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The Year in Review

December 2011
Yes, this was another iteration of Girls Gone Wild as Bonnie took Anne, Sandra, and Karen to New York City for their annual gluttonly of Junior's Cheese Cake, their babd-bad photobombing exploits, and their rounds of all the famous and infamous places of the city. This year they spent nearly a full day at Ellis Island, and really had a good time. Their hotel room was - well - big. I'm sensing it could have been a bit smaller with nice carpeting, but it worked. However, the highlight of the month was Anne's graduation from Stetson with a Masters in Education. This was the culmination of a year's work, commuting every Saturday to the Orlando area, and managing to fit in full time education responsibilities with a full time job. And she did it. Congratualtions!!! And then there was Perry's for a few days followed by a visit by Robert and his family.

November 2011
This was the month Karen's triplets turned five. Can you believe it? Karen arranged a great Army Party at a local park. There was camouflage face painting, an obstacle course, and a really funny tug-of-war that you had to be there to appreciate. Then we had a mostly quiet Thanksgiving followed by a trip to the beach for the next two days. Robert and Natalie bought a house and a car, and Robert began employment with Charter Bank. Whew!! Nothing like a few small purchases to help you sleep at night.

October 2011
Welcome Everett Dean Braden; Robert and Natalie's newest family addition. Everett was born on Wednesday, October 12 at 12:20 p.m. He weighed 7lb 5oz and was 20.5" long. Everyone was well, and Natalie and Everett were discharged from the hospital on Friday. Benjamin likes his new brother!

September 2011
September began with a few family days at the Bon-Aire Resort on St. Pete beach. This was our second visit to a place that Ellen led us to. A family-run, modest-but-nice place with renovated rooms.

August 2011
This month Ellen and Tom came in town and we all got together to help Nanny move from her River Hills home. She'll now live in Indianapolis and hopefully come visit lots of times. August was also "go back to school" month so there were all the activities associated with getting all the grandkids ready - plus getting Sandra ready for her new third grade teaching position at Walden Lakes Elementary, a very good school.

July 2011
July was busy. We had Upwards Soccer, a great program, played indoors on a basketball court. Steve and Jay together coached two teams: The Rangers that included Savanah and the Blue Jays that included Seth. We also had the triplets over for swimming and other summer fun, including some trips to Busch Gardens. In mid-month we joined Robert, Natalie, and Benjamin for a visit to Paul and Dorothy Dunn on the Outer Banks and later in the month we had Robert, Natalie, Benjamin, and Nanny in for a nice visit. And during that visit we had a Surprise Baby Shower for Natalie! that included her relatives from Clearwater Beach and Lakeland. At the last of the month we set off for a Five Day Caribbean Cruise via the Carnival Inspiration for a visit to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Good times!

June 2011
We don't usually post the monthly blog until after the month is over, but we'll make an exception for this month. You see, Natalie had her doctor's appointment on June 2nd. All is well. Plus: Guess what we all learned ...


May 2011
May was fun and included a two-day visit to the Hyatt over Memorial Day. During the month we also got to do a number of things with the grandkids: Seth ending his Little League spring season' Savanah ending her spring soccer season, Sydney singing with her class in a school pagent, the triplets enjoyng the pool and staying happy and active with their school. In England Robert and Natalie are wrapping up their highly successful Canvas campus ministry and are preparing to turn it over to new leadership; and they are also beginning to think of things to do upon their return to the U.S. Of course, Robert is in the job market, and he has his feelers out.

April 2011
For April we were happy to have Nanny come in from Indianapolis so we could share the joy of her 90th Birthday. We also got away to a place that Ellen had recommended: the Bon-Aire Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach. It was very nice and we'll certainly go back.

March 2011
We did lots of fun stuff in March, but the highlights of the month had to be visiting the Hunley's in Tennessee and the MacIvers in Colorado where we spent five great days again skiing at Copper Mountain.

February 2011
February was the end of basketball season for Seth and Savanah. The triplets continued with their YMCA sports programs. And Jay finally decided that it was time to get those lumps cut off his back. The surgery went well - but he complained that the doctor didn't roll him over and also take care of his stomach at the same time.

January 2011
We celebrated some birthdays at Universal Studios and visited Natalie, Robert, and Benjamin in England. This trip also included taking a car ferry overnight into France and seeing lots of things in the Normandy area. We had a fantastic time and made some wonderful memories.