Saturday, July 30, 2016

They let us travel with them

 Tyler and Karen headed home to Vancouver, WA yesterday morning about 5:30 am.

One last walk out of the only childhood home Tyler knows.

Thank you Karen and Tyler for being in route for 17 hours all in one day with 3 little kids, 
including a nursing baby, so that we could spend 2 weeks with you. 

And then they were gone.

But....we got to travel with them through texting. 

Den and I were in bed last night and all was dark and quiet when he suddenly started laughing.
"What are you laughing about??" 
"You have your cell phone with you."
"Lots of people sleep with their phones."
"But not you."

He's right, I don't.
But I could not go to sleep last night until I received this:

Actually I had my last text all ready to go so all I had to do was press "send" in the dark 
as soon as she said they were home....about 11pm.

Then all seemed right with the world. 

But, we sure do miss them.

PS  Just in case you noticed above, Elora took my phone one day 
and put those little footballs near Grandpa Dennis' name. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

They are the hardest part about moving

Tell me again why I want to move?? 
is the thought I kept having this week while spending the afternoon 
with the best neighbors we've ever had. And for 26 years!

Heidi, Dee, and Terry
Their daughter Heidi drove over 4 hours to come see Tyler and 
Karen and the house.... and us in it one last time. 

Richie and Leo went crazy for her.

They wore her out and when she went to rest a bit from it all, 
there they were again, all over her.

Love this capture of Karen and Tyler in the background serenading 
their boys and Heidi with Leo's ukulele

If there were a way we could take the Garvins with us and plant 
them next door to our new home we would in a heart beat!

I was sad and down about moving after the Garvins left. I kept 
asking myself....what in the world are we doing?? Yet, I have to 
remind myself that we know this is the right thing to do. Just hard. 

Just hard as I think of .....

watching as our kids played in the cul-de-sac year after year
taking care of each other's kids
the shared birthday parties
those 4th of July twelve hour block parties year after year
watching our kids swim together
all those times Tyler as a little boy knocking on the Garvin's door just to talk to Terry
So grateful for their high morals and standards and the influence they had on my sons
Dee was the first one I called (after 911) as soon as I hung up when Bill 
said to me on the phone, "Call the cops"
their son Brett spending that first night with us comforting McKay and Tyler 
all-night-long after their Dad died
Terry taking over pool maintenance after Bill died and then teaching me how to 
Tyler and McKay knocking on their door Sunday mornings so Terry could fix their ties before church
Heidi made all those teenage parties better with her gift for reaching out to everyone
welcoming Dennis into our lives and neighborhood
Dee coming right over during our 2 ambulance adventures
taking care of our house and Alex the cat when we were out of town
and so many many many more 

Instead of feeling sad, I am trying to feel just grateful for what we have had.
And determined not to let them go. After all, we will only be a mile away.

Years and years ago I found this quote somewhere:
 "We choose our friends, but God chooses our neighbors."

Thanks be to my Father above for the Garvins.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I think he was talking about my Mom

Saturday morning we left these good people long enough to attend a funeral.

Okay, do you see my mom standing there to the right of the bride?

This was way back in 1949, and the bride, Betty, was my Mom's very best friend from 9th grade all 
the way through school and college. 

The funeral was for Marvin, Betty's husband of 67 years. 

Betty and my Mom graduated from Roosevelt High in Fresno in 1947.
Marvin graduated just a year before they did.

So at the funeral the pastor told the story of how Betty and Marvin met.
He said Marvin approached a group of girls and asked if any of them had any money 
so he could buy some ice cream. Betty gave him a dime.

Then Marvin asked Betty if he could take her home. She didn't want to go alone with him "so she 
asked her girlfriend to go with her." I couldn't help but think that girlfriend was probably my Mom.

It was just an odd feeling to be sitting there in that church hearing some about my Mom's life. 
I still have a hard time, all these years later, thinking of her having a life before us. 
But apparently she did.

Mom on right, Betty on left....Who knew Mom had a cell phone in 1947

The picture below is one of my favorite. 1947
Betty is 4th row back on the end, and Mom is standing right next to her.
Not sure, but I think this church is still standing in downtown Fresno.

Just think, all of these people now are 69 years older than they are here in this picture!

The pastor at Marvin's funeral said something that I'm still thinking about.
He said, "It is easier to find lost cash than it is to find a person with a pure heart."

I've been surrounded by people with pure hearts all of my life, beginning with my parents. 

The pastor also said, "Often the light goes unnoticed until it's gone." 

His first quote makes me think how blessed I've been.
His second one tells me how much I've taken for granted.

The last time I saw Marvin and Betty was 4 years ago...
Really, how does one go on after losing someone who has been by her side for 67 years.
I don't know!

Friday, July 22, 2016

They turn three 3,109 miles apart...and Karen's corn recipe

My favorite, and also saddest picture of yesterday.

Scarlett (who is 3 today) was on FaceTime from Boston wishing 
Leo happy birthday (who turned 3 yesterday) 
when she saw Richie (4 1/2) and said to him, 
"Remember when we use to be best friends?"

And Richie answered back, "We are still best friends."

Even though these cousins are now 3,109 miles apart!

So Scarlett turns three today in Boston....

While cousin Leo turned 3 yesterday here in California with us!

(we're a little more casual here in California)

Leo was SO excited to get a Ukulele for his birthday
that when I snuck in their room about 11pm last night
this did not surprise me at all....

but I still laughed and had to show his parents!

I heard Leo say yesterday with such passion
"Today's my birthday. Can I blow the fire?"
That's enough excitement to wear anyone out.

It kind of breaks my Grandma Honey heart Leo and Scarlett 
can't be together and celebrate as they have always done before 
in their short little lives so far.

After all, how many cousins are born within the same 24 hours 
in the same hospital. 

McKenna actually reserved a room across from Karen and then 
their Dads wheeled the babies in together for that picture. 

Leo's birthday dinner....all his favorites: 
Dinosaur Nuggets, fries, and salad. 
(I had low expectations for this dinner, 
but with the added broccoli and corn on the cob and minus the dinosaur nuggets,  
it was actually quite good....) 

Karen's Oven Corn on the Cob:
put 2 pats of butter and salt on each corn cob.
Wrap each cob individually in foil.
Put them all on a cookie sheet and Bake @450' for 20 minutes.

I usually just boil my corn cobs for 10 minutes, but her way tastes surprisingly better!
The foil seems to lock in the flavor, rather than losing some of it in the boiling water. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

It was worth a try but didn't work very well....

It started off with Leo not wanting to sit with the rest of us. 

So Tyler joined him in their booth for two.

Restaurants are just not his thing.

Juliet was not thrilled with the experience either.

Which explains why Juliet's first food was tortilla chips.
You do what you have to do, as I always say. (mostly at restaurants)

Dining for two soon bored Leo so he took off suddenly 
and Tyler goes off to find him....

Tyler takes Juliet and her tortilla chip so Karen can finally eat.

Of course before he could do that he found this solution for Leo.

Alls well that ends well, right?

 But next time we'll do take out. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

What we've been doing with our Vancouver family...

I know our married kids do not like sleeping in twin beds....


Shortly after Tyler and Karen with their three arrived from Vancouver, 
I apologized that we still had the twins beds, 
but they readily said, "Oh no it's okay. No problem."

 But the next morning when I peeked into their room, this is what I saw...

They like each other, what can I say.

It's one thing to see my granddaughter Juliet in pictures and FaceTime.
It's another to have her and Mommy Karen right here in our family room.

No matter what time of day it is, if Leo has not seen me for more than a few minutes 
he greets me with: "Good Morning Grandma Honey!"

Can you see the sleepy in Rich's eyes?
Very first thing after he woke up Saturday morning he wanted to check out the pool. 

A historical picture.
Tyler playing with his old Star War figures with his sons!

Richie helping with the smoothies

Grandma Honey took the easy way out this time.

Then I had the idea of making Pretzel Turtles.

But Leo couldn't quite make it beyond opening the Rolos and popping them in his mouth.
Over and over again. 

Den and Tyler had a very long catch up talk.

Later on Den found me in the kitchen and said to me, "I am SO proud of Tyler!"

Why have I hardly even noticed this water spigot on the side of the house??

The boys cannot get enough of it...especially Leo!
I sent Grandpa out late at night to make sure it was OFF.

So I walk into the boys room tonight and see water bottles all over the floor.

As I get down on the floor to pick them up I notice the labels are all taken off them. 

Well of course. Why didn't I think of this....

Creative grandsons for sure.

So is Karen... for thinking of putting Grandpa's hat on Richie 
when we were out of sun screen.

Tonight I asked Richie to set the table, 
 and I asked him to put one napkin on each plate. 
Didn't he do the best job!

2 days down, 13 to go. 
I want to savor them all.