It's History

It is hard to believe that twenty ten is six hours from the history books. We had our ups, downs, wins and loses. All in all, memories were made and that is truly what matters. I look forward to twenty eleven and all he will bring. (I call it "he", because that is what it seems like it will feel like, masculine). Can't wait to start my first full year of blogging. Hope you follow along with me.

It is not very often that I can actually catch Lillie off guard (it's like she has Mommy sensors!), so that is why this shot is special to me.

Here is sis, after basketball practice, trying on dresses for her school program (We just happen to buy the one pictured). We had so much fun with the camera shopping that day! She is still radiant, after basketball, in sweatpants and a t-shirt.

Happy New Year and God Bless



Grow Old With Me

Shannon and I have been running the marathon of marriage together for a few years. As we celebrated together, another year, I look at him and ponder how he looked at our first anniversary and wonder how he will look at our silver. Not necessarily physically (no doubt, he will still be dapper), but more so how we will still be working together everyday as partners, parents, and most of all friends.

He is my best friend (very cliche', I know, but it is true and I enjoy stating truths) and the more years we put in the rear view mirror I am so glad that he chose me.  Here is a toast, "to love, for us, it is all we need".

After our date, we went and picked up the girls at GG's (Shannon's Grandma) and had some fun! Check out the white hat, it is Dortha's. She couldn't remember when she got it, but it is between thirty and forty years old. Ainzli's eye's lit up when she saw it. Those pictures will come.  


It's Perfect

We are a real tree family. It is one of my most treasured Christmas traditions. 

Growing up Mom, Audri and I would always drive down to Richmond to cut down the "perfect" tree. I love those memories, priceless doesn't describe them. 

This year, as it has been the past 4 years, we go the Christmas tree farm that is located near the Delaware/Randolph county line. Hobson's Christmas Tree Farm. 

It was the perfect weather for tree hunting. It was lightly snowing, not too cold, and the sun was shining. We are always greeted by a warm, smiling face, handed a saw and wished "happy hunting". We then walk by the firepit, the donkey cleverly named Eeyore, and into the midst of a few hundred trees anxiously waiting to be cut down. Well, maybe that was an overstatement, but I am sure the one that we always choose is happy to have two very excited little girls doting over it. 

It did not take us long this year to choose our tree. It was right up front, the perfect height, short needled and a little too fat......... perfect.  Well, Shannon and I are thinking wonderful, we don't have to walk all the way to the back of the farm. It really is a "good piece" back to the back. (We did get a tree all the way on the back row one year). 

Well, our littlest woman was having no part of it. Lillie got so upset that we didn't walk around and look. I mean she was upset! Why does there have to be crying on this joyous occasion? So, of course, we compromised. We told her she could lead us around and we would look. So she did just that. We walked down the path, and all the while, she never pointed out another tree. After a nice little walk we asked her if the one we had originally seen would be ok. She stated with a smile on her face "yes". 

We headed back up front to cut down the "perfect" tree of 2010. 
The process of the tree cutting is Shannon and Ainzli sprawled out under the tree with Lillie looking on. Then when the tree is ready to come down, Ainzli grabs it and guides it to the ground. I know one year, in the not so distant future, she will be the one with the saw cutting away.

After the "big chop", the girls went up to the barn and brought Eeyore back to drag the tree to the truck. Not too worry, they had help. 
Ainzli was leading him with Lillie mounted on his back. 
We then warm up by the pot belly stove, indulge in hot chocolate, and pick out our wreath for the front door.



Cloud 9

I had mentioned a month or so ago about a project that I was working on for church. There was a bible study that started the beginning of September called "Cloud 9: A Call to Rise Above Common Ground". These are nine different ways for us to live a life more in line with that of Jesus Christ. Each week one of the 9 different subjects was discussed. Along with discussion, there was a plethra of scripture for us to reference, along with a challenge on that specific subject.

Well, I have finally finished it. I had so many idea's that I batted around, it was hard to narrow them down. Some I tried and they just did not look right, they didn't make sense, or they were just plain "bad" ideas.

Here is an example of the first idea I had:

The Challenge For This Week:

In the next 30 days read through one of the Gospels of Jesus Christ.

I was moving right along with this idea and I really like it in small projects, the first three weeks came to me so easily, but then I started to struggle with new ideas for all the letters. "Oh no", I thought, "I want all the letters to be different and this is going to be crazy hard and I have not allotted myself enough time......."You see procrastination is one of my virtues, curses I mean. Then the more I thought about it, this is a very busy design, and trying to put them all together just looked like a complete mess......... This is a "negative ghostrider."

So the review is coming up with the Crash (middle school aged group) at Harvest . My finished product is below, and to be honest, I am pleasantly optimistic that they will like it. The design is more tween geared and I hope will be a reminder to them that there are so many reasons to "Rise Above Common Ground."

Now here is my challenge to you....... pull out your Bible and take a look at these scriptures.
Trust me, you will feel anew.


And They Feasted!

Today is a day Ainzli and her second grade class have been anticipating for quite sometime. They had a grand feast for their Thanksgiving/Indian unit. It was held in the gym, all 186 kids sitting Indian style on the floor, in front of the decorations they made. Food was brought in by the parents, put together and set-up by the parents; with the teachers guidance, of course. The feast consists of the 2nd grade and they are dressed up as the Indians. The 3rd grade are the Pilgrims, dressed in full Puritan garb. 

Ainzli came home and already stated that next year she will be a Pilgrim. "Can we please stay in second grade for as long as possible sis, no more third grade talk!", I say. She smiles her quarky little smile all the while thinking "Wow, my Mom is nuts". She would never say that, but I truly believe she thinks it quite often.

Here is the feast.  Apples, Carrots, Celery, Cornbread, Banana Bread, Summer Sausage and Popcorn.
There was so much food in the beginning, I thought, how will it all get eaten. By the end of the feast it was gone.
186  2nd and 3rd grade kids consume a massive amount of food!

Mrs. Clements set up a teepee in their room, and they have made so many Indian (just so you know I like to call them Native Americans, but at school they call them Indians so that is what I have called them in this entry) crafts over the past couple of weeks. I go in to volunteer on Fridays for "centers", and this past Friday we decorated their Indian vests. These vests were white t-shirts that were either coffee or tea soaked before they were sent in, then the arms were cut off and cut into strips on the bottom.  They had beads, feathers, sequins (very authentic!), and markers to decorate them with.

What a blessing to apart of such an amazing school. We have a principal, teachers, aides, and volunteers that make it a wonderful place for my daughter to apart of. Definitely one on my blessings this Thanksgiving.

 One of my top blessings is obviously seated directly below.

Meet "Mia".
The kids were able to choose their own Indian name and Ainzli chose "Mia". (My-ah) 
I'm not sure that is an Indian name, but she is completely convinced and that is all that matters.

The vest. I tell you what, the hot glue gun could fix the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
The creativity was perpetuated in this craft. The vest really looks fantastic.

This is just one of the amazing experiences my daughter gets to have at school.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!


Princess of the Piano

We have been working fervently on Lillie's piano lessons. She has her first recital on December 10 and I cannot wait. She will be composing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Wendy the Whale. I am very aware that she is only 5, but she really likes to practice and play. Shannon has taken her to her last two lessons and he is fully engaged in this with Lillie.

A daddy teaching his daughter.....

Ms. Kathy is Lillie's piano teacher and she is wonderful. She is fun, organized, and expects a lot of her students and their parents. I just learned today that Lillie will be bowing when people applaud for her and will be doing a final curtsy at the end of her performance. How much fun is that going to be! I feel like as a parent you are looking for extra curricular activities that will not only build your children's minds, but also their confidence. Piano is filling all of those expectations for us. Go Lillie Go!



I have been thinking about my "everyday's". I know that isn't grammatically correct, but that is what they are. We do school, pre-school, work, home, errands; like most families I know. Our "everyday's". It can become mundane, but overall there is nothing else I would rather be doing. This will be my last year with my little sidekick. That thought literally "kicks me in the side." Lillie Blue will be starting kindergarten, and although that is quite a few months away, I think about it a lot. I enjoy our little talks, not getting out of our pajamas (or not wearing anything but little striped underwear and polka dotted socks, I am talking about Ms. Blue of course, and that is her attire today), reading with her, taking her to the office, doing anything with her; our one-on-one.

Don't get me wrong, I love to load up and head toward the school to go get Ainzli, but the dynamic always drastically changes. My one-on-one time with Lillie was not spent at her infancy, it is now, and it will be drawing to an end in the not so distant future. I am not sad, I embrace each stage of my children's lives, but I have had a little woman home with me for the last 8 1/2 years. Wow, where in the *&%# did 8 1/2 years go?!

Just an "everyday" at the Grismore abode.


Home Sweet Home

Shannon arrived home safe and sound Saturday, after a long day of traveling. The girl's and I waited at Concourse A, watching all the people straggling around the bend, wondering when it would be our loved one coming. Then Lillie gets up and starts running and Ainzli and I are looking at the people coming toward us thinking, "who is she runnning too?" Then Ainzli recognized him and I was last. Of course, all of this happened in a 30 second time frame, but really, I didn't recognize him. He had on his new hat (very dapper), hockey jersey from the Mochengladenbach team (bright and busy does not even begin to describe this thing) and very tired eyes. It was such a sense of calmness, all of us back together. (chaos always insumes not long after, a much loved chaos, for clarification).

Earlier in the day, the girls had made him posters for his welcoming home. Lillie wanted to be stealthy and make him find hers. She had me hang it in the top of his closet, he will see it every time he opens the doors.  I just thought that was genius. Ainzli took hers with us. She wanted him to see it first thing, she is always looking for ways to make people feel special. I love that about her.

So the family is all back and into the flow of regular life. Yeah!

The girl's love to do a project. They both were given money for Halloween instead of candy from grandparents.    (I just love that!) So they compiled their money, stuck to the budget, and bought all they wanted for the "Welcome Home Daddy" posters. 

 For the "spreadout" projects we always turn to the trusty folding table. It has been in the kitchen, garage, four seasons room, even in the backyard, and now we have christened the front room. I know it won't fit in the bathroom, but there is no doubt in my mind Ainzli will try to get it in there. 

Elmer's School Glue:
                                                        The company was originally part of the Borden Company which introduced the first consumer white glue in 1947. Under the trade name "Cascorez Glue, " the glue was packaged in glass bottles with "ice cream pop" type wooden sticks attached with rubber band. Shortly thereafter, the glue was repositioned under the name "Elmer's Glue-All"after Elmer, the spouse of Borden's famed corporate symbol, Elsie the cow.     

 I love kid art. Their pure joy with the finished product, the way they are able to explain every aspect, and the improvision of things they have not yet mastered. (case in point here, daddy's fingers). What an absolutely perfect Saturday morning.


The Over-Reactor

"Mom, Lillie's knocked out!", is the phrase that I hear from down the hall while I am cleaning up the dishes from supper. Instantly, I have a lump in my throat and I am positive my blood pressure has gone up 10 points. I briskly run to the end of the hallway and my look must have said it all. Ainzli instantly apologizes to me and has this look on her face that says, "Please don't be so mad at me your vein pops out in your forehead." I told her that this would never be something that would be funny to me, don't ever do it again, this is once again "crying wolf" and she said ok; all the while stroking a few strands of hair against her face with the "deer in the headlight" look.

I am the Over-Reactor type of Mom. This is not a character trait I am proud of. My mind always goes to the worst and I tell myself this is so that when it isn't bad I was prepared. I just pray daily that I am never faced with "the worst".  It has had me thinking for quite awhile, how do I overcome this ridiculous flaw? I want to be cool, calm, collected all those reactions that should come naturally, but can you gain them like knowledge? I believe you can.

Take the "knockout" situation. I know even a year ago, and definitely two years ago I would have dropped a dish on the floor, been crying by the time I got to them, and been yelling like a crazed lunatic (the look on Ainzli face expected it) when I realized she had been "just joking". I don't honestly know how I have started to resolve this. Getting older, a rock under pressure husband, daily prayer, having situations arise that teach me; I think all of these are reasons I am becoming a better reactive person. I have mastered breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, this is deep breathing, fill your lungs, no kidding, it works. I make the girls do it too, when they get really upset. It is called "whoo-sah" at the Grismore abode.

I don't know what kind of a "reaction" person you are, but if you are my hero type, bless you. For the rest of us, we can work on this, overcome it, and be that person up front leading with grace under pressure. (too much, I think not, we all need positive reinforcement every now and again.)

This is one of the fun pictures from our shoot with Abby. Can you see the craze lunacy in my eyes? Hopefully not. :) 


Emillio Reggio

This is the view out of the 3rd story room in Italy. A Futbol field. I guess I just don't get it!

I suppose to the right person this would be a great view.......... either one of these!

I suppose to the country boy from Farmland these would seem like some of the coolest things! Let me tell you, Ainzli and I both went straight to the really cool carpet in the small triangle space to the left.

The girl's and I got a call last night with just opera music on the other end. Last night was the Brevini 50 year celebration. Shannon said they went and had pizza before hand and that was it. He seemed a little puzzled by the simpleness of that until................ the singing started. Spettacolare! Once again, no words.  Just pure and simple, magic. More to come...........later.


Meet Joe (in) Black

Yesterday was a wonderful day for Shannon, when I talked with him he sounded great. This is Johannes (from here forward know as "Joe"), he and Shannon have become good friends. When Joe was over here we took him out to Acton country and showed him around. Shannon took him a ride in the Camaro, Poppa's Corvette, and they took a four-wheeler ride down by the river. All of these confirm country boy from Farmland! We had a wonderful time that day and Joe is a great guy.
Joe returned the experience in grand proportions! Shannon was able to meet Bittina (wife), Rolf (son) and Joe's Mom. They toured the countryside, Joe's village, and went 165 Kilometers an hour on the Autoban. We will hear all about it when he gets home.

Shannon flew out at 10 am from Dusseldorf, on his way to Italy. He is now just 5 hours ahead of us, their daylight savings was this past Sunday. I have not spoken with him yet, but he was ready to get there. He will be with someone from Brevini most of the time he is in Italy. Shannon likes to be around people, so this trip has been challening on so many levels. Italy will be a completely different experience, he is getting picked up from the airport in a limo! What now, Shannon the Rockstar! I am looking forward to hearing from him today.

Meet Joe. This is his Ford Mondeo. Why can't we get that car here in the states? Very Volvo-esk. 

This is Joe's village. That is really all I know. Shannon didn't give me anymore information, but.........I can only imagine waking up every morning, pouring myself a cup of black coffee and heading out to my front porch (or this time of year, front picture window) and seeing this.  

Rolf: he is Joe's 14 month old son. Joe is a die-hard biker. So he started Rolf out early on the motorcycle! Rolf turned 1 year when Joe was over here. Joe travels for very long periods of time for his job. He was only home for 3 days and was willing to spend one with Shannon. I am forever grateful!

As for the girls and I, we are getting to hang out just the three of us. Last night we laid in Lillie's bed, all three of us, and just chatted. I just love my girls. We definitely miss him, but we look at it with a positive attitude.

Tonight, Ainzli is going to registration for the Royerton basketball league. I think she is a little nervous. I asked her about volleyball and she really has no interest. Soccer, no interest. Basketball, we will see.

Lillie had piano last night, and she got her first Christmas song to practice. She is so close to mastering Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Miss Kathy says she is doing great.


A Medieval City in the East

Shannon took an hour train ride south to the city of Koln.  Koln is located on the eastern side of Germany. It is much more touristy than Monchengladenbach, but still not much english spoken. He was excited to have an American burger at the Hard Rock Cafe, that was a menu he could read. The cathedral at Koln is said to be one of the most beautiful sights in Europe. It was originally constructed sometime in the 1500's. It took quite a beating during the second world war, and is going under some constructive surgery still. Shannon spent 4 or 5 hours in Koln, then headed back to Monchengladenbach. I am so proud of him, he is taking this opportunity that has been handed to him and living it to the fullest. He will be touring more of Germany tomorrow with Joe. Shannon and Joe became well acquainted here at Brevini, Joe set up the machine Shannon will eventually be running. I know he is probably labeling me as a "pest", but here are his favorites from his trip today.

Just a Couple

I asked Shannon to send me two of his favorite pictures from his trip so far, and this is what he sent me first. He took a train ride to Koln (Cologne) today. I am so excited to get his two favorite from that trip. He told me already that there is no website, picture, description that would do that city justice.

He took Brevini's point and shoot camera, so of course, I had to be sure that there was an image on it of his favorite girls. We were hanging out at the airport before it was time for him to board. Needless to say, there were some tears shed about 15 minutes after this was taken. 

I asked Abby to take some pictures of the girls and I so that I could make him a book to take with him. I was so gun-ho about just slipping it in his suitcase and him finding it once he was at his destination. So we were packing the night before and he mentioned taking pictures with him a couple of times. I gave in, so I went and got it from Grandma's buffet and handed it to him. He only looked at the cover and said he would view the rest when he got there. He loves it and the pictures are beautiful.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Abby.

This is the entrance to the restaurant on the ground floor of his hotel. This is where he eats the majority of the time.  At the left side of the picture is the portico where the picture of him was taken a couple of posts ago. He says the food here is amazing. I asked him if he could duplicate it.............. he said nothing. 

All Hallows Eve

I feel like Halloween has lasted for two whole weeks. The girls get invited, every year, to a Halloween party that takes place in our neighborhood. Shannon normally does the hayride for it, and it is a lot of fun. This year they had to have it early with the kids getting older, sports schedules, and this year, trick-or-treating. So we have had costumes ready for quite sometime. We have had so much time, Lillie was actually able to dress-up as two different things, she was a pumpkin for the the party and a ladybug for trick -or-treat.
Last night was trick-or-treating for Muncie, and we had a ball. Before hand, we went over to the Jackson's and had chili with friends and neighbors. We love our neighbors! The costumes were as follow's: Scarecrow, Ladybug, Best Friends Heart (Annie and McKenna were the two seperate sides), Storm Trooper, Ladybug(2), Chicago Bears Fan, and finally a little Kitty. We ventured out as a pack and had so much fun. There was plenty of candy collected, so our neighborhood was the extent of our trick-or-treating. When we were getting ready to go over to GG's, Ainzli wanted to know if we could hit up their neighborhood. Negative was the plain answer from this mean-o!
When we were growing up Mom and Poppa would only take us to people we knew, and so that is the way  it is done with our girls. Halloween was a big thing, Mom made the most elaborate costumes. One year, Audri was a Christmas tree, she actually lit up! Battery operated Christmas lights had just come out, and WOW! That is all I can say. The costume Ainzli is wearing is one Mom had made for Audri, Ainzli told everyone that her aunt had worn it. And of course, it looks like the real deal, so it was awesome. Thanks Mom!


Shannon Grismore: International Traveler

"What an experience!". I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that from him. Shannon started his new job with Brevini Wind on July 26 of this year knowing there would be some amazing opportunities granted to him. He is half way through one of them right now. He flew out of Indy on the 23rd to arrive in Dusseldorf, Germany 16 hours later. He was then picked up at the airport by a car service and dropped off in Monchengladenbach, Germany at a lovely motel downtown. Can we say country boy from Farmland, Indiana is feeling a little out of sorts........ absolutely! He started his training on that Monday and finished it at noon yesterday. He feels like it cannot be all he will get, there is just way to much, but it was a good start. Germany is six hours ahead of us, so when Shannon got done with training, he would come back to the room and we have been using Skype daily. It was perfect timing. What an amazing thing Skype is! Being all alone in a different country, and for the first time, I know being able to see our faces has been a huge relief.
His day would consist of someone from Dorries picking him up every morning, training, lunch (with 16 Chinese men who are there to train on another type of machine, and who do not speak a lick of English either, they had a translator traveling with them), more training in the afternoon, and then the rest of the day to himself.
He is truly looking forward to his travel to Italy. That is when he will tour Brevini, and get to see where it all began. That is so exciting. Brevini is striving to become a huge part of our community here at home and that makes us feel like Shannon has gotten a once in a lifetime opportunity to be apart of them getting their factory up and running.
This is just a view down a street in Monchengladenbach. He says they all pretty much look just like this. Amazing how clean it is. The natives tell him that this is not a pretty town at all. They keep telling him wait till he goes to Cologne!

"Secret Agent Man" standing outside of his hotel. He told me he would not have survived without 4 things: backpack, coat, phone, and computer. I suppose next time he can pack much lighter!


It's a Quarter to 4

I have been browsing the web at different blogs over the pass week, and WOW are there some truly dedicated bloggers. I find these women amazing (sorry guys, haven't found any avid men bloggers worth following at this time)! I am feeling a little inadequate as I am scrolling through their thoughts, recipes, pictures, ideas, etc. Then it dawned on me see how long they have been doing it...............years! How awesome is it to have compiled all the information they have, put it on the noodle net, and allow newbies like me to bathe in it and try it on my own. I want to say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart and I can only hope to someday stand in your shadow Mrs. Homeschooling Hero!



We have been planning for over a month to stay with Audri and go to Appleworks. Appleworks is an apple orchard in Trafalgar, their Scottish festival was this past weekend so there was live music, vendors, horse rides, a little train ride and a petting zoo. There were just so many cool things and all of the beautiful scenery, the orchard is situated on little rolling hills with a couple of little ponds connected by little outlets of water. It really is beautiful.
I have had the best of intentions to make applesauce this Autumn season, but I have not taken the time to get apples. Well, now I don't have an excuse! I bought a peck, and am going to give it a shot this weekend. Wish me luck! Plus, Ainzli brought home a recipe for applebutter, which she has informed me she loves. I would really enjoy making the applebutter out of my own applesauce. Just like Caroline did on the prairie......... I was also able to finish up my third week word for my bible study. (I think I will post all of those at the end of the study) I just love a fun filled weekend!


Autumn is Here!

I am so excited, but it is true, I have arrived. Ha! Now I know why my parents named me Autumn, how could you possibly not love this time of year. Seeing the awesome wonder of the changing of so many plants, bugs, landscapes, etc. I love taking Lillie to preschool and seeing a combine, dust whirling in its path, clearing a field. The smells that Fall brings, can so often put me right back to my childhood. Riding our Yamaha 200 across the field from our house to Grandma's, giggling and our hair blowing in the wind.... Those are some amazing memories!............. Lillie and I have been watching a tree in our neighbors yard over the last two weeks gradually change. I looked again a couple of days ago and I thought, my goodness it is changing so fast! So of course, I told Lillie to take a look, and she said, "oh, it's taking to long!" Too long! I would love to savor this specific Fall weather for at least two months (longer if you really want to know the truth) and a five year old thinks two weeks is too long, blasphemy!


Tidbits of Time

Good afternoon! Our girl's are 8 and 5 (sometimes looking at those ages makes my heart flutter), and time seems to be so broke up these days. I knew this year would be the year of running, needless to say though, I had not prepared myself for how much. Ainzli started "Heavenly Noises" last night (choir at a local church) and Lillie piano, and preschool and work and all the moves it takes in a day to have a house running as smoothly as it can. So we call these broke up pieces of time "tidbits". We relished in a tidbit one late afternoon at the park. A nice, small, clean little park. I have been trying to photograph letters for a project I am doing at church (fun, by the way!). So our treasured tidbit got us some physical activity, which I am in dire need of!

I didn't realize until I had one, that left-handed people push the merry-go-round the opposite way. 

We call her "The Boo Bear" or "The Boo", I don't know why exactly that is relevant at this particular time, but it is a nice little "tidbit" of information. 

I love being this beautiful little girls mother, still sometimes takes my breath away that she chose me. 


"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters!" ( a line from the movie White Christmas, their all-time favorite Christmas movie, too date)