Saturday, April 30

Whew....hang on to your hats!  VERY windy today with gusts of 45 mph.   Worked in the yard  raking, putting down mulch and digging up some dandelions.   Mark mowed and Liam and Connor came over and gathered gumballs which are all over the place - ugh!!!!    They were good little helpers and after their naps, played ball outside till Mommy came to pick them up.

I got  a few groceries and starting to look like rain...   Put away the Easter pretties sitting here and there!

We are back home from our Change of Watch (boating friends annual banquet/installation
   of new bridge, etc.) at the Ozark House - fun evening with good friends and delicious food!
Rain hasn't started yet....maybe it will miss us?

Friday, April 29

Got home at midnight, so slept in a bit this morning (7:15) ad then watched the royal wedding festivities (1st kiss on the balcony) and all the replays of Kate and William's grand day!

But with all that exciting hoopla, we have so much devastation here in our country with the tornadoes, flooding, etc.  My heart aches for all those folks who suffered so much tragedy.

Mark had a dentist appointment (not interested in the wedding)!    I went to a wonderful salad luncheon (PEO) along with awesome desserts at the beautiful Broadview Mansion.    After lunch, some of us went on a tour of this lovely home.

Patrick brought Liam and Connor over at 3.   They played outside and Anne came after work and we all had supper.    Beautiful sunny, spring day and such a treat to wake up this morning and see our pretty pink perfection crab tree in front yard in FULL bloom.

Spring beauty

Philip and Annette are visiting Ryan in California tthis weekend and then spending a week driving down the west coast on Highway 1 from Seattle to California!!!    Wishing them a fun, safe trip full of gorgeous scenery as they celebrate their 6th wedding anniversary next Saturday, Mary 7th.

Thursday, April 28

Our last morning started with the rooster crowing, an abundance of warm shunshine and a gentle breeze.    After breakfast, Michael and I went for one last walk on the beach....sure enjoyed our daily
 "walks and talks:".

This photo taken fromm our balcony will bring back warm memories
Davis and Drew in the hot tub  

Michael and the "D's"were picked up in front of the condo by boat to take them on their parasailing adventure.    Drew was the designated photographer as Michael and Davis went for a ride high in the sky.    Brooke, Brady, Mark and I watched from our balcony - so far away, so hope the Drewby got some good photos.
Michael and Davis - waaay up there!

After watching the parasailors for a bit, it was time to head to the airport - Brooke and Brady dropped us off around 11:00.    Michael and Brooke had this driving on the wrong side of the road down pat!

Sweet Brady on our way to the airport

Good flights to Atlanta and Midway.   On our way home now - 45 and raining when we arrived in Chicago.  I'm not going to complain about the weather as we've just been in Paradise for 5 glorious days!
Will be late when we get home tonight.    Michael and all are safely back in NC and hopefully, off to Dreamland!!!

Wednesday, April 27

Our last day in Paradise started with Mark and I going to the fitness center.   The guys went to the beach/pool and Brooke and I went shopping in Georgetown.   Got a few gifts and then back for fun n the water.    After lunch, we enjoyed pool time and Mark and I went for a walk.   We all left at 3:00 for Rum Point.   This was about 45 minutes from our condo and a neat area of swimming, snorkeling, eating, and pretty beach area.  Drew and Davis saw a big barracuda while snorkeling.  Stopped at Hammerheads in Georgetown on our way back from Rum Point.
Grandma, Grandpa and the boys
Brooke and Pat enjoying "mudslides"
Father and Son
Triple Trouble

Davis had wanted to go sky diving today, but way tooo windy!   Maybe tomorrow morning?

We did skype tonight with Anne and the boys - they could see us, but we could only hear them?????    

Brooke and I beat Michael annd Drew 2 out of 3 games of euchre - Mark was teaching Davis about the game! 

Tuesday, April 26

Eight years ago today we were celebrating with Anne and Patrick.....seems like only yesterday!!!
April 26, 2003

Congratulations and wishing you both many more happy, healthy years!!!
Enjoyed yummy breakfast of pancakes (Mark's specialty) and bacon.   Then gathered all our stuff and headed to the Marriott for snorkeling.    Michael and I walked (1 mile) the beach and rest came in car.   It was so awesome with the man-made formations and saw the prettiest colored fish (purple, orange, pink, blue, striped, etc.)   The boys loved it and Grandma was in her glory!    REALLY enjoy snorkeling and thank my friend, Anita for the great recommendation.

Michael and Brady playing football at the beach
After a fun morning of snorkeling

Had another super Caribbean-style lunch at The Sunshine Grille - food here is sooo good and flavorful and everyone is given a tiny mango ice cream cone at the end of the meal.
Sunshine Grille

Temps got to 87 today but very breezy - Mark and I had some downtime with naps and read while the rest did the pool.   I took a long walk on the beach and then sat by the pool with Brooke.   

We had a wonderful dinner at Alfresco (suggested by Anita) and all agreed, it was our best dinner yet!   The ambiance of sitting by the water and soft lighting from the lanterns made it all extra special.

Brooke and Brady at Alfresco

Played 3 games of 5-handed euchre with Mark winning all 3!!!   Nite nite....been sleeping like babies after these full days of warm sunshine on the water!

Monday, April 25

Gorgeous Monday.....Mark and I started our day working out in the fitness center - windows all around with palm trees and beautiful deep pink flowers for a view (not quite like what we have with Larry)!!!  Today was extraordinary in the colors of the sea as they went from a light turquoise, to deeper turquoise to royal blue to navy blue - unbelievably beautiful!!!

Gorgeous fowers right outside our door
Many of these orange bushes around the Beachcomber
Near the pool

Headed to the beach/pool and snorkeled (I have not done this since 1995 in the BVI, so needed some practice and then fun!)    Michael, Brooke and I went for a long walk on the beach - several cruise ships came in today in the downtown area.  From 2-3 miles away, we could see them from our condo.

After lunch, we all took a break doing whatever - catching up on e-mails, reading, playing games, etc.   We all left at 12:30ish and Mark went diving and Michael and Drew, snorkeled by the "Kittiwake", a Navy submarine rescue ship that was sunk in January specifically for diving and a tourist attraction.    They had a great time.

Mark, Michael and Drew getting ready to board the boat to dive and snorkel
Hanging out at the Tiki Bar waiting for the guys to return (cruise ships in background)
Davis, Brooke, Pat and Brady
Grandpa and Drew back from a great time in the water - Drew was sooo excited and is ready
 to take scuba lessons!!!

Brooke, Davis, Brady and I snorkeled at Smith Cove - didn't see too many fish, but lots of coral rock formations.   It was just an awesome day of perfect weather and "Fun in the Sun".   

Tonight we had a wonderful dinner at The Wharf on the water with pretty sunset.   The boys enjoyed all the tarpon swimming nearby.  Played 5-handed euchre with Drew winning the first game and Brooke, the second.

Here we are dining at The Wharf
The kids spent their honeymoon here in 1998 - lots of changes but still as beautiful as ever!

Easter Sunday

 Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.   We started our day with 9:45 Mass at Christ the Redeemer Church and what a joyous celebration.   Along with a fabulous choir (all dressed in yellow), we first-time visitors were given a very warm welcome at the end of Mass as all the parishioners turned to us and started singing with hand clapping and all!   However, we did have a 32-minute homily!!!

Very good breakfast at "Eats Cafe" and then back to the condo to change into swim suits and hit the
pool and beach!

Michael, Drew, Davis, Brady, Brooke

Played euchre, took showers and then walked across the street to "Copper Falls"- very good (ambiance, food, music and service)!  
We saw this rooster on our way to dinner
Brady is entertained waiting for dinner

  Grandpa took Davis and Brady to Haagen dazs for ice cream and then back to the condo for more euchre (Michael and I against Mark and Brooke - each winning a game).

The Drewby - growing up so fast!

All that sun, water, wind.....we are ready for bed by 9:00!!!

Saturday, April 23

Woke up to major fog in Atlanta,,,after breakast we took the shuttle to the airport.   Our flight was at 10:10 and after a short delay (a passenger got sick and had to be taken off the plane and they needed to find his bags), we were off.

Read our Nooks on the 2.5 hour trip, took a nap and tah dah............we arrived in beautiful Grand Cayman around noon.    We were greeted with sunshine, 82-degrees, a tropical breeze, gorgeous flowers and
reggae music.   

Got in line for immigration/customs and saw the North Carolina clan in another line (yeah.....we are all here!)    Mark and I took a taxi (driving on the wrong side of the road with driver on right side of vehicle)!    Michael rented a car for the week.     Walked to the Sunshine Grill which was delicious for late lunch and then hit the infinity pool with 2 hot tubs and the guys snorkeled at the beach just off our condo complex.

Brooke and I walked to Fosters' Food Fair for groceries and then back to the condo (pushing the cart right to our 7th floor entrance).

Sat on our balcony overlooking the beautiful Caribbean and later ordered pizza.    A super 1st day in Paradise!

Brady, Grandpa, Drew, Michael and Davis
Brady in action with Grandpa

Wishing you all a very HAPPY EASTER!!!

Friday, April 22

A very wet Good Friday - we worked out with Larry, came home, loaded up Toad and headed to Chicago.    Rained all the way and it was darn chilly (43).    Met Philip for lunch at the Renaissance - what a treat!   He had flown in last night and had flights to 3 cities later this afternoon.    He did NOT like this IL weather (whine, whine.....must run in the family)???    At least when he's home in Florida, it's warm and sunny!

Good lunch at "Fresh" in the Renassaince

Drove to Midway and had good flight to Atlanta and tonight we are at the Hilton - had nice dinner at Andiamo and now ready for a good night's sleep and so looking forward to our flight to Grand Cayman in the morning and a fun week ahead with the kids/kiddies!   Till then......Nite nite

Thursday, April 21

I'm getting to be a "weather whiner", but seems to be a popular topic of conversation with everyone "waiting and wondering" when the sun and warmth are here to stay?   Today started out sunny, but then cloudy!   Oh well.....May is just around the corner.

I picked Connor up from school and he and Grandpa went to McDonalds to eat and play.   I went to the Easter party at Hammitt School (for developmentally challenged and autistic children) which our Exchange Club does each year!    We play games, have an Easter egg hunt and the children get their picture taken with the Bunny.

Pat and Easter Bunny

Mark picked Liam up from school.     The boys and I walked around the block, but it's nippy and windy
 (got to stop this whining)!!!

Went with Patrick, Anne, Liam and Connor to Green Gables for some awesome burgers, fried cheeses,cauliflower, mushrooms, etc......hmmmm, soooo yummy!   
Patrick, Liam, Anne and Connor at Green Gables (meat department)

Mary will be sent to Heritage Manor for rehab tomorrow.

Mark and I are so looking forward to spending this next week with Michael, Brooke, Drew, Davis and Brady (their spring break) in Grand Cayman.    We are flying to Atlanta tomorrow and then onto the Cayman's Saturday morning where we'll all meet!

You may remember when we flew out of Sanford, FL to North Carolina for "grandparents day" in March, I mentioned that Mac, our shuttle driver from where we were keeping Daisy and Toad, had suffered a heart attack.    His wife picked us up on our return and told us this.   Mark  had e-mailed asking how he was doing and today, got a nice note that his recovery is going well, but they had some nasty damage from tormado recently causing windows to be blown out and heavy rains coming in! 
 So many natural disasters around the world!!!

Wednesday, April 20

Chilly, windy, dreary day AGAIN!    Golly, this weather is anything but spring-like!!!    Anne brought the boys over at 7:30 and left for the hospital (they moved the time for Mary's angioplasty)..    I took Liam and Connor to school and then left to spend the day with Dad.    We ate lunch together in the dining room and although he had a bout of pain last night, he's pretty cocmfortable with the pain patch which gets changed every 3 days.

Judi (our advocate) stopped in for a visit with Dad - he slept and she and I had a good visit.    I got home at 4:30 and Grandpa was  holding down the fort with the boys.    Patrick came at 5 and we all had supper (Anne had to work till 7 tonight).

Mary's procedure went well today - she had 90% blockage in one artery and 60% in the other (leg) - hoping that the healing can begin, but still issues to deal with in the coming days.    Tomorrow or Friday, she will go to rehab.

Tuesday, April 19

Weird weather today.......poured  rain this morning (1.3") along with strong winds and chilly.    Then this afternoon, the fog rolled in and tonight, having thunder storms and radar is not pretty!!!

Update on Mary (Patrick's Mom)....she had surgery this morning to clear the infection and had to remove some of the bone.    She's on oxygen and tomorrow will have an angioplasty procedure on her leg to help with the blood flow.   Probably 3-4 more days in hospital and then go to rehab for 6 weeks.  This infection is very serious...

I went to 8:00 Mass, got a haircut, Mark picked the boys up from school (Connor at 11 and Liam at 3).   Took our truck in to find out where the scratching noise was coming from?   Well, needed a new fan bearing - $270!   UGH!!   I thought and was hoping it was just a paper or something rustling around in there, but no such luck!

Anne and Patrick came for supper and then took the boys to their swimming lesson only to have to stop 1/2 way thru cause of the storms we're having.

Monday, April 18

Chilly, windy, sunless day!    Mark and I went to 8:00 Mass (the prayer list keeps growing); breakfast with the neighbors and then worked out with Larry.

Patrick's Mother, Mary is in the hospital with a very serious infection in her leg/foot.   She is having surgery tomorrow morning at 7 to clean all this infection out!    Scary and please keep her in your prayers.    The very weird thing about this is that Anne took her to the ER yesterday morning and they gave her an antibiotic for infected foot, but obviously missed how bad this really was?

We picked the boys up from school today.    I got a manicure and the guys hung out while I went with Kathy, Claire and Anita to a cancer benefit tea at LaTeaDa whch was delicious and very nice (I even won 3 door prizes)!    Anne picked up Liam and Connor.   Mark went to power squadron boating class to help out with the 7 new students.

Such heartbreaking stories from North Carolina and other southern states from all the tornadoes.    Some had asked about Michael and family.   They are fine (as well as Brooke's family) as they live west of all this devastation!

Sunday, April 17

Sunny Sunday morning - went to 8:00 Mass and then home to omelets and delicious pecan bread I had gotten in Shipshewana.    Anne brought the boys over at 11:30 and we had a fun afternoon.    After lunch, we made marble cupcakes and then naps for the boys   Connor only slept for an hour - he and Grandma went outside and started doing some yardwork (picking up gumballs and cleaning all the leaves and sticks out of the rocks)!   Connor was such a big help.   Ole Liam kept on snoozin' till 4:15 when Grandpa went to wake him up - he finally got up at 4:30 and the boys and Grandpa did more yard work.  
Liam and Connor

Frosted the cupcakes and then took the boys home at 5:30.   Saw Connor's new "big boy" bed and their new leather sectional.    Mark and I met Kathy, Paul, Barb and Roger at Baxter's for delicious dinner and lots of gabbing - closed the place down!
Pat, Mark, Kathy, Paul, Barb and Roger

Saturday, April 16

Burrr......cold, windy, rainy day.    We drove to Mendota to see Dad.    He was having a pretty good day - continued back pain, but drugs are helping.   I massaged his achy, sore feet (neuropathy).  Bob, Linda, Jason and Jennifer stopped in for visit and then Mark and I went to lunch (Chinese) with them.    Ryan called while we were eating - great to hear from him and he's now back in Lemoore after 4 weeks in the Nevada desert in training.    When we came out of the restaurant, it was SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back to see Dad.   Aunt Marian came and always good to see her.    They put Dad in bed to stretch out and he was sleepy.....we arrived back home at 4:00 and at 6:00, the sun came out! 
  TAH DAH...but still only 43 degrees.

Liam and Connor had breakfast with the Easter Bunny this morning and here they are

Cuddly Bunny and huggable boys

Thursday/Friday - April 14-15

Back home from 2 fun days to Indiana.    Linda, Brenda, Darla and I left at 7:00 AM  Thursday for the Vera Bradley warehouse sale in Fort Wayne.  After a few stops and lunch, we arrived around 2:30 at the coliseum and got in the long line. We shopped for about 1.5 hours and got some nice things (not as good of bargains as we had hoped for) - HUGE crowd.  

Drove to my cousin, Denny and Deb's home - had a glass of wine on the deck overlooking their beautiful backyard.   Had a delicious dinner at Casa and great visiting.    Back to their home and settled in with more conversation and then time fo the jammies and nite nite time!

Getting ready to head into the sale - Brenda, Darla, Linda and Pat
Some of the throngs at the sale
Denny and Deb

Friday - Up and going - left Denny and Deb's home at 7 and headed to Shipshewana for more shopping.   It was cold and sooo windy!    
Linda, Brenda and Darla scurrying to the car to get out of the cold and wind!

 Good shopping in this quaint Amish town with many neat stores, bakeries, restaurants, etc   Had a great lunch at The Blue Gate.   On home and drove thru heavy brother Bob met us in Joliet to pick Linda up and rest of us traveled on home.

Mark and I went to Schooners for supper and catch-up on what all when on here at home and our girls' getaway trip!

Highest gas price we saw was $4.11 per gallon (OUCH!!!!!!)

Wednesday, April 13

Mark and I went to 8:15 Mass and I worked out with Larry.    Had lunch with Exchange Club and then left for Mendota.   Shortly after I got to the nursing home, Dad arrived from the hospital.   He decided he did NOT want any more tests, so no bone scan today!    Had back pain this morning, but fine this afternoon - this is the strangest thing!!!!!!   Mark met us at Destihl for dinner.

I'm so tired!   Linda and I are leaving wiith Brenda and Darla tomorrow for the Vera Bradley warehouse sale in Fort Wayne.  I will check back in Friday night.

Tuesday, April 12

Beautiful spring day with the trees starting to bud out and all the flowering bushes oh sooo pretty!

I went to 8:00 Mass (Mark worked out with Larry) .   Ran a few errands and then lunch with Kathy, Claire and Anita at a new place (A. Renee Wine Cafe) - very good!

Did some housework this afternoon, laundry, etc.    Picked Liam up from school; Patrick brought Connor over and he took his Mom for some blood work.    After they left, we took my car in for detailing (tomorrow) and walked home.

Dad passed his stress test; so tomorrow, doing a bone scan and then he'll be going back to the Lutheran Home.    Today, all the pain was in his back!   

Monday, April 11

We are home after a very emotional day....sadness for Aunt Dorothy, but also joy as we celebrated her life and know that she's in the best place of all..   I so enjoyed visiting with my cousins and their families. 

Bob and I went to the hospital before the funeral and were able to talk to Dad's doctor who continues to be baffled as to what's causing this pain.  Running more tests and x-rays today.  He had a rough night!

Mark, Bob, Linda and I went to the hospital after the funeral and lunch.   Dad had had a bad spell while eating lunch.   They did another EKG...........spent the aftrnoon with him and he was so alert, chatty and feeling good.     Dr. came in around 5:15 and told us every test and x-ray has come back showing nothing significant as to why this pain comes and goes.  The CT scan showed no blood clot.   So, tomorrow, they will do a stress test.   Hope and pray he has no more of these sudden attacks that are so scary and painful. 

We knew he was feeling better when we mentioned playing cards, but none of us had a deck!    With all his visits to the hospital, most of the nurses and aides know him well!!!!

Dad has a big contingent of family and friends praying for him and we are so appreciative.    Just wish we could find the source of this latest problem, and the doctor certainly does, too!

Happiy Birthday to Linda who spent her day at the funeral and then hospital!!!!

Sunday, April 10

What a sum it up quickly, Dad is back in the hospital tonight after having severe pain in his back/shoulder and then chest.   ER doctor is not sure what is causing all this pain as his vitals and heart enzymes are good.    It's the strangest minute he's seems comfy and then the pain comes on fast and furious.    Oh so scary and such a helpless feeling.   Bob and I were with him  in the ER and he had so many pain meds but nothing seemed to help.    Mark and I are staying with Bob and Linda tonight and Dad is settled in his room and very sleepy, but comfortable and pain-free when we left.

Went to 800 Mass and Bob Evans for breakfast.  We left for the nursing home at 1:00...Dad was sleeping peacefully, but woke up with the awful pain and that's when it all started.     Mark and I went to Aunt Dorothy's visitation.     It was so nice to see family and friends I haven't seen in a long time and know that she's finally at peace after suffering for sooo long.  

From the funeral home, Bob, Linda, Mark and I went straight to the Lutheran Home and that's when we found out they were taking Dad to the hospital....

Hopefully we'll see Dad's doctor in the morning?    Aunt Dorothy's funeral is at 10:30...
That's the latest....prayers appreciated (his comfort is our main concern)!

Saturday, April 9

Happy, Happy Birthday Annette!!!
The Birthday Girl and Carlos

Stormed early this morning and then foggy, dreary and chilly.   After breakfast I left Bob and Linda's and stopped at St. Mary's cemetery to put a basket of spring flowers on Mom's grave.   Enjoyed a wonderful massage from Judi.   My shoulder has been so achy with the cold, damp weather we've had,    Judi is "wonder woman"....along with being our very special, treasured advocate for Dad, our cousin, friend and nurse, she is THEE best massage therapist.  Pure heaven for one hour with the hot stones.

Stopped to see Dad - doing a little better today and a different nurse from yesterday says he does not have shingles!!!  Not sure what's going on, but she's thinking a combination of so many things caused from the COPD, congestive heart failure, etc.   At least Dad was up more today and went to the dining room for breakfast and lunch.    Between the pain patch, Vicodin and Tylenol, we're praying for some relief SOON!

The sun came out after lunch and what a pretty day!    Nice drive home and temperature reached 80 degrees!    YEAH!!! Mark was sure a good doobie while I was gone - had cleaned out both garages, raked the front yard and other odd jobs here and there!   He's a keeper!

Good to be home, but just for a bit as we'll head north again tomorrow afternoon for my Aunt Dorothy's visitation and then funeral on Monday.

We played phone tag with Annette, so hope to catch up with her tomorrow!

Friday, April 8

Meant to report last night on Mary (Patrick's Mom) who was in the ER Wednesday evening.   She was back home at 11 PM and it was a reaction of two different medicines.   All is well again!

Woke up to a rainy day!  Mark and I worked out with Larry and I was off to Mendota to see Dad.   He had a really bad day with so much back and shoulder pain.   I feel so bad for him and these knife-like piercing pains he's going thru.   The nurse is not sure, but wonders if he has the shingles again as it's
very similar symptoms???   He's on pain meds and a pain patch.  At any rate, it was very disheartening and sad to see him hurting so

Picked up Aunt Marian (Dad's youngest sister) and we had lunch at the KC's and good visit.    Spent the afternoon with Dad but he slept a lot.    Tonight I'm at my brother Bob and Linda's - we had a nice dinner at Main Street Station and now hanging out at their home!  

Thursday, April 7

Chilly and dreary again....sun was out just for a brief time!  Mark and I went to 8:00 Mass.   Bob, the wonderful window washer came and we have beautiful, clean, shiny windows (wish the sun was shining - there would be NO streaks)!!!  I did some laundry and sorted thru more clothes from FL....surely not ready to put the sweaters and long pants and sox away just yet.

After lunch I ran some errands and had long chat with Patty in FL. 

Tonight was our monthy Sublettian gathering and I had not seen these gals since early December.    Debbi, her daughter, Kayla, Ann and I rode together to Toluca for some great Italian at "Mona's".    We had 15 Sublettians and that's a LOT of chatter and fun!

Back:   Debbi, Eileen, Carole, Jane, Paula, Ann, Pat, Mary, Joyce, Kayla, Judy, Marilyn
Front:  Rita, Doris and Anita

Rained on our way home (of course, Mark got the car washed today) and now coming down harder on my nice clean windows - AAARRRGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 6

The sun was shining brightly today, but I sure felt sad starting out the day hearing that my Aunt Dorothy passed away last night.    She was 4 years younger than Dad (89) and had suffered for so many years with yellow nail syndrome, a very rare disease affecting her nails, lungs and severe swelling.    She is finally at peace and feeling no more pain.   

I met Kathy and Claire for breakfast at Coffee Hound, then to Meijer's for groceries.   Home for a bit and then picked up Ruth, one of our elderly members for Exchange Club lunch.   Good lunch and speaker and nice to see the snowbirds trickling back from the south.   Home to make some banana bread, exercised with Larry and then picked Liam up from school.

Ryan texted me this afternoon about the very tragic crash of the F/18 Hornet in Lemoore, CA where he is stationed.   He is currently in the Nevada desert training, but what a great loss for the Navy, pilots and crew.   Ryan did not know the prayers for them and their families.

Patrick picked up Liam (sent the banana bread home with them). and Mark arrived home at 6:15 from Michigan.    Catrina survived the COLD Michigan winter just fine all snuggled in heated storage!

Prayers needed tonight for Patrick's Mother who was taken to the hospital - no other details

Tuesday, April 5

Brilliant sunshiny day in the 50's.....I went to 8:00 Mass and ran a few errands.   Mark had a dermatologist appointment, voted and then left for Muskegon, Michigan where he is tonight.  Tomorrow he'll be meeting with some guys about Catrina's engines and getting other things done in preparation for summer boating!

I voted and ran errands and then had a great lunch with Kathy and Barb at Destihl.   Awesome salads and so much fun catching up with these two as we hadn't been together since mid February in Florida.   This was to be our Mid Illini luncheon, but several are out of town, so just the 3 of us this month.

I did some laundry this afternoon - Dad is complaining about alot of back pain.   He asked to be put in bed after lunch as his back is hurting so....not sure if it's cause of all the coughing he's doing or could he have another compression fracture?    His sister, Aunt Dorothy was admitted to the Lutheran Home yesterday and she's very ill.   Lots of prayers needed for all our folks!

Monday, April 4

What a difference a day makes - yesterday, windy and, cold and cloudy!   Only got to 48 and strong winds again!   burrr....

Mark and I had breakfast with the Monday morning group, then met with Larry (personal trainer) for the start of another month of exercising and weight lifting and "trying" to get these bods in shape.    Home to do some laundry and I was off to lunch with the BBB girls and book exchange at CJ's!
Sharon, Pat, Holly, Cathy, Karen, Sue and Ruth

Hunkered down this afternoon with my Nook and then off to dinner at Linda's with the Monday Night Friends - she had all kinds of yummy sandwiches and salads from Panera.    Nine of us were together and sat around the table eating, drinking wine and chatting!

Saturday-Sunday, April 2 and 3

We enjoyed a very fun, special family weekend all starting with breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts (Michael's choice) and then I rode with him and Mark followed to visit Dad at the nursing home.    We were joined by our niece Jennifer, nephew Jason and then Philip and Annette.   Dad was very sleepy and not feeling very well; despite the rest of us chatting away, he just kept snoozin'.

Grandpa with Michael, Annette and Philip

Off to Dixon for the big triple celebration for Mark's folks.    Lunch, followed by games, cards and visiting.   We all went to 4:30 Mass at St. Pat's and then back downstairs for a wonderful catered dinner and lots more chatter, photos, etc.    A very memorable occasion and the folks were thrilled with it all!

Left for the Comfort Inn and had a private room to continue on partying.   Mark's 4 cousins (siblings from Nebrska, Michigan and New York) had traveled for this special occasion and enjoyed being together for the first time in 5 years.    Great fun catching up with them and more games, cards and talk, talk, talk!!!

Here are some nice memories...

The "STARS" of the evening!!!
Back:  Janet, Marilyn, Karen, Joan, Doris, Nancy
Middle: Jim, Sue, Theresa, Tom, Mark and Sharon
Front::  The Honorees

Back:  Marilyn, Karen, Joe and Joan, Doris and Rich, Nancy and Mark
Middle:  Jim and Lydia, Tom and Sue, Mike and Theresa, Beth and Tom, Darrell and Sharon
Front:  Mike and Janet, the Folks, Pat and Mark

The grandchildren and spouses and great grandchildren

Total family members include 12 living children; 38 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren
Our family
Michael, Anne, Patrick, Annette, Philip
Liam, Pat, Mark and Connor
MISSED Ryan, Brooke, Drew, Davis and Brady
Anne and boys enjoying their "sucker" cookies


After breakfast and more visiting and good byes at the hotel, we stopped to see the folks (they were on a real "HIGH" from last night) and then to see my Dad who was alert and visiting (so different than yesterday).   Judi, our advocate, stopped in, too.   She's theeee best!!!   Stopped to see Ron and Vicki and bid them bon voyage and safe travels as they leave tomorrow for Australia to visit their son and family for a month!    And then to visit Bob and Linda and wish them a Happy 40th Anniversary today!

Bob and Linda

We had a late lunch at The Cajun Connection, stopped at a few shops and finally on home!   Strange weather - today we reached 83 with strong winds and tomorrow, only a high of 52!