Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birthday wishes to our blonde haired, blue eyed son!


Kerrigan, Brycen, Jeff & Carter
celebrating # 32 for Jeff!

And today is Jeff's 32nd birthday!

Well...almost blond haired!

It was a family joke...if we had a red-haired baby
Grandma Thompson would take him.
And sandy-red it was for his first two years!
But we instantly fell in love & decided to keep him--red hair & all!

Much more blond Jeff and one

of Grandpa Thompson's big bunnies

We had a big day of celebration yesterday, combining birthdays...& saving money on cake. ; ) After our big week of Thanksgiving festivities, this Mom didn't feel like cooking another big meal. So, Jeff is having a quiet birthday at home with his little family, which is just what he wanted anyway.

Jeff's first Sunday School teacher, Pauline Fox

on his 1st birthday

Playing in my horrible looking yard!!! (how embarrassing...)

about 3 years old

1st day of Kindergarten & still 4 years old!

As a teenager, vacationing in the Smokey Mountains

Graduation Day with Grandma & Grandpa Brown

& Grandma & Grandpa Thompson...16 years oldThe black Camero
and with the loves of his life...

Brycen, Carter, Kerrigan & April

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Middle Child...




Happy, happy birthday to our brother, Steven Neal!


We have enjoyed having Carol & family here in Indiana for Thanksgiving & were able to celebrate Steve's birthday today! This morning Carol & I even whipped up a bacon, egg, gravy & biscuit breakfast in his honor. : ) He told us not to go to the trouble...but we knew he wouldn't be able to resist.


Here are a few photos from the old family albums you might enjoy. Steve & I grew up together....way back in the '50's. Then in 1964 we had a baby sister join our family. Thus, my memories & Carol's are somewhat different of growing up with Steve. I was the Big Sis & she the Little Sis.




May you have many more birthdays & we hope you hang around here so we can help you celebrate. So glad you have gotten well acquainted with all of our wee little people around here! You are loved very much!!!

Needless to say, there is no denying the family resemblence!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories...



Thanksgiving has always been family time for us, having made many happy memories through the years.

...Grandma Fulkerson with her turkeys on their farm near Hallsville, Missouri. As many as she had, she must have raised them to sell!



Growing up in Missouri, I don't remember that we made too big of a deal out of the day. I can remember Dad & Steve getting up early, bundling up & heading out for a rabbit hunting trip. Mom & I would be at home & she would put the turkey in the oven for a traditional feast of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and the ever present cranberry sauce. Pumpkin pie was always on the menu...& somewhere in the back of my mind, is mincemeat pie! I remember the taste & I also remember not liking it. I'm sure that some of our Thanksgivings were filled with extended family members coming to town. Those days would have been spent visiting cousins, aunts, & uncles & having dinner at Grandma's.
Dinner at our house in Overland Park, Kansas


Mom (in far left of photo), Dad, Uncle Bud & Aunt Paulene


my brother, Steve, & little sis Carol Jean


I can't believe I was brave enough to invite them for Thanksgiving dinner!



After Bob & I were married we shared some of the holidays between our families. Bob's parents only lived in Kansas for a year after we were married & then moved from Kansas to Indiana. There were a few times that his family came back to Kansas for Thanksgiving---but I can't find any old pictures of those times. I remember a snow storm hitting as they traveled our way & they were very, very late getting to our house, keeping us worried that they were off in a snow drift somewhere.

A couch-full of Brown's, Thanksgiving 1989



Once we moved to Indiana, we made the trip back to Kansas for most November celebrations. I remember getting the kids out of school as early as we could without them being counted absent, & heading west! On several of those trips we encountered snowy, icy roads which made for a long trip. One such trip found us skidding off of I-70, barely missing a bridge abutment, & almost hitting a car as we got back up on the highway. I'll never forget the feeling that God guided our car in that dangerous situation & helped Bob gain control before we had a terrible accident. That Thanksgiving we were truly thankful for a safe journey!
Thanksgiving 1990
Jeff was taking Home Ec & made both of his Grandma's
a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!
So, I hope this finds your day filled with family fun, delicious dinners, laughter & board games, tummies full of your favorite desserts, and safe travels if you head out on the highways.
Thanksgiving 1993, in Overland Park
Bob, Karin Jean & Susan, Dad, Jeff, Carol, Karen & Mom

Thanksgiving 2001 in Indiana

a bitter-sweet holiday

just after Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer...

I'm sure we will be thinking of Mom & Dad as we gather around our table once again. Dad almost always said our Blessing, & he mentioned "those less fortunate than we are today".

Blessings to all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Wishes for Kylie Ann!













Today is Kylie's birthday. Kylie is my blond haired blue eyed now 17 year old niece! She has brought so much sunshine into our family & whether she wants to admit it or not...is the spitting image of her Mom!









I'll never forgot my first glimpse of that sweet baby girl. It was like looking at my baby sister all over again. It was Thanksgiving time & we went to Kansas for the holiday. Mom was recovering from knee surgery so I got to spend the night with Carol & help take care of Kylie Ann. (Remember that night, Karen?!?) I think we were up most of the night. Carol & Karen were fighting for the bathroom that night. And sweet baby Kylie decided she absolutely would NOT have anything to do with Mommy's Milk!!! She definitely had a mind of her own right from the start. (Aren't you girls glad I shared that little piece of history? Want more details?) :)













Karen & Jeff always loved to go to Kansas to
visit their little Wheeler cousins!

Hope you had a wonderful day. Enjoy the Cheesecake Factory! Have a piece of Turtle Cheesecake for me.




See ya Wednesday!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Hair Raising Morning...

Peyton came in our door one morning this week with his hair literally standing on end. Of course I got tickled at him & he told me "Quit waffing, Gwandma....it's NOT funny". Later he saw himself in the mirror & said "I wook cwazy"! We all got a good laugh out of his bed hair that morning.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Broken Dreams, Bear Hugs, & Goodbyes...

My doorbell rang last evening while Bob was away on an errand. I hesitantly turned on the lights to see who was there. And there was our friend, Dave, waving for me to let him in.


Dave came in our lives a few years ago as a client wishing to have his dream home built at the edge of Brown County. He had tons of ideas he wanted to incorporate into his new home...things like a sound proof room for the piano his wife loved to play; gorgeous midnight blue granite tops for the kitchen; fine porcelain tile for most of the house; a large projection TV with all kinds of expensive speakers built in so he would feel like he was on the front lines at the football games he planned on watching; an extra large shower with special rain shower faucets to accommodate his large frame; a hot tub on the patio, just out the door from the great room.




On and on his list went. Some of these things became cost prohibitive and had to be left out. His wife would not be getting the upholstered walls to sound proof her piano room. But for the most part he was able to build the house of his dreams. Bob worked with him, talked with him, and through the months that turned into a couple of years, became his friend. Finally Dave's home with finished & he & his wife moved in.




Dave didn't account for the Brown County hills, the hillside just out his back door, and other contributing circumstances that would affect his TV reception. There was no cable service near him and amazingly, no satellite dish would work. As far as I know, Dave was never able to lounge on his sofa and enjoy the weekend football games that he dreamed about. Instead, he had to satisfy himself by watching movies on his big screen, much to his disappointment.




Dave talked to Bob a lot about all kinds of things...and one Sunday morning he surprised us by coming to our church. He didn't come every Sunday, but he came more than we ever dreamed he would. He was of a different faith than our conservative Holiness church & he was in awe of our services. He loved the singing & listened attentively to the sermons.



Months went by and Bob got a phone call from Dave with not so good news. Sadly, he & his wife had separated & Dave was now back in an apartment. He had moved out of his dream home. We knew he was having problems & he didn't come to church as often, but sometimes would show up, always emotional, giving both Bob & me a big hug.




Then one Sunday he came back with good news! He & his wife were trying to work things out & he had moved back home. The smile was back on his face, yet he was still very emotional. He sporadically came to church, not showing up for a while, leaving us wondering what was going on in his life.




Dave didn't really come to see me last night, but Bob. And since Bob wasn't home, Dave had news to tell me. Dave had been out of work for 3 months but recently had found a new job far away in Rhode Island and he was in the process of moving away. Dave was divorced. And their divorce was just finalized yesterday, the reason he was back in town. His wife was moving to Arizona and their dream home was being bought by a relocation firm. Dave was having to move away from the house that consumed his attention for months on end.




And he had stopped to see us to say goodbye. I quickly called Bob on his cell phone to let Dave give him the news. As he hung up, Dave told Bob, "I'm going to give your wife a hug"...& hug me he did!




You see, Dave is a very large man, probably 6 foot 3 inches or more weighing around 400 pounds! He engulfed me in his arms, tearfully saying goodbye. It was the biggest bear hug I've ever received!



We talked just a few minutes more, Dave saying he would come back to see us when he is in town, and asking me to tell all of his friends at our church the reason he hasn't been there, and that he loves them! At the edge of our family room he paused & quietly said "I love this place". I told him he was always welcome & to come back and he replied "God lives here".



I watched as he trundled to his car & pulled out of our driveway, wondering what was in his future. My mind took me back over the few years that we had known Dave and I wondered why we hadn't done more for him. But we had touched his life, especially Bob. Through his problems, Dave had seen that Jesus could be his friend.



Before he left I did tell him I hoped he could find a good church in Rhode Island. He replied.."oh, I already have! A Swedish one, a Methodist church & I love their people...yah"!



Happy trails, my friend....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shampoo

While showering & shampooing this morning, my mind went on a little sentimental journey. It doesn't take much to trigger those journey's these days!

It must have been the green bottle of Irish Spring liquid soap that did it. That handful of green soap bubbles made me think of Prell shampoo! Do you remember Prell? Is it still out there? It is one of those items that we used to use daily...but something else has taken it's place & I'm not sure if they even make it anymore. Bob would use nothing else for years until we finally decided that he needed a shampoo with conditioner in it and he made the switch to another brand.


It was my birthday, many long years ago. My cousin, Luana, was living in the same little town as I was at that time and her Mom worked at Sam's Market, our one and only little grocery store. It was either after school or a Saturday as I can still see Luana walking down the sidewalk with a little brown paper sack in her hand. I knew it was something for me! In she came, all excited that she had a gift for me, and handed me the little bag. I opened it and there was my own personal bottle of Prell! I remember thinking it was a special gift so no doubt it wasn't the brand we used in our household. Luana had no idea that probably at least 50 some years later I would still remember my birthday gift!


As you can see, it doesn't take much to make me happy. Just jog my memory & take me on a little journey & I'm happy as can be!


Now, I wonder if there might be an old bottle of Prell lurking around the Antique Mall.....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Makin' A List...




Are most of you well on your way to finishing up your Christmas shopping? Not me! I've barely started this year.

Usually by now I have quite a bit of my Christmas shopping done. Somehow this year I can't get motivated to hit the Malls just yet. For one thing, I'm having a hard time even trying to decide who wants what. We are ones that have what we need & I'm finding it harder & harder each year to find just the right gift.

Carter found a catalog the other day & he immediately picked out a very expensive 4-wheeler & promptly showed it to me. He asked "Gwama...will you please get this for me? Pleeeeeese!" Are you kidding??? I sweetly told him that he needed to talk to his Daddy about that one. : ) Then last night Parker decided it was time for him to do a little catalog shopping. He decided that just about everything in there was probably something he needed. "I need this & this & this &...."and on his list went. He turned to me & asked if I was really going to buy all of that stuff for him. Once again, I sweetly told him he needed to talk to his Daddy. : ) Paige was also making her list & she thought she might want anything that was pink...her very favorite color! So far the other kids haven't let me know...


So, ladies of my family, hints are welcome. And I'm very open to doing some online shopping too! Mega malls just don't excite me anymore.

All Parker Wants For Chrismas Is His Two Front Teeth!!!

Anyone else have any great ideas for 3 that are almost 3, a 4 year old, 6 year old, 8 year old, & 4 adults that really don't need a thing?
Note: Last year was the first time we participated in Operation Christmas Child, a ministry of Samaritan's Purse headed by Franklin Graham. I found it very gratifying to think that I had helped some child overseas in a 3rd world country receive something special for Christmas. You take a shoe box & fill it as full as possible with small gifts, candy, & small toiletries. Our Junior Church is trying to fill 15 boxes this year. First Christian Church is the drop off point & the deadline is soon, just in case you are interested. Check out www.samaritanspurse.org for information & a video presentation. Help spread our wealth around the world!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Aches & pains...& brain drain


The last few days have been a little crazy around here and I haven't felt much like racking my brain for something to blog about. Nothing has just jumped out at me--or I haven't taken the time--to sit down & gather my thoughts.

I'm still aching from having a tooth pulled, which has put a mental drain on my brain. I can't think when I'm trying to figure out just how much longer before I can have another handful of Advil! If this continues I may have to give my good ole doc a call!
But thoughts are churning about Thanksgivings of the past. As a kid growing up we usually had a quiet day. Not so around the Thompson clan though! Surely there is a blog post in that mess of memories somewhere.


My life is busy.

Grandkids are at my house at least two days a week. I love having them here but believe me, this ole granny wears down after a day of toddler chasing!


Our church Thanksgiving dinner was postponed until this Sunday so I have to do grocery shopping for that, plus food preparation. I'm beginning to make plans for our own festivities & need to start stocking my pantry for the Wheeler gang!


Plus we have birthdays to celebrate. Kylie's is on the 24th & I'm sure we'll have to blow out a few candles for her! My brother Steve is here for a while & gets to celebrate his birthday with us on the 29th. And Jeff's birthday is the 30th! Who knows...we may just have to buy a giant birthday cookie & have a big blaze all at once.

So now you know why my blog has been silent. I have lots of things to blame it on, but mainly it is just me. If I could just get this pain to go away I think I could get back to normal! Now off to my busy weekend....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It never fails...







I might as well just plan on making a yearly dental appointment--right after Halloween...


Last week I had a stash of candy in my car (just in case I had to have a quick energy boost!) and wouldn't you know it...the Milk Duds got me. I was merrily chewing away when all at once I felt something in my mouth besides a Milk Dud! You guessed it...


It never fails. I always get in the left over candy & either pull out a filling, pull off a crown, or crack a tooth. Well this time I think I pulled a tooth that didn't even have a crown on it. Thankfully, it wasn't very painful & I got an appointment right away. The doc took one look & couldn't believe how much of my tooth was missing! So...Monday I get to go back & have the remainder yanked out. Yikes!!!

When will I ever learn to leave that ooey gooey sticky stuff alone? At this rate I'll be toothless in the not so distant future.

Friday, November 7, 2008

More fun in the leaves...


Yesterday was another pretty day, so the little Walden's couldn't wait to get outside & play in the leaves. Even though I had mowed & picked the leaves up. there were still piles & piles of them.

Parker is getting so tall!

And Peyton is shooting right up there too!
Having fun...& getting very dirty!