Sunday, December 31, 2017


Rhoda, Hannah, David Jacob and I left last night at 4:00 pm for the long trip home after enjoying our beautiful warm sunny day on the beach. Below are a few pictures from our last day there.

 The Ospry below came swooping down right in front of the fishermen and grabbed a fish out of the gulf waters then took off flying overhead carrying the fish. I didn't react quick enough to get a good shot. 

 The game mom bought at the Skyline Home auction was played quite a bit on this trip. It is a fun game for 4 people to play.

Above Spark had come down taking a break from flooring at his condo to join us when Greg pointed to the pole and yelled "FISH ON"! Spark ran over and grabbed the pole.
The drive was going well until we were about 60 miles from Champaign, IL when the snow started. Rhoda was driving by that time and soon we had to travel about 45 miles an hour through the blowing snow on the roads. The good thing was we were the ONLY car on the road for miles and miles. We saw 3 cars in the ditch. Rhoda was dropped off at her home and the last 59 miles was spent going between 45-60 depending on if we could see or not. The entire trip took us 15 hours so we only lost an hour by going through the storm. When we left Gulf Shores it was 61 degrees outside (this was at 4:00 pm it had been much warmer) and bright sunshine. The football games was going on strong and it was hard to pull Hannah out of the game. When we arrived in Meisterville (Hanna City) it was -5. We lost 66 degrees in one night!  I went right to bed and slept while Mark took care of the horses and then drove Hannah to church. I listened on line then uploaded the pictures from Friday night's fish fry at the Herman's place.

The sibling trip is always one of our best trips even though the weather cannot be counted on to be nice. This time of year we usually get a few days of nice weather and on this trip we were blessed to have 5 beautiful warm days. Our sibling vacation is not about the weather though, it is more about being together away from work. I'm very thankful that I could go. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

A Sunny Day

Wow did we ever enjoy the day. I'm still working on pictures but if you would like to see what I've finished so far click HERE. The fishing was so great the cooler was filled with 77 fish. Check out that cooler full of fish to fry.

Greg had some help tonight with the cleaning and the frying of the fish then had us all over for a potluck supper with FISH as the main course. They built a big fire and we enjoyed the evening. I did not download any of those pictures it is just too late and tomorrow will be another big day.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bitter Cold Coming

While the weather is warming up here the news from home is grim. We are leaving here on December 31st, and the temperatures is predicted to be -16 to-18 degrees that is NEGATIVE as in BELOW ZERO. We haven't had that cold of weather for a few years and this is going to make it hard to travel. I don't even have a decent winter coat on this trip.
Ben and Taunya's family left early this morning, even before I got there to make the coffee at 6:00 am. 
We have a good report here in Gulf Shores for the next couple days, just partly cloudy and high 50's to low 60's. This morning our walk got rained out. We started walking in a mist but when the drizzle became drops we quit coming back pretty drenched. The day was mostly spent using our condo's hot tubs, Karin's condo hot tub and watching for dolphin from our balcony. Nolan saw them first and there was at least 8 but Amy thought she counted 12 dolphins fishing close to shore. Our balcony is pretty far up to get close up pictures of the dolphins, below one is just diving down to fish.
 There are 3 in the picture below, the one close to the surf actually was chasing the fish almost into the shore
 Below this dolphin almost beached itself chasing the fish.
 The birds were thrilled with the reaction of the fish, they came close to shore, there were diving ducks diving down to eat their fill and that chased the fish up to the surface where seagulls were grabbing and eating their fill.
 It was fascinating to watch, the ducks would disappear under the wave then pop up while the gulls were circling above then swooping down to grab the fish.

 We were much to far up to see the fish jumping out of the water even with the camera all the way zoomed in but it was just to wet and cold to go down to the beach to watch.
 Phil and Anna took the girls over to Karin's condo to use the indoor outdoor pool. Sarah and Nolan joined them in the outdoor hot tub. We did too but the cold rain coming down really put a damper in the experience.  Below Taegan is getting ready to climb into the pool.
 The cold doesn't seem to bother Braelyn, this pool is heated but not very well.
 Below she is swimming under the divider and popping out in the outdoor pool.
The girls ended up spending most of the day playing and swimming in the indoor pool and the two hot tubs at our condo. Karin brought games up to our condo and a good group came over to play. Diane and mom spent the day shopping and ended up buying an electric fireplace for Diane's condo and ordering one for mom's condo. Amy and I helped Diane carry it up the stairs. It looks like a real flame and puts out heat. After we tried it out we walked to Bahama Bob's for supper which was delicious. The walk home felt a little warmer but we were still glad to hop in the hot tub this evening. That relaxed us enough that instead of staying for the games this evening Amy and I headed back to Diane's and will hit the sack soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fun At the Trampoline Park

David and Stephanie packed up and left for Florida early this morning taking Israel and Elisabet with them. We were sad to see them go but rejoicing in their good fortune to be traveling South into the sunshine and heat. Our morning started out cold and so cloudy we had no sunrise, just clouds heavy with moisture. We walked in the cold and brisk wind. Below Diane was trying hard to keep her hood on and finally went back to find some rope to tie it on. We teased her that it must be baling twine but it really wasn't.
After the walk breakfast was cooked and then it was time for the grandchildren to burn off some of that boundless energy at the pool.

I left for the Mobile airport to pick up Amy while Ben and Rhoda took some of the kids to the indoor trampoline park where they had a ball. Rhoda took the pictures below.

After dinner we met back at the pool for more fun and games.

After swimming we went up to the lobby to play games in one of the meeting rooms. We finished WAY late. If you would like to see the rest of the pictures from today click HERE
Hope tomorrow is warmer and sure hope we see a little sunshine but still we have certainly enjoyed our day and for this day we are thankful.

Yesterday's Adventures

We had another beautiful sunrise but this time I just took pictures from up on the 4th floor balcony of our condo.

It looks so beautiful and warm but it was our coldest morning at 37 degrees. Oh well at home it was below ZERO. Poor Mark has been running the wood burner non stop and has only had the company of Studly and Emma. He said both dogs are pretty desperate to stay inside.  Mom, Beth, Joan, Faith, Diane and I walked in the morning on the road side checking out all the Christmas decorations done down here in the South.We thought the one below was pretty cute, Faith held the flag so we could read it. Those are blooming KnockOut roses behind her.
We saw some beautiful blooming cactus in an empty lot. The lot was actually filled with cactus so there was no way we wanted to get close.
After breakfast the volley ball games were going strong.

 Mom, Diane, Joan, Beth, Ruth, Sarah R and I played games inside. Today it was cold and

 Football was canceled, Rachel took her family to Dauphin Island. Of course all of these pictures were taken by Rachel.
and then Fort Morgan

I highly recommend visiting that place if you ever travel down. There is so much history to read about and a little bit experience. The rest of the afternoon was spent in hot tubs both at our place, Beth's condo and Karin's place. Thankful there are plenty of hot tubs for our big group. We ate dinner at DeSoto's which is close to the condo and had such a good time dinner lasted late. This was the sibling dinner and we had so much fun visiting and laughing at and with each other no one really wanted to leave. From there the ladies went to Diane's condo where we watched Chonda Pierce the Christian comedian while the guys went somewhere else. It got so late that I went to bed instead of writing but we sure had another wonderful day. Our sibling vacation is always so much fun.