Monday, April 29, 2013

Down By The Riverside...

I took a walk this afternoon on the path. It was finally a gorgeous day and actually hit 70 degrees! The leaves have appeared and the cottonwood sticky seeds now grace our patio. Patience has run short as I have waited for signs of spring. Tom and I walked through our yard and got onto the path. With flowers finally beginning to bloom, the leaves beginning to appear and the river back in its banks, we walked.

It was a beautiful sight! After last year's drought, it was wonderful to see the river full and on the move.

We hiked for a while and noticed how much green had appeared since we were last on the path. Soooo pretty!

We noticed that the path was getting darker, which meant that it had been under water when the river was over it's banks. There were deer tracks and some small trees that had been taken down by the beaver.

Then we came to a halt. This part of the path was still flooded. It won't last much longer. Soon we will probably be complaining of the heat and the river will be low. But for now...let the river roll.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pure Genius!

The Apps are some of my dearest friends on this earth. Larry and Nila are my Bible Study teachers (yes... 2 teachers/1 student). Tom and I have traveled with them for a long weekend to Mackinaw City. We laugh, share, cry, and solve the problems of the world together.  Nila and I are great travel companions (as long as she remembers her earplugs). But this is a man who has great gifts: he knows so much about technology. This poor guy takes my emails, phone calls, texts, anytime day or night when I, again, tell Larry that I have a computer problem and he graciously says, "Bring it on over, Jill." He never appears frustrated with me and even on a Sunday (I just returned from the App house!)  he just says, "Come on over and bring your computer." 

Even when I have phone problems, the Verison store, with all of their "high-tec, know everything there is to know" guys, give up on fixing a problem, Larry has solved the problem in five minutes. I tell you, he is a genius!!!
Besides these gifts, as if this wasn't enough, Larry has a wonderful creative side to him. He loves to hear stories that people have to tell. He founded his site called StoriesRetold where you can see the incredible DVD's that he has created. His latest DVD shows the remaking of the new Lerner Theater Organ. I was so impressed with this DVD, not only because it was so beautifully created, but the stories, interviews and pictures of how it was done, blew me away! It can be purchased at the Lerner or from Amazon, etc. Clips of videos are on YouTube. I think they are listed under Larry from Bristol. Larry will probably cringe when he reads this and wish that I had some better information. All I know is that he does fabulous work!
I say no more except to say that I don't get any cash/credit for telling about these DVD's. Larry doesn't even know that am writing about him in my blog. I just wanted to write about a man who puts God first, then his family and career.
Thank you Larry for all the help that you have given me. You and Nila are very special to me. Now, I must go review my lesson for Tuesday night.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Remembering Dad

Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the death of my dad, Kenneth Alexander Walbeck. He was 70 years old. Dad and Mother were on their first cruise in February 1988 and Dad died April 25, 1988. I didn't write yesterday since I spent the day with Mother. We reminisced about the 'good ol' days'.
Dad moved from Marshall to Tekonsha, Michigan during his sophomore year of  high school. Mother remembered thinking how funny "Walbeck" was for a last name. Little did she know....
Mother and Dad married in Tekonsha in 1940. Dad had been learning the newspaper business at the Tekonsha Patriot  while in high school. After returning from the service, Dad continued his love of the newspaper business in the composing room at the Enquirer and News in Battle Creek, MI.  He taught himself  to type and loved learning new technology. He would have loved today's technology.
The Union Church was such an important part of our family. Mother was the pianist and choir director and Dad loved, loved, loved singing in the choir, in a quartet, or singing Tom Dooley or The Chipmunk Song while I played the piano.
Dad and Mother were (and Mother still is) very active in  the Tekonsha Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star. Dad was the Worthy Patron for many years and went on to become a Grand Officer for the Waldo-Beltz family.  
After driving back and forth from Tekonsha to Battle Creek for many years, in 1963 we put our house on the market. It sold in one day!!! Talk about Dad's shock when he arrived home from work to find out that he needed to get back in the car day after day to return to Battle Creek to house hunt.  Those were long, difficult days!
Life was good on 127 Lois Drive. Dad kept himself busy with various projects around the house. A day couldn't begin without cooking his own oatmeal with brown sugar. Sometime during the day, he would write in his journal. If anyone needed to know the weather, what he ate, what happened, where he went, what he bought, etc., on any given day, Dad could tell you. He kept his journals for 20 years.
Dad loved the hot air balloon festivals that were held in Battle Creek. The balloons would fly over our house and dad was in the driveway every morning during festival week and was at the airport for launchings in the evenings. Of course, he had his camera with him. I still have a little booklet of  photos that he took of his favorite balloons.
I miss my dad. He was a good man. I remember after a doctor's appointment and  we found out how sick he was.  On my first day of my spring break from teaching in 1988, I drove my dad to Ann Arbor to the hospital. He was so sick, I remember thinking that I might be taking him from home for the last time. I was with him for most of the time during the weeks he was there. Paula, Mother and I were with him when he died.
He died too young but he had a great faith in a great God. It was good to remember him as I sat and talked with Mother. I'll see him again someday.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I'm missing my grandkidlets tonight. That means I have to look at their pictures and kiss all over them:

             They are growing up soooo fast. I have proof:

                              Now I miss them even more.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Let the River Roll.....

We've had heavy rain. Many people are flooded, have water in their basements, and have a mess on their hands. We have been so lucky because, even though the river 'curls' around us, we have never had a drop of water in our basement. (Oh no! I hope that didn't jinx us!!!) It's freezing outside but I ventured out to take pictures of the river as it comes over the banks (by our neighbor's house across from us) and begins to wrap its way around. The water wasn't there an hour ago so you can see how quickly things change. A couple (?) of years ago, his house was surrounded by water  and it was at the base of our driveway. We were sweating that year!

The river is beautiful to watch. These pictures were from the front of the house. When I look out the back window, the river is running hard and fast.  Since we don't have more rain in the forecast, everything should be fine. It kind of depends on what the people do as they  control the rivers at the dam site. We are on the Elkhart River but since the St. Joe is under a flood warning, it affects the Elkhart river too. At least, for now, I am enjoying the power of the river.

Too Sweet For Words

Saturday, April 13, 2013


His momma texted me yesterday. She was a typical nervous momma. He had taken the IRead test which must be passed to go on to 4th grade. His momma knew that he would pass but was nervous for him. Lots of pressure.

Yep...this kid:

This is Nicholas. See the book? He has read every book in the series. Was he nervous??? Probably not.
this sweet boy...
a ...

perfect score!!!

I think he's perfect even without a perfect score!!!


Friday, April 12, 2013

4 Years Old!!!!

Alexis turned 4 last Sunday. It seems like yesterday when Kendra and Jason headed for the hospital from the doctor's office. The doctor had warned Jason not to hit any potholes on the way and there was a high level of anxiety in the air. I remember that soon after her arrival at the hospital, Jason greeted us in the waiting room (wearing a slightly wet t-shirt) but he was one proud daddy as he showed us the pictures of his precious blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby girl. And...look at her now:

Alexis is 4

 "Be careful Alexis! Don't get too close!!!"
 (Blake looks a little relieved.)

Alexis's favorite part of her birthday was blowing out the candles.
Notice how protective her brothers are of her. She is blessed with two of the sweetest brothers possible.
The Decorations:

A home-made sucker bouquet

So pretty and tasty too!

Nicholas tests out the strawberries.

Home-made flowers

"Pizza peaze"

Jump, Lexi, Jump!
What a great gift from PopPop Jim and Grandma Connie.
Blake is such a helper!!!

Rip it, Lexi!
Alexis liked her hand puppets!

How many puppets are in there?
"This is so much fun!"

"Oh I just love my birthday!!!"
"What's next Mommy?"
"It's my own cup for a birthday tea party.
What a wonderful day!"

And when you are 4 years old, you celebrate the following day with a few groovy moves:

You rock Lexi!!!

Happy birthday to my youngest grandkidlet!
I love her more than chocolate!!!

Thanks to Tom for taking the pictures and telling me all about the party. It was the first time that I have had to miss the birthday of any of my grandkidlets but it was at the advise of my doctor. My back issues are getting better by the day!!!