Friday, December 19, 2014

Glimpses of Christmas

I love decorating for Christmas. Over the years I've collected quite a few decorations, and many have special meanings! Here's a few "Glimpses of Christmas" around the Pavone home.
These little Christmas trees are probably from the late 50's. They were always on display in my parents house, growing up. My mom gifted them to me in 2002.

This beautiful white Christmas tree was made by one of my mom's best friends, Dot, in the 60's. 
It was always one of my most favorite Christmas decorations so I was thrilled when 
my mom gifted it to me in 2002. Look closely and you will see it is made of all different shapes of macaroni noodles.

Hand drawn cherished Christmas Cards made by my dad, dating back to the first year he made them, 1976-2000, and the last year he made them, 2002. He made them for everyone in my family and my sister's family each year; they are treasured by us all!

I made these stockings for our first Christmas after we were married in 1978. 
They are so big it takes a lot of stuffers to fill them. 

I made this Christmas Tree Advent Calendar for our first Christmas in our first house, 1979.
 Individually wrapped candy canes count the days until Christmas Day. I made many more of these Advent Calendars for friends and family. I also made one for each of my kids' families. Our grankids love putting the candy canes in the calendar pockets.

Another of my first Christmas decorations for our first Christmas in our first house, 1979.

My mom made this Christmas bunny family for us in 1981, the year our daughter, Nicole was born!

My very dear friend, Judie Provansal gave this treasured Christmas tree puzzle to me the year our daughters were in kindergarten together, 1986. Our daughters met taking dance lessons together, starting at age 3, and they are still friends today! Judie was a 5th grade teacher and I watched her daughter Emily during the year of kindergarten. I think of Judie with such love and am reminded how precious life is. Judie went to be with our Lord when my daughter and Emily were 11. Her two daughters, Emily and Nicole have grown into beautiful women of faith.

Another of my mom's cute handmade Christmas creations

 A new "Crazy Eights Table Runner" adorns my dining room table this year. 
(I finished quilting it before Thanksgiving.)

My newest Christmas decoration. For years I had a Santa cookie jar (in which we put doggie cookies not people cookies). The Santa was retired last year since it had a few too many chips.

A favorite of mine!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas 2014

2014 has been another wonderful year!
We have much to be thankful to God for, our health,our retirement,
our family and friends. We really enjoy spending time with our kids 
and grankids, and we see them as much as possible.

 The grankids, of course, are growing like weeds: Gigi is 7, and in 2nd grade; 
Brody, 4 and Hallee, 3 are both doing preschool with mom; 
Micah is 4, and in preschool, and Seth is 18 months and just running all the time! 
They love to learn and love for us to read to them. They often climb into our laps, especially Papa's, with a bunch of books to be read!
When we all get together it can be crazy and chaotic but loads of fun, too! As they say, 'young kids are exhausting,' and yet, we are so grateful for 
our family times and the love we share.

We enjoyed a lot of RVing (almost once a month) and did more traveling, too. Highlights of the year:  Jan: Las Vegas @ the Bellagio; March: RV'd in Arizona for Spring Training;
May: RV'd in Pahrump, Nevada for Nick’s firearms class;
July: Virginia for a week;  July 31-Aug 11: camping at Lake Almanor with the gang, 4 couples, our adult kids and 22 grandkids;
and Nov: our annual beach camping at San Elijo St Beach
with family. 
Our big trip of the year was a 2 month (Aug 11-Oct 8) USA RV Trip traveling with friends through 17 beautiful states in northern America: CA, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, No Dakota, So Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and back home! Seeing America was a dream come true; there was such diversity and beauty everywhere we traveled. The memories we brought home will last us a lifetime.

Yes, 2014 was a very good year! 
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas filled with God's Blessings!

Love, Karen and Nick

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My First 10 on 10: November 2014

For quite a while my daughter, Nicole, over at GidgetGoesHome has joined with Rebekah at a bit of sunshine posting 10 pictures on the 10th of every month to showing beauty in the ordinary. I thought it would be fun to give it a try and give you a few peeks into my day on the 10th:

Little moments go by all too quickly; it's nice to remember them!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Exploring the USA

We took our first USA RV Trip with our good friends, Sue and Bill, (and our dog, Sydney, of course!). Our wonderful journey started on August 11th when we left Lake Almanor in Nor Cal.We returned home on Oct 8th, 2014.
(we drove to the top of Pike's Peak in Colorado)
We spent 8 1/2 weeks on the roads of northern America in our 40' RV, towing our jeep, on our trip of a lifetime (the first of several such trips).
Nick and I have camped our entire marriage. We started camping in a tent, before we bought a camper. After the camper, we owned 2-travel trailers (18" and 24"), 2-Class C motorhomes (22' and 28'), 1-Class A 34' motorhome, and 2-diesel pusher 40' motorhomes. We have always talked about seeing and traveling through all the states of the USA.

Last year we bought our USA map (those of you who camp have seen the USA maps on the sides of RV's). On it, we put the states' stickers for the states we traveled to in 2013 in our RV: California, of course, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.  Now our USA map has 19 states' stickers, only 29 more states to go, 30 if we take our RV to Alaska!

Here's a look at our trip by the numbers:

We traveled 17 states:  (18 states if you count driving 20 miles through Arizona!).

We visited and or/traveled to:

*** 38+ American cities/towns

*** 6 cities visited friends

*** 8 National Parks:
    Glacier National Park
    Yellowstone National Park
    Theodore Roosevelt National Park
    Badlands National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Arches National Park
    Bryce National Park
    Zion National Park

*** 26+  Points of Interest and National Historic Sites, including:
    National Bison Range, MT
    John D. Rockefeller Memorial Pkwy (the road between Yellowstone and Grand Tetons)
    Little Missouri National Grasslands, ND
    Mt Rushmore National Memorial, SD
    Custer State Park in the Black Hills, SD
    Crazy Horse Memorial, SD
    Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, SD
    "Wall Drug," SD
    Jefferson Expansion, St Louis Arch Gateway to the West, MO
    Anheuser Busch Brewery and Budweiser Tour, MO
    Branson. MPO
    Air Force Strategic Air Command and Museum, NE
    Holy Family Shrine Chapel, NE
    The Mall of America, MN
    Minnehaha Falls, MN
    Harley-Davidson Museum, WI
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    Vesterheim - Norwegian-American Museum, IO (both Sue and I are Norwegian!)
    Covered Bridges of Madison County, IO
    United States Air Force Academy and AF Cadet Chapel, CO
    Pike's Peak, (14, 115') CO
    Garden of the Gods, CO - National Natural Landmark
    Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, CO
    Grand Mesa outside of Grand Junction, CO
    Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, NV

*** 4 baseball parks: Minnesota Twins, Target Field; Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park;
               St Louis Cardinals, Busch Stadium; and Kansas City Royals, Kaufman Stadium

*** 33 RV parks, including 3 state park campgrounds and 2 city RV parks

*** 28 days/nights of rainstorms with thunder and lightning, like we've never seen in southern California! Everywhere, along our trip, locals told us it was the "wettest" summer in years, which we can attest!

***12 audiobooks listened to along the way

*** 2,000+ pictures taken

*** and 8,600 miles put on our RV and 1,500 miles on our jeep.

America is so much larger than we imagined, with the most amazing beauty, vastness and diversity of the terrain. We saw green rolling hills, lush foliage and forests;
many rivers, including the Missouri River, the Mississippi River, the Arkansas River and the Colorado River; waterfalls: many lakes and the very Big Sky of Montana; the wildflowers; glacier, hot mineral springs, and geysers;the brilliant blue skies over America with the clouds almost close enough to touch; the beautiful sunsets;
the sunflower fields, as well as the endless fields of sorghum and soybeans, and corn fields; Hoodoos (spires); the plains; the many mountains, including the mighty Rocky Mountains; and many different wild animals, including: American Bison, Elk, Prone Horn Antelope, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer, Prairie Dogs, bear, chipmunks, ground squirrels, and Mountain Goat.

We drove on two lane highways, interstates, back roads, and dirt roads; throughout National Parks; through small towns and large cities; in the middle of what seemed like nowhere, alone on an interstate and stuck in traffic (YES! there is traffic outside of California, although shocking, I know!); used 4 GPS's and a good old-fashioned Atlas, at one time, to guide us along our way, sometimes finding a "different" way to get to our destination. We drove on sunny clear days and through some torrential thunderstorms; had warm weather and some really cold weather in the fall (woke up to 27 degrees in Bryce Canyon National Park); through the plains, over the continental divide several times, and over the Rocky Mountains via the Independence Pass, 12,096 ft.

To see more of our trip check out  my flickr page !

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Spring Training 2014

We RVed the month of March in Arizona for Spring Training. It's become an annual trip for us, staying once again at Pueblo El Mirage Golf and RV Resort.

We met up with friends and family, played some golf, rode bikes, took walks,visited most of the spring training baseball fields, and enjoyed a lot of baseball games! 
Here's some highlights.

We also visited the Fire Museum in Phoenix, the Hall of Flame

To see more Spring Training 2014 pics, go to my flickr page .

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Thank You, Lord,
for a costly cross...
an empty tomb...
a triumphant Savior...
and a heart set free
for all eternity!

Joy and Peace to You this Easter
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57

Thursday, April 17, 2014

OPAM 2013 - 19 Finished Projects

  • We did a lot of traveling in 2013.  
  • Consequently,  I didn't finish as many projects as I did in 2011 and 2012. 
  • I did, however, work on several of my UFO's so they are closer to finishing and completed a couple! 
  • Yea me, for progress!!

  • No projects finished in January, but I worked on several.

  • I completed this "Cape Cod" Large Lap Quilt for my daughter, Nicole, in bright and sunny yellows and teals. I love the movement in this quilt, and backing it with minkie makes it so soft and cozy!

  •  Another completed project was a "Night and Day" Lap Quilt for Lisa, a long-time friend (pattern is an Eleanor Burns' pattern) made of two pretty batiks.
  • We spent the month in Arizona for Spring Training in our RV. 
  • I was able to sew on 2 family quilts, when we weren't attending baseball games or golfing, but No Finishes.

  • I made this diamond baby quilt called "Big Top" for our youngest grandson, Seth. Angelina (DIL) picked the pattern and the fabrics, which are similar to his big brother Micah's quilt.

  • I also finished a Hand Knit Scarf for my daughter that matches her fingerless hand warmers, modeled by Nicole!  

  • MAY
  • I made a Set of 4 Napkins,
  • a Minkie Ni-Nite with Satin trim, for my grandson, Brody; and
  • a Minkie Ninny (sm blankie) with Satin trim, for my grandson, Seth!
  • I also made another Hand Knit Scarf for my friend Donna!

  • JUNE
  • I made myself a "Strings" Lap Quilt last year, and Angelina (DIL) loved it. So I made her one, her first quilt, and backed it with soft and cuddly brown minkie.

  • I made this "Friendship Hugs" Lap Quilt for my friend Sue, for her birthday. This pattern has quickly become one of my favorites to make. It's a simple pattern made mostly of 2.5" squares but looks great.  Sue's quilt is made of batiks!

  • No Finishes this month. We were on vacation in Northern California, Oregon and Washington. I did work on a couple of UFO'S in our RV.

  • I made a Blanket Sleeper, a gift for a friend's Baby Girl, 
  • a Set of Napkins for our RV, and
  • two Summer dresses for Me!

  • I finished a Hand Knit Shawl for Me (that matches a long dress) for our Australian/New Zealand cruise.

  • We were Cruising Australia and New Zealand for three weeks!!

  • I made another Baby Blanket Sleeper gift for a friend's new baby,
  • a Set of 8 Placements for Nicole and family, (as seen with two of the cutest grankiddos!!)
  • and two Christmas Stockings for baby Seth (one for mommy and daddy's house and one for Yaya and Papa's house).

  • I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I complete a creative project, especially one that has been patiently waiting for me to finish it!  Best of all, I feel such gratitude that I am able to share my creativity with others.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"OPAM 2012" (One Project A Month) - 42 FINISHED PROJECTS

  • I had even intention of being more timely with my blog posts. But in years past, time has flown by more quickly than I anticipate. Here we are at the end of March and it's been 3 months since I posted anything. Time to catch-up, with some recaps of projects I have made!
  • I hand-crafted many projects in 2012. Not only did I sew 13 quilts, I also made a few table toppers, clothes, costumes, fabric-books for the grankiddos, a variety of baby items for gifts, and several knit items. 2012 was a productive year! Here's a look of my projects and a few pictures!

  • JANUARY (1)
  • (1) Flannel Nightgown for Gigi (ankle length)
  • FEBRUARY (6)
  • (1) "Moose Junction"  Lap Quilt by McKenna Ryan
  • (1) Moose "No Trespassing" Table Runner by McKenna Ryan (all machine applique!). This one is ised in our RV and fits nicely on our credenza.
  • (2) Toddler Bibs for my two grandsons
  • (2) Toddler Knit Beanies for my grandsons
  • MARCH (1)
  • (1) "Strings for Spring" Lap Quilt (my original design)
  • No Project Finishes-Made lots of Blocks for's Boomerang Swaps!
  • MAY (1)
  • (1) Pajama Shorts for Micah's Birthday!
  • JUNE (4)
  • (1) Hawaiian Firecracker Mystery Table Topper
  • (1) "Northern Stars" Table Runner, Paper Pieced Stars
  • (1) Princess Pillowcase for Gigi
  • (1) Fleece Blanket Sleeper (gift for new Baby)
  • JULY (1)
  • (1) "Summer in California" Lap Quilt (my original design)
  • AUGUST (3)
  • (1) Baby Swaddle Blanket
  • (1) "Beach Cottage Stars" Lap Quilt for a great friend

  • (1) "Dreaming of the Beach" Lap Quilt for Gigi
  • (1) "Twice As Nice" Baby Quilt, for my Great Niece, Eva, born in Sept 2012
  • (1) Baby Swaddle Blanket
  • OCTOBER (6)
  • (1) Cowboy Vest for my grandson Brody
  • (1) Camo Bib for my furture Great Niece
  • (1) Camo Burp Cloth for my future Great Niece
  • (1) "Twice As Nice Baby Quilt for my Great Niece, Olivia (born Dec 2012)

  • (1) "Play Ball" Lap Quilt for Dan
  • (1) Fleece Blanket Sleeper (gift for new Baby)
  • NOVEMBER (3)
  • (1) Pair Knit Fingerless Hand Warmers for my daughter, Nicole
  • (1) Maxi Tiered Skirt for Gigi
  • (1) Bright n' Cheery Memory Lap Quilt, for my cousin, in memory of her mom
  • DECEMBER (13)
  • (1) Doll Dress to match the Tiered Maxi Skirt for Gigi's baby doll
  • (1) Christmas Apron
  • (1) Quick Trip Christmas Lap Quilt (an UFO quilt top from 2008!)
  • (1) "Friendship Hugs" Tossed 9 Patch Lap Quilt (an UFO quilt top from Nov 2007!), a Christmas/Birthday gift for my dear friend, Susie
  • (1) Sampler Lap Quilt for my aunt
  • (1) King Size QuiltStory.blogspot's BOM Sampler Coverlet for my mom
  • (2) "Count by Numbers" Soft/Fabric Books
  • (2) Capes for Role Play for my 2 grandsons!
  • (3) PJ Bottoms for my grandkiddos.

Onto the projects of 2013!