Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Table for Tea

Addie sips a cup of tea with Nanna and "Sissy" at her brand new table and chairs on Christmas morning. As you can see, it's very good.

Drinking tea with Nanna is way more fun than drinking it alone, especially if Nanna give you little bits from her actual tea cup. Nanna is trying to bring the girls along in the correct way in honor of their African grandparents who definitely know how to make a proper cup of tea.

"Yes, Jasmine dear, this table is just what we needed. Now everyone will want to sit at the little table with us."

Tinsley/Haas Side Christmas Party

Jennifer's cousin, Alan, gets some help from Addison during the family Bingo game. Maria, Alan's wife, can be seen in the background. Alan and Maria were terrific hosts for this gala event. They had everything, including six different kinds of homemade pie and lots of toys that toddlers enjoy--something for everyone!

It should be noted that Alan once again tricked Miriam into winning the varnished bread centerpiece. She managed to sneak the old version back into Alan's house, but he was ready with a completely updated and newly varnished model which she just "happened" to win in the family Bingo game.

Addison and Jasmine enjoyed the rocking horse, which was just their size. Here Jasmine enjoys some face stretches for the assembled relatives.

Paul has adopted Jennifer's family as his own. Here he can be seen with Jennifer's cousin, JoAnn--one of the Baptist cousins. As you can see, they're on friendly terms.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun

Yes, this is Thanksgiving Day, outdoors for lunch. You'll note that Andrew and Paul are wearing sunglasses and that no one is wearing a coat. It was a lovely lunch. We saved our big meal for the evening indoors.

Here's the whole Baker clan plus Sarah's sister Elizabeth and the Hays family from St. Louis. If you start with Alex and go clockwise the people you see are as follows: Alex, Miriam, Addison Green, Gretchen Hays, Jerry Hays, Elizabeth Wehr, Noah Hays, Andrew Baker, (Sawyer is just out of view), Sarah Baker, Jennifer and (Jasmine Green behind Jennifer's head.) Yes, we had three children under the age of two. Lots of mealtime excitement. Paul is taking the photo.

Poor little Sawyer was not himself for most of Thanksgiving as he had a bad ear infection that necessitated a visit to pediatric urgent care on Friday afternoon. His usual sunny disposition had its challenges since he could not eat or sleep well. When the medication he received did not include any flavoring his poor parents had their hands full trying to get him to take it. A kind pharmacist was able to remedy the problem on Saturday morning--the day Andrew and Sarah discovered their car had been broken into (two windows smashed) and their computer, etc. stolen. Fortunately, they were able to borrow Paul's van to return to Texas and the improved flavor of the medicine helped Sawyer to get some in his system.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wall Words Work

In preparation for this coming week's celebration of Thanksgiving, we've been catching up on a number of "honey-dos" around the house. Miriam gave me some "wall words" for my birthday and here you see us finally get them applied. Paul is great at applying the words. Can't you tell?

Visit to Austin

The middle of November we journeyed to Austin when Paul had an unusual three days off. It was our first opportunity to see Sawyer since early July. My how he had grown. We enjoyed babysitting with him while his parents worked on Thursday and then spending time with his mom and dad on Friday.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

AAMFT Conference in Memphis, Tennessee

This past weekend Paul drove to Memphis, TN to join Jennifer at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists' Annual Conference. He was able to take in the Civil Rights Museum while she attended the conference (a must see), but Saturday afternoon she was able to get away to go to the Memphis Botanical Gardens with him. Here you see a couple of shots at the gardens. We have visited several botanical gardens around the country, but noted this one was unique in its focus on trees. Above you see Paul with a very tall Southern Red Oak. Below he is standing in front of one of the fountains near the entry.

Jennifer attended the conference with colleagues Kristina Brown and Bill Robison from Forest. Both are professors and MFT faculty members. We also enjoyed spending time with Kristina's husband Tucker and Bill's wife, Laura.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Off to Branson with Greens

Saturday evening we took off with the Greens, Alex's mom and dad who are visiting from Zim, to take in the sights and sounds of Branson. Above you see Mitch and Ange posing in front of a Christmas tree at Branson landing. Below that photo is one of Mitch, Paul and Ange in front of the newly planted pansies. We had supper at the great Mexican restuarant there and then were off to see Bill Cosby at the Mansion. Great fun!

Last of the Roses

It's that time of year again -- the night of the first hard frost. Jennifer hurried home from work, covered the crysanthemums (which are a little hardier and will probably make it through the cold without dying) and then picked most of the roses. Here you see the last blooms of the season.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

On the Campus of Winshape Farms Retreat Center

Below you see a view from center campus of the Winshape Farms Retreat Center in Rome, GA. Jennifer spent three days here this past week.
Celeste is the marketing representative from ADsmith for the Operation Us grant. Both she and Jennifer were invited to attend the Media Summit held by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center at Winshape Farms in Georgia. The focus of the summit was on reaching Twentysomethings.

A view from inside the campus looking to the south and the Georgia mountains.

Looking southwest across a small lake on the campus.

Wonderfully appointed, very comfortable guest rooms are found in these former dairy barns.

Jennifer Travels to Rome, GA and Winshape Farms

Above you see a panoramic view of Winshape Farms near Rome, Georgia. The retreat center was developed out of a former dairy on the campus of Berry College. Berry College has the distinction of being the largest campus in the United States with 28,000 acres. The original dairy structures were inspired by dairy farms in Normandy, France. Today they house wonderful guest rooms, conference rooms and a fabulous dining hall.

When the conference ended, Jennifer and Celeste returned to the Atlanta airport via the "cow car" from Chik-fil-A. (Chik-fil-A operates the retreat center.) She and Celeste had quite an adventure driving the highly distinctive, Lincoln Continental to the airport, which is close to a 2 hour drive from the retreat center. And oh yes, even though they were told, "It's really easy; pretty much a straight shot," they did discover it is possible to get lost. Fortunately, people in Georgia are helpful to two women in a cow car.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Picnic

We are having wonderful fall weather. We were invited to a gathering at daughter Miriam's house. This was planned to introduce Alex's parents, Mitch and Ange, to some of the Green's friends. All went well until Addie tumbled out of her highchair.

Josh and Janelle Metzger enjoy dinner with son Jonathan. As you might imagine, there was a lot of activity with five children present under the age of two.

Alex, Ange and Jennifer enjoy grilled salmon prepared by Alex.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

SLS 5th Graders With Laura Bush

Our 5th grade and teacher, Kari Wanner, travel to Mansfield, MO to visit the Laura Ingill Wilder home and museum ever fall. What made this year's field trip different is Laura Bush happened to choose the same day to visit. Our kids got the rare opportunity to meet the President's wife. They all had a great time.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Keeping The Animals In

The Greens have some wild animals to keep in their back yard. This section of fence was constructed around Hurricane Ike. We got more than 5 inches over night. Made digging easy.
Here is Jazz one of the wild animals. See that climbing ability. Hope the fence holds them in.

What a face! Some of lunch is still there but still a face to love. Another tough wild thing to keep in. The fence is reinforced for the likes of these two.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Great Growing Season

With Gustav going through we have had lots of rain in the past few weeks. Everything is green and growing. Our ornament sweet potato vine has run and run. We finally had the opportunity to mow our grass. From the picture below you can see a fine growth of summer crab grass and all the associated seed heads.
On a postive note, we saw the girls two times today because they now live so much closer... Great for grandparents.

The Shack by William Young

Over the past month Paul and I listened to this book on tape and are now relistening. We found it to be one of the most compeling books we've read in the past few years and were greatly encouraged and comforted by its message of God's love for us. We highly recommend it and would love to hear your comments once you're done. Although you can read it, the audio version is unabridged and wonderful to hear. Let us know your thoughts.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Six Days Till Closing

Alex and Miriam moved today. What great fun! I got to go with Miriam to her favorite electric stove store in Springfield's old downtown area. I was so moved I took this picture with my cell phone camera. We had no trouble loading the items with all the homeless men looking for something to do. The stove fit the area in the new house and all parts seemed to work.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What A Day - 12 Days Till Closing

564 Woodland Street - What is special about this.... My little babies will soon be living here. Looks nice from this angle. But wait- It really is a bit of a wreck. We have our work cut out for ourselves....
The inside was not well cared for... Here shows the work of the painter as wall paper is stripped and preped for painting. The house has had some water damage also. So neat to think of the twins running around here????

The master bedroom still has a pile of wall paper... We have 5 days to pull it together.... or else.

Staff Social

What a wonderful evening for a get together. The Redeemer staff gathered to share the fun and to support one another. Great food was had at the Bakers and swimming and after glow was down the street at the Heilmans.
Come on Mr. Beckman tell us the story of ... Those dark bottles are full of root beer.

Poor Mrs. Wong had to sit with the older crowd. Come to think of it... There is no young crowd anymore with all the fulltime teachers in their 30's, 40's and beyond.
What a great collect of talents and personalities. Great staff equals great ministry.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Girls Spend the Night

Jasmine and Addision spent the night with Grandpa and Grandma on August 16. Although they woke up screaming at 5:45 a.m. and jarred their grandfather by their early morning reverie, their sunny dispositions soon returned once they were seated in their highchairs with their "loveys" anticipating breakfast.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lots of Firsts

There are a lot of first time things here. First time we keep the girls for 24 hours. It went well and Grandma Jennifer was terrific. First time we took the twins to the Springfield Zoo. First time I took a phone picture. First time I got the phone picture to my computer. First time I blog a phone picture. Look out world - here I come with my picture phone....

School starts on Thursday and the twins sold their house and will move somewhere in four short weeks. I feel my headache beginning already.....

Grampa Paul

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Old Friends Visit

What fun to visit with our good friends, Fran and Kay Lieb. They were in town for a wedding and spent the night. We took lots of time to share grandchildren pictures. They have 5 ranging from 7 to 1. We are a bit behind with only three. We enjoyed reminiscing about Mom and Dad, as Fran served as the first pastor at Redeemer in Rolla, a church they helped start. They were good friends and fishing buddies of Jennifer's parents, so we had many fond memories to talk about.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy 35 - Return to Bountiful (Seward, NE)

In honor of our 35th wedding anniversary this August, Jennifer and I took a trip to Bountiful to retrace our steps where we first met each other 36 years ago. We left late Friday and got to KC. Saturday morning we visited with our dear friends--Pam and Dale Ott. Boy did they have lots of news in their life. We believe they need to blog to let the world keep up with them. Children moving and adoptions from abroad...
This is our dearest friend, Millie Baldinger. She has been a friend from our years in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Millie lives in Seward. Her dear husband, Bert, went to be with our Lord this past April. We all miss Bert's wonderful sence of humor,wit and wisdom. Millie misses her life's companion. We had a great visit and raided the cookie jar.

It was hot, hot, hot in Seward. Sweet Jennifer is posing by the entrance of the college where we first met. She is trying to look happy while I get the picture in the heat. I'm hurrying Jennifer!

Our first meeting was at Brommer Hall, our fine Concordia dining facility. We had shared friends and met on August 31, 1972 about lunch time. Things have never been the same since. After 35 years of marriage we are just starting to understand the other....

Paul used to sit on a picnic table to wait for Jennifer to walk by. He would join her for lunch. Watching carefully he moved further and further toward her pre-lunch class to have a longer walk with his new love. Jennifer rewarded this effort by giving him a package of Missouri tourism information addressed to Bob Parker. She had some trouble remembering his name. He always could make such a good impression. After 35 years, she's doing much better.