The Tale of Two Kitties

Look what Angie found under the Christmas tree. Five days before Christmas I visited the pound and rescued two kittens to give to Angie, Ella and Layla. My sister, Ashley made up some story about finding the kittens while doing chores outside so her kids wouldn't spill the beans to Angie before Christmas. After fostering them for days, I made my niece Carley cry Christmas morning when I came to pick them up. On the way home I wrapped them individually in laundry baskets. Before I could even get them home Peekaboo (Ella would later name her) was escaping from her basket. Lets just say that her energy meets that of the three-year-old that got her as a present. The other kitten, slept the whole ride home, she never made a sound. I decided to present one kitty at a time, the quiet one first, and it was perfect. Angie thought she got a laundry basket until she peeked inside to see Happy (which Ella would later name her) looking up at her.

These two cats couldn't have more different personalities. Peekaboo (pronounced peeky boo by Ella) runs sideways, sliding across the wood floor from one end of the house to the other. It didn't take her long to find the Christmas tree and the ornaments.

Happy on the other hand would prefer to cuddle and lay around the house. I have seen Peekaboo lay down as much as I have seen Happy play around, very little.

It couldn't have turned out any better. Happy matches Angie's energy level, they both like to lay around and cuddle. Peekaboo and Ella deserve each other, racing around the house antagonize each other.


Man O' Snow

So our foot of snow turned into a few inches of snow in the past couple of days. With warmer temperatures came perfect snowman making weather. Ella and I got a chance to roll some balls of snow together and make our first snowman. We didn't have coal or buttons so we settled for a tiny little carrot and dog food for the finishing touches. When we got home tonight the rain and 40 degree temps. took it's toll on our creation, his head was laying on the ground and he had a real bad tilt to him.

"That, is a big snowman." Ella said after I heaved the head onto the top of the snowman.


The girls

Most of the time when Layla find herself on her belly she realizes it is easier to lay there and suck her finger than to move around.

Ella was unwrapping each individually wrapped domino that she got for a birthday present from us this past weekend. Nana and Papa called to wish her a happy birthday and she didn't want to stop unwrapping her dominos. I think she might have dropped the phone a couple times but for the most part she did pretty well multitasking.


A very Col(d)man Christmas

J. Ranck participated in Coleman's annual illuminated holiday parade this past Saturday. "The Miracle of Christmas" was this years theme and there were many "little J. Ranck miracles" throwing candy while trying to stay warm in the 20 degree temperatures. One of the judges, who is a reporter at the Midland Daily News, said that our float had the most participants. The lit up stinger crane and trailer decorated by Angie and Stacey (and I am sure many others) was voted first place for commercial floats. Nice showing for the first year.


Giving Thanks (for family and brett)

The family and Brett got together for Thanksgiving at Grandma and Grandpa Bishop's house. Brett wasn't able to go home for Thanksgiving (his stupid boss made him work on Friday). My niece and nephews loved him, he read them book, played horse with them, and he took tons of photographs. I would recruit him to come every year but I know how much he missed his own family. Either way, you are welcome anytime Brett. See Brett's blog (link is at the right) for more photos.

Brett's self portrait while being mobbed by children.

The only photograph were someone doesn't have their eyes closed, fingers in their mouth, talking or looking stupid.

Grandpa Jack got a kick out of watching the kids and Brett taking pictures.

First and third photo were shot by Brett.


This guy's fault

"It wasn't my fault... It was the degraded mail server after four years of carnage," Midland Daily News Information Technology Manager Shad Sprague said about our email server crashing burning.

So really though, I need everyone to send me their email addresses. My address book and emails before 8 p.m. last night were "officially hosed" according to shad.


I left my heart in San Francisco

So these are a long time coming but better late then never.

October is fog season. You can see in the distance, a fog bank rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here is a view from the cable car we rode. You figure it out.

Chinatown. A photo from the evening Angie and I walked back from dinner.

In the center you can see Angie and her mom, Lou looking over the bay. Alcatraz is on the left, the skyline is a view of San Francisco from the north.


Angie set the tone

We didn't even leave the state yet and Angie was aready setting the tone of our trip to San Francisco. I am doing what I can to keep our trip exciting and drinking beer to even our all of her water. This photo was in the Jose Cuerva restaurant during our layover in the airport in Detroit.

All kidding aside, we are having a good time. Touring the town and reminiscing about our honeymoon. Here are a couple quoetes from Angie about being bored.

"If someone is bored that is just a reflection of themselves. I create my own fun so I am never bored," Angie Wood said just before heading to her hotel room to read a book and take a nap.


The excuse

Here is my excuse for not blogging the past couple of months. The house is all consuming. It seems so many decisions need to be made: siding color, shingle color, doors, closets, outlets, lighting, mailboxes, garage doors, fireplaces, wood flooring and stain colors. I am sure this is only the first round of decisions too. The good thing is the house has windows, doors, electrical and a roof. The water line was going to be run today. At lease if things stopped today we would have a roof over our heads:)

Ella trying to not fall over on the rough terrain, while checking out the pond.

Angie looking out what will soon be the kitchen nook. In the background is the view towards the pond.

When we moved out of the house and now we don't even have spotty internet. So I can't tell you how consistent I am going to be with posts until we move into the new house and get internet our there. These are old photos so I will try to update with something more recent soon.

Weebles Wobble

Layla is sitting now (mostly with help) but some by herself. She is still a little round and rolly, also a bit top heavy. Anyway, she is becoming really aware and starting to interact. The other day she was following Ella around with her eyes as Ella played in her bouncy. Every time Ella would poke her head out Layla would laugh histerically. I would say that is the first time I have seen them "play together." This is an old picture taken in the old house. We sold our house and closed on it last week. We moved in to a rental next door. It was weird to see the new home owners sitting on "our" porch swinging on the swing that my dad and I made together. It still feels like our house.


Stress relief

So first off, to everyone that is a wood frames groupie, I am sorry. It has been awhile since my previous post. I know you all don't want to hear excuses but let me vent. Between building a house, selling a house, home inspections, projects at work, interviewing babysitters and a bunch of other stuff, there just isn't time to blog these days.

This weekend Channing was in town visiting. Although we had to change our initial plans, we had a blast hanging out like always. Check out his blog (the link is on the right side) to see pictures from his time in Michigan. It really is a can't miss, Channing style, know what mean man?

Thanks for coming in during the late innings Channing and pitching me (and the family) some much needed stress relief.



Angie said on the drive home, "This was Layla's first family reunion and it wasn't even her own." This past weekend, for the second year in a row, we crashed the Ingleson family reunion in Roscommon. The Ingleson family is Justin Rumbach's mom Susie's family who are from Michigan. This family is something, their gatherings are like nothing else and just a great time. Their reunions set the bar, complete with water games in the pool, horseshoe tournament, camping and to top it all off an annual Fourth of July parade that you wouldn't believe unless you witnessed it. A couple more years of this and we are going to have to start hyphenating our name.

This is Justin's Aunt Sara and cousin Harry after the parade.

Justin's daughter Hadley tries on her hat before the parade.

To put it mildly we will just say that the Rumbach family dressed as farm hands. I am not sure how, but Cameron slept throught the parade. She is wearing a shirt and overhauls that Justin wore when he was little.

What reunion would be complete without a dog and a plastic mower.

Layla was a good girl. You don't see Ella because we dropped her off at the lake to spend time with Jim and Lou. Good thing too, it was a long day.

Just after 11:30 a.m., Layla and Angie get ready for a swim in the pool at the farm. We never did run into pickpockets or loose women, just some really nice folks. Well I guess that is not entirely true ... the clock must not have been working ... we arrived around 2 p.m.


Rumbach's are in town

Good thing we have a friend that is a professional photographer. (No offense to all our other friends that are photographers :) Abbie wanted to shoot Cameron's six-month portrait so I sweet-talked Justin into shooting the Wood kids too. Don't worry we will distribute prints.


Property: excavating and pond

Jim, Adam and Henry met us at the property to take a look at what our excavator had gotten done over the weekend. We are just waiting on the building permit to start. Hopefully in the next few weeks everything will be in full swing, electric will get run and the foundation will be started.


Nana's Girls

Here is the first installment of images from the Fourth of July week off and vacationing. This past weekend we spent the weekend at the lake enjoying the nice weather and the Rogers. (That is what Ella calls Nana and Papa Wood).

Layla snuggles with Nana after a bath in the kitchen sink.

Ella and Nana watch the neighbors kids on the trampoline next door. She came up from the lake with a new word in her vocabulary Tram-po-line.


Layla's Baptism

Layla was baptized on Sunday, my sister Ashley and Angie's brother Adam are her Godparents. She did very well, just chilling out in Daddy's arms, looking all around the church. Thanks to everyone who made her day special.


Summer Stroll

Ella, Angie, Layla, Grandma Bishop, Nana Bonnie, Aunt Lisa and I went to the Summer Solstice stroll in downtown Midland last week.

Ella is still talking about the "dancing people" she really had a great time, I think everyone did.

The group is called Strange Fruit, they are from Austrailia and were part of the Matrix:Midland event. They danced and performed at the top of 14-foot fiberglass poles.

On the way back to the car Ella would arch her back and sway back and forth pretending to be like the group. Aunt Lisa helped her out being her fiberglass pole.


On the island


This is Layla's first time in an outdoor swing. She thought it was pretty cool, but not as cool as Ella thought it was to have a swing partner.


Grammy and Ella enjoyed a cool dip in the lake. Ella calls it the pool, but the colder water doesn't seem to bother her.

You are my sunshine

Look who figured out that pictures actually move. Check out this video of Ella singing along to one of her favorite songs.


Wagon tails

I didn't think Annie would stay in the wagon. Really I picked her up and placed her in the wagon thinking all fours wouldn't even get the chance to hit the bottom. She proved me wrong, she curled up next to Ella and rode around the yard. Even through Ella's hugs and kisses she stayed patient.


(not) All Smiles

Here is a photo from a week or so ago. Our baby sitter said that Layla didn't eat much today because she was to busy smiling. I guess she was smiling through her bottle. Thats funny, she was crying through her bottle later in the evening.

Dragonfly Friend

Ella had a visitor while swinging with Angie today. A dragonfly hung out, cleaned it's legs, showed off it's transparent wings and green eyes to a very curious little girl. I was so proud of Angie, she actually touched it. It hung around for 10 or 15 minutes and then flew off.


Slim Shady

I was out mowing the back field today and came across these fine shades. Pretty sure I know who they belong to, I think her name rhymes with Lamy Groper. Anyway, if anyone is missing a pair of sunglasses from the bon fire at my place let me know. Until then watch out around town for a slim guy riding around in his hoopty tahoe sporting these hot shades.


Stothard 9

Here are the nine Stothard kids. The four humans, from left, my neices Ali, Carley and nephews Shane and Nathan. I'm not sure if the goats have names yet. I know they were thinking of naming one of them pokey, or dot or dotty or something because it seriously has white circles all over it's body. Leasle gave birth to triplets and Grettle gave birth to twins. Count 'em up folks 4 + 5 = 9.

Layla started smiling the past couple of weeks. Most of the smiles come out for mommy or the papa but occassionally everyone else can sneak one out of her.