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Showing posts from 2007

Surfer Dudes

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We're waking up to the last day of 2007 and breakfast in the backyard. Hunter doesn't stand on ceremony when he sets the table. He just brings out the necessary elements--a bottle of milk, whatever cereal boxes are available, and eating utensils. Grandpa Al accidentally ripped the bottom out of the cereal box this morning so they repaired the box with masking tape.

If we get a decent breakfast, we can spend hours surfing waves at the beach, building castles in the sand, and watching boats whiz by on the intracoastal highway along the jetty.

Check out these glimpses of body boarding and fighting the waves that keep washing back the sandcastles.

Dave helps Blake and Hunter get up on their boards. When "the big one" comes in, Dave gives them a lift and they ride all the way to the shore.
Then they come back for more. Good thing Dave does weight lifting every day as part of his morning regimen.




Cool Christmas Gift

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Everyone was very generous and thoughtful for Christmas this year and it might be rude to single out one Christmas gift out over others for being unique, but this one was pretty interesting. A friend of ours, Maria Bruhns, lives and works at a winery in Gilroy California, Kirigin Cellars. If anyone ever has a chance to stop by and say hi, please do so. The wineries in the Santa Clara Valley are excellent and very personable. Apparently she visited the blog and found a picture (ISU squeaks past Colorado, and we were there!) to use to make a custom wine label for a perfect Christmas gift, very cool, thanks Maria! I think it will make a perfect celebration wine for a tailgate at the University of Iowa game or for the next year ISU makes it to a bowl game, which could be quite a while. Click on the picture for a larger view.

Merry Christmas Baby!

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We are proud to announce the birth of Carson William Hayes on December 24, 2007 at 7 pm (yes, Christmas Eve) to Mandy and Kerry Hayes (Kerry is Kimberly's brother). Carson was 6 lbs, 9 oz and 19" tall. Unfortunately uncle Adam was caught off guard and forgot his camera so there are no pictures yet.



Congrats Mandy and Kerry!

Finally some pictures.
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Becky and Al here, on Christmas Eve in Venice, Florida. Hope you're all with people you love and enjoying your hours together. We are. Dave and Amy flew in from Iowa with their boys, Hunter and Blake. This is Hunter stringing kumquats on a garland to help me finish decorating the Christmas tree at the Shamrock House. Check out the finished tree, below.






This is the Shade House, our home at the beach. We spend most of our time playing football, surfing on body boards, making wind chimes from shells combed up from the sand and digging for shark's teeth. The cabana hides us away from the birds who fly by when they see food in little hands.


For Christmas Eve, we donned our Christmas socks after we returned from the candlelight Christmas service at church. Grandpa Al made up a Christmas game that mimicked Uncle Stan's trading game...the purse game with a $20 bill. Blake bid on the purse right away, recognizing it as a symbol for $$$$. Fortunately, Grandpa Al was wise enough to…

Underwood Early Christmas in Iowa

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Hunter and Blake had a great early Christmas in Iowa. After they spent a few nights sorting and inserting their new baseball cards from Adam and Kim, they got to open their gifts from mom and dad. They are keeping themselves busy with their new stuff while they wait anxiously to leave for Florida.

Dad had a good time too!






Blake and Hunter test for their Yellow and Purple White belts

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Tonight Blake and Hunter will both test for their next belts. Hunter is 5 belts from his black belt and Blake is taking his first test tonight. Dave is coaching as he is an adult with a higher belt. We wish them a lot of luck. They will not know if they passed until they get home from their trip to Florida.

O, Christmas Tree

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Becky and Al here, from Venice, Florida, writing by the glow of Christmas lights set on our window ledge. The five candle set-up is plastic, one of those cheap $8 electric candelabra from the seasonal aisle of Walgreen's. Inside the house, the candles are safe, clean burning, and disguised by the sheer curtains in front of them. Outside (we imagine), the band of lights are a traditional comfort for travelers look for a room at the inn.


Our first Florida Christmas tree was a cardboard and tissue paper palm purchased at a party store. It hung from the ceiling by a cup hook, gaily spinning in the breeze unless anchored by gift boxes. It was perfect with the beach chairs we'd assembled for living room seating--we were tourists in a weird and wacky world and hadn't quite found our sea legs. It was marvelously novel.













We're still tourists, in spite of the fact that we're Florida residents holding Florida driver's licenses. However, we're back to decorating the old-f…

Spotting Santa

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While Norma's weathering the ice storm in the North, Santa's sunning himself in the South. For those of you who don't know Norma (see previous post), she's the tree that Amy planted in memory of her grandmother, Norma Jerdee. Norma, the tree, has suffered through several brutal storms, including a severe topping off last year. She remains a beautiful thing, in spite of her crew cut.
We don't know much about this Santa. He's just a funky drive-by shooting on a snowless Glen Oak Road in Venice, Florida. Christmas in Florida looks strange to those of us who associate it with snow. The only time it looks right is when we view the live Nativity under the palm trees on Tamiami Trail.

The red palm tree is a perennial favorite at Sharky's on the Beach.

Norma battles another ice storm

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We are watching as Norma is battling yet another ice storm. She is tough so we are hopeful she will pull through again.
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Every year we run into Santa at the most unexpected places. This year it was at the Nutcracker Ballet. It was a highlight for Hunter and Blake. They no longer ask why Santa is so skinny or how can he be in so many places. I think they figure they had better just play along or they could risk losing the good stuff on Christmas. They saw Santa and excitedly ran up for a photo op and a candy cane. No need to tell him what they want, because they know he already got their letters.

Tis the Season...

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Becky and Al here, checking in from Mt. Vernon Drive and beautiful gulfside Venice, Florida. The neighbors are at it again--Kitching It Up for Christmas (we never know what quirky sight will pop up in this town that's touted by magazines as One of the 10 Best Places to Retire in America).
















At 203 Shamrock Boulevard, homeowners are mad for penguins. They probably own every penguin-themed Christmas yard ornament ever made, adding another to the collection whenever a new one turns up. They showcase their penguins by type. There's the blow-up section which takes up most of the yard. On the other side of the driveway, you can view the wire-sculpture section (didn't get a shot of them).








Sharky's at the beach decorates the palm trees and lines up their Santa collection on top of the fish aquarium.

Pictures from Belize

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Iowa First Snow of the Season

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The boys couldn't wait to get out into the snow and use those shovels. They spent their first night of the Thanksgiving Break working hard.



Another Deer visit in West Des Moines

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Today we saw a bigger buck in our backyard. This time we caught both the buck and the doe in a photo.




A cardinal and squirrel decided to join in on the fun.

Nature in the Jerdees (Iowa) backyard

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This morning Kim, Lulu and I (Adam) were suprised to see this guy chasing a doe around our front yard to our back yard. This is a little bit unusual considering we live in the middle of West Des Moines. There is a greenbelt nearby with a rather large herd of deer which sometimes stray into the neighborhood and the busy streets.

Happy Birthday Becky (mom)!

Today is Becky Jerdee's 65th birthday. Becky and Al spent the morning enjoying a fantastic breakfast at the Venice Beach canopy followed by a stroll along the beach. Tonight's plans include a dinner at the Crow's Nest. Have fun you two!

The New Closet Emerges

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We have been working every spare minute. Our first success is the closet. We will show you Amy's side. We are working on the bathroom and laundry room. Those photos will be next!







Amy Goes to PA

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Amy spent last week in Harrisburg, PA and while there got a chance to visit Hersey and more importantly Chocolate World.

ISU squeeks past Colorado, and we were there!

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Kim and Adam stuck through halftime after a terrible first half of football at the ISU/Colorado football game only to witness a tie for the best comeback in ISU football history. It came with a bizarre finish as most fans, players and coaches weren't even sure the game was over. There were two eerie moments of silence in a crowd of ~40,000 when the official announced when each kick to tie the game by Colorado was nullified. You could literally not hear a person speaking as he turned his microphone on to annouce that the game was over and Iowa State had won the game.
Then there was a roar as the fans rushed the field.
After waiting about 10 minutes we decided to join the crowd. Even after only winning 3 games all year, the fans still get excited enough to rush the field, amazing. It's so hard to be a cyclone fan you have to lavish in a victory when you can. The final score was ISU 31 Colorado 28.