Our Kids' Blog

Daddy’s Birthday and the Hobbit Hole

March 8th, 2013 by Daddy

The girls were so excited on Daddy’s birthday, they asked if Daddy could open his gifts first thing in the morning. Daddy dutifully complied. One of his gifts was a Lego model of Bilbo’s home, Bag End, from The Hobbit. The worst part of opening it in the morning was having to wait until birthday festivities, bedtime activities and little girls were asleep (or at least in bed) before building the set.

The next morning Daddy woke up to find Julia asleep on the living room floor right next to the hobbit hole. She had gotten up sometime in the evening, played with the set and then fell asleep right in place.

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on Daddy’s Birthday and the Hobbit Hole

You Silly Kids

April 21st, 2012 by Mommy

(5 & 3) The silly things you kids do!

  • You both have been crawling on the floor pretending to be pets eating spilled cheerios. Generally Emily is the cat and Julia the dog. We hope you haven’t been spilling them on purpose.
  • When racing to the car, house, tree, or whatever – when you reach your destination both of you girls say "TOUCHDOWN" and sometimes Emily adds a "woo-hoo" to the end.
  • When Mama puts away a draw full of clean jammies or makes Julia’s bed, Julia comes and hugs her Mama and gives a very sincere "Thank you, Mommy". So sweet, she seems to appreciate the acts of service. We will have to wait and see if it continues.
  • The two of you have given nicknames to everyone in our house. Daddy is Big Pickle, Emily is Little Pickle, Mommy is Mommy Cookie, and Julia is Little Carrot. Emily named herself and Daddy. Julia named herself and Mama.
  • You two seem to have selective hearing. You heard that you could have Easter candy, but you didn’t seem to hear that you could only have one. Several candies later you both were bouncing off the walls.
  • If you ask Emily what she is "interested" in, she will answer "I am interested in volcanoes and tornados".
  • Julia is talking much more. It is likely you will hear her say phrases like: I just joking, come-on E, Das (That’s) my baby, Mama come-on, Do it myself, Put me down, I do, Let’s go (to the) park, Lemme go daddy, Yep, Shoo, Shush, I want go Daddy work, and Pleaze-pretty-pleaze.

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on You Silly Kids

Great-Grandparents: Grandma J

March 17th, 2012 by Mommy


Hazel was born in Missouri. At a young age her father deserted his family damaging something in Hazel that she would always struggle with. Her mother worked as a milliner to take care of the family. Hazel’s grandmother was Swedish and never spoke English. There were times that Hazel would have to play quietly at her mother’s workplace because there was no other place for her to go. With the hard times, Hazel’s mother had Hazel go and live with some family members out-of-state. The stay was not long, but Hazel feared she would never be reunited with her mother. When she did return, her life was considerably better because her mother had remarried. Her step-father was a kind man who always treated her well.

Hazel grew and after finishing high school she got a job and earned enough money to travel to the Word’s Fair in Chicago, IL with a girlfriend. She met her husband Harry at work. Because they married during the Great Depression she had to leave the workforce to allow for an additional job in the community. Several years later her life changed again, she became a farm wife. There was always something to do and she was a master at keeping her hands busy and getting as much done as possible with the limited time. There are stories that while she would do mending and sewing she would rock the baby cradle with her foot. Also, with washing clothes being so much work and their life filled with a lot of routine she potty trained her second daughter at one-year-old to reduce the volume of laundry to do. Hazel had her first child at a hospital before they moved to the farm and there no issues, so when it was time to have the second daughter, they were to have her at home with help. The second delivery was difficult and she almost didn’t make it through the delivery.

Her life was a lot simpler when Harry moved to town and took up a working wage job. She was still the hard worker, but not having the additional labor required by the farm was a welcome relief. Her young years in the depression and her personal family struggles seemed to give her an attitude of making do with whatever she had. Hazel enjoyed her time in Albuquerque and made lifelong friends. In Oak Ridge, she enjoyed her church and having family close by again. Always staying busy, she served her husband in retirement. She outlived him by over ten years. She missed him tremendously in those years, but also had the support of family, neighbors, and her church family. Hazel knew all of her grandchildren, saw all of them marry but one, and met many of the great-grandchildren.

This is the grandparent that Mama was the closest to. That closeness came from just spending time and the opportunity of being nearby. Those last 10 years of her life alone were also the years that Mama could do the most for her. We spent time going to the grocery store together and doing yard work for her. What a blessing to have known her as a child and as an adult. Grandma, as she was known to Mama, was always sewing. For most of her life she made the clothes that she and her girls wore and repaired the clothes that Harry wore. Later in life when ready-made clothes were simpler to buy she changed what she sewed and took up quilting. She had a beautiful small stitch and made many quilts. She made embroidery work for others, including pieces for Mama which now hangs on the walls of her girls’ room. Mama remembers spending hours in the kitchen with Grandma cooking. Her best treat foods were the cinnamon rolls and chocolate meringue pie. We spent summers on the back porch snapping green beans for her to freeze for the winter. She always seemed to have time to get everything done and had an order to her life that kept life simple and uncluttered. She was quite a letter writer. She had kept friends from the different places she had lived and kept in contact with those letters. When Mama was away from home she could count on having a letter in her mailbox every week from her grandmother.

There seem to be many things that Mama has from Hazel. Quilts, dollhouse furniture and accessories, embroidery, furniture, family keepsakes, but mostly Mama has wonderful memories.

Mom’s favorite memory of her mother is: sitting creek-side in Colorado and playing with her Ginny doll while her mother sewed dresses for her doll.

Hazel’s legacy is her hardworking spirit, hand-working skills, and her fantastic roll recipe.

GrandmaJoyce_edit copy

Three generations: Grandma, Rachelle, and Joyce.


Grandma with all but one of her grandchildren. From the left: Carrie, Philip, Rachelle, and Chip.


Hanging out with Grandma in her domain.


Rolling out dough with a little Rachelle helper.

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on Great-Grandparents: Grandma J

Great-Grandparents: Granddaddy J

March 16th, 2012 by Mommy


Granddaddy feeding Rachelle, who was just pulling up on furniture, little tastes of Lemon Meringue Pie.

Harry was born in Missouri where he grew up learning about farming. He finished high school, a Business School, and then started working at American Electric. It was at American Electric that he met his wife Hazel. They were married and had their first daughter. After several years they moved to the family farm. There on the farm they raised a variety of livestock and crops. They also had their second daughter while they lived on the farm. When the second daughter came the older daughter spent many hours out with her father working in the fields and riding on the tractor. Working the farm was hard and it was laboring work. Being the practical man he was, Harry knew that he would need to leave the farm before he had worn his body out and was still young enough to do something else.

The young family moved from the farm to Kansas City. He got a job at Ford Bendix making airplane parts. After several years, the company closed and Harry had to find new work to support his family. There were no jobs available locally, but he heard there were jobs out west so the family packed their car and moved west looking for work as they went. They went as far as Albuquerque where he found a job with ACF. Harry was bright and intelligent and seemed to excel at any job he put his mind to. Their time in Albuquerque was good. The family traveled a lot in the west seeing the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, camping in Colorado, driving through the pacific Northwest, seeing Yellowstone, and many places in between. Their oldest daughter married and started her family and their younger daughter was in college when once again the company Harry worked for closed. Some of his supervisors recommended him for a job in Oak Ridge and once again Harry and his wife were moving. In Oak Ridge, Harry finished out his working career. With time their younger daughter settled close by and their older daughter within a five hour drive. Harry spent his retirement enjoying gardening, taking up hobbies, being an elder in his church, and teaching a Sunday school class. He seemed to always be busy and served his wife faithfully. He was fortunate to know all of his grandchildren and see two of them marry before his passing.

Of Mama’s grandparents Granddaddy, as he was known to Mama, was the around for many years of her life. It would have been great to have known him as an adult, but her life was very blessed to have known him through most of her childhood. Some of the amazing memories Mama has of him are the great magic tricks like making a coin appear from behind your ear, he would put funny cups on his eyes and pretend he was different characters, he learned to make fun sugar popcorn that he would treat us kids when we would come to play, we were fascinated to watch him master whatever new hobby he set his mind to, we enjoyed rides in his boat, and loved his “special” pizzas. Looking back something that was always wonderful was that Harry and his wife worked together doing most things. They assisted each other in cooking, putting up garden veggies, and other projects.

Granddaddy was such a tinkerer. Probably the best thing he ever made for Mama was her doll house and many of the dollhouse pieces. Mama spent hours playing with the house that was such a labor of love he and Grandma made together.

Mom’s favorite memory of her father is: the yearly hunt for the perfect Christmas tree in the mountains outside of Albuquerque.

His legacy was his devotion to God, church, and his wife along with the hardworking spirit that drove him. His hardworking spirit can be seen in his girls, his cleverness in his grandkids, and his green thumb in his older daughter.


Two kitchen helpers


Granddaddy entertaining Philip with the silly cones on his eyes.

GranddaddyGrandkids_edit copy

Granddaddy with all but one of his grandkids. From left: Carrie, Rachelle, Granddaddy, Philip, and Chip.


The photo was taken of his backyard in Oak Ridge. Running along the side of the yard is his beloved garden that kept him busy all summer long. Dad must have been on the roof taking the photo and in the photo are: baby Rachelle, Joyce, Granddaddy, Grandma, Philip, Dalmatian mother Prissy, and Dalmatian pup Sparky.


Granddaddy “Lincoln Logging” with Philip and Rachelle at the kitchen table.

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on Great-Grandparents: Granddaddy J

Great-Grandparents: Grandma T

March 15th, 2012 by Mommy


Grandma T with baby Rachelle

Thelma was born in Missouri. She married Charles while she was in college. After moving several times, they had their children in Cincinnati. While her children were in upper-level classes, she returned to Missouri Teachers College to complete her elementary education degree. She then taught in a Cincinnati elementary school until retirement. While the children were in school she was a substitute teacher in the school system her children attended. In Cincinnati she was an active artist, painting most of her life. All of her children’s homes are filled with art from her hand. The inspiration of most of her art was the places she knew or visited including a trip to Europe following her husband’s death. Her life did extend beyond her husband’s and she enjoyed the privilege of knowing all of her grandchildren.

A college education for a woman in her era was not common. Her daughter followed in her footsteps and received her degree in teaching which she used until retirement. This legacy of education is a strong one in our family where all the women have continued on to complete their college degrees along with the men.

Mama does have of memories of time with Grandma T. She passed away while Mama was still in elementary school, so while her memories are limited they are clear. Mama remembers the twin beds we would sleep in when we would visit. The apartment building she lived in was unique to Mama as a child because she knew no one else who lived in an apartment. The apartment was very close to an ice cream shop which she remembers visiting. One New Years Eve, Grandma T watched Philip and Mama while we all watched the Wizard of Oz on TV. Mama remembers being very scared during the movie and hiding among the blankets we were camping in on the floor. Mama remembers the apartment as being very full. All of the walls were covered with art. We would be allowed to play, if we were quiet, in a basement area, back drive, and in the apartment. On a visit to Grandma T’s one summer Philip and Mama were introduced to our first non-parent tennis lesson. Forgive the random remembrances, because these are about all Mama has of her time with her Grandma T.

Mama is pleased to have her own selection of Grandma T’s art to hang in her house. Mama’s has been told that Grandma T never thought a painting to be completed. She was known to get a paint brush and paints out to make changes to works on her wall. What a fun perspective on life!

Dad’s favorite memory of his mother is: that she often took him to art school with her.

Her legacy to her family was her art skill and the inspiration of art. Mama has seen first hand examples of this legacy in both her aunts art interests and in the help her own father has given her in art projects where he showed his own skill in perspective and drawing.


Three generations – Grandma T, Philip, and Rachelle. Photo taken outside of Grandma T’s Cincinnati apartment.


A family visit – Grandma T and two of her children’s families, Ann and Philip. Ann was taking the photo. From the left Uncle Don, Lynn, Laura, Grandma T, Joyce, Philip, Phil, and Rachelle.


One of Phil’s favorite pastimes was baseball. This photo was taken outside of the Cincinnati Reds ballpark.

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on Great-Grandparents: Grandma T

Great-Grandparents: Grandpa R

March 14th, 2012 by Mommy


The grandparent that Mama never knew. Charles was born in Missouri, received his education degree at Central Missouri Teachers College and met his wife Thelma there through his best friend who was also Thelma’s brother. He worked for a time in Kansas City, got additional education in Minnesota, and a masters degree from Ohio State. After getting his masters he was hired by a high school in Cincinnati where he taught industrial arts including wood working and drafting. They remained in Cincinnati the rest of their lives raising their three children. He saw all of his children marry and met many of his grand-children.

He raised his children during and after WWII in which the kids kept victory gardens and used the extra veggies to sell in the neighborhood. Charles placed a high value on education and all of his children completed their college educations. None of the children settled in the area and both of their sons served in the armed forces.

Charles was very handy at building with wood. Some of the things that he built that have remained in the family are picture frames and a children’s table.

His legacy to the family was his love of education.

Dad’s favorite memory of his father is: doing projects for boy scouts with his dad. Dad would make the designs and then they would build the projects together at the high school wood working shop.

While Mama never met her Grandfather she has been taken past places he lived in Missouri and Cincinnati. One of our family favorite stops was a neighborhood bakery where he would get his favorite weekly baked good. Mama has several frames that he built for his wife’s art and the child sized table.


Charles, Thelma, Phil, and Joyce on Phil and Joyce’s Wedding Day

Posted in Emily General, Julia General | Comments Off on Great-Grandparents: Grandpa R

« Previous Entries Next Entries »