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October 29, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday, Grandpa (Part 2)


Sixty years is a lot to think about. And somehow, my husband and I were able to pull off an awesome 60th birthday party for my father-in-law! I was a little worried, since we were having the party at my father-in-law's house. I thought maybe he'd hate me for having so many people over, but he loved it and he was truly grateful. But you can't pull off a surprise party without the help of the friends and guests that keep their mouths shut. And I thank everyone for helping in that way!

I think the final count of people that came to the party was around 60 - fitting for a 60th birthday - and we kept with the Taco Bell theme by providing a taco bar. I love taco bars, they are actually quite easy and there is something for everyone on the menu.

I am so grateful and thankful for my parents! They came to help out with food and setting up and to take care of their grand daughter. Often when you host a party, you don't get to chat much with anyone, but it's always great to see people staying late and having a good time hanging out with each other. I believe the festivities ended by midnight - pretty impressive for a 60th Birthday Party. And I was told the return dollar amount on empties was $23.10. This doesn't count the non-returnable bottles of Yuengling! (For my out of state readers, that's 10 cents per can we get back.)

Friends and relatives came from around the corner, and from across the US - New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania - to wish Dave a happy 60th. Everyone arrived on time, and some people were waiting outside, some inside, to surprise him when he came home.

The rainy weather kept away the "show cars" we were hoping guests would bring and park in the special "show dog" parking spot, but we had a great turnout and a fabulous time. The birthday boy said it was a lot of fun and enjoyed seeing all of his friends! 


Centerpieces that were spread out around the house. 


Guests were asked to included their Best Wishes for Dave on this board. 


Dave's sisters wanted to help. His sister, Debbie, was persistent, so I gave her the task of melting the velveeta and tomatoes. She worked diligently on this dish and did a fabulous job. I'm now calling this recipe "Debbie's Cheese." 



Guests were gathered outside waiting for the Birthday Boy to arrive. 


Two of the five that came all the way from Pennsylvania and brought the Birthday Boy 7 cases of Yuengling. 


One of the gifts Dave received. 


He was a good sport, he wore his party hat! 



Scratch pad party favors for the guests.


Dave's east coast sisters. 



October 27, 2010

Happy 60th Birthday, Grandpa (Part 1)


Almost a year ago my father-in-law said, "You know what I want to do on my birthday? I want to go to Taco Bell." when I asked him why he wanted to go to Taco Bell, he said, "Because I've never been there." I thought this was a very valid reason, and stored this in my brain, hoping I would remember when he turned 60 that I would "buy him dinner" at Taco Bell.

A few months before his birthday, I decided to check with Taco Bell to see if I could do a birthday party at their location. A quick phone call revealed Taco Bell does not do birthday parties. So my plan was to "tell a few of my father-in-law's friends" about Taco Bell and have them meet us there for dinner on his big six-oh. Well, the "few friends" list my husband gave me turned out to be more than 60 people so we had to come up with Plan B a Surprise Party (which will be Part 2 that will be published in the days to come).

I still wanted to do the Taco Bell birthday to ensure my father-in-law was not onto our surprise birthday party event. My husband, daughter and I met him at Taco Bell on the night of his birthday. I almost forgot about making him a cake so he would think this was his big-bad 60th birthday celebration. I remembered the morning of his birthday so I was whipping up cupcakes the morning before work and I frosted them at work! I nabbed some balloons at the dollar store after work and just before heading to Taco Bell.

I happened to put Rachel in a cute dress the morning of the party because the weather was going to be nice and she hasn't worn it yet! I knew there wouldn't be much more time for her to wear it before she outgrew it - it was nearly October. Rachel's teachers asked what was the special occasion for her being so dressed up, and I said, nothing, just wanted to be sure she could wear it - then I told them about the Taco Bell party and they all laughed. They were kind enough to take the dress off her and put it back on so it stayed "nice" for the Taco Bell party!

We gave my father-in-law an outdoor furniture set for father's day, his birthday, Christmas, Easter and every holiday in between, but we owed him a broom, so I bought him a broom and gave it to him. We broke the broom he keeps in the motorhome while on one of our camping adventures. 

It was super sunny in Taco Bell. It was almost impossible to find a seat that wasn't blaring sun into your eyes as you sank your teeth into the delicacy of Mexican food served at the restaurant. As I began to say they needed some curtains or blinds, I realized the Taco Bell we were at looked new and recently remodeled. When I ordered, I asked the cashier if they remodeled. He said they did, and just re-opened last week! I breathed a sigh of relief! What would I have done if they were still closed! We could have picked another restaurant, but it wouldn't have been the same as helping my father-in-law make all his dreams come true by taking him to Taco Bell.

We all ordered and as we sat down to eat, my father-in-law told us we could bring him back on his 80th birthday. The highlight of the day was probably eating the cupcakes I brought for him in the restaurant! 


A smiley photo in the morning before going to school...in her cute dress!


October 25, 2010

Rachel is 3/4 of a year old

In September my daughter turned 9 months old! She started crawling on Labor Day, she is babbling and talking all the time. She is still itty bittty, weighing 16 pounds at her 9 month check up. This just means her clothes are lasting much longer than expected. She can still wear some 3-6 month clothes and most of the 6-9 are big on her!

We recently thought maybe she was going through a growth spurt and getting teeth. She slept a lot one Saturday and began to get cranky and needy and was just not herself on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday she was a mess and at the suggestion of her teachers, I took her to the doctor. She didn't have a fever and the snot from her runny nose was clear, but she just was very off. She wasn't sleeping well and was eating so-so. She ended up being "fine" and probably having a virus, so there was really nothing we could do. Of course the day after the appointment, she seemed much better. By the weekend she was back to her normal self. This was her first "real" sickness. She's had colds before, but nothing that made her this crabby. I think my husband and I got a taste of what a "normal" baby would be like - you know, one that doesn't sleep through the night when they come home from the hospital!

We're still waiting for those teeth to "grow." 

The photo session didn't start this way, but I think this face is hilarious. 


She wouldn't keep her fingers out of her mouth! 


I love this photo and I'm bummed it is blurry, but then again, I kind of like the blur because it shows how much she is a movin' and shaking! 



October 22, 2010

Salt & Pepper

I was unable to visit the Thumb this past December due to the birth of my daughter, but my sister and her family made the trip from Georgia to my parent's house. While at my mom's house, my sister sent me a photo of the salt and pepper shakers my mom had in her cupboard. My sister counted a dozen salt and pepper shakers and all of them were full and in the cupboard ready to use. We couldn't believe she had so many nor could we believe she even used them all. 

When I visited my parent's house in September, and they were on vacation, my sister came up with the great idea to hide all of the salt and pepper shakers my mom had in the kitchen in different places around her house. I thought this was a fabulous and harmless job so I went for it!

The first salt and pepper shaker was hidden in their bed, so they found it right away. I then put this sign in the cupboard where the salt and pepper shakers are stored. I was hoping they would put the first set they found in their bed away and then see this sign.


There was a set in the medicine cabinet. 


A set in the antique desk. 

Displayed on the fireplace mantle. 


My mom called a day or so after she got home and thanked me for the "treasure hunt" but she couldn't remember how many salt and pepper shakers she had and I told her I wasn't going to reveal the number because if she needed that many, she would know how many she had! The last I talked to her, she only found eight, so if she read closely, she has a ways to go! 

October 20, 2010

Rockwell's First Trip to the Thumb

This post is mostly for my parents. They still don't believe that while they were gallivanting around Missouri, I brought my dog to their house. He did really well in the 2 hour car ride - with my husband and daughter - and then even better at my parent's house. He had fun in the Thumb!

Not sure if you can tell, but he is a little wound up in the photo above. He was SO EXCITED to come to Bad Axe! 


He loved jumping on the couch when a car came down the street. 

After the car passed, he would run into the other room to see the car continue down the road.

October 12, 2010

Barton Hills Car Show

The Gremlin X had the rare opportunity to be invited to a very prestigious car show at Barton Hills Golf Club near Ann Arbor. The show was very posh, and had a dress code (no jeans) that my husband failed to inform us of. So myself, my husband, daughter and father-in-law all showed up in jeans. We really didn't care, since we were the only car that was a race car. What was extra neat about this car show is that it was on the driving range of the golf course.


The Gremlin did not bring home a trophy. 


There were a few neat cars there. One was this 1916 Electric Car. 



Here is the speedometer. 


And the running board.


And the sign that hung in the window.


 Some other notable cars that I liked. And I like cars strictly for their looks.










October 10, 2010


It has been a while, but we've been busy! Rachel's first trip to watch her dad drag race, a 9 month birthday, a trip to the doctor for a well check, swim lessons, a birthday trip to taco bell, a surprise birthday for my father-in-law, a car show at Barton Hills, a trip to the Thumb with Rockwell, almost every weekend we were doing something! We are currently booking into November (I have a few free weekends) and I have already started Christmas shopping. But I promise I will get to my blogging to-do list by next week. I'm excited to share lots of things with all of my fellow stalkers! So stay tuned!