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August 2016 - USA

August 31, 2016

We drove back to Chicago on my birthday August 25 and had birthday celebration #3

Then we flew to Nashville Tn to visit Christopher, Mary, Madison (7) and Jack (5) in their new home in Franklin. Of course our first night there we had my birthday celebration #4. This was quite a year for celebrating Grandma's birthday:-)

The kids and Christopher were already in school every day so Al and I kept busy helping Mary unpack boxes, organize, shop and hang pictures. Hot hot days but lovely evenings by the pool swimming and grilling.

We went downtown Nashville and visit Vanderbilt University campus where Daddy Christopher takes classes for the next two years for his MBA. We wandered around campus and then around downtown stopping for lunch.

It's a beautiful area with lots of rolling hills and pastures surrounding where the kids development is located. No more Chicago traffic and hopefully much milder winters! We had some nice meals out and some yummy ones on the grill at home.

August 24, 2016

We drove to Minnesota August 13 to spend time with Pat, Nicci, Josie (9) Emma (6) and Aleah (2). It's so fun to enjoy the families in nice weather. Usually it's snowing and well below zero. We spent a couple of fun days out in Maple Lake with Al's sister Connie, Steve and brother David and Julie. We enjoyed seeing Connie and Steve's new home and a pontoon ride around the lake. We watched the girls a couple of days that Nicci had to work.

One day Nicci, Al and I took the girls to play at the local splash park and have a picnic.

Another day Grandpa stayed home with Allie and Mama, Grandma, and the older girls went to the Mall of America. There is a a great Crayola exhibition play area there.

In one special activity we designed dresses that were projected up on Fashion Runway.

We had lunch at the rainforest Cafe and then visited the rides at Nichelodeon. It was a fun full day.

Later Al and I had dinner with my sister's Maggie and Katie. Kate was in town to sing at University of St. Catherine's and Maggie played the flute. It was a special dedication for the renovation of our aunt Sister Mary Davida's former baby grand piano. It was great seeing so many friends from our college yea

rs and singing together again. We took Josie and Emma with us to the celebration and I do believe they were quite impressed. They even joined the former Chamber Singers standing in front leading a sing-a-long.

On Sunday we had a picnic at Pat's house for family and friends. We had the first of my many 64th birthday cakes!

Monday we took the girls to Como Zoo and then to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Tuesday Pat grilled steaks and shrimp for our 41st wedding anniversary and then on Wednesday we went out to enjoy some Mexican to celebrate my birthday. Birthday Cake #2 now we are driving to Chicago in the morning and flying to Tennessee on Friday.

August 13, 2016

We drove back to Chicago last Saturday to babysit Sara (4) and Lucy (2) while Mommy and Daddy flew to London for Mommy's work. We had 6 days of great fun reading books, playing games, singing songs and just hanging out. We went to the park to play and splash in the fountains. Another day was perfect for the beach.

It was sunny, calm seas so the girls paddled around happily in their life jackets. There was a great park adjacent to the beach too. Blaze pizza was on the agenda for lunch one day.

On Sara's special day we baked Key Lime bars and wrote a book about our day at the beach. On Lucy's special day we played games, colored pictures, created with play doh and read books. Both girls love play acting sometimes house, sometimes school or they loved to play Snack Shop. This could go on for hours. Grandma got a work out staying creative.

August 5, 2016

We had a nice week with Dad. We went to the camp on Wednesday to see brother Tom, Margaret and Liz. Liz gave us a wild ride on the new pontoon down the canal out onto Cayuga Lake. We also had a lovely dinner at the Aurora Inn in Aurora on Cayuga Lake. Then on Thursday we met Tom and Margaret at Balloons Restaurant in Auburn for dinner and Daddy treated us all to an evening at the Merry-Go-Round Theater. Fantastic off broadway performance of Anything Goes by Gershwin.

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