Tuesday, December 21, 2010

We Take Our Cookies Seriously

For many years now, we have had the annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Night with the Johnstons.  The Johnston children are our children, as our children are the Johnstons' children.  We feel so fortunate to have such good friends, with whom we always have good times.

We take our cookies seriously.  No just icing cookies and throwing some sprinkles on them.  Not with this group.  Oh no. 
The decorating has become so serious that the cookies are baked ahead of time (otherwise we'd never get done).  We pull up chairs and start right in. 
As you can see here, Jim is busy decorating a cookie with his tweezers, while John is contemplating the color of frosting he's going to use for his piece of art.
As you can see here, Jim takes decorating Christmas cookies to a new level using tweezers.  In fact, he's an expert tweezer cookie decorator. 
As an engagement present, Rachel was given her own personal pair of cookie decorating tweezers.  Welcome to the family Rachel. 
Almost too beautiful to eat.  Love the angel in a tux.
Please note Andrews Gator and Matt's black heart.  We also have a Rev. Jim Turkey on this sheet.
Here we have Christmas cats, dogs and bears.

While on this was going on, the two Grill Masters were doing prime rib.

We took advantage of having everyone together and did some celebrating.

We toasted Frank and Rachel for their engagement.

We toasted John on his graduation from Portland State University.

We toasted Andrew on his graduation from the University of Florida.

We toasted Sarah on her 18th birthday.  She's the "baby" of the clan, and is now all grown up. 

And finally, we gave thanks for our friendship, love, friends, and the wonderful children who have grown up on us to become wonderful adults. 

Front row:  Edgar, Matt, Jessica, Lindsey and Sarah
Back row:  Andrew, John, Frank (aka Dave) and Rachel

We love you!



Thursday, December 16, 2010

We've Gotten Mail

We have received mail from some of the troops.  In one instance, our boxes were received in a week.  Here are the comments:

"We received our stockings yesterday and I gave them to the Soldiers and
they were so happy that someone thought of them. On behalf of every Soldier in my unit I just want to Thank you for caring about our troops!  Your support enables us to continue our mission and lets the troops know they're appreciated and not forgotten about. So please let all of your volunteers know that each stocking was received with much gratitude and appreciation."

"First of all, we received the stockings and we're all surprised how fast they got here. We'd like to personally thank you for everything that you do to support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. You really have no idea how much it means to us to receive the stockings from someone that we've never even met before. We'd also like to point out that your story was very touching and we wish God's blessings upon you and your family. Please extend our gratitude to everyone that supports Operation Holiday Stockings. This act of kindness which you provide keeps us proud to be in the military and willing to defend our nation. The generosity and professionalism from you and your supporters will forever be etched in our hearts."

This is why we do what we do. 

In total we sent out 1550 stockings this year.  In the six years we have been doing this, we have sent out 6611 stockings.  Not bad for a small nonprofit made up of a lot of volunteers from all over the United States.  Thank you to all of you who help with this effort.  As you can see, it is important that we continue to do this. 

We will be sending stockings out again next year, so start knitting, crocheting, sewing, decorating, and collecting goodies.  We are accepting donations all year so you don't have to wait for the holiday season to get into gear.  There are several of you who knit stockings in the summer months when small projects work best in hot weather, including me. 

Speaking of stockings, one of the volunteers asked if she could use our "official" pattern to make stockings for the kitties at PAWS.  Of course she can, and look at this. 
I love this.  What a fun way to make the facility look festive and inviting for the holidays. 

Not so sure what this kitty thinks of this stocking, but I do know this kitty and all of the other kitties at PAWS would love a new family for the holidays.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Congratulations to Two Wonderful People

Last night I received a text from Frank which just contained a picture.  It was a picture of a lovely young hand with an engagement ring on it.  I knew it was Rachel's hand, and the ring was from him.  I started squealing and got him on the phone to make sure I was seeing correctly.  David ("Dad") and I are thrilled.  We have come to love Rachel as a member of the family. 

Congratulations to David ("Frank") and Rachel.  We love you and wish you many, many years of happiness. 

Mom ("Sue")

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Stockings Are On Their Way!

The stockings have been stuffed, sorted, counted, packed, labeled, and mailed, all 1525 of them.  All of our elves came over the Saturday after Thanksgiving and stuffed stockings.  Believe it or not, it was done in less than three hours.

Even dumping the box of lip balm in the beginning didn't hold back this crew.  The first thing we did was play 700 lip balm pickup.

We used up all of the lip balm, candy, drinks, toys, and games we had.  Here's a box of candy that was donated by Dave in Portland.  When he says a box of candy, he means a box of candy.

While the elves were stuffing stockings, Katie and I were counting so we would have an idea where we stood. 

In the meantime, stockings continued to come in so we most definitely had enough.

Sue and Margaret came with more stockings and they were stuffed. 

Our "a stocking a day" knitter, Susan M., brought in the rest of the year.  She did admit that the wonderful knitters at Stitches of the Heart gave her a hand.  Susan, your daily stockings have all been stuffed and sent out.

Heather and her mom Janell sent in their 67 stockings.  These two dear ladies have been knitting for OHS since 2005.

Betty, who is in her 80's, has been knitting since July for OHS, and sent in these dear stockings.  Each stocking has three little buttons on it.

Angie got together with Betty and knit these lovely stockings for us.

Karen in Arizona sent us another batch of stockings to make sure we had enough.

And fnally, but not least, Lisa knit these for us.  It's hard to tell in this picture, but each stocking has yarn that sparkles. 

This past week David, Katie, Matt, Susan and I have finished up the stuffing, sorting, packing and mailing of the stockings.  A big thanks goes to Susan and Katie for helping me keep my sanity this past week. 

Thank you all who helped with Operation Holiday Stockings for 2010.  Without your help, support and contributions, it wouldn't have happened.


Aerowood Animal Hospital - Bellevue, Washington
Angela L. - Seattle Washington
Angela O. - Seattle, Washington
Anne - Seattle, Washington
Barbara - Appleton, Wisconsin
Becky - Louisville, Kentucky
Becky - Bellevue, Washington
Bernadette - Seattle, Washington
Betty - Seattle, Washington
Bitsey - Olympia, Washington
Cathi - Edmonds, Washington
Charlie - Seattle, Washington
Chris & Leslea - Temecula, California
Cummins Bridgeway LLC - Hubbard, Ohio
Dave D. - Damascus, Oregon
David R. - Portland, Oregon
David R. - Bellevue, Washington
Dave R. - Bellevue, Washington
Dawn - Seattle, Washington
Deborah - Edmonds, Washington
Deb - Shoreline, Washington
Diana - Lyle. Washington
Dr. Reh DDS - Bellevue, Washington
Elaine - Bellevue, Washington
Enaud - Yelm, Washington
Eric - Seattle, Washington
Eastside Knitting Guild - Bellevue, Washington
Gina - Seattle, Washington
Ginny - Hazelhurst, Wisconsin
Harriet - Seattle, Washington
Heather - Molalla, Oregon
Hilda - Seattle, Washington
Hotel Sierra - Bellevue, Washington
Jack - Seattle, Washington
Jan - Barre, Vermont
Jane - Bellevue, Washington
Janell - Canby, Oregon
Jeffrey Johnson, DDS - Bellevue, Washington
Jenn - North Bend, Washington
Joan & Matt - Bellevue, Washington
JoAnn - Seattle, Washington
Joe - San Francisco, California
John - Portland, Oregon
John - Seattle, Washington
Jolaine - Waesca, Minnesota
Joseph - Seattle, Washington
Julia - Alva, Oklahoma
Karen - Glendale, Arizona
Kathy - College Place, Washington
Kathy - Bellevue, Washington
Kari - Bellevue, Washington
Katie - Bellevue, Washington
Katlyn - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Kim - Canon City, Colorado
Ladies of the Elks - Sequim, Washington
Leanna - Bellevue, Washington
Leslie - Seattle, Washington
Leslie - Sequim, Washington
Linda - Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Lisa - Bellevue, Washington
Lisa - Seattle, Washington
Lori - Seattle, Washington
Makalika - Seattle, Washington
Margaret - Bellevue, Washington
Margot - Franklin, Massachusetts
Marina - Bremerton, Washington
Marlys - Kent, Washington
Mary - Arlington, Massachusetts
Mary - Seattle, Washington
Mary - Green Bay, Wisconsin
Maryann - South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Melinda - Grass Valley, California
Morry - Seattle, Washington
Nancy - Corvallis, Oregon
Nancy - Seattle, Washington
Nicole - Federal Way, Washington
Nicole - Seattle, Washington
Pam - Medina, Texas
Patricia - Seattle, Washington
Pro Sports Club - Bellevue, Washington
Rachel - Milwaukie, Oregon
Ray - Bellevue, Washington
Ricardo’s - Bellevue, Washington
Sam - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Sessa - Renton, Washington
Sharon - Bellevue, Washington
Silver Cloud Inn - Bellevue, Washington
Steve - Federal Way, Washington
Stephanie - Bellevue, Washington
Stitches From The Heart - Bellevue, Washington
Sue C. - Bellevue, Washington
Sue R. - Bellevue, Washington
Susan B. - Bellevue, Washington
Susan M. - Lakewood, Colorado
Susan M. - Bellevue, Washington
Terry & Sheryl - Sandy, Utah
Troop 52107 Girl Scouts - Edmonds, Washington
Now, off to do some winter clean up today in the garden, and some knitting for me.