Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sunday, 09/17/17 - Wednesday the 20th - Birthday Girl!

After the fun at AA's 11th birthday party at the River House (Saturday), on Sunday, we went to church and then dropped AA off at Jane Weigand's home for some play time along with Abby. We picked A up at 4:20 and off she went to the church OPUMC 456 Club. 
Monday came and BACK To SCHOOL. AA missed 6 days of school. We are waiting to find out how many will be made up. She golfed after school and we made home made pasta-tomato-carbonara. Tuesday was school again and some swim/pool time with Jane. We celebrated her birthday again with cupcakes and opening gifts as Wednesday evening is busy with church dinner and bible classes. Robotics parents meeting also on Wednesday so that the Eaglebot Club can begin Thursday after school, a week delayed due to Hurricane Irma.
She received many gifts including money from her Nana Joy, lots of gift cards from her friends and Grandma Cathy and Werner, Aunt Carolyn, Aunt Terri and Uncle George, Nana Ann and River House friend/Manager Kelly P. Many brought dog food in lieu of a gift. We gave her tickets to see the Harry Potter movie shown with our local Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in October - can't wait! Also wireless ear buds, an iTunes gift card and some hot chocolate K-cups! She likes the gift cards as she can buy books throughout the year and sometimes some games and candy.
Happy Birthday to Alyzabeth #11! We LOVE you! During breakfast:

Ready to go to school:

Saturday, September 16, 2017

AA's Birthday Party 09/16/17

We hosted AA's 11th Birthday party at the River House on her Forever Family Day - Gotcha Day! We went to P.F. Chang the day before since she was still out of school due to Hurricane Irma.
I made Nana's Chocolate Sheet Cake and Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (added a 1/4 C. of cream cheese and 1/4 C. of Crisco shortening). We enjoyed eight Aron's Pizzas and Stone Cold Creamery's catering - Build your own Sundaes!

Gift bags included an ice cream theme pencil and eraser plus a small bag of sprinkles:
Decorations and pizza table:
Cupcakes and chocolate sheet cake:
Waiting for the ice cream line to begin with waffle bowls! So many toppings! Crushed Oreo cookies, M&M's, chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, butterscotch chips, gummy bears, sprinkles, cherries, chocolate and caramel sauces and whipped cream. They brought three ice cream flavors plus a quart of mint chocolate chip just for AA. The caterer, Zack also gave a small gift card to AA as a gift, so sweet (even though we of course paid for it in the end).
Playing outside before eating - friends twins Tyler and Dylan with younger brother, Abbey, Connor and sister Courtney, Jane and brother Dax, Faith, Noah, Owen and sister Jillianne:
Inside family photo (JK, Kilee and Christa couldn't come), not sure where Carolyn was as she helped me set up the party!
AA requested donated dog food for the local Clay County shelter, so far we have 188 pounds of food:
Back of truck, ready to be delivered:
Our neighbor Nancy Whiteley donated money for dog food. Thank you to all who donated! Last year, blog post here, she asked for the same in lieu of gifts and collected 150+ pounds.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Post - Hurricane Irma and Forever Family Day #9!!

The hurricane became a non-event for us; scary and lots of planning and waiting, but we came out fine. Many families were flooded, had tree damage and lost many possessions. We were lucky with only large tree branch debris and power outage for only 17 hours. Joy found out that her Okeechobee home suffered no damage and never lost power. So she left us on Tuesday, the 12th. Our quaint River House Bar lost the entire lower deck and the ROCA building has been evacuated.

Our tree debris:
Nancy provided coffee on Monday morning - a life saver!
Monday evening, we had power back, but still grilled hotdogs as planned!
Tuesday was spent cleaning up the yard and getting back to normal. The RH opened on Wednesday so we went to check out the damage. Glad the original cottage/bar was fine.
The Eagle Harbor Golf course is not opening again until Monday the 18th! AA did golf at the Fleming Island Golf course on Thursday (played nine holes) and on Friday afternoon with Ms. Penny.
Friday for lunch we went to P.F. Chang to celebrate AA"s gotcha day (a day early). School was still out so could enjoy a nice lunch as Saturday, the 16th was busy with her birthday party.
We had the usual chicken lettuce wraps and AA chose the Dynamite Shrimp:
Selfie in the restaurant:
Annual photo with AA at the horse statue:
That wrapped up our very out of routine week. We feel like we waited a week for Hurricane Irma, so getting back to normal was a struggle - many others had it alot worse: Lea and Jesse's home had major roof leaks, Christa's home flooded. Thank goodness Nicole, Carolyn, Justin and Cathy's homes were all fine (Cathy and Werner plus Leaa and Jesse are still with out power).

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Catching Up! Aug. 27th - Sept. 9th {Before Hurricane Irma}

We have been cooking, golfing, cleaning, playing, etc. Life is good!
AA is participating in the OPUMC 456 Club on Sunday evenings (4:30 - 7:30 pm) which seems to be going well. When we dropped her off on Sunday, August 27th, they stated the kids were having hamburgers. Sounded good for us too! Ford cooked us each one at home and we enjoyed a quiet dinner (after cleaning the living room!). Cheese, Terri's pickles and one glass of wine. Time went by so fast, next thing we knew, we were driving back to OPUMC (light misty rain, so didn't walk).

Monday morning, Ford made homemade bread for our dinner of Bruschetta tonight. We love our meatless meal. We also go to the church for Wednesday dinners and have started attending a Bible class, while AA goes to the 456 Club.
August 30th, we read where River Bend Golf Course was having a BBQ food truck, so we checked it out. Good food and Ginger enjoyed the ride!
Cara and Travis Smith welcomed daughter Pearl Joanne Smith into this world! Marsha and Carl flew up to see their new grand-baby (#5).
Ford attended AA's 5th Grade Parents Open House meeting (while I held a WPOA Rules review team meeting at the pool) and was handed a bio that AA wrote in her class. It was wonderful to read, proud of our girl! Received many nice comments on Facebook. 
We drove to Okeechobee on September 1st, Friday to visit with Joy. Nice weather, lots of good food, swam and biked and GINGER! We took Ginger and she rode well in the truck (we took our bikes) and was pretty good inside Joy's home. There is a smallish dog park but Ginger never seemed to understand that she could run around. She sniffed everything constantly. While we were there, Ford's Dad's birthday was noted, plus Terri and George's 35th Wedding Anniversary, plus Nicole and Jordan's anniversary. Lots of birthdays coming up in September too! In the truck with Ginger:
We drove back on Sunday so that AA would go to her OPUMC 456 Club. They went to DQ for Blizzards afterwards. Monday, we spent at the pool and grilled hamburgers and went to the River House.
School and golfing routine was in full swing while we watched the news about Hurricane Irma. School was cancelled for Friday, September 8th, then Monday and Tuesday. With school out, AA has missed the first Robotics Team meeting and the first PGA Jr. Elite Team practices. Cooked lots of bacon for AA's breakfasts, plus BLT's for lunch if we lost power.
Nana Joy drove here on Wednesday, September 6th as South Florida was going to take a direct hit, then the prediction was it was moving to the East; then it was predicted coming up the middle of the State, now it has gone further west, hitting Key West and soon Tampa area. Our home before Hurricane Irma:
River House on Thursday with Joy:
No school on Friday: AA golfed on Friday morning, then we went to Chamblin Bookmine store and lunch at Moon River (leftover pizza for dinner). Pool on Friday afternoon:
After bath, AA loves to read!
We made lots of preparations, buying water (many frozen water bottles), carbonated canned water, Gatorade, Vitamin water, etc. I cooked bacon for BLTs, bought pimento cheese, plus we always have Peanut Butter and Jelly! Ford made meatballs and spaghetti sauce. We had the FI meat market stuffed chicken. The wait was really hard. We did laundry, dishes, taped the garage door shut with duct tape! We haven't posted too many photos of our fun on Facebook, don't want anyone to think we aren't taking the storm seriously. We have plans to fill the bath tub later tonight plus the kiddy pool is full. The kitchen sink will be full of water just as a washing hands station. Our little room under the stairs has been ready for two days, comfy with chairs and quilts and a cooler. Hoping to cook hotdogs on the grill Monday. Tons of other food, bread, fruit, leftovers, canned goods.Cars are full of gas, plus one 5 gallon gas jug. We did go to the River House on Thursday and Saturday. A Northeaster was drawn in from the coast, so many clouds and occasional rain; having all the rain before a hurricane probably won't help!
Saturday, we swam in the pool with Isabel; Laureen was willing to use a little gasoline to drive here. We enjoyed their company.
Saturday at the River House:
Jack Wagner (Mary-Jo) took this photo for us, my arm wasn't long enough to take a selfie!
Sunday, we still have power so made bruschetta for lunch. Hoping to reheat our homemade spaghetti for dinner tonight. Sunday morning weather:
Now to see how close this HUGE hurricane gets to us. Hoping for less than 75 mph winds.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Drive, Chip and Putt - WGV 08/26/17 3rd Place

AA played very well at the "sub-regional" Drive, Chip and Putt competition today, Saturday, August 26, 2017. AA placed 3rd with her friends Jenna and Sammy placed 1st and 2nd, with AA being the first alternate. AA scored the best in putting so was awarded the 1st Place Putting medal!
From Facebook: We are proud of what AA scored at the sub-regional Drive, Chip and Putt held at the World Golf Village, Slammer and Squire. Only the top two move to the Regional (then to the 2018 April Masters). AA placed third. A very good score and she won first place for putting. Happy for our golfer! {the Solheim LPGA souvenirs are from Ms. Penny, AA's golfing partner - more golfing bling! Thank you!}

Sammy Chao:
Final Scores for Girls age 10 - 11 and Boys:
Medals for first place putting and third place overall:
With the Solheim souvenirs that Ms. Penny Reynen gave to AA. We enjoyed a dinner at talons with her on Friday, the 25th after a round of nine holes.
Hoping for a trip to the Masters one of these years!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Passing of Janet

We were informed of the death of Janet by Hugh O'Connell. Janet and husband Arnie (ROCA Board President) lived in River Oaks, were our drinking acquaintances from the River House too. Her daughter was a delight to speak to at the funeral and the River House, she said that Janet fondly spoke of Alyzabeth and out hot-dog meals together. Janet always had a bright smile and time for a friendly chat. She was a good friend of Penny, AA's golfing mentor.

Janet Jackson Canaday Reynard (77) Passed away Wednesday August 23, 2017. She was born in Port Huron Michigan and resided in Orange Park, Florida. Janet enjoyed her career in nursing for more than 30 years, boating, traveling and spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by her loving husband Arnold V. Reynard; her daughters, Patricia Wilson (Hambone), Valarie Thrift (Kevin), Barbara McMichael, Melinda Canaday; grandchildren, Gary Wilson, Eric Wilson, Ryan Thrift, Austin Thrift, Travis Thrift, Stephen Rucinski, Joshua McMichael, Madison McMichael, Grace Searles, and one great-grandchild, Bryce Wilson. A memorial service will be at 10 AM Saturday, August 26, 2017 at Hardage-Giddens Rivermead Funeral Home 127 Blanding Blvd. Orange Park, Florida 32073. Please leave words of comfort at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pace Center for Girls in Orange Park or the charity of your choice.

Monday, August 21, 2017

08-21-2017 Eclipse!

Lots of hype going on to view this solar eclipse; our area was to have about 90% darkness. Justin, Kelly and Kilee drove to Santee South Carolina to be in the area of total eclipse. Cathy and Werner are in Cape Giradeau, also where the total eclipse will pass through.
Our River House club manager planned a fun day to view the eclipse, have lunch and gave us the safety glasses. We took AA out of school early; today as all Clay County schools it was an "excused" day.
I made the pin hole in a white paper (index size) which did not work showing the moon and sun on a second piece of white paper - there wasn't enough sun due to all the clouds!
The lunch was delicious, AA had Liam Myers and Otis Reynolds (Julie and Steve) to play with, and we talked to many members including Steve (JEA) and Kim Cooper. Scott Anderson, WPOA President:

Neighbors Rod and Candy:
The clouds were intermittent, we saw the sun with partial coverage, then it did not get very dark, mostly because it was cloudy so the contrast from sunny to dark was not good. Over all, had a good time!
Kelly and daughters (Ella and Lily-Ann) made a poster and tried quizzing us on the facts, we were total failures!
Liam Myers, AA, Otis Reynolds:
It was good that we saw what we could from Florida, next time, may be worth it to travel to a "total eclipse" location - like Maine in 2024!