Our Times News Archive


December 01/13/19
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.

November 12/09/18
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.

Decorating 11/23/18
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.

Thanksgiving 11/22/18
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!

October 11/12/18
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.

September 10/17/18
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.

August 09/16/18
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.
July 08/16/18
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.
June 07/08/18
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.
May 06/12/18
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.
April 05/07/18
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.
March 04/08/18
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.
February 03/05/18
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.
January 02/05/18
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.