Thursday, July 31, 2008

Goin' to the Moomies

He can say it right, now, but a few months ago Emery referred to going to see a movie as going to the "Moomie Fater". It just tickled me and it's one of those things I'll probably always remember about him zipping through one of those early stages. Anyway, yesterday I took the little ones to the moomie fater for the second week in a row.

Earlier this summer my friend, Robin, told me about a program at the AMC theater called "Summer Movie Camp". Every Wednesday morning during the summer they have a children's movie and admission is $1! And you can get them a snack tray...small popcorn, small drink and a package of gummy fruits...for $3. Now compared to what it costs to go to a movie these days that's a bargain! And the proceeds benefit the Variety Children's Charity and the Will Rogers Institute. I just love a win-win. So I thought I'd take the kiddies to a movie on a few Wednesday mornings and see if mommy wouldn't like a chance to get a few things done with the speed of an unencumbered woman.

With all that's been going on this summer, last week was the first chance I'd had to take them. Grandpa went with us and we saw Jerry Seinfield's "Bee Movie". I had seen it before, but I enjoyed it again and the kids liked it. Yesterday's feature was "Surf's Up". It was called a "mocumentary"...but what it was mocking was lost on me. I guess I haven't seen enough surfer dude movies to get the point. But it didn't thrill me much. The kids were kind of bored, too. But it was still a fun day and worth doing. After the movie, we come back here and get in the pool for a while and then take naps. So...even if the movie is less than stellar, we have a great day, we give our bit to charity, and mom gets some stuff done. But that's it for this year. Next week is the final one and even though it makes for a fun day, I don't want to see "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". But I'll have to remember to start going earlier next year.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The New "Room"

I feel like we've added a new room to the house. I had posted that after we had the house painted, we replaced the old wooden swing and rocking chairs on the front porch with a new wicker set.

While we were on vacation in Illinois, I did a little shopping. I found a small baker's rack (for $5!!!) at the flea market in Sheridan on the 4th of July. That is now hanging on the wall to the left of the swing. I went antique shopping with Shirley and Judy one day and found a cute, old wooden planter box. That now sits to the right of the swing...and left of the front door. We also replaced the light fixtures...and when I say "we", I mean Jerry. Between the planter box and the new light, we hung a stepping stone-type plaque. The throw pillows on the swing were an end-of-the-year bargain at Wal-Mart.

To the right of the front door, in the space between there and the rocking chairs, I put a big-ass fern on a small stand. The finishing touch was a runner from the front door to the steps that repeats the fern design.

Doesn't it look inviting? Why don't y'all c'mon down and sit a spell? I'll make you some peach tea.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tour of (old) Homes

I should know, but I don't remember who it was that said, "You can never go home again", but I beg to differ. Yes, I know what he was trying to say...but I still disagree. When we went "home" on vacation this year, we went by some old houses of significance. But even though that's not what he was talking about, once I get to Sheridan...I feel like I've never really left. (Mostly because none of those people who make it feel like home have grown up any since we left!)

But...back to the houses. On our way into our home town of Streator, I took this picture of the farm house that my dad was born in. He only lived there a few years and then they moved into town, but this is the Berry family "home". I'm so glad to see that it has been lovingly and meticulously cared for in the over 90 years since they left it. Across the street and all around as far as the eye can see there are corn fields. Lush, beautiful corn fields...the way they are suppose to be. "Knee high by the 4th of July" used to be the standard -- but this picture was taken on July 3rd. Judge for yourself how true that old adage is!

The next logical step would be to show you pictures of the homes that Jerry and I grew up in. But Jerry's has been bulldozed (so has the first apartment we had after we married. Hmmmm...seems to be a pattern here.) The house I grew up in is in horrible condition! I went by it 3 times, but I couldn't make myself take a picture of it. One time there was a truck in the driveway and a man is working on the house. He had the front door propped open and we could see that the walls inside are nothing but studs. Maybe next time I see it it will look great. (I'm hoping here.)

So on we go to the first house we bought. This little starter home is in Ottawa, Illinois. It really hasn't changed much from what we could see on the outside. There used to be a little brick planter in front of the bushes but it was only about 5 bricks high, so that doesn't make much difference in the looks of the place.

The final stop on our home tour is the place where we raised our two daughters. Jodi was in kindergarten when we moved in and she graduated high school a month before we moved from there to Georgia. Jess had to finish her last two years of high school in Covington. This house has changed the most. When we lived there, it was brown with cream colored shutters and trim and a very small slab of concrete with one step that served as a front porch. It is now yellow with white shutters and trim and they have added a wonderful front porch and changed the bay window. There is also some lovely landscaping around the front that has replaced the bushes we had there. I probably should have gone up and knocked on the door. Maybe there were more surprises inside. But I am so glad to think that someone has been caring for and loving this home for the many years I've been gone, because it will always have a special place in my heart.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tiny Talkers

Every once in a while Jodi will post "Tiny Talk Tuesday" on her blog and share something cute the kids have said. Even though I've been in a sort of a blur ever since getting back from vacation, I AM aware this is not Tuesday. But the kids were over here the other day and said a couple of things that made me laugh.

Emery is newly potty trained now and doing very well. But he was spending the night and so I just felt better if he wore a diaper for overnight. (After all...he was sleeping with grandpa and grandpa can't swim.) Sure enough, it was wet in the morning. But he got up before me and took it off to go potty. Later, I looked for the diaper in our bathroom and the guest bathroom and didn't see it anywhere. I asked him where he put it and he matter-of-factly said, "It was wet, so I put it in the dryer." (!!!! LOL)

Later the two kids were playing together with some toy figures. Have you ever listened to kids when they're playing and using their imaginations? It's pretty cool. I was only slightly tuned in, but I heard Savannah say, "This is the guy that poop decks the ship." (Say what????)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Superb Vacation

I know...there's nothing worse than having to see pictures and hear stories from someone else's vacation. Well, I'm going to share with you anyway. (Hey, you can always hit "delete" and I'll never know, right?) We really did have a super time the last two weeks and it was one of the best vacations ever. With that in mind, I'd like to just jot down a few more superlatives:

Most beautiful scenery: Nickajack Lake...shimmering blue and surrounded by the rolling green hills of southern Tennessee, just north of Chattanooga. Breathtaking every time I see it.

Cheapest gas: In Mansfield, TN...$3.85 per gallon!

Funniest coincidence: Shirley and I got the same shirt (in different colors) to wear for the 4th of July!

Strangest quilt shop: Earthmans General Store and Quilt Shop in Whites Creek, TN. Advertised as "located in historic James Gang building (and) voted best hamburgers in Nashville." What can I say...that's exactly what it was.

Best belly laughs: Shirley's stupid jokes.

Best bargain: Rest stop #35 in Georgia. Jerry put his money in for a root beer and out came two!

Most delicious memory revisited: Wild black raspberries that we picked at Debbie and Chris' house. We ate heaping amounts of them over ice cream.

Best find: I went antique shopping with Shirley and Judy in Sandwich, IL and found a type setter's tray. The one in my sewing room is full and I've kinda been looking for another one. I've seen a few, but none in very good shape. The ones I've seen have run in the neighborhood of 30-something to 40-something dollars. I found one in perfect condition for $8.50!

Best pizza: Pizzeria Uno. The home of Chicago's deep dish pizza. We had to eat was on my "bucket list". :)

Best travel companion: Jerry "I don't care, whatever you want to do" Simons. He wasn't crazy about going to Chicago...just had the impression from long-ago memories that it was a noisy, dirty, big city. He changed his mind as we walked...and walked...and walked and saw flowers, trees and grass everywhere. He also enjoyed the Cubs' game and was really impressed by Jerzey Boys.

Best reaction: My BFF Shirley's enthusiasm when I gave her a quilt that matches her new family room decor. She's been bitching about not having a quilt for sooooo long!

Most stimulating: We used our government "economic stimulus" money (plus a bunch more) to stimulate several local economies!

Most delightful weather: Who would think that Illinois weather over the 4th of July would be so ideal? If it were like that all the time, that would be a vacationers' mecca.

Most relaxing: Me and Shirley on the patio swing...trying to read but falling asleep. Taking turns napping and pumping the swing with one lazy foot on the ground.

Best repeat performance: Our third year in a row of touring with our friends, Bob and Joan. We've had some really great trips together.

And, finally, the best thing about a vacation: Memories to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Thanks be to God

I like to think that regular readers of my blog will remember to pray for those special people listed on the side bar. So I want to let you know when prayers have been answered.

One of the names listed there for the past several months was Michelle. We were praying for a healthy baby for this "more mature" first-time mom. Thankfully, those prayers have now been answered and we rejoice with the family in welcoming Lexie into our world. She arrived last Wednesday -- June 25th -- at 5:30 in the morning (get used to it, mom!). She weighed 7 pounds and 4 ounces and was measured at 19-3/4" long. According to her grandmother, Linda, she is "the most beautiful baby in the world". Boy...some grandmothers are so boastful! :)