Thursday, December 21, 2017

Wrestling 2017-2018 at Valley High

Blake is in shape for the season. As a sophomore on the Varsity team, he's had 12 wins and 5 losses. He gets better as the season moves forward.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Turkey Trotters Made it to the Finish

Every Thanksgiving morning, the Underwood boys run the Turkey Trot
 through downtown Des Moines.
When they finish, they are served breakfast.
It's a treat to run in this lovely, sunny 40-degree weather!

Now they'll drive to Ollie for a Grandma Jonita Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Stone Crab and Kim

The Jerdees stopped for lunch at Doc Fords in San Carlos.
 Kim is loving the stone crab.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Back to Disney for a Run or Two

Kim, Adam, and Landon flew to Florida today, registered for their races, and moved into the Dolphin Hotel. Here's their hotel comes with seating behind the falls for extra thrills.
Landon does the Kids' Run on Saturday,
 Adam does the Wine-and-Dine Half Marathon on Sunday.
I'll be feeding their cat.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A is for Academics

Be is for Brains, Brawn, and Beauty.
Hunter has it all.
We attended the fall ceremony for handing out academic letters and gold bars. Hunter has been on the Honor Roll as a sophomore and junior at Valley High.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Amy is 50!

Landon and I did the decorating after his art class at the Des Moines Art Center.
 Instead of putting 50 candles on a cake, we put 50 actual-size candles
 around the patio and in the house so we could toast Amy
 when the Underwoods arrived just after sunset.
This is a non-working chandelier but we managed to make it light up
by directing small flashlights on it from a table below it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Look Back

I came across photos from 2004 taken at a gift opening party after Kim and Adam's wedding.
I was stunned by the difference in height between Hunter and me.
If we stand together now, he's the taller one!


Monday, September 18, 2017

Valley Homecoming 2017

Group dating is where it is...the girls pushing the guys to make a move.
 So Blake and Hunter obliged but deny that they are into "dating" girls.
 It's all a big set-up.
Parents were on board with their kids & cameras for the winning game,
HyVee Hall dance and dining at Biaggi's and Glen Oaks Clubhouse.
Hunter and his buddy, Avery, who paired Hunter with a girl.
She gave him a rose which he pushed into his pocket.
They're Juniors at Valley.

Blake and his group-date buddies dressed to kill.
They're Sophomores at Valley.

It is said that this track friend said to Blake, "You should ask me to Homecoming!"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dave is 50!

Five red carnations for Dave's five decades filled with verve and vitality.
A dozen family members gathered to celebrate
and I was so involved with the food that I forgot
to take pictures.
Anyway, it was a great time!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hunter's Rafting on Clear Creek in Colorado

Alas, I can't move the phone pictures to my photo gallery to show you but he's wearing a wet suit and boarding a big yellow Clear Creek bus to the white waters.
Waiting for news...
I'm looking at

OK, figured out how to get pictures:

Hunter's at far left, waving.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

In just two hours...

It's a good thing Hunter came by the day before D Day to help pack
 the contents of our kitchen cupboards
because the demolishing crew meant business!
They arrived at 8 a.m. and by 10 a.m. the old fence from the back patio
 walked away and the 1980s kitchen disappeared.

7:30 a.m.

10 a.m. Water lines closed.
Watch this space!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Syttende Mai birthday party for Adam

OK, so Adam's birthday is really May 21 but because he loves being Norwegian, we scheduled his celebration for Norway's Constitution Day.

Party guests were greeted with rhubarb cordials (ok for kids).
The recipe is simple: 2 lbs. of rhubarb cut into 2-inch pieces is brought to a boil in 2 cups of water, then simmered for 30 minutes. With cheesecloth over strainer, the liquid is reserved and the rhubarb remains tossed. In a clean pot, 1 3/4 cup of sugar is added to the rhubarb liquid and brought to a boil, simmered for 10 minutes, then poured into sterile container and  refrigerated.
To serve, combine 1 part rhubarb liquid with 2 parts water.
 Pour into glasses over ice. Lemon slices/mint leaves on the side.

 That's the Norwegian word for open-face sandwiches,
the theme for the party menu.
Inspiration for all sorts of ingredient combinations.
Salmon/cucumber/dill cream cheese/chives.
Chicken salad/lettuce/parsley.
Boiled egg slices/ dill pickle slices/sandwich spread/parsley
Pastrami wrapped around asparagus spears/cucumbers/dill cream chees.
Asparagus/Garden Vegetable spread/radish/cucumber/shrimp.

To be safe, I opened with a double-stacked bacon/lettuce/tomato.
The familiar BLT in miniature form was a hit!
Mini-BLT with cocktail pumpernickel bread. Bacon cheddar cheese spread on bread,
lettuce, tomato, bacon---repeat.
 Layers held together with toothpickor flag pick.

Rye bread, mixed green lettuce, fried cod, dill cream cheese, shrimp and lime wedge
Chicken salad on rye.
Cupcakes decorated with berries were a shortcut from the Norwegian version
of a luxurious white frosted birthday cake decorated with berries.
 Happy birthday, Adam!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Landon is 7!

It was a great day for a backyard birthday party--a lovely free-for-all afternoon under the maple tree shading a circle of chairs for about 35 attendees...parents, grandparents, cousins, school friends, adult friends from church.
 For additional super-cushy seating, some chose the Little House.
Landon decided the best place for opening gifts was the hammock!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Our Happy Graduate

The graduate may be happy but so are we!

While working as Director of Cost Reduction and Productivity
for United Technologies Corporation, Dave did the work that it took to earn his MBA.
On May 6, 2017, he graduated from Upper Iowa University
 and everyone who could travel to Fayetteville, Iowa that day
 was there for the celebration.
Congratulations, Dave!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nationals 9th Grade Wrestling Champ

Blake returned from the Folkstyle Wrestling Nationals as the All-American 9th Grade Champ,
 Here's the singlet and other takeaways.

The next day he ran the track relays for the Valley Tigers of West Des Moines.
For details, read the first comment below.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dirty Dancing

The Underwoods headed to North Carolina for Spring Break this year,
 staying at Rumbling Bald Resort on Lake Lure.
A cool place for golfing, zip-lining, hiking, rock climbing, wellness center workouts.
And dancing!
Stealing a scene on the site of the resort where
the movie, Dirty Dancing, was filmed.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Our Wrestling Star

We've  been in Des Moines for most of wrestling season this year and yesterday was the last tournament. Catching moves on an iPhone at quite a distance was a challenge but we did our best.
Hope you enjoy a few action shots.
Blake won all three matches at this tournament.

The final count for the season:
18 wins (half of them pins)
4 losses
Before each match, he gets himself in "the zone"...pacing, preparing...

He paused long enough for me to photograph from behind...

Blake is the Valley Tiger in black/white and orange.

He won the first match 12 to 4.

Into the Cockpit

Landon's on his way home from Ireland. He was invited to sit in the cockpit of the Aer Lingus plane.