Saturday, September 29, 2012

Breakfast of Champions?

I was excited to spend some time with Mason at school last week.  Each year they have a Grandparents event where students can invite their grandparent to eat breakfast and visit the annual book fair.  I knew from recent years with Maddie not to expect too much of the meals served.  Our district utilizes a company to provide meals for the kids.  Mason was excited about getting to eat breakfast there since he normally eats at home.  First, let me say that I admire the people who work in the lunchroom at schools.  I know they work hard and do their best (I could tell that morning how hard the ladies behind the counter were working).  Having said that, the food results are much less than stellar.  This particular morning breakfast was warm applesauce, cold whole wheat pancakes and strawberry milk.  The pancakes were rubbery and could not be eaten with a fork.  Mason seemed to enjoy one of the pancakes and drank most of his strawberry milk.  He was VERY excited about the milk and couldn't understand why I didn't take any of it!  Even the trays lacked appeal as they were stained and scratched from years of use.  The new revisied school lunch program has gotten a lot of attention lately, but the changes appear to me to be too little.  When my children were in elementary school they had actual homemade food.  The smells from the kitchen were enticing and the food was served with a great deal of love and pride.  Kids lined up for Myrtle's home made hot rolls and steaming potatoes and vegetables.  I believe there was even some fried chicken on the menu.  I certainly don't want to be branded as a negative person, but I feel like our schools could do so much better for the kids.  My grandchildren usually take their lunch and eat breakfast at home, but there are so many children who don't have that as an option in our community.  Don't they deserve an appealing meal at school?  I don't know how to fix the problem, but I can't help but feel like we are "failing" these kids with such unappealing meals.  On a positive note, Mason was excited to share that he had gotten "a real pear" at school and had eaten it down to the seeds.  Our family doesn't eat a lot of pears, so I guess he had never had a "real" pear before.  Maybe I am expecting too much, but in a poor district such as ours, I think some home made food served with a little attention to color and taste would be a bright spot in many students day.  Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The guest of honor at the 80th Birthday party.  We were so happy to have some additional extended family (Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill, Cousins Julie and Jeannie). 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grandpa Great Turns 80!

Over the Labor Day weekend, my siblings and their families and I had a celebration of our "founding father".  My Dad turned 80 on September 4th.  We decided to keep this event a surprise, and surprisingly enough, we pulled it off!  There were 30 + of us celebrating with a brisket supper and an evening of memories and lifetime review.  Jessica did a lot of the planning for the activities, which included displays (pictured above) and some other memory makers.  She put together a review of chosen years from 1932 until 2012.  Each family member shared highlights of selected years when Grandpa was closest to their age.  Jessica and Scott even programed music from each era on their I-Pad.  Then we each brought a shadow box item to present to him that represented either a lesson we learned from Grandpa, or a memory of him that was special to us.
It was a lot of fun work on this with my family.  The only damper on the evening was Randy's recent illness.  I think my Dad was truely surprised and pleased to be the guest of honor at such an event. 
I have lots more photos to share, which I hope to do in the coming week or so.  My sister and niece, scrapbookers extraordinaire, are going to be compiling a family memory book, so the work continues.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Minute to WIN It!

While on vacation, Jessica organized some games for the group.  Modeled after the now cancelled Minute to Win It show, we did all kinds of funny things with props and body parts.  And even though I don't have a picture of this, we put together two large jigsaw puzzles. 
I believe this will be my last vacation post for awhile.  I want to blog some about the surprise 80th birthday party we gave for my Dad.  It is time to put away the summer vacation memories and move on.
On a separate note:  Randy had a test done today to see what might be going on with his stomach.  The test was inconclusive, but I am happy to note that he has been feeling quite a bit better.  Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers for him. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My dear husband has been feeling down and out since we returned from the Gulf Shores.  First there was a nasty case of salmonella that left him in the hospital for a week.  Since his hospital release, he has had some additional complications and is still off work.  The doctors will run more tests on Friday and hopefully will get to the bottom of the problem.  Randy is, and always has been the humorous one in the family.  He can make you laugh with his off the cuff comments and expressions.  It is difficult to see him in so much discomfort and pain.  I hope to repost soon with some positive news on his health!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Pain and the Great One!

Does anyone recognize this post title?  When my children were young, we used to read a book by, I believe, Judy Blume.  The story was about a first born girl and her younger brother.  It was a tongue in cheek story about birth order, and how it affects personailties in siblings (well, that is not exactly what it is about, just my spin on it!).  My kids loved the book because it fit their personalities and relationship to a "t".  The older daughter was perfect in every way (wink, wink), and didn't mind reminding the entire family that she was.  The little brother was the "pain".  He did lots of annoying things, especially to his "perfect" sister.  Well, Maddie and Mason have a little bit of the same kind of relationship going on.  These photos, taken during our week at Gulf Shores really illustrate what I mean.  Maddie looks almost angelic with her braids and Mason. . .  well, could he look any more devilish?  They say that history repeats itself, and in this case, I am convinced that is right!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Touch of Heaven

During our week at Gulf Shores, we witnessed some amazing skies.  Storms would blow in over the ocean, and usually be gone as soon as they arrived.  One morning we were playing in the waves when a neighboring fisherman pointed to the distant sky.  To the south was a "water spout" or tornado over the water.  We raced to the shore and then watched as it dissipated.  Maddison was especially shaken by the experience.  She has "survived" a tornado that hit our house and has seen first hand the damage the May tornado did to Joplin, Mo (where some of her little cousins live).   The older I get, the more I am fascinated with the world God gave us.  I can't seem to get enough of looking at the moon and the stars at night.  We get a very nice view of sunrises at our house.  We have to be a little more intentional to see the sunset.  Lately, as I come home from work, the sun has been spreading colorful rays through the clouds.  It is almost like it is saying "your day is done, welcome home".