Monday, July 15, 2013

"California Here I Come..Right Back Where I Started From..." *A Song

The Stair Steps and 
The Hope of The Future for Our Surname

Jim's parents were the only ones to have two boys, all the other uncles had two girls each.    Jim and his brother Gary only had one son between them.  Our son Chris.  As that only son, Chris was the only one able to carry on the family name.  He did well gifting the world with these three handsome and wonderful young sons.  Oh wait, this is not my genealogy blog!  Well, there you have it anyway.  That is the scoop of this family's history.  This photo just reminded me of the male Y chromosome and how the identical strand is passed from father to son unaltered for many generations until a mutation occurs.  That is our DNA lesson for the day!

With love,
From your favorite, crazed genealogist!

Now on to the activities of the past week and some fun photos taken mostly by Jim and Chris of the kids' CA Va-Kay.

It all seemed to happen so quickly.   We have enjoyed our week with them very much.  They were able to do so many fun things while they were here and we hope they will come again soon.  Now they are all home safe and sound and it is time for a recap.

Our grandkids got along great, they were tidy and very helpful guests and just so easy to have around.  Even though I am sure they weren't the most comfortable, all four kids slept in the Hotel California without complaints.  It helped so much to make everything feel more organized and spacious in our cottage home.  Missy and Chris worked hard to make it all nice and easy for us.  They are good kids!

Aynlsee is a great shot!

They loved playing in the yard and finding our wild animals.  Aynslee kept a log of all the deer and other critters she ran across as she explored the tree covered paths up and down between the barn and the house.  They just missed all the wild turkeys that have been hanging around here for months.

We have a tradition of hiding a big green dinosaur egg, AKA watermelon when we have a summer BBQ with kids attending.  Hunting for that through all the nooks and crannies in the yard kept them entertained for some time.  Chris wanted them to have a lot of his childhood experiences and they did.

Zach waiting for his next opponent.

Aynslee and Her Daddy!
We read our scriptures out here by
 the bonfire Sunday night

The kids also enjoyed cooling off in our pond and relaxing.  It was all nice and clean and as clear as a bell.  They played a lot of basketball, tether ball and explored all around.  Zachery liked scooping the leaves out of the pond with a pool strainer. 

 Here is our little Owie!  

That cute little dimple on his upper left cheek matches one that Jim's mom has.  It is the cutest thing when he smiles!    All the other kids have the regular pair of dimpled cheek.  I do love Owen's blond hair and chocolate eyes combination too!

Owen and I played Tic Tac Toe.  Owen has a unique way of playing it.  He makes all the rules, he is always X and he's always first!   And when you go to put your wooden peg in the board, he covers up the hole!  It was so cute really.   As Missy said..."We'll let him get away with that for now since he's only six."

 I think he knew his Gramma wouldn't mind at all.  It was fun, he was so gleeful about being in charge and winning all the games. Sometimes as the youngest you gotta fight for that spot once in awhile. That 'at home time' was good for the kids because the rest of the time Grampa and Mom and Dad ran their little tails off.  And vice versa at times I would imagine.

The first big adventure~Pt. Reyes Beach and National Park.  It is about two hours from our home.

 Getting ready to hike up over the hills 
and into the Pt. Reyes Beach Area


Grampa~On the Beach... with his On Golden Pond hat!

They all hiked into Point Reyes Beach on Monday morning bright and early with Grampa as their guide.  He's da man! (Of course da other man, Chris, has been there several times too.)  These kids love their Grampa!  He is a lot of fun and wears them out whenever they are together.  He works hard and he plays hard.  We sure all do love him. 100% should be his middle name!  He had the whole thing planned.  He has taken dozens and dozens of kids here in his day. 

What a beautiful family~
we are so proud of all of them! 

To get to this pristine, almost private beach you must hike in two miles.  It is not a really hard hike, but it is not easy either.  Only serious hikers need apply!  No one just stops by.  And there is camping with a permit.  I have actually done the hike myself long ago (perish the thought!)  It is impressive that the kids did this and then played and played and then went the distance back as well.  Especially Owie being only barely six. 

Zachary, enjoying the Pacific Ocean

This is one happy nine year old boy!  Just when you think you couldn't possibly love your grandkids do.  The capacity to love them knows no bounds apparently!  We all had so much fun with him.  He is so mellow and a peacemaker.  These five grandboys and our five grandgirls just truly put us both over the moon!

All kids have to do this at the beach~it's a rule!
Aynslee is the perfect sister for these three boys.
  She is right there with them every step of the way. 

Grampa and blowing in the wind...
walking on the beach!

I love this picture of Connor 

The thing you see at the nape of his neck is a strap to keep his glasses from flying into the sea.  I have always thought he looks so much like Chris but I see a lot of Melissa in this one.  I love this age (nearing 14) they are just on the brink of their adulthood and it is a fun time.  Connor is such a sweet and kind grandson.  He is always so thoughtful and always says thank you for the meals, etc.  This guy is going places, out world!

As they explored the beach they found a beached, dead whale that the Parks Department has left in place to decompose naturally.  I am sure that decision was influenced by the fact that the beach is not heavily populated by casual foot traffic.  The family said it was pretty interesting.  In the foreground there are some huge vertebrae.  Huge!  Me? Pass on this one! The things that most people want to see in person...just take a picture for me and I'm good to go.

  Ayns a little freaked out by this one!

Marine Biology, Dr. Chris?

Connor helping Owie up the rocks at Sculpture Beach 

Zach taking it all in while Grampa takes the picture 
from the ridge above with the long lens!

The 'Lunch on the Beach' Bunch

Zach and Aynslee on the edge!

He is a world traveler now, Owen has finally
 seen and experienced the ocean!

When they got home I had dinner ready for them and Aunt Gail came over and Patrick too.  After dinner we had Family Night and Grampa and I told the story and showed a short video about our ancestors from the Mayflower. They seemed to enjoy learning about that.  Or perhaps they were just simply smiling with their eyes glazed over after a very full day.

It seemed fitting that they had a chance to see the ocean on the day they heard more of their ancestors that crossed The Atlantic Ocean on a small ship in cramped quarters.  They sailed for 66 days making their way to America at a speed of 2.6 miles per day.  I am going to remember that on our next Nevada crossing.  Maybe that tent didn't seem so bad after all.   I think everyone slept well that night, even the ones on Hotel California's brick mattress.

Well, I thought I'd try to get this whole week on a page but no such luck.  This is just part of two days.  I think I'm in trouble.  They all gave me so many good pictures to include.  Good trouble though, I love writing about our family adventures no matter how long it takes. It is my gift to the family since I was not able to go with them on these adventures as my doc straightened out my medication issues over days and days.  But all is well now thankfully.  I loved being able to see them although not at my best.  They were my cheerleaders. 


Sister Susie Says said...

Thank you for "my" wonderful trip with your family and their adventures! It was very delightful (and without me having to exercise, ha!)
Love to you all, Susan

Bonnie said...

Susie, you are so funny! ow about that whale? How is Sylvia? Is your trip still on? If so when are you leaving? What states will you visit? I hope all is well, I am so excited to hear of your adventures.

Love you! Love to all the family! Nellie sent a nice comment the other day. I have to get back to her. I ma so Bad about that. "No kidding," says Susie! Hugs! B

Bonnie said...

I am also so bad with my rapid typing. How about that whale? And I don't think I ever spell "am" right the first time!

Sister Susie Says said...

Ha, I do the very same! I was so bad at typing so fast and so many mistakes, I now go back through checking what I type!

The whale...yuk! I can only imagine the smell! Shooey

Brad and Sylvia got back. I miss Little Maxx (her cockatiel) I was caring for 2 months. My Cuddles hasn't been bird talking so much since he misses his buddy bird, Maxx!

We are getting ready for the trip! Not to far away now! (8/3 - 8/17)
Nellie will be checking on my cats & birds. I'm boarding the dogs.

We will go from Florida up through Alabama up to Missouri, over to S. Dakota, down through the states to Yellow Stone National Park, Grand Canyon, Texas, Louisiana, and back to Florida! Alice has everything planned out, most is prepaid for already other than the van millage, gas, and eats! Nellie and the family had given me many restaurant gift cards (gas cards) for Christmas and my birthday!

I'm really excited. A little bit concerned about being away from my animals for so long, but Nellie's getting paid back overtime for me taking care of Molly LOL!

I'm writing a travel log to match the pictures I take so I'll have plenty to share on my blog when I get back!

I know you are very busy! Thanks for all of your sharing!
Love to you and yours, Susie

Marie said...

What a truly wonderful time you are all having together. I can only dream about such things, although I did get to experience a freezing cold picnic when I was home with my mom recently. All the kiddos and grand kiddos were there. It was nice even though we all needed blankets to stay warm! Family times are the best of times. xxoo