Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Holiday 2010

The Christmas Holiday was a blast!

As they say, the Christmas Holiday is a time for family and friends. Lucky for us ... we had lots of both this year.  Christmas Eve brought loved ones from near and far.  Samantha and Jake were here from Colorado and Andy and Donna from Missouri.  Jonas experienced his first USA Christmas with help from the Gs, Jorge and Carolyn.
We stayed up late, played games and wrapped presents.  Late that night we toasted the Newlyweds and the 1 year anniversary of Jake's proposal.

On Christmas Day, 15 of us gathered at the Gs' for food, family and fun.
The gift exchange took hours and Dad laughed so hard that one of his teeth fell out ... no kidding.  We took some goofy photos like this one I've captioned 
Bright Men with Brighter Hats.
We took "normal" photos as well like the traditional cousin tree shot:
The first one, taken in 1984, included Helen:
We took photos of lots of other fun people too:

In the early evening we visited Oma at her house where we exchanged gifts and reverted back to goofy photos like this one I've named
Presenting Oma.

Later, we retreated to Greenwood where the 5 of us shared a casual meal, some creative gifts ...
and lots of love.

I'm tellin' ya ... the Christmas Holiday was a blast!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grandpa George turns 90

Helen and I were invited to join Samantha and Jake in Utah from December 19th through 22nd to celebrate Grandpa George's 90th birthday.  We also got to meet more of Jake's family.  The entire trip was fantastic.  I took tons of pictures ... waaaaaay too many to post here.  It is impossible to recite all of our wonderful experiences.  But, let there be no doubt, Utah hospitality is second to none. 

The day before the birthday party we had a fantastic dinner with Robert and Tracy at The Roof ....
where we also enjoyed the beautiful Christmas lights at Temple Square and a breathtaking view of the Temple.
We got to see Jake's childhood home, his junior high school (and the long hike up the hill toward home), his high school (Bountiful High School ... the home of the Braves), and the University of Utah where Jake got his undergraduate and graduate degrees.  It was a blast.

Robert's educational and entertaining driving tour of the City filled us with a wealth of fascinating and historical facts about Salt Lake.  It was interesting and fun.

Grandpa George's 90th birthday party was legendary.  Here Robert lights 90 birthday candles with a blow torch as Grandpa George looks on.

Here is a glimpse of the yummy birthday dinner (at an interesting African restaurant) that we were privileged to attend:

We will be forever grateful for the warmth and hospitality we received.  

Happy 90th Birthday Grandpa George.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Carolers

Tonight Helen and I enjoyed a visit from some cute Christmas Carolers.
Helen gave them cookies.  They gave us joy.
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Jonas attends the THS Winter Dance - AFS Holiday Party

Last night, Jonas and Riley went to the Topeka High School Winter Semi-Formal.  School dances are not customary in Germany.  Jonas is truly having an American experience.  In typical Dad fashion, I had to take a picture before they left.

This afternoon, we hosted the AFS Holiday Party.  Students from around the world, and their Kansas host parents, gathered at out house.  The students brought a dessert customary in their home and told of a special Holiday celebration from their homeland.  Today we had students from 10  countries and 3 continents.  We have hosted this party for the last 12 years and we always enjoy the presentations ...
the yummy desserts ...
and the fun students.
Good tidings to you.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Granddad Award - Kirk & Cobb Christmas party

Yesterday I drove the Gs to Kansas City so Dad could receive another Award.  This one was presented to him by the Kansas Association for Justice, an association of 300+ lawyers throughout Kansas who advocate for the rights of the injured and who are dedicated to preserving the right to trial by jury.  Dad was a founding member in 1960 and served as its first President.  The original vision was to improve the civil justice system and raise the standards of trial advocacy and trial practice through education.  We are very proud of you Dad.
Most of his staff attended the awards ceremony.  At slightly slower than the speed of sound, brother Sam drove up from Springfield in his snazzy BMW Z6 convertible.  It was a fun family gathering.

On the way home, Sam apparently caught the quick eye of a Missouri Highway Patrolman who also loved his snazzy little car.  Speeding tickets are such a nuisance.

Last night we attended Helen's office Christmas party.  Helen has worked with Steve Kirk for more than 37 years.  Like wow!  Here is Steve with his wife Joann.

Food and fun was followed by a group photo.

Helen is the one wearing the Santa hat.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fun Christmas decoration ....

Now here is a fun and creative neighbor ...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving Weekend was full, very full.  Friday we bought our Christmas tree.  As we told the tree salesman ... we brought our smallest car to buy your biggest tree. We somehow got it home.
Jonas, Moritz and Leticia decorated it.
Later, I learned that my camera had been commandeered.  Here is Moritz and but one of the fun photos I discovered later.
We celebrated with a steak dinner and a bottle of sparkling grape juice.

Saturday morning brought many neighbors from the 400 block to decorate the circle.  We were treated to hot chocolate delivered by a horse-drawn wagon.  Here Claudia and Jonas enjoy their hot chocolate.
And here are some of the happy decorators.
Afterwards, Jonas and Moritz helped me decorate the house.  We installed our traditional wreaths ...
and plugged in Tommy. 

After a brief shopping trip, we then all went to the Potwin Players performance of The Elves and the Shoemaker.  Mark and Meg were fantastic as Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker but the neighborhood kids stole the show.  Here is the entire cast: 

As we delivered Moritz to the bus in Kansas City Saturday night for his trip back to St. Louis, Jonas and his buddies attended the Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade.  In fact, they were IN the parade.  Sorry, no photos.

At the end of the weekend, we had full tummies, special memories and a decorated circle and house.

We hope your Thanksgiving was full of love.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

While Samantha and Jake were enjoying their Thanksgiving in California with Beth ....
we hosted Thanksgiving here.  Family and friends joined us to be thankful.   We had Crows from Kansas and Missouri.  Jonas and Moritz experienced their first Thanksgiving in the USA.  Jorge represented Paraguay.  Oma, Nancy, Heidi and Carolyn joined us too.  Here are some random shots:

and the group ...
Oma and Jorge joined us after the group photo so they are included here:
After dinner we sat by the fire, played Trivial Pursuit, listened to music and laughed.  

This morning we received a rock ... 
delivered to our kitchen through our dining room plate glass windows.
 I am very thankful it missed the stained glass windows.  

Happy Thanksgiving 2010.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jonas earns his Rugby shirt

After a lot of hard work, some bruised ribs and a black eye, Jonas earns his Topeka rugby shirt.

 Congratulations Jonas!