Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Visit to the Tower at Sea Tac

Tonight Heidi, Marshall and I got to go to the tower at Sea Tac for Heidi to introduce Marshall to some of her co-workers. Marshall made a big impression, and was very well behaved. Everyone gathered around him - well at least those who weren't involved with any aircraft landing or taking off. Heidi works with some very nice people.

I have been up in the tower once before in Seattle and a couple of times when she worked the tower in Baton Rouge. I find it fascinating. This time a supervisor offered an opportunity for me to listen in to the two-way conversations of one controller who was controlling the landing and taking off portion. Except for him speaking so fast, I could understand most of what he was saying. They never ask questions like, "Are you sure you have enough fuel?" Everything is business - short and sweet. Even though the night was foggy, planes still land.

I think Marshall had a good time, and I could tell her co-workers miss Heidi and respect her.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Wish

Marshall on Thanksgiving Day
Turkey, ready for the deep-fryer


You've no doubt received some Thanksgiving cards today, some through snail mail, others via the Internet. A friend sent me this one which is quite unusual.

I hope you have had a very meaningful one. I have been thoroughly enjoying my time with Heidi, Chad and baby Marshall - oh, and Brian, too.
We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. Chad deep-fried our turkey, I put together the green bean casserole and started the mashed potatoes, and Heidi made a delicious Dutch apple pie. I'm showing photos of the turkey in progress as Chad is the only one in our family who prepares a turkey in this way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Day in the Life of Marshall

We seem to have worked out a little bit of a schedule in caring for Marshall. Chad is what I would call a night-owl. So he's been doing the late shift. Heidi gets up next, and that is followed by me, the grandma. Before Heidi goes back to bed, she sets me up with a movie for Marshall and me to watch. Yesterday we watched The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (which I would highly recommend). Today we watched Forest Gump. Marshall didn't seem to object - in fact, he slept through both of them. It was real quality time for me. Marshall is so snuggly and cozy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Making More Pleasant Memories with Marshall

I am feeling very blessed to be spending so much quality time with my new little grandson, Marshall. He doesn't spend very much time awake, but when he is awake, he loves studying my face and listening to me sing to him. He loves Edelweiss; Away in a Manger; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; and Silent Night. It seemed like a good time to start teaching him Christmas carols. He has little rosebud lips and looks so cute when he makes them into an "oh" expression. I'll try to take pictures tomorrow and post them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lovely Day at Heidi & Chad's

This marks my third vacation this year, but by far it has been the most restful vacation I can recall. I am having the privilege of sitting for hours rocking my newest grandson, Marshall. He seems to love being held by me, and the feeling is mutual. He drinks his bottle, coos, and grips my thumb as he sleeps. It's all so cute.

Both Brian (their beautiful Golden Retriever) and I are too gimped up to go for walks, so that part of being out in Seattle is unusal. He had surgery in October because he tore his ACL. And I'm still dealing with the Plantar Fasciitis. Actually, Brian is bored; I am just taking this time to relax.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On Vacation!

It was a marathon getting ready for this vacation, but last night by nine o'clock, I was finally packed and crawling into bed. It seems I have been busy since way before getting ready for the cruise, and that was back in August. But that was that, and this is now.

Today Heidi and Chad picked me at the curb of Sea-Tac, and I finally got to see my brand new grandson, Marshall. He and I rode in the back seat to their house, and then I got to hold him for about three hours. He was so cuddly and sweet. I'm looking forward to lots more sweet time together. For now, I point you to this darling video of him.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

P.S. to Big Birthday Bash

After re-reading my last entry, I noticed I unintentionally omitted my great-nephew Chad from those in our family celebrating birthdays in November. Chad's birthday is November 14. We missed him and his family at our get-together, but I want to take this opportunity to wish Chad a belated Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Big Birthday Bash

Saturday many from my family gathered at Janet and Jerry's for the November birthdays. This year Rachel, Josiah and Annika were able to join us, which was so nice. Aunt Liz and I rode down together. Shortly after we arrived, Rachel and the kids came. It worked out nice so that Aunt Liz, Jerry and Janet got to see them individually before the "action" started. By action, I mean the entertainment the kids provided once Aurelia arrived.

Janet brought out one of her American Girl Dolls - Bitty Baby - and immediately Aurelia took her out of the little high chair and hugged her and patted her on the back. Prior to that, Annika hadn't paid too much attention to the doll. Well, soon we got to see the little girls have a little difference of opinion as to which one should be holding her. Aurelia has the most expressive eyebrows. When Annika took the dolly from her, Aurelia showed a big scowl on her face. Peder and Sarah cracked up. The girls were very good about sharing things - most of the time. Never did either of them break into crying.

Josiah loves little ones, so he gave Aurelia a lot of attention. My Aunt Liz loved having him recite his German numbers from one to twenty. And Sarah made a video of him reciting the little story "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" - at least, I think that's the title. He even does it with choreography. It's so cute.

When it came time to get things ready for dinner, Annika helped me put the candles in the cake - all without my help. She did a great job! We included one candle for our newest family member, Marshall, born last Wednesday, Jerry (birthday was yesterday), Sarah (20th) and Peder (21st). All in all - the day was perfect (well, except Hans, Heidi, Chad and Marshall and Cousin Pat didn't get to come).

Did I cherish this party - yes, indeed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Announcing the Birth of My New Grandson

This afternoon Heidi gave birth (emergency C-section) to Marshall Dean. He weighs 7#, 12 oz.; is 19 1/2" long; has a chubby face, blue eyes, and lots of dark hair. Heidi sounded tired when she called, but very happy. Congratulations, Heidi and Chad! I can't wait to hold Marshall. :-)

Mall of America Photos

Josiah having fun at Lego Land

What are the chances of running into Chris and Allison at the Mall of America?!

Josiah working on puzzle.

Rachel and the kids on the Merry-go-round

My mode of transporation

Monday Photos at Target and Olive Garden

Rachel, ecstatic about being in Target!
Aurelia and Josiah getting acquainted.
Sweet Annika!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day to Lieutenant Commander Hans De For, my first born, plus my brother Jerry, retired US Navy; my Uncle Allan, US Navy; cousin Wayne (deceased), US Navy; son-in-law Chad, US Air Force; nephew Keith, US Navy; cousin Pudge (Pat's husband), US Air Force; cousin Charlie (Kari's husband), retired US Air Force; Pete, Rachel's father, US Air Force; Ken, Sarah's father, US Air Force; Sarah's brother Ryan, US Coast Guard.

I will never take for granted the sacrifice these men have made, and are continuing to make for me and our country. Enjoy today - your special day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Special Days Off from the Office

Last night Rachel, Josiah and Annika's plane arrived from Germany. I was at the airport to meet them and help Rachel with the kids while she rented a vehicle. When they came down to baggage claim, I could see them through the glass doors. As the doors opened, Josiah ran to me and hugged me saying, "Hi, Grandma! We came to see you!" It was so cute. Annika was in the stroller and I'm not sure she remembered me as she shied away. I was at their home in May, but she is only 2 3/4 and just may not have remembered me. Also, they looked very tired. Josiah told me they had two flights - one long one and one short one. It wasn't long before she was chatting away.

I took today and tomorrow off so I could spend some time with them. This morning we stopped at my office so I could show them off to everyone. Then we were headed to Target - their all-time favorite store. But on the way the kids fell sound asleep, so Rachel decided we could go for a drive. It was fun riding past their first house in St. Paul.

Target was a fun experience. I'm still dealing with the Plantar Fasciitis (argh!), so I drove one of the automated carts. What a great service for those who have difficulty walking. Thankfully (and hopefully) for me, this is only temporary. Each of the kids got to pick out a toy for a treat.

This afternoon Josiah and Annika are at home with me and we sent Rachel out to shop by herself. I'm sure she is having a good time. Tonight we are all having dinner with Sarah, Peder and Aurelia. What a wonderful day off - spending time with off with my family.

On another note, Heidi & Chad's baby is due in five days. I pray all goes well with the delivery.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Last Rose (geranium and impatiens) of Summer

This is what we awoke to this morning - our first snow. It probably won't last long, but it's probably the end for my patio plants. I don't have enough room to bring them inside, so I guess this is "good-bye."

On a lighter, happier note, gas is down to $1.96 a gallon here. Yahoo!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Treasures found in my closet

Yes, when Pat and Aunt Liz helped clean out the closet in my cottage last Saturday, they unearthed some treasures I thought were "long gone." Among them were some of the Amish pieces I used to have hanging in my home. I decided to bring them to the office to decorate the outside of my cubicle since author, Beverly Lewis, is coming for a visit today and tomorrow.

The shirt and pants, plus one of the prayer caps, were given to me by Grandma Zook. She passed away this past spring, but I have pleasant memories of going to her home to buy fabric, specifically double-sided flannel, for nighties.

The wall hanging quilt was hand sewn by an Amish woman. The stitching is wonderfully done.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Getting Relief

It's been almost three weeks since I got out of bed in the morning and felt like I had broken bones in both heels. After five days, I went to the doctor, where he confirmed what I had learned on the Internet: Plantar Fasciitis. He instructed me to go to a good shoe store and purchase inserts for my shoes to support my very high arch and sore heels, which I did, to the tune of $180 due to having to purchase new shoes that would handle the new inserts. Also, he told me to ice my feet every three waking hours, which I have been doing.

Update: my left foot seemed to heal right away with the new inserts, but the right foot has been just as painful as it was when this all started. I have been limping along; staying seated at the last two choir rehearsals; missed singing in the service yesterday, and even been taking the elevator at work (I vowed I would never do this unless on a stretcher) - which has been known to get stuck - once for an hour an a half! Saturday when Pat and I went to a big discount store to buy bins and organizers for my cottage closet, I drove around in a motorized cart!

Today I saw my doctor again and after hearing my complaints, he offered to shoot some cortisone in my foot. I took him up on the offer. Immediately after the shot, I felt relief, but he warned me that after the numbing left, I would need to use ice again. It should feel lots better by tomorrow. I also bought a Strassburg sock, which I'll start wearing tonight when I go to bed. This sock forces your foot to stay in a stretched position while you sleep, helping you heal.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pack Rat

A photo of Heidi at age 5.
Oh, my! Where do I begin?
Pat pushing back part of the mess.
Aunt Liz sorted through thousands of photos.
Everything you see here came out of that closet!
All neat and tidy.
Okay, a couple of my kids have the same problem as I - - we have a hard time getting rid of "things." Over the years I have moved 18 times. Wow! I don't think I had ever tallied it before. But with each move, one throws a few things out, right? Well, that's sounds good, but then after those treasures are tossed, remorse sets in. Oh, how I wish I still had A, B, C, or X.

I guess over the past several years, I have maintained this attitude, "Out of sight, out of mind. Who is this bothering?"

The only one of my offspring who has commented on the way I keep my closets (or don't keep them - depends on how you look at it) is Heidi. I don't know from whom she inherited it, but she has no problem with tossing away things. She even has EMPTY kitchen cabinets!!

Yesterday my dear cousin, Pat, and Aunt Liz, came over for the day and we tackled the closet in my cottage. I know this closet was in horrible shape because I had to quickly slide the door closed to keep the contents inside! Yes, I was ashamed. But Pat and Aunt Liz have this incredible gift of organizing. They have always amazed me. This project took most of the day, and a lot of junk was tossed, but some treasures were uncovered too. Among things we found my childhood doll, my dad's home movies, and an unfinished counted cross-stitch project I have been looking for for at least three years! Shame, shame on me.