10.15.2008

Funerals, The Flu, and a Giveaway!

When a family funeral and Thanksgiving land on the same weekend, you know you're in for a busy few days :) Thank you for all of your well wishes and kind thoughts. I appreciate knowing how much you care! It means a lot to me :)

Friday, early morning, we headed out to Cardston, Alberta to be with family and friends as we mourned the passing of our Grandmother, Louise Shipley. I say mourned because her personality and love will be missed, however it was also a celebration of a life well lived, and of the beautiful family heritage she created. She was very much a grandmother to me from the day I wed my husband - the first time I met her, she hugged me and kissed me full on the mouth! She was a very affectionate person and made everyone she came into contact with feel like they were the only person in the room - at least, that's how she made ME feel, especially when she would look at me, that knowing look that said more than a hundred words could have. She was a truly GOOD person, who led a GOOD life, and raised GOOD children. Such a person will be missed and will be loved forever. On the other hand, it's difficult to feel terribly sad when I know that she has been reunited with her sweetheart, who had passed 20 years earlier, as well as many other family members. What a sweet reunion that must have been! Peace be with you 'til we meet again!

And we enjoyed a reunion of our own, as my husband's cousins, Aunts, Uncles, nieces, nephews, and friends all visited and, truth be told, enjoyed themselves. I had a great laugh with my SIL, when, at dinner, one of the guests introduced themselves as "Louise Shipley" (though I'm sure she was saying - "Louise Shipley's.....". We couldn't help but laugh about how we'd all been "twinkled" and J's baby hadn't even woken up! (if that didn't make sense - don't worry about it, just move on....) By the way, I had a great time visiting with J and snuggling her new baby "A" all afternoon. She is SUCH A DOLL!!!

We spent one night in Cardston at a hotel where the girls had a great time swimming in the pool with daddy. I ventured as far as squeezing myself into a bathing suit, but the noise and craziness had me running full tilt for the hotel room before too long :)

After the funeral on Saturday, we then travelled to Calgary to spend a few days with my husband's parents and siblings. We stopped off to visit with my hubby's youngest brother and his very pregnant wife :) They are such a cute couple, and we are SO excited to welcome their new baby girl when she decides to make her appearance in the next few weeks. I especially loved saying "hi" to Scooter, our toy poodle puppy that they were nice enough to take off our hands when we moved. I was surprised he remembered us after all this time! D and E have a cute house that they've fixed up so nicely. I was really nice to visit with E and get to know her better - she's a doll, and D sure hit the jackpot with her! The best part about their union was seeing D being himself again. She brings out the best in him, it seems. Can't wait to meet baby!

Sunday was relatively quiet as most of the siblings were at their in-law's homes for Thanksgiving dinner. I stayed home with the two little ones as they decided it would be loads of fun to start throwing up all over themselves. Great timing!! I was happy I stayed, though, because I had the chance to have a great visit with my BIL who had lived in China for 5 1/2 years and I hadn't had a great chance to really get to know him until recently.This guy is 6'5" with red hair - he blended right in with the locals in China ;) I always knew he was brilliant (in the very literal sense of the word), and our conversation didn't disappoint. But beyond being smart, he is thoughtful - and yes, there is a difference. His pattern of thinking runs deep, much deeper than I usually allow myself to think - though I think having toddlers counts as an excuse. He will go far in life, no question. AND he's on the market, ladies!! LOL! It was so nice visiting with you, B!

Sunday evening, since we had some free time, we visited with MY two sisters in their homes, which was wonderful, but much too short. I can't wait to see them again in December when we come again for Christmas. I sure loved seeing them, though :)

We all got together for Thanksgiving on Monday, and we make quite the rowdy bunch when we get together. Actually, it's only noisy because of the sheer number of us :) 11 children under twelve and one on the way, 11 adults who ACT like children (well, maybe only a couple of them.. tee hee hee) and it makes for loads of laughs! :D
Monday morning we were tempted to leave as the kids had still been sick the day before. But, Monday morning came and everyone seemed to be feeling just fine. After Grandpa had played a nice game of chess with TJ, BB and B decided it was their turn. It cracked me up how B took it so seriously, really thinking out each move. BB was just trying to sit still until her turn! Needless to say, the game didn't last long before they went upstairs to join TJ in building with some K'Nex toys.

My husband, the amazing man he is, spent most of Monday morning washing his Mom's windows, inside and out! Now, just HOW to get him to do the same around here....hmmmmm ;)

Once everyone started arriving at home base (i.e. grandma's house), we piled in our vehicles (the grand kids piled in the back of grandpa's pick up truck with Aunt T as a chaperon) to drive around the corner for a fun half hour of photos - we don't ALL get together too often these days, so we were sure to get family photos (taken by myself, with the help of a C when I needed to be in the shots). It wasn't as crazy a time as I expected - all of the kids cooperated well, and we managed to get some nice shots, I think.


They are a very excitable family ....




We had the traditional delicious Thanksgiving meal, which I felt terrible for not contributing to in any way except my appetite, and setting the table. My MIL did so much for us over the course of the weekend. I felt especially terrible that my kids were puking everywhere. We did our best to clean it up, but I'm sure she still had to clean after we left :(

We visited with my husband's siblings while the kids all played surprisingly well together. I think growing up has calmed them down quite a bit. There weren't any fires to put out :) TJ was especially excited to see her cousin, S, and they played most of the day. My SIL, T, offered to have TJ sleep over Sunday evening, but with the younger ones coming down with the flu, we didn't think it would be a great idea. TJ was disappointed, but such is life. I appreciated T offering - she always treats my kids so nicely, and I love that about her.
Monday evening we visited with some great friends (Hi Mary!!) and my brother (Hi Aaron!) over some delicious turkey soup (yummo!). It was a busy and fulfilling day. We headed to bed and Lyndon and I visited for another couple of hours in bed. It was one of the nicest days I can remember.

Tuesday, we packed up the van and headed back home. We didn't get very far when we heard a horrible noise coming from the seat behind us and looked back to see our JJ covered head to toe in vomit. GRRRREAT! We pulled over and cleaned her up as best as we could, but enjoyed the wonderful smell the entire 7 hour drive back home. She couldn't have held it in until we got closer to home??? Come on now.... ;) Everyone seemed to have it out of their system by then, however, so all is well.

After being away for five days, there was a lot of business to take care of at home, but we tried to take it in stride. And now - I'm officially back - physically and mentally :) Which brings me to my GIVEAWAY!!!

TO celebrate 25,000 visitors to my blog, I'm giving away a $25 gift certificate to AMAZON.CA! One sweet dollar for every thousand visitors. I'm truly grateful for each of you - you build me up, make me laugh, make me cry (in a good way) and inspire me to do better and be better. THANK YOU!!

So, to enter, just leave a comment below! I'll draw a winner NEXT Friday (Oct.24), so good luck to everyone!!

44 comments:

Michelle said...

Wow! Sounds like a crazy, busy weekend. Love all the pics!

Congrats again on your blog success!

Bonnie B. said...

Love the pics! You are so talented. Looks like you had fun! Sorry about the loss of Grandma. She sure sounds like a wonderful woman! So glad to know families are forever!

Rebecca said...

Look at your site every day. Thanks for the great pictures and the great inspiration (and the great tutorials!!!) I definitely feel connected...

Rebecca

juliette pouwer said...

why do you have to live so far away? :D Logan loved playing with B. Can't wait to see you guys again at Christmas.

Ailyn said...

Bobbi your back!! Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Isn't spending time with family the best.
As always I love your pictures.

Jenn said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Okay so scrolling through your pictures I had to back roll one with you in it- I almost didn't recognize you. It looks to me like you are melting away--- whats your secret?

Congrats on 25000-- BTW. And you inspire me!

Lynn said...

WOW!

Isn't Thanksgiving and being with family AWESOME!!
The pics were great! You look great!

So sorry to hear how sick the kids were. I can truly relate. Every one in my house hold has been dropping like flies....one by one. Yuck!

And as for Grandma Shipley......isn't that just like her? She always was good at getting the family together, wasn't she? And here she did it again. Like you said...."Until we meet again."

B said...

Amazon=books, so count me in. Always up for something good to read.

Glad to hear everyone made it back safe and sound, except for the van apparently. :0

Josie said...

Wow, now that is busyness. Love all the pictures!!! Hope you have 25,000 more. Congrats!

Alyssa said...

The pics are wonderful! Love that you share so much :o)

Katie said...

Love lookin at your pictures and thanks for the tips on PS stuff.

Chanté said...

I had to laugh out loud when I saw the picture of your in laws with their grown kids jumping up behind them. What a great shot!

~Diana~ said...

Awesome photos! You are very talented. What an adorable family!

Tiffany said...

Well those are some good lookin' people in those picutres. That B family especially....wow, that's some great genetics!! = )

Enter me for that gift certificate. And thanks for the book, I'm starting it today.

Was great seeing you.

Nora said...

I love the picture with Lyndon at the sink... his facial expression is priceless. All GREAT pics !!
I would'nt mind you doing some of us sometime.

Dana Christensen said...

Congrats on 25,000 visitors! Thanks for all the fun photo helps!

Jessica said...

Oooh, pick me! I can put it towards my SLR dream fund and put all of your tips to use!

Joanne said...

those are the most fantastik photos and I am loving the ones of just the girls and just the boys. I'm sorry about Aunt Louise, she always made me feel special too!

Clair said...

amazon- i'm salivating already! As always great, vibrant pics!

Mandy said...

I'm sorry that I missed you on Sunday. When I saw your 2 girls come up to their Grandpa, I was looking forward to seeing you there too but I understand that motherhood calls at the most unconvienent times some days...lol. I'm glad to hear that the girls are doing better and that you had a great thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for. I understand the living away from family thing. It's hard sometimes but it makes us appreciate them much more, I think. I hope you have a great weekend.

kris... said...

Welcome home! Grandma was a beautiful lady. My condolences. Gorgeous shots of the family, too!

Christal said...

What a family filled weekend! I love your blog a good mix of everything and you take awesome pictures! Congrats on 25,000 how fun! Love giveaways too! Have a great week!

Scottish Nanna said...

Love all the photos sounds like your weekend was wery busy Your grandma in law looked like a lovely lady RIP GRANDMA.
Hugs Mary.

Judy said...

Sorry to hear about your Grandmother. Hope you had a great holiday. I love your pictures. We are having my family's done next month at our parents 50th wedding anniversary. They are priceless.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'm comment number 25 for 25,000 hits...hmmmmm.

What beautiful family portraits...what a legacy grandmom left behind.

Janet

Terri E. said...

Wow! How generous. I just love all of the tips on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing.

It's a good life!
Terri E.

TIFFANY & CO. said...

thanks for the awesome blog/info

Katie said...

thanks for all the tips! You have a gift.

Leslie said...

Condolences in the loss of your Grandma.
The picture of the siblings jumping in the air near Mom and Dad is soooo awesome! Cardston is a beautiful place to take pictures. We love visiting there!
I hope your kiddos are feeling better! I really enjoy your blog! All the best!

Stampin Cats said...

Congrats on the blog hits. What a crazy weekend. I'm tired just thinking about all you did.

amy w. said...

Great pictures Bobbi!! I heart your blog. :D

Sarah said...

I love your blog! Your scrapbooking & photography inspires me!
Congratulations on 25,000!!!

Steph said...

Ahhh the famous Bobbi-Jo that Joanne speaks so highly of! I peruse your blog now and then to make sure you ARE REAL! And you are!

Robin said...

Bobbi the way you spoke of your grandma made me feel like I knew her! You are sooo wonderful.

Love the pictures!! I'm glad such a sad time can turn out so wonderful and you got to have a fabulous (albiet sick) weekend with your family!

Next time you come back this way for a LONGER visit we'll have to try and get together!

mommyoffour said...

ooooohhh.... what an awesome giveaway! You are the best!

I hope you are all feeling well and recovering from your little trip!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Leslie

Kris said...

I just found your blog today via "One Tree". What a nice looking family you have! I wish I could master photoshop that I got 2YEARS ago for Christmas! lol.

K.

s a n s k u :) said...

May the force be with THIS comment. :D

Love the mega sized pictures!

Walton Family said...

Love reading your blog. Love the pictures too, especialy all the color boosts :)

Sandra

Linda said...

Looove the shot of the parents with the kids jumping in the background!!!!! I'm going to have to see if I can get my friends/family to do that one :)
Congrats on the blog success

Brenda said...

'So sorry about your Grandmother's passing. My Grandma died last year...at 104 years old.
Wow, such awesome pics!
Congrats on all the hits...and thanks for this chance to win sweet candy!
~Brenda H.

Julie said...

I have been a lurker I admit it :)
I love your blog! I do digital photo retouching for a living and always find your blog so inpiring!

Kristi said...

I am not a busy person- you are! craziness! you have a great blog. no wonder so many people read it! congrats.

ec said...

bobbi,

i've been lurking for awhile now ... ever since i found out about your fabulous ps tips (ps makes me crazy!) from my sis in law jennifer. i've heard all about you and your fabulous fam from my mommy (kim) and it's fun reading about all your GIRLS. i've got 2 of them, so i'm on my way;)

hope all is well!

Erin said...

Your work is still awesome Bobbi! Still hope you make it out our way and can photograph us in Calgary some day (when you're not on a super busy trip!)! I just haven't found any one else here that has that "je ne sais quoi" that you have :O)