Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Oct 30th - Last Day Before Vacation!

I had a lot to do today, but I didn't really do much of it!  I did start my day with the water aerobics class - and had a good hard work out.

At home, I had things to do around the house (does it never end?) and some computer things.  I finally gave in and took a short nap in the afternoon.  Then at 5:00, I went over to babysit with the kids, so David and Lisa could go out.  They were going to a class, but wanted to go out to eat beforehand, since they had been unable to go out the day before on their anniversary.

The kids and I had a ball.  We played in Brooks room and once that was a total disaster, we moved to Ashby's room.  When that had been destroyed, Brooks wanted to go play with the "tracks" so we headed down to the family room to play with the Thomas the Train stuff.  We then played down there for a long time.  Ashby had stayed in her room to play alone for a while, but eventually showed up in the family room.  She eventually turned on the computer and started watching the shows she likes.

By then, it was time for Brooks to get ready for bed, so he and I headed back up to his room.  He still takes a bottle at bedtime, and was anxious for me to fix it for him, but once we got ready, he just wanted his "paci."  He sat in my lap for quite a while watching a music video, then we read the Goodnight Moon book and he went right to bed, never making another sound.

Then it was time to get Ashby ready for bed, but she was told she could stay up until Mommy got home.  She had her snack, went potty, got on PJ's, and then went back to watch her videos a little.  It wasn't long until Mommy got home. 

It was a very fun evening.  The children are so cute and say some of the funniest things.  It is always a successful day when it ends with grandchildren!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oct 29th - A New Week Begins!

Busy Monday - at least for me.  I started the day as I usually do - recovering the house from the weekend.  Thank goodness Lisa and kids pick up the toys pretty good, so it isn't too bad.  In fact, today I only found two matchbox cars in the dining room - all other toys present and accounted for in the toy closet!

I met Lisa and the kids at Costco at 11:15 to shop for warm PJ's for the kids.  We will be heading to North Carolina this week and it will be much colder than it has been here.  The best price in town for fleece, footed PJ's was Costco.  We bought 4 for Ashby and 5 for Brooks, so they should be set for the winter now.  We also spent a long time looking at the children's books.  And, yes, I am a sucker for books, so they each got two.  We also spent a long time in the toy aisle.  With Christmas coming, there were a ton of really cute things and they loved exploring.  The cutest thing was when we tossed down these gigantic animal shaped pillows on the floor and Brooks took a flying leap! We finished our shopping trip by getting some pizza before we left.  There isn't a cheaper lunch in town!

On my way home, I stopped to pick up some books that had come in at the library, deposited some checks at the ATM, and did a little shopping at CVS.  I picked up some specials there, using coupons, and walked away with $10 in savings bucks for my next trip.  Not bad.

Back home, I did a few more things, including some computer stuff, and then broke down and took a short nap.  I am almost finished with my current book and I wanted to read - I just fell asleep doing it!

For dinner, I had some of the left over soup from the other night and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Sure was good!  Bill got home later and had the same dinner. 

I finished up the book during the evening.  It was In the Garden of the Beast, a nonfiction book about the American ambassador to Berlin, and his daughter, around 1933-1937 when Hitler was coming to power.  It was really good.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oct 28th - Another Sunday Rolls Round

As usual, Sundays are just good days.  I started this morning with getting dinner planned, working on some RS stuff, etc.

Then I went to church.  Today was the Primary program in Sacrament Meeting, so that was fun.  They did a nice job and were all so cute.  I went to Gospel Principles for Sunday School and we had a nice lesson on the temple and family history.  In RS, the lesson was from Elder Dallin H Oaks talk about Sacrifice from April conference - excellent talk and lesson.

The best part of the day, though, is to come home and have the kids all here.  We finished getting dinner on and enjoyed sitting around eating and talking.  We were still at the table when Bill got home, which was nice for a change!  Then the kids were ready to play and show off and entertain us.  They were outside for a little bit, but it was getting a little cold.  Ashby was excited that Ethan came over to play for a few minutes.

We ended the evening back inside with the kids entertaining us again.  Brooks is feeling much better, but still has a nasty rash on his legs and feet.  Ashby was off the wall energetic - too much Halloween candy from the last two nights???? 

After they left, my visiting teacher dropped by with some warm chocolate chip cookie bars.  She was feeling guilty because the month is almost over and she hadn't come to see me yet.  We visit at church, so it isn't like I have been forgotten or anything, but I enjoyed her efforts to come by.

So, it was another wonderful Sabbath Day!  I love the Savior and I love my family - what could make a day better?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oct 27th - Trunk or Treat

What a wild day!  Tonight was the ward trunk or treat, so there was a bit of preparation to be done in advance of that.  Dinner was a soup/chili pot luck, so I decided to try out a new soup recipe - tomato basil parmesan.  It wasn't hard to fix, but it was cooked in the crock pot so I had to get it going.  It turned out really good!

I also had to make some cupcakes for the cake walk.  Again, that wasn't hard, but it did take a little time. 

Bill went to the BYU-GA Tech football game, so he made some cookies (the refrigerator dough kind) so he could go to a tail gate party at the home of some friends.  All of that kept our kitchen pretty busy!

I also had to do some laundry, press some of the pockets that will be sewn on the aprons we are making for RS, and other usual things.

Originally, we had planned to have Ashby and Brooks go with us to the ward party, but Brooks is still sick, so I thought I would be going alone.  If I hadn't felt an obligation to go because of the RS assignment for the cake walk, I would have just stayed home.  I do not usually enjoy these kinds of parties that much, but go out of obligation.  However, at the very last minute, Lisa called and said Ashby wanted to come.  That made the evening much more fun!

Ashby was dressed as a mermaid and was very excited.  We had the soup dinner, a costume parade (which she wouldn't walk in), prizes for costumes, game time (only a partial success, since whoever was supposed to have games for little ones totally dropped the ball!), and finally the trunk or treat.  She liked the cake walk and got her cupcake, but then just walked around because there was nothing else to do.  She was one of the first out for the trunk or treating, though!  She made the rounds and then was finished, happy with what she had.  She didn't even want to go around a second time.

We went in to help clean up the cake walk mess, and she sat on the floor and ate some M&M's and then wanted to help us clean up.  She is just so cute!

We called Lisa as we were leaving so she could come get her.  We got a little time at home before her mommy came and then we sat and talked for a few minutes, so she got a little play time before she had to go home.  If we had planned better, she could have just spent the night..

It turned out to be a really fun day.  And, by the way, Bill enjoyed the game as BYU destroyed GA Tech!  He didn't get home until way late, as after the game, a whole group of them went out to dinner.  He had a great time, too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oct 26th - Friday - what else can I say?

I had big plans for today, but I was just so tired and didn't feel like doing anything!  This darn cold or whatever is breaking up, but I still have no energy.  I am really looking forward to vacation next week - maybe I can really get rested up!

I was working on the normal things around the house - especially getting my weekend RS email prepared and out.  Bill called shortly before lunch and said his afternoon job had to reschedule so he would be home shortly and we could go out to lunch.  Being one to never turn down lunch, I was ready when he got home!

We stopped to make a deposit at the bank and then tried out the new Mexican restaurant by the Kroger where we usually shop.  The place has gone through a ton of reincarnations and we hadn't been at the latest one yet.  It was good, but Del Rio is better.

From there, we went up to Home Depot to do a little window shopping.  We are needing to redo the kitchen badly (the house is 13 years old), so we wanted to check out a few things and get an idea of prices.  We looked at counter tops mostly.  We will keep our existing cabinets, with some of the door fronts just relaminated, but counter tops are a must do, along with sink, faucets, backsplash and floor.  Anyway, we got enough information to start making some plans.

Back home, I did a few more things around the house and then took a nap.  How exciting has my life become?  I almost never nap and I have napped every day this week!

For dinner, we were invited to the home of a family that Bill home teaches.  They had planned to visit earlier in the week and events prevented that, so they just invited both of us to come to dinner since they were also having the missionaries.  It was fun and the dinner was wonderful!

So, although I didn't really do what I had originally planned, the day was not wasted!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oct 25th - Book Group

The day started with my water aerobics class, progressed to the normal household routine, led to a good bit of computer time, and finally forced a nap!  In other words, a pretty normal day.

This evening was our RS book group.  We had read Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielsen.  We had a nice turnout and we all enjoyed the book.  Our discussion led us in several different directions which were all interesting. 

It is always fun to have an evening out with a group of friends who make me laugh and who are not afraid to share personal feelings.  Great evening!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oct 24th - Confusing Day

My day kept changing today - first one plan, then another.  It turned out to be a good day in the end, though.

I worked around the house in the morning, doing the usual housekeeping chores, laundry, etc.  Then I had a presidency meeting at 11:30.  Lisa had wanted me to babysit with Brooks at 2:00 while Ashby went to the doctor, but she called and cancelled that, as it turned out David was available. 

That left the last half of my afternoon open, but by the time I got home, ate some lunch, and did a few computer things, I was exhausted.  I am still fighting this stupid upper respiratory thing and I get through the energy reserve too quickly!  I rested for a bit, and actually fell asleep for a few minutes, before getting up to do a few other things - all things that needed to be done, but I had been putting to the side.

I heard from Lisa late in the day that Ashby did not have strep, although her throat looked terribly red, according to the doctor.  That was the good news.  Bad news was that Brooks now has a fever and wouldn't eat.  They may be in for another long night.

So this was one of those days that doesn't sound like much when I retell it, but I actually accomplished a lot of little stuff.  I seem to have a lot of those days!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Oct 23rd - Busy Tuesday

I started my day by throwing the sheets in the washer, then went to my water aerobics class.  When I got home, I showered, washed my hair, etc, and did the usual house routine.

In the early afternoon, I went over to Costco to do a major shopping spree.  I shopped until my cart was too full to hold anything else!  Then I had to load it all in my car - unload it all at home - start putting it away.  I got all the freezer and refrigerator things put away, plus a lot of other stuff.  I still have my pushcart full of other things that will go into my now clean long term storage area.  Maybe I will get that done tomorrow.

All of that really wore me out - particularly all that lifting of heavy things - and I am feeling it in my back.  I thought a short nap was what I needed, but I never did sleep.  I did finish the book I had been reading and started another one, though, so it wasn't a total loss.  After all, a rest is often enough!

I fixed a casserole for dinner - one of those rare days when I actually fix dinner.  Wow!  I was still so tired that I hit the bed early and read some more.

I think I totally wore myself out with the shopping trip, but it is good to get resupplied.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oct 22nd - Empty Nesters

I started the day by getting four loads of laundry going, cleaning the house, etc.  We hosted Empty Nesters FHE this evening and I needed to get the usual straightening from the Sunday fun, as well as a little extra.

Then I went to meet one of my visiting teaching sisters for lunch.  We had a great time catching up and just chatting for about an hour.  On my way home, I made a stop at the library and at the grocery store to pick up things for refreshments this evening.

Back home, I continued to work on laundry (how can just two people create so many dirty clothes?)!  I also had some things to do on the computer and a few other odds and ends around the house.  I finally got so tired that I took a quick nap.  Boy that felt good!  I am still fighting this cold, or whatever it is in my throat, and my energy level is a little low.

When Bill got home, he did the vacuuming - have I said before how much I hate our vacuum cleaner?  It weighs a ton and gives me a back ache to use.  I will when I have no choice, but otherwise that is his job.  After all, he was the one that bought the darn thing.  I managed to even get the final load of laundry all put away!

I fixed chocolate fondue for refreshments.  Everyone else brought in something for our pot luck refreshments and as always, we had a feast!  We had a nice turnout for FHE - there were 14 of us.  Our activity was a jeopardy like game about the October conference.  What fun! 

A long, busy day - but another good one.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oct 21st - Jason's Birthday

The first thing I thought of this morning - and several other times during the day - was that this is Jason's birthday.  He would be 35 years old.  I try not to dwell on it, but I can't help but wonder what he would be doing at this point in his life.  I still love and miss him!

The rest of my Sunday was pretty much a normal day.  I spent the morning doing some last minute RS things, getting dinner planned and partially prepared, getting showered, etc.

Church was good, as always.  It was high council Sunday and the speaker who came with the high counselor was from public affairs and talked about that.  She was OK, but took entirely too long, so we only got a bit of the main talk which was too bad.  Even so, it was a good meeting.  Gospel Principles was on the Law of Chastity.  The RS lesson was from George Albert Smith and was about Temporal Preparedness.  Both were good lessons.

When I got home, Lisa and family were all out in the front yard.  David was sitting in a chair, reading a book.  Ashby was in the car playing.  Brooks was running around wearing nothing but a diaper.  And, Lisa was chasing him.  It was such a beautiful fall day and they were enjoying it to the fullest.

When we went in, we got dinner going.  We had grilled pork chops and onions, baked potatoes, frozen peas, applesauce, and homemade bread (the frozen kind!)  It all turned out really good. 

After dinner, the children played, as usual, and eventually ended up in the backyard again.  They just love running and playing out there.  When it started to get cool once the sun went down, we went back in the house and had our dutch apple pie and ice cream.  They then had to head home since Brooks had not napped much and was getting very tired.

As Sundays usually are, this was a good one. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oct 20th - TOFW

We had a great day today at Time Out for Women.  After breakfast at the hotel, we headed over to the Convention Center and were able to get good seats again.  The presenters and music were all great.  Jericho Road was the featured musical group and they were very good.  I enjoyed every bit of it.

We got home late in the afternoon.  We gave Christine a ride home, dropped Lisa off, and then I headed on home myself.  I am absolutely beat!  I am still fighting the sore throat thing so that adds to the tired out feeling. 

I got something to eat, checked out email, etc., and then read a little.  Early bed tonight!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oct 19th - TOFW Starts

I spent the morning running some errands, getting my haircut, packing my suitcase, running by the bank, etc.  I got to Lisa's shortly before 1:00 and we took off together to attend Time Out for Women this evening and tomorrow.  We will stay over in a hotel since it is being held at the Convention Center near the airport.

Our first stop was at IKEA to pick up something Lisa had found for Brooks' Halloween costume.  We enjoyed wandering around and looking at things.  We had a little frozen yogurt before we left there.

Our next planned stop was the hotel.  However, the traffic on the interstate was so bad that we couldn't even get back on.  So, being the brave souls we are, we just took off cross city to try to get around the problem.  Using the less than wonderful GPS map, we managed to get down to I-20 and from there we had free sailing.  Needless to say, we were quite proud of ourselves!

We checked into our hotel, the Crown Plaza, and rested for just a few minutes.  Then we headed out to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner.  About 5:30, we headed on over to the Convention Center, arriving just before they opened the doors. 

The evening program was really good - 2 speakers and a singer.  It was fun and uplifting.  Then we headed back to the hotel after stopping to pick up a few snacks.  We turned on the TV, Lisa worked on the Christmas stocking she is making for Brooks, and I read. 

What a great day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oct 18th - Not Quite so Wild Today!

I started my day with some of the usual things around the house, including getting some laundry started.  Then I took off for my water aerobics class, which is always fun.

When I got home, I finished up the laundry, did a few more tasks around the house and at the computer.  My biggest project was trying to get the chocolate order done.  I thought I had it finished and then discovered that something was out of balance.  It took me quite a while to finally get it figured out.  Of course, it was a silly mistake on my part, but finding it was a doozy!

I feel like I am trying to fight off a cold or something, so I took a pretty good nap this afternoon.  I hope the sore throat and congestion disappear quickly!

This evening we had Stake Auxiliary Leadership meeting, which was good.  Brother Penrod spoke to the RS section about welfare.  He is always a good speaker and had some great ideas, but obviously barely touched the subject before his time was up.

So I got a lot done, but my Thursday was not quite the whirlwind that my Wednesday had been!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Oct 17th - Whirlwind!

Boy, some days really get crazy - and this was one of them!

I started the day doing a few things around the house, getting some laundry started, etc.  Then mid-morning, I went to visit one of my sisters and we had a great time.  She and I also do water aerobics together, so I see her often, but we don't often get the chance to sit and talk.

From there, I went to Chili's to meet up with a friend who just lost her mother-in-law and with Lisa.  Of course, that also meant three little ones!  We had coupons for free kids meals, so that makes a trip to Chili's a smart move!  Plus, of course, they are not all that busy at lunch so we aren't creating any sort of a ruckus.  We had a nice lunch, chatting and catching up, and the kids were all good.

After lunch, we (Lisa and kids and I) went over to Target to shop for a new car seat for Ashby.  We need a second seat for our car and Ashby can move into a booster type seat, which is what we got.  It still has all the protection of the head and sides, but is belted in using the regular seat belts.  Brooks will start using her old car seat, so we can carry both of them without having to switch Lisa's car seats to our car.

From there, we all came over to the house so the kids could play.  Brooks took his nap, Ashby and I worked on a cardboard box dollhouse, Lisa rested.  They seemed to be interested in getting a lot of toys out today, so the place got pretty cluttered!  We eventually fixed some spaghetti for dinner.  David had some estimates to do, so wasn't going to be around at dinner-time anyway. 

As we were finishing up our dinner, Bill got home (he thought he was going to be late, but turned out not so much.)  The kids went wild playing with him.  They also played outside a while - just running and chasing each other.  It was a wild and woolly afternoon!  But, tons of fun.

Once they left, I had some things to do on the computer, laundry to finish folding, etc., and then I ran out of steam!  What a whirlwind day!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Oct 16th - Tuesday on the Run!

This was another busy day.  It started with water aerobics.  Then home to shower quickly and take off again to visit teach one of my sisters.  We had a great visit, which went on a little too long, probably, but we had so much to say!  Then a couple of stops on the way home, and I was finally finished with the running around.

I spent the rest of the day doing the usual odds and ends around the house, actually taking a nap, etc.  Bill had to go to activity night at church, so I had some popcorn and watched a little Netflix, before doing a few more things on the computer. 

I crossed a few things off the "to do" list, but unfortunately added more.  I feel like I am treading water - and losing!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oct 15th - Work, Work, Work!

Monday usually seems to be "get the house back in order after the grandkids have been here" day - and that is what today was.  The kitchen gets cleaned up after Sunday dinner, but there are always little things that still need to be put away, etc.  The toys are all picked up and put away, but as I make the trip around the house, I find toys in some very unexpected places!  We put out the Halloween decorations yesterday, but the bins were still sitting in the living room and the indoor stuff was just sitting around in odd places, so that had to all be cleaned up and arranged so it looked good. 

In addition to all that, I cleaned off part of the desk that had gotten piled with things (always a time-consuming project!), worked on cleaning out the pantries and moving some of the extra food storage into the guest room cabinets that I cleaned out the other day, handled a number of emails and other things, etc.  I even got so tired that I lay down to read for a short while.  I didn't sleep, but the rest was reinvigorating. 

I was working the whole day, but it doesn't sound like much when I write it out!  A lot of days are like that, though.  At least my house was clean and it felt good to walk through it!  So, why didn't the "to do" list get any shorter?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct 14th - Wonderful Sabbath Day!

It had been three weeks since I had been at church and I really enjoyed my day today.  It was fast and testimony meeting, since last week was general conference, and the testimonies were all very good.  Plus, there was a baby blessing which always adds a nice beginning to the meeting. 

The stake RS presidency visited out ward and we met with them during the Sunday School block.  We had a nice discussion about our RS - our successes and our needs, etc.  Then in RS, Stephanie taught the lesson on the Word of Wisdom and did a great job.  I especially liked that she emphasized the spiritual blessings that come from obedience.

When I got home, there were sleeping bodies all over the house!  David was in the recliner, Lisa and Ashby on the couch, and Brooks in the crib.  I almost hated to disturb them all!  Dinner was a crockpot roast, so I just had to stick the rolls in the oven and dish things up.  When the rolls were finished, I stuck a frozen fruit pie in to bake while we were eating.  Everything turned out good - even if it was pretty ordinary. 

Brooks wanted to go out in the back yard to play with bubbles, so Lisa and I sat out there with hm for quite a while.  Ashby was still sleeping, so Brooks got all the attention to himself and he certainly made the most of it. 

Later, we got the Halloween decorations out.  Most of the things I have are for the front yard, so we got ghosts, pumpkins, and a few other things all arranged and the lights hooked up.  While we were outside, Ethan from next door came out to ride his trike and go on a walk with his dad and brother, so Ashby had to come out to see him.  When all the decorations were done, Brooks still wanted to be outside, so Bill ended up going on a walk with him, and Ashby joined them.

When they all got back in the house, the kids were still running crazy.  They love chasing each other around the "loop."  Ashby was showing off doing leaps like the ice skaters from Disney on Ice (which she and Lisa went to see on Friday.)  Brooks got into doing high fives and was hilarious. 

All in all, we laughed a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the show that two little ones can put on!  It was a great day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oct 13th - Happy Birthday, Willie!

Today is my brother's birthday.  If I remember correctly, he turned 13 on a Friday the 13th!  He is a wee bit past 13 now, though.  Happy 64th birthday, Willie Nelson!

I started the day attending the funeral of a woman I have known for several years.  She attended a different ward than I do, but I got to know her when I worked in the stake RS presidency.  I later became acquainted with her daughter-in-law and have become close friends with her.  Melissa was only 59 and died from complications from chemo.  She was always smiling and up beat and I am glad I knew her. 

I spent the afternoon doing various chores around the house and working on some things on the computer.  My biggest chore that I actually completed was emptying out the bottom portion of the shelf units in the guest room.  The bottom two shelves in each of the three units have doors, so I am going to use that hidden area for storing some of my three month and long term canned items.  Most of what was in there ended up in the trash.  Proud of myself!

In the evening, I went over to babysit with Ashby and Brooks while Lisa and David went out for a while.  Needless to say,  we had a great time!  Brooks is talking a blue-streak now and we can actually understand some of what he is saying!  He would say, "Come, Grandma" (in his cute little baby way) and then pull my finger to make sure I followed.  We played basketball, trains, read books, and a ton of other things.  Ashby was playing games on the computer part of the time and then played with us in her room for a while.  When Brooks went to sleep, Ashby was back on the computer, playing a Dora the Explorer game in Spanish.  I was in awe of how well she was doing!  This kid is really bright.  She was tired, though, and went on to bed shortly after.  Tons of fun with those grandkids!

So another busy Saturday for me.  The only problem is that the "to do" list is still there and I don't think I will ever get it emptied!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Oct 12th - Back to a Busy Schedule

Well, I have had to accept that things are back to normal.  I had another busy day.

I started with my doctor's visit to my new gyn.  He is Lisa's ob and she recommended him after my other gyn closed his offices.  It was a good visit, got all the check up stuff done and all looks well.  I have a minor surgical procedure that I will need to take care of one of these days, but I already knew that.  Hopefully the pap smear comes back clear, too.

From there, I went by the grocery store to pick up some things that we were completely out of - milk, butter, cheese, etc.  I have lots of food in the pantries and we could eat for a long time, but Bill had not purchased any of the perishables while I was gone and I finally stocked up on that stuff again. 

At home, I had quite a list of things to tackle, much on the computer.  I still have not gotten everything caught up enough for me to take some time to update all the family history I picked up while on vacation.  I am hoping I can squeeze out a day next week to do that. 

I gave in and took a short nap again today.  I rarely nap, but I have napped several days since I got home.  I guess my body really doesn't want to get back into work mode! 

In the end, I had a very busy and productive day.  Just busy, busy, busy!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Oct 11th - Back to the Real World

Today I had to get back to doing the normal things in my life.  I started with my water aerobics class, then went straight to a RS presidency meeting.  When that ended, I came home, had lunch, spent a good bit of time doing things on the computer that needed to be done (mostly RS things), did a few chores around the house, and took a short nap.

When Bill got home, we had to run out and pick up his van from the shop.  Then I fixed dinner, did more computer things, and finally went to bed to read for a while.

I guess that means my vacation is really over!  I have a huge "to do" list that I need to work on and things seem to be getting busier as we start into the holiday season.  Oh, well!  It is good to be home.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct 10th - Grandkids Day!!!!

First priority back home was to get to see Ashby and Brooks - and Lisa, too, of course.  We met up at the mall play area about 10:30.  Ashby came running and hugged and kissed over and over again.  How fun is that?!!  Brooks was busy playing, but when he saw me, I got the double-take action and a huge grin.  Of course, the hugs had to wait until he was finished playing.  So cute.

Once they were played out, we went on down to the food court and had lunch.  Then we headed over to Grandma's house.  Brooks fell asleep in the car, so Lisa transferred him to the crib after Ashby had gotten her toys out.  Lisa then took my car to run some errands, getting the car washed on the way.  Unfortunately, Brooks only slept an hour or so.  I guess he just wanted to play!

The three of us had fun playing various kids things, then I decided to take them outside with the bubble maker.  Then the run really began!  We made enough bubbles, and dumped enough bubble soap all over, that we will probably have a bubble fountain the next time it rains!

When Lisa got back, it was time for them to all go home so she could get their dinner ready. 

What a fun first day back!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Oct 9th - Home Again!

My last day of vacation........

I got on the road about 7:15, after having the hotel breakfast.  I had a few snacks in the car and that was my lunch.  I didn't stop again until I needed gas past Nashville.  My next stop was home!

I got in shortly before 4:00, so the trip went pretty fast.  I didn't have any problems, so that helps a lot.  Of course, not stopping all the way helps, too.  I unloaded the car, put a few things away, texted Billy who had checked in earlier, and then sat at the computer catching up with everything there.

Bill got home around 5:30 and we sat in the office talking for quite a while - until we got hungry.  We went to Del Rio for dinner.  Needless to say, I was tired and was happy to get to bed early.

Tomorrow will be three weeks since we left and it has been a great vacation.  I spent almost all the time visiting family and friends, many of whom I had not seen in ages.  I did not get any genealogy done, which had been the other part of my plan, but I did pick up some things from some of the family - pictures, stories, etc. - so I have some things to work on.

I am grateful to have had the chance to do this kind of a vacation - I loved every minute of it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oct 8th - Starting Home

I got up, packed, and left when Billy left for work.  I drove over to Dad's and spent a couple of hours with him, including going out to eat lunch.  Willie even stopped over to say goodbye.

Then I headed for Georgia.  I left around 1:00 and drove until about 7:00, staying in Mt. Vernon, IL. 

There isn't much to tell when one is just driving in a car all day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oct 7th - A Totally Lazy Day!

Billy and I managed to be even lazier today than we were yesterday!  Hard to believe, I know.

After sleeping in, we ate a late breakfast - eggs and sausage fixed by Billy this time.  Then we sat around talking and watching TV.  I had my Kindle and read a lot, too.  I think we both slipped in a little nap or two, as well.

When we finally got hungry enough to move again, we went out to a great Italian place and had a very delicious meal.  Then it was back to his place and more football, etc. 

As lazy as it sounds, it was a great day and we were able to talk about a lot of things, as well as relaxing.  I leave tomorrow to start back home, so a final lazy and relaxing day was just what I needed!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oct 6th - A Day with Billy

I am down to my last couple of days of my vacation and I am glad that I am spending them with Billy.  We both slept in this morning and then just lazed around.  We finally had some french toast for breakfast around 11:00.

We spent the afternoon driving around, looking at some of the places Billy has looked at as possible homes to buy.  He is not really sure if he is going to buy, or if he will put that off a little longer, but it is still fun to look around.  It is always fun looking at model homes! 

By late afternoon, we were getting hungry again, so we stopped at the same Mexican place we had gone to last time and had a really good, albeit early, dinner.  Then we went back to his condo and just hung out, watching football, some other shows he tapes, and talking. 

We never were hungry enough to eat much more, even though we had planned on popcorn.  Maybe we will have that tomorrow!  I really enjoyed just chatting.  When things get relaxed, he sometimes talks more and that was the case this evening.

What a great Saturday - I loved it!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oct 5th - Visit Barbara

I got up and on my way after breakfast.  I could have easily spent another day with Shirley and the rest of the cousins, but I had other things on my schedule.

I went by Grundy Center on my way back to Billy's to visit my old friend Barbara.  We have known each other since we were 5.  Our families were together all the time while we were growing up - at least once a week and often more!

Barb's health is really bad and I am not sure if she will pull through, so I really wanted to get a chance to visit with her.  And we had a great visit!  We went out to lunch at the Chinese place, and spent the rest of the time at her place.  It was fun pulling out old memories and getting up to speed on the present.    I spent about three hours there, but left after that because I could tell she was getting very tired and needed to nap.  I am very worried about her and am so glad I was able to see her.

I then drove on down to Des Moines to Billy's.  We went out to Fuddruckers for dinner - what a great burger!  Then we just hung around his apartment. 

So I have racked up another great day.  Time is running short on this vacation, but I have really done a lot of visiting and seen a lot of family and friends. 

Oct 4th - More Fun with Shirley!

Shirley and I had a lazy morning, just sitting around eating breakfast and chatting.  Around 10:00, we decided we really ought to get dressed and do something!

We then made the rounds of Algona - visiting all three cemeteries, driving by all the places we remember as children, etc.  For lunch, we went to the Mexican restaurant.  Then we headed back to her house for a little break.  Of course, we never did stop talking! 

Later in the afternoon, we went over to Vern's to see his house and to chat some more.  His wife got home from work a little later and we all sat around, talking some more!  When we got hungry, we went to Godfather's Pizza where they have a buffet on Thursdays.  We stayed there, eating and talking, until it was almost closing time.

So, we had another great day.  It is amazing that we can find so much to talk about!  Sure is fun, though.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Oct 3rd - On to Algona!

Patty and I had most of the morning, and then I headed on over to Algona to meet up with my cousin Shirley for a couple of days.  We babbled non-stop from the time I got there! 

She had plans to have her brothers over for dinner, so we ran by the grocery and then came home to prepare her part of the meal.  Steven grilled the meat - which was delicious!  He participates in grilling contests all over the country and has won several of the competitions, so needless to say the ribs were probably the best I have ever had!  Everyone else brought other things and we had a terrific meal.

More fun than that was getting to sit around the table and talk.  We had so many stories and memories flying around and we laughed so much.  What a fun evening!  In addition to Shirley and Steven, David, Vernon, and Darryl were all there, plus a couple of wives.

I had such a fun day!

Oct 2nd - Fun Day with Patty

Patty and I have had a great day.  We spent the morning relaxing.  Then we stopped by the garage to copy the pictures of the ship.

From there we went up to Lone Rock to have lunch with John at the cafe.  His wife, Suzy, runs the cafe and we had a wonderful lunch!  We had a wonderful time talking with John and then Suzy joined us when things calmed down.  We sat around the table talking until about 3:00.  It was really good to see John, as it had really been a long time since I had last seen him.

From there, we headed back to Emmetsburg to finish getting dinner prepared and to relax a little.  Moe, his family, and Shaun all came over for dinner.  I really enjoyed seeing Moe, who has been one of the cousins I have been closest to since he was just a little older than Billy.  He went to Florida with us a couple of time when they were young teens.

So this has been another great day of being with family.

Oct 1st - Arrived at Patty's

I got up and left when Billy left for work.  Today I traveled up to Emmetsburg to spend a couple of days with my Aunt Patty. 

I arrived shortly before lunch, so we had some sandwiches and got caught up.  After lunch, we took a ride up to Burt to go to the cemetery where my grandparents are buried, along with a number of other family members.  Along the way, we drove through Fenton and Lone Rock.  We also drove by my Uncle John's farm, the farm my grandparents had when I was a child.  We were both surprised with how small it looks now after all these years.  Things are very run down as my uncle no longer has any animals.  We were also saddened to see the Hammerstrom farm next door is completely gone.

I had brought some pictures from Gene, especially one of the ship that my grandfather crossed on, and Patty was really excited about seeing it.  We did a lot of talking about family history.  Kenny was home for dinner and then we spent the evening relaxing and talking.
It is really fun to see Patty again and we had such a ball today!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sept 30th - Back to Billy's

Paula and I finished my visit today by having another breakfast at home, talking a lot, and cleaning another table top.  Her house is already looking so much better - hope she is able to keep it up and get everything back in order. 

We had so much fun together - it is amazing that we can talk so much and still have more to say!  I enjoyed my visit very much and I think she did, too.  I hope we were able to talk through some things that will help her.  It is certainly a blessing to have been friends for 60 years.  If I had a sister, she would be it!

I left Davenport to head back to Des Moines about 2:45 and got to Billy's shortly before 5:30.  It was a nice drive.  The leaves have suddenly starting turning and I noticed a huge difference from just a week ago when I drove the same highway the other direction.

After watching some football and getting some laundry started, we went out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner.  We picked a place he had never been so we could check it out.  This one passed - food was very good, decor was pleasing, service was good. 

Back home, we watched a little more football, I checked my email and Facebook, and we talked before I finally ran out of steam.

I have had another great day!