hAppY BirThDAy, GraNdpA sTeVe!


If you haven't visited Santa at the Country Mercantile, you should. They'll let you decorate cookies and ride the train all the way to the North Pole. Very cute. I thought if Emerson saw me sitting on Santa's lap, she'd realize there was no harm in it. Unless of course, you're Santa. You should have seen the look of horror on Santa's face when I suggested it. He clearly was trying to remember his contractual obligations and whether he'd agreed to offer his lap to middle aged women. And because Trevor, I mean Santa, was very uncomfortable with the thought of his former teacher and mother's colleague sitting on his lap, I sat on the arm of his chair instead. ;) Neither Emerson nor Ryker bought it. And so this is the only picture we have of Santa. Regardless, it was nice of Trevor, I mean Santa, to come all this way and give us a candy cane! And dear sweet Vixen is on his last legs. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, he won't make it to Christmas. Poor Vixen!


A Tippett Family Vacation

Cancun, Quintana Roo

The Westin Lagunamar Ocean Resort has three continuous infinity pools. Most days, we arrived shortly after 9:00 and stayed until 4:00ish. Even then, we had to drag the kids away. It was rough. Em couldn't get enough of the water slide and Ryker was pretty impressed with lunch and refreshments at the swim-up pool bar. The final wall of the infinity pool is visible in the photo below and if you look really close, you'll see Ryan and Ryker waiting their turn at the top of the slide.

And as usual, Ryker got a kick out of being thoroughly abused by that Uncle Todd. ;)

We decided to visit Isla Mujeres, per my father's recommendation, and loved it. Everything about this excursion was just our style. Upon disembarking the ferry, we grabbed a map, rented a couple of golf carts and set out to see what we could see. Now I'm the first to admit I'd rather sight see than navigate and am pretty miserable at doing them simultaneously but there were only a couple of minor navigational errors. ;) Isla Mujeres is five miles long and barely 100 yards across in some areas. It is so rich in color. I love color!

We found a beautiful beach complete with free (yes, I said FREE) beach chairs and a convenient grass hut grill with breakfast tacos AND hotcakes on the menu. We enjoyed the tranquil surf of Playa Norte for a while and then meandered on to a turtle sanctuary. We later enjoyed grilled Amberjack tacos, called tikinshik, at a little beach cafe on the opposite end of the island. They were so good! Eat your heart out Lane W. :)

The Mayan ruins of Tulum are beautiful. Dates lifted from these ruins are from as early as 550 AD. Tulum's heyday was much later though, around 1200-1550 AD when Spaniard's set out to conquer the Yucatan Peninsula. The job was made easy due to their bringing of old world diseases which decimated the Mayan population. And so this city, like so many before it, was abandoned to the elements during the mid 1200s. We later enjoyed Xel-ha's Eco-park, which is the largest outdoor aquarium in the world. It offers a myriad of activites and ecological features. We especially enjoyed tubing through a mangrove forest and swimming in a small cenote. Shame on us all for failing to purchase a great picture of Marlene cliff jumping. Rosalyn and I didn't quite make it to the floating bridge on our snorkeling adventure and I'm glad for it. The fish there (Amberjack, I heard) were huge and I can say for certain, I prefer them grilled! My only regret is not taking more pictures at Xel-ha. But it was really wet.

Not twenty feet below the infinity pool at Lagunamar, lie a beautiful stretch of beach. We especially enjoyed watching the sun go down and the waves roll in during early evening. A big thanks to Rosalyn for finding this place!

So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and always - Especially for FAITH and HEALTH both of which without we'd be unable to enjoy our many blessings! We hope your Thanksgiving was also wonderful and enriched with family and fellowship.


Happy Birthday to Grandpa Tim!

 In honor of Donut Thursdays, we celebrated Grandpa's 61st with a donut cake. Nearly every Thursday morning, Grandpa Tim calls the kids, takes their order and then swings by for a donut breakfast. Ryker and Emerson love it. And they love their Grandpa Tim too!

Have so many cool pics to share...from the Harvest Season (yikes!)...from birthday parties...from Cancun. Gonna get right on that! Just as soon as I finish laundry, clean bathrooms and floors, plan an office Christmas Party, organize Ryker's classroom Holiday Party, Christmas shop...

Have an awesome Holiday Season! You probably won't be hearing from me. And because I know I'm no busier than the next girl, you're not going to be reading this blog until January anyway. :) May it be merry and bright!

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I have some great pics (Thank you, Norita!) from Musser's Harvest Party. I just can't post them yet.

We bought a new computer, you see, and it is currently a mess. My den is a mess. My laundry room is a mess. My life is a mess and it's all because of a stupid computer. In fact, a few seconds ago, a blinding flashing screen popped up out of nowhere to inform me that windows would be shutting down immediately in order to reconfigure. I was not to turn off the computer, blink or even breathe for the duration of the reconfiguration process. Come on, Hp. Don't make me regret not buying a Mac!

I've spent some time in front of a Mac. I've talked to Macs on a real personal level and remain unconvinced they're superior. Why throw the baby out with the bath water, man? I like change...when it's BETTER! I can't help it. It's a left over reaction to working for an administrator who jumped on every silly band wagon that came along. We'd get good at something and BAM! She'd move on just like that. I now view all change with scepticism first. Convince me, I say! Convince me this change is going to make my life better. Convince me that my life will be better in ways that make this kind of change worth the money and effort it will require. If I read my return policy correctly, I've got 60 days to throw this baby back. And I don't mind being wrong. Occasionally. :) Now this blog gets upwards of 100 hits per week. I don't have a clue who you are or why you'd bother reading it but I'm hoping some of you lurking out there in cyberspace care enough to comment on this particular post! Pretty please? I'm begging.

Those Harvest Party pics coming real soon. I think.


Edwin Markham Elementary is a really cool place. Because we hover around 400 kiddos, we're able to throw some really great events that larger elementary schools are unable to pull together. It also helps to have involved, enthusiastic and creative moms AND dads. Ryan whipped up a pirateship bean bag toss for the annual Halloween carnival. The kids LOVED it, despite a few kinks that we quickly worked out before our own harvest party. I love this picture of Em and Finn. I wish I knew what had tickled them so.

For the record and in case you are interested, homemade is better but not cheaper. Ryker has wanted to make a robot costume for a long time. In fact, he drew the coolest plan and because I loved it so much, I put it away for safe keeping. :( It's sure to turn up sometime in the next ten years. Grandma Marlene did a great job with these costumes and if we'd arrived in time, they'd have won first prize in the costume contest. Emerson wanted to be a butterfly, a princess and a robot so she dressed as what else, Robot Butterfly Princess. Two days before Halloween she decided she'd also like to be a ghost but I couldn't quite figure out how to work that one in. Silly girl. Ryker was a Super Rocket Robot complete with fuel tanks and glowing flames. By far the most awesome robot ever imagined by a five year old!


Exceptionally bad football. WOWZA!

But we had a really great time with the Dickhaus family! And the kids LOVED getting to spend time with Larry, Mickie and Grandma Gertsie on the farm. Thanks to the Thompsons for taking such great care of the kiddos. Thanks to Jenna and friends for hanging 'round the RV. Thanks to Tom for a ride to the game. Maybe next time he'll even let us sit INSIDE the cab. :) Kidding, Tom! Thanks to Linda for introducing me to hot spiced wine. Oh Nellie. And thanks to the Dickhaus and Ross families for enduring 8 degree nighttime temperatures! WITH NO HEAT!! TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!!! You guys win the prize.

Dan, Ginny, Shannon and Brady made a delicious post game meal. We sat around the fire, roasted marshmallows, sipped hot chocolate and sang campfire songs. In our dreams! Actually, we shivered and huddled around the fire in an effort NOT to freeze our hineys off. It was fun anyway. Campfire songs next year guys! :)

Ryker, Em, Carter and Logan got a kick out of the college's wild animal research project.