Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Leslie is Home

Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death, . . .
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23: 4a & 6b

My thoughts are with Tyson this morning. He is grieving the death of his young wife. It is almost too much pain and loss to bear. Imagine having to explain to your almost three year old that he won’t see Mommy because she is in heaven with Jesus. Imagine the fear and responsibility of being the only parent for your dear little boy. When that little one sleeps and Tyson is alone, the loneliness will seem crushing. When that little guy makes him laugh, there will still be an empty hole.

My first husband died when he was young. Our children were 10 and 12 years old. I remember saying to God, “I will be okay, but how will these boys survive without their daddy?” Later, I remember saying to God, “The boys are doing okay but I am not going to make it.” I did make it. The boys did more than just survive, they thrived . . . but at times things were hard—very hard. And so I cannot get Tyson off of my heart and mind today.

Please keep Tyson and TJ and the families of Tyson and Leslie in your prayers. God is good. He is faithful and He is the Great Comforter.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

When they said, "Let's go to the house of God," my heart leaped for joy. Psalm 122: 1

Saturday evening, Bob reminded me that he was working in the parking lot of our new church on Sunday and we would need to be ready to leave for church by 7:15 am. That did not put a damper on my excitement. We had missed church for two weeks and I was hungry to return. Walking in to the new building was such an incredible experience for me. It was new and yet familiar. Because we got there early, I had time to walk around and just soak it all in. Everything looks so pretty and fresh. I loved the children’s area with the incredible murals. The women’s bathrooms are perfect, large enough so that even between services there were no lines. I loved it all—the atrium, the plants, the sanctuary, the chairs, the library . . . I could go on. It is not a pretentious building but it is very nice. Our pastor once said that our church is not a country club—it is much more like a hospital. I felt at home. The building is different but I knew the parking assistants and the greeters and saw many friends. The church is so much more than a building. Sitting quietly in church before it started, I felt the presence of God. I was so happy to worship and learn and fellowship and praise God! It was a blessing!

If you would like to look at some pictures of the new facility, here is a link. The pictures are not adequate though. It would be great if you could come and visit the church. I hope that you would blessed as well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Birthday Blast!

Kent is 14 years old!! How did that happen already?

He decorated his own cake. I think that is such a novel way to deal with the stress of birthday cakes! In this family, each child is allowed and encouraged to decorate their own birthday cake in whatever color and manner as they choose. It seems like somewhat of a Huck Finn approach but the kids love it and there is no stress at all for mom!
This is Kent with his birthday present. (Those objects hanging from the fireplace that look like torture weapons are not. They are actually very challenging puzzles!)

Kent is inventive, amusing, wise, helpful, mature, responsible and creative. He makes us smile! I mention these unique characteristics to help you understand why his birthday request did not concern me. It also helps that I was not the responsible adult in charge and I was naive. For his birthday, he wanted his dad to help him make a potato launcher. In defense of his father, what dad could resist helping his son making something that blasts an object to the moon and breaks the sound barrier? Plus, I think it was all done in the name of science. Yes, yes, it was all done very responsibly and only with adult supervision in acres of pastureland. Although his grandpa and mom were horrified at the thought of it, no children or animals were harmed in any way. . . and if you watch the video you will surely see that no one had any fun.

Seriously, though, I don't recommend this any more than I would recommend doing your own fireworks. It could actually be quite dangerous so I won't be giving out any instructions. Don't try it on your own until you are at least 40 years old and are a certified paramedic.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And most of us had homemade pie!

What a happy occasion on Friday when nine of us from the Bernice clan were able to attend the monthly Rupp luncheon at the Archbold Home Restaurant! It is almost like a home meal on the farm and makes me smile just to think about it! A big hit was the rivilie soup—the easiest way to describe it—a chicken dumpling soup but the dumplings are tiny. The cousin in the pink shirt in front is Delight. What a great name! It fits her.

It brings great joy to see two of the remaining original ten siblings of my mother—dear, cheerful Aunt Vera and dear, wise Uncle Andy! My stepmom also feels like a Rupp because after Mom died, the Rupps still loved on Dad and accepted him as family and then when Dad remarried, they accepted Kay as kin, too. They are good, godly, generous people and I do so love them all! Aunt Vera brought us each a dishcloth that she had crocheted. Food, family and fellowship—not really in that order—that was an accident, I promise! But truly, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Our Heroic Guide...Do you think she is purposely distancing herself from the GGC?

In her own words. . .Guest Blogger and GGC Guide--Amy

What a privilege it was to spend several days with twelve of the female Gisel cousins! Not many in my generation have entered into this inner circle! It was an honor to learn family heritage from them and witness first-hand their commitment to family and tradition. Regardless of where we were or what we were doing, one factor remained the same…We LAUGHED (a lot)! If laughter is the best medicine, then this is an extremely healthy group of women. During these days, a few family traits seemed dominant in many of these cousins…

First, the Gisel Girls are dribblers. Nadine is definitely the queen of this, but many others share this tendency. An investment in a few family bibs might not be a bad idea. No worries though…They are all also armed with various types of emergency stain removers in their purses, so no stain goes untreated.

Next, the Gisel Girls are poor balancers. Although the Gisel name sounds quite similar to gazelle, I’m not so sure the Gisel cousins share the grace of the gazelle. During this trip, Lavonne nearly fell after her Omnimax trip to the Alps, and Donna nearly tumbled out of Lou’s car. Several others toppled and tripped here and there, too. I was thankful that no casualties occurred.

In addition, the Gisel Girls are talkers. Whether we were on the Metrolink or the Forest Park Shuttle, in the hotel lobby or a local restaurant, or visiting a tourist attraction, all of the locals certainly knew the Gisels were there. Riveting topics ranged from black debris in the tub to cloudy swimming pools. If you want the Gisel Girls to be quiet, it seems that you have to feed them a meal. As soon as they all had dinner in their hands, complete silence resulted. It was an amazing phenomenon to witness!

Finally, the Gisel Girls are multi-taskers. To an outsider, it might appear that the Gisel cousins talk continuously but never listen. However, that’s not true. They are expert multi-taskers. They are all gifted with the ability to talk and listen simultaneously to several conversations all taking place at once. It’s truly an amazing sight that all should see!

Not many families get a group of first cousins together every year like the Gisel cousins do! Is my generation ready to carry on this tradition??...I don’t know about that, but I thoroughly enjoyed my days as an “honorary member” of the Gisel Girls.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Three Hurrahs and Five Stars for Brave Amy!

How appropriate for my sister, Lou, to arrange for our Gisel Girl Cousin Gathering in St. Louis. Yes, and following this historic event, we are tempted to nominate her for sainthood—St Louie—it has such a nice ring to it.

We had many St. Louis highlights due primarily to Sister St. Louie’s wise appointment of teacher daughter Amy as our event planner. Remember the exceptional and talented Franck? He couldn’t hold a candle to Amy’s thoroughness and enthusiasm and having her front and center so improved the looks of our cousin clan.

The historic hotel that Amy researched and carefully chose for the GGC had all of the necessary amenities—each and every one of us could have our own bed and it was within our budget as well. The toilets and showers were in a separate room from the sink and double mirror. Most of the sinks drained and most of the rooms got cleaned each day. There was a swimming pool and by and large a tolerant staff that put up with many calls and visits to the front desk even providing a free breakfast on Wednesday morning for all of us—perhaps because they liked us so much—or not.

First, Amy planned the Opening Ceremony. She wrote the first two verses of The Welcome Song (Welcome to St. Louis Cousins), to the tune of the familiar, Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis. She used clever rhymes in place of "hootchie coochie" and "tootsie wootsie" (i.e. rowy boaty/artsy tartsy, ravioli/rolly poly, and Donna added a third verse with such appropriate rhymes of woozie floozie/brewery boozie.) Amy, who had never heard the song before due to her young age, with natural teacher persuasiveness, enlisted her mom and Aunt Donna to help perform The Welcome Song. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I was asked. However, never wanting to be left out, I joyfully and enthusiastically joined in—more like a student in the front row, saying, “Pick me. Pick me”— unlike my usual coyness.
Then Amy presented fabulous welcome gifts in St Louis boxes that included “an eclectic mix of edible items from all around St. Louis” including Fitz’s root beer, Ronoco Coffee, Cardinals peanuts, a sampling of gooey butter cake, a chocolate Arch and a whole package of Switzer’s red licorice! But wait that is not all! We also received a twofold brochure that had our agenda and a St Louis trivia quiz.
Amy, a most conscientious tour guide, provided a booklet on the history of each St. Louis place that we would visit on our tour impressing the current and retired teachers which is most everyone because 11 of the 14 cousins are in that group. She also had that unique teacher ability of being able to be at all important places at once. For example, she led our straggling group, was crossing guard and also followed up so no one was left behind. She provided maps and directions and remembered where the cars were parked. She helped find keys, credit cards, and purses but lest you think we were helpless, none of us needed assistance in the restroom. Anyhow, I am sure that is where Amy would draw the line. Although with that many women, it was necessary to always know the nearest, cleanest WC available.
Amy’s teacherness was clearly evidenced as she provided for the many special needs of our group. For example, Amy provided a menu for each of the diverse restaurants where we would dine so the decision-making-challenged could get a head start. Everything worked so smoothly! Of course all were eager to help. Our first meal out was at Zia’s Italian Restaurant on The Hill. Soon after we started eating, one unnamed cousin noticed that she had spilled a bit of oil on her shirt. Immediately, five other cousins produced purse sized sprays and stain removal items to assist. The other seven gave advice on how to best use the products. It did create a not too subtle stir but really no one noticed and the spot became nearly invisible and we laughed a great deal so that I am sure no one suspected anything out of the ordinary. We appreciated that we were not asked to leave as the food was so very delicious!

Amy competently led us through the beautiful city! Not an easy task. Imagine squeezing eleven of us into small Gateway Arch cars while laughing, taking mostly non drinking Mennonites on the Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, having Fitz’s Root Beer floats with laughing women who have difficulty eating a piece of bread without dribbling, riding the Metrolink to Forrest Park with the balance challenged who were laughing and needing to make sure that all were in before the doors closed. Then life guarding while the group swam and having to find swim towels because they were depleted since it was very warm outside. No one drowned even though the water level rose dramatically with all of us in the pool. Perhaps one floats more easily while laughing. Well you get the picture. Just think of the pressure and responsibility on our exceptional tour guide and she never stopped smiling! It was great! We could have easily stayed for another three days. Although I don’t know how much more fun, Lou and Amy could have survived.
Naturally after such a fabulous St Louis experience, we had a great deal of difficulty deciding on our next year’s adventure. This will be a hard act to follow! Please spread the word that we are looking for an inexpensive, very social, creative, patient, organized, female tour director/guide with a big sense of humor—a teacher on summer break would be great! It could be like a reality show—GGC Survivor? Just imagine what this position may do for a resume! Go ahead, apply if you dare.
This ritual of passing The Box is part of our secret Closing Ceremony. Learning its secrets should be incentive enough to chaperone our GGC. All applicants will be considered but I want to warn you, the competition may be tough—or not.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Precious Cargo to Disney and Back!

We were so privileged to be entrusted to take Jessica and David with us to Bob’s convention in Orlando! Both Bob and I felt the responsibility and are grateful for God’s protection and safety for the trip. The kids were great! We had a busy, fun week! We were so blessed!

Every day the temperatures were in the 90’s so we totally enjoyed the hotel pool!

What is a visit to Disney without a few character pictures!
David was a tad embarrassed by this kissing picture. I thought it was fun.
At a character breakfast, we got to interact a bit with Goofy, Minnie, Chip and Dale.
At Magic Kingdom, the favorite ride was Space Mountain that we rode three times in front seats—thanks to Fast Pass.
Jessica and David got the wrist bands —think beautiful, fashionable bracelets—on an earlier family vacation in Wisconsin. I was tempted to cut them off while they were sleeping but understanding their attachment, I did not want to risk ruining their psyches for life. As a warning to other parents, such wrist bands might be enough to steer me clear of Jellystone Parks. They may be indestructible—at least extremely durable—but then again, I think they come in a variety of colors.
From the beginning of the trip—thanks to Mr. Brown’s build up, all that David could think about was going on the Tower of Terror. He was mighty disappointed the first day when it was not at Magic Kingdom. To my relief, I researched and found that it was at Hollywood Studios—I was afraid that it was at Universal Studios and had not bought tickets for that park and had no desire to purchase another park ticket. I had avoided the ride on an earlier Disney trip several years ago with Kent and Steven but knew that there was no escaping it on this trip. So we dashed to the Tower, first thing on our visit to Hollywood Studios. I figured that I would hold my breath and endure it. It is amazing what you do for grandchildren. To my relief, the scariness of the ride was pretty much all build up—actually it was fun! It really reminded me of riding old fashioned elevators in the big city of Toledo as a small girl. Do any of you remember that feeling of the elevator missing the floor when you were going down and then bouncing back up to the right floor again? That is what it is like only a bit faster. The kids thought the ride was scary because of the eerie story. Now, the Rock N Roll rollercoaster—whew! That was fast!

The real highlight of Hollywood Studios was when Jessica got chosen for Jedi training and then successfully fought against Darth Vador!

The special souvenir of our Disney experience were four light sabers.
At Animal Kingdom, the thrilling ride was Expedition Everest roller coaster. Another fun experience was when Jessica got chosen to dance with some dancers in “Africa”.

As for the convention and maybe the whole trip, it was all about “Grandpa’s Segway”! Actually, I love riding them, too, and so does Grandpa. We may apply to be security guards after Bob’s retirement if it involves zooming around all day on Segways.

Jessica got her face painted and hoped that it might last long enough to show Mom when she got home. Fortunately, unlike the wristbands, it did come off while she was sleeping but we did get a good picture.
Movies made the road trip very pleasant for all of us. My digital camera also provided a few minutes of entertainment which is why I have twenty some pictures of the Smokey Mountains and other such interesting sights.
For devotions each day, the kids decided to begin at the beginning of the Bible—Genesis. We attempted to read one chapter each morning and each evening. That started out easy and pleasant as we talked about creation and Adam and Eve and Noah but we got to a few more complicated readings as we covered Sarai giving Hagar to Abram in chapter 16 and also the topic of circumcision in chapter 17. Both Bob and I drew a sigh of relief as we realized that the next chapter would have covered the story of “Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed” and “Lot and His Daughters”. Whew! We got them home just in time.
On the way back home, we stayed in a hotel with no rollaways but two queen beds. Grandpa “slept” with David in one bed. Jessica and I shared the other bed. Both of the kids slept great!

Our most comfy of all bed is here at home and it felt really good last night. We are blessed!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Road Trips have changed a bit

We are leaving today. Jessica and David are going with us to Florida. Hubby has a convention and lots of responsibilities so we are taking two kids to make Disney more fun for me.

A few things have changed since we took our own kids on a vacation. A biggie of course is seat belt requirement. There will be no beds made up in the back but we will take pillows.

Another thing is movies—we have it set up so both children can watch the same movie or they can watch their own movie separately. Many years ago, we read books aloud—chapter books—some for fun and some to educate us about the places we were going to see. I packed surprises to open after driving six hours. Sorry kids, I didn’t even think about that until this minute.

Then there are bathroom stops. We never made bathroom stops because of me. Bathroom stops were only made when it was necessary to get gas or food. I had a mother’s bladder that could wait for ten hours. Sadly, that has changed.

And food, that has changed, too. I prepared for days in advance with a well packed cooler and a larder of all that we needed to consume for days at a time. We ate meals in rest parks along the highway. This trip, we will unapologetically enjoy fast foods.

We never used hotels because we had a marvelous blue tent that was very adequate for four of us. Like today though we were always thrilled if the place where we were going to spend the night had a pool.

And suitcases—we used to take just two--a smaller one for the boys and a larger one for us--both without wheels. We had two boxes of books. We needed as much room as possible for the boys to spread out so we strapped the tent and a few supplies on the roof. The suitcases today are about two per person and then we each need at least one duffle as well as entertainment supplies.

We are excited to get going and anticipating lots of fun and adventure. We are praying with more intensity. Praying for safety on the highway and especially that no harm will come to the children. It is a much larger responsibility to take grandchildren than it was to take our own two sons.

There may be a long break from blogging or perhaps I will take a break and blog. I just can’t say at this time. If you check and nothing is here, pray for us. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Unconventional Entrepreneurs

The girls lowered their overhead and labor and went green. They used no paper products. You could drink your lemonade at their stand or take it home and wash your cup and bring it back clean. I don't believe that it was necessary to wash glasses for lemonade that was consumed at the stand because being hygiene responsible, there were disposable straws available. The straws dual purpose was to add a bit of flair to the already festive martini glasses.

They also experimented with no signs. It worked just as well to call loudly to every person passing whether on foot, bike or in a car.

Sara’s everyday gracious style is consistent with her retail dress code. It is all about dresses and bare feet. On rare occasions she dons shoes.

Pricing was interesting as well. You could pay 25¢ or 50¢--whatever you wanted. Dual pricing! What a novel idea! It seemed most adults were paying 50¢.

Their profits were impressive. More research is necessary to determine if it was their business plan. Unofficially, I am pretty sure it was their irresistable charm.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mostly True

Two of these are true:
  1. We celebrated our 12th anniversary at US Cellular Field.
  2. The White Sox won both games.
  3. Our names were on the scoreboard.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Imagine this day, July 5th. . .

I miss my Dad! It would have been his 90th birthday.

In 1988, my sister, Lou and I decided that we should start celebrating Dad’s birthday each year. I only recall missing one year after that. We still celebrated that year, but not on July 5. We began when he was 70 with a McDonald’s party because Dad had teasingly told one of his grandkids that he had never had a McDonald’s party. It was a surprise and he was a great sport.

Since then we have gone to ballgames, the lake, and Chicago. We have been at his house and he has been at our houses. We had a big Open House Party—a surprise for him—on his 80th birthday. Since my other sister, Donna, moved closer, she has not missed Dad’s birthday either. This year, we had hoped for a quiet celebration in his home on July 5th and a big celebration later for a weekend with all of the family at a camp in August. It wasn’t to be. Dad died nine days ago.

I just looked through a little book, Heaven by Joseph Bayly. It would sure be great if we could get a phone call from Dad telling us something and hearing his healthy, happy voice. My mother died twenty four years ago today on my dad’s 66th birthday. I imagine that they are celebrating and delighting in being united and with Jesus.

I like this quote from Joseph Bayly and the following two songs are special as well.

Death is deliverance to life
beyond your imagining!
The death incident is merely
a passage from earth life,
from the womb that has contained you until now,
into the dark tunnel.
You may experience pain
--just as you did when you were born a baby--
but beyond the tunnel is heaven.
I promise you, you'll enjoy heaven.

Finally Home by L.E. Singer

When engulfed by the terror of the tempestuous sea,
Unknown waves before you roll;
At the end of doubt and peril is eternity,
Though fear and conflict seize your soul.

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

When surrounded by the blackness of the darkest night,
O how lonely death can be;
At the end of this long tunnel is a shining light,
For death is swallowed up in victory!

But just think of stepping on shore-And finding it Heaven!
Of touching a hand-And finding it God's!
Of breathing new air-And finding it celestial!
Of waking up in glory-And finding it home!

I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Halelluja,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Regarding A Really Big Number. . .

Seamus has me wrapped around his little finger and here’s why. . . Me: What should we do for Grandma Day?
Seamus: I just want to play at your house.

But we also spent some time at “your” park. I found a pretty good hiding spot while Seamus quickly counted to ten. When it was his turn to hide, I had to count to 69—which is (I think) his current favorite really big number.

When asked how old he was, Seamus announced, “69”.

Grandma: You can’t be 69, Seamus, that’s even a bigger number than Grandma.

Seamus reconsidered and then chose “66”.

Grandma: That is still a really big number!

Seamus, impressing us that he is getting really big, insisted, "I am eleventy sixty-six!"

Whew! We were convinced!
And he has Grandpa wrapped around his little finger as well!

Grandpa: What team should we cheer for?

Seamus enthusiastically: White Sox!
Can that be comfortable?

What is a sleepover without a popcorn party?

And beating Grandma at "Soots" and Ladders?
Grandma: Have you ever been to Brookfield Zoo?

Seamus: Once I have been. Do you know what once means?

Grandma: What does it mean?

Seamus: Once means one time. Twoce means two times. Threece means three times. Fource means four times.

Seamus skipped five, then experimented with saying sixce and gave up and then explained. . ."Six means just plain six. That’s all. Not six times. Just plain six."

Our favorite zoo activity was touching the “x-rays”. But then it was also lots of fun to ride the grasshopper which was really a praying mantis but how easy is that to remember? We also loved the dolphin show and afterwards watching the seals and sea lions!

It was a great day!

Sensing that I was tired, Grandpa drove to take him home. I asked, “Seamus, are you tired?”

To which I got a resounding standard four year old answer: Noooo!

And I believed him! Where does all of that energy come from? One half of a hot dog, some lemonade and cheese curls just wouldn't do that much for me!

Grandpa reminded me of my age which is not by the way 69 but it is a really big number.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lounging at the Lake with Lester's Ladies

My Grandpa and Grandma were fruitful and multiplied. Their children numbered ten. I cannot tell how many we number now but, invited by Lester’s Ladies, 29 Girl Cousins (including some girl cousins by marriage) rendezvoused at Round Lake in Michigan for a few days to reminisce and to make new memories.

Knowing full well that this was going to be a exceptional bloggable event, I went armed with my Canon Power Shot and started aiming and clicking before I even walked in the door. We were magnificently welcomed with signage and welcome gifts and beautiful flowers! You may wonder if LL’s had been reading and clipping from Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn and Real Simple for the past two years but seriously, they are naturals and possibly incognito contributors to some famous decorating magazines and are prohibited from revealing that info at this time. Regardless, here is a sneak peek of their work.

All but Aunt Arvada's family were represented.

These welcome gifts were provided for all 29 cousins! Thanks, Jo, Janna, Carma and Wanda!

Sweet florals were placed all over the cottage.

Notice some more florals!

We had an absolutely fabulous dinner—like Martha, they not only decorate, LL’s also cook. Next we were invited on a pontoon boat for a small tour. It was going famously well. We saw a home where a judge may have lived. Soon, however, our slightly overweighted craft encountered a sand bar. Angie, being the youngest cousin immediately jumped in to rescue her nearest and dearest. Soon after, Ann was also assisting. Impulsively impressed by their chivalry, I stepped forth as well. I have no idea why, I am still trying to look for an explanation. I never even took life saving. Immediately, I empathized with all of the centuries of grief that Peter has taken for trying to walk on the water. I wisely had my responsible sister, Donna, hold my camera before I jumped. Soon all three of us in the water realized that the large stones on the sand bar in this somewhat smallish lake had not been rounded and smoothed by strong waves and currents over billions of years. We hopped back on the pontoon to get feet protection. Unwisely, I requested my camera back and carefully put it in my pocket so as not to lose it as I am prone to do. After just minutes of rest, however, I unwisely went forth again into the water which is why I have pictures of the first two hours of our wonderful reunion and no additional pictures.

Chef Janna was the Grill Chief

The pontoon with Jo at the helm.

The Lester Family Cottage

The rest of the pontoon story is blog worthy. After getting the pontoon into deep enough water to safely start, six others were able to assist and get me back on the pontoon. I think Ann and Angie just jumped on. However, then the pontoon would not start even though Jo and her capable assistant Wanda as well as several others tried many times. We could not believe it but it was true, none of us on the pontoon tour had brought a cell phone out on the lake! So we yelled and waved (but did not undress) to get the attention of three fisherman who successfully ignored us for at least twenty minutes. Finally one brave fisherman did come on board and looked at the pontoon and pointed out the kill switch and we laughed enough to scare him off and we were soon on our way again. I must say that Jo brought the pontoon into the pier with complete accuracy and precision and quickly regained her status as a worthy captain.

Ann to the rescue.

This is my attempt at Search and Rescue.

Yay! Dear Cousin Lynn has a report and pictures on her Proverbial Pilgrimage blog. Eventually some other cousins will come through with more photos.

Let me say, that I have a wonderful husband. On Sunday we were married twelve years. He is accustomed to my inept ways and is patient and forgiving. Therefore, it was not a water logged camera that prevented me from taking pictures of adorable grandchildren on Sunday and Monday. That is another totally separate tale of my Canon Power Shot camera that involved strange disappearance and possible theft and return after the children were well on their way back to NC and CO. I am in possession of my working CPS camera now and determined to keep it attached to me at all times except when I get in water. . . I just heard Bob sigh.