Sunday, December 28, 2008


We attempted to drive to my Mom's on Friday. Bruce & Cindy would be there waiting for us. BUT, the roads were icy. Not only were they icy, but no salt trucks were out. When we got to I-94, there weren't any cars on the road except us (bad sign). So, we slid to the next exit and turned around and went home. So, on Saturday, it had rained all Friday night, we decided to try again. We made it in four hours - normal driving time.

Larry, Ruth, Kevin & Kenny came over in the evening for dinner. We spent the day with Gma Laga and the evening with Ruth's family. They watched "Magic on Ice." It was a pretty good movie, but far too long for my taste.

Cindy had left several bags of clothes for Zachary from Dean. Ruth brought over some clothes from the boys as well. When we got home we sorted them by sizes and Zachary tried on several things. Most of the clothes will be for next year, but he got quite a few that would fit now. Here is a coat that was in the bag. Zachary said it looked like Luke when he dressed up as "Men in Black." Did Zachary succeed?

After we left Michigan on Sunday morning, we met the Vastbinder family in Ft. Wayne at Cracker Barrel. We had a nice lunch with them. It was good to get to know them better. Betsey had spent the weekend with their family, so we picked her up and brought her home. It was a nice weekend, but we are glad to be home.

Now this coming weekend, all our older children and their families will be here for our fourth celebration of Christmas. Will write about that later.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Not to "up one" on the sanitation engineers, but this one IS better.

Dad has been working mega hours and we just didn't have time to get a tree. We wanted to get it later this year, because the older children aren't coming until the weekend after New Years. So, Betsey decided that she could take Zachary & Elyse and get a tree for us (you know I "love" shopping for a tree - praise the Lord she didn't ask me to come along). Anyway, they just went to the corner tree lot and there wasn't much to pick from. It was 10 degrees and Zachary wasn't dressed for that cold of weather. He just stood there shaking. The man that ran the lot said the kids couldn't get their tree in the car since the limbs were all frozen and they would break putting it in the car or on top of it. So, he put it in the back of his truck and delivered it. Not only that, but Betsey started to hand him the $20 for the tree and he refused and said, "Merry Christmas." So, not only did we get it delivered, but we got it free.

But, we did get a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree.

Next, we put the tree in the garage with the kerosene heater going full blast to thaw out the tree. It took awhile to thaw. Then we noticed how crooked the tree was. Dad sawed off about a foot from the bottom and we still had crooked issues.

Here are pictures to prove it. Notice the HUGE gap without any branches. We put that side toward the window.

Here is the finished "leaning Tower of Pisa."

As our tradition continues, the kids opened their "Christmas Eve Gift." For those of you who aren't familiar with our tradition, the kids get pajamas on Christmas Eve. Elyse got her nightgown like she wanted.

Zachary got "Da Bears" pajamas. They are HUGE, but we hope he will grow into it in a few years.

Lacey, Emily and Erin, don't look - you got a similar pair of pjs.

Betsey, Zachary & Elyse helped wrap the gifts this year. Zachary cut out the "stop" on his wrapping paper and taped it to the front of his gift. He wanted to make sure you saw his artistic work before he ripped it open.

That is our Christmas Eve in a nutshell. We will post Christmas Day pictures later.

Have a super Merry Christmas everyone! See you all next weekend!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Just to prove God is more talented than the sanitation engineers. Here is our Redbud tree in our backyard - how gorgeous! These pictures don't do the tree justice, but you have to image the sun shining through the ice on each limb. It was amazing!

It is really cold here (-1 but feels like -17). They say it is going to get warmer tomorrow, but then we are expected to get 3-5 more inches of snow. Hopefully, the warmer temperatures will melt the inch of ice from last Friday.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Usually, we have to find our garbage cans. They are either rolling down the street, or thrown all over the front yard. But, today, the men seemed to care a little bit about our property. Maybe it is the Christmas season. Maybe they have some young blood doing the work and they have more energy to do the job right. Either way you look at it, we appreciate it very much. Kind of fun, if you think about it. Why do a mundane job day in and day out without some fun? At least this morning, they were having fun. Do you like it? Or would you rather see them rolling down the street?

Erin, the flag is up because your letter is being mailed. We missed the mailman yesterday, so you will get your letter in a few days.