Wednesday - April 30

 WOW.....the severe weather just won't go away.   Pensacola was hit with 24+ inches of rain in 26 hours.   Philip, Annette and Luke were there for this worst flooding in over a generation.    Ryan's rain gauge showed 16" - fortunately no damage to Ryan's home (thanks to all those who asked).   Downtown Pensacola is a mess and the pictures are heartbreaking.     Along with all the tornado devastation in the south and now the flooding in FL and AL.   I  can't complain about our cold, damp weather....just wonder what is going on?
We exercised and then I ran some errands and got a manicure.   Lunch with Exchange Club and wow....we saw a video "Taking Chance" (true story about Marine killed in Afghanistan and then the Colonel who accompanied his body back home to be buried in Wyoming - talk about a tear-jerker!)

Mark took the truck to Morton to have a new speaker installed for Blue Tooth - ours just wasn't working right and it had been recalled.

Did some laundry and packing this to St. Louis tomorrow till Saturday night.    We will be cheering on the Blue Angels and looking forward to being with family and friends. 

Philip, Annette and Luke will be coming here after the air show and Sunday, we'll celebrate with Connor for his First Communion.   I'm taking a break from the blog till next week!

Happy May Day!


Tuesday - April 29

Strange weather today....sun came out very briefly, then it got dark and back and forth  Most of the time...just dreary

Made waves on the home front and also got a little domestic in the kitchen making a lemon ice cream pie for the freezer.    Mark sorted thru a bunch of file cabinet stuff and pitched, shredded, etc.    He drove the truck to Mahomet and towed Toad home with all the new towing gear!

Liam and Connor came over after school and helped me sort thru toys - a few things for Luke, others, added to garage sale pile and others, thrown away.

Grandma's little de-clutterers
Anne and Patrick are out celebrating their anniversary tonight, so Grandpa took the boys to
Lucca Grill for dinner.
Kathy and Claire picked me up at 5:15 and we had a wonderful dinner at Rosie's downtown.   We celebrated Claire's birthday (May 1st).   And then we were off  to the musical
"A Mighty Fortress is our Basement".   It was sooo funny about the Lutheran church ladies.


Monday - April 28

Foggy and cool day.   We exercised and then had breakfast with the neighbors.   Mark and I each drove to Mahomet (he in the truck and I had my new wheels which I'm so enjoying).    Having a mechanic install the towing mechanism on Toad.   Should be ready tomorrow for pick up.
Home for a bit and then I ran some errands and at 5, went to Brenda's and met up with the Monday Night Gals for surprise 70th birthday for Sue - salad supper, cake, sangria, wine, etc.
Lots of fun and a special, rare night that all 11 of us were together,
Donna, Pat, Nadine, Ruth, Jody, Connie, Marsha, Brenda
Tamara, Linda and Sue (the birthday girl)
Sue opening her gifts and cards
Blowing out the candles on delicious white cake with raspberry filling
Rainy night here and many thoughts and prayers with the victims and family members form yesterday's tornadoes in the Midwest

Sunday - April 27

Not the nicest day - cloudy, very windy and chilly.   We left for Mendota at 9 and visited my Aunt Marian at Stonecroft and then met Bob and Linda and my cousin, Dick and Mary at the Elks for their Bloody Mary Sunday Special - very good drinks.

Delicious Bloody Mary's
We then went to the Chinese restaurant for wonderful lunch - Mendota has thee best Chinese buffet anywhere!!!    Great visiting with the kin, but then time to say good-bye...
Linda, Bob, Mary, Dick, Mark, Aunt Marian
Off to the Lutheran Home to visit my cousin Jim (Dick's brother).   Jim showed us some new shirts he got for Christmas and his birthday, plus all the cards!    Always enjoy our visits with him,
Pat and Jim
And now presenting the newest little Cardinal in the family.....
And lo and behold, this die-hard Cub fan is also a Cardinal and assistant coach of Connor's team!
Ballgame was canceled tonight cause of storms but nice to get some much-needed rain!
Forgot to mention that last night at Saints Alive, Principal Joy Allen was honored for her 23 years at CCHS.    She is retiring at the end of this school year and will be so missed.    What a wonderful tribute they gave her!    She is a GEM and we wish her all the best!!!

Saturday - April 26

Beautiful day and many happy memories of 11 years ago - April 26, 2003 when
Anne and Patrick were married
And now....

 How the rest of us looked 11 years ago...
Finally....some signs of spring in the neighborhood!
Rhododendron bush in our yard

Our neighbor Joe's tulip tree
and oh, the Bradford pears and redbud and dogwood all coming out!
Mark worked outdoors and spent some time at Ed and Donna Rae's working on computer problems.    They are up and running again...
I worked in the basement for a while - ugh, stuff, stuff and so much more stuff to sort thru!!!    For all we've done this week (and it's a lot - we've hardly made a dent)!   Oh day at a time!
I printed off several new pictures and updated frames - especially Blair and Luke.
We went to 4:30 Mass and then to the 25th Annual Saints Alive at the Marriott - very enjoyable evening of dinner, silent and oral auctions!   This is to benefit CCHS
our kids high school!


Friday - April 25

Busy productive day of cleaning the bedrooms and piling up the stuff - have huge stacks in basement ready to sell in June.
It was a real pretty day and gradually warming up!    We went to a happy hour retirement party for friends, Henry and Helen.   It was great to see several couples Mark used to work with!    Then to the Ozark House with the Mid Illini group of friends for our annual Change of Watch.    So good to see old friends and meet some of the new members.
Mark worked on his  job list - little by little we'll get our stuff whittled down.   

Thursday - April 24

Cool and very windy today.    Worked on closets and sorting thru clothes, clothes and more clothes!!!    High time to clear some of 'em out!!!     I visited with Donna Rae (1st time to see her in 4 months) and what a good chat we had!    Then to Biaggi's to meet Kathy and Claire for lunch!    So much stuff to chat about and all the goings on in our lives!     Busy, busy days!
Kathy, Pat, Claire enjoying leisurely lunch and visit
Got a haircut and came on home,   Mark was out and about today and tonight - we're just stayin' in!
News flash for Miss Blair today - she pulled herself up with no help!!!   Wish I could share the cute videos her Grand Bob sent!   She started crawling and now pulling herself up while at her NC grandparents this week!  
Way to go sweet girl!

Rain is coming - we sure need it!   Ready for some warmer temps, too - so overdue for a
long bike ride!

Wednesday - April 23

A cool the exercising out of the way and Mark took off around 8:30 for West Chicago to spend the day with his brother-in-law, Mike who is recovering from ankle surgery.    Mark's sister, Theresa (caregiver) was able to get out and about with errands, a good long walk, etc.
I made some big-time progress cleaning out drawers and closets (still plenty to do), but cleared out a bunch of stuff!   Worked on that this morning and afternoon but did go to lunch with Exchange Club and heard the tales and scares of Identify Theft given by a lady police officer.
Mark got home at 7:30  good day with Mike and Theresa!
Who is this Cool Little Dude???

Tuesday - April 22

Big day for the nomads.....Mama has some new wheels - a brand new "Toad" !
I went to Kathy's this morning for a planning session/coffee with Jacki, Patty, Mary, Kathy and myself to plan Ruth's (Claire's daughter) bridal shower/luncheon on June 14th.   The wedding is September 27th,   Fun time sharing our thoughts and ideas!   
Then came home,picked up Mark and off to get the new car!!!  
Bye bye Toad
New Toad

2014 Honda CRV
I took dinner to Brenda and Pat and had a nice long visit.    Brenda is recovering from knee replacement and doing well!
After supper, we drove to Anne's and showed off the new "Toad" - so much new stuff to learn
and of course, the boys were really checking it out!
Blair is keeping her Gram and Grand Bob on their toes and she is really crawling - loved the videos they sent today of our Princess "on the move"!

Monday - April 21

Cloudy day in the 60's - sure could use some rain and getting a few sprinkles off and on, but nothing significant!     Exercised and then joined the neighbors for breakfast - good to be back with this bunch again!  
Stopped at Meijer's for a few groceries and then I had doctor appointment.    Home for a bit and Mark and I met John and Heather, (Tennessee friends) for lunch at Schooners' - always fun to chat with them (we were together one week ago today in Fairfield Glade, TN.)    They were here for the weekend visiting their son and family.
Heather and John
Home to work on the long to-do list.....Mark cleaned out the garage!
The Monday Night Friends met at Linda's for Chinese - oh my.....what a spread and all delicious.    Seven  of us tonight and after lots of chatter and laughs, we had coconut cream cake compliments of Connie - deeevine!!!!

Easter Sunday - 2014


Oh what a glorious day to celebrate Easter!    With the sun shining and 74 degrees it was such a blessing to spend this wonderful day with family and friends.    We went to 10:00 Mass at Holy Trinity with Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor - the Mass and choir were outstanding with beautiful singing and all the brass instruments!   WOW and more WOW!!!
Home for a bit and then to friends and neighbors of Anne and Patrick - lots of fun with Patti and family!     We had a bountiful feast of ham and all the trimmings, followed by an  
 Egg Hunt!
Mark and I so appreciated Patti and all including us in their Easter celebration.
14 strong...
Patti, Blaise, Marge, Larry, Christie, Rachel, James, Michala, Anne, Patrick Liam, Connor,
Mark and me
Christie, Michala, Patti, Anne, Marge

 After the baseball game with Rachel and the guys!

Saturday - April 19

As Mr. Rodgers used to say..."It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood; a beautiful day in the neighborhood"    And that it was.   We had a very productive day starting with exercising and then dug in to inside chores (still putting stuff away) and cleaning and de-cluttering as we go!   
A gorgeous day of 72 sunny degrees - did a bunch of raking - darn gumballs and catalpa thingies that fall from neighbor's tree (across the street), but blow all over our yard!   UGH!    But yard looks good and just waiting for the grass to green up and the flowering trees and bushes to explode in color!   Great to catch up with some of the neighbors, too!
Mark helped Candy with some computer issues and scrubbed the porch.    Liam and Connor came over in the afternoon and were a big help hauling all the cushions and pillows up from the basement and then arranging on porch!   
Anne picked the boys up at 5 and then Mark and I went to Meijer's for groceries followed by delicious dinner at Mandarin Garden (our favorite Chinese place)!    Home now and tired, but it's a "good" tired after all we accomplished today!
The boys are opening their Easter gifts

Blair is 9 months today!    Lucky girl is staying with her Gram and Grand Bob while
 Mommy, Daddy and brothers are away in Cabo San Lucas
Blair loves egg salad

Good Friday - April 18

Sure felt like spring today!    Sunshine and 65 degrees - yeah!!!!    Anne brought the boys over at 8 and we were off for a big day....first stop was Mendota to visit cousin Leia, her Mommy, Grandma and Grandpa    Leia is a girl on the move walking (fast) wherever she wants to be!
Liam, Leia and Connor
Off to Dixon and lunch with Great Grandma and Auntie Karen at Town and
Country.    Then to 1:00 Good Friday services at St. Pat's.    The boys played in the park across the street from church afterwards and then back to the house for more visiting and Mark did some odd jobs for his Mom.    We left around 3:00 and stopped for a treat for the boys at Dairy Delite in Amboy, then to the Sublette Meat Market (burgers, brats, ribs and pork chops).    We stopped at he cemetery and hung a springy basket of  flowers over my parents' graves.    Home at 6:00.    Anne picked the boys up - big day, but lots of fun and of course, the weather was such a treat (especially for the folks who were here for the "memorable winter of '14").


The boys with their Great Grandma Ruth and Auntie Karen

Mint chocolate chip ice cream at Dairy Delite


Thursday - April 17

Sunny start to the day but then the clouds took over - in the 50's today,   SUPPOSED to start warming up each day thru Easter with sunshine????
We exercised this morning and each of us went our way to run errands.   I got the house back in somewhat order and put more stuff away.
Mark got a haircut and then we went to the Living Stations of the Cross which Mrs. B's 3rd grade class at Holy Trinity puts on each year and this was her 22nd year!
Mrs. B *my long-time Sublettian pal and Liam's teacher

Liam as Simon of Cyrene

Liam helps Jesus carry the cross

Mrs. B and her 3rd grader

Connor and his 2nd grade classmates watching
the Stations of the Cross
Mark and I went to 7:00 Mass for Holy Thursday
beautiful service!

Wednesday - April 16

Hit the floor running early this morning with a full 1st day back home.    Met Kathy and Claire for 8:00 Mass and then breakfast and a whole lot of catching up at Coffee Hound.    I ran a few errands and then went to my Exchange Club's annual Easter party for developmentally challenged children.    This is always a heartwarming experience...
Mark ran some errands and happy to be back driving his truck.    By the way, we left Daisy in NC  and drove Toad home.    We'll be using her for our summer vacation in July at Lake James.

I got a manicure/pedicure this afternoon and then picked up some groceries.   Good to be home tonight.   It was 26 degrees this morning - sunny, but very windy all day long.   Burrrr.

Nice to be home tonight - tomorrow I will tackle more of our stuff!


Tuesday - April 15

Burrrrr was the word as we left Clarksville this morning with 36, windy degrees.    But the sun came out shortly and followed us all the way home.    Just COLD and WINDY as we headed further north.

My friend Ann had posted these pretties on her facebook page a few days ago....

and then this morning....
Ice and snow covered - ugh!!!!!
We did see several Bradford Pear trees in bloom; however, the majority of trees and flowering bushes have not popped out yet - sure can't blame them!!!
We arrived home at 2:30 - sunshine, but 39 degrees and windy !!!    April 15th and everything is still very brown and blah, but nonetheless, it is HOME SWEET HOME and we're glad to be here!
How lucky for us to have seen all our kids and grandchildren since we left Fort Myers - we will have seen the grand kiddies all in less than a week!
Got a bunch of our stuff unpacked and put away!
Anne, Patrick Liam and Connor brought Monical's pizza and salad for supper!   
 Fun catching up with them!
Mark and I visited with Brenda and Pat for a short time tonight wishing Brenda good luck as she's having knee replacement tomorrow morning!
Happy Campers are HOME - nighty night!!!

Monday - April 14

"On the road again, I just can't  wait to get on the road again......" as Willie would sing!    And that's what we did this morning at 8:15.   We said our goodbyes to the boys as Michael took them to school and then Blair and Brooke - makes Grandma feel better knowing we'll be back out here in less than 4 weeks!   Our little girl is growing up fast and so close to crawling!
Blair and Pooh hangin' out this morning
One more picture with Grandma and Grandpa 
Blair had her 9-month check-up today - she weighs 19 lbs. 5 oz. and is 28 3/4" tall.

We had some rain off and on, especially driving thru Knoxville.    Arrived in Fairfield Glade, TN shortly after noon and met 3 long-time couple friends.   We had delicious lunch at Bill and Nancy's along with John and Heather, Vince and Sandy.    What fun catching up....these friends all lived back home and we all boated together for years, watched our kids grow up, etc., etc.  They now live fairly close together as Tennessee residents.
Thanks so much Bill and Nancy!!!
Vince, Sandy, Bill, Nancy, John, Heather
We are in Clarksville, TN tonight and arrived just before the heavy rain and strong winds came on!!!   So glad to be off the road.   As for the weather.....there is a freeze warning for these TN folks tonight with a low of 25 for back home (Anne and some friends sent texts and e-mails that it was snowing this afternoon).   Our WELCOME HOME tomorrow will be a high of 44 with sunshine !    HA.....the poor flowers and budding trees must be so confused?   We sure are!
So, tomorrow we go home - been gone since Christmas Eve!    And we have a lot of tracks and miles to cover in the next several months with 5 weddings, 2 First Communions (Connor and Brady); 8th grade graduation and confirmation (Drew), Blair's 1st birthday, several air shows and some Catrina time on Chesapeake Bay!
Hope you were able to enjoy the Louisville fireworks and music from the link I posted last night?   We watched on Michael's big screen - sooo neat!    And tonight I watched again on the laptop!
More WOW!!!!
Luke says "Night Night"

Sunday - April 13

Spectacular Palm Sunday here in North Carolina......we went to 10:00 Mass at St. Joseph  and their tradition continues with the 3 churches which are close to one another in Newton.  St. Joseph Catholic; Episcopal of the Epiphany and Trinity Baptist congregations gathering in the parking lot for the blessing of the palms.   We were here for this same ritual Palm Sunday, 1999
(Brooke was expecting Drew)!!!

All ready for church
Love hearing about the awesome Thunder Over Louisville Air Show yesterday and the fireworks following.   While we enjoyed the comments regarding the Blue Angels, the firework extravaganza following must've been something totally overwhelming to the many thousands who were there.    Eight barges set off this HUGE display which has the reputation of being the largest fireworks display in North America (25th year for this)!     Here is link sent to us by Mark's sister, Sharon if you would like to watch from the confines of your home - turn up the volume and enjoy!!!!!
Michael Drew and Davis played golf this afternoon; Grandpa and Brady washed Daisy, I finished packing up some of our stuff, Blair napped and Brooke was doing computer stuff and then played tennis with friends.
The golfers...
Davis and Michael

Drew and Michael
Happy girl...
The boys enjoying milk 'n cookies
Grandma enjoying some night night cuddles

Saturday - April 12

Gorgeous day in NC .......did laundry, and got a bunch of stuff taken off Daisy and put in Toad for the trip home - we are SOOO organized!   HA!!!  Well...kind of....   anyway, glad that is done.    Went to Brady's soccer game which his team won 3-1.   Bob and Judy were there and we all cheered on the Blue Team!
After the game, Brooke and I took Brady to a birthday party and then went to the shoe store (Hearts & Soles) for Miss Blair's first pairs of shoes!
Sweet little sandals and tennies -
Miss Blair will be steppin' out in style this spring/summer
The boys are opening Easter gifts from us

Daddy helps Blair open her new Easter book

Sweet Pea is ready for the soccer game

Brady - the soccer star
Going out to dinner duds...
Davis is helping with the lighting system at his school and last night and tonight they are putting on "Godspell".    Rest of us went to Old German Schnitzel for wonderful dinner!!!!
And now for the parade of swimwear for Miss Blair....

Black and white zebra print with hot pink trim (2-piece)

Ruffled bottoms and nautical (anchors) swim shirt

Itty bitty bikini in bright stripes
Brady is spending night # 2 on Daisy......been a big day....nighty night