Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Tree - 2011

This is our tree for 2011. It was done in gold and silver with a white angel on top. It was very pretty, we worked hard to make it so. I like it a lot. It came out beautiful and everyone was happy with it. I love the bigger ornaments, how they show up and glisten. Thought you might like to see this years tree.

I have no clue how my siblings trees look, but it would be fun to take pictures and put them side by side to see how each of us decorate our tree and the memories they hold.

Blessings all.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Does Your Christmas Season Look Like?

The Christmas season is upon us. We made it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Now we get busy and decorate the house and tree. Buying/making gifts for everyone is the best part of the season. I grew up in northern Illinois and Christmas meant cold weather, snow, sliding and having fun spending time outside. Those are memories I cherish, but I moved away from the area twenty-five years ago.

Christmas now is warm weather, green grass, sunshine, and palm trees and sometimes beaches. What is your Christmas season like - weather included? Are you someone who thinks Christmas isn't Christmas without snow? Does Santa come down your chimney or does he arrive through your patio door?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sinnissippi Park

When we were growing up, our family went to Sinnissippi Park often. It has beautiful rolling hills leading down to the Rock River and there are some caves at the bottom also. We were not allowed to go to the caves as small children.

The west end of the park was a lookout area on a bluff that allowed you to view the bend in the river and it was always a beautiful area. On the bluff was a series of mounds that later were excavated and found to be graves from the Hopewellen Indian Tribes. The National Historic Park District put them on the Historical Register. Our family still spends time at this park. It is the park mentioned in our book, "Kaleidoscope Memories: Childhood Stories That Celebrate Family Life."

As a little tidbit - author Terry Brooks is from Sterling and has set his book, "Running With The Demon" in this town and the park. You might like to check it out also.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Reward -- Drive-in Movies

At the end of the school year we would put our report cards on the dining room table. When Dad came home from work, we'd all gather round to watch his face and see if he was happy with our grades for the year. We knew we had passed, but as small children do, we needed his approval. After checking the last one, he'd look at each of us and give a big smile.
"Well," he'd say. "I guess this means we'll be going to the drive-in as soon as a suitable show comes."
"Yeah!" we shouted, looking forward to claiming our reward for woking hard at school. We were a happy, excited group of kids. Then on top of that excitement Dad motioned for us to listen to him.
"Because all your grades were so good this year, I think we can manage getting everyone a milkshake on the way to the drive-in. We'll stop at The Ice Cream Shoppe." He turned and winked at Mom. We just stood in the dining room looking at each other, smiling from ear to ear. This was a very special addition to our reward. We were all in our own little heaven.
A few weeks later at the supper table Dad caught Mom's attention. "I looked in the paper for the movies at the drive-in and there's a couple that will be playing all weekend," he said. "Do you think the kids would like to go tomorrow night?" The room immediately got so quiet you could almost hear a pin drop. We couldn't believe our ears. All eyes turned to Mom.
"I don't know, you think we should ask them if they'd like to go with us?" she winked at Dad.
The six of us called out, almost in unison, "Yes, we'll go, we'll go!"
Our parents chuckled at our enthusiastic response. "Then I guess it's settled, we go tomorrow night," Dad said. We were so excited to be going that it just didn't matter what the movies were we would be seeing. No one even asked.
About an hour before dark the next night, we all piled into the car. I do mean piled in, as there were eight of us total. Off we went to The Ice Cream Shoppe. All six kids tumbled from the car and went in with Dad. They had so many flavors to choose from but we usually got our favorite.
"What kind of shakes do you want?" Dad asked us. He heard a chorous of chocolate being called out and one lone vanilla. After getting our shakes, we got in the car. As few minutes later Dad came out carrying shakes for Mom and him.
At the drive-in, Dad would back the car into the parking space, open the tailgate and let down the back seats. Jen, Cin, Kel and me would lie on the tailgate and Gabe and Gwen would sit behind us. All was quiet as we settled in to watch the show. I don't remember if everyone stayed awake for the second movie, but the next morning we agreed that everyone had a great time enjoying our reward. Those were wonderful times for us. (Written by Vicky)