Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Week 4: A somber week

The death of a young person shook our community this week and brought to the forefront a serious and pervasive drug problem in our little town. We pray for our youth and seek ways to help them out of their hopelessness.

The funeral on Friday was packed, standing room only. I was offered the last seat.

There were many other commitments, even accomplishments throughout the week, but not many photos.

Mike and the robotics Team 1720 The PhyXTGears, meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day Saturday and spend some 16 hours per week working together. They've been streaming live so I get occasional glimpses of them scurrying about. Here, a few screenshots I captured.

Only one afternoon, Wednesdays, he goes to the Red Barn and supervises kids creating with clay. He makes good use of the time playing with clay as well. This day he was performing brain surgery.

Thursday I walked over from one barn to the other, after my exercise for the elderly, to watch Kayla teaching ballet moves to Matt's twin nieces.

That night I tuned in to an e-concert by former colleague Win Corduan. It was fun to interact with him and others online.

Saturday Kristie planned a family birthday party for Elijah. Rebecca stole the show, again!

This photo is a bit blurry but I love the expressions.

Kayla's photos are my favorite!

And here is my favorite ten year-old!

He may have been disappointed that not many were able to attend. But more birthday events were yet to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 Week 3: Football & Ice

Tis NFL season! And with a couple of the teams we follow still in the playoffs, we have plenty of Sunday afternoon entertainment.
Last Sunday, Mike spent two-and-a-half hours involved in a rescue episode on our lane, so he missed out on most of the Green Bay Packers game but walked in just in time to catch the final winning minute. Even so, football had to compete with robot designing.

After last Sundays's adventure, I was not too eager to drive anywhere and quite content to spend three days admiring the scenery from indoors.

However, we braved the icy conditions to go to Monday meal, in Mike's car and him driving, and enjoyed an evening with some of the grandchildren. Sam's family rarely make it to the dinner, but   Kristie was gone to class so dad and boys joined us for some good food and fun.
Kristie started back to school, one evening a week, working toward a long-time dream of becoming a midwife.

Stephan was eager to show us further discoveries--more people he recognized on the Doulos cartoon.

 I came across a great photo on Facebook of the artist at work, our friend George Booth, the multitasking grandfather.

Rebecca Rose was five months old on Wednesday and this is what Kayla posted.

Future ballerina
 We decided to have game night every Friday for whoever can come. Kayla is first to arrive. She was still laughing about her first attempt to cut Rebecca's hair.

We taught Kayla and Skye what used to be a favorite family game--Nertz. Once again Leah held her position as champion even after all these years. It is a fast game and none of us can equal her speed!
(No photos, too much action and no breaks!)

However, Hand & Foot is NOT her game. The only reason she's smiling in this photo is that she gets to hold Rebecca the entire time.

Jimmy, though tired from the long work day, is still the reigning Hand & Foot champ.

Leah reminded us of how she escaped being in marching band. She and Stephan used to rush to grab piles of cards and sort them. In one of those sudden moves she sat back down on her foot, the force of the chair leg broke a toe.

 Stephan was in Bay Harbor making ice art. Competition season is in full swing.

Winged dragon
Day 1                                                              Finished Sculpture

Football, ice, and back to football. . . Will the Colts win tonight?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Week 2: Frigid!

Serious winter weather moved in this week--subzero temps and some snow. Many school closings or two-hour delays.
Otherwise, life goes on as usual although we tend to not go out unnecessarily. I did make it to a few usual appointments, driving carefully.
Nothing has stopped the robotics team from moving forward. They meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day Saturday. They brainstormed, came back with possible designs, discussed, decided on one, and got to work. Five weeks to go!

Last week, before the snow, we had this visitor to our woods.

Red Tail Hawk (?)
Throughout the week we have enjoyed watching various birds.

Huddled doves on the coldest day
Enjoying the sun
Staying indoors (and not teaching this semester!) has given me more time to work on long standing projects. Last year's blook arrived this week to add to the collection. These now replace the photo albums I used to put together annually years ago. Next project is to take those pre-blog somewhat-ruined-by-the-house-fire photo albums and remake them.

Most Fridays, unless something comes up, I get together with a neighbor lady. We went to a fun coffee house in the neighboring town. Someone was selling infinity scarves for a fund raiser and we both bought one--a stylish reminder of our fun times together.

We started something new this week--a game night! We had such fun at our Christmas gatherings that we decided to make it a more regular event. Part of the inspiration comes from the success of Stephan and Karen's Monday meals to build community.

This time Grandpa Mike taught us a new game he's been researching--Resistance.

Malachi's girlfriend joined us for this fun evening.
I love Malachi's expressions. Hmmm. . .he should think about going into theater.

I love seeing the cousins together.

Los primos
And of course, we ALL love seeing Rebecca, though no one is more possessive than Nanna Leah.

Rebecca weighs 14 lbs. now, and according to the doctor is the most observant baby she has seen in a long time.

A Friday game night makes it very convenient for the young grandsons to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's. Mom and Dad can put the little ones down to sleep and Grandma can enjoy them Saturday morning. Those little guys are a lot of fun, so curious and observant, growing, learning. We are so privileged to have them close by.
Daddy Sam came around lunch time to take them home. Look at those little faces. Notice the UGG boots and head gear. Do you think they 're ready for the extreme temps?

It is Sunday afternoon. I am in my loft writing-area looking out at the bleak winter landscape. I sit here worried and wondering why Mike hasn't made it back yet from helping the woman who got stuck in the driveway. From where I am I cannot see past a certain point, even with the many windows.
Suddenly a Facebook notification comes up and this image appears. A young family friend who is with the wrecking service has posted a photo of what I cannot see. I message back and forth and learn that Mike is okay, from all appearances. I still worry because of his constant cough and the sinus headache he has today.

Later: Mike is back and is okay. Two vehicles got stuck. Always visitors who do not know how to negotiate our driveway.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 Week 1: Endings and Beginnings

Before the year was over, Michael finished his bronze--10 lbs., 26". He has already entered a call for local art by Marion General Hospital for one of their new buildings.


We planned a five-generation-photo-session visit to Mother's on Tuesday, the 30th, to coincide with the annual holiday harp performance and reception.

Great grandpa to Rebecca: "Wanna learn to play the harp?"

Rebecca: "Gotta think about it sleep on it."
Do you have a favorite?

After the concert we went to see one of the resident's train and village set-up.  Zion and Jude would love this. Maybe next year.
Interestingly, Quentin remembers Dad's visit to his church and the prayer of dedication he offered for their son, decades ago. Unfortunately, on this day he was unwell so his wife ran the train.

The last day of 2014 was the second annual shopping trip with these good-looking grandsons. Is it becoming a tradition? We did follow the same routine as last year ending up at MacD's.

The New Year's Eve Ball drop in Muncie was discontinued after six years, so we had a quiet evening at home and a lazy New Year's day as well.

Saturday, however, was the FRC Kickoff, the beginning of robotics build season. This year's game: Recycle Rush.

23-member team, parents, and mentors watching the simulcast

I stayed home, worked at packing up Christmas decor, and went out to lunch with a dear friend.

Oh, I checked and found out that my Spanish class was cancelled due to low registration numbers. I think I feel relieved and glad to have more time for other things. Still pondering what exactly.

What is your new year looking like?