- Enjoy time with each of our five children. It’s only the middle of January and I’ve already accomplished this! Our youngest son, Rob, with his family, was here for the week between Christmas and New Year, 2015. They left January 2, 2016! Our other four children, January 9, 2016, celebrating and surprising Jerry, for his 80th birthday, which is the next day! Pam and Ted on either side of the window. Christy and Tim on either side of Jerry.
- Travel to Iowa with granddaughter’s, Sydney and Bella, to visit LeRoy and Carolyn and their horses!
- Travel to Ireland.
- Travel to Norway.
- Sort books, keeping only precious books!
- Clean out and throw away non-essential ‘things’.
- Remodel downstairs bathroom and reading room, making it one larger bathroom.
- Go to E. Michigan Conference as a delegate.
- Go to E. Michigan family camp.
- Plant flowers in Flower Bed.
- Yard Sale.
- Finish my writing on My Big Brother and send it to him! Accomplished in March!
- More later…!
It’s been a few days of surprises for Jerry! Our Canadian son, Tim and daughter-in-law, Shauna, came as a surprise! I almost spoiled it several times! I caught myself just in time and was able to keep the secret! On Thursday, about 3:30 PM I told Jerry I needed to go to the store to pick up a few items. Instead of going to the store, I drove to the airport to meet Tim and Shauna! When we arrived home I let them out so they could go to the front door. I drove into the garage and went in through the kitchen as normal. Jerry mentioned it took me a long time to buy a few items! Then Tim and Shauna walked up and knocked on the door! In they came! Jerry said he thought he was seeing things! He was thoroughly surprised! It was so fun! They brought a surprise gift to him from a friend, Keith.
This morning, Saturday, we, Tim, Shauna, Jerry, and I went out for breakfast at our favorite restaurant, Lanny’s. When we walked in, there at the far end of the room sat our family! Jerry could hardly believe it! How fun it was! Here we all are! Shauna, me, Bella, Gene, Pam, Ted, Sydney, Christy, Jerry, and Tim! Jerry was so surprised! They had come from Chicago; South Carolina; and Holland, Michigan! They had stayed overnight at a motel so they could be at the restaurant before the four of us got there!
When we got back home it was interesting to see how everyone was enjoying catching up with each other! Bella and Pam are looking at the calendar Sydney had made and given to us for Christmas. Christy and Ted are looking at the book of photos Christy had made and given us for Christmas! Jerry is a bit overwhelmed with everyone here since he didn’t know they were even coming! On the sofa is Bella, Ted, Christy, Sydney, Tim is sitting in a chair talking with Sydney. Bella and Sydney love Papa! They were the only two grandchildren who got to be in on this birthday surprise! Then Christy decided grandchildren couldn’t take her place on Dad’s lap! Two in-laws escaped to the kitchen to chat! Shauna and Gene. Finally, Pam had to escape to the sun room to get some work done. In today’s world, you can take your job with you, wherever you go!
We missed Rob’s family from Georgia but they were here between Christmas and New Year and just couldn’t take the time from jobs and school to make a return trip so we celebrated birthdays while they were here! Haleigh turned 19 on January 8 and Jerry will be 80 on January 10.
FAMILY! The most important and special people in the world!
Camping has always been a favorite activity for our family.
Jerry and I bought our first camper in about 1962. It was a fold-up camper and we loved it! We had two children, Pammy and Teddy. It had two double beds, Jerry made a cupboard for our dishes. I used the top of it for a workspace. When we were traveling the cupboard set on the floor. In this picture Pammy is in the doorway, Teddy is sitting on a rug on the ground.
This was at Higgins Lake Conservation Park in 1964. Timmy was a tiny baby. We also took our camper to our church family camp.
An experience I’ll never forget happened at family camp. Sunday morning, Jerry had taken Pammy and Teddy and gone on to the big tabernacle for church. He carefully zipped the flaps down before they left. I was in the camper, not dressed yet, nursing baby Timmy. All of a sudden the flaps on the camper unzipped and flew up. A man stuck his head inside! As he looked around he said, “I’ve always wondered what one of these looked like on the inside!” There I sat, in my nightgown, nursing my baby! He zipped the flaps back down and went on his way! I had no idea who he was! What a shock!
But we have so many good memories of our fold-up camper! However, with our growing family we decided we needed something bigger.
So we bought a 17-foot used trailer. Bunk beds in the back for the kids, a kitchen in the middle, Jerry and I slept on the sofa in the front. Yes, we had more room but we didn’t have the feel of camping!
Next was our Gem pick-up camper. We bought it brand new. But the truck was old! These two pictures are also old, but I want to show how we loved camping as a family! The second picture shows Teddy, Pammy, and Christy, backwards in her stroller! The kids slept on the bed above the cab, and Jerry and I slept on the table which made into a bed! This was in about 1969. It was crowded but we were happy. The picture above was about 1970, from left is Teddy, Christy is sitting on my lap, Timmy, and if you look closely, Pammy is looking out of the camper window above the truck cab! In 1976, we bought a different truck and traveled all over with our Gem, clear out to the Pacific Ocean! We had another baby, Robby! Sometimes we just went to Higgins Lake State Park and every year we went to our family camp. As the kids got older they slept in a tent, so Jerry and I moved up to the bed. We just loved camping. The top picture here is at the Black Hills National Park in South Dakota. The lower picture is at the Pacific Ocean at Cannon Beach, Oregon, in 1976. Jerry drove our truck right down the beach! Timmy and Christy are standing beside the truck.
In 1990, we bought our Shadow Cruiser, fifth wheel trailer. It was also brand new and we loved it! In fact, we still have it! Yes, we still have it!
Rob, our youngest son and Jerry, relaxing after setting up camp!
We went to Iowa to Aunt Bessie’s 100th birthday party. Several others in our family had also gone. We actually fed 11 people dinner inside our 5th wheel camper! Looking from left: son, Tim; Jerry; Mother; Dad; grandson, Matthew. The rest of us are there, just not visible!
Sometimes grandchildren stayed at family camp with us! Here is granddaughter, Sydney, relaxing by her tent! Just look at the map on the side of the camper! Our Shadow Cruiser took us all over North America! Sadly, we missed Alaska and the northeastern states. We’ve actually been to all 50 states…just not with our Shadow Cruiser! But we came close!
Oh, what wonderful memories! We love our Shadow Cruiser, home away from home!
This year, 2015, is the first year we’ve not gone anywhere with our camper! We didn’t even go to our wonderful family camp at Covenant Hills Camp. We used it as an extra bedroom for guests a couple of times in the summer. That was a relief when we had a house full!
What wonderful, fun, loving memories we have of camping and traveling!
Happy Birthday, Ted! Oh, how the years slip by! But, my memory of this day, fifty-four years ago, hasn’t faded one bit! You were my second baby but my first-born son! You were my smallest baby of all five, at only six pounds and five ounces. You have grown to be my tallest, at six feet!
Another memory I have, not of the day you were born, but of the day you and I were to go home from the hospital, was of me becoming very sick with the flu! Back then, mothers and babies stayed in the hospital for five days. On that fifth day I became so sick I was transferred to a private room! I couldn’t have you with me even to nurse you! I cried and cried! Finally on the seventh day, late in the afternoon, I was permitted to go home, if I would stay in bed and rest! Grandma, my mother, had come to stay with us so your daddy assured the doctor we would both be well taken care of!
The rest is history!
Heavenly Father, thank You, for Ted! Please watch over him. He’s so busy working and raising our granddaughters. Please keep him well and safe and trusting in You. He’s a fine man, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, and neighbor. I love Ted so much, and You love him even more!
Goodbyes are so hard. We’ve had so many lately. Christy, Mason, Maddie came on Tuesday, surprising us by bringing Elmise and Armon, children of Rob & Jessica. They left today after dinner today. Tim and Shauna came on Thursday about six and will stay until next Friday. Pam and Gene came on Friday at noon and left today after dinner. Ted, Sydney, and Isabella came today! They arrived while we were all at church. Ted left today, but Sydney and Bella will stay until next weekend when Ted comes back to get them! Here are the grown-ups having dinner together. Jerry, Shauna, Tim, Ted, Gene, Pam, and Christy. We let the kids fill their plates and go outside to eat!
We had a very good week and weekend with some of our children and grandchildren. But today while some more came, some had to leave. So we had to say goodbye. These are the grandchildren, four are leaving and two have just arrived! Sydney-16, Maddie-8, Elmise-13, Bella-13, Mason-13, Arman-10.
Ashlynn and Elmise, Good friends. Goodbyes are hard.
I, like so many Americans, have so much to be thankful for. And, like so many Americans, I take so much for granted. I don’t mean to, but it’s true. Our Thanksgiving dinner today was, roast turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, glazed carrots, sweet potatoes, baked beans, rolls and butter, salad and pumpkin pie. There was so much we couldn’t fit it all on the dining room table. This first picture shows some of the food on a folding table off to one side of the dining room. Everything turned out so good.
I need to back up here. Shortly before dinner was ready, two friends stopped over, Lily Kong, our Chinese friend. We love her so much and her boyfriend, Kevin. But Kevin is in China now. Lily brought a friend with her today. This is a picture of our granddaughter, Sydney, Lilly and Cherry Chen. But they were headed to Chicago and needed to be on their way so they couldn’t stay for dinner. We’re glad they stopped by. They even brought us gifts of candy! Yummm!
Back to our Thanksgiving dinner. It takes hours to prepare dinner and about a half hour to eat dinner! Then comes the clean up! Jessica, my daughter-in-law, insisted I leave the dining room and kitchen, go to the living room, sit down or lie down while she cleaned up the mess!
I actually laid down on the sofa and took a nap! But I must give credit here to some others as well. Rob cleaned the turkey off the carcass and even took the carcass out to the garbage can. Haleigh, Sydney, Elmise and Bella helped clean up the kitchen! Jessica deserves the most credit for washing the dishes and cleaning everything up. When I woke up from my nap, a cup of coffee was sitting beside me! What a family I have!
After watching a movie the girls split up. Sydney went home with Haleigh for the night. Elmise stayed here with Bella for the night!
Happy Birthday, Ted!
You were my second born baby, my first-born son. Three more babies followed making up our family of seven. That was a long time ago. You’re now a father to your own daughters. I’m so glad we got to spend a little time together last week on our way home from our trip to Iowa. Supper together is always good! I hope you had a good day today. I wish for you a very happy birthday!
Heavenly Father, thank You for Ted. He’s a fine Christian man. Please watch over him as he works, drives, plays, fathers his daughters. He’s a great father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend and neighbor. Please draw him close to You and help him to be the strong spiritual father to Sydney and Bella that You want him to be. I love Ted so much and You love him even more!