Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Musings

I seem to be lucky to get a post done once a month. October has gone by so quickly that I will use that as my excuse this time.

We started the month attending Joyce (Bill's sister) and Leroy's 50th anniversary party at their house. It turned out really nice. They had it catered and the food and service were wonderful. They also had a DJ doing music in the backyard, along with a big tent set up. All the decorations were beautiful. Most of all, Joyce and Leroy looked great and so happy. There was a good turnout and it was really fun to see people we hadn't seen in a long time. I think Ashby had more fun than anyone there. She loves her cousins, Caroline, Kate, and Lizzie, and was all over the place with them. She didn't want to go home. It was a nice way to begin a month.

The next day, Saturday the 2nd, was a bit the opposite. A good friend, Cheryl Moore, had fought a brain tumor for about three years and we attended her funeral that day. Cheryl was just about my age. We had been friends when we lived in Shallowford Ward from about 1993-96. The last time I saw her, I think, was at the temple before it closed. She was a fun person and though I rarely saw her, I will still miss her.

The next weekend, I made my monthly trip to the Columbia, SC, temple. I went alone this time. It is a long drive, but I do enjoy being there. I worked Friday evening and Saturday morning.

On the 11th, I had lunch with my group of friends, who call ourselves the Lunch Bunch. We ate at Sophia's, an Italian restaurant here in Lawrenceville. They have really good food, plus we always have a lot of fun together. The Rowberry's, Jerry Evans, and Bill and I were the only ones there. Becky had her baby a couple of weeks before and wasn't able to come. We do Lunch Bunch at 4:00 - an odd time, I suppose, but it makes it both lunch and dinner for us "oldies." Plus, there is no one else at the restaurant so we don't feel rushed - and goodness knows, we can sure talk!

The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd was really fun. Deseret Books sponsored one of the Time Out for Women conferences and Lisa and I went. It was held down near the airport, so we decided to get a hotel and make it a real Time Out. Lisa met up with her friend San and they roomed together, and my friend Sharon Warbington went with me and we shared our own room. It worked better that way - Lisa and San talked half way through the night and Sharon and I were asleep almost the minute we hit our beds. The conference was great - terrific speakers and music. The music was from Michael McLean on Friday night and Hillary Weeks on Saturday. They are both wonderful - good performers and great stories that they shared, as well. The speakers were Amanda Dickson, Mark Mabry (wow - his photos of Christ!), Emily Watts, Michael Wilcox, Mariama Kallon, Merrilee Boyack, and Emily Freeman. They were all good. The theme was Infinite Hope.

The last week of the month was busy with Proclamations naming November Month of the Family. On the 26th, Bill and I went to the Gwinnett County Commission meeting as part of the group to receive the proclamation for the county. On the 27th, we drove down to Covington to meet the mayor to receive theirs. One of the reasons I went all the way down rather than having it mailed was to get a picture. Then I forgot to take the picture! I must be getting old. On the 28th, I met the mayor of Lawrenceville for that one. The local bishop and another family also came there. I did take pictures of that one, but I made sure I wasn't in them. I have two more next week and then that will be finished for this year. This is all part of my Public Affairs calling.

The last weekend of the month was Halloween. David and Lisa also have their anniversary on the 29th, so Ashby stayed with us that night. It also happened to be our ward Halloween party and Ashby had a blast. She was Tigger and looked cute as a button. She was excited when they started the carnival games, especially once she figured out that if you played a game, you got a prize. She came home with quite a collection of rubber ducks, monsters, play dough, etc. The evening ended with Trunk or Treating and she also figured out very quickly that each trunk you went to, you got candy! She was almost running from one to the next. It made it so much more fun having her at the party. I usually don't go, because I don't enjoy them, but not true this time! When we got home, she went to bed - a little late, it is true - without any problem and slept all night. I think she was thoroughly exhausted.

Sunday, Lisa, David and Ashby came over for dinner, as usual. But, this time they brought the chili and cornbread - a family tradition in David's family. They also brought their pumpkins, so after dinner, they carved the pumpkins and put them out by our front door. Ashby helped hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters, at least when they didn't scare her. We don't get too many, so it was fun. It was a great ending to a good month.

Saturday, she slept until after 8:00. She wakes up talking and singing and was happy all morning. Late in the morning, Grandpa took her to the park to play. Lisa came over while they were at the park - David was doing some painting - and they went home after Ashby had her nap.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Labor Day in the Mountains and a Weekend with Ashby

Labor Day:
I seem to get further and further between posts. I get busy - but even more so, I get lazy. We had a great Labor Day weekend at the cabin in North Carolina. Bill and I went up when I finished work on Thursday. It is a 2 1/2 hour drive to Balsam, so we got there late afternoon. That gave us time to get the cabin opened and then to go grocery shopping.

On Friday morning, we took a long ride up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I absolutely love it up there! Lisa, David and Ashby came up on Friday afternoon. We cooked steaks out on the charcoal grill and relaxed. Saturday was also a lazy day - late breakfast, reading, lounging around, taking walks (well, Ashby wanted to take one walk after another, but I wasn't the one taking her!) Ashby loved the mountains. It was cool and beautiful. She wanted to be outside all the time. I liked being out on the front porch, too. Late in the afternoon, we went into Waynesville. They have a nice historic downtown area that is always fun to walk around. It turned out they were having a block party that evening, so we stayed around, had some of the best pizza, and then enjoyed the party. There was a live band and dancing. Ashby loved that! They also had the usual food goodies, like kettle corn, and a cute play area for children. Ashby used the sidewalk chalk to draw some pictures in the street. Mostly, though, she just watched all the other children.

Sunday, we went to the Waynesville Ward. They have a very tiny ward, but we always really enjoy visiting there. The rest of the day was just lazy. We cooked out again - pork chops, this time. Monday was pretty much a repeat. We went out to lunch at a nice place downtown. Bill and I had to leave later, as I couldn't get off work Tuesday. David, Lisa, and Ashby stayed over an extra night and came back Tuesday. David commented that it was such a relaxing vacation and was so fun. I have to agree. I am the kind who loves a vacation to be relaxing rather than hectic.

Weekend with Ashby:
This weekend, we had Ashby with us. David and Lisa wanted to go to the temple and had to go to Birmingham, AL, since the Atlanta Temple is still closed. They went over Friday evening and then attended a session on Saturday. It turned into a kind of "date weekend" instead of date night. Ashby stayed with us and was so good. Our ward had a talent show that evening, so she went with us and loved all the excitement. After the first act - a mom and her kids did a routine to a really peppy song - Ashby was signing and saying "more, more, more." It was so cute. The most interesting part for her was when the bishopric lip-synced a couple of Beach Boys songs. Since Grandpa is in the bishopric, he was up there being rather silly. She loved it! She kept pointing and saying "Gampa!"

Saturday he took her to the playground at the park and she had a ball. The rest of the time, she played here. She loves her books, her Elmo doll, her cars, her crayons, and everything else! She sings all the time. She helped draw a welcome home message on the driveway for mommy and daddy. She also helped Grandpa water the flowers and was one of the flowers that got watered! After her bath, we cuddled in the big chair and watched one of her music videos.

By then, I think she was missing her parents, so when Lisa and David got back in the early evening, she went wild! It was great for them to get a little away time together. And, we totally loved having her with us.

I love this job!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Month of Vacations

July was a busy and enjoyable month - a month of vacations!

July 10th, we headed down to St. Augustine, Florida, for our annual family get together there. As usual, we stayed at Ocean Gallery. It was a relatively small group this year. Besides Bill and I, Lisa, David, Ashby and David's mother Vanett had their own condo for the first week. Joyce, Leroy, Greg, Judy and the girls stayed in a third condo. Julie and Michael came down the first of the week and Michael stayed with the Stickels and Julie stayed with us. Our condo was really nice - one bedroom downstairs and an enclosed loft and bathroom upstairs. The second week, Julie moved into her own condo with Michael and Chris, who came down after completing his class. Lisa and Ashby moved over with us, since David and his mother had to go back. Hazel, John, and Joy were at their beach house. When we all got together, it was still a nice group.

I don't vary my routine too much from year to year. Some mornings I would go out to the beach for a while. I love watching the sunrise, or if I am a little late, the beach is still beautiful that time of morning. I had one time when I was sitting up quite close to the water, and I looked both directions and didn't see another person. Fantastic! Of course, there were plenty of walkers further back on the beach, but they were behind me and didn't count!

Then I would head back to the condo and get ready for the pool. We were closest to the club pool, which has about a third of the pool inside. I picked out my favorite spot, by a table with an umbrella, and got all set (a lounge chair with pad and terry cloth cover, my drink and snacks arranged, my book out, towel ready.) Then I would hit the hot tub for a few minutes and finally cool off in the pool for a while. When the sun was too hot, I would swim inside the building. Finally, I would get settled in my chair in the shade, read my book, and thoroughly enjoy the day!

Mid afternoon, I headed back to the condo for lunch, spent some time on my computer checking emails, doing genealogy, or whatever. Some afternoons, a nap was nice. All in all, a wonderful way to spend two weeks!

Lisa and I did go out to lunch and then into the outlet mall one afternoon for a little while. We bought a bunch of baby stuff and some things for Ashby at the Carter's Outlet. Plus, I picked up a couple of things for me. I think that was the only day that I varied my schedule! There is so much to see and do in St. Augustine and it has been a few years since I did the sightseeing thing, but I just can't tear myself away from the pool!

Evenings were a little more varied, but not by much! We went out to eat a few times, but most evenings the whole group got together. We did the dinner one night the first week and had taco salad. Everyone else took a turn, as well, so we had some great meals and fun times together. Most evenings ended at the pool for a little while.
Dinner at the Cantrell Condo
On Joyce and Hazel's birthday, we had a party at a little Cuban restaurant in town, where Stephanie works. They are generally closed in the evenings, but they opened for our private party and provided the food. It was great! We had a lot of fun, even a little dancing to the Cuban beat.

Joyce, Hazel, Martha and Bill at the Cuban Restaurant
Ashby is two now and she thoroughly loved every minute of the two weeks. Whether at the beach or at the pool, she kept busy. Vanett bought her a little outfit with a tube around the middle and she was so excited to be able to propel herself through the water and not sink! At the beach, she played in the sand and in the water, rarely sitting still.

Ashby Playing in the Ocean

Ashby in the pool with David

On Thursday evening of the second week, I had to leave. I flew up to Iowa for my 45th class reunion. I got into Moline about 11:30 that night and my friend Paula picked me up. The next morning, we drove up to Iowa, going quite a bit out of the way to pick up Barb Tope Earl, who had a car problem. It was great to get some time with Barb. Our families were the closest of friends all the while I was growing up, but I hadn't talked to Barb in many years and it was fun to get all caught up. It is wonderful that friendships from the past remain so strong.

Friday evening, there was a pizza party at Red Heart Pizza in downtown West Union. We had maybe 20 or 25 people show for that. Then Saturday morning, we met Peggy, Judson, and a few others for breakfast at the Uptown Cafe. Saturday afternoon, Paula took time to make an appearance at a family reunion for Larry's family, and I stayed at the motel and read and took a short nap.

The reunion was Saturday night at Country Hills in West Union. After an hour for socializing, we had a great dinner, followed by the town hall meeting. There was a slide show, some comments from Dennis Russler, the chairman of the committee, and James Guyer, the class president. Then every class member took a minute to catch everyone up. The last couple of hours were spent socializing. It was really a great evening. About 55 of the classmates were there, about 80 in attendance all together. That is great for a class of about 110 - 50% attendance!

Sunday morning, we met Peggy and her sisters at Hardy's for breakfast and finally headed back. We dropped Barb off in Grundy Center and then Paula dropped me off at Billy's in Cedar Rapids. It was really a fun weekend. Paula, Jane, Barb, Marlene Suckow, and I are the committee for the 50th reunion.

I spent the rest of the week with Billy. We got down to see my dad three times during the week. He seems to be doing well. He mentioned that there is some carotid artery blockage on both sides and he refused to let the doctors do any stints. I tried to convince him that it was such a minor procedure that he should do it, but he says he is ready to go when the Lord wants to take him. At 82, he is still getting around really well. Rita looked good, too.

Billy and I were pretty low key. We went out to eat several times. He did some bike trips while I did genealogy on my computer. We also talked a lot. I enjoyed the time with him.

Saturday morning, he took me back to the airport in Moline and I got home that afternoon. It was great to see Bill. We went to the Macaroni Grille for dinner and David, Lisa, and Ashby joined us.

So, I was on vacation for three weeks of the month of July. And I loved it all!
PS - we thought we forgot the camera, because we couldn't find it when we got to the beach. Bill found it while cleaning out the car when getting ready to pack to head home. It had been under the front seat the whole time. Thanks to Julie and Lisa for what pictures I do have. I didn't get any at the reunion.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Family History Book -- Smith-Cleary Line

Doing genealogy is probably my number one favorite hobby - right up there with reading!

In March I got a letter from my mother's first cousin to let me know they were having a Smith family reunion in July. Unfortunately, it falls during the time we will be on vacation in Florida, so I won't be able to go. But, I really wanted to make the family connection. So I decided to put together the genealogy I have done on that line. This is my maternal grandmother's family. She was a Smith and her mother was a Cleary.

I have been working since March to get everything ready. I did additional research to make sure I had everything I could get online. I made sure all the notes in the PAF file were clear and accurate and that they were organized in the same way for each person. I made sure the Family Tree on was accurate and matched what I had in the PAF file. When everything looked good, I wrote a short biography of each person on the direct line, using the information from the documents I had found. Then I made copies of all the documents themselves. And I put it all together into a book.

The book turned out pretty good. I designed it so the pages are in a loose-leaf binder, making it easy to make corrections or additions and then replace the edited pages. I have a sharp looking title page. I wrote a preface to explain my feelings about family history and to give contact information for anyone who had additional information or to make corrections. Next comes a Table of Contents. That is followed by an Introduction about the Smith and Cleary families. The Smiths were in the colonies prior to the Revolutionary War and I do not yet have a link to where they came from, although it is probably England. The Cleary line came from Ireland, probably in the 1830's, by way of Canada.

The Smith line starts with a pedigree chart, beginning with my great-grandfather Walter Hamilton Smith. I have four generations back on that line - Walter Hamilton Smith ; Henry Andrew Smith and his wife Dorcas Abigail Ash; William Hamilton Smith and his wife Esther Jane Dill; and Henry Smith and his wife Mary Irish. For each generation, I have the biography I wrote, a family group sheet which shows all the children and all the notes I have made in my PAF file, and copies of all documents I have found.

The Cleary line follows the same pattern. First comes the pedigree chart beginning with my great-grandmother Grace Cleary. I have five generations on that line - Grace Cleary, Henry Cleary and his wife Hester Ann Valentine Deverall; William Cleary and his wife Fanny Large; Joseph Warren Cleary and his wife Annie Craig; and William Pool Cleary and his wife Margaret Warren.

I only added one maternal line, as most do not have enough verified information. The line I did add was from Dorcas Abigail Ash (married to Henry Andrew Smith). I was able to add two additional generations - David Ash and his wife Abigail Freeman; and Peter Ash and his wife Catherine Merrihew. This line goes back to Germany. Peter's father was the immigrant, but I have not done any research on him.

I put the book together and prepared to have it copied. That was more work than I had thought! I wanted to have it printed on two sides, so I had to make sure everything was going to come out just right. I took it to Staples yesterday and they copied it for me and had it three-hole punched. I bought some notebooks and dividers and put it all together last night.

I am so excited! My book is finished! I am going to send one copy to my Aunt Patty, my mom's sister. A second copy is going to Glenn Smith, the cousin who wrote me about the reunion. He is in his mid-80's and may remember things that I do not know. The third copy will go to Lisa. I will have the original.

I would like to do something similar for all of the family lines. It is a lot of work, but it is so nice to have a book organized with all the information. I think one of Bill's lines will be the next project!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Such a lazy person!

I haven't updated the blog in a long time. It is not because nothing happens in my life - although it is actually pretty boring! It is because I am too lazy to take the time to write. So to fill in a few thoughts and events from the recent past.......

Lisa and Ashby spent last week with us. I know they only live 20 minutes away, but David and 3 of his cousins were gutting the kitchen, plus various other remodeling jobs, so it seemed smarter for them to just move out. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed coming home from work each day to have them here. Ashby gets cuter every day and I can't get enough cuddling!!! The guys got a lot done and their house is now livable again, so they have gone home. There is still a lot of finishing to do, but everything is installed and working. We had such a good time having them here. We had to go to the grocery store several times, which Ashby loves! She thinks the carts that look like cars are way cool. She says, "Vroom! Vroom!" One day we went over to a park near here and she played on the playground. It is a really nice park and she was busy for a long time - much longer than I thought she would last. She also kept asking about cookies, so one day we made some more chocolate chip cookies. She just loves licking the beaters and the mixing spoon. She is also into some videos I have - she loves the dancing and singing and dances and sings right along with the children in the videos. It so reminds me of Lisa!!

Today I went out to lunch with the Lunch Bunch. This is the group that used to carpool to the temple. Unfortunately, Jerry called to say she was too sick. She had been to the doctor and he had put her on antibiotics and she was on her way to bed. Since Bill was home and able to go today, we went ahead and ate at Del Rio, a new Mexican place near us. Lisa and Ashby came over, too, so it was a lot of fun. Brother and Sister Rowberry and Becky Bentley rounded out the group.

This past weekend was my temple weekend. Once a month, I drive up on a Friday to Columbia, South Carolina, and work at the temple on Friday evening and Saturday morning. It is a 3 1/2 hour trip each way, so I am pretty exhausted when I get back late Saturday afternoon, but it is so worth it.

Saturday evening, we met Susan Allen and some of her family at the conference center at Stone Mountain for dinner. Susan is a friend of Bill's going back to high school and we have all become friends over the years. She lives in Colorado, so it was a treat to get to see her and meet her daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters.

Sunday I had to travel down to Covington to speak at church. This is the 4th time I have given this talk about public affairs. The high counselor asked me to go as his companion speaker. Covington is about an hour away. I live almost as far north as you can go in the stake and Covington is just about as far south as you can go. I think it went well. At least the bishop came up and asked me some good questions afterwards. He is a brand new bishop and it would be nice to have him understand public affairs right from the beginning.

Things have been going better at work for the last month or so. The workload had gotten so big that I was working until 2:00 or later most days. That doesn't seem like part time to me, so when I mentioned it, my boss told me some changes were coming and it should go back to being what I wanted. She was right. One of our big clients switched from paper bills to scanned. Now everything is done online and I don't have to print any of their EOB's. We also made a little change in the way we are doing the printing and it has made a huge difference in the amount of time it is taking me. Now I am usually out of there by 12:00, sometimes earlier. Today it was just after 11:00. I am much happier now!

I also had to speak at church on Mother's Day. That was a hard one for me. I have a hard time at church on Mother's Day and to have to speak made it even more difficult. So, I just spoke honestly, and I think it was well received. I got a lot of comments afterwards that make me believe I touched a lot of people - hopefully in the right way! We didn't do anything on Mother's Day, though, since David and his cousins were working on the house. We made a potato salad and got some deli meat and all the trimmings for hoagies, plus some watermelon, and took it over to them. We figure we will ask for our Mother's Day dinner out when things calm down a little.

Bill was called as the 1st counselor in the bishopric a couple of weeks ago, so his Sunday schedule is now pretty full. It will be interesting to see if he ever makes it home in time to have dinner with us. He really likes the bishop and the other counselor, but it is still taking a little adjustment. He commented that he thought he was too old to do this again, but I think he is enjoying it a lot already.

So - that is a little of what is happening in the Cantrell corner of the world. I will probably be just as lazy before the next post. But, whatever!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Easter Sunday 2010

Easter Sunday 2010
We had a great Easter Sunday this year. Billy had spent the last three months in Key West, Florida, and was on his way back home. He spent a few days with us, which happened to be Easter weekend. It was also General Conference weekend, so no regular church meetings were held. The "Easter" meetings are to be held next Sunday. Even so, we took a few minutes to reflect on the Savior and His great sacrifice, the Atonement, and the resurrection.
Lisa, David and Ashby came on over mid-morning. We had a little Easter basket for Ashby with some stickers and bubbles. Lisa brought plastic eggs for an Easter egg hung in the backyard. At 20 months, Ashby didn't need to have the eggs hidden, but she had a great time picking them up.
Billy bought an old boat from Greg, his cousin. It was a boat that originally belonged to Joyce and Leroy, who later gave it to us. We later gave it to Greg. It had been around a little more and ended up back with Greg. So, Billy took it back to Iowa with him. He will store it at Grandpa's airport, which is really close to the Coralville Reservoir. He was working on getting the trailer lights working properly, so we were out in the front lawn. Ashby loves running up and down the sidewalk. At one point, she stopped and picked the "little purple pansies" that are in the front yard.
Billy had brought some king mackeral that he had caught. He grilled that, along with some veggies, and we added a potato salad and other trimmings for a great meal.
Later, we colored eggs. We had quite a set-up on the dining room table. That lovely tablecloth is actually one of Bill's dropcloths, so we didn't have to worry about dying anything that shouldn't be dyed!

Ashby didn't quite get the egg coloring thing. Her one attempt at dropping an egg into the cup of dye resulted in quite a splash when she tossed it like a baseball! But, she really got into putting stickers on the eggs after they dried.

It turned out to be a great family day, especially since Billy was there, too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Making Cookies with Ashby

Lisa called this morning and wanted to know if she could drop Ashby by for an hour or so while she went to the gym. David and Bill were working on the house, so they would be too busy to watch her. I, of course, said, "Bring her right on over!" After all, what else would a grandma say?

While she was here, we made some chocolate chip oatmeal cookies - my favorite. She stood on the stool beside me and watched what I was doing. With these cookies, the chocolate chips and oatmeal are added last by hand, since the electric mixer would break up the chocolate pieces. So Ashby helped me clean the beaters when we were finished with them.

"Good job, Grandma. It really tastes good."

When I finished the hand mixing, she helped again by licking the big spoon. It was almost as big as she is, but that didn't seem to slow her down.

"Don't worry, Grandma. It is a big spoon, but I can handle it."

When they finished baking, she was the taste tester.

"These turned out really good, Grandma."

"Just look how perfect our cookies are. Let's do this again!"
A perfect morning - the cutest granddaughter ever and homemade cookies!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Quick, but great, trip to Florida

We made a quick trip to Florida last week. I left work a little early on Friday, the 22nd, so we could get to St. Augustine before dark. We stayed with Bill's sister Martha, who bought her own home there just a few months ago. We had not seen it yet, so were excited to do so. It is a cute little 3 bedroom house, right on a golf course. She managed to get a great deal on the house, as it was a Fanny Mae foreclosure. She is still working on fixing it up, but it is looking so nice.

Saturday morning, we headed on down to Cocoa, which was the purpose of our trip. We lived in Merritt Island from 1973 to 1983 and attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Cocoa Ward. We made wonderful friends during that time. The ward has been split, and most of the people we knew are now in the Rockledge Ward. Several things came together so that the decision was made to hold a reunion of the ward members from that time.

We drove around Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach in the afternoon. We were able to find the two houses we had lived in. They are both pretty old now, and looking a little run-down. The first we bought in 1973 and it was already 12 or 15 years old at that time. We were actually surprised that the neighborhood looked as good as it did, considering its age. The second house we bought in 1981 when it was brand-new. We only lived in it for two years before moving. That neighborhood actually looked worse than the first. Anyway, it was fun to find the old places. We also found the service stations Bill owned during that time. The one on Merritt Island is still a gas station, but another brand. The one in Cocoa Beach has been torn down and replaced by a surf shop.

We then drove out to the port which has really changed a lot. When we lived there, there were not many cruise ships, but it is a big business now. We ate at a restaurant on the water. The old seafood place we used to go to for lunch all the time was long gone.

After getting a hotel in Rockledge, we headed out to the reunion. It was held at the church building. There were about 57 people that showed up! We had a great time catching up with these great friends. Many who were much older than we were are still around and looking great! Phil Lambson is 89 and already inviting everyone to his 90th birthday party in February 2011. We might make another trip for that! It was also fun to see so many of the youth all grown up with their own families now. Some of them are even grandparents! Time just marches on, doesn't it? We took a camera and then failed to take any pictures. Hopefully, some of the others who did take pictures will post them so I can download them. We had scanned all our old pictures from that time and made a CD. Keith Waters downloaded the CD onto his computer, added some music, and presented a great slide show. That was probably the hit of the evening, as it really brought back the memories of people and events.

Sunday we attended church in the Rockledge Ward and got to see a few more people who had been unable to attend the night before. We enjoyed the whole weekend so much. I don't think we will wait quite so long to visit again.

Sunday afternoon, we drove back up to Martha's, where she had a great dinner waiting for us. Bill's other sister Hazel and husband John, who have a beach house there, came over for dinner. We also have three nieces who attend Flagler College and two of them were able to come. The third was out of town. Stephanie is a senior, majoring in English, and Allison is a sophomore, also majoring in English. It was fun to catch up with them. Allison lives in New York, so we hadn't seen her in a long time. Since Steph lives in Atlanta, we do get to see her once in a while when she is home.

Monday morning, Nicole, the third niece, came out for breakfast, as she had gotten in late Sunday evening. Nicole is also a senior and majoring in Theater. She had been to New York to try out for a grad school. Nicole and Allison are sisters, so it had also been a long time since we had seen Nicole. We so enjoyed seeing all of them.

After Nicole left to go to class, Bill and Martha took off to play some golf. I went out to the Outlet Mall, which is just a couple of miles from the house. I am not much of a shopper, but I enjoyed it for a while. I bought some play clothes for Ashby from Carter's and Gymboree. I also picked up a couple of things for me. Then I went back to the house and curled up with my book for a while. It was a great afternoon!

That evening, we met John and Hazel at a Mexican restaurant in town. It is right across the street from the fort and has a nice view of the river and the bridge. After dinner, we went out to the beach house for a little while. They have done some renovations that we had not seen yet.

Tuesday morning, we headed back to Atlanta. It was a quick trip, but we had a great time!