Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Prank For All Seasons

The First Noel, the angels did say
was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winters night that was so deep
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel
N-O-E-L or is that L-E-O-N?
Yes, the prankster struck again! Josh, Susan, and Sara hard at work stuffing envelopes.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One Last Look

This afternoon we headed to the old house for what will probably be our final visit. I took a few pictures and we loaded up the lawnmower. Closing will be on Friday and we have the keys and garage door openers already to go to the new owners! Guess I really shouldn't call it the 'old' house because once Bobby and DIY Sara were finished it's really almost a brand new house. Come have a litte tour!

New paint and carpet throughout. New light fixtures here in the kitchen & dining room!

The office!
That old nasty country rose wallpaper was so stubborn to remove that we ended up putting up new sheetrock.
Living room with new paint, carpet, and ceiling fan! Upstairs bath with updated paint, tile, granite countertop and sink, light fixture, and mirror.
Even a new toilet! The master bathroom is my favorite 'madeover' room. Sara did a great job refinishing the vanity. I love how this room came together with the darker tile, granite, black mirrors and lights. I think it looks great with the khaki paint. And a new toilet here too! Front door and hallway. New tile here and you can't see it in this picture but there is a new light fixture hanging up high in the entryway!

Basement finished! Love how it turned out with the white trim.

View of the basement from the stairs Basement bedroom (aka my old scrapbooking room)

Basement Bathroom So goodbye Pebble Lane home, thanks for the memories!

Cheers to the new homeowners, may they enjoy this home as much as we did!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas at the Duck

Part of the fun of having a new house is decorating it for Christmas for the first time!
All the Santas congregated on a table!
(Josh if you're reading this, notice your Reader's Digest Santa is prominently displayed!
This year we were nice to RD Santa, no cellphone pictures sent to you of him heading for the fireplace like last year!)

Angels on a shelf.
I decided to scale back a bit this year, the angels didn't all make the cut for display, only my favorite angels are floating on the clouds, the rest of the collection are still in their boxes.
And these two are my most favorite angels! Sara made them from Fimo clay when she was probably 10 or 11 and gave them to me that year for Christmas. Of course I cried, but that's not a big surprise huh? My very special Josh, Sara, Daisy & Josie angels. So sweet & cute and very special to this mom!
I really like the look of these retro ornaments in glass bowls
(these are the ornaments we had at our house growing up)

Gingerbread men handmade by Debbie and Madeleine.
They came with a slip of paper that says 'family is always only a heart away'.
A very special gift from when Debbie lived in Lexington.
They used to hang out on the piano each Christmas but Sara had to find them a new home since the piano is gone, I really like her idea of putting them on the kitchen window.

The tree with the angel topper that used to be Debbie's.
All of the ornaments hold so many memories, trips taken, special interests and sports from the kids' years growing up, handmade ornaments that the kids and other family members have made through the years. The angels that Debbie gave everyone her last year with us.
And of course there's stuffed Sebastian of Little Mermaid fame who came free with a fast food dinner so very long ago. Each year Sebastian barely survives the trash can where Bobby threatens to put him! And where did Flounder go? He's not on the tree, hmmmm, I better ask Bobby if he had anything to do with that!

The fireplace minus the stockings. Sara hung the stockings on the living room windows because the fireplace gets so warm!
And the best thing about decorating this year? The boxes didn't have to be brought upstairs from a basement which made decorating a breeze.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

SDBB - GNO - 25 years

Here's to good women,
may we know them,
may we be them,
may we raise them.
Twenty five years ago a group of young women who had been high school friends ten years earlier got together for dinner to celebrate the season and to catch up on each others lives. That evening they decided to start meeting each month for dinner and a girl's night out group was born. Friends of friends joined the group too. And now, twenty five years later the group is still going strong. Tonight we clinked our glasses together toasting friendship and holiday joy.

Together we've rejoiced when babies were born, we've celebrated marriages, new jobs, promotions, new homes, and new romances. We've shared tears and grieved together for the loss of parents. Three of the group are brave breast cancer survivors. And two members have moved away to other parts of Missouri but return frequently to join the group.

The year we all turned 40 each person took a turn planning a special event in honor of another person during the month of their birthday. What a fun year that was! There was a laser tag outing, a gym was rented and we played volleyball and ate pizza, we went back to our old high for the homecoming football game, a limo was rented that took everyone out for an evening of bowling, and one evening was spent dancing at a club.

The year we turned 50 a traveling package was mailed from person to person for their birthday. The package included a journal, a troll, a princess crown and a disposable camera. There were instructions to memorialize your 50th birthday with a picture taken on the camera with the troll and wearing the crown, create a journal entry, and add an item to the package that represented who you were at 50 and mail the package to the next birthday celebrant, oh and to keep it a secret. Once everyone had reached their 50th milestone we met for dinner and passed the contents of the package around the table. There was lots of laughter and a few tears too as the contents were shared.

A cruise has been suggested to celebrate our 60th birthdays!

Ladies, here's to you and the next 25 years!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Living With a Teacher

Recent observations from living with a teacher in a not so large town:
1) Teachers stay up really late grading papers
2) Teachers need caffeine to get the day started (probably related to item no. 1)
3) Any time you are in a public place with the teacher you will bump into some of her former students
4) If they were in her preschool class or after-school elementary class they'll give her a big hug
5) Or if they were in her junior high class they'll smile shyly and wave
6) And when you come home from the pre-Thanksgiving grocery shopping trip, where of course your teacher ran into two former students, you will turn around from loading groceries into the refrigerator to find that your teacher has organized the remaining groceries into categories by ingredients that make up the finished product! I suppose that's a skill that keeps the teacher organized in the classroom and the cook organized in the kitchen!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roasty Toasty

The first fire in the new fireplace and it's oh so lovely!
The fan kicks on once the fire heats up and warms the room quite nicely!
Simple pleasures.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Michy Wishy

Josh & Susan were back home in Kansas for a couple of weekends in October; the first to get their engagement photos taken and the next to attend the wedding of friends. And in between their two weekend visits I headed back to Michigan with them for a few days of r&r in the beautiful Fall weather.

The Lansing River - so pretty!

This picture is an old railroad depot turned restaurant in Mason, MI where Josh and I enjoyed a breakfast of pumpkin oatmeal and blackberry pancakes while Susan was at school. He can't wait to take her back there for breakfast.
Josh is Mason's newest EMT! Part time for now while he finishes paramedic school. And back in Kansas on Sunday morning Bobby started a fire in the new fire pit he and Sara built out by the woods behind the shed, we all sat around the early morning fire visiting, it was almost like camping except we could run to town and bring back McDonald's for breakfast!
Josh & Susan headed back to Michigan later that day, Coop's already in the back seat, he is such a good traveller!
It was great to have them home for a few days and also great to have the opportunity to experience a bit of Michy Wishy with them again!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Grass Will Soon Be Green On Our Side of the Fence

Jerry and Mavis came down today to help put in the lawn! I'm pretty sure the highlight of the day was the straw cannon! Bobby drove the truck, Sara loaded the bales and cut the string, Jerry fed them in and shot them out covering the grass seed with a nice layer of straw to help protect it while it grows! Even without the grass the yard is looking awesome, Bobby has been busy moving dirt and smoothing things out to get it all ready. He is getting to know the rental people quite well between the bobcat rentals, the trailer to haul Jerry's tractor, and the straw cannon. And the lawn mower now has a trailer hitch which he hooked up a seeder to plant the seed and some sort of contraption to work it into the soil. My contribution to the day was a couple of batches of homemade runzas (sorry Josh), pasta salad, and a pumpkin dessert. Mavis brought down some, straight from the oven, zucchini bread which Bobby claims is just for him but don't tell him I've already had a slice YUM!
Good friends, perfect weather, and a big job completed!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Light the Night

Year number five.
$5,000 raised this year.
$36,000 raised in 5 years.
BNSF keeps the traveling trophy for top corporate fundraiser.
An evening to remember those who lost the battle and those who are still fighting and surviving.
Another year to help fund a cure for blood cancers.
Good time!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall = College Football

Yes, that's our daughter, a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, the girl who has been wearing Jayhawk adorned clothing almost since birth, and here she is wearing a K-State Wildcat shirt on her way to a football game with Evan, his family, and her friend Maggie. And this time it's not a shirt she borrowed from Evan, she bought this one! Wonder what she'll be wearing October 14th when KU and K-State play? And speaking of football rivalries, here is a picture of the Michigan State vs Notre Dame game sent from Susan's cell phone. This is the September 18th game where MSU won in overtime with a faked field goal. Josh & Susan, their friends Katie & Justin attended the game along with 110,000 other fans!

The Wave (or Nod)

One of the things I love about living in the country, OK so it's only 6.5 miles outside of Lawrence (pop. 92048), but it seems like the country with the gravel roads, cows, hills, and creeks.
I digress.
Anyhow it makes me happy every single time when people follow that old country neighborly tradition of giving you a wave when they pass you on the road. Sometimes instead of a wave you get a nod.
Or, if you happen to be a dork like me and you're out taking pictures of the country roads for your blog and a car comes up behind you, well, you might get something besides the traditional country wave which reminds you that after all, you are only 6.5 miles outside of a big town and you're holding up traffic!

A dairy in the neighborhood.

Yep, we have a neighbor on the next road over that has a camel and a zorse (part zebra, part horse)!