Sunday, December 28, 2008

It has been a great year! (by Mary)

Rob and I celebrated our first anniversary this weekend, and because the calendar year is coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to make a 2008 highlight list. Here it goes:

Our honeymoon cruise and stay in Miami
Our niece Bridget's baptism
The birth and baptism of our nephew, Evan
Rob getting his best half-marathon time at the Rockford marathon
A limo party for Mary's 25th birthday
Rob stress from booking and promoting a concert for work
Mini-vacation to Minnesota over the Fourth of July
Our new deck and Hot Tub!
The renovation of our bedroom
Laughing so hard with Kate and Josh at Jarlings about how Kate spits her oreos out of her ice cream
Camping out in So. IL for Amanda's thesis party
Rob completing his fifth marathon in Indy
Rob's three-week battle with poison ivy
My brother's safe return from his tour in Iraq
My whole family together at our house for Thanksgiving
My photography class

We have so much to be thankful for, especially our family and friends. Thank you all for our many memories this year.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mary's the Boss!

Mary got a promotion at work and beginning March 1st, she'll begin as Director of Budget and Resource Planning for the College of Fine & Applied Arts!

Anderson Christmas '08

This year, most of the Andersons got together to celebrate. It was a weekend of turkey, Rock Star, and fake Christmas gifts.

After Mom tried a little tennis on our new Nintendo Wii (our Christmas gifts to each other), Mary, Rob, and Tina made a great Rock Band. Mary led on vocals, and Rob and Tina switched back and forth between drums and guitar. Mom danced. Dad drank cold coffee- just like they would at a real concert.

Rob wrapped Tina's gifts inside boxes of household items - an oatmeal box and a Wheat Thin's box. One of the most memorable moments of the weekend was when Tina was so thrilled to get oatmeal for Christmas. Her reaction was, "I'm so glad you got me oatmeal, because I'm worried they don't sell this kind in New York." Later, Rob tricked her by saying "Uh Oh! Santa forgot a box!" He handed her an empty box of Coke with something inside. It was the same box of Tangoes he gave her earlier. Then, he brought around an empty box of Tissues with her digital camera stuffed inside(by this point, it was old news though).

Tina had a lot of talking to do, especially about Nathan, her wedding plans, and her paper that she received an extension on. Her hard drive crashed after she had spent eight hours on her final paper, so she spent a few hours re-writing it while here.

Mary cooked up a glorious feast. The bird, the stuffing, the potatoes, the veggies... They were all fantastic. She also cooked up a plethora of sweets. She owes all of the family the Seven Layer Bar recipe.

Play the video below to see the pictures from the weekend (there is no background music, so don't worry about volume).

Monday, December 8, 2008

What We've Been Doing


The other day, we spent two hours at Best Buy playing Wii and looking at flat screens. Mary rocked the Wii Rockband game - she got some great scores for her singing and I did well on the gee-tar. They need Countryband and Christmasband.

Our tree is up, we've hung a wreath outside...good thing too. It sounds like we might host the Anderson Christmas on the weekend before the big day.
Most of our neighborhood is "light-less." I wonder what they're waiting for? 2 weeks, people!

Rob's Birthday
Mary spoiled me during my "birthday week." I hit up two of my three favorite foods: mac&cheese and pizza (hot dogs are not in season). We went to Miko (Jap teppanyaki), watched football, relaxed, shopped, massaged. I could not have had a better birthday. Gifts include new shoes, pajamas, and a couple of really cool books.

AND, locked out of the house.
Luckily, Jamie and Eric live nearby and have a spare key (just for this reason). I hustled over, got the key, and hustled back before Mary became a frozen ice cube. But she did, however, have a frozen icicle hanging from her nose.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mary's New Coat (by Rob)

My wife is so hip - she's got a new winter coat. It has fur on the hood so she looks a little like an eskimo. Want to see it?

Click Here!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yummy Deer (by Rob)

Amanda is a game-atarian. The only meat she eats is from animals she kills herself. I couldn't do it - I'd drive off the highway just to hit a cow so I could eat a burger.

Saturday, Amanda bagged her first deer. What's more amazing is that she did it with a bow and arrow.

Happy Anniversary!

We don't celebrate our 1 year anniversary until Dec 28th, but we bought our anniversary gift last week - a new fridge! Our other fridge was on it's last leg and we figured we could use a new one for Thanksgiving (all of the Nutters are coming to C-U).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome Home, Ray! (by Mary)

My family traveled to Tennessee last Thursday to watch my brother's plane from Iraq land in Fort Campbell!!! The Army arranges a welcome home ceremony for the soldiers and their families, so it was definitely an emotional reunion for everyone. They even had popcorn for us while we waited! When the plane landed at 5:30am, all of the guests gave out a big cheer. Our soldiers are now safe on American soil!

We then watched as the 300+ soldiers from the plane carried their equipment and lined up into formation. The families were behind a fence and instructed not to touch their solider at this time. Which one is Ray? We hadn't seen him in 15 months and they all look alike (I guess that is the point). I definitely thought I saw him, then zoomed in on my camera and was wrong.

After a quick THANK YOU to the soldiers and prayer to God for bringing them home safely, we had 20 minutes to reunite.

We missed him, and are looking forward to keeping him in the Midwest for awhile now :) Any comments on the matching red tshirts?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Congrats Dawn and Doug!

Doug popped the question Sunday night over a ribeye at Texas Roadhouse. No, he didn't send the ring out in an order of mashed potatoes! He got down on one knee (even with all the peanut shells on the floor).

Dawn and Doug are also moving to Kansas City in January for her new job!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Bucket List (by Rob)

Things we did with Mom and Dad
1. Made awesome apple pie
2. Made awesome chili
3. Got steps in at the mall
4. Watched the Bucket List (Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman)
5. Buy apples at Curtis Orchard
I chose TBL. It looked good - old guys doing all the stuff they always wanted to do.
In reality, it's terribly sad! They've got six months to a year to live. At the end of it all, Mary and I were bawling, although I didn't see Mom or Dad shed a tear.
I give the movie a B, but if you see it, be prepared!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mmm...Apple Pie! (by Mary)

Rob and I made Dutch Apple Pie tonight to share with Arnold and Wilma. The house smells great!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Indy Marathon and Tailgating (Rob)

Do you see that smile? That was before the pain kicked in. I swore at mile 19 that I would never run a marathon again (which I say after every marathon). Today, I think I could do another (which I say after every marathon) and I think I could run it faster next time (which I say after every marathon). I finished in 4 hrs, 23 mins, and 11 secs. But that includes my two minute potty break.

After the race, the ride home, and a hot tub, our friends Dot, Brian, Jill, and Josh came to tailgate and watch the Illini game. We stayed until halftime - the Illini were up 21 to 7 (they won 55-13). We played a Battle of the Sexes like-game and The Newleywed Game, hot tubbed (again) - and Sunday we picked apples at Curtis Orchard.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cup for the Illinois Marathon! (by Mary)

Rob and I had an eventful, fun, and exhausting three-day weekend. We woke up at 5am on Friday morning, and had an extremely long day working the Chicago Marathon Expo at the McCormick Place. We stood for 11 hours, and distributed over 8,000 cups. Needless to say, but I'm going to whine about it anyway, my feet still ache!
Rob is convinced he persuaded every person he gave a cup to to run the marathon.

We slept soundly at Jill and Josh's on Friday night, and it was nice to visit with them, even though it was brief. We worked the Expo another six hours on Saturday morning, then took off for Lafayette, Indiana.

Did I mention I've been promoted from the Aid Station Coordinator to the Volunteer Coordinator? Rob saw it coming once the Race Director wanted to talk to me in person about something. I thought I was in trouble! Haha, I have always had such a fear (respect?) for authority.

Saturday evening in Lafayette, Dot and Wally hosted some friends for an Italian themed dinner, and we viewed their beautiful pictures from their recent trip to Italy. Another short visit, but time well spent.

We returned home this afternoon, just in time to watch the most depressing Bear's game. I don't want to talk about it.

Then, a little yard work to fill our $2 Halloween decorations with leaves.

Now, time to hot tub (ahhh...) and catch up on some DVR.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Do, I Do (by Rob)

This weekend, Mary and I saw a musical at church: I Do, I Do. It starts with a couple getting married and follows them through their life/relationship. Highlights included the songs "My Daughter is Marrying an Idiot" and a song about the little things the other person does that drives you crazy.

The downside... it was SO LONG! At least two and a half hours in folding chairs inside the church parish center. They could have cut at least 30 minutes.

The upside: There was a "cake intermission." The couple married the longest at the performance (56 years) cut a three-tiered wedding cake and we all had a slice.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Congratulations Tina and Nathan! (by Rob)

Tina was engaged last night - on her 31st birthday! (coincidence: I got engaged on my 31st bday).

Nathan's gift to Tina on her bday was a box of chocolates, but the jerk ate one of the candies inside! So, he replaced it with an engagement ring.

When's the big day? No time soon, says Tina. She even talks about going to the courthouse. We'll see if she's all talk.

PS. This pic is almost two years old. We'll see how much Tina's grown since February 2007 (and if Nathan can grow a beard).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm Oblivious (by Rob)

I wish I knew when women were flirting with me... so I could stop them, of course! I got an email from a female, single co-worker about an appointment scheduled this week. The subject of the message was "refinery and you and I" and the text read "We are set for the Thursday the 9th of October at 10:15 with Lindy. :)" Apparently, I'm told by my wife, that this woman is flirting with me. Entered into the evidence - exhibit A - the message subject. Why not just type "Refinery Appointment?" Exhibit B - the smiley face. This is probably worse than the subject - totally flirty, I'm told.
Ladies, please include a cheesy pickup line in each flirty email to make it easier for us guys to identify them. A simple "what's your sign" or "do you want fries with that shake" would help.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall TV Season (by Mary)

The fall TV season is here, and it started for Rob and tonight with the Biggest Loser: Families premiere. I love watching this show delayed, so we can fast forward through the junk (so much product placement). I have finally accepted that Alison Sweeney is the host, but Caroline Rhea was much wittier. We watch the show together, and I always shed a few tears, and Rob always starts doing push ups.

I'm winning so far!
Tears: 1
Push ups: 0

The second episode of Fringe is on next!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So Proud! (by Mary)

I received this email from Rob's work this morning:

Join me in congratulating our latest Star Performer for the month of August!

It would be easier to make a list of everything this person DOESN'T do or contribute to around here. He constantly steps in and just "handles" things that need to be handled, often without being asked or anyone else realizing that something needed to be handled or fixed. He preps out a great live show, writes and produces spectacular imaging and promos for his station, coordinates talent schedules and keeps everyone on his staff and throughout the building informed about what his station is up to.

On top of it all he's constantly looking for and passing along new promotional ideas for ALL stations and has even proven that, through some less than obvious sources, he can help bring new revenue into the IRG.

ANDY ROBERTS does it all so effectively and efficiently! He's this month's Star Performer and will join our Sales Goalbusters for the monthly lunch to celebrate today.

Make sure you get caught going above and beyond for IRG and you might be our next Star Performer. And please give Andy a pat on the back for everything he does to make WIXY and the IRG great!

Jonathan Drake

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Spider (by Rob)

Have you ever seen Mary freaked out? Friday night, Mary was beyond freaked out when she caught a glimpse of a spider on the way out to the hot tub. After getting a flashlight, she found this spider (almost actual size):

Immediately, Mary googled "spiders" to try and identify it. She saw some spiders online that are even more scary and big than ours, which freaked her out more.

She found a website where you post a spider pic and they identify it for you. Ours is a Barn Orbweaver. Nocturnal, harmless, (supposedly) eats their own web every morning, and is the type of spider Charlotte of Charlotte's Web is based upon.

EPILOGUE: Saturday night, I killed the spider after smushing it a few times. Mary still hasn't gotten rid of her heebie-gebbies. She tiptoes to the hot tub looking around for anything moving. Fortunately, no spider since. And hopefully, no eggs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to School (by Mary)

After a few miracles, I was finally able to register for ARTS 260: Basic Photography! I did use a few of my connections in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, and my benefits waive me from tuition! After over three years, I am a college student again!

I emailed my TA yesterday (who I am older than), because I missed my first class on Tuesday, and we all know that I'm a kiss-a$$. My assignment, due this morning at 9am, was to take 250 pictures with my digital camera- just point and shoot. 250 is more photos than you think. I was a bit nervous about my first class today, but I feel back in the groove already. Below are a few of my favorites photos. Just keep in mind no special settings were used on these photos, so they are very basic.

(yes, I got that close to a spider-- click on it to see the detail)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mary on the Radio (by Rob)

The radio station promotes blood donations over the summer because that's when donations really drop off. So I was talking today about how chicks dig guys who give blood, mostly because of the bandage on their arm. Mary called and weighed in on the subject.

Press play to listen:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Newspapers Love Ray (by Mary)

Ray was featured in Sunday's paper from Clarksville, TN, where he is stationed. Click here to read the article.

For the record, I do not like to consider myself the reason Ray is in the Army. I am smarter, though :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pictures from August

I'm finally getting around to posting some non-poison-ivy pictures.

Here is the beautiful and tasty cake that Sarah made for Muvey's retirement party.

Dot and Rob stretching after the bars a few weeks ago...

And, what you've all been waiting for...the reveal of our house with new siding and shutters!

And, after!

Finally, the floors in our basement are installed!

Barack Obama at the Richel Baptism

We were tied up over the weekend with family, otherwise we would have met Barack Obama.

Ted's sons Gavin and Gunnar were both baptized Sunday in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Barack happened to be in Eau Claire and dropped by the church for Sunday Service. I think Katie Richel is the blurry head in the background.

On Barack's Road Blog, it says "Barack visited the First Lutheran Church of Eau Claire, enjoying services and a sermon by Pastor John Kerr entitled “The First Day of School...In addition, two youngsters were baptized at First Lutheran this morning, Gunnar Clark and Gavin Richel."

No word whether or not Barack accepted Ted's invitation to be Godfather.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The In-Laws Are Here! (by Rob)

Over the weekend, Marti and Terry visited. Terry took me out for my second golf outing this summer (thanks a bunch!). Marti is sticking around until Friday night. Today, she's folding clothes... including my underwear. It's nice to have visitors who clean up after themselves and then some.

Mary and Marti canned some spaghetti sauce from our tomatoes. So now the question is "when can we crack into our cans?"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Hills Here (by Mary)

To get an idea of how many hills Rob will have to run at the Flying Monkey, compare it to the elevation chart of the Illinois Marathon next April:

I'm an idiot (no news to Mary)

I signed up for the Harpeth Hill Flying Monkey Marathon in Nashville Nov 18th. Why am I an idiot? Because you need hills to train on hills... Champaign has few hills! And they're not like the ones in the marathon. Here's the elevation chart:

It's called the Flying Monkey because the park is home to an endangered species of flying monkeys, rarely seen by humans... or so they say.

Ivy Update (by Rob)

As Mary mentioned, I got a steroid shot yesterday. I was hoping the shot would help my performance on a 16 mile run today. That was not the case.

I want to thank Ryan Pankau for recommending the shot. He's a frequent P.I.G. (poison ivy getter). He said "Dude, go get the shot." I still have blisters, but they're receding.

The big blisters we have pictures of were ready to just explode - they were like brats... poke them and juice flies everywhere. Now, I feel like I can rest my arm on a table without worry of squirting Mary in the eye :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Poison Ivy is worse! (by Mary)

Rob decided to stop by Convenient Care today, because his poison ivy blisters grew overnight. He received steroid shots and some new cream to make him more comfortable. So far, no progress. Since I have to live with the nastiness, I thought it was only fair to share the latest photos with you:

Friday, August 8, 2008

My husband is gross! (obviously, by Mary)

My apologies for leaving you with posts by Rob for the past few weeks. I was busy...with work...and...planning my mom's surprise retirement party! Rob has been busy, too, putting several coats of red paint on our new shutters, but...he doesn't require as much sleep as me :) Well, enough with the excuses. Here are some updates:

The outside of our house had a complete makeover! Next time you come visit, you'll probably drive right past it (especially since we haven't hung our house number back up)! We owe a huge THANK YOU to Ryan and Billy for trimming our trees. Now, our front "lawn" receives more sunlight, and more importantly, we don't have to worry about large branches falling on our roof during a thunderstorm.

We'd post pictures, but as Rob explained in an earlier post, I had this genious idea of using my 35 mm camera again. Now that we have finished the roll, we keep forgetting to bring our film with us to Walgreens to get developed. Soon. Maybe this weekend we'll remember!

My mother, Marti, aka Muvey, retired after 41 years with United Airlines. My sister, Sarah, and I had a surprise party for her at my parents' house, and it went very well! The food was great and plenty of people drove out to Rockton to wish Muvey congratulations. I'll have pictures of the beautiful (and soooo delicious!) cake Sarah made once we get those photos developed ;)

Between coats on the shutters, Rob is also preparing our yard for the landscapers to install trench tiles (or whatever it is called) around the outside of our house. While moving some of our existing pipes from outside of the fence, Rob must have grazed the oils of poison ivy plants. After Rob started itching earlier this week, we did find some of the three-leaved suckers hidden on the outside of our fence. The one picture I have for you today is the huge blister on his arm from grazing the poison ivy, taken from his camera phone. Should he pop the blisters?

Tonight we're having a classic date night- dinner and a movie. I gave Rob three restaurant choices: Cafe Luna, Timpones, or Escobars, and two movie choices: Wall-e and Sisterhood 2. I have a feeling it is going to be Wall-e :)

Plus, there is so much to be excited about! I'm looking forward to sleeping in, then Dot & Brian are coming for Saturday night. We're going to see a Billy Joel cover band, called Silly Joel, at Canopy Club. And hot tub, of course. And develop pictures, too!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pasha (at Windsor & Duncan) by Rob

What we love about Pasha: Babaganush, humus, lamb, and
SAGANAKI (fried cheese):

What we don't: belly dancers "shaking it" in our faces while we try to converse and eat.
You guilt us into tipping you, ladies!

Pasha is our new favorite "take you there" place. Next time you come to visit, we'll go out for mediterranean food. It's delicious and fun - even if there is "junk in the trunk" in your face.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where are MN Pics? (by Rob)

You have no idea how great digital cameras are until you go old-school. On our trip to Minnesota, Mary brought her old 35mm camera.
It was cool, but:
a) It's frustrating taking pictures and not knowing how they're going to turn out!
b) You have to drive somewhere, drop off the film, and pay for someone to develop the pictures (only to find out half of them are crap).
c) You can't drop off the film until all the pictures are taken.

We still need to take about 8 shots until the roll is full. So, coming soon, we're going to feature a timeline of my toenail growth, with pitcures in chronological order.

First Golf of the Year (by Rob)

I went golfing with Steve the other day - first time out all season. When I opened my bag, I found out I only had one ball... which I lost on the first hole. Luckily, the first hole runs along the driving range, so I stole a range ball and played with it...for three holes - it got wet on hole 4. Steve lent me a ball I immediately sent into the same pond as the last. The next loner got wet on hole 5. The third loner lasted the rest of the round.

9 holes - 4 balls lost. Thank God I wasn't keeping score :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Weekend That Was Taken Advantage Of (by Mary)

As you can see from Rob's posts yesterday, we had a fun-filled weekend! In addition to seeing The Dark Knight on Friday, and going to The Champaign County Fair on Sunday, we also went to the Showcase of Homes and saw Candy Foster at Alto Vineyards. After the tasting, I have decided my favorite Alto wine is the Weiner Dog White.

What more could you ask for from a weekend? I wasn't exactly willing to get out of bed this morning, but I feel like I took full advantage of the weekend. I even got some laundry done, and we went to 5:00pm mass on Saturday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Champaign County Fair (by Rob)

Some winners were going to drive Mini-Monster Trucks at the fair today and I needed them to sign a release form. 92 degree heat. Humidity. It's no wonder two people didn't show up.

Mary came along. I was going to win her an awkwarly large suffed animal, but spent the money on lemon shake-ups, corn dogs, and fries instead. The heat balanced any weight gain from the food; I think we sweat off three pounds just standing around.

We did learn a lesson (for our own future reference): At noon on Sunday, the fair is mostly empty. It's probably the best time to take kids.

The Dark Knight (by Rob)

I think Mary wanted to see the movie more than I did! We went Friday night; fought the crowds and the lines, sat through 25 minutes worth of trailers, and held our pee for the entire movie.

Heath Ledger Rules! But the last 30 minutes got complex and boring. I just wanted it to be over. Actually, the movie up until the last 30 mins is 90% Joker. Then,in the last 30 minutes, the story becomes 40% Joker.

Overall, I give it a B+. And the popcorn a B.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fours (by Mary)

This questionnaire was in my friend Kelly's blog:

A) Four places I go to over and over: work, Crystal Lake Pool (I've been to water aerobics everyday this week), hot tub, and the bathroom

B) Four people that email me regularly: Rob and Jill are the only people that email me regularly (sad, right?). About a dozen people email me occasionally.

C) Four favorite places to eat: El Torero, Penn Station, Green Jade, Chipotle

D) Four places I would rather be right now: Escanaba, anywhere if my whole family was together, New Zealand, on a boat on any lake

E) Four TV shows I watch all the time: I watch more than four tv shows all the time, so these are the four that I've been watching this summer: Kathy Griffin Life on the D-List, Battlestar Galactica via Netflix, Design Star, and House Hunters reruns

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things We Miss About MN (by Rob)

1. Pink sunsets at 10:30pm.
2. Sleeping in.
3. Wildlife. We saw deer, a skunk, lots of loons, turtles, a couple of cranes, and some fish. And a beaver dam.
4. Cool temperatures; cool breezes with the covers pulled up.
5. Being on vacation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Minnesota Wildlife (by Rob)

Some baby loons, fifteen feet from the cabin.

Spiders. Everywhere else.

Back From Minnesota (by Rob)

Mary and I spent 5 days at the Anderson Cabin on 8th Crow Wing Lake (pic) in Minnesota. We kicked it off with a bang...literally! On July 4th, we watched fireworks shot over Leech Lake and enjoyed an excellent fish fry and live music to boot. There must have been 150 boats on the lake watching the fireworks too. Small town, good fireworks, terrible traffic cops. It took us an hour to get out of the parking lot!

So many stories (and pics) to come!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Never a Dull Day in the Anderson Household (by Mary)

Sigh...being a homeowner! On Sunday, we arrived home to find that one of our neighborhood cats dug in my flower pot again. One of many items on Rob's "honey do" list is to add mulch to the bottom of the pot, hoping that the cat does not feel as comfortable when it needs to litter next time.

While we're living upstairs, I've been using the closet in the Cinnamon Rose room for my clothes. Tonight after work, while I went to hang up a shirt, I heard chirping birds that sounded as if they were in our attic. After much recon, Rob found several nests between our vertical siding and the attic. The nests almost filled one garbage bag!

Two birdies didn't make make it, but we're hoping the mother will return to the rest of them. Hopefully the neighborhood cats won't get to them either!

We're also working with landscapers to prevent water from leaking into our foundation again. After much research, we've learned that we first need to ensure that the ground next to our foundation slopes away from the foundation, not towards it. This picture shows that this could be a serious problem for us.

We are hoping that between fixing the slope of the ground and replacing our gutters, water will not find a way into our house again. Replacing the laminate flooring in our bedroom and family room is on hold until we are more certain.

This is all happening while our siding is being replaced. Hopefully the birds will find a better home that isn't in our new siding. And, maybe, just someday, there won't be anything to do on Rob's honey do list :)