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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Atlantic City

Last year on Spring break we took the two oldest grands to Virginia Beach (HERE)
The year before that we took the oldest to Atlanta (HERE) This year Tom and I thought we'd go by ourselves and picked Atlantic City but before we did that we had a little sleepover with Jack and baby sister, Lily.

We went on a walk, see what he found! Not sure why he thought this weed was cool but we took this home and three rocks.He also found this red flag (power line marker), oops,can't take that home.

We ran into this cute little redheaded cousin who showed him how to get down a big hill.

Then we ran into a smaller little redheaded cousin and she wanted to go to the playground. "Come on, Jack!"

Our little Lily Jean, Jelly Bean enjoys indoor play more. These poor plants are another one of those things that all the grandchildren HAVE to get into.

Then it was time for our grown up trip to Atlantic City. We took the camera but with only two of us there really wasn't much to take pictures of.

It's been a couple of years since we've been to a casino and didn't know that "slots" don't take coins any more. All the senior citizens were playing away and we spent an hour observing so we could figure out how to play. We ended up winning $30 and decided to take our winning and run. We watched the table games some too but no one seemed to be having fun.
We shopped some at the outlets. Tom wanted to get me a new Coach purse but there were at least 50 people waiting in line. To spend hundreds on a purse, that's crazy. He wanted to buy one (really he did) so we were there the next day when they opened along with 20 other people, that's crazy but I came home with a new purse.

We enjoyed the boardwalk, especially the food. Sitting outside drinking $2 drafts and $10 burgers. We walked the beach a couple of times too.

That's our hotel in the background. We stayed at the Trump Plaza this time. It was nice (I loved the steam shower in our room!) but it didn't offer the shows and entertainment that some of the others did. The food was good thoughWe were well rested and relaxed when we left and then spent an extra hour in traffic going nine miles just to find out that the only reason for the back up was they had the EZ Pass only lane closed. The tolls on this trip are ridiculous, they $3 & $4 you to death and each time there was another toll booth the traffic was backed up. It took us twice as long to get home as it did to get there.

Next vacation Rehobeth Beach for Mother's Day week end with all the kids and grandkids, can't wait!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Miss You Dad

Today is the anniversary of my dad's death. I've been meaning to do this post but I am having a hard time trying to figure out what direction to go in. He lived for 76 years. How do you put that in one post? He was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He was a ditch digger, soldier, truck driver, Boy Scout leader, baseball & softball coach, an avid Cleveland sports fan and a founding leader in his church. Of course he wasn't a perfect man and at times drove us all crazy but we loved him and in the end he showed us what a strong man he was. That's what I want to stress today. The proud way in which he died. In November of 2005 my dad turned 75 and we came up to surprise him. My brothers & sisters, their spouses and as many grandchildren as could showed up to celebrate and he loved being the center of attention . Here is a "generation" picture of the day with the three children that had grandchildren.The spring before he died he decided to go to Florida for the month like he and my mother used to do. It was hard on him emotionally even though they got on each others nerves, he was lonely. Thomas & Charlie decided to meet him there and go to see some of the Indians training camp. I know my boys came back with some great memories. Christmas of 2006 was the second Christmas without my mother and we all still seemed a little lost. We drove up from Maryland to spend it with him like we had for so many years. We never imagined it would be the last. He was scheduled to have a small blood clot removed from his leg on January 18th and even though it was a minor surgery I told him I would come back into town to be there. I didn't really want to. I was working and had used all my leave up and he would only be laid up a couple of days but he wanted me there so I came.
The surgery went without a hitch (or so we thought) He was doing well, sitting up in a chair and drinking a bit of iced tea when I looked down and saw a fluid in his drainage tube that looked just like the iced tea he was drinking. The nurse said there's no way for it to be iced tea because the drainage tube was in his chest and there's no way food or drink would be in his chest. . . but it was. Unknown to the doctors until much later, his esophagus was torn during the procedure. Then started the 3 month roller coaster. Different doctors, rooms, tests, hospitals and finally hospice care at my brother and sister in law's house. It's hard to know how much detail to go into. I want the kids and grandkids to know what happened but no one needs the gory details. So I think I'll just tell a couple of stories.
We talked about food a lot since he couldn't eat. He loved food. he scheduled his days around meals so the inability to eat was one of the worst things that could happen to him. When one doctor told us that the only way for him to live was to have a permanent feeding port put in Cookie told him that she was sure he would rather be dead. He said if he could ever eat again he wouldn't wait for the peach pie to go on sale, he would just buy it.

During the surgery when he had the port put in he said Mom came to him and told him it wasn't his time and that he needed to take care of the kids first. Those of us that are grandparents assumed that it meant the little ones but as we ralleyed to take care of him we realized that she meant the five of us kids plus four, she meant the 9 of us. We learned a lot about each other and really learned that we genuinly loved each other.

During the three months that he was sick. I traveled back and forth. Jennifer came with me most times. Shawn was very understanding about her being away so much considering they were newleyweds. She learned how to knit during our time too. She knew the ins and outs of taking care of Dad but he didn't want her taking care of him. He kept his pride, even not letting anyone but my brother help him with the toilet until the end. Good thing Matt was only five minutes away.
Also during this time Charlie & Michele got married and as much as we tried to figure out how everyone could be there Matt & Sue stayed behind to take care of Dad. They graciously opened their home to him and all of us. Even having all of us there for Easter dinner with Dad in his hospital bed right in the middle of it.

That last Christmas Jennifer was scheduled to spend with her in laws and I told her she should go and she did. I thought that was more important and that we always had next year. . .

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Week in the Life

I just got done dowloading the pictures from this week and was trying to think of some clever way to combine them into one entertaining topic . . . hmmm ahhhh . . . . maybe it will come to me later. Meanwhile In my last post I mentioned this shelf and how the kids love to push things off of it and down the steps and guess who the newest one was to figure it out, our Lily Bean.


Jack had Observation Day at gymnastics

These pictures make it look like he can actually do all this stuff.

In reality none of those kids was doing anything that "teacher" wanted them to do.LOL

He stopped to watch. They cracked me up!

Sure do love that boy!

Sami loves her Jack too. She's the only one other than Tom and I that calls him Jack.

Everyone else uses Johnny or John Robert.

The girls were with us for dinner one night (or was it two?)Papa even let them eat upstairs once.

of course it had to be "pink steak"

Ginger (Thomas's dog) came for a visit too

A tea party was in order one afternoon

There's my parent's precious blanket from my last post too..(cringe)

It was even nice enough to go outside.

So glad we downsized

our yard especially!

Peanut butter & strawberries were a perfect snack

and some craft time

on the windows too

That's Thomas coming up the walk so I guess, time to go

The common thread is so obvious isn't it!

I love being a grandma.