Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gherkins 2013 Gingerbread Competition

We typically decorate our home for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. This year all our family was leaving early Saturday morning and we didn't want to spend our last day together decorating.

We opted for games and visiting in the morning. This time was enhanced by the arrival of my new camera. When we bought Michael the D 610, I mentioned I wanted to get the flash fixed on the D70. The D 70 was one of the first DSLR that Nikon made (the D 40 is newer) and while we loved it - the screen is very small on the back, you can do a live shot, there is no video....and then Michael discovered it would cost the same to fix the D70 or to buy a new D3200. I was skeptical. After seeing the great photos taken with the D 610 - I wondered if the D 3200 would give better photos. Michael said it would be better than what we had but maybe not as nice as the ones his we got the D 3200 for ME....and the D70 is going to be great for the kids to learn how a SLR camera works....and for outside or beach shots. All that to say - I LOVE MY NEW CAMERA. It's RED...and it takes great photos. I can't wait to dig into the manual and learn all the nifty new features. All photos in this post are taken with my new camera.

Still engaged

Playing Joker

Push ups for those who draw the 3

Yes, I do like this camera and it does take better than the old one

Michael and the men headed to town to bring back dinner - Papa Murphy's. The women set up a laptop and the projector and talked wedding plans, ideas, dresses...via pinterest. Great fun.

We spent the evening involved in the Gherkin 2013 Gingerbread Competition. It cracked me up  most weren't very interested in assembling gingerbread villages until Arielle suggested a competition between the men and women. They were OFF....and it was great fun.

I wasn't surprised when this team started by reading the directions. He discovered the important fact that the houses are supposed to set for 3 hours before you decorate them. Um.....
The women dived in...I love that each member's ideas were used on this team

The men sent a spy over - hmmmm

Two perfectionists - what will they create?

We took a break and played Pictionary while the houses set up. The game was a tie. 

We could only wait and hour and then we began decorating.....the villages began to take shape. 

The women's entry was DARLING. It had a lake, sand, sea glass, a princess, snowmen, an OSU house and a DUCK house and snow and glitter sprinkled throughout. This village turned out charming!

The men's entry was very exact. Some suggested they lose points for non-edible fences...but the women's entry had glitter and a doll. ::snort:: They used their graham crackers to create a clock tower....which seems to have been a deciding factor in the voting. The clock tower IS cool!

Both villages are beautiful - and it was far to hard for ME to be the we posted on Facebook and let the voting begin. The Lake House garnered 15 votes and the Clock Tower finished with 22 votes. The men win this year.....I've heard rumors of some already coming up with ideas for next year. ::snort::

Next year - we'll give both teams the same building items....or maybe just set some guidelines and let them bring their own extras too....we'll see.....

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

We're Going to be Grandparents!

The cat is out of the bag. We're  going to be grandparents in ten weeks! 

Of course, we've already made the switch to grandparenthood in our hearts and it is with great joy we introduce to you our first grandson - Dakota Robert Lee; born Nov. 13, 1998; currently weighs in at 140 lbs. 

Dakota is a strapping 15 year old Freshman with a size 12 shoe. He's a very good sport. 

Dakota won Michael with the first Peepaw (well OK - he won ME with the first Peepaw, but they both seem to be adjusting to the name in this photo). This photo was taken right after he'd made a "peepaw" comment....and right before he commented it is going to be fun to be part of this family! 

Dakota with some of his new aunts and uncles

They're pretty happy to have Dakota join the family as well. 

Dakota and Uncle Nolan - both freshman this year

Michael and Dakota joined forces and have decided to christen my father the "Grand Poopaw". 

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

She Said Yes

We've known since this summer that an engagement was imminent.  By August, we expected a proposal would come the beginning of November.

Izaak called in October and told us he would like to propose to Bre while they were here for Thanksgiving. He asked if that would be ok. OK? We are honored to be a part of this big day! What a blessing.  During this conversation, we learned the ring was ordered, and Izaak asked us to brainstorm ideas and locations for a proposal.

I (De'Etta) suggested the ring could be found on a wish bone in the turkey. Michael nixed this idea. I suggested in a marshmallow in s'mores. Michael again nixed this idea. We began scouting out lakes and parks. Michael had really good ideas and kept an eye for lighting and photos. ::grin::  We discussed the stairs and a princess scenario.  As time progressed, we began to think of ways which would keep the element of surprise for Bre...she KNEW a proposal was coming; she expected a proposal weeks ago; she confided in me she thought he'd ask her over Thanksgiving.

Izaak decided he'd like to ask her during a game.....we discussed Scrabble, Monopoly, Life, and then... Arielle suggested MAFIA, and it all fell into place. Mafia is a game with a mafia, doctor, sheriff and townspeople. The family would all be in one place....naturally. The game begins with everyone going to sleep - closing their eyes. This would give Izaak time to get into place...naturally.  A crime is committed. Everyone "wakes up" and fun accusations flow.

Michael and Izaak worked out the details. Michael would narrate the first round. He'd then tell me to narrate the second round. Michael stacked the deck so no one would get the three "power" cards.  I would take my time while Michael got the camera ready and Izaak retrieved a glass slipper and got in place.

As November approached I knew I needed to convince Bre I had no clue we knew a proposal was coming over Thanksgiving. So I was cruel. The last week of Oct. I encouraged her to keep her nails done so she'd be ready when he proposed on the 1st or 2nd of November.  When he didn't propose, I suggested she write a note that says, "I said yes," and carry it with her as he was sure to ask soon. When she mentioned going shopping for a dress, I told her I refused to go shopping until he actually proposed. Weeks went by and I said, "WHEN is he going to ask you to marry him?" Poor Bre...but we threw her off. She did share she thought it would be this which we did not give her hints.

The big day arrived. Our only concern was to get everyone to want to play mafia at the right time.

One tradition is to have questions on slips of paper at our seats during dinner as discussion starters. I suspected Bre thought her question would be a special one from Izaak. We made sure he was the last to read his question. ::snort::  I'm so glad Izaak chose a game and not dinner, as she WAS expecting it.

After dinner BRE began loudly campaigning for mafia. Wow.  It all worked so, well, naturally.  We had a bit of a challenge retrieving the glass slipper from our room and transporting it to Izaak's hiding place. We had to transport said glass slipper through the living room where all sat waiting for the game to begin. Bre STILL loudly encouraging mafia. The game began.

Stacia accuses Bre of being an assassin

 Taking the accusations very seriously

 Round Two...this was I waited for all to get in place...a split second before I was going to say, "Awake,"  Bre opened her eyes. She KICKED Izaak - what are you doing? - and closed her eyes again.

"Townspeople, awake!" This is what we saw....took a bit for all to grasp what was going on. The whooping of those in the know may have sped the realization along.

Izaak said some incredibly nice and sweet things to Bre. Private things which I won't blog.  Don't you love Stacia's expression?

  The ring is in the glass slipper

Hugs and cheers well as stories from Grandparents about their proposals



We visited with the boys and Shelby via Skype and shared the fun. We are rejoicing we were able to share this moment with BreAnne, Izaak and Dakota. Dakota? Did I mention we are going to gain a son AND a grandson?  

One more note, Izaak and Bre have chosen February 14, 2014 for their wedding date - our 30th wedding anniversary!

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thanksgiving 2013

This is obviously my "WHY are you taking a picture in the middle of my project," face? 

I started the turkey the night before. This frees up the oven for a multitude of dishes. Arielle and Krista were my fantastic-over-the-top-fantastic Kitchen Assistants. BreAnne helped keep our peopler happy and the other kids occupied.

Playing in the backyard

Stacia, Arielle, Krista, Bre

More playing - and waiting for the Turkey 
Nolan, Arielle, Dakota

 Below we are enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner in the living room. It worked well.....and gave the Men a way to bond - moving tables and carpets - repeatedly.

Michael continued work on the Empire State Building

The final piece

BreAnne and Izaak
I love this photo of three of the girls
Krista, Stacia, Arielle
 Nolan was Michael's puzzle assistant the past week

When I decorated the living room Michael and one or two of the kids commented on how I left glass breakables down. We realized we no longer have any small children. There was concern  young children who visit may be tempted...but we've had several groups of pre-schoolers over with no mishaps. Who would have guessed the rowdiest group in the living room would be when the older kids came home?????

This is a game created by Kent....which means we will forever think of Kent whenever Gherkins gather and favorite games commence.  Snake is a variation of tag.  The game begins with one person being a snake. They are destined to roll around the floor. Those standing run around and avoid being tagged by the "snake." When tagged - you must then roll around the ground. Try it - it's fun  - or so they tell me.  Though Krista has a headache and will need to refrain from this game today.

They look downright sinister - soon to be Uncle Nolan and Dakota

Bre and Me
The girls and me (Missing Shelby)
Bre, Stacia, Me
Krista & Arielle
All the Women - Thanksgiving 2013
Arielle, Stacia, Krista, Bre
Me, Mom Mary, Mom Jan 

All the Men - Thanksgiving 2013 (Missing Josiah, Jamin, Jared)
Dad & Michael
Nolan, Alex, Izaak, Dakota
 Manly Men 

Nolan beats in the "smolder" category

Dinner was done. We'd visited. We couldn't reach the others on Skype. Thus began the discussion on a game....Bre INSISTED on Mafia (separate post).  After a rousing-never-to-be-forgotten game of Mafia, we Skyped with the Texan Gherkins and watched Tim Hawkins.

Choosing Joy!
©2013 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...