Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 is in the books

We celebrated Thanksgiving with Alissa and Nathan at their new home.
I was looking forward to a nice, peaceful dinner and day since Courtney and her family were in Iowa with the other side.
We, did indeed have a very adult, wonderful dinner.
Nathan smoked the turkey and it was the best one I have ever eaten.
Alissa made yummy pasta salad and smoked potatoes.
Simple, elegant, and delicious.
Nathan's dad also joined us and we all enjoyed each other's company over a few wines, beers, and some apple/pear schapps.
Here are some photos from the dinner
 Nathan with his smoker and the bird.
Lissa's beautiful table.  She has finally been able to unpack her dishes from her wedding.  She has not seen them for a few years when they were in storage and she and Nathan lived with his dad.
Lissa used dishes that were given to her from grandparents.
This plate was MaryAnn's.
There were memories of many at that table.
 This green bowl belonged to Ohma who was Lissa's great grandma.
 This bowl belonged to my other grandma.
By the way, it is filled with the yummy smoked potatoes.
Getting ready to carve the bird.
 Silliness going on here.
The two dads.
 Nathan and his dad.
 John and I with the desserts.
Enjoying the meal.
We stayed overnight and spent the morning on Friday playing wii.
We left after lunch and now we are home with lots of new memories.
We did decide that from now on, Thanksgiving will be at the Hunter Home.
Yes, I may never have to prepare another Thanksgiving dinner ever again!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Long Overdue Tizita/Grandma/Grandpa Sleepover

It has been a long time since Tizita has been able to stay overnight with us by herself.
The timing was finally right this past weekend.
Since Tiz had no school on Friday, John went to Oshkosh after work on Thursday to pick her up.
She and John had dinner at her choice, Hot Dog Charlie's.  John doesn't eat hot dogs, but luckily Charlie has burgers on the menu, too.
I know they both enjoyed their dinner and their drive here to Watertown.
When she arrived, we watched some TV, chatted, and went to bed at our usual time she was helping me in Preschool the next morning.
Tiz had an art project planned for the kids and she did such a great job with doing it with them.

I was listening to her talk to the kids and she was so kind and helpful to them.
I was really proud of her.
The kids really enjoyed doing her project under her direction.
She did tell me that giving her four kids at one time was too much, so we did two at a time.
I totally understand that, too.
After the project, she led the kids in some CD dancing.

And finally, she read them a story which they all enjoyed.

Just look at how they are all listening to her.
If she weren't so dead set on being a hair stylist, she would make an awesome teacher.

After teaching, we went out to Culver's for a delicious lunch together.
Then we shopped at Walmart.
I let her buy some make up, nail polish, frozen shirts, and a frozen watch in payment for all her help at school.
It was so much fun to be together.
She is so grown up and I love being with her.
When John got home, the three of us went over to the Mindshaft for some gaming and dinner.
The very first game she played, she hit the jackpot, the tickets just kept coming.
She was able to pick out some really nice prizes and after that excitement we enjoyed dinner.

On Saturday, John, my mom, Tiz, and I headed up to Oshkosh where we enjoyed Courtney's Homemade for the Holidays show.
Mallory and Kelly drove up for the show, too, and we all had a yummy lunch at Becket's.  Paul and Soli met us there, too.
After lunch, Soli and Tiz came back with us.
The weekend just kept getting better.
We baked some brownies and chocolate chip bars, put up my Christmas village, and watched Christmas movies.
John and Tiz had a Momopoly marathon while Soli and I had make overs.
It was such a fun time for all of us.

On Sunday, my kids along with Soliana sang in church.
They did such a wonderful job.
I am one proud teacher!
 This is Soliana and her friend Lanie all ready to sing.

The singing was the perfect way to end a wonderful weekend.
I cannot wait to do it all again.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That

Another weekend is coming to a close.
We had our first measurable snowfall on Saturday.
It looks very pretty out there right now, but I fear this means we are in for a long winter.
On Friday night, John and I went to On the Rock for our free pizza and some beers.
I am sad that we only have one more free pizza this year and then we will have to start paying for our pizzas, I suppose, unless they run another contest and John wins again.
Chances of that, slim to none.
On Saturday, John and I went on another shopping trip.
I am so thankful that he tripses along with me so willingly and even seems to enjoy it, as much as a man is able to enjoy shopping.
We started out at the Learning Shop where I needed some snowflakes.
We had fun checking out all the latest and greatest toys and gadgets, making mental notes about what Tiz and Soli might like.
We enjoyed a lunch at Fuddruckers, still one of the best burgers around.
We spent about an hour wandering around Toys R Us, again looking for ideas for the girls.
We did purchase a few gifts and left with a new charge card and many more gift ideas to consider.
Brookfield Square was next on the itinerary.
We found a new store called Learning Express which had many fun, unique gifts for kids, more purchases and more ideas to add to our mental list.
Barnes and Noble was next to look for a few books for the girls.
I love, love, love a bookstore and could have spent hours there, but both John and my feet were feeling the day, so we picked out a few books and were on our way.
In the meantime, The Badgers were running all over Nebraska and thanks to our smartphone we could keep track of the progress of that game, too.
We ended up at Michael's and The World Market for a few more goodies before heading to Rocky Roccoco's in Oconomowoc, but not before a dicey, icey drive there down I-94.
We saw numerous cars in the ditches and passes what appeared to be a pretty bad crash with fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances.
The first snowfall of the season is always hard.
It takes us awhile to remember how to drive in the white stuff.
We enjoyed our pizza and headed home.
It was a fun day and we have a long mental list of gifts possibilities, hope I don't lose that list because I am pretty sure, John already lost his.
Today, Sunday, John is shoveling for the first of many times.
We will go to church this afternoon to welcome our new pastor and enjoy a pot luck dinner.
Bad part is, it is right during the Packer game, but hopefully they will do well without us watching.
Hope all of you had a great weekend, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Celebrating my mom's 86th birthday in a big, fun way

My mom turned 86 on November 4.
She is still doing well both physically and mentally.
I am thankful to have her.  I know we are blessed.
She lives with us in the house that I grew up in and I am so thankful for that, too.
She folds my laundry (she is the best folder ever), irons our clothes, and I have yet to scrub a floor in this house in the fourteen years we have lived here.
She also cooks when I ask her to make things for us.
She fills the bird feeders, pulls weeds out of the gardens, and sweeps the driveway on a daily basis.
To be honest, there are times that she drives me crazy with her constant chatte while I am on the laptop and the TV is on full volume.  (She doesn't hear as well as she used to) but as my college roommate, who lost her mom a few months ago, said to me, "You will miss that chatter when she is gone."
I try to embrace it and most of the time, I am successful at it.
I do know I will miss it when that day comes.

We have celebrated my mom's birthday in many different ways over the years.
Recently we have spent the weekend up in Oshkosh, but this year we headed down to The Hunter House in Bloomington.  Now that Alissa and Nathan have a house, we can celebrate with them.
Kev, Vikki, Mallory, and Nic joined us, too.
Alissa planned a perfect celebration.
She baked a cake with homemade frosting which she felt had been a Pinterest fail, but it tasted so good even if she hadn't quite nailed the presentation.
We all had dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, Destihl brew house.  What a great choice.  We all enjoyed our food and they brought a birthday dessert of some mores.  There was enough melted chocolate, graham cookie things, melted marshmellows, and cinnamon cream for all of us to enjoy our own some more.
(I know I am not spelling that correctly, but I know you know what I mean)
Here are some photos of the great celebration.
 My mom and her three granddaughters.
 My brother Kevin and my SIL Nathan looking over the golf course which is in their backyard.
 Alissa and Nathan just got new furniture and we all loved it so much.
 Gigi opening her gifts from the girls.
 Deep discussion going on here.
 Opening the goody box.
 Lissa and Nathan got some awesome housewarming gifts, too.
 Here is the birthday cake
 All the guests except me and John.
 Helping Gigi blow out the candles.
 Tizita is trying very hard to get Gigi to talk while eating her cake.
We have a tradition that if you talk during the eating of your cake, you have to sit under the table. 
Many of us have been under the table many times. but Gigi made it without going under this time.
 Soliana entertained us with some guitar playing and singing.
 Tizita entertained us with some gymnastics.

 Enjoying our meal at Destihl.
 The yummy dessert.
The some more dessert.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate a wonderful lady.
I hope we will be able to celebrate many, many more birthdays with her.
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