Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Family and Reunion

We don't normally take two trips so close together, but it was Howard's 60th high school reunion this summer.  We decided that we would go to it.

We left home and stayed one night with our daughter, Erin, in Brownsburg, IN.  They were celebrating Colter's 18th birthday that night.

He is a senior this year.  It was a fun evening.  Erin and David had open house at the high school that night so we played a game with the kids.

McKenna, Colter, Grandpa and Townsend.  Clayton had already gone to bed.  I didn't get a picture of him.  :(
The next day we drove up to Michigan.  This is the home state for both of us.



We went out to the farm that Howard grew up on.  The woman that lives there was very friendly.  She let us walk around and take pictures.  She even took us through the house before we left.  The farm is located outside of Caro, Michigan

  House
Chicken Coop
There used to be a huge barn on the place but it has fallen down. :(  This place was built by Howard's great great grandfather.
 Granary 
Tool Shed

Our kids have fond memories of visiting Howard's parents and playing in the barn.  It was a big part of their summers growing up.

We visited Bud and Iola.  When we were first married we would go to their house and watch TV and talk with them.  We spent many evenings at their place.

That evening was Howard's High School Reunion.  60 Years!!

It was a fun evening of talking and catching up with each other.  I (Ann) didn't know a lot of his classmates, but I did know some.  We had a catered meal and sat around under the tent.  It was a beautiful evening.
(Howard is second from the left in the last row)

We went to church the next morning.  We saw more family there.  We spent the afternoon driving around to the different sites around town.

This is the high school Howard graduated from.  It is an elementary school now.

When we were married we moved to Caro.  Howard taught three years at the high school he graduated from, after he graduated college.  

This is the apartment we started our married life in.   Two of our children, Laurie and Larry, were born while we lived there.

We visited Don Mantey.  Don was in our youth group that we were leaders of when we were first married.  He has been up to Alaska the last three March's we were there.  He has helped us get prepared before our teams came in.  He gave us some delicious sweet corn that he grows.

We stayed with Howard's nephew, Stuart and his wife Brenda while we were in that area of MI.  Their daughter Erin and grandson Asher came over quite a bit.


We left the thumb area of Michigan and drove over to Mt. Pleasant.  This is the town where I was raised.

This is the house that I was born in.  My sister and I were born at home.

This is the house I spent most of my childhood in.  When we lived there it did not have the car port or the entry way.  It was very small--two bedrooms and there were five children there (Maybe the sixth was born there, I can't remember)  We all feel like we have to have big homes now, but we certainly didn't at that time.

The last couple years of high school we moved to this house.

When I was a senior in high school my dad started teaching at Ferris State College  in Big Rapids, so we moved there.
It was in Big Rapids that I met Howard.  He was  going to the college and I was a Sr in high school.

This is the house that my folks lived in while I was dating Howard and where I lived when I got married.  It has been remodeled since we lived there.

This the is the high school I graduated from.  It is a charter school now.

It was a fun day for us to think back to that time in our lives.

We drove to Grand Rapids and spent a couple of nights with my brother.  We visited missionary friends one morning.  David and Lisa Balk are in Grand Rapids for the year. We went out one afternoon to my sister's lake house.  I was with three of my siblings for the evening.

 Becky, Mary Jean, Dan and myself.  Yes we are in order of age.  I'm the oldest!!

 View from the deck
A fun afternoon playing Ripple Golf
Molly, Ben (Mary Jean's son) Jim, Howard and Mary Jean

After our two nights in Grand Rapids, we drove down to Covington, KY to spend a couple of days with our son Matt and his family.



Evelyn and Abigail helped me shuck the corn we brought down from Michigan.  Boy was it good!!!

 The girls love being read to
I made a small quilt that matches the book that Howard is reading.  As he come to the pictures Abigail points out the picture on the quilt.

Evelyn

It's always sad to tell grandkids good-bye.  

 Abigail and Evelyn
Amy and Evelyn.  Amy and Matt are expecting a boy the first part of November.

Laurie and Brett came right after we got home.  They are on their way out west.  Laurie and I went and got pedicures together.  It was a nice time to catch up.



Yes, we did have the total solar eclipse here Monday.  It was so amazing.

We sat on the patio watching it with our eclipse glasses.  It amazed me to think how God was so precise in creating the planets.  He is an awesome God.

My best picture of the eclipse.  It's not very good.  Yes, it did get very dark.  It amazed me how much light a sliver of the sun gives to us.

Until next time....



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Road Trip

I have not blogged for quite sometime.  So, I decided I would try and get one out.  So hang on.  We just got back from a 6,600 mile road trip.  This is probably going to be a long one!!

Our granddaughter, Emily, graduated nursing school at Idaho State University and we invited her to travel with us.  She had a little time off before she started her career.  She flew to TN and went on our trip with us.  We did a few things in TN and then our first big stop for our trip was the Yeley reunion at the farm in Illinois where my Dad was raised.  I have not been able to go to them the last few years because of our ministry in Alaska.  There were probably about 60 of us there for the 4 days.

This is my part of the family that was there.
Abigail, Amy, Evelyn, Matt, David, McKenna, Erin, Clayton, Townsend, Colter, Howard, Chase, Daria, Laurie, Ryan, Emily and myself.

One of the things my family wanted to do, was to climb the grain leg on the grain elevator.  

Clayton could not climb it yet.  You have to be 12 and he is only 11.

Ryan, Emily, McKenna, Townsend, Colter and Matt.
Howard also climbed it.  His goal is to do it again at the next reunion when he is 80 years old!!.
This was the view from on top.
 Ryan brought the flag.
 Evelyn and Auntie Laurie eating some'ores
Kind of messy, Grandpa?

Abigail
 Evelyn and Matt
Abigail 
 Butch, Howard and Emily.  There was lots of time to sit around, talk, and just relax.
 Emily, Cookie, Laurie, and Betsy
Grandpa walking with Evelyn and Abigail looking on.

We had a good worship service on Sunday morning.

We also had fireworks.  They were very good.

Would you say the two little ones got tired out?
Abigail
Evelyn

Just some other shots of the grandkids.






After the reunion was over we told Matt and Amy good-bye and we continued on our trip.
Matt and Amy announced that they are expecting in November.  They have found out they will be having a boy.

Our first place to go was the Arch in St. Louis.  We got there in the morning and could not get tickets to go up in it until 5:30 in the evening.  We decided we didn't have the time.

 Emily

We then visited the Corn Palace, Wall Drug, The Badlands and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

 The pictures and mural are all made with corn and grasses from the plains.  The outside murals were not quite done for this year.



 Wall Drug became famous when they advertised free ice-cold water to travelers.  It takes up a whole block now.  Howard got doughnuts and Emily and I got ice cream.
Not sure who the middle one is, but the other two seem to be enjoying her company!
This was our first time to drive through The Badlands.  You can see where it gets it's name.



I marvel every time I see Mt. Rushmore!  The grounds have changed a lot since the last time we were there.
We then drove up to North Dakota and saw the Minuteman Missile Site and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

 Theodore Roosevelt National Park
 Grandpa, Emily and Grandma
We had wanted to make sure we had enough time to drive through Glacier National Park.  We drove across the northern part of Montana.  That is a long way across the Big Sky Country!  It was 101 degrees when we stopped that night.




 I never tire of views like these.



 Bear Grass.  Interesting, right?



Our next stop was to visit my cousin in Spokane and see my aunt and uncle.
We drove through Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  We stopped and picnicked there. It is so pretty.





My cousin Kathy and her husband Tom built a pizza oven in their kitchen.  Oh my, was that good pizza!!  It was quite an experience to build our own pizza'a and cook them in the oven.

Ann, Kathy and Howard
Ann, Uncle Bill (Mom's brother) and Aunt Donna

When we left Spokane we drove across Washington and Oregon.  We stopped at the Bonneville Dam and walked around.

Our next stop was Florence, Oregon.  Our grandson was getting married there.  We rented a Beach House through Air B&B.  It ended up being right across the street from the wedding.  It was a very small wedding, just immediate family and attendants and their families.




It was a very nice way to spend 3 days together.
 Josh and his siblings.  Josh, RaeAnne, Emily and Josie
 Grandma and Grandpa



Heceta Head Lighthouse.  This is where Josh proposed to Amber

 Grandma, Josh, Amber and Grandpa
 RaeAnne, Emily, Amber, Josh and Josie
Harold, Amber, Josh and Cheryl

We drove back to Cheryl and Harold's house in Wilder, ID and spent the night there before we continued on.  We spent a night in Grand Junction, CO with our grandson, Christopher and his wife Jessie and their little one, Mario.

 Mario, Jessie, Christopher, Ryan, Grandma and Grandpa
 Mario and Great- Grandma
Mario and Great- Grandpa

While we were in Grand Junction we had lunch with our friends, Cal and Jan Sheppard.  He was director of the camp we cooked at for several years.  Our friendship goes back to about 1983.

Cal and Jan Sheppard

Howard and I cooked at this camp in CO in the summers.  We were there  1981- 2007.  We visited camp. It was good to go back and see the camp.



 This is the cabin we stayed in for several years, until we got our 5th wheel.
The Craft cabin

We were going to stay the night in Montrose, CO so we met up with Kevin and Lori Sheppard to have dinner with them.
Kevin, Lori, Ann and Howard

We had our grandson, Ryan with us.  We picked him up at Christopher's.  He was backpacking in SW Colorado.  He was going to climb three of the 14,000 ft mountains.  We dropped him off south of Montrose and he was going to hitch hike to the trail head.

We did get a call from him that he made it to the trail head.  He was able to send this pictures a few days later.

Isn't that beautiful?

We were really disappointed when we went to the Royal Gorge.  It is not like it used to be.  We have driven across it, walked across it, but now you have to pay $23.00 each to even get close to it to see it.

This is the closest I could get to it to get a picture.  

I should have taken Howard's picture in front of this post office.



We drove across CO to Pueblo, where my cousin owns a Pizza Ranch.

Glen and my cousin, Bambi
We spent a couple of nights with them in their trailer.  We got to see and spend time with another Aunt and Uncle.

Howard, Uncle Jerry (mom's brother), Aunt Gail and Ann

We met up with Curt and Marilyn Solum and went to church with them and went out to lunch.  Curt is the person that got us started cooking at Twin Peaks Bible Camp.  I neglected to get a picture of Curt and Marilyn.  I guess we were too busy catching up with each other.



Our last night out, we spent in Flora, Illinois at another aunt and uncle's place.  We went out to eat dinner with them.  
Aunt Mary Jo (Mom's sister) and Uncle Ray

Thanks for hanging in there, if you did.  It was a great trip.  Very blessed to see aunts and uncles at my age!!