Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Update

Quick Fall Update from the Koester household...Homecoming weekend here...Kaid and his date, Courtney, had a very fun time at the dance. Courtney is actually from Effingham and she asked Kaid to go with her to the EHS Homecoming so he could "go" and he told her that maybe she should just come to the Cdale HC with him...and she agreed to come! They both said they had a really good time, met a lot of nice people and learned some new dance moves. Kaid can't wait to teach his old buddies the new dances. Apparently, one highlight of the evening was Kaid teaching the Cdale kids the Cotton Eye Joe dance...and in return, Kaid learned some Homey dances:)

Baleigh is extremely serious about pitching these days. I don't think I told any of you that she made the Southern Express 10U traveling team, which is quite an honor. She was the only girl from Carbondale who made the team. The team consists of girls from KY, MO, and all over So IL. Here she is practicing with 7th and 8th grade teammates at Giant City School. Just look at her face...a little competitive?? I don't know where she gets it!

...Hard at work on her Halloween House. Yep, she did it all. She also made biscuits this morning all by herself. All I did was turn on the oven. She measured, mixed, kneaded, rolled, cut, and baked. What a girl!

Puppa Sade...proudly showing off her zipper flower collar from Auntie Lou!

Baleigh and her friend Elissa were undercover junior SuperFans at the football game against Herrin. They had fun...and really, it was just a fun pose :)

Here is a video of Baleigh pitching. I think most of the pitches are change-ups, then a couple fastballs. I can't remember...there were two videos... and it's time for bed!

One more thing! I forgot to mention that I woke up Saturday morning around 7 am to a very loud "Moooooooo"! I was very startled by the volume of the moo so I headed to the window...and sure enough, there was a large cow in our back yard! As soon as I opened the door to the deck off our kitchen, the poor cow scampered off in fear. She then went across Giant City road, and I gasped, hoping there were no cars coming She went into the neighbors yard, and kept trying to buck the fence to get back into her pasture! I drove to the farmhouse, no answer at the door. I tried to find the number for animal control, nothing. I called the police department, no answer...but an extension for animal control. I left a message and I have heard nothing! I guess the poor girl got prodded back into her pasture 'cuz I haven't seen her! We saw signs of her grazing in our grass and nibbling on our trees all over the backyard...the grass IS GREENER over here!...lots of rain this week :) :) :)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

.....Time's up!

As much as I hate to type this....tick tock...time's up...back to work tomorrow
:( Booooooo! Hisssssss!

It seemed like a pretty fast summer. I guess getting out June 8th instead of May 16th has something to do with it. I never got to that place where I was bored and needing my routine back! Anyhoo, it's here and I will do what I have to do.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, Bay doesn't know where she put the camera....but here's what's been happenin'...

First, and always on our minds - Landon - we got good news about his number of weeks of chemo. Thank you God! for 19 weeks of chemo and not 25! I (and the fam) really appreciate all the prayers from the Carbondale folks!!!

Got word on Monday that Miss Baleigh will be

needing braces sometime within the next year!

On Tuesday, we found out that Baleigh made the Southern Express traveling softball team! This is quite a feat actually and I am very proud of her. I think I was as nervous as she was at the tryout. All of the parents of the 14 girls who tried out stayed to watch. I guess the coaches had been recruiting players all summer - who knew? - but Bay was the only girl to make it to the team from that tryout of 14 girls! She really stepped up and played her best.

I am helping coach the Giant City girls softball team which began 3 weeks ago. Our first game is tomorrow already! Baleigh, unfortunately as a 5th grader, is able to practice, but not play in games. She has been at every practice and has become a much better pitcher in the past 3 weeks. The Giant City coach, Kim Wheeler, is also the high school head coach (who I coached with in the spring) and she told me that Bay really has what it takes to be a pitcher. It was good to hear, but I know how much hard work and dedication that takes :) I hope Bay is up for it! So far, she has been enthusiastic and VOLUNTARILY wanting to pitch in the back yard.

Yesterday, we rented canoes at Little Grassy Lake! The macho men (Dan and Kaid) took one canoe and Bay and I took another canoe. Paddle, paddle, paddle....middle of the lake....oopsies! Dan and Kaid turned over their canoe! Well of course Baleigh and I were cracking up, but then we realized that these guys had a looooonnnnngggg way to swim to get to the shore and get back into their our stuff was floating away! Bay and I had to rescue our cooler of water and food, shoes, shirts, paddles, life jackets, and of course our family members and their canoe. It was quite a fiasco...but very funny to Bay and me :) After that though, we had a great time canoeing all over the lake, stopping at various beaches and playing around.

Our sympathy goes out to the Robert Harvey Pillers family (my sister's father in-law). He was a good man and we and his entire family will miss him.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August! It doesn't feeeel like August!

What beautiful weather we've had! It sure didn't feel like July and so far, August has been more like June. When Baleigh reminded me that it was AUGUST 1ST (which she knows I dread) I told her that we are going to live like it is JUNE 1ST! The weather seems to be cooperating with my little scheme...for now...haha.

As I'm sure you've already read...we put up corn on Thursday in Indianapolis! Bonnie was cracking me up with her keen corn shuckin' skills:) See Big Lou and Lindsey's blogs for more great pics and the debut of "Cornshuckia"...thanks to Rhianna's "Disturbia".

Baleigh can still fit in a laundry basket! She sure liked hanging out in laundry baskets as a toddler :) Here, she patiently awaits her dry, favorite shirt...

Jensin stayed with a few days this week and she brought her little darlin' Daisy with you can see by Baleigh's expression, the 2 little furballs made things quite interesting!

Baleigh's favorite place to eat..."O'Charley's"! Oh, those yummy rolls! We ate there after "Cornshuckia" Thursday.

Here is a video of Puppa Sade and Daisy...AKA Yo-Yo...Dan's nickname for the little one with a serious case of ADHD. Sadie did NOT like Yo-Yo messin' with her Baleigh...

We really appreciate your continued prayers for this fine little family. Landon will be receiving his first chemo treatment tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Miles O'Fun

1710 Miles O'Fun provided by Ruby the Rainier and driver, Lori Koester...

1st stop - Effingham, for a Friday, June 27th wedding. My good friend Shelby finally married her man Kurt. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Luckily, the reception was held at the KC Hall where the Pillers/Stevenson crew could meet up with me and hang out for a few before we all headed to St. Louis to melt at the Cards game on Saturday.

2nd stop - the melting pot, Busch Stadium on Saturday. At least the Cardinals had the decency to win for us wilting fans!

3rd stop - back to Carbondale for Jensin's 18th birthday on Sunday! I cooked biscuits and gravy and hashbrowns for breakfast. Then, Baleigh and I packed up for Kendallville, had birthday cake, and headed for the interstate. Dan, Kaid, Jensin, and Roger cooked out and played outdoor games before Jensin and Roger headed back to Effingham.

4th stop - to Kendallville Sunday night for our annual "One Room Schoolhouse" fun! Baleigh loves the camp and being spoiled by her Aunt Lou and Uncle Bob. Speaking of poor Uncle Bob, he was kind enough to take Baleigh fishing Monday evening, and on her first (and only) cast...she launched the entire rod and reel into the lake!! Bob spent the next 3 hours trying to untangle that mess...and alas, he saved all fishing gear AND found a catfish on the hook of this long ago cast of the wild child. I would have a picture of Baleigh and the catfish, but the silly kid refused to touch the fish :(

5th stop - Wednesday, July 1st - back home to Cdale for a few hours sleep before the next launch.

6th stop - Thursday morning - Holiday World! The Koester 5 made the trip to Santa Claus, IN, for the first time. The kids had all been before and they always rave about how much fun it is, so Dan and I decided we better try it - and had a blast! There is much fun to be had at that there park! The Voyage roller coaster is awesome and the water slides are all fun! It was a little chilly for July 2nd though, and next time, we will be going when it's a bit warmer.

7th stop -home - to rest!

There you go, folks. 1710 miles o'fun. Good times and safe travels. :)

Since then, we have...

* finished "The Hill" landscaping project...

12 Tons of ROCK!! Not the greatest picture, will try again. This just doesn't do it justice.

*Baleigh made the All-Star softball team. I will be coaching the best 10-yr-old softballers in Carbondale for the next 3 weeks. We will practice this week, travel to Herrin next week, and Duquoin the following week to compete against the best in Sounthern Illinois. If we win either tournament, we head to South Carolina or Florida for Nationals. Hmm...we'll see.

*Kaid finished driver ed class and will get his permit July 22nd.

*Football camp is a-going on this week.

*Got an estimate for an inground pool.

*And last but not least, Puppa Sade spent some time at the Vet! After worrying, calling the vet on Friday, more worry over the weekend, bringing her to the vet on Monday, more worry, paying $200 for tests to be run, and finally, getting good news that they couldn't find anything...I've decided that maybe, just maybe, this is a little trend and ploy by my smartie-pants dog!! All of sudden, I remember that last year, after returning from Kendallville, she was sick, and hmmm....couldn't find a real reason. I think she is a big faker, pouter, baby-butt that doesn't like it WHEN MOMMY LEAVES HER! Could this be?? I mean, this dog couldn't walk, wouldn't eat, drink, potty...anything. As soon as I brought her home from the vet, it was a miracle, completely healed. Well anyway, LouAnne says, next year, we are bringin' that Puppa Sade with us to Kendallville :)

From the archives, the girls were pretty in pink with Jensin wearing Dan's old "goggles" (we called them) and Baleigh wearing Jensin's glasses in the kitchen at Slate Creek. Remember the green stripes??

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Graduation Day

Graduation Day! Jensin Taylor Koester graduated today. She ended up a scholar athlete, in the National Honor Society, and headed to nursing school - a far cry from 17 years ago when the doctor told her parents that they could expect her to be deaf, blind, and mentally retarded. We are all so thankful for God's mercy and blessings!

Big, strong, Kaid helping haul rock down to the landscaping project.


We worked and worked and worked, and only got about a third of the hill completed last weekend! This weekend it was too wet after rain Saturday morning. Today, we were in Effingham. It will be beautiful one of these weekends!


Marion Caroline (Hankins) Zehner 1934 - 2009

Our sweet Aunt Marion passed away on Tuesday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Inland Hurricane and other Spring "Happenings"

I am playing catch-up here, so bare with me. I have missed so many weeks of blogging that I don't know where to begin. So, once again, I will just post some random pictures and give you captions. At least you will have an idea of what's been happenin' around here.

Blooming Bradford Pears on Bradford Lane.
Kaid at the EHS lift meet.

Baleigh went to a her friend Molly's birthday party held at the SIU women's softball game. The Saluki Dawg hung out for a few minutes for a photo shoot.
Baleigh is modeling her new apron and chef's hat while making her pre-game (soccer) pancakes.

This was an unbelievably muddy soccer tournament in Marion. It really slowed the pace of the game down! But, it was funny to watch the splashing and sliding!
Finally, here are some pictures of the aftermath of the Inland Hurricane. Things are looking much better 3 weeks after, but there are still hundreds of reminders of the storm because of all of the ugly trees - broken off at the top trees , slanted trees, or trees with no leaves.

The 4x4 posts, in concrete, were snapped by the wind. Four sections of fencing need repaired. State Farm treated us quite fairly.

Breakfast of champions without electricity.

Baleigh and 2 neighbor girls started dragging limbs away immediately after the storm.

Our driveway, neighbor's house.
Next post: Landscaping project in progress and Jensin's graduation.

Monday, May 11, 2009

After the Storm...

We are at MaMa's house where we have luxaries like hot water and electricity. Dan said that up until Friday, May 8th, he thought the internet was the greatest invention of all time. Now we know, that ELECTRICITY is still the holding that top spot!! We were very lucky that we are all safe and our house is in tact. I think that because the storm came through at 1:30, most people were in stable buildings such as schools and office buildings where there is shelter and the sirens were sounding. My biggest anxiety came from not being able to contact Baleigh's school or her teacher. Her school sits up on a small hill without a basement. I finally got to leave the high school at 3:00 and head to Giant City School. It took me 40 minutes to drive 3 miles. Trees and power lines were all over the place. I drove over 4 power lines, scraped the hell out of my Rainier going around a tree and through a ditch, but made it to my pumpkin safely. She was scared, but holding up pretty well. I told her to "buckle up tight and try to keep your jaw off your lap :) people are driving like maniacs and we may have to do some ditch-riding to get home, and you are not going to believe what you are about to see".

We spent the evening talking and texting, trying to get updates on how everyone's houses were. It didn't take long to find out that the damage was very widespread and that no one had power. We have heard that Ameren plans on getting most people hooked back up by Tuesday night, but we have Egyptian Electric and our old hometown neighbor Louie says that his "big wig" friends say it could be 2 weeks for us. School is the big unknown right now. We've heard a lot of rumors.

I thought I was going to post our Inland Hurricane pictures last night, but I forgot the dang camera cord! So, I searched on YouTube for a good video. Try this link or search for the title What the Hell was it?

I need to cut this short and get to my hot shower. Have a great week!