Monday, December 08, 2014

The rest of October: 90th birthday, apple orchard, Halloween

I'm so's' December 8th, but I do want to keep up with at least a minimum of sharing the major developments. So first, let me just finish up the rest of our happenings from October and then move on to November.

The biggest occasion in October was a special one. My grandpa turned 90 on September 24th and my Granny will turn 90 on January 7th. They celebrated 68 years of marriage in August. So we had a 90th birthday party for the two of them. They are two amazing people, and everyone who knows them loves them. As I posted on Facebook:

Today I had the fantastic privilege of celebrating 90 years of life for both of my grandparents, Garl and Ruth. They grew up together in small town, Indiana, were high school sweethearts, but then Granny waited and worked while Grandpa flew bombers in WWII (including Normandy on D-day, receiving several medals of honor). When he returned, they married (68 yrs ago) and he went to college on the GI bill and became an engineer. He built the two homes they lived in with his own two hands while Granny raised my mom and uncle (and worked for Weight Watchers for many many years). To this day, Grandpa rides his bike to get the mail and chops his own firewood and drives back and forth to Indiana to fix up their rental property. They are humble, loving, Godly people and everyone who has known them has loved them. I love you so much and I'm so fortunate to have you as grandparents. The greatest generation, indeed.

Melanie decorated the house with old pictures, it was really neat. The picture on the right side of this frame was taken one time that they dropped me off at college in Ithaca, NY.

Over the years with their mom and Uncle Neil.

We had to add a third string when guests brought more photos to the party. This was my favorite part, and I could tell that it meant a lot to my grandparents.

More photos...including some very stylish ones over the years.

Aunt Mel, being Aunt Mel to Abby's boys, too.

The nice to have time with everyone. On the far right is Granny's brother, Uncle Ward to me. He drove down from the UP in Michigan! Several other extended families members wanted to come from Indiana, but there happened to be two weddings in the family that same day: one of Grandpa's great nephews and one of Granny's great nieces. Who would've thought?

Granny and Grandpa with their Greats. Luke, Nate, David, Gabe, Anna, and Katy.

This is what 90 years of wisdom looks like. Love them!

With their grands. Abby, Mel, and I.

And of course with my mom and Neil. It was a special day!
The following weekend we had a nice visit from Grammy and Papa John from Kentucky. We went apple picking and made apple butter and applesauce with my new Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer attachment (that thing is amazing!). The kids had a great time with them.

  And then came Halloween, with all of it's festivities. As is par for the course for us this year, we were battling strep throat through Halloween...and just barely made it trick or treating and to class parties. (David was positive just hours before trick or treating, and I took him to school at noon the next day (after the 24 hour antibiotic mark) so he could go to his party. The 31st was party central for me - I went to 3 school parties in 3 buildings all at different times. Thank goodness that my mom has been available this month (in between jobs), because Anna would have been toast. 

Also this year, I took the easy route for costumes. The thing is...the boys play with their costumes ALL the time. Almost daily, all year long, until they literally fall apart at the seams. So I decided that if there was superhero that they wanted to be, I would get a good coupon (got a 40% off at Target!) and just purchase the costume new, because they will get lots of play out of them. So...David was Darth Vader, Luke was Batman, Katy picked out a girl pirate (I'm just glad she didn't want to be Katy Perry just yet), and Anna was the 4th and final lamb (you may have seen the collage that Brian made of all 4 of them wearing it on FB). 

I loved that Beggar's Night was the night before Halloween this year. We had perfect weather, and the kids weren't already completely worn out from class parties. Our neighbor Asher went with us, and he had borrowed our Wolverine costume (David wore it last year), so he literally seemed like one of ours. I kept thinking he was one of my kids all night. I just LOVE Beggar's Night. Because I love neighbors and everyone is out and excited and friendly. It's awesome.

We went over to Oma's for the 2nd half. Katy really wanted to hand out candy and one of her good friends lives next door to Oma. They live on a busy corner in a neighborhood with lots of kids, so it is just really fun to be there.

This is the scene for a solid week afterwards. Sorting, trading, counting, dealing. Until we do a candy draft, make them pick 10 pieces each and donate the rest. Because otherwise it would go on until Christmas.

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