Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Today the boys have their All Saints Festival at school.  All the kids dress as saints, and in the afternoon they have games set up in the gym, and they get to win bottles of pop, angel food cakes, and lots of candy! 

Here are my saints . . . .

Saint Dominic on the right, and St. Francis Xavier on the left.

Since Nicolas is in 8th grade now, his class doesn't play the games anymore, but they work the games with the parents (and the moms manage to save some candy for them!).  I'll be heading over there in a couple of hours, so I'll try to get some pictures for a later post.

It's been a busy week around here.  Nicolas has had basketball practice every day after school, and Bryce had practice twice.  Their first game is on Monday, so they need to get up to speed! 

I went out to dinner on Wednesday, with three of my girlfriends from college.  We had a nice evening -- we toured our one friends new home, and had a relaxing dinner at a local diner.  Here we are at dinner.

We don't get together quite as often as we'd like, so the evening is always full of "catching up" with what everybody, and their spouses and kids, are doing.  We always manage to stay out later than we plan, too!!  We also planned our annual Christmas Dinner Party, which has been a long-standing tradition.  This year it is at my house . . . it wasn't really my turn, but since we're hoping that this will be our last Christmas in the house . . .

OK, well I have to keep this blog short so I can get some work done before I head over to school for the festivities.  Have a Happy Halloween and All Saints Day!!

P.S. I'm experimenting with fonts . . . what do you think??

Monday, October 26, 2009

A perfect day for a road trip!

We woke this morning to a partly sunny sky and temperatures in the mid-40s, promising no rain and temperatures that were expected to rise into the 60s.  Looked like a good day for a road trip, so after dropping the boys off to school . . . we headed to Elkhart, IN to pick up our camper from Duncan RV -- hopefully the last time for awhile!!

Traffic was light and the weather was great, and we had an uneventful trip south.  In Angola, IN, we made a quick stop for diesel (what's up with fuel prices??  they are going through the roof all of a sudden!) and breakfast sandwiches, and then we continued west on St. Rt. 20.  We were making really good time, so we decided we could afford a quick stop at the bulk store in Shipshewana.  After stocking up on oatmeal, dried fruit, and spices, we continued on to Elkhart, arriving at Duncan at 11:30.  Although they knew we were coming, the Technician who worked on our RV had gone home early, so another technician had to review our repairs with us.  Newmar had finally agreed to add a 2nd landing gear motor, so now we have 2 separate motors with separate controls.  The major work was complete, but the old button location was left wide open under the old access door, and they forgot to weld a nut onto the new motor to allow it to be manually operating with a socket, which was something they had told us they would do.  The technician we met with today took care of those things, but it meant we had to wait around for a couple of hours, and didn't get back on the road as quickly as we had hoped.

Here we are waiting, as Marcos is welding a nut onto the new landing gear leg . . . so that we have a manual way to raise and lower it in case the motor fails.

Everything worked out though, and the new jack motor works fine -- although it seems to move faster than the old motor . . . not sure why . . . so I just have to be really careful not to get the RV off-level from side to side.  We made it home with just enough time to get the camper parked in the barn before we had to pick the boys up from basketball practice.  After a quick dinner at Wendy's, it was back home for showers and studying for tomorrow's science tests. 

The next 6 weeks will be pretty busy with basketball -- they have practice or a game pretty much every day starting next week.  Luckily for us, Duncan winterized our RV -- it had been sitting outside the last few weeks, and we were getting some pretty cold nighttime temperatures.  So, that's one less thing for us to do . . . we just need to clean it up, but that can be done while it sits in the barn.

OK, back to work tomorrow, so I had better get to bed . . . .

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quilting Road Trip

On Saturday, I went with 3 of my sisters on quilter's road trip to 7 quilt shops in Ohio.  It was a bus trip sponsored by one of the shops, and we traveled all over northwestern Ohio. This was almost the scene I saw when arriving at the departure point.

The bus left Toledo at 7:30 am, and I arrived there just in time -- the last person to get on the bus!!  I was hearing about our "late start" ALL DAY!  We arrived at our first shop just a few minutes late, and began our day of shopping.  This shop is in the middle of an old-time country village [Sauder Village, in Archbold, OH], and it's really cute.  I'd love to come back sometime and check out all the other little shops.  The must have been having a firetruck show, because we saw this in the parking lot.

As we traveled around the Ohio countryside, we saw lots of beautiful fall colors.  It was a gorgeous day!  Here are my sisters -- Diane, Deby and Tina -- in front of the entrance to Sauder Village.

The bus was full -- 56 women, and Marion, our bus driver

He was quite a character!  He was full of jokes and funny stories, and the ride was quite an adventure, to say the least!!  At one point, Laura (his 900# GPS voice) directed him to make a wrong turn, and he was trying to get turned around on this 10-ft. wide country lane -- not happening!  After much screaming and unsolicited advice from the ladies on the bus, he decided the best route was to just continue forward and find a cross road that would get us back to the main road.  This was the view out the windshield!

Much to everyone's relief, we did find our way back to the main road, and were on to the next quilt shop.  This next stop was a favorite of many on the bus, including my sisters and I.

Doesn't look like much on the outside, but inside they have bolts of fabric stacked to the ceiling!  We were only supposed to have 45 minutes per shop (for 56 women - yeah, right!), but at this stop they stretched it to an hour!  We finished our shopping, and then headed back out to the bus to pick up our box lunches.  Diane and Tina are ready to hit the road!

Everyone had their choice of ham or turkey on a croissant, chips and an apple or banana.  We enjoyed our lunches on the uneventful trip to the next quilt shop.  This next shop was really nice, but woefully unprepared for a busload of shoppers -- even though they knew we were coming!  They only had one cash register, and with at least three-quarters of us in line with purchases, it was a SLOW process.  At all of the other shops, they had a person with a cash box and a calculator who could handle the cash purchases, but that apparently didn't occur to these guys -- they had one person running the register, and two other employees standing there with nothing to do!  We finally got out of there, and had time for a couple of pictures while the others were still in line!

This stop put us about an hour behind on our schedule, which only got worse when "Laura" gave us  some more bad directions!  Kindof re-thinking the whole GPS purchase . . . LOL!  When they planned out this trip, they did not factor in any room for errors (which we had plenty of), and apparently planned on faster speeds than Marion was accustomed to driving! LOL!  After the next stop we pretty much threw our schedule out the window -- we were ready to go, the last two shops were ones we'd never been to!

Luckily, the people at those last two shops were willing to wait around for us -- since we were arriving after their closing times!  They were really nice shops, but took us almost to Cleveland!  We finished up around 8pm, and settled in for the long drive back to Toledo, arriving back to our cars at 9:45pm!  The original plan had us getting back at 7pm . . . so much for that!  We didn't mind, though, we had a great time and made some great purchases!

Project #1 -- a fall wall hanging

Project #2 -- a Christmas wall hanging

Project #3 -- the background fabric for the "I Spy" squares that will be in my mailbox soon

Project #4 -- a table runner for the RV

And a couple of things that I just liked, no particular plan for them yet!

That's it -- I spent the least of the 4 of us, but I am still very happy with my purchases, and have my work cut out for me for awhile!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another quilt project done!

The colder the weather gets, and the more I read other quilting blogs, the more I want to sew.  Just tonight, I finally finished this little quilt that I started last spring!


Once I have it quilted, it's going to hang on the wall in our lower level family room -- we still need to do some decorating down there!

Tomorrow, I'm off on a Quilt Shop Road Trip with 3 of my sisters.  I'm actually getting up at the crack of dawn to get to Toledo by 7:15am to catch a bus.  Then it's the 4 of us and about 50 other women heading off to 7 different quilt shops around northeast Ohio . . . over 12 hours!  At least we don't have to drive!! LOL  It's going to be a fun day!  We're all looking forward to it!  I'll let you know how it goes . . .

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apple time!!

It's certainly been fall-like (actually more winter-like!!) around here this last week!  The weekend was decent (mid-50s, but sunny), and we managed to get some outside work done.  The asphalt around our mailboxes (on the right-of-way to the county road) was breaking up pretty badly, so Tom and the boys cut it out and we bought some cold patch and filled it back in.  It turned out pretty good, for a couple of amateur road-repairmen.  In the next week or so, we have a guy coming over to fill some cracks in the road, and he said that he would go around the area that we patched as well.  That should seal the edges nicely.

Other than the road repair work, and the usual laundry, we didn't do too much.  Today the boys had a half day off school, so we decided to brave the 45 degree day and go pick apples.  The three of us go every year -- we pick a bushel of apples (golden delicious are our favorite, but we also picked some northern spy to make pies), and then get a dozen donuts and a gallon of cider -- YUM!  This year, since it was so cold, we opted for hot cider to warm us up!

Here's Bryce, waiting for the tractor driver to come back and take us into the orchard. 

Nicolas, too . . .

Both of the apple varieties we were looking for were at the same tractor stop, so we quickly filled our bags.  We all had an apple snack -- there's nothing better than an apple picked right off the tree!  YUM! 

Here comes the next tractor! 

Better get back here, Bryce!

Now that Nicolas has braces, he has to cut up his apples.  So, he brought along a pocket knife so that he could have an apple snack, too. 

This was record time for apple picking this year!  Less than 40 minutes and we were back out of the orchard!  I'm not exactly sure how I did this back when these guys were both toddlers and I had to carry two 1/2 bushel bags of apples, and keep track of the boys!!

Well, that was our excitement for the day.  After taking the apples to the car, we got our donuts and hot cider, and then headed home.  I had put together a crockpot of chicken noodle soup before we went to the orchard, so all I had to do when we got home was to add the noodles and meatballs.  It was a great dinner for a chilly day!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Birthdays and a Car Show

Oh, man . . . the Tigers just lost to the Twins!!  Bummer!  What an exciting game, though.

OK, on to my post . . .

Last weekend we celebrated 3 birthdays . . . Bryce's 11th, and his cousins' -- Kathleen, also 11, and Joe, 7.

The family all gathered at Tom's brother and sister-in-law's house for dinner, followed by cake and presents.  Look at all those candles!!!

Money seemed to be the theme of the night . . . it's so difficult to buy for kids this age, especially when everybody knows that we are trying to minimize the "stuff" we have.  Bryce got a kick out of this $200 bill . . . LOL

On Sunday, we went to a car & bike show at the local Community College . . .

the day was gloomy, and we got rained on a few times, but it was still fun.  This college has a degree program in custom bike and car fabrication, and there were several cars on display that had been built by the students, including this Shelby that was being raffled off at the show.

We saw lots of cool stuff outside, too . . . Tom was dreaming big on this bike . . .

This is NOT your father's Mercury . . .

and I loved this little vintage Airstream!

On Monday, the boys were off school, so we had a few of Bryce's buddies over for another birthday party.  They played pool for awhile, had pizza and ice cream, and then went outside to play football.  We lucked out and had a pretty good day -- it was cloudy, but no rain, and not too cold.

Well, that was our busy weekend.  Now we're back to school and work, and waiting to hear from Duncan RV about our camper.  As of Friday, they were still waiting on some parts for the landing gear, and we haven't heard anything new since then.  We were hoping to be able to pick it up this weekend, but we'll have to wait and see, I guess. 

"Hi!" to everybody in Kerrville at the RV-Dreams Rally -- wish we were there!!