Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas lights in Des Moines last week

The previous picture was published almost magically by one of the 'orphans', Patrick, who was racing Ron somewhere, and apparently thought across my computer was a shortcut!

This is just a picture I took of a house on the street behind my mom's. (This is the street I used to deliver around 100 Des Moines Tribune newspapers in the afternoons and 75 Register's on Sunday mornings for a year and a half while in junior high.)


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Maybe next year he'll give me a list!

Our college-nephew, Will, got two cats to keep him company in his Chicago apartment and they came to Grandma Walker's in Sac City for Christmas. I got the cats those squares that fold out and Velcro together because our furry crowd has a ball with them. His cats are siblings, Max and Amy, and only about 2 minutes after he opened the squares, Max got in and sat down. He seemed to know it was for him.

Above in the picture (from left) are Claire (our niece, and Ann and Don's daughter), Kathy and Ann, John's sisters from MN.

Below in the picture is Mick, John's sister's hubby, showing off one of the dumb presents I bought for people because they didn't give me a 'list'. It's so easy to shop from a list, and next year maybe he'll remember this and make one! I think boys are just harder to buy for at Christmas anyway (including my dad, my son, my uncle, etc.....).

At least Mick will be able to see what he's doing when he grills in the dark from now on!

Friday, December 26, 2008

" and the stockings were hung"

This is the 'before' picture of Christmas socks in Sac City. Those are hand-made with love by Grandma Walker and Aunt Mary Montag.

This is Izaac's favorite Christmas present (he wants to use the real vacuum, but can't maneuver it). He actually really enjoyed each gift (well, maybe the p.j.'s were skipped) as he and his mom opened them. He was really tired, and he basically didn't let go of it until they went home.

That's (Izaac's aunt) Michelle on the left side of the couch, (Izaac's grandma) Shirley on the right on the couch, (Izaac's mom) Amanda on the floor behind him, Ben Markey (my nephew and Michelle and Amanda's cousin) in front of the t.v. to the right of the Christmas tree. That's my Alex leaning in at the end of the video, when they passed around a pillow sprayed with a fragrance to 'help you go to sleep' that Michelle had gotten.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"???

That's Gracey, Lucy and Georgey (looking up at me) from the kitchen/patio door trying to decide if they can walk in the snow like Patrick and Ron. After John used the snowblower on the patio (and driveway), they were a little braver about walking outside (yesterday).

Yesterday we had about 9" of the white stuff, and it's been snowing ALL DAY again. Unfortunately, there's a northerly wind to push the snow to white-out conditions and the drifts on our road are piling up. (There are 3 places on this gravel road where it drifts shut and we only live half a mile from the highway!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

"But the snow is so delightful????"

It's hard to tell how many actual inches of snow we received because of the drifting at our house, but opening the garage door this morning gives you an idea! Hopefully we didn't get the ice underneath (we heard it sleeting briefly last night) the meteorologist predicted. There are over 200 school districts in Iowa that cancelled school today!

This is a short 13-second video of Ron enjoying and scattering a snow drift on our patio. He's the adventurer in the crowd. That's Patrick on the fence at the end of the video, waiting for the birds to show at the feeder.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Christmas is Paintin' the Town"

When it was first introduced, I enjoyed the Oakridge Boys Christmas music from 1982, and it doesn't seem like the Christmas season without hearing the music again. When Alex was 2 (1988, he was born 1/20/86) he REALLY liked this particular song, because HE could sing the 'la la la la's' himself.

Every year after that (until we got headphones so he could listen to it himself without the whole house hearing the same song over and over and over....) we had to limit the playing of that song to the day AFTER Thanksgiving (I think he would have listened to it all year 'round that first year he discovered it), until Christmas.

Fortunately, he did learn to sing other songs (he loved to imitate Billy Joel and Huey Lewis--especially "It's Hip to be Square") and then the Disney movie tunes; "Beauty and the Beast" and Aladdin were two of our favorites (his sister's by then, too).

The picture above was taken last weekend in Jewell (IA) in their 'downtown' area. I think the moon added something mystical to this picture (even though it's a little out of focus).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday to my friend, KIM!!

This picture says it all for winter in Iowa! The Tropic 'snow' hut in the parking lot at Crossroads Mall in Ft. Dodge (IA), and the pile of snow close by already the 12th of December!

These are the 'orphans' who still love to sleep near each other. From left (bottom of pic) is Georgey and Ron in one box, Lucy above them in her own, and Patrick and Gracey in the box to the right. They look comfy and warm, and that's been a challenge this week, since it was -9 when we all got up yesterday morning.

I've been working on a project for my niece, Rachel Newby, who is still in Paraguay in the Peace Corps (since 5/2007). She has started a little group of girls (like a Girl Scout Troop) and one of the projects is "Postal Petunia". It's a geography lesson without going anywhere. (Here, they call it "Flat Stanley".)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Izaac playing the piano at Camp Stanhope

Izaac seems genuinely interested in music and it might be because his grandmother (Shirley) plays the piano so effortlessly (and played by ear at about 3-4 years of age. She now plays be ear or music, and currently plays for two churches.)

Mine has buttons, (because it's electric) but after he pushes a few of those, he does actually try and play the piano. Will he take after grandma and play anything, any time, any where he wants? We all hope so.
I'll probably be less envious of his talent than hers. (It didn't seem fair we practiced and practiced and still didn't sound anything like she did.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well, his teeth are clean!

Izaac would brush his teeth all day as long as you let the water trickle (so I turn the water off after a minute or two). This is the 'during' the brushing process.

This is the 'after' picture. Those are Oreos all over his 'mug' after supper the other night. Izaac at Camp Stanhope this week.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fun blog about cats.

This is the view from Alex's second floor bedroom window today (he doesn't sleep at home unless he can help it anymore). We got about 2-3 inches of snow, but a layer of ice was underneath, so it made for tricky driving (so I stayed home by choice).

I read this list on the 11/20/08 Tripper's blog and thought it was fairly accurate. The original list is here and this site has a bunch of fun things about cats.

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