Sunday, November 6, 2011

Farewell New York

The move from New York back to California was a long and painful process on many levels. From March to September we spent countless hours of sorting, trashing, donating and packing, and still found ourselves with so much STUFF to have loaded into a semi and shipped across the USA. I deliberately took no pictures of this crazy endeavor. Then there was our NY home to sell in a market that just couldn't find the bottom. There were sad goodbyes to our dear friends and all the minute logistics of leaving jobs, shipping vehicles, closing accounts, forwarding mail...yadayada

BUT! We did it and are thrilled to be renting a condo in beautiful Avila Beach nearer our children & grandchildren. It took 10 people ( including the 4 outside of camera range) to sign the sale papers on our home.
The semi loaded with our earthly goods arrived at Ryan's Ranch on the morning of September 19th to sort what what was being moved to our Avila Beach Condo and what was to be stored in Ryan's barn. To our amazement, this California black bear showed up on scene.
Papa enjoys some time with our newest grandson Nolan
Our first weekend in SLO we gathered with family and friends at the barn to celebrate Abby's 9th birthday. The party theme was centered around Abby's love of Art.
The guests had fun creating artwork and at Abby's request for a Vincent Van Gogh, Leanne created this beautiful recreation of "Starry Starry Night"

The following weekend brought a visit from Nathan, Megan and boys. Here we are at Avila Farms where we took a hay ride to the Apple Orchard.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nolan Joins Our Family

Each new grandchild is such a precious gift. Nolan joined our family on August 22nd. By coincidence I flew from New York to Santa Barbara on that very day and was driving up to San Luis Obispo when I learned that Kelli was in the hospital and delivery was eminent. I was thrilled to visit the hospital soon after he was born.

Next morning I brought Scarlett and Lila to the hospital to meet their new little brother.
Happy Grammy! I got to spend a few days after Nolan came home
with Jared and Kelli and the girls.
Papa flew out a few days later to meet our newest grandson.
Kelli's Photography skills were tested to the max to capture this treasure.
We celebrated Papa's 60th birthday with a road trip along the beautiful Central CA coast.
Watching the sunset from Ryan and Leanne's front porch...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

North Carolina Fun

Early in August Jason and Kimberly spent a week in Europe where Jason completed an Iron Man competition in Germany. What an amazing accomplishment for him and his very supportive wife.

Meanwhile back in NC, I got to hang out with these cute kids. They did some serious fort building while their parents were gone since it was HOT outside. We went to 3 movies. Yep I've seen my quota of animation for the year and we went swimming to cool off a couple of days.
One day we went with the Becks to the Durham Museum of Life and Science. Very cool! Not the weather but the indoor and outdoor experience.
Watching the black bears outside.
Maddie showing her block building skills. This girl has spunk and confidence!
Sweet Colin!
Ethan made an impressive tower
This is Maddie after she recovered from the trauma of seeing "my mommy" on Skype. Her parents actually left her in charge of me and the boys. (I was kind of a figure head)
Randy flew down to hang out with us on the weekend and so we all went to the Planetarium in Chapel Hill. Here Ethan was chosen to participate in a Science Experiment.
With Papa in town there was some serious rough housing

Aren't they handsome all cleaned up and ready for church???

Monday, July 25, 2011

July Fun in the Sun

On July 1st Randy and I flew to San Diego where we met up with my mom at the airport and drove to Ryan and Leanne's Oceanside Condo to spend 2 nights. It was a busy 4th of July weekend and the beaches were crowded but we enjoyed the ocean view from the comfort of their home. Ryan treated us to a yummy dinner out where he and Leanne announced that they are expecting TWINS! We have since learned that one is a boy and the other is not yet revealing. Such happy happy news!
On Saturday we met at Todd & Ashley's home for the blessing of precious Ryan Ashley
We enjoyed a nice dinner afterwards with the Dickson Family in the back yard
Proud Daddy and sleepy baby
On Sunday we all caravaned to San Luis Obispo to gather with the Francis family for the 4th of July extravaganza at Ryan and Leanne's 100 year old historic barn.

Jared showed his patriotism before engaging in the
Revolutionary Paint War on the Eve of the 4th

All four of these girls dressed to show their patriotism

Grammy loved every minute of a day filled with
grand kids, food, games, water balloon wars and fireworks

This ice water attack on Grammy and Papa was shocking on so many levels. Our two favorite sons Nathan and Todd had nothing to do with it.

At the amazing talent show we saw some pretty creative acts.
Charlie styled Papa's hair, naming each "do" to the delight of everyone.

The DJ was terrific and the kids had a blast
competing, dancing, performing & marching

At the end of the day all of the family posed for an impromptu photo. We hung out in San Luis Obispo for a few days and attended a baby shower for Kelli hosted by Felicity and Leanne.
I'm hoping she'll post some pictures on her Blog.

Later in the week we went to Southern California where we rented a condo with Jason and Kimberly's family. We spent a day at Sea World and got to hang out with Nathan, Todd and Kelli's family. Friday night all of us gathered for service in the San Diego Temple. As good as it gets! On Saturday we met again at a private beach in Oceanside to celebrate Max's annual Beach Day.

Our kids, in conjunction with the Francis family, planned some great activities, including lego building competition, "minute to win it" and a balloon launch, each carrying a message written to Max. There was great food, surfing, volleyball and just the joy of being together.

Papa enjoyed some time with this little cutie

Sweet Ryan Ashley
At the end of Max's Beach Day the Harris Family invaded 'Soup Plantation'.
I'm quite certain they are still recovering from our visit.
We returned to NY but the fun wasn't over! Rhonda flew out later in the week to spend a few days. We headed with Randy to Palmyra to see the 'Hill Cumorah Pageant' It was superb! Here we are in the Sacred Grove.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I finally got to meet our newest granddaughter Ryan the end of May. I flew out to Southern California to "help" Ashley & Todd for a few days but mostly I held the baby, played with the boys and went to the beach and Disneyland. Randy was supposed to join me later in the week but required emergency surgery for a detached retina and was not allowed to fly which made both of us sad.
Isn't she a beauty? Ryan fully cooperated at her photo shoot with Kelli. Sleepy in her Daddy's arms. Safe? In her brother's arms?

Besides all the other fun, I attended both Toby and Ben's baseball games and went swinging with the grand kids at the park.
The six boys and I had a pizza party pajama party together on Friday evening.
Of course there was a war to be fought on the trampoline in Nathan's backyard.
I rode with Nathan and Megan and boys to San Luis Obispo to attend Scarlett and Lila's "Pinkalicious Party" at Ryan and Leanne's San Luis Obispo Ranch. Charlie and Scarlett were dressed pink for the occasion.
Face painting, pinata breaking and lots of yummy food to celebrate Scarlett and Lila's birthday.
Check out the Tea Party to see some of the other party guests.

Corn eating at Avila Barn Feeding the animals
Dog pile