Monday, May 23, 2016

Let Them Eat Cake

Eat cake we did! Happy 90th Birthday Mom! We went to Chicago this weekend to celebrate and gather as a huge family and lots of friends to honor my Mom's special day.  Not only cake was consumed but every food imaginable from chicken to cotton candy!
The tables were set.
The jumpie house ready...what, you don't think 90 year olds enjoy a good time jumping?
Popcorn, snowcones, and cotton candy machine all ready.
Tributes.
The best candy bar birthday card made for Mom by Donna..it was a big hit. Mom couldn't wait to show it to everyone and read it.  Thanks so much Donna!
Cousins meeting up after a few years apart.  Picking up where they left off without missing a beat. (lft to rt...Jack, Craig, Bill)
All four of my brothers coming in from all over the map...well, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Florida! (from lft to rt..Ricky..the youngest, Jimmy #3, Greg #2, Phil #1...that's brother birth order, not ranking!)
Lots of twirling! My niece's daughter, Ella..or as we call her "Ella Bean".
We know that silly face...Jack!
Chubbs had to make friends with everyone.
Let's not forget our guest of honor....Mom!
You're never to old to eat cotton candy...
Or cake!
After you blow out the candles of course.
Open up presents...like a letter from the Pope and a special Rosary blessed by Him.  That was very special to Mom.
Lots of photos from Mom's life and the bouquets with pictures of her children (6), Grandchildren (16), and Great-Grandchilren (31..with 32nd one due in Sep!)
You might wonder why I put this photo in.  My brother got my Mom an apple tree for her birthday.  A strange gift? Not at all.  We always had apple trees.  Over the years they died due to storms and such.  My Mom makes the most delicious apple pie and what we call "apple slices"...it's like pie only made in an 11x16 sheet pan.  Anyway, Rick thought this all out and picked out a Jonathon apple tree for a few reasons.  First, Jonathons are great for cooking.  Second, my Sister's youngest son, Jonothan, was killed in a car accident when he was 18 (in 2004).  So, to include him in Mom's celebration and to honor her baking skills and to replace the trees that were gone, he planted this tree.  The tree in the pic is leaning against the outdoor oven waiting to be planted.  When I looked at this shot, the sun was shining down right on it and it's encircled by a pink light.  Camera and lighting tricks....maybe...or maybe not.  Perfect gift.  The weekend was perfect from the weather, to the guests, to the family, to wonderful feeling of gathering and celebrating.  Every day is a gift and to have lived a life full of good days, sad days, incredible days, life changing days, and just plain ordinary days that make up an extraordinary life if amazing.  I have never won a lottery and probably never will.  But I did win the lottery of an awesome family...for that I'll always be grateful.  Love you Mom!
This was a long post so I'll leave with the thank you gifts for the guests...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Snow Way

I never thought I would be blogging about snow on May 15th.  This morning we had to go to Tallmadge (near Akron) for a Church conference.   On the way home it started to rain/snow.  If you blow up this pic I clicked with my phone you can see the white stuff against the red car. It didn't last long but it's been a chilly, wet weekend and I'm glad I pulled in some flowers I had planted in decorative planters for Mom's party next week. 
It cleared up this afternoon and I took a quick walk and thought I'd better capture what color we have since another 30de night is in store for us.
My only Azalea is looking good despite the chilly temps.
It contrasts nicely with the Dogwood, green hostas, and our white house.
These dogwoods are losing blossoms and getting the green on.
Snowball bushes (appropriate for the day).  They remind me of those coconut hostess cakes!
Put them together with the Azaleas and you have a nice bouquet.
 This guy was in my locker the other day..minus the flowers of course.  My coworker, Kim, gave him to me as a thank you for switching call. After planting him I do smile every time I see his "hat of petunias" !  Hopefully it will be able to be outdoors one of these days.  I'm sure he's thinking  "Whoooooo ordered this weather?"
All I can say is "Snow way, it wasn't me!"

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mother's Day And Happy Birthday Phil

I had a wonderful Mother's day yesterday.  3 of my 4 boys stopped over for lunch. I heard from Craig in Portland via phone and also a lovely gift in the mail on Friday. Thanks Craig and Amy! Sure wish you all could have been here.  Jordan said he was bringing food for a cookout and he even cooked it!
He's pretty handy on the grill!
Phil and Jackie sat around with us chatting and story telling..fun times!
The food was super delish! Thanks Jord!
Chubbs loved the few tidbits  he managed to sneak away with....Eddy the Boxer was home with an eye problem.  He's doing fine but sometimes he manages to get too worked up and Jordan was afraid he'd hurt that eye.  Thanks boys for all the lovely gift cards to Southwest.  I'll put them to good use when we head out to Portland sometime this year. I also want to shout out to my lovely Mom.  I'm so grateful to still have her in my life and I love calling her and chatting and still getting advice when I need it.
I can't wait to see her and family in 2 weeks when we celebrate her 90th birthday!
I found this old pic of us sitting in her backyard...I'm betting she would love to be able to hunker down in the grass like that now! I know I'd love to be able to hunker down in my old "daisy dukes"! Ha! Happy Mother's Day Mom! You're the best!
Besides it being Mother's Day and all, I had the privilege of birthing a Mother's Day baby!  Happy Birthday Phil! You are a great kiddo and gave us tons of laughs and also a few gray hairs! You sure have grown up to be a wonderful Dad to your girls and always at our place willing to give a hand where ever we need it...or bug you about computer, phone, tv and car issues! Thanks for always being so loving! We love you!
That face is a double of your little Addy! May the force be with you!
You're a super Dad to these cuties....Hope your day is great!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

So It Begins...With Lexi!

Today our sweet Lexi-Lou turns 10..hard to imagine so much time has gone by.  But life's that way isn't it?  Time waits for no man or girl and soon you're in the double digits for the duration...unless you happen to hit the triple digits but I don't think I'll be around to capture the moment!  May is a big birthday month in our family with Lex today, her Daddy (Phil) on Monday, another Grandkiddo Katie on Thursday, another Grandkiddo, Summer on the 21st...and my Mom who'll be 90 on the 17th. Whew! Throw in Mother's day and you have a full month of celebrating.  But that's the best part of life...the celebrations and happy days.  Here's a few moments from Lexi's party last night.  We have a wonderful place called the Kroc Center.  It's the headquarters for Ashland's Salvation Army.  It has meeting rooms, gyms, laser tag and rollerskating and classrooms for after school day care and an outdoor water spray park and playground.  It's a great place to rent for parties.  The kids had a blast!
We walked into the party area to find a bunch of alien looking pods with kids inside of them rolling around and loving every minute!
We found our birthday girl inside one!
These are really a lot of fun for the kids.
Throw in a "jumpie house" and it's a party for sure!
The room was all set up for the gang.
Time for pizza and goodies to feed the hungry mob!
Present time!
She had giant donuts instead of a traditional cake.  She had to pull all her long hair back so no fire accidents!
She had a bit of a hard time with the candle part...they kept relighting! The kids laughed every time they came back on...poor Lexi! (She laughed too and loved it!)
Her sister, PawPaw, and Daddy enjoyed the evening too! And so did I.
Happy Birthday Lexi! We love you!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

In The Pink

Even though today would best be described as "gloomy", the colors around here are more "in the pink".
The crabapple tree survived the snow..
The blossoms are not only pretty, they smell divine! (I wish I had "smell-a-blog).
This is our other crabapple and it too looks really lovely...even with gray skies.  The rest of the foliage is greening up.  Our temps this week have been cool, 40's and 50's, but that's OK...we're tough up North!  This month has flown by and I haven't posted very often.  Not too much happening around here except:
We have a bit of a water problem near the driveway entrance and some new tiles were put in with the hope that rain water will flow into the big drain near the road.  The jury is still out on that one.  We're not planting new grass until we're sure no more digging will be necessary. 
Our next door neighbor put her home and land on sale a few weeks ago and it sold pretty quickly. I suppose it wasn't any of my blog buddies that bought it, was it?  It's a pretty place with 5 acres, inground pool, sweet barn and fenced pasture and the nicest neighbors who will stop over with a plate of homemade cookies...just sayin!
Red winged black birds are back..I wonder if this is our old friend Sam who visited us regularly last Spring?
Last, but not least, I'll end with some more pink...or lilac color.  The lilacs didn't do very good this year but I managed to cut a bouquet last night. Again, some smell-a-blog would be nice...they are some of my favorite flowers and I hope to snag a few more bouquets before they are all gone.  May is here this weekend and I might get brave and plant some flowers....I need to see more than pink!