Monday, February 28, 2005

Weekend in Michigan

Ell and I got away for a 3-day stay at Black Star Farms near Traverse City, Michigan. This is Michigan's answer to Door County. Very impressive. This trip was a great combination for both of us: Snow (every day!) for me and vineyards for Ell. We had a tough schedule: A wonderful breakfast every morning at 9 a.m. Then we'd take a day trip to explore wine tasting shops and lighthouses. We would come back and snow shoe around the farm fields (our first time -- we like it). They had a time of snacks and wine tasting (they had sparkling juice for me -- too bad for the allergy) with the other guests from 5:30 - 7 p.m. We met some colorful locals who told us all sorts of tidbits about the area. Kelly and Greg provided their bedroom for us on the way up and sent us off with hot bran muffins -- very nice! Chris and Sarah flexed and stayed at our house with good ol' Schven -- couldn't have gone without their help. Now, it's time to get back at it. But, it helps to know that three weeks from now is Spring Break.

This is the place we stayed -- Black Star Farms. Posted by Hello

Ell led the way the first day out snowshoeing. Posted by Hello

We were amazed by the vineyards. Almost as many as the cherry trees! Posted by Hello

View out our bedroom window. One of those sunshine/snow showers -- really sparkley! Posted by Hello

Our second lighthouse was near Empire on Lake Michigan. Posted by Hello

A close up of that last one. Posted by Hello

This was the last of our lighthouses. Ell is demonstrating standing on the line. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Mid-Winter in Wisconsin

Life is quiet but busy here on Taylor Street. I'm putting a few pictures in about the weekend snow. Ell is busy at the Training Center and I'm busy at East High School. We enjoy coming home to hangout together -- so that's a good thing.

Bluejay grabbing a snack during the snowstorm. Posted by Hello

By the end of our walk Schveni was tired of posing but patiently waited while I got Ell's attention by throwing snowballs at the office window.  Posted by Hello

The neighborhood kids were building snowmen -- it was perfect packing snow! Posted by Hello

A picture from across the street from our house -- at the edge of the prairie. Posted by Hello

The prairie was gorgeous but -- no pets allowed -- so we just passed by. Posted by Hello

Schveni and I took a walk around the neighborhood during the storm. It was just beautiful! Posted by Hello

This is the view from our hot tub in the back yard -- looking up at the huge snowflakes as they fell. Posted by Hello

This is the view looking up at the huge flakes falling (while in the hotub).  Posted by Hello

This is one of my more moody shots taken out our bedroom window after our January snowstorm. Posted by Hello

Sunrise on January 1st, 2005 Posted by Hello

Here it is almost the end of February already. I talked with Andy online Friday night (from Zambia). I told him about the upcoming chance of snow and he asked for some pictures. So, I thought I would do a little picture story of our Sunday snowstorm.

Schveni and I went for a walk in the thick of it. She faithfully trudged with me but was very happy to get back inside. (In the picture of Schven and me, I'm pointing to my miniature snowman that I made while I was waiting for Ell to come to the door and take our picture.

It was the kind of snow that was perfect for forts, snowball fights, and snowmen.

I hopped in the hot tub after our walk and turned off the jets so it was really quiet. The bird feeder nearby started attracting business and it was great to be able to watch them come and go and listen to their chatter.

Meanwhile, good ol' Schven (my faithful companion) had her head on the edge of the hot tub mournfully looking at me while her head completely covered over with snow. I took pity and dashed back inside. (it's really cold when your towel and bathrobe get snowcovered).

Anyway, hope you all enjoyed the story.

With love,
Linda (Mom)

Here is the whole gang (including pets)! Posted by Hello

The New Year

Well, it has been awhile since I've written. I had a great Christmas break with my family. We were blessed to have the whole gang together for a few days. It was a special treat to have my "Brit Kids" back for a short bit. I'll post a Christmas photo and the picture I took on New Year's Morning

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thanksgiving Weekend

It was a busy weekend. We had a small but fun group forThanksgiving dinner on Thursday. There were six of us: Grandma and Grandpa, Kelly and Greg, and Ell and I. We soon realized that we had lots of food left. (Now we know who the big eaters were!) Unfortuantely, all of our photos were lost in a computer glitch. We managed to talk with all of you children that day. Thanks for calling!

We all played sheepshead (except Dad -- who watched football and promptly fell asleep.) He was abruptly wakened by Deisel jumping up and giving him a face wash.

Friday the two shoppers (Ell and Kelly) headed off to the mall while the other two very sensibly slept in. (They were off at 6:30 in the morning!)

Late in the morning we headed out to beat the rain and chop down the Christmas tree. We took both dogs and headed to a new spot outside of Marshall -- now that we are eastsiders.

It was a quiet little farm. We found our tree and while chopping it down Diesel found some interesting liquid to roll around in -- probably deer urine. It made the Barton's drive home quite unsavory. Diesel got a bath and was soon bounding around the house happy as a clam.

The Jensen clan stopped in Friday night for a bit and it was fun catching up.

Saturday the shoppers were off again. This time Greg and I got to work on the lights for the tree. We ran into a few glitches (lights that suddenly stopped working after they were on the tree.) We sorted it out and Kelly and I decorated it in the afternoon.

The Bartons headed back on Saturday night. It was sure fun having them. They and Diesel are very fun to have around! Now it's back to work until Christmas! I'm sure looking forward to having all of your children under our roof.

This is what the outside looks like this year. It's fun to have the tree face the street for a change! Posted by Hello

We added a few new things with our every-year decorations. Posted by Hello

We managed to do our traditional Christmas tree trimming this Thanksgiving weekend. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I'll close with this final picture of our family's newest member -- what a cutie! Posted by Hello

The men got into a deep discussion about Model T's and driving with three pedals next to the gas pedal. Posted by Hello

Here we have my Mom and the rest of us "oldies but goodies". Posted by Hello

On Sunday we came together to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday. New babies and new married couples (minus Pete, Lindsay and Andy)  Posted by Hello