Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas with dinner and caroling on Christmas Eve with George's family and the missionaries.  A quiet Christmas Day with a couple of afternoon stops and caroling to a couple more friends with Levi & Natalie.  We visited Marjorie Brown at the nursing home.  I've been visiting teaching her for about 10 years.  I think I've only missed seeing her one Christmas (either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day).  This year she was not well and was in her bed complaining of back trouble.  I believe Levi & Natalie's caroling really cheered her up.  

On Friday our whole family gathered at the Best Western in Lafayette.  In lieu of gifts this year - we had a holiday.  The Best Western has an indoor waterpark really geared for the young ones.  We feasted in the evening at the Pizza Hut buffet and it was amazing how well things went.  We have to give credit to older grandchildren like Courtney, Hal, and Tyler who assisted the little ones during many of the weekend activities including meals.  Harry said a man had been watching as the grandkids came and went from the buffet and he approached Harry to tell him how well-behaved all the children were.  Harry pointed out that they all had wonderful mothers and fathers, to which the man replied - "They make you look good."

Saturday was another highlight with dinner at Wesley Manor where my mother lives in a duplex.  We went to the main building there and had a lunch served in a big room in the basement.  Our family, my mother, and my sister's entire family (including my brother-in-law's father from South Bend), enjoyed a great dinner together, much game-playing, and some singing around the piano.  As the elder George S. would have said, "A good time was had by all."

Sunday, November 30, 2008


All children, grandchildren, and Uncle John present and accounted for and we made it -  one long table in the basement (24 + 2 babies).  As in years past - the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day is the designated day for our gathering.  Fond remembrances of Grandma Hazel and the many years she pulled together a Thanksgiving feast.  Then as the years passed, it was dinner at Marguerita's restaurant in Rochester.  I marveled that Grandma put those dinners together for so many years without seeming to bat an eyelash, but I do understand the hard work and effort that went into those many dinners -- and she didn't use paper plates!!

Weather was beautiful and I have no pictures to prove it, but do have the black dirt around the house to show that the favorite grandkid activity was playing King of the Hill on the black dirt mound.  Everyone's shoes (and socks) were likely ruined.  

Grandpa was nostalgic as everyone drove away and commented that it was a perfect time watching the cousins play together and just having everyone here.  

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trunk or Treat

We enjoyed a Halloween Eve at the church trunk or treat party.  It was a 3 Ward combined activity so there was a good turnout.  I'd prepared 65 treat bags and ran out, so there were a lot of kids.  Some photos of our gang at the festivities.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesdays with Sammy

I've had a great time the past few weeks.  Tuesdays have been my time with Sammy.  Levi & Natalie have been in swimming lessons and for a couple hours Sam and I have done our own thing.  Sometimes we hiked the Mall and rode the carousel, many times we came home and rode the golf cart around the yard, once in awhile we went grocery shopping.  Today Grandpa stayed home and we had Sam together.  He braved the 39 degree weather and took Sam on the golf cart while I fixed lunch.  A good sign that Sam is growing up - he sits still and likes to read a book.  Here is Grandpa reading a story to Sam.

Pumpkin Carving

Family Home Evening last night with George & Anna  - pumpkin carving.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Big Loss

It's time to document some serious weight loss on Harry's part.  I've managed to shed a few pounds, but Harry's downturn has been remarkable.  Thanks to daughter, Amy, we were introduced to the "Eat to Live" diet (or as everyone calls their current diet - our lifestyle change) based on the book by the same name by Joel Fuhrman.  We did learn that we can go off the diet now and then and not suffer drastic weight gain if we maintain the diet most of the time.  We had hot dogs (turkey) and s'mores with the grandkids Friday night and no significant weight gain.  In fact, Harry hit his all-time low at weigh-in this morning.  I don't think he'd mind my telling statistics for him.  He started at 260 on July 12 when he began living the "green life".  His cholesterol was high.  He weighed in at 212 this morning and after less than a month on the diet, his cholesterol was all within normal or good ranges.  

Amy gave us a 1-page Do's & Don'ts and we've followed that pretty much, though we bought the book and have gotten some guidance from it.   Her 1-pager is shown at the right.

Here are the before and after pictures:

Today and May 2008 - New goal...  200!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Harry and His Bees - Winter is Coming!

I may have forgotten to mention in the posts that Harry is now a beekeeper.  He took a course last January and started the process of building his hive.  He got his bees in May and began his official hobby of  beekeeping.  Some time in late June or July the bees swarmed.  He worried at first but was assured from the supplier of his bees that this was a good thing.  He collected the bees that had nested on the ground near his old hive and put them into a box for safe keeping, then ordered another hive that came in a couple days and managed to get them into the hive.  He now has 2 active hives.  No honey for us this year - the bees need all they produce to get them through this first winter.  Perhaps next year!

Here are recent photos of Harry with his colonies.  He's helping get them ready for winter.

A Visit to Chuck & Amy's New Place

We visited Chuck & Amy about a week ago as they were moving to the country.  The kids are excited about their new surroundings and it looks like "kitten" will adapt after she learns not to dash into the house every time the door opens.  She is now an outdoor cat and expected to do her duty catching mice.  

Amy reports that they are very happy in their new place after a week of unpacking and getting things in order.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All in a Day's Work

The yard is beginning to fill up with trees.  I'm sure the last owner was happy to have free-sailing when mowing, but we are tree lovers and Harry keeps doing his bit to add more of them all the time.  Last Saturday he planted a row of flowering pear trees along the driveway.  It does a nice job of framing the yard and he did an excellent job lining them up.  It's hard to see Fall and Winter coming and the end of another growing season.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Nauvoo - Pat & Amber Sealed

August 30 in the Nauvoo Temple, Pat and Amber were sealed and Griffin was sealed to them. Many of the family came for the weekend including Dewey & Susan, Chuck & Amy & kids, Harry & Teresa & kids and us. We all attended Sunday church in Nauvoo, then had a picnic lunch near the Visitor's Center before heading to Harry & Teresa's for Labor Day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Birthdays! Birthdays! Surprise!!!

Our chef knows how to do all the tricks and our waitress gives Levi a big hug.

A special birthday dessert - a sundae with a sparkler in it.
Thurmans all the way from Alabama.  Joe meets Griffin.

Becca outdid herself with the cake and George designed a book for letters.
The new babies in the family
Anna's Mom & Dad came to lend a hand with all the work and grandkids.  Wonderful friends!

It was an eventful weekend with a major '60' birthday surprise party for Harry.  Our kids took it on from start to finish and invited a few friends and fixed lots of good food.  He thought he was going to a birthday party for grandson, Levi whose birthday is the day after Harry's so there was no thought that it was anything other than that.  When he walked in and saw some of his friends singing Happy Birthday that was his first clue.  We were very surprised to have our old friends the Thurmans make the trip all the way up from Alabama for the occasion.  The kids arranged for a family photo after the party.  All-in-all the best of times!  

Last night we compensated for the fact that it wasn't a birthday party for Levi and took him out to the Japanese restaurant for his birthday (a day late).  He had a great time watching the cooking and trying new foods and chopsticks.