Category Archives: Family and Friends

Pictures and stories of our dear family and friends

Trains and Planes and Automobiles


Were you ever part of a progressive dinner? You remember them – you went to the Jones for appetizers, the Smith’s for the main course, and then the Johnson’s for dessert. This year for our traditional Girls’ Week we set out on a grand progressive road trip! For me the pre-appetizer started with actually GETTING to Pennsylvania (since we seem to be in an endless renovation loop here in Waco), and spending a bit of time with my sister Joie. From there we headed on to our main appetizer –  Vermont!

“We’re coming, Elna!”

We rested a day in Bradford with Elna, worshiping with her and getting in a quick Cabin-Fix,
before we piled in the car to head for our main course – our Canadian Family in Cobourg, Ontario.
That’s our step-mom (Jo-Jo) and her two daughters (Susan and Sally)on the left. (Elna is not taking the picture – sadly she  was back at the house suffering with a nasty cold.)

Apart from Elna’s cold, we had a perfectly lovely time! We stayed at our step-brother’s home (who was not able to make the ‘party’) which is less than a block from Lake Ontario.
That’s the view from his front step!
And right at the end of the street….

Our dear Jo-Jo was in the process of making a move from her sweet Cobourg home to an apartment in Toronto to be nearer to her kids, grands and greats, so it worked well that we weren’t underfoot at her house all the time. We were so delighted that her daughters, Susan and Sally, were able to come for two days and together we helped get some of her items ready for the move.
Some of those lovely ironstone dishes may or may not have crossed the border back to the US with us.  Just sayin’.
Of course it wasn’t all work. There was lots of laughter too, as we caught up with each other’s lives and shared memories of Dad. On our last afternoon there, after a quick storm cleared the air, Jo-Jo took us on a lovely drive through the countryside and eventually looping back  to the lake shore. This is such a beautiful area!

It was a delight spending time with family we don’t get to see very often, and our time there passed quickly.
(Our official GW19 photo – Elna was finally feeling better!)

Friday morning we sisters were back in the car, and heading back to the USA for our ‘dessert’ course – our final weekend in Bradford.  Although we slept at Elna’s house, most of our time was spent at the Cabin (of course!). There is nothing like the Cabin in the springtime!
Monday morning Joie and I were on our way back to Pennsylvania, and Tuesday I did the whole train-plane-automobile combo to get me back Waco. (Where I had my second dessert – being back home with my honey!)

This indeed was a Girls’ Week to remember!
So many miles (over 5000 total for me), but oh so many smiles (countless!).

If you’d like to see a few more pictures of our adventure you can check ’em out HERE (for the GW19 pix) or HERE (for the Cabin shots!)

In other news…..

It is with a mixture of both guilt and joy that I must report I have washed my last paintbrush. Well, for a couple of weeks anyway. Guilt because along with the paint brushes, I left Gary with all the house stuff that still needs to be done and joy that my beloved Sisters’ Week has begun!! We’re mixing it up again this year by taking a road trip to Cobourg, Ontario, to visit our Canadian family. But of course it’s never just a simple road trip in our world. Since I was still in Waco bonding with that trim paint, my first step was to actually get east.
Early morning drive to Dallas to catch a plane to Philadelphia

Got to Philly without incident and then made my way to 30th street station

To catch the non-express train to Harrisburg

where I was met by my sister and her sweet hubby.
At this point, I believe Sisters’ Week had officially (mostly)begun. (Especially since I had navigated all the plane and train stuff like a true adult.)
I arrived at Joie’s a couple of days early due to finding the cheapest airfare but it was nice having these two days to decompress from my painting marathon before our road trip.
Thursday I helped out with Soft Pretzel day at the school where Joie had taught for many years (so fun!)

and today we met with friends for a lovely long breakfast, ran some errands, and prepared for the first leg of our road trip- getting to Vermont to snag the other part of our sisterhood.
We’ll be packing up the car tonight to get an early start tomorrow – and so the adventure will begin in earnest!

Back at the home front, Gary is plugging away on the house list. I’m so thankful he gave me his blessing to take this time with my sisters, and am praying that he stays off ladders and out of hot attics while I’m away.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS – in an effort to be at least a little unplugged during Sisters Week, I left my computer in Texas. This is one of my first iPad posts, so if looks weird- chalk it up to a new learning curve. 🤗

A different Waco Weekend

We loved spending a couple of extra days in Waco following our February SOWER project.  While we did get to spend a bit of time with the kids and the grands,
(A fun Chick Fil A dinner with the boys!)
our primary focus was working on the house, pressing on with getting it ready to sell.
While Gary continues on with the electrical ‘stuff’ –


I’ve been working more on things that present a more visible result. For example –
Somewhere in the history of this house (it was built in 1918) a great deal of wallpaper was put up in the closets. (At least it can still be seen in the closets – perhaps it was other places as well!). But since this wallpaper was put up over ship lap, it was nailed up, not glued. It also has a fabric-ish backing that disintegrated over the years (century?). The attic space was not only completely covered in this wall covering, but all of the shelving and trim – even the attempt to make it a cedar closet – was installed over it. (Actually, that’s probably what held it up!)
Pretty gross, right?
With (what I hope was) adequate protection, I began the task of reclaiming those walls!
The good news is without it being glued, big swatches did come down at once. The bad news was those blasted nails!
It was a long and dusty day, and with some help from Gary, we got it all pulled down and cleaned up –


Looks pretty spiffy, right?

But oh those little nails…..

We also got some yard work done – mowing the grass and cleaning up the sidewalks – and continued with some interior deep cleaning (you know, behind appliances where it’s always scary!).

We have this month away from the house and selling-the-house related projects, and I think that’s a good thing. We had a pre-inspection of the electrical work, and Gary does need to make some modifications on his original plan. It’s always good to take a step back and take a breather from big projects, and we’re thankful we have the opportunity.

Right now we’re getting settled at our March project (see Where are we Now for more details) and working on staying warm!! Hopefully March will become a little more lamb like as the month progresses!

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Waco Weekends

Ah – since our February SOWER project is just 30 miles from Waco, we’ve been spending our weekends at the house getting it ready to sell. So while I could update you on how shiny the oven is or how sparkly the windows are getting – or even how much progress Gary is making on the electric upgrade
I’d much rather share the really important parts of the weekend. Like pictures from Taran’s birthday party (he’s FOUR!!!)
or the surprise connection with friends from Doylestown who were playing tourist in Waco!
(Special thanks to Facebook where I saw that they were in town! Such an unexpected delight!)

So yes – we’re making slow and steady progress on the house. And we’re thankful for that! But we’re much more thankful for those special moments we get to share with family and friends!

Thanks for stopping by (especially after such a long lull…..)!

2003 was a very good year

Ellie baby
The day we moved into our Jamison home in 1981 I remember hugging my mom as the last box was being unloaded and saying that this house was IT. This was our last move and THIS was the house that our grandchildren would be coming to. Little did I know at the time that 23 years later we would be not only moving from that house, but moving into a 300 square foot house on wheels. But God was kind. Feb 3, 2003 we welcomed this little darlin’ into our family. Ellie, the only one of the grands born before we began our RV adventure, came to that ‘forever’ house several times before we hit the road. She doesn’t remember of course, but I will always hold those precious memories close.
(Actual proof that she was there!! That’s our sofa!)
Today she turned 16. Oh. My. Heart. She’s smart and kind and talented and beautiful. And most importantly, she’s given her heart to Jesus.

Happy Birthday to this sweet girl that made us grandparents. We may not be close by very often, be we carry you in our hearts and in our prayers.
Grams and Pops