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Christmas 2009

Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! From what I see on Facebook, there are people that actually read this Blog from time to time, and those folks have kindly informed me that I’ve been neglectful in keeping this site up to date. I do apologize.

My sister also tells me the idea of a 5 year old snow boarding in the house because Cincinnati’s entire 1 inch snow fall melted has got to be shared. rscn1613.jpgSo…. Check this out! If Santa brings it, you just have to use it – snow or no snow!

This year we were exceptionally blessed in that both of our children as well as both of our grandchildren were able to spend the Christmas holidays with us. rscn1655.jpg Its not often “the cousins” or “the parents” for that matter have a chance to get together so this was an extra special Christmas time for us.

There were packages from Santa, wrapping paper to rip open, candy to eat, dscn1544.jpg
and Rock M Sock M Robots to relieve that extra bit of built up aggression. dscn1647.jpg

The following pictures show a bit, but check out the “Our Family Photos” menu for a full sampling of the Christmas 2009 morning magic!










The Mid-Western Swing

The Midwestern Swing. It sounds sort of like a new country-western dance craze, doesn’t it? Actually Linda and I were able to take a few days off so we “swung” through the midwest on a 10 day family visit vacation that included Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois, and now we’re back in Ohio. Whew!! I didn’t mean to slight our Hoosier friends, but we did only stop in that state for gasoline and a fine mocha cappuccino at a Terra Haute truck stop that just hit the spot.

Iowa was first. Bev and I were not able to celebrate our birthdays together this year so we made up for lost time IMG1847_Aduring this trip with football, malted beverages, fine food, and a small wager on the Minnesota – Green Bay game – and naturally I lost and Linda won the big pool!

DSCN1426_AIt was great to see Mike, Natalie, and Elise again too. Checkout Elise’s proud grandparents!

Then we were off to visit my sister Lu and her new husband Fran in southern Missouri. Checkout Lu’s blog at http://mrsfrenchie1.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-version-of-31.html.

We had a great visit. Smoked brisket, homemade vegetable soup, deep dish apple pie, and hot homemade peach cobbler to die for! A warm sunshiny day and a walk in the country – perfect, right? Well… then RSCN1475_Acame the lightning and thunder, and then the rain, and then some more rain, and then some moreeeeeeeee rain! Lu tells me they got over 7 inches while we were there. DSCN1454_A

Actually it was great. We (they) sang karaoke, we visited and did a bunch of catch up. Lu and I haven’t seen each other for over 3 years, and longer than that for Lu and Linda. We played cards – I lost – but naturally Linda was the big winner!! Urrr!! And when it was time to leave, we discovered we had a flat tire!! Checkout the pose – thanks Linda! DSCN1464_A

Somewhere we had picked up a screw in the tire’s sidewall. Just how do you get a screw in a tire’s sidewall? Anyway… Fran had an air compressor – whew!! – thanks Fran!! We were able to pump up the tire and miraculously it held all the way through Missouri to Illinois where the first order of business was to get a new tire.
The next order of business was more food! Pork roast and potatoes with enough gravy left over for fried potatoes and gravy the next morning for breakfast – I just love pork gravy – that must be why I have a very watchful wife!

It was great to see Sam and Jenna again. We had a really fun time. We went to the apple orchid. It has a spooky DSCN1377_ADSCN1493_ADSCN1472_ADSCN1473_Amaze to go through, but it was a bit toooooo spooky so we settled for Apple Cider doughnuts. Apple cider doughnuts always hit the spot. We had pizza later, and Pickles the fish got a brand new fish bowl too. Whow, what a day!

The trip back was pretty normal. No rain, no mechanical issues, and I didn’t loose any more money to my wife! Ahhhh, but the Bengals won again (albeit in the last 22 seconds. They’re turning into the Cardiac Cats)!!

We Got your Money!

It is definitely time to resurrect this posting from 2009. What do you think folks?

I received this as an email the other day. I’m not sure who the original author was, but it did make me smile…And think!



A School Program

sam_0509samsschoolprogram05092Linda and I really lucked out this past weekend. I had an unexpected day off, and at the same time Sam was participating in a program at his school. So naturally, with camera in hand, we headed off to Southern Illinois.

The school really put on a nice show and the kids were all great to watch. There was a lot of clapping and waving going on from the audience. In fact, there was so much excitement in the first row of the balcony that a bit’o structural damage may have resulted. Sorry!!

Dinner at the local Mexican restaurant followed, where Sam pigged out on tortilla chips and thebueskings05091samgrandpaj2_05093enchiladas. Tacos, Paella, and other fine Mexican fare were also ordered, and the Margaritas and Modelo were pretty good too!!

State Chamionships

Columbus is the capital of Ohio. It’s also the home for the Buckeyes of Ohio State University! It’s probably not high on most folks hot vacation spots though, but this weekend dscn0916it was the place to be, because this weekend Columbus, Ohio was the host for the National Ohio USA Gymnastics State Championships!

There were folks from everywhere. Over 1000 athletes competed for the right to represent their gym in four events – floor exercise, balance beam, vault, and uneven bars. And of course Madi was there too! Her gymnastics team is called Flip and Twist.

Everyone was a bit anxious – including Madi – but that soon passed as Madi took 6th dscn0924dscn0925in state on the uneven bar competition. Great job, Madi!! Check out the State Championships -2009 photo gallery under “Our Family Photos”.

dippindotsIt was a fun day, and I even got to try something I had never heard of before – Dippin’ Dots. Turns out it’s ice cream!
Go figure!!

A Rockband B-Day Party

For weeks we have been trying to set a date when we could get together with Todd, Shelly, and Madi in order to celebrate Todd’s birthday. Well February came and went – no celebration. Sam’s birthday is in March and we typically pack up the van and head to Illinois to help Sam celebrate his birthday – but all that changed this year!!

The Bueskings were able to make a speed run to Cincinnati, and Todd, Shelly, and Madi were unexpectedly free the same weekend! So… It was party time!! Specifically it was Rock Band Party time. Todd owns the game and is a huge fan, but after checking out the rest of my family playing drums, guitar, and singing in the microphone, I dare say my whole family is a huge fan of that game!! The house was just a rock’n! And from the number of “Replay” buttons pushed “The Eye of the Tiger” was first in song requests.

Madi and Sam had a great time playing together, and there was food, cake, and naturally – presents! Todd and Sam had to hurry and blow out the candles on their cake though as Todd’s forest fire of a blasé was melting the cake fast! Sorry Todd – Forty’s tough, huh?

Sam was five this year. Hard to believe it has been 5 years since we were all on our knees praying for that young man’s life. He’s come a long way. He eats cheeseburgers, plays T-ball, and wears a ball cap!! Sure sounds like a regular 5 year old kid, doesn’t it?

Happy birthday!! It was sure great having all of you together this past weekend for a super birthday celebration.

Just so you know, Todd and Sam – We love you guys!!

A Mexican Spring Break!

Poncho's - Mazatlan 2009Linda and I had not been to Mexico for over 40 years, and that was just a day trip from San Diego to Tijuana back when I was in the Navy. And of course, as I was told many times this past week, Tijuana!! That’s not Mexico!! So when Gayle and Linda came up with a plan for a Mexican vacation to Mazatlan as sort of an early Spring break – Jim and I said, “Pacifico Beer”, Let’s Go!!

Well it was just a grand trip. Good food, good drink, and great company. Montezuma did present himself to almost everyone however. Jim, possibly do to his continuous Pacifico regimen, was able to escape the revenge though.

We ate. We played golf. We ate. We sat around the pool and the beach. We ate. We took a tour. We ate. Jim and Gayle played golf. Linda and I took another tour. We ate. I went parasailing. We ate.

Everything was perfect until I made a remark about how perfectly everything had gone during our vacation. Bad move!!!!

When it came time to leave, we learned that the airplane that was supposed to take us to Houston had a mishap with a bird. What happened was when our 737 was landing in Mazatlan, a very large bird sacrificed itself against the landing gear. Well there was a problem getting a mechanic in Mexico certified to sign-off that the airplane was ok.

So… we all boarded the plane. Then we all de-boarded the plane. Then we all re-boarded the plane to get our carry-on barrage. Then we all de-boarded again for a taxis ride back to town. We were going to spend yet one more night in Mazatlan courtesy of Continental Airlines, but not before standing inline for 2 hours waiting for our “free” vouchers.

We did have a great meal and the hotel was very nice, but the next morning there was that huge line again, 180 folks waiting to get re-booked for the next flight out of Mazatlan for Houston. Linda struggled with that line, but we were all able to re-board, the plane actually took off, the flight was uneventful, and the landing was successful. We were ushered through customs, and that’s when it happened…

As we were standing at the customs agent’s gate, he made some notes on our declaration, looked at Linda carefully, and called loudly over the wall for an officer to escort Linda to a holding room. My wife had been arrested!!

Well it seems they were not really looking for Linda. They were looking for someone with a similar name, but at the time all she could think of was – What had “I” done to get “her” into this situation? What had “I” put on that declaration form? Hmmm.

After Linda’s eventual release from custody (and my vindication), we learned there were no available seats on any airplanes going to Cincinnati, but naturally not until standing in some more lines, and checking our baggage through to Cincinnati.

So courtesy of Continental Airlines we extended our vacation yet one more day in Houston. Once again a nice hotel – and this one had “soft beds”. Every bed in each resort we stayed at in Mazatlan had a mattress that felt as though it was made out of concrete! A soft mattress was certainly a pleasant experience although with our bags checked, we had no clean clothes, and even though this was day-2 of our departure we were still not home.

Day-3 of departure was fairly uneventful. The hotel van got us to the airport on time, we boarded on time, the plane took off on time, and we landed in Cincinnati on time. Perfect right? Wrong. The bags we had previously checked in Houston had arrived in Cincinnati the day before and they were now locked up in the Continental baggage office, and there was no attendant. Urrr!! But some very nice ticketing folks took pity on two very weary travelers and rescued our luggage from the office after an hour or so. The drive home from the airport including a stop at the local IHOP – perfect. Go figure.

Would I recommend a Mexican vacation? Absolutely!! It was a great time. Just never ever ever say something as stupid as how perfectly this vacation has gone. EVER!!