Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 Week 5: Celebrating 46, 91, 50 years

January 31st was our 46th wedding anniversary.


 Last week I left you wondering whether we'd have time to celebrate. We did enjoy dinner out at a Teppanyaki Buffet.

My second plate
Meanwhile, our thoughts were very much with Uncle Phil's family after hearing that he passed away early that morning.

Monday night, of course we had dinner and fun at Stephan's. The evening ride there was so beautiful as we watched the sun setting.


Tuesday I informed my students that we would not have class on Thursday as I would be traveling to Pennsylvania to celebrate my uncle's life of 91 years.



My brother Alan and I drove to Pennsylvania and arrived at Aunt Fae's Thursday evening. Other family members were gathering. Such precious reunions!

Aunt Fae and the special rose
The little peuter vase, brought back from Indonesia by Jim and Beth years ago, has a sweet story to tell. Uncle Phil would sneak it out twice a year  to the flower shop (for birthdays and anniversaries) and ask the girls to find a beautiful rose to take back to his wife. It was like a game. Aunt Fae tried to hide the vase so he wouldn't spend the money. He would always find it.
So on this day, family members searched for the vase, one grandson went to the flower shop and brought back a special rose.

Uncle Phil's family has experienced much loss.
The first to go was grandson Shane (Beth and Jim's son), deputy sherrif, who died while on duty some 16 years ago.
Daughter Dawn, the oldest, was next, in 2000.
A few years later, son-in-law Jim, passed away suddenly.

Beth and her new husband, Bud                                               Two brothers, Seth and Jimmy, with Shane's widow, Lynn
Lynn taught us a Dutch word gezellig, which she used to describe how grandson Hirschy looks after his grandmother--makes coffee and popcorn and spends evenings with her.


The memorial service in the Baptist church, where Uncle Phil served faithfully all his life, was well attended. Many shared wonderful, inspiring and some humorous memories of Philip Hirschy--teacher, friend, community servant. . .

As a veteran of WWII, who miraculously survived the Battle of the Bulge, the service included military honors.


A meal was served in the building in the back left, named for Norman Hirschy, my grandfather, who pastored the church for over 30 years.

Evans City Baptist Church    The original church later converted to a home for missionaries.    The old Hirschy homestead
So many childhood memories are wrapped up in these photos. Our family lived in Evans City the year I went to eighth grade.


Three of us cousins wandered the cemetary that afternoon and found the grave markers of several family members. On Uncle Phil's we discovered a strange little gift. Can you guess?


If you'd ever met him, whether you knew him personally or not, you would likely have gotten a kiss from him--a Hershey's kiss! He carried a plastic bag and gave them out freely. Several of the memories shared were of times he'd caught people off guard offering a kiss, before clarifying what kind!

I rode back with cousin Rosie (who then went on to Chicago) and arrived home safely long before Mike was back from his long day at robotics. He's worked there nearly every day.


Sunday, however, was a good day at home. And in the evening, together with Leah's family, we celebrated the 50th Super Bowl and especially the Broncos victory with QB Peyton Manning, who still belongs to us in Indiana!

Watching football intently

. . .not so intently 
A very full week is over. What will the next one hold?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Week 4: Robot, Spanish, Birthday

I chose a guiding phrase for this year.

Oops! Not this kind of adventure! Poor Michael spent quite a bit of his precious robot-time trying to locate the blockage in our drain.



Afterwards it was my turn to take precious lesson-preparation time to clean the mess accumulated in the kitchen.

Monday these photos appeared on Facebook. Rebecca is growing, and her hair is long enough for cute poneytails.


Wednesday, January 27th, was Elijah's birthday, so I chose just a few old photos to post along with his birthday greeting.


We were talking about Puerto Rico in one of my Spanish classes, so I pulled out a favorite picture taken when we were there in 1981. Perfect find for a TBT post on Facebook! So far more than 50 people have responded. They remember our kids when they were that age living on the ship M/V Doulos.


A group of five deer slowly graze their way around our land in a southeasterly path almost daily.



Other wildlife that unwittingly delight and entertain us, are birds of many kinds. Michael fills their feeders faithfully.


Mike also decided to scatter the walnuts we had gathered over a year ago. Sure enough, the squirrels discovered the stash. It is great fun to watch their speedy shelling process. 

Today, Saturday, was Elijah's party with friends and family.


And I got my Rebecca fix!


Being in Muncie, I decided to stop by Team 1720's shop to see the progress on the robot. The place was buzzing with activity. They were hoping to begin building their second spare robot today.

Mentor Mike investing in the lives of young future engineers.
It's Mike's 11th robot-build season. Early mornings and late nights, robots on the brain 24/7--that's his life.

Will there be time and opportunity to celebrate our 46th anniversary tomorrow? I'll let you know next week.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 Week 3: Keeping on keeping on. . .

Last weekend Stephan posted a photo of this beautiful sculpture. Don't know what the occasion was, only that it holds special meaning for us who lived on a ship for five years.


Mike and I are very focused on our current committments, living in survival-mode--only basic cleaning and house hold chores. However, I did "undress" the Christmas tree.
Just as I had enjoyed the sparkly fruit so much on the tree, I continued to  like what I saw as the colorful pile waited on the coffee table a whole week before it made its way to the attic. The bare tree patiently stands.


Having a good book to listen to helps me get a lot more done.
This is the most recent read/listen--a very moving and powerful story of how God can take a horrible tragedy and make something good and beautiful by his grace and through those who choose forgiveness over bitterness.


We are so privileged to live in this beautiful setting where we can watch: deer bedded down in the morning, . . .


. . . and grazing in the sunshine the next day; squirrels scampering; birds feeding. . .



After the long day of teaching, it was fun to meet mi hija Leah at Ivanhoes for great food and a shared chocolate-covered-strawberry sundae.


Saturday afternoon I hung out with grandson Elijah to go shopping in celebration of his upcoming 11th birthday.

Elijah: "First we'll go to MC Sports. Look, they have a big CLEARANCE SALE banner out front!"

The coolest soccer cleats were pricey, so only one more smaller item allowed. Two other shops. Found nothing of interest. Saw lots of Star Wars stuff and laughed remembering our family joke at Christmas-time, imitating little kids' references to Stah Wahs."

Elijah: "I'd like to see it again."
Grandma: "Let's go see if it's on."

Went next door to AMC. 3D version showing at 4:00. We were two minutes early! Perfect!

Elijah under his #1-favorite-soccer-player poster--Lionel Messi from Argentina!   Grandma and Elijah 3D Star-Wars gazing.
So this old grandma understands a little more when people talk about Stah Wahs!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Week 2: Winter at last!





The week began with our neck of the woods blanketed with snow. Oh, so beautiful, . . .


. . .but potentially treacherous driving conditions.
Mike took care of our lane and driveway to avoid impossible plowing conditions later.

 This squirrel seemed to be having fun!


I really thought weather conditions would keep people away from Monday Night Meal, but we made it, and to my surprise, five others turned out for a fun evening!
I was happy to see the puzzle we worked on a couple times was finished and still on the table.


School delays and closings were in effect throughout our area, but that did not affect our Ivy Tech campus, so I drove very carefully (and a bit scared after reading of a friend's accident on the highway!) and arrived safely (breath again!) around 12:30 to prepare for my first class.

This is what the board looked like after the Day 1 four-hour session.

Los pronombres
When I walked into the next classroom and looked out the window, the sun was setting.


Thursday's Day 2, we had our vowel-pronunciation lesson and skit.

Las vocales
One day this week, our 2015 memories blook arrived--a hard copy of Meemaw Moments, by Blog2Print, replaces the annual photo albums I used to put together.


Also throughtout the week, there were several Facebook appearances of son Sam's beautifully crafted skateboards.


Fridays I am privileged to meet with writer friends. This week we had a full house and a lot of fun!




Both authors of this book were present, and my copy had just arrived--perfect opportunity for autographs!  That evening, I found the time to become engrossed in the story, mostly due to the fact that my six-week robotics widowhood has begun!
Team work hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00-9:00 PM, and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, officially, but there are those who are having so much fun, they would live at the shop if they could. Last night it was past midnight when they left, but happy 'cause they'd had a breakthrough!

These same robotoholics spend every other moment focused on the project. Their brains do not stop even when they are sleeping! Problems are often detected, if not solved, overnight.

2016 Team 1720 PhyXTGears
Notice how the team has grown, and they have great plans for this year, so now they are looking for sponsors!

That's it for Week 2, fifty more to go!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Week 1: Quiet Week

Sunday, my friend Patryce and I spent the afternoon together to attend a wonderful concert in Indianapolis at this beautiful church, four amazing voices.


The week went by with very few pics to document the activities that filled every day, I guess they seemed routine, or not photo-worthy.

Slowly Christmas decorations made their way upstairs closer to the storage area in the attic.
The collection of turtles returned to the kitchen window sill, with the addition of a new little member that joined them over the holidays. Isn't he cute?



The additional focus of the week, to prepare for the two classes I will be teaching this spring, is still in progress. Syllabi are posted, but there is much to do yet to be ready for the challenge of two long days in the classroom--Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-5:00 and 6:00-8:00.

I have no more photos, so I will borrow from Facebook.

Stephan was in Detroit for a few days working with a 10-member team of carvers, the event was CARved.


Mike has been intensely busy preparing for robotics build-season which began today, January 9th, with the simulcast revealing the 2016 game--STRONGHOLD. Check it out!

The rest of the day was spent reviewing, researching, brain-storming, assigning tasks. See Mike teaching that full classroom of eager PhyXTGears team members, all wearing their fancy 2016 t-shirts?


Let the 2016 build-season and the new semester begin!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015-2016 Welcome the New Year!

Our 46th wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of January, in the middle of robot build-season, six intense weeks living in survival mode. So we decided to get away for a couple days after Christmas.
We stayed at the Oakwood Resort on Lake Wawasee Sunday through Tuesday on the third floor.



Our breakfast table
We could see our room from the breakfast nook.



Monday was a cold and blustery day, a mixture of sleet, rain, and high winds. Driving was slow and hazardous. Even so we ventured out to visit our consuegro in Michigan City.


That evening, back in our room, we watched football and put together a 3D puzzle we had purchased the day before. Mike had really wanted to try the 3D challenge. Ha! It turned out to be the easiest puzzle we ever worked on! Each piece is numbered on the back and has an arrow indicating the direction for the next placement.

Notice Arentina in the front!
After checking out on Tuesday we spent some time in downtown Winona Lake, ate at Cerulean's, strolled by the canal, looked in some shops and then went to visit Mother and brother Alan.

Seaweed Teriyaki



The last day of the year was the second annual shopping trip with the older grandsons. Will there be a third?


We welcomed the New Year quietly at home, watching TV.
In the morning a visitor ventured close.



Saturday we had more visitors--our friends the Eichers! They enjoy our woods.




Both father and son tried swinging around the tree!


Ah, but Mom Neeru had a fun pottery lesson after treating us to a delicious Indian meal.



Master potter Mike taught a different group the next day in Sunday School, the first grade class.
Their lesson was from Jeremiah 18 where he was told to go to the potter's house. God had something to teach the prophet. I think the children learned a lot too and had fun making a little pinch pot themselves.


As we face this new year, I wait expectantly to see what the heavenly Potter wants to do in our lives as He molds and makes us into His image.