Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Summer Summary

Summer has come and gone, as of today! Such a busy summer and so many memories stored away under ‘My Pictures’. Can I possibly publish them all? Not a chance, but you’ll get the highlights. Summer started early with the Taskers and Crofts trekking to Georgia in early June. They came just in time for Lincoln’s 3rd birthday celebration at the local country volunteer firestation just down the hiway from Hickory Hill Farm. There was definitely a cousin majority on the guest list – 15 of the 19 guests were related! When the fireman honked the horn, all of the kids ran for cover, except Lili and Sofi who weren’t about to give up their throne on the front of the engine!

The days of June definitely weren’t lazy – the dress ups got a full work-out, swimming, gum-balling, horny-toading, and even a prince posing as a princess kept a houseful of grandkids busy! I don’t believe there was a quiet moment during the waking hours, and that’s coming from someone that doesn’t hear the full volume of the noisy moments! Somewhere in between all of this we managed a trip down to Cinnamon Beach – just one picture of Amanda carting Jordan and Jonah up to the condo is the only evidence I have of that, but I promise there were about 25 more of us around, too!

Speaking of Jordan and Amanda – they have returned to Georgia and are almost our neighbors, if the living in the next county counts for neighborhood closeness. Jonah has joined the Georgia Cousins Club! The Club celebrated Lili and Sofi’s Big 6 at the Bounce House – fun, fun, fun. All of this was topped of with ice-cream cake at the park which melted faster we could eat it – it was a gooey delightful delicious mess.

July’s main event was the big gathering together at Brianhead for a few days before the even bigger gathering in St. George of the extended Jewkes clan. The big gathering included everyone in our family with the exception of Jeremiah, Jason, Brian, and Dave, which means there were 40 people under one big roof. The bigger gathering included over 100 Jewkes relatives spread out under several condo roofs to allow for breathing room.

Unfortunately, Ollie B’Gollie had a hard time breathing and spent a couple of days and nights in the hospital. Fortunately, he is all better and back to his shining, happy self. The family marathon trainers were diligent – they continued their training whether we were at 9,000 feet or in 100 degree weather!

Since those of us that drove to the reunion (Claire and kids, Emily and kids, Rachel and kids, Rebecca and kids…and one grandma Becky) were on a marathon road trip, it just seemed we needed to get more mileage out of our miles, so we extended the reunion phase to a Sundance phase, driving north to Provo, and taking in all the traditional delights there for a few days. Somehow, we all managed to get back to GA in one piece, with no fender benders, no car breakdowns, and a manageable number of kid breakdowns. Rebecca and Christian get the gold medal for feeding the five thousand, or so it almost seemed as they were our main way-station on the drive west. Rachel and Jennefer get silver medals – they only got a portion of us! Claire says she isn’t going on another road trip for a long time, but Emily was ready to go the next week which was a good thing because the Sedgwicks came to town the next week! We had three delightful weeks with four delightful Sedgwicks and I must have been too busy once Jessica and Dave left for Africa, because I have no pictures to prove their presence! Enjoy the moments from our 2009 summer!

Taylor, the Oreo Gal

Three Princesses, Ella, Kate and Taylor

The Gumballers

Fias on the Fire Engine Throne

Cousins in the Majority

Bell-Boy Service for Jordan and Jonah

Prince or Princess?

Horny Toad Lovers

Little Tykes at the Bounce House, Jasper above and Luke below

Race to the Top

Cake Walk at the Park

The Three Musketeers: Cooper, Luke, and Ethan
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Jenn and Izzy- too close to the edge for comfort

Oliver and his Mom

Ahhhhh........need more be said?

Brian Head Scouts, Luke, Lincoln, and Cooper

Julie and Seth at Brianhead

Guess who?

The Young and the Old - London and a very old tree, Cedar Breaks hike

Jacob on Edge! Cedar Breaks National Monument

Josh on the edge, too!

Julie, Gary and Becky overlooking Brianhead at 10,000 feet

Too Cool! Sofi, Poppy, and Lili

Rachel and her girls, Taylor and Kate. Where's Lauren?

Our Treasures - grandkids at the Brianhead summit

Four Generations at the Jewkes Reunion, Grandma Jewkes, Poppy, Jenn, and London
St. George, Utah

Hoop skirt gal - Madi at St. George reunion condo

Oliver had breathing problems -St. George Hospital

Cascade Springs Nature Walk near Sundance

Tatoo Man! Luke wears Smokey the Bear.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mostly Connected with a little Disconnect

I've spent the last two plus weeks bonding with four Sedgwick grandkids and five Taskers. I've been a full time mom again and am reminded how much I love being a part-time grandma most of the time. Full-time is exhausting; part-time is exhilarating! Full-time means lots of stinky diapers to change; part time means you just hand the stinky kid back to his mom! Full-time means you have to get up early; part-time means you can sleep in a little. Full-time means you have to cook three meals, and wash several loads of laundry, and clean house; part time means you can eat out, the laundry can wait, and so can the house! It's been good though, and I feel reconnected to these precious kids that live so far away from Georgia. I am also amazed at how good my grandkids are - they are helpful, happy, obedient - handsome and beautiful. I adore them all. There has been a downside to being gone from Georgia for nearly three weeks: Ella has been asking where 'Uncle Becky' is. In the process of reconnecting it looks like I've also been disconnected and renamed. I'm heading back to Georgia in two days and am going to reclaim my status as, 'Grandma Becky!' Here's some fun pictures from all of the connection time.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Here, There, and Everywhere

I just survived a California earthquake....or at least a tremor!  I've only felt what I felt tonite one other time in my life and that was when we lived in Northern California from 1977-80.  at that time I was standing in the living room of a friend's home when the chandelier began to swing and the floor to move beneath my feet and all I could do was 'stand' there and hope the end wasn't coming!  Well tonight I'm in California watching four very cute, very busy, very creative Sedgwick grandkids and I was sitting in a big comfy chair reading to them when all of a sudden my chair started to shake and all I could do was 'sit' there and hope the end wasn't coming!  It is a completely strange, helpless situation.  But I'm alive to write the tale, so the end didn't come!   
Gary and I came out to visit Dave and Jessica earlier in the week and enjoyed time together with everyone here until yesterday when all of the adults left: Gary back to GA and Dave/Jessica to Seattle for a few days.  Dave is doing a Myers-Brigg certification - does that ring a bell?  Think : Jim Tasker - Dominican Republic - Myers Brigg - finding out that most of us are opposites of our spouses, except Jordan and Amanda who were just alike!   This trip to California has come with some strokes of good luck.   Jessica shared with us two of her free United passes that she got last year after the family reunion in CO when her flight was overbooked.   When we arrived for our flight last Tuesday,  it was overbooked, too, so we volunteered to give up our seats.  It wasn't a big sacrifice since they put us on a flight that was a non-stop and got us to our destination faster than the original flight, plus Gary got to upgrade to first class, and we each got two free round-trip tickets for future use.  As if that wasn't enough, Gary's flight home yesterday was overbooked, he gave up his seat, got upgraded to first class on the next plane, and got another free RT ticket!  We flew out on free tickets, got three free tickets in return.   This is better than Claire's coupon shopping at Walgreens!
I love coming to California even if one risks her life in so doing.  One of these days the 'BIG ONE' that's been predicted for so long will probably happen, but maybe not until the Second Coming and if we are prepared, we'll look forward to that, right?  It is so beautiful here, the weather is perfect, and San Juan Capistrano is sort of like what Dave described as a 'cowboy town.'   It is small enough to get to Costco in seven minutes and big enough to have it's own character-filled down town that hasn't changed much since Dave was kid growing up here.   No skyscrapers block your view and the town is centered around the San Juan Mission, which is described as the 'jewel of the California missions.'  It's easy to see why the Sedgwicks love it here. 
We loved having Julie and Beau home for several days - long enough to go to Cafe Pig twice, a Braves game, Fox Theatre, the Allreds Fun Farm, and several days at the beach.  I'm glad Amy came along with Beau so we had a good excuse to 'play.'  We had a crowd in Palm Coast and had to spread out a bit between the Cinnamon Beach condo and Tidelands on the Intracoastal.   It could be our last big group trip with the condo getting close to being sold, and Tidelands on the market.  It has been fun to always have room for everyone that wanted to go if they were willing to 'pay the toll' at the bridge and ferry back and forth.  Claire, Emily, and Amanda were willing - so were Lincoln, Ella, Cooper, Luke, Ethan, and Jonah.   We had a good time sunning by day, and playing games by night.  Then when we all went to bed, Beau and Amy would finally get some privacy!   Amy seemed right at home with all of the company, the kids, the noise, and the Jewkes chatter that always happens when the girls get together! 
Julie put her special touch on Mother's Day and made it just very memorable for her mom, lucky ME!  She cooked a gourmet breakfast under a the scope of a very big, artistic Mother's Day greeting that she also created.   It was the perfect gift!  In fact, the entire was wonderful from beginning to end.  I got some very clever cards, one very delicious chocolate-caramel apple, a steak dinner prepared by Jake Sr., and no attention at all from Jake Jr.   I felt honored to be asked to be the speaker in church, but that is always an 'ordeal' beforehand, so I'm glad I don't get asked often!   I think I forgot to mention the most important thing of all: I LOVE being a mother!  I love being a grandmother!  I'm convinced this is the BEST season of life!
This coming week I'll head back to Georgia and find my husband, and together we'll go visiting again...this time to Colorado and the Tasker household.  We are the official household/grandkid caretakers while Jim and Jenn spend a week in Hawaii!  We seem to be in demand  lately and we are having a great time going here, there, and everywhere!  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marathon and More

With the Atlanta temple closing on July 1 for major renovations, I've been going weekly for the past couple of months and have on occasion run into these two characters who try very hard to distract me. See if you recognize them!
Gary is overseas but but will be home later this week, just in time to enjoy Julie, Jeremiah and his girlfriend, Amy, who we are certainly looking forward to getting to know better. Beau is going to show Amy around town, starting with a Braves/Cardinals game on Wednesday evening and a Broadway musical at the Fox on Friday. Their first request, though, was to go to the beach and since we just happen to have a place right on the beach, we'll spend a few days with them there. I hope Julie brings her scissors and clippers to shape a few of us up. She just spent a week at the Taskers taking care of the kids while Jenn, Jim, and London went to Boston for the famous Marathon that Jim ran in. Claire, Jessica, Emily and Ethan, Rachel and Lauren, and myself were the official cheering squad, complete with T-shirts that read on the front: J. Crew, Boston Marathon 2009, and on the back some clarification on the crew: Jim's CREW meaning
Courageous Runner Endless Waiting. Courageous because Jim was determined to qualify without having to ever run on Sunday which is quite a feat since most marathons are on Sunday.
Runner because that is just what he is, rain or shine. Endless because that is what the miles feel like when your body wants to shut down, or maybe it is because Jenn feels like Jim's passion for running is endless, with no end in sight! Waiting for a few years to qualify took patience, persistence, and a fair amount of money! Whatever, the CREW was thrilled to be able to go, the CREW had a fabulous time, the CREW fell in love with Boston, the CREW wants to go again and hopes someone in the family qualifies again! In our spare time we rode the trolley all over historic Boston, jumped off at Cambridge to go to church, rode the subway to Harvard to get a picture of London in front of John Harvard, enjoyed some tasty deli's,

and mostly just had fun being together in a beautiful, historic city cheering on our man, Jim. Gary and I lived in the township of Northboro, MA way back in 1976 when we just had Jennefer and Josh so this trip for me was a trip down memory lane.
Gary had business in Tampa earlier in the month, so instead of flying he drove and I went right along with him. Jordan, Amanda, and Jonah came over as well and while the guys had meetings, we checked out Costco, the giant horses at PF Changs, and a few other things inbetween. Jonah wasn't feeling great so we restrained ourselves!
I don't believe I've shown off Baby Amelia yet who worked her way right into my heart while I was in Albuquerque. Now she has worked her way right into Jake's heart while he is in Albuquerque! Oliver's place in our hearts was already secure before his baby sister's arrival.
I know some people come to Hickory Farm in the to fish and fish and fish but end up without a whole lot of luck. Then there are other people that fish and fish and fish and end up with a lot of luck. There are some BIG FISH in our lakes, that is for sure.
April is a celebratory month for us. Gary always has a birthday (#61) and we always have an anniversary (#36). There are a few other family birthdays, too: Jason who doesn't want his age posted, and Caleb who does want his age posted (7....next year a big one for him).