Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 was a week-long explosion of adventure and joy. Braving snow and ice, George arrived with his parents early (really early) Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon he was filled with the wonder of the Holidays.

Christmas caroling on the Potwin circle Sunday night
was followed by the arrival of Mark on Monday and Andy, Donna and Hope on Tuesday. Christmas Eve allowed Dad to meet his Great Grandson George and snuggle with his Great Granddaughter Hope.
Granny got her Hope time too.
Our Christmas Eve also included Nancy, Mary and Kina.

Christmas Day brought Melissa & Roby from St. Louis and Anthony, SACII & Cheryl from Springfield
and lots of Christmas loot.

Chaos ensued.

Many traditional photos were taken.
But somehow I missed a couples photo of SACII and Cheryl ... as well as one of Helen and me. Bummer.

Some new tradition photos might have been born as well like Jake hangin' with the kids
and cool guys hangin' in white golf shirts and jeans.

Oh yes ... while no major additions were mysteriously added to our exterior Christmas decorations this year, an unknown Holiday elf did discretely perch two crows on our south wreath.

Merry Christmas to all.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Katharina arrives

Katharina, one of Helen's many German cousins, arrived today from Germany to spend the Holidays with us.
Katharina (Kina) is fun, beautiful and inspiring.
This will be fun.

Welcome to Kansas, Kina.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Ryan leaves - AFS International Desserts Party

After finishing his internship at WIBW,  Ryan (pictured here with his driver) left Topeka at 5 AM on a cold Saturday morning. Even so, check out Ryan's warm smile ... a true testament to his unfailingly good nature and positive attitude. We will miss him.
Ryan's 10 weeks here were filled with adventure. It was our pleasure to get to know him. We look forward to following him throughout his professional career. You can follow him too at

After a fun Potwin Place Holiday Party Saturday night, Sunday afternoon we hosted the AFS International Desserts Party. Students brought a favorite dessert from their homeland to share. It was a full house as 11 exchange students ... and their host families ... participated this year. 
Brazil, Germany, Italy, Japan, Cameroon, Argentina and Pakistan were all represented. As you can tell, the girls easily outnumbered the boys.
Oh yes ... all of the desserts were very yummy.
Dulce de leche never gets old.

Cheers to all.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Thanksgiving, wedding and Phil

Our quiet Thanksgiving Day lunch included our parents, our friend Doug, and Enrique and Renato, two Washburn University students from Paraguay.

Changing continents, our international Thanksgiving weekend continued Friday when Helen helped organize a traditional American wedding for friends from India. It was the 13th time I officiated a wedding ceremony. Prudhvi's and Suneeta's wedding brought people together from India, Lebanon and the Philippines.

Changing continents again, Saturday brought German-son Phil to town for a short visit. He is in the US for the final year of his masters program at Columbia University in New York. Lucky for all of us, Audrey was also in town from Taiwan. Phil and Audrey were exchange student classmates at Topeka High School in 2005. It was fun to see them together again. Kem and Christa provided a yummy lunch for all of us ... including Henry from Boulder.

Ryan returned from his California Thanksgiving in time to join Phil and the Gs for a Sunday afternoon photo.

We then shamelessly put the guys to work installing exterior Christmas decorations and carrying giant bags of leaves to the alley.

Sadly, on Monday we put Phil on an airplane for his return trip to New York. Even so, it was fun to share pieces of this quintessential US Thanksgiving Holiday with friends from 4 different continents.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Aunt Nancy - surprise birthday party

Saturday night we hosted a surprise 70th birthday party for my dear Aunt Nancy.

Maybe it was because her birthday isn't until the 24th, but she was certainly surprised. About 50 friends and family members came from as far away as Dallas and St. Louis.

With humble apologies to those special people not pictured, here are some of the fun party guests:

Samantha, Jake and George were even included thanks to FaceTime.
Mega thanks to Jerod and Heidi for making this so much fun.
Happy Birthday to Aunt Nancy.
Thank you for touching so many lives ... and for making the world a better place.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

For several months, the Topeka Street Department has been working on Willow, 4th Street, 5th Street, 6th Avenue and Washburn Avenue. Orange cones and barricades are everywhere. Some streets are completely closed while others are reduced to a single lane. So, even though it is almost impossible to get in (and out) of Potwin, Halloween goes on.

Kids lined up 
and parents dressed up.
(Lucky Devil and Handsome Devil) 

We had visitors from Paraguay, Spain and Cameroon.

We even had an old friend stop by.
Peace, Dude.

Happy Halloween 2013.