Monday, January 25, 2010


This is just a little post to show off my dad's amazing prowess with a table saw and my formidable powers of assistantship. When John and I were up in Missouri in the fall, I was going to use some of my dad's power tools to make a very rough imitation of a chess set. Well, when Dad began helping me, amazing things started to happen, as you'll see. It was a great way to while away a fall afternoon and the net result was that I had this cool chess set handmade from a combination of Texas post oak, Missouri pen oak, and pine. We're now taking orders for $1,400 a set. Shipping included.

I call this group my "old-fashion woodland pagan team." I picture the bishops with full, leaf-strewn beards and the knights as badgers. The king, of course, has a broad chest and a wooden crown. The queen has wide hips.

Here's the more staid "Christian" team. The knights are horses, the pawns are upright, and the bishops are clean-shaven. The queen is a little more slim and the king is, as per tradition, wearing a cross for a crown.

Now if I can just get someone to play chess with me. Ryan, you want to come down for a visit?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Christmas in Missouri, 2009 part 2

John had given me a pasta machine for our anniversary, so Mom suggested that I bring it up over Christmas and make pasta for everybody. As anyone who's ever made fresh pasta might suspect, this was a day long event. But I had some charming helpers along the way!

Here I am showing Noah how to work the apparatus.

Noah then faithfully repeated the instructions to Uncle Tyler.

I don't have a picture of the end result, but trust us, it was tasty. Shane made the sauce, which was delicious! But that's enough of pasta! (Or 'Basta Pasta!' as the Italians say. . .not really). Here are some more highlights from that week.

The kids all in one room (a rarity). . .

. . .forbidden territory. . .

. . .classy hairstyles. . .

. . .and the necessary appreciation of anything on wheels.

We also had a lot of fun playing out in the snow. Here is Jackson, representing the 'inside team.'

And here's the 'outside team,' including moi, who was stretched out on her stomach on a steep slope to take this picture.

Outside Team, Junior Varsity

Here's JV attacking Varsity--Varsity is pictured in orange.

Sometimes the JV league turned on each other. . .

. . .but on the whole, it was a peaceful sport, with smiles all around!

That's it, folks! Here's wishing you a blessed 2010!

Christmas in Missouri, 2009

Finally more pictures! I have a new operating system, so it's taken me some time to figure out how to prepare the downloaded pictures to the blog. But I finally have a method, so here are some more memories of our time over Christmas in Chillicothe.

The young ones. . .

Jackson and Caleb upon Jackson's arrival in Missouri. Jackson is a California baby, who enjoys playing with his Missouri cousins whenever he can. It does take some time for him to warm up, however. Here he's cautiously watching Caleb before making his move.

And who can forget Natalie Noelle, the youngest member of our tribe? She looked beautiful in her red dress, chilling on Papa's lap during our family Christmas.

The general chaos of Christmas morning. Of course, it wasn't technically Christmas morning--more like December 31--but we were determined to pretend!

Katie showing off her style.

After celebrating Christmas that morning, we heralded the New Year that night. Here are Ryan and Joy, checking out the non-alcoholic spritzer thing for those of us who don't imbibe. Since Ryan's hoping to become a Baptist pastor, he wisely chose the spritzer.

John and Dad showing off their school spirit via Santa hats. You'll be able to tell in the next picture that Dad's hat is for the Wisconsin Badgers.

See? Nana gives is a nice modeling of it, with Papa looking on and Katie helping out.

Steph, Audrey, and Natalie studying last year's family picture.

Natalie, the youngest grandchild, in the capable hands of Audrey, the oldest.

Tom and Kay gave me a puzzle for Christmas, which I took up to Missouri for the common enjoyment. Here are some of the guys trying to fit in the last pieces.

The finished work--finished, that is, after a few minutes of searching on the ground with a flashlight for a missing piece.

Noah's stamp of approval.

We will end this post on the issue of head-hugging. Head-hugging has become an established practice with Ryan and Caleb. Periodically throughout the holidays, Ryan would drop to the floor in order to be visited by Caleb, who would get his own head as close to Ryan's as possible.

Jackson wasn't sure what to make of the practice.

But Caleb was undeterred. It's been reported that he wants to be an ostrich when he grows up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

More snow pics

I don't know why this text is underlined - I can't figure out how to turn it off! But while I'm working on it, here are a few more pictures of outside fun at Ryan and Joy's.

Building a snow fort.

Katie facing down her worst fear - a grinning snowman.

Sledding by the dumpsters!

And one cold but happy little girl.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas in Missouri, part one

As promised, here are the beginnings of our Christmas Missouri pictures, many of which involve. . .sledding! When I was in junior high and high school, it was rare for us to get enough snow for sledding. Now, however, things have changed.

The Tuesday morning before our family Christmas dawned bright and cold.

Soon, Audrey, Seth, Noah, John and I traveled to Gower for a day full of sledding, since Gower historically gets much more snow than Chillicothe. Here's Caleb preparing for the slopes!

We started off with snow angels. . .Seth and Audrey are showing John how it's done.

Noah, an ambitious soul. Two hats and four sleds. Watch out!

Caleb wasn't as excited about sledding as he might be. He did enjoy taking a ride with Dad, though. Can you see him in this picture?

Okay, there's a teaser. More to come!

Promised pictures

I just looked at Mom's blog and she said I would be providing sledding pictures for the enjoyment of all. Obviously, I don't have those up yet, I'm hoping to get them up in the next few days.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas in Texas

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! The holiday festivities have finally died down. John and I celebrated Christmas Eve and day in Texas this year--as is tradition, everybody was out at the farm for fried catfish, a Christmas Eve service, and gift opening.

Here are Kay and Aunt Ann posing with Mimi during the present opening.

A picture of all the cousins (including spouses but excepting Rob) after the service.

Everyone gathered at the table--Rob was in a bowtie because he was singing in a different service in Houston later that night.

The yummy catfish!

Jake and Andrew displaying their Santa outfits.

Jake showing off my new Snuggie!

Aunt Ann and Kay displaying their perfectly molded cranberry sauce.

We had a great time. All the family was able to get together, for which we were very grateful. And, boy, we ate well! Cherry pie, sweet potato pie, mincemeat pie, smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, Waldorf salad. . .the list goes on. But we'll stop here and pick up in Missouri.