Happy Birthday, Emery and Beck

These cute cousins share a birthday one year apart on November 23, which happened to be on Thanksgiving this year.  We are very thankful for them!  Happy 8th birthday to Emery and happy 7th birthday to Beck.  Maybe it’s because they were born on the same day, but they have a lot in common!  Both are really smart, kind, creative, so funny, and talented in many ways. Emery is very crafty and artistic, Beck is musical and great at building things. They both have awesome dance moves.  They are both thinkers and often ponder important questions. Emery loves to write stories and Beck is quite a storyteller himself. They regularly beat us at games! Most of all, they each have a very kind, sweet heart.We are so happy these grandkids are ours!



I missed posting our son in law Miles’ birthday while we were on our vacation.  Miles lives here in Dallas so we get to see him pretty often.  He’s such a good guy and we have a lot of great conversations about many issues and current events.  He’s also a fabulous dad to three kids and a fantastic husband to my daughter Sarah. I just can’t say enough good things about him!  He’s a hard worker but also knows how to have fun with the kids and to encourage them in all their activities.  We’re lucky to have him in our family.  Happy belated, Miles!

Youngest grandson Jack turns three in a couple of days.  We’ve been lucky to be around since his earliest days and he’s grown up with Gigi and Grandpa a few minutes away.  He loves Grandpa and wants his attention whenever we are together.  He’s a really sweet kid who does not get upset easily and walks around with a happy attitude.  He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and playing any kind of sport. Even at this age, he can slam a baseball, kick a soccer ball, and hit a golf ball–just has a lot of natural talent which is pretty amazing and funny.  He likes to come over to our house and hang out, looking for the cats and attempting to hold Ajax.  He’s very loving and a completely easy kid.  Yesterday he had a party for his birthday and had a blast with all of his little friends.  Happy birthday, Jack!  We love you like crazy!

Happy Birthday, Ada!

Our second-youngest little cutie turned 3 today.  Ada is quite the talker and keeps us cracking up with the funny things she says in her sweet little voice.  She’s already an adventurer and wanted to “practice” swimming without her floaties when she was here.  She was hilarious, belly flopping into the pool, swimming under water to Bonnie, coming up sputtering and pushing her hair out of her face only to quickly plunge back in.  Right now she loves Legos and baby dolls and books and playing with her siblings and cousins.  She says she wants a “Doc McStuffins AND a Spiderman” birthday party.  She’s a smartie and a thoughtful, kind little girl.  Happy birthday, Ada! We love you bunches!

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

Yesterday was my first-born’s birthday.  My life was sweetly changed when I became a mother to a little girl so full of life and joy and sassiness. I am proud to be her mom, proud of all she’s done through the years, and proud to watch her parent her own kids on an almost daily basis. She is loving and compassionate, kind and caring, lots of fun, and a wonderful example to her little ones about how to treat others. We have great talks about all kinds of interesting and sometimes hard stuff; she is hilarious and regularly cracks me up with her stories; I have a big time hanging out with her and I couldn’t be more grateful that we live in the same town where I get to be involved in life with her, Miles and the kids. It’s really been a blessing to be close by and to make up for lost time after all those years far away in Alaska.  Now if we could only get her sisters and their families to join us in Dallas, life would be complete!  Happy birthday, Sarah! We love you!


Earlier in the day, I took Ally, Aidan and Elle to “Altitude,” one of those trampoline jumping places and they had a good time wearing themselves out.  We then brought Elle back home because her family was going to Beck’s closing ceremonies for the day camp he’s been attending all week.  Ally was invited to go with them so Aidan and I headed back home.

Later, Rich, Aidan and I met Sarah, Miles and the rest of the kids for dinner at Ida Claire (cute southern name for a restaurant, huh?) to celebrate Sarah’s birthday.  We enjoyed our meal and had a great time visiting with everyone.  Miles left early to take Elle to soccer practice with Ally in tow; he later called back to say practice had apparently been cancelled and they were going home.  Ally then spent the night with Elle and Beck came home with us for the night.


Aidan and Beck swam and then watched “The BFG” before bedtime.  This morning I picked up Ally and Jack at Sarah’s house and brought them over to ours.  Sarah and Miles are having a little weekend getaway for her birthday and Elle has gone to her other grandparents’ for a visit so Rich and I will have Beck and Jack along with Aidan and Ally for a couple of days. We are staying at Sarah’s since there’s more room and all of the boys’ stuff is more handy here.

Bonnie and her three kids arrive either tomorrow night or Monday morning, so we will have all 8 grandkids here for a couple of days overlap. That should be a blast for all and I am hoping against hope I might get a group photo since those are very hard to come by!

How’s your weekend going?

Birthdays and Father’s Day

I consider myself very fortunate to have three great sons in law.  Honestly, these guys are all very hard working, responsible, kind and caring, and super sweet to their mother in law–which you know is not always the case! I lucked out!  They are all good human beings, fine husbands to my daughters, and wonderful dads.  Happy Father’s Day to Miles, David and Corey!

We had a quiet Father’s Day. Although Rich has no kids, he was a great step-dad to his ex-wife’s kids and still stays in touch with them and their kids as best he can.  He came into our family when my girls were grown but they love him and the grandkids have always known him as “Grandpa” without worrying about blood relations. We babysat Sarah’s kids the night before and  said we were going to take a day off after all the recent activity.  So we mostly lazed around the house–a nice day!

June is also a big birthday month. We celebrated my 63rd while Aidan was still here; I had volunteer work that day and the ladies at the agency had a nice potluck for me and another volunteer, Gabriele.  Although we are often miles apart on social issues and political leanings, I really do love these women and enjoy our time together each week.  Later, Rich fixed fajitas for my birthday dinner and we had a good evening at home with Aidan while Sarah’s family was still out of town. I failed to get any pictures, though!

Grandson Luke is my birthday buddy, born on the same day 5 years ago. What a great birthday present for me!  He is a sweet boy with a very kind spirit  (even got the “Heart of Gold” award at his Preschool–something that thrills his social worker grandma to no end!), loves superheroes and pretending, running and playing, teasing his sisters, telling jokes and stories, and keeping us all laughing.  We love him like crazy!

Finally, happy birthday to my hubby, who is 8 days younger than I am and doesn’t ever let me forget it. 🙂 He is not much into celebrations so we spent the day running errands and then he cooked dinner because he did not want to go out for his birthday. I was going to make him a banana cake at his request but at the last minute he decided he didn’t want one since we are back on our “eating healthy and trying to go to the gym” kick.  I’m thankful for our peaceful, happy life and grateful that he took to being a Grandpa in a big way even though he married into this mess after my girls were adults.  The grandkids love him and he is much more fun than I am, just ask them! We’ve had lots of adventures in the last 14 years and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Oh, Busy March (Part Two)

We took the kids back home after Spring Break and then Rich’s cousin Mary Ethel and her husband Roger came to spend the night with us.  They had been in Houston while on a road trip from their home in California so we were quite excited to get a phone call saying they were coming this way as they headed home.  I met Mary Ethel and Roger several years ago when we stayed at their home for a couple of nights and we hit it off right away.  They are friendly and fun, great conversationalists, smart and funny, and tell great family stories about Rich’s parents, siblings and cousins.  This visit did not disappoint and we had a wonderful time catching up. We went out for Mexican food and they taught us a new dice game which we played while chatting and laughing.  They also showed us a game on the iPad called “The Akinator,” which they thought the grandkids would love.  (And they do!)

Too soon they had to pack up and go but we hope to see them in California later in the summer.


And we had two more birthdays in March, my daughter Bonnie’s on the 30th and grandson Aidan’s on the 31st.

I’m so proud to be Bonnie’s mom and proud of who she is.  We always have great talks about lots of issues and topics; she has such a kind heart and a caring spirit toward those who don’t have it easy in life; she is fun and funny and tells some *hilarious* stories; she’s smart and determined, a hard worker, and a wonderful mom to some fabulous little ones. I’m glad we live closer and can visit more often. We love her big time!

Aidan is our oldest grandchild and the first boy in the family after I only had daughters.  None of us really knew what to do with a boy when he came along!  Happy 14th (14th!!) birthday, Aidan! I can’t believe he is getting so grown up! He’s  great at motocross, basketball, putting things together and figuring things out, beating us at Rack-o and Mexican Train and getting “The Big Norway;” he’s so  kind to his younger cousins who adore him, he works hard at school and is admired by his teachers, he’s funny and fun to hang out with, one of our best road trip travel partners, and we love having him come stay with us. We’re hoping he never gets to be a surly teenager who doesn’t want to be with his old grandparents!  🙂 We love you like crazy, Aidan!

And rounding out the month, a few babysitting gigs, fun and games with the Dallas crew, flowers blooming in our front yard, and kitty cats….


Happy (belated) birthday, Elle!

Our granddaughter Elle turned 9 on February 11th so I had to regale her (again) with the story of my rush from Alaska when she decided to be born a little bit early.  I had a plane ticket for a week later but when Sarah called to tell me she was in labor, I rushed to the airport in Unalaska to try to get on a flight. Of course, we had had bad weather and lots of plane cancellations so the stand-by list was a mile long.  Thankfully I was a “local” and knew the staff at the airport so when I went to the counter to tearfully tell them my daughter was having a baby and I needed to get to Dallas, they secretly moved me to the top of the stand-by list and got me on a plane. Shhhhh…don’t tell!  I was ever so grateful!  I didn’t make it in time for Elle’s birth but was there the next day to meet that little sweetheart.

Now she’s 9!  This girl is very sweet and kindhearted and caring toward others and also has a fun, sassy side–loves to tease Grandpa and loves to beat both of us at card games and board games.  She adores our cats and can’t wait to hold Ajax when she comes over (Kali will have nothing of it). She’s great at sports and excels at soccer, volleyball and softball–quite the little competitor. One of her favorite things is stopping by 7-11 for a slushie and a treat when we pick her up from school.  We have great conversations, lots of laughs, and she gives the best hugs.  Happy birthday, Elle! We love you so!

Because she was having a party with friends and a sleepover on her birthday, we had a family party the night before, complete with our favorite Mexican food and some yummy mini Bundt cakes from a bakery near our house.  So Sarah and Miles could concentrate on the birthday activities and slumber party with 8 girls the next night, Jack came to spend the night with us. We obviously got the easier job!  🙂  Jack is no trouble and is perfectly happy if someone will toss a ball with him or put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on TV.  🙂