Sunday, December 28, 2008

Emmerichs' Annual Christmas Open House

Emmerichs' Annual Christmas Open House

Christmas Fireplace Decorations -(Without Flash)

Christmas Fireplace Decorations - (With Flash) - I couldn't decide which to use so I will show you both. Lots of decorating all around the house. I am usually ready to take it down, but I will be sad to see it go. I really like it this year.

Christmas Day is here!
What a day! So many good friends and family to enjoy the holiday with. The day began with Jenn, Heather, Morgan, Aubree, Lorin and I opening our gifts to each other and having breakfast - Egg Bake and Holiday French Toast Bake (already too much to eat).
Aubree decided to try Nana's Santa Hat - I just love this picture of her.

Aubree opening one of her gifts - Nana and Papa got her the Hannah Montanna bed set. - She has Hannah Montanna PJ's on, got a Hannah Montanna guitar from Santa - Do you see a theme this year? Reminds me of when the girls got tons of New Kids on the Block stuff. I think some of that is still floating around here. (I remember the year Lorin borrowed it from the girls for hunting season and took it all out to the hunting shack - sleeping bag and all - but that is another story for another day.)

Here she is opening another gift - I wonder what it is?

It took her forever to open this and I don't think she guessed what it was until it was opened. Her new pool cue. I think by the time she is 10 she will be the next little pool shark. Watch out boys!

I am soooo glad we cut back on the number of gifts we all gave this year. Can you tell. We certainly had a big enough mess when done opening.

The day moved into the Open House. Lots of friends, family, food, good cheer and old stories. I think by the time the day is over, my cheeks hurt from laughing. How special it is. - Several years ago we began our Christmas Open House. Family, friends and anyone who has nowhere to go on Christmas Day is welcome. You never know who might show up. Always a nice surprise to see the people who join us in our celebration.This year we again had a visit from Santa. We are so fortunate he has time to stop at our home. All the kids here must have been extra good again this year. Santa got lots of hugs. Here Aubree is giving Santa a hug. Olivia even brought cookies from home to give to Santa.

Lots of kids sat on Santa's lap. (Kylee)

Even some of the "Big Kids" sat on Santa's lap.
A group shot with some of the kids. Tough to get all of them in there at one time. I think there were about 20 kids here all under the age of 6.

Here is Kylee, Aubree and Olivia - Lily on Casey's lap. The girls had lots of fun that day. Aubree says they are her best friends.

Lucas and Jackie getting ready to head out into the cold again. Aren't the ears cute?

Chloe and Kallie having a conversation.

Some of the boys.

Another group shot.Cookies hiding in the cabinet. I wonder who did that - Lorin? He loves his mom's Sally Anns. He said his mom put them in there for him. Do we believe him?

What a fabulous day to spend with the people who mean so much to all of us. For those who could not share the day with us - we missed you and our thoughts were with you through the day. God Bless you all and thank you for sharing this very special holiday with us.

Here is Annie after the festivities. She looks kind of like how I felt when the day was done - pooped.

My Car is "Busted"

The conversation went something like this.
Jenn - "Mom, I am sitting at an intersection and my car won't work".

Me - What do you mean it won't work?

Jenn - I stopped at the stop light and it shut off and it won't start again.

Me - What does it do?

Jenn - I turn the key and nothing. I need help.

Me - Jenn, you are in Minneapolis and I am in Medford, I can't come and get you.

Jenn - What should I do?

Me - Put your flashers on and walk to a service station. (There was one across the street.)

Long story short - Her car is "busted". It needed a new engine. Cost to fix in Minneapolis - $3,400 - Cost to fix in Medford (Randy Hamm) - $1,500 - No brainer - Go get the car.

Of course when you plan to do something like this it always is an event. The trip was the Saturday before Christmas and I don't know if you remember the weather that day, but it was nasty. Lots of snow, wind, icy roads, yuck! Lorin and I borrowed a trailer from a friend and made the trip to pick up the car. Lots of cars in the ditch - probably close to a hundred. Some areas had several in a short stretch. Fortunately, our trip went well - slow but we made it home fine. Randy has now fixed her car and she was on her way back home today with it. Thank God for small town mechanics.
Here is a picture of Lorin chaining the car to the trailer. It looks like the car is eating him (or maybe he is coming out of the other end?)

Another angle.

It was "girls weekend" by Jenn's so Heather and Jenn's friend Michelle were there to help with the "mission". (Annie is in the blanket - She was freezing.) Notice all the snow on their heads.

Jenn and me - Her arm isn't long enough.

Nothing better to do while dad works so lets dress up the dog.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wine - Wine - Wine

Just a note for all you wine drinkers - I have the Christmas batch in the carboy. I'm on the final step so it should be done in about two weeks. Blackberry Cabernet (same as last Christmas)

See you all for the holidays!

My New Table

I haven't posted in a few days and couldn't think of something to write about. Then, as I sat by the dining room table waiting for Annie to get "finished" I thought - My new table. Here is how the story started - Last year around the beginning of November, I said to Lorin, "We should build a new table for the dining room" The one we had was round and I love the table, but the room is so big, it kind of got lost. So as I explained to him how we were going to do this with the old butcher block top we tore out of the kitchen when we moved here. (I wanted a big old tressel table.) He asked - "We don't need to get this done for Thanksgiving do we." and in one of my more patient moments when it comes to a project I said - "No, we can wait till after Thanksgiving." Well it is now a year later and the table was never started so when I brought it up to Lorin about building a new table, his first question was - "We don't need to do that before Thanksgiving do we?" My response was a little different this time. I reminded him of the conversation we had a year ago and thefore, Yes, it does need to be done before Thanksgiving - This Year. We spent a day in the garage cutting, sanding, etc. and then realized that if we put the table together we will never be able to lift it. So, we took it into the house piece by piece to assemble. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought through the whole process (don't tell Lorin that part). In order to put the table together in the dining room we had to move the old table which was way heavier than I expected. I then decided I didn't want the rug that was under the table in the dining room anymore but rather in the living room. Sooooo - we then had to move the living room furniture - Oh no, haven't vacuumed under there in a while. Get the vacuum, search through all the legos, loose change, etc. Pick up stuff and put that away. Back to vacuuming. Put the furniture back. Back to the dining room, we moved the rug, dust under there too. Get the broom, sweep, clean, etc. (All this time the Packers were on and Lorin was keeping up on the game.) I then thought - I have that other rug downstairs, I wonder how that would look under the new table.

Me - "Lorin, come help me carry up that rug from downstairs"

Lorin - "What rug?"

Me - "The one in the family room. I will show you."

Lorin - "What are you going to do with that?"

Me - "Put it under the dining room table."

Lorin - "We just moved a rug from under the table."

Me -" I know - I want to try the other one."

Lorin - "Whatever"

We go down to get the rug......

Me - "I don't like that rug. Can you take it back down in the family room?"

Back to the table. Assembly - Build the legs, attach supports to the legs, etc. Well its time to put the butcher block on the top.

Me - "There is no way I can lift that."

Lorin - "Call Morgan"

Wait till Heather, Morgan and Aubree get here.... Thank God for Morgan. We assemble the rest of the table. Attach some new boards to the ends of the table (the butcher block wasn't quite long enough) and finish the assembly. Done for the night. The next night Lorin comes home from work and I wasn't home yet. He walked past the table and noticed there were scratches, nics, etc on the top. His first thought was - How did I do that. Julee is going to be ticked. Then as he looked at the table he noticed there were scratches and dings all over. I told him later, I wanted a new OLD table. I don't think he understands why I beat up a brand new table. Anyway, I had Thanksgiving at our house and the table was great. Here is a picture of how it turned out. I just need two more chairs - one for each end. I want something either covered in fabric or possibly some big old wood ones. I will have to watch the garage sales in spring.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let's Give Annie a Bath

As many of you know, Annie is about the most spoiled dog around. So typically she goes to the groomer every three weeks. (It's not easy looking beautiful.) A few months ago, Annie's groomer moved to Eau Claire, so now I go to Eau Claire to get Annie groomed (spoiled dog). Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I really don't have time to run to Eau Claire before then so I decided to give it a try. Aubree was spending the day at Nanas and thought giving Annie a bath sounded like fun. Of course, Aubree and I also got a bath at the same time. You wouldn't think that a four pound dog could make such a mess. I have whole new appreciation for Jill (Annie's Groomer). Here are some photos of the experience.

Here she is right after her bath. A face only a mother could love.

Our bathroom after Annie's bath. Aubree had already started "cleaning" for Nana. I think we actually threw another whole dog in the garbage.

Here is Annie when we were finished. Back to being a princess.

Aubree was helping Nana clean. It took about two hours to give Annie a bath, dry her and clip her hair. It took another hour to clean up the mess in the bathroom. I love my Groomer. Notice Aubrees outfit. As I mentioned, she and I got a bath when giving Annie her bath so she "borrowed a shirt from Papa." She said it fits perfect. Aubree loves the Swiffer Sweep and Vac. She told me several times that I was the best (because I got a vacuum just for her) - She was so excited to use "her" vacuum. Sometimes the smallest of things make them so happy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9, 2008
OK - I'm going to take a stab at this. In the past whenever I thought about creating a blog, I always had an excuse - building a house, selling a house, building a house, selling a house, remodeling a house.... - you get the picture. We are now staying put in the home we are in and I should have some extra time. I know that you have all heard that before, but this time I feel like I am home. We love our home and all that we have done to it. The good thing is that we probably have another 10 years of remodeling to do here so we should never get bored. Also, my appraising business is going well, although lately there have been so few orders, it is kind of strange. I hope this economy turns around soon.. I don't really know what to do with all my free time. Luckily I have a few weddings coming up in 2009 that I am planning and/or decorating so they will also keep me busy. The extra time has also given me the time to spend with Aubree. We try to have NaNa/Aubree days from time to time. She is in preschool (or as she calls it - pretty school) Monday through Thursday so not as many days to pick from. She had off a few days ago and we spent the day together. It started out as a normal day - Aubree has requirements that I stay in bed until she gets here so she can watch cartoons and snuggle with NaNa when she gets here. (That part is so difficult to do.) Finally when we got up we had to make coffee, which Aubree likes almost as much as NaNa. We then ran errands and spent a few hours at the park. I am sure I looked quite comical going down that spiral slide. My feet kept getting stuck on the curves. Part of our time at the park includes feeding the ducks and geese at the Mill Pond. Aubree loves to do this and can't wait to get there. She is always looking for the "Chubby White Duck". There is only one white one and it tends to be a little more agressive when going for the food (consequently you have a chubby white duck). Can't wait till the next NaNa/Aubree Day. Who knows what will be in store for that day.

Halloween 2008

What a day. Aubree couldn't decide if she wanted to be Aerial or a vampire - what a difference. I think she just liked the pretty dress. Here she is posing for us.