Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back from Iowa

What a week. As I wrote in my last post TJ and I flew home to Iowa for Thanksgiving. We had a fabulous week with good home cooked foods, family and clear cold weather. We packed so much into our visit that it is hard to pick out one favorite memory as they were all so special. Everyday was an event of the best of meals. I can't pick a favorite. TJ got to try pheasant for the first time and really enjoyed that.
Thanksgiving Day, just where do I start. Other than getting up early and getting the bird in the oven it was a spectacular day. Mom and Dad had worked so hard and had many surprises for us.
We had the traditional Struchen food of turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and my favorite green bean casserole, squash and sweet corn as well as a ton of salads and desserts. All the vegatables had come from their garden and were yummy.
During the meal a cowbell was rung and you had to take a turkey joke out of the container and read it. Now Kate and Jo totally got into this and had all of us groaning over the jokes. After totally stuffing ourselves Mom had prepared a program. Yeap I lost it and there were many tears as well as some laughter. In no particular order here are a few of the 1000 pics taken throughout our week. No not all of them are mine we combined 4 cameras to total that number.

Mini albums for photos of our week. We assembled throughout the week albums for photos of our days. I have to say Dad, TJ and Scott really got into creating their albums. Scott thinks the cricut is the neatest thing ever
Left to right Jo's, Dad's, Sheryl & Scott's, mine and TJ's

Table with all the decorations Mom had made

Kate getting into reading the jokes

TJ receiving his wooden toys (long story as to why Dad had them and TJ didn't)

Steve and Kate getting the clock Steve had made back. Thanks Dad for rescuing it from the community center

Kolby modeling Dad's basketball letter sweater that was auctioned off which by the way TJ was high bidder on

After the program we went upstairs and started taking family pics. What a riot that was to get all of us to smile and look in the same direction. So here we all are the "Struchens" 2008

Then from one big family picture we broke it down into single families. TJ and I as Jennifer, John and Sadera and Anthony were back in AZ

Next comes my sister Jo and her son Gabe. her other son Zach and his new wife are in New York

Next in birth order is my brother Steve and his family
L-R Kate their son Matt, Steve, their oldest Brady and his new wife Lindsey

And finally baby brother Scott and his family
L-R Kolby, my brother Scott, his wife Sheryl and their oldest son Keegan

My sister trying to get a night shot of TJ and I next to the light pole

The lighted wreath on the house

Dad, Jo and grandsons hanging the lights on the house

Dad and Jo decorating the lightpole

Mom teaching Jo and I how to make the traditional Christmas bread wreath

TJ working on his mini album

Dad working on his mini album

Daughters and daughter-in-laws at Scott's house

Baby brother Scott with his oldest sister me

Of course this had to be long with tons of pics. It was so hard to try and pick out just a few. I am anxious to get my pictures printed and get scrapping
Monday it is back to work and then Friday I leave for Cali with Kim H, and Colleen for another wonderful event at Kim C's. Looking forward to that so much. After Kim's event I will be home with no further planned travel plans scrambling to get ready for Christmas
Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Glimpses of Iowa Trip Sat thru Sunday

My goodness the days are going by so fast. We are packing as much as we can into them. TJ and I left Sat morning from Sky Harbor and flew into Omaha. As we were walking towards our gate who do we run into but Cheryl and her husband. We had a quick hello and goodbye as they were off to rent a car.
Once we arrived in Omaha we rented a car and headed towards our destination, Early Iowa. It was pretty cloudy, but no rain, drizzle or snow as we were informed there would be. Made it home in good time.
Mom had a wonderful soup for Saturday night and we enjoyed all the family eating together. My sister Jo is spending the week with us so we have had lots of fun catching up.

Sunday evening we had dinner at my brother Scott's. Lots of great photo ops in his beautiful home. Scott is the "cook" of the family and we had "Fatties, grilled pheasant breasts and lots of yummy sides

Dad and his sons and grandsons

Daughters and daughter-in laws

Sunday am making omelets in a bag

Mom, Dad, TJ and I posing for my sister. who is standing on a chair trying to get us all to smile

Sat nite dinner with the whole family

Farm scenery outside of Omaha

Just a brief glance of our trip/ We have made Christmas cards for my folks, all of us are working on albums and the guys are being so creative. Loving it.
Today was homemade noodles and beef, and tomorrow we are baking pies. Lots going on this week
We also put up the outside decorations and am still trying to get good pics of them.
More later

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Counting the Days

Time is growing short and I can count the days till TJ and I leave for Iowa and a traditional Thanksgiving at home in Early. I am looking forward to just relaxing and catching up with my family. Sadly John, Jennifer and the kids can't make the trip so we will be missing them. I did a wee bit of shopping this weekend to pick up a few warmer clothes. Bet I freeze.

After I return home from Iowa Kim, Colleen and I will be heading out the 1st weekend in Dec to LA and another wonderful event at Kim C's home. Looking forward to all the fun and great classes

Colleen has been in Cali as Tanya's baby shower was this weekend. I was able to talk with her a bit today and the shower was a big success and lots of fun. I will catch up with her tomorrow as she flys home tomorrow am. Later this week she is heading to Washington DC for Thanksgiving with Jeff

Here is a little sneak peek of ornaments for the swap at Joyeux Affaire coming soon. have 26 completed and made a total of 30 as my sister needed some. Can I just say I have glitter from one end of my house to the other. I have dusted, swept and mopped many times and my floors still sparkle

And the best news Gabrielle is in my house. I was so excited to have this waiting on my doorstep Wednesday. Love it. It is the very best bag I have purchased.
Kim C did a beautiful design in my favorite colors and it is so workable with all the pockets. Just love it.

This it what happens when you are working and playing on the computer and not paying attention to your baked potato in the oven. It explodes everywhere. I shut the oven off and let it cool down and today just swept it up. Easy. Thanks to my Internet I learned that little trick. Need to wipe it down but better than trying to clean up hot mushy potato Thursday nite.

Saturday was a fun day with lunch at Sweetcakes with Kim, Kels, and Aliya. Nothing better than chicken salad sandwich. We were able to finally catch up and see what each of us has been doing. A quick stop at Mystic and I was back home glittering away.
That's it for today. Better go check dinner in my oven or another disaster will be upon me

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stories In Hand

Yesterday I started Jessica Sprague's online class. I love it so far. I have downloaded and printed the 1st two days downloads. Have my album almost put together. Can't wait until tomorrow to see what is coming on day 3.

My album in the process of being put together

A peek inside

Still working on ornaments and projects for Thanksgiving week at my folks. Dad says there is snow and some ice today Oh yeah can't wait!!! Look out Early here we come

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Jennifer

Happy 32nd birthday Jennifer. I can't believe it has been 32 years since you were born. What a blessing you have been to our family. Your humor, compassion, energy, and beauty shine through in everything you do, Happy Birthday!!!!
Unfortunately I have very few pics of you or TJ as your Dad took all of them when he moved back to Iowa. But as you can see I have a couple.
6 months old and you were such a cutie and had a very strong will unlike TJ who was the easy going child. Maybe it had something to do with TJ drinking all your bottles and putting them back in the refrigerator empty. You would become so impatient when I had to mix formula late at night.

Hendrix volleyball team with your best friend

And this year ready for your 70's Halloween party. You dressed the part of the actress in Flash Dance. You actually were pretty good with the dance you did!!

And here you are with the love of your life your soul mate John. John has provided you and the kids one great, funny,stable and exciting life the past 3 years.

We celebrated Jennifer's birthday at one of our favorite restaurants "Firebird" really the best food. It was a good day to catch up and compare notes on the goings on of all of us. Unfortunately the only bad thing was it was COLD in the restaurant. Sadera was a little ice cube and ended up sitting next to Uncle TJ to stay warm

You would think it was 30 below as bundled up as Sadera was. She had Jennifer's hooded sweater as well as her hooded jacket on. All snuggled up next to TJ

Before I met the family for lunch Colleen and I grabbed a Starbuck's and headed over to the Tattered Trunk Boutique on Elliot and McClintock. Wow it was packed. Lots of really unique things to see and buy. We spent time at Maija's table visiting and of course buying. Unfortunately no pictures were allowed but Maija's table was beautiful.
I bought one of her sachet and 2 microscope slides and I lost track of all Colleen bought from her. The bottle with the Charlotte's head was beautiful

Another favorite vendor was Paper Panache. Colleen had to drag me away. Lots and lots of wonderful things. These aprons have vintage hankies and fabrics on them. I ended up buying 2 one for Jennifer and one for me

The BEST hand care products. Love this stuff

And Christmas nut cup kits again from Paper Panache.

A great day with my family and friend
Now it is back to work glittering, cutting circles and getting ready for my trip home for Thanksgiving and for Kim's Joyeaux Affaire in December
Promised Jennifer I will post better photos of her tomorrow:)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday At Last

So finally it is Friday. Long week, hard work outs and many mini crisis to solve. Glad the week is done. Looking forward to relaxing, going to the vendor fair on McClintock to see Maija, and celebrating my daughter's 32nd birthday.

Everyday when we are running this cute little Pygmy owl pops out of the culvert to keep a close eye on us. Today TJ, Claudia and I walked down to see if I could get close enough to get a pic. As usual she?? popped out when she heard us coming. We really couldn't get close enough for a real close pic. She would pop back in, but as we were walking back to the office TJ was able to get closer than I did as he is braver and can run faster than me and got a couple of good pics.
Here she is peeking out. We figure she has a nest in here

And here she is standing. She really is tiny.

TJ was playing with my camera while waiting for us to get ready for our owl walk.
Caught me as I was finishing up paper work. Can you tell it is Friday and a casual day?

Claudia, who keeps us all on tract

Candy, working on some of the mountains of paper work we have

Wednesday nite was our monthly Stampin Up class at Jan's. Finished all 3 cards she had planned for us. Lots of talking and laughter. Good way to relax

Beautiful sky on Wednesday morning. Waiting for my ride and playing with my camera

So another week gone and another week closer to flying back to Iowa for Thanksgiving. I need to really get alot done this weekend so I am prepared. More tomorrow as I am sure I will have a ton of pics from the birthday celebration.