Debbie Schilling and Tom Bundy's Photos Page: 2018 [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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We started the year by creating the 2017 Gale Force collage. It turned out great again.
Later that day, continuing our mission to use up values on old game cards, we did some playing at Dave and Buster's. Tom did some virtual flying, as he always does. Taken 1/6/18.
Mary and Benny stopped by overnight on their way south from Minnesota. Taken 1/8/18.
A couple of apples and a screening of "Frozen" temporarily keeps two adorable grandchildren quiet. Taken 1/11/18.
When it is cold out, beer samplers are enjoyed in front of the fire indoors instead of outside. Taken 1/14/18.
It took a little time, but we eventually won over Nash when we were catsitting for him while Phil and Courtney were on vacation. Taken 1/16/18.
While Mommy was in Arizona, Kelly and Johnny stayed with us. Here's Kelly helping Grandpa do some baking. Taken 1/18/18.
Speaking of Mommy, here she is with Jessica in Arizona. Taken 1/20/18.
The grandkids were back the next week. Taken 1/24/18.
When a friend's son was in the Naval Academy Ship Selection, we watched the entire thing online. It was a fascinating glimpse into a world with which we aren't familiar. Taken 1/25/18.
The Orchard Development Final Friday gathering for January started out at Stacked Pickle, ...
... but ended up as an impromptu party in our basement. Taken 1/26/18.
We made our first attempt at homemade pizza. If you can overlook the lack of symmetry, it tasted pretty great. Taken 1/28/18.
We stopped by the Incrediplex to say hi to the Orchard volleyball team. Taken 1/31/18.
We watched the Falcon Heavy launch, ...
... then watched with the rest of the world as Elon Musk's Tesla orbited the Earth for the next six hours. Taken 2/6/18.
We watched the opening of the Winter Olympics, ...
... and snacked on Olympic Oreos. Taken 2/9/18.
We visited the Indiana Medical History Museum, a fascinating place that is only open to the public three days a week for six hours each. It is housed in the Old Pathology Building of Central State Hospital.
There are jars of body parts, skeletons, old medical equipment, laboratory and pathology rooms, and this fascinating room of antique medicines. Taken 2/10/18.
After learning about a her 1980 river guide's death, Debbie read "Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon." The river guide's death was included, as was the woman who died while we were on the river in 2006. Debbie was surprised to find several other familiar names as well from her previous river trips.Taken 2/11/18.
We finally uncorked Tom's 2014 Christmas gift from Doug: a bottle of white wine from ISS Wineries, a mythical place.
After dark, we headed outside to see the ISS fly overhead. We sent this photo to our friend Geoff after he sent us a photo of his young daughter also looking at the ISS. Taken 2/12/18.
Awww, look at our adorable cats. Tito always takes the basket, and his giant brother always opts for the hearth cushion.
We sent in a photo of our sweet Claire to to include in their Valentine's Day slideshow.
We celebrated Valentine's Day with some barbecue, Elmaro wine, candlelight, and Firefly-themed valentines. Taken 2/14/18.
A beautiful family tradition of ours is to give Jill a birthday card so inappropriate that she can't post it on her refrigerator. Nailed it this year! Taken 2/15/18.
February's Final Friday was held at our local Books and Brews. Taken 2/23/18.
What are those things on Tom's hands? They're rubber crab claws, a necessary part of playing "Getting Crabs." Taken 2/24/18.
Our cats, Tito and Spike, are almost sixteen and they still like to look out the front door together. Taken 2/28/18.
Debbie struggled with back problems almost from the moment she retired the summer before, so we invested in a Sleep Number bed. Problem solved! Taken 3/1/18.
Sometimes, we need to cat sit for Sammy, when his regular cat sitter, Greg, temporarily can't cat sit. Sammy belongs to Greg's parents. Taken 3/3/18.
We found out that we could watch the start of the Iditarod race online, so we did. With the time difference between here and Anchorage, we were able to start watching before dawn Alaska time and see the streets slowly fill up with people and dogs. Taken 3/3/18.
We spent a morning having breakfast at IKEA the moment the cafe opened, ...
... then visiting the Museum of Miniature Homes.
The museum is just a couple of miles from our home but it took a small Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit to get us to finally visit. Taken 3/10/18.
Later that day, the grandkids came to visit for a couple of nights. It was Johnny's second birthday, so we got a picture of him with his birthday card from Gram Gram and Grandpa.
Johnny is obsessed with numbers and letters, so Gram Gram posted the alphabet on the fridge so Johnny could name the letters to his heart's content.
Our bedtime ritual involves choosing which pajamas to wear: snowman, Dala horse, rockets, duck, or chicken. With five designs to choose from, Kelly's selection changes every visit, but the chicken jammies are a favorite. Taken 3/10/18.
Gram Gram set up an early Easter Egg hunt in the basement, with lights inside the eggs and all the lights turned out. The tots loved it.
That evening, Kelly and Grandma painted new eyes on Big Froggie because the paint had worn off long ago when Jill and Claire were little. Taken 3/11/18.
Early the next morning, a demolition crew came to break up the concrete in our sidewalk and driveway. It was great fun to watch the big machines and trucks. Taken 3/12/18.
The new concrete turned out really nice. Here's the before-and-after look of the front step and sidewalk, ...
... and of the new, wider driveway.
Thanks to eBay, Claire got a replacement of one of her very favorite toys, along with a couple others that are the same style. She's thrilled to have her old favorite back and working. Taken 3/15/18.
We are homebodies, so our St. Patrick's Day celebrations consist of having an Irish-themed beverage in our home. Taken 3/17/18.
Debbie's brother visited her dad in Arizona and they went to the same museum we visited last November: McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. We had seen Arizona's box car of the Merci Train, but they found a miniature version of it in the model train hall. Taken 3/20/18.
Our sweet Claire is 28 years old and is just starting to get her first gray hairs in her beautiful brown hair. Taken 3/20/18.
Tom went to London for business March 19 - 23.
He had a good trip with great weather. Read all about it here.
Meanwhile, Debbie was at home sorting through Claire's school and medical records, in preparation for a trip to the Rett Clinic in April.
Here are the organized school records dating from age two to age 21, with Post-It notes indicating a few missing years.
That same day, Debbie lit her Jeppson's Malört candle in honor of her late friend, Cory, who had purchased it for her and who died a year ago on this day. Taken 3/22/18.
Debbie made bird seed ornaments as gifts last Christmas and had enough left over to use in our yard. The cardinals appreciated the effort. Taken 3/24/18.
We celebrated Waffle Day (Våffeldagen in Sweden) with a classic brunch, our friends Audrey and Dean, and heart-shaped waffles from IKEA. Taken 3/25/18.
Speaking of IKEA, it was time for new decorations in Claire's bathroom, so we bought a couple of collage frames and filled them with photos of granddaughter Kelly ...
... and grandson Johnny. Taken 3/26/18.
We decided to start a new tradition of having a small glass of Scotch on the anniversary of Tom's father Bruce's death. We opened our small Edinburgh Castle commemorative bottle for the occasion. Taken 3/29/18.
March's Final Friday was held at Scotty's Brewhouse in Carmel.
Debbie got to hold baby Rowan, which was nice. Being retired means that her office baby-holding opportunities are greatly diminished. Taken 3/30/18.
We spent nine days on an East Coast road trip March 31 - April 10. We visited West Virginia, ...
... Virginia, ...
... Maryland, ...
... Delaware, ...
... Washington DC ...
... and more Washington DC, ...
... New Jersey, ...
... New York, ...
... Connecticut, ...
... New York some more, ...
... and just a little bit more New York before coming home via Canada. Read all about it here.
Our friend Marley sent a lovely personalized pillow that she handmade for us, and it looks just perfect in our upstairs library/playroom/exercise room. Taken 4/9/18.
Debbie's friend Ariel stopped by to introduce her new daughter before heading to Orchard, thus making sure that Debbie got to hold Holly first. Taken 4/10/18.
Gram Gram attempted to get her annual grandkids-in-the-garden photo, but getting both of these kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time is an exercise in futility. Happy Spring!
Later that day, we loaded up the tots in our new garden wagon and Claire in her wheelchair and went for a short walk in the neighborhood. Taken 4/12/18.
The next day, Gram Gram took the kids to a nearby park.
Swinging is fun! Higher, Grandma!
After playing, we ate lunch at McDonald's, where we ran into Audrey and Dean.
After a big day, Kelly fell asleep on Grandpa's shoulder when he got home from work. Taken 4/13/18.
After two nights at Camp Grandma, it was time to go home. The kids modeled their Harry Potter garments, purchased in London in 2015 when Kelly was still a baby. Kelly is modeling her Marauder's Map t-shirt, portions of which become visible only in the sun, and Johnny is wearing his Quidditch shirt. Taken 4/14/18.
We got the patio canopy, couch, tables, and carpet out of storage and enjoyed our first beers of the season on the patio. Taken 4/20/18.
A gentleman inquired about buying our Starship Troopers pinball machine, so he and Tom took a look at the innards to verify that it is in fantastic shape. It's our very last pinball machine so it will be hard to part with it. Taken 4/21/18.
We visited the New Carmel Cemetery to take photos of graves that had been requested on Find A Grave. We found most of the requested gravestones and had a nice walk while we were at it.
Then we went to the Old Carmel Cemetery to do the same thing. Unfortunately, all of the current photo requests were of very old gravesites that can no longer be identified because some of the monuments are either missing or illegible. We did find a whole lot of log-shaped monuments, which must have been a trend at some point in the early 1900s.
Later that day, we got out the drone that we received as a gift on our East Coast road trip and played with it for a while. We got some great views of the roof of our house and our yard from above. Taken 4/22/18.
In lieu of a mulch delivery this year, we tried out a new free service called Chip Drop. Not long after signing up, a tree removal company dropped off a truckful of fresh wood chips. With a large open space in our backyard to turn back into lawn (see above drone photo), we were happy to take the chips and spread them back there. Over the next year, they'll decompose and prepare the ground for overseeding. Taken 4/23/18.
Debbie had a nice dinner with Jess and Karen in April. This photo turned out blurry, ...
... but this photo of the t-shirt Jess gave Debbie did not. Orchard folks will get the joke. Taken 4/24/18.
For sister-in-law Susan's birthday, Debbie mailed a series of postcards to her, a couple a day, in the weeks leading up to her birthday. Since they were mailed in mixed-up order, it wasn't immediately obvious what had happened.
Susan took this photo of the backs of the postcards once they arrived in Washington. These postcards were collected over many decades and that river postcard on the top right dates back to the 70s.
Meanwhile, back in Indiana, Grandma was trying once again to get her grandkids-in-the-garden photo. Kids looking at the camera? Zero. Kids smiling? One. Taken 4/25/18.
Claire, her dad Greg, and Debbie drove to Cincinnati for the day to take Claire to the Rett Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
After checking in, we stayed in one exam room all morning while different Rett Clinic specialists came in to meet Claire and discuss her care with us.
The neurologist, Dr. Standridge (right), diagnosed Claire with classic Rett Syndrome. Doctors had suspected Rett Syndrome since she was two years old, but she didn't meet all of the clinical criteria. However, the criteria changed in the last decade and now her symptoms fit. We were thrilled to finally have a definitive answer. (2020 Update: Claire's diagnosis was corrected to Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.)
After a full morning of Rett Clinic and a stop to get some blood drawn, we got lunch in the hospital cafeteria. Claire especially enjoyed the tater tots.
After lunch, we had several other stops to make in the hospital, including hip and spine x-rays, ...
... and an EKG. Claire was very patient through all of it. Taken 4/26/18.
Later that night, after everyone made it back to Indiana, Tom was stuck working late at the office, so he and Debbie Facetimed to keep him company. Taken 4/26/18.
April's Final Friday was held at Big Lug Canteen. Here's the second round of attendees, fresh from the Avengers movie. Taken 4/27/18.
For Dean's birthday, we did a full Elvis/Graceland theme, ...
... complete with a home-customized version of Clue: Drunken Graceland Clue. Players could be Priscilla, Lisa Marie, Vernon, Colonel Parker, the Bodyguard, or Ann-Margret. Weapons included Guitar, Fried Foods, Gold Chain, Microphone, Grammy Award, and Uppers. The rooms were changed to Redroom, Living Room, Kitchen, Record Hall, Gift Shop, TV Room, Billiard Room, Meditation Garden, and of course, the Jungle Room. We made the rules ridiculously easy to match. Taken 4/28/18.
We joined the Orchard gamers for a night of Artemis in the Orchard Great Room. It was Debbie's first visit to the office in a half year, which made it seem very strange but it was a great time. Taken 5/4/18.
We celebrated Margaret's birthday with a dinner at Galo's Italian Grill in Richmond. Taken 5/6/18.
It's Pappardelle for Dinner Day! We observed the third annual PFDD with a tasty chicken and tomatoes dish. Taken 5/7/18.
We bought a shaker of Maryland Bay seasoning on our East Coast trip and made our first shrimp boil with it. Oh, that's tasty. Taken 5/10/18.
Our annual Eurovision party was held in the basement this year. All food and decorations were coordinated to match the flag of this year's host country, Spain. For the second year in a row, we were disappointed that the song we ranked dead last ended up being the winner. Taken 5/12/18.
Can it be? A Diet Coke bottle with Debbie's name on it? It's a Diet Coke miracle! Taken 5/15/18.
We installed a rain barrel in our garden. It filled up in the first two days after installation and has been wonderful for quick watering can fill-ups. Taken 5/16/18.
Phil turned 25 and Courtney hosted a surprise birthday party for him. We were the only people in the room over the age of 20-something but we had a fun time, of course.
Right afterward, we picked up the grandkids from Pappaw Greg's house. He had been babysitting the kids while we went to Phil's party. It had rained that evening and the kids wanted to splash in the puddles, so we did, despite it being close to dark. Taken 5/18/18.
While everyone else slept in the next day, Gram Gram snuck out to the living room to watch the Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
The grandkids eventually woke up and there was much playing to do. We pulled out Elefun, a game their mother enjoyed when she was little. Butterflies come out of the elephant's trunk to be caught in a net by joyful children.
Next, there was playing outside with the water table, wearing oversized t-shirts that are just perfect for getting splashed on.
Finally, there was a bathtub rave, featuring light-up floating plastic ice cubes and light-up rings to light up the bathtub with the lights out. Taken 5/19/18.
After seeing an allium seed pod displayed in a glass bowl at Taliesin last fall, we waited patiently until our alliums were in bloom to try it ourselves. Taken 5/22/18.
We spent a morning exploring Pendleton, a town east of Indy. We started with breakfast at Anita's Kitchen, ...
... then headed to Pendleton Falls Park.
We picked up a half-dozen delicious create-your-own donuts at Quack Daddy Donuts on our way home.
That evening, we headed to Flix Brewhouse to see Solo: A Star Wars Story. Debbie always makes Tom stand in front of the photo op sign. Taken 5/26/18.
We took Claire outside to play in the water for a little while. She prefers being indoors but enjoyed getting splashed by water. Taken 5/27/18.
Tom went to Dayton for the day to help his mother with tasks around the house. They took a break to get some lunch and visit his father's grave.
Here's the grave of his father's parents. Taken 5/28/18.
In preparation for an extended family reunion later in the summer, we thought it would be fun to put together Norwegian flag LEGO kits for kids to play with. Or maybe we thought it would be fun for us to do. Either way, the kits turned out to be really cute. Taken 5/29/18.
Another weekend at Camp Grandma involved a long walk to the playground at Mohawk Trails Elementary School, with all of us wearing orange. We stopped on the bridge over the creek to see the fish swim by. Taken 6/2/18.
Claire's day program got an outdoor swing and Claire loves it. Sometimes, she sneaks in a minute or two of swing time when she gets dropped off in the morning. Taken 6/4/18.
We rarely grill, but we decided to give it a try and have a backyard picnic of hot dogs and hamburgers. Taken 6/4/18.
We headed up to Minnesota for three days of Debbie's college reunion June 7 - 11.
We were on the Macalester College campus most of the time, but we did sneak a trip to the newly-expanded Carbone's for dinner with Jean.
On campus, we saw Debbie's friend Steve at the M Club-sponsored water balloon toss.
We had a great time spending time with Nancy, Dianne, and Karen along with many other classmates from the classes of '82, '83, and '84.
The highlight of the weekend was staying in the dorms on campus with most of our fellow attendees.
We took our time heading home over two days. We visited the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Seth Peterson Cottage.
We stayed overnight at Debbie's Aunt Carol's home and also saw Uncle Mark at dinner.
We spent our last day on the road in Madison, viewing Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings. We toured the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, ...
... and the Monona Center. Read all about it here.
We took Claire to the My Way Matinee showing of Incredibles II at Regal Cinema.
When she isn't holding a toy, her hands naturally move into the classic Rett Syndrome hand-wringing position, ...
... but she also likes to hold Mom and Tom's hands as well during the film. Taken 6/16/18.
On Father's Day, Tom helped Greg fix a flat tire while Debbie and Claire waited in the van. Jill called her dad to wish him a Happy Father's Day while this was happening, and was pleased to hear that her two dads were together at the time. Taken 6/17/18.
We met Audrey and Dean for a quick dinner at Steak and Shake in June.
At dinner, Audrey and Dean gave Debbie a box of New! Improved! Suzy Qs. It is true, they are much more delicious than the abominations that were released a couple of years earlier, but they're still not the same as the delicious originals. Taken 6/18/18.
We had Erin, Jessica, and Karen over for an evening of Chinese take-out,, and good times. Taken 6/20/18.
Phil and Courtney made a delicious dinner for us at their home. We were their first dinner guests ever! (Not counting Phil's 25th birthday the previous month, of course.) Taken 6/23/18.
It took us over a month of dedicated TV-watching, but we finally made it thorugh all 128 episodes of Dawson's Creek. If anyone is curious, we were Team Pacey. Taken 6/24/18.
While moving some plants in the kitchen garden, Tom accidentally dug up the cardboard coffin of Milly the Mouse, buried 12 years earlier in 2006. No sign of Meeko or Meredith's grave, so we assume that they are still resting in peace. Taken 6/25/18.
Debbie make Carbone's cards for her friends Jean and Kristine earlier in June, because we have a tradition of seeing them at Carbone's when we are in the Twin Cities. Kristine ended up not attending because she got the date wrong, so Debbie mailed her card to her.
Kristine's hilarious response arrived in the mail a couple of weeks later. Taken 6/26/18.
The Cards Against Humanity website told us not to buy the glitter-filled version of their Pride card pack, but we did it anyway. Huge mistake! Glitter everywhere. But we did salvage the Subaru card in here and sent it to nephew/Subaru superfan Stewart. Taken 6/26/18.
See? We do use our bowling balls for actual bowling, not just bowling ball shots. Taken 6/27/18.
With a 3D printer going unused and lots of extra filament lying around, Tom printed a lot of fun and useful items for us. This is a pencil cup with the digits of pi wrapping around in a spiral, starting at the top. With a webcam aimed at the printer, Debbie was able to check in on its progress from home. Taken 6/28/18.
June's Final Friday started at Danny Boy Beer Works in West Clay, ...
... and ended up in our basement. Later arrivals: Steve, David, and Jessica. Even New Guy Dylan joined us. Taken 6/29/18.
Eight years after receiving it, we drank one of our bottles of wine from Liechtenstein. Your eyes don't deceive you -- that is a slightly smaller size than a regular wine bottle. Taken 6/30/18.
We were so inspired by the chicken kebabs we had in Minnesota at Kevin's party that we decided to try our own. Yep, they were delicious!
For dessert, we tried a new recipe: Rhubarb Oven Pudding. Oh my, this is the most heavenly fruit-based dessert ever. Taken 7/1/18.
Tom's 50! He came home from work to find the first clue in a scavenger hunt that took him throughout the house ...
... and out to the patio in the backyard, where he had presents, Donato's pizza, a growler of Two-Pull from Granite City, ...
... and a half-dozen donuts waiting for him, along with an evening of staying home, which are all of his favorite things. Taken 7/2/18.
We had Tom's family over for a combination Fourth of July/Tom's 50th Birthday gathering. Jeff was the grillmaster for the day.
We were joined by Jill and the tots, Margaret, Jeff, Helen, Ann, and Claire.
Jill brought an amazing R2-D2 with Princess Leia 50th birthday cake for Tom.
Here's a closer look, with a blue beam added from a tiny flashlight perched on R2's hidden arm.
We got a rare family photo of us (minus Craig, who was working), ...
... and a four-generation photo of Margaret with her son, granddaughter, and great-grandkids.
When everyone else had gone, the kids got to spend some time in the inflatable pool we set up for the summer, ...
... then the kids modeled their Fourth of July wardrobe ...
... on the front lawn. Taken 7/4/18.
Audrey and Dean came over to celebrate Tom's birthday. He received six gifts inside this large box. Some were wrapped and some weren't, and they came out of the largest box in this order: wrapped-wrapped-unwrapped-unwrapped-wrapped-unwrapped. See any significance to this pattern? Maybe a binary significance? 110010? Yeah, we thought so. Very clever!
Audrey made these gorgeous multi-flavor cupcakes as well and trust us when we say that she does not have much free time, so this was amazing and unexpected. Taken 7/7/18.
Yessss. Floating in the pool with one of Tom's new inflatable drink holders. This is summer. Taken 7/8/18.
We watched the kids for three days. Here's sleepy Kelly watching a movie with Grandpa, ...
... and here are Kelly and Johnny asleep in bed holding hands. Taken 7/9/18.
While Johnny napped, Grandma and Kelly read the Finger Worms book, ...
... played games, and made seat belts for Kelly's dolls with lots and lots of Scotch tape. Taken 7/11/18.
It was great timing that we received a Chip Drop delivery after the grandkids went home, so that Tom could spend the next two days moving it all to the back yard. Chip Drop is a great free service that comes with the element of surprise - once you sign up to accept a chip drop, you never know when a delivery will occur.Taken 7/12/18.
We spent many hours creating a shorter version of Uncle Herb's Norway video for the upcoming Lindevig reunion. Here's a shot of the area where Debbie's ancestors used to live before emigrating to the US in 1848. Their home is still standing and is somewhere in those trees along the lake. Taken 7/13/18.
Happy 29th birthday, Claire! We took her to My Way Matinee at Regal Theater to see "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation." She seemed to enjoy it.
In honor of her finally getting an official diagnosis this year, one of her birthday gifts was this adorable "I'm 1 in 10,000" Rett Syndrome t-shirt.
She also got some musical cards, a Trolls DVD, a musical toy, and McDonald's French fries. Taken 7/14/18.
The picket that Evan gave Debbie for her retirement last year served as a trellis for the morning glories this summer. His name is still visible through the leaves at this point, but it didn't take long to be completely covered up. Taken 7/15/18.
Tom got a couple of frozen Marion pizzas from his mom for his birthday so we had an outdoor pizza picnic. Taken 7/15/18.
Look how nice the backyard looks with the latest Chip Drop delivery distributed. This will all break down into rich compost in a year or so. Taken 7/16/18.
On the day that Tom's aunt was diagnosed with shingles, we learned that there is now a shingles vaccine for people under 60. There wasn't the last time we had checked, so we thought that we should probably get that vaccine. But surprise! Debbie already had it. It turns out that this patch on her torso was not a bunch of tiny bug bites. Taken 7/19/18.
At the end of July, we took a week-long road trip to Florida to celebrate Tom's 50th and our anniversary. We got to see a Falcon 9 night launch at Cape Canaveral, ...
... relax and snorkel at Key Largo, ...
... relax and snorkel some more at Key West, ...
... relax and snorkel even more at Dry Tortugas, ...
... and experience weightlessness on a zero gravity flight. Read all about it here.
Imagine our delight to receive a shiny Schilling Hard Cider sticker in the mail from secret admirers! Eventually, Jennie confessed. Taken 8/2/18.
We took Claire and the grandkids to Inlow Park for some water fun. No swimsuits? No problem! We have old t-shirts to wear!
Claire always enjoys feeling the water coming out of the pipes. Taken 8/2/18.
Tom got an assortment of Ohio beers from his mom for his birthday, so you know what that means. Outdoor taste test! Taken 8/5/18.
We had a great time at the Lindevig Reunion 2018 at Norskedalen Heritage Center in Wisconsin. We got to see lots of our close relatives and meet lots of new ones. Read all about it here.
More construction means another roundabout! This one at Grey Road and 116th St. eliminated one more stoplight from our lives. Taken 8/13/18.
Debbie was all smiles after coming out of explant surgery. Taken 8/14/18.
Tom figured out a way to use more of our leftover curved bricks by making a couple of fancy steps to the lower level of our backyard. Taken 8/19/18.
We picked up a couple of bottles of Sprecher's new watermelon soda while we were in Wisconsin. It tastes more like real watermelon than artificial watermelon, which is a little unexpected. Taken 8/19/18.
Now this is the roundabout we've been waiting for! We use this one on 96th and Hazel Dell every day to bring Claire to her day program. No more stoplight here saves us lots of time so it was well worth the construction time. Taken 8/20/18.
A week after explant surgery, Debbie was liking her new look. Taken 8/21/18.
Thai food? Yes please! Taken 8/22/18.
Beer and former colleagues? Yes please! Taken 8/24/18.
We finally parted with our last pinball machine, Starship Troopers, after nearly 20 years. It's a very fun game to play, so we know its new owner will enjoy it very much. Taken 8/24/18.
We attended the annual Special Olympics Indiana Plane Pull, but we had to huddle in a building while a thunderstorm passed overhead. It was nice to see former colleagues, as always.
We went straight to the Disney Meet fundraiser, which is always held on the same day as the Plane Pull. Adam served up some delicious Dole Whips for us. Taken 8/25/18.
With a prolific rhubarb plant in our garden, we need to have a good collection of rhubarb recipes. This rhubarb oven pudding is a winner. Taken 8/26/18.
This year marks Orchard Software's 25th anniversary. Having a close friend on the planning committee means that Debbie gets some of the special goodies that were created for this event. This hardcover book about Orchard's history is a special one.
Some of the content was either written or photographed by Debbie, so it was nice to have her own copy. Taken 9/1/18.
We headed over to Newport, Kentucky, for Stephanie's annual fireworks party. We didn't stick around for the fireworks; we were just here to catch up with our great friend.
After the party, we headed up to Dayton to take Tom's mom out to dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse. We passed the gigantic Jesus statue that replaced the one affectionately known as Butter Jesus after it was struck by lightning. Taken 9/2/18.
Debbie tried making a lime meringue pie with some of the Key West lime juice we brought home from Florida. There will never be a more perfect meringue topping than this, so she'll probably never try again. Taken 9/3/18.
Debbie was thrilled to attend Orchard Software's 25th Anniversary Celebration Royale and get to see some of her Orchard friends, like Tammy.
Audrey was on the planning committee so it was an incredible party. She and Dean were looking especially sharp this evening.
One of Debbie's shoes broke shortly after arriving, so Tom's Shoe Delivery service came through with a replacement pair.
Much fun was had at the photobooth.
Here's Debbie with her friend, Karen, who had invited her to attend as her plus-one. Karen and Theresa came by our house to pre-game before the party, which was a great way to start the evening. Taken 9/6/18.
Just like that, the party was over too soon and Debbie's designated driver arrived to bring her home. Taken 9/6/18.
On friend Bill's recommendation, Debbie bought an escargot plate to make shrimpcargot. It was delicious and well worth the investment. Taken 9/11/18.
With construction making it difficult to get to the local Dairy Queen, we did our part to support the business by bringing Claire and the grandkids for treats.
The next day, we walked off those calories by visiting Flat Fork Creek Park. We climbed the big hill, visited treehouses, ...
... and walked along the boardwalk. Taken 9/15/18.
We tried making spring rolls for the very first time. Why hadn't we ever done this before? They're so easy and so delicious. Drop a wrapper in some water, fill with any fixings you want, and add some dipping sauces. Taken 9/16/18.
This is what a laptop screen looks like it when it has been abused for a little too long. Fortunately, new screens are easy to come by. Taken 9/16/18.
We had a little outing with Audrey and Brent to Tappers Arcade where we monopolized their four pinball machines.
Then we headed to Hotel Tango Whiskey where we got this selfie of all four of us. (Look closely for Debbie.) Taken 9/19/18.
Part of being over 50 is getting to focus on colon health, so we both tried Cologuard in place of having colonoscopies. See that tiny bucket there? That was our target. Taken 9/26/18.
September's Final Friday was at Prodigy Burger. Taken 9/28/18.
For Audrey's birthday, we took a road trip to Fort Wayne, fitting in all kinds of food, activities, and fun in a single day. Read all about it here. Taken 9/29/18.
Debbie tried out a delicious ginger pear conserve recipe from Nancy, a fellow Macalester grad. It's nice to have free time in retirement to try new things.
Later that evening, we had a nice dinner with other Mac alumni as other Mac gatherings were happening around the world. Here is Debbie with Jura, Erika, and Greg. Taken 10/4/18.
Tom's college friend, Rege, was in town on business, so we went downtown to meet him for some beers. Taken 10/8/18.
Debbie took Claire to Founder's Park on their way back from her day program. It was a little wet out which meant not having to share the park with many visitors. Taken 10/10/18.
The next weekend, we took the kids to West Park. They both loved climbing and sliding and swinging to their hearts' content. Taken 10/13/18.
Debbie went into an organizational frenzy, transforming our attic from a cluttered mess into a thing of beauty.
Two days later, she did the same thing with the study closet. Heaps of kids clothes are now sorted into easy-access bins, and all those boxes underwent some badly needed weeding. It was all such fun to do! Taken 10/18/18.
Dru stopped by for lunch. What did we have? Grilled cheese sandwiches, of course. Taken 10/19/18.
Oh, the humanity! High winds destroyed our aging canopy. We'll miss you, fake ceiling. We'll also replace you. Taken 10/21/18.
Emmie surprised us with some Seroogy's Shock Rock Meltaway Bars so we had our first tasting outdoors under the open sky, with a fire to keep us warm. It is a tasty chocolate bar that pops when you eat it, Pop Rocks-style. Taken 10/21/18.
The next thing to be organized was the spa room. All new shelves replace the overburdened, mismatched collection of shelving we had before. It's so nice to have room for everything and more now. Taken 10/23/18.
It took hours and hours, but Debbie finally got every single photo from every photo album she owns scanned and organized. This is just the first two. There were three more just like this from her childhood, followed by nearly a dozen albums from her teen and adult years. Every single photo is now digitized. Every. Single. One. Taken 10/23/18.
We went to the Spaghetti Factory with Audrey and Dean, but all we got is this photo of the leftovers. Taken 10/25/18.
The basement bathroom wasn't so much reorganized as it was redecorated. The old theme of bright colors and pinball art is gone, replaced with earth tones and Grand Canyon artwork on every wall. Taken 10/26/18.
Claire's day program had a Halloween party, so Tom dressed up in our chicken costume, Debbie dressed as Maleficent, and Claire wore her adorable Twister dress. Taken 10/26/18.
We had a brief, low-key celebration of Kelly's birthday with presents and a card.
Later that evening, Courtney and Phil came over for dinner of spring rolls, Pad Thai, and rhubarb souffles. Once we learn how to make something delicious, we want to feed it to people. Taken 10/27/18.
Debbie's Cologuard test came back positive, so she had to get a colonoscopy anyway. (Lucky Tom did not.) Here's Debbie ready to spend nine hours prepping for the big test. Taken 10/30/18.
Happy Halloween! Claire dressed in her jack-o-lantern shirt for Halloween. It was extremely early because we needed to drop her off at her dad's ...
... so Debbie could be ready for her colonoscopy at 8:00 AM. What a way to spend Halloween!
After getting Debbie back home (and fed!), Tom dressed up as a colorectal surgeon for Halloween and brought in surgical masks for his colleagues who didn't dress up. Taken 10/31/18.
Early the very next day, we left before dawn so we could get to St. Paul, Minnesota by mid-afternoon.
We spent a long weekend visiting Debbie's father, sightseeing in downtown St. Paul, ...
... and seeing more relatives in the Twin Cities and the Onalaska/La Crosse area on the way home. Read all about it here.
The midterm elections drew crowds here in Indiana just like everywhere else. Taken 11/6/18.
Debbie was about one minute too late to get the Aldi wine advent calendar, but she did score the almost-as-good cheese advent calendar. Taken 11/7/18.
Debbie joined Will and colleagues for beers on his last day at Orchard. Taken 11/9/18.
There was another gathering of Orchard colleagues the next date at the wedding of ...
... Dru and Chris who both looking amazing in their finery. Taken 11/10/18.
Tom received some restaurant gift cards from a client (AVT), so over the course of a month, we made lunch trips to Boston Market, Arni's, and finally to Portillo's. If you get there right at opening time, there isn't a line or a crowd. Taken 11/11/18.
Tom's family celebrated Thanksgiving in Nashville, but Claire doesn't travel well by car, ...
... so Debbie stayed home with Claire and made a complete Thanksgiving dinner just for herself. Claire didn't eat any of it, so we had lots of tasty leftovers. Taken 11/22/18.
The next day, we had Audrey and Dean over for dinner and a gingerbread spice cake taste test, because it was officially the start of the Christmas season. Taken 11/23/18.
We spent the rest of Thanksgiving weekend helping Jill with her house. We were able to organize her garage enough for her to park her van in it, which was exhausting and fun at the same time. Taken 11/25/18.
We gave our old sofa set to Jill and got a new set. Yes, it has a built-in console and cup holders, which make us much, much happier than they should. Taken 11/27/18.
Debbie needed a hostess gift for a party so she learned to make melt-and-pour soap. It's surprisingly easy to do. You melt. Then you pour. Taken 11/28/18.
Here's Claire in her Santa monkey socks and her favorite chair. Taken 12/1/18.
When Kelly looks back on baking Christmas cookies with Gram Gram, she'll remember how easy it was to do. Place frozen puck on tray. Bake. Eat.
The grandkids loved the cheese advent calendar. Night One contained Red Leicester.
To finish off a day of holiday activities, we took the kids for a drive past Curt's house to see his annual Christmas lights display. Taken 12/1/18.
We went to Footlight Musicals to see "Legally Blonde." For two people who rarely go out anymore, it was nice to see an affordable musical. Taken 12/2/18.
We were out of kahlua, so Debbie learned how to make it. While she was at it, she made a couple of bottles of amaretto too. Taken 12/3/18.
We used two of the bottles at the annual Orchard Development after-party, which we ended up hosting even though Debbie had been retired for over a year. No photos of the event will be published here, other than this photo of the shoe pile partway through the evening. Taken 12/7/18.
Oh, Claire. Must you tear up the mini-blinds with your feet? Not a problem, though, because we have a supply of extra blinds lying around in case this happens. Taken 12/8/18.
We had a great time at the Device IQ holiday dinner (formerly Gale Force Software), held at Prime 47.
Normally, Debbie is the photographer at these events, but Scott got this photo of us.
Here is Tom with his colleagues after dinner. Taken 12/8/18.
We attended David and Sandra's holiday open house and ate lots of tasty food. Here are our gracious hosts. Taken 12/9/18.
For Debbie's birthday, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Indianapolis. Our room was in one of their converted railroad cars.
We checked in and spent some time relaxing and playing Firefly Fluxx, ...
... then Audrey and Dean joined us for a little party in our room that involved Primanti Brothers take-out, German chocolate cake, and presents. Taken 12/13/18.
We spent the night and then got up early the next day so we could get the grandkids from Jill before she went to work. Kelly brought a birthday card she had made for Gram Gram.
It's pretty adorable. You should read it.
The kids got to explore the hotel room and the hotel, ...
... particularly enjoying the statues scattered around the hotel.
Next, we went to Grandpa's work for a visit. Johnny went straight for the delicate instrumentation on Grandpa's desk, ...
... while Kelly dismantled Grandpa's LEGO Star Wars model.
After bathtime that evening, we opened the advent calendars, including the new wooden one we got from World Market that we stocked with chocolate coins and other treats. Taken 12/14/18.
Debbie and Jill went to an ugly sweater-themed bridal shower for Jill's longtime friend, ...
... Jackie, and her fiancé, Matt. Taken 12/15/18.
Aquaman! Debbie joined some Orchard friends for an afternoon movie break at Flix Brewhouse. Taken 12/21/18.
The grandkids love the Christmas tree: playing with the ornaments hanging on it, activating the electronic ornaments, and looking at the Christmas lights with our large collection of prism glasses. Taken 12/21/18.
Grandpa showed the kids their first rocket launch, hoping to add to their already healthy interest in space. Taken 12/22/18.
At the last minute, we ended up hosting Tom's family for Christmas again, but we did it a couple of days early. We kept it simple and served lasagna because we had to leave the next morning for Arizona. Taken 12/22/18.
We spent a great Christmas in Mesa with Debbie's family, ...
... with additional days spent in Tucson, ...
... Grand Canyon West, ...
... and the Grand Canyon. Read all about it here.
We got back from Arizona with a day and a half to get ready for another epic New Year's Eve celebration. Our theme was Greatest Hits, and we came up with eight different sets of decorations, accessories, and activities, each representing past things we've enjoyed together.
We had so much fun and did so many different things that it is impossible to summarize here, so we'll just share a few highlights. This theme was Las Vegas, in honor of our vacations there in 2004 and 2014.
This theme represented basement parties, of which we've had dozens.
We had breaks for dinner, dessert, and exchanging Christmas gifts. One of our gifts from Audrey and Dean is that we are now Lord and Lady of Chaol Ghleann and we have our own certificates and matching pint glasses to prove it.
These personalized straws were gifts from Audrey and Dean as part of the board games theme.
The very first party that Audrey and Debbie planned together was a Survivor party for the very first season way back in 2000, so of course we had to break out the Survivor buffs for this theme.
Audrey and Dean knocked it out of the park with the Eurovision theme. Each of us made up an artist name, song title, and the country we represented, and they created flags, song artwork, and actual songs. Actual songs!
Cheers to a great year! Taken 12/31/18.

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