News from Nonna: July 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Families Are Forever: My Obsession!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have been very aware of family and relationships. They have always been my highest priority and still continue to be. I had the best childhood and life actually, and it is all because of the people that have been so important in my life. I also have an overwhelming feeling about ancestors that have passed on and ones that I have not even met, so I guess you could say that the “Spirit of Elijah,” resides in me.

Having said that, I try to do everything that I can to make sure my family stays close to one another and that we support and encourage each other. I have always thought that just being “together,” was very important and now people seem to be spread all over the place. SSOOOOOOO, a family reunion seemed like the answer. I started planning this last year in hopes that even our Oklahoma family would join us. I started looking at places all over the map but finally settled on Montana. (I need to tell Lee and Chris how grateful I am for the offer of their beautiful second home in the mountains of Montana. It was more than we could have ever hoped for, certainly more than we could have paid for :) It is one of my favorite spots and the weather was unbelievable. So after many phone calls, many e-mails, hair pulling, coaxing and people backing out, I set in stone the trip to Montana. Let those who will, come! My folks didn’t come because of breathing issues, Uncle Gary didn’t come because he was a poop!, the Treadwells didn’t come because of a wedding…….So the fun people came!

Richard and I went up early to get the food, cabin in order, and make sure the party could start. Chris let me help her make ice cream cakes to take………What fun.Verlinda Camera 023 Verlinda Camera 024 Verlinda Camera 026

OH, and I found out there are NO Calories in a Dairy Queen Cake!!!!!!

Chris and Lee went to the cabin with us along with Mom, for a couple of days. We had a great time with them. We went ATVing, boating, sightseeing, and just enjoying each other. Well on one of our trips to the lake, (our guide and engineer being Lee, armed and all) he seriously is a funny guy! Plus everyone’s favorite uncle……Verlinda Camera 032 Verlinda Camera 031

Since he was “packing,” we were pretty secure. Then comes Mother Nature…..We were out on the most beautiful lake, Lake Cliff and Lake Wade, and spotted Bald Eagles a plenty. As we get to the back of the lake, Lee says, “I think there’s a storm coming.” Keep in mind, we were in an aluminum boat, in the water, in the lightning and thunder, and then it proceeds to HAIL!Verlinda Camera 037

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Bald Eagle Nest at the top of the tree.

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“OH, Lee, does that look bad……………?”

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“Nah, we can make it!”

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OH HAIL!!! Precursor to the flu!

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Dock covered in the “soft” hail that pelted us all across the lake.

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One of my favorite pictures. Richard on the dock with the clouds resting on the lake.

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It doesn’t get more beautiful than this. Thanks for the memory Lee and Chris.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Like Grandmother Like Granddaughter

I recently had my mother-in-law visiting me for a month. One of the things that unsettle her about me (I am only mentioning one in here!) is that I am always changing and working in my house. I realize this is something that I do. I come by it honestly. Growing up by my Grandmother Upchurch was a delight in so many ways. I was always there to help rearrange the furniture, which occurred on a weekly basis. She never got tired of moving the furniture and sometimes did it for a specific reason. Uncle Gary would come in late at night, very late, after partying and would fall over the furniture. It was her alarm clock. :) And she just plain loved working in her house. She was always making something or trying something a new way. That’s where I got my catty-corner phrase. Nothing straight against the wall when it could be angled. I remember her making dividers out of beads, always making new curtains, pillows, stuffed animals and the ever famous acrylic grapes. I was a little girl out in the garage hitting those things with a hammer to break off the mold. So many wonderful memories and I am happy that wanting to continually improve my home is one that stuck. I take great joy, satisfaction, and pleasure in improving my home. Like Grandmother, like granddaughter. Verlinda Camera 002

This is a picture that Jerianne gave me several years ago and I have recovered the mat in fabric as the focal point of my “Wedding Wall.”

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I made a new wreath to go above my bed in the brown bedroom. I think it adds just that pop of color. The ribbon is stunning.

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I repainted my main floor bathroom and redid the candles, wreath, and made my own towels. Verlinda Camera 007 Verlinda Camera 008

Verlinda Camera 009 Verlinda Camera 010 So Grandma Jardine, it is not that I am not grateful for what I have, it is not that what I have isn't good enough, it is that I love working in my house. It is my heaven on earth.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Secret Garden

I love looking outside. I am a “lookey-loo” as I have said before. My kitchen windows are wonderful for just that, looking outside. We have hummingbirds that come right on our deck due to the Honeysuckle Bush crawling all over our deck. We have a Finch birdfeeder and we see many of those each day as well. We have flowers of all kinds growing wherever they want unlike our organized beauty in Kansas City.

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Colorado’s State Flower, Columbine

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Peonies, all shades of pink. They were our table decorations for Father’s Day.

I walked outside the other day and the deck and trees were covered with LadyBugs so I took this little look see specially for Taryn.Verlinda Camera 034 Verlinda Camera 037

These flowers remind me of my Grandmother Malone. I can just see her in the garden walking along and bending over, with her hands behind her back to smell her flowers.

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Creed has also found “the special,” way to go in and out as have all of the grandchildren, well children actually. Jacqui and Janae still use the doggy door on occasion!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Contributions For Cousin Camp

I just have a few pictures to add for cousins camp. It is a tradition that I heard about years ago and just knew that I would have to copy it. We have been doing it for about 4 years now and I have loved every memory made. I hope the grandchildren have too.

This year we had the opportunity to expand our borders a little. Two of my nieces came to help out. Verlinda Camera 240 Thank you so much Aubrey and Brianne, we couldn’t have done it without you! Verlinda Camera 124 My cousin, Tara, and her two boys Gage and Brody also came from Kansas City. (Tara, I feel badly that you mostly have me, an old person, for your first cousin, but I couldn’t be happier!) They were an added bonus for our celebration. Verlinda Camera 109 Verlinda Camera 142 We also had Lacey and her two girls who have recently moved to Colorado (also a second cousin on Richard’s side) come and play.Verlinda Camera 125

I honestly think the big girls had as much fun as the little girls and that is a wonderful blessing as well. We are a tight knit group!

Jerianne was a huge help to me this year. I got home about four days before camp was supposed to start. I had been in KC helping my dad recover from his last surgery. Knee replacement, and I think this is like his 32nd surgery! Anyway, Jerianne did a lot of the work. She is amazing.

Each day had a theme. First day was a “Buggy” situation. We had the menus’ even planned to go along with the day.Verlinda Camera 070 Verlinda Camera 119

We started off by having an opening ceremony and giving out shirts and magnifying glasses for our adventure.Verlinda Camera 076 Verlinda Camera 072

We took the kids to the Butterfly Pavilion that I had heard about and we all loved it! Taryn especially. We got to hold a tarantula, (what I won’t do for these kids!) see and touch all kinds of little buggy animals, and see them let the butterflies loose.Verlinda Camera 087 Verlinda Camera 089 touching the turtle.Verlinda Camera 102 Verlinda Camera 096 Verlinda Camera 111 Verlinda Camera 098

Verlinda Camera 101 This butterfly actually landed on Aunt Nacky’s finger!Verlinda Camera 113 Stuck in the spider web!Verlinda Camera 117 Finding a place in the hive!

After the kids went to bed at night (Nonna’s bed was the sleeping place of choice,)Verlinda Camera 159 then it was party time for the big girls. Lots of games, and laughter, laughter, laughter, stories, and more laughter.Verlinda Camera 128 Verlinda Camera 130

The next day was our pirate theme. We started off by Verlinda Camera 126 eating cannonballs, thanks to Aunt Nacky. Pancakes filled with chocolate chips! Aye

Matey!Verlinda Camera 131 Then on to the treasure map. We played pin the ship and then looking for clues to lost treasures.Verlinda Camera 149 Verlinda Camera 139 Verlinda Camera 135 Verlinda Camera 141 Verlinda Camera 140 Next lunch was had and it was Pirate Ships!Verlinda Camera 144 Then it was on to one of our favorite ocean places, the Denver Acquarium! Man is it amazing. The kids loved every minute of it and would go back time and again. Everything from Jelly Fish, to Sharks, Tigers? and Stingrays that you can feed. (You’ll have to refer to the girls’ blogs because I left my camera at home on this trip) Then on to Long John Silvers for supper!

Day three was our Luau theme. Verlinda Camera 191 SWIMMING was on the docket. The pools here in our rec centers are wonderful and the kids all love to swim and walk across the log, float the lazy river. Which happens to be indoors, because of all things………………………………………………………….Verlinda Camera 168 Verlinda Camera 170 Verlinda Camera 190 Verlinda Camera 207 Verlinda Camera 198 Verlinda Camera 200 Verlinda Camera 206 Verlinda Camera 202

IT SNOWED!!!!!!! My Arizona children loved it and so because they didn’t bring any warm clothes, it was only March, we made snowmen inside. Navie won the snow-elephant contest……Verlinda Camera 165 Verlinda Camera 163 Reflections of Nonna by Shea and Brianne.

The day was completed with a Pinata which we broke with a toilet wand!!!!!!!Verlinda Camera 183 And then we made cousin camp pillows with everyones name and date. Thanks to Aunt Nacky and Tia Jaimie, they were a big hit.Verlinda Camera 192 Verlinda Camera 196

We had closing ceremonies and gave each child an award.Verlinda Camera 218 Verlinda Camera 215 During this last day Poppa came home and brought the lady who started this all. My what a posterity she has. Grandma Jardine was a little overwhelmed but the kids thought that she was something. They were as tall as her!Verlinda Camera 256

PS We also celebrated birthdaysVerlinda Camera 254 and then Nonna fell over! Until next year………………………….Verlinda Camera 252