Friday, October 20, 2017

Before and After

While looking through old pictures, I found this one.
It is John and Nathan driving the PowerWheels jeep around the back yard. 
It was taken in 2002.

Here is the same shot fifteen years later.
I would say it's changed just a tiny bit.

Another shot of the yard...

 It's hard to imagine it was ever so open.

The kids have grown and changed right along with everything else.

This picture was taken of Emily riding her tricycle next to my car.

It's the same car that spent twelve years in storage 
before it was resurrected and became Emily's car.

Now we lovingly refer to it as The Mousemobile
thanks to the wonderful aroma of mouse pee.

Yes as some things change
(like my hideous kitchen cabinets and wallpaper)

some things DO remain the same.
While playing trumpet at the U of L football game,
John managed to get his face plastered on the big screen.

Does that make him famous?

This is a screenshot of a picture from a phone
taken of a television image of the jumbo screen at the football game.

In case you missed that,
you are looking at a picture of a picture of a picture of a picture.
Figure that one out!

Hope you are all having a good start to your weekend!
Love you!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Proud Parents and Proud Kids and More Proud Parents

Grant gave this drawing to me for Mother's Day this year.
He likes his food. 

And since I know how to cook, it appears he likes me too.
That's an oven with a pizza in it.
He even drew the bottom coil as red in the oven since it's hot! 😏

The poem he wrote says

Roses are red.  Violets are blue
Little boys like me love cooks like you.
Roses are red.  Violets are blue.
You're a great mom.  I know it's true.

I loved the card.  I loved the sentiment.
But do you know the thing that made this
heart burst with pride?

He correctly punctuated his pronouns.

And what does Grant do that would make David proud?
There's a lot.

But this makes the list...
Grant likes to draw things on graph paper...
things like a new layout for his bedroom.

I, however, DON'T love Grant's drawings of bedroom furniture.
It usually means I'm donating an hour or more of my day to 
rearranging his furniture.

Which usually is followed by Grace also wanting her furniture rearranged.
And that, folks, is not my idea of a fun day with the family.

 is not something a parent should be proud of.

It's a rocks glass filled with apple juice 
to look like the bourbon Dad drinks.

We are endorsing alcoholic consumption
at a very early age.

Sort of.

And sometimes proud parents get to go visit their own proud parents.

It's always a treat to go home.

No matter how long we have lived in Kentucky,
we still talk about "going home" when we travel to Illinois.
Our kids are completely confused by this.

And sometimes
we are proud of our kids
because they tell us they love us
at the most unexpected time and place...

such as this little note Grace left on David's white board at work.

Tell someone you love that you're proud of them.
And then tell them why.

It will make you both smile.
I promise!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Congratulations Multiplied By Two

Emily and I spent a wonderful Sunday chatting with each other and road tripping to St. Louis.

Along the way we picked up extra family members to join in the fun. 
Thanks, Grandpa and Sara, for going with us.

And it was definitely fun!!

The Simms family has added a new generation to the family tree.

Meet Owen.
Isn't he a handsome fellow?

He was welcomed to the world in September by my niece and her husband.
They are a beautiful family.

And just in case things weren't wonderful already,
a few short weeks after Owen's arrival
we welcomed the second great grandchild to the family.

Meet Maggie.
She's a petite little bundle of sweetness.

Her mother and father were thrilled to meet their firstborn.
And so were we.

We enjoyed a day visiting with family
and celebrating the arrival of cousins
who will grow up sharing a very special bond.

the proud mothers (who also happen to be sisters)

Thanks, girls, for sharing these first days with us!
We love you and are so proud of you all!

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1.27

Friday, October 13, 2017

Be Afraid. Be VERY Afriad!

I am not a phobic person.  I only have two phobias of which I am aware.

Spiders lurking in shoes and sticking my hand into a garbage disposal. 
Both things make me shudder.

I laughed today when I heard a news anchor trying to pronounce this.....

Definition - The fear of Friday the thirteenth.

The Frigga is for Friday. Triskai is for 3. Deka means 10, so triskaideca means 13. And phobia is fear.

My only fear would be spelling it incorrectly!

Happy Friday the 13th!

I hope you're not suffering from Friggatriskaidekaphobia today!!

Stilllll Blogging! YAY!

Say hello to Silas.

His momma stays busy taking care of Silas and his new baby sister, Star.  

Sometimes Silas and Star come to visit our family.
Silas and Star have spent many hours at our house this summer.
We love doing this so their momma can
have a blessed moment's peace for once
get some things done.

Silas loves our cats.
(refer to picture above)

Our cats DO NOT love Silas.
(refer to picture above)

Waaaay back in April Emily helped me with my high school PTSA duties.
I was in charge of the Clothing Assistance Program for their school.
This is one of the loads of donated clothing we collected through the year
at John and Emily's high school.

In May, I retired from PTSA duties.

My new goal is to NOT be on another school PTA board.
I have eight years left before I have reached my goal!

One of the percussion ensembles John performed in
during the spring semester at school

That's John in the center of the back row.
He's wearing the black shirt.😋

Mr. Elf met an untimely death.

Want to guess who the guilty party was??

Here's Grace holding Tinkerbell-Grace, the rabbit.
 Do you think Grace has any regrets with her rabbit's name selection nine years ago?
I guess I shouldn't judge seeing as how Grace was only two years old at the time.

(the rabbit)
(just to be clear who we are talking about)
is not doing well.

He now has a permanently crooked neck
and holds his head at odd angles.

So I searched the internet.

It's a real thing.  
Look it up.

You totally just googled 'rabbit head tilt'.
Didn't you!

You would think they could give it a more medical sounding name like

They obviously don't think rabbit diseases deserve such lofty names.

So our rabbit has head tilt.  It probably isn't going away.
I'm guessing Mr. Rabbit does not have much longer with us.

Almost ten years is a pretty good run

for a rabbit

that was supposed to live four or five years.

Grant showing off the quiver for his arrows.
He made it himself from materials found at ECO.

 And Grant eating at one of his favorite restaurants....Waffle House.
The boy is definitely easy to please with his food choices!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Technical Difficulties - Photobucket - Pool and More Pool

Sorry for the strange appearance of the blog lately.

The blog was hijacked by PHOTOBUCKET several weeks back. 

Photobucket has always been an online photo service that  of stored and managed photos for free.  I guess they felt the need to boost revenues this year and without warning suddenly began charging service fees. Any photos previously saved and shared from their website were held hostage. The ransom price was $399 to be paid annually in order to get their warning labels taken off your webpage.

I did not use their service, but parts of the webpage itself contained Photobucket images.  I had not control over those things.  It has taken me a few weeks to figure out a workaround that allows the blog to remain intact without those images.

Thus the new and somewhat awkward look.

I'll do an updated design someday.  It was due for a refresh anway!

And since I'm supposed to be catching up on pictures....and that's what you click here to see's more random shots from the zoo....

Pool at Grandma's house

 And pool of the cold and wet kind.  This was taken on the last day of the season.
Based on the hesitation Grant shows and the lack of other people, you can accurately guess what the water temperature was.

Very COLD!!!!!!

Grant and two of his buddies at our church's FamilyPalooza in September.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Random Tomato Pictures

So I decide on Monday to begin blogging again.

And on Tuesday my internet connection dies.
Maybe that's a sign.

on with the blog post today!

Since I am so incredibly far behind, I'm not even pretending to put posts in any kind of logical order.  You might see Fourth of July pictures following Halloween picture.
Work with me here.

Anyway, the pictures hanging out on my computer desktop were the easiest to grab today.

For you viewing pleasure,
I will share pictures of the approximately one million tomatoes I canned this year.
All were picked from our own garden.
That felt pretty awesome.


And more!

I think I canned nonstop for about six weeks.
It would be safe to say I now hate tomatoes.

But I love

tomato juice
pasta sauce
pizza sauce 

I canned about eight gallons of each.

Like I said...
approximately a million tomatoes.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dusting Off the Blog

Hello.  It's been a while. More than four months actually.  It's been a nice break.  For me.  And probably for you too.  I suspect you all get a bit tired of knowing every tiny detail of the zoo.
But I'm going to pursue this one more time and see if I can be consistent with posting pictures at the very minimum.  That way grandparents and anyone else still interested in our dysfunction can peer in the windows....without being a real peeping tom.

below is the last post I wrote.  I didn't finish editing it as you will see toward the end.  As you read, pretend we have suddenly been swept back to the end of May.  Because I'm not editing it again to read correctly in October.  

I've missed you all.  Here we go.......


School is out!!!!!
Wednesday, May 24, was the last official day for Grace and Grant.
John and Emily were finished on May 17 since neither of them 
were required to take a final exam.

I'm still catching up and sorting pictures.

This was taken as they prepared to turn in their concert attire
after their final high school band performance.
And this one was taken September 2013
when they were freshmen preparing for their first band concert.

Oh my! The changes after four years!!

During the last month of school
we enjoyed a blitz of concerts and programs.

Here are a few musical highlights from the kids' performances.

Grant performed in a spring concert.
He loves his saxophone.  

This one is from John's All-State performance.
This was a week long event where kids from all around Kentucky
practiced and performed several concerts in downtown Louisville.

Grace, John and Emily all performed at the Solo and Ensemble competition this year.
All three received top honors.

Grace was a bit nervous as she waited her turn to play.

I didn't want to make her more nervous, but I did snap this picture
through the classroom door as she prepared to play for the judge.

Later that day, David and I listened as one of John's ensembles performed for the judges.  This group did a magnificent job.  I could have listened to them play far longer than their allotted time.

John and Emily's final concert as high school students