Very exciting news for the Wayments

We all had a wonderful Christmas but especially Patricia as Tom proposed to her on Christmas Day. It took place in our living room after dinner so I was filled with emotion when she came running into the kitchen screaming with excitement.  Needless to say the house was filled with complete joy and happiness. Then the calls to grandparents, friends…….

the happy couple

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They are thinking about this fall so Trish and I spent the day looking at wedding dresses and reception centers since I leave next week to go back to China.  It has been a joyous few days with lots of talking and late nights.  I will have lots of time to rest and sleep when I get back to China.

the happy family

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Patricia gave me some Christmas Magic (she just learned how to knit a couple months ago, so she made this  scarf  for me  for Christmas).

Christmas Magic

This year I made a special gift for my family  for Christmas. Patricia had requested a copy of some of my recipes for the last year so I decided to make a little recipe book for everyone. The children were impressed with my computer skills and the cute little clip art pictures that were artfully placed on each page. To top if off my dear  artistic friend Jeanette (Connie’s daughter did the cover for me).  I was so excited to give them the gift so they opened it Christmas Eve.  First we  read the book ” The Christmas Sweater”  which was a perfect opening for the gift. The book says that when a gift is made by hand, all of that person’s love is captured in it. Once they give it away  that love turns into Christmas magic…..

So lots of Christmas magic was passed around,

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Mombo’s Recipes

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Jeanette the artist

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The cover ( I decided to color the Maple Leaf red)

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Christmas decorations

Christmas really is one of my favorite times of the year so I am filled with excitement as the big day approaches. I love to watch my family open their gifts and see the happiness that it brings them to receive a gift they have really wanted.  At times it means  more than receiving a gift.

But receiving a special gift is  also very heart warming to think of the time  and thought that was spent searching for that gift. I would like to share some of my favorite Christmas decorations that I love getting out every year and some that I leave out as I just enjoy them year round. I  have received  all of these from my dear son except the last one that I fell in love with last year.  I guess he knows how I feel about Christmas.

My three Wisemen

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My Santa

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The floral decoration and the frame. If you look closely in the far left picture you can see my children who acted in a live nativity play when we lived in Kentucky.

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My Angel of hope that stays on my dining room table.

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I do believe.

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I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and are able to enjoy both giving and receiving.

Merry Christmas

I would like to share my jingle bell reindeer to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I received it a few years ago from Miss Jill the teacher who I used to work with, and it puts a smile on my face every year at this time when I bring it out. For the last few years I took it to school and was able to see all the children’ s faces light up  when they watched the reindeer do his little song. I miss the excitement of the holidays with the children but have visited the classroom a few times since I have been home which has been wonderful. So I would like to share my reindeer with all of you.

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Enjoy

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It has been great having Mark home and we are slowly getting ready for Christmas. Matt has been very very busy at work and since he is the creator of our Christmas letter it has been put on hold until Matt comes for Christmas. So it will be late this year but Matt tells me it will be worth the wait!!

Nativity Sets

Since I showed Laura’s Christmas decorations and I don’t want to show any favoritism  here is a picture of Matt’s Christmas display.

trip to Canada 067My mom’s nativity scene.

She started collecting the pieces over 50 years ago and would add one new one a year. The pieces seemed expensive to her so many years ago so she just purchased one a year. Matt looked on the bottom of one and saw the 29 cent price tag.

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Here are the three little angels she purchased after her first 3 daughters were born. Sorry Pattie  no angel for you, you were number 4. You can see the angels have been loved a lot.

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I gave mom and dad a happy Buddha to keep them safe.

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My crazy Cannuck family

The first couple days of our visit were cold and snowy. It quickly reminded me why I don’t miss Canadian winters at all.

Here is the home where I grew up. My parents have lived in this home their entire married life which is close to 55 years.

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Dad, Joan, Mom, Matt

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Younger sister Pattie, oldest sister Theresa, and baby of the family Jamie

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Still having fun

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Brother Joe, (#5 child out of 6) and wife Lisa

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Sister Mary (#2 out of 6 children) and her 3 daughters.

Wendy, Heidi, Mary and Emily

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Nieces and nephew

Catherine, Stephanie and boyfriend Jose, Joan, Matt,  Jason and mom

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The new little ones

Joan and Brandon (8 months old) son of Laura’s friend Michelle from university in Canada.

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My great nephew Patrick 22 months old. Mary’s grandson( Wendy’s son)

trip to Canada 047Friends from my childhood and teenage years.

Fran and I were best friends and attended grade school and high school together and just lived a block away.  Lots of laughs.

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Mark and I worked with Gerry at McDonald’s a few years ago!!! We are Wade’s godparents.

Fran, Sharon, Matt, Wade, Joan, Gerry

trip to Canada 060Needless to say we were busy the whole vacation visiting with family and friends. Matt did a great job listening to me tell the same stories over and over of my adventures in China. Soon he can just recite them for me.

My trip to Canada – The true north strong and free!

Matt and I had an absolutely wonderful trip to Canada which includes all the flying that we did. All the flights were on time, smooth and all the luggage arrived in one piece. If I could give an award to the nicest American custom officer I would give it to the Hispanic officer that talked to us in Toronto where we went thru customs. I purchased some  Canadian Olympic clothes which I told him about when asked what I was bringing back to the US. which sparked a conversation about the Olympics and then about the upcoming World Cup Soccer Games and then we were done. I told him that he was the nicest officer I had ever met to which he smiled and said “your tax dollars at work”. I say raise the taxes. Ha Ha

Here is little Helga the Moose who will accompany me to China to remind me of the cold cold winters they have in Canada. Matt got the little marmot who is one of the mascots for the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver in February.

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Matt got a scarf to keep him warm.

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I bought this hat to keep me warm on my walks in China. Hopefully not needed in the apartment.

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Let it snow, Let it snow

This morning I went for a walk in the falling snow. It felt great to be outside and to hear the  familiar sounds that I don’t hear in China

the sounds of a snow plow scraping the streets

the sounds of a snow blower blowing the snow

the sounds of a diesel truck trying to climb a hill

the friendly “Hello” from people outside  shoveling the snow

Oh the simple things I miss when I am in China!

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With all of this I didn’t even feel cold outside.

Matt and I are flying to Canada on Thursday so we can get even  more winter weather. It has been a couple years since I have been home so going to visit my family. I hope my good luck with flying will continue….but who knows.

Decorating Laura’s apartment

Laura and I spent the weekend decorating her house which was so much fun helping make her house festive for the first time.  We picked out a Christmas tree and brother Matt came with his truck to help take her treasure home.

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Laura had enough ornaments collected over the years to decorate her tree.

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her fireplace

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front stairway

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half bath

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Can you tell what Christmas animal she likes?

Baking cookies with Trish

Last week Trish and I made some cookies which brought back so many memories of making cookies when the children were small. This recipe called for making the cookies with pie crust and then just fill the cookies with peanut butter, chocolate chips, jam. Very delicious.

Roll out pie crust

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Use cookie cutters to make cookies

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Fill with goodies and put on top with egg on the edges

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Decorate the top and bake

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Eat and enjoy