A dollar and a “last tag”

Well, I have to admit that this has been a tough weekend.  As we finished up our visit with my parents last week we learned that my grandfather was quite sick and would be moving to hospice. We knew this day was coming but we were not sure when. My dad and his siblings are currently in Ft. Myers with my grandparents spending time together and saying goodbye to their father.

I have been sharing memories of my grandfather all weekend with Seth. It’s tough being far away but thinking about the good memories helps.

Ironically, as we are in the process of saying goodbye to Grandpa my fondest memories of him are when we would say goodbye after our visits. He had a tradition of giving each grandchild a dollar. Our very own. Not to share with our sibling. It was for us. I remember feeling so special and so rich as a kid when he would put the green paper roll in my hand. I could hardly wait to spend it.   I remember being around 10 or so when I had the thought that if I had just been smart enough to not spend the dollars from him that I could really be loaded.  The other thing he would do was stand out by the curb when we would leave and when we rolled our window down to wave he would say “last tag” and tag us. Over the years everyone worked hard to get in the “last tag”.  Once we caught on I think we would spend the hour before leaving teasing him with tags and getting the same going.

The last time I saw my grandfather he didn’t recognize me. He has had Alzhiemer’s for some years now. I can’t remember exactly when he got diagnosed but I do remember that he started having trouble just before my wedding in 2005. I am so thankful he was able to be part of our ceremony. The last time I saw my grandfather in person was a few days after Owen was born when we had a big family get together at our home in Vienna. Even at that time I remember he was frail and unsure but I also remember how he lit up when Jackson sang “Jingle Bells” and when he held Owen. He didn’t say much that night but he smiled and his eyes were bright.

I called my dad this morning to see how the night had gone. I could sense from my dad that he wished his father would no longer have to be in pain. I asked my dad if he had given Grandpa a rolled up dollar and a “last tag”.

My grandfather touched the lives of many as a minister and superintendent to church pastors but to me he is my grandfather. Grandpa, we sure are going to miss you!   Thank you for loving us!




read more

My parents have come and gone. It’s always tough to say goodbye. But it is so nice knowing that we will be home for Christmas this year! I have tons of pictures to post but I bet it is going to take me a little time to get myself organized and motivated for a big post of pics!

The weather forecast is looking up so hopefully next week will be a week of summer!  I am looking forward to a few more “pack the pj’s and come back at bedtime” pool nights. Hope all of you are enjoying summer in your neck of the woods! Speaking of neck of the woods, starting early next week Seth and I will be doing our own new search for which neck of the woods we will be relocated to. Pray for guidance and wisdom!! Just to sum up the process we will get a LONG list, narrow it down and submit bids. Then we will WAIT and WAIT until around Thanksgiving.

Here are some weekly pics to leave you with!

park bliss

busy bees

he may be smaller but he has his way of thwarting Jackson’s plans!

burning off some extra energy…this was before the wipe out!

first tomato from the big plants! My dad counted 62 more on their way!! I see lots of homemade salsa and pasta sauce in our future! And tomato pie of course!

fried green tomatoes

Have a great weekend!

read more

We celebrated Jackson’s 4th birthday on Saturday!  For months he has been asking for a camping party. I browsed a few blogs to find some ideas and here is what we ended up with!

there were big storm clouds all day so Seth put the tent up in the living room

I made fish using cardboard and duct tape. We put magnets in at their mouths. Unfortunately we used a metal bucket which more often caught the “hook” than the fish

One of Jackson’s friends father makes amazing cakes. He brought a chocolate truffle cake. I had things ready to toss on the top for decorating. We found marzipan rocks at a shop here that looked like real rocks!

Nama read Curious George Goes Camping in the tent!

overseeing gift opening

And due to the weather and being nervous about lighting a fire with a bazillion kids we continued the fun and on Sun night we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores!

At bedtime after the party Jackson was already brainstorming next yrs party. I didn’t have the heart to tell him we will be living out of suitcases, moving who knows where and that his guest list would be none of the kids from this party. Each yr is quite different for him. Proud of the little guy he is growing into!!

read more

4th of July

I am backtracking big time. Somehow I forgot to put up some pics of our 4th of July festivities. We had a VERY low key celebration this year. Seth had to work a fancy work party for the Swiss but when he got home we grilled and had a homemade cherry pie. We tried to make it as American as possible! It was kind of a homesick day. Since Swiss National Day is coming up Seth was able to find some mini fireworks. The only funny thing about the fireworks is that they were silent….I guess so as not to disturb your neighbors.

when I asked Jackson why he thought I was cutting a star in the top he replied with great enthusiasm “because Daddy is a rockstar?!” We have been out of the US way too long apparently when our child is this confused on the 4th. Not that Seth isn’t a rockstar, because he is but he doesn’t have a National holiday for being one…yet.

Owen held Jenny’s hand during our mini fireworks show. He wasn’t so sure.

Jackson of course loved it!

Looking forward to spending our next 4th in the US of A!

read more