Friday, February 26, 2010

Heading South Again

We are heading south again this weekend, and this time we ARE going to be enjoying some warmer temperature that our fair state offers! I have to give Wisconsin credit though, --mid-thirties and sunshine at the end of February is not bad! But apparently central Illinois is going to hit close to (or maybe hit?) the 50 degrees!! Woo-hoo!!

The reason for our travels is to celebrate my Mom's 82nd birthday with her! Last year the weather kept me six hours away from her, but I posted a Happy Birthday post to share what a wonderful lady Mom is.:)

Mom had done some traveling of her own this past year. She was able to go toTim and Brook's wedding in Michigan in August. It was so special having her there, and I know that Tim was so happy that she could make it! I'm here to tell ya that as you get older, trips get harder!:) And I haven't had two, (count 'em TWO) knee replacements like Mom has.

Anyway, I'm all packed and ready to go. Hubby is getting some things done before our departure. I am excited also because all my siblings except by brother, who lives in Nevada, will be there!! That's SIX of us !!:) I am so thankful that all of our schedules came together for this weekend!

So Happy Birthday (Saturday) Mom! We love you and will be there soon.

Again, if you have spare minute would you please pray for travel mercies for our family this weekend? Thanks so much!:)

Oh, I just remembered- pack the camera!!:)

Have a great weekend- ya'll- okay, I'm not going THAT far south...;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy over at The Simple Woman's Daybook is the gracious host here.

For Today... February 23, 2010

Outside my window...It's about 31 degrees and the ground is still snow covered. We haven't see any grass since December- but that's okay- snow is prettier than brown grass:) The 4-8 inches of snow predicted for Sunday into Monday went south of us and we only got a couple of inches. whew! dodged that one:) Sorry "south of us";)

I am thinking... of the fun time we had when Missy,Jeff and the kids were here two weekends ago! I had fun making Hannah's (1st grade) request for "flat eggs" (meaning NOT sunny side up, NOT scrambled in heap, but flat,cooked,broken yoke:). -- Isaac (2nd grade) told me "Aunt LaLa, I love coming to your house, it's always a party!" He is referring to our kids coming in to see them when they are here:) When Isaac was little, his young self couldn't say Linda, so it was YaYa which became LaLa and since they had more that one aunt Linda, Aunt LaLa stuck. So LaLa it is!:) And little Shiloh (age 2) is the happiest little girl around- and so petite- just a little peanut!:)

I am thankful for... all the times with family that we've had lately- the wedding in Indianapolis last month, two week later Missy and Jeff here, and then last Sunday, Daniel and Jess and the boys drove over from Milwaukee for a visit- and Tim, Brooke and Nathan were able to come over also.

From the kitchen... Funky chicken (chicken breast in cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese sauce, with mashed potatoes, and corn. This recipe, given to me by a teacher friend several years ago, was put together by her and her mom. She didn't have a name for it, so Ben (then in high school) called it Funky Chicken.

I am stretchy pants and blue sweatshirt- my comfy clothes:)

I am get to go to Illinois to celebrate my mom's birthday this weekend!

I am hearing...birds chirping outside- love it!:)

I am remembering...memories of sledding behind our farmhouse when we were kids. There was a small creek at the bottom of the hill that we less brave ones turned to avoid. But the older kids (friends from church) made it their goal to try to get up enough speed to fly over it!- And mostly succeeded. I never did get brave enough for that...

I am praying...for a dear lady who is having surgery today.

Around the house...wiping down and disinfecting all areas- Amanda was sick Sunday and yesterday with a stomach virus. Praying that Lon and I don't catch it!

On my mind...what fun it was making cupcakes with Sam on Sunday! He was so excited to make them and then eat them! And to see Eli! He is holding his head up and looking around , smiling and I heard him laugh out loud at his mommy! What a joy for Grammy!:)

One of my favorite things... little boys in blue jeans.

A few plans for the rest of the week...regular chores around the house and hopefully packing for a weekend trip!:)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...*

Daniel , Jess and family came for a visit on Sunday afternoon:)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Our Excellent Adventure - A Wedding Weekend

At the end of January, we traveled to Indianapolis to attend our nephew Karl's wedding. Here is a previous post when we were getting ready for the trip.

(Our camera was accidentally left in our car that day, which was parked four blocks away in subzero wind chills. Not wanting to get that "Are you out of your mind?" look from hubby, I opted not to ask for him to return to the car to get it.:) These are pictures taken from a combination of Ben and Lisa's camera, Facebook pics by permission, and the hotel website.)

We were there to be with family and friends and celebrate the marriage of Karl and his bride Emily.
Emily and Karl
(a previous photo)

The wedding and the reception were held at the downtown Omni Hotel .
This is the entrance of the hotel.

When you walk into the lobby and look to the right, you will see the restaurant. This where we spent a good part of Saturday, late morning and afternoon, having coffee or cokes with both sides of our family while they enjoyed brunch or lunch- ( Lon and I stayed at a different hotel just minutes away (a later post to come:)- where we already had eaten. .) First, was brunch with Ben, Lisa and Sophia, Leigh and Paul (mother and brother of the groom), and several of Leigh's friends. ( I might add for clarification, that Leigh is Lon's sister:) Such a wonderful time reconnecting, -and being introduced to Leigh's dear friends whom we'd heard about over the years, but had never met. (Hello Ann!:)
Look past the table in the middle of the room with the big arrangement, (to the chair on the left) at the back table. That is where where we sat having so much fun. It was affectionately called "our table".- as we returned to it again on Sunday for brunch before leaving for home.
By then, we felt like "regulars":) It was just right for our large group:)
After brunch, we went up to Ben and Lisa's room with Sophie to relax and hang out a bit. They had baby land set up in their room. I remember those days of packing almost everything you owned for a trip with kids:) We are so happy they made the trip from Pittsburgh to be there!

These next two pics are the website's photos of the hotel's suites. Very nice.

Amanda was her Aunt Leigh's "roomy" in her suite similar to this. She loved it! Thank you Leigh! Amanda had a great time AND was able to get some studying done also:)
PaPa having fun with Sophie.

She's standing up a lot now!
It wasn't long before we got a call from the lobby that Steve, Opal, Kristy, Dean and little Corbin had arrived! Introductions: Steve (my brother) and Opal (my sweet SIL) live about 1 1/2 hours. south of Indianapolis. Kristy (their daughter, my niece) and Dean (her husband) and Corbin (their little son) live about 15 minutes from downtown.
In this pic: Dean, Opal, Steve

Here are the cousins -Amanda, Ben, Kristy, Corbin. (I'm not sure where Jonathan was at this point)
We had a great time being together again. We joined them at lunch and talked until it was time for us to get ready for the 4:00 wedding. We found out at lunch that our visit was not over with Steve and Opal! Kristy and Dean were giving them Saturday night and brunch on Sunday at the Omni for their belated 35th wedding anniversary gift!! We were able to spend MORE time with Steve and Opal later that night!! Precious time together- I love hearing Steve's stories of what is going on in their lives. Opal and I talked and talked- we laughed, we cried...I love you guys!

Okay, does anyone need a bathroom break? We are just getting started with the wedding! Go ahead - we'll wait.....:)

This is the room where the wedding was held. For the wedding, all of this was cleared away and covered chairs like the ones at the reception were facing the front. It later was transformed into the dance area for the reception.

The Best Man, Paul -- Karl's younger brother. Our son Jonathan roomed with Paul and their two cousins for the weekend. It was such a great time for these cousins, now young men, to be together again.
The Groom, Karl walking down the aisle with the ring bearer. (Such a great idea)

Here comes the beautiful bride, Emily.:)

See the door on the far wall in the picture below? That was the entrance to the wedding.

And this was the gorgeous ballroom for the reception.
The wedding party was introduced and descended down the stairway from the balcony- just lovely!
The tables were set very similar to this, only with different centerpieces and candles- very elegant.

Sophia brought a smile to people's faces where ever she was. Grammy gets some one on one time with her at the reception.

...and with Amanda...I wonder what is going on over there Sophie?:)

The Bride and Groom...

The Groom dancing with his beautiful and proud mother...

Ben, Lisa and Sophie dancing together.

It was such a pleasure to share in this wonderful marriage celebration. Our prayers are with Karl and Emily as Karl looks forward to graduating from med school this May, and as they continue on this journey of their lives together. God bless.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Iris at Grace Alone is hosting Thankful Thursday for February. Come join in!

♥ I am thankful for God's faithful watching over us. What a blessing to know that he is always thinking about us. It's hard to wrap our (mere mortal) minds around the awesome power of God, but to have His Love and power in our corner every be able to draw on His us confidence to trust Him and then love others and share that Love with them.
Thank you Lord for always watching out for us...

♥ Our warm house and the haven of warmth that it is, especially with all the snow and cold weather this winter. I am so thankful that we were able to replace our furnace and A/C a few years ago. Also thankful for our new roof! My prayers are with those who have had to do without electricity and running water due to the storms and downed power lines. Most of our power lines are underground, so we rarely have outages. Lord, please be with those who need their power back on- I pray that is repaired quickly.

♥ I am thankful for the wonderful time with both sides of our family at the wedding weekend we had in Indianapolis two weeks ago. It was so nice to be there and see Karl and Emily's wedding, and be with Lon's siblings and friends of the family. We also got to spend time with Ben, Lisa and Sophie! We were also able to meet up with my brother, Steve, SIL Opal and their daughter, Kristy, her husband Dean and little Corbin! They live in Indiana- Kristy and Dean live and work in Indy. Just a great weekend! Thank you Lord for travel mercies and for blessing us with this precious time with family.

♥ I am thankful that my sister Melissa and her husband and kids are coming to spend a long weekend with us starting tonight! Thankful also that the snow storm that went through their area and ours is over and the roads shouldn't be a problem for their drive- AND that they have a 4-wheel drive! I am so looking forward to some "bff sister time"!!:) Thank you Lord for the close relationship that Missy and I have, and for this time to be together.

♥ I am thankful for my new grand-niece Emma who was born yesterday. My nephew Nick and his wife Meghan are the proud parents and my brother Tom is a first-time grandpa!! Congratulations to all! Thank you Lord for new life, and joy that a precious little baby brings to our families.

♥ Since this is Valentine week, our thoughts turn to the Love that we give and receive. My heart overflows with the love that I receive from my husband, family and friends-- and also my love for them. We are so blessed. We also have that confidence that we are loved unconditionally by our Heavenly Father who teaches us in his Word how to love.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." I John 4:10-11

Happy Valentines Day!:)

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Peggy over at The Simple Woman's Daybook is the gracious host here.

For Today... February 8, 2010

Outside my window...We had more snow overnight- a surprise this morning. Still waiting for more starting this evening, overnight, and all day Tuesday... could be up to 9-10 inches before it stops. It one of those slow moving fronts ( see, I can talk "weather channel":) that just stays around and drops snow. And then it is suppose to blow and drift. Jimmy the Groundhog forgot to mention that there can be a lot of cold weather and snow before an "early Spring" around here;)

I am thinking... that I have faith in all of the Illinois and Wisconsin snow removal guys and their equipment to get all the snow out of the way for my sister, her husband and family who plan to drive up from Illinois Thursday evening. You can do it guys!!

I am thankful for... Amanda, who helps so much around here. Being the last kid standing since her five siblings flew the coup, is such a different lifestyle than when the place was hoppin':) Last week she shoveled the driveway (without being asked or saying a word afterward), when her dad had to work late for several evenings. Along with her college schedule, she is a big help with things around the house. Thanks Amanda!

From the kitchen... Oatmeal, juice and coffee...mmmm... Oh, you mean for dinner?-- no idea yet:)

I am wearing...yup, still in my jammies and robe. ( I rarely have to change that line;)

I am get together a menu and grocery list and making a few things ahead for the weekend. First, I need to talk to Melissa as to likes and dislikes of foods for her family again.

I am hearing...the tv in the other room, the squeaky brakes of a car at the stop sign at the end of our street.

I am remembering...what a wonderful wedding weekend we had in Indianapolis a week ago. I have to wait to get some pictures from family who where there-- sorry-- Our camera was accidentally left in the car which was parked four blocks away in subzero wind chills... so no, I didn't make my hubby go back for it-- I didn't want to get that "are you out of your mind?!" look:) But it was a beautiful wedding and reception at the Omni. We were also able to hook up with my brother, Steve and DIL Opal, their daughter Kristy, her husband Dean and meet their little guy Corbin. Our granddaughter Sophie got really excited (jumping up and down and smiling) when she saw Corbin- "another little one like me"! I will be posting about the Omni and the hotel where we stayed.

I am praying...for the people of Haiti and ones there helping--it is going to be a long process.

Around the house...Getting the house and guest rooms ready for the weekend--- laundry, and all that goes with it.

On my mind...Saturday was our first born son, Nathan's birthday! Didn't get to see him, but thought of him and the blizzardy (spellcheck is telling me that's not a word:) winter day that he was born. What a joy Nathan was as a boy growing up and still is to us! So proud of the kind and wonderful man he is today!

One of my favorite things... seeing all the little animal paw prints in the snow in our backyard. A lot of activity going on out there with the squirrels and bunnies!:)

A few plans for the rest of the week...getting groceries, cooking, baking, prep for Valentines Day, dealing with a bunch of snow-- and enjoying Missy and Jeff and the kids when they come!:)

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...*

Look who loves his little brother...:)

...Makes Eli laugh...:)

...And gives him kisses and hugs.
It's Sam!:) And isn't Eli growing?!
Have a great week!:)
Photos by Jess C.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Groundhog Day!

If you happened to catch my February 2nd post last year, you already know that our upper-Midwestern city claims a fame to having a groundhog prognosticator, Jimmy the Groundhog!

Yes, Jimmy is famous in these parts. And a big celebration is held every year. Here is a quote from his website today:


Groundhog Day Prognostication

Jimmy says EARLY SPRING!

Jimmy X arrived at the Prognostication Site in a stretch limousine, escorted by a Sun Prairie fire truck. A fireman shoveled a fresh path for Jimmy and his caregiver, Jerry to meet the mayor. It was a snowy morning in Sun Prairie, and Jimmy did NOT see his shadow! The crowd cheered as the mayor interpreted Jimmy's message, proclaiming an EARLY SPRING!

So, there you have it folks- an EARLY SPRING!! We love that kind of talk up North!!:)

Not only that.... the local bakery in town makes Jimmy the Groundhog cookies. The Golden Days Company is owned and operated by some friends of ours and we are so happy for its opening last year!!

...Their sense of humor and community spirit shines through in introducing their Jimmy the Groundhog and his Shadow cookies!!

Dena created Jimmy and a darker image of himself for his shadow--very clever!!:)

Just stack them and here you go!! Spring is on the way!

Is this fun, or what?!

So... Happy Groundhog Day from the Midwest Groundhog Capital of the World!! May Spring always come early to your neck of the woods:)