Sledding We Go

Growing up in a rural Illinois town you would think that I would be well versed in the art of sledding that is not the case. My hometown is located just at the temperate line where snow falls but rarely sticks around for long. My brother and I would maybe get in one round of sledding out at the farm a year. The lack of other kids to play with probably was a contributor. While my brother did play with me as a kid he is four years older and I am super un-cool. This sentiment is not shared with Josh’s family. Not only was sledding something looked forward to and strategized about, his siblings have stayed extra days on break to go sledding together. Now that the Van Gelder clan in getting bigger there is a whole new generation to share this love with. Even Mom and Dad suit up for the downhill activities. Trails are groomed using all sorts of techniques and finally the moment arrives when the kiddies and adults are loaded onto sleds and given a push. I’m happy to stay below and snap pictures; maybe helping a wee one back up the hill from time to time. It’s the little differences that make In-laws so special and the Holidays you share worth the driving.

Uncle Matt

If you have ever met our dog Pippi in person then you are very aware of her affinity to snuggling. There is nothing that dog loves more than curling up and taking in a little body heat. She also has a knack for finding that one person with a soft spot for fuzzy little black dogs. We had a wonderful visit with my family the week before Christmas, a house full of aunts, uncles and cousins; sharing meals with three generations of Volks. Gift were exchanged and laughs were plentiful; general merriment was had. As the festivities started to wind down and naps were being taken Pippi found a nice spot to catch some Zzzzz. Right on top of my Uncle Matt, as you can see he didn’t mind.


O’ Christmas Tree

While all we have in the truck is a tiny little green foil Christmas tree with miniature ornaments, no I didn’t remember to take a picture of it, I still collect tree ornaments.   I have well over 200 now and there is no plan to stop.  As we cross the country I pick up a few here and there from memorable places, mostly museums.  A significant part of my collection are dated Hallmark ornaments, one every year from my mother.  Now that I am out of her house I have carried on the tradition and get one for Josh and I.  So I would like to share with you some of the ornaments that I have picked up this year.

This is from our wonderful visit to The Mark Twain House in Hartford, I grew up close to Hannibal, MO and have been his boyhood home

I would not usually get one from a place as small as the museum in Danville, IL but my parents came to our show there and saw our exhibit

This stunning gem is from the WWI Museum in Kansas City, a fantastic museum and the ornament has little parts that dangle off of it

This is Pippi’s for 2010

My pick from Hallmark was a new series call Merry Kissmas, the doors open

This was an end of season find, 2009, a Jim Shore scottie

While this one did not photograph well it is beautiful, a miniture version of the china from Monticello.  What makes this so special is that we picked it up that day before visiting Lynn and her Scottie brood

Every tree needs one of these, ours was found at US Navel Academy in Annapolis, MD

Party Time Pippi

Jammie Pants Version 7.0

I know you all been waiting with baited breath to see what this year’s Jammie pants would look like. Oh, you don’t know what I’m referring too; well let me fill you in. For those who might be a little newer to The Roving Van Gelders my family has a fun tradition. It started 7 years ago, Josh’s first Christmas with us, my mom makes matching pajama pants for everyone and we take a photo together in them. The funny part is that each time something different goes wrong and that is what makes it special. Some years they are way too big, once too small and one year Mom ran out of fabric. My brother’s little ones usually get full zip-up snuggly ones, each family then wears a different colored of shirt.

So without further ado I reveal to you the 2010 Rigg Family Christmas Pants, ice-skating penguins!!!

This year was not without its fun too. If you look closely you might notice that my pants are made from two different fabrics. Mom was running a little low on flannel and called around to find a store that still had this one is stock. “Do you still have any light blue flannel with penguins ice-skating and skiing?” “We sure do”; who would think that Walmart would have released two different designed that fit that description.

Honestly I love them; I think it makes my special. At least she got them finished this year, the year she had to mail them out and we took our own photos lead to this. A classic!

Puppy Gifts

It’s that time of year when we start our Holiday gift shopping, I think I’ll start with Pippi this year.  Here are a few things I’m considering for the princess.  Not totally sure what she is getting yet.

Hamish McBeth Travel Pod – I love this idea but not sure that it is roomy enough for Pippi

Scampering Scotties Collar in Scottish Stewart Tartan, I fairly sure I’m getting this

It I get this then I’m going to add BowWozer’s Scottie Secret ID Tag

A girl must get a toy or two so this sweet little Scottie toy from Hamish McBeth is hard to pass up.

To grab another idea from Hamish McBeth, I love this Towel set.  I bath Pippi a few times a month at our hotels and this looks cool.  I have a microfiber towel for her now.

I just ordered one of these for Pippi, a Bobble Water Bottle.  This bad boy has a charcoal filter in the tip and is BPA free.  I have been reading so much lately about the possible harmful nature of tap water and the health benefits for giving dogs bottled water.  That is just not an option for us but I think this could help.  I might have to get one for us too.