Saturday, December 31, 2016

Emily's Wedding

Karin and I left early this morning to head to Tremont to start preparing the food for Emily and Mitchel's wedding. Thankfully there was already a big crew there working on food preparation. We were all kept very busy as there were almost 400 people to be fed. The wedding party all came here for pictures. Rachel was the photographer so I know they will all turn out beautiful but Rhoda took the picture below.
The wedding was well attended and beautiful. As soon as it was over Karin, Amy  and I booked it back into the kitchen to get the food out before the guests arrived to eat. Thankfully Karen Hofstetter and Rebekah Schwind already had almost all the food out. There were 4 food lines. We were kept busy refilling the fruit, veggies, potatoes, rolls and chicken. The food was colorful and delicious. I was too busy to take any pictures but Rhoda posted a couple.

After Emily and Mitchel left the real work started. The decorations needed to be taken down the rest of the dishes washed and the food put away. The table cloths were loaded into my car and taken home for washing. I currently have a load in the washer, one in the dryer and 2 to go. These will be used next week for my nephew JR's wedding in Rushville, IL.
Mark left for church tonight but I'm just too tired to go and will listen on line. Rachel is hosting a new years eve party at the Hanna City gym but as soon as church is over I'm going to head to bed. A special thanks to Mark for feeding the horses again today. He took care of them all week while I was in Gulf Shores and was more than willing to feed them one more time. He's the best. An absolutely wonderful email came in on Titan, Ribbon's poor little orphaned colt. Brandee, his owner writes: Titan is doing great.  He has gained weight & is getting some of his personality back.  He loves to be brushed & rubbed on.  He really loves to have his butt scratched.  He will turn & put his butt up against you until you scratch just above his tail.  We have been working on lifting up his feet which he has caught onto very quickly.  Everyone that comes over just loves how affectionate he is & how he wants to be right there watching what you are doing.  We are very pleased with him.  We've even talked about in the future getting another foal from you.  You breed such beautiful, sweet, affectionate & gentle horses.
I'm so thankful to hear from her and so very thankful that Titan is doing well. 
I can't close this post without wishing everyone a safe and fun new years eve. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

Long Trip Home

Up at 2:00 am, loaded and on the road by 3:00 am made for a long day for Karin, Sarah and me. Sally Rush, the lady in charge of the 2017 IL Horse Fair called when we were about an hour south of St Louis to tell us we would be in barn 18 aisle A for the fair. Those stalls are built different than the stalls in barn 14. Since Springfield is on the way we decided to stop and take a look at those stalls. We didn't have a measuring tape with us but that didn't matter. These stalls are 4 different sizes so our stall decorations are not going to work. Karin took some pictures with her phone so we can get the idea of what we are working with.

The other problem is that the stalls are concrete. We will have to find something soft and thick to put down as bedding as we don't want the horses standing on concrete for 4 solid days. That is just too hard on their joints. The fair has promised to have this barn heated but we are not sure how that can happen the big double doors that the horses and people walk in, do not fit and leave huge gaps at the bottom and in the middle. We do not think we will be able to pop popcorn in this barn, it is just too open to the elements. Maybe we will be blessed with warm sunny weather. The PROs to this barn is that it is attached to the livestock arena where the Friesians will be performing. One can easily walk through the barn and see lots of horses on their way to the livestock arena. The shopping is going to be below the livestock arena so hopefully there will be lots of visitors to the stalls to see the horses. We stopped in Morton, IL for dinner eating at a Chinese Buffet where we all ate just a little too much. The food was good and we hadn't had anything since breakfast. We had great traveling weather and the past 6 days have been a wonderful relaxing fun time but I am so very glad to be home. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Last Day

After a clear night with stars sparkling bright we assumed we would be having a sunny day today but that didn't happen until late afternoon. The group down here still fished, swam and played in the hot tubs but not on the beach. When the sun did come out we enjoyed the warmth and we had a beautiful sunset. Pictures were taken but we are leaving for home in the wee hours of the morning so this laptop needs to be packed and no pictures will be posted of today until we get home tomorrow evening.
Beth and Greg hosted dinner tonight we had bacon wrapped fish, bacon wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped mushrooms, bacon wrapped little hotdogs along with crab ragoon, jalapeno crab poppers, salad, bread and restaurant style french fries. Do you think we may like bacon? Three different kinds of icecream were served for dessert. We had two games going on at the same time, Mexican train and Carbols. Another fun day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Socked In

 While waiting on mom's balcony for our morning walk we were able to see a pod of dolphins feeding in the gulf. Yesterday we saw one jump all the way out of the water, today they were more interested in diving for fish. The fog rolled in as we were walking. Actually such low hanging clouds made droplets of mist that was covering any surface outside. That didn't stop our walk and didn't seem to stop others from walking also.The herons were walking around hoping for a hand out.

 The pelicans were flying low, not sure if the fog was causing trouble for them finding fish.
 We came upon a big piece of driftwood that made a perfect chair for Sarah.

 On the way back we met Tom and his son Luke.
 Beth and her only grand daughter,
 and Heath running behind tasting the salt air as he ran with his tongue.
The camera was put away for the day as I didn't think the wet weather was doing it any good. Diane had the painters come and she spent the entire day inside helping them paint. She and Mike also got light fixtures hung, mirrors hung and lots of other jobs accomplished. We sat outside watching the fishermen (Greg & Spark) pull in 11 fish before they quit for the day. The fog got thicker wrapping around the buildings in wisps of gray that seemed to insulate us from the rest of the world.  Ruth, Mom and I went to the hot tub and relaxed visiting with some of the other guests. Karin, John, joined us there while Tom, Jackie, Luke and Heath swam in the wonderfully warm heated pool. Fedi went to AutoZone to purchase a headlamp for Mark's car which had a burnt out right headlight. He installed it while Karin was waiting for the car. She and Sarah went to Lulu's for supper. Ruth, Fedi and I ordered in Pizza then walked over to mom's to play Mexican Train. We had 6 of us noisy laughing women playing and I can't remember when I've laughed so hard. Even though we didn't see a lot of sun today it was still warm. Not sure what tomorrow will bring but that is my last day here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Almost 80

We awoke to another beautiful morning. Mom, Molly, Diane and I started our morning walk followed by couple of the early rising children on this trip. The resident heron was waiting patiently for the fishermen to come fish.
 We had more color today.

 We met Nate with a bunch more of the children on the beach. They were busy looking for more sand dollars.
 This morning the Man-o-war jelly fish were being washed ashore.
 The heron gave up when no fishermen showed up.
 As the morning went on the sun burned brightly in the sky warming up the beach until it was almost too hot. We had to keep going into the gulf to cool off. The temperature was at least 80 degrees today.
 The kids had a ball playing in the sand. Below it looks like Noah lost his head.
 Below is mom catching some waves.
 Joan did a lot of fishing today catching and cleaning quite a few whiting. To see the rest of the beach pictures click HERE. Some of the others went fishing on the pier. They had poles out when one pole went flying. Karin was able to grab it and started fighting something huge. She fought until she was worn out then the next person took over. This went on for quite a while. Finally they got it up to the surface to see they had a big 6 or 7 foot shark on.
At the pier it is required that the line be cut if a shark is on as they will not allow anyone to bring in a shark. This one gave everyone a good fight.
Around 4:00 pm we started coming in off the beach to clean up for supper. Today we drove up to Foley to eat at Lamberts, the Home of the Throwed Rolls. We all had a good time and too much to eat. Thankfully they let us bring home the left overs. After dinner we went to Spark and Rhonda's condo to play games.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Gulf Shores the Day After Christmas

 The sun struggled to break out of the low hanging clouds on the horizon this morning causing it to arrive a little later this morning. Mom, Mackenson and I walked up to the public beach while waiting.
After we enjoyed the sunrise Faith and I snuck over to Diane's and took a box of cereal out of her cupboard for breakfast for Joan's kids but they didn't end up liking that kind and ate left over fried chicken. Mom, Joan and I left Sarah in charge and decided to go shopping at Walmart for all important groceries but stopped at Waffle House first for our breakfast. I have to say this one wasn't as good as the one up north a bit so we probably won't go back. We dropped mom back off at the condo and drove to Walmart. That store was filled with our relatives which we kept running into. Everyone had the same idea, get FOOD!
As soon as we got back we got our suits on and went out to enjoy another beautiful sunny warm day on the sugar white sands of Gulf Shores Alabama.
 The waves were beautiful but rough.
 The kids found over 70 small live sand dollars

 The fishing was good and the Hermans harvested a lot of whiting today for their meals.

 Those are not shells below they are all sand dollars.

 Mom brought out the left overs for the sea gulls.

 There was football on the beach too.
We enjoyed the beach but the Gulf water is just too cool to swim in. Thankfully we have 2 heated pools. Beth and Greg got theirs heated now so the kids spent the afternoon swimming in the pools and the adults enjoyed the hot tub or just sitting in the sand. A few went to Bahama Bob's for lunch and brought back orders for those that didn't want to leave the beach. Joan took her children to Mobile to see the battle ship.
Ruth, Fedi, Ryan and Steven made it down about 7:30 pm and walked over to Bahama Bob's for supper. Afterwards we played games until late into the night. Why it was 10:30 pm by the time we just decided to quit not even finishing the game.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


We had a beautiful morning. Diane, mom and I went for a walk on the beach to watch the sunrise. We came upon a snowman made of sand to get us in the Christmas mood this morning so technically this is a sandman.

 We made our way to mom's condo where she cooked a delicious breakfast of farm fresh eggs from the Goose Ranch, bacon and toast then listened to our Christmas service on line from Peoria. The weather was sunny and warm so most of us headed to the beach. The Hermans fished for our dinner while the rest of us watched and relaxed in the sun.
From there we headed over to Karin's condo for fun in the heated pool and hot tub.

 Tom, Tara and their 3 children made it down and had to head right out to the beach for sand fun.
 This beautiful warm sunny day was just the ticket to relax on the beach.
 Below are a few of the fish Joan caught for supper. The fishing was good.
 Below is Sarah sacked out on the sand.
 Berlica playing in the waves.

 Faith feeding the seagulls
 Berlica catching a fish
 Mike had to help a boy rescue his kite which got caught up on their building.

 Now for the mystery of the day. The kids were pulling out clams for dinner and pulled in a big one. When they pried it open the clam had been eaten by this fish who had been stuck inside. We don't know if the fish had gotten sucked in as an egg, hatched then ate the clam to survive or had gotten stuck inside as a small fish, ate the clam and survived but survive it did and it grew until it took all of the room inside the clam.
We had a good dinner tonight at Beth and Greg's condos. The boys fried the fish, Beth made a big ham and macaroni and cheese, Diane made a big salad and brownies for dessert.

 After dinner we sat around the campfire visiting until Joan sent out a text to play games at mom's condo.
Some of us headed there for games and some played games at John and Beth's condo. We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family. Thankful for our heavenly Father who  sent His only begotten Son as a babe in the manger. So very thankful for this wonderful plan of salvation that Jesus who was fully God would come as a human baby, choose to die on the cross, shed HIS perfect blood for the sins of all, rise again on the 3rd day. Death where is thy sting?