Thursday, September 25, 2014

Good Bye Summer, Part 2

Before the leaves fall off the trees, and I forget all these special memories, I offer the rest of our summer, in no particular order.

We went to our cabin in Northern Wisconsin for a week with the grands.  We all have the best time and make so many memories.
My brother has a place 30 minutes away, and we spent a few hours there enjoying his lake and his new cabin.
No railing on the deck then, but it has one now.

Claire and grandpa ~

Cooper and my nephew Evan 

Ben and Cooper in the front, Elizabeth and Jackson in back, and Jessica, the lifeguard I guess.
It looks like they are in an inch or so of water, so I will assume that they took a little ride.

Elizabeth and Laura

Our Claire Bear

Cooper on the boat at our cabin.


My grands plus my niece and nephew, Emma and Evan.  Not too bad, maybe 2 kids are looking:-)

The whole gang.  Isn't it so green and pretty in Wisconsin?
{Too bad most of the years it's white}

Cooper and Evan.  Our centerpiece of flags was used later for a rousing flag hunt.  That was a fun activity and one we will do again.
{I give no directions for the game because I think you can all figure it out.  It's that simple:-) }

One of the reasons for the family to join us in Wisconsin was to help celebrate Bob's folks 60th wedding anniversary.
We held a dinner at a small hotel ~ all arrangements made from Texas via phone and internet.
I was so happy and relieved that the whole evening turned out just the way we wanted.  Whew!

When they married 60 years ago, Bob's dad was in the Air Force and they married on the base, no wedding dress, no cake, or pictures.
The cake turned out so well, and the topper has some "diamonds" as the 60th is the diamond anniversary.

This is a picture of Bob's dad with his 2 sons and his 5 grandsons and his 6 great grandsons.

The table decor was simple, white flowers and "diamond" picture frames and gemstones scattered.

The whole family, missing is our Laura's husband Tom:-(
What a legacy from 2 people!
4 children
9 grandchildren
9 great grandchildren ~ so far

Our family, missing Tom.

Bob's mom, 1 daughter, 4 granddaughters, and 3 great granddaughters.
Bob's sister, Jan, passed away in 2010 and was missed terribly.

We all did have a wonderful time.  We stayed together at the small hotel and all met in the morning for breakfast before everyone had to travel back home.  No one lives near his folks, the closest are about 5 hours away, so I was so glad that all of the children, grands, and greats were there.

Bob and I put together a DVD highlighting the 60 years and all received a copy as their party favor.

And now the party is over ~ we actually took this on our way to the 60th on our way out of town.

And for reasons that deserve their own blog post, this may be the last BIG FISH picture.

And, totally unrelated to the above trip is this picture.
Early in the summer we met some good friends for a stay at this resort.  It is the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Such a lovely place.
Our guys went to a few golf courses in the area and Robin and I yakked and ate and sat on the beach or at the pool.  Pretty much a perfect vacation in everyone's opinion.

One of the golf courses.

And while they golfed we toured this lovely basilica that we could see from miles away.

And, to close
A few pictures of our Camp Read A Lot

I did do the "camp" again.  The kids read lots of books and earned lots of prizes.  I now have 3 readers and we do have lots of fun doing different activities. 

Sad to say I didn't take many pictures.
But of course swimming is our primary fun, and a close second is playing with oobleck.
We did that a few times, with the addition of shaving cream for a real mess fun time!

One of our activities was making this pizza.
It went with the book Sweet Dream Pie

This is a sugar cookie, strawberry jam, orange coconut, and jelly beans and gumdrops for toppings.

Elizabeth and I made it and it really fooled the boys.  They didn't want to try it with all of those toppings!
Of course it quickly changed when they found out it was sugar.

These next few pics are of a reward night ~ snacks and watching Monsters Inc.
{they seldom watch a movie at my house}

The kids spent the night and all had fun.
{Claire went home with mom and dad after snack:-) }

Such a fun summer, and we ended it celebrating a little girl turning 3!  But that's for another post.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good Bye Summer, Part 1

Hello little blog.
I've missed you.

Lots of fun has happened around here this summer.
Many "grand" adventures and special memories made.

I am too overwhelmed by how much I have to catch up that I won't even try, instead just some snips and snaps of our summer, in no particular order.

Elizabeth is now in the 4th grade.
I don't know why grandchildren grow up so much faster than my own children did.
Anyway ~
Our tradition is to take the grandchildren on an outing for back to school.  We give them a choice of a few different things. 
Every year she chooses to go here.
I will be so sad when this is not the choice.

The lunch is big on cute.
We love it.
I am a big fan of cute.

We did not let her eat this all by herself.  Grandpa and I had some bites and lots was left in the bowl.
This girl does love her dessert though.
{just like grandma}

We had a wonderful time and after a lot of deliberation she choose a new doll.  We give her some money for a treat and she had saved up the rest.  She usually comes home with a new outfit or accessory so this was a treat.
We won't even try to count how many of these dolls she has.
But, I love a little girl that loves dolls and I love that she still loves to play with them.  She also loves the books and AG has lots and lots of stories to go along with the dolls.
Doll + Books = Happy Girl and Grandma:-)

Our youngest grandson turned 5 in August.
The party at grandma's was Minecraft.
I don't even know what that is and so you see there is not much in the decor department.  I guess it's a game on the iPad and it's AWESOME!
{according to the grand boys}

Happy 5 Jackson!
We sure do love you!

The boys' back to school outing was at Legoland.  Just like Elizabeth they have picked this every year.
This was our 3rd time as Ben and Cooper are entering 2nd grade.
Jackson is in preschool again.

Waiting in line wasn't fun.
{none of my 4 boys are good at waiting:-)}

But Cooper volunteered to help make legos {gray shirt}
Such fun.

There are only a few rides at Legoland.  This is the swing.

Last year Jackson wouldn't go on it so this was big for him.

They have these little cars that the kids drive around.  

Grandpa and the boys building a giant tower for the earthquake table.
Great fun and quite serious.
The other really fun activity at Legoland are the 3D movies.  I think we saw 4? of them.  They are pretty short, but the boys love them.  My favorite part is that the boys always look for the seats with lots of water.  They want to sit where the action is!
This means you will get sprayed during the show.
{Grandma sits in the row behind them:-)}

And, lastly, for this post, is a picture of Bob's new car.
We have finally made it to the 21st century and have a car with a DVD player.
Oh my, the grands love it.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Around the House

When we bought our house in 2007 this is what it looked like.
I thought it had such curb appeal and loved that slanted roof over the front entry.

This was last week.

Where's the house?

The Bradford Pears have gone crazy.  
Now, I like Bradfords, for about a week in the spring when they bloom, although for some reason our blooms don't last nearly as long as some on our street.  But they are a weak tree and only last about 20 years.  

I took this picture this year, because I knew its days were numbered.

For you see, under the tree there is no grass.  It is getting worse every year.  And the worst part is the dirt from the yard washes down to the sidewalk, and so everyone who comes to my front door has to dodge the mud on the sidewalk.

This is the other Bradford, which we kept.  It just got a serious haircut.

Bye Bye 

Why, hello house:-)

Although I will admit it was hard to watch the tree come down.  At least we have a lot of wood for fires in the backyard.

Most of the shrubs were either not favorites, or very overgrown and the grass was all weeds or dirt.

Now after a hard week of work we have this:
(we didn't do a lick of the work)

Almost all new shrubs and new sod.

A little color hanging from the tree.

A new bed was added by the street and it's so nice to have a little color out front.

The only work I did was to plant my 2 front pots. 
I always put ferns out front, and then spend the summer sweeping the front porch of all the little dead fern leaves.  I decided this year to try little boxwood balls and ivy.  The hope is that they will actually grow and live for more than a year.

That's one more big job off the retirement list!

But it continues...