Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Housework is a dirty word

Literally. But the dirty work is wrapping up, finally! Here are pictures of the end results.
I had the house painted and love the result. I installed a new porch light, mailbox, doorbell cover and house numbers. And I had the trees professionally trimmed.

The kitchen is almost complete. The cabinets are done. The new countertops are in. The backsplash wall is fixed and painted. The new curtains are made and up. All that is left to do is figure out what to do with the backsplash behind the cooktop and put in the baseboard trim. It's great to have the kitchen back in working order. And the house got deep cleaned in the process of cleaning up the construction mess. Ah.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Middle of Everywhere

Last weekend was my last travel weekend for awhile. I went to Rolla, Missouri and the blog title used to actually be the city slogan. It was UMR’s Homecoming so I had an alumni association meeting to attend. And it was Christian Campus Fellowship’s 35th Anniversary celebration. And of course it’s always great to stay with my “college parents” when I’m in Rolla. It was a good weekend. Got to see some old friends at the CCF events. I got sunburned at the tailgate Saturday – it’s flippin’ October!! I did not stay for the football game but UMR actually won and is now 2-6 for the season.

For my fellow Miners, the campus has changed a lot in the last few years. There have been many capital improvement projects. They tore down UC West a few years ago. It was a great move as the Rolla Building can now be seen, but it’s very odd to see the puck basically in the middle of a field. UC West is no longer needed as the Havener Center is open and provides the campus with a real student union (where the Student Health Services bldg used to be).
Toomey Hall is huge. The ME Annex was torn down and this beaut is being built in it’s place + much more. Once the new section of the building is completed, the ME Building will be renovated.
Record enrollment this year at 6167. The name change is official on January 1, 2008: Missouri University of Science and Technology. I’m not fond of it, and don’t know an alum who is, but then again the Missouri School of Mines grads weren’t happy about becoming University of Missouri-Rolla.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aunt time

I flew down to spend the weekend in Kentucky with my youngest nephew, Marshall. He is 15 months old and a total little flirt. Absolutely adorable. He points out every "tuk" (truck) and loves the riding lawn mower. We had fun hanging out at the house & playing. He's fascinated by my camera. He's also very much a jabberwoky - chattering non-stop. It was good to get aunt time with him. He gets a bit confused with me sometimes "you look a lot like Mom, but you're not Mom so I'm not sure what to do with you." But we enjoyed some good play time.

I've told you that my nephews are the cutest boys on the planet and here's proof with my favorite 1 year old.

His favorite way to wear Daddy's hat.

Monday, October 8, 2007

O Pioneers!

Saturday I decided to check out one of the National Scenic Byways in Kansas (there are two of them). I drove north on Hwy 177 from Cassoday to Council Grove but the main attraction was the Tallgrass Prairie National Presevere just north of Cottonwood Falls. I have a special love of the Flint Hills, those beautiful gently rolling hills covered with tallgrass. I think of the pioneers and their journey - what it would have been like to crest a hill and see the trees next to a creek. Anyone who doesn't see beauty in the prairie is blind.

I encourage you to check out Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It's about 1.5 hours northeast of Wichita. Bring good walking shoes for one of trails and make time for the 90 minute bus tour through the 10,000 acres. http://www.nps.gov/archive/tapr/home.htm

Another great resource is www.byways.org The website for the National Scenic Byways Program with maps and ideas for day trips along each route. And if you're ever in Cottonwood Falls, get a four star meal at the Grand Central Hotel where an old friend of mine is head chef.

Stone fences at Pioneer Bluffs-Rogler Ranch Historic District
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Lower Fox Creek School

And I had the perfect soundtrack for the drive, the Kansas vs. Kansas State football game, made even better by KU's win. Go Jayhawks!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Snails & Puppy Dog Tails

Welcome to the world, Ethan.
Congratulations on your new arrival, Josh & Amy.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's here

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Go Lions!

I went to Lawrence for my 15 year high school reunion this weekend. It was fairly impromptu and casual, as there isn’t usually a 15 year reunion but Mike & Grady decided they wanted one so they put together. There was a small turn out but it still was fun to catch up with some classmates – most of whom I’d known since 7th grade. I couldn’t believe how many names I couldn’t remember though faces looked familiar. I didn’t feel so bad because a lot of us were whispering “who’s that?” to each other. In defense, LHS 1992 was a graduating class of 540. We went to the LHS football game where the Lions got spanked by Olathe East, had a picnic on Saturday and then hung out at Johnny’s that night. I got to reconnect with a few friends I hadn’t seen since graduation and chat to others I haven’t seen since the 10 year reunion. It was very enjoyable. It’s unfathomable that it’s been 15 years; amazing that most of us have grown up into real live adults.

I was able to only spend an hour with my sister on Sunday. Had to head out early because of storms moving in. JT started crying because he couldn’t go on a ride with Aunt Jen. Scrunched up eyes, hung down head, crocodile tears. Broke my heart and I had crocodile tears as I drove away.