Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018

Wayne did take his eyes to work!
This is turning out to be a quiet Halloween season at our house. We missed the annual ward Trunk or Treat because of a last minute trip to California, and the stake youth dance was cancelled because of hurricane clean-up efforts. I didn't even make the time to send treat packages to the grandchildren! However, I did pull out a few decorations.

I can also share some last-minute songs and fingerplays that I sent the oldest ones years ago. Maybe our younger grandchildren will be old enough enjoy them this year.

Our busy bee in Michigan

10 Fall and Halloween Songs and Fingerplays

I’m a Little Spider
(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
I'm a little spider,
Watch me spin.
If you'll be my dinner,
I'll let you come in.
Then I'll spin my web,
To hold you tight.
And gobble you up,
In one big bite!

(Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
The owl goes hoo, (cup hands to mouth)
The owl goes hoo,
Hi ho on Halloween, the owl goes hoo.
Other verses:
The ghost goes boo (wave hands out in front)
The bats go eek (flap arms)
The pumpkin rolls around (roll hands)
The scarecrow waves good-bye (wave)

Five Little Pumpkins
(Fingerplay, no tune)
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The 1st one said, “Oh my, it’s getting late.”
The 2nd one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The 3rd one said, “But we don’t care.”
The 4th one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The 5th one said, “I’m ready for some fun.”
Whewwwww went the wind & out went the lights,
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Bats Are Sleeping
(Tune: Frere Jacque/Are You Sleeping)
Bats are sleeping, bats are sleeping
Upside down, upside down
Waiting for the night to come
Waiting for the night to come
Then they fly around, then they fly around.

Mother Nature, Did You Sneeze?
(tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Falling, falling, falling leaves
Mother nature did you sneeze? (Aaachew!)
Red ones, yellow ones, orange and brown,
Big ones, little ones, on the ground
Falling, falling, falling leaves
Mother nature did you sneeze? (aaaachew!)

I'm a Little Scarecrow
(To the tune of I'm a Little Tea Pot)
I'm a little scarecrow (Point to chest and sing)
Stuffed with hay (Move right fist, then left fist across chest out in front of
body as if stuffing)
Here I stand in a field all day (Outstretch arms like a scarecrow)
When I see the black crows (Place right hand over eyes as if looking
I just shout (Cup hands around mouth)
"Hey, you crows! You better get out!"

Five Red Leaves 
(Fingerplay, no tune)
Five red leaves, five and no more (hold up 5 fingers)
The caterpillar ate one, now there are four (thumb down)
Four red leaves, that's easy to see.
Along came a rainstorm, now there are three. (index down)
Three red leaves, nothing much to do.
A big wind blew, now two! (middle down)
Two red leaves, that's not much fun.
I glued one on my paper (ring down)
Now there is one. (hold up pinky)
Hang on, pretty red leaf! Your branches won't break.
You're one less leaf for me to rake!

I’m a Little Pumpkin 
(Tune: I’m a Little Tea Pot)
I’m a little pumpkin, short and fat
I’m going to be a jack o lantern, how about that?
Just carve me out a mouth and nose and eyes
And light me up on Halloween night!

Scarecrow, Scarecrow
(tune: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear)
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, turn around.
Scarecrow, scarecrow, jump up and down
Scarecrow, scarecrow, arms up high
Scarecrow, Scarecrow, wink one eye
Scarecrow, scarecrow, bend your knee
Scarecrow, scarecrow, flap in the breeze
Scarecrow, scarecrow, climb into bed
Scarecrow, scarecrow, rest your head

The Rolly Polly Pumpkin
(tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The rolly-polly pumpkin went rolling down the hill
Once he started rolling, he couldn’t stay still
He rolled and he rolled until he hit a rock
Then the rolly-polly pumpkin rolled to a stop.

Our 2nd generation Raggedy Ann in Texas
Utah family with friends

Super Heros in Florida

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Remembering George

Just over three weeks ago I learned my brother was hospitalized with an unknown diagnosis, two weeks ago I learned he had stage four cancer, and one week ago I learned he had passed away. It's amazing how quickly circumstances can change.

It's been a whirlwind week, but I was able to make arrangements to come to California and spend time with my parents and many of my siblings. Funerals are definitely cause for family to gather, and it's nice to be able to touch base with loved ones you haven't seen in years if not decades.

Here are the pictures from today, which include the few we gathered to display showcasing George's life. He wasn't fond of having his picture taken - I bet that's a familiar feeling - but we're definitely grateful for the ones we do have.

Family portraits from 1972 to 1982

With the love of his life, Naomi

He was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Oroville, California, in a plot between two nice-sized trees and adjacent to the road (Immortality Section C) to make it as wheelchair accessible as possible.

The Oroville 1st Ward Relief Society prepared a delicious luncheon for the family. Thank you so much!

Uncle Thane & Dad, Rhonda & Ben, Karl (cousin) & Scott, Ida, Ben
I'm also grateful that my brothers and sister humored me so that we could get a family picture. We missed you Louise and Holly!

Holly is unable to travel, especially on a plane, but she was with us in spirit, along with the scrapbook she sent. And so was Louise, who stayed in Virginia to care for Holly. Thank you for doing that and allowing Mom and Dad to come to the funeral.

George Cox Beckstrand
18 Dec 1962 - 16 Oct 2018

George was born in Eureka, California to Fred and Ruby Cox and was welcomed by older half-siblings Kay and Tony. He was a quiet child who liked to be alone, eat a lot and run around barefoot. His father died when he was eight and circumstances led to his being adopted, along with younger siblings Ida and Ben, by Shelley and Judith Beckstrand of San Jose, which meant he gained three more siblings, Rebecca, Louise and Scott. Later Holly and Richard joined the family. As he grew, George enjoyed sports, farm work and helping others. After graduating from high school (in Hollister, CA), he began to study auto mechanics before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He returned to his studies, first in California, then in New York, then in Idaho and earned a degree in diesel mechanics. George then moved to Oroville, where he soon met Naomi Gage and they were married on 9 August 1991. He loved driving a long-haul, flat-bed truck but eventually gave that up to become primary caretaker for Naomi. Earlier this year he became licensed as a CNA and was working for OPAC at the time of his death. Cancer came as an unwelcome surprise, but was mercifully short-lived. George's loving, gentle and caring soul will be greatly missed.

Monday, October 15, 2018

A Birthday Party for Sam

We had another new experience this month - an invitation to a grandchild's birthday party. It was great to be able to celebrate with Sam. Guess how old he is now?

I was quite impressed with his choice for birthday dinner - Alphabet Soup (homemade chicken noodle) with French bread and fresh fruit. Isn't he a healthy eater?

He's also an artist, designing his own cake to be an earth with an ark and a blue moon on the side.

Because it was a school night, we didn't stay long, but we did play a quick game of Hungry Hippos before leaving. Happy Birthday to You, Dear Sam! Have a terrific year being 6!!

Their family has a couple of wonderful birthday traditions which I love. One is the number poster made with pictures of the birthday boy during the previous year. The other is a tablecloth, made from a sheet, that gets handprints added each year.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

RPB City Parks

Since we've visited each of the city parks in Wellington, it's time to move on to our neighboring city's parks.
As you can see, first on the list was the Bob Marcello Baseball Complex.

We planned to take a picnic there on Saturday, after morning chores, and before leaving for stake conference meetings. We should have realized that a "baseball complex" would be busy on a fall Saturday, but we didn't think about that until we arrived to an overflowing parking lot! Fortunately, though, we found an empty spot on our second loop through the parking lot, and everyone else was watching baseball games so the picnic table by the canal was empty.

Wayne's app logged 1 1/2 miles as we walked around and through the baseball fields, discovering a couple of playground areas, tennis courts and a basketball court along the way. I enjoyed watching all the families there to support their kids, and was reminded of the many hours we spent watching soccer games on fall Saturdays. However, I was also very content to just walk by and not settle down for an hour or two or more. It was nice to walk away from the crowds and enjoy our picnic lunch. It was an absolutely gorgeous day!

One down, nineteen more to go!

Except we need to go back and play tennis before moving on to the next park!

Note that it looks like Bobby Jo Lauter Park has no parking; however, there is a 3/4 mile paved path leading from the Commons Park parking lot.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Tale of the Car

Happy 36th Anniversary to Us!

That means it's time for another wedding story. Since this year we started our morning by taking the van into the repair shop, I figured it would be appropriate to share the adventures we had with our car that first day of marriage.*

As you probably know, some people think it's fun to decorate the newlyweds' car. Wayne's not one of those people, and so rather than parking our car at the reception, and making it an easy target for a prank, he made arrangements to leave it in the driveway of one of my neighbors. When it was time to leave, someone drove us over.

Imagine his surprise (and mine) when this is what we discovered!

He wasn't very happy; fortunately, the fact that they left a bottle of sparkling cider mollified him a bit. Personally, I thought it was tastefully done and didn't really mind it, or at least I'm able to convince myself that it's a sign someone loves you. Although I'm not positive I'm remembering correctly (36 years is a long time!), I'm pretty sure we can credit his two younger brothers for this surprise.

Anyway, because of the toothpaste on the car, the first order of business the next day was to take it to a car wash. Isn't that a great memory for the start of a honeymoon?

*I was originally going to make a list of memories from past anniversaries, and maybe I still will, but that's taking more time than I thought it should. Last year I was going to just spotlight every 5th anniversary, and never got around to finishing that task. Looks like something needs to be added to my "finishers wanted" list!

Anniversary Staycation

Earlier this year Wayne decided he wanted to celebrate our anniversary at the Waldorf-Astoria in Boca Raton, otherwise known as the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Fortunately our anniversary is during the low season and we were able to find a decent (comparatively speaking) rate the weekend before our actual anniversary. It was kind of nice being to anticipate our little trip for several months, and we had a wonderful time when the day finally came. It may have been "low season" but it was still an absolutely gorgeous couple of days.

Our spacious room was on the 12th floor of the tower, with spectacular views.

Looking down we had a view of the pool, to the left was the intercoastal with the ocean in the distance, and to the right was a view of the western horizon. Zooming in we could see the skyline of Fort Lauderdale and even Miami.

After unpacking we did some exploring, first of the grounds which had some gorgeous plants like the Kapok Tree and Hanging Lobster Claw, also known as Heliconia rostrata. We also decided we quite like the King Alexander Palm trees; they're tall and skinny (see top left in picture below).

Heliconia rostrata
At most normal hotels, the regular room rate is all you have to pay. This isn't a normal hotel, so we were also required to pay a resort charge. That included a couple of "welcome drinks" at the Monkey Bar, so we figured we ought to get one. We haven't seen 8 ounce Coke and Sprite bottles in years, if ever. Aren't they cute? Then we did some exploring inside the building and found some gorgeous floral arrangements along with several little shops and restaurants.

There were sculptures all over the place, with signs that they were for sale, but without actual prices. We figure that means they're super expensive. How much do you think the full-size "jetty baby" (lower right above) costs if the 19-inch miniatures (see below) have a price tag of $20,500 each?

There are thirteen restaurants on site, and all of them looked wonderful. However, for dinner we decided on The Blue and enjoyed delicious food and a fantastic view. We don't always order the same thing when we eat out, but this time we did - seafood chowder, grilled scallops and sorbet. 

Sunrises coming up over the ocean horizon are prettier than sunsets, but the sky still put on a great show for us. Once the sun was down, the night view was spectacular, and the next morning we woke up to another beautiful day. We live in a gorgeous world.

I discovered my new camera fogs up when going from a very cold building to a warm, humid patio, but even then I still think this picture looks cool.

However, if you're patient and let it warm up slowly first, you can get clear pictures inside and outside.

For breakfast we decided to try the Sea Grill Restaurant at the sister property, the Boca Beach Resort. The "resort charge" included the shuttle bus and/or shuttle boat, but we wanted breakfast before the boat opened at 10 AM so took the bus. Delicious breakfast and beautiful view!


More exploring! Then back to the beach for a quick swim, this time using the shuttle boat, Mizner's Dream.


After eating lunch at the Beaches Restaurant, another delicious, but expensive meal, it was time to head home. We enjoyed making some great memories and are looking forward to the next 36 years together.