Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving day

Thanksgiving day this year was just as wonderful as alway. :o). After Mass in the morning, we went up to grammae and papa's house for food and fun. First, the fun! I had brought some games along to keep the kids busy in between videos. Sophie and Gemma's favorite was their own version of Connect Four:

This kept them busy for a while. Gemma even played on her own. Marcus took this cute shot:

Mariposa loves puzzles, so we started one and then got some extra help halfway through:

Uncle Shane played Trouble with James:

All the while, the kitchen was buzzing. Fr. Juan is such a good cook, he can stir the gravy and check his iPhone at the same time!

We brought wine, Marcus made crudite and lemon meringue pie, and I made my "famous" jello:

The kids' table:

My very full plate(s)...I don't think I'll post a picture of my very full stomach after I ate all this delicious food.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Today's activities

Gemma woke up sick this morning.

She couldn't even keep down a few sips of sprite. But then she was hungry for breakfast (toast), and then lunch (pbj and pears), and she kept it all down.

So apparently now she is better....

She's a tough cookie.

On a side note, we are having bean soup tonight. Bob's Red Mill black bean, with some veggies and a ham hock. Maybe I'll make a quick cake for dessert.

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School bazaar

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, my in-laws and I had a table at a bazaar! I know, can you believe it? We are so crafty!

It was Meghan's idea, since it was at her kids' school. She was helping with it, and figured between the 4 of us we could come up with enough goodies for a table. She was right...and it was a lot of fun!

We sold hair bows, flower clips, candy, soaps, and baked goods. I made some wine charms, earrings, and 4 decorated mini-trees. It think the trees looked better in person (or at least I hope they did, because this one doesn't look very special in this picture):

All the trees sold so I guess they we ok. We were very pleasantly surprised at how much we sold! We are already planning for next year....

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Trot

Rain or shine, we go to the Hillsboro Parks & Rec Turkey Trot every year.

First was the pre-K race, so that included both Mariposa and Gemma.

Mariposa was off like a shot! She ended up getting 2nd place (girls) which was the best any of our kids have ever done. I think Mariposa must've got all of my recessive genes. (Gemma on the other hand came in last, but she ran the whole half-lap and had a great time.)

James ran in the 1st grade race, a WHOLE lap. That is really long for a little kid! He did great, ran the whole race, and finished in the middle of the pack.

The 3rd graders had to run two laps. Bunny was fantastic, had some great strategic moves, and finished 4th (girls).

Great job, kids!

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My grandpa's funeral

Earlier this month, my dad's dad died after a relatively short bout of old age.

He was in the army in World War 2, came home to work and run a farm, had 4 kids, and was a young widower when his wife died (my dad was the oldest and just a young teen; his youngest sibling about 2 years old).

Years later, he found love again while square dancing. :o). There is a picture of my grandma later in this post.

I took a redeye Sunday night via Seattle and DC, and mom picked me up Monday morning from Detroit. After a short time at my mom and dad's house, we drove up to the viewing. I now see the importance of funerals/ open houses etc. because we saw so many relatives and friends, it was like a reunion. Of course I wish it was for a better reason. But I guess that is why attending weddings and funerals are so important for society, it really is a chance to get together all at one time. Here are my parents and their kids (and some grandkids):

My dad (on the right) and his siblings, Dennis, Carl, and Christine:

A big surprise, an old friend from Alpena, Ryan (now "Dr. Ryan"):

The next day (Tuesday) was the funeral. After the service, we all went in a vehicular procession to the cemetery, where a spot was ready for him next to his first wife. Grandpa's grandsons were the pall bearers (my brother Joe in the front):

And then after the cemetery there was a very nice reception back at the church. The ladies of the church took care of everything. It was a great opportunity to visit and take lots of reunion-type pictures; here is grandma and her grandkids:

None of us really wanted it to end, so we continued the celebration of life by taking a walk around the farm. My dad and his sibs told lots of stories about grandpa, and answered a lot of our questions. It was a beautiful day, really very special.

We came across this old windmill water pump, and of course all the men had to try it out and see if they could get it to work:

I spent the night at my parents' home, with my 3 younger siblings and baby Greyson. On Wednesday we all flew back, they to Colorado and I to Oregon. It was a hard decision for me to fly out to the funeral and leave the kids behind, especially little Gemma. But now I know it was the right decision and I am glad to have gone, and so grateful to Marcus for encouraging me to go and for taking care of everything in my absence.

We will miss you, grandpa.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Egg delivery

6 dozen eggs to our local St. Vincent de Paul! Good work, Bunny!

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday morning with Bunny

Ok, just ONE more old post. This one was just too special to miss.

The day before the fall festival, Bunny and I went in to help with the pumpkin pies. This was a fantastic experience, very simple really but she has such pride in the fact that she made ALL the pumpkin pies for the dinner.

Afterwards we went to the market and got some produce and of course some sweet treats from our favorite bakery. Look at these apples from VanDykes:

We enjoyed a nice lunch of chicken schnitzel sandwiches and fresh cider. Bunny brought her light sabers and had a great time on her own personal stage. :o)

I love you Bunny! You are my special girl!

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Our annual fall beach trip

Last old post of the day, I promise! After today I will post some new ones....

Usually, when people hear "a day at the beach" they think hot, sunny, splashing around while wearing bathing suits, etc. Not so on the Oregon coast. We were just thrilled that the sun was out and it wasn't raining...fantastic weather by Oregon coast standards. Last year there was a big storm and we didn't even get ON the beach, so this year is great! Anyway, the kids had fun even if they did have to bundle up like it was winter...

Only one problem: Gemma was only satisfied with the sand toys for so long. Then she made a habit to take off running towards the water:

Marcus took each of the 3 older kids, one at a time to explore some rocks:

I was left chasing Ding Dong:

Bunny found a nice quiet place for independent play:

And James made use of his time by trying to send Gemma to China. I didn't stop him.

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Fall festival

Another old post....

St. Matthew fall festival! Marcus volunteered to cut meat, and recruited 2 friends, Alan and Pierre:

Mom helped by serving coffee:

After their shifts were done, we all met up to eat!

On the menu: sausage-stuffed pork loin, roast beef, applesauce, cabbage, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pie.

Gemma ordered angel food cake for dessert, how ironic.

It was a beautiful day and the kids enjoyed playing outside.

Bingo was a big hit, too, especially when Marcus won a blackout on the last game of the day!

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