Here is Kellie doing the WIN News for school recently. She’s in 2 parts, once in the beginning doing the Pledge of Allegiance and singing You’re a Grand Old Flag, then later at around 5:45 doing a news story about the upcoming Book Fair.

 

Here is Erin’s 7th Grade Concert Band performance at Armstrong Atlantic University. She’s hard to see because of the music stands but she plays clarinet and is in the middle of the front row. At the end she stands up and you can see her pretty good though. Kriss shot this on a Droid X cell phone.

Friday January 14, Kriss and I attended the Dinner:Possible fundraiser for the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Beaufort at the Westin Hilton Head. Robert Irvine had told us about it when we ate at his restaurant eat! back at Christmas. The purpose was to meet his goal of raising enough money to pay off the family’s mortgage, a requirement in order to tear down the original house. I’d never thought about it until past EMHEs but I’m sure the lender wouldn’t be too happy about someone tearing down the house the lien was against. Read more

After our last trip downtown with the kids we decided to try it again, I know, usually trying to repeat the same good thing doesn’t turn out as well as the last time you did it. We went a little earlier this time and also made plans to meet our neighbors, Bruce and Lonnie, at Mellow Mushroom. While we were killing time before they got there we walked down Broughton Street and hit a few stores and I thought I would buy a belt. I wasn’t wearing one and I’d apparently lost a pound or two so the pants I was wearing were not staying up too well. We went to Ellis Square again but the fountains weren’t running which Kellie wasn’t very happy about, so we went down to River Street and bummed around a bit longer before Bruce and Lonnie caught up to us. After a few more stores we decided to head back towards Mellow Mushroom before it started to get busy. Read more

For the first time in quite a while we had a Saturday with all the kids and nothing on the schedule, nothing that we HAD to do. We wiped the morning out by being lazy, some of us lazier than others. My original idea was to go see the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival but there was a steady rain all morning so I wasn’t sure if it was even going to happen and if so when it would start, chalk and water don’t mix well, but once we were all up and dressed we headed to Savannah. Alyssa unfortunately didn’t get to go because she was babysitting a friend’s 3 month old twins, so we had the 3 younger kids only. Read more

Last year we kind of “discovered” Tybee events. We did Mardi Gras and St Patricks Day parades plus July 4th fireworks and attempted Labor Day but the wind/sand storm forced us to leave. We missed Mardi Gras this year but thought it would be good to get the kids dressed up in green and go get some beads and candy. Read more

Continuing the odd events of 2009, we had only one of our four total kids at home on Christmas eve/morning this year for the first time ever, and likely last until they are adults. The older girls had gone skiing the whole week and Marc Jr was coming the week after Christmas so it worked out to be just Kellie here to open presents alone. Linda had been stuck with us for 2 weeks already, since before the Disney trip, because of her road being in such bad shape from the almost unending rain we’ve had this December, the road was just impassable and the news even did stories on it. Read more

So this year has been pretty good as far as the “normal” stuff goes, unfortunately it was all offset by the deaths of 3 grandparents within 11 weeks of each other. My paternal grandmother “Granny Lucy” passed away on January 29. Even though it was a surprising phone call at 12:30AM, looking back it was kind of a relief because we had always figured she would be back in the hospital again for an extended period. fighting as she’s been doing for over 15 years now between heart problems, cancer, multiple clots, and various other problems. She went peacefully in the middle of the night.

One week later my maternal grandfather “Papa” passed. His was no surprise as he had been in hospice for 3 weeks, they were about ready to kick him out even because he improved a bit. When I got the call a week before in the middle of the night about my grandmother I had actually thought it was for him. He was a tough guy, retired Air Force, wrote his own obit even, hilarious to the end.

Since my grandmother passed, my other grandfather “Ganky” just wasn’t the same. They had been married for 67 years, unheard of these days. Every day of his life for the last 67 years he had gotten up and there she was, then all of a sudden she wasn’t there. He had been working on one last project for a company that he bought in the late 70′s and built up but had mostly retired from. It kept him busy, his mind was occupied at least with it, and he had somewhere to go every day instead of sitting in an empty house. He still got Kellie, had even started keeping her on Friday nights like he did me most of my youth. Kellie had been the light of his life for the last 5+ years and we had hoped she would help, even just a little, in fixing his hurt.

We had already made plans for him to keep Kellie Easter weekend, it was Kriss’ 20 year reunion weekend with events on Friday and Saturday. Easter Sunday we were going to pick her up but he called and said he promised to take her to Captain Joes, a local seafood joint in Midway, GA, where she always liked to eat shrimp and get dessert off the salad bar. We were a little miffed because we were supposed to be at some other family’s house for lunch but instead we met them there and had lunch together. When we left we were trying to get back to Savannah to eat a second lunch and told him we’d come back by his house to pick up Kellie’s stuff, he lived just 5 miles from us, which we did later that evening. I went inside to get her bag while everyone else stayed in the car and we didn’t stay at all. That was the last time I saw my grandfather.

Looking back now I see that he just wasn’t the same that Sunday. Usually he is all smiles with Kellie, but that Easter day he was just kind of blah. I’m glad we spent that time together at lunch. He went on April 15, died of a broken heart. Tax day will always be a day I remember, it changed the whole rest of my life.

So by now I’m sure most of you know we have this little celebration every March 17th in Savannah, Ga, called St Patrick’s Day. It’s only the 2nd largest parade in the US, but definitely the largest party afterward. It was on a Tuesday this year and the girls were out of school so we headed downtown with our neighbor Lonnie. We got there about 8:00 and headed to a Starbucks for a little warm up/wake up juice and get the kids a little bite to eat. It was still a little cool out and I had opted for shorts opting to deal with the cool for a little while in hopes of making it up on the back side with the predicted nice weather so getting inside out of the windy gray chill was good. Read more

Again we took a trip to beautiful Tybee Island for another parade, this time St Patrick’s day. Tybee held it’s parade on the Saturday before the big Savannah parade and we again had kids on hand and an extra one to boot in Courtney, Alyssa’s friend, so we loaded up and trekked to the island hoping for another fun day. It was gray and cooler this time, as opposed to the beautiful day we had in February for Mardi Gras, so we decided to get back off the beach breeze a little and stood on Tybrisa this time. Read more