Ian’s Celebration of Learning

    The boys — Ian, Oliver, Everett, and Andrew — at Ian’s “Celebration of Learning” open house at Oakhurst Elementary on December 6, 2016.

    We can’t think of a greater way to start the Christmas season than joining Gretchen D’Huyvetter Cobb and these four young men for an open house at Ian and Andrew’s school this evening. The topic was a Celebration of Learning by Ian’s class showcasing their recent studies of cultures. Gramma Jan and I were impressed with the material they covered and Ian’s good explanations of their studies. Thank you Ian!!

    Lunches with Ian and Andrew

    Gramma Jan and Andrew, November 16th
     
    Gramma Jan and Ian November 17th
    Gramma Jan and Ian  November 17th

    My, these boys are developing!!

    Andrew and Ian invited us to join them for lunch at their school this week, an early Thanksgiving celebration.  We did not want to miss an opportunity to spend time with these special grandchildren, so off we went to their school in Decatur on Wednesday (lunch with Andrew) and Thursday (lunch with Ian).

    They were perfect hosts, guiding us through the lunch line, making sure we got our meal and drink, helping us be seated at the child sized tables, and entertaining us throughout the meal with chatter about their day, classmates, what they are going to do after school, et cetera.

    It was a grand experience, and reminded us how quickly these little boys are turning into fine young men.  It also reminded us how thankful we are to live close by and be able to drop in for celebrations like this.

    Thank you Andrew and Ian.  We love you guys!

    Chomp & Stomp

    Bill, Gramma Jan, Barbara & Fred Bradshaw, Claudia Gimson, Julie and Izzy headed for Chomp and Stomp in Cabbagetown on November 5th to sample Dan’s chili and cheer for him to win the chili cooking competition.

    Dan, Izzy and Julie at Chomp and Stomp
    Dan, Izzy and Julie at Chomp and Stomp
     
    Izzy thought Dada's chili was the best!
    Izzy thought Dada’s chili was the best!

    Chomp & Stomp is a Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival that benefits Cabbagetown parks and community center.  This year over 70 individual chili teams entered the competition, and Dan’s was one of the 70.

    The day was gorgeous and the venue — a short walk from Julie and Dan’s Grant Park home — was absolutely packed with spectators.  We sampled lots of chili from lots of different vendors (verdict: it was all delicious!), visited with Dan and his team for a short time and then headed back to Julie’s to hang out and put Izzy down for a nap.  John and Sharon dropped by on their way into Chomp & Stomp so we also had a nice visit with them.

    We have not heard if Dan won a prize for his chili.  He should have.

    Happy Birthday Gramma Jan!

    Gramma Jan at our favorite watering hole on her birthday!
    Gramma Jan at our favorite watering hole on her birthday!
     
    Gramma Jan with Everett at Oakhurst Porchfest
    Gramma Jan with Everett at Oakhurst Porchfest

    Happy Birthday Gramma Jan!!  You’re my playmate, soulmate, travelmate, true love, and best friend!  Enjoy your day today.

    Jan has had a major impact on so many lives.  She brightens every room she enters, makes sure that each of our children and grandchildren are remembered at least once each day, never met a stranger, and keeps my life organized beyond belief.  Don’t know what I’d do without her!

    We all love you, Gramma Jan!!  Happy Birthday!

    Kickin’ Back in the Keys

    Sunset at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Grassy Key, Marathon FL
    Sunset at Curry Hammock State Park on Little Grassy Key, Marathon FL

    Mom and I will wrap up a delightful week and a half at Curry Hammock State Park in the middle Florida Keys tomorrow.  We’ve had a very relaxed visit, spending our time enjoying local attractions, reading, and sampling the local watering holes and restaurants. We did make one quick trip into Key West for an event Mom wanted to see.

    Weather has been surprisingly nice during our visit. We were expecting rain due to Hurricane Joaquin, but with a few exceptions skies have been clear with a few clouds scattered about.

    We can see coming back to the area for another visit, but if we do it will take place a bit later in the fall or  early spring. This visit turned out to be a bit ahead of tourist season, so quite a few restaurants were not open or are just now opening for the season.

    When we leave the Keys tomorrow (Friday), we will head to Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando. Abby is running in the Disney Cross Country Classic Saturday and we plan to cheer her to a good finish. After that we’ll head south to Bradenton and Sarasota to visit Claire and Sarah and their families for a few days before heading home to prepare for Pat Colon’s visit the following week.

    Wyoming

    Devils Tower silhouetted against the evening sky behind our camper.
    Devils Tower silhouetted against the evening sky behind our camper.

    Finally, I have the photos from our trip to Wyoming organized and uploaded to the Gallery.  Click here to view them, or use the menu to go to the Gallery and scroll down to the Wyoming album.

    Our agenda for the month long trip included Wyoming and South Dakota with a stop in Decorah, Iowa during our return journey. This let us visit the Bighorn Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Little Bighorn National Park, the Black Hills, the Badlands, and Mom’s eagle cam eagle family in Decorah.

    We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Its start was a bit challenging due to Mom’s respiratory issues at the altitudes we encountered. We should have known to expect them and been prepared, but the potential didn’t occur to either of us as we planned the trip. Regardless, with help from the good folks at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center we were able to continue our trip.  We slowed our pace, modified our agenda, and had a great time together enjoying the beautiful scenery and friendly people in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa.

    Thanks to all of you for your love and support during our trip!

    Oliver and Gramma Jan

    IMG_2858

    Jan and I were in the “Little Shop of Stories”, a child-friendly book shop on the square in Decatur, with Oliver this afternoon. Our outings with Oliver usually involve some form of physical activity, but today it was hot and Gretchen suggested that we try the book shop. He and I played with the train set in the sitting area for a while, visiting with other children who stopped by the area. He soon tired of that and wandered through the book shelves until he found a few books that intrigued him and brought them back to Gramma Jan for her to read to him. It was fun watching them together. Oliver is normally full of energy and bounds off after a short reading session, looking for a new challenge. Today he and Jan read three or four books before the magic wore off. The time was a nice treat for Jan and Oliver.

    A few photos of the moment are in the Gallery.  Click here to view them.

    Hood Circle Field Trip Team adds new member

    Photo of Oliver, Andrew, Ian, and Gramma Jan at Fernbank Science Center
    Oliver, Andrew, Ian, and Gramma Jan at Fernbank Science Center

    The Hood Circle Field Trip Team headed to Fernbank Science Center this morning with new member Oliver in tow. Gramma Jan and I have taken Ian and Andrew on a number of field trips to local points of interest. It was obvious as we left Hood Circle for the most recent outings that Oliver (who will turn 2 in early August) felt he should join us. Gretchen managed these situations well, but Oliver’s development and his new status as a Big Brother make it time to include him in our outings. (more…)

    Julie and Dan are ready …

    Mom and I had a great visit with Julie and Dan last night. We both observed that they look fantastic! I guess we were expecting to see an exhausted Julie, perhaps swollen a bit and just plain looking uncomfortable. Not so! She was what I would call “glowing”. “Glowing” may not be the best term to describe a man … but Dan was glowing too!

    Everything is ready at their home for the baby. Julie has done a great job of decorating and outfitting the nursery – it looks really cute in its yellow and gray colors. All it needs now is a baby!

    We are packed and ready to move in with them for a three day shift of helping Dan, Julie and Baby Fields (Indie, too) start their lives together!

    We are truly blessed to be able to join them at this important time in their lives.

    .

    Saint Francina …

    Tony and Diane regularly tease Mom about being Saint Francina due to Mom’s love of animals.

    The Medical community at the Providence VA hospital is beginning to buy into her Sainthood.

    After Mom arrived yesterday, Jerry has had an amazing turnaround.  He has been alert, able to visit with Mom, jokes with the staff, able to confirm his medical directives with Mom and the staff, able to go without the BPAP device for longer periods, and able to comprehend his situation.  His medical team is elated.  They will continue to watch him closely, but have cautiously begun talking about returning him to Morgan Health Center, which is equipped to handle the BPAP machine that he uses to assist his breathing.  Their major proviso is that Morgan be able to return Jerry to the VA quickly should fluid buildup in his lungs increase to the point that it again impairs breathing.  His situation is still dire given his host of medical issues with liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, et cetera. (more…)

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