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
Here we are, finishing up our first week at Still Water, and I figured it’s about time I do a bit of a Christmas Recap!
First of all, I need to confess that I did a terrible, horrible, no excuse it’s so bad, job of taking pictures of our actual Christmas Celebrations. But I did do a fairly good job of documenting some of the other fun stuff we did while we were with the kids. Here are some highlights:
Franklin Park Conservatory Aglow
Lara, Alexandra and I went early enough that we could (Okay, so that Alexandra could) enjoy the outside park area
but stayed late enough to enjoy all of the inside sights, like Fairy villages
and creative gingerbread houses
and other fun activities.
Finally it was back out to see the gardens all ‘Aglow”!
It was a super fun (and quite beautiful) Girls Night Out!
Friday was our joint Christmas with Lara and Toby’s family, and after the presents were opened, Gary and I took all the girls out for a shopping spree. As part of their Christmas gift they each got $50.00 to spend at the store of their choice (within reason!).
We hit Target, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, and finally Blick’s Art Supplies. These kids are really good shoppers, getting the most bang for their buck! It was a fun afternoon, navigating a shopping extravaganza with 5 girls aged 4 through (almost) 16!
Girls – Happy. Grams and Pops – Exhausted!!
Generally each year we try to do an “all together” day, apart from the actual Christmas celebration. Both Toby and Lara have birthdays in close proximity to the holidays, so we try to combine a fun family activity along with birthday meal out. (I know, we’re crazy!) We’ve done indoor mini-golf, bowling, and trampolining in recent years. This year we decided to go the (pseudo) educational route and took advantage of The Big Explore in downtown Columbus. Many of the city’s excellent museums were free as was public transportation. Couldn’t pass up that Free thing!
and bus rides (a first for lots of the crowd!).
We had a great BBQ lunch and even enjoyed a couple minutes of an outdoor fire pit!
All in all, it was a great day. We ended it with Jeni’s ice cream, who in celebration of the Big Explore was selling their ice cream for $.75/scoop. Now since the usual charge is $4.75/scoop, you can imagine that the lines were long. But Oh.So.Worth.It.
(Somehow 12 of us had at least two scoops each (some had 3)) and our total bill was $14.00. It was a crazy good way to end our Big City Adventure!)
Oh, My! The games we played! Racko, Bananagrams, Battleship, Bingo, and any number of card games….
There were even games to be played at our lunch spot while we waited for our BBQ in Columbus!
Hugs and love and giggles and memories – another wonderful Christmas is in the books!
You know there are more pictures, right? Well, you can check them out HERE!
(Spoiler alert – there’s one of Gary sitting on Santa’s lap. You better check them out!)
I was getting a little worried about finding a spot, since every place that I contacted could only put me on a waiting list. Gulp. But God had everything under control all along, and in the end we had two different campgrounds contact me about openings. We’re in what I would call a “working man’s” campground – not a lot of frills, but a good site with a nice shade tree to boot!
It is a little bit farther out of town than we were hoping for, but that just makes us more thankful for the (comparatively) cheap fuel here in Texas!
Yes, we’re so thankful that we’re settled, safe, and yes, smiling!
There is still a bit of the glow of our great week with Maddie going on here. As I’ve sorted through the pictures, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s the best way to ‘put into words’ all the fun we had and all the memories we made. Do I make a list? Post a bazillion pictures? Maybe I’ll just talk about all the LOVE! Continue reading Maddie’s Great Adventure
I had every intention of getting right back to work on the Monday following the cruise. Honest, I did. But when our daughter called over the weekend and asked if we’d like to join them at Knoebels Amusement Park on Monday, well, it didn’t take us too long to say – “Of Course!”
Even though we’ve only been to Knoebels once before (during our 2015 Adventure with granddaughter Hayley)
we are big fans of this amusement park. We love that there is no admission fee, that you can either purchase an “All Rides” wrist band or just purchase tickets for the rides you want to take. The food isn’t too pricey, the rides are everything from vintage to state of the art, and the general feel of the park is oh-so-very family friendly.
We met with Lara and Herbert and kiddos Ellie (11), Maddie (Toby’s daughter, 10) and Alexandra (3.75) by the Ferris Wheel and the park did not disappoint!
Grams and Pops took care of some of the more mild rides.
We also handled all of the watching of the bags and keeping track of kids that were too small to go (or didn’t want to go) on the big ‘coasters-
(Despite the look on Maddie’s face – she WANTED to go on that ride!)
Lara, Herbert and Maddie did all the big roller coasters, but only Maddie and Herbert were brave enough to do the StratosFear!
Spending the day with Lara and Herbert and these three cuties
was a total delight. We got home late that night, exhausted but happy and content. It was a totally unexpected, totally delicious, impromptu day of fun!
Here are some additional pictures of our time at Knoebels. But I think this one, taken by Herbert, is one of my favorites!
Oh, those faces!!!