Monday, December 27, 2010

Properly Scolded

We were so blessed to be able to talk to some of our dear friends on Christmas Day, and they reminded me that my blog was not up-to-date. It reminded me that the reason I started my blog was to help keep our dear friends who are now far away updated on the activities of our family. Unfortunately, we have been so crazy-busy this fall that I neglected this important job. So, I sat down a few minutes ago and brainstormed a post about each of the last few months. That reminded me of just how busy the fall was! Now I need to upload some photos to help me tell the story.... so stay tuned!

Catching Up - October anniversary trip

25th Anniversary Trip - Part III
We arrived in New York City, rented a car and started driving out of the city. It was rush hour and it was raining, so it took a LONG time, and we remembered why we left the city...

Our first destination was the highest point in Delaware. We found it, although it was dark and raining!

The next day we started driving down the DelMarVa Peninsula. Here are some views along the way, ending with the bridge that crosses the Chesapeake Bay, going under the water partway (to let boats through)

Traffic delayed our arrival in Yorktown, so we missed the museum, but had enough daylight to see the battlefield and call Isaac to tell him we were there (he is totally into the Revolutionary War)

We spent the night in Williamsburg, and the next morning drove to Old Jamestowne. Ironically, this is the day we decided to wear shorts, and as you can see, it rained all day. I switched into pants and closed shoes as soon as I could, but we should have stopped at the Goodwill to buy raincoats (saw one, but decided not to stop....)

After Jamestowne, we got on the road and drove to Monticello, hoping the weather would clear up. It didn't, but Monticello is still impressive.

Then down to Charlottesville, to see if we could find the original university which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. They don't make it easy to find, but we did!

We drove north hoping the weather would clear by morning so we could enjoy the scenery from Skyline Drive. It didn't. So we stopped at a ranger station and watched a video, because all we saw was mist and fog from the scenic view spots.

Drove on to Harper's Ferry. No pictures because we forgot to charge the camera batteries. It was wet, but very historic and interesting. The day was perfect to visit Antietam Battlefield. Apparently, it was rainy the day before the big battle, so we toured the battlefield in the rain. Did get to the visitor center in time to see the movie and see the famous mural painted by an eyewitness to the battle.

Ended the day by driving through Harrisburg, PA and stopping to see the capitol building, which was completely lit up and beautiful in the rain.. then on to Lancaster, PA where we spent the night hoping for sunshine for a day in famous Amish country.

We started the day with a stop at the tourist center to get an idea of how could get an overview of the area, and decided to go on a tour of covered bridges. We were warned that some roads may be closed due to flooding from the days of rain, and we did, indeed, see a lot of high water, but we were able to see all the bridges and a lot of beautiful country. We stopped for lunch at an Amish buffet and then, lo and behold, the sun came out!!

Our final stop of the day, an old Lutheran church in the city. I guess all the church from revolutionary days had the boxes you paid to sit in.

After touring Lancaster County, we drove to New Jersey and were pleasantly surprised to find it is actually a beautiful state. We headed immediately to Liberty Park, the departure site of our ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We enjoyed the views of New York without the rain this time!

Our ferry was supposed to leave at 8 am sharp. We arrived before 7:30 and before the staff! This is an old railway station which was the departure place of many of the immigrants who went through Ellis Island and serves as the ferry depot.

Pictures can't do Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty justice. We spent 7 hours on the two islands, enjoying the museums and the sunshine! Incredible.

After returning to Liberty Island in New Jersey, we crossed over to Manhattan Island and crossed the island in our rental car, navigating through the famous New York traffic. We returned our rental car, checked into our hotel by the airport and then got on a bus to head back into the city. With the help of some regular Metro riders, we got to our destination, ground zero. We visited the storefront explaining the 9/11 memorial plans and walked right by St. Paul's Chapel, which is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. It survived the NYC fire of 1776, and George Washington worshiped there after his inauguration, and then became part of history when it became a makeshift memorial after the towers collapsed on 9/11.

Then we got back on the subway and headed to the Gershwin theatre where Wicked! was playing. We got into the cancellations line, and to make a long story short, got 2 tickets, one of which was in the front row. We sat down and the curtain opened. It was a magical, once-in-a lifetime experience.

We ended the day walking through Times Square before getting on the Metro again to head back to our hotel for a few hours sleep before our 6 am flight!

We flew out of LaGuardia Airport before scheduled -- apparently Michelle Obama was flying into the city that day, and they wanted to get us out of there before they shut the airport down. We were very glad!!

We had a long layover at the Detroit airport, and our friend Jim Pinard came to help us pass the time -- so good to see him and catch up after many years.

Our final flight to South Bend was without incident. The Grobien family brought our car to the airport for us and we took off, stopping in Forrest to pick up Elizabeth and Isaac before heading all the way to Rolla. It was good to be home.

Catching Up - September

My favorite goof

School starts, and along with it come the home experiments...

Soccer starts for Zeke, and they play the first 2 weekends without Dan, their coach, and build up a 4-0 record ....

Abby plays volleyball -- don't have pictures of her, but here are some of her fans at the first annual Volleyball Gameday!

We head out on our 25th Anniversary Trip -- Part I includes Isaac and Elizabeth. First stop is
Cahokia Mounds, the largest man-made earthen work in the Americas. We walked up this staircase and saw the sunset over St. Louis.

On to Springfield, IL. After a night in a hotel we toured Lincoln Home, visited the new Museum, and then went to the cemetery where Lincoln and his family are buried.

On to New Salem, IL, a reconstructed village where Lincoln spent his early years. This is one of the stores he owned and ran while studying to become a lawyer.

Then to Forrest, IL, where we dropped off the kids and went on to Valparaiso, IN, where we attended 25th reunion festivities during Homecoming weekend. Campus has changed a lot since we left -- the latest change is that they tore down the old Union, where we met.. here we are in front of the famous spot where our lives became intertwined :)

After the weekend in Valpo, we went on to Mishawaka and South Bend where we visited our friends the Nelsons and the Grobiens. We spent the night at Grobiens, who delivered us to the South Bend Airport for our trip to New York.

25th anniversary be continued

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Drought

Yes, I know. I haven't posted anything thing July 28th. I've just decided that this is called
"Blog Drought". After a very rainy summer, we haven't had rain in Missouri in about 2 months...
and I'm in a similar situation of drought, though my lack is of TIME!
Too much to do, too little time. This weekend is the first weekend in almost two months that we didn't have anything scheduled outside the home... but of course there is all that mundane stuff to do, like cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing, dusting, paperwork
I have so many things to share, but too much else to do right now. I'll try to catch up later :)
(Famous last words...)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Germans are coming... they came, they're gone!

Can you tell we studied the Revolutionary War last year? So I stole a famous line and tweeked it a bit. My brother-in-law, David, is married to a lovely gal from Germany, Susann. Thus, their children are all at least slightly bilingual, and they spend a lot of time in Germany (where all of her family still lives), as well as hosting German visitors to the U.S. This summer, they are playing host to 4 German guests -- Julia, 19, Lara 16, Jessica, 10, and Fabian, 14. They brought them, along with 7 of their own 9 children and one girlfriend, to visit last weekend. So we had 22 people in the house for the weekend. It was a blast, but I didn't take many pictures... here's just a taste...

Loaded up for the canoe trip on Saturday -- we also took our mini van, but it just carried people.

A part of the group during one of the meal times...

Besides eating and canoeing, activities included church, paintball, horseback riding, a trip to the Splash Zone, multi-age/multi-cultural wiffle ball, English country dancing,and various card and board games. We had a wonderful time!!! Thanks for being such great guests -- come again!

4th of July Fun

My grandfather Lindenbaum's birthday was July 3rd, and my mom has fond memories of family gatherings during the 4th of July holiday with homemade ice cream. So, for the past several years, she has hosted a family reunion in Forrest, my hometown, on the 4th of July weekend. The first time we did it, we had beautiful weather, and my then-100 year old Grandma came to sit in the park and watch the fun. Last year it rained, but this year it was clear though HOT. Sister-in-law Kiersten provided the cherries for the traditional cherry-spitting contest, and Andy took over the championship (cousin Brad was not there to defend his title!) Elizabeth even got into the act, and ended up with completely purple hands and shirt... We played tennis, volleyball, & basketball at the park, and ate a delicious picnic lunch before going home for croquet and homemade ice cream. My sister Deb and hubby Brad weren't able to come, so I provided the ice cream (blackberry) and we brought along some Missouri fireworks. Due to a mis-communication, none of my cousins were there, but we look forward to seeing them next year!

Cousin fun on the merry-go-round
Elizabeth in the watermelon spitting contest

Drexel, Isaac and Max - The Three Musketeers!

The Croquet Game

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Missouri Weather

We got hit by a pretty intense storm Sunday afternoon. We left at 3:45 to go to a park in town for a party, and it was raining when we left. By 4:15, however, the rain had intensified, and shortly after that, the tornado siren in town went off, so the party quickly dispersed. We drove home through rain blowing sideways -- crazy, and arrived home to find almost all of the north facing windows leaking -- they aren't designed to keep out horizontal rain at 60 mph. It was pretty crazy for awhile, and we hung out in the basement until it passed. When it finally stopped raining, this is what we saw outside...

Our flagpole over the fence and snapped in halfA river going through our property on the west side of the house
The trampoline on the other side of the fence (in the horse pasture)
The horses hunkered down, acting like nothing had happened; fortunately, since they were in a makeshift corral with no shelter!

The baseball field completely flooded (3rd base was floating away, I'm told)

Later that evening, we noticed that, while it was raining again, the sun was also shining. We looked around, and saw one of the most intense, beautiful rainbows we've ever seen.. Not only was it complete, but it was a double rainbow. Zeke did a pretty good job capturing the sight!

Elizabeth's 6th Birthday

Elizabeth turned 6! She was in Illinois with her grandparents and cousins on the big day, but we celebrated here at home when they brought her home. It was also Dan's birthday, and that's him in the background with his cherry pie (Elizabeth got blackberry cobbler -- yum)
She was very goofy -- I think maybe running on adrenaline?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fish Festival!

The Pashia Fish Festival has become a family tradition. Kim Pashia was Elizabeth's first speech therapist, and we became friends with her family, including her husband Ken and daughter Gabby. They host a kids fishing contest and after 2 hours of fishing, give out prizes (everyone who participates gets recognized, plus the biggest fish in each age group) and fry up a bunch of the catfish, hush puppies and potatoes for a delicious feast.

On the way there... sunscreen slathered...

Ready to fish -- awaiting the signal to start....

Here is one of Elizabeth's 4 fish -- all of them were 19 inches or longer, and she wouldn't get close to them, despite all the nice men who helped us get them off the hook and hold them while I tried to get a picture (Dan wasn't able to go -- he was playing 3 on 3 soccer that day)

Here's Elizabeth getting her "dog tag" from Kim - to explain the sign, the first kid to catch an albino catfish get whatever has been pledged to the contest-- this year it was almost $300, and it wasn't caught until the 2nd hour of fishing, which is quite unusual.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Early Morning Gardening

We've been trying to get up with the sun three mornings a week to get a couple hours of outside work in before its heats up outside. Last Thursday was a late night (the guys went to a friend's house to watch the Lakers win the NBA championship), so we decided not to push it. However, Elizabeth always is up pretty early, and usually wakes me up, so she and I went out to weed the vine garden...Dan came out to go running and caught us in the act...please forgive the color --- something was set wrong on the camera, and he didn't notice, being color blind.. Picasa corrected it some, but the pictures are just too sweet NOT to save.

Notice that my helper is leaning on my back -- not helpful at all, but very sweet.

Helping put the weeds into the tub
I love you, Mom (patting me on the back)

Mom, let's go...

break time...