Katie, Charlie and Riley left for home early this morning. They called shortly after leaving to tell us that the Illinois state Police were pulling cars over right and left, but they were fine because they had the cruise control set for the speed limit. Now they have a long sit in the car and weather which is changing from rain to snow to rain to snow to sleet all across the eastern half of the country.
We took them out to dinner last night at the Blue Elephant in Clayton to celebrate Charlie's 30th birthday which is tomorrow. Thai food at its best. Yum.
Last night saw the regional semi-final in Texas Class 1A football which pitted the Elks of Stratford against the Roughnecks of Sundown. Don't you just love those Texas names?
The final score was Stratford 48- Sundown 30. Stratford now moves on to the Class 1A Division II quarterfinals. The process in Texas is difficult to understand as opposed to, say, Illinois. Stratford won the regional semi-final game, but now heads into the Division II quarterfinals. What happened to the regional finals? Anyway...
As I understand the high school playoff system, Stratford now has to win two games to get into the state championship game. The Elks will play today's winner of the Sunray-Iraan game.
Updated Sunday: Number 2 Iraan (13-0) beat Sunray to advance and will meet number 5 Stratford.
The daughter of Bliss and Jeff who are lifelong friends of our daughter Katie, had their second daughter baptized this afternoon with friends and family in attendance.
Jeff is the weekend newscaster and weeknight weather man at an NBC affiliate in Peoria and Bliss is a teacher in Peoria/Morton. Originally from Collinsville, they come back often because both of their families live here.
Godparents, Dale who officiated and Jeff, Alleece, Bliss and Mary katelin.
Another view of the Godparents, Samantha, Natalie and Joe.
Washed in the water and the Word.
Jeff and Bliss with Jeff's grandparents, two brothers Joe and Brian and their wives, Natalie and Julie, and his parents, Marylee and Paul.
Bliss family, grandmother Dorothy, parents Linda and Paul, brother Blake and his wife Samantha and daughter Kelsey.
While up early this morning reading the New York Times we came across an opinion column on the editorial page by Stephen S. Roach who opined that personal consumption expenditures are on track for back to back quarterly declines. He then added, "The good news is that lines should be short for today’s “first shopping day” of the holiday season."
We then turned on the early morning local news which consisted of remote broadcasts from area retail places all over the St. Louis area. What we saw and heard was that 1000's and 1000's of shoppers not only flooded into the stores when they opened early, but that these same people were out in force, standing in line through the nighttime hours.
Somewhere, I can't find it just now, I read part of a story where a retailer said it looked like things seem to be on pace to equal last year.
It's hard to know what to think of these contradictions, no one will shop this year versus the stores are packed. Yes, there are sales today, everyone is looking for a bargain, but Black Friday sales have been common practice for years.
Someone will probably come out tomorrow and say all these shoppers didn't buy anything, but frankly, I'd take that kind of news with a grain of salt. The cameras do not lie.
Meanwhile out on Long Island, a Wal*Mart worker was killed as shoppers stampeded into to the store at its opening.
Lizzie and Darren stayed put this year, which is a good thing as it turned out. Both boys came down with bad colds and ear infections...which often happens.
Anyone who has had kids knows what it's like when they're sick on holidays. But, Thanksgiving is the day when we know what we are thankful for, and kids are at the top of the list, sick or not. Here's little Connor who started the whole sick thing.
Now that Riley has made his first visit to St. Louis, it was time to join the morning dog walk on the Concordia Seminary campus. Boy. Did he love this. Run in circles, chase Lola, Lola chase Riley, try to get Bogie involved, jump over walls, run some more. An awesome morning for a dog.
They get together and check each other out.
It was pretty impossible to get a picture of the dogs running, they went so fast and zoomed so far out of range. This is a moment of calm along the chapel walk. But then comes the fountain pool...
Wouldn't you just know Riley would hop in
Riley and Lola play hide and seek behind the fence.
The Bogie joins in because all three dogs are just certain there is a squirrel in there somewhere.
No squirrel. But fun just the same. Is Riley sleeping now? Not exactly, but he's calmly lying in the living room, happy to listen in on the conversation.