Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Holiday 2011

Christmas 2011 got off to a swinging start when Dan and Helen Claus surprisingly showed up in our front yard.  
Somebody added Big Red Glasses on Helen Claus.
It is one more chapter in the ongoing spar with Nameless Neighbor who insists that our classic wreaths are inadequate Christmas decorations.  

Neighborhood mischief intensified when Nameless Neighbor's house of 8,614 blue bulbs was visited by the Red Bulb Vandal.  We thought about it, but didn't do it.

Family fun started when Mark and Daya arrived from Minnesota followed by Samantha and Jake flying in from California via Utah.  We sang Christmas Carols on the Circle ...
and spent hours wrapping Christmas presents.  This year we got to enjoy Jake Art on some of the packages.

Christmas Eve dinner was two ginormous pots of soup ... prepared by a svelte Mark ...
and a mega massive ham (named Pam) that was prepared by Chef Jacob.
(Photo courtesy of SRQ)

Andy, Donna, Baby Hope, the Gs, Nancy, SACII and Cheryl, Bev and Family, Carolyn, the Qs, Mark and Daya all joined us for Christmas Eve Dinner.
So did Abbie and Bobbie but they were too late for the group photo.  A fun time was had by all ...
but, Samantha's Cousinette Baby Hope stole the show.

Christmas morning Helen made California Eggs Crackle
as we waited for Melissa, Roby, Anna and Camden to arrive.   Then, we posed for our traditional group photo
and dug into the presents.
  It was a blast!  The girls followed our Guy Gift theme with Girl Bling 
and a crowd pleasing Hat Show.

Unfortunately, Oma and Nancy left before the photo shoot started but we did get the annual "kid" photo ...
and lots of other photos as well.

Merry Christmas 2011.

Happy New Year 2012.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

AFS and Christmas Tree

For the last 13 years, we have hosted the AFS Holiday Party.  As is the past, the high-schoolers told of a special holiday they celebrate at home and ... they brought a desert commonly enjoyed in their country.  Lucky for me, this year was a chocolate extravaganza!.
After considerable coaxing, they agreed to pose with their host brothers and/or sisters.  

Once SACII's birthday had passed ... it was OK to put up our Christmas tree.  With no Jonas to help, I selected a small table-top version this year.
It smells wonderful!

PS.  The Potwin neighborhood war wages on about Tommy and our wreaths.  More on that to follow.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving borrows Aunt Nancy's Birthday

This year Thanksgiving borrowed Aunt Nancy's Birthday.  We gathered Oma and ventured to Topeka Country Club where we joined Bev and the Gs for a yummy Thanksgiving lunch.  The place was packed.  We saw tons of fun and interesting people.  We laughed, smiled, ate fabulous food and then ... we left.
Despite the solemn expressions on Oma's and Granny's faces, we ALL had a good time.

In the evening we went to the Gs' for Aunt Nancy's Birthday Party.  We joined the Gs, Heidi, Jerod, Stacy, Regan and Carly in the celebration.  The choir sang Happy Birthday to Nancy.
 Here is the choir.

It was a double fun day ... but we sure missed seeing Mark, all the Missouri Crows and many dear friends this Thanksgiving.  We also missed hugging SRQ, JRQ and BQ but enjoyed thinking of them as they celebrated Ted (the turkey) Day together in California.  Love to all.

PS.  Check out the contents of just one rack in the Gs' freezer door.

The main supply is stored on the freezer shelves.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Washburn University and Hope

Yesterday SACII and Cheryl came to Topeka to join us in the kick-off celebration for Washburn University's sesquicentennial.  It was promoted as the Bow-Tie Ball .... so, the guys bow-tied.
 The ladies disclaimed us.
I don't know why.
After celebrating 150 years of Washburn University, we hurried home to celebrate 23 days of HOPE ...

Hope is adorable!  Helen and I got to hold her.  And hug her.  And shower her with kisses.  Oh yes, Andy and Donna were there too.  

Today we celebrated an early Thanksgiving and, as you might imagine, I took some pictures.  They all happened to include Hope.  Hope with her Great Granny ...
Hope with her Great Aunt Nancy ...
Hope with her LOVE ice cream cake ...
Hope with 4 generations of Crows ...
And Hope in her first traditional group shot.
Happy 150 years to Washburn University.
Happy fortnight and a half to Hope.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Crow Mountain Farm in the Fall

The corn is harvested ...
the colors are golden ... 
CMF helps feed the world.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Potwin Halloween

A week before Halloween, our neighbor Tom decided to replace all of his landscape lights with ORANGE glow light bulbs.  Holy Moly ... night time around here has been really ORANGE.
Tommy donned some shades to protect himself.

The neighborhood party was kid-happy.  There were tons of kids ...
playing fun games like donut-dangle.

Halloween night was amazing.  Beautiful weather brought out record numbers of kids.  According to Tom (who counts by the candy bags) we had over 2,100 Trick or Treaters.   There were some really fun kids ...

and some fun grown-ups too.

Happy Halloween 2011.  Hope yours was Happy.