Debbie Schilling and Tom Bundy's Photos Page: 2017 [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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The start of a new year means that it is time to create the Gale Force Software photo collage for the previous year, which is one of our favorite annual tasks. It turned out great, as usual. Taken 1/9/17.
When Kelly comes to visit, she loves to play "Titchen." Yes, she is wearing two different aprons, because it's important to be properly dressed when cooking. Taken 1/10/17.
Debbie organized all her spices into brand new spice jars with pretty labels, and Tom installed four new spice racks for her in the laundry room/pantry. Here they are in all their glory - baking spices are on the far left, and everything else is savory.
Every once in a while, Claire decides she wants to hang out on the couch with Mom. Taken 1/17/17.
It's fun to hang out in the basement at Camp Grandma. Taken 1/21/17.
Macalester professor Marlon James came to Butler University to speak, ...
... so local Macalester alumni got together for the occasion. Taken 1/23/17.
When Tom has to work in the server room on a Friday night, we still manage to treat it like date night by starting up Facetime and keeping it on for the entire time. It allows us to chat when we want, but concentrate on the task at hand when needed. Taken 1/27/17.
Claire loves her yellow squeaky toy from our friends Brian and Ann. There's a blue one somewhere as well, but we rarely see them both at the same time. Taken 1/28/17.
Our adventures in pasta involved rainbow bowtie pasta this time. Pretty! Taken 1/28/17.
We had dinner with Audrey and Dean at Mimi Blue Meatballs on 1/31/17.
It was time to add new artwork to the Orchard Software walls, so we spent some time framing more employee prints, then hung them up later in the week. Taken 2/5/17.
We aren't big football fans, but we do like the excuse that a major sporting event gives us to have some party food and beer. Taken 2/5/17.
Even if it is winter outside, our Aerogardens allow us to have flowers inside. Taken 2/10/17.
On a Saturday morning, we took Claire to AMC's Sensory Friendly Films showing of the LEGO Batman Movie.
The grandkids came by later that day so we took the whole gang to Holliday Park.
Later that evening, Kelly got to experience Melodifestivalen for the first time when we watched the second of four semi-finals with her. Taken 2/11/17.
The next day, Kelly helped us make pigs in blankets. Taken 2/12/17.
On Valentine's Day, Debbie's friend Ann gave her a container of valentine treats.
Claire came home from her new daycare with valentine treats too. Taken 2/14/17.
On an extremely warm day in February, we took Claire to her favorite park to play. Taken 2/18/17.
Debbie subscribed to Fortune Cookie Soap's monthly subscription box for half of the year. Here is the February box. Taken 2/19/17.
Kelly loves to help Grandpa. Here she is helping him collect branches in the front yard. Taken 2/22/17.
We enjoyed an evening of arcade games and ...
... dueling pianos at Alley's Alehouse with Audrey and Dean. Taken 2/24/17.
Just in time for Mardi Gras, Debbie made her first attempt at a King Cake. Tom ended up with the slice that had the baby hidden under it. Lucky guy! Taken 2/26/17.
Getting these grandchildren to pose for a photo (and smile) at the same time is nearly impossible, but worth a try. Taken 2/27/17.
We had a fun evening at Jamaica Reggae Grill and Union Brewing with Alice and Joe, but forgot to get a picture with them. So, this photo of the Jedward magnet they finally confessed to leaving on our mailbox last year will have to do. Taken 3/1/17.
It was Claire's turn to fall under the spell of Melodifestivalen. She took time out of her busy toy-playing schedule to listen to a dreamy Swedish singer perform during the Second Chance (Andra Chansen) round. Taken 3/4/17.
We headed over to Karen and Marshall's house for Marshall's surprise 50th birthday party. Here are Tom and Scott eating some birthday cupcakes. Taken 3/4/17.
As part of our adventures in pasta, we had purchased a 12-pack of this strange pasta, which is like foot-long versions of the pasta used in Kraft macaroni and cheese. Desperate to find new ways to use it up, we made a batch of Yum-a-Setta with it instead of egg noodles. Fortunately, it was delicious, but then again, it's hard to imagine Yum-a-Setta ever not being delicious. Taken 3/5/17.
In March, we visited Ecuador and ...
... the Galápagos Islands. Read all about it here.
We got home in time to attend our grandson Johnny's first birthday party. See if you can guess the theme.
His pappaw made him a play table and chairs.
His two-year-old sister wanted very much to help him open presents.
Johnny, the birthday boy, was just happy to have cake and an audience cheering for him. Taken 3/25/17.
Did you know that there's a board game version of the Oregon Trail? There is, and Audrey and Dean brought it over to play. Not unexpectedly, most of us died of dysentery.Taken 3/25/17.
Our cousin Rachel's partner, Cory, died in March, so we headed to Eau Claire for his visitation ...
... and funeral the next day. Heather asked Debbie to speak at the ceremony, so she did. Many of the Schillings were in attendance, since we all loved him. Taken 3/31/17.
Since we were this far north, we drove over to the Twin Cities for a day of sightseeing on our own. Read all about it here.
We brought out our telescope on a beautiful night and got a great view of Jupiter and four of its moons. Taken 4/7/17.
We took the grandkids into the garden for pictures. It didn't take Kelly long to discover that it is fun to pluck all of the petals off of a grape hyacinth.
Johnny was just happy to play on the rocks in Grandma's garden.
That evening, we took the kids to Gale Force Software's Family Fun Night. Kelly made friends with Troy's daughters while Johnny crawled around under the tables.
We played Jackbox TV projected onto a wall of the conference room and it was great fun. Meanwhile, a fierce Nerf battle was raging among the kids in the hallways all around us. Taken 4/8/17.
We bought a couple of lanterns at IKEA in March, and with the warmer weather, our patio became our favorite place to enjoy cheese, sausage, crackers, and beer samplers. Taken 4/9/17.
We celebrated Dean's birthday with a breakfast-for-dinner evening, where each person was responsible for creating their own omelette/scrambled egg masterpiece. Taken 4/14/17.
The next day, Dru hosted his own 50th birthday party with a tequila and Mexican street food theme. Here's Dru with the surprise ball Debbie made for him. Taken 4/15/17.
Another weekend with the grandkids, another photo op in the garden. Here, Kelly is the same height as one of Grandma's tree peonies, ...
... but much shorter than one of the others. Taken 4/21/17.
We got up early the next morning to watch the Carmel Marathon. It consists of a 5K, 8K, half, and full marathon, and for the first time ever, the route was going both up and down our street, including the full marathon. Normally, we only hosted part of the runners, and only one way. Johnny and Tito watched from the dining room ...
... while Grandma and Kelly went to the front yard in their pajamas to shyly wave at the runners. Taken 4/22/17.
That same morning, Kelly asked Grandma if she had any Barbies that Kelly could play with. Grandma was as truthful as she could be - since Kelly wasn't yet three years old, Grandma really didn't have any Barbies that Kelly could play with. Later in the day, we went to play upstairs for the first time and Kelly opened the linen closet door. It turns out that Grandma does have Barbies. So we took out all of the small pieces ("until I get bigger") and played.
We also took a trip to Claire's park. It's a handful taking all three of them, but it can be done and they all love it. Taken 4/22/17.
Tom loves his annual mulch-spreading project. Why? Who knows?
Maybe it is becaues the gardens look so good afterward, including our newly-fenced-in vegetable garden. Taken 4/25/17.
Debbie started the Orchard Women in Tech group at her work, and organized a series of quarterly panel discussions. She moderated the first one, then participated in the one shown here. Taken 4/26/17.
We had an impromptu game night at Audrey and Dean's. We can be spontaneous when we want to be! Taken 4/29/17.
We liked our new IKEA lanterns so much that we bought a full set of eight for our patio. Oooh, pretty. Taken 5/5/17.
Dean had some serious hard drive problems, so Tom spent a week restoring the files on it. Taken 5/6/17.
We met Margaret and the Sanders for a nice lunch at the Old Richmond Inn to celebrate Margaret's birthday. Taken 5/6/17.
The next day was Paige's baby shower. While in Texas in March, we had planned ahead and gotten bags from a donut establishment that featured her last name so that Debbie could use them to wrap her baby gifts.
The shower had a theme of Alice in Wonderland. The food and decorations were wonderful ...
... and there were baby gifts everywhere. Taken 5/7/17.
The Austins came over a couple of days early for Mother's Day.
We headed outside to spend time in the lovely weather.
The lighting was perfect for this three-generation photo of mothers and daughters. Taken 5/12/17.
It's Eurovision time! Debbie couldn't be more excited.
As is our tradition, we had a Eurovision viewing party with Audrey and Dean, complete with the usual scorecards and a few hat-based games. Taken 5/13/17.
We heard about Spam musubi and decided to give it a try since we still had plenty of cans of Spam from our trip to the Spam museum last November. Here's the prep work. It was really quite delicious even though we didn't have the right size nori (seaweed) strips. Taken 5/14/17.
For Weird Food Wednesday at Orchard Software, Debbie made durian pudding. The mix was a Christmas gift from her brother. Having tasted actual durian, Debbie can confirm that the smell was accurate (but milder than the real thing, fortunately) and the taste was also similar. Taken 5/16/17.
No self-respecting Dirty Dancing fan can pass on the opportunity to drink Sun King's Pachanga beer. Taken 5/17/17.
The Orchard Software senior leadership team spent an afternoon at the track. We treated ourselves to bicycle-pulled cart rides from the parking lot to the suites.
We had passes that allowed us access to the garages and the pits. We also got to take the opportunity to kiss the yard of bricks.
Here's the view of the track from the patio of our suite. Taken 5/18/17.
Having discovered the Barbies, they are now Kelly's favorite toys. Her Grandpa patiently spends hours playing with her. We haven't yet told her that the Barbies used to belong to her mother. Taken 5/19/17.
Like his sister used to be, Johnny is curious about Claire and her toys. He doesn't dare take them from her because she is so big but he likes to see what she's holding. Taken 5/19/17.
Kelly still loves Auntie Claire, but she's not quite as obsessed with her as she used to be. Taken 5/20/17.
The Gale Force crew got together at the Escape Room Fishers. We divided into two teams and raced in two identical rooms separated by glass windows to see which team would escape first. Tom's team was not the winning team.
Debbie's team was. (Dawn is hidden by Steve in this photo.)
Afterward, most of us went to Redemption Alewerks for appetizers and beer outside, followed by some live music by Dad Jeans inside later on. Taken 5/20/17.
As part of Debbie's ongoing crusade to buy every mix sampler on the market, she purchased a couple of cases of Jiffy mixes: muffins, cakes, corn breads, pie crust, etc. This should keep her busy baking for at least a year. Taken 5/23/17.
Spam musabi, take two: this time, made with correctly-sized seaweed wrappers. Still delicious! Taken 5/23/17.
We met Audrey and Dean for dinner at O'Charley's, and Dean brought along a box with his hard drive for Tom to fix, because it had broken again. Psych! The box was empty! We laughed and laughed. Taken 5/24/17.
After fifteen years, these brothers still like to be near each other. Taken 5/28/17.
We drained the swim spa a couple of months later than usual.
As always, we brought Claire in to play in the water before we did. Although she can stand in the water on her own just fine, she loves being bounced around in the water by Mom and Tom. Taken 5/28/17.
On May 25, Debbie announced her retirement from Orchard Software at the end of July. The next week, her colleague Bryan presented her with this beautiful personalized cutting board. Taken 5/30/17.
The very next day, this hilarious monkey t-shirt arrived at the office from her colleague Tammy, after one of Debbie's Facebook posts referenced having dancing monkeys on her final day.
Tom also gave her a gift: a program that counts down the time until her last day at work.
Coincidentally, her dad sent her a retirement clock that he had received to count down his own retirement many years earlier. So Debbie posted both photos on Facebook and issued a challenge to her brother to see if he'd come up with something.
And he did! He posted this photo a couple of days later.
Debbie treated herself to a final pair of cool shoes from Israel, which is where three of her other favorite pairs of shoes and boots were from. These shoes are completely impractical for a retired person, but it sure was fun wearing them the last two months of work. Taken 6/1/17.
We bought this water table a year earlier when it was a little too much of a hassle to play with, but now it was just right for the grandkids. Add a little bubble juice to the water and it becomes even more fun to play with.
Later on, Grandpa read one of Kelly's favorite books to her: a personalized book about when her own mommy was a baby. Taken 6/3/17.
Kelly helped Dentist Barbie give Obi-Wan a dental exam. Taken 6/4/17.
Jill stopped by on her way to an appointment so Debbie hid Cardboard Hermione behind the bathroom door for one last prank before Hermione went back to Orchard Software where she belonged. Taken 6/7/17.
Our new van, Septimus, hit 10,000 miles after eight months. The mileage would have been much lower if we hadn't driven it to Wyoming and back the first week that we owned it. We were in the process of driving it to Elkhart for ...
... the wedding of Phil and Courtney.
While in Elkhart, we stayed overnight and did some sightseeing, plus we searched for elk ...
... and heart statues (elk + heart, get it?). Read all about it here.
We played Pandemic in June and were able to save the world from disease. Taken 6/17/17.
On LEGO Day at Orchard, Debbie brought in a box of LEGO bricks for people to build with. One of her colleagues built a LEGO version of the Debbie bobblehead. Taken 6/21/17.
In late June, we headed to Minnesota for a long weekend. First, we had dinner with Rick, Jan, Russ, and Kathy in Stillwater, ...
... then spent a morning in Scandia and Lindstrom, ...
... had lunch with Mary and Benny (the main purpose of our visit), ...
... dinner at Carbone's with Kristine and Jean, ...
... game night at Will's with his kids, ...
... an Intran reunion with Tom B., Dale, and Kristi, ...
... and appetizers and beer with Gordy and Lyn. Read all about it here.
On Tom's birthday, we had a glow-in-the-dark party. Audrey brought colorful cupcakes to match the colored lights hidden in her pony tail. We had great fun with glow-in-the-dark silly string, nail polish, stickers, and signs.
Audrey suggested that we play the glow-in-the-dark version of Labyrinth. The first part is played with the lights on, ...
... then the second half is played with the lights off. The effect was really cool.
Light-up ice cubes lit up the birthday cupcake display. Taken 7/2/17.
We had the grandkids over the day before Independence Day and they were dressed in their most patriotic outfits. We took them to the park ...
... and had a little photo session on the front lawn. Taken 7/3/17.
While taking them home the next day, Kelly spotted this float next to McDonald's awaiting its turn in the Carmel Fourth of July parade. Trying to understand what she was seeing, Kelly asked us several times, "What is her?" Taken 7/4/17.
A week earlier, this tree's needles were partly turning red. In just a week, the tree completely died. Unfortunately, storms the week before meant that every tree company in town was too busy to take it down before the end of August, so it got to decorate our front yard for weeks. Taken 7/10/17.
For the second year in a row, the Orchard Development picnic was rained out so we had to hold it indoors. No problem, because that meant more time for holding baby Tia in air-conditioned comfort. Taken 7/12/17.
Two weeks before Debbie's retirement, Audrey presented her with a most amazing gift: a book created from the Orchard blog posts Debbie had been writing for the past two years, including the next two weeks' worth of posts that were written but not yet published.
Debbie had finished writing her final blog posts in advance and Tom had snuck the completed posts to Audrey for publishing. The book contained photos from the blog and turned out great. Included were 24 copies to share with others. This is definitely one of the greatest gifts Debbie has ever received. Taken 7/14/17.
One of the blog posts discusses why it is important to start the buffet line at a party, so the very next day, Debbie was the first in line at the Gale Force Software barbecue.
Pappaw watched Johnny and Claire while we took Kelly with us to the barbecue. Kelly talked Grandpa into getting into the pool no fewer than four times.
As usual, Debbie got a group photo of the Gale Force staff. Taken 7/15/17.
We had been too busy with other things to properly celebrate Claire's 28th birthday on the actual day, so four days later, we sat her down with all of her presents to open them. She doesn't understand birthdays, but she does know that presents sometimes mean fun things to play with.
This birthday was no exception. She got some nice, loud toys and musical birthday cards along with other goodies and she was very happy about it. Taken 7/18/17.
Debbie's official Orchard Software retirement party was held just over a week before her last day. First, the owner's son gave her a lovely bouquet of flowers.
A two-hour company-wide party was held in the afternoon. The buffet theme was Swedish foods and featured Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, white gravy, and lingonberries, ...
... plus shrimp cocktail, sliced cheeses and meats, fruits ...
...and veggies, plus bread, crackers, and Swedish crisp bread.
It was all wonderful, but the most amazing part is that they had commissioned a nearby bakery to create Swedish princess cakes, which are traditionally served to celebrate a special occasion in Sweden. The cakes turned out beautifully and were completely authentic and delicious.
The main theme of the party was "Board Games and Beer," and there was plenty of both.
Tom and Claire were invited to attend, so they had a front row seat when Rob, Curt, and Keith each took a moment to say a few words of farewell.
Debbie gave a farewell speech, which would be the very last public work presentation she'd ever have to give.
Debbie had asked her staff to take photos of the event to share with her later, since she was normally the unofficial photographer and wouldn't be able to take many. They had fun with the assignment and she received a huge assortment of photos, including this one.
There were presents in the front of the room, including these three growlers from the company, each with a matching gift card.
Many of the employees signed this huge retirement card which was covered with photos of Orchy and titled, "Where in the World is Debbie Schilling?" Inside, it said, "In the garden with her grandchildren, of course!" along with pictures of Kelly and Johnny.
The HL7 team gave her a gardening tote bag filled with goodies and hand-painted with her name on the front.
The back had a painting of cocktails and said, "This drink tastes like I'm retired." It was hilarious.
It was a great afternoon and we had a great time, even if Audrey still is much better than Debbie at making the Junior Birdmen face. Taken 7/20/17.
The next day, a large box arrived with a lovely package inside.
It contained a gorgeous glass platter from the good folks at 4D.
Etched along the bottom edge of the glass is, "To a Great 4D Partner. Best Wishes for a Happy Retirement!" Taken 7/21/17.
In Debbie's last senior leadership team meeting, her boss gave her an official Orchard retirement gift, similar to those given to other retiring employees, with a beautiful glass apple on it. Taken 7/25/17.
There were more surprises and gifts at Debbie's last department meeting. There was ice cream and chocolate cake, including German chocolate, plus ...
... a tower of Caffeine Free Diet Coke (a running joke in the department) covered with gift cards to all of Debbie's favorite restaurants and stores, ...
... and a wonderful collage of Orchy photos representing as many continents and colleagues as possible. Taken 7/26/17.
While packing her office, Debbie was amused to see that the "Kick Me!" sign that Jill had added years ago was still on the back of her bobblehead. Taken 7/24/17.
We were so busy with work and retirement activities that we didn't have time to go to dinner for our anniversary, so we settled for a romantic trip to the grocery store instead. We had recently heard that ranch dressings now come in several flavors, so we made a special point of looking for it, but we were not prepared for this amazing display of ranch dressing. Taken 7/26/17.
It was down to Debbie's last two days at Orchard Software. Christy stopped by with a lovely letter and a box of Debbie's favorite Hostess treats.
Evan came by with Picket #579. After keeping the rest of the Development management team up-to-date on the status of the picket fence he was building and painting, we all applauded a month or so earlier when he announced that he had finished and that it had taken 578 pickets. It was a hilarious gift to receive the 579th picket!
Right after Evan's visit, Andy, Renee, and Tom came by with a tray of Turkish coffee. Debbie had once joked about having tea parties in her office, so this is the result. Taken 7/27/17.
On Debbie's final day, she came in to find her door ...
... and office decorated.
Company president Rob came by with donuts for Debbie's last day.
Ariel presented Debbie with a beautiful handmade quilt that she had started making two months earlier when Debbie announced her retirement. She finished it with a week to spare!
Drew gave Debbie a framed copy of "the last line of code you'll write." Sure enough, it was the last thing Debbie typed into Harvest before leaving.
Phil took down Debbie's beloved parking spot sign for her to take home with her.
Debbie bought last day treats from Dairy Queen for the department.
The retirement clock that Debbie's dad sent had counted down to zero, ...
... so it was time for Debbie to load up her car and go.
She left nothing behind except for the nameplate on her office door (which was removed and delivered to her an hour later) and an office-warming gift in the filing cabinet for the next occupant.
At home, Audrey helped us get the house ready for the unofficial retirement party. Even with limiting the guest list to current Orchard employees and only passing on invitations via word-of-mouth, we were expecting a lot of people so there was a lot to get done. Tom had taken the day off to clean, put beverages on ice, and make the food.
We had coolers and a couple of Sun King mini-kegs in the sun room, plus the original Orchard Software tenth anniversary portrait, which had long ago been taken down, folded, and given to Debbie to store.
We had bottles of Malört and bowling ball shots, of course.
John brought a gorgeous bowl of hydrangeas and lavender roses.
Steve and Nancy brought a big tub of Swedish-, Firefly-, and retirement-themed gifts, including these humorously rebranded bottles of vodka and beer.
Near sundown, guests were invited out on the lawn ...
... because Andy was putting on a fire-breathing show in the driveway.
Inside, we had in two locations, ...
... and games going in two more locations.
We ended up with about 50 guests and a good time was had by all. Taken 7/28/17.
With retirement pandemonium over, we finally had a free evening to try the Schilling Blueberry Cobbler Cider that Doug had sent us this summer. It was tasty. Taken 7/31/17.
It was a week late, but we went out for our anniversary dinner. We went to Rodizio Grill, home of all things Brazilian, including delicious Antarctica Guaraná and more grilled meat-on-a-stick than any human being can eat. Taken 8/2/17.
With spare time and a thriving rhubarb plant, Debbie made strawberry-rhubarb sauce for the first time. It was really easy to do and well worth it. Here's the before shot of the ingredients involved.
Later that day, Debbie was on a roll and decided to tackle tomatoes next. With yellow and red tomatoes ripening daily, we had to do something with them all, so we bought a food mill. It took hours to grind the tomatoes, simmer the pulp down to a tomato sauce, and then clean up all of the mess. This might be something that is better purchased in a jar rather than making from scratch. Taken 8/4/17.
Our friends Trish and Greg came for an overnight visit. We headed to Mimi Blue Meatballs where we each had a plate of meatballs, obviously.
Afterward, we played and had a great time. Taken 8/5/17.
The Austins came to visit and Kelly helped Grandpa put shredded cheese on the big pan of Johnny Marzetti casserole.
Kelly found Grandma's retirement crown from Steve and Nancy, and happily put it on. Taken 8/6/17.
Debbie met up with Orchard Software client (and now friend) Cindy at Max & Erma's and completely forgot to take a photo. However, she did get a photo of the Orchard training van filled with Orchard employees and clients who waved at her when she left. Taken 8/9/17.
Over the previous year, a Top Golf facility has been under construction right next to Tom's office. From time to time, he and his colleagues would wander over to assess the progress. With opening day just a couple of months away, things were starting to look finished. Taken 8/11/17.
Debbie's first-cousin-once-removed, Josh, worked at Orchard Software as an intern this summer. When his mom Kathy (Debbie's first cousin) came to help move him back home to Tulsa, she had just flown from Seattle that day, where she was visiting her brother and sister-in-law. A photo had appeared on Facebook that morning of Kathy sitting on a step in Seattle with her nephews, so naturally, we had to get a photo of Kathy sitting on a step in Indiana that same day. Taken 8/11/17.
We played Escape the Room: Mystery at the Stargazer's Manor with Audrey and Dean. Did we escape? Yes, we did. We're just that good. Taken 8/12/17.
It's so much easier to have a fire in the fire pit when all of those millions of sticks in the back are bundled instead of just piled up, so that's been keeping Debbie busy early in the morning after Tom goes to work. Taken 8/13/17.
The nice thing about being retired is that Grandma is available to take grandson Johnny to the pediatrician when Mom and Dad are busy. Taken 8/15/17.
Debbie's tomato plants produced way more plants than we could use fresh, so we dried tomato slices ...
... which turned into perfect little tomato discs to be put in soups and pasta dishes all winter. Taken 8/17/17.
A couple of days before the total eclipse, a solar-themed gift appeared in the mail from Debbie's brother: lollipops that look like each of the planets in our solar system.
The very next day, we were headed south to Nashville to see the eclipse. We made a long weekend out of it, arriving two days beforehand. We had dinner at Black-eyed Pea in Hendersonville, and placed a large order for takeout on Tuesday morning so we could bring some of their delicious food home with us.
We headed to Trish and Greg's house for a fun evening of games. We played Dominion for the first time and were immediate fans. Taken 8/19/17.
Two days later was the big event. Our hotel in Mt. Juliet had a large park-like field on its property, ...
... which was just perfect for observing the eclipse. Read all about it here. Taken 8/21/17.
Starting off the weekend of many Orchard Software social events, Debbie joined some of the Development staff for the first ever Final Friday gathering. Taken 8/25/17.
The next morning, we headed to the annual Special Olympics Plane Pull, where we were immediately handed Orchard shirts and Tom was pressed into service pulling a plane.
Next, Debbie's former colleague Drew's son Jack was delivered to us for an overnight visit while his parents attended a wedding.
Then we packed up Jack and Claire and headed to the Disney Meet where former colleagues Adam and Billy were serving Dole Whips.
Later that evening, Debbie headed to another Orchard Software gathering ...
... which was a baby shower for Matt and Maggie. Of course, Debbie's gift involved a baby girl-themed surprise ball. Taken 8/26/17.
Another overnight with the grandkids: first, some posing in front of the recently removed dead tree in the front yard, ...
... and then some playing in the back yard the next morning in their jammies. Taken 9/2/17.
We finally got around to enjoying a sampler of the New Glarus beer we picked up in Wisconsin in June. Better late than never? Taken 9/4/17.
When the trees at the back of our property line started growing into each other and encroaching on our back garden, ...
... we had them removed. Our yard is much larger now! Taken 9/5/17.
Debbie spent an afternoon with her Orchard Software friend, Tammy, then joined a tableful of her former Orchard system engineer colleagues for dinner that evening. Taken 9/6/17.
Two days later, she made her first trip back to Orchard Software for a game evening with some of her former Development colleagues. Taken 9/8/17.
We spent a Sunday afternoon with Jill's family and Tom's family to catch up.
Uncle Jeff was able to get normally shy Kelly to talk. Within a few years, they'll be telling each other jokes, just like her mother used to do with him. Taken 9/10/17.
This was such an amazing collection of papers that we had to photograph it. We paid off both of our cars and our mortgage this summer, and these are the papers proclaiming that. Happy day! Taken 9/13/17.
Debbie had a little shopping spree at the Game Preserve, using one of the gift cards her staff had given her for retirement. Taken 9/14/17.
On 9/14/17, it was Debbie's 20,000th day of being alive, so we met Audrey and Dean for dinner at Steak 'n' Shake.
Of course, Audrey had found the perfect gift, complete with homemade wrapping paper to match.
On the way home, we stopped by Four Day Ray Brewing to fill one of her retirement growlers with one of her retirement gift cards.
Tom's colleagues at Gale Force Software had nice weather for an early fall cookout in front of the building. Taken 9/15/17.
Tom made this Cassini-Huygens space model long ago, but it was still hanging in the corner of Tom's basement workshop when the Cassini mission came to an end on the morning of 9/15/17 with a planned crash onto the surface of Saturn.
We made a mini-vacation out of our biennial trip to Wisconsin for the Schilling Family Reunion by spending an evening in Spring Green. On our way, we visited Emmi Roth USA cheese company in Monroe, ...
... and New Glarus Brewing, ...
... before touring Frank Lloyd Wright's home, Taliesin, in Spring Green. Read all about it here. Taken 9/21/17.
The next morning, we toured Spring Green's other famous home, the House on the Rock, before heading to ...
... the Schilling Reunion. The only photo we'll include here is the one we took with Debbie's cousin and brother to recreate a photo taken when they were little. Taken 9/22/17.
Debbie's former colleague Bryan created this wood carving of Han Solo, surprising her with it in the mail one day. It now graces the wall of our basement. Taken 9/28/17.
For Audrey's birthday, we had an Art Linkletter-themed birthday party, ...
... with Chik-Fil-A for dinner and a clothing-and-decorations color theme to match the House Party game that Audrey brought to play ...
... and the Let's Play Games album that Debbie bought. Of course, we had to try to reproduce the picture on the cover. Taken 9/30/17.
We went to Mississippi Belle for dinner. With Debbie retired, we go out to eat much less often, so when we do, we try to pick something new and interesting. The Southern menu here was delicious. Taken 10/2/17.
Debbie's former colleague, Dru, was kind enough to take her along as his plus-one to the annual Orchard Software fall party. He came by to pick her up in his finest kilt, complete with brand new flask.
It was great fun to see everyone again, ...
... and Debbie even got to announce the winners of the personal parking spots during the raffle later on. Taken 10/6/17.
We had a fun time outside when the grandkids came to visit again. Once again, we dressed them up in the sweaters their Great Grandma Irene had knitted decades earlier for Debbie's cousins. Johnny is wearing a smaller light blue one while playing in the mulch, ...
... and Kelly is wearing a larger royal blue one while inspecting Grandma's vegetable garden. Normally, Kelly wears an identical yellow one that was knitted by our friend, Paige, using the original pattern. Taken 10/8/17.
Speaking of things made by Paige, here's a gorgeous crocheted doily she made for Debbie back when she was Debbie's assistant at Orchard Software.
Debbie and Tom met for a late lunch and tried out the tiny Ichiban Noodles restaurant close to Claire's daycare. Taken 10/10/17.
That same afternoon, Debbie and Claire dropped by a park on the way home from daycare and had it all to ourselves for a little while. Taken 10/10/17.
We decided that it was finally time to drink that Deep Space Wine we bought in Vegas back in 1998. The cork disintegrated so we had to strain it, but it was still drinkable! Taken 10/14/17.
The day had finally arrived. The new Indiana IKEA was open! The opening week and weekend were now over, and at 9:15 AM on Monday morning, the parking lot wasn't yet overflowing.
We happily waited in line to get in ...
... and were thrilled to have a full IKEA breakfast (Swedish pancakes!) before heading through the store for the first time. Taken 10/16/17.
We used another retirement gift card at Graeter's Ice Cream. Claire even had a few bites. We took a carton home with us too, of course. Taken 10/19/17.
We haven't gotten a lot of use out of our Costco membership so far, but one highlight was finding a Sierra Nevada Beer Camp case featuring 12 different beers, each created in collaboration with domestic and international breweries. Here's the first set of beers that we enjoyed. Taken 10/20/17.
We decided it was finally time to part with this Diconix printer, left over from the days when Tom was a co-op student working at Diconix in 1987. Coincidentally, Debbie was working with Diconix printers while living in Texas around the same time. Taken 10/21/17.
Part of retirement means finding free fun where you can. In this case, we had some leftover credits on our Pinheads game cards, so we spent some time playing at the arcade. Taken 10/21/17.
For granddaughter Kelly's third birthday, we celebrated by going to Monkey Joe's with her aunts, cousins, and other grandparents. Little brother Johnny had a great time on the bouncy toys made for the younger kids.
Kelly talked Grandpa into buying her a lollipop. She was the birthday girl, after all.
Afterward, the Austins came back to our house so Kelly could open her birthday presents from us. Taken 10/22/17.
We decided to finally crack open the bottle of Ninkasi Brewing Ground Control beer we had received as a Christmas gift from Debbie's brother two years earlier. Taken 10/23/17.
Can this be real? Costco in Indiana now carries Ivar's clam chowder? This discovery was made only slightly less awesome by a second discovery made the night before: two packages of Ivar's clam chowder found deep in the permafrost of our basement freezer. Now we have clam chowder to last for months and getting our hands on more won't require expensive shipping! Taken 10/24/17.
We had the grandkids over for the weekend, so Grandpa and the tots all got their aprons on to play kitchen.
A few hours later, we dropped the kids off temporarily at their pappaw's house while we played kitchen for real, ...
... attending a cooking class at Sur la Table, using a retirement gift certificate from a former colleague of Debbie's.
It was Thai food cooking class featuring lettuce wraps, mango rice, pad Thai, and a shrimp dish. We didn't actually get to cook much of it, but the food was delicious.
When we picked up the kids a few hours later, Greg gave us a growler of his latest home brew creation: Amarillo Flame, a wheat pale ale. Taken 10/28/17.
We had more Thai food the next day when we had a quick dinner with Audrey and Dean. Here we are planning the East Coast trips we'll all be taking next year - separate trips that will overlap for a day or two of sightseeing in Washington DC. Taken 10/29/17.
For Halloween, Tom put on this instant costume: Mount Rushmore. It's very easy to wear at the office and looks remarkably like the real thing, seen last year.
Meanwhile, Debbie got herself all dolled up as the Ghost of Debbie Schilling, ...
... so she could head to Orchard Software for one last Halloween gathering. She took the annual group photo, yet somehow ended up in it anyway once it was published on the Orchard website. Look closely for her ghostly image in the lower left.
Audrey's entire team dressed up as cereal box characters, ...
... which is what Jill and her family chose as their costume theme too. Taken 10/31/17.
Debbie's brother brought some Schilling Cider for the Schilling Reunion's silent auction and Debbie was the high bidder. So we sipped some and wished that we were related to the folks who make this stuff. Taken 11/3/17.
Tom got a LEGO model of the United Nations for his birthday in July, so he put it together on Saturday afternoon.
Shortly after it was completed, we headed to the IndyLUG Food Drive & Expo to see more LEGO models and make a donation.
Organized by our friend Bryan, ...
... the room was filled with LEGO city scenes, and each had been updated to look like they were covered with snow.
From there, we headed out to Woodland Bowl to use another of Debbie's retirement gift cards. Tom, of course, won both games. Taken 11/4/17.
But back to LEGO! We ordered the Women of NASA set the day it was released and put it together the day it arrived. Here is Debbie with the Margaret Hamilton scene and minifig. Taken 11/6/17.
This beautiful Firefly Monopoly game was another retirement gift and we got it out to play one night. The many Firefly references are fantastic. Taken 11/7/17.
Speaking of retirement gifts, this was Debbie's gift to herself: Roomba. Without being able to justify house cleaners anymore, she has to do all of the cleaning ... but not vaccuuming! Unfortunately, Roomba sometimes gets stuck on the metal frame of the couch, so Debbie concocted a solution involving small cardboard boxes and magnets that protect Roomba from shipwrecking itself.
After three months of Roomba, this is the pattern that makes us think the floor is clean. No more neat parallel vaccuum marks for us! Taken 11/11/17.
With more time than money now, Debbie did a little crafting for Christmas gifts. These homemade birdseed ornaments were fun to make, and if there were a few leftover for our own trees, so much the better. Taken 11/12/17.
We spent the entire week of Thanksgiving on a road trip of the Southwest. We saw sights in Oklahoma, ...
... New Mexico, ...
... Texas, ...
... Arizona, ...
... New Mexico, ...
... and Colorado. Read all about it here.
A few days later, we headed to Kokomo for an evening with Audrey and Dean. We started with hot dogs and "bakes" (hamburgers rolled into the shape of a hotdog) at Louie's Coney Island.
Then we headed to Highland Park, home of the World's Largest Sycamore Stump (and yes, this thing is mind-bogglingly huge), ...
... and Old Ben, the World's Largest Steer. While there, we ran across a large drive-through Christmas lights display in the park, so we drove through.
We drove past Koko-Mantis, the huge mantis sculpture in town, plus a couple of other points of interest.
Our final stop was another Christmas lights display in We Care Park, which was the main reason for our visit. It did not disappoint. Taken 11/29/17.
The grandkids stayed overnight in early December and helped put up Christmas decorations. More like "helped."
Kelly tried out Grandma's collection of magic glasses, which turned lights on the Christmas tree into different holiday images, such as bells, Santa, angels, etc. Taken 12/1/17.
We enjoyed ourselves at the Gale Force Software holiday dinner, held at Seasons 52.
Here's this year's group photo. Taken 12/2/17.
We braved the cold to visit Carmel's first ever Christkindlmarkt. We warmed up with raclette (melted cheese on a baguette-like roll) and hot cider.
We took a selfie of sorts by getting a screenshot of the web cam that was aimed at the ice skating rink (also in Carmel for the first year). We are the tiny figures right behind the red light in the lower right. Taken 12/6/17.
The only way to decorate for a viewing of "Psych: The Movie" is with a pineapple. Obviously. Taken 12/7/17.
We hosted the annual Orchard Software Development department holiday party after-party for the very last time. We had an unusually large turnout, so it was nice to go out on a high note. (Update: it wasn't the last time we hosted.) Taken 12/9/17.
We spent the next day cleaning up and recovering in front of the TV watching Slow TV on Netflix. Here's a shot of the seven hour episode we watched: "Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen to Oslo." It is literally a camera mounted to the front of a train as it climbs through the mountains, goes through tunnels, and stops at train stations. Riveting and soothing at the same time. Taken 12/10/17.
We were inspired by Swedish cousin Elina to try making lussekatter, saffron buns traditionally served in Sweden on St. Lucia Day, which is Debbie's birthday. That's Debbie's little St. Lucia figurine overseeing the final product. Taken 12/12/17.
The very next day was Debbie's birthday. Tom took the morning off and we headed to Top Golf. Here's Debbie in full winter gear trying her hand at hitting a golf ball for the first time ever outside of a putt-putt course.
For breakfast, we ordered injectable donuts. Wait a second and we'll explain.
You inject one of three sauces (chocolate, cream, or raspberry) into tiny donuts. It's very delicious and just right for a birthday breakfast.
Afterward, we headed to IKEA to do some shopping and to have second breakfast, or elevensies, or early lunch, whichever you prefer. Debbie opted for the Swedish Christmas sampler platter, plus some fries because she is an American after all.
That evening, we headed to Deer Creek Brewery with Audrey and Dean for beer samplers and to fill up one of Debbie's retirement growlers, ...
... then went around the corner to Jim Dandy Family Restaurant for breakfast-as-dinner.
When we got home, we opened presents, including a new set of iPhone camera lens attachments. How about this fish-eye lens effect? Taken 12/13/17.
We were delightfully surprised when we received a package of homemade lefse in the mail from our friend Rick. It was delicious! Taken 12/15/17.
Tom's mom had hip surgery so we headed to Dayton for a quick visit and to bring some Marion's pizza. Taken 12/16/17.
We had a nice time at David and Sandra's holiday open house but forgot to take any pictures other than of the Disney-themed Christmas cookies. Taken 12/17/17.
Four days after the premiere, this was Tom's second viewing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Debbie's first. We used one of her retirement gift cards for a special night out at Flix Brewhouse. Taken 12/18/17.
We upgraded our faucet with a Delta ToucH20 to participate in a beta test. It was great timing to do this right before all of the cooking and baking we did for Christmas. Taken 12/19/17.
It was a couple of weeks late, but we finally installed some bar lighting in our basement using some inexpensive light strands from IKEA. Pretty! Taken 12/20/17.
Bring on the holiday baking! We used these adorable Santa Hat Hershey's Kisses to make a batch of peanut blossom cookies. Taken 12/21/17.
There was a special letter for Claire in a Christmas card from a friend's daughter, complete with a drawing and stickers, so we taped it to her bathroom mirror so she can see it when she's in there. Taken 12/22/17.
We didn't bake these. These were the last of the rosettes left over from Christmas last year. They kept nicely in the freezer over the last year and still tasted great. Taken 12/24/17.
On Christmas Eve, we had NORAD Santa going on the TV as usual, ...
... and an electronic fire on a monitor in the fireplace.
On Christmas morning, Jill's family came over before everyone else to open presents. Here is three-year-old Kelly with her Game Developer Barbie from Great Uncle Doug and Great Aunt Susan.
Here's Kelly modeling her new strawberry hat from Doug and Susan while Johnny plays with Grandma's collection of Christmas toys.
Christmas Dinner was a little unconvential this year: a taco/burrito bar.
Here's the cookie plate we created since Margaret was still recovering from surgery and unable to bring her traditional plates of cookies.
This was Kelly's first time playing Dirty Bingo at Christmas. She did pretty well except for the part where she had to wait to open the presents.
Kelly was thrilled to be wearing her new backpack, filled with Christmas presents. She also enjoyed walking on the day-old snow on the front lawn. Taken 12/25/17.
We celebrated Christmas with Audrey and Dean the next evening at our house. Christmas hats were part of the dress code. Taken 12/26/17.
The next day, flu struck the Austin household, so the grandkids were rushed to Grandpa and Gram Gram's house for three days of quarantine. Grandpa helped Kelly spell her name using a slice of American cheese. Taken 12/27/17.
After many years of not putting up a tree, Jill insisted that we do it this year and it was well worth it. Kelly loves it.
Remember those special glasses we talked about earlier? Here's what the tree looks like through one of the lenses. Taken 12/29/17.
It turns out that Grandpa can spell Kelly's name in pancakes too.
It's fun to cuddle with the grandkids, especially while using the new mermaid tail blanket. Taken 12/30/17.
We watched another episode of Slow TV over a period of several days, because it was over eleven hours long: "Slow TV: Telemark Canal." It follows a ship from Skien to Dalen in Norway, over a series of locks, ...
... and ending with a cruise down the length of Bandak Lake, which is where Debbie's Norwegian great-great-great-grandparents lived before emigrating to the US in 1848. If you have eleven hours to spare, we highly recommend the show. Taken 12/30/17.
We rang in the new year with a murder mystery party at Audrey and Dean's with appropriate costumes. Happy New Year!

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