The Beauty Around Us

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Posts tagged ‘At Family Member’s Home’

Maine Vacation: Edgecomb ME to Utica NY

We departed Pioneer Motel shortly after 6:00 am this morning, on our way home.

Our first stop was for breakfast at McDonald’s in Bath, ME.  We had our customary bacon, egg and cheese bagel and sausage burritos meals.

Our second stop was at Cynthia and Larry’s house in Amherst, NH.  Cynthia is Bob’s sister.  We arrived at 10:45 am and left shortly after 2:00 pm.  We enjoyed good conversation and a delicious lunch. 

Our Lunch at Cynthia and Larry’s House

Our lunch was steak-lamb-turkey kabobs with potato salad and smoked bay scallops in a salad.  Dessert was brownies and lemon/raspberry bars.  Thank you, Cynthia and Larry, for the wonderful meal!

Shortly before we left to continue our drive home, I took a family picture.

The four of us and Weezie

We stopped for the night in Utica, NY at Red Roof Inn.   It was 7:45 pm, more than enough hours on the go!  After checking in, we drove to the nearby Denny’s Restaurant for dinner.  Shortly before 8:30 pm we returned to Red Roof Inn, where we stayed for rest of the night.

This blog post concludes Day 9 of our 10-day Maine vacation (June 28-July 7, 2019).

– TO BE CONTINUED –

Our Christmas

Our Christmas began on Wednesday, December 23.  We celebrated Christmas with my stepdaughter and two granddaughters on that day.  Stacey and the girls arrived at 2:00 pm. We ate Christmas dinner: turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, carrots, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce and for dessert pumpkin pie, chocolate pudding and chocolate chip cookies.  After dinner, and after the kitchen had been cleaned up, we exchanged Christmas gifts.  Our granddaughters left around 4:15 pm, when their paternal grandmother picked up the girls to take them to church.  Stacey left about an hour later.

It was just Bob and me for Christmas Day.   Bob and I decided not to exchange gifts this year, opting to make our Eureka Springs vacation in September our Christmas present to each other.  We didn’t have a white Christmas.  It wasn’t even a chilly Christmas, as the temperature rose into the 50s.  In the afternoon Bob and I went for a long walk at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown, NY.  We walked three trails.  The orange trail is 1 mile in length; the yellow trail is 2 miles in length; and the blue trail is .5 miles in length. We didn’t follow each trail individually, so we didn’t walk the entire 3 ½ miles in trail. It would be reasonable, though, to say we walked more than 2 miles, probably close to 3 miles!

Bob and I on one of the trails at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary

We ate Christmas dinner at Variety Buffet, a local Chinese restaurant that we have eaten at the past couple Christmases.

Bob and I celebrated Christmas with my brother and family at his house the day after Christmas.  We left Warren at 10:00 am and arrived in Cadogan around 12:30 pm. Our nephew, Jared, and his wife Sara and their daughter Kyla had arrived earlier in the day.  I had plenty of Kyla time (and time with Sara and Jared) before the arrival of Judy’s brother, Donald, and his wife Gina and Judy’s mother, Lois, and our nephew, Michael, and his wife Kailey and their children Kaleb and Anna.

We ate dinner at 3:00 pm.

Our Christmas dinner included ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with gravy, Amish noodles, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce. For dessert we had a choice of pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll, and brownies. Dinner was served buffet style, with us taking our filled plates into the living room and den to eat. Dinner was delicious.

Gift opening commenced at 4:00 pm.

The last activity before we departed for home was a sock exchange, in which Judy, Gina, Lois, Sara, Kailey and I participated. Each of us filled a pair of fuzzy socks with stocking stuffers, the contents of which were not to exceed $20.00. We sat in a circle holding the socks that we brought. Jared read a Christmas story that I found on the Internet. Every time the word RIGHT was read, everyone passed her gift to the right. Every time the word LEFT was read, gifts were passed to the left. Each person kept the gift held at the end of the story. I give kudos to my sister-in-law, Judy, for suggesting the sock exchange.  We had the best time passing around our socks!

Bob and I left for home around 6:15 pm and returned home around 9:00 pm. It was an enjoyable day. Too bad that our niece, Emily, and her husband Dan and their daughter Elise couldn’t be there with us.  Emily, Dan and Elise live about a 1.000 miles away–a bit too far for a day’s drive!

I put together the following collage of some of the photographs that I took, while at my brother’s house.

 (top row) l-r: Lois and her great granddaughter; Michael and his family
(middle row) l-r: My brother and sister-in-law with their grandchildren; Donald and Gina
(bottom row) l-r: Emily and her family; Jared and his family

There is one picture included in the collage that I didn’t take. I downloaded one of Emily’s Facebook pictures. Dan, Emily and Elise were not with us in person. They were, though, with us in spirit!

————————

It is now the last day of the year 2015.   Happy New Year to each and every one of you.  Here are my wishes for you in the new year:

“Great beginning for January…
Love for February…
Peace for March…
No worries for April…
Fun for May…
Joy for June and July…
Achievements for August…
Harmony for September…
Good fortune for October and November…
Happiness for December…”

~Author Unknown

Day at Camp

Yesterday Bob and I took our granddaughters to my brother and sister-in-law’s camp, located near St. Mary’s, PA. We picked up the girls at their house at 9:00 am. It warmed my heart, when I saw Harper and June sitting on their porch step waiting for us. Stacey said the girls were very excited to go with us to camp.

We arrived at camp around 10:30 am. The drive to camp was uneventful. The girls stayed awake for the entire 1 ½ hour drive and did well entertaining themselves with the books and small toys that were available in a basket between their seats.

Harper and June’s activities at camp included swinging on a tire and on a swing; playing hide ‘n seek and story time with Kaitlyn.  A guy, who has a camp two camps up from Jim and Judy’s camp, had captured recently three rattlesnakes nearby.  I am glad we didn’t come across any rattlesnakes, while at camp! While playing hide ‘n seek, an older girl was with Harper and June at all times just in case they came upon a snake!  Another fun activity was making Styrofoam snowmen.

 

Making Styrofoam snowmen

It was Christmas in July at camp this year.  Dinner, which we didn’t stay for, was going to be turkey and all the trimmings.

A small part of the hill across from camp was decorated for Christmas. My sister-in-law gave Harper and June a reindeer and snowman to take home, when we left camp at the end of our visit.

Oh, and I have to share a dialogue that my great niece, Anna (seen in this photograph helping Harper tie her shoes), and I had.  When Harper and June changed into their swimsuits, Judy gave each of them one of Anna’s shirts to put on as a coverup.  Anna was not around at the time.  Anna noticed Harper’s shirt later in the day.  Here’s how the conversation went between Anna and me.

Anna:  I have a shirt similar to the shirt that Harper is wearing.

Me:  Oh?  How is your shirt different?

Anna (after a short pause):  It doesn’t have a heart on it.

Me:  Do you have a shirt similar to the one that June is wearing?

Anna:  No; I don’t have a purple shirt.

We brought Harper and June’s 3 wheelers with us.  Jim and Judy had a couple 3 wheelers and a ride-on jeep at the camp.

Harper and June and these two boys had a fun time riding round and round.

We didn’t stay for dinner, but we did eat lunch at camp.

This was the children’s table.

Lunch included hot dogs, sausage, butterfly steaks, Buffalo Chicken Dip with chips, raw vegetables, and fruit.

After lunch (and changing into swimwear), we walked down to the creek.

The kids dropped their Styrofoam snowmen into the creek.

Whose snowman would reach the finish line first?

June’s snowman made it to the finish line first!

This was the second year that Bob and I have taken Harper and June to camp.  The girls were much more brave in the water this year than they were last year.

Harper and June braved the cold water and sat down in the creek!

 

Thank you, Amber, for helping me to keep an eye on the girls in the creek!

Another highlight from a day at camp was when Harper and June met a friendly giant.

Harper and June were enamored with Troy.  I think the feeling was mutual.

We left camp around 4:00 pm and dropped off Harper and June at home around 5:30 pm.  The day at camp wore out Harper and June.  The girls slept all the way home!

Three-Year Birthday Celebration

Saturday afternoon Bob and I attended our great niece’s third birthday celebration.  Elise’s birthday party was held at her maternal grandparents’ house from 2:00 pm through 8:00 pm.  The party was well attended by family members, for the most part.

This is our great nephew, Kaleb.  Kaleb is Elise’s cousin.

  When Kaleb and I hugged each other, I told him how tall he is getting.  Kaleb’s response?  “I am 9.”  I guess being 9 years old means you are tall.

This is Elise, the birthday girl.

When I took this picture, Elise’s mother (our niece) was holding her, and Elise was looking back at me.  As soon as I took this picture, Elise became shy.  She laid her head on her mom’s shoulder and looked away from me.

Happy birthday Elise!

In this sequence of pictures, everyone sings “happy birthday” to Elise and then she blows out her candles.  I love Elise’s expression, while everyone is singing happy birthday to her.  She appears to be in awe that everyone is singing to her.  Elise’s smile, after she successfully blows out the birthday candles, is a favorite picture as well.

Eating cupcakes at Elise’s birthday party

Our great niece, Anna (Elise’s cousin), is sitting on the right hand side of the picnic table.

It was a 2-hour drive for Bob and me to attend the party.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, and we didn’t see any wintery precipitation during our drive there and back home.  We arrived shortly before 2:00 pm and stayed for a couple hours.

Happy birthday Elise!  Uncle Bob and I are happy that we were able to celebrate your birthday with you!

Our First Day Trip with our Granddaughters

Bob and I took Harper and June on a day trip to my brother’s camp, located near St. Marys PA.   It was the first day trip that we had taken the girls on.  The girls did very well both in the car during the 1 ½ hour ride each way and while at the camp.

We picked up Harper and June at Grandma Chris’s house at 9:00 am on Thursday, July 10, and arrived at the camp around 10:30 am.  June fell asleep for about 30 minutes, while en route camp. Harper stayed awake the entire time. Both girls did well in the car during the ride to camp.

Soon after arriving at camp, we walked to the creek at the end of the camp road.

Harper, June and I are at the end of the camp road.  I had just removed the girls’ socks and boots.  The girls had gone into the creek, wearing their socks and boots.  The water was deeper than it looked, though, so to avoid getting the insides of their boots wet, I removed Harper and June’s socks and boots.

There were several people at the camp, while we were there. In addition to Jim (my brother) and Judy (Jim’s wife), our niece Emily was there with her daughter Elise.  Emily brought her nephew Kaleb and her niece Anna to camp too.  Friends of the family — John, Amber and Amber’s niece Brooke — were there too.

Everyone had fun playing in the creek!

It was time for lunch, so we walked back to camp.  June held Grampa’s hand.

Harper walked independently back to camp.

We had a picnic lunch, outside, right in front of the camp.  The children had peanut butter sandwiches, while the adults ate cold cut sandwiches. A variety of fruit was available, as well as a pasta salad.  The girls ate pretty well.  Harper pretty much finished what was on her plate. June was picky. She liked what was on my plate more than what was on her own plate. Between what was on June’s plate and my plate, June ate well too.

After lunch, the children played some more.  We brought Harper and June’s trikes to camp.  In addition to the girls’ trikes, there were other riding toys and a tire swing as well. Although I have photographs of only Elise and Harper on the tire swing, all three girls enjoyed swinging on the tire.

Elise on the tire swing

Harper on the tire swing

We departed the camp around 2:00 pm and made it to Harper and June’s house around 3:30 pm. Both girls fell asleep on the way home. Harper was sleeping before we had even left the camp road. She slept all the way home. June slept, too, but she took about 30 minutes before she fell asleep.

It was a great day. I am happy that we were able to take the girls to the camp.

Surprise!

Bob and I went for a motorcycle ride on Saturday, May 24. We had only one destination in mind, when we left home – Lutzs Leather, located a couple hours’ ride south.

We made two stops en route Lutzs Leather. Our first stop was at Fountain Park in Franklin PA to stretch our legs.

The A.G. Egbert Memorial Fountain is the centerpiece of Fountain Park. The fountain was constructed in 1896 in memory of Albert G. Egbert, a local physician and one-time member of Congress.

 

I liked the beauty of this white-blossoming tree.

Our second stop was in Slippery Rock, at Sheetz, to fuel up. Our stop at Lutzs Leather was not long. Bob tried on a couple leather coats and found one he liked. Bob now owns a new leather coat. This coat “breathes”, a feature he is most happy about.

We decided to go from Lutzs Leather to The Chief Bar and Restaurant in Kittanning PA (another hour’s drive) to surprise six of my high school classmates who were meeting there to plan our 40th high school reunion.

Everyone was pleasantly surprised!
With the exception of one classmate, I hadn’t seen the others since high school graduation.

Bob and I not only surprised my high school classmates with a visit, we surprised my brother and his family with a visit. Before leaving The Chief Restaurant, I telephoned Judy to see if she and Jim were home and available to get together. We made plans to meet in a couple hours. With those plans in place, we made arrangement for a night’s stay at the Quality Inn. When we left home, we didn’t know whether or not our day’s journey would include an overnight stay. We packed a change of clothes just in case. Our visit with Jim and Judy lasted a couple of hours. In addition to visiting with Jim and Judy we were able to visit with our niece, Emily, and her daughter Elise, as well as with our great nephew Kaleb and great niece Anna. The eight of us ate a picnic dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, baked beans and fruit salad.

Anna and Elise

Kaleb got to sit on our new motorcycle.
By the way, Bob is wearing the new leather coat that he purchased at Lutzs Leather.

It was a good day. It was great to see everyone!

Two-Year Birthday Celebration

Yesterday afternoon Bob and I attended our great niece’s second birthday celebration.  Elise’s birthday party was held at her maternal grandparents’ house from 2:00 pm through 5:00 pm.   It was a 2-hour drive for Bob and me to attend the party.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, and we didn’t see any wintry precipitation during our drive there and back home.  The party was well attended, and I enjoyed chatting with other attendees.  The highlight of our visit, though, was before the party began. Bob and I arrived 30 minutes early, and I had one-on-one playtime with Elise.

Here is a series of four photographs of Elise that I particularly liked.

Birthday Girl

Elise’s princess crown slipped down.

Elise is such a happy child.  She smiles and laughs all the time.

I’m a Princess

Happy birthday Elise!  Uncle Bob and I are happy that we were able to celebrate your birthday with you!

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