Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thanks Gifting for Gregg's Birthday

My sweet husband's birthday is October 30.  Rather than be sad and just sit at home, I decided to use the day to thank those who were kind to him in his last days.  Using Sweet Sugarbelle's pretty Autumn color palette (http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2012/10/pretty-autumn-color-palette/), I created a  Fall collection of leaves, pumpkins and acorns.  What better way to say "thanks" than to use Thanksgiving colors? 

The elongated pumpkin with a curly stem (tucked into the very top row) is a new cutter from our son's family.  I believe Kendra picked it out especially in remembrance of her Grandpa's garden and the magnificent pumpkins he grew.

Since the cookies are for the nurses at the hospital where my husband spent eight days, I added scrubs to the collection.  The same cookies will be going to Hospice for responding to his needs so quickly and supporting me in those final hours.  The wonderful team of nurses in both locations could do very little medically, but they treated Gregg with compassion, eased his pain, and even made him smile.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

I wish Gregg were here to blow out his candles and hear the little ones sing. Instead, this year we look to the stars and reminisce about his birthdays past. 

In the end, it is not the number of years in your life, but the life in your years that matters.
Happy Birthday, Big Guy . . .  Love and Miss You.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Off to a Baby Shower

These little elephants are ready to make an appearance at a baby shower.  Can you guess the sex of the baby?  Ok, even if you didn't read the "It's a girl" cookie!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins

Yes, this is a blog about cookies, but those of us who craft these sweet creations know it is really not that elementary.  It is more about the people behind the cookies.  The key ingredients are love, support, friendship, and memories rather than sugar and flour. We create them to welcome babies, celebrate birthdays, honor accomplishments, and sometimes . . . to ease pain or sadness.   I've been out of the kitchen for a few months following the loss of my husband to cancer.  I just couldn't make cookies until now.

Gregg had a huge garden and loved to drive the grandchildren out there with his lawn tractor and trailer.  Kendra, Kylie, Jack and Ben would fight for a position on Grandpa's lap or snuggle together in the trailer.  The grandkids didn't eat the tomatoes or onions but were so proud when they appeared on the dinner table.

Gregg also planted pumpkins each June and watched them grow in anticipation of Columbus Day weekend when our son and daughter would bring their families out to the lake to harvest the pumpkins.  The little ones would select the pumpkin they wanted for themselves and which ones they thought their parents should have.  It was surprising that no one argued or fought over pumpkins.  Once one was claimed, they would simply search for another.  We loaded them into the trailer, hauled them to the house, and made a big production of washing and lining them up.  It was our favorite Kodak moment, capturing beautiful fall colors and the joyous interaction between cousins in cherished photos. 

At the end of this special weekend, each family would drive away with their four pumpkins. . . tall, chubby, squatty, and monstrous.  Later in October, we would get pictures of everyone carving them at home and the final jack-o-lanterns staged on front porches.

Unfortunately, this is our last Fall Harvest of Grandpa's treasures.  He left us 14 huge pumpkins and 9 buckets of the funkiest gourds, but we had to collect them without Grandpa.
Here is what the girls did with their pumpkins this year.  Anna always tries to match the costumes that the girls will be wearing.  Quite creative, wouldn't you agree?  It's Belle and a butterfly fairy.

Kendra and Kylie helped decorate a few of the pumpkin cookies earlier in the month.

Aren't they the cutest assistants?

Little Kylie refers to me as "Cookie Grandma."  How could I not return to the kitchen and live up to my name?  I decided to make pumpkin cookies for the Women's Club bake sale to honor our fall family tradition of Gathering Grandpa's Pumpkins.  I kept it simple.  My only requirement was that they had to have happy faces . . . to remind me of all the blessings I gathered with Gregg.

Peace, Joy, Cookies . . . and Memories of Gregg