Sunday, November 27, 2016

Busy Six Weeks in Nashville

We decided to just stay in Nashville for six weeks until after Thanksgiving rather than travel somewhere and come back.  We had annual doctors' appointments lined up for the week before Thanksgiving plus we needed to leave the motorhome at Cullum & Maxey for a few days to get several things fixed on it.

We were looking forward to playing a lot of pickleball while we were in Nashville but the Monday after mama's birthday party, Chuck called me from the gym to tell me he hurt his left foot so badly that he could not walk on it.  I scrambled around trying to find an orthopedic doctor for him to see as soon as possible and we were able to get an appointment with a doctor in Lebanon.  After x-rays and examination, the doctor determined he had torn a tendon in his left foot and told him it would take about six weeks to heal.

He was so disappointed.  He was looking forward to playing a lot of pickleball while we were in Nashville.  But being the great guy that he is, he still went with me to pickleball and watched while I played.  We have made some really nice friends at the gym in Mt. Juliet and they are such good pickleball players.  On Halloween, Ed wore his Halloween costume.  :)

Chuck also got to join me in physical therapy the last couple of weeks we were in Nashville.  I had to go to physical therapy twice a week for lower back problems for six weeks (which was another reason for staying in Nashville).  Chuck had physical therapy on his foot twice a week the last two weeks we were in Nashville.  And my mom had meniscus surgery on her knee the Monday before Thanksgiving.  I asked the physical therapists if they give group discounts!  :)  Fortunately, I think I can say that we are all getting better!  :)

Nancy and Tim Lantz were traveling through Nashville while we were in town and we met them for dinner one night which was a lot of fun.  Can't wait to see you in San Antonio!

Every Tuesday night is half-price fajitas at El Chicos in Goodlettsville and anyone who can come from Donald and Anna's gang meets there for dinner.  We went almost every Tuesday night while we were in town.

Brent thought he should dress up
as a tortilla for Halloween.  :)
Chuck and I would go back to Donald and Anna's after dinner and get a few card games in.  Over the course of our six weeks in town, Donald and I beat Anna and Chuck the best 3 out of 5 games in SkipBo.  I'm sure they are going to try to change that when we are in Pensacola next month!  We also enjoyed getting together for dinner out on Friday nights and then card games afterwards.  Those times are always filled with a lot of laughter and fun!

One Sunday when we went to church with my mom, my friend who had been my maid of honor in our wedding happened to be there.  We hadn't seen each other in well over 35 years.

I don't think we've changed much.  Do you?  :)

Chuck and I drove down to Atlanta on the evening of November 17 and spent the night with Tafanie and Cory and their girls because we were going to Grandparents' Day at Bell's school on Friday morning, November 18.  On Thursday night, MiMa got to read a couple of bedtime stories to Emmaline, Ruby and Bell.  :)

On Friday morning, Pa, MiMa and Bell went to Bell's school and walked in to her school together.

Bell went on to class while all the grandparents were treated to a very delicious breakfast.

After breakfast, we were dismissed to our grandchildren's classes.  The kindergarten class had some of their work displayed outside the class.

I think this is what Bell thinks God looks like.  :)
In Bell's class, we went to different stations to see all the different things they are learning and how they are learning numbers, counting, letters, and reading.

After being in her class for about an hour, we were dismissed back to the auditorium where all the classes performed miniature plays, recited poems, or sang songs.  Bell's class sang the song "Tomorrow" from Annie...

...and then recited a poem about grandparents.

If you are unable to open the video, click HERE to watch the song and HERE to watch the poem.

After taking Bell back home, we headed back to Nashville because we were hoping we were going to get the motorhome back.  We had taken it in the previous Monday and had been staying at my mom's. Unfortunately, it was not until the following Wednesday that we got the motorhome back but we think (hope) everything is fixed this time.

My mom went through her outpatient meniscus knee surgery without complications on the Monday before Thanksgiving and she is continuing to recover well.

Thanksgiving dinner was at Rick and Marla's this year and everyone brought their specialties which are always so delicious.

After everyone was stuffed from eating so much, the annual Thanksgiving games began.  Rick started the games with all of us taking the UT Entrance Exam which Grant won getting all the answers correct.

Next, Tafanie had a series of games that kept us all laughing:

(Click HERE if you are unable to open the video.)

I tried the nut stacker contest too and I was able to get them all stacked.  I was not the fastest but I got them all stacked.

Tafanie had decorations for us to wear for pictures:

A lovely pilgrim and her turkey.  :)
Ruby kept GiGi company while she kept her leg propped up.  

I couldn't resist those cute little toes so I told Ruby my version of the Little Piggies:

(Click HERE if you are unable to open the video.)

Before everyone left, the Gregory cousins got a picture of all of them together.  

Thanks, Rick and Marla, for opening your home for a fun and delicious Thanksgiving!

Tafanie and Cory and their girls stayed with my mom and Crystal and Grant and their girls stayed with us at the motorhome.  We enjoyed being together and all the granddaughters had so much fun playing together.  It was a great Thanksgiving weekend!

We have so many things to be thankful for and getting to be with all of ourfamily at Thanksgiving is right there at the top.  We're also thankful that mama is healing nicely from her surgery and has graduated from a walker to a cane in less than a week!  We are all so very blessed!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

80th Birthday Surprise!

My favorite movie of all time is It's a Wonderful Life.  It's based on the story of George Bailey who always wanted the most out of life but at the same time blessed so many people without even realizing it.  At a pivotal point in his life, he was given the gift by his guardian angel of seeing what his life would have been like had he never been born.  After seeing that gift, he realized how "rich" he really was and how so many people had been touched and blessed by his presence in their lives. 

I think about my mom when I think of that movie.  I think about how many hundreds and probably thousands of lives she has touched and blessed with her life.  She has blessed me and my family by being an awesome mom, grandma and great-grandma.  And, over the years I have witnessed how she has touched and blessed the lives of so many. 

This past Saturday I was made aware once again of how many lives she has blessed when nearly everyone Chuck and I invited came to her surprise birthday party.  It's hard to pull off a surprise on my mom because she is such a planner.  But I think Chuck and I succeeded when she walked into a room filled with grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters, nieces, nephews, and in-laws from near and far who came to celebrate her 80th birthday and her wonderful life that has so blessed them too.

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us.  Below is a slideshow from the event so you can enjoy it with us!  

Click HERE if you are unable to open the above video.  

After the party, the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, all went back to mama's condo where her birthday party was extended into the night.  Tafanie, Cory, Bell, Emmaline and Ruby spent the night with my mom while Crystal, Grant, Avery and Hannah spent the night with us.  

My cousin, Diane, came back to mama's condo with us that evening too which was an extra treat because we had not seen Diane in years.  With five grandchildren herself, I think Diane was accustomed to the craziness of five little girls running around and playing -- even walking around in her dress shoes!

On Sunday morning, we met at Cracker Barrel for a big breakfast before Tafanie and Crystal and their families had to head back home to Atlanta.

It was a busy but fun weekend.  It was so great to see and visit with everyone who came to celebrate mama's birthday! 

Thanks again to everyone who came to the party and celebrated with us!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Busy Week in Atlanta

After leaving Wanee, we headed north for Atlanta where we would begin our time in Atlanta with a weekend of babysitting Avery and Hannah while Crystal and Grant went to the Tennessee vs. Texas A&M game in College Station, Texas.

We began Friday morning, making muffins.  I showed them how to lick the bowl!  Such fun being a grandma!  :)

Our next event of the day was a trip to Costco!  We started with a lunch that cost less than $5 for all of us!

We from past experiences that a successful trip to Costco with two little girls begins with lunch and ends with the promise of ice cream.  We also tried to get our grocery items fairly quickly!  Chuck took Hannah and Avery around the store hugging big bears while I got our groceries.

The girls were great so they got their reward of ice cream after we were finished.

On Saturday morning, I asked them if they wanted to make chocolate chip pancakes and this was their response:

And this was our creation:

We stayed around the house most of the day playing and then making cupcakes.

And then late Saturday afternoon, I took Avery and Hannah to a birthday party for one of their friends.

This is who I came back with.  :)

We had another busy day on Sunday of church and more playing and then mommy and daddy returned home Sunday afternoon after a very fun weekend in College Station.  We all went to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant and then Pa and MiMa went back home to Stone Mountain and rested.

On Tuesday evening, we went over to the Van Wyngardens and had a great time playing with Bell, Emmaline and Ruby.  The girls entertained us with showing us what they have learned in ballet, spinning around in circles and then watching them try to keep standing up, and then playing charades.  We were having so much fun playing charades, I forgot to take pictures!  Rrrrrr.  After the girls went to bed, we played a game of Quirkle with Cory and Tafanie.

Thursday was Avery's big day:  her 4th birthday!  She wanted to celebrate by going to Waffle House!  The manager was so nice and made it a very special birthday dinner for Avery.  Not only did she and Avery get Waffle House hats, Avery got a Waffle House pin!

The manager put money in the jukebox and let Avery pick out the songs.  The only ones she knew to pick were Frozen and Happy Birthday.  :)

Then the manager took Avery behind the counter so Avery could help her get her milk.

We had a delicious supper with all the girls having waffles and the guys having sandwiches.

And then the manager had one more surprise for Avery:  two waffles with birthday candles that she could take home and have for breakfast the next morning.

The celebrations continued after we got back to their house with opening presents that included a sleeping bag, a bike and a little sleeveless jacket that I crocheted for her.

Doesn't go very well with pink striped PJs.  :)
On Friday evening, everyone came over to the camper for a cookout of hot dogs and s'mores.  Cory, Emmaline, and Ruby really like our recliners!  :)

Avery had a small birthday party on Saturday morning that her cousins and a couple of friends came to.  They played,

Bell and Emmaline
painted gourds and bowled with pumpkins,

had snacks,

The blond and blue-eyed cousins:
Hannah and Emmaline
and then enjoyed birthday cupcakes.

Bell and Ruby pretended they were unicorns.

And Pa got them to be still for just a few minutes for a couple of pictures.

Bell took this selfie of us.

And then all the girls rode back in the VW van back to their house.  Avery and Hannah were spending Saturday night with the VW's while Crystal and Grant went to a wedding.

That's a load of precious girls!  
I think Avery had a couple of very nice days of birthday celebrations!  And we had fun too!