Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Contest

At work we had a Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  This was my first year to enter.  The pressure was hugemongous!  Not sure why.  Except I really like to win.  Maybe you don't know that about me.  It's a problem. 

After perusing various pumpkin carving web pages, I decided to chuck them all and go practical.  I am really practical.  Maybe you don't know that about me.  It's a problem.

I figured I could decorate a pumpkin without carving it, so I could keep it through the holiday season.  Halloween holiday season.  Fall holiday season.  Thanksgiving holiday season.  Practicality definitely won out over winning a contest.  It usually does.  It's a problem.

So I set out to make the shiniest, blingiest, beautifulest pumpkin I could.  And thank you very much, I think I did.  I love my pumpkin.  I even gave her a name.  Gordgeous.  Yeah, I'm pretty punny, too.

Sad to say, Gordgeous did not win the contest.  In fact the winner, whose name will be withheld to protect the innocent (Andrea!) won by a landslide because her husband, whose name will also be withheld (Kris!) was sending his customers from his Fly Shop into the bank to vote for his wife's pumpkin.  We were just all so impressed that people would actually stop in their day, to come inside the bank lobby to vote for a Frankenstein Hunter Pumpkin.  I hope they enjoy their dinner at Santa Fe Red's!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Officer Andrew

Andrew has made it to Germany!  What a long trip, nearly 24 hours in route.  I missed him on FB chat this morning.  :(  But did get the message that his first job here will be as a security guard.  Oooo, I bet he'll look all handsome and all.  :)  I love a man in uniform.

I just have to smile that my son, the anti-establishment wonder of our family, will now BE the establishment.  He will do a great job.  I know that.  I am so proud of who he is. 

Ok, I have tears now.  Better go find a tissue.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Steal Me Away

Jim asked me to be ready to "go" at 3:00 on Friday.  He didn't have to ask me twice.  All I knew is I needed my toothbrush and my bathing suit.  That's all I needed to know.  Smile.

He picked me up from work at 3:00 sharp!  I was ready!  As we pulled out of the parking lot he said "Behind my seat is a gift bag for you".  Smile.

The bag was full of goodies, including a book to read, some snacks, some flowers, a lilac candle, a new magazine, and three greeting cards labeled with the time I was to open them.  Smile. 

We drove to Three Forks and made a stop for an Almond Bear Claw at Wheat Montana.  Smile.

We drove another hour or so, talking, sharing, tearing down walls.  Smile.

We arrived at our destination, here where a Romance Package was awaiting. Smile.

We got in the pool and talked more, and tore down more walls, and cried, and soaked and relaxed.  Smile.

We split a bison burger for dinner.  Then ordered our Romance Package Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

We smiled some more.

Early in the morning we slipped back into our bathing suits, and headed to the pool to watch the sunrise.  Smile.

We then ordered our Romance Package breakfast in bed.  Smile.

We drove back home, both standing out from behind our walls.  Smile.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Sweet Girls

 This past weekend Bethany, Christa, and Danae all descended on Granny and Grandpa's to help them sort some personal belongings for a big move to Ohio.  We all still seemed to have things stored at G & G's, and they really didn't want to take it all with them.  So the girls spent a weekend helping.  I just love these three.  They are so helpful, so caring, and they so love old things!  Especially things worth more than their weight in gold in heritage and memories.  They all have written about it.

Bethany KeenaBethany Keena indiana + sisters + grandparents = an exciting day to look forward to!

From Danae:

I took a special trip this past weekend to visit my grandparents in Indiana (Hi Granny and Grandpa!). They are preparing to move to Ohio soon and Sister Christa and Sister Bethany and I all made the trip to help them organize and pack and take some of their family treasures off of their hands.

We had such a wonderful time listening to old stories and trying to figure out if things belonged to our great great grandma or our great great great grandma. We also ate wonderful food, played Sequence, and watched old family videos.

We all got some really wonderful treasures. Granny was worried about the weight of the car and I think Christa and I were just worried that all of our treasures would not fit. But, thanks to Christa's awesome packing skills we all made it home with a stuffed to the brim trunk. 

And from Christa, one of our family photojournalists...
This is Bethany in Grandpa's band uniform from college.

Vanilla and Chocolate

Flag with 48 stars

Granny's Trophy
Well-Behaved Toddlers!  

Thanks  girls, for being amazing daughters, and granddaughters!  I am so thankful that you are mine!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Criminal Record

As Andrew is preparing to leave for Germany, I periodically ask him questions.  Only periodically.  After all, he is 21, and surely he knows all the questions to be asking right? Right.  Everything seemed to be in order and he was just waiting on an email with his travel plans in it.  So Saturday I asked if he had heard anything from Germany.

"Yeah, I got an email with my travel itinerary in it.  Then I got another email saying something had showed up on my criminal record that they were going to have to 'look into'."

"Really?" I asked being careful not to ask too many questions.  I did raise my eyebrow though, and probably my voice intonation, as well.  I'm sure he knew I had a barrage of questions just waiting to fly off the tip of my tongue. 

"Destruction of village property," he said.

"OH, you're kidding!  That's on your criminal record?!"

(Insert here the condensed version of the story of a 17-year-old that got cut off in traffic, and swerved onto the sidewalk, toppling a concrete planter.  Again, toppling is the key word here.  There is no room in this account for the word "destruction".)
So for three days we have waited to hear whether Andrew will get to go to Germany.  Never mind that he has lost his roommate, his apartment, his job, and his cat.  Ok, never mind the never minding of those things.  That's a pretty big dealio.

Today while I was at work, I got a text from Andrew.

"i am going to germany. whew. i can breathe again".

I'm pretty sure I would have overused exclamation points in that short text.  But exclamation points or not, we are all excited for Andrew.  He leaves Sunday.  This Sunday.  For thirteen months.  Thir. Teen. Months.

My reply text?

"Oh! I am so happy for you. and a little sad for me.  But mostly happy for you!" 

That put it perfectly.  Happy for him.  A little sad for me.  Mostly happy for him.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What did you do at 10:10 on 10/10/10?

I saw on K's FB page that she had just gotten back from a "10:10 on 10/10/10 Party".  Fortunately I am two time zones behind her, so I had the heads up, and the clear impression that I should, also, do something at 10:10 on 10/10/10.  Clearly it is too late for a party, especially since I am tired, already in my jammies, and can hardly keep my eyes open.  So, that leaves me 25 minutes to decide what to do. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Road Trip

These two will be getting in a car tomorrow with their mother and aunt.  They will be going to the great-granny's house for the weekend.  They will be driving for twelve hours.  Pray for them, that their mother and aunt will behave for this very long trip! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I live here!

Where's Waldo?  
Ok, not really, it's Kris. 
He and Jim got to spend the whole day on this river.
Catching and releasing.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Overheard in the Church Lobby

"Hey, Alex!  How's it going?  How's married life?"

It's great, man!  Great!"

Yeah?  That's good!

You bet!  Today when I got home from work, she had burgers grilled and ready!  Marriage is totally worth it, even if just for the food! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baby Shower Advice

I went to a baby shower yesterday.  A sweet youth worker at our church is expecting Baby #1.  And she's 24.  Who does that anymore?  (Well, besides Christa!)  I just smile when I see W and her husband.  They are young.  They are hard working.  They love my kids.  They love to do things for others.

The shower was well attended with nearly 20 ladies.  She got alot of nice gifts, always a help with those new Little Ones.  At several points of the shower, the hostess asked anyone that wanted to to share some advice with W.  She had no takers until nearly the very end.  And even at that point, I just couldn't come up with any advice.  Really?!  I suppose I'm a bit timid in group settings, especially those that include people I don't know, about sharing advice, especially since the jury is still out on a couple of my kids!  :)  Several spoke about the importance of praying with your children, keeping them on schedules (to which I had to bite my tongue!), consistent discipline, knowing your child, but I suppose I appreciated the lady that said "My advice is to listen to others advice, then go with your own instinct."

Yes, listen to others, but let your heart speak the loudest.  I guess that's true of a lot of things in family life.  Not just how to feed, discipline and raise your children, but also how to let them go.  Some people wonder why I'm not a basket case with my chicks strewn out all over: Chicago, Tulsa, Colcord, Germany, and living with a Muslim family.  Sometimes my heart screams at me "THEY ARE TOO FAR AWAY!"  That's when I realize my heart is solely consumed with itself.  Mostly my heart tells me that they are fine adults, capable of making the best decisions for their lives.  So I will continue to listen to others, sometimes I have no choice!  :)

I will listen to others, but let my heart speak the loudest.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Garage Sale

Andrew and Emily are moving out of their apartment, so yesterday we had a yard sale.  They didn't have a whole lot, so maybe a "driveway sale" is more accurate.  Some of the highlights of the day were: 
1:  Having Em spending the night with us, and waking early Saturday morning to her smiling face!  I miss her.
2:  Wishing we had donuts, over and over. Even though neither of us really like them, it just seemed like the right thing to have for a yard sale day.
3:  Watching Em dicker prices as people offered less than the marked price.  She was a tough cookie!
4:  Em laying down in the middle of our street in protest of "Drive By" shoppers.  I told her I totally do the same Drive By Yard Sale Shopping, too, so I understood.
5.  Getting chastised by Em when I donated some goblets to a ladies church group.  She deducted $12.00 from my total. 
6.  Humiliating Andrew and Em by using the binoculars that were for sale to watch the shirtless roofer on the house across the street.  They said I was not being sneaky enough. I say "What roofer?"  It's just so fun seeing my kids squirm!

We didn't make a lot of money, but sure had a lot of fun!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Country Music

When I was a kid, one thing I loved about my Dad was his love for country music.  I only got to listen to country when I was with him.  I have vivid memories of a concert he took me to.  We saw Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis.  That inspired me to save my allowance to buy what may have been my very first album, a collection of country favorites!  I listened to that album until I had every word memorized, including Lynn Anderson's "I've Been Everywhere, Man!"  Watching The Porter Wagoner Show and Hee Haw was a welcome diversion from my suburban life style!

Well, I can add country music concert #2 to my list.  Last night Jim surprised me with tickets to the Brad Paisley concert.  Brad Paisley in Bozeman?  That's a long way from Nashville!  Justin Moore and Darius Rucker were on the concert stage as well.  Just a couple of observations, and forgive me if I state the obvious here.

1.  I'm pretty sure there was not a cowboy boot on stage.  Now, Brad had on what looked like work boots, and he was indeed working.  But there were no slick look-how-pointy-these-sweet-foot-covers can be.  I love cowboy boots, that's all I'm saying.  Guess you don't have to be a cowboy anymore to sing C&W.
2.  Concert fans love to stand, rather than sit.  I guess if I wanted to stand for three and half hours, listening to three guys croon-and-holler isn't a bad way to keep my mind off the fact that I'm standing for three and a half hours.
3.  Concert fans also like to sing along.  Loudly.  Hmmm, so why aren't they on stage?  I really don't care if know every word to every song.  So do I, pretty much, but you don't hear me belting along off tune with Brad and the boys.
4.  There is still something very exciting about all the lights (albeit they be lazer), smoke, and loud noise!
5.  There is still something very romantic about snuggling with your love to all the love songs.  Smile!
6.  I was still star struck, cowboy boots or not. 
7.  Brad Paisley is an amazing guitarist.  Even if his weapon of choice is usually an electric guitar.  Can you say "Whiny"?
8.  I love that my rock-and-roll husband has finally seen a small glimmer of country music light.  I guess my rocking to Queen and his singing along with Brad is proof that after nearly thirty years of marriage indeed, you do become each other.

Long live rock-and roll!  (Errr, I mean country music!)