Archive for Family

Our 2015 Calendar Project Success

The Family Calendar for 2015 has been polished, published and placed in the hands of all of the family members near and far.  This project turned out to be way more stressful for me than I realized it would be.  Setting deadlines for submissions and my Mom helping with getting the month’s assigned to each particular submitter.  Then the calendar pages with all the family members birthdays had to be edited and updated.  This was quite an adventure to say the least!  This is one of those projects that my Mom (or my parents) just always made happen every year, and it never seemed like a big deal, but it most certainly is.

One of my goals for each picture page of the calendar was to peruse the months and check to see that there were no duplicate pictures.  I looked intently at all of the picture months 10 or 50 times.  In the end and after all was said and done there was only one duplicate.  In my editorial opinion I consider that a great feat, and would take on the task again in a heartbeat.

This calendar brings back such great memories.  When all of the kids were younger, and my Mom was doing the calendar all on her own, they would each count how many times their picture appeared in the calendar.  Then they would make a contest out of who was in the calendar the most.  That in turn put extra pressure on Grandma to try and get a good balance of pictures for each grandchild.  Our Family Calendar is almost a 20 year family tradition, and I love traditions.  You can read all about the history of our family calendar here.

Nowadays, quite a few of the kids are contributors to the calendar, and it has made the project quite an annual event.  Not to mention the fact that  when we are taking pictures at family gatherings during the year someone will inevitably exclaim, “That’s a calendar shot!” This is one of those timeless family traditions that I hope will be passed from one generation to the next for many years to come.

Without further ado, these are the pictures pages gracing the 12 months of 2015.  Enjoy!

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It’s the First Monday of 2015

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Today marks the  first Monday of the New Year and I just wanted to let all of you know that if anyone needs me today I will be sitting right here at my computer putting the final touches on our 2015 Family Calendar.  It seems that I have volunteered for a task/project that has a much larger scope/involvement than I ever realized.  This project is normally headed up by my Mom.  This has been a much more emotional task than I ever fathomed it would be.  Just perusing through all of the pictures to find the right one for my pages has been a journey all of its own.  However, this is one of those family traditions that I for one do not want to let go by the wayside.  So when my Mom asked me if I could help with the calendar for this year of course I said yes.

The Family Calendar is a time-honored tradition started by my parents many moons ago. I wrote about the legacy of our Family Calendar a few years ago, and today the tradition continues.

Now mind you our calendar is a tad late this year, but this tradition will go forward and the calendars will be delivered to all of our family members by the end of this week.  Whew!

Honestly the one thing that I am most excited about for our 2015 calendar is that my Mom has not seen one page of it.  The entire calendar will be a surprise for her as well as the rest of the family.  I am the only one who has been viewing the pages in their entirety. That is the honor of taking on this tradition.

For now I bid you all adieu.  I cannot wait to share some of our family pages with all of you once the calendar is completed.  I already have a favorite month, but I cannot tell you which one it is. That is top-secret, classified information.

I hope that each and every one of you have a wonderful day today.

Loving my Grandma World

IMG_1111A certain, special someone is celebrating her second birthday this week.  Miss Madison is turning two, and is every bit of that two-year old.  She’s head strong, feisty, sweet and loving.  Madison spends two days a week with me at Camp Grandma, and we have fun-filled, exhausting days together.  Her favorite things to play with right now are Playdough, and her dolls.

Last week Madison had a moment with me that I will always cherish.  We have a little routine together in the morning after breakfast.  We get dressed, brush our teeth, and then I fix Madison’s hair.  On this particular morning I had Maddy sitting up on my bathroom counter.  We had to get her hair wet just a bit to get it put up into a little, tiny pony tail.  Once we got her hair all situated, I was just about to lift her back to the floor, and I got this huge unexpected hug, and an “I lub you Gwamma”.  Oh my goodness, I had to pick my melted heart up off of the floor, and gave her a big squeeze back right away.  I told her, “ I love you too, Maddy”.  This is one of those sweet, loving, ever-so-short grandma moments that stays in your memory bank for a long, long time.  The fact that the “I lub you” was not prompted by anyone else made her saying it to me all the sweeter.  I lifted Madison back onto the floor, and she ran off to play, as if nothing had happened.  As far a she was concerned, it was just another normal morning.  But for this Gwamma, it was a special morning filled with love.

When is the last time you had a “Gwamma” moment?

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Quietly Celebrating an Anniversary

There are many anniversary’s and birthdays that we all celebrate throughout our lifetime. The month of August – actually the 14th of August to be exact marks a wonderful day in my family’s history.  The 14th of August, 2014 is the 10th, 10th (!!) anniversary of our son Zachary’s last day of chemotherapy in the treatment of his leukemia.  It is simply incredibly to me that 10 years have gone by since our last ride home from the clinic with Zachary.  Wow!  Time really does fly.

This celebration is one of those that I have been thinking about for a while, just because of the significance of my son, The Survivor.  My son’s very humble about this subject.  He does not really like a lot of hoopla over this anniversary date, this is more of a mom “thing”. And recently I talked to Zach about this date, and he said, “wow that’s right! I do remember.” (or something to that effect). I asked him if it was ok if I write about it, and said, “sure Mom”.

I wrote about Zach’s journey with leukemia a couple of years ago.  You can read about it here if you’d like to.  He was in chemotherapy for three years, which ended August 14, 2004.  This is one of those subjects in our family history I simply felt compelled to write about.  I felt compelled to share our story.

Zach’s last day of chemo was a great celebration it seems like it was just yesterday.  Travel Man arranged for a limo ride for Zach’s drive home from the clinic that day.  The limo was supposed to be the standard “stretch” variety, but what showed up at the clinic doorstep was a Hummer Limo.  Travel Man had explained to the owner of the limo company what we were doing, and the owner surprised even us with this awesome limo ride.  Zach and his siblings, and cousins had a fantastic ride home, through the In-n-Out drive thru, and had a blast.  Just the memory we parents were looking to provide for this guy.    He had been through an awful lot in three years and the limo ride was a great memory to the end of that time.

Zach’s 10th birthday newly diagnosed with leukemia

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Zach’s 23rd birthday – 10 year’s chemo free, and what a handsome guy!

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Fast forward to 2014- Zach is newly married.  He and his wife Brookelynne got married last August.  They will be celebrating their first anniversary in a week or so. Zach works with developmentally disabled adults, and is an amazing caregiver.  He’s healthy, energetic, philosophic about life, and a survivor.  Cheers to you Zachary!!  We raise a glass to you today and celebrate the fine, young man who you are.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Can YOU fix a Thermostat? I did!

thermostatLast August my baby boy got married here at home in our back yard.  You can read all about the wedding here.  It was a lovely summer day and pretty hot too. I remember we were so glad when the sun went down.  It was such a fun night of partying and just having some fun. 
My house was not only hosting the wedding ceremony, we were also the “get ready” station for the wedding party, etc. This included my grandson, Evan, who was the ring bearer.  The household was a little tense to say the least. We spent the morning cleaning, decorating, and making sure all the details were in order for a wonderful wedding day.  
Then came the time for the boys,  including Evan, to get their best duds on to be ready for the ceremony.  This caused a bit of a stir for Evan because he was already hot, tired and sweaty and did not want to put on his shirt with a bow tie.  His Uncle Bryan ended up carrying him down the hallway kicking and screaming to the bedrooms to get dressed. That’s when a little fiasco happened.  In the midst of his little tantrum while being carried down the hallway he kicked the thermostat right off of the wall and the batteries went flying!!  We have one of those thermostats that can be popped off of the wall easily for programming.
I momentarily panicked, took a breath, and then calmness came over me.  I had a house full of people, it was hot outside and we need the air conditioner running for the day.  The thermostat was not going to fail us.  I found the batteries rolling around on the floor, picked up the thermostat and put everything back together and back on the wall mount.  I set the AC to come back on and nothing happened.  Gulp, another small moment of panic.  Then I did what I suppose any of us might do in this situation.  I took the thermostat off of the wall again,  and noticed that one of the batteries was a little loose.  I proceeded to the kitchen and got out our gigantic roll of foil (Travel Man uses this for his grilling).  Then I tore off a small piece of foil, folded it up, and stuck it in between the battery and the housing of the thermostat.  I was totally focused on fixing this situation.  The thermostat then went back on the wall and voila! the AC was up and running once again.  I’m not really certain if this was the safest thing to do, but I did it and it worked.
 
Now a few things I need to mention here.  Travel Man (my wonderful hubby) was running around the backyard like a chicken with his head cut off  so I never told him all of this happened with the thermostat that day.  In fact I don’t think I told him the entire story until somewhere around Christmas time.  It was a stressful day for us, and I wasn’t going to add to his stress factor, especially since I was able to get the thing fixed.  The other mention is that my Mom was quite emotional that day.  We had just lost my Dad, her grandson was getting married, and it just really got the best of her.  But, my five minutes of  finessing (which seemed like 5 hours in the scheme of things) the thermostat completely entertained her and made her laugh and smile that day.  I’m glad I could do that for her.
 
This is one of those stories that will go down in the family history books in the “Remember When” chapter.  We had quite a few wonderful moments on that wonderful wedding day, but for me this one was the most stressful and most successful at the same time.  And you know as I’m writing this I’m thinking that all of my own family members might not have heard this story.   That’s ok though, I always want things to stay positive for everyone!
 
When is the last time you had a family “moment”that you considered one for the history books?   
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