Monday, January 26, 2009


I got the call from one of my cousins on Saturday night about 9:30. Our grandma had passed away. One of my aunts was with her and was praying a rosary when the time came. I'm glad for that.

Then began the trip planning. Within short order the hubby and I had a flight booked, a car booked and a hotel room for me. Yes, I am making this trip alone. After much discussion and thought, that was our decision. I have traveled alone before, but I've never arrived somewhere and had to rent a car then drive to a hotel. A new experience for me and one that I'm not really looking forward to as the weather reports aren't the best and the Pennsylvania turnpike can be a real bear in the winter.

The last 36 hours have been surreal. I told my husband last night that I just want it to be Friday already. I need to go. I want to go. But, I want to be home and have this behind me.

My uncle, my father's older brother and the oldest of the seven children, is driving in from New Mexico. I hope the icy weather they are predicting doesn't happen. Why is it when you want the snow, ice, yuk to happen it doesn't and when you desperately wish it would stay away, it comes?
I hope the weathermen across the nation's midsection are dead wrong about the next 24-36 hours.

I'm not worried about getting out of Memphis, but that stop in Cincy could be dicey. On the way home I fly through Atlanta. Never been to that airport....but if I can navigate Amsterdam, I think I can manage.

Thank God for my wonderful neighbors who told us that if we need anything with the kids while I'm gone and Scott is at work to just call....they will take care of it.

I need coffee....I have some more thinking to do about what I need to accomplish today. I won't be writing until I return home.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mary Elizabeth Kaydo Hillsman

Timing really is everything. Within the past few weeks I have reconnected with the majority of my Hillsman cousins via facebook. Our Grandmother, age 94, is dying and that simple fact pushed all of us to link together. I spent a bit of time last night writing back and forth between two of my cousins and 'chatting' about her.

Even though I was up way past my bedtime last night, I couldn't sleep in this morning and I'm actually up quite a bit earlier than normal. I woke up thinking of her and couldn't 'calm' my thoughts enough to doze back off to sleep.

One of the cousins had remarked on Grandma's cooking, her jello cheesecake to be specific. That though popped in my head at 4:15 this morning and wouldn't let go. Then other thoughts and memories came tumbling down. I needed to set them out and look at them, like pretty dishes that have been stored in a china cabinet and not used very often.

Grandma was a baker. When she'd bake at Christmas the old picnic table in the basement would be covered with kolach, cookies, kieflies etc. She wrapped those huge nut rolls in garbage bags.

The basement at Grandma's was always a scary place for me, except at Christmas. I remember she used to have a wringer washing machine. That was one frightening piece of machinery to a little girl.

I was an early riser even as a child. When we would visit in the summers, I'd be up early and she'd be in the kitchen rolling my grandpa's cigarettes. He might be asleep on the couch they kept in the dining room or he might have still been at the coal mine. I do remember a few times when I'd creep downstairs and they'd be sitting together in that tiny kitchen.

Grandma liked a bright kitchen. At one point she had painted the metal cabinets orange and put up a shiny orange flowered vinyl wallpaper on the walls. It was loud! You can't even imagine those colors unless you've stood in that room.

When I was little she bought orange juice in a can and although I didn't like the taste of canned juice, I would drink every drop.

She could make donuts and boy were they good.

One time when she came to see us in South Bend, we had quite an exciting weekend as a drunken young man tried to get into our house. That is a long story...but the part that really comes to mind is how she got out of bed and showed me how he was walking down the street. She was so funny.

She was also a story teller. She'd tell stories about when she worked as a nanny in New York for a very wealthy family. I have a picture of her in the coat they gave her one year as a gift. They owned a coat factory. Later in life she got back in touch with the little boy she took care of...he was an old man now himself.

She'd also tell stories about playing softball and how she'd hike her pant legs up to show off to the boys.

She would talk about her mother in law and how she made dresses for her, always the same pattern...I have a picture of my great-grandparents and I wonder if the dress worn in that picture is one my grandma made.

She'd tell stories of her mother and how she made moonshine and outfoxed the 'law' by sitting on top of the cask and spreading her skirts around it...they wouldn't dare ask a lady to lift her skirts, even if they suspected she was sitting on a barrel of booze.

She'd tell of pranks she and her sisters would pull. The tied a string to a wallet and set it in the road and as people would walk by and bend down to pick it up, they'd pull the string and retrieve the wallet.

She gave my husband a clock of my grandfather's when I first took him to Nemacolin to see her after our wedding. He said she made him feel like a grandson through that one simple gift.

Speaking of weddings...she'd proudly proclaim that the Hillsman's were always the best dressed and best looking family at any wedding. She looked amazing at my wedding and I'm so glad so many of my Hillsman relatives came for my special day, almost 18 years ago now.

Gosh, she liked to shop too. And she liked to eat out....I remember her treating us to Ponderosa one time. She liked a good salad bar/buffet.

She never learned how to drive, but bought a car after my grandfather died...just so she could have one in case she wanted to go somewhere and the driver could take her in her own car.

She loved the Pirates....and was quite a sports fan. My dad would tell me how she would 'box' him and his younger brother...she'd learned boxing from her brothers and was quite good!

She also liked plants and flowers and always had a house full of them.

She taught me to put a dime under my statues of the Infant Jesus of Prague....that way I'd never be broke. She gave me rosaries and religious medals and a china plate painted with the Last Supper on hangs in my kitchen as it hung in hers.

I could keep going.....but I have to stop at some point. Grandma will pass away in the next few days from what we are hearing from family who are with her. I'm so proud to be her granddaughter. I will be going to Pennsylvania for her funeral when the time comes. I've already told one of my cousins that we need to celebrate her and her life....she lived a full one and while we are sad, she deserves a party as a farewell.

Friday, January 23, 2009

what happens when I don't blog before 6:00...

When I don't blog first thing in the morning, well, close to first thing as the drinking of that magical first cup of coffee actually comes first, I struggle for words to put down as the minutiae of the day begins to intrude upon my feeble brain synapses.

No insights to share.
No revelations to reveal.
Just lists of things that must get done in a certain order or else the universe of Liz will begin to unravel like the space time continuum on Lost.

So, rather than bore you with my "must get done before 2:00 to do list"....which is quite long and quite boring except for my lunch date today....I pass along a wish for a great and relaxing weekend.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

the theme for the week is dresses

The fancy dress theme is lingering this week. The oldest announced that she finally decided to attend the winter fest dance. I rolled my eyes and sighed as I knew what was coming next. I hate going to the mall and we'd just had the big discussion about want versus need. She caught on quickly and said she'd wear a dress from a prior event. She tried it on and while it fit, she didn't have that happy, silly grin on her face that only 'the dress' can provide.

I told her to get a pair of heels out of my closet and those helped a bit. Then I remembered a dress buried in the back, hanging in a garment bag. Now, this is the daughter who is into all things old and retro. She likes vintage. I pulled out the bag and revealed a dress I wore in 1991. I'd spent a small fortune on the black and white number and wore it once. I'd also loaned it once to a coworker who took it on a cruise.

She tried it on and although it is a tad bit big, gosh was I skinny in those days, it looked amazing on her. She squealed. Her eyes lit up. She grinned. She twirled....she looooooved it.

So, she's now set to attend the dance in an 18 year old dress from Hudson's. She's excited and I've got that funny lump in my throat that means I'm being either way too sentimental or my oldest is really and truly growing up and there isn't a darn thing I can do about it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

dresses and frivolous stuff

I loved Michelle Obama's floated, it was soft and feminine and didn't look like she had a bunch of foundation wear under it, yes, I'm talking girdles and such. It was young and light and pretty. I loved that a young American designer created this confection.

I've heard some complaining about the cost of the festivities in such a difficult economic time. When money is so tight, why have such huge parties? I also heard that cost cutting was in evidence as some balls didn't have chairs for guests to sit on and drinks had to be purchased then were served in plastic cups. Hey, you control costs where you can.

I think the nation needed a party even if the vast majority of us couldn't attend. It is important to celebrate any transition in power. It is important to give folks the opportunity to be happy and to for a few fleeting moments push aside the hard work ahead and enjoy the moment.

All work and no play does make Jack a dull boy. We are going to have years of tough times ahead and for one night to be able to focus on frivolous things like pretty white dresses and pop stars singing Etta James classics is okay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I'm going to watch the Inauguration festivities before I have to head over to the bookstore. Today is a wonderful day for us on so many different levels. History is being made in more than one way. No matter what your political persuasion is, today should fill you with pride.

Best Wishes, Mr. Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

kids and finances

My oldest was in the kitchen when I told my hubby about the phone call I'd received earlier in the day from Schwab. My 401K rollover is managed by them and they are offering a free chat with an advisor in case I want to make any adjustments to my portfolio. Yes, I still have one, although its value has dropped of late.

The next day she wanted to know what all the words we were tossing around meant. 401k, mutual fund, rollover, etc. While I was explaining some of these terms she asked some very pointed questions about finances. Either she pays way more attention when I have MSNBC on or the cafeteria table talk has turned serious. I answered her as truthfully as I felt was needed for an almost 15 year old and then relayed the conversation to my husband yesterday as we waited for the kids to finish PRE (parish religious education) after church.

We decided to have a small family pow-wow about the current economic situation in our country and how that will impact us as a family. We kept it simple and were reassuring as we talked about the hows and whys of what was going on....and were amazed with their poise and their questions.

Kids overhear a lot. They share a lot with each other at school. They are way more savvy and in the know than you'd expect. It was the perfect opportunity to continue teaching them about money and life. We want over the whole "I want" versus "I need" issue. We talked about buying cars, houses and paying for college. We let them lead the discussion and answered, as best we could, their questions.

Later my hubby asked what percentage of the information we imparted actually sunk in. He tossed out 20, 30, 40 percent figures. I settled on 30% and told him that was a great number. What we were talking to them about isn't easy and many adults never grasp the concepts we discussed. Our parents handed the lessons on to us and we are following suit. Our kids will make mistakes, just like we did, but hopefully they will be small ones. We just have to keep talking and teaching and hope the retention rate increases.

Friday, January 16, 2009

new year and new appliances

I've already blogged about how the dryer was dead upon our arrival home from Europe. Yesterday the garage door opener decided to join the dryer in the appliance graveyard, or so it appears. Hubby managed to fiddle with it for a while, but depending on the cost of replacing the whole thing, getting a new one is probably going to happen this weekend.

Lovely how just as soon as we adopt a new budget things start to break...which breaks the budget right off the bat. Arghhh. The joys of home ownership.

It is extremely cold here this morning. My computer says it is all of 10 outside. The dog didn't take long doing his morning routine before he was back at the door whining to be let inside. It could always be worse. We could have the white stuff to go along with the arctic-like temps.

Not sure what I'm up to today. Guess it depends on the price of garage door openers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

dante's girl

I'm always loathe to pan a book because I know how darn hard it is to write one and how much skill and luck comes into play to get one agented and published. So, although I found some good writing in "Dante's Girl" and some great one liners, the overall story didn't succeed for me on multiple levels.

I felt I needed a spreadsheet to keep track of the multiple plots and characters. The blurb on the back cover and the front didn't come into play until the last couple of pages of the story. For me, this was misleading. The story was told from as many POV's as there were characters. Lots of loose ends and plot holes in this one.

In short, the book was a messy read and while the overall idea of the story was okay, it just went in too many different directions to be good.

The sad thing is I think the protagonist, Kayla Steele, has promise. I just wish that instead of switching back and forth between plot lines and characters, the author could have told the whole story from Kayla's point of view. It would have made for a better and tighter read. If you get rid of all the extra stuff, the story is about how Kayla, after her boyfriend is murdered, learns about his werewolf hunting job. She is now on the their hit list because she may know about the 'big evil scheme.'

With so many good books out there, I don't think I will spend any more time with this series....and it was concluded so that a sequel is obvious.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

what I'm reading

I finished Kelley Armstrong's "Haunted" this week and have started a new book, "Dante's Girl" by Natasha Rhodes.

Every once in a while I find a paranormal book with character types I've never read about before. "Haunted" is one of those books. The heroine is a ghost, who happens to be a witch, who has been chosen by the Fates to capture a murderous evil spirit called a Nix. In doing so, she will ascend to angel status. This ascension means she will be able to better protect her still living daughter, but she will have to leave behind her life long love(her child's father) who is also a ghost and a sorcerer. The book contains plenty of complications, action and a very original/fresh plot. The book was entertaining and if I stumble across another Armstrong title I will most likely read it, but for some reason the writing didn't 'click' with me on the level that would encourage me to part with big money to buy another title.

I'm almost finished with "Dante's Girl" and will post thoughts on that title tomorrow. So far I need a spreadsheet to keep track of all the characters in this paranormal story...way too many for a book of this size and in this genre. As my book buying budget is limited, I'm glad I plucked this one from the donation pile and didn't buy it at B&N.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

with age comes....

Had an interesting conversation with my neighbor yesterday that circled around to age. One of the things you realize as you hit forty is that life is too short to suffer fools. Not that you have to become a one woman army against idiocy, but when foolishness starts to creep into your life or your family's life, you tolerance level seems to decrease. She's ahead of the curve at 37 and is taking a few stands, rocking a few boats and not making 'nice' when it impacts what she feels is right for her family. With age comes experiences and with age also comes the knowledge your opinion holds more gravity.

Also with age, on a totally different note, comes dryers that don't dry as well. My old dryer that died while we were gone never dried quickly....which I have learned with the new GE dryer we purchased as a replacement. My laundry time has been cut in half as this new machine dries so fast that it keeps up with the washer! Unreal what a gift that has been already...worth every dime it cost to purchase it.

With age also comes the realization that while it took me only two weeks to gain six pounds, it will take me a month to take those pounds off. My metabolism is not quite turtle slow, but darn near close. Beyond walking to and from the school twice a day with the boy, I'm also walking with the dog four times a week to help rev up that internal engine. Although, you know what? Eating what I wanted to eat for two weeks was darn fun and those croissants, crepes and breads were soooooo good! I'll suffer for the next three weeks, but enjoy the memory of those fourteen days.

Also with age comes the important lesson of needs versus the economy slows down and money becomes tight everywhere, frugality is hitting a new high. We saved a long time for our trip, but yes, it was a want and not a need to go to Europe. So, hubby and I have set our budget for the next year and we are tightening our belts yet again. We saved for that trip and now we are saving just to be saving....with college looming for the kids and who knows what down the road, having a good nest egg is a major goal.

Just a few random thoughts this morning. Maybe it is the Folgers coffee instead of the Maxwell house I usually drink!

Monday, January 12, 2009

into the groove

Last week provided the perfect transition time into our usual routine. This week, the soccer begins again for both girls and we have a science project as well as a pine box derby car to work on for the boy.....Can you say Zero to Sixty?

Over the weekend we managed to upload a good assortment of vacation photos to my facebook page as well as to the oldest daughter's page. Yes, I finally caved and set one up for her, which I can of course monitor when ever I want. It has been fun to share our trip with so many friends and family members.

Today I am off to the library to work on restocking the store. We were shopped by a used book dealer on Saturday afternoon and he basically cleaned us out of paperbacks and even took a good three dozen hardbacks. I will be busy with that for a bit. I also need to talk to our library director about the Friends buying ad space to promote the WHG exhibit. And I need to finalize our first ever annual report.

On the home front I need to make a shopping trip to restock the pantry, plan meals for the month, clean the house and get the laundry going.

Just a few things to do today. Vacation can't last forever!

Friday, January 9, 2009

coffee and hairspray

Last night the oldest, who has a fascination with the 80's, asked me to pin curl her hair. So, I spent a bit of time sectioning wet hair, glopping on gel and twisting then rubber banding her head. This morning we undid all those 'knots' and ringlet curls fell to her shoulders. After a bit of tousling, tweaking and hairspray she has a passable 80's hairdo. She then told me that she loves the 80's and she loves London (although she has yet to visit there) and to be in the London in the 80's would have been awesome.

Of course I reminded her I was in London in the 80's. She shot me the hand signal which her father says stands for 'it is all about Liz'....index finger and thumb out on the left hand, which makes a passable letter 'L'.

I laughed and drank more coffee to clear the remnants of hairspray from my throat, glad the stuff we had on hand wasn't Aquanet!

She is at a fun age. We watch what to her are old movies like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. She likes to watch BBC shows with me. She's growing up into a fine young lady and that makes me so happy. She doesn't mind walking to her own drum beat on most days. Her self confidence level is higher than what I had at her age...I attribute most of that to playing sports, something I never did.

Some days being a mom is the hardest job on earth.....those days when you want to pull out hair and wail in frustration....other days being a mom is the best job on earth. Today I've got the best job.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

first two books of the new year

I almost bought this first book at B&N when it debuted a while back. They sent me a coupon and the hardcover was reasonable with the discount. Instead I ended up buying two paperbacks. Not quite a mistake, but I put off reading a great story. So, when I found the paperback version on sorting day at the bookstore, I grabbed it for the trip.

"Garden Spells" is a wonderful read from Sarah Addison Allen. I'd have to classify this book as magical realism....small bits of otherworldly stuff thrown in a very real setting. The Waverly sisters have always had a bit of magic to them. Claire is a caterer whose dishes have a way of influencing people and events. Claire's sister Sydney returns home after a life on the run and discovers her magical gift. Of course, Sydney's issues follow her and provide a nice bit of conflict as does her return to her hometown and the reaction of those she left behind. The story has a perfect blend of characterization, plot, dialogue and description. She added in a wonderful dose of romance and several very interesting sideline characters. This book gets two enthusiastic thumbs up and I'm ready to read more from Sarah Allen.

The second book I read was "Cry Wolf" from Patricia Briggs. I've seen Briggs' books at B&N, but as the library still has a pretty poor urban fantasy collection, I'd never read one. I'll be on the hunt for Briggs' books next time I'm at the bookstore. Even if I have to pay top dollar. "Cry Wolf" is a werewolf story, no vampires, no fairies, just some bad ass wolves facing down an evil witch. Because the novel takes place in a world Briggs explores in her Mercy Thompson novels, it took a bit to orient myself. Once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Anna is an Omega wolf...the peace bringer to a pack, and a very rare wolf indeed. Her mate, Charles, is the son of the Alpha wolf and the pack's enforcer. I was intrigued by the world building in this novel and will look for the Mercy books to learn more about the people and places Briggs has created. Again, two thumbs up for this book.

What a gift to read two good books as I start off the new year.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

mid week

As the dryer wasn't delivered yesterday, today I get to cancel an orthodontist appointment and two dental appointments so I can make sure and be home....let's hope they deliver the darn thing this morning as I have a meeting from 12:30-2:00 today. Arghhh.

Not much else to report other than I managed, with the help of Tylenol PM to sleep from 8:30 until 5:00 this morning without any early morning wake ups. Yeah! The kids all slept through as well.....finally a taste of our normal body clocks.

I did manage to read a bit on our vacation and will be posting thoughts about those two books tomorrow.....if all goes well. One was a magical realism novel and the other a paranormal book.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

the slow return to normal

I managed to sleep a bit later today, all of 4:00 in the morning. Of course both girls are up with me as their body clocks aren't adjusting quickly either.

My dryer died while we were gone to Europe. So yesterday I washed all the laundry, loaded it into the van and headed off to the laundromat. I haven't been in one of those since college. The place is a bit rundown but clean. I managed to get six loads dried and folded in 90 minutes. Lowe's is delivering a new dryer some point....I hope.

I'm off to the bookstore today as well to work my regular shift. Anxious to see how the construction of the White House Garden exhibit is going.

The hubby printed off some huge pictures of our trip. They are placemat sized. He hasn't sent me any of the photo files yet, so I still don't have anything to upload. However, once he does I will go back and insert them into the blog posts I wrote while in Europe.

My brain hurts today...I think I need more coffee. Jet lag day two.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

jet lagged mind

Yep, I'm up way before the roosters today. The jet lag hit me hard about 2:00 this morning and I eeked out another hour in bed before I just got up, made coffee and decided to start my day.

Here is a random list of oddball things running through my jet lagged mind this morning regarding our trip.....

Pay toilets in Germany are a great thing...their public bathrooms on the autobahn are clean and monitored. For .50 euro you can actually have a decent place to take care of business.

The women in Bavaria like their fur coats. I have fur coat envy now, saw some very elegant older women sporting full length furs. Quite the vision to watch them navigate down the cobblestones in their furs and heels accessorized by a totally well mannered dog on a leash.

Europeans take their dogs everywhere. Restaurants, shops, groceries...everywhere and their animals are so well trained.

They eat better than we do, they are thinner on average than we are and they walk A LOT!

I didn't miss television for the whole week we were in Bavaria.

I didn't miss seeing strip malls along the autobahn. They don't have urban sprawl like we do and it is a total delight to see 'towns' dotting the countryside with actual countryside between the towns!

I saw lots of the tall white new green energy windmills and boy do they look cool. Not a detriment to the scenery at all...more like modern art.

I've been dreaming in German. Not that I can speak the language, but I picked up a few phrases. Now I hear other people's conversations....very weird.

Make sure you learn the phrase for tap water in multiple languages...they don't gulp the water like we do and they will bring you mineral water, which costs euro, over tap water unless you specify. I've acquired a taste for Pellegrino as my sister in law drinks it. Yum. Love that bubbly H20.

Chocolate croissants are one of God's many gifts to the planet. As is Nutella.

Europeans make better chocolate than we do...the Belgians do it best....yum.

In Europe, men don't drink cappuccinos in the evening. They switch to espresso....unless they are gay...or so I was told.

They do wear jeans in Europe, but I only saw tennis/sport shoes on Americans.

Another must have is a good aren't dressed unless you have one wrapped around your neck...this is for men and women.

Germans make great coldcuts. No preservatives and boy are those meats, especially at breakfast (fruhstuck) yummy.

You have to ride a high speed train at least once in your life...what a delightful way to travel.

Time to get the second cup of coffee and read my old local newspapers. I stopped the metro paper while we were gone.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

home sweet home

We arrived back in the states ahead of schedule, made it through customs and such and arrived in C'ville by 6:00. Our wonderful neighbors had dinner ready for us in the crock pot and our dog waiting at the door. All is well in our world.

I can't say enough about our trip. It was amazing. Pictures will be added soon...we just have to get them loaded.

However, here is one of the oldest and the Italian-Bavarian waiter who was quite smitten with her at dinner on Saturday night at San Marco's in Fussen! Great food and excellent if you are a cute blonde, you might just get your photo taken with the owner's son!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

departing for home

We had a wonderful end to our stay in Bavaria. On New Year's Day we took a drive to Oberammergau which is a delightful small town filled with decoratively painted stores and homes. The buildings are decorated with murals and other painting techniques. The region is well known for their woodcarving and we stumbled upon a store that was open after we had lunch at one of the few restaurants open on that holiday. They celebrate New Year's like it is the 4th of July...quite a big celebration. Anyway, we purchased a small Madonna and child statue, just lovely and I can't wait to find a special spot for it once we return home.

Yesterday we took the drive down into Austria and went up the Zugspitz, which is the highest peak in that portion of the Alps. You take a gondola ride up and let me tell you, my stomach did a few flops and twists. We had lunch in the cafeteria at the summit....and took lots of pictures from what felt like the top of the world. It was unreal, beautiful, awe-inspiring...I've never been so high off the earth and still been actually on the earth! You could see skiers a ways down the mountian and they looked like ants. The sky was so clear blue and it was so cold....just a really neat experience for all of us.

We drove back to Fussen and had dinner at San Marco's Restaurant. It was so yummy...and Julia had her picture taken with the very cute Italian-Bavarian waiter...the son of the owner....funny story with that:)

So, we packed up and drove home today. It took way longer than it should have as we ran into a lot of traffic and were delayed in several areas. Long day. We are packed and ready to leave early in the morning for the drive to Frankfurt and our flights. Hope all goes smoothly and we don't run into any delays in Amsterdam.    

We have had an amazing two weeks here. I think the girls have been changed forever by this exposure to life outside the USA. It has been a real eye opening experience for them to see how other people live and to experience so many different types of regions.  I think I have given them the travel bug. They are already planning their next trip....they both want to go to Italy! 

Scott has taken over 1000 photos....we will have a lot of work to do with them once we return home.

Off to bed for us.....everyone is ready for tomorrow and our long journey home.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year

Happy New Year to all of you.....we woke to several inches of snow this morning. The trees are sugar coated with fluffy white stuff. Not sure if we received enough to change our plans as the navigator is still sleeping.

The kids would be happy to play in the yard.....she has a big yard and has invited them to jump all they want out there. They went sledding yesterday....with the Alps as a back drop. Scott said it was amazing. I opted to stay home and enjoy some quiet time, as did Patti. So, the ladies read books and the men took the "kinder" to the slopes.

May 2009 bring many good things to all of us.