Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas in Grand Rapids

Saturday we headed to Grand Rapids for our Christmas with my family.  Eva has a wonderful house for all of us to gather. 
 Erik and Lara came in from Cape Cod.  Matt, Diana and the girls came up from Tennessee and Jessica and Doug drove in from nearby Grand Rapids.
We gathered for dinner that evening and began our time of catching up on each others activities. 
 Sunday morning started with a great breakfast before presents. However this little one found her present a little early.  It is a cute little 'stool' that she can climb in and watch what is going on in the kitchen.  I think she liked it. 
 The grandchildren gathered around the presents. 
 They read the Christmas story with Gram.
 And the present giving and receiving began.  Erik received some accessories for his truck. 
 This sweet little one received a tea set from Gram.  She LOVES to play pretend and I had several cups of wonderful tea this past weekend. 
 I bought her a little pull toy.  I love to shop for little ones at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. 
 After presents a puzzle was put out on the coffee table.  This is just the first one that was completed this weekend.
 Leo drove over from Coleman. He and Erik had some great talks in the kitchen and many of us watched a little football.
 Eva had lots of help making Matt's birthday treat.  He turned 41 on Christmas day.  Everyone requests this fantastic dessert that Eva calls "Death by Chocolate"  and it lives up to its title. 
 The birthday celebration was a success. 
 Monday we were scheduled to go up to the Powers' lodge in Fremont but the weather would NOT cooperate.  Instead we stayed in town and found a great place nearby to go for a morning walk.  That was a good decision since the rain, snow and ice made the roads difficult in the afternoon and evening 
 They couldn't resist a 'selfie'
 And this cute family is expecting a new one in about 6 weeks.  A little boy will round out this wonderful family.  I am looking forward to meeting him soon.
 Another and MUCH more difficult puzzle came out and this group managed to find out that a puzzle with the title of Beach Glass is really quite hard but they CAN overcome any difficulties and accomplish the goal of completion.
Wednesday was travel and clean up day  Matt and Diana left by 9:00 and the rest of us stayed behind to help Eva take down some of her Christmas decorations.  Gram was babysitting so any extra help she could get was welcomed.  Erik and Lara left later and then Bud and I headed home. 

It was a wonderful time with family.  I am blessed with two great families, one here in TC and another that meets in GR to celebrate holidays at Eva's help.  I appreciate the blessings of family and this wonderful country where I live and enjoy the love and joy of my life. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas up North

It has been a busy and fun couple of days here in TC. 
 We spent our Christmas Eve at the Noble house.  All the kids were home for the holidays. Aren't they a good looking group???
 Brittany and John are living in Milwallki (sp??) Wisconsin.  Brittany is doing here residency in dermatology and John is working in Chicago honing his international law skills. 
 David is in his second year of medical school in Virginia at UVA.  I tried to take another picture of him that would me more flattering but he said this was his best shot.  He  Really is much more handsome than this picture. 
 Jack has a job as an engineer in Madison, Wisconsin and making a name  for himself there.
 Charlotte is ALSO in Wisconsin studying music at Lawrence University in Appleton. 
 Together they make a great looking group and they are as wonderful as they look.  It was nice to spend some time with them and catch up on their various activities. 
 The wonderful parents allow us to show up at all the family gatherings and have fun with their terrific children.
 This was the whole dinner group except for John.  He offered to take the picture.  Maybe he was trying to distance himself from the rest of us. 
 However, he couldn't escape this picture.
 Brittany and John brought their dogs.  It was a 3 dog household for the holidays. 
Bud and I offered to clean up after dinner while the rest of the group went to church. 
 This morning (Christmas Day) we went over to their house again and Bud fixed his famous French Toast.  It was a delicious brunch. 

UNTIL, Sue brought out the one gift that she forgot to give everyone, the umbrella hats to wear in the hot tub.  Of course they had to try them on and pose for the picture.  Walt was the only one that refused to wear his hat. 
It was a great day and to top it all off we went to the evening performance of the new Star Wars movie.  What a great Christmas.  Tomorrow we head down to GR to do it all over with  new group.  We are so fortunate to have such wonderful families. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lewis family Christmas

The Charles and Catherine (Clarke) Lewis family had their yearly Christmas dinner this past Sunday in Coleman.  I try to attend every year so that I can catch up on what is going on with my aunts (no uncles still here on this Earth with us)  It is a GREAT opportunity to laugh and remember the 'good old  days' and you know we had MANY. 
 My Aunt Florence is the oldest and probably the most feisty of the family but she looks GREAT and is full of 'vim and vigor'.  Greta is just a few months younger than me and we spent a LOT of time together growing up.
 Aunt Kathleen is the 'baby of the family' but going strong. 
 I always insist on a picture of the cousins.  Of course it is just the 'real' Lewis's not their spouses.  I was asked by one of the husbands to include the spouses next year in one of the pictures.  I told him I would think about it but I have mixed feelings about that request. It seems to be the "Lewis way" to just take  pictures of the Lewis's without their spouses.  I have several pictures of my dad's family with just him and his brothers and sisters, NO spouses as documented evidence.  Maybe I could take two pictures next year.  Anyway, here we are.  It was a pretty good turnout of my generation.  We had 13 out of the possible 27 attending. 
 Aunt Mary is looking great too.  She lives just up the road from Mom and Dad's house. 
 OF COURSE the three girls had LOTS to talk about. It was good to see Kay and Greta, the two of my cousins that I spent the most time with when I was young. 
 Leo and some of the guys talked over the world's problems.  Leo looks pretty good.  I am thankful that he is cancer free and living in Coleman near family.
 I did my yearly duty of putting a wreath on the gravesite in Coleman.  No snow there either.
And finally, we stopped by Leo's house and dropped off our leftovers.  He has smoothed out the yard around his house and put in drainage so it is ready for grass this spring.  It is a beautiful little place in the woods.

SO, you can see I was able to get my 'Coleman fix' this past weekend and enjoy my family there. It was a great place to grow up and a wonderful family full of love and laughter.