Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Last Snow Angel Of The Winter

Will this be the last Angel in the snow this year? 

Michael and Miaya had been out in the nice weather this afternoon, and she kept asking about making an angel in the snow.   Just before they came in, Miaya was playing on the deck, and suddenly dropped onto the snow there and made her angel! 

And, of course she had to assemble her Choo-Choo Train before finally agreeing to come in for supper.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Trip Home From Illinois

Two years after the "Flood of the Century", numerous houses stand abandoned, and empty foundations mark the place where others once stood.  Flood debris still dots the wooded areas along US 34 on the approach to the river near Burlington, Iowa.  Many houses, renovated on the inside, still show the high water line on the mud-discolored siding.  The same discoloration shows up on farm buildings and grain bins in the flood plain. 

A house abandoned after the flood of 2008 on the Illinois side of the Mississippi near Burlington, Iowa.

Note the high water level on this house on the Illinois side of the Mississippi.  This house appears to have been rehabilitated. 

Two years after the flood, this business building may still be undergoing restoration, but has no windows.

 Another house abandoned after the flood of 2008.

A string of barges tied up to an island in the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa.  Note how high the water level is by the trees standing in the water.

The top of the old Moehn Brewing Co. building in Burlington, Iowa.  The castle like appearance with the crenelations and ornate corners always catches my attention.

And now, some artsy pictures......

The last bit of sun as it slipped down behind the clouds on the horizon.

A farmstead silhouetted against the sunset.

And finally, one of Princess Miaya in her chariot.

Miaya with a smile somewhere between Chariton and Osceola, Iowa.  The Princess was a bit less cheery a few more miles down the road.  Note that the little monkey has managed to slip the latch on her chest buckle. 

A Quick Trip To Illinois

Cousins Nora and Kassondra help Miaya build a tower -- another of Miaya's fascinations.

We took a fast trip to Illinois last week, Left on Sunday and returned on Wednesday.  It was a quick, spur of the moment trip to see some of Michael's family, and to clear up a few lingering bits of personal business. 

Miaya with Michael's brother Jon and his wife Dee.

Jennifer, one of Michael's nieces  -- "Sweet Sixteen"

Annie -- Michael's mother's companion and protector.  Yes, a St. Bernard who lives in the house. 

Daycare Arts and Crafts

Here is one of Miaya's Daycare craft projects.  Now how much of the work is hers may be questionable, but there's no question as to the nature of the result.  The other kids (boys) declared their results to be trucks, but our resident train expert declared hers to be a "Choo-Choo"!

Miaya Goes For A Spin

Maybe she's getting ready for Space Camp?  I hear it makes grown men squeal like little girls, so...........

"Stand On It And Turn Left"

"Stand On It And Turn Left" -- Fireball Roberts

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where's Binda?

Miaya is not happy after Belinda, her godmother, had left after the Chinese New Year dinner at our house.  She and Belinda had a great time playing with some new puzzles, and her "words" (flashcards). You're also seeing a very tired girl here -NO nap and a busy day! 

Gotta love that hairstyle, one pigtail and one braid.  Not really sure what happened there, I seem to remember there being two braids earlier in the day.  Oh well, things happen sometime.  That's a hairstyle that makes a statement, I'm just not sure what it's saying!

The Most Common Phrase In Iowa Right Now........


Sunday, March 07, 2010

Lyla From South Dakota

Kim's niece from South Dakota came to visit us this weekend during her school break..  (Well, I think she really came to visit her cat Toby, and Miaya of course.)

Miaya likes to say Lyla's name over and over, putting her own unique spin on it!

Miaya, Lyla and Toby.  Toby is staying with us for a while as Lyla can't have a cat where she lives.  Though Miaya just might put up a pretty good fight when the day comes for Toby to leave.  And, Nike would definitely miss having someone to wrestle with. 

Miaya waves goodbye.

Our "Little Sprout"

I think Grandpa would have really liked Miaya's bib......

Michael's father sold Pioneer Seed for nearly 30 years, and he would have loved seeing Miaya in the Pioneer "Little Sprout" bib.  He gave it to us when we were still unaware of how long the road would be till we had a little one running around our house.  Unfortunately, his time came long before we had so much as picture of Miaya to show around.  We've had it so long that it's probably a collectors item!

Usually less than fully cooperative when trying to get her to pose for pictures, Miss Miaya was a real goof today, leaning in for an unplanned closeup.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

I Was A Little Wrong

We did have a couple of pictures, Kim outdid herself creating a great looking table setup for the dinner. 

A few more details about our dinner, we had several Chinese or Asian inspired dishes.  Our menu was something like this:

--Crunchy Noodle Chinese Cabbage Salad
--Beef and Broccoli stir fry
--Teriyaki Chicken
--Homemade Pork Wontons and Egg Rolls
--Vegetable Fried Rice
--Steamed Rice
--Almond Gelatin with fruit cocktail
--Dessert Egg Rolls with Apple, Peach, or Cherry filling

And, for the less adventurous there were hot dogs, brats, and pasta salad.

Looking at the list above, it looks like a lot!  No wonder we worked most of Saturday afternoon and evening cooking and doing prep work.  But, it was a lot of fun as well, I know that  I really enjoy cooking for people, and I am getting a lot more comfortable with the Asian style coking that I have so far attempted.  There is still a lot more to learn, but so far the successes have been more than the failures.  We gave several dishes trial runs, and some made the cut, and some we discarded.  One of the hardest parts was the wontons, even starting with a small amount of filling, it seems to take forever to even make a dent in it.  We swore to cut down on the number of dishes this year, but somehow things multiplied as the day drew near. 

It was a lot of fun, and we will do it again next year.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Belated CNY at our house

February 28, we had a little Chinese New Year lunch at our home for some family and friends.  We spent most of Saturday getting ready, some cleaning, and a lot of chopping, cutting, mixing, and on and on.  There were homemade egg rolls, wontons, fried rice, and several more Asian style dishes (and a few brats and hot dogs for the unadventurous).  We had a lot of fun, both cooking, and sharing the meal with important people in our lives.

Miaya had a great time playing with cousin Ciara, and was in tears when Belinda, her godmother left.  She wanted to "Go bye bye with Binda!"  But, the tears soon eased and she was her cheerful self again.

There was only one problem, we were cleaning up, and noticed the cameras sitting there looking lonely and realized we had forgotten to take pictures!  Oh well, we have a lot of fond memories.  Next year we'll remember to use the camera.