Monday, December 31, 2012

Wonderful family Christmas

Santa Mikie at work
After a whirlwind week of family Christmas fun,  I took a quick look back through pictures...

My gift from Santa-studio coming together

A few creations from my new studio...

Blizzard in Evansville
Evansville got about 11 inches of snow the day after Christmas, their 3rd highest snowfall in one day.    Mike, mom and I stayed inside and relaxed with a couple of games of Scrabble.  

Family in Cincinnati...Alex, Diane, mom, Pam Adam and Ange
Dane's favorite white elephant gift
We had a great white elephant gift exchange at Pam's.  We laughed  a lot as a few gifts were traded including the Snickers bar and the gumball machine.  Hopefully no hard feelings...
Ange, Gary and Peggy opening gifts at mom's

Mikie at the craft table

 Beads + cookie cutters + toaster oven = fine works of art


Beads in cookie cutters
Melting beads in toaster oven...what is wrong with this picture?
Bead Art

We thoroughly enjoyed the game "Catch Phrase".  We laughed so hard at the descriptions of songs and artists.  Eric's impression of Stevie Wonder will forever be etched in my head...

Adam 's turn at "Catch Phrase"

And I thought often about dad over the holidays. ...seeing the Pepsi ornament on the tree (dad was a route salesman for Pepsi for many years) and the "schmoo"(his favorite 'Lil Abner character)  ornament on his wreath.  When we heard one of his favorite songs, "Whiter Shade of Pale" while shopping at Jungle Jim's, it felt like he was with us...

And looking back at 2012, it was a great (though not always easy) year!  After months of hard work remodeling my house it sold within 2 months!

After 4 years of being married and living in different cities, I finally moved to Indy to live with my sweetie!  And I am starting to learn about this retirement thing...

We got to see the world this year...from Temeculah, CA to La Salina, Mexico to Big Sky, MT  to Kinsale, Ireland, each beautiful in its' own unique way.
California sunset

And we stepped forward into new phones and smart television.  As Mike says, hopefully they aren't smarter than us.  And Direct TV entered our house in Brownsburg!  YEAH for the the Weather Channel, CNN and HGTV!  And then there is watching Mike text.  I never thought I would see the day he would type "LOL"...

We had some wonderful visits with family and friends throughout the year.  And whether folks live in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Montana or Mexico, we are fortunate to have such great people in our lives.   Thanks to all of you for making this such a great year!

Happy 2013!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Busy holidays

Like most folks, it's been a busy holiday season.  Mike and I are blessed this year to be in one house in one city which gives us lots of time to spend with family and friends. And that's what we've been doing.

Fischer Theatre, Danville, IL

We toured the Fischer Theatre in Danville, Illinois where Mike watched movies as a kid. It's on the National Historic Register and will take millions of dollars to restore, but it wasn't difficult to imagine this building in its' heyday.

The theatre is said to be  haunted, and when Mike's friend Jake gave us a tour under the stage, it seemed about 15 degrees colder than the rest of the building.  I don't know, something about being led on an underground tour with flashlights and cell phone lights made me a bit nervous...

We also attended Jake's book release party at the local library.  I am reading one of his books now, an historical fiction book about D.B. Cooper.  He is an up and coming author, and this year one of his books was a runner up for a national book award and is being considered for a movie.

We celebrated my mom's 81st birthday at our house...
Mom and Alex busy with cookies

Pam and Alex

and baked cookies with sister Pam and niece Alex.

We visited my niece Diane and her daughter Alice.

Mom with her great grand daughter Alice and grand daughter Diane

We attended the Indiana Wind Symphony's Holiday Concert and enjoyed our friend John playing percussion.  We planned to hook up with our friend Ed and his daughters after the concert. Imagine our surprise when we realized they were in the seats right next to us, and other friends were in the seats in front of us.

And I joined in the final "Boys Night Out" dinner of the year at a local dive called The Red Key.  Hey, you can't go wrong with chili and cheese burgers!

And a Chicago weekend with Kevin and Kathy to see the Christmas lights was derailed by our first blizzard. Funny how snow and 50 mph winds can convince you to stay put in your own home.  We made the best of it with a movie, great meals and shopping.  For the first time I watched an Iowa blizzard from a distance, and it felt really weird.

So the gifts aren't wrapped yet, and there's lots of cooking to do for Christmas, but hey there are a couple of days left for all of that.  We wouldn't trade a single moment with family and friends...


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Enjoying the holidays

Christmas cactus
I love this holiday season filled with family and friends...

During a lovely Thanksgiving celebration at Pam and George's house in Cincinnati, we had a wonderful sojourn to the arboretum...

Me and mom

Thomas theTank Engine

Amazing orchids
Me and Mike

And then there was also a great Thanksgiving Day with George's family...
Mom and Joan (George's mom)

Scrabble with George, mom and Pam

And some craft work...
Pam, Alex, mom and me

Felt trees with beads

And then decorating for Christmas...

Christmas tree hoisted out of the attic (Mike's idea, what can I say?)

Decorated tree
Mantle...including reindeer by Craig and trees by me...
Outdoor decorations
And as if if Christmas decorating and gifts and parties weren't enough, I decided on some painting and decorating...

Wendy making a decision on fabric

Seems like there is time this year to enjoy family and friends and decorating.  And if we don't get it done today, there's tomorrow. Somehow this is how I expected retirement to be...