They both made her "Grandma" this summer.  On the left is Ali - she is Dicky's wife.  She's holding their baby Pandora.
Mikki is holding Molly's baby, Lila.  And Nona is in the middle.

Baby cousins meeting each other and saying HI !

Mikki, holding Lila, Nona and Molly.

My good friend Carol and me.  Carol and I have known each other since second grade... you know... just a couple of years ago!
I couldn't have asked for a more perfect trip.  Everything went so smoothly.  It was so fun to see Lamarr and Carol - it's been too long.  And my day with my cousins - well I couldn't have imagined that day to be MORE perfect. 

Thanks for memories everyone!  Love you all!
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