Saturday, June 25, 2011

About Those Grandchildren (June 19 - 25)

Dear Family and Friends,

All right, let's just get this straight! I am an unabashed fan of my precious grandchildren. This post will be all about them and my family so fair warning!!

We arrived in Dallas on Monday and were thrilled to see our grandchildren and their parents (son Rob and daughter-in-law Suzanne). Yes, we have the same name!!! Abby, our granddaughter, is an almost 6 year old who just completed kindergarten. Of course she is beautiful, brainy and a great athlete. Jackson, our grandson, is three years old and is fascinated by all super heroes. He is handsome, brainy and a great athlete. Now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you what has happened this week and how two aging grandparents coped with the energy of said fabulous grandchildren.

Abby's sixth birthday will occur on July 8th. Her cycling crazy grandparents wanted her to have a bike so with Abby and her father's help, we picked out a beautiful blue one on Monday. The helmet is a really cool Giro with pink and purple butterflies on it. She had several lessons on the bike with her grandad at a local school. I am not sure who worked harder, Abby or Roger.  Abby will be a great cyclist and has made lots of progress.

Abby and Jackson's parents left on Thursday for a trip to Seattle, where they both ran in a half marathon. I am so proud of their athletic skills. Congrats to Suzanne for her first half marathon race!!!

We did many things to keep Abby and Jackson busy the four days that their parents were gone: cycling practice, a movie, special treats to eat like ice cream and donuts, trips to the dollar store, computer games, splash pad, to name a few.

On Saturday, my sister Sally and her daughter (my niece) Betsy picked Abby and me up for a quick trip to Ft. Worth to visit our mother and Abby's great grandmother. Roger stayed in Dallas with Jackson.
We had a great time and other niece Claire joined us for lunch.

Grandad loves reading to Jackson.

Jackson loves strawberry shortcake.

Early morning cuddles with Grandad and Mimi.

Slip and Slide fun in the backyard.

Betsy, Mom, Sally

Claire (the new CPA in the family) and Granny.

Suzanne, Mom and Sally

Jackson at the Splash Pad!

Abby at the Splash Pad!

Roger and I will spend next week in Dallas at a dear friend's home. We will have lots of time with family. Next week look for more pics of our fun time in Dallas. Thank you for reading the blog. We appreciate your interest in our lives. We recently learned that repair work has finally begun on our Tour back in Springfield. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

About That Lake Stockton, Missouri (June 12 - 18)

Dear Family and Friends,

Monday and Tuesday of this week found us in Springfield, checking out Bass Pro Shop again (truly amazing place) and just relaxing.

On Wednesday we headed out to Lake Stockton where we stayed for the rest of the week with Roger's cousin Kathryn. Kathryn, Mary and all of their many friends were wonderful to us. Thank you K and M for your wonderful hospitality. The highlight of the trip was a cruise on Lake Stockton. It is a pristine Corps of Engineers lake that is operated by the State of Missouri. Mary and Kathryn own several water toys capped by their 29 foot PROUD MARY. What a gorgeous sail boat! Needless to say they love spending time on the water. We will have to go back to Lake Stockton one day, because high winds kept us from sailing. We did have a great afternoon on the pontoon boat, cruising and swimming in the quarry area. Thank you Captain Marcia for taking such great care of us!

Bear loves his new car seat!

Roger, Kathryn and Bear love Lake Stockton! Whoops, I am supposed to keep this piece of paradise a secret!

Caplinger's Mill

Missouri has very high water levels.

These carp, living at the marina, are on the lookout for a hand out.

The beautiful Proud Mary!

Bear is in love with Mary because of the way she feeds him. Joe joins Bear for dinner.

This carousel horse is exquisite.

Roger, Bear and I love cruising!

A few words about Missouri and Lake Stockton: Day Lillies, Queen Anne's Lace, Batchelor Buttons, Purple Martins with their young, Bluebirds, muskrats, groundhogs, gorgeous Lake Stockton, water fun, fabulous food, and great friends. 

Monday we leave for Dallas, Texas, where we will have fun with our grandchildren, Abby and Jackson!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

About That Making Lemonade Out of Lemons (June 5 - 11)

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers as we stay in Springfield, Missouri awaiting the repair work on the Tour. Actually we are learning patience and couldn't say enough about the great care we are receiving here at Camping World! Also we are now doing exactly what we wanted to do when we left Tucson and that is exploring our country.

Sunday found us touring the Civil War battle site of Wilson's Creek near Springfield. This battle in August of 1861 opened the Civil War in Missouri. For the next three and a half years, the state saw fierce fighting. By the end of the Civil War, Missouri ranked number three as the most fought-over state in the nation.

The battle on Bloody Hill near Wilson's Creek raged for five hours with 1,317 losses for the Union and 1,222 losses for the Confederates. The National Park Service operates a five mile tour around the different sites that were important to the battle.

John Ray watched the battle from the porch of his house as the battle raged in his cornfields.   His wife and nine children hid in the cellar. 
I like my sleep number bed better than this one in the Ray home.

Looking over Bloody Hill battlefield.

Springfield is the home of the Bass Pro Shops. The original store is 350,000 square feet with plans to add more. The pictures below say it all:

Sunday was barbecue day with this gigantic grill. Roger said the  chicken was delicious.

The entrance hall of the Pro Bass Shop. This place is gigantic. They loved having Bear visit.

We headed back to Parsons, Kansas (Roger's relatives live there) and had a great time visiting with Aunt Ruth and Uncle Jud. Their friends included us in all activities.

Thursday found us back at Camping World in Springfield. We found out that things are slowly beginning to happen as far as the repair work goes on the Tour. Our best guess is that the RV will be here for several months.

We enjoyed meeting Roger's cousin for lunch on Friday and made plans to go to Stockton next week.
Saturday found us taking off for Branson and the Ozarks for a day trip. We thoroughly delighted in the beautiful green countryside of the Ozark hills that led us into Branson. Missouri is the home of many lakes including Table Rock which we saw from the road.
The following are pics from our day at Branson Landing!

Roger and Bear having a bite above the White River.

Bear posing with me along the White River.

At Camping World we share the pavement at night with some interesting creatures.  The moths are unusually beautiful and who could resist this cute turtle.

We are staying busy with day trips, reading, movies, games and mean games of Words With Friends  on the internet ( I have 7 games going and Roger has 5). We appreciate you checking in with us. Next week will find us back in Stockton and getting ready to leave for grandparent duty in Texas.

Friday, June 3, 2011

About That Memorial Day (May 29 - June 5)

Dear Family and Friends,
Hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. Roger grew up in a family that was very different from mine in the way they observed Memorial Day. Memorial Day aka Decoration Day in Kanas,  is the time when loved ones are honored by placing flowers at their grave site. Roger, his Aunt Ruth and cousin Kathryn Lackey visited  six cemeteries on Saturday, May 28, where they honored 75 friends and relatives. That was just his mother's side of the family. On Monday, the 30th, we drove to Dexter, Kansas to honor his father's side of the family. There are four generations of Radcliffs buried in the Dexter cemetery. It was great to see Radcliff cousins who had gathered for the cemetery visit.

The Radcliff Cousins
Roger, Linda, Kent and Valerie

Roger, Paula (Kent's wife), Linda, Valerie, Scott (Valerie's husband)

Two proud airmen (brothers) are buried side by side.
(Roger's father Bob, Linda and Valerie's father Frank)

After honoring all Radcliffs, we spent a lovely afternoon at Kent and Paula's ranch where many a Radcliff family story was told. Thank you to Paula and Kent for their wonderful hospitality.

We returned to Parsons where we enjoyed our visit with Roger's relatives and left Wednesday for Stockton, Missouri where we planned to stay for two weeks at Lake Stockton.

Unfortunately on the way to Stockton, we had a traffic mishap, resulting in damage to our Tour. The best thing I can say is that Roger, Bear and I are just fine. Fortunately Roger's cousin Kathryn was leading us in her car and she quickly came to our aid. Kathryn provided everything we needed and we appreciate her loving care.  We will never forget the kindness of her friends Bunny and Joe, who provided much help that day and the next. 

 Two days later, we arrived in Springfield, Missouri at the Camping World collision center where we will be spending some time with repair work. The great great thing about retirement is that we can easily change our plans. I will keep you informed via the blog. 

Thank you for reading our blog. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.