Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've got the shingles

And here they are!

GAF/ELK Timberline Natural Shadow "Slate". Greyish greenish, emphasis on the greyish. Turns out no one makes the EXACT color I was picturing, especially in our price range. So this was the closest, and Mark and I really like it. It's already going up, but I'll have to show you next pictures yet.

Here's how the shingles arrived...they actually set up a conveyor belt. Usually shingles are delivered right to the roof, but with such a steep pitch, and knowing that it was going to take up to two weeks to get the roof finished, Mark chose the second floor. We'll bring the shingles out via the scaffolding bit by bit. That will be my job.

Stay tuned for our next episode: "Exciting things you can do when you come visit us".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A case study: The flower girls

Now, you may or may not have noticed that there was a two week stretch from the end of July well into August where I didn't post. During that timeframe we had BIG BIRTHDAY WEEKEND, which is the three day period during which my two sisters' birthdays occur. We spent it (and another day or two) down at the lake, doing the houseboat, waterski, poker, toenail painting thing. Then we had a transition day, and THEN we headed off to Albuquerque for our niece's wedding. This was the first time since '96 that all 8 of the Schlaefer siblings got together, and it was quite the event. If you know Mark, picture his energy level times 8 in any confined space...KABOOM! It is crazy, loud, full of laughter, and very memorable. This event is well documented in my sister-in-law Tracey's blog here, but I'll throw in a family pic here too (from Tracey).

All eight siblings with parents Dick and Fran

The many were able to come, it was awesome!

My message today is about my lessons learned regarding picture taking at large, important events. Abigail and Mae were flower girls in the wedding. As such, it took almost all my energy and powers of concentration to make sure they were in the right place at the right time in the right clothes without any major food scraps on their faces, clothes, or hair. Picture taking fell to a much lower place on the totem pole. This, combined with my recent vow to take more candid pictures and use less disruptive and annoying flash (along with the fact that I was running out of battery power) explains the state of the pictures I show you now. And keep in mind, these are the best of the batch!

The girls examine their flowers. Restrictions on flower throwing, petal dropping, or any other form of messy floral tribute meant they had to just hold some flowers as flower girls.

Waiting in the wings. I WAS going to do bows and flowers in their hair, but in the end, all I could muster was tying some ribbons and letting them dangle. But I liked it!

Here are the girls "doing the duty" (pic courtesy of Tracey). If it appears that Abigail is hunkered down, dragging Mae down the aisle, it's because that is exactly what is going on! After many attempts in rehearsal at praising, cajoling, badgering and threatening, we finally stumbled upon bribery as the solution for getting the girls down the aisle. They knew that they would be rewarded with Skittles at the end of their walk, so Abigail was going to GET SOME and she was gonna bring Mae with her!

Another lovely shot of the back of people's heads...but did you see the girls' adorable socks?

One of my few flash pics...isn't it nice and clear right into Aunt Genie's cleavage? Flashes are impressive! But I love how the girls are holding her hands and whispering secrets.

Um...another shot of peoples' backs. But I just LOVE it when they hold hands with Daddy!

So there you have it...a brief look at the wedding through the eyes of the MOTFG (mother of the flower girls). Hope you have learned something about picture taking!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zack moves on

Ahh, another beautiful sunset up at the house. Wait...what's that up on the roof?

Some sort of bizarre weathervane?

Are we witnessing some sort of supernatural event?

No, just Zack up on the roof, saying goodbye to the turf that has become very familiar to him these last months.

Just's what we were doing the week before Zack came, on the 8th of June:

And here he is on his first week with us:

Am I the only one who sees a difference? Nope, Mark does too...

Well done, Zack. Best of luck at Chico!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Today is the day I've been dreading...

I left my precious babies in the hands of the public school system.

Well, their teacher, Mrs. Fielding, does seem really nice. And she is my sister Karen's friend from high school.

Oh...and their teacher's aide is Auntie Gail (the brunette in the plum shirt). Now how's THAT for small town living?

I guess they'll make new friends.

The just-abandoned parents...the light doesn't quite show the sheen of tears on their faces.

Now here they are in the afternoon on their way out. Seems like they made it through O.K.

So we celebrated the big day with...what else but a big bowl of ice cream (really nonfat frozen yogurt, but I didn't have the heart to call it that.)

I'm not a total Scrooge, though. The chocolate syrup is REAL!