Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Time

Christmas is so much fun with grown children. We woke at a decent hour of 7am, had a cup of coffee and put a breakfast casserole in the oven. We had to keep Allison upstairs until we were all settled downstairs because we didn't wrap her gift, a new guitar, it was just under the tree with a big bow on it. Once we were all downstairs, we enjoyed Christmas music playing in the background, as we talked, laughed and opened gifts. We had a great day. All the excitement and rush of getting things done is over, and we are all enjoying the decorated house, the leftovers in the refrigerator, and each other's company. We still have a whole week to go before we all go our separate ways in the new year.

We have had quite the weather this Christmas break, and my post of the 20th was about a blizzard we had, and one of my favorite memories of this holiday season was Sunday the 21st. We woke up to snow everywhere, very bad driving conditions, and church closings galore. Our service wasn't canceled, but we decided to just stay home, safe and warm. We had our own "church" around the dining room table. It was such a special time. Kevin chose to share a chapter in a book he has read; we looked up bible verses, and prayed. Then I got a daily devotional and opened to the 21st, and believe it or not, it was on the same thing Kevin had just led us in. Worship. It had the same main bible verse, and we were just all amazed how God can talk to us; apparently we needed to hear about this subject.
"But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way." (John 4:23)

I am so thankful for our time together as a family. I know the kids are growing up, and they both have as Kevin calls them "significant others". I can't believe we have only been on break for one week, we have done so many things, we have enjoyed cooking, going to the gym, watching movies, having a Christmas dinner for friends, and of course shoveling together :-). We had planned on going to visit my mom and sister. We were going to leave today, but poor Kevin, he got hit with some virus really hard on Friday. He had a 102 temp. and now has a cough. We thought it better that we don't take it to Illinois and pass it around. We will miss seeing my Illinois family, but hopefully we will get over there soon. It's always so much fun going for a visit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas






Hope you all are having a very merry Christmas spending time with family and friends. I'll post more later.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow, Snow, and more Snow!




School on Thursday was exciting and fun, all the teachers knew or suspected we wouldn't have school on Friday, a major snow storm was headed for North East Iowa. So that night, Kevin gassed up the snow blower, and we hunkered down for the night. Around midnight it began, and by 4:00am, we had about 7 inches of snow on the ground. Kevin got up and snow blowed and shoveled our drive and the widow ladies down the street. He came back and our driveway neighbors couldn't get their snow blower started and they were shoveling their long drive by hand. Kevin of course helped them too. He finally came in around 7:00am. School had been canceled for me, and Allison was safely in bed, home from college already. Kris was still at Iowa State, but he wasn't coming home till Saturday. Kevin headed off to work, and Allison and I had a nice relaxing day wrapping presents, and getting things ready for Christmas. We got an additional 5 inches before noon when the snow finally stopped. A foot of snow. Wow! It is beautiful, and definitely Christmas-y looking.

Today, Saturday, we awoke to weather reports of a blizzard beginning around 2:00pm. Kris was on duty at school until 3:00, and then he would have that 1 1/2 hour drive home. He called around 9:00am and said he may have to stay for a couple of days, this new storm is supposed to last until late on Sunday. Thankfully there were several RA's still at school, and they were all calling the head person in charge over there asking if they could take off early to beat the storm. They agreed to let them go at 1:00, so Kris headed out. He called us when he got onto interstate 35, and he said the road conditions weren't too bad, just a little drifting across the road, he was able to go about 60 mph. Then he called when he got onto hwy 20, he was in whiteout conditions and driving very slow. At times it would improve, and then get bad again. But he made it, and yes we are definitely having a blizzard, the wind is howling outside, and the snow is blowing off roofs and the snow piles, we have gotten another 4 or so inches of snow today. I am so glad we are all inside warm and dry.

Brindle and Zoey love playing in the snow. I always thought Brindle was a nut when she played in the snow, running at full speed, catching snowballs, and bouncing around like a puppy. But Zoey, being a puppy, is quite crazy, she sticks her head in the snow and runs. She comes up covered in snow, only her eyes and grin showing color. Allison was going into hysterics watching her do this. She said Zoey is like a train with the snow plow on the front. Let's hope she doesn't run into a rock or stump or something. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watts Holiday Bash























The Watts Family Bash was... well, a blast. There were 20 of us sitting around the kitchen/dining area Saturday night. We stayed up 'till almost two a.m. both Friday and Saturday just visiting and laughing until we cried. What a great time! Zoey loved all the children running around, and Brindle and Puddy just tried to stay out of the way. I let Sunee (8) and Izzy (6) use my camera and take photos of everything. (including a laundry room full of shoes) They had such a fun time, and I got some interesting shots I never would have taken.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ready for Christmas



Christmas cards are sent out, the tree is decorated, lights are on the house, I've got some of my shopping done and I've started my baking.


I'm ready for Christmas... I can't believe it is only two short weeks away.

Winter is here



Winter is officially here, even if the calendar says differently. Monday evening, we looked outside and freezing rain was beginning to cover everything with a shimmering gloss. I knew we would have at least a delay to school Tuesday morning. I woke up early, and there was ice everywhere with an inch of snow trying to cover it all. It reminded me of last winter ( photos). It seems like such a short time ago. Kevin went out and tried to clear the driveway as best he could before he went to work. I got to do a little housework and get dinner in the crock pot before I headed out at 10:00. What a luxurious morning I had not having to hurry. I too had to scrape and salt before I left for work. After school, Kevin and I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to clear the rest of the ice. I can sure feel my muscles today.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Post Thanksgiving

Kris and KC have been home for the past week, it's been great having them spend time with us. We've had a great time together. I had to work Monday and Tuesday and they did laundry and vacuumed for me. Kris called me at work on Monday and told me that the new vacuum I bought earlier this month didn't work. It was just making a cloud of dust everywhere. I told him to not do anymore of the house, and he replied that they had already finished. When I got home, I noticed right away that the dial to change where the suction comes from was turned to hose, so they were going around the house sucking up the dirt and dust and spewing it out the hose. Kris was so matter of fact he said "Well, I guess tomorrow we will dust."

Both Kris and KC helped with the Thanksgiving dinner. It is so great having help, and they did a great job. Today KC and her boyfriend Ben helped make lunch. It is so nice having such good children that are willing to help out.

My mom, sister and nephew came for a visit Friday and Saturday. It was great having them here. We haven't seen them since June. How time flies. We ate Thanksgiving leftovers Friday and ventured out to do a little shopping and to eat at the Olive Garden Saturday before they left. While we were in the restaurant, I got a weather alert on my cell phone. We were going to get a pretty good storm and sure enough...

KC planned on going home tomorrow (her first class doesn't start till 2:00pm.) but Kris left this evening to go back to school. He got 30 miles down the road and turned around, there were at least a dozen cars in the ditch. He was traveling only around 15 mph at times. (it took him 2 hours to go those 30 miles and get back.) He was going to keep going because it is only a 90 mile drive, but I checked the road conditions web site and the road he was about to get on was marked as completely ice covered and towing services were not available, so if he went in the ditch, he would be stuck there till at least tomorrow. After returning home, we checked the road conditions again, and now travel is not advised. We've gotten about 5 inches of snow since last night and the temperature has been hanging around 33 all day. Now that night has come, temps are dropping and roads are icing up, and travel is not advised. Kris has a class at 10:00am so he is hoping the snow plows will get an early start de-icing in the morning.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Family




Kevin, Kraig, Tara and Kenny four out of the six brothers and sisters.

Family, aren't they great?

We are hosting the Watts' Family Christmas Bash in December, and hopefully I will get some good photos for future posts when everyone shows up. There will be good food, good times, and of course more laughter then your stomach can take. There will be an "Ugliest Christmas Sweater" contest, and crafty things for the kids to do. We always have a great time when we get together, and I can hardly wait. I had better hit the second hand stores this week and see if I can find something atrocious to wear.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving


I'm busy getting ready for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is my last day of work this week. Yeah!! I made my shopping list today and after work tomorrow will go and get the rest of the holiday fixin's. I thought I would share our favorite pie recipe. It is so good and tangy, and delicious. Even Kevin loves it and he's not a big dessert person. (you can't tell it, but it is the pie on the left)

Cranberry-Apple Pie

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
4 cups peeled, sliced, tart apples (like Granny Smith or Braeburn)
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 T butter
In a bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and cloves. Gently stir in apples and cranberries. Pour into a pastry-lined pie pan; dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges of pastry, then cut steam vents in top crust. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 1 1/4 hours.
NOTE: To prevent pastry edge from overbrowning, cover with aluminum foil strips.

Kevin just let the dogs out before bed while I am finishing this up, and he asked me from the laundry room, "Is it supposed to be snowing outside?" I said, "No, is it?" he came in here and said "Look", so of course I had to, and my silly husband said "Thanksgiving Fools Day". What a strange fellow. That's why I love him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kevin and Dina's 25th Anniversary




25 years! Wow!

Kevin and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary the 12th of November. We took off last Wednesday (the 5th) and headed on a long weekend out site-seeing. We went to Galena, Illinois first and had a great time there. We looked in the shops, had a nice dinner, enjoyed the Irish Cottage and had a nice time just the two of us.

We then headed on to Chicago. We had the best time there. We walked and walked and walked. Our hotel the Palmer House Hilton was right downtown so we just parked in their parking garage and headed out. We saw Millennium and Grant Park, the Art Institute (I really enjoyed that!), and the Freedom Museum. We shopped along the Magnificent Mile, walked along the lake, and had a great unexpected surprise, we toured Solider Field. For those of you non-football folks, that is where the Chicago Bears play. (Kevin's favorite team since childhood - Go Bears!) We were on the way out of town and decided to make a quick stop at the field to look around. Kevin was walking around as I parked illegally and he started talking to a security guard. He asked if they ever had tours of the field, and the guard said as a matter of fact in 45 minutes a group was going through and we could join them if we wanted. So we went and parked legally and joined the tour. It was great!


Like I said before, wow, 25 years! It sure doesn't seem like we've been married that long. I am so thankful God blessed me with such a loving, caring husband.

Kris and KC's Birthdays

Kris and Allison (KC) are doing well in school, I can't believe they only have one more month and the semester will be over. Time sure flies!

KC turned 19 on September 12th. We drove down to Ames to spend the day with her. We went down to Des Moines, and shopped at Jordan Creek Mall and went out to dinner. We went to Joe's Crabshack and Kris was kind enough to tell our waiter about KC's birthday. The staff proceded to embarrass KC sufficiently by singing a funny song to her and having her hulahoop while they did. We all had a fun night, we are so enjoying watching our kids grow into adulthood.

Kris turned 22 on November 1st, he came home that weekend so we ended up taking him and his girlfriend Melinda to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. We were nice to Kris and didn't let the staff know it was his birthday. It's hard to believe 22 years ago I brought a 4 lb 9 oz baby home from the hospital. He was so little...

God is so good!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Summer in Review






It's been months since I've updated what's going on with the Watts'. We have been busy with work and travel. Kevin went to Moscow, Russia for 3 weeks and really enjoyed his time there even though he had to work alot.

Both Kris and KC are working hard at college. We have been over twice to see them, and they have been home a few times also. It is always good to see them, but they always come home with dirty laundry and a shopping list. :-)

Zoey is growing and maturing, she is so much fun to have around.

We had our first snow on October 26th, it was just flurries, but it sure is a sign of things to come. I am not looking forward to winter. Last year was such a cold, snowy, icy year.

Well, I plan to keep up with this blog on at least a monthly basis from now on, so please check back.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Kevin's New Toy



Kevin has a new toy, on July 4th, he picked it up, and has been having fun ever since. He purchased a motorcycle! He has been driving it back and forth to work, and around town. He is really enjoying it.

Where Did the Summer Go?






























Hello everyone! Here is my first attempt at a blog. I hope it will be a fun and informative place to learn more about the Watts family. Our family is a maturing family, both kids are in college now, and to help Kevin and me (okay, maybe mostly me) deal with the empty nest, we brought home a pound puppy two weeks ago today. So now our house is full with a 6 month old pup, Zoe, our 11 year old dog Brindle, and our 8 year old cat Puddy. Wow, what a couple of weeks it has been, and empty nest? Wrong, KC has been home all summer from college, and Kris came home a week ago, and my mom is coming for two weeks beginning tomorrow. Kris moves back to Iowa State on the 9th, KC on the 20th, and I go back to work at Lincoln Elementary on the 20th also. I can't believe summer vacation is almost over, how sad!
We have had a busy summer though, we kicked it off Memorial Day weekend by going to Wisconsin for the Chippewa Falls bike ride. Kris rode 55 miles, and Kevin and KC rode 35. I went back to the hotel and waited for them. We went to the cabin at the lake in June, and even hosted a mini family reunion for the Watts'. We also squeezed in a trip to Illinois for a surprise 80th birthday party for my mom. KC has been detasseling for the past 2 weeks, and she is happy to announce that tomorrow is her last day of that hot job. Kris finished up his 7 month internship with GE last week and is happy to be home. (Actually as I write this, he is in Chicago on a mini vacation) I had a few painting projects I did at the beginning of the summer, and we did a few minor home improvement projects. So 2 months have gone by fast, but we have a lot to show for it.