Happy New Year to all our blog reading friends and family!!
We’d like to start out this year’s blog by letting you know our really big news for 2011. Trevor and Leah are expecting a baby in early July. That means Ken and I will be grandparents for the first time this summer!
That also means between our new daughter-in-law, Jenni, Leah, and the baby, we have nearly doubled the size of our family from 4 to 7 in a little more than a year!
Funny how things work. If someone would have asked me 3 years ago when I thought my guys would settle down with a special someone I would have said that I’d expect it to still be many, many years. Then suddenly they each fall head over heals and we’ve entered a whole new phase of our family life!
Well, ok, Trev and Leah may have got things a little out of sequence since while Trev had proposed to Leah back in October, he was still shopping for just the right engagement ring to give her at her graduation in May. But, hey, they seem to have it all worked out beautifully so far. Trev is feeling really good about his work and is being transferred to the downtown Chicago office of McGladrey in June after Leah graduates. They have a great support system of family and friends in the Chicago area. They will be great parents and we are really excited awaiting Stitch’s arrival! (Since they don’t know the baby’s gender yet, he/she is named ‘Stitch’ right now. Leah’s housemates came up with the name since their nickname for Leah is Lilo!)
So far the doctor says all is well. They got to hear the baby’s heartbeat last week. Trev called all excited about that. I’m impressed that they’ve found a good Ob/Gyn who does Saturday appointments so they can both travel there on weekends.
Because Leah and Trevor will be living in Palos Park (southwest Chicago suburbs) when the new little Frericks is born, we expect we’ll be making a lot more trips to that part of the state starting in July. That makes our timing pretty good right now for heading the other direction for awhile.
Ken and I are nearly finished packing up for our first snowbird experience and looking forward to getting back on the road.
However, we are so glad we made the decision to back off our departure a day based on storms predicted. As it turns out we would have been travelling right along the strong storm front that caused so much damage in Missouri and Illinois
Instead we took our time loading up and even took a break to go out for lunch Friday enjoying the unseasonably warm weather that preceded the storm front.
I don’t think we’ve ever been able to ride around on New Year’s Eve with the top down on the Audi before.
What’s really strange is that 3 hours after this picture was taken the line of strong storms dropped tornados along a diagonal line from Missouri through Illinois just south of us. We went from 60’s to around 18 degrees overnight.
Ken faced a dilemma with the RV in how to handle the winterizing. Initially we planned to drive south before de-winterizing. However, its so convenient to do this here at home that he really wanted to get it out of the way before we hit the road. He decided to go ahead and flush the system, turn on the furnace and hot water heater and put a lamp under the rig below the tanks. Hopefully this will cover us this evening as it gets down in the teens again.
There was a few hours of panic when we brought in the mail on Friday. There was a notice, with many pages of associated detail, indicating that they had uncovered 2 problems with our 2009 taxes netting out to what they said was us owing them about $7000. We had until the end of the month to send them a check or respond with an explanation. At first blush, we were in shock both by the dollar amount and the sinking feeling that we were going to have to postpone takeoff while we stayed home to get this cleared up with our tax accountant and the IRS. However, after holing myself up with our records, the PC and the IRS letter for about 5 hours, I was able to determine that we were missing a Schedule D form for one of the problems and that for the second problem our accountant had missed reducing our tax owed by one part of our withholdings. I was able to get the response filled out and mailed with the net result being that instead of owing the IRS $7000, they owe us $3000! Nice way to start the New Year!
And, while I was nose down with my accounting hat on, Ken had continued down our pre-flight checklist and covered several tasks I’d expected I was going to have to do, so we really didn’t get too far off schedule.
I have to say we are very spoiled by the amount of storage space inside this motorhome. It certainly makes deciding what to pack a lot easier.
For example, Ken and I each have our own large closets. After I finished loading mine, I counted 70 filled hangers in just my side!
I made some chili for supper so that we have leftovers for on the road and finished off the last of the laundry while Ken did a variety of preflight coach maintenance items and finalized the pages of instructions taped to our counter for our various house sitters/guests.
It’s now 9pm and 19 degrees here in Quincy, IL. Hopefully the next time I post it will be from somewhere farther south and warmer!!