Thursday, January 15, 2015

Come to Think of It!?!?

After publishing my gratitude for the fantastic parenting skills of Jim and Leslie, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the remarkable talents of Jim and Amy as parents.  Whenever I read something in the Ensign about parenting or comment about something I might be worried about concerning my grandchildren, Jimmy has already implemented the suggestion in his home.  Example, tonight while conversing with Haylee, she mentioned she has chores, a LONG list of them.  I also suggested she earns an allowance because of this.  Amy is a powerhouse about homework.  Amy supports Brady in so many ways with his desire to be involved in sporting events.  There are restrictions with how much time they can spend gaming on the computer.  When in their home I see the love, concern and direction they provide to their children.  I wish I could take some credit for the exceptional parenting skills my children have, but I can't.  I am so very blessed and grateful though!


Jim and Leslie are great!  They lead a remarkable life.  I think if Leslie was my Mom instead of me being hers I would be a much different and much better person!  They just spent four days at Disneyland in California celebrating Tralee's eighth birthday all documented with the most remarkable pictures and videos of the trip.  I was sorry for it to end.  Just like when I read an exceptionally good book and it ends.  I have the hope, though, that when Hunter turns eight, I will get to accompany them to Disney because he wants the same present as his big sister.  I'm not quite sure how Leslie and Jim are so perfectly matched to be exceptional parents.  I'm just happy I get to be in on things as a surrogate because I get to view all the pictures and comments.  It's almost as good as being there.  Thanks Leslie for being terrific and being willing to share your talents with the rest of us!!!!!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I'm Going to Be a Grandma Again!

On Christmas morning, Hunter & Tralee were each given a small package to open at the same time.  They were T-shirts.  Tralee's said, "I'm going to be a big sister again." and Hunter's said, "I'm going to be a big brother."  Tralee picked up on what that meant pretty fast and was super excited.  She started weeping/laughing tears of joy.  Hunter was not convinced this was a good thing, but I think he is coming around.  That was probably the most exciting present of the whole Christmas Season.  Leave it to Jim & Leslie to come up with a home run!  I hope Leslie has some You Tube Video's to post soon!

Christmas 2014

It was great getting off work a bit early on Tuesday, heading to Wisconsin for Christmas and having Wednesday through Sunday to be with our family.  DEI gave me Friday off just out of the goodness of their hearts!  I was very grateful.  Christmas Eve day Jim, Jimmy & I headed to Costco to get a Prime Rib and other fixings for dinner that night.  Mike & Mary wanted us to eat at their house.  We dropped the meat and mushrooms off and they did a superb job on the Prime Rib.  The whole dinner was fantastic.  Christmas Day I headed over to Jim & Amy's and we watched Tralee and Hunter do some present opening via FaceTime and then watched Brady and Haylee do the same.  After that we headed over to NaNa's for the famous Christmas Brunch.  That was also fantastic.  We had pizza and salad one night and Chinese another night.  Food was all great!  Spending time with family was  wonderful.  Had fun playing games with Brady & Haylee too.
On Friday we headed to Racine to visit Todd.  For Christmas he received an iPad Mini from the family and Jimmy spent a lot of time putting videos and music on it for Todd.  Jimmy also provided a pair of headphones.  We were not sure how Todd would handle this new technology, but he loved it.  He also really liked that the whole family came for a visit.   Brady is getting more used to Todd, but I think Haylee was a bit unsure.   Todd was happy & looked good.  Fed him lunch.
Did a little house keeping for Nana on Saturday.  Headed to church for Sacrament Meeting on Sunday and then back to Ohio.  Jim drove the whole way and I did some sleeping.  I love that drive when I can sleep.  All was well at home.  It was a bit sad to leave everyone behind.

 Christmas Eve at Mike & Mary's.
 Christmas Eve at Mike & Mary's
 Jim & I in front of Mike & Mary's Fireplace
 Haylee opening a card on Christmas morning
 Brady allowing me to get an actual face picture.
 Kevin & Mauritza at NaNa's Christmas Day
 NaNa's Christmas Day
 Christmas Day
 Our Wonderful Matriarch - NaNa
 NaNa's Christmas Day
 My wonderful and good looking hubby at his Mom's
 Mr Todd so happy to be with the family!
 That's my boy!
 Haylee in the wee hours of the morning.  Still tired from staying up too late.
 Brady on Minecraft in the wee hours of the morning.
 Todd when he was a little tyke
He was so cute!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

DEI Christmas Party

 Nativity at Jim & Char's House - Set up by Haylee & Amy
 Christmas Village made by Grandma Stoehr -Set up by Haylee & Amy

The DEI Christmas Party was at our Red Tail Country Club again this year.  All the mistakes made in the past did not happen this year.  I was pleasantly surprised at this blessing.  Everyone had a good time.  Our president even gave some uplifting words to everyone to build us up.  The Prime Rib, Chicken and Salmon were all good, the plates were heated, the salad was not wilted.  The evening was great.

 My very good friend Ann(DEI) and her husband Rick.
 Your's truly with my handsome husband Jim.
 Barbie (Cari)(DEI) and Ryan
 Eric (DEI) & Erin
 Sandy, Ken (DEI) and Sean (DEI) & Kristen
 Dan (DEI) Rajeana & Erik (DEI)

 Rajeana, Erik (DEI), Mark (DEI) & Meg
 Ed (DEI), Ruth, Steve & Jenn (DEI)
 Judy & (Doug (DEI), Ed (DEI) & Ruth
 Mike, Amy (DEI) & Brian (DEI)
 Dave, Dawn (DEI) & Nancy (DEI)
 Mike (DEI), Sandy, Mike (DEI)
Lisa & Dave (DEI) President

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

Jim Jr family came down for Thanksgiving this year and brought Grandma Stoehr and David along.  We had a great weekend.  They helped decorate for Christmas, we played games, watched movies, went to the neighbors for Thanksgiving dinner.   Jim did a smoked turkey which turned out great.  Haylee decorated a box at the  neighbors.  Part of their tradition is to have some kind of craft to make on Thanksgiving.  They also have a lighting ceremony with the Christmas lights outside being turned on for the first time that year.  They also play fun games after dinner, one was Pictionary.  Everyone got a lottery ticket too, from our host, for making him happy with a positive comment.  It was pretty entertaining.  David won $20.  Brady and Haylee each won $2.

Haylee helped make the Pumpkin Pies which were fantastic.  She also helped make the fruit salad.  In return, we took her out to look at big houses.  She wants a mansion someday.  Brady, Haylee and I went to Madagascar and the Penguins.  It was pretty cute.  Not as good as some we've seen though. 

 The last evening we went to Brio for dinner after the Badger game.  We got there after seven and then had to wait another hour.  It was worth the wait.  Food was great.  However, in the wee hours of the morning Brady woke up with a pain around his throat.  After a blessing and Grandpa running out to find Tums at a 24 hour drug store, everyone finally was able to sleep.  It was a sad morning for Grandpa and I going off to church and coming back to an empty house.

On Friday we took David out to get a new suit.  It was fun and he ended up with some very nice clothes.  Can't wait to see him all decked out in his new suit, shirts and ties.  He even got a new sport coat.  We started out at Joseph A Bank, but they were not as helpful as Men's Warehouse.  The Warehouse really took care of David!
Haylee being very awesome playing Rummy Cube with Brady and I.  Those blue lights in the background are part of the nativity scene she set up for the Christmas Holidays.  It looks fantastic!
Brady helping the underdog use their cubes.  He's a natural!
Penny for your thoughts!
Grandma Stoehr trying to convince Lucy, the begging dog under the table, that there is nothing to eat yet.
Almost ready for the big feed!
My fruit salad and the flavor enhanced turkey were both delicious!
Food was awesome!  Those beans were disappointing though.  Some were kind of tough!
No one left this table hungry.  There were about five desserts an hour later
Contemplating what?
Dave liked it so well he wants to move down here.
I think I bribed Brady to get a picture without his hands in front of his face.

 She's got something up her sleeve!

Another before the feast from the other end of the table.
I think Jim H was giving out a lottery ticket to someone who said his laundry room was great! 
The end!
There were about 50 turkeys in the church yard when we arrived this morning for tithing settlement and to do our part of the cleaning.  Jim also had to get the list ready for the bishop so he could meet with those who signed up for settlement.

After cleaning the church, we went to the mall and discovered about thirty of our missionaries and the Stake President watching over them.  They were singing Christmas Carols and sounded fantastic.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trip to St George & Las Vegas

We had been looking forward to a trip to St George and Las Vegas for a while and it was finally time to leave.  The flights there were uneventful and no problems.  We picked up the rental car in Vegas and headed for St George pretty late Saturday Oct 18th.  Got there after midnight.  Sunday Jim J put some marinated beef on the Traeger Grill while we were at church.  Dinner was delicious!  We drove to Zion's National Park Sunday afternoon.  It was gorgeous.  Jim Sr twisted his knee climbing and had a hard time sleeping for a few nights.  Monday we had smoked salmon on the Traeger which I thought was exceptionally terrific.  Jim Sr finished the beef from Sunday.  Leslie is the "best" chief cook.  I cannot remember what we did specifically on Monday.  I guess just hung out.  We did go to pick up some Vodka for marinating the salmon.  Leslie made delicious smoothies in the morning with almond milk, banana, chocolate, coconut oil and peanut butter.  She even put spinach and chia seeds in them.  Jim and I have been on a detox kick by making a honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and water drink in the mornings.  Leslie joined us, but Jim J was not a fan.

Tuesday we headed for Las Vegas to see what our room at Tahiti Village was like.  It was great!  The swimming pool and Lazy River were wonderful too.  There was also a sandy beach at one area of the pool and a hot tub which Tralee and Hunter enjoyed.  The whole atmosphere there was awesome.  Tuesday night for dinner we went to a buffet at Circus Circus and it was fine, but nothing to write home about.  I told the kiddos I would get them something while we were there.  Tralee found some little Hamsters that were battery operated.  They are adorable.  I was buying hers when the cashier said I could have a second one for half price.  It was a good deal and both children were happy.  The two Jim's went out gambling after we ate because Jim J had to be back in St George for a flight on Thursday morning.  

Wednesday morning we went to Denny's for breakfast.  It was right at Tahiti Village and I thought my veggie omelet was one of the best I've had.  Everyone else seemed satisfied too.  We spent a lot of time at the pool and Lazy River on Wednesday.  Leslie, the children and I went back to St George with Jim J and left Jim L to enjoy some cave time.  We also had to get back to St George for the Annual Jacobs Pumpkin Carving and Fright Night.  This is a big deal.  The event took place at the Jim Jacobs home so Leslie and Jim had to rush around to get refreshments and set up tables, etc.  It was a fantastic affair.  After it gets dark and the pumpkins are carved, all the lights go out except those in the pumpkins and those pumpkins come alive and chase the children.  Lots of screaming and frantic running around for a while.  I've been around for two such occasions and it is fun!

Leslie and I went out for Sushi on Thursday for lunch and did a little shopping and sightseeing.  We played with the kiddos and watched some TV.  Leslie brought dinner home Thursday night.  It was Mexican and delicious.  Friday we headed back to Las Vegas minus Jim J.  Leslie and I wanted to go to an all you can eat crab leg buffet on Friday and we did find one.  We did eat our fill of crab, but there was so much other food we wanted to try too that we were pretty full when we left.  Grandpa took the kids back to Denny's for dinner and was the sitter for the night.  He was even interacting with Hunter when we came home and I was impressed.  

Saturday Grandpa went to pick up breakfast at McDonald's.  We went sightseeing on the strip Saturday and ended with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe which was totally fun.  It thundered and lightening flashed every half hour and every fifteen minutes the animals would growl and howl and make noise.  I heard food was cheap in Vegas, but that is certainly not the case.

Before we went to the airport we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to eat.  It is a guys paradise or anyone's paradise who loves sports.  He enjoyed wings and I had a salad.  I seem to have a knack for being served rotten lettuce in my salads.  I am learning to say something now though.

When it was time to head back to Ohio we arrived at the airport to discover our plane was delayed 2-3 hours.  Jim had just checked the schedule before we left our room.  We had a nice long wait at the airport.  I have to complain about Frontier Airlines.  They suck.  The seats are the MOST uncomfortable things I have ever sat in.  Also they MAKE you check your luggage and charge $25 per duffle bag.  Our wonderful neighbor picked us up even though it inconvenienced him to come at 1 am.  We made it through work Monday even though we had little sleep.

Below are some pics of various excursions during our stay!

The Jacob's Residence with Tralee & Hunter

Driving through this for a couple hours is breathtaking!  Beautiful - Awesome - Loved it!
Zion's National Park

This is the trail where Jim Sr twisted his knee.

Hunter all ready for school.
Tahiti Village
Part of the pool at Tahiti Village.
Our bed at Tahiti Village.

The Ballagio Fall Flowers

Super Men
Part of the Fall Display at the Ballagio

Glass Flowers on the Ceiling at the Ballagio

Pumpkin Carving at the Jacobs

Leslie showing me some sights in St George

Hunter & Tralee in our room at Tahiti

Ready to go to the strip

A trip through M&M's
A commercial we did at Hershey's
Saturday Dinner at Rainforest Cafe

Last Morning at Tahiti Village - We did a little swimming and sunning.
A shame we didn't know our flight would be over two hours delayed.