tAukerman

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extravaganza

November2

We hosted the third (our second) annual pumpkin carving extravaganza over the weekend.  The founding folks were all there – David & me, Jason & Robin, and Bethany & James – as well as some veterans who were at the second annual extravaganza.  There were the ever-present hot cider and caramel apple snacks, and, of course, the pumpkins.  Cooking the pumpkin seeds was such a fiasco last year that we didn’t resurrect that “tradition,” though we tried to carry over all the others (StrongBad pumpkin designs, fighting siblings, etc.).  The biggest change from last year – young children.  We had babies and kids still in single digits running all over the place.  Also, our dog – he had a smorgasbord of pumpkin bits to eat, and eat he did!  Here are a couple of fun pictures from the shindig:

Emmi's Jack-o-lantern

Autumn

Jesse

Elena

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satisfied

September10

What a great weekend.  =)

  • The Colts won (yeah, yeah – I know that was Thursday, but it was a good game and started my weekend off well)
  • We cleaned the house.  The whole house.
  • We rearranged furniture.  Throughout the entire house.
  • We picked paint colors for the new closet and for the bathroom.
  • I finally put our new towels and rugs in the bathroom (Mom, I’ll send pictures for Auntie soon).
  • We had friends over for games and fun (we haven’t done that in ages because we’ve been away so much).
  • We invited our “daughter” for dinner on Monday, and David’s parents for dinner on Thursday.  And they all accepted!
  • I *finally* ordered prints from my 2007 pictures – Hawai’i trips, church things, camping trips, reunions, get-togethers, etc.
  • I’ve got my music for this month’s Wind Symphony concert, AND my sax is back from the shop.
  • I was relieved of a duty that was really dragging me down emotionally (no details, but it’s a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders).

package!

September6

I LOVE packages.  If you want to make my day, my week, my month – send me a package.  I’m yours.  =)

I just came back from that long, 2-day drive to find a package in my mailbox – for ME!

Naphtali, this really neat girl who spent the summer slumming it in our ‘hood (and just moved to Chicago, much to our dismay) sent me some you’ve-gotta-hear-these CDs.  We’d been talking about music and found that our tastes are remarkably similar.  She’s more knowledgeable, though, and asked if I’d heard much Snow Patrol.  I’ve heard some and loved what I’ve heard, but don’t know much of their music.  She said that sometime she’d hook me up – and this week was the week.  =)  She sent two SP albums (Eyes Open and Final Straw), and two Reindeer Section albums (Y’all Get Scared Now and Son of Evil Reindeer).

I really dig the RS CDs – check ‘em out if you get a chance.

posted under friends, music | 1 Comment »

11:17

May26

I’m getting ready to call it a night.  The house is clean and David’s winding down (he usually stays up later than me, but tonight I’m waiting for him). 

We had Pastor and Daisy over for dinner tonight – what a sweet time!  I love those two so much, and have been wanting to spend some time with them for a while (personal time – not time in passing after church or during a big event with folks surrounding, but honest-to-goodness quality time).  It was good timing, too, I think.  For us and for them. 

It’s been a rough week.  Janet, this funny, sweet old woman from church, died Wednesday.  It was unexpected, and we’re all missing her already.  The funeral was sweet – was joyful, in many ways – but it was still a funeral, a goodbye.

I was glad to have Tom and Daisy here – it was a chance to relax, to be in quiet fellowship - and to laugh!

We just moved the dog’s crate into the basement (it had been in the dining room, but I hated it there, in the room where we eat and have company) and tried to get him to go down and get in it, but that didn’t work out.  At first, he wouldn’t go downstairs.  Then he whined and whined.  Then it dawned on us stupid humans that the poor dog probably thought he was being punished.  Dark, quiet, alone… this is the most effective time-out environment for dogs, say all the books.

So we moved the crate back upstairs – now, it’s in a corner next to the piano.  Still out in the open, which I don’t like, but nestled into a relatively unobtrusive spot in our least-used downstairs room.  We’ll see if he likes this any better (I’m betting he will – he’s never really liked the basement).

Wish us sleep.  We may not get any (because we’ve changed Jake’s sleep environment).

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“camping”

May3

This has been a funny week.  I have another story. 

We went “camping” this past weekend.  A friend was finally finished with a semester of a full-time grad school program, taken while working full-time.  As a celebration, she decided to organize a group of friends (10) for a camping trip.  She had her heart set on Turkey Run, so made reservations at a campground just outside the park.

David and I were the first ones on the road.  Which meant we were the first ones to the park.

We pulled into the campground at Turkey Run and asked the woman at the gate if she had reservations for our group.  She said no, and that they weren’t taking reservations at all.  We pulled out the piece of paper with directions, saw the name of the place we were supposed to find, and asked her how to get there.  She pointed us up the road.

We drove up the road, passing a canoeing outfitter we recognized (a couple of years ago, we went canoeing with another group of friends, and rented the canoes from this place).  Just past the canoe place, we pulled into a gas station.  We were stopping to ask for directions (we had been out in a state-parky area, but now it looked like we were driving back into a town – we’d just passed a high school), but lo and behold…  There, in front of us, stood a building with a sign proclaiming that it was the place we were trying to find:

the

… the “Up the Creek Boat-ique.”  (Yes, we made faces, too.)  This place’s decor was Hooters meets Cheeseburger In Paradise – painted fish totem poles, fake ponds, light-up palm trees, music piped over the speakers…  (It’s actually a neat little place – just not quite what we expected for a camping trip.)  We were… suprised… that Bethany reserved camping sites here.  We thought, “Surely we won’t be camping HERE!”  Yes, we would.  And don’t call us “Shirley.”

Here’s David’s I’m-so-excited-about-this-place face:

Dave loves the Boat-ique

We walked into the store and asked the teenager there if she had reservations for our group.  She called an older woman over and, laughing, said, “There’s some tent campers wantin’ to know if they’ve got reservations here!”

We asked a few questions, told her Bethany would be along shortly to fill out the form (who knows what was on it?), and they gave us directions to the campsite.  Relieved because it sounded like the campsite was a distance away and secluded, we took off in the car. 

30 seconds later, we arrived at the campsite.  Which was the backyard of someone’s [abandoned, now] house.  The yard was fenced in by trees and barbed wire.  You could see the canoeing outfitter through the fence.  You could hear traffic from the school/roads.  You could hear sirens from the town.  And you could see that bright orange, light-up palm tree from anywhere in the “campsite.”

David and I laughed for the entire first half hour.  Here’s our tent site, which was at the far back corner of the yard:

our campsite

It was the funniest “camping” trip we’ve ever been on.  Bethany got there and was mortified - turns out the website and the lady on the phone did a good sales job.  Beth had already paid for the sites, so we all “camped” there.  We had so much fun (both just being together and teasing her – she’ll never live down her reputation as “event planner”) – what a great way to end a tough semester!