Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where do I begin?

I've been away from my blog for so long, I have almost forgotten the last time I posted. Oh yes, I remember now, I was excitedly awaiting the arrival of my dear niece and SIL for a weekend visit. They did, indeed, come to visit and we had a delightful time. Given that that was eleven or twelve days ago, I'm just going to post a couple of pictures. I just couldn't let the visit go by without chronicling it.

As is our custom when she visits, we shopped. This is just one of the darling outfits she purchased (with her own money, I might add). Both her mother and I have said she will need to wear a tank underneath it.

That evening, we had a magnificent sunset and I must share a picture or two of it.

Isn't it magnificent? While we were taking pictures of this, our neighbor came out and offered us some blackberries. My SIL, Deb, is the best pie maker in the universe---so, we had blackberry pie for dessert on Sunday. Absolutely to die for.

Deb and Kacy were no more than out the door when Jim and I had to leave for the ordination of our dear friend, Jeff. What a glorious celebration. We have known Jeff since he was a toddler. We are dear friends with his parents, grandparents, his brother, Peter, and their wives and children. It was truly a time of rejoicing.

Although Paige, et al arrived later on Sunday evening, I still went off early to have "Loser's Breakfast" with Lara (Jeff's wife), her girls, her MIL and her grandMIL. Lara and Jeff will be leaving for their new church home soon and she wanted to be sure we had one last breakfast together.

Lara and Sienna (with her cool sunglasses).

Here is Evelyn Lily crawling on her belly like a Marine commando. She can walk with help, but at this point this is her favorite mode of transportation.

Lara and her girls. We are so going to miss these ladies. Lara and Jeff moved back to our area, and in with Sandi and Ric when Sienna was still a baby. We are so engaged with these darling people. We will grieve the loss of their presence here with us as we rejoice in their new beginning.
Grandma Sandi took this picture so that Great Grandma Sue could be in it with us. We just love Sue who lives about 50 miles away from us in a wonderful wonderland cottage. We visit her every year and love having her visit with us.

So, that is the first part of my many days of absence from Blogland. I am off to Las Vegas tomorrow, but hope to post some pictures and journalling of our delightful trip to New England. We had perfect weather and wonderful company for the trip. Tune in later for more in the crazy life of Hippochick.
"I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to
please everybody"
~Bill Cosby

~Hippo Hugs~

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thursday answers to Tuesday questions

What a day this has been. In the first place, this is the first day in at least ten, and maybe more, that has had NO rain. I mean none, nil, nada, not a drop. Because of that, I think Jim and I have lost our minds. We've had a productive day, but my bet is that neither one of us will be able to crawl out of bed tomorrow morning.

The day began with a trip to the doctor's office for me. It was just a cholesterol checkup which, I am sorry to report, didn't go that well. We just cannot seem to get my cholesterol to a number that pleases both the doc and me. We're going to try another new medicine and see what happens.

In honor of the sunshine and cloudless sky, we decided to get our walk in right away in case the weather man changed his tune. So, we walked our 2-1/2 miles happily. Sun is still shining, no rain in sight so we decided to mow the grass. Jim rides the tractor and I do the trimming with the walking mower. Still no rain. The weeds are getting bigger and bigger in the vegetable garden so...we put on our Farmer Brown hats and went out to the garden. We weeded for about an hour and a half. Finally, I said, "No more!"

Jim says I've earned a glass of wine so I'm sitting here in my office, having a glass of wine and blogging to my heart's content. I can't believe I'm actually going to get at least two posts in this week.

If you've read Cheryl's blog this week, you know her random Tuesday post was asking random questions in pairs. I thought it was a really fun post so here are my answers:

Name two things that made you laugh out loud since your last post.

1. Some ridiculously inane thing that Jim said this morning just as I was getting out of the car at the Doctor's office. I can't even remember what it was, but we laughed all the way into the office.

2. A silly, silly conversation that Linda, Heather and I had at lunch in Friendly's the other day. I'm sure the people around us weren't as amused as we were. We laughed and laughed.

Name your two favorite fast food restaurants.

1. In and Out Burger. This is, I think, a mostly west coast burger joint. Their burgers and fries are to die for. It is the first place I want to eat when I get to Nevada. Yummy, just thirteen days and I'll be eating at one.
2. Panera Bread Company. Love, love, love their soup and sandwich combos. What more can I say?

Name two good snacks.

1. Like Cheryl, I think I have to list movie popcorn. In the winter, Jim and I try to go to the movies to our local Regal theatre on Tuesdays because they have $1 popcorn. It's really good.
2. I don't know if this counts as a snack but I am totally addicted to McDonald's mocha McFrappe's. And I wonder why I can't get my cholesterol under control!

Name two favorite summer TV shows.

I don't watch much TV in the summer. I do like Raising the Bar and I don't miss reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

Name two things you are looking forward to.

1. Our trip to Boston and Martha's Vineyard with Paige, et al next week.
2. My trip to Las Vegas and Cam Potosi with Gretchen.

Name two lessons you've learned recently.

How about relearned for the _____ (fill in the blank) time?

1. You can never tell what's going on inside a person's life by the way they appear on the outside. There are many hurting people out there and I need to be perceptive to the needs of those around me.
2. It's not all about me.

Name two goals you have for the future.

I have many, but these are pretty immediate.

1. Finish the calendar stamping project I plan to do with the girls at Camp Potosi.
2. Be more consistent with my daily devotions.

Name two fun things you have spent money on lately.

OOOOH! There are many more than two.

1. Some fun summer jewelry. Ask Jim if I need any more jewelry?
2. A really cool dragonfly candle for the screen porch.

Two things I'm disappointed about.

1. I made a mistake in my calendar and won't be able to attend a baby shower and a wedding shower in August. Bummer!
2. I'm just not sticking to my diet. I've gained six pounds since we returned from Nevada in the spring.

Two sounds I'm hearing now.

1. Birds chirping. How delightful
2. Jim in the kitchen preparing to grill our chicken for dinner. How delightful!

This has been a really fun post. Maybe someone reading my blog would like to play along. If you do, please let me know in the comments so I can read your answers.

In closing I'll just say

1. Remember, "They can kill you, but they can't eat you."
2. What other people think of you is none of your business.

~Hippo Hugs~

"Ninety-nine percent of failures come from
people who have a habit of making excuses."
~George Washington

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Random Tuesday Answers - from last week

My dear blogging buddy Cheryl had a great Random Tuesday post about beaches last week. As my life was pretty chaotic then, I put the idea on a back burner to post about later. Since it's Tuesday again, I thought maybe I could answer her questions today.

Question 1: What was the first beach you ever visited? That would be the beach at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania. Coincidentally, that was on Lake Erie, the smallest of the Finger Lakes. My Aunt Letty and Uncle Bill lived in Erie, PA and I spent a part of every summer with them. My Uncle Bill loved the beach and was the best sport. I spent part of last evening looking for pictures of the two of us at the beach. He let me bury him in the sand, played beach games and swam with me every summer for years. I'm sure those wonderful beach days with him and my aunt were the beginning of my love of beaches .
Question 2: What was the last beach you visited? Sadly to say, I last visited a beach in 2007. That was a great trip to Panama City Beach, FL to spend time with our friends, Jeff and Jan, at their beach condo. PCB is by far the favorite beach I have visited. The beautiful white sand against the blue water is just a perfect place for relaxing and enjoying the beach.

Question 3: What is the furthest beach you have visited? That also would PCB, FL.

Question 4: What is your favorite beach activity? When we are at the beach, I take my beach chair, my umbrella, my books, iPod and some drinks to the beach around 9 A.M. I take a break for lunch and go back to spend the rest of the day there. I read, walk the beach and wade in the water a little. I am so totally relaxed. It is the most laid back I ever get.

Question 5: What is your favorite beach food or drink? I don't quite know how to answer that. I am always hungry when I come in from the beach so everything tastes good to me. When Jim and I were at PCB ten years ago, we would have Dove or Hagen Das ice cream bars every afternoon. I guess that would my favorite.

Question 6: Do you have beach plans for this summer? Although we have talked a little about Panama City Beach in late summer, we don't know if that will happen. We do, however, have plans to go to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts next week. Jim and I have never been to Cape Cod before and are looking forward to a couple of days there. It will be a fun vacation as we plan a few days in Boston first.
And last, Cheryl suggests we post a few beach pictures.

I saw many beach houses on this last trip, but this was my favorite.

Next week I'll have some pictures from Boston and Cape Cod to share. Have a great Wednesday.

~Hippo Hugs~

"I haven't been everywhere, but

I want to go there."

~Susan Sontag

Friday, July 3, 2009

Freedom Friday

It's finished, that is VBS is done for this year at our church. What a riotous and wonderful week we had at Son Rock Kids' Camp. On our busiest day, we had 105 kids and 59 volunteers. The weather, though rainy in the afternoons, cooperated for the most part. Tuesday was water day and the kids had water balloon fights and our own version of a slip and slide. They loved it.
Although I started the week counting the days until it was over, I must admit to being a bit weepy this morning as I bid all those cherubs goodbye at our last assembly.
Before VBS started this year, I decided I'd wear a different hat each day. Just something to get the kids' attention. Today, I held all the hats up and let them vote. It was great fun.

The Many Hats of a VBS Director

Day 1

Day 2 - I forgot my hat and had to improvise.
Day 3

Day 4 - This is Jim's favorite hat.


Day 4 - Parent's Program Night.

Day 5


DAY 5 - Jim's Pittsburgh Steeler's Hat.

Now, I have to admit to a little audience cajoling. I knew we had some died in the wool Steeler fans in the auditorium and I really played to them. Of course, the kids knew right away what my favorite was and I think that might have swayed them too. Whatever, the outcome was uproarious applause and lots of fun.

So, you can see it's been quite a week. While I was off at Bible School, we had our carpets cleaned. Needless to say, I wasn't much in the mood for putting things back in order when I got home in the afternoons, so this weekend will be "concentrate on the house and garden." That's okay with me. I'll be happy to get back to a somewhat normal schedule.

I need to get busy on my stamping project for Camp Potosi in Las Vegas which begins July 27. We're off to Boston and Martha's Vineyard on July 14th, so I really need get busy. Speaking of Potosi, our mission project at VBS was to raise money for Potosi Camp Scholarships and we have raised over $800 with more coming in. I am so proud of the kids here in our churches who wanted to reach out to kids across the country who don't have the opportunities they do.

Okay, enough, enough! I'm off to have a nice pre-dinner conversation and appetizers with my hubby.

~Hippo Hugs~

"You don't have to be a 'person of influence'
to be influential. In fact, the most
influential people in my life are probably
not even aware of the things they've taught me."
~Scott Adams