Sunday, November 30, 2014

Running the Trains

Rosie wanted to help Sir Topham Hatt run the trains today . . .

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Girls Date Day

As is tradition on Thanksgiving weekend, I took the girls to a movie this afternoon.  But before the movie, we went on a mini road trip (about a 35-minute drive from our house) to go out for lunch.  We girls love us some Chick Fil-A!  

Then we went to a theater close to where we had lunch to see "Big Hero 6."  It was a great film, and all three of us enjoyed it for different reasons.  Julia like the science behind the superheroes, Evelyn liked the humanity aspect of the film, and I thought it was an entertaining movie with a great message.  (Can you tell I'm trying not to give away too much of the film?)  Great movie for everyone.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Trimming the Tree 2014

Following Luster tradition, with this being the day after Thanksgiving, we busted out the Christmas tree and decorations.  Rosie loves this time of year - see her in the background?
 No, she doesn't climb the tree like she did as a kitten five years ago.  She loves hanging out on the soft tree skirt, under the low-hanging branches.  It didn't take her long to find a spot to curl up.
 As always, the girls loved looking at all the different ornaments from years past.  I particularly like looking at the ornaments with the girls' baby pictures.
 Since the girls are getting taller, I didn't need to help with ornament placement as much this year.  I just made sure Julia didn't clump her decorations too much, and I helped Evelyn know where the gaps were.  Overall this was the most hands-off tree trimming for Troy and me - and the tree looks great!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

We woke up this morning to a festive dusting of snow on the ground.  Not quite enough to go sledding, but enough to make the backyard beautiful.
 Thanksgiving in the Luster house always means Evelyn's corn casserole.  Today was no different - here's the chef, whipping up her concoction all by herself.  Nice work, Peanut!
 As I mentioned earlier, the girls made up today's menu.  They also made all the table decorations - the candle holder is something Julia made back in 2010, back when she was a preschooler; the place mat and name cards were made this year.
 Happy Thanksgiving from the Lusters!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Day Before Thanksgiving

Julia's teacher put together an amazing Thanksgiving-themed open house this morning.  The students guided their parents through centers which consisted of games, crafts and books, which were set up around the classroom.  Julia and I spent so much time on games, that we had to take our craft home to finish.  At the end of the centers time, the whole class performed a few songs for their parent audience.  It was such a fun, festive event.
 This evening, Evelyn and Julia got cracking on the Thanksgiving pies.  Julia made a chocolate pie (no surprise there), and Evelyn whipped up a pumpkin pie.  Having two sous chefs in the kitchen make Thanksgiving prep a breeze.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nebraska Basketball on the East Coast

A couple of days ago, I was talking to my mom, and she mentioned that the Nebraska basketball team was playing in Rhode Island this weekend.  Hm.  I mentioned it to Troy, and this morning he bought tickets for both him and Julia to go.
 Julia, having never been to a basketball game before, was pretty excited about going to the game.  It was a really late night, with a 7:00 start time, an hour from our home, and the Husker fans didn't get home until 10:30 tonight.  Even though she was pretty exhausted, Julia said it was loud and fun.

Thanksgiving Menu

Since it will be just the four of us for Thanksgiving dinner next week, and there are some traditional foods that we Lusters don't much care for, we let the girls come up with the menu:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sleepy Cat

Rosie's favorite afternoon napping place is on the back of the couch in the living room, especially on sunny days like today.  She has a pretty rough life, this cat.

Nubs to Curls

Last night the girls requested that I put their hair in little buns, also known as "nubs" in our house.  The goal of sleeping with nubs in their hair is curly hair the next day.  (Each girl has four buns, you can't see the two in the back.)
 Voila!  Evelyn had really curly hair this morning - she was a little nervous going to school with such a different hair style, but she did just fine.
 And, as always, Julia just loved her curly hair.  This is the only way curls will stay in her hair.  If the weather conditions are right (i.e., low humidity), her hair will hold the curl all day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Tired Peanut

Evelyn had a very busy day today...
* Advanced band practice (before school)
* School
* Ballet class (1 1/2 hours)
* Nutcracker rehearsals (1 1/2 hours)

When she got home around 9:15 tonight, the poor girl was exhausted.  But she loves everything she is doing - all of her music and dancing - so it's worth it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Math Homework for Julia

Julia usually breezes through her math homework.  But this evening, a problem actually stumped her - a multiple choice problem asking which addends make a sum of 10.  She imagined she had a number line on the table in front of her, and she correctly chose 6+4.  I enjoy watching the academic wheels turn in her cute little head.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Morning Routine

While Kat was here, helping with my knee surgery recovery, she gifted me this yummy tea.  I got into the habit of having a cup of this tea - with sugar and whole milk - each morning.  She's back in Texas and I'm flying solo with getting the girls ready for school in the morning, but I'm continuing my morning tea routine.  After getting the girls off to school, I put ice on my knee and sip a cup of tea.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Walk to the Lake

This morning the girls invited Kat to go for a walk through the forest to Mirror Lake - a popular hiking destination for Julia and Evelyn when guests are visiting.  Because of the angle of the sun, it's difficult to see what color is left on the trees.  But the hiking crew was gone for an hour, so I'm assuming a good time was had by all.  (I was resting at home, recovering from last Friday's knee surgery.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Final Soccer Game of the Fall 2014 Season

Julia's last soccer game of the fall season was played today; it was supposed to be last week, but the snowy weather cancelled last weekend's soccer games.  Thankfully today's weather was much better.
Julia was really in her element today when playing defense.  She had a couple of good plays kicking the ball out of the box and helping the goalie.
 Since my knee surgery was just two days ago, I had to sit out this game as assistant coach.  But I cheered on my little Sunshine as loudly as I could from the sidelines.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fourth Knee Surgery

Yesterday I went in for my fourth knee surgery in eight years.  When I had an MRI taken five weeks ago, the orthopedic doctor saw lots of jagged, flaky cartilage that needed to be cleaned up.  He also wanted to check on my OATS surgery from two and a half years ago.  In my previous three knee surgeries, my doctors have been surprised by unexpected damage.  I was prepared for this yesterday, and I wasn't all that surprised when I found out that the procedure wasn't as simple as originally planned.
 Yes, there was plenty of jagged cartilage to smooth out and clean up.  Yes, the cartilage plugs from my 2012 OATS transplant look pretty good (there's just cartilage around the transplanted plugs that is deteriorating, which isn't good).  But yesterday's surprise was . . . my jagged cartilage had been sawing my meniscus in half.  That explains why I had SO much pain on the outside of my knee the past week and why I had to walk stiff-legged - my meniscus was being severed every time I walked around.  Thank goodness I was scheduled for surgery yesterday, so my orthopedic could stitch the meniscus back together again.  In order for the meniscus to heal, I need to walk with a straight-legged brace for the next two weeks.  When I see my doctor in a week and a half for my follow-up appointment, I will find out more about what he saw with my missing cartilage . . . stay tuned!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Power Outage

We had a power outage this evening, which lasted for several hours.  In order to have light in the living room, we propped a flashlight on one of the couch pillows.  I guess Rosie thought the flashlight would put out heat, as she sat as close to the flashlight as possible . . . which also made for a really cool picture.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Backyard Birds

I took a few pictures of "new" birds today.  Well, one bird (the junco) isn't completely new to us, but they only live here during the cold-weather months.  Since these little guys have shown up, it's very clear that we are done with warm weather.
 The other bird was new to us.  I had to look up this one - it's a white-throated sparrow.  I'm sure it's been in our yard before, I just never noticed the bright yellow eye shadow feathers.

Evelyn's Closet

We moved to Massachusetts about  17 months ago.  Ever since then, Evelyn's closet has been a catch-all for all sorts of stuff - things that belong to both her and Julia.  Piles of papers, dolls' clothing, memorabilia, etc. would create an avalanche when the closet doors were opened.  I finally remedied that situation.  I bought memory boxes at Michaels and the Container Store, and I organized all of the papers into the boxes.  I also sorted through the doll clothes, hanging up dresses, as well as putting hats and shoes in baskets.  Let's hope Evelyn is able to keep her closet looking somewhat organized!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pajama Surprise

Emily and Kit had a couple of surprises for Julia and Evelyn when they got home from school...matching pajamas!  Both Julia and Evelyn were over-the-moon excited to get warm winter PJ's that match their dolls.  Originally, the matching pajamas were going to be Christmas gifts, but with the weather getting chilly, I decided to let them have their PJ's a little early.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

First Snow

 Oh, the weather outside is frightful . . .

. . . but the fire is so delightful.
With this morning's snowy weather, it's no wonder Julia's soccer game was cancelled today.  But the snow didn't last long - it was mostly gone by about 3:00 this afternoon.