Thursday, July 31, 2008

August 1st - Happy Birthday to Edward!

The most important thing to note about Edward is that he's a family man. That's even more important than his being a Hokie, which he is also. Edward has always been good about keeping us posted on his adventures. I always appreciated the way he emailed pictures and included me on his mailing list way before I knew how to save an emailed picture. Maybe he can send more and I'll share them with y'all. I'd been really looking forward to seeing him when I went to Virginia because, in November, we hung out at the hotel bar with some other family members, and it left me wanting to spend more time with him. In the end, though, the recent whirlwind weekend only afforded me the opportunity to watch him from afar, with Kim, his beautiful daughters, and the rest of the family. He's a favorite of everyone! Affable, handsome, easy going, funny and a great dad. Next time I go to Virginia, I'm going to wrangle an invitation to dinner at their house. Until then, I hope Edward knows that to know him is to love him and I do.
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Caroline and Edward

Jim's daughter, Caroline, and Jerry's son, Edward both lived in Richmond, until recently, when Edward moved back to Virginia Beach. But, for a time, they were able to get together, sometimes at Mike and Katherine's Party Central home.
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Mom's 80th at Mike's house - a few of the many

From Left - Edward holding Elizabeth, Kim holding Anabelle, Micah, Allison, Bartlett, Maury, Mom and Dad, Jessica, David holding Eliza, Nick, Ben, Denton and Jake.
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Katie and Edward

Thanksgiving about 1981, in Mom's and Dad's DC apartment. It looks like the adults are keeping these babies up too late. I remember that night and am fairly sure that was the case!
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Uncle Leo and Aunt Mignon

and most, but not all, of their children and grandchildren.
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Guess who else's birthday is August 1st ????

Happy Birthday to my Uncle Leo, my father's youngest brother. He's a very active 77 year old who gardens, teaches water aerobics at the Y, has published an inspiring book of prayers and spends time with his children and grandchildren. He and his family are good friends of Bill's. When my mother died, I had a long talk with Uncle Leo and have since been exchanging emails. I'm grateful for the renewed contact with him and his children and appreciate his insight and the stories he can share. Several of my friends have mentioned how much they like his posts to my blog. He's a cutie alright! Two of his grandchildren have started blogs so check them out via the link on my blog. Our dear Aunt Mignon passed on very suddenly three years ago so he and his children know what we're going through. He sent the picture of this handsome trio (of Dad, baby Leo and in the middle, Peyton, who has passed on) to me, today. I bet Dad has either never seen it or hasn't seen it in a long time, so I hope it makes him smile.
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A Teaser... The first of Katie and Kyle's wedding pictures - many more to follow

Isn't this a wonderful picture? It was taken on July 19, at Katie's wedding in DC. L-R Edward, his wife, Kim, Jake's girlfriend, Angie, Fontaine and his wife Maxine. I heard they had an eventful trip up - running late due to traffic and getting lost and something about blisters? I don't know what that's about but they look none the worse for it. I wanted to see them more than I did but am glad for the bit I did see them. I felt like I got to know Angie more and met the absolutely glowing, lovely, ebullient Maxine who is expecting a baby soon.
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David and Edward

We only visited Mom and Dad once when Edward was there so I'm glad to have this picture to commemorate it. The kids had a blast playing charades and in the boathouse and doing all the stuff they loved to do at the river.
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Twist and Shout

I usually write the first thing that comes to mind when I look at a picture so we're gonna have to go with what we've got here - the little twisty movement Edward is making. I visited Virginia when David was less than a year old and had a chance to observe Jake and Edward for the first time since Thanksgiving 1981. I found them to be unusually mannerly for Denton boys. What a relief to discover that the nasty strain of incorrigibility that plagued the males in my generation had been diluted in the next, particularly since I had a son myself and was concerned that I might be in for trouble. As a side note, that's Edward's stepmother, Mona, in the bikini (Mona, I've been looking for an excuse to put this on the blog) and Jake, in the sweatshirt. The naked baby will remain nameless! The picture was taken about 23 years ago. You can figure it out for yourselves.
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Monday, July 28, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVID!

I don't need to see you face to know your expression because I know you like a book. I've known you since before you were born.
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Treasured days

We spent a lot of time on the bikepaths, going for walks, looking for "treasures". The memory of those days is as clear as if it were yesterday. David was a wonderful, agreeable companion and so easy to love. Look at that precious face!
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Five days old

...with Gramma Jane
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Costa Rica

Tommy, Fontaine, Terry and David went to Costa Rica a few years ago. Look at the size of the roach on that wall! Wow.
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Carefree days

David and Tommy
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Looking to the sea...

Port Aransas, Texas
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First Birthday

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An exceptional child

Boys start young in Texas
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First and last snow in The Woodlands

I love the way she's looking up at him.
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Teach for America

Closing the Gap :)
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Watched over by an angel

David has a similar photo posted on Facebook. They were taken at the same time but in the one he has, Mom has her hands on his shoulders. For years, he has said that Mom is an angel. She and I talked on the phone, sometimes several times a week and, of course, I always talked about what was new in David's and Micah's lives. When we were all together, they talked about books, whatever was going on in school, how they all felt about this and that. I'm so grateful that she felt so close to my children and they to her. Mom was always so sweet to David, caring about him and proud of him. He and Micah both still have phone messages that Mom left on their cell phones months before she got sick. Those messages are treasures and a memorial to how she felt about them.
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David with Micah and cousins

It warms my heart every time I see David with his cousins. A cliche but it's true. I wish they were all here in Texas so they could help us celebrate his birthday!
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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sweet Caroline

When I typed out that title, I didn't even mean to quote the old song. I just think of her as sweet Caroline. But, sweet doesn't tell the whole story! Look at that little arched eyebrow! She was a rascal even as a seven year old. Caroline is so witty, so fun, so bright - an explosion of personality and beauty. Lots of personality and beauty. Lots and lots! We had a wonderful time the Christmas this picture was taken, at Mom's and Dad's house. I remember Caroline writing in the little journal that was kept in the boathouse, recording the adventures of the day. David, Micah, Katie and Caroline slept in the boathouse, played in the hammock, did artwork, played Charades, fished and boated. I'd love to live closer to her so I could see her more often and hear about her life. She's got a great job at an ad agency - the one that does the Geico gecko commercials, I believe. That's one of my favorite commercials. Clever, debonaire little gecko. I miss Caroline! So, I text her at random hours (about a zillionth of the times she's on my mind) and, once in awhile, we IM or talk on the phone. Every time I see her in person, I gushingly, repeatedly, tell her how much I love her. She's probably starting to think I'm weird but I just can't help it! That's the way it is. And, I betcha she's having a fantastic birthday. So, know that I'm thinking of you, Sweet Caroline!
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Christmas at Fowl River

Only in the South! Swimming in the river at Christmas.
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I'll never forget this night

A couple of years ago, when I was in serious need of some relaxation and fun, Tricia and I spent several days with Mike and Katherine. One evening, Caroline came over and so did Chris and we had the best time. It had been a long time since I'd seen Caroline and being with her meant so much to me.
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Caroline with part of the large family!

Together honoring my mother, their grandmother, aunt and cousin. Boys L-R George Radcliff, David, Manning McPhillips, Bartlett, Ben, Denton, Maury, Nick, Fontaine. Girls L-R Caroline, Eliza, Jessica, Micah, Katie.
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