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Grands ’11

Another year, and another chapter in our lives as grandparents. This page is devoted to our notes to the Grands, A, E, and T, because we love you forever and miss you every day. I hope you visit here often – I will, and I’ll keep you in the know with all the little tidbits that we want to share with you. Love Grammie.

Jan 2, 2011

It’s always such an exhilaration to close out the old year and start the new. I actually look forward to the packing and cleaning we do and this year we have an extra day with the weekend being here. Yesterday we spent the day being very laid back. We watched football mostly, but made a wonderful pot of cassoulet – beans, vegetables, and sausages. I ordered a new book for my Kindle – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and worked on a new little crochet project – Love Birds. I think I’ll give them to Grampa for Valentines Day.

Today we are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. I seem to do my spring cleaning at New Years! The house feels so nice afterward! I hope your New Years Weekend is productive and festive all rolled into one. We missed you for the neighborhood party, and for our football weekend as well. We miss you every day. We will not change our contact information so you will always know how to reach us, and I will continue to write to you here so you can always revisit my notes.

Here’s to a better year than last. Happy New Year! Love, Grammie

20 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 9:17 pm

    Dear Anthonee and Erin – I’ve been looking at recent pictures of you and I’m so surprised at how much you’ve changed! You each look like young adults, transforming from children to young adults. Anthonee, you’re getting so tall and you’ve filled out very nicely. Your hair is much darker, and those wavy bangs look nice on you. Erin, you are so beautiful and mature looking, but still with a sparkle in your eyes.

    I hope your school experiences are positive. We’re looking forward to hearing about your favorite subjects and activities these days. I realize your schoolwork is the last thing you want to do each day, but know that it is the most important thing you have to accomplish for your future.

    I see the weather is atrocious – well, I’m not a fan of wet, cold, icy weather. The snow sports are fun, but the snow is no fun to deal with outside of the mountaintop. Your Dad and Uncle are the best snowboarders – and even tried to teach me once. I stuck to skis since having my feet firmly attached to the board was no good for me. One trip down the hill ending in a hard crash at the bottom left me less than enamored of snow boarding. Your Dad still misses that about snow, of course. Your Uncle is in Washington snow boarding this month. Too bad you aren’t going to see him. Hopefully that attitude will soften over time. We look forward to that!

    Back to my sewing machine! I have fun projects stacked up. I’m making some cute gifts for random people, a birthday gift for Aunt Cassie, and Valentine’s gifts as well. Yours will be here for you when you next visit. Until then, we love you forever and miss you every day!! Grammie

  2. February 14, 2011 9:53 pm

    To my dear Grands, Anthonee, Erin and Triston – I love you so and miss you every day. My days seem to be saturated in how you should and would and have fit into them. Today is Valentine’s Day. Oh my but it seems as though it were only yesterday when we sat at our table and helped you, Triston, search for the best candy hearts to share with your sweetheart; and the moments we – Anthonee and Erin – shared in making those cards for your Dad and Mom at my kitchen table. I cherish those memories. And now the sweetest thing happened!

    The little boys next door unexpectedly dropped by with home-made heart-shaped cookies for Grampa and I. They have no idea how broken our hearts are due to your painful departure, and how their sweet gesture warmed our hearts! They showed up and felt completely comfortable prancing into the front door – just like you do – and delivered their Valentine’s Day treats. It warmed our hearts – they were so cute! After they left I opened the closet where all of your things are stored and found a couple new toys you’ve never seen. I signed two little Valentine’s from us and sent them over with Grampa. He was all smiles when he delivered them, and told them all about you three and how much we miss you. He told them how it made me happy to have someone to share this with and how it was so easy since I have a whole closet full of your toys and trinkets and gifts – many unopened and brand new since you’ve left.

    It’s nice to have them next door – I’ve not seen those huge kid smiles in such a long time! I enjoy them. They also are a painful reminder that you are not here. Which brings me back to my single-minded thoughts about how much we love you forever, and miss you everyday! Happy Valentine’s Day my darling Grands! We hope your day was warm and loving, and we know you had that little glimmer of love for your Dad and for us as well. We know it’s there. We love you forever! Grammie.

  3. April 3, 2011 8:40 am

    What wonderful weather we’re having! This is definitely my favorite time of year. We redid the beds in the front of the house with a chocolate brown bark that I like a lot; took out some plants I don’t like, which left me a little disappointed with all the empty space. It begs flowers so that is next step for the yard. Right now I have cool projects to finish and running to accomplish so the flowers can wait. The pool is sparkling and the windows open. It’s only weeks before we have our spring party with the neighbors in the cul-de-sac. They are all invited over to welcome the good weather in! We have such a nice group of families here, and the kids are all delightful. I’ve been cleaning out all the hand me down kids’ stuff here and giving it them. They are so appreciative, and it’s great to see the toys, bikes, and games in use creating laughter and smiles again. I’m looking forward to summer in a way I haven’t for a while thanks to the kids on our block.

    • May 9, 2011 7:40 am

      Yesterday was Mothers Day and we revisited our traditional beach day for the day. It was the nicest kind of day. As I sat in the evening thinking about what a good day I had, I thought of you as well. I’m sorry you missed it – you love the beach, sand, sunshine, and surf. And you love us too. I’m sorry for your losses and everything you are missing out on. I’m sorry you have been made to believe such seriously incorrect things and now miss out on the love, laughter, and richness of the life you could be sharing and enjoying. You know where we are. Love, Grammie

  4. May 15, 2011 8:18 am

    It’s never too late to right a wrong. Be bold and courageous. We’ll be standing be.

  5. June 2, 2011 6:33 pm

    It’s such a glorious spring time here – the pool and beach are the perfect spots to enjoy it too. The weather has been perfect, and the pool temp hovers around 82 degrees. It’s odd to see your suits in the closet, but I suppose it works well for all of our visitors who don’t think to bring one.
    I’ve been very busy sewing some fun new summer things, including two great seersucker summer shirts for Grampa. He chose the fabric – one is lemon yellow, and the other lime green! The colors look great on him! Especially with his nice tan and newly styled mustache. The neighborhood has changed much and we have new kids in the cul de sac – they are all so much fun! The next door neighbor boys are taking swim lessons and plan on doing a lot of practice over here. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve planted new flowers and herbs in pots and they are doing very well. Surprising, isn’t it? No, there are no dead plants in the shower hoping to be revived. Next up are vegetables in the raised bed next to the pool. In fact, when I was visiting with Aunt Cassie, she says she has a new raised bed garden (10 times bigger than mine because she’s a gardener), and she gave me some tips for mine. We’ll see how that works considering we are opposite ends of the earth from each other.
    We only have one month until Louis becomes a Dad and I’ve been busy, busy, busy making the cutest baby girl things for baby Ainsley. We already know she loves Disney, so Aunt Cassie and I are planning ahead for our Disney World vacations for her. Tickets, costumes, and lots of princess things. I still have so many costumes you left here, she’ll have lots to choose from.
    Speaking of Disney, the new Star Wars ride and features are there, so off we go this weekend to catch up. I’ll take lots of pictures. Star Wars and Disney – what a perfect combination. Grampa is looking forward to Casey’s hot dogs…and Buzz Lightyear. Hope your school year ended with lots of good grades! Love, Grammie

  6. July 9, 2011 10:03 pm

    Ah, the lazy days of summer are here and bring to mind all the things I thought we’d do all these long months that are growing into years. I thought you’d invite us for your school awards. I thought we’d make burgers on the grill to go with our corn on the cob and pool time. I thought we’d be giggling over the next big belly flop as we kick the beach ball around. I thought we’d camp out on the living room floor to watch cartoons together all night. I thought we’d watch Grampa’s fireworks at the 4th of July block party. I thought we’d play bocce, fish and sit by the pond looking for our alligator. I thought we would ride bikes to go get burgers and ice cream. I thought we’d watch you out there surfing while we got sunburns on the beach. I thought we’d call each other to argue about who is best at American Idol. I thought we’d go pick out new flip flops, beach towels, and pool toys together. I thought we’d go school shopping. I thought we’d get to see you playing your summer sports. I thought you’d be here. We love you forever and miss you every day. Love, Grammie

  7. July 19, 2011 7:56 am

    How is your summer? It sure has been a whirlwind of a summer here! The sun is baking and the beaches are welcoming. This past weekend was especially nice. Grampa and I had a very nice date night on Friday – mostly because he IS my Prince Charming, you know. We went to dinner at Bonefish Grill where I had a plank cooked salmon dish that always reminds me of Blake Island and Seattle – some of my favorite spots. Saturday we caught up on chores and prepped for our pool party on Sunday. What a blast we had! The pool was full of kids! We had all the neighbors over and spent the better part of the day swimming and watching the World Cup finals from the lanai. We told them about some of the pool games you play and ended up with so many laughs as they jumped in doing tricks while kicking or catching the beach ball. We dove for rings, and played volley ball too. Good thing I started buying suits to keep here for you guys. Those who thought they weren’t going to swim changed their minds and we were ready for them! We wrapped up the day with a good jenga challenge and then said good night. I’m sure the summer will just fly by as we have a kayak trip next weekend, and then we’re off on vacation to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mtns. We’d love for you to be there too – we love and miss you. It will be a nice vacation. We’ll have pictures!

  8. August 24, 2011 11:42 pm

    My dear Grands, What a fun August we’ve had — beaches, day trips, birthdays, pool parties, and school shopping. I hope yours is just as fun! We had the best pool party for your Dad’s birthday – including a hot dog buffet and a cup cake tower! It was so much fun! Lot’s of friends of your Dad’s we haven’t seen in years – and new friends as well. Grampa was our chef of the day, and he did such a nice job.
    Then came school shopping. I miss doing this with you so I went and bought 3 backpacks, then loaded them full of all those cool school supplies. I did one for elementary school, one for middle school, one for high school, and then dropped them off at the stuff the bus they hold each year. Mine were the best!
    Next it was all about school clothes. Such good deals, and the styles are great! Kohls is having their best sales as well as the tax free weekend so I did the same for clothes and I had a little shopping spree. I also finished all of my kid sized sewing projects. There is a great project for the kids in Joplin, MO who lost everything to the tornadoes in the spring. I packed all my stuff up and sent it off anonymously. It was nice to know all of these things will go to good use. You can be proud knowing you were a part of good things.
    I’m pretty excited that I have some company for our annual Disney Halloween Party as well. I’m going with my cousin and her three grands! My annual passes will come in handy for the extra days. You know how much fun that is! It’s their first trip and they can hardly wait. My favorite parts are still the fireworks, parades, and Buzz Lightyear! How about you?
    Well, it’s off to bed for me. Hope your summer turned out as good as ours. Too bad you couldn’t be here. We would have enjoyed that! Enjoy your start of school!

  9. August 25, 2011 11:03 pm

    Oh — and I thought I’d remind you that I think about you every day. Most days it makes me smile. Others, just sad…you’re missing out on so much.

  10. September 20, 2011 5:03 pm

    September is such a great time of year here. It’s still warm enough for summer activities, but nice enough we actually enjoy them. I hope your September is going well. I ride my bike to work every day, and see the kids come and go to school each day. I’ve been working on some cool projects like altering a beautiful wedding gown and making accessories for her as well. I’ve been gardening in little pots around the house and enjoyed the herbs and flowers from them. It’s time to change out the flowers and I’m ready for some mums. I’ve started training for my 1/2 marathon! It’s at Disney World!! Yeay! That’s motivation enough right there. Of course, we’re going to the Halloween party before that – I’m sure I’ll be a cool looking witch. I’ve chosen the make-up from a magazine, and the dress is mostly about the cape. I may even use Anthonee’s black cape. That would work well. We are headed out to a couple festivals as well – one is cars, and the other arts and crafts. Road trips!!

    We’re getting the dates soon for our Gray family Christmas party in Georgia — too bad you won’t be here. We love taking you, and all of your cousins are going to miss you. Everyone is growing up so quickly. Chuckie has joined the Army and will be leaving after he graduates; Samantha is at GA Tech; Sarah, Lauren, Tyler, and Devon are all in high school like you Anthonee – and looking at their driver’s licenses too! We have a couple band members, cheerleaders, photographers, and writers — all of them are on FB, so you should catch up with them yourselves. I always look forward to catching up with them.

    Grampa and I mostly hang out at home doing our fun projects — well, we’re getting ready to paint the house. I don’t know if that’s fun or not. Sunday afternoon we had one of Stephanie’s friends from Bellingham over for dinner. She wanted so badly to coax our neighborhood alligator over to us. We told her she was crazy!

    Other than that, we’ve got some roadtrips to cool places planned. I’ll tell you about them as they occur!! Come back. Love, Grams

  11. October 1, 2011 6:56 pm

    Hello there Grands! Don’t you just love this time of year. In fact, it’s perfect in each of these places. I love the cooler weather and clear skies here, and I always loved the same thing there! It is only a matter of weeks before we are in the same climates. Beach days are amazing right now. I had one today and we are planning a full one next weekend too. The gulf stream is still bringing us all those wonderfully warm waters, and the temps are perfect. I’m sure yours are too. The trees should be changing to that very pretty fruit loops look as Grampa calls it. We made a point of taking long mountain drives in October just to see the colors and hike in the nice weather. In fact, this is the time of year we plan our trips back there – on purpose.

    As for here – ah, the beach. We can’t get enough of it since we know the weather and water will soon be cooler. Remember all of our October fun? I love it. We are heading to the Disney party later in the month and planning our costumes now. Of course, Grampa still loves being Bob the Builder and will probably do so again. I like the whole traditional look and will probably be a “glampire”. 🙂 Pictures are promised. The kids in our cul de sac are cute as can be so we are doing our trick or treat party just like we did for you! We have a couple cool games planned — mummy wrap is on the agenda, but I doubt anyone can ever beat Erin and Uncle Cory’s team! We are also doing squash bowling! We’re doing it in the side yard with a tent and having a pot luck and scary decorations! I’m going to be a ghost for this one. Okay – a really cool ghost of course.

    Oh, and don’t forget October birthdays! Since it’s Great Grandpa’s and Great Grandma’s as well as mine, we have a fun time planned. In the midst of all of this we are cheering on the Jaguars and going to as many home games as possible. If we can’t make the games, we at least join friends for the tailgating prior to the games. One of our friends is famous for his choice of what goes on the BBQ – when we played the Dolphins he had mahi mahi, and the list goes on.

    Wish you were here!! It would be just like old times, right? We love you and miss you. Hope you’re doing well in school, enjoying all those fun things we love there too. One of our favorites is still Cloud Mountain Farms for apple picking, and now the outdoor music in Fairhaven! Hope you get back there! Keep coming back to this page, and I’ll keep writing to you. 😉 Love you forever. Love, Grams/Grammie

  12. October 18, 2011 8:03 am

    Good morning! Ah, what a wonderful month we are having! I hope yours is going well too. The weather this time of year is my favorite — and I realize it always has been no matter where we’ve lived including the northwest. My birthday was especially perfect beginning with the weather, and continuing through to all the nice things everyone did. It seems this is really my birthday month!

    I began my celebration by participating in a Girl Scout service project called birthday in a bag where you fill a bag with everything needed for a birthday party from cake and frosting to party supplies. These are donated to a local charity. I challenged my friends and we came up with dozens to donate! I have such wonderful friends. These bags are the cutest ever! I am delivering them this week.

    At work we had a surprise luncheon and one of the girls made me a pineapple upside down cake that was the best ever! On my birthday we celebrated at Carrabba’s with lots of singing and laughing, and of course the food is always so yummy. This was followed by a party with girlfriends in the neighborhood that lastest all evening. We the met and did the breast cancer awareness walk in honor of a couple of our survivor friends who are the most amazing women! Some friends of your Dad’s belong to a charity group that dons Star Wars costumes for events and we ran into them for photos – it was such a blast!

    The fab weekend continued with all of us going to your Dad’s soccer game in this perfect weather, followed by a nice lunch out. Then I snuck off to get an anniversary gift for Grampa – it’s the coolest thing ever – but I can’t tell you about it just yet. 😉

    That afternoon we met for a training run (I’m running the half marathon at Disney, and your Dad, along with his girlfriend, is running the full marathon!) That was exhausting, but I kept up. I came home to Grampa’s fabulous dinner. He is absolutely my favorite chef as he continues to pursue this cooking hobby.

    Grampa is getting so good at cooking he should have his own show and restaurant! He makes even the simplest dishes fabulous with his style and expertise! There is nothing that comes out of that kitchen that does not make your mouth water! My favorite this week was the grilled scallops over an escarole and grapefruit salad. Last week was definitely the eggplant Parmesan rolls! Yummy stuff!

    This week is all about planning our Trick-or-Treat party! We have the neatest things planned. You’re invited, of course!

    Love, Grams

  13. November 11, 2011 6:48 pm

    Just a note to tell you I’ve been thinking about you. As always.
    Love, Grams/Grammie

  14. November 20, 2011 6:03 pm

    Hello my Grands,
    Tomorrow begins Thanksgiving week, and we are so ready!! The weather has been beautiful so I have been very busy training for my half marathon at Disney. I’m so excited. Today I actually did 9 miles without injury. Your Dad is up to 15 because he’s running a marathon. We’re so proud of him – as always. 😉 You see that photo of Grampa? Well, I gave him the most beautiful chef’s knife for our anniversary, and he promptly cut his finger. He still loves the knife (I do too!), and he continues to become even more amazing in the kitchen! He should have his very own cooking show. I actually invited some girlfriends over for a project night and let them know we have our own personal chef for dinner too. You would love what he makes. The best steaks in the world, and the most amazing eggplant parmesan, as well as those great cheesy grits. Oops – gotta run. I’ll be back later. Love you!!

  15. November 26, 2011 9:32 pm

    Hello my Grands, I hope your Thanksgiving was a nice one. Our whole weekend has been glorious! Grampa made the best stuffed turkey breast, and we added all of our favorite gourmet side dishes to go with it, and then the pies. Yummy! Everyone had a wonderful time. The weather has been beautiful – reminding me why I’m so glad we have a pool! So, we spent the weekend enjoying our leftovers and digging through our Christmas decorations. I can’t wait to get the lights up. It still cracks me up that we do so in shorts and flip flops!

    It’s getting dark early enough that our evening walks are full of all the neighbors’ Christmas lights as well. Our little cul-de-sac has the nicest families living here, and the one next door with the little boys we enjoy so much put lights on all of their trees so that we have them decorating Grampa’s den through the window! It’s wonderful. Tomorrow, we will put up the lights around the lanai. I’ve already put our 2nd tree out there as well as the table decorations. Remember having roasted marshmallows around the fireplace? Yep — that’s coming up next.

    I think I’ve gotten all my Christmas shopping done, but I think I’ll take a little trip through Kohls and Beals tomorrow. I always find such great treasures there. I will again wrap and save you each a gift until you come over. We have such fun holiday things planned. We are going to a couple a great Christmas parties — I’m making a special dress for ME this year! That’s a change, isn’t it? Then we are headed to Georgia for our family Christmas party. You’ll be missed – the only great grand children who can’t make it – but we’ll save your stocking stuffers for you.

    We have all of our seats reserved for the Nutcracker – our family tradition. 🙂 This year we are going to Enza’s Italian Restaurant following the ballet, along with all of our friends and loved ones going with us. It is such a special time for us. I’ll bet you still remember your favorite parts as well: The little snowflake princesses, or the Russian dancer, or how about the gingham kids!! I even have your Dad and Grampa hooked now. 😉 Or maybe it’s that great dinner afterwards.

    We are planning a new adventure this year. We are going to a little town that does Christmas like no other. Then we are headed to Disney’s Magic Kingdom for the annual snowfall on Main Street in Florida! I am still in love with our trips to Disney. I got some new Mickey and Minnie ornaments this year. My newest fan is my great grand niece. On our last visit to Disney World I spoiled her with tons of new Disney things! She loves them! So do I.

    Now, I must get back to those Christmas decorations! I’ve decided this is absolutely my favorite time of year. I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend and looking forward to all the Christmas season holds. We are sorry not to have you with us, but thinking of you as we continue as promised with our family traditions. Happy Thanksgiving!! Love, Grammie and Grampa!!

  16. December 4, 2011 9:50 am

    Happy Birthday Anthonee! And if I remember correctly, this is a big one. I’ve been pleased to have saved my manual transmission just so I could teach you to drive one — I think it’s important and fun to know how to really drive. Of course, I also think it’s loads of fun to let the new cars drive themselves into parking spots! I wonder what kind of car you’ll have?

    I remember getting my driver’s license and knowing I would never, ever again be without a car. My first car was really old, but it was mine. I came to realize that it wasn’t about having a car so much as it was so nice to feel independent! That was the year I got my first job and adjusted my schedule at school since I could get there on my own.

    I remember when your Dad got his license oh so well! I was so excited for him to take this big step towards independence as well. What I wasn’t prepared for was being in the passenger seat when my child was driving us into traffic. I think I remained cool on the inside even though I felt like yelling, “I changed my mind – I’ll drive!” He did great, and of course, I no longer had to drive out to Northwest Fields every day for soccer, and he could get to work without riding his bike.

    Sixteen is a milestone, and we are confident you will achieve it with integrity and strength. Set your sites on the importance of how and what you do now to the whole of your life. One of my favorite sayings is, “Character is what you do when no one is looking”. We know you are aware of the right things to do, and now it is up to you to choose correctly and define the type of man you will become. A good man. We’re counting on it.

    Happy Birthday Anthonee — we are celebrating for you! Wish you were here. We love you. Love, Grammie and Grampa.

  17. December 16, 2011 8:04 pm

    My dear Grands,
    I hope your winter is building to be a wonderful one — ours is, although we don’t have the snow (or rain, I guess). We have had the best weather outside of a few dismal days — starting out in the 50’s and then rushing up to the high 70’s to make perfect sunshiny days. It’s so much fun to run around doing our shopping and visiting with this nice weather.

    We went to our family Christmas party this past weekend and had such a nice time. Good food! We made a summer squash casserole to add to the deep fried turkey, mac and cheese, more casseroles than you could count, home made pickles, and the best cakes and peanut brittle ever!

    It’s always so nice to catch up with everyone – especially this year as we have so many milestones underway: ROTC, Army enlistments, college dean’s list, lettering in band, 1st birthdays, new drivers, first crushes, new babies, retirements, and you name it. Everyone had a wonderful year! You were missed. We collected your stocking stuffers, and stuffed everyone else’s! Then there was the trivia game with everyone participating. Everyone is growing up and taking on such fun challenges. We’re quite proud of every single one of them!

    We visited with your great grandma and send you her best wishes as well. While at her house we had tea in an heirloom set of dishes and talked about all of our memories. She is quite pragmatic about her time left with us, and we tried to make light of it. We don’t know how much of our lives we have ahead of us, but we do know where our love lies.

    Tomorrow is our traditional Nutcracker and dinner date! I love this tradition and I am so thankful I have Grampa, your Dad and a friend to use my three extra tickets every year. We have a lovely brunch planned as usual; then we are going to the matinee, and we are having a wonderful dinner at a great family owned Italian restaurant. Grampa loves the carpacio, and I love the home made ravioli. I already chose my new Nutcracker this year in honor of Grampa’s new-found chef skills! He will be in the centerpiece for brunch! Can you just hear the music playing for your favorite parts? I know you can. 😉 The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, The Russian Dancer, and the little Chinese Acrobats!! What fun we always had. Wish you could join us…there’s always extra seats with your names on them. I can’t wait. I have my special outfit selected, and I’m so looking forward to the day.

    Love you and miss you! Grammie and Grampa.

  18. December 18, 2011 8:11 am

    What a wonderful weekend! Our Nutcracker date was perfect – there were some fun changes in the choreography, but all our favorites were there. Dinner at Enza’s lasted almost three hours as we all laughed and visited the night away. Today I am finishing and wrapping presents, getting the house ready for company, and picking up Uncle Cory at the airport! The coming week promises to be festive with parties, open houses, dinners, and of course tours of all the Christmas lights! Watch for your ornaments – I’ll post pictures. As promised, we continue our traditions for you. I know we live in your hearts, and I am sure you still imagine doing all the things we love doing together. One day you will have the courage to do them again. Love, Grammie and Grampa! (I’m off to be festive!!)

  19. December 31, 2011 8:57 am

    Good morning my Grands. Today is New Year’s Eve and the first day of my weekend following Christmas. I hope yours was a nice one. I see your weather is less than pleasant – unless you like wind, freezing rain, and cold…I rather enjoy these milder days myself. Stay warm!

    Our Christmas weekend was so amazing and full of a good mixture of traditions and new things to do. We spent the whole week prior to the holiday enjoying friends and neighbors at parties and socials. Uncle Cory arrived on Sunday, then Great Grandma and Great Grandpa on the following Saturday. Uncle Cory made the best fried turkey with all the trimmings on Saturday for a birthday dinner for Stephanie. We gave her a cupcake maker for her birthday – it works like a waffle iron! Cute as can be, and oh, so handy! The house was full, and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening sending everyone off to dream of Santa. 😉

    On Sunday we got up and began to prepare for our little Christmas party, which lasted all day and all evening! So wonderful. The weather was beautiful so we set up and played bocce all afternoon. I do believe your Dad and Uncle Cory are the reigning champs. Grampa fixed an amazing dinner featuring a standing rib roast. The table was set beautifully in white with our antique red glass next to our art deco tree filled with Uncle Cory’s heirloom ornaments – your Dad has his on his own tree which looks amazing! (Your most recent ones are included until you add them to your collections.)

    We exchanged gifts and everyone was tickled and smiling over the thoughtful things given to them. We continued our tradition of choosing kids of similar ages to your own whom we could shower with gifts in your names! I look forward to having you back in our lives, but in the meantime, there are some lucky kids out there.

    Our dinner was the best! Grampa has become such a chef! We toasted the holidays, each other, and the coming good year. The highlight of our evening was our video visit with Aunt Cassie and her family. We had Great Grandma and Great Grampa front and center at the laptop on the video while each of us stepped in to visit. Our favorite visitor was Ainsley of course! Louis even dressed her in one of the Christmas outfits we sent. We all chatted for a good hour then off we went to watch our two teams meet on the football field. The Bears lost, but we all had a great time together.

    Come Monday we set up shop in the studio and had a blast making these folded and turned scarves from a designer we like. The plan was for two of us to make two of them, but it turned into a crowd of laughing, cutting, sewing sillies! What a good time! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. I hope yours have been good, but you certainly are missing out on the best times with those who love you.

    This weekend promises to be a great time as well – a glamour date, dinner, symphony, fireworks, and loved ones! Then, next weekend we head to Disney for the Marathon Weekend and some Mickey time! It also means I will start a third page with my notes to you here. Perhaps you will gain the courage to change this. We look forward to that time. Love, Grammie

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