Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas from snowy Northern Illinois!
We woke to more new snow this morning and it's still coming down.

We leave in two days for New Orleans on our mission trip.
Please pray for good traveling weather. Friday morning doesn't looks so good right now.
After Friday, we will be blogging from
We'd love to have you follow our trip. Blogs should start on Sunday or Monday at that location providing the river doesn't rise and we have good internet connections. :)

Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas! If you are fortunate enough to spend it with family and friends, ENJOY!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Four days to go

and I'm not referring to Christmas.

We are taking two volunteer teams back to New Orleans leaving this Friday morning 12/26. We will be focusing on construction projects. Our church partners with His Hands 2 Go in New Orleans for these projects. There are 24 volunteers for Week One, who will return on Jan 3. Fourteen of return home and 15 more come in. Ten, including the four of us leaders will be staying the full two weeks.

If you would like to follow our trip, jump on over to the trip blog at

We are going to attempt to post everyday with the exception of travel days. We will post the days activities, photos and prayer requests as they arise.

For now, though it's time to get some sleep as tomorrow is a "packing" day for me. We not only pack our personal belongings, but we also take tools and cooking essentials. You would think the more trips we take the easier the packing would be, but not so much. Could it be that with each trip, I'm a little older as well? Naw, can't be, can it? I need to blame the brain fog on something. It might as well be my age!

Welcome to northern Illinois

A beautiful sunset one day

and frigid, blowing snow the next.

notice I didn 't venture much past the doorway to take the pictures. Brrr!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chicago-part II

Here are a few more pics of our day in the big city this past Sunday..

The Palmer House in one of the oldest hotels in Chicago and the architecture and elegance of it never ceases to impress me.

For those of you who were Saturday Night Live followers in the late 70's/early 80's, this is the famous Billy Goat Tavern from the John Belushi & Dan Akroyd skit "Cheezborger, Cheezborger." We've tried to find this the last couple of trips to Chicago and never could.
With an odd twist, we ended up on Lower Wacker Drive (not a great place to be walking around). As we were finding our way back up to civilization, we turned a corner and there it was. We had just eaten lunch and were stuffed, but since we found it, we had to at least buy one Cheezborger and split it up amongst us. Not a bad burger!

We happened upon this place on Erie Street. This home was built in 1886 for the President of the Chicago, Rock Island, Pacific Railway Company. It looked like this little oasis of Old Chicago amongst the skyscrapers.
I can't imagine how the people who lived here felt over the years as they were being surrounded by all of that concrete.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicago-part I

Th six of us had a great time on Sunday. We boarded Metra at Elburn and 1-1/2 relaxing hours later, we were downtown Chicago. You can't beat the train for a no stress trip into the city. It was cloudy and windy but the temps were in the 50's! The 50's in mid-December in Northern Illinois. It don't get much better than that!

Our all-time favorite place to eat is Miller's Pub on Wabash. It has such a neat old pub atmosphere and the food is wonderful. The name Miller really has nothing to do with it, ;) really, it doesn't.

There are fresh greens everywhere you look. There were also alot of the cone trees in arrangements. I love it. Something about those trees reminds me of the sixties when I was growing up.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas - Redneck style

Our annual Holiday Walk for work was yesterday. It's typically held on the last day of finals week. How this works is each building decorates, has food, games, etc and the rest of the campus comes through the building at a designated time. Our building theme this year was "Redneck Christmas". Only a small handful of us dressed up. Of course, there were a few of us who didn't have to try too hard.
We had a riot.

Tomorrow we're off for a day in Chicago. I kind of feel like Oliver Wendell Douglas in reverse, going from redneck country to the big city!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Day!

We have a Snow Day off work today!

There is something to be said for working at an educational institution.
Classes were called off more than likely for the ice we are getting first rather than the amount of snow we are supposed to get. We aren't called off very often, but it's such a nice unexpected blessing when we are.

Do you remember that feeling as a kid when you heard on the radio that school was canceled? Your mind instantly started to flit to all of the things you could do with that day. Going back to bed, sledding, building a snowman, if you lived in town maybe getting together with friends and playing in the snow...

It's no different for me as an adult.
There's vegetable soup in the crock pot and now I'm thinking Christmas Cards, present wrapping, maybe some sewing. In reality I know I'll never get to some of it, but it's so nice to know I can at least o make a dent in something on my "to-do list".

Looking out my back door...

Watching my sweet hubby shoveling the sleet off the driveway before it freezes solid and there for eternity.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Housewalk - check!

The housewalk to benefit the American Cancer Society was last night. There were 115 people who wandered through my home and 2 other homes with all the proceeds going to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
We had a great time other than it was really cold and very windy (so much for the luminaries I planned on using). We had music playing outside (per one of your comments from my previous post calling for your help). I am so glad that suggestion was made as I love it when I walk down a city sidewalk and hear music playing but would have never thought of it myself.
Alot of people commented on how nice it was to hear it as they climbed out of their cars.

I also put together a Survivor/Memorial tree(per another comment on that post).

Actually there were three trees,

one for Survivors(the largest tree) with pictures of my immediate family and 2 friends who are Cancer Survivors,

one on supporting research for future generations which had pictures of my and my sisters children and grandchildren and then

a memorial tree with a picture of my Mom and tags with my aunts names.

All in all it was a fun night being able to touch base with people from the area we don't see very often. Thanks so much to all of you who submitted decorating suggestions and ideas.

With that checked off my "Christmas list", it's on to all of the other items still to do before Christmas. Only 17 more days to go. I better get busy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our first "real" snow

We received our first real soon of the season yesterday and last night, complete with blowing and drifting. If I wouldn't have to drive on the stuff, it really is beautiful when everything is dusted all white.

Here are a couple of pictures of my inside decorating. The housewalk is Saturday and I am about as done as done gets. I just need to clean the end of the week and we should be set to go.