Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend - 2016

Wow, it's the end of May already. Where did the time go? We went straight from winter to summer here in good ole Michigan, as sometimes happens. It was a very gray, cold winter. I thought we would never warm up, even a little. A couple weeks ago I was still wearing sweaters, though the really heavy winter coat went to the Salvation Army at the end of March. That was one thing I promised myself, once the temps stayed above 30 degrees it was a goner! Some "people" (dogs) don't really mind the cold!
January is a bit of a blur and I don't remember much of anything we did then.
In February I flew to VA to spend a couple days while Amber and Andy had a little vacay time in Mexico. The girls and I had a good time though there was snow there in VA too! I was guest reader in Quinn's class. It was fun to meet some of the kids she talks about every night at dinner and also her teachers. I read a few favorite Jan Brett books!
At the end of March, the week before Easter, Amber and the girls came to Michigan for a visit. We took them to the Rainforest Cafe one day for lunch. We tried not to sit too close to the animals that were a little scary. Quinn was fine but Berit wanted nothing to do with the big cats. They were a little scary.
This beauty turned 12 years old on March 30. Some days she still seems like a youngster. Food makes her very excited. But I notice how stiff she is when she gets up now, a little wobbly too. Still a sassy lassy though!
Quinn lost her big front tooth. She must have been wiggling it for weeks and weeks!
On April 3 Scott got engaged to his beautiful girlfriend, Emily. So happy for them and the ring is beautiful. No date set yet. They kind of go back and forth between September 2016 and September 2017 but nothing definite.
A couple days later we celebrated with Emily's family. Her sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew were at the restaurant but couldn't stay because of the little ones so it was just us, Tyler and Jessie, Emily's folks and her brother, plus the happy couple, of course!
A couple days later Howard and I were on a plane to Tampa. We went down the week after Easter to look at a few houses and meet with a new realtor. The few houses we looked at were either too small or needed extensive upgrades that we just weren't interested in. We also dog sat for Howard's sister since she was out of town in South America. The weather was beautiful while we were there. It only rained once, for a couple hours early one morning, and this was the beautiful site after the rain stopped.
This was our lunch view one afternoon. The weather couldn't have been prettier.
The house has been on the market since the first part of March. It was For Sale by Owner the first couple months with no interest and now we've had it with a realtor for about 3 weeks and still not much happening. We've only shown it once and their only real comment was concern about "the swamp"!! Ha ha! We love our "swamp". Oh well, hopefully that right person will come along soon. In the meantime we are enjoying the sights of spring.
We won't see this next spring in Florida, that's for sure.
The trees have leafed out with a vengence and the pollen is thick!
I wonder if they have gold finches in Florida? If not, I will miss them.
We are winding up the school year. Only a couple weeks left to go now. There is a retirement party scheduled for June 13 for 4 of us who are leaving. Well, actually 2 have already left but will come back for the party. It will be hard to say goodbye to everyone and while I know it's necessary, I also know it will be sad and I don't do sad well.
The house will sell eventually. We'll have to keep lowering the price until it does. Then it's onward and southward, and the big move will be on! Love these beautiful Red breasted gross beaks. They are ony here for a couple weeks, travelling north I guess.
I'll try not to wait until December to update. Really, I'll try.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Update... the rest of 2015

We celebrated Tyler's 30th birthday in March! Jessie, Scott and Emily came over to share some cake.
We visited Amber and family at Easter. We drove to VA, spent a few days and then headed to Florida. The Porters after (or maybe before) our Easter hunt.
Quinn and Beri showing off their treasures from the hunt!
At the playground.
Easter dresses after church.
Quinn with her "Easter present". She was excited!
In June, Amber and the girls came to Michigan for a visit, just in time for my Birthday!
We also made a trip to the zoo and fed the giraffes.
In July I had my knee surgery on my torn miniscus. Sorry, no pics. The recovery wasn't too bad but the results weren't as good as I hoped. The damage was worse than they thought so more miniscus was removed than originally planned. In one spot they removed 60% so I have bone on bone now and it still causes pain from time to time. The next step will be a knee replacement but hopefully that can wait a few years. Also in July we purchased a new car, a Jeep! We've already had it on several road trips and it's a dream to drive! It has everything you could want in a car!
In August we went to the beach with Amber and family for our week at Camelot. A great time was had by all!! We stopped to visit Elaine and LeeRoy first, of course.
Bo and Kim came over to visit one day, along with Stokes and Lilly.
Kite flying and looking for shells were high on the list of fun activities!
Watching the sun set was always a hit! Beri was very tired by this time of night but she was a trooper!
Andy, relaxing. ;-)
It was a great week spent making great memories! Love spending time with those little girls too!!
September brought Scott's 27th Birthday and the start to school.
It was a rough start to the school year for me. We got a new principal and I struggled with finding my place with a new principal and lots of changes. Things have smoothed out a little but I have also adopted a new attitude about my job and the future. Quinn started kindergarten and is excelling! She loves it!
Berit started pre-school. She's not loving it quite as much as Quinn loves it. She cries every time Amber leaves but then she's fine 5 minutes later!
October brought some really big changes. In mid-October Howard accepted a package from Bosch and "retired". He has spent the last couple months getting all his paper work in order and figuring out what we are going to do with the rest of our lives. October also brought a trip to Virginia for me. While there Amber took me to The Kennedy Center to see the Carole King musical, Beautiful. It was a wonderful time!
November is a blur. I can't remember anything about November except we had a really big snow, almost a foot. And we had Thanksgiving but that is a bit of a blur also. We had Tyler and Jessie and Scott over for dinner.
December was spent just making plans to go to Virginia to visit the Porters for a few days before Christmas. We were going to celebrate an early Christmas with them before they headed to Michigan to visit the Porter side of the family and we headed to Florida for a visit and to look around at different areas where we plan to retire! The day we were leaving we received terrible news that our niece, Maitland, Howard's youngest brother's oldest daughter, was killed in a small plane crash the night before. The next few days were a blur and trying to make plans while driving to Virginia. We left Friday afternoon, spent the night in Ohio then finished the trip on Saturday. Sunday was our "Christmas" with opening gifts, eating dinner at El Paso Cafe, a surprise to the top of the Washington Monument and a nice family day.
This is the view of the White House from the top of the Washington Monument! What a view!
On Monday morning Howard, Amber and I flew to Orlando for Maitland's funeral service. It was such a tough day, so sad, so tear-filled. She was a sweet, beautiful spirit and was taken from her family far too soon. Everyone is struggling, especially Bo, Kim, Stokes and Lilly, of course. RIP sweet Maitland.
On Monday night we flew back to Virginia, spent Tuesday there and then started driving to Florida on Wednesday. We arrived at Sharon's on Christmas Eve and spent a quiet night there. The weather was incredibly warm in Florida, 85 degrees on Christmas day!
These 3 kept us entertained.
Christmas morning we drove back up to Orlando to spend the day with Bo, Kim and the kids. A few of their friends were over there as well. It was a tough day but we tried to make the best of it. Somehow Kim and Bo prepared a delicious, untradational Christmas dinner that we enjoyed next to the pool.
The rest of the week there was spent looking at areas where we might want to live, Howard helping Sharon around the house, fixing ceiling fans, lawn mowers, etc., meeting with a Realtor and finally the last day a trip over to Camelot to walk on the beach and swim in the pool. Another beautiful day!
Something you don't see every (any) day, a barefoot nun, walking on the beach!
We left Florida Thursday morning, drove New Year's Eve day and New Year's Day. The only good thing about that was that traffic was pretty light and no problems.
Things were good at home, no problems there either, just freezing cold and gray! So, all caught up. We'll see who reads this or notices that I've updated. Happy 2016!!