Monday, November 28, 2011

Grandpa's 90th Birthday Party!

My Grandpa turned 90 years old last week, so of course we had to throw him a huge party! My mom and her sisters did an awesome job with everything. It was fun seeing cousins that I haven't seen in a long time. Everyone in the family was able to make it from different states, so it was special and I think my grandpa had a good time.
My mom and her sisters each have different memorabilia from his life, so they put it all together on a big display so we can all see it. It's probably the only time that it will all be in one place, so it was neat to see and read everything. It was anything from childhood pictures, to high school yearbooks to newspaper clippings. We ate dinner, watched old home videos from throughout his life (some were silent black and white), and had a Q&A with him. It was a fun night!

A little about my grandpa: He played pro football for the Detroit Lions. He was an FBI agent in Chicago and Las Vegas for 20+ years. He is as healthy as a horse and golfs THREE times a week (18 hole games, I might add). So, basically he is a stud!

My younger brother, Luke, wearing my grandpa's old football helmet.

I wish this picture wasn't blurry. I guess my mom is trying to kill my aunt with my grandpa's original gun he used in the FBI.

Little brother, Luke, and his girlfriend, Rachel.

Delicious meal cooked by the one and only aunt Elaine!

Pictures and things from Grandpa's life.

My grandpa's old college sweaters. The blue one is from Dixie! He met my grandma met on a blind date while they both attended Dixie in the 40s.  I love that my mom went there and so did I! The red one is from U of U.

Pictures of my Grandpa and beautiful Grandma with both of their wedding rings. They were married in 1948.   Grandma passed away about 10 years ago.

The man of the hour!

Grandpa isn't a big talker, so we had a Q & A with him, so we can ask him whatever he wanted which is a rare thing. It was so neat hearing him talk about his life, since he doesn't normally do that. My cousin  asked him if he's ever killed anyone (Jeff's been dying to know the answer to that). My grandpa said he never killed anyone because he never had to :)
Someone else asked him why he joined the National Guard. He said it was when he was in high school, and to be in it, you just had to go to a meeting once a month and they paid him $1/month. He was like, "And you can't be that, so I joined!" Haha. Man times have changed.
He also told us some FBI stories about chasing people. It was fun hearing about it.

These are letters that my Grandpa had written my Grandma while he was on the road with the Lions. It is so cool how they have been kept for so many years. These letters are 55 years old!! In one letter he said, "I miss you, Mac, I need some lovin' and you're the only who can give it to me" haha.

Luke modeling his birthday present. It's a Lions jersey with his name and birthday number on it.

Throughout the display that had all the decades from his life with facts from that decade: How old he was during that time, how much things cost, major events that happened, etc. It was interesting.

This was from the newspaper.

Happy birthday, Grandpa! So happy we got to celebrate together!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Canada Trip 2011

So back in the first weekend of October, my family and I went to Canada for my cousin, Darryl's, wedding. It was soo fun. AND it was Jeff's first time finally being able to come and meet most of my family. My whole dad's side of the family lives in Canada-- on the east side of the country in the suburbs of Toronto. We were there for a short 4 days and it went by too quickly! I love my family over there and we don't get to see them often enough. It was the beginning of the fall season, so the air was crisp and the leaves were starting to change to beautiful colors.

Darryl and Meagan were married in a beautiful Catholic church! It is like 150 years old. The ceremony and setting was just gorgeous.

The happy couple! They finally tied the knot after being together for 12 years. When they were giving toasts, Meagan said, "I loved you when I was fifteen and I'll love you when I'm a hundred and fifteen." It was really sweet. 

My crazy uncle Derrick. Love him!

I seriously love my grandparents. During cocktail hour, before dinner, when everyone was up and about, they were just sitting alone at the big table so content with each other. They're adorable.

Most of the cousins during dinner.

My grandpa LOVES to tell stories. And I love hearing them. He has the best stories from his life. It's so interesting hearing about life in Holland when he was growing up and in the war and how he was so mischievous as a little boy. And how he and my grandma met. He gets so animated when he tells stories. During some parts, he literally jumps up from his chair to better portray whatever he is saying. He's so energetic. I love it. Both my grandparents still have thick Dutch accents. I love it.

This is a book that a Dutch man compiled years ago about people who immigrated from Holland to Canada. He contacted my grandpa and asked to contribute to the book. So this picture is the book opened up to my Grandparents story from when they moved from to Canada in 1957, the year my Dad was born. It was fun reading about it. 
 One night we went into Toronto because there was an outdoor art festival going on that happens annually where they block off several streets in downtown Toronto and have different types of art displayed. It was mostly modern art type stuff. Like the bottom picture of the spotlight was something they had going on where up at the top of the buildings they had spotlights shining on random people while they're walking and it was entertaining watching people not know how to react with a spotlight shining on them following them as they're walking, so they'd get embarrassed and try to run away from it, but it'd just follow them for a few minutes. It was funny.

We decided to start our own little display! We started a Leap Frog and tons of strangers joined in. It was so funny. This picture was taken at the beginning of it, but by the end there were a bunch of people! It was the longest leap frog haha. People were staring and taking pictures of it. It was fun..

 This is Yonge St. which is the longest street in North America? It's 1,178 miles long and end up Minnesota.

Eating at Canada's staple: Harvey's! LOVE this place. Best burgers ever.

 Went on a walk one afternoon. Pretty place.

This is a little out of order. This is me and my grandpa dancing at the reception. Sooo much fun. My grandpa is so full of energy! He's a really good dancer!

This is the family store my grandpa built and started in 1971. 40 years ago this year. It's on Main St. in their town of Milton. Now two of my uncles run it. It was fun showing Jeff everything.

I love this picture! It's so old fashioned looking. This is my grandpa painting some kind of wall. He still works as a carpenter, building things or painting things. He's in his 80s and isn't slowing down!

We flew out of Buffalo, NY. So on the way to the airport we stopped to see Niagra Falls, since Jeff had never been.

And that was our trip!! I always hate having to leave and say goodbye to everyone! I love hearing my grandpa's stories and eating ridiculous amounts of my grandma's famous soup and french fries. I always eat so much of it,  my grandpa has nicknamed me Soup. I love spending time with my Canadian family and I'm so glad Jeff finally was able to come and meet and hang out with everyone! 

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