Thursday, August 28, 2008

Readjusting to Life in Texas...

Well, it's been almost two weeks since I got home from Illinois and although I've started several blog entries, I gave up because nothing seemed important enough to write. Every night I come home and check my kids' blogs and then get kind of melancholy because I feel so far away.

In spite of all that, things are going really well here. It was good to get back to Oak Hills and the timing was perfect because we're starting a nine month series which studies the Bible. Everyone will be reading "The Story", which is the Bible written in novel form. We will be hearing it from Max and our new pastor, Randy Frazee, as well as related studies in both our Bible Fellowships and Life Groups. Even the kids will be studing their own lesson in the kids version of "The Story"'s an all church event and you can read about it at

Speaking of the kids, the fall classes began last Sunday and I'm teaching first grade this year. I was totally unprepared for the 76 kids that showed up on Sunday! We were scrambling for materials as well as chairs. Last night I went to a leadership meeting where a small group of us discussed this "problem"... it seems we're seeing this amazing growth throughout the entire church, which is a good thing, except for dealing w/ the growth issues.

Also, the school year started off with a bang! I've been so busy with my lesson plans and rounding up supplies that the first week flew by! This year, they changed my position...believe it or not I'm the new Encino Park art teacher. I do think I'm going to enjoy it, it's just that I was so unprepared for the change. I had heard rumors last year, but the "official" word didn't get to me until I went back last week. Oh well...I'm sure it will make for an exciting year ~

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Memories of a Trip Remembered...

We started out our last day in Illinois by joining Stacey and Shannon for breakfast, along of course with the grandkids. Then after breakfast, Shannon went home to get some work done while we took Lydia to some yard sales. These are just some of the bargains we found....

Little Joshua was oblivious to all the shopping, but enjoyed napping in his new swing!
Then that evening, we all met for dinner at Famous Dave's for barbeque...MMM! After dinner, we went to the most fabulous park to play until dark. Great Grandma sat with baby Joshua, while the rest of us followed Lydia around as she explored the entire area. It was a great last evening together and the end of a trip I won't forget!

Golf and Good Friends

On Thursday afternoon, Larry played golf with his old golfing buddies, Ken and Rich...he enjoyed not only the fellowship, but also the Ledges Golf Course, which is one of Roscoes best courses. Then that evening we all met at the Olympic Tavern for dinner. I had Coconut Shrimp and it was one of the most delicious meals I'd ever had! This group of friends has a lot of history and it was so good to all be together again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Yesterday we all took a trip to Madison to go to the zoo. It was baby Joshua's first big outing, although he slept through the entire morning, only waking when it was time to be fed (he's such a compliant child at this age...we hope it lasts)! Lydia loved looking at the animals (and the lizards...her mommy's favorites), as well as playing in the play area. In addition to the merry-go-round, her favorite thing was the giant slide they had there. I didn't realize it until we got inside the big fort, but to ride on the slide you had to climb up through little holes in the structure...a bit difficult for me, but worth the effort to see the smile on her face as we went down...a bit ungracefully I might add!

Then today, I went over to my friend's house for an afternoon of swimming and sunning with old friends. Barbie has a beautiful yard with not only the pool, but it is also a gardeners dream! We all had a wonderful time relaxing by the pool, as well as catching up on all that's going on in our lives. I got a kick out of Barbie's dog, who jumped into the pool to retrieve a ball when it was thrown in!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Week's Half Gone!

We started this week at a run and it's still seems like it's going a hundred miles an hour! Sunday evening, we went to Jim and Laurie's house for dinner with our friends, Chuck and Vicki. We had so much fun, we didn't want the evening to end! Larry got to enjoy Jim's track, (which I think is going to be on his next Christmas List!) and we all enjoyed the wonderful dinner. It was hard to see the evening end, knowing we probably won't be together again until next summer.

This morning, we took Lydia and Joshua to the mall to have their portraits taken. It started out with Lydia refusing to have her picture taken, so we almost gave up. It wasn't until we were almost ready to leave the mall that we finally got her to cooperate enough to get some good pictures. I guess she's just at a difficult age for that sort of thing!

The weather here has been absolutely beautiful, so tonight we decided to go play golf at one of our favorite courses. Although we used to play here in the summer time, since we moved to Texas, I haven't played at all, partly because of the cost. Here it was only eight dollars for nine holes, as well as the most gorgeous surroundings you could hope to be in!
One major change that's happening right now is that Shelley, who has been living with Stacey for the last year, is planning to move out with some friends into their own apartment, so tonight she and one of her friends joined us for dinner to fill us in on what's going on. I don't think this is a bad thing, but it's going to be a big growing experience for all of them!
I just took this picture of all of them in Shelley's room discussing all the "arrangements" going to be a wild ride, I'm sure!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Celebration Day!

Sunday morning is always so much fun for me because I get to see Lydia interact with her she is with Lainy, who is actually a few months older, although much smaller.

This morning was the Baby Dedication service at Hope and Josh and Shannon took part in the service. Larry and I were so thankful that God allowed us to be here for this special day.

After church, we were all invited to their house for lunch as well as a birthday celebration for Josh. It was a beautiful day and we were all able to be outside to enjoy it. Lydia loved having an audience and thought we were all there for her!

Everyone gets so sick of me taking pictures all the time and even baby Joshua looked like he was saying "That's all, Grandma!"

More Fun at the Fair...

Because Larry hadn't been with us last time, we decided to take another trip to the county fair...this time with Stacey and Shelley. Lydia's first ride of the night was on the tea cups with a little girl that was riding alone. We didn't find out until later that her mom had been an English teacher at Hononegah that both Shannon and Shelley had years ago.
Stacey, Shelley and I also got in on the fun when we rode the Hang Gliders. I think Lydia enjoyed waving to us for a change!

Larry Arrives!

After five whole weeks here alone, Larry finally flew in to Chicago to join me...we all were anxiously awaiting! Stacey took me to the airport and after breakfast we headed home to see baby Joshua. We did make one stop on the way to see the Kid's Kamp performance that Shelley's been helping with this week and then we were on our way to Shannon's house. Lydia was asleep when we got there which gave Larry time with the baby before Lydia woke up...once she saw Larry, she wanted ALL his attention!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lunch at the Tea Room!

This morning, my good friends, Laurie and Vicki invited me to go to a Tea Room up north of us. The one in Rockford had closed recently and they wanted to see how this one compared. We had a wonderful time, not only enjoying the food, but treasuring each moment we had was so much fun!

Late in the afternoon, they dropped me off at Shannon's house where I got to enjoy the kids for the afternoon. Lydia was so much fun...I'm going to really miss spending time with her when I go home.

Athough baby Joshua still sleeps most of the time, it's fun to watch the changes in him. He's definately more the size of a "normal" newborn now!

One extra note...I finally got to see Shannon's pet lizard, Buddy today when she let him out in the basement with Lydia and me. I can't believe how much he's grown from when she got him last year. Lydia loves him although she seems to be afraid he's going to not share her toys with her!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Summer Night at the Fair!

My time here without Larry has gone by REALLY fast, although I'm anxious for him to arrive on Saturday.

On Monday, I met Shannon and Josh when they took Joshua to Culvers for the first time. It was fun watching them share their new baby with all their friends and employees.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, a bunch of us from Rockton Grade School met at Terri's house. It was so much fun to see everybody and catch up as well as enjoy the time relaxing out by the pool. Amazingly, this picture was taken by Chris Wolfe's 4 yeal old daughter, Gracie...pretty good for a preschooler, huh?

Tuesday night, we all went to the Boone County Fair. This time of year is one of my favorites because it's like an old fashioned small town fair.
It was extra fun this year because I got to enjoy it through Lydia's eyes. She was wide eyed at all the animals, although I noticed she was even more interested in the people at the fair!

We bought tickets for her to try some of the rides, although we were unprepared for what a thrillseeker she turned out to be. She loved every ride she went on, although her favorite seemed to be the rollercoaster. Look out Shannon and're gonna have a hard time keepin' up with her!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summerwook Memories...

Sunday was a beautiful evening, so we decided to see who was performing at Summerwood...a beautiful outdoor theater that offers free Christian concerts. It was a gospel group called Legacy Five, that was fabulous. Even more fun was seeing all the people I knew. We sat with our good friends, Chuck and Vicki Jones, which made it a perfect evening!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More to Share...

On Friday, it was the first day I didn't have any real plans, so my mom and I drove about an hour and a half and found the cutest little town with darling shops and restaurants. It was a really fun and relaxing day!

Saturday evening, Shannon and Josh went out to dinner on their own for the first time since Joshua was born. They were only gone about an hour and a half, but I enjoyed babysitting even though he sleeps most of the time.
This afternoon, after church, Stacy and Grandma and I took Bella to Rock Cut State Park. It was a gorgeous afternoon and the perfect day for a walk out by the lake!