- 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!
I made tacos for Jerry and me last evening for supper. We do love tacos! I forgot to take a picture of an actual taco before we ate them! Sorry! This lazy Susan with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and meat mixture in the center is just right since there are only two of us now.
I’ll never forget the first time my family had tacos for supper. We were in Portland, Oregon, visiting my sister, Lorraine, and her beautiful family. There were six in each of our families. This would have been in the late 60’s. Bob, brother-in-law, suggested we have tacos for supper. My family hardly knew what a taco was! It sounded Mexican. But we were game! As I recall everyone, old enough, helped out. Grating the cheese was the biggest job… We warmed the shells for just a couple of minutes, then filled them with seasoned ground beef, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. Oh boy, were they good!
Tacos became a favorite of my family. Everyone pitched in to help with preparation, especially grating the cheese! We never ended up with the right amount of cheese, somehow it got eaten as it was being grated!
One year at our family camp, Pam, our oldest daughter, had her first boyfriend, Lyle. She asked if he could come for supper, one day. Sure, he was a very nice young man. Lyle and Pam were both young teenagers, and what a coincidence, my very first boyfriend was also named Lyle! We decided to have a family favorite, tacos! I worked hard making sure everything was just right. I grated the cheese myself and made sure we had a large bowl of it. We ate outside under our camper awning. I stepped inside the camper to get something and when I came out, I was shocked! The cheese was on the ground! I was mad…okay, I was upset. I said, “WHO SPILLED THE CHEESE?” No one said a word, they just looked at me, like they wished I would keep still! Then Lyle spoke up and said he was so sorry, the bowl just slipped out of his hands! Oh, I felt so bad and so embarrassed. We salvaged as much as we could. I apologized for getting upset. It could have happened to anyone. As I recall we ended up with just enough for everyone to put some in their tacos. Years later, I saw Lyle at family camp again. This time, he was there with his wife and two young children! We talked and laughed about that fateful day, so many years ago!
Years later, Jerry and I went to Mexico, two years in a row. We worked at Rancho Betania, a Free Methodist camp, near Santa Ana, Sonora, Mexico. We were there about two weeks both years. We had a great time. One highlight was going to town for Tacos! We’d been advised to be careful what we bought to eat whenever we went to town. But this little restaurant we were told was an ‘okay’ place to eat! We all went as a group. The owners knew we were coming. Oh my! I’ve never eaten such delicious tacos in my life! What a wonderful memory!
Once in a while we go to a Mexican restaurant here but the tacos we prefer are the ones we have at home, made by me! By the way, I now buy grated cheese, no more grating cheese by hand and eating half of it! What wonderful memories of a simple, but delicious meal!
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!
Yes, I was born on Halloween day. When I was a little girl I dressed up like a witch every year for trick or treating! How could I be anything else? While my siblings were fidgeting, wondering how they should dress up, I was quietly making my tall, pointed, black hat, finishing off my costume of all black clothes, and Mother’s broom!
The only problem with having my birthday on Halloween, as I saw it, was that my siblings didn’t care about a birthday, they only wanted to go trick or treating! And that’s all I wanted to do too. I don’t remember ever having a birthday party. But we sure had fun and we got lots of candy!
Then I grew up and got married. At that time, in Jerry’s family, a party was held for each one on their birthday. So for my birthday, I made a birthday cake, and everyone came over from the oldest- Grandma, to the youngest- baby, Marilyn. The thing I remember most about that party was that my cake wasn’t big enough!
So the years have gone by. Our family grew and our kids loved to go trick or treating. I remember one year, 1970, we had a Halloween party and invited our neighbors and friends. It was a lot of fun. Everyone, including parents, wore Halloween costumes. We played all the common Halloween games: bobbing for apples, counting the pumpkin seeds. In this picture, Carolee is trying to eat a donut hanging from a string! We even had a small ghost house! I can’t remember all the games we played, but it sure was fun! One of the mothers, knowing it was my birthday, baked a birthday cake for me! Surprise!!! It was decorated like a jack-o-lantern!
I’ve continued to have birthdays and Halloween has also continued. We live in a woods with a long driveway today so we don’t even get any trick or treater’s. Jerry always takes me out for my birthday supper.
Three years ago I had an unforgettable birthday! I turned 74! Yes, it was Halloween, but we were on the Norwegian cruise ship, Pride of America, cruising the Hawaiian Islands! What a special birthday! Jerry and I were with Pam and Gene, daughter and son-in-law. They celebrated their anniversary! Kay, second cousin, was, also, with us. What a fantastic time we had!
Two years ago, I had another fantastic birthday! I turned 75 and we went to Iowa to visit my Iowa cousins! It wasn’t a birthday trip. It just turned out to be the best weekend for all of us concerned! Tim, our Canadian son, came down to visit us. We traveled to Chicago where Pam and Gene, daughter and son-in-law, joined us and we all traveled to Iowa to visit our cousins. It happened to be on my birthday. I had requested to, please, keep still about it being my birthday. Well, the first thing that took place was Leroy, my most favorite cousin in the whole wide world, bringing out a huge cloth bag and handing it to me, with a huge smile on his face!
I looked at Jerry and Pam. They both looked as surprised as I did! I slowly opened the bag and inside was a BEAUTIFUL AMISH QUILT! Leroy! Carolyn! Rose of Sharon quilt, hand-stitched by Amish ladies! Carolyn said she knew it was my birthday because of facebook!
Well, that wasn’t the end of my birthday! That evening we went to an Amish dinner! Oh, my! Other cousins joined us! The only lights were kerosene lamps. My birthday dinner plate! Everything was so delicious! My beautiful birthday cake made by one of the Amish ladies!
So, today I’m planning on a normal Halloween birthday! Jerry will take me out for dinner. I’ve already gotten some phone calls from some of our kids. The mailman must have chuckled when he delivered my birthday cards today! They were addressed to Grandma in various ways!
So begins another year in the life of me! I don’t feel 77! I don’t think I look 77! I know I don’t act 77! I am blessed!
Happy Anniversary, Pam and Gene. You were married in 1982! Thirty-three years ago! It doesn’t seem possible! Grandpa, my dad, married you! It was a very happy day! In a couple of days now, you’ll be on a cruise! I’m so happy for you!
Thank You, Lord, for Pam and Gene and their happy marriage. Please keep them well and safe. Keep them living close to You. Life moves on and gets very busy. Please keep them close to each other and close to You. I love Pam and Gene so much and You love them even more.
Pam and Gene, daughter and son-in-law, came to visit for the weekend. They said they wanted to work! Sooooo, Jerry rented a brush hog. Oh boy, did they work! I didn’t know what a brush hog was or what it even looked like! It eats brush! We have a split rail fence across our property, but it wasn’t even in sight, the brush had grown up so much. Yes, there’s a fence in there! I told you there’s a fence in there! Gene is working so hard, the brush hog is eating all the brush! You can’t see it but Gene is pushing it through. Pam worked hard too. This picture isn’t fair to how hard she worked! Even Jerry had to help! Just look at the difference! They deserve to sit and rest!