Saturday, February 28, 2015

37 Things you may or may not know about my Daughter Courtney

You guessed it, Courtney is turning 37 and it is her turn to have a list.
First off, I cannot believe that I have a child who is 37, when did I get this old?
Where did the time go?
Seems like only yesterday...

And, here is the list:
  1. Courtney was born on the same night as Grace Ingalls.  John and I had watched ma give birth to Grace while I was in labor.  I figured if ma could do it in a little house on the prairie, I could do it just as effortlessly in a hospital.
  2. Our favorite names for Courtney were Kari, Melissa, and Courtney.  No offense to all the Karis and Melissas out there, but I am sure glad we chose Courtney.
  3. Courtney had a speaking part in a Martin Luther play when she was in Kindergarten in St. John's.  She was the only Kindergartener to have a speaking part in the play.  Her lines were, "What does exmunicated mean, mama?"  and "I don't want to be kicked out of the church either, mama."  
  4. Courtney kept a very messy room.  There was always so much junk on the floor and stuff everywhere.  I would try and clean up a bit for her, but in amongst all that clutter, she always knew exactly where everything was and she always knew if I moved anything.  Tizita is the same way.
  5. Courtney lost a very good friend, Jason during high school.  He died in a car accident the day before Christmas.  It was a very sad, sad time for her.  
  6. Courtney was a cheerleader in High School.  I remember seeing her name on the list of freshman cheerleaders and thinking that now her life would be perfect.  Of course, it wasn't exactly perfect, but whose life is perfect in High School.
  7. Courtney was a very good student.  She had straight A's through most of her High School career.
  8. Courtney was the Salutatorian of her 8th grade class and had to give a speech at graduation.
  9. Courtney threw up in the funeral home when we were there for my dad's funeral.  She was in sixth grade when he died.
  10. Courtney started swimming competitively at age eight.  She was disqualified in her first IM because she swam freestyle during the breaststroke lap.  I, being new at swimming, was hoping no one would notice.
  11. Courtney was the youngest child in many of her swimming classes because she passed each level with flying colors.
  12. Because of swim team, Courtney had friends from all over.  She was never just in the St. John's bubble and that made her transition to High School so much easier.
  13. Courtney took years and years of piano lessons, enough said.
  14. Courtney played the clarinet for four years in grade school.  Sitting through those band concerts was torture for me.
  15. Courtney chose Knox college as her college of choice for many reasons, but the biggest one was Harley Knosher who promised that he would take good care of her if she joined their swim team.  He kept his promise and she swam for Knox for all four years.
  16. Courtney had a car crash on the way to High School one foggy morning while driving her little white car.  She turned right at the stop sign and was hit by a semi.  The front end of the car was gone, but she and her sister were fine.  Well, except for the emotional state of Alissa.  The police man told her she could drive the car to school even without a front end.  Yeah, right.  There were rumors flying around the High School that she was in critical condition or maybe dead.  Her friends were so happy to see her walk into school that day.
  17. Courtney also ran out of gas on the highway in the middle of winter.  She had to walk, in her little cheerleading outfit to a motel to use a phone.  This was way before cell phones.
  18. Courtney, truth be told, has terrible luck with cars.  They just seemed to die on her at very bad times.  
  19. Courtney's first job was in downtown Milwaukee.  She and a friend lived in an apartment right downtown.  It was fun to visit her there.  She did well at that job and we were so proud that she put her degree to work.
  20. Right after her graduation from Knox, she informed us that she would not be coming home with us as planned.  She, would instead, be staying in a frat house and working at a summer school for underprivileged kids.  I was pretty upset and even more upset when I saw the condition of the frat house, but we all survived and by the end of summer, she had landed her job in Milwaukee.
  21. Courtney traveled to Germany while in college when she thought she would be a German major.
  22. Courtney loved going to Camp Philip, our church camp.  One summer she worked in the kitchen up there and another summer she was a junior counselor.
  23. Courtney was our neighborhood babysitter.  She had so many jobs.  All the neighbors loved her.
  24. Courtney and her sister, Alissa never fought except for one time when they were both in college.  Alissa did not like Courtney's boyfriend, so for three days they did not speak.  That was the only time they ever fought.  They always were and continue to be best friends.
  25. Courtney was the manager at the Watertown Aquatic Center for a few summers.  One summer she was the manager and Alissa was the head guard.  That summer, the Aquatic Center was run by the Damman Sisters.
  26. Courtney does not drink soda, never has.
  27. Courtney always said she was going to adopt a child from Africa.  Little did any of us know that both her sweet girls would come from Ethiopia.
  28. Courtney met her husband Paul at an ultimate frisbee party.  I do not believe that she liked him very much at that first meeting, but I am not sure of that.  By the way, Courtney did not play ultimate frisbee, but was invited there by her former college roommate.
  29. Courtney does not like climbing look out towers.
  30. Courtney always landed whatever job she wanted.  She had a gift for that and she still does.  She successfully runs her Tizzy Dee business and now she has started her new venture of teaching family and kid zumba.
  31. Courtney once caught me in her bedroom, reading her notes.  I could not get them folded up correctly or she might not have known I was reading them.
  32. Courtney had a strict curfew and she was good at getting home on time.  One time I didn't realize she was in her bed and I was calling around to her friends to find her.
  33. Courtney was a bit of a bully as a  young child.  She tended to push her little friends around.
  34. Courtney came to preschool with me five days a week at Mary Linsmeier from age 2 1/2 on.
  35. Courtney broke her wrist when she was in fourth grade.  She had fallen off her bike.  When she got the cast on, she cried and would not go to school, so she came to Mary Linsmeier with me for the day.  After that the cast was not so bad.
  36. When Courtney was at St. John's, the teachers were always pushing her to go to Lakeside or Luther Prep.  She hated being called out on that all the time.  We knew from day one that she would go to Watertown High School and we are so glad she did.
  37. I used to cut Courtney's hair, she sported very crooked bangs and a mullet.   She also had an Annie perm at age five.  She loved everything Annie.
Well, there you have it.
Courtney in a nutshell.
Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter who has brought us nothing but happiness.
I pray that her daughters will bring her as much pride and joy as she has brought to us.
Carry on.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snoiwshoeing adventure and The Milwaukee Public Museum

On Saturday, John and I headed up to Oshkosh with our snowshoes in tow.
Last winter we were able to use them many time, this year we have yet to have used them due to lack of snow.
We took them along to Oshkosh, not knowing if there would be enough snow to use them or not.
We decided to strap them on and head out on Lake Winnebago.
It was perfect weather for snowshoeing and we enjoyed our two hours on the lake.

After this adventure, we headed over to Courtney and Paul's for a babysitting adventure while they attended an adult prom at the University.
We took the girls to Glass Nickel for pizza and then enjoyed dessert and movies until bedtime.
On Sunday we took the girls to the Milwaukee Public Museum on our annual trip.
I love seeing the museum through their little eyes.
They both really enjoyed it and all four of us will sleep well tonight, I think.

I will leave you with a picture of Soli and their new kitty, Ashi.
Good night all, these big weekends sure do tire me out.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Spirit week 2015 and Valentine's Day 2015 are now in the books

This past week was Spirit Week at St. John's.
Spirit week is always a fun filled week.
The kids love dressing up in the theme of the day.
 Monday was Pajama day.  I love being able to dress in comfy pj's for the day.
 Tuesday was crazy hat day.  Very distracting day for little kids especially when their teacher is wearing a big crab on her head.
 Wednesday was sports team day.  We had Brewers, soccer players, Badgers, but the most popular were the Packers.
 Thursday was class color day.
Our color was red which worked out well for Valentine's day fun, too.
Friday was maroon and gold day.
We all sported our school colors.

Valentine's Day was on Saturday.
It was 20 below zero with the wind chills so any outdoor activities were not going to happen.
We decided to go to Eastowne Mall for some shopping and looking.
We intended to eat at the Olive Garden, Outback, or Red Lobster, but the waits were so long at all of theose restaurants that we headed back to Lake Mills and ate at Blue Moon.
A great decision.
I had spaghetti and meatballs, John had heart shaped ravioli, I had lots of wine.
We had a night cap at Lyons Pub.
It was a great Valentine's Day.

I also have a new phone because my old one died.  I am getting used to it.
I got a fitbit from the girls for my birthday and now I am obsessed with getting my 10000 steps in for the day.
I did very well during the week, but yesterday and today, not so much.
I am going to do my walking tape now and see how many steps I can get with that.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Birthday Celebration, Take Two

I had another fun birthday celebration this weekend.
This time it included Mal, Alissa, and Courtney's family.
On Friday night, Alissa arrived and John, my mom, Alissa, Mal and I went to Bismark's for a few beers and dinner.
The good news was we had great drinks, food, and conversation.
The bad news was that we all smelled like a fried fish when we left.  The smell lingered on our clothes for days.
We went over to Fire Cracker to continue our night.
On Saturday, Lissa and I headed up to Oshkosh for a girls outing.
Tiz had play practice, so after a lunch at Hot Dog Charlie's, we dropped her off.  Soli, Courtney, Lis, and I enjoyed an afternoon of shopping at Hobby Lobby and the Outlet Mall.  Alissa got weak and needed a coffee so we had some pick me ups at Crispy Cream.
We dropped Soli and Lis off at the Van Auken home while Courtney, Tiz, and I shopped at the Dollar Tree.  I had promised Tiz we could do that since she missed our whole afternoon with her practice.
She bought ten items that she simply could not live without.
We met Paul, Soli, and Lis over at Christiano's for pizza.
After our yummy meal, Lis, Courtney, and I enjoyed gallery walk in downtown Oshkosh.  We ended up at Becket's for a drink but the old man band was so loud, we opted to leave and head over to another bar for a few more drinks and lots of great, fun conversation.
It was another fun way to celebrate my birthday.
On Sunday, we had sweet treats for breakfast along with some creamy milk that Paul purchased,  It pretty much grossed Courtney and I out, so Courtney ran to the gas station for some skim milk.
The weather was pretty nasty, so Lissa and I headed out by 9:15.
We did not have any problems along the way.
The girls got me a fibbit so I am busy trying to get that up and running.
Another fun weekend.  Turning 62 is not so bad after all.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Birthday Celebration with a few of my Favorite People

Friday was my birthday, but I guess you already know that if you read my last post.
I had a wonderful celebration in school that morning with 16 little preschoolers.
They have a way of making everything special and birthdays are no exception.
Tizita had Friday off so she was able to come for a sleepover which made my birthday even better.
John picked her up in Oshkosh on his way home from work on Thursday, they enjoyed a grandpa/granddaughter dinner and then came to Watertown.
On Friday, Tizita helped me at school.
She loves to help the kids with craft projects and she is good at it.  I see some serious teacher qualities in her, but she wants to be a snow plow driver, artist, and hair stylist.
Here I am with my class.

Here is Tiz working with the kids.

After school, we hurried home to make two birthday cakes.
Our four tiered cake did not turn out very well due to the fact that we could not get the cakes out of the pans, but Tiz, in her ever optimistic way, said, "It will be all right, Grandma, we will laugh about this someday."
After all was said and done, the cake was fine.  Tiz glued it together with frosting and had a great time decorating it.

My mom, Tizita, John, and I went to the Mine Shaft in Hartford for dinner and gaming on Friday night.
It was such a fun time and Tiz totally dominated one of the games.
She won over 4500 tickets and was able to get a purple lava lamp.
This is just a small amount of her tickets.  The machine just kept spitting them out.  She needed to get a large bucket from the prize people to put them into.  It was so fun for her.  She was much like a celebrity.
John ordered me a special birthday drink, a flaming Hurricane, which was not only on fire, but tasted delicious.
When he ordered it, the waitress said to him, "Now just to make sure your wife is the one next to the little girl, not the one next to you, right?"  HA!  The one next to him was my mom.
Maybe turning 62 isn't so bad after all.
When we got home, I opened the goody box and got a perfect score of 10!

On Saturday morning, we had to take Tiz home in time for a play practice, so we decided to take Soliana to Chuck E Cheese for some more gaming fun.
She had such a great time and she asked if just she, grandpa, and I could come again.
Of course, we will come again, sweet girl.
Here are some photos of her enjoying the outing.

John and I stayed overnight in Oshkosh, so we got to spend still more time with our precious granddaughters.
We woke up on Sunday to a lot of blowing snow and cold temps, so we left early and made the drive home in the snow.
What a great birthday and it is not over yet.
Next weekend Alissa joins the fun and we are all heading up to Oshkosh for another celebration.
I am blessed and a bit spoiled.

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