Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Week 21: A little bit of everything

Weekends are so full that Monday is becoming the day to post Meemaw Moments from the previous week. That and other responsibilities occupied my time so no photos for that day.

Tuesday first thing Michael invited me to our first tandem date of the season. My to-do list was long but, hey, what could be more important than time spent with my husband? The other can wait.

 On the ride home I wanted to stop and take pictures of flowers I'd seen.

 A runner approached--Kayla's dance teacher and friend of many years!  We had a very nice chat.

Another breakfast out on Wednesday! This one planned long ago with dear friends on their RV spring-summer travels. They have so many grandchildren, so graduations and weddings keep coming up.

John and Elvida are the ones who connected us with Taylor University thirty one years ago and welcomed us into the community.

Stephan called in the evening and said they were headed to the Mexican store and restaurant in Marion and would we like to join them. How could we turn that one down? So, we ate out twice in one day!

We thought the menu offerings were more authentic than most. Stephan had tacos de tripa (tripe) and I torta de lengua (tongue).

Thursday was Leah's dreaded dentist appointment. She wondered how they were going to remove the temporary teeth so firmly in place. Her fears were correct and the procedure was very painful.

I kept watching her hands and feet to ascertain the level of pain. When the hands clutched tightly and shook, and the feet went up, I knew it was bad. The beautiful new teeth are worth it!

Thursday is TBT on Facebook, a recent trend that I finally understood and got into. It stands for Throw-back Thursday and contributors post old, old, photos! Tuesday I had started working on digitizing Stephan and Karen's wedding album and was deeply engrossed in the story of that event almost fourteen years ago. I decided to post a couple of favorite family pics.

Friday these little guys showed up with their Daddy. They never stay still very long. See how protective big brother is.

In the afternoon I traveled up to Mother's. She invites me every year to her church's Mother/Daughter event.
She wanted a photo of her parents. I found this frame at the Mission store, perfect antique look.

Saturday morning before heading back home, I explained the 'selfie' trend to Mother and here's my experiment.

Did I fail to say that the outdoor growth has overwhelmed us? I try to spend time weeding, cleaning flower beds, planting new things, but there is sooooooo much to do.

The primrose blooms are almost hidden. I had to photograph from below.
The lilies of the valley, some of my very favorites, used to grow profusely on both west and east sides of the house, but this year for some reason the eastern ones died out.
I planted the Bidy Gonzalez or Diosa dorada that I received for my birthday.

Mike purchased a newer more manageable mower (0-turn) and is delighted with it. He also spends time cutting down dead trees, splitting and stacking wood, when not riding his bike and training for the Circle Tour of the Basque Country!

Sunday afternoon, Sam and Kristie hosted a baby shower for Joey and Lindsay.

 I enjoyed catching up with Kristie's side of the family and helping Jude who wanted to stick with me the whole time! (smile!)

Another attempt at a selfie!

Have a meaningful Memorial Day, all! And a very happy birthday, Michael! You caught up with me at last!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Week 20: Birthdays

Each day the to-do list is longer than what I am able to accomplish. I try to prioritize and not waste time, but am not always successful. One morning I spent hours cleaning up the flower plot, rearranging the rocks, and planting some annuals. This will be the 'before' view. We'll see what it looks like at the end of the summer.

Tuesday evening daughter Leah and neighbor Glenda and I had so much fun making cards with a group of ladies.

Most of the time, however, was taken up doing the regular things that need to be done as well as prepare for our weekend travel.

Friday afternoon we joined my mother and two brothers in Warsaw to sign papers to do with the Hoyt family house in Argentina. Ivan and Kim live not too far from Santa Rosa and really enjoy getting away to that idyllic area for a respite, gathering there with friends and colleagues, or renting it to others. We are grateful that it is still in the family.

In the evening we enjoyed a tasty meal at Mother's--Kim's tortilla soup, Mother's baked squash, and mango desert.

What a surprise, when we took off the tablecloth, to find white spots where the soup bowls had been. However, what followed proved to be our evening entertainment, at least for us women as we compared quilting notes and observed the men try to solve the problem.
The first step was to consult google. Next, try different products (Windex, furniture polish, toothpaste, etc.), and finally apply elbow grease. Rubadub dub, three men... The result was quite amazing. Have you ever had that problem?

Mike and I spent the night at Mother's and left Saturday morning for Normal, IL, where we met up with friends from last year's Circle Tour of the Basque Country. Some of them will be on the team again this June. The cycling members went out for a 50 mile ride in the afternoon.

The Demmings with their new little one sporting a little Basque T-shirt. She rode last year in utero!

Sunday morning Tate and Chelsea (in the green tees) treated us to a birthday breakfast along with our hosts, Pastor Dave and his wife Sue, and our friend Dane, also visiting from Upland.

On the same street as the restaurant was this artsy store that belongs to the pastor's DIL and her friend who are like two peas in a pod, hence the name The Pod. Fascinating, I thought. It looked like the kind of place where Mike's more way-out pieces would sell.

At the church we met up with other dear friends who were with us in 2013--Suzi and Allison.

Our travel time, four hours each way to and from Illinois, was spent reading a recently released memoir by our friend Greg Livingstone, You've Got Libya. Absolutely fascinating. So much we didn't know.

When we arrived home around 5:00 PM, our family was waiting for us with a meal to celebrate three birthdays. Here they are singing the Krazy Koch song to all three. Not much makes Matt smile!

Mike's on the 26th, Rita's on the 18th, and Matt's June 10th (when we are gone)

Everyone contributed. The food was wonderful and Kayla made a beautiful cake.

So this is where we are:

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm 91:10 

What will the future hold?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Week 19: Mother's Day

So, this is the view from my window as of Week 19.
Did you spot the scarlet tanager?

 I enjoy watching new growth outdoors: an area blanketed with these tiny purple blooms; a lovely white blossom, and more. I wish I knew the names.

 I planted several new varieties to expand our flower garden: a dahlia; a clematis; brown-eyed susans; purple cone flowers. I also bought some annuals for the flower boxes. And it was definitely time to begin mowing. That kept Mike busy several days.

Wednesday was our last ladies gathering--the spring brunch. As a wrap-up to our Bible study of the book of Ruth, I read Phil Smouse's I Love Ruthie. (Click on the link to enjoy Alistair Begg's interpretation here.)

Immediately after, I headed to Muncie to spend time with these little guys. We went to McDonald's and to a park.

Attempting to feed the ducks and geese

The climber
Friday we enjoyed one of the best theater performances at Taylor University, "The Miracle Worker." (This is a link to the trailer.)

Saturday, after Anderson University's commencement, our young friend Jared came to spend the night before heading home to Little Rock.

Ready for the long drive                                        Looking smug, beating us at Hand and Foot

Mike surprised me with an orchid for Mother's Day!

Sunday, I received very nice messages from each of the children.

Here is son Stephan's ice sculpture for a Mother's Day event. I believe Rosie the Riveter's character was responsible for inspiring women to join the work force and around the time I was born their numbers had more then doubled.

In honor of my mother, I posted these pictures on Facebook and so far have had 75 Likes!

Mother, still beautiful!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 Week 18: 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge

Here are some of the special extras added to our daily routines.

Last Sunday ended with another cookout/open house at Pastor Dan's, always a special time of interaction with college students, friends, and their children.

Monday evening at the annual shareholders dinner we were blessed to be seated at a table next to the evening entertainment--heavenly harp music.

The daffodils are gone, but there are ever new signs of spring.

Wednesday after ladies Bible study, I stopped at the hospital to visit this dear lady on my way to babysit the youngest grandsons.

Isn't she a dear?

And here are the two littlest dears enjoying a walk to the "park". Zion calls the pile of logs on the edge of their property a playground or park.

Later we went to soccer practice. This is Z's first year.

Thursday evening I joined a circle of women to help sew on the twenty butterflies on the banner that will grace the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank  on the campus of Ball State University.

Mom Shirley, second from right, painted each variety five-times their size. Daughter Cheryl, far left, is the curator of the orchid collection and the visionary behind the new enhanced display and educational program.
I hope to visit soon and show you the completed and installed banner.

Friday we traveled to Tennessee for Mike and our young friend Sara to participate in the 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge along with 600 other cyclists who braved the 100 mile option, including George Hincapie who came in second, in 5 hours 11 minutes.

We stayed with wonderful hosts, my cousin Karin and husband Jack, in Dayton. I spent a delightful day visiting with Karin and her brother Ed and family who live nearby. He and I are the closest in age, born the same year. Each one of them are amazing individuals: Jack, a retired history professor is now a train conductor, soon-to-be engineer; Karin, a retired administrative assistant with the longest employment record at Bryan University; Ed, a retired university president.

Jack and Karin                                                     Ed and Karin
We followed Sara's Facebook updates throughout the day, Saturday, from the top of each mountain: Raccoon, Sand, and the most challenging--Lookout Mountain--last! Shortly after that one, at mile 88, Mike 'hit the wall' as they say, and could not go on.

Sara Hemmick
Bib Number
Age Group
Chip Time
Gun Time

Both cyclists are definitely ready to ride the mountains of the Basque Country. Circle Tour 2014 is coming up in less than six weeks!

We celebrated our last evening as a family with a Karin-prepared feast. 
I love this memory and the expressions on each face, though the photography may not be the best.

Sunday we left very early hoping to be back in time for the Award Ceremony of the Spring Art Show at the Marion Public Library. However, we arrived as they were leaving, just in time to pick up Mike's first place award in the sculpture category. His bronze, titled Youth, is home again!

What will this next week bring?