Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012

Our Christmas Holiday began with Melissa's visit on the 22nd.  It was great to see her.  Unfortunately, Roby and the kids were not able to come.
Like Wow!  Melissa cut off and donated 12 inches of her hair.  I love that kid.

By Christmas Eve, the rest of the gang was here.  
Hope (now 14 months old) is walking and talking ... make that babbling.   She loved wearing her antlers.
Old friends joined us ...
as did new ones.
We had a very (very) casual dinner and a very (very) intense game of Pictionary.  The west team won.

Christmas morning brought Dad in his traditional Christmas pants,
Helen's California Eggs Crackle, Aunt Nancy's pinch bread and a marathon gift exchange.  Fun photos were taken ...

  including the Spy Sunglasses photo.
As it ends up, you really can see behind you with $2.98 spy sunglasses.

After an exhausting day, Christmas night allowed the guys a chance to relax and visit.

It was a blast having everyone together.
Thank you for joining us.
Merry Christmas 2012.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Decorations - from Classic to Kitsch

Since 2010, we have been the lucky recipients of various exterior Christmas decorations from our neighbors.  Thanks to their generosity, our Christmas decorations have gone from Classic ...


to Kitsch.

Somehow, the wreaths don't seem appropriate anymore.


PS.  The candle power around here is soooo bright ...

that Tommy had to don his shades.


Lucky for him, somebody brought him some presents to put under his Tommy Tree.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Topeka High School Madrigals

Every year the Topeka High School Madrigals continue to impress and amaze.  Under the direction of Steve Eubank, these guys are good.  Last week they attended the THS Alumni Lunch and provided us with a small sample of their upcoming Holiday Concert.
Bravo!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

AFS - International Desserts 2012

Today marked the 14th year that we have hosted the AFS International Desserts Holiday Party.  This year there are 6 AFS foreign exchange students attending our local area high schools.
They each told friends and host families of special holidays celebrated in their home countries,
and then... we got to taste their homemade international desserts.
(Thanks to Granddad for the box of chocolates.)

We also discussed the origins of AFS ... a brief blip of which is below:

AFS Intercultural Programs began as the American Field Service (AFS), which had its origins in 1914 shortly after the outbreak of World War I, when young Americans living in Paris volunteered as ambulance drivers at the American Hospital of Paris. AFS participated in every major French battle and carried more than 500,000 wounded during World War I. By the end of the war, 2,500 men had served in the American Field Service with the French Armies.

For more information about the transition of AFS from an ambulance and camion service in World War I to the present-day international student exchange programs, please see the descriptions of our archival collections

You can learn more about the history of AFS at

Mega thanks to everybody for sharing their culture, their desserts and their warm smiles with us.  A special thanks to Ebba, who in apparent anticipation of Jake attending, brought a Swedish Princess Cake.
Yummy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

While Samantha and Jake were relaxing with Beth on a houseboat at Lake Shasta in the beautiful Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California ...
we were hosted by Granny and Granddad to an elegant and tasty Thanksgiving Day lunch at Topeka Country Club. Dad wore his United States Constitution tie in celebration of this truly USA Holiday.  
Oma joined us ...
as did Eddie and Rae.  
Eddie has been a part of many Crow Family Holiday celebrations over the last 50 years.  It is fun to welcome Rae to the fold.  Somehow, the color of Eddie's car became a major topic of conversation.  Eddie insisted that it is Pearl Red while those of us who have seen it insisted that it is just plain Red.  Pearl Red.  Red. 
Please let Eddie know if see anything Pearl about his car.  I'm sure he'd be glad to hear from you.
Happy Thanksgiving 2012.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween is always so much fun.  The kids politely and eagerly line up to get their treats.
But it seems that most of the parents ...
have much more fun than the kids ...
and that some of the kids ... never grow up.
Thank goodness.

Happy Halloween 2012.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Samantha's 32nd birthday

As my father has said many times .... "I can accept my age, but find it hard to believe that my child is that old."  I get it.  It is hard to believe that Samantha turned 32 this week.  We went to California to see for ourselves.

Yep, it's true.  Samantha is 32 years old.  Beth gave her a fancy lighted Tiara.
Very Royal.

Jake made her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY cake.
Very yummy.

Mayumi joined us as we exercised our brain cells by practicing our juggling.
Very comical.

The rest of Samantha's birthday weekend was spent admiring Jake's garden, going on a run/bike with Samantha, visiting 3 different Apple Stores in 15 hours ... including hanging out with Tim Cook at the new Palo Alto store with the incredibly cool glass roof ...
watching Samantha do magic tricks with her new Thunderbolt Display,
having dinner with Beth at Chow's Food Bar (where the sultry brunette in the red dress insisted on putting her arm around me while sneering at Helen) 
and experiencing my first Qigong treatment under the loving hands of Qigong by Quist

Happy Birthday Samantha.
(Samantha money from her 10th birthday party courtesy of Oma)  
Thanks for letting us celebrate with you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A dozen weddings

Today I married Scott and Jamie.  Well, I served as the officiant at their wedding.  It marked my 12th wedding ceremony.  Jamie and Scott decided to wed at the beautiful and historic Ward-Meade Park and Gardens.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided otherwise.
While the rain was gentle, it was persistent ...
causing us to move inside the historic mansion where wedding number 12 took place.  Thanks to Scott and Jamie for letting me be a part of your lives.
Happy Wedding Day.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Family and Football and Funeral

On Thursday, September 27th, Samantha, the Gs and I drove to Springfield to visit family and to watch Anthony quarterback the Kickapoo (Fear the Poo) High School Chiefs to victory over previously unbeaten Hillcrest.
Anthony was fantastic!  He ran for 2 touchdowns and threw for 2 more.  No doubt, he was the star of the game. There were lots of Anthony fans in the stands.
Early the next morning, Andy joined me as we traveled to Hollister to join a couple of my buddies to play golf at Murder Rock Golf Club
before joining Samantha, the Gs, Donna and Hope at Lambert's Cafe ... "The Only Home of Throwed Rolls" ...
where we learned that Granny is a pretty good catch.

The Kickapoo High School Homecoming Dance was that night and while Anthony objected to us attending, he did allow us a family photo with his date.
After driving all night, Helen and Jake joined us early Saturday morning allowing us to attend the funeral of The Widow Crowder
who was a long-time Springfield resident and the mother of our dear friend, Sally Dinkel.  Helen introduced Sally and Mike Dinkel and takes full credit for the very lives of their 3 children.

The rest of the weekend was filled with fun family activities including a nice walk in the park, 
spending some quality time with the Gs,
watching old (late 1920s to early 1960s) home movies, witnessing an amazing Moon Halo
laughing through breakfast with Anton himself at quirky Anton's Coffee Shop (home of 124 different omelets) 
and of course ... enjoying the Granny and Hope Show.

Thanks to Samantha and Jake for joining us on this fun family adventure. 
Mega thanks to them for spending the next several days with us before catching a plane to Boston yesterday.