…But it’s Christmas and I Miss You

Christmas music has permeated our surroundings everywhere this week. We’ve listened to it at home, on the way to and from work; all day in my office and even listened to it during my walks and of course it was on in the stores we visited. I love this time of year and of course the soundtrack that comes with it…who doesn’t? I enjoy discovering new stuff and of course listening to my favorites that I only hear during this stretch of the year – everything from the classics like Sinatra and Deano to rock & roll albums (the largest part of our collection); from classical instrumental versions of songs to big band interpretations or even blue grass (Pickin’ on Christmas is amazing, just ask Ann!) …from the epic productions by TSO to the simple Jimmy Buffett songs…and of course we have lots of country, soul, blues and Motown albums…even one with surf music! I’d say we easily have over 200 different albums and probably a few thousand unique songs. It’s amazing how many DIFFERENT Christmas songs there are out there…even though on the radio you only hear the same 40 or 50. But that’s the beauty of it – you can enjoy a few classics by lots of different artists with their own spin or dig on original songs – and they’re all great. With that as the backdrop to our week, we geared up for our annual year-end vacation and of course prepped for the big fat man to bring us lots of presents this year…we’ve been extra good this year! Who doesn’t love this time of year? Everyone seems to be so optimistic and I find it gives us a nice break from the depressing reality that you see on television every day. Things slowed down a little bit for us as Luke only had one game and Abby only had one dance performance. Both of them worked hard in school as the semester wound down. Abby had some sort of dance every day and worked a couple days, always in constant motion as usual. Matt finished up the first semester of his first senior year and came home. He plans to stick around for about a month and Ann & I are thrilled as the family is whole again! Things continued to return closer to some sort of normalcy for Ann at work, thankfully. Despite the bitterly cold weather, I managed to meet my goal of 15 miles of walking this week and worked hard to meet my dietary goals as well – with Annie’s help and support. Both Mom O & Phyllis continued to mend this week. We are hopeful that after the holidays they will both be back at the kids’ ball games. It’s just not the same without them… As I continue to work on improving my own health and what it means for my own mortality down the road, I keep coming back to memories of my mom. Just as Matt came home to see us, I loved coming home to see Mom. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to be out on my own but there’s something special about coming home – especially for the holidays. Understanding that it can never happen for me again and that it’s only going to be a memory is kind of depressing. But I’ve used those feelings this week to motivate me to stick to my diet and to workout despite the temps being formidable and being constantly hungry. Hello again and welcome back to the Scheu Family Blog.
Monday had a cool start in the 20s with frosted car windows. It did warm nicely to the upper 40s by the time I walked – which was by far the warmest day of the week. Abby took Molly to school for a persuasive speech that morning and Gigi brought her home (thx Gigi). Luke has had a rash for about a week, so we decided to take him to the doctor today. It doesn’t seem to be going away. It turned out to be simple poison ivy (or poison something) – most likely from his time spent in the woods recently. I’m actually surprised he hasn’t had it sooner! I ran him back to school and then headed in to work…just long enough to get my lunch, take it to my office and go get my hair cut with Jami. Ann forgot to take her meds and her knees were on fire all day. I got off to a late start with my workout and only managed to get in a little over 2 miles walking before Ann & I headed home. We stopped by Farren’s house to pick-up the Pirateers senior banners and ran then over to Abby at the school where she had Pirateers practice. Abs left practice a shad early to go to work at Dixon and then she & Mary came over and worked on a new routine. Afterwards, Bu went back to the dance studio for class with Kuyhlia. Meanwhile, Luke had basketball practice after school and Ann made tuna salad for dinner. Here are random pictures from our recent adventures.

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We had another cold start in the 20s on Tuesday. Ann & I both fast days at work. I walked 3+ miles afterward in an unrelenting wind that stung my face the entire time I was out in it – one of the hazards of working-out outside in the winter in Indiana. Abby called and said she had a flat tire after school but managed to get Tonya home so she could get Barney and go in to work at BWR. Ann & I left work and drove 90 minutes east to Brookville where Luke & the 8th grade A basketball team played Franklin County. Luke did not start, and the boys came out flat and were down a few points when they brought him in off the bench. Once he came in, the team responded by jumping up to a 10-point lead. It was back and forth for much of the 1st half. Luke did not start the second half and we lost the lead. Once he came in, again the team responded and we quickly took the lead and eventually pulled away in the 4th quarter, winning by 14, 50-36. That brings their record to 8-2 on the year. The officiating was horrible and obviously biased toward the home team, so I’ll apologize for the video below! Luke’s stats – 2 points on 1-1 shooting. Defensively, he had 5 rebounds, 3 tip-outs, 2 steals, a block and a pair of fouls.

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Wednesday was not only another cold day – but it had a brutal, sustained wind. Abby took the van to school and dance class today. In between, she had to clean out her trunk so I could access her spare tire…how could one little girl have so much shit in one trunk? I walked about 3 miles after work. Man, did the wind make my cheeks nice and rosy to go along with my white beard and big belly…it made me feel like old St. Nick! We came home and I put the donut on Tonya and took down her info to find her a pair of new tires tomorrow. Meanwhile, Ann made a healthy dinner of baked chicken and cheesy broccoli and I actually liked it…what the hell is happening to me??? Luke had the night off from ball so Memaw took him to get a haircut and then he went over to a friend’s house until coming to help me to get the jack under Bu’s car. We had to pick it up because it sat so low. After dinner, the girls went to Dixon Dance for tap and jazz classes. The wind really howled that night with some nasty gusts that shook the house and made it creek… and that night I began reading my new book, Keto-Adapted by Maria Emmerich to better understand this new lifestyle… We have several social media pictures to share this week.

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We endured what was probably the coldest day of the year, so far, on Thursday. It was another fast day at work then I walked 3+ miles in a strong, nasty breeze. But that didn’t slow me down…in fact, I had some of my best times of the year that afternoon. Ann & I went to Walmart to get groceries – healthy food is so much more expensive! Abby had Pirateers then went over to Trevin’s house till late. Luke was back at basketball practice after school and the Colts lost again on TNF that evening.
Abby didn’t have class until later, so I ran Luke to school on Friday. She had a doctor appointment for her headaches after school and will be going to see a specialist so we can try and get some answers. She came back to town and had Pirateers practice before she performed at the boys’ basketball game that evening. Meanwhile, I had a pair of Christmas parties where I took my cheat meal for the week, including a T-bone steak the size of my head! I walked over miles afterward to bring me up to exactly 15 miles for the week – which met my weekly goal. Matt came home from college after completing his 1st semester of his 1st senior year. Luke had basketball practice and was thrilled to see his big brother! The four of us travelled to the high school to watch the boys’ basketball game vs. Jennings Co, where we came to support Bu & the Pirateers. They performed their exciting pregame, presented the colors and later did a fun halftime performance to Nothing Holding Me Back Mega mix. We came home and Ann made breakfast for dinner while Bu went to BWR with her friends then went to Trevin’s house until late. The boys played Xbox all night while Ann & I watched TV, took naps and kept warm under blankets with the dogs.

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Ann & I were up early on Saturday. I went to Five Points for a new pair of tires for Tonya then finished up my Christmas shopping. Ann & Bu also went out and finished their Xmas shopping that morning. I wrote out the bills while the boys slept in. They were up pretty late last night, playing Madden on the Xbox, so they enjoyed getting the extra rest this morning. When the girls came back, Ann took a nap and Abby went to work at Wings & Rings. Matt & I watched the Boilers beat Butler and the Hoosiers beat the Fighting Irish in the annual Crossroads Classic at the Fieldhouse in Indy. As Ms. Phyllis pointed out, even Bryant McIntosh’s Northwestern Wildcats won! Ann made a healthy dinner for the us and the boys (chicken and veggies) and then we watched football the rest of the night while I worked on the blog.
We got up bright and early on Sunday morning to make the trek up to Lafayette to do Christmas with the extended Scheu family. We first went to Dad & Barb’s cabin to catch up with them, have a Bloody Mary and exchange presents before driving to the Lafayette Country Club, where we had lunch this year. This year, we had a good turnout: Vicki; Billy, Blancha and the grandtwins; Uncle Chuck & Cindy; Kathy & Tom; Dad & Barb; Ann, the kids & I; John & June; Barney & Steph; Haley, Ryan, Parker & Leila; Nick & Conner; Ryan & Emmitt (thanks to Carly for taking the big group photo today!!); Kimmy, Brayton & Gavin; Aunt Sally & Scotty; Chris, Trish, Jack & Joey; and Jason & Tyson. It wasn’t everyone, obviously – but it was enough, and we had a good time catching up with everyone. After a delicious lunch of beef tenderloin, chicken in champagne sauce, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, chicken planks, French fries, mac & cheese, salad and an open bar – yum! After the big group picture, we drove around the block (Aunt June said we were “going downstairs” 😊) to Uncle John & Aunt June’s house for dessert (literally a hundred yards from where we ate), cocktails and to relax & chat with the big Scheu family for a while before heading out. We never get to stay long enough on these days and before we knew it, we were back on the road. We stopped by the St. Bonifice Cemetery to visit Mom’s grave as well as Grandpaw & Grandmaw Brown, Uncle Hank and Granny Scheu. All the graves were good shape, thankfully. Someone had put a little Christmas thing on Mom’s grave. Grandpaw’s had a flag and Granny’s had a nice wreath. We’ll have pictures from today’s adventures next week. After we got back to town, we stopped in to see Phyllis & Dick. Ms. Phyllis says she may not make it back to games this year yet as she is having a little trouble with healing properly. They gave us their homemade coffee cake and popcorn. Next, we stopped at Memaw & Gigi’s house to see them. Mom’s leg is still hurting and although it looks better, it is also taking a long time to heal. It was good to see our “shut-ins” 😊 before we headed on home to grab a late dinner, watch the Cowboys game on SNF and call it a week.
Next up is our Waybac section which features our next three photo albums of our young family at the turn of the century. We lead off this week with a couple of Matt’s 3rd birthday party from March 1999; then Matt’s 5th birthday party in March 2001; the kids and I enjoying our homemade malt – we used to love to do this each week – in August 2001; Matt & Bu jumping off their swing set in the backyard of the new house in Ryle in September 2001; Matt’s soccer team at the year-end team dinner at the old Noble Roman’s in September 2001; Matt & Ryan at Ryan’s 5th birthday party when Tom & Jenny had GFD come out so the kids could meet them in September 2001; Abs at our old school desk in December 2001; Matt’s 6th birthday party in March 2002; the kids with Mom, Dad & us on the pirate ship sunset cruise in May 2002; Abby’s 3rd birthday party in September 2002; and Matt playing basketball at the YMCA in December 2002.

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We end with our video section which features five new home movies this week as well as several from around the internet.

And that does it for this week’s episode of the Scheu Family Blog. 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 you really bad this time of year, Momma.
Later, Scheu

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