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Monday, January 4, 2010

Let's GO!!!

Blog was written in parts by Nana & Poppy

Part 1 Christmas at Home

Ready, Set, Go..... The first Christmas we had was here at the house with Darleen, Pat and Grandma. We decided to do it a day early because of all the bad weather that was going to be coming on Christmas Eve (And Nana could not wait to see the babies). At the last minute I called Darleen and said, "Do you think you can come over today?" She was all for it. In fact I had to work that day so she brought most of the dinner. It was goulash, homemade bread, salad and ice cream sundaes for dessert.
We exchanged gifts and played some cards while Grandma partook of some holiday spirits.
Even though the five of us had a great time and enjoyed the time together it felt a bit different from the days when we had a house full a people and the place was trashed with wrapping paper all over the place. I guess it is time for new traditions.

Darleen and her non-dainty jewelry.
Pat opening his present.

Grandma with her present.
Part 2 Christmas at Logan and Mindy's
We (Dan, Denise, and Grandma) got up and headed down to Lansing to have Christmas Eve and Christmas with Logan, Mindy, and Harper. After Mindy got home from work, we all packed up to go to Christmas Eve service. We met up with Mindy's mom and step dad, sister, and brother-in-law. It was a nice evening of song and worship. We topped that off with some venison and pancakes.
On Christmas morning we got up and enjoyed watching Harper opening her presents. She had to have help this year but wait until next year. I think she will be right in there ripping the wrapping paper off the presents. Logan, Mindy, and Harper left just before noon to have a party with Mindy's family. When they returned we started getting our Christmas dinner started. We enjoyed some Prime Rib, baked potatoes, and Darleen's corn.

Logan, Mindy, Harper, and Jack

Part 3 Dunsmore Annual Christmas Party
On to the Dunsmore's Annual Christmas Party!! There again many people were missing. Lucas, Kim, Allie and Ryan....Jesse and Rachel.....Lauren, Jeff and Morgan. A few showed up that don't usually come though and that was a great surprise. Randy, Nikki and Jake drove all the way to Flint for the party and went home that evening. We had a nice spread of food as usual. We started off with a small gift exchange game where you could steal from each other. It was fun and a few gifts were always being sought after. It was time once again to see who had who's name. I (Denise) was a little worried someone would be without a gift. We had a lot of gifts being sent by the mail, or other people brought gifts for people who wasn't going to be there. We, alone had a truck full of presents going in so many different directions it wasn't funny. It all went off great except for the fact that Dale and I both got a gift from Lucas which puzzled a few people. I announced to everyone that I was sure Kim had my name because I knew Lucas had Uncle Dale's. WRONG... it was just the opposite. All in all it was a great surprise that no one's gifts were missing or forgotten. This year I made the name tags in green so no one could say that they weren't sure if there name was this years or last years. So we drew names for 2010 party which is at the Miller's. Maybe not the weekend of Christmas, we'll have to see. It would fall on a Sunday and that don't seem to be a good time for everyone who has to work. Time will tell.

Denise waiting for her gift! Dan getting his cooler on wheels from Shanny

Christmas Part 4 Traveling to Boston
I don't know about Poppy but Nana didn't sleep too good knowing she was heading out to see the babies, and Kim and Lucas of course. We stayed up way too late, laughed so much and the excitement was too much. Got up in the dark and out the door we went. I didn't even take my makeup off from the day before so I could leave fast. The roads were a little slippery from Burton to Port Huron but after that they were good. Now getting back into the good ole US of A was another story. We waited and waited and waited...finally after 1 hr. and 25 min. it was our turn to show passports. Dan here: I have to jump in and tell a little story about our passports....Denise did not set out my passport the night before we left home. So we are driving downstate between Gaylord and Grayling when Denise pulls out her enhanced driver's license (which acts as a passport for traveling thru Canada) and tells us about her awful photo on it. Then....she sees the "deer in the headlight" look from me. So now what...Do we turn around and go back and get it? Do we travel an extra 2-3 hours by going around Canada? Denise comes up with an idea...She calls my cousin's husband, Tom. She asks him to go into our house get the passport, get it over to Darleen to bring it down to the party at Dale's. (I probably should not have brought it up because Denise was finally forgetting about my forgetfulness).I kinda figured because of that the twins were going to be sleeping when we got there, and they were. It turned out ok though because I know I was too tired to hold Ry guy while he jumped and jumped ...or read book after book to Allie. It was nice just to visit with Kim and Lucas for awhile in the quiet. BUT...morning could not get there fast enough.

Part 5 Christmas at Lucas and Kim's
That morning was pretty exciting. With the twins being four months older than Harper they were a little more into it than their cousin, but still needed a little help. Poor Luke and Kim...their house looked a little like Toys R Us before we left. Nana promised that next year she won't go so crazy shopping for the grand babies. But you have to understand that she has been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. Well, the twins got a little tired before they could open all of their presents so it took a couple of times before it was finally finished.
We were finally excited to see Luke, Kim, and the twins without anyone getting married. We had the twins all to ourselves without any other distractions. I think that Allie and Ryan were a little confused to see us out of that box (meaning the computer... as we Skype quite a bit). It was very exciting to hold them and feed them their bottles. We, also, had a great time with Lucas and Kim after the babies went to bed. We played euchre and the guys won despite being beat in a game where Luke got to do his famous loner dance (the only loner dance of the evening). We got so excited one game that we had a wrong score 8 instead on 9. After we went in the barn (score of 9) Kim said, "Close that barn door and get those cows back out into the pasture." We played another new game where three people tells the fourth, "What theirs is like" example: on card was mother-in-law. Denise had to guess. Luke's clue...mine's far away, I said mine was old. Kim said mine is in this room. Now Denise was not getting it and became frustrated. Second round Luke said mine is chatty. I said mine was short. Denise was still frustrated and not getting it so Kim's clue was mine is very confused. After a lot of laughing by three people Denise gave the correct answer.
It was great watching Kim feed the twins and the interesting concoctions she used to get them to eat the type of food they may not like to eat. Like finding out they may not like a certain food but put on toast they love it.
Ryan had a milestone while we were there....he started crawling more than one step at a time.
Now Kim has to come up with new ways to stop one from crawling away while she is tending to the other.
Kim is Nana and Poppy's hero. I don't know how she does it. Alone all day lifting, feeding, changing, reading to, and playing with two babies. That is close to 40 pounds of babies. I know Luke, you are there, too.
One day Luke had to go into work the three of us and babies ventured out to the park with the swings (on Kim and Luke's blog site). Allie loved it but Ryan looked a little tentative. We didn't quite get back to the house before it rained but Nana gave up her jacket to keep the twins dry.
Denise was asked to make gleasons. Seems like Luke sorta likes that meal. I'm not sure if the twins will take after their father as chicken is one of those foods Kim has to mix with yogurt to get them to eat it.

Allie and Ryan enjoying two gifts from Nana and Poppy.

Kim's idea of indoor sledding.

Part 6 Traveling to Columbus
While it was great being at Luke and Kim's, we still had one more stop before Denise had to go back to work. So we got up early (thanks to Allie jibber jabbering in her crib. It's better than an alarm clock) helped feed the twins their bottle, kissed everyone goodbye and headed for Columbus 754 miles away.
So far we had excellent roads for our travels...until Connecticut. Neither Denise or I had been in that state before this trip. Not sure we will go back there during the winter months. Seems they had a little freezing rain then a little snowfall before we got to that state. We lost one hour sitting on the freeway stopped several times for cars in fender benders where the car behind could not stop in time before they plowed into the car in front of them.
Now we were getting low on fuel and I am concerned we will be stopped long enough that we could run out of gas. So finally we get going and found an exit that said easy off/easy on. I thought great that is what I want. I, also, thought that would be a great time to use the restroom. Wrong. It seems that state has problems with working restrooms. The gas station sign read out of order. We tried a Dunkin Donut, sign read do not use. So I got back in the truck and stopped 4 hours later. It was good the roads got better in New York and Pennsylvania as there are some pretty good mountains there. We were mesmerized by the beauty of the mountains at first. And then after about an hour of up and down our ears started plugging. I have never driven from one end of Pennsylvania before so I could not believe how far it was. I didn't think I would ever be so happy to see flat land.

Part 7 New Years at Loralee and Grant's
So we pulled into Loralee and Grant's New Year's Eve. Loralee & Grant had an assortment of snacks for us and a fire in the fireplace. So after filling our faces and getting cozy in front of the fireplace and after driving over 12 hours we were beat. Denise and Loralee headed for bed probably because Denise had to drive the last 3 hours exhausted.(Loralee had a cold so she didn't feel very well anyway) so just Grant and I made it to midnight to watch the flying car. Actually I nodded off just before midnight and had to watch the rerun. But they didn't miss JayLo in her nude outfit :)
New Year's Day there might have been a football game on.... I can't remember. The girls decided to do a little shopping while I got my tires rotated and had the oil changed after the long trip. As what usually happens when you take a vehicle in they found that I needed new rotors and brake pads. Grant did not like the price they were quoting so he said lets do it ourselves we have until 4 p.m. when the Rose Bowl starts. Ohio State vs. Oregon. Grant's Buckeyes were victorious. But we were not finished so we missed the first half but got updates on the truck radio, Grant's cell phone, and the TV. Grant did not like the looks of the brake lines and he said if the front brakes were that bad we should replace the rear brakes, also. While we had the truck up on jacks the shocks were found to be near the end of their life so we got those replaced. we decided to have the rear brakes and shocks done professionally which added an extra day in Westerville, OH. That's what happens when you put 100,000 miles on a vehicle. But it has been a pretty good vehicle so far.
So while we were getting that done Denise and Loralee went to the jewelers....... that is another story. Let's just say Denise spent her Christmas bonus with a little added help. Her diamond was always coming loose and it was in a thin thin band so she replaced it with a thicker one. This is her last big jewelry to do for a long long time. Now it was time to say good bye to Loralee & Grant, Loralee got up and saw us off at 7:00 am . We didn't see Grant. It had snowed the night before, Loralee says it only snows when we come down there.

Part 8 Trip Home

Driving back to Michigan we were going to go right home but then we started thinking of our little baby Harper who is only 1/2 hour out of our way. Should we or shouldn't we??? Well if you guesses we should you are right. We met Logan and Harper at Flap Jack for brunch. She just sat in her car seat and rubbed her cheeks until she fell asleep. What an angel baby. We took off and drove up to Tower and slipped into Grandma's for a quick hello and to show her some pictures we took of the babies. We finally got home around 6:30pm, after 2400 miles behind us. It will be nice having all of our family living closer someday. That day can't come too soon. We are home long enough to clean, wash clothes, take down a few Christmas decorations and back downstate to see the twins, Harper, and our 2 sons and their wives. Oh wait maybe we will have to take a trip first to Traverse City while Grandma has her back surgery. Happy New Year and soon it will be time to start all the Birthday Parties!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a difference a day makes & one tired Sailor!

Before the Storm
Well the blizzard day is over but... now we are having freezing rain, then we are under another snow advisory. I think winter is here to stay. I did get out in the storm and take a few pictures. Here is one before the storm and this is one after. It was beautiful after the first heavy snow was done, because the next day the snow was light and fluffy.

After the Storm
A view of across the street

After several days of anchoring the tired sailor finally got home. He was very glad to see Brege Drive but after hours of working and shoveling snow on the boat guess what he got to do when he got home. If you said shovel more snow you are exactly right. Between the hard work and the cold cold wind he was one tired sailor. While he was trying to catch a few winks I took a couple of pictures. Now any girl would have deleted these pictures but Dan the nice guy that he is agreed to let me use them in my next blog. I think he just wanted to make everyone laugh, what do you think?
Then the tired sailorman woke up !! I sure hope if Harper, Allie or Ryan are looking at this blog it don't scare them.

Now you know what a tired sailorman of 35 years looks like when he wakes up!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Family Doubles!

Not everyone can say that in one year their family has almost doubled. WE can! 2009 has been a very productive year for the Millers. In case you didn't know (haha) we (Dan & Denise better known as Nana & Poppy) have three beautiful Grandkids!! :)
Lucas wrote in an e-mail to me the other day "don't you think you should change your pro-file picture, this one is really out-dated. He was so right. Good time for a new blog also. What better things to do when you have a blizzard going on outside. I believe it will be 2 days at least stuck in the house all by myself. Don't get me wrong I love a big storm but it is kinda boring alone. But....I should get some major cleaning and on-line shopping done, see'in we won't get out for a couple of days.
Aren't they adorable!!

I (Denise) also had 2 baby showers, 2 wedding showers and 2 weddings to get ready for this year. I didn't know if it was possible but with alot of prayer and support from family and friends it got done. By the time Logan and Mindy got married I can admit I was a little drained. Well I guess I will start with Grant because he and Loralee were married first. Actually I have known Mindy longer so I will start with her. When Logan first brought Mindy home I was surprised how much she reminded me of myself at that age. The thing I love most about Mindy is she is such a free spirit. She has her own creativity all of her own. I never seen anyone who can put colors together like she can and it looks fabulous. She is willing to try hairdo's that most of would be terrified and she always looks great. (except for the time she showed up at Christmas with black hair). I kid you not I looked out the window and didn't even know who it was. I mean, come on who does that, most of us if we were even to try this would do it at a time when we wouldn't be seeing anyone or would have time to dye it back if we didn't like it. Not Mindy, she come walking in with a smile on her face. I think Logan was surprised too!! I just think Mindy is a knock-out with her blonde hair, so I can honestly say I didn't like it and I believe her mom told me the same thing. But that is our, good mommy, makes the most beautiful quilts (which I hope to get one day), I have hinted a few times. She loves to shop, and I thank God I don't live close to her because I think I would become addicted. She always finds the coolest stuff and bargins. One of the things I love about Mindy also is she always makes us feel at home when we stay with them and she always says "Come anytime, you are always welcome." Not too many girls would tell a Nana that, because they would want to be there all the time to play with their granddaughter and Jack too! One more thing I have never seen any girl who can put things together and figure things out like she can! It's a good thing because I don't know if Logan likes doing that. Welcome to the family Mindy, I hope you feel loved. Grant. Meeting Grant for the first time was priceless. I actully told Dan when we left the Melting Pot..which by the way is a must restuarant to go to, but have lots of time and money, I said, " that's the guy Loralee is going to marry." Dan thought it too, but he doesn't voice his opinion as freely as I do. After hearing that Logan told Grant, meeting my dad will be easy it's my mom you have to worry about, I just walked up to Grant and said "hello I'm Denise the mean one". He just laughed! Now that I know Grant, he seemed not so talkative that night as the Grant we know now. I think he was just letting us go on and on with our questions. I have to say Dan and I were very happy with Grant, finally Loralee had a guy who offered to even pay the dinner bill, which Dan was getting because it was a birthday dinner for Loralee/and a get to know Grant dinner. When we were done we found out the bill had already been paid. It was very nice but very humbling because it was a very large dinner bill. Grant insisted so Dan let him get away with it. Grants brother gave a toast at the wedding and told the crowd that his brother had one of the biggest hearts of anyone he knew, I have to agree with him. The thing I love about Grant is that he has a love for the important things in life, like family and spending time together. Grant also knows how to do things, fix things, and he has a beautiful home for him and Loralee. The only thing I would change about Grant is I would love for him to have this burning desire to move to Michigan!! We need to get a boat. :) Welcome to the family Grant and I hope you feel loved also!

So after twin grandbabies, a granddaughter, 2 weddings, 4 showers we are getting ready for the Christmas Holiday! I'm really looking forward to 2010, we can start having birthday parties and all the exciting new adventures that are waiting for us. I must take time to Thank God for all these blessings we had this year. It was a year of prayer and Thanksgiving. And did i mention Dan and I had a will/trust made out, and Dan has his time in on the boats. We are definately feeling retirement coming our way. I will positively look forward to the last time I have to pick up the phone to see when that boat is due in. If it wasn't for the Grace of God I would never have been able to survive this kind of a life. I don't think we will ever forget "2009"!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Present and the Past!

The John G Munson (Poppy's Boat right now)

We are getting ready for a big storm coming our way. The weather reports are calling for a winter storm warning starting tomorrow evening. Lots of wind and anywhere from 8-14 inches of snow. Poppy had to go back to the boat Saturday morning and today they got their lay-up orders. It will be great if they don't anchor for bad weather but it already is starting to get really bad so I have a feeling it will cause them to lay-up later than expected. The date right now is the 18 th of December, which is really early. Pray for them to get home before Christmas! It would be nice for all the guys to get home instead of just a few.

Great Grandpa's 80th Birthday Party!

I can't help but think of Great Grandpa at this special time of the year. This is a picture of us with him when he turned 80 years old. He loved that party. A friend of his told me one day that he said to him after this birthday party, "I have the best kids and family in the world." I believe he really meant that. Grandpa sometime had a hard time showing feelings, emotions, but I think alot of men that grew up in that era had the same problem. One of the last things he told me before he passed away was "I had a wonderful life." He was a very content man who loved the simple things in life. A creature of habit!! I miss him everyday but am at peace that he spends his time with our Heavenly Father instead of us now. I sent my dad a card one time telling him Thank you for his time in the service when he fought for our country in World War II. I think that might have been his favorite card from me ever. Ryan you can be proud that you were named after your Great Grandpa, he would have loved you, Allie, and Harper beyond words. And you can also be proud that you were named after your mommy's whole family, they are the BEST!!

Another thing I was thinking about tonight was the fun we had one Christmas in the kitchen making Sugar Cookies. I have always had a downfall, and it is COOKIES! Hot cookies out of the oven and a cold glass of milk. Sugar Cookies are one of my favorite cookies but I hate to make them by myself. It just isn't fun making them all by yourself. You have to pick out the cut-out you want, the color of frosting, with sprinkles or not. Just too many decisions to do alone. I think someday they will be the most fun cookie to make with my grandkids, we will just make a mess and eat them all. :)

Great Grandma, Kim,(Mommy), and Aunt LaLa

Another person I was thinking about tonight was Aunt Darleen. What would we have done without her all these years. Not only has she been a great sister/friend but she has done so much for me and my kids. I think back over the years, every event we had she was a big part. She always made Halloween costumes for them, because I didn't know how to sew or wasn't really creative in that area and yes it was a big deal because my kids loved Halloween and getting dressed up. One of my kids (Lucas) always wanted to be something very creative and that is where Aunt Darleen came in. Another area she has been so helpful is our weddings. She helped everyone of her nieces with flowers or decorating. But my favorite part of her is that no matter what event, or big deal that is happening in your life, she is just as happy and excited as you are. I owe her a big Thank-you for everything over the years. And we can't forget about all the bread Great Grandma has made and gleasons. That goes without saying how much we have all appreciated that. I love her story about helping Kim learn to make bread. She always tells everyone that Kim was anxious that day to watch as Grandma started making the bread, and she said " get your hands in the dough that is the only way you can learn to make bread."
Aunt Darleen & Ryan
I think there is another blog coming soon if the big blizzard hits!! We'll see!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Blog for Ryan, Allie and Harper

Today we got a sad text message from Ryan, he was looking for a blog from Poppy and Nana and it wasn't to be found. After skyping with the twins tonight we started taking pictures of the house all decorated outside.

Mr. Snowman stopped by tonight to say hi to Allie, Ryan and Harper and I think he is going to plop right on our porch until after Christmas!

I am pretty sure Santa Claus has come down the chimney with a few presents for good little girls and boy :) probaby named Allie, Ryan, and Harper. Maybe a few for some older kids too, if they've been good this year.

It is a tradition for Nana to get a Precious Moments ornament every year from Poppy or sometime her friend Bonnie. This year for some reason Nana got 3 and they were very special ones. Thank you Poppy!!

Nana made a special sign for our 3 special angels in our life, Poppy is looking out the window wondering when the twins will finally come and visit at our house, and we failed completely trying to hold the sign up together and take the picture with my hand extended out. It only made us look OLD and FUNNY. Aside from all the fun we had tonight we want to Thank our Heavenly Father for all of you and pray that you will have a healthy, happy Christmas. Hugs to Allie, Ryan, and Harper who we love so much! We also saw on the Circle City Coons blog tonight a video of Morgan taking her first steps. It was fun, make sure you check it out.

This final picture reminds us of the morning when baby Jesus was lying in a manger, born to save us and take our sins upon HIM if we believe, my hope for anyone who reads this blog is that Christmas will be all about that because it is our eternal hope, this life is temporary.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Finally got a deer!

Poppy's Deer
After 33 years I finally get my deer. It was a spiker that had the horns split that I believe would count as a 4 point buck. It is true that I have not been hunting regularly for those 33 years. But I finally brought home some venison for my family, especially for Denise because she loves it so much. But she was still a little sad to see the deer dead in back of the pick-up.

Nana's Supper

Denise's boss, Russ, has been so gracious to let me hunt on his land and in essence shoot his deer. Because he had seen that same deer recently while hunting in bow season. I had bought a landowner's doe permit in addition to the buck license. The first two deer I had seen that afternoon were, in fact, does. I was looking sorta behind me watching the does when I looked back to where I was actually hunting there was movement. I knew right away it was a deer but when I looked through the scope I saw the horns.

A Happy Dan & Russ

The buck was broadside when I first saw it but about 100 yards away. Then it started heading right towards me not offering a very good kill shot. So not wanting to wound the deer, I let it travel towards me hoping it would turn broadside. When it got about 60 yards away it finally got fairly broadside so I aimed and squeezed the trigger. What I saw next kinda sickened me....he took off like there was no tomorrow. I thought how in the world did I completely miss him. So after waiting about 10-15 minutes, I finally start looking for blood. There was no blood to be found. I tried to follow the path that I saw him high-tail it to the woods but still nothing. I decided to look into the woods and thought I saw a clump of snow. But it was 47 degrees outside. There had been no snow. Upon further investigation I realized it was that hind end of the buck. That was a huge relief.

It would only be fitting if I saved those horns to give to my first born grandson....not that they are huge or anything but to represent the great year in the Miller family.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Real proud Grandparents!!!

I can't believe it's been two years since our last post. We must not have anything interesting to write about. This year has been a real exciting year to say the least.

Twenty years from now if someone would ask me how old is Allie, Ryan or Harper, and how long has Grant and Loralee been married or how long Logan and Mindy have been married, I think my answer should be relatively easy...unless my senior moments are coming more frequently then.

What a blessed year we have had. 2 Granddaughters and one Grandson, a new son-in-law and daughter-in-law. I really don't like the sounds of in laws but I guess it is the proper way to say it. Lucas and Kim are seeking to find a new church for Lucas to be head pastor and Kim is busy being the best full time mommy and Craigs List shopper around.
Loralee and Grant have moved into their new house in New Albany, OH. They had a great honeymoon in Hawaii. We are waiting anxiously for the wedding pictures to get done.
Harper is our little sweetie with lots of hair. She continues to get bigger everyday and is growing up way too fast. She is going to day-care a few days and spends a few days with mommy and daddy all day long. Mindy has made several quilts and blankets for Harper, they are adorable.

We are looking forward to getting together in a week with everyone in Lansing for the wedding. Then it will be time for the holidays and it will be the twins first birthday before we know it.

Poppy and Nana are looking forward to all the upcoming holidays and events. There is nothing like Grandbabies!!!!! and grandpuppies. :)