Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Between us,  Ken and I have 8 sisters and 4 brothers, who in turn have 40 children, who in turn now have 61 children.  Not counting the in-laws, the stepkids, the fosters, etc.,  this means, if you include both the ‘regular’s and the ‘greats’ , we now have reached a milestone 101 niece and nephews!

Meet #101, Abigail Grace, who is the darling new daughter of my goddaughter Deanna, and her husband, Justin.


My niece is very lucky to already have two great little helpers, my great-nieces, Lilia and Calleigh. 


Our nieces and nephews are mostly within 2 hours of our hometown, several within a few miles of us, but some are as far west as Washington state  (where one of the next ‘greats’ will be born to Ken’s goddaughter) with others as far east as Myrtle Beach (where we’ll head for a wedding next June).  We also have one in the Army who is currently in the Middle East and sadly won’t be able to make it back for Kyle’s wedding.  Really sad to miss the life of the party, Joe!!

And, of course, this count is a moving target since I know that by year end it will increase by at least two!

The summer months are full of opportunities for us to get to see bits and pieces of this group as they come and go for holidays and reunions.  Being part of such a big, loving family is one of the greatest joys in our lives even if its getting increasing difficult to keep everybody straight!!

Just thought I’d throw these current family ‘stats’ in the blog since we are currently home doing mostly FAMILY stuff!

Hugs, C

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Keeping Amtrak in Business!

Still catching up on posts after extended time without my laptop!!

One of the new activities in our lives are frequent trips to and from the Amtrak station.


Trevor seems to find it difficult to be away from Leah for more than a few days at a time.  Since both live close to Amtrak stations it makes good sense for them to use the trains instead of do the 500 miles round trip in the car.

When Leah was here in early June, the four of us took a drive down to Hannibal.


We gave Leah an ‘overview’ of America’s hometown from Lover’s Leap.

Although we didn’t buy anything, we had lots of fun exploring the shops on historic Main Street.



They have a large Native American store where we always enjoy browsing.

Trevor’s pretty sure this is the hat he needs when riding range on his future buffalo farm.










Leah found this samurai sword.  That might be one way to keep the big guy in line, Leah!!










Leah as a butterfly!!







As usual with the Frericks’ family, the explorations wouldn’t be complete without trying out a new restaurant.  This time, Ole Planters Restaurant on Main Street.IMG_0303 

This is a family restaurant with homestyle cooking.  It was good, the bbq brisket, in particular, but we will probably go to Riverview Cafe at Sawyer’s Creek next time instead since it has a wonderful view over the river and is now operated by some folks that we know do a great job at their Rustic Oak Steakhouse at Mark Twain Lake. 

With the exception of breaks like this one, Ken has been spending most of his time on the upstairs remodeling.


The hardwood floor in the master and hallway actually went pretty fast.  Here’s a couple of shots of the finished master bedroom.

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I’m quite pleased.  The dogs are not.  Every once in a while, it looks like Sox goes in to some kind of spaz attack just trying to keep her footing on the floors!

We decided that before moving our clothes back in to the room it was a good time for a clean-out day.  Ken and I did a purge of clothes and ended up with all of this that can go to Catholic Charities.

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We’d done a similar purge last year before we moved out of the master bedroom but as we move more in to the RV lifestyle there are more and more items that just don’t get use.  I’ve now gotten to the point where I can keep all of my clothes in the master closet without moving things in and out between seasons.  It makes a big difference as I get rid of all of the suits and formal clothing.  Of course, if we decide to move in to only the RV, we’ll need to purge twice this much again!!

Well, I’m caught up now with my posts.  It’s Tuesday morning, I’m enjoying my morning coffee on the deck after spending our first moved back in to our master suite.

Ken is making his plans on how to kick off work in 2nd floor bathroom #2 while I work on putting together my Fiesta Chicken crockpot recipe. 

I’ll need to get myself dressed and presentable for the day though because it will soon be time to pick up Trevor at the train station, again!

Hugs, C

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Please excuse the age of these posts.  I have been having computer problems but will try to get caught up now!!

Memorial Day Weekend was really busy around the Frericks household. 

On the Thursday before, Ken rented a U-Haul trailer, hooked it behind the jeep and headed to Charleston to move Trevor back to Quincy for 5 months.  Originally he had planned on packing up Thursday and coming home Friday but he was back home by late Thursday, with all of Trevor’s stuff, but no Trevor.  Trevor’s girlfriend, Leah, was coming in to Charleston on Saturday so Trevor decided to wait until Sunday to drive back to Quincy.

That meant bright and early Friday morning Ken and I were unloading the U-Haul contents in to the garage so we could take the trailer back before incurring another rental day.  Suddenly our garage was well equipped for a college party with a beer pong table, bar signs,  bags game, etc.,  

When Kyle and Jenni arrived Friday evening, we had most items moved to the basement which was good since Kyle was having some back trouble.  Ken is really good at adjusting the boys’ backs, but in this case, it seemed that with Ditka and Staley so interested, he was getting a bit too much help.






We decided we could hold out against turning on the A/C for the weekend so grandpuppy, Staley, decided that the perfect spot to hangout was on the cool ceramic tile in the middle of the kitchen where she could stretch out to get the most surface coverage.








On Sunday, Ken and I travelled to Knox City, MO, to celebrate college graduations of my niece Jane’s son, Justin, and her stepson, Nathan.  Several years ago, after my brother-in-law Wayne passed away, Jane and her husband, Joe, purchased the Knox City farm from my sister, Betty.   Jane and Joe live in St. Louis, so this is now their weekend getaway and also gets lots of use during hunting seasons.

I have fond memories of this farm where my sister and brother-in-law spent decades developing an outdoorsman’s paradise, putting in 4 stocked lakes and miles of trail through the woods.  They’d purchased the farm when I was in grade school so big sister had me in tow many weekends.  I learned to shoot a gun here, to fish, pick blackberries, hunt mushrooms and to drive 4 wheelers! 

When we arrived most of the younger folk were away from ‘base camp’, either riding something motorized on the trails, swimming or fishing.  We set up our lawn chairs in between the trailer and the cabin with the rest of the crew.  Jane and Joe replaced the original well-worn mobile home with a new one (on the left) a few years back but the the original cabin (right) is still in good condition but mostly used for storage now.


My godson, Bruce, Jane’s brother, took my sister Betty out on the trails to have a look around at the farm that had been so much a part of her years past.


Ken and I took one of the other 4-wheelers and headed out for our own explorations.  Unfortunately, once we’d travelled some distance, I realized I had a camera but no memory card so I missed a lot on nice scenery pictures!

The ladies had an enormous feed set out for us on our return (and, after I had reunited memory card to camera!!)





While the party was celebrating college graduation for Jane and Joe’s sons, Justin and Nathan, the newest family member, Dalton, seemed to be in 7th heaven playing with his new cousins and taking them exploring on his new family’s farm.









Here’s my niece, Jane, with Dalton, who she and Joe have recently adopted.

I am truly in awe of Jane and Joe with Dalton.  With their 3 sons in college, they decided they would try out becoming part of the foster parenting program. 

Lo and behold, at a time when they would now be on their own, having raised their family, they decided to adopt Dalton.  Like us, they’ve raised some ‘live wire’ sons and so go in to this knowing what they are taking on.

Like his new big brother, Justin, Dalton, has the mischievous little sparkle in his eyes, that tells you he will keep their lives interesting!!

This is one very lucky little boy to have these two parents.



Ken and I headed back to Quincy as the sun was setting, enjoying the beautiful evening drive with top down on the Audi.

Trevor had arrived and the evening was spent organizing his new ‘apartment’ in the basement.

Memorial Day Ken fixed his usual ‘big breakfast’ for the family and then after filling up Jenni’s Pilot with boxes of items we’d still been storing for Kyle, we said our good-byes to them. 

One of the things I love most about being home is all of the family interaction and especially sharing meals and talk around the table.   This was a great holiday weekend for that. 

Now we get to begin the transition of learning to have one of our sons living with us again full-time.  Considering Trevor has never been home more than two weeks in the last 5 years, this will be a real adjustment for all 3 of us!!

Stay tuned!!

Hugs, C

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Engagement Pictures Arrive

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Kyle and Jenni made the trip from Carlinville to enjoy time back in Quincy. 

They brought the CD of over 100 shots from their Engagement Photo Shoot.  There are lots of great pictures, taken by Josh Richmiller’s girlfriend, Maria Witt.  I think she has lots of potential to move into professional photography. Of course, I’m a bit partial to the subjects!






Maria travelled to Carlinville to do the shoot and they went to many different locations to take the pictures, including in front of the courthouse where Kyle spends much of his time.  This courthouse which dates back to 1867 was recently named one of the ‘150 Great Places in Illinois’ taking its place alongside great structures such as the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oak Park and the Illinois State Capitol Building.








They also had some photos taken in the town square at the gazebo, a beautiful centerpiece to this quaint little Midwest town, that is on the National Historic Register.







They put on some old duds and had some more photos taken at a nearby farm.417 copy_edited-1 414 copy_edited-1











They stopped at the old Macoupin Station.


Then they finished the shoot at the lake at Beaver Dam State Park where we stay when we visit them in Carlinville.

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Thanks, Maria, for taking the time to do the shoot in Kyle and Jenni’s new hometown.  We are really happy to have these lovely pictures as well as the lovely lady who is about to become part of our family!!


Hugs, C