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Grands ’12

Well, here we are on our third ‘page’! It is a bittersweet thing as we use this medium to share our lives with you while we reminisce over the “good ol’ days” when we could do so freely with hugs and kisses. Our wish for your New Year is that things are going well for you, and that you take time to reach into your hearts where those good memories of all the love we hold for you are still residing, and smile. We know they’re in there. πŸ™‚ The past year was one of transformation as we picked ourselves up and brushed ourselves off in preparation for making our best lives ever. The new year holds such great promise as we set our sights on fun adventures and new challenges! We enjoy our jobs, love our hobbies, and look forward to all the cool things we have in mind for the year! I ran a 1/2 marathon, I’m training for the Gate River Run, will be SCUBA certified for dives in The Keys and Gulf of Mexico this spring and summer; we will take in at least one Formula 1 race; my studio is in high gear with the coolest projects – great dresses and separates, accessories and e-book gear, baby clothes, and up-fashioning classes. We are remodeling and redecorating, and turning our pool area into the best resort lounge so we always feel we’re on vacation. I’m contemplating my Master’s degree and we’re learning a new language…what a life we have planned!! Which part do you want in on. πŸ˜‰ We always think of how much you enjoy doing fun things with us. Welcome 2012!!

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  1. February 15, 2012 9:15 pm

    Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you. We love you, and you, and you as always. Grampa and I enjoyed our little Valentines Day (in spite of his high fever and chest cold!). Of course, it was a work day for us, but Grampa came home and played Chef for the evening, making me the nicest dinner! He really is getting better every day. We had rib eye steaks cooked and seasoned perfectly, and veggies and veggies — because I like them! Then we topped it off with a nice chocolate mousse. Ahhh – you would have loved it!! Oh – and of course there were the Valentines we shared. I gave Grampa two of them with Krispy Kreme freebies on the back! His favorite.

    What’s going on right now? Running, working, and just trying to keep up with all the things around here. We are planning our garden, and tackling our spring yard overhaul. Yes, it’s nicer than not most days. I ran the bridges downtown last weekend, and although the temps were cool (50’s), the sun was shining and the wind was nonexistent making it a beautiful day! I’m heading to a very cold city next week, and following it with a weekend in Orlando. We’re taking Great Grandma and Grandpa to a Cirque Du Soleil show and then spending the rest of our time strolling around the parks and watching our favorite fireworks. It’s still a little chilly for Splash Mountain, but I’m sure we’ll hit up Rockin’ Roller Coaster! We like that.

    Our newest little princess, Ainsley, is my inspiration for shopping! Last trip we got her some Minnie Mouse slippers – cute! Now that she’s about 6 months old, we may have to start looking at bigger things. Oh — and she’s going to one of our Disney Halloween Parties too! Can you believe it? I have someone for whom to make costumes and go trick or treating at Disney with!! Remember how much fun we had with this? Ainsley will love it, don’t you think so? I still think our year of the Pirates was the best one yet!

    Wish you were going with us to Disney! We always enjoy those trips with you! You should see how full the Disney change jar is! We forgot to cash it in on our last trip. It was for my Half Marathon weekend! Your Dad ran the Full Marathon!! Holy Cow! We were so impressed with him. Of course, he decided he didn’t do well enough and is training for another one! I put a check mark in that box and I’m moving on to my Gate River Run! He is amazing in so many ways. We sure love him. Aren’t you proud of him too?

    On another note — I’m watching American Idol, which is still one of the programs that makes me watch t.v. occasionally. I love Steven Tyler, and think the judges are right on this year. I remember the first years when we used to call each other during the shows, and call out our choices every week to see if we were even close. Who is your favorite this year? It’s still early, so I’m holding out a few more weeks. I miss talking to you about who’s winning. I guess what I’m saying is, I miss you. All the time. Every corner of my world makes me think of you and our good times. You can step back into it anytime. We love you forever and miss you every day. Happy Valentines Day. You each have a piece of my heart – and I know you know that. XOXO Love, Grammie and Grampa!!

  2. March 5, 2012 7:42 pm

    Whew! What a whirlwind of a schedule we have these days. My new/old job is divine. I enjoy the people, the purpose, and the day-to-day things I have to do. How about you? Is school going well for each of you? I figure you’re coming up on a spring break — such a nice time here in Florida, just sayin’. The weather has been a bit all over the place: Some cool days, hot afternoons, cold nights, and then we start all over again. This morning I watched the sun rise over a glass still lake behind the house with a sky kissed with rose and deep blue. My favorite!

    We just spent a weekend in Orlando! What a fun time we had! We finally went to the Cirque du Soliel and we were not disappointed! It was so beautiful, entertaining, surprising, and colorful! We took your Great Grandparents and they felt exactly the same! First we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s – yummy pizzas for all. Then it was off to the show in Downtown Disney. Afterwards Grampa and I strolled through all the fun things there.

    My favorite thing for the weekend was that we upgraded our vacation club to include the Disney condos! What a perfect combo – annual passes and condos all at Disney World. We are planning to bring Aunt Cassie and her new grand daughter for the Halloween Party. What do you think? It was always so much fun with you guys. We think she’ll love it! You know when we like to go, so feel free to jump right in. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t made costumes since we all went together. I still think my favorites are the Matrix, Jasmine, and the Hulk. What do you think? Of course, Grampa still wears his Bob the Builder when we go to the party. I make a new Halloween dress every year. Last year’s was very cool.

    Now that the weather has improved, we are ready to do the yard. I am planning a small “salad” garden behind the pool. Oh, and then we are redecorating the lanai for summer. I am so excited! The doors are open, the breezes are refreshing, and I’m ready for some out of doors activities.

    This coming Saturday is the Gate River Run. I’m running, and Grampa is doing a cool tail gate picnic for all of us runners, including your Dad. He’s in top shape running and biking so he will finish much sooner than I will! It’s okay. We will all meet up at Grampa’s spot and celebrate our win — finishing the race. That’s our spring so far. I’m thinking you will be looking at spring sports, and maybe some spring dances and such.

    Hopefully you’re also looking at how to improve your college entrance packages too. You’ll need some good community service activities, sports successes, and of course honor roll level grades. These are the steps towards getting into the best schools, and starting in your freshman year is where it all starts. You are smarter than average and should be tackling the college prep classes and investing the time it takes to do so at a successful level. I wish you had your Dad by your side to make sure this all happens more easily. He’s good at this and knows his stuff. If or when you falter, keep this in mind. He’s always wanted to see you do your best, which means excel because we know you can. I hope you’re following through.

    Now, back to our spring time frivolity! Tonight I am working on our redecorating plan and it is calling my name. We love you, and wish you the best. Enjoy your spring time!! Love Grammie and Grampa!!

  3. March 7, 2012 9:47 pm

    Hey you – remember when we used to call each other to excitedly talk about our favorites on American Idol? Tonight I listened to a wonderful singer sing “I Will Always Love You”, and could only think of you and you and you, and it made me tear up…a lot. Yes, replay those words in your mind and know that it’s true. Love you!

  4. April 8, 2012 10:08 am

    Oh my gosh — it is so NICE outside here. I hope you are getting a glimpse of nice weather, although it is early for you. Happy Easter. We have such a nice day planned, although it’s not really based on the whole holiday escapade. We spent yesterday catching up on our chores, and today we get to enjoy the fruits of our labors with a sparkly, clean house and lots of free time. I am filling my planters with flowers and herbs, and then we are having a bocce game in the side yard! I love spring time.

    This is the time of year when we would get you all your pool and beach stuff too, remember? One of my favorite photos of you is the one I took when you all put your new goggles on from the Easter gift bag from Grampa and I. I still have all three bathing suits we last got for you, and I think they will still work. You never saw them, but they are very cool. I’m shopping for my new one now, along with flip flops, sunscreen, summer nail polish, and a great hat for the beach! I’ll keep my beach chair and umbrella ready to go in a moment’s notice. Do you miss the beaches? I know you do. We still have the boogie boards, but I’ve given all the sand castle toys to the little kids in the neighborhood. I have to get all my beach days in before it gets too hot. Ready when you are πŸ˜‰ Happy Easter! Love, Grammie and Grampa.

  5. May 1, 2012 9:48 pm

    Dear Grands,
    What a wonderful spring we are having. The weather is perfect, the sun shining, and we are each enjoying such nice things all around us. A couple weeks ago I, along with some friends and some of our family, were part of the Relay For Life. It was hard work and quite rewarding. I volunteered as coordinator for PR and the Luminaria ceremony. The event usually runs for 24 hours but we were called early due to t-storms (no surprise there!). Of course, by the time we showed up back at the house with all of our soggy belongings, Grampa had a fabulous hot meal and warm blankets for everyone. We watched movies and laughed about our big adventure.

    The next week found me signed up for “Boot Camp”! Well, I watched on Tuesday, and then worked out on Thursday. It was so much fun. Ten years ago when we moved into this home we took you regularly to our brand new playground and you played on the jungle gym in the sand next to the pavilions by the pool, remember? Well, now, my Boot Camp coach uses the same playground to set up our workouts, so now I am playing on the playground. I promise you, it was much easier pushing you on the swings and chasing you through the “boat” and down the slide than doing these workouts! I do like it though.

    This past weekend we spent a lot of time sprucing up the lanai and pool for our summer entertaining. The little boys next door can hardly wait to see the thermometer creep up to hit 78 degrees so they can jump right in without chattering teeth! Remember how that is? Every time I fold your beach towels I think of Triston asking me to warm up his towel in the dryer right before he gets out of the pool! Good thinking Triston! The pool looks so sparkly thanks to Grampa’s hard work. Now the deck is cleaned and new decor is out. We are so ready for summer, and thinking about a good game of bocce to kick it off! We have the best neighbors, and your Dad is still the champ, so bocce it is.

    We’ve been talking to Uncle Cory about our trip to San Francisco to visit him and it just keeps getting better! I sure miss him, but I think we have a good plan for a great get-away with Great Grandma and Grandpa. He really misses them too and is looking forward to this trip. He lives right near the Golden Gate Bridge, and has been biking all over the place. He loves living there, and we can’t wait to visit him.

    In between I’ve been jet setting all over the place for my job. This week I’m off to HQ and flying into DC – one of my favorite places to visit — and it’s hopefully going to be full of cherry blossoms this time of year! Remember the gifts I gave you from the Smithsonian that included the Cherry Blossom seeds Erin?

    I’m so looking forward to Mother’s Day! Your Dad has arranged a fun beach day – my favorite Mother’s Day thing to do. The very first year we arrived in Florida we all spent the day at the beach on Mother’s Day. Anthonee was all over the beach, and Erin – you were content in your baby seat being only weeks old! Triston, you came along a number of years after that! I love a good beach day. Your Dad has his surfboard and I have my umbrella and sun screen! Oh – and goggles, because there will be lots of swimming! Erin, you were always our mermaid. You guys should be here for beach days!

    Lastly, I’ve added a birthday gift for Erin to your box of treasures. Hopefully, it doesn’t get too darn full before we can go through them together!

    Now it’s time for me to get packing for my next trip. Love you to the moon and back! Grammie and Grampa.

  6. May 10, 2012 9:25 pm

    Hey there Grands!

    How is your spring looking these days. I see the weather is “good” for our beloved PNW. It’s beautiful here. Very warm and dry with lots of sunshine. Perfect for gardening, spring cleaning, and new workouts! I signed up for that boot camp training that I told you about, and it is kicking my butt. I am looking forward to the results though – strong and fit and ready for summer cool stuff. We have plans for SCUBA, kayaking, and for me – paddle boarding. I love water sports in Florida. It’s the best way to deal with the heat, that’s for sure. What are your summer plans? Too bad you don’t come here to spend your summer break trying out all these fun things we have planned. You would love it!

    I am so behind on our spring cleaning because I’ve been traveling. Housework is done, but I’m still working on getting everything else done for summer. I have a deadline because we are having a pool party and we want everything done for that. The towels are fluffed, pool deck cleaned, and the water is sparkling (temps are UP too!!). Now I just need to hang some lights and a flamingo or two and we’re good for summer party number one.

    Well, we have a number of graduates among all of our nieces and nephews, so we’re busy deciding on graduation gifts. We won’t make it to their ceremonies, but we will be mailing lots of fun things to them. We’re so proud of all of them. How are you doing in school? Are you ending your school year on a good note? I sure hope so!! Your Dad has such high hopes for you, and counts on you to do your best as well as the right thing. Do well. Be strong. We love you!! Grammie

  7. June 10, 2012 8:39 am

    Good morning Grands!
    Were your ears burning? You were the topics of our coffee conversation yesterday, and a lively one it was. Are you out of school now? How did your school years turn out for you? I have confidence that you each did well in school this year. I’m guessing Anthonee is exhibiting a knack for math and science – especially if it involves researching sharks ;). Have you also furthered your music talents and shared them with the world? You have such a wonderful and natural ability with music, I imagine it could carry you into college if you put your mind to it. Erin, how is your reading and writing going? I’m sure you can easily top the honor roll since you are so very studious — don’t let the boys distract you! Triston, you should be tackling multiplication and new and wondrous topics in history and science. I have some great books for you to read about Greek Mythology I think you’ll enjoy, and I think you’re ready for them too. Well, school is out for the summer and it’s all about summer fun. What are you looking forward to?

    We’ve had some amazing amounts of rain over the past couple of days, but of course we get loads of it followed by sunshine so we still have a hot summer coming on. Last weekend was full of fun for us with a pool party and picnic on the lanai that filled our Saturday. The neighborhood kids had a blast, and one even learned to swim! He reminded me so much of you Anthonee when you were learning with your big smiles and quickly changing attitude about whether or not you would sink! Erin, you were such a mermaid, everyone – including you – always knew swimming was a natural act for you. Triston, we miss seeing you splash around the pool — you should come over!

    So now our summer plans involve redecorating a couple rooms, working in the yard, floating in the pool, and getting out to the beach as much as possible. How about you? We also just made our reservations for this year’s Formula 1 race – it’s in Austin, TX. Next year we will go to the one in Italy, so we’re also planning that one at the same time. You know how much Grampa loves that race series. Of course, my team is still Team Ferrari! Who doesn’t love a racing red Ferrari?

    Today is a sewing day, and I may have company in the studio. Yesterday Steph came over and we altered one tee-shirt dress, and constructed another. She looked amazing in them, and said they are so, so comfortable to wear. Perfect for summer play or work! Today Liz will be here to finish her summer dress she has underway – and I will make a couple silk tee-shirts. We are having lots of fun making fast, simple projects to wear for summer! I really enjoy having them so close by. You would too — we’ll watch for you. πŸ˜‰ As always, we love and miss you, and watch for you to land on the doorstep. Love, Grammie.

  8. June 17, 2012 9:44 pm

    Dear Anthonee, Erin, and Triston; Today is Father’s Day and I want to remind you that your Dad is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, funny, and passionate people in the world. He is so much fun – always with a smile on his face and an encouraging word for everyone around him – sometimes with a little wit to make you laugh, but always with thoughtfulness. He is intelligent – always thinking about things in a pragmatic and logical manner that stresses implications, alternatives, and outcomes. He continues to hold high goals for each of you with regards to achievements and your next steps because he feels you have such great potential and capabilities. He is so very creative and artistic and it shows in the amazing artwork he creates – each piece is his best yet. You each have so many reflections of him in you, be it looks, talents, the way you stand, study, play, or look at the world when you least expect it – it’s there. He holds great concern over your welfare. And he loves you. Ah – this is in contrast to what you’ve been led to believe? We know. You’re missing out as long as you succumb to the stories. You have so much good waiting for you in your Dad. Happy Fathers Day. Love, Grammie.

  9. July 10, 2012 8:57 pm

    Wow! What a busy start to summer we’ve had – how about you? I see the weather has finally turned summer-like in your neck of the woods. For us, yep — Africa hot these days. The good news is we have a new a/c that works nicely, and I don’t miss hardly a day without jumping or floating in the pool. Ahh. Flip flops and floating – that’s the best way to do summers. Well, next to beach days anyway. Grampa and I have been tackling all kinds of projects around the house on top of getting some summer fun in at the beach.

    We had the BEST Independence Day block party this year – and just about everyone was there. Grampa and his buddies put on the best fireworks yet! It was awesome, and choreographed perfectly with the event music. The weather was perfect, and the games were so much fun. Great Grampa and I came in first on a game that involved shaving cream, a shower cap, and cheetos. It was fun. Dancing lasted into the night after the fireworks. The kids are all growing up so much that the “dance floor” was packed. We had our own family tent and lots of great food. We made pulled pork sandwiches, pizza monkey bread and tabbouleh that were great hits. I made the cleanup crew an awesome breakfast the next morning, and then we spent the day by the pool. We missed you. You know this is one of your favorite things to do at our house!

    We are transforming the front bedroom into a work out room – with a Murphy bed in case you show up for overnight visits! It’s so nice with new paint, window coverings, and cool stuff in it – like the elliptical off the pool deck and the total gym. So, that leads to updating the pool deck! New seating and umbrellas, new plants around the pool, and I have my eye on the coolest art piece featuring a flamingo. You betcha. I love my personal resort, and love when I get to entertain there too. You should come over soon!

    I’m also still doing the boot camp work outs! Wow. It’s so intense and satisfying. I can’t wait to be transformed myself. Just in time too. We gave your Dad SCUBA certs for Christmas and he’s almost done. It’s time for me to catch up with him. We have a plan to SCUBA in Ft. Lauderdale in late summer. I can hardly wait. I also can’t wait to hear what your summer looks like so far.

    So, Grampa and I were watching a rerun of Spiderman the other day, and the scene where Peter Parker shows up at his aunt’s house comes up. She’s surprised to see him, and she’s all white haired and teary-eyed. I turned to Grampa and asked if he thought I had to wait that long to open the door to find you there. He says no way. That completely reversed where my heart was headed at the moment. So hurry up. You certainly are missing out on an awesome summer, and a whole lot more. πŸ™‚

    What does your summer look like? Anthonee, are you working at a summer job and saving for your very own car and dates with some nice, pretty girl? Erin, are you having lots of girlfriend time at the beach and hiking around the wonderlands that surround you? Triston, are you in summer camp and playing in the soccer tourneys this summer at Northwest Fields? Summer fun is so nice. Fill us in! We’re all ears. We hope your summer is warm and wonderful and full of adventure. Ours is!! Love you!! Grammie and Grampa.

  10. August 7, 2012 10:47 pm

    My dear Grands,
    I don’t know about you, but there is something about this time of year that is a bit exhilarating with the anticipation of a new school year upon us. It seems to hold all the promise of a clean slate on which to paint yourselves in your new, best light by achieving every little goal on a daily basis to bring home the good grades and improve your knowledge in new areas! All the school shopping seems to celebrate this new beginning as well. We participated in the frenzy of getting ready for school by buying three backpacks and filling them full of all that fun stuff for the “Stuff the Bus” campaign. One in honor of each of you! I restocked my desk at work as well. Trying to keep track of where each of you are in school from afar is a challenge, but I recognize Anthonee – you should be a Junior, Erin – you should be a sophomore, right? And you, Triston should be in 4th grade? And I would guess you are each on the honor roll or in the advanced classes because you are each so very intelligent. I sure hope you are putting it to good use.

    Well, it may be time for school, but we still have plenty of beach days left, and I’m still jumping in the pool about every day. We’ve had some near stormy days this week due to a tropical something or other, but clear, sunny days are right around the corner!

    Did you watch the Mars landing? I hope you will remember this as a huge United States success story that occurred in your lifetime! We are just amazed. Your cousin Philip, who now works for Boeing, is my counterpart in amazement and curiosity!

    And the Olympics? What do you think of all the events? We love watching the Summer Olympics. I’ve watched the gymnasts, swimmers, and track and field. So beautiful and amazing to see people who are truly the best in the world! It inspires me to tackle one more workout in my boot camp and stick to our clean eating regimen. I don’t need to win a gold medal, but I would like to live to 100. πŸ™‚ What sports are you doing now. I’m so pleased to see Triston following in your Dad’s footsteps with soccer. We’ve seen how good he is, and he finally has the chance to hone his skills.

    We’re pretty close to accomplishing our SCUBA certification! Your Dad is done with his written part and ready for the practical. He’s waiting on me to finish my written part. Almost there! I think we’ll do the open water part in the springs…still confirming. Then it’s off to the Keys to see some underwater wildlife!

    Wishing you a wonderful start to the school year, and counting on good grades! All our love, Grammie and Grampa

  11. September 4, 2012 9:21 pm

    Dear Grands,
    How was your Labor Day Weekend, and official end to summer? Grampa and I took an extra day off and the weekend ended up being the coolest one we’ve had in a long time! We are remodeling both the front room and the garage. Yes, the garage. Grampa has assembled and modified six large cabinets for organizing everything we don’t give away — oh my, we are going through 10 years of stuff and making keep or give away decisions to streamline the garage – and our lives! It’s fun to go through everything actually. It’s something like a treasure hunt since we haven’t really seen some of this stuff for almost 20 years — longer than you’ve been alive! Some of the stuff is fun to sort through just to reminisce too. There are things from when your Dad and Uncle Cory were born like hand crocheted sweaters from Great Grandma, and their various awards from Boy Scouts, school, and soccer; and their artwork from the years. It’s so much fun! We will be bringing some of these things out for a fresh take somewhere.

    Now on to the front room. I’m painting all our doors dark brown and it takes forever! I’m having so much fun! The beautiful quilt Great Grandma made for me is the center piece for decorating in soft greens and peach.The room will be our fitness room! It has weights, an elliptical, and the Total Gym – oh, and cool artwork too. All of this has a deadline of Aunt Cassie’s trip here in October. We can hardly wait to visit with her. It will be here before we know it, though. Our primary entertainment is to take Great Grandpa to the Bears’ Game!

    The highlight of our weekend was SCUBA! Yep, we finally got the certification underway. Your Dad and I are doing it and we are so dang excited to get in the ocean once we’re certified and trained up. We did all the reading and testing, then we did our swim tests, and next it was time to suit up and jump in. That equipment is heavy! Well, until we got in the water. We did all the checks and fits and then went underwater to breathe with the regulators. It was COOL. We both agreed that using SCUBA is much easier than snorkeling when it comes to breathing. We had to do all kinds of exercises such as removing and replacing our masks, switching regulators, making ourselves more and less buoyant so we could sink or float as needed. And then we swam around underwater forever! It was so much fun. This was our gift to your Dad and I am thrilled we are doing it. We are planning a dive trip for the final open water part in the ocean! Whoo hoo!

    October promises loads of fun too — and of course, that means Disney! I sure wish you were still going with us. We continue our traditional trips, but usually we’ll go by ourselves if we don’t have some kids to take along.

    Lots of family news to share — stop by some time and we can catch up. We love you, and think about that moment of you walking through the front door all the time. It would be so nice, wouldn’t it? You know you think about it too! We are in the same place, same address, and same phone numbers. Love you!!

  12. October 14, 2012 9:46 pm

    Just a quick note to let you know you’ve been on my mind quite a bit lately. I do daydream a bit about the time when we open the door and there you are. October has been a very busy month so far, it promises to remain that way. I can’t complain. I do like things to be hopping. πŸ™‚

    Aunt Cassie and Uncle Bill came to visit and we crammed so much into their one week visit you would think they had been here for a month. We went to the beach first thing and had such a nice time lounging in the sand and body surfing. They were so excited to be in warm water with hot sand and skies! No rocky beaches and drizzly weather that day! Body surfing was the central activity so we had lots of sand to dump out of our suits! St. Augustine was the focus for them on Friday, with strolling down St. George Street and stopping in to your favorite shops for pralines and souvineers like sharks teeth and shells. A string of us went to a Jaguars game — because they were playing the Bears! It was hilarious to listen to your Dad and Great Grampa take turns yelling at their respective teams out there. Our whole group was divided in half when we were cheering. It was loads of fun! We had a nice birthday dinner for both of your great Grandparents since you recall their birthdays are pretty close together in October. Grampa made a beautiful dinner, and we had two cheesecakes for them. On Friday we had a Halloween themed bunco night so Aunt Cassie and I dressed up as witches with giant hats, fun halloween dresses and scary make-up. We looked Good!

    I missed celebrating my birthday with you. Grampa and I went to a great little restaurant out on the beach and ate shrimp and steaks under a canopy of lighted oak trees in perfect weather. You would have loved it. There’s a beach to hang out on while you wait for dinner, and a dock to walk out and watch the dolphins. We are definitely going back again. Wish you were going with us!

    We have so much going on in the next few weeks! Things are very exciting. Stephanie and I are participating in an art show for which we’ve built an eclectic piece of art using a nail-gun! Boy did we feel powerful. We are advocating for Learn to Read Jacksonville for this event on Friday. Right behind that is the trip where your Dad and I will be getting our Scuba certification — can’t wait!! Then we are headed to Disney’s Food and Wine festival. I always love a nice mini vacation at Disney World. We’re staying at All Star Music with the awesome outdoor pools you enjoyed so much. That is followed by another Orlando weekend with your cousin when we shop for wedding dresses — yep! We have babies and weddings and amazing things happening with everyone that you are missing out on. Just give us a call and we can catch up.

    Grampa and I are then heading out on an anniversary road trip to Austin Texas where we will go to the Formula 1 race, take in an Aerosmith concert and meet up with Uncle Cory to enjoy a little turkey dinner. I love road trips! We will stop by New Orleans on the way back which is one of the places I’ve always wanted to go! Jazz music where it was born. I think it’s pretty funny that in one timeframe Grampa bought tickets for three different types of music: Aerosmith, Asleep at the Wheel, and Tchaikovsky — The Nutcracker, of course. I still go every year. Grampa always goes with me, and usually someone from our family and circle of friends goes as well. We have a big dinner afterwards and make it true party date. There is always a seat for you – although I’ll bet all but you, Triston, have outgrown the trip to the toy store afterwards. Things are certainly busy and exciting. We think of you all the time and wish good things for you. As you know in your hearts, we love you and know you love us as well. We’re here. Jump on the merry-go-round any time you think you can! Until then, love and hugs, Grammie and Grampa.

  13. October 21, 2012 11:25 am

    What We Should Be Doing This Weekend:

    The weather is beautiful! We could plant winter veggies. The garden bed is perfect with marigolds in bloom and the heather and grasses full and pretty. I have sections each of you could plant with your choice of veggies and flowers. I planted cauliflower, broccoli, and kale so far. The Fall Festivals are in full swing. We could be shopping for presents and tasting the roasted nuts and candies. The Blue Angels are at the beaches, so we could be watching them soar overhead, flip in front of our eyes, and then we’d be jumping to the sonic booms with which they always surprise us. The corn mazes are open and the corn stalks tall! We could be spending the afternoon laughing as we run through the mazes, stopping to have hot cider, and then picking out pumpkins to carve in the evening. It’s time for our annual Disney Halloween party. We could be finishing our costumes and packing our suitcases to head off to our favorite Disney destinations, having Coney Dogs, watching fireworks, riding Space Mountain, and trying to get Anthonee into the Haunted Mansion. It’s football season. We could be at the Jaguars game cheering on our favorite teams and enjoying the tailgate party with all the kids playing catch, practicing cheer leading, and playing word games until it’s time to go into the big game past the Jaguar statue and up the winding ramps to our seats. We should be doing so many fun things! Hugs, Grammie and Grampa

  14. December 5, 2012 8:42 am

    Happy Birthday Anthonee Lee! We hope you enjoyed celebrating you yesterday! I have had you on my mind so much recently with it being your birthday, and with you inching closer and closer to becoming a man. Unbelievable as it is that this much time has passed since I held you in my arms on your first day on earth. I’ve added one more gift to my box for you. This day leaves me wondering what kind of young man you are becoming, and wondering how much of your dad is reflected in you. I hope there is a lot of him in you since he is such a wonderful person! You are in your junior year in high school? And how are things going? Do you excel in math as you did as a youngster? If you were in a science class, did you avoid things that were icky, but remain fascinated by sharks and their habits? Is your artwork flourishing? Are you a better driver than your dad was at your age – he had a habit of running into things. Are you playing sports, dating a girl, and considering which college to attend? We can’t wait to hear how your year has been and what you are looking forward to! Our birthday wish for you is one full of hope, love, and success in discovering who you want to be as a man grown. We love you and miss you as always. Love, Grammie and Grampa
    Happy Birthday

  15. December 28, 2012 6:54 pm

    Dear Anthonee, Erin, and Triston;
    Here we are the week between Christmas and New Years – well, that would be your holiday break from school! Are you snowed in, or just enjoying the slopes? Are you snowboarders or skiers? Your Dad is awesome on a snowboard, and he knows Baker like the back of his hand. We’ve spent many years making that snowboarding trek with your Dad and Uncle Cory! Here we’ve had weather that is just up and down the thermometer! It’s nice, actually. I get to wear my boots and scarves one day, and flip flops the next! Our Christmas was a bittersweet one. We enjoyed our loved ones who are here, and missed those who aren’t – beginning with you! I admit that I break down less these days than before, but my heart still hurts for you three and your Dad. Christmas was loads of fun with a traditional Swedish feast, games, gift exchanges, and holiday lights! I will now finish your ornaments for 2012. They are cute as heck! Well, I think all of them are. I have three for each of you in my box of gifts. My friend calls it my Hope Box. I like that. I’ve added your Christmas gifts to it as well. Merry Christmas my kiddle bugs. We love you and wish you a warm and love-filled new year. Keep your grades up, your characters shiny, and your dreams vivid!! You know where we are. XOXO

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