Sunday, November 9, 2014

Celebrations and Spiders

This week, I attended my 30th high school reunion.  So fun!  Yes, we are all more "seasoned", but  there was just a laid-back enjoyment of just being around these people who knew you so long ago--good friends, and acquaintances too. 
 I was so happy to see people who traveled from various places to come celebrate!
 Even some folks who live "locally"...but we don't often cross paths.  On the left here is one of our teachers.  Interestingly, it was not part of our custom to invite our teachers, but we did reach out to a few this time around.  So WONDERFUL to have them there!
 So...If you are ever in a similar situation...invite a teacher!  Buy them a ticket!  And a beer!
 Here is the group of us left at the end of the evening (the hard core crowd!).  We had a class of about 200, so even though I wish more had attended, not a bad showing.
 OK, now on to my spider story. 
This is my leg with a spider on it.
I was on a tour of the San Joaquin River Gorge, and was trying to herd this tarantula for a photo op for this fellow visitor.  He was resistant.  I think he was mad at this point.
 Here is the view up the gorge, looking at one of the two old powerhouses.  This one is almost 100 years old! 
This is the bridge that crosses the gorge.  Isn't it beautiful?
OK, one last story that touched me this week.  My niece Megan had her last home game for water polo, so it was senior night.   
 She called out her big sister Casey as an inspiration.  Not a dry eye after that.
 This is going to be a hard year for my tender heart.
I can't wait to be a part of handing out the diplomas for this group of wonderful seniors!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Fun

This year for Halloween, the girls continued their trend of pairing up for a two-person theme.  You may recall the ketchup and mustard, the dog and homework, and the pickle and cucumber.  This year, in classic Schlaefer form, they upped the ante.  This was actually a two-person costume.  The initial concept was a horse, as evidenced in their sketch below:
The horse turned into a reindeer.  Specifically, Sven, the reindeer from the movie Frozen.
I'm including a picture for those of you who do not have young girls who have watched this movie thousands of times.
So here we are with the prototype.  The muzzle is a red Solo cup covered with a paper lunch bag.  The antlers are a coat hanger covered with more paper lunch bags.  Yes, we spared no expense in pursuit of the perfect costume.
And here we are at the parade!  The girls got big applause, which made them very happy.
Here is the costume in operation, at our traditional first stop:  Grandma and Grandpa's house.
As is our custom, we drove around Burrough Valley looking for signs of Halloween.  We visited about a dozen houses, and finished up at our friends' place for a little party.  One of the events was lip-syncing.
The girls and I had practiced "What Does the Fox Say".  I got pretty into it.  Check out my goatee!  In fact, I got so inspired I was moved to lead the group in "Country Roads".
 Here's Abigail admiring, sorting, touching, and building with her candy.
 I think that's a pretty good outcome!  Happy November, All!




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Playing Hookie with my Bookie

Guess where we are here?
Yep.  The race track.

Yep.  On a Thursday.  During the day.
OK.  It's the Big Fresno Fair. 
There are legitimately academically enriching things to see here.

 We can study the odds, for example.

 And investigate innovative mechanical devices.
  This was actually a very cool series of science displays.
 I like to see the Junior Exhibits...

and check out the winners are from our local high school and 4-H!
Maybe next year, we'll have a Schlaefer entry!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Guess What Happened?

Hey, did you know that SCHOOL STARTED? 

Yes, you might have guessed that, since it is now the middle of October.

Here is the first day of school, August 21st, recorded now for posterity.   Much to my consternation, the girls are in a super, super casual phase.  There was no dressing up for the first day of school.  They are in stealth mode.  Of course, looking at Mark and I, how will they ever get any real fashion coaching???

We included ourselves in this one, to show you how TALL the girls are getting.  They grew 3 inches this past year.  And now the doctor tells me they're headed for a growth spurt.  Yikes.  Maybe I'll get some hand-me-down shoes!
But how is it that we are all in the photo?  Who's behind the lens?  Well, the cameraman was our guest, Coach Matt--one of our coaches from the British Soccer Camp the kids attended this summer.  He returned for a quick visit at the end of his soccer-coaching tour of CA. 
He was a great coach, and all the kids really loved him.
 Speaking of soccer...guess what else has started?
 That's's soccer season.  Here's Mae, defending against the strongest player in the league!
 He also has some of the best shoes. 
 Could they be the key to his super-powers?
 OK, one more photo of Mae, and one serious commitment to get better pictures of Abigail (that's her in the upper left corner)!  She had a slow start this year, with an ankle injury, but is now back up to full speed.  She had a goal yesterday, which I got on video!  I hope.  It all happened so fast!
And one more thing happened which I will share today:
 My morning glories bloomed.  After much tediously viney growth, they finally produced some flowers.
 It was worth the wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Hampshire Reunion

This summer was the 250th anniversary of my husband's hometown, Lincoln NH.  There was a week-long celebration, so of course...we went!  Mark's entire family turned out--all eight siblings, many of their children, and of course, the linchpin...Fran. 
Here she and Karen are attending a play called "The History of Lincoln".  We really enjoyed it!
There was a huge block party on School Street.
Complete with dancing in the streets...
These firefighters are doing the Macarena!
It was a great time to run into old friends.
It was also a great time to hang with family.
Here Uncle Kurt is getting initiated into our wild California ways.
Mae is getting quite good at this!

We had a great time at the local historical society, looking through all kind of photos and memorabilia.

We found Fran's first grade class photo--first grade class of 1930!
She was able to name at least half the class!  She is the cutie fourth from the right in the front row.
The origin of the best state motto ever.  Last year, Uncle John tasked my nieces and nephew with finding out the history of this phrase.  They did, and discovered why he had picked that task...they share the same last name as General Stark!
This is my finger, touching an actual meteorite.  Now I can say "I have touched an actual meteorite".  And not everyone can say that!

Of course, not all our time was spent poring over historical documents.  We also went to the local candy store--big hit with the kids! 

I spent my time refraining from buying chocolate covered bacon.

Another real treat was seeing Mark's cousin Maureen, and her PUPPIES!
These little bundles of fluff will grow up to be small standard poodles.

We also occupied our time with a new project...converting part of the old basement workshop into "Dick's Pub and Poker".
This is early on in the project.  I'll have to look for a better "after" photo.

The grand finale of the week was the alumni banquet.  And of course, the family photo!
Gotta get that side shot, showing off the proud Schlaefer shnoz!
Fran was recognized as a member of the earliest class in attendance...class of 1941!
So many reasons to celebrate.  And so we did!