Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa

This morning, my mom called me with the news that my grandfather had died. Over the last few years, I have expected to hear this news, or at least tried to prepare myself for when it happened. Even though it was hard for him to get around, and his mind wasn't always clear, he still seemed very healthy, so it was still a shock to me when I found out that he was gone, even with him being 94 years old.

Pictures from my wedding.

My grandpa was such a sweet man. He always called me "Elizabeth" (with the emphasis on "beth"), thinking that it made me happy to hear it pronounced that way. Apparently when I was a little girl I used to laugh when he said it this way.

He loved nature. He loved to look at trees and the different bark and leaves on all of them. He also loved birds. He had many bird feeders around his home in Castro Valley (before moving in with my parents). He had bird books and loved listening to the different songs they sang.

He did oil paintings, probably believing quantity (he painted many of them) was better than quality (although many of them were quite good).

Whenever he shuffled down the hallway on his walker, he would always glance in the family room, and if anyone was in there, he would stop for a while with a slightly goofy and loving grin on his face.

He loved children. Even though he never had children of his own, he still treated Grandma's five children like his own, as well as all of their children and grandchildren. As I've mentioned before, he loved children so much, that many times recently, he still asked grandma if they could have a baby.

Even though I will miss my grandfather very much, I know he is so happy to be with his first love, Margarite. He now has a clear mind and can walk freely again. I love you grandpa, and thank you for loving me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Sunfish

This is a picture of the HUGE sunfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I couldn't get a picture of it with my camera, so I didn't get to show how crazy looking it actually was in my last post. When it swam towards you from the back of the dark tank, it looked like a huge mass or a whale. Then when it turned sideways, it had no tail. It just looked like a big square blob - and a scary one at that.

Monterey and a Joint Baby Shower

I was so excited to have some fun things to blog about from last week, but the unexpected news of my grandfather dying delayed my entries. So . . . after attending Grandpa Karl's funeral on Saturday and spending the bulk of the week with family (I got to see my sister, Susan, and her little boy, Sam, which was really exciting), I can now settle back down in my normal life.

My parents' turn for the Monterey Beach House came up on Thursday, January 24. They were not able to go because my dad broke his kneecap earlier in the month. My brothers and their families couldn't go either, so Scott and I decided we would go and invite some friends to come with us. So Thursday night, the Morgans and the Perrymans took off for Monterey.
Our first morning there, we woke up and went to First Awakenings where Andrew and Tiffani discovered that indeed it was not a church, but a restaurant with really good breakfast foods.

We spent the day walking on the beach, playing a little Jenga, watching "Edward Scissorhands," and meeting up with Hilary, Brian, and Brennen Wiest (they used to live up here, but moved for Brian's assignment in the CHP).

Tiffani, Hilary, me

Carson is always smiling. He is so happy, even when it's sprinkling and cold outside, and he even had a cough.
The Wiests introduced us to a new restaurant in Monterey called Hula's. I was skeptical at first, thinking everything was going to be loaded with pineapple, but was really impressed with the food (I craved it for a week after). They had amazing sweet potato fries (which I had never had before and highly recommend), really good fish tacos, and I had really good cheeseburger with caramelized onions, bleu cheese, and lettuce and tomato. It may be my new favorite restaurant in Monterey. After dinner all of us went back to the beach house and talked and played Yahtzee.

Brian and Scott
Brennen eating sweet potato fries. Yummy. Our second and last day in Monterey, we went to the aquarium (thanks to Hilary getting us free tickets from the library). Scott plotted out our tour where we saw all kinds of beautiful and strange fish and other ocean life. The strangest fish was this huge square thing called a Sunfish. It was in swimming with the white shark, hammerhead sharks, and massive tuna.

Energizing for the aquariumThe sunfish. It's so weird looking! And it's HUGE!Andrew and CarsonTiffani and Carson checking out the hermit crabsScott making friends with a seagull
That night, we watched "What About Bob" and just relaxed. (We couldn't decide when "What About Bob" was made, and we couldn't find it on the DVD case, so I called my beautiful, wonderful sister, Susan, to have her look it up. It wasn't until the next day while driving home that I had forgotten that the day before was Susan's birthday. I'm such a dunce).

Anyway, we had a great time in Monterey and can't wait to go back again.

And tonight, our friends, Brad and Reiko Lamb, came up to visit. They stayed with the Ashby's who threw them a joint baby shower (they're having a baby girl name Caylee). Scott was at work, so I went by myself.

The ladies (Catherine, me, Tiffani, Reiko, Leslie, Amanda)The gents (Tommy, Brad, Ben, Josh, Andrew)Brad and ReikoJosh and Catherine (she's pregnant with a baby boy)Tiffani, Ben, and Andrew all performed karaoke

Monday, January 21, 2008

Family Wall and Game Night

Friday night, Tiffani came over to help me arrange and hang my picture frames for my "Family Wall." This is a project that I've been working on for over a year, but could never get myself to finish it (I still need to put pictures in some of the frames and spray paint the brown 3-opening frame black). I also realized that Scott and I have been in our house for almost 9 months, and we still hadn't hung anything on the walls - so I made it a goal to have the frames hung up before our game night on Saturday. This is the result. I'm very happy with it. It's amazing how hanging something on the wall can make a place feel so much more like home. Now I just need to finish the other 20 projects that I have lined up.
On Saturday, Scott and I had some friends over for dinner and a game night. Each person was assigned to bring something to eat. I was in charge of lasagna, the Mortimers were in charge of salad, the Ashbys brought homemade rolls and freezer jam, and the Morgans brought cookies and a key lime dessert thing (Leslie and Tiffani - I want your recipes). I shocked my mom when I told her that I opted for a Costco lasagna instead of making my own (homemade really is better), and had I known that everyone else was making such good food, I would have made more of an effort. After eating and talking for a while, we played a few games of "Snorta" - a game of speed, memory, and animal sounds. We had a great time.

Ben and Josh
Curtis and Ethan - Ben and Leslie's boys (I don't know what it is about our family room, but it's like there's an invisible race track around it that all kids can see. Every kid that ever comes to our house starts running in circles around this room as soon as they get here. Scott and I think it's pretty funny.)
Sara - Ben and Leslie's baby girl
Andrew and Tiffani

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More Family Photos

I don't really have anything to write about, but it's been a while since I've posted anything. Here are some more pictures that I've just scanned to go on my Family Wall. All of the pictures are of my dad's side of the family except for the first one.
My great-grandmother, Hazel's, brother - Basil
My dad's mother: Grandma Aileen - She sent this picture to her future husband while he was at war. It's fun to read the notes that she wrote him on the back of the pictures.
My dad's father: Grandpa Lloyd overseas at war.
Their five children (clockwise from the top): Jaynee, my dad, Bev (my cousin Dani looks just like her), Kevin, and Dan
My great-grandfather, Horace Ezra (He went by "Ez") (second from the left on the ground): This is my Grandma Aileen's father. The only picture I ever saw of him before was a portrait with his wife, and he looks so serious in it. It's fun to see him with his baseball gear.
My dad as a little boy