Monday, November 21, 2011

Mayhem in Denim

I mentioned a couple of days ago, what a delightful trip we had back October
 with our nephew Gus wedged into our already full suburban.

I sang his praises here.

He was a "peaceful and calming influence" in the car...
which I'm pretty sure...
...let me think about it...
...yep which I'm pretty sure he's never been called before.

Don't believe me?

Well let me introduce you to the usual scene...
and this was on my BIRTHDAY!

Yeah.  You see what I mean.

On this particular evening, after we poured out of our suburban and got over the trauma of being together in a vehicle...

...there was a little business to attend to!

Look at how the roles are reversed in this picture.  I'm the kid and Katie is the supervising 
and proud parent...
"Don't get your hair in the fire sweetie."


"Mom the boys hurt my shoulder..."
Well...all was back to normal.
Except for that big poof of hair on the back of my head.
You would think somebody would have told me...
but they are used to my pouffy hair, so..
the pouffier the better.

Speaking of how your family views you..
get a load of the JEANS my BRAVE husband bought for me.
I didn't know what to think!
Still don't know what to think....

Husbands of the world...
buy jewelry not jeans.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ya Get What Ya Pay For

Hello all.

Confession:  I wrote down all the funny quotes from our trip to Wheaton, and now I can't find the paper.

I had promised you I'd share them.

But I can't find them.

There's an above average chance that the paper is in the big monster pile of paper accumulating on my kitchen desk.

Problem is, I don't deal with that big monster pile of paper except at the end of the month when I have to pay the bills....or else get the electricity turned off....or the satellite tv!

And it's November 19, or something like that, which means the big monster pile is ...well... getting towards the point where you don't want to dig into it or you'll have an avalanche and get depressed at all the bills and things you need to take care of....

ALL that was to'll have to hang on a bit for those quotes from our trip.

In other news, Tim and I went to a fancy "gala" (that's redundant because anything called "gala" has to be fancy...sorry).

He was in a tuxedo.
I was in a floor length velvet.

We asked a kid to take our picture in all of our finery and this is what we got:

Don't you just LOVE my dress?
There were hired photographers which we walked past....why pay when you can get a picture at home free?!

Always check the camera folks, always check the camera.

Oh well.
Maybe next year.
Probably wouldn't have liked something about the way the dress looked anyway....
(Eeyore moment)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Eating, Driving, Hugging, Playing: A Two-and-a-half Day Road Trip to Wheaton!

Ages in back in October...
which seems more like 6 months ago instead of one month ago...
our family of 7 went on a road trip,
and as a testament to just HOW MUCH we LOVE him,
we were willing to take an already maxed out suburban,
and add one more person.
Our nephew Gus came along!
It was a bit crowded,
...and illegal....
but Gus's sense of humor was enough to carry us through!
Plus nobody except Lily was willing to have a meltdown with Gus in the car.

Tim and I also had to forego our traditional "road trip meltdown" in which
 we spend the first ten minutes addressing all the "getting on the road" shortcomings of our crew
 and the next ten minutes apologizing for being such frustrated and crabby parents!

Tim and I typically scrape it together by the time we get to
 the St. Croix River at the Wisconsin border.
What stress-outs happen in Minnesota
stay in Minnesota!

But it didn't happen this time!
Gus....are you available in December?
We have an 11 hour drive ahead of us in December and....

Because we had Gus along, and needed to establish ourselves as "fun"...
we agreed to stop for pie at "The Norse Nook"
...about an hour and a half into the 6 hour trip.

Nobody will ever understand what this mentally cost my dear husband.
Except me.
But it was good for him.

Adjustments were made by all!
Have I mentioned that it was a bit tight in the suburban?

All these folks, plus me.
And their luggage.
Good Times!

After some pie (TO GO)...
Come on....Tim is still....Tim.
...and four or so more hours of driving.....

It was Dinna Time.....

And after some good-natured wrangling
 (thank you again Gus for your mediating presence in our vehicle)
...we decided FINALLY on Red Robin.
(no explanation available at this time) we were following the Garmin's pink path 
to the Red Robin,
we came across THIS:


In the end....Texas won.
Being that it was Halloween, there were some unappetizing 
decorations which I question...

...Wisconsin humor in a Texas Wisconsin...
must be different than Minnesota humor.
We doubted our choice for a minute.

But the AMAZING dinner rolls and peanuts made everything better.

When you are the youngest child...
you approach all food with caution I guess.
"What is this?  This looks like a roll...but what I just saw in the
 entryway has made me nervous!"

No caution here!

The battered onion was just fine!

But the mosts memorable part of the dinner was...

Timmy and the Chicken Fried Steak....
(This sounds like the title to a children's story book....hmmm)

It was the size of frisbee....
a large frisbee....

...and fried all over....

This wasn't the chicken fried steak that his mama makes...
but he didn't complain.
He just ate.
And ate.

Katie's triumph was this....I so regretted my low carb choices
 when I saw this.
Then she was too full to eat it!!!

So while everybody else headed to the car because Tim was cracking
  the whip....I hurriedly filled styrofoam boxes with Timmy's
 remaining acre of steak and Katie's sweet potato.

Suddenly I looked up and they were all gone...

They had left the parking space and were poised on the edge
 of the parking lot.
I was a little miffed that they make me walk FURTHER 
just because I was gathering THEIR leftovers but...
Gus was in the car.
So I didn't say anything.

I just quietly ate the topping off
Katie's sweet potato.
....and felt that justice had been served.

Nonetheless, we were late and needed to hurry.
And hurry we did because we had family waiting!

Cousins seeing each other again is always fun!

It was a hug fest!

I wish these moments could be bottled!
Alas...they can only be blogged.

Everyone was excited to see each other again, hang out and...

Oldest cousin with youngest cousin.
So sweet!

Eating AGAIN!

Who could pass up these delicious pumpkin cookies!

"Please can we have some more?"

Continuing with the eating theme....we had lunch the next day
in Wheaton College's amazing cafeteria.

Katie looked like just another college student!
Well, except that two elementary kids kept trailing her.
She enjoyed hanging out and observing all the fun.

Lily on the other hand was bored....
she didn't find the collegiate scene to her liking...

"Where's Gus?"
"He's fun."

Hey Lily!  Timmy can be fun too.

We lost him for awhile.

Then we found him in the student center basement 
playing a ping pong 
tournament with a bunch of unknown college guys.

"Stranger?  What's a stranger?  We were just playing ping pong, Mom....and I was winning!"

We tore him away mid-victory and finished a lovely 
visit with games in the park.
That's Zach and Katie on the right.

When did they get so grownup?

It was a great family visit, college visit, dining adventure
 and overall fun road trip.

Gus, you are welcome to join us any ol' time!
We'll even give you the middle seat!

Coming tomorrow:  top quotes from our time together in the car.  
You won't want to miss that!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"The Football Flow" Has Flown

This is what a Senior Quarterback Football Player looks like.
Note:  the flowing locks....referred to as "The Flow."

"The Flow" from behind.

I recorded it for posterity....because....

It's GONE!


"The Flow" was but a memory....
"It was THIS BIG"

Of course all of his mother's friends were happy to have Andrew back too....
they love my boy...

"Andrew...haven't seen you around here in ages....we've missed you..."

Welcome back hugs from my dear neighbor too....
Welcome back....

...and might we remark that although football was fun,
heartstopping for his mother at times..

and the hair is ready.