Sure it’s Christmas…Once More!

It was the most wonderful time of the year…Christmastime! It’s a time when hopes are renewed, traditions come to life and memories are made. Although we enjoyed getting together with our family and friends, it is also a time of reflection of Christmases gone by with loved ones that are no longer with us. And although we didn’t get to see everyone we wanted to see, we made the best of it and had a great time giving and receiving with our loved ones…and of course enjoying all the food!! We have really slowed things down this week. Normally, this would be a very busy time of year with all three kids involved in sports. However, it was different this year with Matt still being on the mend and Abby not doing junior high sports. This would normally be a very busy time for us, but we’ve really enjoyed sleeping in, taking naps and going to bed early.
We start off last Sunday when we right in the middle of all the flooding. On our way up to Fishers for the Scheu family Christmas party, we saw all kinds of flooding on the interstate. It was really cold, meaning all the extra water was now a lot of ice. All of the snow was completely gone but we still held out hopes of seeing a white Christmas. We enjoyed spending a few hours at Uncle Chuck & Aunt Cindy’s house. We had a big lunch, watched the Colts beat the Chiefs and caught up with that side of the family over a few drinks. In attendance, we had Cathy & Tom; Vicki & Faddi, Daniel & Kels and Seth & Hannah; Dad & Barb; Barney & Seth, Nick & Connor and Ryan, Carly & Emmitt; Sally & Scott, Chris, Trish, Conner, Joey & Jack and Jason, Erica and the kids. We exchanged gifts and had several desserts before calling it a day and heading home. Dad is officially retired now and is just focused on getting all his stuff out of the Parkside. He said he was frequently bored and so we encouraged him to come see his grandchildren more often. We got home a decent time that allowed us to watch the Cowboys/Redskins rivalry game. It had a lot riding on it as the Cowboys had to win to stay alive for a playoff birth. It was a close game that went back and forth right until the end when Romo threw a pass on 4th down that Murray reeled in and scored the go-ahead TD with only seconds left to stay alive and set up a huge game on the last day of the regular season against the Eagles for all the marbles…

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The kids were off school on Monday, as Winter Break began for them. It was Ann’s last day of work before vacation. Luke had the week off from basketball as well, so he did not have practice that night. Matt did have wrestling practice in the morning as well as physical therapy in the afternoon. Abby also had the week off from dance, so she did not go to the studio that evening, which allowed us to relax and prepare for all the events of the next couple days…
Tuesday began early as we got up and braved the single digits / negative wind chills and headed out on our annual trek to the Trackside Café. We met up with the wrestling team and enjoyed breakfast at the best little greasy spoon in the city. Afterwards, we headed up to the Knights of Columbus where we volunteered again at the Cheer Fund distribution. It was bigger than last year’s again – as was the amount of volunteers, both drivers and loaders. As usual, by the end it was just the wrestling team left loading the cars. The kids did really well again and we enjoyed the few hours of camaraderie with lots of laughs. Matt went on home and I went on to work. Meanwhile, the girls made all our favorite holiday munchies like chocolate chip cookies, blondies, chex mix and Phyllis’ iced cheerios.

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I got home about mid-afternoon and promptly made our way over to Mom & Gigi’s for our annual Christmas Eve traditions. We had a big dinner and stuffed ourselves. Next was church. This year, though, Mom didn’t feel up to fighting the cold and the crowds, so we instead tuned in WTRE where Sandy had a service taped from earlier in the day. It was a nice alternative, meaning we didn’t have to dress up, get cold or see people we pretended to like. Next we opened presents for a couple hours. We had a great time again this year. It was a little different with Keith & Rosie not being there and much quieter without Megan & Grace as well. We wrapped up over there a couple hours earlier than normal due to the new church procedure this year, which worked out so much better for us on several different levels. We came home and the kids got in to their new jammies. We spread reindeer dust, got out cookies, milk, cheese and a Santa Coke for St Nick and then read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then the kids headed to bed. We didn’t bother to tell them we were home two hours early! That meant that Santa’s elves could get started wrapping two hours earlier!! We actually were in bed before midnight…what a difference – we actually got to sleep for a few hours for once!! Too bad we didn’t have the chance to take our annual picture of Mom & Dad sleeping.

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I went to bed about at about 2 on Wednesday morning…after snoring on the couch for a few hours. The kids were up at 5…and then 6…and then 6:30 before we finally got up and got going on Christmas Day. The kids were so excited to see all their presents! Matt’s favorite top 3 presents are his new iPod, Xbox 360 games and his new shoes, Abby’s top-3 faves are her electric blanket; Luke’s is his phone, his laptop and his Hot Wheels car maker; Ann’s favorites are her silver earrings, wooly slippers and Pandora charm; and I love my new phone and all the Hot Wheels. We opened presents for a good hour – wait until you see Luke’s reaction to his phone (we hid it away from the others and called him after all the other presents were opened)! We bummed around for a few hours, taking naps as the kids played with all their new things. Eventually we got up, got ready and headed over to Mom & Sandy’s again – this time for the big Christmas lunch. As usual, MaryAnn had everything: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, noodles, mac ‘n cheese, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, rolls, dressing, slaw, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and many different cookies. I was falling asleep long before we decided to run home for naps. What a great meal. We came back home and indeed did take naps while the kids played with their new things. We sent Matt over Memaw’s house to pick through leftovers and he came back with a ton of food that fed us not only that night but the next two days as well!

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We took it pretty easy on Thursday. Matt had wrestling practice early. Later, he and I took Luke to Wal-Mart to spend some of his Christmas money. Luke got a new air soft gun, I got a few more Hot Wheels and Matt just browsed. He saved his money for later in the day when he went out on “date night” with his buddies, Andy, Jake & Colton. They went over to Columbus for steak dinners at Texas Roadhouse. Ann took Abby our shopping and dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s. Luke had his buddy Alex over to spend the night and play Xbox and air soft guns. Matt came back and his buddies came in for a while to visit. I was already in bed and asleep but they were pretty loud and woke me up. I have noticed that I am going to bed much earlier nowadays – not sure what that means other than I am getting old. We have a ton of social media pictures to share with you this week: Abby and her close friends; Megan; Katie & Brody at the IU game, Aunt Sharon with Nate & Steph’s girls; Dena Marie; Barney; Uncle John’s kids and spouses; Seth & fiancé; Ryan & fiancé; Cathy & Tom’s “baby”, Chris & Jason’s kids w/ Giese kids; Aunt Karen’s granddaughter; my good buddy Brad; our friends Rick & Lynn; Calvin & Hobbes; The Timm’s Christmas party; Brent & Emily; Conner; Dan & Sharon’s grandkids; several great photos of Lindsay & Jack’s wedding; Christmas Eve with the Messer’s; the two QBs for the Cowboys – Troy & Kyle; the #1-ranked 3A men’s basketball team; and our first ever New Years card – with Lindsay & Jack…

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We slept in again on Friday morning. Matt had wrestling practice about mid-morning. Luke & Alex played air soft out in the woods. Ann went scrapbooking with Shawna at Mrs. B’s for most of the day. While Matt was crashed out on the couch for most of the afternoon, I took Luke & Bu out to Wal-Mart to spend some more of their Christmas money. Abby got a new iPhone charger and some chocolates. Luke got an Air Hogs helicopter and some beef jerky. I got some household supplies and headed out. We stopped at DQ for some ice cream. We tried to hit Dairy Point for Luke only to find they had closed for the season a couple days earlier. So we came back and played outside for a couple hours, since it was so nice outdoors. The sun was out and it was likely in the lower 40s. We moved the basketball rim out to the edge of the driveway and played ball in the street. I won a long game of HORSE and Luke won a quick game of PIG. Next, we played guns in the backyard. We had Luke’s air soft pistol, our two BB guns and the pellet gun. Next, we played with Luke’s new RC helicopter. It was too windy and so Bu & I went in and encouraged Luke to do the same. He chose to stay out and play longer. But it wasn’t 5 minutes later that he came inside and said he had lost his Air Hog. Abby went out to help him look, but to no avail. I eventually got up from the couch where I was watching a bowl game and ended up getting the big ladder out of the shed and looking in gutters. The kids got up on the roof, we took apart a down spout, and looked until it was dark and we were cold…but could not find that damn helicopter. Luke was pretty bummed but swore to find it tomorrow morning. Ann returned from Mrs.B’s and made spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Matt ran out to the Fieldhouse to do something for Senior Night, which isn’t far into the future for us again… We found out that Matt missed wrestling pictures but were thankful that the newspaper ones were also done and he was in attendance for those.

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Matt was up early on Saturday morning and headed up to Ben Davis with the wrestling team for the Giant 16 tourney. Ann took naps while the kids and I did our weekly chores around the house. We grabbed sandwiches at Subway after the kids had the playroom cleaned, the dishes done and their bedrooms halfway cleaned. Afterwards, Luke & I hunted until we found his helicopter in the neighbor’s yard. It was beginning to get cooler and in fact it is expected to get colder and we might just see some of that white stuff again. Ann made a great pork roast. Matt didn’t get back from Indy until after dark and then couldn’t get the Crossfire started. Come to find out, it looks like the battery (4+ years old) has gone bad and isn’t holding a charge. So Luke & I went out and got it started and Matt took it back to Mom & Sandy’s house before going out with his buddies to Taco Bell.
We were up fairly early to get ready to head up to the Colt’s final regular season game with our good friends, Bryan & Angie, who have season tickets. We dropped off Luke & Bu at their house as Abby agreed to watch the kids over there. We had a great time with them, as usual. We started off with lunch at “a yuppie bar” – as Bryan referred to it, the Tavern on South. It was actually a really cool place that had some great beer on tap and some huge hamburgers…along with some other frou-frou stuff. LOL We got our fill as we prepped for the game – it was a great alternative to tailgating since it was so chilly outside – in the upper 20s with a fierce wind. As we headed up to the game, we ran in to Barney & Steph and their friends, who were headed over to see Kimmy & Chuck, who were tailgating in the lot across from the stadium. We got right in and didn’t have any trouble getting to our seats. We grabbed a couple rounds of beers, some heartburn nachos (that would haunt me all night) and of course, loads of peanuts. These damn nachos had these red jalapeños on them that lit me up, and of course Bryan orders them as “the biggest damn heartburn nachos you got!” :0) It was a blow-out game that the Colts easily won. They needed a game like this going in to the playoffs as the number 3 seed. The defense looked really good and did a nice job of containing Jones-Drew. Both Luck & Brown looked good on the offense. They Colts enter the playoffs with a 11-5 record. Once they put in the backups, we decided to make our way to the door. The finals score was 30-10. We walked over to Basey’s Downtown Grill for some after-game grub and drinks. Bryan ordered some hot wings that would further haunt me all night). We stayed there until the traffic cleared out and easily made our way to the car and then had a smooth ride back home. It was cold and rainy when we got back over to the Messers. Just as we were sitting down to enjoy some football with spirits and a Puerto Rican rum stogie, Bryan was called out to a pee-wee football league meeting. Abby was chomping at the bit to go by this point, so we went ahead and came back home. The final game of the regular season was the Eagles at the Cowboys. The winner takes the NFC East title and a birth in the playoffs, the other one went home for the year. The Cowboys had lost Tony Romo to back surgery earlier in the week, which meant that Purdue grad, Kyle Orton, would get the nod at starting QB. He looked pretty good overall but again some of the play calling was questionable and the defense gave up too many scores/too many yards and too many big plays when they had them backed up deep. In the end, the three turnovers by the offense did them in and it was sealed on the final one. With the Cowboys driving with momentum in the 2-minute drill at the end of the game with a TO in their pocket, Kyle threw a poor pass that was intercepted. Dallas once again finishes the season at 8-8 – the same record the past 3 years. I hope they keep Garrett; I have a lot of respect for him and think he’s good for the team. We have got to shore up the running game (which was all but absent in the 2nd half) as well as the defense. So again this year, we will have the Colts to cheer for only as the Bears were also defeated late in the game and eliminated from the playoffs. Big thanks to Bryan & Angie for a great time today!! You guys rock; thanks!!

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Next up is our Waybac section. This, again, has a good cross-section of Mom’s life. We are quickly running out of pictures from this round and only have enough for maybe another 6 weeks, sadly. I have really enjoyed these pictures this round. We start off this time with several of Connie, my grandmother and Mom’s mom from the 1940’s; then we have Mom’s new home on Elmwood Ave in January, 1948 (one even shows the family dog out back) and then August of ’56; then an unknown house and two unknown girls in September of ’56; Mom with her dad at her First Communion in June of 1957; followed by a few Grandpaw & Aunt Midge’s first husband at the summer cottage in July of ’59; then a few of an unknown museum (?) in August of ’59; a couple of Dad Owens slides from the early 60s; Grandpaw letters from Purdue & U of L for police training classes in ’61 & ’62; Rob & I with our birthday cake in LaPorte in October of 1981; Grandmaw Brown in the Tampa airport, awaiting a flight back home in September ’82; Luke with his proud Daddy in Columbus’ CRH in June of 2003; Mike & Rose in Treasure Island during Week 19 in May of 2007 and Abby getting ready to play softball in Greensburg in September of 2007.

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For our Shit that Luke Says entry this week, we had him sitting at the dinner table on Saturday night when all of the sudden he turns to me and says outta nowhere, “I love shoes but I hate feet.” …OK; great to know…thanks for sharing, buddy.

Next up is our video section, which features five new family videos from all our Christmas activities as well as a few from around the internet this week…

And finally, I want to thank Aunt Karen for her comment last week, clarifying a couple of old pictures for us. She said, “The people in the pic you didn’t know are Aunt Louise (Grandpa Morgan’s sister), her husband Uncle Don and their son Jimmy. And I think the July 4th 1960 pics are your mom and Brenda and me hanging on the post, with Dad down by the water….I’m not a 100% sure, but it looks like us.” As always, thanks for keeping up with us this time out and we’ll catch up with you again next time. Until then, have a good one. We miss ya, Mom. Merry Christmas…
Later, Scheu

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