Monday, September 8, 2014

Our new Little Man

For our "bloggy" friends who do not follow us on Facebook, forgive such a late posting, but we must tell you of our precious little grandson Tyler Jo, who was born to Jeremy and Renee on June 11. He weighed in at 7 lb. 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. From the beginning we could tell he was going to have beautiful blue eyes! We were so grateful his eyes were just as they should be, nice and open.

Big sister, Maddie, welcomed him with lots of kisses and cuddles. He especially responds to her early in the morning when he is placed in bed with her and they snuggle for a while. Now that he has a bath in the bathtub, she loves "helping".

We are blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More California Memories

We spent several days in the Auburn, CA, area visiting Rich's brother Bob and other family and friends.

Auburn is a very historic town located out of Sacramento, in the Sierra foothills. Gold was discovered there by a man named Claude Chana on May 16, 1848. The area was first known as "North Fork" or "Wood's Dry Diggings". The settlement was given the name of "Auburn" in fall of 1849 and soon became an important mining town, trading post and stage terminal.

Monument of Claude Chana (1811-1882) and historic mining equipment.

Hook and Ladder Station No. 2. This old firehouse is about as wide as a two-car garage!

What a crazy name for a restaurant, "Awful Annie's". We had lunch here with long-time friend, Gary, and his wife Paulette. Awful Annie made a great lunch and eating outside was a real treat!

Our nieces, Janell and Mindy with their mom, Carolyn.

Mindy and Janell arranged a great dinner out with their dad (Rich's brother, Bob), Carolyn, Carolyn's brothers and wives, and sister. What a great time we had reconnecting with extended family-friends that we hadn't seen in a very long time.

We also had a lovely lunch with my Aunt Eloise and cousin Sally. Aunt Eloise is my father's only surviving sibling and at 96+ is an amazing woman (actually she's ALWAYS been an amazing woman!). It was a treat to see them in their lovely home and to be able to sit and share sweet memories.

I loved the flowers in their garden and the sweet pot of "Hen and Chickens" that came from our Grandma. When our grandparents left Iowa for California in the 1950s, Grandma took hen and chicken plants from her garden to their new home. Then as they moved a few times, the plants would go to the new home. When they both passed away and their home was sold, Aunt Eloise and Dad took some of the plants to their homes. My sisters and I have had them planted in our gardens.  I even brought some from my California garden to Kansas but they did not survive the first winter. When I told Sally this, she said that this pot needs to be replanted and she would plant a pot for me and care for it until we return to California. That's Sally! Always so thoughtful!

We topped off our visit in Lincoln with a lunch date with long-time friends from Newbury Park, Dan and Jean. Guess the name of the restaurant???? Awful Annie's in Lincoln! Jean is a very gifted and talent artist, working in various media but mostly fabric and sculpting. She sculpts historic replacement sculptures for Dan's company. Some of her work can be seen at the ART Center of Lincoln.  It's marvelous! If you are ever in Lincoln, CA, near Sacramento, this is a lovely place to visit.

What a busy 10 days we had! But it was all very wonderful and we are grateful for God's traveling mercies!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Westmont College - Class of 1964 50th Class Reunion

Rich graduated in 1964 from Westmont College and this year was their 50th class reunion. Typically the college's class reunions are held in the fall, but the 50th is an extra-special occasion, held the weekend of Commencement. The class is then recognized as "Golden Warriors". It was a great time for Rich to reconnect with many special classmates. Our brother-in-law, John, was also a classmate, so he and Cheryl also attended.

From Friday-Sunday, there are many activities and get-togethers. Truly, it was non-stop! A highlight on Friday was a luncheon address by the college president and then his presentation of the Golden Warrior Medal to each Golden Warrior.

As you can see, each graduate wore a nametag with their senior photo, which made for easy recognition. I loved John's comment on his photo, "this isn't the face I shaved this morning."

Rich and his roommate, Dale, share lots of memories. Like a late-night run to Spudnuts for donuts!

The Golden Warriors, attired in academic dress, are part of the Commencement procession. All wore their Golden Warrior Medals. The Pagentry of Academic Dress is quite regal. Its history dates back to the dates of the oldest universities. There are criteria for design of the gowns, as well as the velvet neck band on the hood, which symbolize the the wearer's course of study and official colors of the institution that granted the degree. The width of the velvet band is determined by degree, 3" for master's degree and 4" for doctor's degree.

Getting academic hoods to lay just right was a trick! John's was called "drab", although I'd call it beige, for Business Administration, Commerce, Accounting. Rich's was light blue for Education.

Brother helping brother.

Ready to go!

A special seating section was reserved for the spouses of the Golden Warriors, Cheryl and I had a front row seat. We loved how the graduates decorated the tops of their mortarboard caps. The men from the Engineering Physics department had little fans of various colors fixed atop theirs. I loved the caps of the Liberal Studies grads who bordered their caps with Crayolas. All of them earned teaching degrees as well. There were 347 graduates, the largest class to date.

Commencement was wonderful. The college orchestra and choir led with wonderful music and the speaker was Rick Warren. Enough said!

These were our Saturday night dinner hosts. Their lovely home had wonderful views of the City Hall and surrounding mountains. A wonderful Mexican buffet was served with a fun detail. Our drinking "glasses" were Kerr Mason jars. You see, the founder of the college was Ruth Kerr, of the famous jar company.

The weekend culminated with a wonderful worship service in the prayer chapel, tucked in the campus woods. It's a small and very sweet structure. We sang wonderful hymns, "Lead On, O King Eternal", "Day by Day", and others and one of the classmates, now a retired pastor, brought the message.  Others led with scripture reading and a poignant moment where the names of 22 classmates who have passed away were read. That seems like a lot out of a class of 146, which was the largest to date in 1964.

A view of formal gardens of Kerrwood Hall. Such a beautiful campus!

It was a wonderful weekend. Truly a time to remember!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lovely Southern California

We began our recent trip to California with a visit at my sister, Kathy's, along with sister, Cheryl, and hubby, John. We had a lovely lunch at Paradise Cove, located along the Southern California coastline. It was a hot day (90+ degrees at the beach is HOT!), but eating outside at tables in the sand was a real treat!

After lunch we went to visit our Uncle Harry. Doesn't he look fabulous at age 92?!?!? (I am certain my hair is grayer than his.) :(  He was married to our father's youngest sister but she passed away in 2002. We enjoyed our visit with him and his wife, oohing and ahhing over all her collections, especially depression glass in every color!

Loved our visit with brother, Joel, and his dear wife, Nan, who came for dinner back at Kathy's. (Mom called Nan her 4th daughter!)

We left the next day for our weekend stay in Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara. Rich's 50th class reunion from Westmont College was this particular weekend. Cheryl and John were also in Santa Barbara, as Rich and John were classmates. I'll blog separately about that great occasion.

We thoroughly enjoyed walking the Carpinteria Farmer's Market. Not large in terms of vendors, but gorgeous offerings.  California oranges!!

Love California strawberries, especially those from Oxnard/Camarillo!

Never heard of Bacon Avocados! Was told they are very delicious (isn't anything with bacon in the name?!?), creamy, and fewer calories. We were trying NOT to load up, so we didn't try them, but probably should have. At 3/$1.00 quite a bargain compared to $1.00 each for the teeny ones we get in Kansas!

Beautiful FRESH field greens and veggies.

Kathy recommend we eat at a restaurant named Zookers. It was so enjoyable to dine on outside patio.

I LOVED my full-of-flavor scallops and shrimp tostada!!!

And Rich enjoyed his pork tenderloin with fennel and apple slaw. Beautiful, flavorful food!

Can you believe this is a Best Western??? Our room was on the first floor and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting outside in our little garden, enjoying the surrounding gardens and changing lights on the courtyard fountain.

It was a HOT, 99 degrees, at this beach town, which was unseasonably hot, and about 20 degrees over normal! But this hotel was a great location for what was a VERY busy weekend.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review

I have just finished reading a great book, "Shadowed by Grace: A Story of Monuments Men" by Cara C. Putman. It is an historical fiction love story placed in Italy during World War II. Rachel is a photojournalist on assignment to photograph the war, in addition to another purpose that you must read to discover. Scott is an officer with the U.S. Army's Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Division. I loved the characters. We had recently seen the movie, "The Monuments Men", so this book really came alive for me.

I highly recommend it! Local peeps, you can find it our church library.

The story followed the war from Naples, to Rome, through Tuscany and on to Florence. In 2005 Rich and I were privileged to visit Italy with a tour group of Westmont College alumni and parents. We did not visit Naples, but we visited the other places mentioned in the book. Here are some of our photos from those places. Pieces of art are beyond description!

Views of Rome from the Vatican.


Art in Vatican Museum.

Rome Colosseum.

Colosseum Arch of Constatine.

Arch of Septimus.

Views of Tuscany.

Arno River from Pt. Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio.

Florence Duomo Complex.

Thankfully there were those of the Greatest Generation willing to risk their lives for the art and culture of this marvelous country!