Saturday, May 31, 2008


Yesterday, we headed out to visit Kris and her children, Emma and Andrew. We had a wonderful time. Emma was a great host, kindly inviting Tyler to join her in all sorts of fun activities.
Here's Tyler and Emma posing for the picture.


As we were driving away, Tyler said, "Mommy, I had a lot of fun! Let's play with them again!"

In the evening, we went out to eat with Mom and Dad, Kathy and Wil, Anna and Frank to a yummy Mexican restaurant and came back to play dominoes. I really enjoyed it. I didn't realize how often you could break out into singing hymns while playing a game.

Tyler and Dad on the scooter.

Masked Bandit

Dad has been busy setting traps to catch moles, groundhogs and raccoons. While he was gone last weekend, he discovered that another raccoon had found the bird feeder in the backyard. He and Tyler carefully set a trap with marshmallows, but the raccoon somehow got the marshmallows without getting caught. So, Thursday evening, they set another trap together with marshmallows slathered in peanut butter for the bait... yummy! Dad also heard that raccoons can't burp, so he set out some Pepsi to drink as a backup plan.

The next morning, the raccoon was caught! Apparently if he drank the Pepsi, there were no visible ill effects.

He waddles free.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Just a few more shots around the place

My view from the cherry picker - Mom and Tyler are watching us.

The view of the house.

Day with Grandpa

I feel as though I should preface this entry with the disclaimer that I'm a dork. Officially. (I know you have thought it before, so I'll beat you to the punch). :) No, really, I took pictures of any and everything this Wednesday. Grandpa Norm had quite a day planned for Tyler, and they had quite a ball!

We started our day with a little work around the house. We headed to Shipshewana to eat breakfast at the sale barn (livestock auction) restaurant. Unfortunately, we arrived at 10:15 and the cutoff for breakfast during the flea market season is 10 am. Who eats lunch already at 10 am? I did! I had a pizza burger. Just because I remember eating pizza burgers at the old drive-in in downtown Middlebury when I was in kindergarten. Ahh, memories. Unfortunately that little drive-in which is on the creek, is now a used car lot. Go figure.

(Tyler and Dad had a fried egg sandwich - pretty close to breakfast if you ask us)!


We enjoyed looking around at the flea market. Tyler a.k.a. petunia head.

Tyler's jacket was in the dryer when we left, so he borrowed Grandpa's fleece vest during the cool morning hours.

After I purchased my $2 sunglasses, $1.25 gardening gloves and a few $1 dinosaurs, we stopped for a root beer float. It's a rough life.

Actually, for Tyler it was getting a little rough. He was getting tired!

We stopped over at the sale barn to watch some bidding on cows. It's an interesting crowd.

We walked around to look at the livestock that were going to be up for auction during the day.

Ty was pretty cautious walking around. That was a relief to me - it's not exactly kid-proof!

I had forgotten how big it is.

As I took this picture, the dialogue in my head was something like, "What has happened to me? I never thought I would be taking this picture. I am such a tourist!!"

Dad and Tyler went to watch a truck full of cows unload.

Ty was pretty excited about it.

Then we headed home. Grandpa had to finish grading the lane. Tyler and I got a ride on the tractor with him.

Heading out the lane.

Here is the behemoth Montieth Tire that was recently built at the end of Mom and Dad's lane (and was fought by Mom and Dad and neighbors, but obviously was overruled).

Grandpa and Tyler getting ready to take out the trash.

The cherry picker.

Dad and Tyler going up, up, up.

To trim the tree.

By the end of the day, Tyler's allergies were driving him crazy. His eye was bothering him so badly, it felt best just to keep it shut. Mom rocked him briefly to keep him comfortable and, by accident really, he was quickly asleep (at about 7:15 pm, while we were eating dinner). Tonight was the 3rd night this week he has gone to sleep so early. Never before in his life has he done this and stayed asleep all night. I think we are really tuckering him out. But he is having great fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Awww, great!

Tyler's newest, most used phrase is, "awww, great!" He uses it at appropriate times to express disapproval.

Today would have been an appropriate time to use this phrase.

Wayne called to say that the sump pump failed. Kansas has been hit with lots of tornadoes (luckily not in Wichita) and strong storms (which we have had in Wichita) for several consecutive nights and it isn't over yet. There was water in the basement when he got up this morning, and he was not a happy camper.

Though he sounded very tired, by this evening he was in better spirits. He has things under control. He has bought a new pump and plans to try to install it tomorrow. He is so handy and fixes or installs just about anything he tries. I'm glad he is there to take care of things. If I had been the one home alone, I wouldn't have a clue how to replace the sump pump!
I am really enjoying being home. Springtime is just beautiful. Mom and Dad's place, and perhaps the whole area, has sprung into bloom and just looks wonderful. (I think I need to come in the Spring more often... like every year)! We have really enjoyed exploring outside. We've taken a walk on the Pumpkin Vine trail, enjoyed listening to the water from the porch or kitchen, smelled the sweet smell of lilac wafting in, and listened to the birds. Dad has lots of feeders that bring in beautiful birds (that he is still having to protect from the feisty raccoons).
While today was cooler, yesterday's temperature was just right. Yesterday, we started the day by enjoying a short (like 5 minutes) parade down main street. Tyler got a little flag that he enjoyed waving at the people in the parade. They seemed to enjoy it, if only because not many people were there to look at. :) We enjoyed a shopping trip, and came home with a t-ball set that Mom got for Tyler to hone his baseball skills.
Unfortunately, he doesn't have many of those skills yet.

As you can see, he was quickly given a racquet to try to make contact with the ball. A lot of his time was spent fetching the ball...

... running around...

...and acting goofy.

In the evening, Ted made dinner, which was just delicious. On Sunday and Monday evenings, we played Mexican Train Dominoes, which is so much fun!! If anyone is ever up for any board game, count me in. But, this is one of my favorites!

Today we went to Decatur with Ted to spend the day with Great Grandparents, Wayne and Billie. We were also happy that Aunt Rachel could join us. I was delinquent in my picture taking, but I did get a few. Tyler enjoyed both Great Grandparents reading to him.

Billie fixed us a delicious lunch and we went out for supper. We enjoyed a walk and just being together. I wish we lived closer so that we could visit more often!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We made it!!

Dad flew in late on Friday evening. We all picked him up at the airport and were able to have breakfast together on Saturday morning...before Tyler, Ted and I left for Indiana. It felt strange to leave Dad at our house. (He is visiting Grandpa David this weekend).

Here is Tyler, enjoying his orange pop (which he had never had before). He told me later that I needed to make orange pop when we get home.
He also told me that he didn't need to ... um, go #2... until we get home. That would be a looooong time to wait!

Tyler watched a few DVDs, but did not spend nearly as much time as I thought he would watching movies. For much of the time, he just rode quietly. He really enjoyed a preschool sticker workbook we brought along. For an hour, he and Ted played with a piece of thread. :)

On the road...
We enjoyed a leisurely trip. I didn't remember noticing so much greenery and nice rolling hills on previous trips. I guess we usually do this trip in winter or the middle of summer. We saw lots of baby calves... and a lot of dead deer. Yikes.

I had called Mom when we were 50 miles west of Chicago, so she would know we were running late. After a long day on the road (nearly 15 hours), we finally pulled in to Mom and Dad's house at 12:15 am (1:15 am Indiana time). Tyler was fast asleep, and we were going to let ourselves in, put Tyler to bed and unload the car.

But, the front door was locked. We rang the doorbell, but Mom didn't appear. Mom's bedroom light was on, her door was wide open, and I could hear that the doorbell was working. Oh, well, I figured she left the side garage door open. Holding Tyler, I fumbled to the garage door...that was locked too. Uh oh. By that time, Tyler had woken up. I went back to the front door and knocked as loudly as I could and rang the doorbell several more times. I started to panic and get giggly...we made it all this way, and now we couldn't get in. I looked around the front stoop for a hidden key to no avail. I made a trip around the whole house trying all the doors just in case Mom had forgotten and left one open. Nope. Secure as could be. I threw some pebbles at her window, which bounced off the screen and basically didn't help anything. So, since I had no cell phone signal, we decided to drive out until I got a signal. We were pulling onto US20, when a police deputy passed us. Ted turned the car around and flashed his lights at him a couple of times to flag him down. A young looking officer (that makes me feel old)! got out looking a little suspicious. I quickly explained the situation. He got out his cell phone and let me make a call...but Mom didn't answer. I laughed. What in the world were we going to do? He asked me if I was sure they were home. Oh yes, I explained, we had just spoken a few hours ago. It seemed as though he was thinking that I was C.R.A.Z.Y. He asked where the house was, and as I finished explaining, my cell phone rang. Even though my phone showed no signal, somehow through the broken connection, we were able to communicate we were there and she was obviously now awake. We thanked the slightly confused officer and headed home.

We all had a good laugh, and relieved recounted what had happened.
I'm so happy to be here. It is always worth the trip!
Today we explored outside. Everything is green and beautiful. Mom gave Tyler a ride in the Gator. He collected twigs for a fire...for when Grandpa Norm comes home.

We were excited that Lynette and Rusty stopped by on their way back to Chicago for an afternoon visit.

The last couple of days, Tyler has enjoyed being a "sterry [scary] ghost" complete with spooky oooo's. He explains that ghosts wear white costumes, (just in case you were wondering what ghosts look like). Here is the scary ghost in the massage chair, which doubles as a fun toy since it has lots of buttons to press.

Tonight at dinner, Tyler asked me whether I was done eating yet. I said that I was. He said authoritatively, "then you should leave. Go play checkers or something."