Grandan’s Funeral

Today was sad, but it was very sweet and touching.  Since Grandan was a flight officer and a glider pilot in WWII (participating in Operation Market Garden), he had a military funeral complete with “Taps” and all.  It was a very cool thing to experience.  We didn’t take Chloe and Cole to the funeral, but Mom wanted them there for the burial.  They did very well and seemed to know a little about what was going on.  Mr. Todd’s service was very sweet, and I won’t forget how he tied in one of Grandan’s most common responses, “I’m like you,” into the message.  Mom got up and spoke about Grandan (her dad), and she did wonderful.  She held it together very well and said some very sweet words about a very sweet man.  At the visitation, the words that kept being said to me to describe Grandan were “sweet” and “kind.”  He is a role model, for sure.

This is the spray we (the grandkids - Austin, me, AD, Laura, and Brittany) got for Grandan. We put Juicy Fruit on it because we never, ever saw Grandan when he didn't have that gum in his pocket to give to us.

After the funeral and burial, the extended family gathered and ate together.

After collecting plants, flowers, etc., Matt, Chloe, Cole, Austin, Dana, Mize, A.D., and I all went back to Mom and Dad’s for the night.  We looked at old picture albums and went through some of Grandan’s things.  We laughed and shed a few tears, but it was good to all be together and reminisce.  We sure are going to miss Grandan.



10/5/1921 – 12/28/2011

Grandan went to Heaven today.  He was 90-yrs-old.

While we were in Tahoe, we got the phone call that he wasn’t feeling well, but he didn’t want to do anything to mess up our trip.  He was so sweet and didn’t want to bother us.  We were able to get back home and all work together to get Dad to Vandy and the rest of the family to Memphis.  It was a pretty busy couple of days, and after Grandan suffered with some major pain for a couple of days (perforation in his intestines), he all of a sudden very peacefully and quietly went to Heaven.

It’s been a very sad day, but we are selfishly saddened.  We just miss him.  He lived a good, long life and is now reunited with Granny.  We’ve laughed that as soon as he got there, we can just imagine Granny fussing at him for taking so long to get there.  If we could all be so lucky, right?


Christmas in Franklin

Our flight did not land until 9:30 tonight, so it was after 10:30 when we finally got home.  As tired as we all were, the kids were so excited because they knew Santa had been to our house.  We got inside….but….everything looked the same.  There were no presents under the tree, and that’s where Santa always leaves the presents.  Chloe and Cole were beginning to get very worried.  But then, we noticed the stockings were not hanging by the chimney.  So we started walking around, and then we walked upstairs.  We still didn’t find anything…. until…. we went into the bonus room!  And there it was!  Santa did come!

Since the gifts were in the bonus, it looks deceiving – like they got tons of stuff – not the case, but they did get some fun toys.  Cole’s favorites were his new bike and his UT football uniform.  Chloe loved all her new cooking appliances for her kitchen and her arts/crafts goodies.

It was well after midnight before we got the kids settled and finally to bed.  I think Matt and I were more tired than they were!  We all had a great night, though, and a great trip.  We are looking forward to hanging out at home and playing  (and resting) tomorrow.  Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Tahoe

We finally got everyone’s schedules to work out to be in Lake Tahoe over Christmas.  We’ve had the trip planned for a couple of months, and the kids have not stopped talking about it.  We all left on Monday, Dec. 19 and stayed until the next Monday, Dec. 26.  This was the first Christmas trip we’ve ever taken, and it was really a fun and exciting time to be away.

On the 19th, I awoke at 4 a.m. to have everyone ready and at the airport by 6.  I was a little worn out when we got there, but it went surprisingly well.  The kids were excited and hopped out of bed pretty quickly.  Our first flight was the longest – 4 hours.  And once again, things went surprisingly well.  The kids handled the flight very well.  We had a layover in Salt Lake City, and we met up with Pappy, Papa Rod, Uncle Aus, Aunt Danie, Mize and Uncle D and got on the same flight together.  It took us about 1.5 hrs to fly into Reno,   and then we had an hour drive to our house in Tahoe.  At this point the time change had caught up with everyone, and we were all tired and hungry but very excited!  We stopped for some yummy fish tacos, made a grocery store and liquor store run, and then it was check-in time.

Our house was amazing – right at the bottom of the Boulder Lodge, so it was a ski-in/ski-out house…. except there was no snow.  Big bummer!  Boulder did open on Christmas day, so we were able to take advantage of it our last day.  We had a hot tub on our third floor that looked out over the Boulder ski runs, and we had a sauna right inside the hot tub.  So, it was our routine after a long day of snow skiing to hit the hot tub (which we had to be careful jumping in because the deck was frozen), and then we would quickly hop out and run inside as quickly as we could and sit in the sauna.  I could get used to that lifestyle!

We snow skied five of the seven days we were there.  Even though there was no snow, they were making as much snow as fast as they could.  Not all the runs of the ski resort were open, but Matt and I had plenty to keep us happy.  AD skied everything that was open, and he did get a little bored (he’s a much better skier than us!).  Matt and I took a day ski course, Dad took a day and a half, and Dana took a half day.  We took the kids to ski school one day, and when we picked them up they were totally exhausted.  Cole had so. much. fun.  The boy was so excited that he couldn’t tell us quickly enough everything he did.  He had so much fun skiing and he was showing us how he skied and what he did.  He was so funny.  Chloe was the complete opposite.  She was worn out and when we asked her about skiing, the only thing she said was, “Skiing makes me cry.”  Ha!!

Aside from skiing, we rode around a couple of days sight seeing and walked around downtown S. Tahoe.  We took the gondola to the top of the mountain one day, and it was hard to get many good pics because we couldn’t take our cameras with us skiing.  We ate entirely too much all week long, and we just had fun hanging out at the house or going out to eat.  It took us a while to get adjusted to the time change, and the first day, the kids woke up at 4:50.  NOT  GOOD.  Every day got a little later, and finally by the 5th day they were sleeping until almost 8:00.  We were so very surprised to walk into our house the first day we arrived and see that Buddy was already there!!!   We had no idea he knew how to find us!!

Hiking in our backyard



This was one night at a restaurant. This does NOT happen with Cole. He was that tired!!

Papa Rod - We kept waning to sing "Back in Black" when we would see him.

We couldn’t believe how late the kids slept Christmas morning.  Almost 8:00?  That is probably the last time that will ever happen, but I think the exhaustion had caught up with everyone.  Chloe was worried about Santa not coming, but she was also worried that if Santa did come, we wouldn’t be able to get the gifts home on the plane.  So, we left Santa a note, and he wrote us back and did just what Chloe wanted!

After a fun, lazy morning, we geared up and walked over to the lift and closed out our trip with a last day of skiing.  I wish I had been able to take pics of our last skiing day, but there’s no way I could handle the camera and ski.  AD got Matt and me out of our comfort zone, and we ended the trip by going to the top of the mountain and skiing down twice.  It was HARD, but it was beautiful.  I need a picture to describe the view we had.  After the second time down, my legs were shot and I was beyond beat!  It was a great way to end the trip – but before ending it, we soaked in the hot tub one last time!

A great trip and a great Christmas!

Cole Angel

Chloe is usually the one called “angel” in our family, but Cole brought this home from school.  It was wrapped all pretty for me and his daddy for Christmas.  Matt and I could not quit laughing!  It’s a keeper…. and will be on our Christmas tree every year!



Buddy is our elf.  He appeared two Decembers ago out of no where, and he has reappeared the past two years.  Chloe named him Buddy when he first came to our house, and he has been a big hit ever since.  This year, though, has been the best – and the most fun.  The kids cannot wait to see where he is in the morning.  I can’t tell you how many mornings the kids have bolted into our room before 6:00 a.m. begging to go downstairs to find Buddy.  Ugh!  That part has not been so fun!  But, we have enjoyed having him around again this year, and he really has helped my kids behavior this month!  I wish I had all his shenanigans captured, but he moved too quickly for me!  He drew mustaches on the kids pictures, wrote them notes, left them candy, and hid in the craziest places!

At school, Chloe made a blanket for Buddy during her art center time.  We left it on the kitchen counter, and the next morning, Buddy had grabbed it and was wrapped up in it!  There were several mornings that he had his blanket with him.