Bruce & Betsy Blais
Richardson, Texas USA

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We did an number of special things in 2012, including viewing the Impressionist Exposition at the Kimble, the Chihuly exhibit at the arboretum, and the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition In addition to the special things we did in 2012, here is a description of a few of the routine things going on through out the year. These included holidays, birthday parties and other fun events.

Winter Weather

In the past, some of the winters have given us a lot to talk about, weather-wise. Other than having a warmer fall, more rain than normal, and a 1" snowfall on Christmas Day, the weather this year was rather normal.

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Zach's Birthday

Another February and another birthday for Zach. This year it was at Tim's place.  Below is a shot of the family warming up for the festivities.

More happy faces getting warmed up.

Another dice game was introduced this time. Everyone kept rolling until they got a double and then passed the dice. If they were passed to you while still rolling yours, you were out.

Then there was the old "pick the magazine" game.

After the games, it was time to do the candles.

Then came the cake and ice cream.

And finally, there was the gift opening.

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Below is a photo of Betsy next to a Clematis getting off to a good start. 

Bruce at the other end of the yard.

Holly and Bret clowning around in the kitchen.

The family assembly at the table for Easter dinner.

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Spring Time

Here is a shot of the back yard from the doors to the deck. 

The wet spring got everything off to a good start in 2012.

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Tim's Birthday

Tim had another one in 2012, just like every year. here is a shot of the family just before dinner less Betsy and Bruce.

After dinner, it was on to the gift opening.

The most significant gift was a book of old hymns given to Tim by his mother.

After opening gifts, it was on to cake and ice cream.

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Impressionist Exposition

In June, Betsy and Bruce went to the Kimbell to see the Clark exhibition of impressionist paintings. Here they are at the entrance to the exhibition. Photos inside were not permitted.

There were 73 paintings in the exhibition include 21 Renoirs and six Monets, along with works by Degas, Manet, Pissarro, Sisley, Morisot, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and other prominent French painters of the period. This was the only US presentation. A rare treat indeed.

Church Dinner Group

Bruce's Birthday

The year 2012 was a milestone for Bruce. It was the year he turned 65. The birthday celebration started out with party food, drinks and conversation.

Betsy went all out for this one. here she is on the right with a good friend and neighbor, Molly on the left.

After socializing for a while, it was time for some serious eating. We maxed out the dining table again with 14 dinner guests. 

Following dinner, it was time for games. Here we are trying to pick up peanuts by sucking on a straw and dropping them in a Solo cup. This is a timed event, and the person with the most peanuts in their cup when time expires wins. Since there were so many guests, we had to do this in two shifts.

After picking up peanuts with straws, it was time to roll the dice for prizes. In this game, there are three plastic bowls with a pair of dice in each. You roll the dice, and if you get doubles, you get to pick up a prize. You keep passing the bowl around the circle until time runs out. At that point, you open the package and see what you have won. The prizes are gift cards and cash. 

With the games finished, it was time to open gifts.

The evening wrapped up with the traditional birthday cake and ice cream. Betsy made two cakes, white and chocolate, just to make sure everyone had a choice.

Betsy pulled out all the stops for this birthday and it was one of the best ever.

Parker County Peach Festival

On July 14th, Betsy and Bruce finally made it to the Parker County Peach Festival in Historic Weatherford, Texas. They had been trying to go for years, but scheduling conflicts and work kept getting in the way. Well, 2012 was the year they finally made it.

One of the first stands they came to had home-made canned goods. Friends Paul and Molly picked up some apricot jam and Bruce got a jar of local honey.

You can't go to a Peach Festival without having home-made peach ice cream. The local ladies started making ice cream in June, and by the night before the festival, had over 500 gallons made. Here is Bruce, Betsy, Paul and Molly smiling at the prospect of digging into some home-made peach ice cream on a hot day.

Like ice cream, you also have to check out the peach cobbler. Here is Paul, Molly, Betsy and Bruce enjoying cobbler.

There were hundreds of street vendors. Here is one of the festival goers trying on a new straw shaped by a local hat maker (left).

Lastly, it was off to the Farmer's Market for peaches. Here is Betsy checking them out. There was ample rain this year and the peaches were great.

On the way out, Betsy took a moment to socialize with a couple of parrots at the Farmer's Market.

Dallas Arboretum

Betsy and Bruce normally go to the Dallas Arboretum each spring for "Dallas Blooms." This year they went July 17th, later than normal, that year because of all that was going on, especially the Chihuly glass exhibit. There are 26 "keepers" in the photos they took, so sit back and enjoy. Some were taken just before sunset and others later in the evening as they made their way through the exhibit.

The shot above is Betsy at Ginsburg Plaza with the "Mexican Hat & Horn Tower." The benches give an idea of the size of these glass sculptures.

Here is Betsy on a bench in the Fern Grotto with the "Blue Martins and Turquoise Reeds."

Bruce and Betsy in the Jonsson Color Garden with "Silvered Red Bamboo."

Betsy with the "Tiger Lilies" in the Jonsson Color Garden.

Glass "Niijima Floats" in the garden with the naked, necking couple sculpture.

Above is the entrance to the Woman's Garden with the "Yellow and Scarlet Asymmetrical Towers."

A close-up of one of the "Asymmetrical Towers."

Above is "Mirrored Hornets" in one of the reflecting pools in the Woman's Garden.

"Neodymium Reeds" in another one of the reflecting pools in the Woman's Garden.

"Float Boat" and "Carnival Boat" in another one of the reflecting pools in the Woman's Garden.

Betsy with the "Aqua Blue and Amber Chandelier" in the Poetry Garden.

Above is "Persian Pond" artwork at the Grotto.

"Citron Green and Red Tower" at the DeGolyer Octagon Fountain. The woman standing at the base of the sculpture gives an idea of its size.

"The Sun" (above) in the Red Maple Rill. This is a large piece nearly 10' across.

"Red Reeds" in the pond in front of the Alex Camp house.

"White Belugas" at the entrance to the Lay Ornamental Garden.

"Flori Sun" in the Lay Ornamental Garden.

"Blue Bulbous Reeds" in the Lay Ornamental Garden.

"Neodymium and Blue Reeds" at one of the water-walls in the Lay Garden.

"Pink and Blue Martins" at another one of the water-walls in the Lay Garden.

"Turquoise and Clear Eelglass" at another of the water-walls in the Lay Garden.

"Blue Fiddleheads" (above) along the Passeo de Flores.

"Red Fiddleheads" along the Passeo de Flores.

The DeGolyer House (above) along the Passeo de Flores.

Another photo of the "Mexican Hat & Horn Tower" (above) at Ginsburg Plaza later in the evening.

"Blue Icicles" at the Cissy Thomsen Welcoming Water Wall.

The Chihully exhibit was remarkable. If it ever comes to your city, don't miss it!

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Betsy's Birthday

Betsy's birthday started out at JumpStreet this year. She is not your typical grandmother.

Below is a photo of Betsy jumping on one of "linear trampolines". She had a trampoline as a kid and still have some good moves.

Next, it was off to Holly's place for the gift opening.

After the gifts came cake and ice cream.

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Twin's Birthday

A month later, it was the Twins turn at having a birthday.

Below is Chrissie and Holly with Bruce. 

Things kept rolling with the gift opening.

Finally, there was cake and ice cream.

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It was back to our house for Thanksgiving in 2012. New this year was Bret's girlfriend Taylor.

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Dead Sea Scrolls

In December, Bruce, Betsy, Molly and Paul took a day trip over to Ft. Worth to see the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit. 

This was a very interesting and educational experience, one that exceeded expectations.

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Ariana's Birthday

In December, it was Ariana's turn for a birthday party. Here she is opening gifts with her boyfriend Colin and sister Alissa.

After opening gifts, it was cake and ice cream.

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This year, the house was decorated, inside and out, like we had done for years except we had the kids and grandkids over to help out. We really appreciated that because we tend to go over-the-top in decorating.

Below is the traditional Christmas Eve photo by the tree.

Ms. Claus (Betsy) preparing Christmas "brunch".

Below is "Ms. Claus" with grandson Brett and daughter Holly.

Below is s photo of the "clan" having "brunch".

After everyone had something to eat, then it was into the family room for the gift exchange. Individual families do their exchanges in the morning and then come over to Grandma's to exchange gifts with the rest of the family.

Right after the gift exchange at about 1:30 PM, the snow started falling. Below is Alissa and Ariana having fun in the snow.

It snowed for about 2 hours. When it was done, there was about an inch of accumulation. The snow melted on contact with paved areas as the ground was well above freezing. You can see the stone portion of the patio is clear and wet.

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Version 1.3, December 26, 2012