Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spencer's Room Re-Do

We redid Spencer's room from rainforest to computers. It involved a bigtime muck-out too. It looks much better and should be easier to keep up.

The IKEA filmstrip picture hangers and circuit board poster

computer interface chart (left) and server motherboard (rright)

Desk area with medals and ribbons hung neatly up

Cool LED IKEA lamp on dresser

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We are test-driving a new/used cat named Goo! She's a middle-aged tortoise shell cat with a gooey eye. Her family will be traveling in Europe for a year and needed to place her for that time, or indefinitely if the keepers (us) grow attached! She originally belonged to another mutual friend, Brad, so she has a long line of people who love her and are keeping tabs.

So far so good. She is very confident and self-assured without being aggressive. Trixie the dog keeps a healthy distance and Hannah the cat has seemed fine. Goo hides all day (where, exactly, we are not sure) and comes out in the evenings. She comes to her name, when it suits her, and has followed Spencer up to his room several times.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Christmas 2010 had a few unexpected surprises associated with it, but it turned out to be a success for all. Oma/Therese, who is normally the hub of all of our holiday activity, bumped up her trip to Germany to be with her ailing brother.  That left us as the defacto hub. Elisabeth drove to Blacksburg with her newly adopted dog Penny and stayed with us which was a real treat. Cortney ended up with a cast and crutches which dropped her level of productivity by 75%. We've also had two significant snow events already, including one Christmas Day, putting us way ahead of schedule for the year.

Elisabeth and Robert ended up in charge of the traditional fried potato pancake dinner, which was made in the garage with much trial and error.  Elisabeth took on preparations for the herring salad for Christmas Eve.  It was agreed the efforts would make Therese proud!

The big gifts (of the purchased variety) this year were Grant's new laptop and a flatscreen LED TV for the family room. 

Cooking in the garage

Elisabeth and Penny

Some of the potato pancakes!

Spencer and Aunt Elisabeth

Grant and Grandfriend George looking at the atlas

Herring salad!

Christmas morning - bright-eyed boys!

Grant and the long-awaited new laptop computer which Spencer set up for him.

A successful Christmas morning.  Is it nap time?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter blast

We got our first winter blast - VERY cold temps followed by snow topped with sleet/freezing rain.  This resulted in two delayed days of school and two canceled days.  Spencer made this huge snowball down the street and went to MUCH effort to bring it home! is the gang...all housebound!
And....the tree! Not too huge this year, but perfect in every way!
And...the gingerbread house, a great tradition with Oma!

Christmas Cookies

Thanks to a canceled school day, we had our Christmas cookie bake-a-thon.  I had planned to make three batches of three recipes each, two tried-and-tested (Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms) and one newcomer, Thumbprint cookies.  The Thumbprints were a bit of a bust and won't be back next year.  They are a butter-based cookie that ended up spreading and looking more fried egg than cookie.  Anyway, we had fun making about 18 dozen cookies in all.  The were boxed up as gifts, and we still have about 426 cookies left to eat, it seems.