Saturday, January 30, 2016

River House Chili Contest and Tasting!

Saturday, 01/30/2016 - Ford and I both made chili for the annual River House challenge. Ford made his very warm, lots of heat where mine was more traditional with hamburger and mild heat (it was too mild at first, so added more pepper flakes and chili powder). In the end, neither of us won (make note to bring lots of friends, tell them which number is your chili and have them vote for you whether they think it is the best or not - {smile}). Since we didn't tell anyone which one was ours, I was pleased when Manager Kelly said I was fourth in the voting. Not bad!

We enjoyed tasting and voting! We each voted for "free" (entry fee took care of it) so only paid the $5.00 fee for AA. Great dinner with 12 chili's to taste.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Daddy - Daughter Golfing Moment

From Facebook, Ford wrote:
We've been working our way towards this day and yesterday (the 26th) you took the final step only you could make. Congratulations Alyzabeth. I drove the cart and only watched as you "coached" your game start to finish. Bittersweet. Very proud. I know you're prepared and ready to do this. I hope I am. Love you. Dad...

Over the next two years, Alyzabeth will be playing double the yardage she is playing now, moving to 18 holes and will be able to choose to play without a caddie. She is proud of her accomplishment. We are proud of her taking charge and knowing her strengths and weaknesses, coaching herself.  We love you AA!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Original "Rumor Queen" Posts About our 10-Year LID-versary!

David Curewitz was a part of our daily life during the adoption "wait". He predicted (the "estimator") how many days would receive their referral each month from China and we hung by his every word; he was doing this before Rumor Queen began. His LID was one day before ours - his 01/26/06; ours was 01/27/06. And we were both referred during the same month together, August 2008. What is amazing, we have not posted about our LID anniversary since 2008, which was still during the wait! We always make a big deal about our referral day and "gottcha" day (Forever Family Day), but not our LID date which was so IMPORTANT! It was the day that China acknowledged that we were in the official line to adopt. Thank you David for reminding us of those days when each day passing seemed like an eternity!
From Facebook:
So, I spent the entire day yesterday wondering why the date seemed so important, but I had no clue what it was and it wasn’t until I came in today that I recalled. So, here it is.
Ten years ago (yesterday) was the day that a pile of our paperwork (and all of our hopes and dreams) was officially “Logged In” by the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs, the official government agency that handles international adoption in China. Furthermore, it forever cemented our “place in the line” before we would be matched with a child. It was supposed to be a six-month wait, but it turned out to be five times that length. Every month, we would hear how many (or few) days they have processed and for two and a half years, we seemed to be getting simultaneously closer and further from our daughter. That date “1/26/06” was the center of our world. If we were logged in a day sooner or two days later, we would have a different daughter and “our Wren” would have a different set of parents.
A lot has happened since that date, but we wouldn’t be the family we are now, were it not for that critical date ten years (and one day) ago.
So Happy 10-year LID-anniversary to all who shared the journey with me.

Retirees Meeting at the River House 01/26/16

Even though we gathered together due to a change in our pension benefit, we did get reacquainted and enjoyed the social aspect. Kevin Tyler explained the change in the calculation for the SJRPP pension benefit and we all had a chance to ask questions and develop a plan moving forward.
Kevin, Art Wallace, Tom Scarbrough, Mark Wright and John Reid:

 The "gang" without Pat Whitaker, Debbie Hester and myself:
A couple group photos, didn't have one where you could see Linda Reid in the very back/middle!
Jim Jackson and Art Wallace:
Bobby Recker, Jim Jackson, Bob Gher and Kevin:
And Art allowed our daughter to climb on his motorcycle - she will love it when we actually let her ride on her Daddy's bike!

Maybe SJRPP retirees will get together again when there is good news!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Football Sunday (and Indoor Fun)

We have had really COLD days recently and AA started having a runny nose yesterday so today was declared a quiet indoor day. We still did strengthening exercises but took it easy with reading and watching a movie before the two final football games began (next will be the Super Bowl). We got a little cabin fever so AA and I bundled up and took a bike ride around the block; then we used a balloon to play indoor badminton! We didn't break anything either! 
Here's to Nana Ann of the North and AA (wearing her Patriot shirt from Aunti M Cobb) practicing her swing!

We both got very good at bouncing the balloon and smashing it at each other - so hard we thought for sure it would break!
A few warmer days are expected, then back to our chilly NE Florida winters!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekend "Grand" Fun!

We began our weekend with Grands Dylan and Alivia; nothing special planned just some play time together. Before bedtime:

Good Morning: Dylan playing the Wii during breakfast:
We stayed inside, the high today was 39, except for a quick trip to the store Michael's for yarn and a few Valentine's things that the girls picked out. I re-learned how to make yarn pom-poms with Dylan's help (and Martha Stewart).
They came, they stayed, they played and then they left!
It is really cold outside! Low 30's for the morning!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Cold Weather has Set In!

This past Sunday was fun with Aunt Carolyn, seeing the 3D Star Wars movie with her and dinner at the Caddy Shack! The COLD weather has been hanging around for a week now..... Lows in the high 20's and low 30's! Even though this is normal NE Florida weather, it still hits us hard! We bring in plants and open hose bibs to drip at night. Some days it is just too cold in the afternoon with the wind chill factor for AA to play golf; she has played some since her eye surgery but not much. Ford has caught the flu/cold already and it usually runs to each of us, but so far it hasn't. Otherwise, the good news is the sun is out!
Our indoor time is spent playing with AA's toys, reading, cooking, Wii-U video games and now starting a new puzzle from Aunt-T and Uncle George - so we are hanging out in our sun-room:  

AA said that maybe a 100 piece puzzle would be more our speed!! This 1000 piece puzzle has so many cereal box covers that look the same! Hope we get it finished before springtime!
With one more weekend without a golf tournament, this Friday, we plan to pick up Dylan and Alivia for a one-night-sleep-over. Fun for all!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

January Mid-Month 2016

A few fun things to report: Our Halloween pumpkins survived remarkably well this year; we believe because we kept them out of the sun and on the cooler concrete floor of our screen porch. I have never known pumpkins to not rot instantly in our Florida heat and humidity! So I kept telling AA, we will smash them soon, before they rot. We saw the first sign of my pumpkin rotting so said it was time. I dropped mine to smash and it was black inside! AA tried hitting her's with a hammer, but it literally bounced around. Finally, broke through the shell and had her smashing party.

Glad she didn't hit her leg the way she was swinging at the pumpkin!
Nothing new to report on AA's eyes; they seem to be healing just fine. We have a few more days to protect them, then back to normal!!
We have begun the design and remodeling of our 1982 kitchen. The "over the oven range" microwave was delivered this week, all other appliances will be here on March 2nd. Then the mess begins! New cabinets, counter tops and lighting. Can't wait! Our old refrigerator will be moved to the garage and hopefully a few old cabinets hung in the garage (will be asking son and son-in-law for help!).
Ford rode his motorcycle on Friday (yesterday - 70 degrees) and again today (64 degrees) when we drove to Justin's home (to deliver the quilt his Nana Joy made). We had rain over the past few days and although the sun came out during the ride to Palatka, it began raining just as he arrived home. No golf practicing for AA today!
These two are goofy all the time:
Last photo is at Justin's with Charles, both looking over the bike. We got a laugh over trying to figure out where the black marks were coming from on the exhaust pipe, until Charles looked at Ford's melted boot sole!! Ford needs to move his foot position or wrap the pipe in fiberglass (per Charles). I also picked a bag full of Justin's grapefruit - his fruit tree has an abundance each year.
We were hoping to have the Grands (Livi and Dylan) over night but they had other plans; this was an unusual "free" weekend as we withdrew AA from a two-day regional golf tournament.
Once we knew that AA would not be playing golf, we planned a special Sunday afternoon with Aunt Carolyn on her day off from work. So we will be seeing the Star Wars movie again tomorrow (1st time for Carolyn) and dinner with Aunt Carolyn!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Missing Golf Competition and Friends - Two Weeks Recovery Time

Last year, we were in Innisbrook, FL at the U.S. Kids Golf "Copperhead Classic". It was AA's first time and she placed third {here's the story from January 2015}. 
This year, we decided to sign her up, as the Doctor originally said she would be up and "normal" a couple of days after the surgery (01/07/16). Once we understood her eye surgery at her pre-op appointment on 12/30/15 and recovery time, we requested and was granted a withdrawal. 
Now, AA said she would like to go but understood why we chose to wait another week for her eyes to heal. There are only a few restrictions and one is getting in situations where sand can get in her eyes. It would be sad to play in the tournament and if she landed in a bunker/sand trap have to decide to risk the sand issue. So we will wait until the NFJG Tournament on January 31st to resume competition. We will be at the U.S. Kids Regional at Jekyll Island in March. From the email sent out for this year's Copperhead Classic, the winners from the 8-year old age group:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Weekend January 09/10

Catching up on our past few days. We have been quiet since AA's surgery. Aunti M sent AA some Christmas gifts and a get well package, plus Aunt Carolyn visited and brought AA some ice cream and a hyacinth flowering plant. We had another design appointment for the kitchen remodel. We still have to figure out how to expand the downstairs bathroom (or relocate it in the garage $$$$$$$$).
Kitchen samples for the lower light gray cabinets, white upper cabinets, frosted glass tiles for the back splash and a quartz white/gray counter top. 

Gifts to AA from Aunti M - art coloring book, crayons and journal:
AA playing her new WiiU games:
{you can see the red in the outer corner of her eye}
Hyacinth from Aunt Carolyn:
I made a Martha Stewart ginger bread recipe (calls to make three loaves) - made two loaves and 12 muffin/cupcakes. It is a good flavor and very light, fluffy batter. Not heavy like gingerbread cookies.
Ice cream in our freezer, the vanilla from Carolyn....... (we almost never have in the house, but anything for our darling daughter!):
Gifts from Aunti M:
A good weekend once we got past the first two days after the eye surgery!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

New Bike for Mom! Sunday Ride

Ford has been searching Craig's list for a bike for me (he still needs one) and found one! He bid on it and negotiated a price before I even saw it. A sweet Panama Jack bike (2014 model), pale yellow and blue, with a few extras on it - bottle/drink holder, small storage pouch, fender rack and a bottle opener (yep!!).

Sunday morning was warm enough for a quick inaugural ride in the neighborhood (tomorrow will be in the 30's!!). We did transport them to the Fleming Island/Black Creek bike path and rode for over 20 minutes to get AA back into normal activities.
Nice bikes, both from local Craig's List!
We also went to Eagle Harbor Golf Course for a basic practice. AA did putting and chipping on grass (no sand). Then to Talons for a glass of wine, nachos and watching the NFL playoff games. 
Back at home, bath time and a relaxing evening - reading, more football and Downton Abbey!