Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spring Break Visit

After my mom's family members went home after we celebrated Grandpa's birthday, my sister Sharon and her kids stayed the rest of the week with Mom and me, since it was spring break for her kids. We really didn't do anything special while they were here, but it was just fun to relax and have fun with the kids.

My sister Chandra was able to come over several times, which is always nice since she is so much fun. Chandra wanted to have a little lunch at our house and invite a couple of her friends from church over, so we did that one day. Chan made two different kinds of chicken salad and brought croissants to put it. She also brought veggies and dip, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert.
My favorite thing about the picture below is Rachel, who is sitting on the couch, wearing the St. Patrick's Day crown she made for the occasion. Since it was St. Patrick's Day, we all wore green, but were in different shades.
Chandra and Christian matched, though!
Chandra wanted to make a drink for her lunch, so she found a recipe for sangria. I told her she should call it "Changria." I'm not usually very clever, but that made everyone laugh.
The kids played outside several times since the weather was so mild and spring-like. Matt liked using my mom's manual lawnmower to cut the grass. He went all over the yard and didn't make straight, even rows, which was kind of funny.
He also climbed a tree, and lovingly watched over Christian at church:
Rachel is always the first to try to help Christian when he cries, which is very sweet. I thought the picture of Christian smiling up at her was really sweet.
Rachel hunted for four leaf clovers in the grass:
Sharon brought these three candy bars for us to try together... except we put them up to get them out of the way, and then never remembered to get them back out again before she left. Oops! My mom and I have since tried them, though, and we like the one on the bottom the best. It's called "Sweet Popcorn" and it actually has little pieces of popcorn in the candy bar.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Grandpa's 94th Birthday

My Grandpa Zimmerman turned 94 on March 13. Anyone who makes it to their 90's deserves to have a big birthday celebration, so that's what we did! My grandparents drove down from Minnesota with my Uncle Steve and his family. My Aunt Jackie (who drove separately from a different location) met my Uncle Rick at the airport and picked him up, and everyone met here at my house in the late afternoon on Friday, March 11. My sister, Sharon, and four of her kids also came for Grandpa's birthday celebration. Everybody stayed here at my house with my mom and me. Our house was full, with 15 people staying here, but that's okay. The more, the merrier!

Grandpa brought some pictures from his childhood to show us, so it was fun to look at those. I've always been amazed at how many pictures grandpa has of his parents and from his childhood, since taking pictures back then wasn't near as easy as it is today.
Grandpa has always valued physical fitness. Here he is showing Steve, Erik and Lisa (my uncle and cousins) his daily exercises that he does to stay fit. It was cute to see Gramps in action!
Sharon and her kids enjoyed getting to spend some more time with Christian. The kids sure love their baby nephew. Sometimes they love him a little too much, since he's not used to so many people.
Elizabeth had her flute with her, so she played a few songs for Grandpa:
The Zimmerman family, together again! (Grandpa, Rick, Mom, Steve, Grandma) The couch wasn't quite big enough for all of them, so Mom sat on her brothers' laps. My mom has another brother, Scott, who died when he was 38. When we have family times like this, I've often wondered what Scott would've been like. The only memories I have of him are from a family reunion in 1992 when I was eight, so I don't really even know him.
Above is my mom's brother, Steve, his wife, Jackie, and their kids, Erik and Lisa. Erik got married last year, so he brought his wife, Kaylee. It was nice to meet her.

It was great that Sharon and four of her kids were able to come celebrate Grandpa's birthday with us. Her kids had their spring break the following week, so they were able to come without missing any school. (Two of Sharon's kids went on a school trip with their science club to New Orleans, so that's where they were.) Here's Sharon, Elizabeth, Rachel, Matt and Emily:
We had to make sure to get a few group pictures to document the occasion. Here are a few tcst shots, followed by a couple with the whole crowd:
Sharon and Gramps, followed by a picture of me and Grandpa:
Here's Chandra and Sharon with both of our grandparents:
Grandpa and Erik (wearing Christian's clip-on tie), and Elizabeth in her pretty purple dress:
Grandpa decided to have his birthday dinner on Saturday evening (which was a Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner), and his birthday cake on Saturday, since we had a lighter dinner of turkey soup. Grandpa had a hard time deciding between carrot cake and red velvet cake for his birthday cake, so we had both! Anyone who makes it to 94 deserves two cakes. :)
Grandpa leading everyone in "Happy Birthday."
Grandpa opened his birthday cards and Rick read them, since Grandpa's vision is so poor.
Grandma leaning over to smooch Grandpa, after Rick read Grandma's card to Grandpa:
I gave Grandpa a copy of a book my mom and I are currently reading that I thought he would enjoy. I hope he can see the text with his reading machine, or maybe Grandma will read it to him, because I'm sure she would enjoy the book, too.
Rick gave Grandpa an Arizona Wildcats hat to wear, so he can root for them. (I think the basketball team was the Arizona Wildcats, but don't quote me on that!)
Grandpa checking out the singing DigiBirds Sharon gave us for Christmas:
I know Grandpa's birthdays in the future are limited, so I was very grateful to be able to spend this day with him. I love my family/grandparents, so it was great to spend the weekend with such great folks.
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