Saturday, October 22, 2016

2016 Week 42: A Week of Blessings

As promised, I will now post my favorite photos of last Sunday's family birthday celebration--Kayla's 25th!
I worked steadily for hours to have everything in readiness for the taco bar and ice cream and toppings bar, so that I could be available when everyone arrived. So, when Rebecca pulled me by the hand and said, "Walking," I was there and walk we did, all the way up the lane to the road. She would have gone further, but I managed to persuade her to head back toward the house.

Indoors pumpkin carving/decorating fun ensued.

And, of course, what's a family birthday without the Krazy Koch song?!

Not everybody could join us, but we were glad that Lexi could be there!

Sadly, Malachi had just found out that the reason his wrist  had been hurting for some time was that there was a break! He awaits the orthopedic surgeon's decision next week. Meanwhile we pray.

Monday was the only day Skye and his friend were able to come out and work. It was rainy and cold most evenings.

Michael felled a few more trees this week so they will have plenty to cut, lug around, chop and stack when they come back.

"Better fall away from the house."

He's also found several windows of opportunity to go out riding.

I couldn't resist borrowing Kristie's photos for my blog, after all it is about Meemaw's favorite Moments, right?
Wednesday was 50's day for Zion. Mom and brother got to visit and have lunch with him.

Cool dude.                                                                                      Best buddies. 

For me it was Food 4 Thought ladies group at Esther's house. I loved the flowers by her mailbox.

We are experiencing a beautiful and prolonged fall season that will soon come to an end.

My coloring from two weeks ago reminds me of the harvest that never ends.

Friday, our lovely yoga instructor treated us to a free session because it was her birthday!
I definitely benefitted, even if I could not achieve every pose. But, hey, my role was to take pictures, right?

Again I'm tempted to steal borrow photos from Facebook, because I so enjoy Leah's creativity.

Speaking of seasonal pumpkin art, here is another FB borrowed pic (son Stephan on the left).

Our giraffe at the Milwaukee zoo. Carved by Stephan A. Koch and Greg Butauski. Titled "Spot-On". 24 man hours in this piece. Giraffe was made of a single 325 lbs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 Week 41: A very full week--friends, fun, family

It's Tuesday already. A fun-filled week with many photos takes longer to process.
We have two October birthdays, our youngest and oldest grandchildren, only three days apart.
The family celebrations were a week apart.

Sunday afternoon Jude's birthdy party was at a park, the weather was perfect and the four-year-old had a great time.

We left as soon as he'd opened our gift and rewarded us with sweet hugs.
We were headed to Grand Rapids to pick up the bronze Mike entered in Art Prize.
The Stevens, friends who used to live in Upland, offered us wonderful hospitality.

Monday, after a lovely breakfast we picked up Serenity at 9:00 a.m. and drove back in time for me to teach around noon.

Skye and his friend cut and stacked wood every evening for two or three hours.

Mike takes care of his bees faithfully. He's begun to winterize the hives.

The robotics team responsibilities have only increased with the planned move, but Michael finds great enjoyment working with these young folk.  Two recent graduates came back for a visit.

The weather has been unusually mild, but I thought it best to bring the plants in before the cold sets in.

Saturday we attended Malachi's cross country regional competition. The Delta team has done well. They go to semistate next week.

In the meantime, the little guys find ways to entertain themselves.

While in Muncie, we stopped in to see the progress at MadJax, the soon-to-be new home of Team 1720, the PhyXTGears.
I was so impressed realizing that Michael master minded the whole design.
It is going to be a very spacious and adequate shop.

View of nearly the 91ft. length; surveying progress from the entrance; cables the team pulled; the10th and final design.
From the roof we could see the building where Kayla works teaching her many dance classes--Cornerstone Center for the Arts.

Speaking of Kayla, we celebrated her 25th birthday this last Sunday, but I'll save those photos for next week.

Monday, October 10, 2016

2016 Week 40: S.O.G. Days

They call us silly old grandparents when we seemingly enjoy our grandchildren more then we did our children. There may be some truth to that, perhaps it's because we attempt to do a better job the second time around. We are just grateful that our families live near and we can participate in most of the kids activities, several this week alone.

Grandson Skye has been working for grandpa several weeks now. It's fun to see him nearly every day. The huge fallen oak is nearly gone now and will fuel the furnace when winter sets in.

Tuesday, a surprise visit from a little one who excitedly exclaimed "Abuela!" as soon as she recognized our lane.  She also knows the difference between abuelo and abuela! (That's more than some of my students at this point.) Rebecca doesn't know to stay still for a photo, though!

Becca in motion
Wednesday, Kayla gave me a ride home after her birthday lunch with all the tapping ladies. I totally forgot to photograph our fun time together, but here is a later pic of the 25 year-old teacher herself!

Happy birthday, Kayla!

Zion excitedly welcomed his abuelas on Friday for Grandparents Day. There was so much he wanted to show us and we were so impressed with all that he is learning and doing.

I was especially interested in how the writing process is taught already in first grade.

Right next to that display is a wall with Wow Words. When they come across one in their reading they place the new "wow word" by the appropriate letter of the alphabet. For example he pointed out: T--thrilling.

The crowd of doting grandparents were thrilled with the music performance by the 80 some first graders.

When I arrived back home, the driveway refinishing crew was busily wrapping up their morning work.

I made the mistake of parking on the steepest side of the road. When I tried to drive out later, I discovered that I was stuck, bottomed out. Michael and the mailman, who happened by at that time, came to my rescue and towed me out.

Another proud grandparent moment was the recognition of all Delta seniors and their accomplishmnets before the Friday night football game.
Malachi accompanied by his parents
Sometimes it feels like other young folk look up to us like surrogate grandparents, friends of our grandkids or some of the robotics young folk we've gotten close to. We are blessed indeed!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016 Week 39: Torch, Grace, and RAGE

Enjoying hints of fall in the foliage, flowers, and weather.  

More fallish touches on the Monday Night Dinner table.

This week Michael caught sight of a deer taking a nap next to one of his beehives.
And also captured some interesting visitors running through our woods. Thanksgiving dinner?

The Creator's handiwork is all around us, and His presence with us at every turn.

Kayla is busy teaching little ones and big ones to dance, even older people like me. A few of us enjoy our hour of tap every Wednesday. We love our teacher, the music she chooses, and the routines she choreographs, and are grateful for the mental and physical challenge.

Miss Kayla helping a young dancer
Photo credit: Cornerstone for the Arts in Muncie

After tap class, we waited downtown for the Indiana bicentennial torch relay due to come through our little town!

Then we saw the celebratory procession make its way over the bridge, culminating with the torch that would light the waiting one on its way north.

Friday I drove north to my alma mater, Grace College, for Homecoming, and to spend time with my mother.

One of my favorite events is the bus tour of Winona Lake, led by Terry White author of this book:

Mother joined me for the tour (her first, my third) and enjoyed the wealth of local trivia and stories. Our guide planned a surprise for us--an extra stop at the oldest church in town, the Church of the Good Shepherd, where he also played the piano--a series of old melodies popularized by Homer Rodeheaver, evangelist Billy Sunday's song leader.

We were invited (or did we invite ourselves?) to join the Hoyt household for their Friday Night Dinner-with-the-Boys. Sharon is a wonderful cook and we had a delightful visit.

L to R: nephews Daniel and Nicolas, brother Ivan, Mother, brother Alan, SILs Sharon (dishing out the food) and Kim.

Saturday we had some great Mother-daughter time. I always appreciate the morning breakfast-and-Bible-reading routine.

The Homecoming highlight for me was the Saturday evening banquet speaker, the Alum of the Year, founder of Mother's Choice in Hong Kong. Just one number may give you a glimpse into her amazing ministry--last year alone 800 babies were rescued. (Click on the link and read more.)

Meanwhile Mike was in Indianapolis with our robotics team girls who were competing in the all-girls Indy RAGE. The very long day ended in a resounding victory. They were the # 1 seeded team, their alliance of four won the competition, they received a prestigious award and were highly praised by the professional mentor assigned to them. We are proud of our girls and so grateful that they were rewarded for much hard work all year.

Can you find the proud lead mentor--Mike Koch?

So proud of our drive team
Sir Plus, PhyXTGears' 2016 glitzy robot, is very tired, losing some of its capabilities, but can now retire happily.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 Week 38:

Friday, as part of our Victory Acres CSI share, I  picked strawflowers.  Hopefully these will dry nicely as I was told.

Saturday was Kristie's birthday, and Sam, ever thoughtful, planned a getaway for them. The three younger boys arrived in the afternoon and stayed overnight.
We went for a walk down the road. I let big brother Elijah go on his own to walk around Taylor campus, while the little guys, each with their own bag, kept busy picking up trash, and I just tried to keep up with them. They don't walk. They only run or hop!

Sunday we celebrated two birthdays. Diane preferred the regular/normal birthday song.

And Kristie, the crazy Koch-family rendition.

Photos by Karen Koch
Monday, when I walked out the front door there were still sweet reminders of the day before on the driveway.

Tuesday, Skye and his friend started working for Grandpa, cutting up some of the many fallen trees in our woods. He seems to really enjoy wielding the chain saw. A couple times, though, he needed Grandpa's expert mechanical skills to fix some problems.

Michael has had so much on his mind to do with the upcoming PhyXTGears move to a new and bigger shop, so I am very grateful for the boys help.

I've watched a couple posted videos of the progress being made at MadJax, the team's new home, and every time I'm amazed at all the work that Mike has done to design and plan the entire layout. No wonder he wakes up at unearthly hours to keep working on all the decisions, diagrams, purchasing lists, etc. etc. And he has had many meetings with electricians and others in charge of this project.

He still goes to the Red Barn on Wednesdays. The Pottery room has been well attended. Thankfully a couple of Taylor students are helping regularly now.

There is comfort and satisfaction in structure and routine. My neighbor and I enjoy an hour together every Friday, always so much to talk about. This week we also explored a new shop very close to the cafe where we meet.

Saturday was full of surprises. Two grandsons had sports events at the Muncie Sportsplex that started at the same time. We watched Malachi run cross country and then took in the last half of the soccer game (Elijah #31).

After that we decided to stop by the James Dean festival in a nearby town for food and fun.
We reminisced about the times we were vendors there and concluded that this year it was far more crowded and there were many more old cars.

Canyon coral '57 Chevy like the one Mike learned to drive in.
Those memories and the '50s music must be what prompted us to ride the Giant Wheel!

Then we saw this scary poster!

Needless to say, a very fun day!

Then we heard from friends who visited Serenity at Art Prize and posted photos!

And I posted all our Walk n Wander photos--21 bronzes by Seward Johnson!
Take the virtual tour and let me know which one is your favorite. I may send you a little surprise!