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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday in Austin, New Year's Eve day

Saturday in Austin, New Year's Eve day

Annette helped the kids do a 'play' today - everyone participated - titled, "Cowboys, Indians, and Ninjas." Alex wrote it. Annette narrated it. Just a few random photos... perhaps more, later on...

Annette assisting the lead actors in preparation.
Here, the cowboy 'extras' are 'getting into their roles.'

Nancy is watching the preparation, in anticipation of her role, and being a member of the audience, as well.

After the play, we went to County Line Restaurant for lunch...

 Here is a medium photo of us... note the menu has a Big Chief Tablet front on it!  ;-)

Only photo I have of this batch with Kaylee, Larry and Annette with a decent smile... just funny lighting!  ;-)

It was a good day, anyway!  Watched NYC 'ball drop' - so ok to go to bed! Nite, nite!  ;-)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday in Austin, and more

Friday in Austin, and more

Another very nice day, in the 70s during mid-day. Here, Ben is supervising neighborhood kids in front yard playing with the bubble machine.

Later on, Arrion, Annette, and Ben played ball with Alex in the back yard. Here, Arrion is pitching, Annette is catching. Ben is in the field.

Alex hit the ball toward Ben, to field.

A couple more photos from Wednesday. Annette and Kaylee playing a game Kaylee got.

Annette helped Kaylee, later, with her 'foot massage' kit... whatever that is. Practicing being in the beauty parlor being pampered, I think!  ;-)

I'm sitting in the background, there, posting the Wednesday photos on this blog, actually!  ;-)

Another very nice day!  ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday in Austin, and more

Thursday in Austin, and more

Allison asked to see our computer lab, from this afternoon. Five all operating on the home network. Besides a lot of talk, we actually got some work done...

The kids had friends over playing in the backyard...

I think Ben was taking down Christmas lights, Arrion went to the market.

Some leftover highlights from yesterday...

Annette and Kaylee playing...

Kaylee got a Dora calendar for 2012.

Alex was born in Dallas, so Grandpa Smith got him a Dallas Cowboys shirt. [Thanks, Grandma!]

Ben got some Illini pajamas. It made him happy.  ;-)

Alex got a Rathsack Racing shirt - that mad him happy, as well!  ;-)

Kaylee had lots of toys to play with, but, first, she needed to pop the bubble-wrap.
I can hear her great-aunt Janice smiling!  ;-)

It was another great day!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First full day in Austin, December 2011

First full day in Austin, December 2011

These are photos from this afternoon when we had the Smith family Christmas gift exchange with the four Rathsacks, Annette and Larry, and Nancy and I. These are a few selected photos, four or five are from Annette's camera.

Here, Kaylee opened a gift from Allison; a pretty dress. I captured Arrion with her new camera capturing Kaylee holding it in front of herself.

Alex got a couple of good sized Lego kits from his list, along with a really nice Lego Ideas book.

Ben got shop storage unit, from us, from his list. He's planning a new garage workbench this year.

We gave Kaylee some pretty pink pajamas. She seemed to like them.

Larry got a gift off of his list - the package was pretty; the gadget wasn't, just useful!  ;-)

Nancy got a new 'basket' from Annette.

 Arrion got a dvd and some Packer decals for her van, from Allison.

Bill was surprised, and very pleased, to get a tee-shirt from Annette and Larry, special made the name and town from Bill's novels' setting... amazing!  ;-)

Arrion and Bill each got a Starfest Shirt from Annette and Larry.

Arrion and Annette went the grocery store. Annette tried to convince Kaylee these were apples, but Kaylee wasn't buying it.

Later, Kaylee playing with the new game, from Grandma, for her DS.

Meanwhile, Alex had been playing a game on Nancy's Mac.

Nancy has found she likes shawls. This is a really soft, comfortable one she got, today.

Finally, Bill was pleased to get a new Iowa State shirt from the Rathsacks.

Enough for today. Perhaps a few others from today, over next couple of days.
Tonight, we are watching Holiday Bowl with Texas, 14, and Cal, 10 - close, tough game.

It was a great day!  ;-)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day in Hollister, 2011

Christmas Day in Hollister, 2011

We, Nancy, Allison and I, celebrated Christmas Day, 2011, at the cabin in Branson/Hollister today. Nancy had the turkey in the oven as we enjoyed a light breakfast: Allison made the banana bread and fruit salad. Yum!  ;-)

Allison was pleased to start opening gifts from under the tree. She enjoyed receiving quite a number of outfits in her new, smaller sizes.

Books were common for Bill and Nancy. Here, Nancy had opened hers, Bill is showing the pretty wrapping paper.

Bill thought Nancy's 'package' under the tree for the book she got him on his kindle was very clever - a piece of paper printed off the computer of the book cover...  ;-)

Nancy got her shawl at a craft booth at Silver Dollar City, so she has shown a lot of patience waiting until Christmas to model it, from under the tree.

After opening our packages, Allison asked me to take some photos of her, for her records, both indoors and outdoors. I'll just share one, here - I liked it.

OK, one from outside, too:

Turkey dinner, Allison and Nancy:

Allison said I needed to be in one, as well:

It was a very good day!  ;-)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

First Winter Snow, 6 Dec 2011

First Winter Snow
6 Dec 2011

A couple days ago, I heard Springfield news/weather person say the first snow usually came on Dec 6 or 7; well, right on schedule, this morning, here it is!

On the small Holly bush, out front, it looked like cotton bolls, ready to pick. Even prickly! ;-)

The snow was still on the ground when it got dark, and will be in the low 20s tonight. Bundle up! ;-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Decorations and Robins

Christmas Decorations and Robins

Yesterday, you saw the start of our 2011 cabin inside Christmas decorations, if you looked beyond the two people that were the focus of the photo - the wreath above, and the plain tree, on the right.

Nancy decorated the tree today, as winter has settled in on us for this year:

She wrapped all the packages early on Saturday, so they were already to put in place. We have listened to the Christmas music on the TV cable channel - ALL DAY - been really fun!

I had put the three outdoor wreathes up on Friday (when it was warm), but had not finished the lights and wiring. I got to do that with ear-muffs, today.  ;-)

Here you can see the three lighted wreathes (by side door, and two on front).

This photo was taken within seconds of the other, but lighting is so different in the photos. Here, you can see the elf (we didn't find it last year; so it is NEW this year!)

And, finally, a few minutes earlier, I noticed another flock of Robins in our back yard. We had a flock a few days ago, as well. Perhaps a hundred... strange to see. Headed south, I guess. Here are five, on the rocks, if you look close. {I took several shots - this was the best...}

Guess they stopped for a drink in the 'pond' still in our back yard. How lucky we are!  ;-)

Upper 30's for temperature, today. Average is still about 55, so it is cold, for us.  ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Visit from youngest brother, Paul

Visit from youngest brother, Paul

Another 'happy coincidence' of staying at the cabin for Thanksgiving this year: My youngest brother, Paul, who lives in Spicer, MN, whom we have not seen in over ten years, stopped by for a long visit. Paul is pictured, above, with Allison, who stopped by after work, and joined in the conversation.

Paul brought us up to date on his health, work and family issues. It was nice to get some of the details we had only heard in brief mentions, from time to time, talking to Barry and my other brothers.

Also, Paul's son, Brendan, recently got married to Vanny, so we got a few more details on that event, since it was a small, local event that we had only picked up on from Brendan's facebook page. Hopefully, we'll hear from Paul more frequently, now, with the recent changes in his life.

It has been an interesting week, to say the least.  ;-)