Monday, November 26, 2012

Tryptophan Stuper

Well, we are home.
We have made it through the extended holiday weekend. 
Wrong week to start a diet. 
We consumed too much turkey, to much oh so good bread, and WAY too much pumpkin pie. 
Tomorrow it is back to salads and veggies galore. 
We started our holidays on Tuesday as we headed back to Ohio.
Both Grandma Pam and Grandpa Bill were up to greet us when we
walked into the door at 11:30 at night on Tuesday. 
On Wednesday we caught up with all the grandparents.
 We found Waldo....
Opened up early birthday presents (hence the HUGE smile on Rosie's face)
 played a few games of dominoes
 Have I mentioned we ate pumpkin pie?
 And enjoyed the beautiful weather outside for the first few days.
 Oh and there was some loving on Baby Miley who we haven't gotten to see much of. 
What a Cutie!!!
 Lil Miss sure had a good time holding her. 
In fact when her time was up she didn't want to let go. 
Mine, mine, is what she said.   Yes, she knows that word well.  
 Ready for your close up Miss Miley.
 We took advantage of having a babysitter Wednesday night and actually went out. 
Not "out" persay.  Out of the house but not out at a bar or anything. 
We visited with my sister and her family and hung out with my nephews for a bit. 
Since having kids we haven't really had nephew time without my kiddos running around. 
The boys had a GREAT time picking on Uncle Nate.  It was hilarious. 
 Awesome Aunt Lynn made a house out of blocks. 
Then a tree, flowers, a snail, and everything else Lincoln said "make this."
After that we caught up with some college friends and had a good old time way to late into the night. 
I looked at the clock and saw 2 am and grimaced because my children don't get the memo to sleep in.  It was worth it to have some good laughs with friends.
Turkey Day
On Turkey day we got up and got all dolled up for thanksgiving. 
Thanksgiving fell on Lauren's birthday this year, so we had a double celebration at their house.
The kids always have a good time playing with the cousins.
There was football, turkey, more pumpkin pie, and coloring on the tablecloths.
Who could ask for more?  
Megan drew some great portraits. 
Looking good Nate.
 The kids always pick up some new tricks while around the Uncles and cousins and this time was no exception.  Uncle Neil was teaching Lil Miss cheers. 
Next lesson... Bottoms Up.
 I don't get to contribute to much to the holiday meals since I have to travel from so far and making things in my mom's or Pam's kitchen isn't always the most convenient. 
But I did make these with the girls out of ice cream cones. 
Friday we got up and got dressed up for Schulte family pictures. 
The grandkids do very well.
Trying to get 9 grandkids to look into a camera at the same time is tough work so we
rewarded ourselves with lunch out. 
I can't remember the last time we all ate out. 
It's been a long time.
There was a girls table, boys table (for just josh and bubba) and an adult table. 
We have quite the crew.

These two enjoyed the queso dip WAY too much. 
The whole crew. 
After lunch we headed with our bags packed to go visit my famiy for thanksgiving down in Columbus.  We listened to Christmas music and watched a christmas movie on the way down.  Even daddy was in the holiday mood.  It helps that the weather turned chilly overnight. 
From comfortable in long sleeves to bundling up in winter coats and hats. 
Friday night we had the whole Blankemeyer clan together. 
The cousins had a blast playing together. 

There was some wrestling.... 
And of course Lil Miss wanted to join in. 
Sorry Lincoln.  
It was very nice to have us all together and staying in the same town so we weren't rushing off to somewhere.  There was lots of catching up and family bonding. 
We played board games, but not one pinnochole game was played all weekend. 

 And because many of us were having a sleep over at Aunt Kathy's we got in our pajamas and still played.  Love Mason's laugh. 
Best Buds... some of the time.
 On Saturday was the big game. 
OSU vs. Michigan
We were all sporting our scarlet and gray.
Hang on Sloopy was going on all morning as the kids were pressing Kathy's little Brutus.
Before the game the snowflakes started falling. 
It was a perfect day to watch the game inside on Kathy's big TV warming ourselves with white chicken chili.  Sounds pretty perfect. 
Just a few of our buckeye fans. 
Like Father, Like Son. 
After the game, which the good guys won we had a little birthday cake for Rosie who turns 8 this week.  It was a good ending to the day. 
It's just too bad FSU couldn't pull out a win.
{Kathy, Mom, and I}
Sunday morning we woke up and headed home. 
We made a pitstop on campus to see if the crossed out M's were still there and there they were. 
All over campus M's had been crossed out in red tape before the big rivalry.
It was nostalgic driving through campus. 
Alot of campus looks completely different, but Nate and I still knew our way around. 
Then we started our trip back. 
Daddy drove the whole way (thank you) and mommy caught up on much needed sleep and watched Christmas movies with the kids.  It went smoothly. 
My head seems clearer today it must be that I am not in a Tryptophan Stuper anymore with all the turkey.  But luckily I have a small container of mom's dressing to enjoy for lunch.  Yum!!
Now we are home and getting ready for a week of birthday celebrations with Rosie an Bubba. 
We broke daddy down and are having a birthday party for each this year. 
I clearly didn't think this through. 
Should have had one this year and the other next year, but when one gets friends over the other does too.  So bring on the birthday cake and balloons. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Today we have so much to be thankful for. 
Our wonderful family, amazing friends, helpful neighbors,
a job that Nate loves, a house that fits us perfectly, our health, beautiful sunsets,
warmth, plenty of food,  
my list could go on and on.
But I will just use Bubba's explanation of what he is thankful for

We do easily forget what we have. 
I am so excited to spend the holidays with family back home in Ohio.
I am taking lots of pictures (which I love) to share when we get home.

Gigi got to write about a turkey at school.
I found this too cute!!!
Her turkey's name is Turka.
He lives on a farm in Africa.
He has 20 brothers and 20 sisters.
He loves to watch Dora on TV (i wonder if they get good reception?)
His favorite movie is Tinkerbell.
His favorite food is Turkey  (I guess he is into cannibalism? LOL)
Two sports he wishes he could play are basketball and baseball.
When he grows up he wants to be a Doctor  (um... not sure he is going to reach that goal too many years of school.)
and He plans to "be eating" (or be eaten) on Thanksgiving. 
The End
By:  Gigi
And off I go to eat some Turkey!!!  

Monday, November 19, 2012


I remember my little sister complaining about her glasses the minute she got them. 
My mom might remember it differently, but I don't think it effected me wearing
glasses.  Secretly I think at first I thought they were cool. 
Yes, I was a dork.  Not denying that.
I remember feeling ecstatic when I got my first set of contacts, especially for sports. 
Glasses are a big hindrance when your trying to play a post position in basketball.  
Nate's had glasses his whole life.  At age two he got his first pair and I can only
imagine how hard it was for his mom to keep a pair of glasses on a two year old. 
I think he broke them quite a bit.
Unfortnately he isn't a canidate for LASIK  because of his astigmatism, but glad he pushed me to have it done.  I told him I didn't have to do it until they made it possible for him to have it done, but that day may never come. 
Now we are parents of 3 kids in glasses also.  Lil Miss is the only one lucky enough not to have to wear them.   But know mommy gets to be in that same boat. 
I finally had LASIK surgery this morning. 
Yep, I am writing this blog as I have my lovely protective goggles on that are so fashionable. 
Everyone should get themselves a pair. 
Here is hopefully my last picture with me in glasses.
 Nathan and Lil Miss took me to the appointment. 
Apparently you aren't supposed to drive after the treatment and that is a good
thing after taking a xanax.  At least I wasn't sick.  I was worried since I don't take pain medication well without throwing up that I would be spending the rest of the day over the toilet. 
But instead I was just so very tired. 
Preparing for the surgery. 
They cleaned my eyes and put all the numbing drops in. 
Pretty painless.  It was nice and relaxing. 
Then I went across the hall for the procedure. 
It went really quick and before I knew it I was walking out in less than an hour headed home.
{the nice goggles I scare the kids with}
It is amazing that I can already see without my glasses or contacts. 
I can actually see the TV screen, read a paper from more than 6" away, and pretty much see anything I want.  I don't know what my vision is (post op appt is tomorrow) but I am impressed already. 
Thanks to technology I can see!!!
Let's be glad I can take the goggles off in the morning so I don't have to wear these at
Thanksgiving dinner!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

An African Adventure Part 2

So Part 1 pulled you in with dazzling scenery and so many wonderful African people. 
Part 2 will reel you in even more!!! 
The landscape of both Uganda and  Rwanda looks amazing!!!  What a beautiful place to visit. 
The group visited some rice farmers and spoke to them during a trust group meeting. 
(Rice Paddies in Uganda)
 {I seriously love the iphone panoramic feature, also love Nate's photography skills!}

{say cheese!!}
Nate took this picture of a little girl because it reminded him of our daughter Gigi. 
Hard to imagine she was that little only 3 years ago!! 
SO darn cute!!!
Rice Farmers Association in Uganda

This is a recent investment for the association.  This was a major technology improvement.  Here is a video of a similar piece of equipment running -

They visited this beautiful market.
So many vibrant colors!!  

 This is where my sweet husband picked up some fabric for me. 
See the 3 fabric bundles she is holding, those are now mine!!!
This woman is a Opportunity client as well, I love to see these women thrive. 
Another business owned by a client of Opportunity.  The bags are full of charcoal.
While in Rwanda they got to see to the opening of a new bank branch. 
They had quite a ceremony with a parade, dancing, and a cake. 

And for the staff of Opportunity in Rwanda a morning devotional is something to get up and celebrate.  Lovely voices!!

 {an Opportunity bank branch in Rwanda}
At the end of the trip, Nate and Scott got a once in a lifetime opportunity to go on a Silverback gorilla trek.  The family that they got to see was the Hirwa group.  If you look at the upper left hand side of the picture you see the twins that were in the family (the only group that had twins)!

(Hiking up to the volcano to see the gorillas.)
(Here is a picture of our guide.  The guy on the right carried an AK47 just in case the gorillas or other wildlife needed to be scared away.  They both carried machetes to get through the jungle foliage.)

{Scenery at the base of the volcano--one of Nate's favorite photos}

(The gorilla wasn't cooperating when they said Cheese! ... maybe they should have said Banana!)
(The "boss" of the family weighs 400lbs!)
(Baby gorilla climbing tree that Nate was under.)

(Apparently they didn't want to be in a picture with Scott)

(The twins plus two other kids playing)
 (Heading down the volcano after seeing the gorillas)

(Taking a break to take a picture with Opportunity education director Adele before eating dinner on the last night)

And the parting shot....
I think the guys had a great time in Africa.  I can't wait to hear about it from my brother and brother in law at Thanksgiving.  Even after being roommates with Scott, I think they are still friends.  LOL  Can't wait to schedule a girl trip somewhere.... where in the world should we go??
Any takers for babysitting while I get to go explore the world?