Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas at Grand Harbor

 Grand Harbor Resort in Dubuque was where we had our Christmas this year.  The kids kept busy with the waterpark, the arcade, and the adults had Diamond Jo's right across the street.  Sweet!
 Dane is swimming in the lazy river
 Reagan taking time out to pose for a picture
 Drew was tired, but I think he got his second wind after supper!
 Jenna loved the water!
 Brett and Reagan liked the waterslide and went down it together several times
 Everyone has a little bit of  "kid" in him - regardless of age!
 Cari enjoyed the lazy river, but got a little dizzy and queezy after awhile -
 One of the highlights was a huge bucket that filled with water and then dumped every so many minutes.  Everyone got soaked that was in the path!

 Some even stood and waited for it - Brett is on the far right of the picture.  He stood there quite awhile waiting for the "dump."
 Love my Aunt Cari -
Time to take care of business - opening the presents - Brian is helping Jenna with opening her gifts.
 Now we need Uncle Brian to figure out all the directions!
 And we need Uncle Curt's pocket knife to get all the straps and tape from the packages
 Brett and Drew checking out the ipads - and Dane in the background doing the same
 The snowmobile sled was a big gift going to a little boy - he will have lots of fun sledding when he gets back to Waterloo.
 Lucky Rachel!  She chose the grab bag gift with "the brain" in it.  This gift is passed around each year - and some lucky adult choses it from the white elephant grab bag.  Somehow it always ends up in my packages, though, to take home and regift next year!
 The kids also had a white elephant exchange.  Dane ended up with an orange wig and huge glasses.  It couldn't have gone to a better person because we all love to hear him get the giggles - and he did!
Wow!  What a weekend - so says Rachel.  We did have fun.  It was relaxing, kids were great, lots of things to keep everyone busy - and we all got plenty of sleep - right?  For sure Brian, Jenna and Stacy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - 2013!

Happy First Birthday!

Stacy outdid herself in decorating Jenna's first birthday cake.  Very nice job!
 Jenna was eating when guests arrived.  She was all dressed in pink with her Happy Birthday shirt on!
 Lots of presents in the past few days and another Christmas to go!  Life is good!
 Dad is showing Jenna how to blow out the candle.  She did catch on to blowing but not enough air to extinguish the flame!
 Jenna also had her own cake to mess in - but she didn't like getting her hands dirty.  Her brothers helped her push her hand into the cake.
 Not sure she liked that!
 Jenna got a handprint kit for Christmas so Brett thought this would be a great time to do it.  Stacy got the stuff all mixed up and we got Jenna ready.
 Didn't work so good!  Her hands were a mess!  I am sure she thinks these adults are silly sometimes! Kids get in trouble for making messes - and then look at the mess Mom makes!
Not to admit failure, Brett has to prove to us that this will work!  Stacy finally took the whole kit and threw it in the garbage.  So much for that Christmas present!

Jenna's First Christmas

 Don't you wonder what they are thinking when all of a sudden a tree shows up inside the house?!  And it is filled with decorations and all they hear is "no-no" and "don't touch"!  What else would they be there for?  And then a few weeks later they wake up from a nap and its gone!!

 Jenna was all dressed up for Christmas because the Journal-Herald wanted her picture!  It turned out really cute!
 Well, at least Grandma lets me play with all the Christmas decorations!!  Hers don't break!
 Jenna got a four-wheeler from Grandma Cathy.  She figured out how to run it right away.
It must need a little more speed because pushing it seems to be the way to go!
Jenna's favorite was the dancing snowmen singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  She would push the button and start to dance - so cute!

Retired School Marms

As teachers we have planned and supervised many a field trip.  Now that we are retired we are planning our own "field trips" and it is amazing how many things we find to do locally that we have not seen before.  In December Candace organized a get-together to the Allee Mansion near Newell.  We toured the beautiful home and had a delicious dinner fixed and served by board members of the historical society.
 Attending were Marilyn Olivari, Diane Wintz, Nora Birt, Connie Vogel, Carol Ford, Candace Booth, Diane Lenertz, and me (Cathy Charleston)
 Our host and hostess for the tour even dressed the part.  They were very informative about the history of the mansion and the people that lived in it.  We had to finish the tour after dinner because of the wealth of information.

 Some pictures of the rooms within the mansion - it was very festively decorated for the season.
 The upper part of this stove with the pie in it, is often mistaken for a "Microwave" when children tour the mansion.   They cannot imagine life without one!  (Nor could I!)
 The formal dining area is where we had our dinner.  Children are not allowed in this area to eat until they are adult children, or married.
 The ceilings were all beautifully papered to respresent the original work.
No, its not a canoe - its the bathtub - pulled down from the wall, and water had to be heated on the stove downstairs and then carried up to the bedroom. Quite an effort to take a bath. Below, Diane and Nora have to try out the old pump organ.  They serenaded us with some Christmas songs