(Chuck) For the last 12 days we have been the houseguests of Eric and Cheri and family in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. They have been very gracious to share their house with us and it was a good time to cement family bonds. Pictured at right are Eric, Jan & Chuck, Ryan’s friend Carly, Ryan, Jessica w/Sparkle and Cheri.
(Jan) One of the great things about living with the our family for several weeks was being able to be there for Jess’s Choral Concert and Ryan’s Madrigal Performance. Although Jess’s first musical love is playing clarinet in the band, she has a lovely voice and chooses to be in Chorus as an extra curricular activity. Her Middle School Choral Concert was entertaining and very good. Their rendition of ‘The Unsung Hero’ brought tears to Grampa’s & Gramma’s eyes and was Jessica’s favorite. Jess is at top, left.
Ryan’s Madrigal was a play, a concert and dinner all rolled into one awesome performance. The dinner featured Wassail, a bread, cheese & relish tray, cheese soup, Cornish Game Hen, green beans, & ear of corn, and then cookies, brownies & cake all eaten with out utensils except for a spoon for the soup. Fun! The Madrigal Singers, in splendid period costume, sang 30 different selections in many languages including Latin; all of them a cappella. Ryan and the other nineteen Madrigal Singers auditioned for a position last May and started working on the Music in August. One of our favorites was their rendition of the William Tell Overture using their voices instead of musical instruments. Magical! They all did a wonderful job. Their candle lit rendition of Silent Night to close the program was utterly lovely. Ryan is pictured below, the fourth from the left.
Being with our Illinois family was as close to being in one’s own home as you can get. We were able to have our own space in the lower level and still join the family after work & school in the early evening. On many evenings, Cheri graciously shared her beautiful kitchen and this mom/gramma got to cook dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed having a family to cook for again. Plus, for 12 days I got to enjoy the family’s dog Sparkle, a Bichon Frise. Eric was able to take this past Friday off from work and he and Chuck & I went to the new Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey. We loved getting to see this Middle Earth Adventure with Eric. Cheri’s parents joined us on the week-end so they could see Ryan’s Madrigal. It was wonderful for all of us to be together and we will have fond memories of the visiting and fun games of Whole Enchilada all 8 of us played. Here’s Jess showing us that she loves us even after she won several games handily. We loved every minute of our stay and miss them already!
(Chuck) At this time we are in Nappannee and our home should hopefully be finished soon. It was out of the paint shop today and there is about a day and one half work to install all of the awnings and the exterior lights. We hope to be on the road Wednesday. It will be a furious three days drive to Yuma. Streets and Trips indicate 1998.1 miles, 3 days, 5 hours and 7 minutes. We usually try to avoid a mad dash like this, however, it seems to be in our future. Warm weather, Christmas with my mother and our Rose Bowl float schedule take priority.