Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Eve 2017

Here we are at Thanksgiving time again.  It is the first Thanksgiving for Michaela as a college student.  She came home on Friday after a long drive.  She and her roommate, Carolyn left Kirksville with another passenger and headed towards Hannibal so they could stop at The Mark Twain Diner for root beer.  They then drove to Webster Groves to drop off their third passenger and then came home in rush hour.  She was exhausted.

Michaela and I spent a lot of time together on Saturday.  In the morning we went to the rock garden on 5th Street and left a bunch of my painted rocks.  We took a few, too.  Then we headed out to Warrenton so I could show her Binkley Park.  We left a lot of rocks out there including most of the ones we took from the rock garden.  We also left rocks at St. Peters City Center Park and The Recplex.  Then, we had to pick the dogs up at the groomer on the way home.

Then, Saturday night, Michaela and I went to see The Penelopiad at St. Charles Community College.  One of Michaela's friends from high school was in it.  She was Penelope before Penelope died.  I was really excited to see it because it is based on a Margaret Atwood book and I love Margaret Atwood.  It was really good.  Michaela and I both enjoyed it.  And, Michaela's friend did a really good job.

Sunday, we went to church and had dinner at church.  After church, Gale came over and Michaela and I went shopping with her.  Michaela came home with jeans and sweat pants. It was fun spending time with them both.

I had to work Monday and Tuesday.  Tuesday we did not have classes.  The students stayed with their 4th hour teachers all day.  First, we went to the movie theater in Warrenton and saw Wonder.  It was a fantastic movie.  When we got back to school it was lunch time.  After lunch, we had our Turkey Trot.  Then, we spent the rest of the day in the gym for a unity assembly and our winter sports pep assembly.

Which brings us to today.  It was a busy Thanksgiving Eve.  Michael had to work.  I was up by 6:00 am and started cleaning.  I went through all the books and DVDs in our entertainment center and bagged up the ones I wanted to get rid of.  The kids were up and helping me clean by 9:00 am.  Around 11:00 we left to run errands.  I ended up with around $90 in store credit at V-stock with the books and DVDs that they accepted.  The ones they rejected we took to Salvation Army and donated. It always feels good to purge.

We got home after 1:00 and cleaned the rest of the afternoon.  This is what we do every year on the day before Thanksgiving.  It is the best cleaning our house gets all year.

Tonight I made the deviled eggs and stuffing.  Michael and Michaela made two pumpkin pies and cranberry relish.  I showed Michaela how to prep the turkey.  I always put the turkey in the over around 10:00 pm because I like to slow roast the turkey over night like my mom did when I was growing up.  I also stuff our turkey.  I love stuffing and it tastes better out of the bird, plus I feel it helps keep the turkey moist along with the slow roasting.  This is the first year I am not terrified something may go wrong with it.  I am still a little nervous.  Twenty-one pounds of turkey is a lot of food to mess up.  But, I've been doing it for many years now so I should have the hang of it.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and my mom, Griff, Brandon and Karen will come over around 11:00 am.  That is less than 12 hours from now.  We will have our usual meal, everyone will eat too much and be lazy all afternoon.  We may play a board game or two or not.  Michaela wants to watch the parade.  By tomorrow night at this time another Thanksgiving will have come and gone and I will be sleeping with my alarm set to get up and be at Bass Pro Shop by 5:00 am because that is where Michaela and I always start Black Friday.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Took My Spot

This is what happens in our house when you get up to go to the restroom.   Izzy will take my spot every time,  especially when there is a pillow involved and it means she can look out of the window.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Snowy Sunday

This morning I woke ip to snow.  I love snow.   It is 8:20 am and they are reporting 4 inches so far on the news.  It is supposed to snow all day.  We are also supposed to get record low temperatures tonight and tomorrow.   Earlier this morning they were saying actual temps around -10º F with windchills around -25ºF.  I am supposed to go back to work for a PD day tomorrow.   It may be a very cold first day back.   I love snow,  but bitter cold not so much.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Waiting Between Events at a Swim Meet

This weekend was my daughter's first swim meet of the season.   Her brother does his best to entertain himself between her events.  This is what siblings look like in the crash area of a swim meet.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter to Michaela

Michaela next to the sign that my senior class donated to the school 
as our class gift the year I graduated.  Class of 2017 standing next to Class of 1987.

Dear Michaela,

There are times I look at you and I really have a hard time believing you are my daughter.  I don't feel old enough to have a teen age daughter about to start high school.  Just thinking about all the time that has passed since my own freshman year in high school makes my head spin.  How could it have been so long ago?

You know that the day you were born my biggest dream came true.  Being a wife and mother may not seem like a lot to some people, but it's what I wanted most out of life and the day you were born you gave me the mother part of that.  

From that first moment when you looked up at me and you forehead wrinkled like your daddy's I've not been able to breath the same since.  My whole world tipped over and slid around like a carnival ride and hasn't stopped since.  

You've been a source of constant worry and constant joy.  You are more beautiful than you will ever know, my "fabulous" girl.  And, you are more loved than you even begin to comprehend at this point in time.  

I admire your passion for those things that interest you.  I love your kindness and gentleness.  I envy your sassiness in standing up for yourself.  I am proud of your tenacity and loyalty.  You are a composite of your parents, but you are also definitely uniquely YOU.  

Your first day of high school begins a whole new adventure for you.  I am excited and nervous for you.  Just remember to enjoy every second of it while you can.  These next four years are going to fly by faster than you can fathom.  There is so much to experience and so much to learn, I don't want you to miss any of it.  I know your high school years are going to be amazing and I am so looking forward to experiencing them with you.

Because I love you and because I'm your mom and because you're a teenager (even though you have a good head on your shoulders) I have to give you advice before you begin high school.  It's mandated by the mother handbook.

Don't forget to stay focused on your academics.  Do take a couple fun classes.  Don't mess around with drugs or alcohol.  Do find ways to party and have fun responsibly.  Don't let any guy treat you like you are unworthy.  Do have fun on dates with guys that deserve you.  Don't let any guy pressure you into doing anything you don't want to do.  Do feel comfortable talking to Mom when in doubt about those types of thing.

Don't let any other girl make you feel less than amazing.  Do surround yourself with friends who love and appreciate you for who you are and not who they think you should be.  Don't shy away from your teachers and other adults at school.  Do take time to talk with them and get to know them and let them get to know you.  

Don't get in a car with someone who's been drinking or doing drugs.  Do take keys away from friends who try to drive under the influence.  Don't take on too many things.  Do try new things.  Don't take things or yourself too seriously.  Do take other's feelings seriously. Don't let these four years slide by unnoticed.  Do live it up and love every minute of it!

My incredible, smart, talented, athletic, compassionate girl, sometimes my heart aches for the little girl who ran to Santa with her arms outstretched saying "Santa, Santa, I LOVE you!"  But, mostly I am in awe of the young woman you are becoming.  Every day my life is more valuable because I get to be your mom. Always remember you are my amazing miracle and that your daddy and I love you more than words can say.

Have a wonderful high school experience at the best high school around!  Go Pirates!

Love you always and forever!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visions of the 4th Wordless Wednesday

This Week's Wordless Wednesday:
Pictures Taken During our 4th of July 2013

Our's town's parade

Waiting for the Fireworks
(we watched from the top of our city hall parking garage)

And the show began!

My daughter enjoying the fireworks

Oooooooo, ahhhhhhhh

Part of the finale!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Experience the Normal

         I take a deep breath and just try to absorb the moment.  Nothing special is going on, I'm just making some lunch and my son is playing on the computer in the other room.  It’s just the two of us home right now as his sister is at Girl Scout Camp for two weeks and his dad is at work.  It’s just that lately I've become all too aware that days like this will be gone way before I'm ready for them to end.
            My daughter is 14 and my son is 11 ½ .  Each summer seems to mean I have less and less time with them as they are more inclined to be doing things with friends or pursuing their own interests.  We dropped my daughter off at Girl Scout Camp about an hour away from home two days ago.  She will be there for two weeks.  She’s gone to camp before, but this is the first time it’s been longer than a week.  I missed her before we even got to the camp.  She starts high school in August and of course at this point it’s about spending as much time with her friends and boyfriend as she can.
            Last night my son spent the night with a friend.  It meant that it was just my husband and me at home with the dogs.  I usually love having that alone time with my husband.  Last night it just felt like the house was empty.  This morning when he went to work, it felt even emptier.  I was so relieved when it was time to go pick my son up from his sleep over. 
            It’s just a normal week day during summer break.  I’m doing things around the house and trying to get some of my own things done.  He’s finished eating his lunch and is now downstairs playing on his Xbox.  I’ll be going to the grocery store soon.  But, the fact that we're in the same house for most of the day is really all that matters.   

        So, again I just close my eyes and only focus on the sound of his voice as he’s talking to his friends over his Xbox and the feel of the house when he’s home.  I try to focus all my senses on the simple experience of doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen and preparing to go to the store while he’s here in the house with me.  All too soon it'll be over and we'll be building memories with our children as adults instead of as kids.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bedtime or Not

Chrystal Mccoy (@crickle1969) tweeted at 10:11 PM on Sun, Jun 30, 2013: It is 10 pm and Izzy decides it is playtime. #therestofthehouseissleeping #bedtime #crazydog ( Get the official Twitter app at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fun Close To Home: The Gateway Arch

     I have lived in the St. Louis Metropolitan area for all but the first two years of my life.  This is where I grew up.  Going into downtown St. Louis is a normal occurrence for me.  And, yet every time we get close to downtown and I see the Arch it still excites me.  It is an awesome site to see even from a distance.  You can see it when you are approaching most of the attractions in the city of St. Louis.   And, yet there is nothing like getting right up close to it and inside it.


     Standing 630 feet tall, The Gateway Arch (or The Arch) is not only a St. Louis icon, but a national icon.  It was erected to symbolize the westward expansion of our country that came during and after the Lewis & Clark Expedition.  After a nation wide competition was held in the late 40's, an architect by the name of Eero Saarinen was chosen to build our stainless steel beauty on the St. Louis Riverfront as a gateway beckoning people to travel west over the Mississippi River and into the opportunities offered by the newer states of the union.  

     The construction on the Arch began in August of 1963 and was completed in just a little over two years time in October of 1965.  The foundations of the Arch are sunk into the ground 60 feet.  It is built to withstand earthquakes and high winds.  There are 142 sections to the Arch.  There are 630 feet between the outer edges of each leg.  It is built of concrete and steel, with stainless steel being the outer covering.  The legs are 54 feet wide at their bases and the top is 17 feet wide.

     When you travel up into the Arch, you take one of two trams.  Each car of a tram holds about 5 people.  They are egg shaped and travel about 3 miles an hour.  The observation deck of the Arch is 7' 2" feet wide, 65' long and 6' 9" tall.  There are 16 observation windows on each side of the Arch.  They are made of 3/4 inch plate glass and are 7" x 27".  

     The Arch is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which is a park in our national parks system.  It not only includes the Arch, but the Museum of Westward Expansion (located under the Arch) and the Old Courthouse.  The Old Courthouse is across highway 70 and can be seen from the observation windows of The Arch.

     When you are on the observation deck of the Arch you can see 30 miles in all directions.  This offers great views of Downtown St. Louis and it's surrounding area.  You can also see down the legs of the Arch and the grounds below. 

     When you enter the Arch, you enter the base and what is the lobby of not only the Arch itself, but the Museum of Westward Expansion which is free to visit.  There are also two small shops off the lobby.  One is set up like an old fashioned general store and the other is just a modern touristy gift shop.  The Museum of Westward Expansion depicts the progress of our nation's west from wilderness to developed cities.  

     It is very easy to spend most of a day exploring The Arch, The Museum of Westward Expansion and The Old Courthouse.  And if those do not take up all your allotted time, there are riverboat cruises, helicopter rides, and Laclede's Landing to explore all within walking distance.  It really is an amazing way to get into some of the culture of our nation and to spend some relaxation time.