Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 20 - December 27, 2015

Right after I posted last week's update I realized I did not include that Logan and Haleigh came by Saturday morning so they could open their presents from us before they left to spend Christmas with their dads.  Last year and this year Logan asked for money since a lot of "stuff" he wants is a little more than this Nana and Papa can spend.  I hate just giving him money.  He had mentioned he would like to have a trash can for his room, so I found a $1 trash can at the Dollar Store.  I wadded up 50 $1 bills along with thousands of dollars worth of play money in the trash can.  He had to search for his present, and believe it or not, he found every last one of those $ bills.  Haleigh has looked and looked for the classic Converse hightop sneakers in black and white but they the price was too high so she had not purchased any.  I was able to order these on sale online through Khol's and they were within Santa Clause Peine's price range.  She was quite happy to get her "Chucks".

This Sunday morning started early as Dean and I had to be at the Community Center to set up tables and chairs for our "Blackledge" Christmas.  Crystal and Lonie helped us get that done and then I got my rolls ready and left them to raise so I didn't have to bring them back in the cold weather later.

When we were kids we always had our Christmas Eve at my dad's parents house (thus the Blackledge Christmas name).  A few years ago we decided to forgo Christmas Eve and begin holding it the Sunday before Christmas at 1:00 pm.  With some of our kids moving away, making for late night trips back home and some working on Saturday's this is the only way we had a chance of getting most of them here.  It has worked pretty good.  I miss those Christmas Eve gatherings though.  There is just something special about it being "The Night Before Christmas".  Old traditions die hard!

We had a great turnout for dinner.  Most of our families were able to attend.  Now that both of our parents have passed we have included my mom's sister Betty and her daughter Barbara, as well as our step-dad Larry and his wife Verna.

I think everyone enjoyed themselves and all of the little cousins had a good time visiting together as well.  It's fun to watch the kids playing and enjoying their time with their cousins.  It's one of the things I enjoyed most about holidays - getting to spend time with some of my very best friends growing up - my cousins.  I loved all of my cousins on every side of our family and always looked forward to seeing them!  I hope our kids feel the same way.

Monday and Tuesday was spent preparing for Matt, Megan and Josh's arrival.  Their flight landed in Wichita on Saturday afternoon and they are staying with Jarred and Andrea until we pick them up on Wednesday, when we will bring them back here until the 28th.  Matt loves chicken and noodles so I made noodles one evening and froze them for later in the week.  I also made lists of what food needed to be cooked and what time everything needed to be put in the oven on the 25th and 26th as many of the kids and grandkids would be coming and going.  Having a detailed list helps free me up to spend as much time with them as possible and not be such a nervous nellie worrying about everything.  We had our big meal with the chicken and noodles and fixings Christmas Day at 2 and only Heath & Marc's families were unable to be here for that.  We played a really fun game - each person wrote down two different phrases.  There were two players at a time, each setting in chairs facing each other.  One person wears headphones with music playing and also holding the headphones close to their ear so they cannot hear what the other person is saying.  The person with the headphones has to try and read the other person's lips as they say the words of the phrase they picked.  We laughed and laughed.  I think there was one person who got the entire answer right and a few got parts of the phrase.  Some never even got close.   Later in the evening Matt, Jarred and Dean went to Parsons to see Star Wars.  Andrea, Megan, Misti, Chuck and I visited here at the house.

Jarred, Andrea and Emerson stayed over on Christmas night, along with Matt and his family.  Everyone else will be here at 9 the Saturday morning.  We had a breakfast casserole (thanks Marc & Jen), with blueberry muffins and juice for breakfast. They must have been famished because there was hardly a bite left.  Of course the grandkids were anxious to open presents so at about 10 or so we all gathered in the living room for the moment they all look forward to.  I have to say none of them really asked about opening them but you could tell by their actions and peeking at the packages they were anxious to dig in.  They were all so well behaved and I was very proud of each of them.  They are growing up into wonderful young people.

Had to share this picture.  Notice the two youngest boys, one laying flat on the floor and the other with his feet in the air.  Do you think they were bored while everyone else opened presents?  Jaxson is in the green (Marc & Jen's son) and Joshua has the red & white top on (Matt & Megan's son).

The first year or so after Dean and I got married we made a new rule for our family at Christmas. I noticed that once we handed out presents on Christmas morning when our kids were all still at home that the presents were open within 10-15 minutes.  It made the time we spent picking them out and wrapping them seem so futile.  We wanted to have the pleasure of watching each child open every gift, so we now start with the youngest and watch each person open their gift for all to see.  I like this for not only the reason stated but also because it gives the opportunity to make sure they know who the gift came from and for them to thank the giver.  When everyone goes at once this often gets overlooked.  Since the adult children draw names between each other and all of the grandchildren draw names between each other there are gifts besides those from "Nana and Papa".  It does take a while with our bunch and as usual about an hour and a half after all presents were opened, boxes and paper picked up and carried out, it was time to put a few things in the oven before we had lunch.  It kept everyone busy.  It's a special thing that I truly enjoy and I hope the rest of the family does as well.

After lunch of ham and several dips (corn dip, spinach & artichoke, and sausage/cheese) and chips, the older kids played a game at the kitchen table, while the adults played a game in the living room.  The toddlers and our baby granddaughter played in the living room where we could keep an eye on them.  Most of the adults played a couple of games of Catch Phrase which we always seem to get out when we are all together.

As a grandma and grandpa we were very pleased to see the grandkids so happy with the gifts they received.  It made all the preparation worth it to see their smiles!

Sunday was spent watching the Chiefs beat the Browns as the weather in the midwest started building into a pretty nasty winter storm.  Fortunatelly for us here in Oswego it wasn't too bad, while we had quite a bit of rain, there was no damage.  Our neighbors to the east in Missouri did not fare so well, as well as many to the south in Oklahoma and Texas.  Our prayers go out to them as they deal with the devastation of flooding and tornadoes.

Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family but most importantly it is the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, who as an adult died to save us from our sins.  A more wonderful gift could not be given to the children of God.

Our hope is that you and yours had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 13 - Saturday, December 19, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Kamron woke up this morning ready to go home.  She is a "family" girl and she misses them when she is gone.  We headed to Parsons about 10:00 to take her home.  I took advantage of the trip to take a few things to Marc he wanted - again making more open room in the spare bedrooms.  These were the last things I needed to remove so it was a great relief to have that job done.

We visited with Marc and I played with Jaxson a little before heading back home.  We had time to have a bit to eat before I headed to my sister Cindy's.  It's her turn to host the sis' today.  My niece Amy came with her mom today.  It was great to see her and catch up.

I texted Matt to see if he and Megan would have time to Skype with us this evening.  He told me he was studying for finals so it would depend on how much he could get done.  An hour or two later he sent a text saying he could Skype now, but Megan and Josh were both asleep.  The whole point in Skyping was to talk with Josh.  Matt & Megan announced they are expecting their second child, due in July.  Megan has been really nauseous all day every day.  I would appreciate prayers for her that she will be able to travel with little or no discomfort over Christmas.  They will be flying from Buffalo, NY.  She tends to be airsick so it could be a very difficult flight with a 2 year old.  They do try to fly in the evenings so Josh sleeps most of the time.

I emailed my first newsletter for Ozark Chapter 17 SKP's.  It was fun putting it together.  Only had one email come back saying it was undeliverable.  It felt good to get that done before heading into next week that will be spent on last minute Christmas preparations, food, cleaning, attending grandkid's Christmas concerts and more ballgames.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Our grandson Jaxson came to stay for a couple of days.  I really like that now he is excited about coming to Nana and Papa's.  For a long time he cried when mom would leave him, but he's getting old enough now he is enjoying it.  We had another fun day of hide and seek, TinkerToys, playing a few games on the computer and watching a few recorded shows of his favorite cartoon - Blaze.  I laid down with him this evening, and finally after rubbing his back for about 20 minutes he fell asleep.

I made a big pot of ham and beans today, adding some fried potatoes and cornbread this evening.  What a meal!  It's probably my favorite meal!

Tuesday Dec 15 to Saturday Dec 19

Tonight is Dacy & Tucker's Christmas program in Columbus, and Kamron's Christmas program in Parsons.  Dean will head to Columbus.  I am keeping Jaxson all day and will just take him with me when I go to Kamron's program.  Following her program I joined Marc, Jennifer, the kids and Jen's mom Lou for dinner at El Pueblito in Parsons.  It was really good and we had a nice visit.  Once home Dean and I discussed how great the programs were and how much we enjoy getting to see the kids participate.

Wednesday I went to my weekly Bible study which I always enjoy.  It's a small group and I love that. I have lists of things to get done before Christmas so I worked on getting many of those done this afternoon.  Tomorrow Cindy and I are headed to Joplin to finish up just a few things for Christmas gifts for grandkids and I'll be finished with all of that.  I was all over Joplin looking for the game "Pie in the Face" for one of the grandkids with no luck!  I sure hope I can order it online!  Thursday evening after getting back from Joplin, I had a bit of a rest before we headed to Logan and Haleigh's Christmas program here in Oswego.  As with the other two programs Dean and I attended on Tuesday, we enjoyed theirs as well.  Friday morning we had our routine breakfast out at Tina's here in Oswego.  Dean did a little favor for a family member of mine - or at least tried to.  They had a phone that wasn't working but as it was we decided it was the phone itself that was the problem and he couldn't really help them out.  But it was nice to visit with Chester and Lorene and I dropped off my Angel gift to her while I was there.  Tonight Logan had a basketball game that we attended.

Saturday was spent cooking, cleaning and just getting as much done as possible before Matt and Megan arrive next week.  I managed to get all of the presents wrapped and under the tree along with a host of other things.  It's hard to believe Christmas is less than 1 week away.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 6 - Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I'm an early morning person.  I love being up around 5am while it's quiet so I can drink my coffee in silence.  At this time of year I love turning the lights on the Christmas tree and just enjoying the quiet.  I downloaded an app to my phone of the Bible and have been reading sections of the scripture daily in hopes I will finally read the entire Bible in one year.  I have started in many times but I have not stayed committed but I am really enjoying it this time.  Maybe it's having that extra time in my life.

I also love that normally I can get all of my housework out of the way early in the day so I can focus on other things that I want to accomplish through the day.  Once my morning chores were completed I got ready for church.  I am hosting my sister's at my house today.  My Aunt Lillie (my mom's youngest sister) is in town and I'm hoping she will be coming by to visit as well.  Misti is also going to come over.  We had a great time and Aunt Lillie brought her youngest son Todd with her.  We had such a great time visiting.

Whoever hosts is supposed to provide refreshments.  I was a bit lazy but I did have homemade cookies (pumpkin with pecans) and I made flavored hot chocolate for those who wanted it.  My dad's mom made these pumpkin cookies every year at Christmas and they are still my favorite cookie as they remind me of all the times spent with her.

In just two more weeks our son Matt, his wife Megan and their son Josh will be here for about a week.  I've been working on getting our extra bedroom "cleaned" out to give them more room.  With a little one they need all of the extra space we can provide.  I've been cleaning out space in the closet for hanging clothes and we bought a dresser for them to use rather than live out of their suitcases.

Another great day!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Jaxson, our 3 year old grandson came to spend two days with us.  He is such a cute little guy and we have a good time together.  We played lots of hide and seek today.  He would just giggle when I was looking for him, just about to burst waiting for me to "find" him.  Then he would just laugh.  You can't help but just feel happy at moments like this.

I built lots of tall buildings from Lincoln Logs just so he could knock them down.  As soon as one came down it was, "Build another one Nana!".  He kept me busy all day.  No complaints though.

While Jaxson took his afternoon nap I made some pecan tarts to take to church tomorrow night.  They recently started a women's group and are calling it Second Tuesday.  Each lady will bring cookies, breads, muffins, candy, etc. and we will be putting together baskets for shut-in's from our church and to take to the Home Place, an assisted living center here in Oswego.

A fun day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Jaxson and I played more hide and seek today but we switched to Tinker Toys for playtime.  Our grandkids love the Tinker Toys.

We played alot today and I packed up things in the car to take to the church in Chetopa for their monthly garage sale.  It felt good to get all of those tubs and loose things out of the bedrooms. They are beginning to shape up now for our company!

I had my pecan pie muffins ready to go for our women's meeting tonight.  We are also supposed to take a snack item.  My snack was pretty simple, a package of cream cheese with jalapeno & bacon jelly poured over it along with a couple of types of crackers.

Once we all arrived and we were surveying all of the goodies we wondered how we would ever get everything on the small trays we had, but as usual God provides.  One of the ladies had purchased a large package of tinfoil pans from Sam's.  She ran home to get them and the trays sit down in them perfectly to hold all of the goodies just fine.  There were calendars, devotionals, notepads, lotions, etc. that were included along with all of the baked goods.  What a fun evening it was.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This morning is the weekly Bible Study I've been attending.  I look forward to this time with these ladies.  It's just a nice laid back time of visiting, sharing God's word, and enjoying each other's company.

Nothing else too interesting today.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dean and I got around early this morning and headed to Joplin to do a little Christmas shopping.  I think he wondered what he got himself into after the first hour or so.  We were able to get all of the "Christmas" items out of the way before lunch.

Our son Brett works in Joplin at MSSU.  We called him to see if he would be available for lunch and he was.  We arrived at his work but after driving around the parking area twice and not finding anyplace to park, we called him.  He said it was okay to park in one of the Staff/Faculty parking spots as many of them are already gone for the day or the semester.  I was hoping my car would not be towed away while we were gone.  We decided on HuHot for lunch.  I really like this place.  We had a really nice visit with Brett.  We had not been to his office before so it was nice seeing where he works.

We made one last stop at Wal-mart to get a few other gift items for some of the grandkids.  We almost have everything bought now.  I'll need to do one more trip next week but the worse is now over.

Friday, December 11, 2015

I could not believe how tired I was today.  I can remember the day when shopping all day long was nothing to me - I could out last all of my sisters, my daughter and nieces, but no more.  It was wonderful to be heading home by 2:30 yesterday.

My sister came over this afternoon to help me in hanging some shelving above our desk with family pictures.  I want this completed before our Christmas.  I spent the rest of the day downloading pictures I want to have printed off at Wal-green's for framing.

Logan had a JV game tonight against Chetopa.  Unfortunately Oswego lost, but we enjoyed being there and watching him play.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Today we are headed to Parsons to watch our granddaughter Kamron play basketball.  Our son, Marc coaches her team.  They played great and won the game.  Afterwards we went by their house to get Kamron some clothes as she will be going home with us for the evening.  This is the first time she has stayed with us since before we left on our trip in August so I am looking forward to spending time with her.

Haleigh, Misti's daughter came over later in the day and they helped me wrap Christmas presents.  I really appreciate them doing that for me.  Later we made our own pizzas - sausage, sausage and pepperoni, pepperoni & cheese and ranch dressing, chicken, bacon bits and cheese pizzas.  They were really good.

Afterwards we watched a couple of Christmas movies, and then Inside Out.  I don't know how Kamron made it through them without falling asleep.  I think I dozed off and on through all of them.

Sunday, November 29 to Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015 -

Since I retired I have been trying to purge extra stuff from our house, our files, our garage, etc.  I really hate "stuff" that has no purpose so I've slowly been removing it from our lives.  It is hard at times since sometimes the stuff seems like it might be meaningful to me but I am trying to figure out what is really important and what isn't.

This is at least my third, maybe fourth time trying to empty closets and drawers, storage containers and dressers of things we no longer need.  We moved from a 5 bedroom/3 bath house to a 3 bedroom/2 bath house.  That's not an extreme difference but we did have 2 dining areas and a large utility room whereas here we have a very small dining and utility area and little to no storage in comparison.  Needless to say we brought many things that I've tried to cram in a smaller space.

My cousin's wife Sherry works tirelessly for her church in Chetopa, KS.  They accept donations of clothes, furniture, household goods, decorations, etc.  When they have "sales", the proceeds go towards upgrades to their church or to help those less fortunate.  If someone should have a fire in their home, they allow them to come in and take what they need.  I started taking things to her over a year ago and I feel better about knowing someone might truly be able to use these things and it is going to a very good cause.

I also had several pieces of furniture that were family heirlooms and I have managed to find other relatives that wanted them and have given them a new home.  It makes me feel good knowing they have a place to go besides to someone who might not appreciate them as much as I have.

After church today I spent most of the day working on the Ozark Chapter 17 (OK, MO, AR, & KS) SKP Newsletter, mostly learning the program since it is not one that I'm entirely familiar with.  I sent emails and posted to the Chapter's Facebook page seeking information from Chapter members they might want to include in the newsletter.  I want to have it emailed and mailed by December 15.

Monday, November 30, 2015

I spent more time today going through closets, my cedar chest, storage rounding up more things to take to Chetopa.

I also had several "things" I wanted to do.  We added a hotspot to our phone last spring and we increased our data when we traveled this summer/fall.  I called to reduce the coverage in October but found I was better off making use of the remaining data rather than have them charge me half even though I had not used half of it.  So I decided to use it at every opportunity I had through Dec 2. Today I called Verizon to ask them to reduce it to 2 gigabytes of data at the end of this billing period, ending December 2.  It will save us some money over the winter.  Since we do not have any major trips planned for this year (over 10-12 days at a time) I am not sure we will increase it, and if we do it might just be a small amount.

It's amazing how much time it takes to make phone calls and take care of different situations.

Pretty mundane day today.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I met my dear friend and former co-worker Carol Eddington for lunch today at our local Mexican restaurant, Mi Pueblo.  We had a good visit and it was nice catching up on our kids and their families. We took a drive around Oswego before I dropped her off at City Hall.  I miss my staff but I don't miss being involved in all of the city business as I thought I might.  It was much easier for me to leave it behind than I ever dreamed.

This afternoon I finished taking some final items out of Bentley before we put him away for the winter.  I think I have everything and then discover another item - mostly things that I am afraid might freeze, or I remember some duplicate item such as spices, etc. I have.  Rather than let it set all winter I like to bring it in and use it.  I can always buy more in the spring.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This morning I attended a Bible Study with some other ladies.  It was a good time with some wonderful people.  One of the things that came up in last Sunday's sermon was how we should praise god and thank him even when things do not seem like we have anything to praise him or thank him for.  Throughout the week I feel God has continually put this same teaching before me as almost everyday it has come back to me through something a friend said to me, a devotional I read, another scripture I've read, etc.  While I know it seems hard to do at times, I do believe it helps to keep you focused on the love God has for us. I really enjoy attending this group get together.

I worked on a few things around the house.  Misti called me later to see if I would like to go to the Oswego Christmas Parade.  Dean didn't want to go, but I said I would go with her.  They are serving free chili so I got something ready for Dean to eat and we headed downtown at 5:30 when they start serving the chili.  Logan and Haleigh joined us.  Haleigh is riding the Diamond Coach bus with her Uncle Brady Bates.  Some of you who read this might remember I mentioned Diamond Coach when we visited the Biltmore Estate.  This is the company here in Oswego that makes the people movers.  Some of their movers are utilized at the Biltmore.

While eating our chili our pastor and his wife, Roger and Tish Daniels and their children came in.  They joined us at the table and we had a great time visiting with them.  We are fortunate to have such a great couple like Roger & Tish leading our church.

The parade was great.  It was one of the best I can remember here in Oswego.  My former city staff and other city crew members had a cute float of Charlie Brown characters.  I took a few pictures however they really do not do their float justice.  Very, very cute idea!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My "sideburns" are getting a little shaggy so I was able to squeeze into my hairdresser's for a little trim.  Marla is always very accommodating and I really appreciate her.

At 11, I reminded Dean of the Catholic Church Bazaar and Chili and Vegetable Soup Dinner at the Oswego Community Center.  We've not been able to attend for a few years due to conflicts.  This year we made it a point to attend.  The church does many great things in the community and it is always good to support our community events.

Even though I had chili last night, I had it again today.  Both were very, very good.  We visited with two couples while we were there, the Tullis' and the Foster's, both great community minded folks in communities west and south of us.

This evening I went to Bootcamp.  I bowed out last week because I didn't want to be so sore on Thanksgiving Day when I had so much to do.  Tonight went well and I think I'm finally beginning to toughen up a bit.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Today was a busy day.  We got up and around early as we have a big day planned.  Today is the SKP (say Escapee fast) Luncheon in Springfield, MO.  I want to stop in Joplin on the way to pick up a Christmas present I ordered for Haleigh.  Once we picked it up we headed to Sam's.  We are meeting a friend, Connie Mace here and she will ride with us to the luncheon.  We arrived and after looking around for the car she described to us we did not see it.  I double checked the information she emailed me to make sure I had the car make correct and realized she would not be here for another hour.  We were an hour early.  Somehow I do this alot, the only thing I can say is - at least we are not late!

We planned to stop at Sam's when we dropped Connie off on our way home, so we took this hour to go in and get the few things we wanted.  We got back to the car just a short time before Connie arrived.  Talk about perfect timing.

Soon we were on our way.  Connie and I talked almost non-stop and Dean had the opportunity to listen to a fantastic conversation.  Lol!  He even got a word in edge wise once or twice.

The SKP's meet on the first Friday of the month at 12:30 at the Golden Corral, located at I-44 and Kansas Expressway.  There was a great turnout today with 21 in attendance.  We had one couple who have not yet joined but intend to.  Our group has added several new people in the past year or so.  We had a great time catching up with everyone and the lunch itself was quite good.  Dean and I really enjoy Golden Corral and eat at the one in Joplin every few months.

In no time we were on the road home.  We parted ways with Connie about 3:30 or so and arrived home near 4:30.  Logan plays basketball tonight for the Junior Varsity.  We will head out to the school at about 5:45.  It was a good game, even though Oswego did not win.  They were up by 7 points or more and I thought they were going to pull it off but at the last minute St. Paul took the lead.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

I decided at the last minute that I would head to Joplin to do some Christmas shopping.  All of a sudden it occurred to me that Christmas is only a few weeks away.  I still need to buy presents, wrap them and get the house ready for guests to stay.  What am I thinking waiting until the last minute to do these things.  Before retirement I usually had presents purchased the week of Thanksgiving and wrapped soon after.  Plus I made different cookies or candies every day before I went to work, and that was while the kids were still at home.  I don't know what happened to me, but just have no desire to do that anymore.  I justify this with the fact we do not need all that extra "stuff" to eat that only adds extra pounds over the holidays.

I managed to get presents for 6 of the grandkids but I still have 6 to go.  Amazon may see me later rather than fight these crowds again.  It wasn't TOO bad, but I was really tired when I got home.  How did I use to shop all day long and be the last one going?  It's hard to believe that was me.  I think the big change is I really just do not enjoy shopping anymore.  It's not near as fun as it seemed in the past.

I had to call Dean on the way home and have him talk to me that last 15 miles to keep me awake.  I no more than set down in my chair and I was taking a little nap.  Once I had dinner ready we watched two Christmas movies - my favorite thing to do this time of year - but I might have snoozed just a bit through each of them.

Another week coming up!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015 to Saturday, November 28, 2015 - Wichita and Oswego, KS

Sunday, November 22, 2015 to Saturday, November 28, 2015 - Wichita and Oswego, KS

Sunday, November 22, 2015 - Wichita, KS

We left Kansas City about 8:45 this morning and moved along pretty good to Wichita, arriving at 12:30.  The RV Office was closed but they had left information for us on the site we would be in.  We quickly got pulled in and set up, turned the heat and refrigerator on, ate some lunch and then headed to Heath & Casey's to visit and watch the KC Chiefs football game.  Fortunately the Chiefs had another great win - we can only hope things have truly turned around for them and the season continues to improve for our team.

We had a good time talking with the kids in between watching the game, and later Casey ordered pizza for dinner.  The pizza was wood fired and really delicious.  We ordered the meat lover's pizza and it was the best of it's kind we've ever had, having a nice smoked flavor.  Heath had one called "Itis" which was also very good.  This is definitely a place for repeat orders.

We headed out not too long after dinner so the kids could get ready for bed.  We will see them again on Tuesday at Grandparent's Day.

Monday, November 23, 2015 - Wichita, KS

It was nice to take our time getting around this morning.  We ate our breakfast and then headed out to visit a few places.  We walked through Mennard's just checking on a few things, but no purchases.  After lunch back at Bentley, we decided to go to the movies - we've seen more movies in theaters this year than in the past 3-4 years put together I would guess.  This time we chose "Love the Coopers".  Just now as I am writing this I asked Dean what the name of it was and he said, "Getting to know the Crow's".  I'm still laughing.  He is too funny.

While most people probably didn't or wouldn't enjoy it much, like Dean, I liked it very much.  I love feel good, sappy stories, good time endings, etc. so it was right up my alley.  I'm not much for any type of violence, vulgar language, etc.  I want to feel good when I leave a movie, and I did.  

We are meeting Andrea and Jarred for dinner tonight so once we returned we got around and headed to their house about 5:30 or so.  We chose "Longhorn Steakhouse" for dinner.  Dean and I have tried the one in Joplin a couple of times.  The first time for lunch was really good, but the second time I was really disappointed in the steak they brought him.  It was so thin, although had good flavor.  Tonight we had an excellent meal.  He ordered the ribeye and I ordered prime rib.  They were both quite tender, and mine almost melted in my mouth.  I would definitely return here.

We stopped at Lowe's on the way back to pick up a breaker that Jarred needed to replace and when we returned the guys took care of that job.  Since tonight was Dancing with the Stars we moved downstairs and watched parts of it as we visited with Andrea's cousin, Stacey.  Stacey is staying with them this week and through the holiday while visiting from Dodge City.  I really enjoyed visiting with Andrea and Stacey.  Stacey is a big fan of DWTS so it was fun to talk with someone who knew what has been going on this season.  Tonight was the semi-finals, and tomorrow night will be the finale.  I am rooting for Bindi Irwin.  She's amazing and of course Derrick Hough is one of the best dancers and choreographers on the show, in my humble opinion.

We headed back to Bentley.  We need to head to the boy's school tomorrow by 9ish, and we need to have everything packed and ready to go when we return so we can get on the road home.

Today is our granddaughter, Dacy's birthday.  She is 14.  I will be taking her and our granddaughter Haleigh shopping for their birthdays this Saturday in Joplin. (Haleigh's was October 30, but we've not had a chance to do hers so we'll combine them this year) I really look forward to spending the day with them and we always eat at Olive Garden.  It is one of my favorite restaurants - and theirs as well.  You might remember our granddaughter Kamron's favorite is also Olive Garden.  Girls after my own heart!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - Wichita & Oswego, KS

Fortunately we got a great night's sleep and we were up early this morning so we had our chores out of the way in plenty of time to head to Abram and Gideon's school for Grandparents Day.  This is our 3rd time to attend the event.  This year they made some significant improvements on getting parents in the building much quicker by providing a signup ahead of time rather than having to check each person in individually as they have in the past.  If we had been here before and provided ID we could sign up via the internet. They would have our badges made for us, using information from our Driver's License to confirm who we are.  It went quite smooth and we were soon seated in the gymnasium where they had chairs set up for us.  Their choir sang a few songs before they had us visit the student's rooms.  The choir was excellent.  Mike and Brenda (Addis), Casey's parents were also attending so we split duties.  We visited Abram's class first while they spent time with Gideon, then we switched half way through.  In conjunction with the day's events they also hold their book fair.  As it was, Gideon ran into Abram in the hall as Abram was leaving the book fair, and they discussed the books to get.  Between them they ended up with all 4 books on the game "Minecraft" which they love to play.  We bought Gideon 2 and the Addis' bought 2 for Abram.  I understand that Gideon had them read in no time.  By the way Gideon is in first grade and Abram is in the 2nd.

We left the school slightly before noon, stopped at Spangle's to eat a burger and fries and headed back to the RV Park to hook up Bentley for the return trip home.  Something I failed to mention earlier is how much we love our new truck.  It rides so smooth, with no chugging and it takes the road bumps almost like they are non-existent.  What a difference and how comfortable I was the entire trip to KC, to Wichita and on our trip home.  We are not sorry we bit the bullet and upgraded.  Once home I was looking at the number of days we traveled this year and we stayed in Bentley more than 125 nights.  With the holidays, we are glad to be home but come January I will begin to miss our travels very much.  However, I do have a few projects I want to work on and I hope they will help pass the time so we can uncover our dear Bentley about mid-March in preparation for the 2016 travels.

Jarred and Emerson will be coming to Oswego later this evening to spend the night and Wednesday with us.  She's the happiest little girl and we enjoy seeing them both.  As it was, Jarred was able to leave work a little early and arrived here about 2 hours after we got home.  As soon as we parked, we started hauling clothes, food, toiletries, etc. into the house so we had that out of the way.  We no sooner finished and Jarred was pulling in.

I made spaghetti for dinner.  Misti, Haleigh and Logan came over to eat and to see Ms. Emmie.  It was a nice meal with Misti and Jarred and their kids here.  Jarred told us later that Andrea, his wife had called, and her maternal grandmother passed away this evening. She has been ill for several months and while expected it is still hard losing someone you love so much.  Her grandma was such a nice lady and I see her in Emmie.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, Oswego, KS

Dean and Jarred went to Tina's for breakfast this morning.  I spent most of the day doing laundry, getting the last of things put away from our trip and doing some cooking to make Thursday a little less hectic.

We enjoyed visiting with Jarred and playing with Emerson throughout the day.  She's really such a good little girl but she is getting pretty fond of her mom and dad, especially if they walk out of the room.  She had a little walking toy that she was quite happy to play with for a good part of the day.  

Later in the afternoon, I made some chicken chili and cornbread - thanks Janie, for the recipe, and soon after we ate, Jarred and Emerson loaded up to head home.  Tomorrow will be a big day so we headed to bed pretty early.  I'll be getting up early tomorrow to finish the meal.  Fortunately we are not eating until 4pm so I've got most of the day to get ready.

Thursday, November 26, 2015, Oswego, KS

I didn't waste too much time reading RV blogs this morning.  I made of list of what needed to be done, when it should be put on to cook, when it should come out of the oven.  I picked up things around the house in between my schedule of cooking.  Before I knew it was near 2:30 or 3:00 and Brett, Renae, Dacy and Tucker and Heath, Casey, Abram, Gideon and Roman were here.  We visited in between me getting things together.  Renae made 4 homemade pies that were all delicious.  I know because I tasted every single one of them.  This year I tried a different dressing and I loved it.  It will be my new go-to Thanksgiving dressing recipe from now on.  My sister Cindy, got it from her sister-in-law Nancy.  Great recipe!

We had a good time visiting and later daughter Misti, boyfriend Chuck, and Misti's kids Logan and Haleigh stopped by.  Brett and Renae left awhile afterwards as they were both getting very tried.  Misti and Chuck followed not too long afterwards.

Tonight Logan, Haleigh, Dacy, Tucker, Abram and Gideon are spending the night here.  After Misti and Chuck left I started pulling out all of my blankets and pillows onto the living room floor.  It is almost an annual event to have the kids spend the night on Thanksgiving.  They spread out on the floor, and we find a movie for them to watch.  Tonight's movie was Night at the Museum.  I think the kids really had a good time and enjoyed getting to see each other again.  We loved having them.  

Dean and I headed to bed about 9:30 or 10:00.  I think the kids drifted off pretty quick after we did with only one or two making it to the end of the movie.

Friday, November 27, 2015, Oswego, KS

I got up pretty early this morning, made the coffee and then headed to the playroom to have my first cup and talk with my sister Cindy on the phone.  It wasn't long before kids started waking up and can you believe after all that food yesterday and last night, they were hungry again.  I was pretty lazy this morning and it was breakfast cereal and frozen waffles on the menu.  Everyone seemed quite happy with the choices though.

Abram and Gideon went to their Grandparents (Addis') about 10.  Dean brought in my scrawny Christmas tree soon after for the kids to decorate. I asked the kids if they knew what today was.  They said, "Papa's birthday"!  I asked them if they wanted to sing Happy Birthday to him and they did.  Tucker led them in the song as they walked into the living room where Papa was working on the lights on the Christmas tree. He was pleased with their singing to him.  I wasn't very happy with the lights, and we decided to replace the ones on there plus buy more.  It took a couple of trips to the Dollar General before we got the lights I wanted, and by the time the lights were on the tree, Brett and Renae showed up to get Dacy and Tucker.  We all had leftovers from yesterday for lunch and then visited for awhile.  Logan had basketball practice at 9 and had left a little before 8 to take his mom to work so he would have the car.  His car is out of commission right now.  

Once everyone had left and I had cleaned up, I decided to go ahead and add the ornaments to the tree.  Misti called later to see if we were doing anything this evening and if not, could she and Chuck take us to dinner for Dean's birthday.  They let him choose where to go in Pittsburg and he chose Chicken Mary's.  Fried chicken is his favorite meal and we all love it too.  We had a nice evening visiting with them and Haleigh.  Thanks so much for dinner.  It meant a lot to Dean.

Saturday, November 28, 2015, Oswego, KS & Joplin, MO

Well, I am running on pure fumes at this point.  It seems like we have been on the run since a week ago Thursday when I was trying to get laundry done and Bentley loaded for our trip to KC on Friday.  I drug myself out of bed so I could have at least one cup of coffee before I started getting ready to pick up the girls for our shopping trip.  Logan spent the night with us and I had to get him up to take him home.  From there I headed to Brett and Renae's to pick up Dacy, then on to 4 corners (69/160 Highway intersection) to meet Chuck and Misti and to get Haleigh.  We were soon headed to Joplin.  We had put together a plan.  Our first stop would be at Ross for Less.  We expected to be there about an hour and then have lunch, but they were ready to go in 20 minutes or so, so we threw in a quick trip to Khol's.  Dacy found a really cute dress here that she wanted to get for a choir program that is coming up in December.  She made a call to her mom and since we didn't hear from her before we left, we asked them to hold the dress until 12:30 and they did.  I decided I wanted to look for a heavier sweater to wear for the day as it was quite cold out.  In fact, the coldest day we've been out this fall so far.  I found one I really liked and it was on sale.  Fortunately the day before I had received a 20% off coupon that also helped with this purchase.

Our next stop, Olive Garden.  We wanted to get there when it opened as we were not sure how busy it would be.  The girls both had fettucine alfredo with salad and breadsticks and I chose the pasta fagolia with salad.  As usual it was DELICIOUS!  Because it was their birthday celebration, we splurged and had dessert.  The dessert was little fried dough treats with powdered sugar, served with both rasberry and chocolate sauce.  Oh my, they were so yummy!

Renae texted Dacy and told her yes on the dress so back to Khol's we went to buy the dress, with that 20% off coupon.  Woohoo!  From there we headed to Northpark Mall.  We were all over that mall.  Haleigh was looking for shoes.  We didn't find any but she ended up buying a pretty sweater at American Eagle and a T-shirt at Hot Topic.  Dacy bought jeans at American Eagle, a shirt at Ross, a sweater at TJ Maxx and they both bought beanie hats. We made a stop at McDonald's before heading home.  It was a great day and I enjoyed spending time with these two young ladies.  They are growing up way too fast.  

Tonight we put a big dent in the leftovers from Thanksgiving.  It was good, but after the 3rd or 4th meal, I do begin to get tired of it.

I started working on the newsletter for the Ozark Chapter 17 of SKP's.  I took on that duty and my first one is due out in December.  I hope to have it out before the 15th of the month.

See you next week.

Sunday, November 15 - Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Oswego & Kansas City

Sunday, November 15 - Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Oswego & Kansas City

Sunday, November 15 - Oswego

After our morning coffee we walked at the park.  I came home and managed to get quite a bit more done around the house before getting ready for church.  I guess I am going to have to begin making notes about what I do each day or write on the blog more often as I can't remember what we did on Sunday.  I did make several lists of things I wanted to get done before we leave for Kansas City on Friday.  I want to get as much of my Thanksgiving preparation out of the way before we leave.  

We did not have a sister's meetup today as Crystal (3rd in line) watched their grandson Dempsey overnight and they were taking him back home to Missouri today.  I'll be gone next Sunday so I guess I will miss out until the first Sunday in December when I host next.

Monday, November 16, Oswego

It started raining yesterday evening, and rained through the night.  So walking in the park was not a welcome idea.  We wanted to keep our momentum going, so I dug out my Walking away the Pounds DVD and we did the 2 mile walk.  It involves more than walking so we felt like we had a good workout when we were done.

Today I had a long list and managed to complete it.  We will be going to Wichita after our 2 day stay in Kansas City.  Our grandsons, Abram and Gideon, celebrate Grandparent's Day at their school prior to Thanksgiving each year so that is what we'll be doing next Tuesday morning.  It's always fun. The teachers always have some fun things for us to participate with the kids on during the day.  I think the boys really look forward to it.

First thing, was to get us registered for the Grandparent's Day event.  Since the weather seems to be getting colder each day I thought maybe it was time to make sure I have all of our winter clothing out.  This gives me a good chance to sort through everything and decide what I want to keep and what can go in the giveaway pile.  Of course, that means laundry needs to be done, as well.  That chore never seems to go away, however, at least it's not a daily job like it was when the kids were all at home.  I actually enjoy doing laundry but once or twice a week is much nicer than 1-2 loads daily.  November is a big birthday month for not only family members but several very dear friends.  Since they start this week I needed to get my cards made out and some of them in the mail.  

I used a new roast recipe today.  I first heard about this while having my hair done about a year ago.  It's called Mississippi roast, according to Pinterest.

Using a 3-4 pound roast, add 1 pkg. au jus mix; 1 pkg. hidden valley dressing mix; 1 stick of butter and several pepperocinis around the top of the roast.  Cook 6-8 hours on low.  It was really good.  Since we needed to eat and be on the road to attend a basketball game soon afterwards I cheated with a package of instant potatoes and some frozen corn.  

Tonight is our granddaughter Kamron's first basketball game.  They are playing in a pre-season tournament in Bartlett, KS.  My son Marc is coaching her team. It was not the best way to start the tournament with a loss, but they will play again on Thursday night.  Hopefully that will be a better game.

Tuesday, November 17, Oswego

It was still raining this morning, so we walked with Leslie Samsone again this morning and did the two mile walk again.  I made a batch of homemade noodles this morning for Thanksgiving.  I think I'm going to need a second batch to feed my bunch so I'll get that done later this week.

After cleaning up the kitchen I got ready to meet some friends for lunch.  Peggy and Linda are good friends who I have known for a long time.  We served together on the Oswego Chamber of Commerce board many years ago and we've tried to get together for lunch periodically since then.  We also served on the Oswego Community Foundation Board together.  This was the first time we've had a chance to get together since Dean and I returned from our trip.  It was great to visit with them and catch up on what was going on in each other's lives.  I shared some of our travel stories with them and before we knew it, it was time to head out.  By the way today was Peggy's birthday so it was fun to celebrate with her.  When we first arrived Linda and I told her Happy birthday.  Evidently the waitress overheard us, and once we were finished with our meal (at our local Mexican Restaurant, Mi Pueblo), they brought out a plate of sopapillas with honey and whipped cream.  Peggy was nice enough to share with Linda and I.  They were very good.

Once I returned home, I changed clothes and headed to Bentley to give him a good cleaning before we leave on our trip next week.  A few hours later, the carpets were clean, the bed was made up with clean sheets, and I had moved out quite a few things that we will not need on this trip.

Wednesday, November 18, Oswego

We had to be up and ready to leave the house by 7 this morning as I have an appointment with an endodontist at 8 in Joplin.  What a way to begin the day, huh?  I am not a fan of dentists, or endodontists, but I guess I should be thankful they exist.  I have a tooth that has been bothering me for quite awhile and I guess it's time to get something done.  I will be returning after the first of the year for a root canal.  

We had a list of things we wanted to get done while we were in Joplin, so our next stop was at Sam's Club.  They have large 2.5# bags of salted almonds.  Dean goes through them like candy --- just kidding --- but he does eat them often.  They are the cheapest packages I can find and we are almost out of almonds.  While there I wanted to check out prices on converting all of my family's old home movies to DVD's.  Unfortunately the lady who handles this was out until 9:30 and we didn't want to wait around that long.  I picked up information and I'll call her after Thanksgiving to get more details.

Our next item on the to-do list was to find Dean a new pair of tennis shoes.  I thought buying shoes for me was tough.  We stopped at Academy, Shoe Carnival, Penney's, Champs, Finish Line, Kohl's and finally found something he liked and that actually fit him at The Shoe Department at Northpark Mall.  He about wore me out!

Next stop was Joe Harding's, a restaurant wholesaler that sells to the public as well.  I was looking for a large mouth funnel, but no luck.  We are looking for a dresser for the extra bedroom so we visited a couple of flea markets but again, we had no luck.  After I got home I was sharing this with Cindy and she told me I should have gone to Connie's (a large flea market in Joplin), so I'll have to check it out next time.

Before our last stop we had lunch at Golden Corral.  We really like the Joplin GC.  It's a good option for choosing great food that is great for your diet.  I just cheated with a little bit of bread pudding.  I think they make some of the best bread pudding I've ever had.  After lunch we made a quick stop at Wal-mart to pick up a couple of things and then headed home. One item from Wal-Mart was a rotisserie chicken which I deboned once I got home.  I'll use it to go in my dressing for Thanksgiving.

I turned the step counter on my phone on while we were out and about and we walked over 6,000 steps while in Joplin.  That's about equal to walking in the park each day.

Thursday, November 19, Oswego

We were able to walk this morning and it was a beautiful day.  I didn't even need to wear my coat over my sweatshirt this morning the first couple of laps like I usually do.  We walked 2.63 miles this morning and had our best time as well.  

After we returned home, we had breakfast and I started laundry which went on for a good part of the day.  I made another batch of noodles, browned 5 pounds of hamburger for the freezer, and cleaned the bathrooms.  Bathrooms are not my favorite job, but it must be done.  I also packed Bentley with our clothes for the next five days, food to eat and did some general cleaning in the kitchen.  It seems you get everything done and it's time to start on something else all over again.  I guess that's why they say a housewife's work is never done.  
We made hash from the leftover roast we had for dinner tonight.  As always it was wonderful.  Dean typically makes the hash because he does a better job than I do.  Growing up hash at our house was left over meat, potatoes, carrots and gravy with bread and butter. Dean fries potatoes and adds the roast when the potatoes are almost done to give it just a touch of crispiness and to warm it.  We have it with pork and beans.  I have to add a little ketchup to mine.  I really like Dean's way better, but both are good.

Today is our Uncle Gary West's birthday.  He is married to my mom's youngest sister, Lil.  I tried to call them earlier today but they were not home. I hope he had a great day.

I called Cindy earlier this afternoon to see if she was able to get my pecans.  She works with a lady from Chetopa, who with her husband have a storefront of various nuts.  Cindy had them and told me she would run them by as she had to stop by the drug store.  It wasn't but 10-15 minutes later and she called to say she had locked herself out of her house.  Dean and I headed over there to help her try and get in.  Dean was finally able to get the door unlocked and we got her fixed up.  She decided she'd have some extra keys made to leave with some of us in case this would ever happen again.  

Marc called later to see if we were coming to Kamron's basketball game.  I had entirely forgot about it.  We had not eaten yet, we would need to get cleaned up and I was afraid we wouldn't make it in time so I apologized and we'll keep up with them after the game to find the outcome.

Fortunately when Marc called later, it was with great news.  The girls one their game and they will play again tomorrow night.  Unfortunately we will be in Kansas City, so they will call with an update after the game.

Friday, November 20, Kansas City

We loaded up the last of our things in Bentley this morning and then headed to Tina's for breakfast.  As usual it was quite good.  We made a stop at the post office to have them hold our mail until we get back, and then headed home to hookup Bentley and head north.

We were on our way about 9:30.  It was a nice drive and the new truck pulled Bentley very well, nice and easy with barely a bump or chug even on bad areas of the road.  What a difference it is from our last truck.  While the truck itself was great, it was not a smooth, comfortable ride.  My back and legs were always tired and this trip was a dream in comparison.  

We pulled into Walnut Valley RV Park in Merriam, KS around noon.  The owner called me to ask how much longer before we arrived.  I think he was surprised when I said about 10-15 minutes.  He was watching for us, and waved us in.  I'm glad he was near the road because we most likely would have driven right past it.  It was right in the middle of a housing addition, but the best part it was less than 1 mile from IKEA.  

We had a nice easy pull through spot that Dean loved.  I headed inside to put out the slides and soon yelled at Dean, we have a problem!  Yes, again.  There was water all over the kitchen floor and running down from the bathroom.  We filled the water tank before leaving since it is supposed to freeze here tonight.  Evidently the stool was running and the water sloshed out of the stool on to the floor, running down the stairs and over the kitchen area. It's always an adventure!  We grabbed some towels and began mopping it up.  It wasn't that much water, but it was annoying and cold, because we didn't have the heat on yet, of course.  I ended up running over to the laundromat to wash the towels.  At least it was warm in the laundromat!  By the time I got back to Bentley, he was nice and warm too.

We chilled the rest of the afternoon and about 5:15 we drove to O'Neill's to meet Jeff and Leigh Allison to surprise our friend Donnie Allison on his 60th birthday.  Donnie and Janie arrived a little after 6.  Donnie was surprised to see us and was totally unaware we would be there.  As usual we had many good laughs and enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Leigh's little girl Lilly.  What a cutie she is!  We had a great meal and Leigh surprised Donnie with his favorite, homemade lemon pie!  It was DELICIOUS!!  We visited for awhile and then Dean and I drove to (across the street) Donnie & Janie's apartment to visit for awhile.

We always have great laughs and good times with Donnie and Janie, and tonight was no different.  We decided we would meet for breakfast tomorrow at "The Big Biscuit" and then make plans to spend the day together.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015, Kansas City

Donnie and Janie were already seated at the "Big Biscuit" when we arrived.  They gave each of us a small pot of coffee.  The food was great.  I had scrambled eggs and diced ham with browned potatoes and a biscuit.  I ate about 1/3 of potatoes and 1/2 biscuit with the eggs/ham.  It was very good.  I would definitely revisit the Big Biscuit again.  The biscuit was very light and fluffy. I'm trying not to eat a lot of starches but it tasted good to have a little bit.

After breakfast we headed to Donnie & Janie's apartment to determine what we would do for the day.  The plan was to head to IKEA and take a look around, have some lunch and then visit a big sportswear sale they are having at the old mall at 95th & Metcalf.

The guys were so excited about visiting IKEA - well, not really.  They were great sports though.  Dean and I actually bought something, a small dresser to put in our spare bedroom to hold blankets, sheets, etc. I do not have enough storage for everything and this will come in really handy.  When we have guests we can clear a few drawers for their usage, especially when the kids are here for several days at a time.

We tried out a BBQ place for lunch.  It was very good, although I cannot remember the name of it. Everyone was pleased with their meal.

We headed back to Donnie & Janie's for a bit while Janie put some things together for a meal tonight, then we took off to the sportswear sale.  We were shocked at the number of vehicles in the parking lot.  It was packed and we wondered if something else besides the sportswear sale was gong on.  Donnie asked one of the guys he met as he came out if it was worth going in, and he said we didn't want to hear what he had to say but finally told us, no it wasn't.  However, Janie was looking for something specific and she hit the jackpot and found a few sweatshirts she was looking for.  

We returned to their place and then Dean and I headed back to the RV.  Donnie and Janie will come over later and we'll eat at our place.  Janie made her chicken chili and cornbread. It was delicious.  We visited for awhile before they took off.  We had a great time and look forward to getting back this way to see them and have many more laughs together.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sunday, Nov 8 to Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 - Oswego, Kansas City and Wichita, KS

Sunday, Nov 8 to Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 - Oswego, Kansas City and Wichita, KS

Sunday, Nov 8

Dean and I have decided to start walking again, and our first day was actually yesterday (Sat, Nov 7).  We walk at our park on the Northeast side of town.  Saturday we walked around the park 2 times, or 33 minutes.  
This morning we walked 42 minutes.  It was really nice outside and very hard to believe it is November with the weather we are enjoying right now.

After returning home and eating breakfast I got ready to attend church, where my sister Cindy and daughter Misti joined me.  Afterwards, Misti and I headed to the Community Center for the annual Methodist Bazaar, where we picked up "to go" boxes of chicken and noodles, potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, roll and dessert.  I purchased meals for Dean and I, and Misti purchased meals for her and Logan.  We brought it back to our house, before Misti and I headed to my sister Cindy's for our Sunday sister get together.  We had a nice visit and made plans for our family Christmas, the Sunday before Christmas this year.  

Dean has been looking at new trucks.  We want to upgrade from a 2500 to a 3500 for improvement in pulling Bentley and providing a better ride.  We spent quite a bit of time talking about the possibility of trading our vehicle in for one, before finally wearing ourselves out and needing a good night's rest.

Monday, Nov 9

Jaxson was back early this morning to spend today and tomorrow with us.  We played Hot Wheels cars, Tinkertoys, put puzzles together, built a bridge/tunnel out of chairs and blankets, played hide and seek and just had a fun time.  It was a fun day and I tried to get a few things done around the house in between his own play time and nap.

Dean took off to look at and drive another truck.  The one we really wanted sold over the weekend, but they have found a couple of others they want to show him.  He finally came back this evening, driving a new truck.  Haleigh and Misti stopped by, so we all loaded up and Papa took us for a drive around town.  I got really tickled at Jaxson when we came outside.  He said, WOW, look at all of the lights.  Later he looked up at the sky and said, WOW, look at all of the stars.  

Today he took a really long nap, and wasn't ready to go to bed when Nana was.  I laid down with him and we both finally fell asleep.  When I woke up I headed back to my own bed.  I really miss my pillow when I'm away!  HAHA

Tuesday, Nov 10

Jaxson was up pretty early this morning and I was surprised after his late night (11:00).  He was in his happy little mood.  He loves to crawl up on my lap when he gets up and he's a little lover which I figure I should enjoy as much as possible because that seems to fade as they get a little older.

While he played I made some pumpkin cookies for a meeting I am attending this evening. They turned out almost as good as the one's my own Nana made each year around Christmas time.  They are some of my favorite cookies.

Jennifer was able to leave a little early today as she has to go back and work an extra day this week so she picked Jaxson up not too long after lunch.  

Dean had to take the truck back and we decided we liked it well enough to go ahead and purchase it.  He was there until late afternoon filling out paperwork, etc.  Ugh.  I'm glad I didn't have to go along for all of that.  I had to leave before he got back home.  I picked up Cindy and Misti and we attended a women's meeting at the church.  We had such a good time with the 25-30 women who showed up.  There was several kinds of soups, salads and desserts.  It was hard not too try all of the various foods but I held out and thought I did pretty good at controlling myself.  I do love food.

Wednesday, Nov 11

Dean and I walked again this morning, 2.29 miles.  It was a little cooler but still pretty nice out.  Mostly it was the wind making it feel cooler.

After returning home I ate breakfast and then got around to head to a Bible Study at a friend's house.  I really enjoyed the morning with the 7 women in attendance.  I look forward to meeting with them again.

While I enjoyed having Jaxson these past two weeks for a few days, my housework had suffered so I tried to get caught up on some of it after lunch.  It's amazing how much better I feel when things are in their place.

Misti stopped by to pick me up about 1:45 and we attended the Veteran's Day Event at the Oswego Jr and Sr High School.  It was very, very nice and my brother-in-law Lonie Addis was the guest speaker.  Lonie served in the Marine Corps and shared some stories of his time in Vietnam.  It was very moving.

After dinner tonight I met Misti at the Oswego Gym to join her Bootcamp buddies in some exercises.  I did pretty well for almost the oldest person there.  A friend from High School who attended was a year older than me so I figured if she could get through it, so could I.  I won't mention she looks in much better shape than I do.  There were 10 of us attending and each person took a place at a machine where we did that particular exercise for one minute, then moved on to the next machine, etc.  The next set was leg exercises and the final set was various floor exercises, ball tosses, jumping jacks or jumping rope.  After that we did stretches on the floor while giving a brief positive comment.  It was great exercise and I enjoyed it much more than I imagined I would.

It sure has been busy since we've been home from our trip.

Thursday, Nov 12

Today Dean and I were brave and we not only walked, but after 2 full loops of the park on the 3rd loop, we also walked down the hill from the park, past the water plant and back up another hill to the road leading across the river bridge, then turn back and walked down that hill and then back up the REALLY STEEP hill leading into the park, to complete the 3rd loop.  It was the same as walking around the park loop 4 times the day before.   

Today I actually got some deep cleaning done which was really needed.  It felt good to get it out of the way.  I do not enjoy house work, it just has to be done, so you do it!   I really planned to do more but an hour or so after lunch they called from the car dealership and said the truck would be ready to pick up in about an hour or so.  We are 1.5 hours away and Dean needed to get his driver's license renewed.  We got ready and headed to Pittsburg where we had the most fun exchange with a Driver's License clerk I think we have ever experienced.  Dean told me later, he thought he would always go back to Pittsburg now.  
After we were through there we drove the remaining distance to the dealership where we had to wait another hour or so before the truck was ready.  Hmmm!  By the time we finished the walk through of the features, it was getting late.  We stopped in Pittsburg on the way home at Buffalo Wild Wings - not the best choice!  The food wasn't too bad, just really expensive and pretty loud.  I had wanted to pick up a couple of things at Wal-Mart but was too tired by then.  All I wanted to do was go home.

Friday, Nov 13

We always eat breakfast out on Friday's and we headed to Tina's here in Oswego a little after 8.  As usual it was quite good.  I overhead a couple of ladies talking about converting their old home movies into DVD's, so I asked a few questions.  She said that Sam's offers this service.  We have two large shoe boxes full of home movies my dad took when we were kids.  I will definitely look into this.

I was able to get several more things done around the house today.  I am still going through closets, drawers and cabinets, trying to pare down all of the "stuff" I have.  This house is just not as big as our previous home and I'm tired of walking over things, and digging through cabinets to find things.  I gathered up several things I want to donate.  My cousin's church has a nice building in Chetopa that they hold sales for household goods and clothing in.  I try to take everything down there.  They usually have a sale once a month, and if someone should lose their home or belongings to a fire or tornado they will let them come in and pick things at no cost.  I think it's a great help to many people.

I called Cindy to see if she wanted to run to Pittsburg after she got off work.  She did and we left soon after that.  I am looking for some winter tops.  We hit Penney's, Goody's and Cato's.  I found a couple of things at Penney's.  We made a quick Wal-mart stop for a couple of things and headed home.  By the time we got home I was tired, so Dean suggested running up to Parsons to the Hickory Hole for dinner.  This is a great little hole in the wall restaurant on the east side of town.  Their food is great.  They almost always have ribs, smoked chicken, polish sausage and pulled pork along with several sides.  I was good and ate green beans, cole slaw and meat only, no bar-b-que at all.  That as hard.

Saturday, Nov 14

So, this morning I got up and started going through things in the extra bedrooms in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure if any of the kids will be spending the night or not, but in case they do I've got to get things in shape.  I have a hutch and buffet that belonged to my Great-Aunt Aletha but I just don't have room for it here.  It has been in the extra bedroom but I want to move my piano out of the living room, and I would like to move it to the bedroom.  I also have a heavy wooden plant stand that belonged to my "Nana" Blackledge and a mantel clock that was my great-grandpa and grandma Blackledge's.  I talked to my niece Nikki, Cindy's daughter to see if she had any interest in them.  I had mentioned it to my sisters and my kids already.  Bless her heart she took all of them.  I was ecstatic.  Before the day was over we had moved everything around the way I wanted it.  I still need to make changes with wall hangings and such but that will happen after Thanksgiving.  Too much going on to get that done before then.  What a great day of cleaning and reorganizing.  

Dean I managed to walk every morning this week.  We are averaging 2.29 miles per day. Every day has been easier and we are now beginning to really enjoy the time we are outside.  Our park is so beautiful.  There are still quite a few trees with beautiful leaves on them.  As the sun comes up it hits the leaves and it is just magical.  Our park is located on a bluff overlooking the Neosho River and the Neosho River Valley.  It is a beautiful site whether it be autumn fall colors, stormy skies, fog laying across the valley, etc.  

See you next week!