By Rick Schmit The end of the year. For some, the time is filled with preparation for family holidays. While others finish plans or projects as the year comes to a close. For me, I take time to reflect on so many blessings I have been given throughout the year. Almost like a tribute to John's song, "His Hand," by God's grace and presence everyday in my life have I been blessed. Here are just a few examples of the blessings I have been given. My list begins with my family. I am pretty sure that at any given moment, there have been times where they could have turned away. They didn't. As the saying goes, "through thick and thin," each has taken time away from their own busy life for me when I needed it most. Thank you for always being there for me. His Hand Remaining cancer free another year is second on my list. For seventeen years now I have remained cancer free. After my second surgery in 2003, I asked the surgeon how my future looked. It didn't take him long to respond with a five to nine year expectancy. His Hand I want to say thank you to my friends. To each of you who shared my struggles without judgement, thank you. It is because of your selfless friendship that I have seen first hand what it means to remain humble to one another. His Hand
By Cheryl & John Schmit We started December finishing the house Christmas decorations. You can see those here. We had to get up at 2:45 Monday, the 2nd to get Cheryl to the hospital at the University of Washington for her kidney surgery. It was very successful. Then the long period of recovery began. See the pics here. Now, Cheryl is doing very well. We visited with Blanche and Dick to share Christmas wishes on the 15th. It was a lot of fun and Blanche enjoyed the time together. See her pictures here. Monday the 16th, John checked his new tire chains for the winter season. Now, hopefully, it won't snow. That afternoon, he went in to the dentist to have two cavities fixed. See those pictures here. He did survive the dental chair. Cheryl published her picture of a 'Rising Moon' at spaceweather dot com on Tuesday, the 17th. Check it out here. In preparation for Christmas, on the 20th Cheryl began baking. Here are some pictures Cheryl called 'Mess to Muffins' as she made the delicious deserts for us to enjoy. Yes, they are 'high calorie'. We were off to celebrate Barbara's birthday with a party at Round Table Pizza in Federal Way. It was a fun time with Allen joining us at the restaurant. Here are a couple of pictures from the event. Allen and Barbara joined us for the afternoon on Christmas. We had fun opening gifts and enjoyed a wonderful meal prepared by Cheryl. We all had a good time as you can see in these pictures. Finally, at the end of the month we have more special treats. You can see Cheryl's favorite nature pictures taken during the month here. John has been working on a final piece of music for the year and presents 'End of Year 2019' here. And the big ending - Cheryl shot a quick video of the neighborhood New Year's Eve fireworks. Check it out here. Happy New Year and wishing all a great 2020.
Rachel's Birthday 12/31/19
By Heidi Cardona Rachel had lots of fun on her 4th birthday. See the pictures here.
Brookdale Christmas Parties 12/21/19
By Barbara Lawrence What a fun couple of days we've had here at Brookdale. At 4 p.m on Thursday, the 19th, Grace Church came with bags of presents for each of us. Some items useful, some not but it was so generous of them to bring the gifts. They had us play Bingo but not with numbers. It was called Christmas Bingo and the gal would call a Christmas picture - anything to do with Christmas - that was on the card and whoever called Bingo, got a prize - I got one. Then we went to dinner. After dinner a group from Cornerstone Gospel Church arrived to sing Christmas carols. They told us they were from a Ukrainian church in Auburn so they sang two songs in their language . They were here for about 40 minutes. Friday we had our Christmas party which included good music by a gal that entertains here often. We had no end of goodies delivered to each of us as we listened and sang. No presents at this party - just food and song.
Christmas Bikes 12/25/19
By Heidi Cardona Check out these pictures of the kids and thier new bikes. See the pictures here.
Kids Christmas Pictures 12/15/19
By Heidi Cardona This year we decided to take our own Christmas pictures. Michael and Rachel looked great! See the Christmas pictures here.
Michael - Student Of The Year 12/14/19
By Heidi Cardona The Little Champions group of the North Augusta Premier Martial Arts has awarded Michael the Student Of The Year. Check him out here.
School Christmas 12/14/19
By Heidi Cardona They had the Christmas program at Michael's school. Check him out here.
Michael's Birthday 12/12/19
By Heidi Cardona Here are some pictures from Michael's birthday. This seven year old is getting big fast. See the pictures here.
Christmas Tree Lighting 12/12/19
By Barbara Lawrence We all had a "light" dinner first and then had the party. What an absolute FANTASTIC party we had tonight. We got a new boss this past July and he wants to do everything possible to make the residents happy. and he will do ANYTHING to help anyone. This party was open by invitation to the residents families and the place was PACKED. I'm sure if the Fire Dept. would have come, they would have made some of the people leave. The party started with clearing out some of the dinner tables and replacing them with the long collapsible ones. They put white table cloths on all of them - 3 long - and had any and all kinds of crackers and cheese a person could want, sparkling apple cider (for a holiday toast), home made fudge (by one of the staff that used to have a bakery) and little cream cheese "puffs". Once every one went up to the tables to get what they wanted, and got to eat some, we had the Christmas tree lighting. It is a very tall tree because I think our ceilings might be at least 9 or maybe 10 feet tall Once we had that, anyone that wanted a picture with Santa could go stand in line - of course I was the only one at our table that did that. The Christmas music was playing - not too loud so people could all sit and talk. It was A MARVELOUS evening. Check out my picture with Santa here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit November brought us drama and fun. Looking out the window on Sunday, the 3rd we saw smoke! Cheryl quickly grabbed the camera and got some pictures. See them here. We drove down the hill later, but could find no evidence of the burn. On Saturday, the 9th, we took a drive about 10 miles out to Deep Lake at Nolte State Park. We drove through Ravensdale east to Kanaskat then south on Veazie-Cumberland Road towards Enumclaw. It's a nice park with picnic benches, a play area and plenty of clean restrooms. Check out these pictures from the afternoon ride. Monday, the 25th, we stopped by Farrington Court to drop off some papers for Blanche. What a surprise to find her and Dick sitting in the Bistro area. It was a picture perfect moment, see them here. Thanksgiving was a fun occasion. Cheryl cooked up lots of good food including cookies and Puff Twists. Mmmm good! Allen and John went to pickup Barb and everyone got their picture taken before dinner. The meal was good and the company too! Enjoy these pictures from Thanksgiving. On the way home, after dropping off Barbara, we were lucky to catch the conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Venus. John got a couple of pictures on his cell phone and Cheryl got one the next night. You can see them here. With Thanksgiving over it was time to haul out the Christmas decorations and get started. John could help with the heavy buckets on Thursday only, having to work the next two days. We did well and the decorating continued in December. Check these initial pictures here. Finally, throughout the month Cheryl had been taking occasional pictures of nature's beauty here. Our view to the west is exceptional and provides many dramatic moments. Take a look at these wonderful pictures here.
Julian Gary Barton 12/01/19
By Lisa Deitrick We welcome our new family member - Julian Gary Barton. See his pictures here.
New Car 11/22/19
By Rick Schmit Picked up my new Toyota Highlander from the dealership. I really like my new car. Put some custom mats in the back too. Check it out here.
Let It Snow! 11/08/19
By Rick Schmit I got a couple of pictures of our first snow. Have a look here.
Stephanies Newer Car 11/08/19
By Rick Schmit After months of dealing with car repairs and untimely breakdowns, Stephanie traded in for a newer car. Have a look here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit The month was filled with colorful and awesome views. The fall colors peaked this month and we were lucky to get some great pictures. Check the best of the colorful views here. Because of clear skies, both Cheryl and John were able to participate in 'Observe the Moon Night' on the fifth. You can see the images they got of the Moon that night here. Right down the street we were lucky to have the Maple Valley Model Train Show. John had not seen a Lego train setup before. Somebody spent the big bucks and put a great set together. There were a variety of HO scale setups and other gauge lines as well. We put together a little video to showcase the fun time we had checking out the trains. Enjoy the video here. Besides the trees, nature provided a bunch of outstanding views from the house. You can check out a selection of the best Moon, Clouds, Fog and Sunsets here. John asked Rick to remix 'His Hand', a song written by John in 2010. Rick did an amazing job of updating and improving the sound. John also added several soundtracks to the Music page. Check it all out here. Doug and Joni capped a very busy month with a visit during the last week. Visiting with Barbara, checking out the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, dinner out and a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel were highlights of the visit. Have a look at some of the pictures here.
October - St, Louis 11/03/19
By Rick Schmit October finally brought some cooler weather to St. Louis, and, some color to the trees. Here are a few pictures. Also, it seems that there is a fan of trains among the viewers. I went downtown to visit the historic Union Station, built back in 1893, to take a few pictures. Unfortunately, much of the original photos have been replaced with newer more modern versions. I settled for a few passenger cars just outside the hotel. Here are the pictures. And last but not least, I completed the remix project on John's song, His Hand. It was a gratifying experience to work on. I hope the finished product is what he was hoping it would be. Listen to the remix here.
Michael's School Picture 10/29/19
By Heidi Cardona Finally got Michael's school pictures back!! Such a handsome boy!!! Check him out here.
Hail Storm 10/08/19
By Cheryl & John Schmit A strong cold front moved through on Tuesday, October 8th. There was widespread hail, lighning and thunder. Near the end of this short video you can see a lightning strike in the Fairwood nieghborhood. See the video here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit September started with a bang as the weather changed and the storms moved in. Cheryl got some excellent footage of the lightning storm on the 7th. See the Lightning Storm story below. Dick had been to the hospital and Blanche was very excited to have him coming home on the 9th. We happened to be visiting and had the chance to watch her grab the wheel chair and push him all the way back to their apartment. Check out the pictures here. We celebrated the September birthdays with a pizza party at the Federal Way Round Table. We were glad that Barb could join Allen and us for such a good time. The food was good and we got a few pictures. See them here. There seems to be good food available for the local deer at the end of John's bus route. On the 26th he was getting ready to start the run when he noticed a couple feeding. Check out these friendly deer here. Several times during the month there have been dramatic and beautiful sunsets. Living on the hill has given us a great opportunity to view and photograph the colorful skies. Here are some from September. Cheryl has been working with a new painting style. As she has been exploring the new technique, she has created a new painting, Foggy Mountain. See it here. With the cooler temps and the shorter days, the trees are beginning to turn color. Many places around here have a nice variety of trees. We took a few pictures of them starting to turn. Have a look here.
September - St, Louis 10/06/19
By Rick Schmit The month of September started out with plenty of work at Alsco. A major project on one of the eight roll irons was scheduled. A complete restoration of the rolls needed to be completed. Here are a few pictures of the work that was done. The last two weeks provided me with an opportunity to explore new tools in my music software. John wrote a song, His Hand, several years ago and asked if I could remix the song. Feeling up to the task, I naturally agreed. Indeed it has been a learning process. So far I've reworked his vocal track and have a slightly different version of his original music put together. I hope to have the project completed in a few more weeks. It seems like the month of September was a month for restoration. Here are some pictures of the music project, enjoy.
Michael Tests 09/27/19
By Heidi Cardona Michael tested for the next belt which is yellow with an orange stripe. He had to demontrate his punching and licks as well as his cali stick. Check him out here.
Lightning Storm 09/07/19
By Cheryl Schmit We had a spectacular lightning storm move through the area on Saturday evening, September 7th. More that 2,200 lightning strikes were counted by the National Weather Service. Here are some images I was able to get during the storm. See the pictures here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit For Rick, the month started out with a birthday party at work for co-worker Stephanie. For the three years he's known her, she has had a great fondness for Minions! So, on Friday, August 2, when she came into work at 5:30 am, he made sure there was a four foot Minion balloon there to greet her. There were smiles for the entire day. See the pictures here. Cheryl and John visited with Nana on the 5th. She was happy to have the visit and was looking very good that day. We had a good time together. John took some pictures of Nana (see here). While sitting at the end of the bus line out in north Redmond, John saw a hot air balloon land across the street. It was real interesting to watch the crew as they secured the craft. The next day another balloon landed on a side street near the bus route. John happened along just after it landed. See the pictures here. On the 18th, Cheryl and John went for a walk around the neighborhood. Cheryl got a little excited at a new playground for the kids. Check out these pictures as she was looking at the new slide. Cheryl finally got all the paint together to finish the living room fireplace wall. In one day she dramatically changed the feel of the living room. It sure made the room right. See the painting pictures here. August then brought an opportunity for Rick to create his first music soundtrack for a video. Jean, a friend in Casselberry Florida, sent a video of a caterpillar spinning its chrysalis. Rick asked if she could send another video, one of the butterfly coming out, and she did. John readily agreed to do the video editing and Rick was to create the music. The end result, Vitae Cyclum (Life Cycles) came to be and has been enjoyed by many. Check this family video project out here. On the 25th Cheryl and John went out for a quick ride to check out the Green River Gorge state park. It was interesting to learn about the Franklin Ghost town located there. It was such a beautiful day that we pulled the video from the car cam and made a short video. Enjoy some pictures and the video here. Later in the evening of the 25th, John set up his train set along with some camo fabric Cheryl bought to create some scenes to take pictures of the train. John spent a while taking video while Cheryl took pictures of John. You can see Cheryl's pictures here. On the 28th, Heidi let us know that Michael had earned the 'Student Of The Month' award at his martial arts class. Michael has been doing very well there and enjoys the class. See his picture here. On Saturday, the 31st, Cheryl found just the right style lamp shade to have over our bar in the kitchen. She found that they also worked well in the downstairs bathroom. It was the perfect change to the ambiance downstairs. Check out the pictures here. Also on Saturday, a veteran and previous coworker of Rick, Patricia, introduced him to Dad's Cookies. Established in St. Louis in 1912 baking bread, and later in 1937 becoming the cornerstone for cookies, Rick was thoroughly impressed. Check out Dad's Cookies here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit We began July enjoying the neighborhood fireworks. We listened and watched out the windows till 10pm. Then, we took a walk to get a closer look. The fireworks were pretty consistent till after 11pm. Click here to see a short video sample of our neighborhood fireworks. On the 7th we began some long awaited upgrade projects. To get our feet wet we started with the new exterior garage door light. This fixture was purchased long before we moved into the house. The basic installation gave us confidence and now we have a light and motion sensitive fixture for the garage area patio. While outside, we mounted the weather vain for our remote sensors. Though not the best location, it will suffice. On a roll, we decided to take on installing the new dining room chandelier. Success on all the projects was a great way to start the month. Check out this page of project pictures. In the middle of the month we took a quick, round trip, to Tri-Cities. We were running an errand to pick up a package for Artie and Heidi. It was a nice excuse to spend a night in our favorite motel in Kennewick. The ride there and back provided an opportunity to take lots of pictures. You can enjoy some of our favorite pictures by clicking here. There are two pages. The 21st and 22nd we changed out a couple of cabinets in the library. We want to get some better symmetry and prepare for a larger TV. You can see pictures from that work here. Cheryl also added some decorations to the piano room. The art adds to the light, musical ambiance of the room. See pictures of the art here. John took the Highlander in for its regular maintenance and a new set of brakes at the end of the month. He also made a quick trip to the dentist to have a loose crown tightened. Sorry, there are no pictures from these exciting activities.
By Cheryl & John Schmit John's celebratory month of June began on a very positive note as he passed his final Commercial Drivers License physical on Monday, the 3rd. That was the start of a fantastic month as later in the week on Thursday evening Heidi arrived from North Augusta, South Carolina. Heidi began her visit on Friday with a quick tour up to Bellevue to check out the complete remodel of Sammamish High School. Later in the afternoon we stopped at Valley Medical Center to visit with Grandma Glaeser. She had been having breathing issues and was under observation. On Saturday, the 8th, Heidi had visitors from Tri-Cities and had dinner out with them. On Sunday, Allen joined us as Heidi treated us with her delicious lasagna dinner. Heidi visited again with Grandma at the hospital on Monday as both Heidi and Grandma prepared to go home. You can see pictures from Heidi's visit by clicking here. Rick scheduled his vacation with us to coincide with Blanche's birthday. He arrived in the evening of Sunday, the 9th. Blanche was in transition back home on Monday so Rick and John spent the day comparing computer music programs and cellphone apps. Rick is now an avid Waze fan. Tuesday, the 11th, turned out to be a great day to visit Blanche at home and celebrate her 95th birthday. Rick joined us and we visited and took pictures. Roger and Barb sent some gorgeous flowers. It was a nice time and Blanche was looking very good. See the party pics here. After the party with Blanche, we took Rick down to Graham to see a local branch of his New Testament Christian Church where they also have a seminary. Later in the day, Cheryl played the piano for Rick which he recorded on his phone. Check his video here. Wednesday was Cheryl's day to give Rick the Seattle Drive-By tour. Thursday morning we took Rick back to Seatac for his flight home. You can enjoy Rick's favorite pictures from the trip here. Wednesday night Cheryl spent some time photographing the Moon. It was her opportunity to capture the elusive 'Golden Handle On The Moon'. She got a good picture and submitted it to the Spaceweather website. Click here to see her image and an explanation about the Golden Handle. The fun continued the next weekend as Allen came over to celebrate Father's Day with John. As usual, Cheryl cooked a fine meal. Later, we relaxed and visited on the back patio. Check out these Father's Day pictures. On the 25th, John was out at the end of his bus route when he spotted a deer feeding. The opportunity to take some pictures was there and you can see them by clicking here. On Saturday, the 29th, John found a garden of Daylilies and took pictures of them. See them here. This last weekend of the month saw exciting things for Michael Cardona. On Friday, the 28th, he tested for the yellow belt. On Saturday he was chosen to give a demonstration of his skill level. You can see pictures and a video from these events here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit The purple Rhody out front finally blossomed. On the 6th Cheryl had an opportunity to get some color images. Check out the Rhody here. On the 11th, Cheryl took advantage of a very clear evening. It was great for moon viewing. She posted her best image on spaceweather.com. You can see the image here. Mother's Day was on the 12th this year and we spent the afternoon visiting both Blanche and Barbara. It was fun to be with them both and share the day. See the fun pics here. It was nice to see that they had a good time too! Cheryl is recovering well from her fall and the broken foot and cracked rib. The Doctor had ordered a immobilizing boot for her left foot. Over this month Cheryl has taken some pictures to monitor the healing of the foot. You can see them here. On the 27th, Memorial Day, Allen joined us for a very traditional meal. Cheryl and I enjoyed his company as we ate and relaxed on the patio. See pictures of our time together here. May had two special Graduation ceremonies in our family. On the 17th Rick celebrated graduation at Saint Louis University. It was a great time with special friends. Click here to see some images from that day. On the 30th, Michael Cardona had his graduation ceremony at North Augusta Elementary school. Heidi was there to get some pictures of the event. Enjoy them here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit Work continued on the master closet till almost the middle of the month. Cheryl put up the last of the cabinets and the poles. Check out these last images. While driving the bus in Redmond I spotted another group of gorgeous cherry trees. On my next break I got out and took a few pictures. Enjoy them here. On the 15th I completed five years of dental work, getting crowns for the last implants. See the fun pics here. It's good having a mouth full of teeth again. I'm starting to eat too much too! Cheryl made a wonderful Easter dinner. Both Allen and Barb came over and enjoyed the dinner with us. See pictures of the get-together here. On the 22nd, Cheryl got some good pictures of the Moon. See them here. On the 27th John took a couple of pictures of the pretty day at work. See those here. Cheryl fell on the 28th and ended up getting the boot. See the pictures here for the foot xrays. She also hurt her rib when she fell. Walking is tough now.
By Cheryl & John Schmit Nature was at her best throughout March. On the first and second, Cheryl enjoyed some dramatic sunsets. See them here. The eighth and ninth presented a very sharp crescent Moon. She published one of these pics here. See pictures on our page here. John cut the grass for the first time on the 10th. Check these pics out. You can still see snow on the properties across the street. Cheryl finally got her shipment of closet materials on the 13th. This was the first load and contained the main cabinets. She worked on the closet the rest of the month. See the work start here. There are still parts and pieces to go and that will be done during April. We had to take advantage of the last supermoon in 2019. Cheryl got a very nice picture. Check it here. We enjoyed a visit with both moms on the 24th. Blanche had caught a cough but seemed well. The cat slept through the visit. Barb was NOT sleeping, just happened to close her eyes when the picture was taken. Click here for the pictures. On the 25th, Cheryl got out for a walk around the neighborhood. She got some interesting pictures of nature (and the neighborhood) that day. See them here. John found some Cherry trees in Redmond that were in full bloom. You can see them here It was a nice day to take flower pictures. We were out for a ride on the last day of the month. It was a beautiful day to take pictures and we did. First, Cheryl wanted to show me Peasley Canyon Road. A nice way to get down the hill from Federal Way to Auburn. Check out these Pics. Then we were blessed with some nice views of Mt. Rainier. Have a look here. Our final stop was Kanaskat Palmer State Park. We had been here before, but wanted a Springtime view. Here are some still images. John took some video and hopes to have something ready in a couple of weeks.
By Cheryl & John Schmit February arrived to find Cheryl's Mom at St. Vincent hospital in Federal Way, recovering from a bout of pneumonia. On the 3rd, we went down to visit and spend some quality time with her. The snowflakes were beginning to fall as we left later in the afternoon. Check these pictures. That first snowfall of the month was enough to call it a 'major' snow around here. We made sure we got some pictures and even made a video. The theme for the music was inspired as I looked out the window watching the big flakes come down. Click here to enjoy the "First Snow" video. On Wednesday, the 6th, Cheryl grabbed her camera to get a shot of the very thin Crescent Moon. Take a look at her pictures here. The clear skies didn't last very long as a major storm system moved in off the Pacific. We were dumped on for five days straight. Just after shoveling a few inches, we'd get a few inches more. The result was more snow than the area had seen in over 70 years, an actual snowpocalypse! Here are some picture we took of the event. On the 19th, the new chair and ottoman for the master bedroom arrived. It was fun to unpack and place the new furniture. Check out these pics of the new chair. The next day, the 20th, Cheryl was out with her camera again as she worked to get late images of a Full Moon. The pictures turned out very good and Cheryl was glad to share them. Enjoy these pictures of the Full Moon. The end of the month found Cheryl working on some finishing touches in the Guest bedroom. We really liked the pattern of the drapes in there so Cheryl applied the same material to the headboard of the bed. Here are some pictures from the project.
First Snow 02/3-5/19
By Cheryl & John Schmit We got our first major snowfall the first weekend in February. We grabbed the camera and got some video and still pictures of the event. While sitting in the piano room watching the snowflakes fall, an inspiration to a little tune came and we applied it to the video. Watch "First Snow" here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit Sunday, January 6th we had our first major power outage since we moved here. The power was out for 13 hours. It was an opportunity to try out the battery backup for the fireplace. A trip to the grocery store later that day exposed us to the years first snowflakes. There was no accumulation here. Check these pictures. A beautiful clear Monday encouraged us to take the opportunity to go to Mount Vernon, Washington to see the Snow Geese. The ride was pleasant, and we were able to catch some good shots of the geese, both in the air and on the ground. Check out our Snow Geese video. Rick emailed a new piece of music he called Dubster to add to his collection of Music creations. It was a different style than he's done before. Rick has started an account at Soundcloud and is now uploading some of his material there. Check his new account here. On Thursday, the 17th, Cheryl started her volunteer work with the United Way, assisting low income people with filing their taxes. She had a couple of training sessions late last year and will be working every Thursday till mid-April for three hours at the Fairwood library. Cheryl looks great in her volunteer T-shirt. During January, Cheryl decided it was time for the Spring plants for the East wall. She picked out primroses and daffodils as they will last through cooler weather. Inside the house we needed a couple of replacement plants. She bought something called a bird nest fern for in the living room. For upstairs in the library she replaced a plant that died with a snake plant. We haven't had either of these two before, so we'll see how they do. See the plant pictures here. Both the 25th and the 30th had awesome sunsets. Cheryl took advantage of our West facing window to get some very pretty pictures.
By Cheryl & John Schmit December is a holiday month. Right after Thanksgiving, Cheryl hauls out the Christmas decorations and the process begins. It is a process because now we have new places to put new things. You can see the final pictures of our decorations here. Beginning on December 3rd with pictures of Mt. Rainier and all through the month, there were many opportunities to enjoy the beautiful natural views. From sunsets to the Winter Solstice Moon, Cheryl was capturing the images for us. Check them out here. Food is a big item during the holidays. Besides the planning and cooking of Christmas dinner, Cheryl made our traditional fudge and even a batch of Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip-Cranberry cookies. They were a delight! You can see these deserts here. Our new neighborhood residents seemed to be very energetic when they decorated the outside of their new homes this year. There were very few who did NOT decorate. We were so impressed with the decorations, we drove around on Christmas Eve and took some video. Enjoy the video of the Christmas lights here. Finally, Allen and Barb joined us on Christmas Day. We had a great time together and enjoyed the delicious meal. Check out these pictures from Christmas Day.
Neighborhood Lights 12/23/18
By Cheryl and John Schmit
Our neighborhood has been filling up with new homes and new people. Many of these families are enjoying a first Christmas in their new home. We thought a quick trip around a few blocks would be great to see.
Click here for the Neighborhood lights video.
By Cheryl & John Schmit We had a wonderful time on our quick trip to Spokane November 4th and 5th. Harley and Lexxi were fun and Lisa and Robert were very gracious. It was raining through the mountains, then beautiful on the other side. The ride was colorful and scenic. On Sunday it was very windy. There were white caps on the water at the Columbia River. On Monday, there were more clouds but no wind.We took lots of pictures. We edited those pictures together along with some video from the car cam and made a video called 'Spokane Turnaround'. As a reminder, be sure to set the video player settings in the lower right hand corner to the highest your device will allow. All our videos are in 1080p so you can enjoy them in full screen too! There were some high, wispy clouds on the 11th. Mt Rainier was looking very pretty, just before sunset. We were in just the right spot to get some nice images of the mountain. Check them out here. John was on vacation the week of November 12-17. Cheryl bought some bookcases from Ikea, started assembling them the week before, and we were finally able to get the library together and books unpacked. When we moved last year Cheryl got rid of almost half of the books, she just couldn't part with all of them. The room looks so much nicer now that it is finished. With all the book boxes out of the garage, John can now park inside, just in time for winter. Here are pictures of the library work. As you can see we still have some boxes in the garage but most of them will go in the master bedroom closet. Hopefully we'll be able to get that done early next year. We had a lot of fun this year at Thanksgiving. Allen and Mom came for dinner. There was lots to talk about as Allen talked about his new job and Nana shared about life in her new apartment. Dinner was delicious and Cheryl had some new items on the dessert menu. She had some new recipes this year, but they needed her touch to make them just so. Click here to try her new Decadent Pumpkin Dessert. We took a few pictures while everyone was there. You can see it was a happy time. Click here to see the Thanksgiving picture page. Cheryl started decorating for Christmas over the Thanksgiving weekend. We have an artificial tree that she put that up. Of course there are all the other little things here and there around the house. You can see some pictures Cheryl took of the decorations here. Cheryl also went to Mom's apt and put up a few things for her. We'll work on our outside lights in December, when it's not raining.
By Heidi Cardona
The kids helped decorate the tree. They like to keep the decorations all in the same area. Click here to see the decorations. Everything turned out just fine. Decadent Pumpkin Dessert 11/23/18
By Cheryl Schmit
I tried a few new recipes this year before Thanksgiving and they were awful!. I tweaked them and now they are great!
Click here to try the new Decadent Pumpkin Dessert.
By Cheryl & John Schmit
It was a great time together as Allen and Nana joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. We took a few pictures. Click here to see the Thanksgiving picture page. Dinner was delicious and Cheryl had some new items on the dessert menu. Lexxi Honors Choir Concert 11/17/18
By Lisa Deitrick
For all the Facebook users, there is a nice video of Lexxi singing with the Honors Choir. Click here to check it out. Lexxi sure does a good job! Spokane Turnaround 11/04-5/18
By Cheryl and John Schmit
We had a wonderful time on our quick trip to Spokane. The kids were fun and Lisa and Robert were very gracious. The ride was colorful and scenic. We took lots of pictures. We put those together along with some video from the car cam and made this video to show the sights. When watching, be sure to set the player settings in the lower right hand corner to the highest your device will allow. All our videos are in 1080p. Enjoy in full screen too!
Camera Fun 11/04/18
By Lisa Deitrick
Here are some picture taken by Harley and Lexxi when Aunt Cheryl and Uncle John came to visit.
Click here to see the pictures.
By Cheryl & John Schmit
We went for a walk to check out the new houses being built in phase 2 of the neighborhood. Checking out some of the new lots, we came across a flock of geese. We both got our phones out and took a few pictures. Click here to see the geese picture page. In the background of the last picture, you can see down the hill where they are preparing to put in the new shopping center. Talk about shopping, we needed a set of inexpensive chairs for the front porch. Cheryl found just the set at Ace Hardware. There she played 'Let's Make A Deal' with the clerk at the store. She ended up getting 20 percent extra off chairs marked down 50 percent. Check 'em out here. The tree colors continued to get more intense in October. Cheryl collected a bunch of pictures taken during the month. Click here to see our October Fall Colors. With house warranty time coming to a close soon, we needed to get a few fixes taken care of. We had a gutter drainage issue that needed a new drain pipe, our front tree had died and needed replaced and we asked for rain diverters for along the roof edge. See pictures of those here. There were some minor caulking and grout issues on the inside and the water connection for the fridge was replaced. This month's Moon picture was a big deal. International Observe The Moon night was October 20th. Cheryl participated in the event. One day each year, everyone on Earth is invited to observe and learn about the Moon together. Click here to see our picture page of Cheryl's pictures. She also sent the image to SpaceWeather.com. Click here to see her image there. A Labor of Love. That is what Rick called his Christmas 2018 CD album. We finally completed the work after 9 months. The CD has 9 songs and is about 25 minutes long. Rick is joined by 9 family members from all over the country. Music licensing allowed for 25 CDs to be distributed. Cheryl finished the last of the layout and printed the covers on the 24th. Click here to see the final day's work.
By Cheryl & John Schmit
We started the month celebrating Allen and Cheryl's birthday's by dropping in at Nana's with pizza and carrot cake. It was a fun visit Click here to see the birthday picture. Blanche was sick and at Valley Medical Hospital from the 7th to the 11th. Cheryl spent some time with her there. She recovered after a few days and went home for rest and therapy. The 22nd of September brought the start of John's new work shift. A little less overtime, but a little more time at home. Getting off work earlier should make the drive home easier in the winter. We stopped by the Issaquah Fish Hatchery on the 24th. The big salmon were in the midst of their run upstream. Check out these pictures of the fish. September 25th was a gorgeous night for a picture of the Harvest Moon. Just before midnight, Cheryl got out and took a great image. She put it up at SpaceWeather.com - Click here to check it out. For most of the month, Cheryl was busy making arrangements for her Mom moving and settling in at Brookdale Assisted Living in Federal Way. Barb has been wanting to go there and join her friend, Darlene, who already lives there. The preparations culminated in Barbara moving on the 28th. Here are pictures from the move. During the month, we took pictures of the fall color as the trees started to change. See some pictures here.
By Cheryl & John Schmit
What a great way to start the month having Artie staying with us. We had some fun times as we got Artie out to do some sight seeing. Click here to see Artie Fun pictures. It was a big day on the 3rd when Artie and Cheryl got to see the Blue Angels. Check out these Blue Angel pictures. Cheryl picked up her new Subaru Legacy on the 12th. It was a long day at the dealership. Cheryl likes the peppy sedan. See the new Legacy here. Cheryl posted a picture of a smoky orange moon on the 15th. The wild fires provided the smoky air quality. Check it out. Blanche was admitted to Valley Medical Center on the 16th then had a heart attack later that evening. Cheryl spent the night with mom. Blanche recovered quickly and went home a few days later. We went to Spokane on the 19th and 20th to record Lexxi and Harley singing for our Christmas album. The smoky ride was interesting to see. Lisa and Robert joined in the singing too. We had a great time on the overnight tip. Here are pictures from the trip. John had the winter work pick on the 21st. He reduced his overtime to get home earlier in the evening. It will be nice to have a little more at home time. Cheryl posted a picture of a dramatic sunset on the 29th. The clouds and Sun lined up just right.See her picture here.
Michael's 1st Day Of School 08/20/18
By Heidi Cardona
Michael started his first day at North Augusta Elementary! We were a little early so we had a first day of school breakfast at Waffle House. We then went to his school about 15 minutes before the bell rang and walked him into class. He was so excited!!! Enjoy the pictures!!!
Click here to see the pictures.
By Cheryl & John Schmit
Cheryl finished moms move out of her apartment at the SHAG building in Kent by the 2nd. Walk through went well. 4th of July was awesome. We were so surprised by the fireworks view from our window in the Arts and Crafts room. The sight was so good we made a video for you to see a short sample of this great view. Click here to see it. Cheryl took some great moon and Venus pics on the 15th. She was happy enough that she sent them to Spaceweather.com. They put the final paving coat on our street on the 19th. It was an interesting activity to watch. The process took quite some time in the afternoon. Cheryl had the opportunity to video the action and we made a quick motion video you can see here. Cheryl took some Moon and Mars pics on the 28th. It was so cloudy you almost couldn't see the conjunction. She uploaded one to the Space Weather website. Click here. It was fun having Artie stay with us this month. We were fortunate to have him here twice, from the 10th through the 12th, as he was headed home. On his way back to Korea, he arrived on the 31st and was here for a week. It gave us an opportunity to not only be with Artie, but he shared his video phone cams with Heidi, Michael and Rachel. Such fun times to see and talk with the grand kids!
Moon and Venus 07/15/18
By Cheryl Schmit
We had a beautiful clear evening sky on Sunday. There was a reddish horizon at sunset. Venus was very close to the crescent moon. I zoomed in on the moon and could see the craters. I took the opportunity to upload the pictures to SpaceWeather.com.
Click here to see the pictures.
4th Of July Fireworks 07/04/18
By Cheryl and John Schmit
When we purchased the new house, we wanted, and got, a nice view. We love to watch the sunsets and active weather in the area. A suprise view came on the evening of 4th of July. We had a gorgeous view of fireworks for over two hours. Check out this video for a short sample.
Click here to enjoy the video.
By John Schmit
A great way to start the month was with a visit to the dentist. Just had to have a minor filling, but that does shoot the day. The rest of the week's free time was spent prepping for visits this month. Rick had been planning to come and visit for some time. His main purpose was to visit Mom (Blanche) for her 94th birthday. He had set the date for Saturday, the 9th. It was good to see him and we had a good time working with our music while he was here. His visit with Mom seemed to go well and the next day Rick was on his way back home to St. Louis. Click here to see the pictures. Daryl and Jan came to visit the same weekend. The first day they were here someone crashed into Cheryl near their hotel. No one was hurt, but Cheryl was without a car while Daryl was here. Click here to see pictures of the cars. They visited with Mom (Barb), went on a ferry ride and checked out the Pike Place Market. Click here to see the pictures from the visit. My new pick work started on the 16th. The biggest change was in working hours to later in the day. I was lucky to get a 10 1/2 hour work day for the summer. Cheryl spent the last week of the month emptying her mom's apartment. It was good to have Lisa and Robert there to help on Saturday and Sunday. They made the job possible with Cheryl doing cleanup the rest of the week. Click here to see pictures from the move. The main road in front of our subdivision is being extended and work has begun on connecting the road to the freeway. Lots of big diggers and graders are ripping out trees and leveling the land.
By John Schmit
Cheryl and I needed some time away and what better place than Olallie State park. She played with her camera and I played with mine. We put together a short video to enjoy. On the 16th, Cheryl was home to catch the workers come and plant the tree in front of the house. That was an interesting process. John took her videos, edited them and created some music to go with them. Enjoy the Street Tree Planting video. Mom finished up at rehab and went home by the 18th, but had to go back to the hospital at the end of the month. Around the house we've been decorating the yard with a variety of plants. Spring rains have slowed so we setup the sprinklers, and now it's once a week cut the grass. Looking forward to planned visits from family in June.
Street Tree Planting 05/16/18
By John Schmit
They finally came and planted the street trees along part of our street. We got one in front of our house. Cheryl was home to catch the planting by the crew on video. It was quite the process.
Click here to enjoy the video.
Olallie State Park and Snoqualmie Pass 05/14/18
By John Schmit
We took some time out to relax and enjoy one of our favorite parks. The Olallie State park is a little east of North Bend on Interstate 90. It was a warm day with almost no clouds. The cool shade of the trees and the sounds of the Snoqaulmie River were relaxing and fun to get pictures of. Just a couple of hours to do something different.
Click here to enjoy the video.
By John Schmit
A big month for vacations in April. Cheryl took a week and went to visit with Heidi and the kids in North Augusta, South Carolina. Later in the month, Wendy came and stayed with us while she visited with Barb in rehab. Wendy also went to Oregon for a few days to visit Ron and Colleen. With these two trips, the month was active with preparations. Mixed into the preparations were many trips to the rehab to visit Barbara and plan for her eventual release. But the trip to Heidi's was top of the list. Cheryl and Heidi spent a lot of time planning and prepping. They were going to do a major overhaul of the master bedroom closet. When Cheryl first arrived, she spent lots of time playing with Michael and Rachel. Eventually they went to daycare and Cheryl and Heidi got to work. In a couple of days the closet was transformed and everyone was happy. It was good, quality time with Heidi and the kids. After Cheryl's return we began prepping the guest bedroom for our first guest. Wendy was full of energy and wanted to do and see a lot. But her priority was visiting Barb. Cheryl and her chatted up a storm and caught up on everything they could. Wendy brought some pictures for Cheryl to scan and add to the genealogy records. There was a short break while Wendy went to visit Ron. She also stopped to see the Multnomah Falls on the Columbia river. After she returned we caught up on the latest news and Wendy left in the same whirlwind as she arrived. It was wonderful for Cheryl to be able to spend time with her. What a month! Looking forward to more fun things in May.
By John Schmit
Planning for our upcoming vacation trip was in full swing as my cellphone decided its life was over. Just one more thing to take care of. Switching phones is a boring, time consuming chore. Of course the planning and preparation for the trip is fun. Cheryl had most of the work to do making reservations and setting the travel schedule. All of this came to a screeching halt by Sunday, the 11th. Barbara had become ill and entered the hospital on Friday with her condition getting worse by Sunday. After visiting with Barb on Sunday and Monday it became clear that all traveling would have to be cancelled. Calls were made to Heidi, Doug and Daryl that we felt we needed to be here for Mom. Everyone agreed. Needing to be at the hospital put all other activities aside. Lisa came to be with Barb and helped with a continuing bedside presence. Barb recovered well enough to be moved to Rehab in Federal Way. Now she is moving about more and has an energetic attitude looking forward to returning home soon. During my time at home Cheryl and I decided to revamp the look of the website. As you can see, the changes give the site a fresh and clean look. You can easily find the important information on the home screen. I have returned to work at Metro after the vacation and began driving the new routes for the Spring shake-up.
By John Schmit
February always starts with the fun of singing Happy Birthday to Heidi. It's always good to hear her voice and let her know we are thinking of her. On Monday the 5th our Highlander went into the shop to repair damage to the right rear door caused by a parking lot hit and run. They did an awesome job but we didn't expect it to take almost two weeks. Really didn't care for the hybrid rental they gave us. I had been real concerned about the Metro pick on the 6th of February as so much of the work had been changed. While I could continue to drive the same routes that I had been for the last year, I was able to pick work that gave me the overtime I was looking for. That was most important. Of course we watched plenty of the Olympic games. We really enjoyed the tension and drama of the Curling contests. It was great to see the USA men win the Gold. Cheryl also enjoyed the ice skating activities. A Pacific storm brought lots of moisture to the area on the 21st. Snow started in the early afternoon and continuing until midnight, there was about two inches of accumulation. Most of the snow fell at higher elevations ans in the southern part of the area. Going home from work was a white knuckle ride as I crept along the icy road. See the Snow Drive story below. On Saturday, the 24th we had dramatic clouds moving through all day. Check the Wild Cloud Drama story below.
Wild Cloud Drama 02/24/18
By John Schmit
Saturday the 24th had some wildly changing cloudy skies. I checked the south view cam and though the images would make a great timelapse video. Check it out for yourself.
Click here to see the video.
Snow Drive 02/21/18
By John Schmit
The drive home after work was real interesting. It began snowing in the early afternoon and by the time I got off work a good layer of snow had been compacted to ice on the roads. Most of this occured in the 'outlying areas' which I had to go through. Check out this narrated video of the ride home.
Click here to see the video.
By John Schmit
We started out with a good birthday party for me. That's always good. We went to the Pacific Science Center and saw the latest Star Wars movie, “The Last Jedi” in Imax and 3D. On the way home we picked up an ice cream cake from DQ to enjoy. Our big thing for the month of January was moving out of the storage rooms. On my mid-month vacation, we loaded my car for several trips back and forth. At the end of the week Cheryl got us a big truck and we emptied both storage units. It was a lot of work without you. Got lots of exercise and didn’t climb one hill. Now everything is in the garage, but it's at the house. We put up lots of racks in the garage for shelving. Not much is on them yet but we will be filling them soon. Most of the boxes that were for the kitchen have been emptied.
We have been working on a few little things around the house. It was a chore just getting all of the computer stuff working. Got the security cams up and operating. You should try and check out the webcam home cams that we have now on the website. We really have a good view to the west. On the 26th we got the last shipment of furniture delivered. There were two chairs and an ottoman for the Piano room, a chair and pillows for the living room, and a large sofa/hide-a-bed for the library.