Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Nelson's from Lansing Arrive

On Friday night, I finally got to celebrate Christmas with someone from the Nelson family. On their way to visit Taitville in Farwell, John & Danielle stopped here for a mini Christmas celebration where we shared gifts (including those shipped from Carol & Dan), food, drink and a good movie. It was fun to play with the kids and cuddle with the baby!

Willow now accepts water in her baba. This was one girl that was addicted to milk, so we had 2 gallons on hand. Strange how the same addiction is/was shared between Willow, Kadence and Amya!

As John says, Juneau's smile takes up his entire face! Notice how his ears even stick out more when he is smiling. All you have to do is look at this guy or say something to him, and you are rewarded with this huge smile! Good times...

Three of the four Nelson grandsons. We need to get Charlie in this picture! Why is Florida so far away???
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This one LOVES to cuddle! I was in heaven!

Danielle sporting her new Bond girl haircut

Bear is a sports fan like I haven't seen since I last saw Bryce! He carried whichever jersey he wasn't wearing so that both could be in any pictures taken. I once even spotted the Red Wings jersey covering Juneau as he slept in his car carrier.

Do they come cuter than my neices??? After feeling sleepy around 6pm, Willow got her second wind and ran around the house until midnight. She slept until after 10 the next morning.
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Blue River Mill Hits the Morning Sun!

The Morning Sun featured an article on Kevin's business (Blue River Mill) this morning. Here is the link to the article that they printed in the Sunday edition.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning

Tay's new Wii sports kit from Bryce & Susu go well with Kevin's Christmas Even p.j.'s!

Every day for the past week, Tay has watched both Mamma Mia and The Devil Wears Prada (did I mention that she's addicted to Meryl Streep?). This is her inspired outfit. She was beyond thrilled to receive a card in the mail yesterday announcing that John & Danielle gave her a gift subscription to Teen Vogue.
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Walker couldn't wait to open his stocking items!

Tay showing off her new hat & shoes from Grandma Chris & Grandpa Burt. Like the Christmas Even p.j.'s?
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Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! Have a blessed and happy day!
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For Aunt Sybil

Merry Christmas from the cold and snowy north!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Walker Off the Roof

After shoveling off Great Grandpa's roof with Derick, Walker took a little time to play in the snow!

A House Full of Priests

For the first time in a LONG time all of the Priest children and grandchildren were together under one roof for a Christmas celebration!
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Alex and Grandpa

Kevin & Kirk at home in the kitchen!

Kirk & Amy priming Alex for a photo with Grandma & Grandpa

All of the Priest grandkids.
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Tay and Alex

Ryley, Dailey & Mercy


The boys in a huddle
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Using my Fabric from Thailand!

I found some fabric that I loved in Thailand, but was struggling with what to use it for. As Christmas approached, my many magazines that I subscribe to (much to Kevin's dismay) started featuring gift ideas. I came across this great purse that inspired me to finally make a cut into the Thailand fabric. Here are the 3 purses that I made for my little girls (that's how I refer to Kadence, Amya and Willow). Now that it's the day before Christmas Eve, they are finally done and the boxes are ready for a late mailing!

Walker modeling one of the purses. This was before his TERRIBLE hair cut yesterday. I'm so glad that hair grows back! Kevin's going to pay for that one.
I also needed a new Christmas stocking, and as I was inspired by the purses, I made myself a stocking (or Italian inspired high heeled boot) in the same fashion!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Carving out the Gas Tank

So...Kevin was in the U.P. for 2 weeks, and Cheryl became country woman of the year (and hated every minute). I had to feed the cat, water the rabbits, let the dog out morning/afternoon/night, add chemicals to the hot tub, and worst of all, put wood in both the inside fireplace, and the outside wood stove which serves as our furnace. The wood was the worst, because it's way too big for a short person of the age of 37 (or if your a Nelson/Stambaugh you claim I'm 40+) to chuck in every night and I always walked away smelling like smoke. On top of that, I had to make sure the kids got to school every morning and were picked up every afternoon. Anyway, aside from spending more money than Kevin would have liked (how can you say no to requests to go to China Garden when Kevin is not around to stop you?), I made one other major stupid decision.

On Sunday afternoon and evening, the snow was melting like crazy and then it rained Sunday night. I had parked the Honda under our porch roof so that I wouldn't have to scrape windows, but the back of the Honda hung out past the roof. This meant that all of the drippage ran down the side of the vehicle. Early in the morning Monday, it got REALLY cold and the wind picked up to the point that the noise of it howling made you want to stay in bed. I had driven on Sunday with my gas light on, and knew that I would have to get gas on Monday. On Monday morning, I stopped at the gas station in Mt. Pleasant, only to find that my cover was frozen shut (and every speck of the crack around the cover was full through with ice). I had to leave the gas station and go to work because I couldn't open it. Of course, I was then distracted and didn't remember about it until 10 minutes before I had to pick up the kids in Shepherd. Not wanting them to stand outside waiting in icy wind (Taylor doesn't wear socks these days), I frantically took a butter knife from work, and carved out the very thick ice that had filled in the crack all the way around the cover. It worked and I was able to get gas before I ran out, but I also carved away some paint on the inside of the cover.

Kevin came home that night, but I was too afraid to tell him. After worrying all day on Tuesday about it, he was in a terrible mood when I went to tell him, so I didn't. I again lost sleep on Tuesday night envisioning the fight that would happen when I finally showed him the damage. This morning (Wednesday), I finally decided that imagining the fight over and over again was actually worse than living through it, so I bit the bullet and showed him. His response?

"Well, it will eventually rust, but it's not that big a deal." Are you kidding me???!!! I was tormented by this for 2 days and he came through and was nice about it!
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Soakin up the Snow

We've just survived another big snowfall in Central Michigan. The snow fell slow but steady and the kids had 2 days off of school. As it began to taper down on Tuesday night, we decided to celebrate what looked like would be a second snow day!

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At the Cabin

Kevin's been in the U.P. at the cabin for over a week, and Walker and Ian were able to go up for an extended weekend. When they came back, the only pictures on Walker's camera included about 8 photos that look just like this, along with two pictures of deceased deer.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

New Building at CMU

Margaret and I had an early morning meeting with the head of technology for the new education building at CMU (former center quad of Washington Court apartments). In the middle of the meeting he asked us if we had been inside the new building yet. When we said no, he asked if we wanted to go!!! We were out of our seats in a flash. Our new preschool will be in this building so we've been doing a lot of work helping with the design and getting ready to go. The SD card on the camera I grabbed on the way out the door filled up after only about 8 pictures, so I didn't capture much, but here's what I did get... This is a small inner hall between two classrooms. On the left is the child bathroom area (it has only a 1/2 wall, so we're going to have to stock up on room freshener! On the right side is a small cubbie room that will be shared by the two rooms so that the children don't have to keep all of their personal items inside the classroom itself. This hall will stay open between the two classrooms so that the children can go back and forth.
This is inside one of the classrooms. I am standing by the south facing wall which is all windows. To the right, you can see where the observation booth will be (this has a two way mirrored window so that college students can watch the children in the room). In each room, the curved wall that has the mirrored window will be made out of wood found in Michigan (ie. one will be Maple, one Pine, etc.). If you could look through Margaret's yellow hard hat, you would see the door that leads out into the main preschool hall.

This just might be best feature of each classroom. The entire south facing wall of each classroom is floor to ceiling window, with a glass door that will lead out to the playground. This is a green building (the roof over the classrooms will also have greenery growing on it), so they angled the roof in such a way that full sun enters the room in the winter, and minimal direct sun enters in the summer. We may never have to turn on the lights!

Another shot in the classroom along the edge of the window wall that will be made of wood.

Here is a closer shot of the door that leads from each classroom out into the main preschool hallway. Now I can't wait to get back there with a camera that is not already full of pictures! It was fun to finally walk into the building and know what each space was because I had poured over the plans so many times. I was able to walk through each of the 4 classrooms, the storage area and studio, the indoor play room, eating area, kitchen, conference room, offices, reception space and entry area. Can you tell I'm excited!!!?? This is why I won't be able to make any committments during the month of July. CMU has already made it clear that we will be moving then, and have to be ready at the drop of a hat if the schedule changes. It may be a long summer, but I'm hopeful that it will be worth it!