Monday, September 21, 2009

Flood Waters Hit Atlanta

On September 21, the rains came and stayed. Jim went to work, but called and said that they were being delayed for two hours. Then he called and said the schools were closed because roads were flooded and there was no way to get students to and from the schools. Several of the high school students were already at school, and their parents had to be called to pick them up. Several roads were closed, and the waters kept rising. There were deaths and lots of basement flooding. We were not affected by the flood waters, but some in our Ward had water in their basements. For a time Highway 29 (that I usually take to work) was closed in one area, Five Forks was closed, Sugarloaf Parkway (where we go to Stacy's house), and several freeways in the North part of town were closed. The kids were home from school, so Stacy called late morning and said the pool was still heated and that she and Dahra decided to have lunch together and then let the kids swim in the rain. Dad and I decided to brave the elements, and we took off for Stacy's house. Thank goodness Dad was driving, because we got stopped at Sugarloaf and at Highway 29. He found a way around through Lawrenceville, and we had a great time having lunch and watching the kids swim in the rain. They had a ball, and it was a good way to while away the hours! We started home before the rush hour, but it was still raining quite a bit. Road closings and flooding continued through Wednesday...quite unusual for Atlanta! No one in our family seemed to be affected except with road-closings and inconvenience, thank goodness! Amy got a picture of the Brinkerhoff kids playing with a neighbor in the rain outside their house. There were buses at the parking lot at Parkview High School that were turned over and moved by the water. It was really powerful!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mom Sends Pictures to Hayden Museum

Grandma sent this picture of her father and two of his employees, Ray Zabel and Ray Kiddie to the Hayden Heritage Center this month. After visiting the museum and finding the printing press that her father worked with in the museum, she set about finding the pictures she knew she had of the print shop. She e-mailed them to the Museum and got a great e-mail back saying that they were really happy to get the pictures...they didn't have anything authenticating the print shop or the people. It's kind of comforting to Grandma that they are preserving some of the history that her father lived through in Hayden, Colorado!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Brielle Has Fifth Birthday Party

Brielle decided she wanted to have a jumper slide for her birthday, and Stacy found one that could slide into the pool. The kids (and some of the adults, too) really enjoyed the slide and spent the whole afternoon in the pool! Stacy had the food catered by Shane's Rib Shack, and the food was also delicious! Everyone had a great time visiting and swimming! It was quite a family weekend with the birthday parties and get-togethers.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tori Has Sixth Birthday

Tori decided that she would like to have a skating party for her birthday. Grandparents and friends and family showed up at the skating rink on a Friday night, and it was plenty loud and noisy!! The kids had a ball skating (or falling a lot) and having pizza and punch. Tori loved every minute of it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mom Has New Job

Mom has a new job with Heritage Candles in Tucker. The commute is about 45 minutes, and she is answering phones, taking orders and doing invoices and shipping. This is their busy season, so the day flies by. She is working two days a week (Thursday and Friday). There are several different kinds of orders, so the learning curve has been interesting, but she enjoys it and has learned a lot of things. The busy season is through December, so we'll see what happens after that!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Malia Turns Three

Malia decided she wanted a swim party for her third birthday. Stacy invited some of her friends and family. We had a great time eating pizza and cake on the patio and watching the kids play and have a great time. When Grandma asked how old she was, Malia said "I'm still two!" She had her party on Saturday, but she wasn't turning three until Monday. She had a great time, though, and the cousins loved the water slide that Uncle Tony brought and put on the big hill by the house!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grandpa Announces Taylor's Football Games

As he did last season, Grandpa is announcing Taylor's home football games for the Gladiators this year. As he likes to announce, there are three generations there...Grandpa announcing, J.J. coaching (he's the offensive coach), and Taylor playing. They all do a good job, and the team does really well!

Before the team started this season, J.J. met Jonathan Terrell (who has autism/aspergers) and his Dad at a game at South Forsyth High School. J.J. found out that Jonathan loved football, and he wrote his Dad an e-mail asking if Jonathan would like to be presented with a jersey, be an honorary captain, and help as water boy. Grandpa was asked to announce his name, and they made a ceremony of presenting him with a jersey. J.J. got the following e-mail after the game and forwarded to Grandpa with thanks for his part.

"What an incredible experience Jonathan had Saturday evening. You, the entire coaching team, the players and so many more made a once-in-a-lifetime impression on my son. Jonathan had an awesome time and I have no words that can express my heart-felt gratitude for all you did...thanks so very much! My wife (Brenda) and I have focused so much over the years on Jonathan's medical needs, therapies, etc.; we never have experienced such an outpouring of support for our son. Often, Jonathan will simply be ignored or avoided because of the quirkiness associated with his autism/aspergers...Saturday night he got to experience a moment in the spotlight (a moment I'm sure he will not soon forget). He may never be able to fully express what he felt on Saturday, but I can tell you without a made a difference. Also, please let your son know how much I appreciate him coming over to encourage Jonathan throughout the day...I know how difficult that can be for a kid to reach out to an atypical peer (your son is a winner on AND off the field). Davis and others on the field were also incredible...we look forward to cheering you guys on as the season continues."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Humans Come for Dinner

Grandma and Zabe had a great time playing duets--Grandma on the piano, and Zabe on the violin. Lora bought a piano book for the duets, and it was a lot of fun! Lora was grateful that Zabe enjoyed practicing, and Mom had a challenge.

Jayda seemed to enjoy the computer while Zabe and Grandma were practicing.Later on in the evening, the kids and Lora enjoyed watching "So You Think You Can Dance". There were some lifts that the girls thought they could duplicate, so Lora helped them. Looks pretty good to me--future winners!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grandma Has Birthday Party

Stacy called Grandma and Grandpa to see if they could come over to swim. A little later, she called Grandma and said that she was talking to the kids about getting a cake for Grandma's birthday coming up. She said that Brielle said, "Is Grandma going to bite me?" When Stacy told Grandma, she was appalled that Brielle would think that she'd bite her! Stacy said she couldn't figure it out until Ronan suggested that maybe she meant to say invite her to the birthday party. So Grandma then talked with each of the kids to invite them to her party at Stacy's house. When they lit the candles, Grandma said she wondered if she could blow the candles out. Malia spoke up and said, "I'll help you!" It was really fun to have a celebration! Thanks! And yes, Grandma was able to blow out the candles!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Taylor Wakeboarding

J.J., Taylor and Taylor's friend, Davis, went with one of J.J.'s friends, Ryan Leifson and his son, Colby, wakeboarding and tubing. The pictures are from his second time up. Taylor liked it so much he wrote about it in school when he was asked to tell the best day of the summer. Looks like he had a great time!

Jayda is Nine

Since Jayda's birthday was while Grandma and Grandpa were on their trip, Grandma took Jayda to the movie for a special treat for her birthday. She spent the night the night before, and they went to a matinee and ate a whole bag of popcorn! Afterward, Grandma took her to her house. It was a fun time for both of them!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Darryl Wins ALTA Championship

We're proud of Darryl for winning the ALTA Summer Men's Senior B-5 City Championship with his Evergreen lakes team. It's nice to know someone with the coveted Silver Plate! For more information, check out the Osenga Tanga blog (click on Osenga's picture at the right) administered by Alexis.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Summary

By July 15, Grandpa had his hips replaced and was ready to go!! He planned a trip for us to go to Houston to see Daniel, and then to Colorado for Grandma's 50th High School Reunion. We saw Verna Flora (Grandma's Cousin), Curtis/Shirley and Bud/Carron (Curtis and Bud are Grandma's Cousins), and Karen/Jim Johnson (Grandma/Grandpa's friends we met when Dahra and J.J. were small) while we were there. We then went on to Utah to visit with Kristi and family and to see Evan get baptised. From there, Grandma went to Miami to help Stacy, and Grandpa came home to get his bus and then come with Alex to Miami for the weekend. Grandpa came home with Alex on Sunday night, and Grandma came home with Stacy and her family on Monday, August 3. We were grateful to Kristi for airline passes, even though we had to get to Salt Lake from Denver through Bozeman, Montana. It was quite a trip, but fun to get to see the family and reunite with those we hadn't seen in a long time!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Miami

While we were in Utah, Stacy and the children were in Miami. Stacy called to see if Grandma could come to Miami to hang out for a fewdays and then help her on the plane with them. Grandma jumped at the chance, and Jim decided to come with Alex when he came on the weekend. Most of the time was spent on the beach or in the pool, and otherwise enjoying the view of Miami from the condo. It was a fun time playing with the kids and visiting!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Evan Baptism and Birthday

Because Evan's other grandparents, Janice and Scott Hartshorn, were visiting in Utah with their families, the decision was made to have Evan's baptism there. There was a short window of time before they left, so his Great-Grandparents made arrangements for the baptism to be held on his birthday. It was a special day for Evan, and both of his Grandmothers gave talks (Janice on Baptism and Nancy on the Holy Ghost). Several family members and friends were there to be a part of the occasion! After the baptism, there was a birthday party-reception at Bryan's Aunt's house. There was delicious food and a birthday cake for Evan. Grandma and Grandpa B were glad to be invited to participate, and enjoyed the chance to celebrate with Evan!

Summer 2009 Trip - Temple Open House

While we were in Utah, Cindy (Jim's Cousin) called. She was in town with Faie (another of Jim's cousins) and her boys. The Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple was having an open house and they were attending, so Kristi, Grandma and Grandpa made arrangements to meet them there. It was fun to visit and to see the beautiful Temple!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Daniels

Even in Utah, Grandpa enjoyed having the kids ride the cart through Wal-Mart. Jett and Daxton seemed to like it, too, and Daxton loved to drive! After a long day trying to get to Utah from Denver (the flight was cancelled after a mechanical when everyone was on board), Grandma and Grandpa ended up having to go through Bozeman, Montana, to get to the Salt Lake City airport. Kristi was really good to help find a way, and it was nice to be able to fly around the country! They got to see the Daniels' new home, and to get some good cherries and other fruit while they were there. It was also fun to sleep with the windows open and enjoy the cool nights!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Reunion

Much as she hates to admit it, Nancy had her 50-year reunion at South High School in Denver, Colorado. Jim made the arrangements to go. Nancy said that she wouldn't know anyone, and Jim said he was determined to find someone who knew her. Sure enough, they found several people who recalled Nan Zabel...and a few she knew, too! One of the fellows there said that he went on a date with Nancy. She asked him where, but he didn't remember. At any rate, it ended up being an interesting experience. The first night everyone was trying to find people they knew, the next morning there was a tour of the high school, and that night there was a banquet. The high school was built in 1929 and is now listed as a Colorado Historical Monument...they have applied to be a National Historical Monument. It was a total of 8 stories high...5 stories of classrooms...and a clock tower. The elevator was being repaired, and Jim was pleased that so soon after his hip surgery he was able to climb 6 stories. Nancy went on to see the clock works and the tower. The lunchroom was on the 4th floor, where there were sandwiches and the choir performed. The 1959 Class at South High School was made up of about 1,000 students and was the largest graduating class in the school's history. There were new schools being built, and the students going there were dispersed after that. Because of its size, the class was split into two sections, one going in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Because of its size, there were several sports and academic records that have not been equaled. Both Jim and Nancy felt that it was a good experience and they were glad to have gone.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Johnsons

We drove back to Denver on the 23rd, and met up with our friends, Jim and Karen Johnson. Karen babysat with J.J. when he was a baby, and we used to do things with them through the years we both lived in Denver. The camera was out of "juice", and we forgot about the camera in the phone, so we didn't get pictures. We were able to visit with Karen and their daughter, Elizabeth. for awhile in their home, and then Jim, Karen, Jim and Nancy went to dinner. It was just as though we'd never been apart! It's terrific to know that some friendships will continue even though time and miles keep us apart!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer 2009 Trip - Hayden

Curtis' brother, Berneil (Bud) and his wife, Carron, live in Hayden, Colorado, about thirty miles from Curtis and Shirley. We went to have lunch with them on the 22nd, and we had so much fun we stayed for dinner and birthday cake with their granddaughter, Aspen! Bud fixed us a delicious lunch and dinner, and we were able to eat outside on their porch. They have a wonderful backyard with lots of plants and trees. The weather in Colorado is beautiful and cool, and we loved the peacefulness of eating with them and visiting!
Bud mentioned that there was a Museum a couple of blocks from his house in an old train station, and the printing press that Grandma's Dad used when he ran the paper in Hayden was located there. We were excited to see it, so after lunch he took us there. One of the ladies who volunteered there was just leaving, but Bud knew her and talked her into staying to show it to us. It was really fun to see different things about the area and to hear all the stories! Sure enough, the printing press was there, and not only that, but a receipt for a newspaper subscription that was signed, "A. Zabel" (Grandma's Dad). Remember the story Grandpa tells about the baseball mitt that his Dad ordered to be sent in the mail? He found one just like it at the museum!
Grandma and Grandpa wanted to check out the house in Craig, Colorado (about 20 minutes away) where they lived for a short time when Dahra was about a year old. They drove over there and took pictures of the house and headed back. After a detour to take pictures of the grave of Grandma's brothers (stillborn before Grandma was born), they returned to Bud and Carron's for dinner on the porch again. Before it got dark, Bud took us on a tour of Hayden. We saw and took pictures of the hospital where Grandma was born, and the house where her parents lived when she was born.
Bud showed us the new houses built in Hayden and the High School where his son, Troy, is Principal. We also drove by the Nursing Home where a bronze that Curtis did is displayed. We were able to get a picture of it, and then we went back to the house to celebrate Aspen's birthday.
We also were able to get reaquainted with their son, Patrick, who is Hayden with his son, Nathan. We found that he does bronze artwork similar to Curtis. We saw pictures of several pieces of his work, and we shared with him the story of the butterflies that Lora used in her wedding. He was interested in maybe doing a wall hanging in bronze of the butterflies. We really enjoyed getting a chance to talk with him. Again, it was nice to get reacquainted with family and to enjoy the times we spent with them!