Thursday - March 31

This blog update will be pretty short 'n sweet as we've been up since 4:10 AM.    Off to the Fort Lauderdale airport, and then flight to Chicago.    The airport was a zoo - long lines everywhere including security which wound round and round outside on the sidewalk!   Guess the spring breakers are traveling on towards home?
Arrived in Chicago early but then had to wait 45 minutes for a free gate - things were backed up cause of storms that came thru earlier     Finally, deplaned, got our rental car and on our way.    Stopped in Hinckley for lunch and while we were eating, it poured BIG time and then onto Dixon.    Checked into the Comfort Inn and visited in lobby with Sharon and Karen (sisters) - so good to catch up and hear their stories of what's been happening with Mom these past few weeks.....
Mark  Karen and I went to the Crystal Cork for some wine and then to Sue (another sister) and Tom's for dinner.....the family are starting to trickle in (Sue's daughters Katy and Molly with their husbands and sister Doris) for Mom/Grandma's "celebration of life". ``Sue prepared a wonderful chicken parmesan dinner.    We all sat around the dining room table laughing (and some tears) reminiscing and sharing lots of stories!    Very enjoyable evening but we are exhausted, so back to hotel and dreamland!
Can't believe it's the end of March - think this month is going out like a lion as it's
chilly and very windy!      The wind is howling outside our room!
2 big days coming up so may not get back to the blog for a few days!
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday - March 30

Early today the Matriarch of the Chamberlain family went “home” to be with the Lord, her “mate” as she always called Dad and daughter Carol.   And 2 hours later, a new great granddaughter arrived – the "circle of life" continues.    When Grandpa C died on January 9, 2013, another great granddaughter was born that very day.    
Rest in Peace, Mom
She was Mother to 13 children (10 daughters and 3 sons) and Grandma to 38 grandchildren (19 boys and 19 girls).    Today’s new baby gave her 32 great grandchildren with 4 more coming this year!    She was a wonderful mother-in-law and I treasure the almost 47 years I’ve called her “Mom”    She loved her big family and was sooo very proud of her "kids" and "grandkids"    We all have an abundance of memories special to each of us.    Mark and I and our kids were so blessed to have all 4 parents/grandparents live into their 90’s.   
We had breakfast with my Aunt Dee in Port Orange this morning and such a nice visit. She is 87 and doing well. 
Aunt Dee
Been a whirlwind day driving from Port Orange to Lakeland (getting some cold-weather clothes off Daisy) and tonight we are in Lake Worth with Philip, Annette and Luke.    Tomorrow we fly to Chicago for the visitation on Friday afternoon/evening and funeral Mass on Saturday.
So appreciate and thankful for Mark's large family and happy and thankful that Michael, Brooke and Davis have arrived safely back in the good ole USA…

Monday -Tuesday, March 28-29

Monday - A picture-perfect day in North Carolina.....deep blue skies and 73 degrees.    Blair was up earlier this morning (7:30ish) and her day was off and running!    I tackled several loads of laundry
(this house needs a laundress - ha)!!!!   
Drew and Brady slept in till 10:30 and Drew was off to golf.   Brady and Blair played outdoors and then Grandpa took Brady mini golfing, bowling and then to Cold Stone Creamery.  Blair wanted to come in for a play doh fix and after lunch, she was off to dreamland...
Drew mowed the lawn when he got home from golfing.   Everything is so lush and green out here and of course, love all the pretty flowering trees.
Brady is such a good big brother taking Blair for a wagon ride.
She loves to be outdoors and today was soooo nice!   She cried when we came in...
I had a nice long chat with Michael and Davis from London!   What a neat experience for all of them!

Judy (Gram) arrived about 7 and will take charge of the troops.  We did facetime with Ryan, got
Sweet Pea of to dreamland and played dominoes (Judy, Brady, Mark and I ).  Mark won.

Grandma getting in one last cuddle before bedtime with Miss Squirmy!    Hard to get pics of this "always on the go" little girl!
We've had so much fun with the kids, especially Sweet Pea and will miss so many things - especially the cute things she says and her sweet bed/nap time rituals of "a kiss and a hug and sweet dreams"!!!
She just oozes sweetness!!!!

Tuesday - we were up at 6:30, said our good byes to Drew (hoping to be back here in 11 days) as he was getting ready for school (Brady is on spring break this week).     At 7:07 we were on our way - lots of traffic but weather is good,    Stopped in Chester, SC at Gene's for breakfast.   Saw no sun today and traffic going north was much heavier than we southbound travelers.

We are in Port Orange, FL tonight - since The Mellow Mushroom was within walking distance, that's where we chose for supper - really good!  Last time we ate at one of these was Wrightsville Beach NC traveling on Catrina on November 13, 2011 (gotta love the blog)!
The radar has looked nasty since we arrived around 4, but the rain didn't start until 7ish as we were leaving - glad we brought our umbrella!
Meeting my aunt for breakfast tomorrow and then off to Lakeland to pick up Daisy!


Easter Sunday - 2016

Hope you all are having a wonderful Easter with your families and/or friends.    The Bunny came during the night and brought lots of treats for the boys and Blair!   It's not the best weather with chilly temps and occasional rain, but fun indoors as Blair is having a great time with her toys especially play doh - totally obsessed with that stuff.    Sure has come a long way since our kids played with it!
We all went to 10:00 Mass at St. Aloysius -church was  packed with beautiful music and all the Easter lilies.   The boys lit candles after Mass for their Great Grandma C.    Blair was a very good girl and even told Grandpa when she had to go potty!!!
The "B's" all ready for church
3/4 of our NC grandchildren - soon as we were in the car, the socks and shoes came off!   Ha...  
Grandpa and the troops 
Luke did his egg hunting yesterday...
Luke on the run... 
This was sooo much fun!
We had a nice quiet afternoon - the boys were playing games and Blair took a 3 hour nap. 
After she woke up, we had an egg hunt indoors.   The princess had a great time with her brothers trailing close behind!
The hunt is on! 
Big brothers are so special and helpful finding all those eggs!
  Easter Sunday dinner was ham sandwiches, mac and cheese, asparagus, deviled eggs and cantaloupe.
Blair watched "Toy Story 2" at night - a gift in her Easter Bunny basket
Blair is sad...the eggs have been emptied and now Easter 2016 is a happy memory!


Friday-Saturday March 25-26

Friday - the kids slept in and around 11 we all went to Lake James.   Had lunch at Camp Lake James and then went to their cottage, put Blair down for a nap and checked on the new home they are building connected to the cottage and to be completed in 1 week?  
Blair slept most of the afternoon and it was close to 6:30 till we got home.    The guys scurried around and away they went to Red Lobster dinner for Good Friday and then to see Superman vs. Batman (almost 3 hour movie).    Blair and I hung out at home and enjoyed face time with Luke.
Saturday - Cloudy and cooler today.   Brady had some birthday $ to spend, so....Grandpa, Brady, Blair and I went to the mall and he got a few things (2 insulated drink holders - one for the Iowa Hawkeyes and a Batman one.)    Blair, Brady and Grandma rode the train all around the inside of the 1st floor - the Sammy Express.    Blair loved it and was squealing with delight! 
All aboard!
We had lunch at Panera and after Blair's nap, we colored eggs...
Fun in the kitchen and then...
tah dah....
Beautiful Easter eggs!
Drew golfed all afternoon.
 Michael, Brooke, and Davis are enjoying themselves - today they took the Chunnel Train  to Paris for a few days!  
We did face time with Luke, Liam and Connor
A happy memory from Easter 2009 in the Smoky Mountains
Connor, Brady, Drew, Davis, Liam
anxious to open their Easter bags...
Grandma C is peaceful and comfortable but been unresponsive since last evening...
so grateful to Mark's sisters who are with her.
Wishing you all a very

Thursday - March 24

Happy 10th Birthday Brady
Birthday dessert at Dos Amigos with whipped cream smeared on face by waiter and then serenaded by the waiters.
Michael, Brooke and Davis left at 5 AM for the airport.  Drew was off to school at 7:20 and Grandpa and I woke the birthday boy up singing "Happy Birthday" (that would probably wake anyone up - ha)!   Blair woke up and so sweetly told Brady "Happy Birthday" and gave him a big hug!    Brady was picked up for school, Blair had breakfast and our day was off and running!
Nan and Joe came to clean the house (gosh....I so remember about 16 years ago when Brooke hired them.)    Drew was a new baby and I actually interviewed them as Brooke was working and I was here babysitting.    They are a great couple.
We picked Brady up from school (spring break officially started at 11:45) and he chose Sonic for his birthday lunch which we brought home as it was windy and cool outdoors.   
Blair slept round 2.5 hours, I did some laundry and Bob and Judy (Brooke's parents) came with snacks and we visited until Drew got home from golf practice.    Happy to get a text from Michael that they had landed in London.
Then we were all off to Dos Amigos (Brady's favorite) for Mexican fare and celebrate his birthday...
Sweet Pea hugging Grandma!
The birthday boy with his grandparents...
Bob and Judy
Pat and Mark
Blair goes night night with hugs and kisses saying
"Sweet Dreams"  
She's a honey!

Wednesday - March 23

It was a perfect day for travel - 2 hrs. 15 minutes from Columbia, SC to our NC grandchildren!     The spring trees are spectacular - redbud, Bradford pear, dogwood, wow wow!!!!    Spring is in the air - love it!!!
And how lucky for us to be in this beautiful state as everything is coming back to life and nature is putting on its best face!
Grandpa and I picked Blair up from her school at 1:00 - what a delight as she waves to the teachers and her friends
"bye bye".    She won't see them for several days as we are keeping her home tomorrow and then she's on spring break till April 4th.    We came home (Brooke is getting groceries and last-minute errands before the big trip).  Played with Blair and enjoyed her little jewelry case, make-up bag and all these fun girlie things!    She went down for her nap at 2 in her "big" girl bed and I did some of their laundry, folded clothes, etc.
Blair slept almost 4 hours - just like her cousin, Luke, but this is not the norm for her.

Blair loves her play doh
Brooke took donuts to Brady's class for his birthday treats (tomorrow is his big day).
Michael was back home around 4 from Michigan....they are finishing up their packing, Drew picked up Olive Garden for supper and we celebrated Davis 's 14th (March 19th) and Brady's 10th (tomorrow) with a delicious cookies 'n cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery!

 Davis opening presents

Brady and his delicious cake!

I gave Blair a bubbly bath as she calls it.

Tomorrow Michael, Brooke and Davis leave very early for he airport and their flight to London.....praying for their safety and all those traveling to Europe or wherever during these scary times.

Anne, Patrick and boys are home from a fun few days in Nashville!

Tuesday - March 22

Beautiful day for travel....we had to wait till 9 when the gate opened to store Daisy at the Sanlan RV Park in Lakeland.    got her all settled and away we went in Toad by 9:08.    Stopped in Jacksonville for lunch (Chick-Fil-A) and kept on chuggin'.     I drove for 2 hours thru Georgia and into SC.   Traffic was heavy today - most likely from the spring breakers and lots of  snowbirds in their RV's heading north
So sad to hear about the attacks on Brussels.....devastating and scary!    Prayers for the victims and their families and special healing prayers for the injured.
We are in Columbia, SC tonight - took 3 tries to find a hotel room as first 2 were sold out AND we got the last room at our 3rd choice!!

We went to Panera for soup/sandwiches and catching up on e-mails and reading....
tomorrow, we are off to see the D's and B's!!!    Can't wait...

Monday - March 21

Today was lots of fun.....we had breakfast and then drove to Bob and Linda's  and off we went to Tarpon Springs.    It was downright chilly and windy (got down to 45 overnight) and took awhile to warm up to 64.    The sunshine helped!    We had lunch at Hella's Greek Restaurant - a big favorite for all of us.    Enjoyed saganaki, a wonderful soft cheese that is warm and gooey and oh-my-good!    We spread it on fresh bread and then dip in the yummy sauce. 
Our flaming saganaki
We all shared the Greek salad and gyros - delish!!!   Linda and I were off to the shops for some retail therapy with good luck!!!     The guys sat in the car reading and enjoying the warm sunshine.
Back to Lakeland and played dimes with Linda and Vicki!    Then we all enjoyed a delicious pork chop dinner and ended this fun day with after-dinner drinks - rum chata and fireball whiskey!
very good!  
Sue and Dan came to enjoy a final drink with us and tomorrow they are going home to IL.
Dan and Sue 
Bob, Mark, Pat, Ron, Vicki, Linda
It was a very fun and busy 3 days in Lakeland - the time flew by....tomorrow we are off to
North Carolina after we put Daisy in storage.   

Sunday - March 20

It rained during the night, but was a really pleasant day with some sun and clouds.   We went to 10:00 Mass at St. Anthony's and then picked up some sub sandwiches at Publix and took to Bob and Linda's where we had a lunch along with Ron and Vicki.   
 While the guys read and took naps, we gals played dimes - 1st time for me.    Fun game, but frustrating at times!
Met my cousin Sylvan and his wife, Virginia who live in this park and were out bike riding - had a short visit but so good
to see them.
Sylvan and Virginia
Ten couples enjoyed a party at Sue and Dan's (farewell as they are leaving for home on Tuesday).   Enjoyed drinks, great
 hors d'oeuvres and then chicken and all the fixins'    A very fun late afternoon/evening of meeting friends old and new!

Saturday - March 19

Today is the feast of St. Joseph,  but for our family, it's all about
 Davis celebrating his 14th birthday!!! 

Happy Happy Birthday to our favorite redhead!!!
After breakfast, we got things stowed and prepared Daisy to get "back on the road again"....heading to Punta Gorda.
We met my cousin, Denny from IN at Peace River Seafood for delicious lunch and great visit - had not seen Denny in several years.    His wife, Deb flew home for a baby shower this weekend for their new granddaughter due in mid April.    What a fun time!
Denny retired in January and he and Deb have had a great winter in Punta Gorda (he loves to fish!)
Mark, Pat, Denny (Denny and I are 1st cousins!) 
 Our Mom's were sisters
I had thee most delicious fresh, flaky blackened grouper over a salad with awesome dressing!    Best salad I've had in a long time!
After lunch we headed to Lakeland driving thru heavy rain, thunder, lightning, etc.    The radar looked ominous....had about 1 hour of rain and then stopped but temps dropped and more rain is coming today, tonight, tomorrow!
We are settled at the Sanlan RV Park (been here a few other times) and will be visiting my 2 brothers and sisters-in-law for the next
 3 days!
We met Ron, Vicki, Bob and Linda at Grillsmith for excellent dinner and so good to see all of them and catch up!

Friday - March 18

Finished packing up things we don't need for awhile and putting in car.    We drove to Punta Gorda, had a few errands and then met Allie and Owen at Laishley Crab House for yummy lunch outdoors on this beautiful day.  

Great lunch with great friends! 
After lunch we walked along the water near the municipal marina and took a few pics 
Owen and Allie
Mark and Pat 
 Pat and Allie with the beautiful peach hibiscus

Said good bye to these dear friends and looking forward to 2 weeks when we'll see them in
 Key West with the Blue Angels.
 Back to Daisy to clean out and defrost the fridge and then a bike ride thru the park.
Met boating friends in downtown Fort Myers - we all originally had the same PDQ Power Catamarans - John and Beth have since sold theirs and live in Fort Myers; Doug and Charlotte spent the winter on their cat and have left Marathon (where we originally met).   They are now stopping in FM for a few days on their way home to Annapolis.   
Mark and I strolled around downtown - it was the 3rd Friday of the month and their usual river city music festival which made for a happening place on the streets, sidewalks, etc. with lots of people enjoying the restaurants, bars, music, etc. this gorgeous evening.
We all met around 7:15 and had drinks while we waited for a table, but then enjoyed "The Lodge" (a first for all) - great dinners and another good spot to add to the list of favorites!
Doug, Charlotte, John, Beth, Pat, Mark 
The girls...
Pat, Charlotte, Beth
After dinner we all went to John and Beth's lovely condo and enjoyed some awesome drinks (Rum Chata) and more chatter.....we took Charlotte and Doug back to their boat and arrived back on Daisy at 12:20 AM this morning....whew.....haven't been out that late in a long time!    What fun and hope to see these friends at air shows (Key West and Annapolis) in the weeks ahead!!!

St. Patrick's Day 2016

Hope you all had a great "wearin' of the green day"!!!
We went to 9:00 Mass at St. Therese in North Fort Myers and then drove to Punta Gorda to the "Bean on 41" coffee shop for tea/coffee/muffin.
Another pretty sunny, warm day.    Met our friends, Roger and Carol at The River City Grill, a favorite downtown Punta Gorda restaurant for lunch and enjoyed some corned beef sandwiches (Roger and Carol); bangers and mash for Mark (a favorite of our son-in-law, Patrick's) and corned beef and cabbage lasagna
with a spicy mustard for me! 

St. Patty's Day lunch with
Roger and Carol
It was so fun to catch up with these long time friends and after lunch we went to their lovely condo overlooking the Peace River for more chatter!
Back to Daisy and just relaxed with a little catnap for both of us and then a long bike ride!   It is a beautiful evening!
We so appreciate the loving care Mark's sisters are giving Grandma....she sleeps most of the time and is comfortable.    They have been great with their daily updates, too with
texts or e-mails.   

Wednesday - March 16

Hard to get crawl out of bed these "dark" mornings with the time change, but sure enjoying the extra daylight in the evening!
We had a leisurely morning and left around 10 for Sanibel and lunch and visit with our friend, Paul (Margie passed away last August).    He looks great and getting ready for 2 of his 5 girls and their families to arrive starting tonight.   It was so fun to catch up on his family and other news from back in Bloomington.  
Folks lining up at Gramma Dots at 11:00 (opening at 11:15) and short time later, several waiting for a table....popular place and had not been in a few years!
  We had a wonderful lunch and then sat on the covered porch to chat some more - lots of people waiting for our table.
Coconut Lobster Salad - wow!!!
Paul and Mark
Shopped at Wal Mart and Dollar Tree for a few piddlies and on back to Daisy.   It was a pretty sunny day and what great weather for the spring breakers to enjoy.  
We rode our bikes around the park a few times - lots of park model homes and RV's.  
I would say Ohio gets the prize for most guests.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to all...

Tuesday - March 15

Warm sunny day and we said our good byes with hugs to Philip, Annette and Luke and then on our way to Okeechobee to pick up Daisy.    Hooked up to Toad and we stopped at Publix for a few things and then onto North Fort Myers.    We arrived around 2 and settled at the Swan Lake
Village RV Park.
Lots of unpacking and putting away clean laundry - organizing our clothes and maybe tomorrow, we'll get it all together.   We took off and I got a manicure at
Crickett's Salon.    Mark got an iced coffee and enjoyed his book!

Had spinach salads for supper and walked around the park - beautiful evening!    Time to get back at the exercising - tomorrow!


Monday - March 14

Hot and sunny in south Florida.....after the red eye flight and time change...we all slept in this morning, except for Philip who left early (4 AM) for work
After breakfast , Grandpa Annette, Luke and I went to Delray Beach to The Girls Strawberry Patch.....what a neat place I a strip mall but a pizza/ice cream old timey place with tons of memorabilia.   Then outside in the back there are many animals and birds and exploring to do - pretty flowers, water, fish etc.    We had Bambino's for lunch   
Left The Girls' and went a bit further to The Boys Farmer's Market with wonderful produce, prepared food, deli, bakery and much more!   It was jam packed!   Outstanding !    Shopped and then on home for naps for all....
In the big strawberry with Grandma and Grandpa 
So much neat stuff to see! 
Mighty big shoes to fill
Mommy and Luke 
Luke is identifying the letters on this old fire truck from Arlington, VA
Mark, Annette and I played euchre and then we played 2 games of dominoes when Philip got home Annette and Philip were the winners.
The Trump campaign visited 3 of our 4 kids locations in recent days....
Friday West Palm Beach (Philip and Annette); Sunday in Bloomington (Anne and Patrick);
today in Hickory (Michael and Brooke).   Drew had planned to go this morning, but was turned away cause of the large crowds.
Tomorrow we drive to Okeechobee, pick up Daisy an off to Fort Myers for a few days.
Thank you for all the concern about Grandma...she sleeps most of the time, has 24/7 care along with hospice.   When awake, she is alert and aware of what's going on....
The kiddos on their lanai

Sunday - March 13

Long night of travel - left San Diego on United arriving in Newark at 7 AM but felt like 3 AM on our CA bodies + we lost that hour of sleep....then flew Jet Blue to Fort Lauderdale arriving at 12:40.    Philip picked us up (taking his break from work) and we all met Luke and Annette at the Turnpike Rest Stop.   Philip went back to work and we went to Jersey Mikes for yummy subs.   Rained hard coming back home, but nary a drop fell here at Luke's house.
Riding in the back seat with Grandma after lunch
Mark and I unpacked and I did laundry.    Mark Annette and I played 3-handed euchre (we each won a game) while Luke napped.
We had a great time in CA... gas prices were $3.49 and sooo much traffic driving into San Diego last night.    So, the Blue Angel season is off and show up is Key West!
Annette had a wonderful dinner tonight - lettuce salad with fresh berries, feta cheese and a champagne pear vinaigrette dressing, lasagna, bread and wine
Philip got home around 8.....Luke is going strong and loves when his Da Da comes home cause he's been working and making $$$.
Bath tub fun!!!

Bubbles....all gone!
Have a great week!