June 9, 2014

Memorable People

We recently enjoyed a short break from life as we celebrated Memorial Day Weekend, free from work, school, soccer, etc.  After recovering from our annual McCoy camp out, we spent a particularly lovely day entirely together.  A pizza luncheon followed by a quick visit to the cemetery were first on the agenda...

After our visit with Grandpa John we headed on over to chat with his lovely bride...

Tessa was fascinated with Grandma Jean and could not keep her eyes off her...
Memorial Day always brings the sad reminder that my kids didn't get to know my Grandpa John or my McDonald Grandparents.  On the other hand, I am so thankful for the relationship they have with their Great Grandpa and Grandma McCoy, John's sweet Abuelita, and of course my Grandma Jean.  I can't help but want to freeze time as I watch them interact with these sweet people we admire and adore.

Speaking of Grandma Jean, this year was especially memorable for her...

Everyone in our family came together to help throw her a great party, I know my Mom put so much into it and was worried about everything turning out okay, I think it's safe to say Grandma was very pleased with the whole affair. 

 We started things off with a poem written especially for her.  I LOVED learning even more about her and the amazing life she's led through a simple rhyme read by my Mom:

 Welcome everyone on this special day,
I debated for hours on what I could possibly say.
To express what we each feel in our heart
For the leading lady of our lives, she’s certainly played the part

So with a bundle of nerves I’ll do my best
I speak for myself and all the rest

Mom, today your family has gathered here.
To celebrate your ninetieth year.

It was January 20, 1924
Your parents could not have asked for more.
Mabel and Ben were thrilled at the sight so fair
A beautiful baby girl, born with red hair.

Well, the world has changed a lot since then,
You’ve seen, in four score years and ten,
The Great Depression, World War Two,  
The Swinging sixties, and then Hippies  (who knew?)

Big bands and famous stars
Air travel and fancy cars
Microwave ovens and fast food
Civil Rights, The Beatles, man walks the moon.

Penicillin, vaccinations, medical breakthroughs galore,
Cell phones, computers and so much more.
Yes, the world has changed before your eyes,
But experience has made you wise.

You met your sweetheart at Arthur Murray
Where he swept you off the dance floor in a hurry.
You made the perfect pair
Traveling the world with flair
You Climbed mountain heights
Visited countless countries and saw beautiful sights

You’re a talented lady, yes this is true
Music, Art, Dance and Sewing to name a few
Oh! And the love of good food, I’m blaming on YOU!

Yet the most valued gift we all treasure
Is the loving heart of our mother, without measure
You served your whole life through
Church callings, PTA president and all our shenanigans too
And despite it all, day in and day out
You’ve always looked beautiful, without a doubt.

Mom, in your wildest fantasy,
Did you ever imagine THIS dynasty?
Children: 5 Grandchildren: 22!
Great grandchildren? 30! Yes it is true!

We all miss dad, he was quite the guy,
But YOU we all know, were the apple of his eye.
And who knows, he may be here watching from the other side,
Wishing a Happy Birthday to his beautiful bride. 

True, we are All getting older,
Yet, we still lean upon your shoulder. 
Mom, THANK YOU for ALL you’ve done
When it comes to class, you are number one. 

You are the rock that keeps us grounded,
On you our family is founded.
You’re far beyond the common sway,
And that is why we’re here today.   

Sit back and relax my poem is (finally) done,
Now its time to have some fun.
We’ll start with lunch and go from there,
Enjoy yourself without a care.

I love LOVE LOVE all the family photos my cousin Dana took, as we are all rarely together theses days...  
 Besides posing for the camera, we ate lots of delicious food, chatted away and paid tribute after tribute to the sweet Matriarch of our family...

We certainly aren't perfect, but I think my family is pretty darn amazing and Grandma Jean is responsible for a lot of that amazingness.  As our families each grow individually, it is harder and harder to maintain that close knit connection.  My grandma has done a great job keeping us all connected.  She is one classy lady and I am extremely grateful  for the role she plays in our lives.
Back to Memorial Day...
I am sure it would be extremely annoying to once again reiterate my not-so-fantastic love affair with camping, so I'll just go ahead and jump right to the high points of our weekend camp-out:

The fact that Tessa most definitely takes after her pops (camping pro) certainly made things more enjoyable.  Her first camping experience was better than I could have hoped, in fact, she slept better in our tent than she ever has at home.
There were sweet treats...
and sour grapes too...
The kids (apparently John as well) had a blast riding bikes and spent most of their time carting each other around camp (usually not shirtless).
The rest of our time was spent by the water...
...Playing with mud...
...Or dirt. Or sticks.  Or rocks.  Or bird eggs...
I will say however, Tessa's ever present desire to eat rocks did get a tad bit annoying...
The kids LOVED playing with their second cousins first-cousins-once-removed (I had a lesson on this very subject and am now an expert in the ways of cousinry)...
Snuggling: A camping must...
Chilling in nature doing nothing in particular at all...like at all: Also a camping must.
So there you have it...a memorable weekend with some memorable people.

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