Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I was blessed with a LOT of new books this Christmas.  I have my winter reading all lined up.  Life is good.  I am ready for any blizzard or just some very good days with fire and good books.
        Matt and Diana introduced me to a new author Suzanne Collins and a book called The Hunger Games.  It is the first book in a trilogy so I will have to continue the story.  I finished it already.  It was very captivating.  Diana described it as a 'teen version of The Handmaiden's Tale' and I kind of agree.  It is a futuristic book about how people live after civilization has been seriously disrupted with warfare. 
     Brittany was talking about a book she read during her first weeks of medical school which is called The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.  It is a book about a Hmong Child and her American doctors and the collision of the two cultures.  I started it yesterday and it too is very interesting.  Sara said that she read it before starting her masters program.  It is very interesting to have this view into a different culture.  I am glad that Brittany shared with me. 
    Eva gave me a book called The Book Thief.  She read it for her book club and really enjoyed it.  I have another book by the same author waiting for me so I will look forward to reading both of them.
     I asked Bud for books for Christmas too.  I found this page in the December Time magazine that described what they considered the best books of 2010.  I decided that three of them really sounded interesting.  I know very little about them other than the description in the magazine. 
     Matterhorn is the first book that caught my eye. I had noticed this one in the bookstore and bought it for  Doug for Christmas.  It is a book about the Vietnam war by Karl Marlantes.  I will let you know how it turns out.  I read a little of it while in line at Borders waiting to check out and it sounded interesting. 
     The Thousand Autumns of Jacob deZoet is the next one that Bud bought for me It takes place in 18th century Japan while it was sealed away from Westerners.  It just sounded interesting.  I find that period of history interesting anyway. 
     Finally Bud bought me Faithful Place by Tana French.  Again I have another book by this author ready to read which is called In the Woods.  The book In the Woods was recommended highly by a reading friend so I hope that both of them are good. 
     All of these books are fairly thick so I have many hours of good reading ahead.  I will have to stay out of bookstores for a while.  I don't like my 'to read' stack to get too high.
   OK, I don't know how to make the background color match so I am going with this.  I did something strange and this is the way it looks today. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eva and Christmas Day with the Nobles

 We had a great Christmas Eve dinner just across the street with the Nobles.  Sue started with a great wine and dinner was fun and casual. 
 Brittany and David are home from college, relaxing between semesters.
 The holidays have been a little rough on Jack so he had to take a nap before dinner.
 Charlotte and Sue looked great in their red sweaters.
 This is a great picture of Brittany if I had only set up the background and moved a few things. 
 Walt read the Christmas story to all assembled.
 Jack managed to wake up for the festivities. 
 Christmas morning Bud fixed his famous french toast for breakfast.  It is a nice tradition that we have enjoyed the last couple of years.  The food was delicious.
 The talk around the table helped all of us catch up on what has been happening this busy time of year. 
 The two sisters look great at the breakfast table. 
 The cook relaxed after cooking breakfast.  He really likes his 'Harley' gear. 
 We went back over in the evening for Christmas dinner.  Walt fixed a great beef tenderloin roast and all the 'fixings'. 

David kept showing us his new warm coat.  He is hoping it will keep him warm while walking to class.  It is one of his favorite Christmas gifts. 

It is very nice to have family right across the street.  It makes the holidays special.  I am very thankful for family.  We had two wonderful weekends with our families.  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A winter morning

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

Merry Christmas 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

LOTS of Christmas time pictures from Grand Rapids

 I had a hard time choosing pictures to put on my blog today so I just put a lot of them.  We arrived in Grand Rapids on Saturday, just in time for a great brunch.  In the afternoon 'Gram' and the girls decorated Christmas cookies. 

 Dinner was flank steak and a very happy Eva.

 The traditional photo around the tree.  Eva did a great job coordinating her wrapping paper.
 First Eva read the Christmas story.
 Brookelynn LOVED her 'I Spy' pillow that Aunt Jessica made her.
 Annika loved her bean bag chair from Gram.
 The girls all loved their new photo album from Gram.
 Bud was very happy with all his 'Harley' gear.
 Sunday we went out to the Powers' lodge for sledding. 

 Eva was 'so happy' all weekend.

 We had a few crashes.
 Eva was the speed queen.
 The family photo looked great
 Bud and I joined in for this one.
 On our way back we stopped for the kitchen inspection and construction discussion.
Sunday evening we celebrated Matt's birthday. 

It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter and fun.  We are all very blessed to have such a wonderful family.  We missed some of you but you were with us in spirit.  I hope you enjoy my little picture review of the weekend. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Kingslsey staff party

 I was invited back to the Kingsley staff Christmas party.  You may wonder what this unusual item is above.  Well, they have a 'White Elephant' drawing every year.  I was enticed by the $2 taped on the outside of the box.  The inside contained a 'rotating' white elephant.  It was actually given to a teacher by a student many years ago.  Yes, they are mushrooms.  Well, I am now the proud owner of this little treat and will have to save it until next year and slip it into the white elephant auction next year.  The lesson is: Don't be enticed by quick cash. 
Karl Hartman my former principal,me, Molly Dunham who I go and help every week and Sean Selby who I taught with but he has moved on to 4th grade. 

It was a fun evening full of drinks, laughter and just fun catching up with everyone.  Today we are leaving SOON to drive down to Grand Rapids to have Christmas with Eva and the kids.  I miss all of you that won't be there.  I will post pictures. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garage update

We continue to make progress on our garage.  The windows on the side of the garage were put in this week.  The siding has come in and he is putting the primer on it in his heated garage.  The primer will be tinted so that it will look like it is painted.  We will paint it all in the spring but it will look good for the winter.  We are very pleased with the look and how it all goes together.

Monday, December 13, 2010

You call that snow????

 Well, it snowed here yesterday and continues to snow and blow today.  This is a picture out the back door.  There is a bush under that snow.  I think we got about 8-10 inches and it is COLD although not as cold as it is in N. Dakota.  (According to Glen)
 Our Christmas tree looks terrific, covered with snow and the lights shining through. 
 NOW, Matt and Diana tried to pass this off as snow.  With this little bit of snow they had a 'snow day' in Tennessee.  Diana accused me of being a 'snow snob' with my pictures that I sent out yesterday comparing our snow to their snow.  Well, judge for yourselves.  Don't you think that any 'self respecting Michigander' would laugh a little at their lack of courage in the snow. 
 Brittany attended a hockey game in 'The Big House"  I bet that it was a fun event.  I heard that they flooded part of the football field and just had a good time.  Hockey played like it should be played. 
 The TN Claradys stayed home and played games (Probably too cold to go outside)  Brookelynn has been 'channeling Grandma Lewis' and has now won her first Skip-bo game all by herself.  You're a star girl. 
Finally, Josh decide that it was a good day for a football game and went to New Orleans to watch the Saints.  It looks like it was fairly warm there or he was inside. 

So that is the a picture review of various family members this past weekend.  This is almost as fun as writing the weekly family letter. 

We stayed home this weekend, only going out on Saturday to stock up on groceries and do little errands.  We rented a movie (The book of Eli) and just did at home chores.  Bud worked on the wiring in his new garage, I did laundry and cut out a quilt that I am making for Diana.  It was a good weekend to be inside.  Glen said it was COLD out there but they were doing fine.  Leo is back working 12s but will only have this week to work and then will have 2 weeks off around Christmas.  Eva was working on wrapping her Christmas gifts yesterday and then she witnessed the birth of a new Burmese baby boy which the family named Matthew Ken as the first two names.  She claims that she didn't influence the naming of the babies but I am going to suggest that she takes 'Midwife' training soon if she continues to be present for all those little Burmese births.  She is becoming a professional at helping with births in the Burmese community.

I hope you had a great weekend and were able to enjoy the weather and company of family and friends.