Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On Saturday night we played Wii for the first time. Now, for those of you who don't know what that is (namely, Mom), it's an interactive game where you can play different sports using a remote that senses your body's motions. We had a bowling tournament and to bowl, you hold down a button and make the bowling motion with your arm and then let go of the button which releases the ball.
It was fun, but it took me a while to get used to only needing to move my arm, not actually take the steps with my feet.
Amy and Bill are quite good and Bill has a wicked back spin.

I'm afraid the game wasn't entertaining enough for LuLu. She kept falling asleep on the chair!

Saturday afternoon when I went on my walk, I couldn't resist the wildflowers!

I picked enough to fill four vases, and they sure looked bright and cheery.

Most of them still look fresh today, but I guess there's always more to replenish them when the old ones die.

Sunday afternoon Bill had to trim the birds' toe nails and feathers. It was interesting watching and learning about the parrots. We found out that parrots actually have blood in the feathers that are growing, and once they reach full maturity they need to be pulled or trimmed to make room for the new ones coming in. The old feathers don't have the blood in them, which makes it easier to trim.

I thought it was interesting to learn that parrots don't have a clotting factor in their blood, so they can bleed to death from a small cut or losing a blood feather. Bill has to put something on the tip of the feather that is bleeding to make it clot.

The birds sure put up a fuss about it all! I knew they could be noisy, but this was really loud! The dogs were outside on the back deck going crazy because they thought something awful was going on inside and they needed to be in there protecting somebody. The birds were screeching and flapping and the dogs were jumping on the windows barking crazily - a lot of cacophoy, to be sure!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Texas, Part 2

Grandma Joy has been doing so well! This morning we all went out to Wal-Mart in her new car that Amy and Bill bought on Thursday. They got it at a great price because there was a huge hailstorm down here last week and all the cars have these dents on them. They said some of the hailstones were the size of softballs!
I snapped a few pictures of the long horn cows out in the pasture right over our fence. I admit, I actually climbed over the backyard fence (it's pretty low) to get some of the pictures. Don't worry, I didn't get too close. There was a very large bull out there and I didn't want to make him angry!

When Amy and Bill first moved in here, they said one of the steers was standing right in their driveway. I guess here in Texas there's a law that says that cattle have the right of way, so if you want them to stay out of your yard, you're responsible for putting up a fence! (which they did)

There are also two very pretty horses in the same pasture as the cows. I had to wait until they came close enough to take their picture.

This is Buffy - she and Bobo (the blue parrot) are quite talkative. They love bananas which they hold with their claws and scoop out the inside with their tongues.

These parrots can be very noisy - especially early in the morning when they're ready to eat! (even if the rest of us are still in bed sleeping!) They're so funny, though. They talk to each other and say things like, "Hey, there! Want some? Ummm, it's good!", "Settle down! Relax! Be nice!", and "Hello, hello". They also have a favorite song that they dance to, which is quite amusing.

These are Amy and Bill's two dogs, Sissy (the brown one) and Lulu (the black one). They're quite the characters as well. This morning I heard them snuffling around and licking our bedroom door, trying to wake me up to take them outside.
They love their "Scooby Snacks", and here they're sitting obediently waiting for Grandma to give them each one. They're such little beggars - they'll sit there and watch you eat, hoping you'll feel sorry for them and share some of whatever you're munching on. It's hard to resist those pleading puppy eyes!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Texas, Part 1

This first picture is to prove to Becky that we did indeed wear our "bracelets" she made us on Tuesday. Isn't it nice to know that you're loved and missed?
I'm sorry that the pictures are a little dark; my aunt doesn't have any photo programs, so I can't lighten or crop anything. We took just a couple of pictures at O'Hare. To get this one, I propped the camera on top of my carry-on bag which was balanced on a table. Then I set the timer and snapped the picture. (After figuring out how it worked and taking a few pictures of the floor!)

We have one of Faith posing by the window, but for some reason the computer wouldn't let me rotate that one. And it looks funny to have Faith sideways on the screen!

It was quite cloudy for most of the flight so we couldn't see the ground except when we were taking off and landing. But the sun was so bright up above the clouds!

This is Amy and Bill's house. Amy is my dad's youngest sister and my grandma has been living with her for the past two years.

The view from the back yard...I'm hoping to get some pictures of the long horn cattle that are just over the fence, but they weren't around today.

I went for a walk this morning while Grandma was resting and this little dog decided to join me. He stayed with me the whole time and bounced and ran all over the place!

We don't typically see this type of yard ornamentation back in Illinois, but it's common here in Texas!

As I was walking down the street I heard this loud, raucus screeching and couldn't figure out what it was. On the way back, I caught sight of these two strange looking birds and found out that they were the ones making all the racket. I have no idea what kind of birds they are, but boy, were they ever noisy!

Two years ago we came in August and the area was in the middle of a heat wave. And a Texas heat wave is really....HOT! (to say the least!) Everything was so dry and brown.
Last year and this year we visited in the spring and the wildflowers are just beautiful! They grow prolifically all along the roads and I love looking at them because they're different from what we have in Illinois.

The one thing I'm sad about missing is the blooming of our lilac bush back home. We missed it last year too because we were here in Texas, and now I have to wait another year to smell them! :(
Well, that's all the pictures I'm posting for the moment. Tomorrow maybe I'll put up pictures of Sissy, Lulu, Buffy and Bobo. (the dogs and the parrots)
And hopefully you all won't get bored with my Texas up-dates!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Texas, here we come!

Tomorrow morning Faith and I will leave to spend almost three weeks with my Grandma Joy and my aunt and uncle in Texas. Grandma had her surgery yesterday and it went very well. If all goes as planned, she'll be home sometime today.
Faith and I will be on the 8:00 bus tomorrow morning to go in to O'Hare. This will be our third time flying (on a big airplane, that is!). We're bringing our camera along with us and will continue to post our updates on the blog.
So next time I log on, it'll be coming from Weatherford, Texas!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Work Day at Grandpa and Grandma Modrow's

This past Saturday we had a work day at my grandparents' house. Quite a few of my mom's siblings and their spouses came to help out.

Jason and my cousin Nick replaced some of the hostas with some new evergreen bushes. (At least I think that's what they were!)

Nick getting down and dirty

"Work, slave, work!"

I think Dad is hooking up the hose or something. I don't really know - I was just trying to get pictures of a bunch of people doing different jobs!

Mom suctioned out the leaves from around the evergreen groundcover. That's Grandma in the foreground, by the way.

Grandpa got the nice job of riding around "sweeping" - picking up the leaves we raked and taking them to the burn pile.

I made sure I handed the camera to Faith later on so that I could prove that I really was there working - not just taking pictures!

We did a LOT of raking that morning. The hardest part was raking the gravel out of the grass by the road that the snow plow had pushed there. I wonder if I was the only one with sore shoulders...?

Aunt Denise

Aunt Tammy

Rick, Kim and Gary hung blinds on the sreened in porch and removed some of the plastic covering that is there over the winter.

I know there was even more that was accomplished that I didn't capture on the camera, but I couldn't be everywhere at once.
When we were done working we grilled out and had a yummy lunch and visited for awhile.
Then my family and I headed out to the campground for another work day out there! Whew, was I ever ready for bed at the end of the day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Little answers to prayer

It seems strange to me to post something without including pictures, but Mom said I should put this on the blog. So...
A couple of days ago I was riding my bike downtown by the river when suddenly the gears started making weird noises and I couldn't pedal. I looked down and to my chagrin, saw that a bunch of discarded fishing line had become tangled in my chain and all around the gears.
I crouched down and tried to unwind it, but it was pretty hopeless. And as I'm sure you know, fishing line is impossible to break with your bare hands!
As I endeavored disentangle it, I was thinking that I was going to have to push my bike all the way home and what a pain that would be.
I sighed and said, "Lord, right about now it'd be really nice if you'd send somebody with scissors or something to help me get this stuff off." Just a simple, short little prayer....
About a minute later a man walked by and got into a truck. As he was pulling away, he rolled down his window and asked, "Hey, do you need a knife?"
Of course I responded with a grateful, "Yes!"
He handed me a pocket knife, waited while I cut the line loose and then disposed of it for me. Then I was off on my merry way.
I know that many people would say that it was mere coincidence and not a big deal, but to me it was a demonstration of God's love. It just blesses me so much to know that not only does He hear the big, important prayers, but the little ones as well.
It put a smile on my face, just knowing that my God hears the words I say and delights in answering! Such a simple thing...but such a blessing. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Work Day at the Campground

A couple of Saturdays ago we had a work day out at Mendota Hills Campground. Quite a few families from our church came and helped out. Joy was all set to work with her little blue rake!

The Waasdorps were all such hard workers - even down to the little ones, Shayna and Yancy.

There were a LOT of leaves to rake and burn!

Becky and Melody

Tending the fires and keeping them going was awfully hot. We were glad we had sunglasses on to protect our eyes. Sometimes the smoke was so thick in amongst the piles of burning leaves that you could hardly see.

A number of us came home with blisters and burn marks from the heat and hot ash.

Ahhh, water break!

Zoe Zigler and Gabrielle Lee scraped old paint off the picnic tables.

Dad, Pastor John, and Mark Rogers (owner of the campground)

Oh dear, is it wise to give him a chainsaw?

John Zigler and Jordan Lee running the log splitter.

Dad, what are you doing???!!!

While the others were still raking, Crystal and I decided to clean the bathrooms. Those shower stalls took forever to scrub!

For lunch everybody brought different soups and cookies to share. Boy, were we all ready to eat!

It was a lot of hard work that day, but it's always so much more fun when you do it with friends! There's still lots to be done, but we're having another work day this Saturday. I suppose I'll have even more pictures to add this weekend!