Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New Car

December 2nd, Kevin and I were on our way to Farm and Fleet around 4:45pm, and we were waiting for the traffic to go so we could get into the turn lane. We started to get in the turn lane when someone from behind us slammed into the side of our van, pushing us into the lane next to us hitting another car. The car that initially hit us sort of drove up our side door and got up on two wheels before righting itself. It was very scary, and our poor 1998 van was totaled. Thankfully no one was hurt.

So besides the Watts gathering, Christmas preparations, gift buying, etc, we got to begin looking for a new car. We drove everything out there that we thought we might like. We wanted to be thorough and get the car we really wanted. After looking and driving 5 cars, we decided on the Ford Fusion. It is a nice sedan, but with a little sporty feel. It's got a few more features then we really wanted or needed, but it was a great deal, and had the features we did want. They didn't have one at our dealer, so they were going to bring it up from a place down by Des Moines. We picked it up Tuesday the 22nd. A storm was coming, so we hurried home through snow drifed roads, and parked the car in the garage.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Break


Both kids are home from college and Kevin and I are off of work. Today was the quietest day though. Kris went to church with Melinda and her family and then headed out of town to spend the day with her extended family for a Christmas gathering. Kevin and Allison headed up to Minnesota for a couple of days to do a little shopping and visit with the Kraig Watts family. So today, I woke up to beautiful snow falling, and if I knew I didn't have to snow blow it, I would have enjoyed it a lot more. I read the paper, drank my coffee, and considered going to the late service. I shouldn't have waited, the snow was coming down heavy, and the drive needed done before I could get out. There was no way I could get it done and make it to church in time. So I hunkered down, and had a quiet morning.
I know I shouldn't have cleaned house on a Sunday, but I did, and it looks nice, now I won't have to worry about it for a few days. I'll have the kids help me do a quick clean later in the week so we can enjoy Christmas in a clean house. I got 5 loads of laundry done (the kids brought theirs home). I didn't get out to the driveway until 3:30, and then after it was cleared, I went to the grocery store.
Our Sunday night small group would be at our house at 5:30. I picked up a few things we would need for the next couple of days and for tonight, and hurried home. I sat the table, and put out hors d'oeuvres. One of our members was bringing a pot of soup and rolls, another a salad, and yet another dessert. It was such a nice night, we don't usually meet for dinner, but tonight was a non lesson night. Alli Rodgers, a christian singer, was preforming at a local church and some of the group were going to attend.
I talked with Kevin tonight, and he and Allison are having a good time. They, along with our niece went to the Mall of America and did some shopping, they will head home tomorrow after stopping at Ikea.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Official Storm Total

Our official storm total is 14.5 inches of snow. W0w!

There are huge heavily c0mpacted drifts everywhere!

An0ther sn0w day t0day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blizzard December 2009

Our first major storm of the season, and it's a blizzard! We don't have an exact snow fall amount yet, but somewhere between 12 -15 inches is what we are estimating. So far we have shoveled/snowblowed 6 times. At least the snow has now stopped, but the winds have picked up!

The storm began yesterday and really got heavy towards nightfall. School was called off last night around 8:00. Yeah, snow day!

Last night after about 5 inches of snow...




















Today, the wind started blowing, and we have drifting everywhere! I think the snow hanging down over the roof is really cool!

Ugly Sweater Contest



Tara won hands down! A bird on her shoulder no less!

















Lynette was our runner up.
Look at that beautiful ensemble!












participants...

Watts Christmas Bash 2009

Monday after Thanksgiving, I dragged box after box of Christmas things into the house to warm up so I could decorate later in the week. Kevin and I finished up all the trim in Kris's room, and we started preparing for the next round of holiday cheer. One short week after Thanksgiving, the Watts family arrived. We had tons of food, lots of laughter, and really had a good time visiting. Almost everyone stayed in the same hotel in Waterloo, so on Saturday we went there, and most of the younger people swam and had a good time while us "old" folks just sat around in the warm pool area and visited. Watts were the only people in the pool area that night, I think we scared off anyone who might of wanted to go swimming.

We got to celebrate Garrett's 14th birthday while everyone was there, we got an ice cream cake from DQ. :-)

I think Kevin and I have a new record for guests there were 31 of us here!

Thanksgiving '09

What a busy week we had! My mom arrived Friday afternoon. I took a couple of hours off to have lunch with her and visit with my sister before she headed on to Ames to pick up her son Travis. Kris and Allison came home Saturday. We had friends over almost every day, and significant others as well. We routinely had 8 around the dinner table. Games were played, food was cooked, and puzzles were put together. We got two put together over the week everyone was here. Kris and Melinda started theirs first, and we almost were done with it when Allison and Emmy picked up a new one. We stayed up late working on the new one (the one on the right) and when we finally went to bed, I dreamed about puzzle pieces!


Monday, November 16, 2009

Not quite done


not quite done, but had to throw a quick photo on here for those who are asking to see the room so far...

we had to put the bed down really quick friday for the kids, allison needed to get to her bed, and emmy needed a place to sleep as well...

Monday, November 9, 2009

still sick

I'm still home sick. I'm feeling a bit better this morning and hopefully I won't have a setback like I did yesterday. This has been such a long, boring, awful weekend. It's no fun being sick and alone. The weather was nice all weekend and I was stuck inside. But at least I got to open all the windows, spray Lysol, and air out the house. This is a short week at school M-W, we'll see how many of those days I can go. Kevin will be home Friday afternoon, I can't wait.

We have been working in Kris's room the past few weeks. We took everything out, painted, tore out carpet, installed Pergo floors, and am waiting now for Kevin so we can cut new trim and get everything back in. Right now, all of Kris's stuff is in Allison's room and it is like one huge storage room.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

No happy thoughts right now, I'm home sick with H1N1. Kevin is in NC for work (he's been sick too, and is almost better). I'm tired of watching TV, and I am still feeling awful. I am feeling better than yesterday, and yet hopefully not as good as I will tomorrow.

This past week we had to get rid of Zoey, she had been attacking Brindle for no apparent reason. It's been happening off and on for the past 2 months. We tried everything we could think of, talked with a behaviorist, the vet, a no kill shelter, had blood work done to make sure she wasn't sick, and decided we couldn't keep her. It was really sad (and still is).

I was sitting out back today in our 70 degree weather figuring the fresh air might do me some good, and one of our neighbors was outside. She started to come over and I told her I was sick, so she stayed away. We talked a few minutes and we both went in. About an hour later, she was out front raking our leaves. (our house was the only one that had leaves on the lawn. everyone took advantage of this nice day to get yard work done.) She called her son home from college (here in town) and they both got the job done in short order. Later she called and asked if I needed any soup or 7-up. What a nice woman!

Well, I'm going to go lay down again, and flip through the channels.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall has arrived!
























The weather has changed, there's a chance of frost tonight! The leaves are beginning to change, and my favorite season has begun.

Grandma

Another sad time in the Watts Family. Kevin's mom passed away last week after a long year of health problems and nursing homes. The only bright side of last week was everyone getting together to celebrate her life. All the "kids" were there along with all of their children, grandchildren etc. It was great seeing everyone!




















I got these bottom photos from Geniveive, my niece. She wrote...














"just part of the fam at breakfast before my g-mas funeral. there were only 23 of us there"


I counted up how many there were of us just counting Kevin's brothers, sisters, their children + significant others and their children. An even 40!



I love this family photo I know it is in another post, but I just wanted to share it again. Taken May 2003.


Monday, August 24, 2009

$10 Garage Sale Chair

http://gralinnaea.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ten_dollar_bill_thumb.png

Last weekend, Kevin and I went garage saleing trying to find a good used chair for Kris's dorm room. We found one for only $10! what a great deal!

http://ai.pricegrabber.com/pi/7/03/47/70347578_125.jpg

So, we plan for a quick trip to Ames. We knew we would be gone all day and into the evening, so we took the dogs to the kennel for an overnight stay. We filled up with gas, and I bought a coupon on restaurants.com for an Ames restaurant and away we went. While on campus, we took the kids to the book store and bought their books for the semester. (the ones we couldn't find online) Allison had desk duty so she couldn't join us for dinner, but we took Kris and Melinda to dinner. After filling up our gas tank again, and getting a drink for the road, we added up our day and figured out that quick, one day trip to take a $10 chair to our son, cost us $1000. What a day!


This is a fun story to tell, but we knew we were going to have that $900 bill for books. Isn't it incredible how much college books cost? Allison had this thin 1/4 in thick book and a cd for her 300 level spanish class - $160. And one of Kris's books cost $208. We go online and look for cheaper/used ones, and sometimes we can find them, and sometimes not. This semester we were only able to find 3. One for Kris and two for Allison. Every little bit helps though.

College classes began today, and both kids were busy getting into the swing of things again. I go back on Wednesday. I'm a little excited to get back, but I've had a great summer, and wish it were a little bit longer. Oh well...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Moving on

Kris and Allison are headed back to school. Allison left Monday, and Kris will go Thursday. The house has gotten quieter, Kris is making the rounds saying bye to different friends, so he is gone as much as he's home now. I've made the kitchen table small again, room for 4 chairs instead of 8. It's been great having them home. I will miss them alot, but know they will be back for Thanksgiving, and hopefully a few weekends in between.









July 06, a few years ago!

Thanksgiving 06

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A House Full

This title says it all. Remember I had mentioned in earlier posts that I didn't know how I would spend my summer with the kids gone for the first time? Well, they have both been home all month, along with their friends. My mom came over for 3 weeks, and we had our 9 year old niece for 4 days as well. Then Kevin's brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew and their 4 children, ages 9 - 3 came this past Sunday just for the day on their way through town. Wow! We have really enjoyed the time with family, but what a different summer then I had originally thought.

Kris and Allison go back the first week of August. They are both RA's in the dorms at Iowa Stated, and Kris was just offered a Teaching Assistant position. They have to get back early for training, decorating, and just being there when their residents move in.

July has been a great month, but we've had a house full!







Elizabeth - our great niece ( one of the four that came to visit this week)












Grandma on the scooter showing the kids she could still play.









Sunee Slip-n-Sliddin'

Sunday, July 19, 2009












Had fun Geo caching. We found 2 without any problems. But our 3rd one of the day was a little harder, and we still haven't found it. We found the coordinates, but can't find the cach. The website says it is hard to find, and some people have had to look multiple times. I guess we are going to be included in that group. This was so much fun. We got a little dirty, it had rained the day before, so we were trekking through some muddy fields. I recommend this fun family activity for everyone.

Mall of America





Thursday we (Kris, Allison, Grandma and I) got up early and left the house by 8:00. We drove for 3 hours and went shopping in Minneapolis at the Mall of America. My mom had never been, so we enjoyed sharing this HUGE mall with her. We enjoyed lunch in the food court overlooking the amusement park, and walked and walked for 3 hours. It always amazes me, we only go in a handful of stores, and yet we take 3 hours to do it, and that was a quick trip. We then went across the parking lot to the IKEA store. That was even more fun. We looked in there for 2 hours, and had fun dreaming of what we could do with our homes. We headed home and we were gone for almost exactly 12 hours. What a whirlwind day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(Kris told me to I shoud make my title more exciting then just plain old 'July', he suggested this one, so here it is...) Stormin' Grandma

July is already half over, and what the month we have had...

On the 3rd, we (Kevin, Allison, Emmy and I) drove to the Quad Cities for the day. We had Frank's Pizza for lunch, a childhood favorite of Kevin's. Of course it was delicious, and worth the drive. It always is. Then we went to the tiny Rock Island Arsenal Commissary, and enjoyed every minute walking through the store and just feeling like it is "home" being on the base. Then we met my sister, mom, and nephew at the mall in Davenport. We walked around a while before heading home for Cedar Falls.

We brought my mom here to spend the month with us. We have been shopping, playing games, and even went to a concert in the park.



The 4th of July was fun, we grilled out, went to the Saturday church service then we came home and played Phase 10 until it was time to go to the fireworks. The fireworks were the best we have ever seen. We sat in our usual spot, really close to where they set them off, and really enjoyed the show. The night was unusually cool as the entire month as been, you can see my mom enjoyed the blanket I brought for her.














Both Kris and Allison had planned on staying at school all summer long, but plans changed and to make a long story short, we've got both kids at home now.






Kevin's birthday was the 9th, we celebrated with one of his favorite meals, Steak with mushroom gravy, and carrot cake. It was a fun time being all together.










We went to bed a little late on Kevin's birthday, windows open because of the mild nights we've been having, and woke to a weather alert at 3:15. I had enough time to check the weather on the TV. I thought wow, that looks bad, so I hurried to the computer to look a little closer, that looks really bad I thought again, I turned the computer off, ran around the house closing windows, told Kevin to come check out the storm on the TV radar, and in those short 10 minutes, the storm was on us. Wow! I had never seen anything like it, and we had been through a couple of small hurricanes when we lived in Mississippi. Both kids were in the basement sleeping, but my mom was in Allison's room with a huge tree bending toward the house outside her window. Just as I was about to get her, she came out to see what all the noise was outside. Allison woke up and we all came upstairs to watch the storm. Then Kris woke up. The windows were shaking and you could both hear and feel the wind. We could barely see through the driving rain.























Of course I couldn't get back to sleep, so on 2 hours and 45 minutes of sleep, I crawled out of bed at 6 in the morning, ready to face the day, and what a day...













100+ mph straight line winds had come through the town, and it looked like a war zone. Trees and power lines were down everywhere. Leaves were plastered to everything, the houses, cars, and the sidewalks. We had gotten 3 1/2 inches of rain in less then 2 hours, and there was standing water everywhere.

We were so fortunate, Kris's car was parked in the road by a tree, and thankfully, had blown down away from the car. The only damage we had was our rose trellis blew over and broke, and our umbrella from the deck blew away, it had gotten picked up, taken over the house and landed in the road out front, broken. I wish I would have seen that! Our outside light was blown sideways, but we just had to turn it back. All of our plants were blown over too, and we even lost one pot, I don't know how that happened.

We had fun (?) roughing it Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 3:15ish when power was finally restored to our neighborhood. (have I ever mentioned our house is entirely electric? we don't even have a gas line to the house :-)

Anyway, we are all alive, well, and enjoying air conditioning again.