Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Summing it up....2007 in "Survival Mode"

Every year I write a Newsletter that goes into our Christmas cards that recaps the year for our family. This year it never happened largely due to the fact that I have been spending so many hours blogging! Blogging is my new thing and so much fun. One thing I love about it is that the things you want to keep and share can be kept in one spot and are available from any computer so there is no threat of crashes, fires, etc. So even though no cards went out I thought I'd recap the year for our records anyway.

We lost two very good friends last year right before Christmas due to cancer, and one friend, Ray Wilcox, due to a massive stroke. All three funerals were in December. Both Larry and Sione were young...Sione only in his early 50's. That seemed to start 2007 with a melancholy feeling and some big empty spots in our hearts. In the past few years four of my closest friends, Barbara, Helen, Brenda and Val have all lost their spouses. That has left me with such a feeling of inadequacy in knowing how to help and comfort them. So each day we all just keep moving ahead and praying! January is always kind of a let down month for me. Winter seems to settle in, in earnest, the holidays are over, etc. The most exciting time in January for me is always Laura's birthday. She turned 29 this year and it was wonderful to be living near enough to be with her. They were living in Mountain View, just an hour away, while Robert was earning his Master's Degree at Stanford. As a surprise, Jen flew out and we had a totally fantastic all girls' day! We ate out, shopped, bought her some great clothes, she had a make-up makeover at Macy's, and got a fancy haircut, then we ate out some more and I think we saw a movie as well. It was the best birthday party I have been to in ages. The best part was Jen was here and Laura seemed so happy about it all. It was the first time the girls and I had done anything like that in absolute years. It is great to be with the kids on their birthdays and seems like a rare thing anymore. Missy, Jen and Laura and I attended Women's Conference in May at BYU and I got to see Elder Jeffery Holland speak there and few weeks later on Mother's Day in Chris and Missy's ward. It was awesome, I love that man for his wisdom and eloquence!

In the early spring our good friend, Garth, died. He was old and it was expected but still we miss our Uncle Buffalo so much. He introduced us to the Church many years ago and that changed our family history forever. He was living near Jen and Chris and their families before he passed away and they had an opportunity to serve him at the end of his life. That seems appropriate somehow after all he has done for all of us.

Here are some of the great things that happened to us in random order. We had two beautiful babies born into our family this year..Owen Monroe on June 2 and Hazel Jo on September 24th. We had two baptisms. both Piper and Spencer were baptized in May! It seems we got to spend more time than usual with our kids this year, Laura and Robert got assigned to Italy, not, Hawaii, Mississippi, Southern CA, or Virginia or Iraq all of which were possibilities! Talk about survival mode, they really had their patience tried as they waited and waited and waited for news of their next duty station. Robert graduated from Stanford and that was an honor to attend, and the Wadsworths stayed with us for a month while waiting for passports. Our niece, Alesha got married and she was a beautiful bride. We got to see our extended family a lot this year. Erin started student teaching in southern CA and Scott got accepted to the music school of his choice in NYC and Nick got to live near the Wadsworths in Mountain View and shared some time and dinners with them as he began his career with Sony. The boys are crazy about Nick! Christopher did well at BYU and completed his 1st year along with doing some major work on their new house in Provo. Connor turned 8 and is awaiting his baptism, he and Julia got glasses so they can both see better, Anyslee became the youngest member of our family to attend BYU as a pre-schooler! Zachy started talking up a storm, Piper had a piece of her art hanging in a real art gallery for all to admire, Julia fell in love with Ransom (yup, that's his name...only in Utah!), Chloe became a Binky Bandit and Big Sister. Hazel survived two major surgeries and an infection that put her in the hospital and she is just a little trouper. Owen has blessed Missy and Chris with a sweet mellow personality and is a little doll. Missy has survived a whole year with only one bathroom in the basement and Chris traveling to China even after leaving ATL! She is always is so cheerful and happy about it all! Jim and Chris built a new bathroom upstairs that is already functioning and will be all decorated by the end of the week. They have a new roof, new fences, new windows and beautiful hardwood floors thanks to many hours of hard work. Chris has moved up at BYU and now has a beautiful office with a breathtaking view of Mt. Timp. Laura and Robert negotiated another successful move. They got the housing they really wanted and are enjoying the cultural aspects of a different country and meeting new friends. They were able to just pop over to Rome for the day this week! They are enjoying their branch and are serving as RS President and Counselor to the Branch President. So there's never a dull moment for them. Spencer is enjoying being back in school after a year of home schooling and Ross is in kindergarten this year and has told us he is the smartest and best kid in the class! They are learning to speak and understand Italian. They take the bus to and from school and that is fun for any little boy! They are enjoying their new home and friends and have everything they could possibly want except a dog. Jen and Lowell survived the news that little Hazel has Spina bifada in May when we nearly lost her. But she is a very determined little spirit and her heart was strong and she survived to bring us more love and light than you can imagine. They also survived a flood in their house due to a broken water pipe which required major repairs and they also did a big excavation project in their backyard. Jen survived a freaky helicopter ride to the hospital in SLC to have the baby, a grueling c-section of which she was far too aware, and two weeks of not being able to hold her sweet baby girl. Hazel has been the sweetest blessing and we have learned so much this year. It was a year of survival for the Stewarts, and us all in turn! Grampa and the big girls had a fun two weeks together when Hazel was born and he got really good at being Mr. Mom. By the time it was over he was doing window treatments, pigtails, carpooling, playgroups and calling Kim just to chat!

Work wise it was a great year for Interiors by Design. I got to attend a great class on Advanced Professional Staging that I loved. Laura was my staging partner during the time they were here so I had the pleasure of working with her and the boys often. It truly is a family business with much help from Dad and Robert as well. Laura did such a good job it took two ladies to replace her! I met some wonderful new friends in the staging industry and saw more clients then I dreamed possible in the first 8 month of the year. Laura and Robert completely decked out one of our storage units with many many feet of wonderful shelving. It is now "The Gallery" and the other one is "The Warehouse." It is fabulous to have everything so organized. When Laura & Robert and the boys left for Italy the real estate market seemed to come to a screeching halt. It has been OK for it to slow down from my perspective. I have several ongoing decorating projects for various clients so I don't have to rely solely on real estate. There was plenty to do at home also and I was gone a whole month with Jen and Lowell and the girls when Hazel was born. We had a wonderful experience with the loving people associated with the Ronald MC Donald House when we stayed there while Hazel was in the hospital for 19 days. We got to spend time with Lowell and Robert's parents this year so that was great too.

Jim's' work continues to be fun and important to him although I do see a harder time for him when returning to it after a few days away. He is moving closer to retirement from the county but of course is already looking for something new to fill up his time. The county is going to be hating it when he leaves as he works so many hours they get two employees for the price of one!

Jim and I both turned 60 this year...hmmm...not a whole lot of fun but it beats the alternative they say. Jim is still heavily into biking and rode 60 miles on his birthday. I was so proud of him! I am loving a freer schedule than I have ever had and have been doing lots of reading and writing and got acquainted with "The Gilmore Girls" all seven seasons... just for fun. And I still love decorating for pleasure as well as for work. I especially loved bringing out all things 'Christmas' this year. We are both busy and active in church, Jim in the bishopric and I am teaching Family History (which is how I got started blogging, along with one look at Jen's.) Grandma Gloria has survived a hip replacement this past week and is doing well except for the flu. She looks forward to a future of pain free living when her recovery is complete. She is amazing...she still has her share of gentleman callers at age 81!

So the very last things... Jim has almost overcome his bout with the flu for the last few days and has just walked out the door to go visit his mom. I am staying home and just trying to stay well so we don't bring anything to Utah with us in two days. We are so looking forward to being with the kids again for a week or so. We loved a nice long international conversation with our little "Italians" this morning and this afternoon too! We look forward to a three week visit with them in Italy in March and April. After having them with us here in the Bay Area for a year it has been very hard to have them move so far away. They will be in Italy for three years all together...in a few more days only 2 years and 8 months to go! We talked to Chris' family last night and it brought us great joy to know they were hosting the Stewarts for the evening. I know all the little cousins had a great time together and I am sure they found most everything they wanted under their trees this morning. Jen reports a stellar Christmas at their house with toys galore. That eased the pain a bit of missing the Mattson family Christmas party at cousins Kris and Dale's house, Dad being in bed sick all day and me watching Polar Express alone last night. Oh well, I still love Christmas...no matter what! It can only be up from here!

Monday, December 24, 2007

How to Enjoy Photo Slides

We had a wonderful Christmas last year with the whole family present. Jen and Lowell were great at hosting us all. Chris and Missy had just moved into their new home in Provo. We had so much fun with lots of activities and family togetherness. It was so fantastic taking the train with Spence and Rossie and Robert and Laura. You cannot be in a hurry but it was very comfortable and relaxing and a nice way to begin a super vacation. To our way of thinking it was one of the best Christmases ever! We miss you all this year! Grampa has the flu so it is best you are all as far away as possible this year!

The best way to enjoy the photos posted below as slides is to watch the montage and then click "view all images" for enlargements and to see each photo individually. Hope you like them! Love, Mom & Dad

Training to Utah for Christmas 2006

Arriving in Utah 2006

Christmas Morning 2006

Christmas Day with Uncle Buffalo & Family


Moms Shop-Daddies and Kids Make GingerBread Men


White Christmas Sledding 2006

Christmas Love

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience.

I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending.

Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to at tend that evening were welcome to come then.

Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise. So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor, and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats.

As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.

Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas" I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row - center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.

As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her - a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen.

In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The 23rd Annual Christmas Golden Girls' Luncheon

Norma, our Christmas fashion plate with Lanette, our co-hostess for all these years. Somehow I managed to not get any photos of Fran and Leslie but our little Christmas Elf appeared in several of the pictures. Wear a "stand out outfit" next year girls...sorry! Lanette, Lanette, our own wonder woman. Is there anything she can not or does not do well? Not really. She is such an example of excellence in all things.

Linda and Barb enjoying the day as we have for over two decades. Between us all I think we have shared every delight and every burden with each other over the years. These two friends are remarkably strong women and I love them dearly! We have done so many things together I could write a book...and they truly light up my life!

Kelly is our good friend, our hostess for this year, and is one of the funniest people I have ever known. She has the most delightful sense of humor and can tell a story like no other. Kelly has kept us all laughing until our cheeks hurt every single year.

Norma Jean decided to wear a borrowed QVC "Ugly Christmas Sweater" in hopes of selling the idea for next year. Hmmm! I doubt it! This one actually comes with its own battery pack and blinks! Norma is one of the most enjoyable friends I have. She is always so upbeat and zany and full of energy. She bring a special light where ever she goes! Love the cork screw Santa hat!

Maureen and Linda, two sisters that I have known and loved since high school. These ladies can do anything with their hands and creativity from remodeling a house to beautiful floral arrangements for weddings. They are so inspiring. Besides being talented they are among the nicest, most fun people on the planet!

The table is always elegantly set and each year Lanette and Kelly make a beautiful gift for each of us. The luncheon is always gourmet and this year was no exception with wonderful chicken crepes and roasted veggies, a beautiful salad and Lanette's over the top rolls! The dessert was fabulous too and we enjoyed it while discussing a survey about our favorite places to shop, favorite movies and the hottest guys excluding the ones we live with! That was pretty funny. A few of the nominees included John Travolta, Patrick Dempsey, Jude Law, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Nicholas Cage, and Ryan Bowerbank...(an inside thing...sorry!) They definitely did not leave enough space on the survey for this part! We also shared some pet peeves that were pretty funny! Our activities over the years have been very fun. One time they had all of our mothers write a letter about us and the Christmases of our childhood. One year it was a letter from our husbands saying what they would give us for Christmas if the money were no object. And, one of the funniest of all, the Christmas Letter the way your year REALLY was.

Each year the rule has been you must attend in order to be invited back the next year. They are pretty strict and you need a good excuse like attending the funeral of a loved one, or illness (with a doctor's note..just kidding), or being out of the country. I have only missed one time and it was when we were in Europe. One year I went straight from a root canal to the luncheon. We really missed Chris this year who was taking care of her Dad who has a broken hip.

The gifts they have made us over all these years have become real treasures. They are always Christmas related and really great. This year they made the amazing snowman quilts you see on the back of the chairs. Surely it cannot get any better than this.

After all these years of these wonderful parties we realized that we had never taken any pictures. Jennifer's friends had a similar party in Utah and have been doing it for a few years now. I wanted to blog this to let them know what a wonderful idea it is to establish these fun traditions with your girlfriends. Just as we were once in the same stage of mothering you are...this year we shared pictures of our grandchildren! Keep at it and you will have treasured memories that span many years as we do. Surround yourselves with remarkable women as I have and you can't lose! There is always someone amazing to look up to and pattern your life after.

Thanks Lanette and Kelly for another wonderful year.

Our Credo: Still Hot After All These Years! (Well, hot flashes anyway!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

God Bless our Military Families!

No matter what your political views are about the war something like this video has to touch your heart. I am grateful for the men in my life that have served our country including my father in WW2 along with Uncle Tom, and now our son, Robert. Of course not only these men are serving but also their families. My mother, a young bride was married only three months when my father left for the war. Their first anniversary together was their 6th. Robert and Laura have made huge personal sacrifices while serving our country. I will always remember that freedom always has a price and is never free. Many, including our kids, will be away from family this Christmas and we want them to know how much we love and support them and miss them. A simple thank you is not enough. Your service and sacrifice for us all is so appreciated...we honor you!


This is cute in spite of the prayer posture and Santa???

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Twelve Days of Christmas


This is something fun, especially for Lowell and Uncle Steve! Have a wonderful Christmas dear family and friends!

Bringing Christmas to You

Since you will not be able to come home for Christmas this year I thought I would send some of it to you. Here are the pictures of the decor for this year. As you know I love doing it and can never quit, for then I will know I am truly old! We sure wish you were coming here but know you will have a wonderful time and remember the Savior wherever you are. Laura and Robert, Spencer and Ross, enjoy your first Italian Christmas celebration this year and to all of our kids and grandkids in Utah...see you on the 27th! Could you order "no snow" for our flight in and out please!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Christmas Gathering 2007

For the last 30 something years Jim and I have hosted the family Christmas gathering. Over the years this gathering has included many of our family members that are no longer with us but that still mean so much. We truly miss Mom & Dad, Fred, Gramma Marge, Grampa Andrew, Gary & Becky, Nana & Lala Angie. When we have our annual Christmas party, it is a time to remember them all. It is a time to remember the growing up years of our kids, Jen, Chris and Laura, and our nieces and nephews Becky, Alesha, Nick, Erin and Scott. Not everyone can come each year anymore but we love having whoever can make it. It is now exciting to have the gatherings with our grandchildren and great nephew, Sebastian. We have been joined the last couple of years by Lola, the Napa Colberg's dog.

This tradition developed from our own Colberg childhood tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve each year. Thinking back on our childhood Christmases many things come to mind. I remember that it was Dad who always did all the Christmas Card sending and the tree decorating while Mom did all the wonderful baking and cooking. We had one of those new fangled aluminum Christmas trees with the color wheel when I was a teenager. I can remember lying on the floor under that tree and just gazing up through the shiny branches at the beautiful colors as the wheel changed methodically from red to blue, then green and finally yellow. Wow, I don't think I have ever felt so rich! Before that we would have a regular living Christmas tree and it was decorated with the big colored lights, ornaments that were mostly glass balls, and endless tinsel that was painstakingly applied one strand at a time. It always looked so beautiful but there was a down side. The caveat was the task of taking it off the tree when Christmas was over, wrapping in on the cardboard that had carefully been saved so that it could be used again the next year. We didn't have many Christmas decorations just mostly the tree and a little nativity set which I still have to this day. The lights on the trees were the big ones and it was always a thrill to see them light up for the first time. Our friends, the Hollanders, had the bubble lights on their tree and I remember we were quite envious of that.

Every Christmas day we would have Aunt Wilma, Uncle Bill, and our cousins Billy and Bobby, and their Grandpa Ken over for a turkey dinner. Oh, how I love their family! They are our family and the only ones we ever lived near growing up. Aunt Wilma was one of my Mom's older sisters. Bill and Bob are my cousins & "big brothers!" Their word was law when we were growing up, after all they were the biggest and the smartest! Our aunt and uncle and cousin, Billy, have passed away now but Bob & Beth were here last night. They just can never know how much that means to me and to Steve and Gary as well. It just brings the joy of those Christmases past right back to the present for me. I can still see my Aunt Wilma and my mom in their aprons cooking all day and my Dad and Uncle Bill watching the games on TV and playing Cribbage while rolling tooth picks between their teeth. (How odd to remember something like that..one just never knows with kids what leaves an impression and what goes unnoticed....although it is rarely what you might think! ) As kids we would hang out in our rooms and talk and play and just have fun. The boys would always try to snitch pie before dinner although I don't ever remember them being successful in that endeavor. The other big commodity at the dinners was the black olives which all of us kids loved, especially Gary who always had one on each finger for munching!

In our family we always opened all the presents on Christmas Eve because our parents got tired of being awakened at midnight and every hour thereafter to see if we could go see what Santa had brought for us. Each Christmas Eve we participated in a Christmas program for our school and church. Dad would drop us off under the pretense of looking for a parking place, then he would drive home and set everything up and get back to the church just in time for the closing song! He would always say what a great job we did with our singing and speaking parts. We never caught on and would always look for Santa and his sleigh out the car windows on our way home from Church. We always came home with a bag of loot from the Church which was a little brown lunch sack with an orange, ribbon candy and almonds and walnuts in the shells. Although we loved that, the real treat was coming home to what Santa left for us and to Mom's home made nut bread. There was nothing like that nut bread that she baked in Campbell's soup cans after removing one end so it was like a tall cupcake when it came out of the oven. That bump on the top was always the best part.

From these fond memories our celebrations have moved to one of the Sundays in December. As they have morphed into an incorporation of many of the Italian traditions of Jim's family, we have come up with a pretty fun tradition of our own.
This year none of our kids or grandkids could join us but we did have Gary, Marilyn, and Erin and Lola (the dog) . We really missed Marilyn's parents, Tom & Jean. Jean has been struggling with a cold so they could not come this year. We had Bob & Beth, Steve, Emily, Ruth, Alesha, Raul, and their baby Sebastian, and Nicholas (truly our saint!) Of course Jim and I were here and Jim's mom, Grandma Gloria. We missed Scott who is still in NY at school.

Before dinner we enjoyed appetizers supplied by Bob and Beth and Gary and Marilyn. Beth brought a beautiful, fresh crab dip with bread and crackers and Marilyn brought a delicious French bread, mushroom, and cheese delight! No matter what I do I can not get the family to sit down and relax before dinner! It is always a lot of hustle and bustle in the kitchen as we huddle together with the appetizers and warm up by the fireplace. I like to think it is the excitement of seeing everyone and not our tiny cottage that makes this happen! They seems to be fine with it but I want them to be comfortable!

For dinner we had our traditional Italian salad course with a lovely salad made by Alesha and the all the fun things like salami, cheese, olives, Gramma Marge's roasted red bell peppers, marinated in olive oil and swimming in sauteed garlic, stuffed celery, etc, etc. For our main course we served ham, cheesy potatoes and green beans with almond and rice vinegar. The meal was topped off by apple and pecan pies.

For our gifts we all brought ornaments for each household and that was really fun. Everyone brought such cute ornaments and Tom and Jean really wowed us all with homemade little domes with a tiny Aptos house inside it. They had included a little yard sign with their names on it. Their house number was printed on the tiny snow clad house. On the bottom they had written "Merry Christmas from our house to your!" It was over the top, Tom! Your talents never cease to amaze us all! We have had a Santa visit in the past and we are about due again with little Sebastian getting older now.

We felt like everyone enjoyed the evening but there was one major faux pas. I forgot to have Steve play his guitar and lead us in our annual Christmas carols. Honestly, it must be chalked up to turning 60 and losing my mind! I felt terrible about this as I know he practiced a lot and had to haul over all the stuff. Bummer! Of course he did not help me out any with a little reminder! Anyway a double session of singing next year then.

The funniest thing of the evening for me was when Marilyn said, " Lola (the dog) looks like me don't you think?" She then proceeded to put the dog up by her face and whoa! It was pretty amazing! You have seen those deals where there are pictures of people and their matching dogs...well they have nothing on these two! I am going to include the pictures and you will have to decide who is who! It should be pretty easy though, Marilyn is the pretty one with no whiskers!

For those of you that couldn't come, we missed you. For those of you that did come we are so happy you did. Merry Christmas to all! Thanks for creating another fun family memory for us! We love you!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Quotes to Ponder

Some Quotes I Like

“If you don’t change something, nothing will change.”

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

“The only limits man has are the ones he puts on himself.” Spencer W. Kimball

“Fail to plan, plan to fail.”

“To thine own self be true” Shakespeare

“Never, never, never give up! Winston Churchhill

“First we work, then we play!” James P. Mattson

“All that I am I owe to my mother.” Abe Lincoln

“Life is short, eat dessert first!

“A stitch in time saves nine!”

“Organize yourself, prepare every needful thing” D&C 88:119

“A man is successful if his children are more successful than he” Alice Godfrey Colberg Yeasley, My grandmother.

“Never abandon a generous thought.” Camilla Kimball

“It is better to give than to receive and it is better to receive than to put up a fuss. Do not deny people the blessings of helping or giving to you; accept it with grace.” Bonnie Mattson

“Give a man a fish and you give him his dinner

Teach a man to fish and you give him freedom and independence.”

“May I live in such a way that you will do as I say and do as I do.” Bonnie Mattson

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

“We may not be rich with money but we are rich in good looks”…Christopher Mattson

“There are only two things I hate…Satan and spaghetti! …..Jennifer Mattson Stewart, age 5”

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! Go to this link for a little treat! My sweet friend, Lee, sent this to me and I am just trying to see if I can figure out how to do the various things on the blog. It is a miracle that I figured this out. Lowell will be so proud!


Flat Spencer

We received a letter from Spencer in Italy requesting that we tour around our home areas with a flat Spencer his teacher had him make and then report back to the class regarding our adventure. It was really fun!

November 15, 2007

Dear 3rd Grade Class:

We think your teacher had a wonderful idea! How fun to hear from family and friends around the world. What a fantastic way to learn about new places. We are Spencer’s grandparents. We have felt sad since he moved thousands of miles away from us so we were very excited to receive Flat Spencer!

We decided to take Flat Spencer to San Francisco, California. We live in a town east of San Francisco in the suburbs. Many people that work in San Francisco live in the towns surrounding The City. Everyone around here calls San Francisco, “The City!” It is one of the prettiest cities in the world and we love to visit there whenever we can.

Spencer has lived near “The City” so he has been to many of the fun places there. One place we realized he hadn’t been was North Beach. San Francisco is divided into districts and North Beach is the Italian district. Many Italians live and work in this area and there are some wonderful restaurants there. We know how much Spencer loves pizza so we took him to North Beach Pizza for lunch. We are sending some pictures of North Beach and the restaurant with Spencer sitting in the chair all ready for his lunch! We could hear people speaking Italian all around us. As we took these pictures many people wanted to meet Flat Spencer and hear what he was doing in San Francisco!

Another place Spencer has always liked is Ft. Point It is an actual Fort that was used to protect the area and the port many years ago. It is right at the base of the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. We are sending some pictures of Flat Spencer at the Fort, under the bridge, and by the water. You can see San Francisco in the background. This is the place that Flat Spencer almost flew away it was so windy!

Back in hometown there is a place that Spencer really likes to visit. It is called Pixie Play Park. Here Flat Spencer tripped and fell right in front of the train! The engineer stopped just in time! Whew! We are happy Flat Spencer was OK! Spencer’s favorite ride at the park is the Roller Coaster. So we had to get some pictures there too! We didn’t have any tickets for him to ride but we bought a corn dog on the way out of the park and he thought that was yummy! Next we visited Spencer’s Great Grandmother on her 81st birthday. She lives near the pool where Spencer and his brother, Ross, learned to dive off the diving board last summer. Flat Spencer wanted to go in for a dip but we thought it better for him to stay dry! You will, however, notice that he attached himself right to the fence and did a little whining!

Thank you so much for sending Flat Spencer, Spence! We enjoyed having him with us and we are glad that the “Real Spencer” is not flat! We like round Spencers, they are the best for hugging! We are happy you found a solution to being flat and are now back to normal! We hope you have all enjoyed getting to know something about where Spencer’s grandparents live. Come for a visit sometime. You’ll love it!


Spencer's Grandparents