we got to spend the last days of 2009 with luke and tammy and kids:) we do feel so blessed and enjoy our times together at the “Popsicle house”  a name given to this old house by the girls….since emma and evia were little… whenever they would come to visit they would take baths in our tub here in lafayette, and we would give them popsicles hence….”popsicle house” so yesterday we went out and got in the hot tub and enjoyed popsicles together:)



today papa got online for directions and started making party hats for the kids to bring in the new year!     ok martin stewart!!!


he did a pretty good job and was really getting into making them festive:)…..levi was tired and really didn’t want to pose… i think he thought we were laughing at him, he is very sensitive at times, we weren’t laughing at him… it was papa we were laughing at:)



…….seriously he has so much fun with the kids, i can’t imagine what it would be like to have a papa like him!!! i had one grandpa, and i just remember getting yelled at for slamming the door at the cottage, while he sat and listened to wgn and the cubs, maybe that’s why i don’t like the cubs!!!…….i don’t have a whole lot of other memories of “gramp”…..kind of sad when you think about it, i mean i loved him but really don’t remember very many  “fun times” maybe the older grandkids do, but i don’t

levi had fun with the different trains, this one pic is for tammy…. look at puppy on the floor:)



i love making memories for these sweet little souls……God has really blessed our family and we give all praise and thanksgiving to HIM


someone from my past

One must always maintain one’s connection to the past and yet
ceaselessly pull away from it.

Gaston Bachelard

we had lunch yesterday up in st. john at northwoods with a friend from the past:)

we brought my mom with to see her, i couldn’t even make it look like her! and she said “oh, i would know you two right away!”


she had not seen her in 42 years! we caught up on her life and her on ours, steph had been in touch over facebook so they had been talking for a bit and decided they wanted to all get together……it was very fun and insightful to talk with someone from your past……far past!

christine gall was a girl that grew up on our block in evergreen just down about 4 houses from us. her mom ruth was eddies godmother! it was so wierd to hear her keep saying “eddie”, she brought more pictures of eddie… she had mailed me some earlier. she is alone now, her mom, dad and brother bill have all gone on before her…. so sad to think bill died at such a young age, he was chris’ age, i’m pretty sure.

we decided we want to get together again and i am sure we will!

thanks christine for the great memories


notice mom has a cane and not her walker!

oh i and i was going to mention, her house was the one we ran down to and went in the basement, when the tornado hit in 1967………………(our house didn’t have a basement)




the last week has been a whirl wind, as i am sure all of you have experienced! i felt pretty bad for james and shel and eliza with all the miles they had under their belts! a trip from georgia, here with us, up to hebron for the vanderbrandt get together, back down here, over to westpoint with some of his family, back here for church, down to frankfort for more of his family, back here, up to hebron, for some of shels extended family, over to laporte with sibs then next day to other side of laporte for our side, then down to dav and whits on their trip home! i’m tired just thinking about all the miles they had to do!!! and james’ comment was…. i just get in the car and shel tells me where we need to be! and he said it so sincere and wasn’t sarcastic at all about it, he then said… if this is what we need to do to be with family, i will do it:) james, it was so hard to say goodbye to you, not really knowing if we will see you again before you ship out……..God be with you, stay safe, we love you.

not to mention ua and a, but they are used to traveling the world over:) and dav and whit too! how did we all get so spread out!?! give them wings……and they fly!

before church on Christmas eve


we again attended st. james for the candlelight service and filled up 2 pews with our family and adrienne’s family, and james brother dustin and new fiance.

these were taken at st. james, Christmas eve night,

the new mr and mrs vandercar

mr and mrs vandercar

mr. and mrs rockhill and eliza

the rockhills

mr and mrs vandercar and enola

the vandercars

the kids

the girls all dressed up for church in their christmas dresses


got home at 1 oclock in the morning and papa read the night before christmas for the new babies…..


it was hysterical and fun, if you want to see the movie check out papas place………enola kept looking up at him and then eliza started crying and enola then joined in:) when papa gave the team a whistle…it suddenly got quiet……… we were all cracking up, it made Christmas having the little ones here…. got up and  did the whole vandercar thing then on to luke and tammys and did the whole thing over again and then up in the morning  and over to chris and pegs and did the whole elser thing, we enjoyed being with family, but i do have to admit, i think all of this is getting to be tooooooo much, i think a vacation for christmas sounds like a wonderful idea for me:) not sure if i could get papa to agree?????

we need a trip to minnesota for the forgotten stockings for UA and A…i was so mad at myself for not being able to remember everything!!!!

i am exhausted, i will leave you with a few pics, it was wonderful having joshua and adrienne with us for their first Christmas together as husband and wife:)

everyone enjoyed holding the babies



this is the older girls in their pjs in laporte the night of Christmas…………………….sister chicks!


all the kids got new pjs, heres a pic of whit and enola and shel and eliza


i didn’t get to get a pic of luke and tammys kids in their new christmas pjs, i was really wanting a pic of all 5 of the grandbabies in their pjs and no pics of emma and evia and levi in their Christmas outfits…………..

my camera didn’t get brought out when they were dressed up, cause we weren’t with them all dressed up!… you’ll have to check out the pics on my old blog for them at their church the week before……in fact i don’t have pics of their family together, and the only pic i have of luke is at stephs playing with “shoot the moon”

vanderbrandt christmas 2009 019

here is a pic of me reading to emma and evia


levi opening presents



got it!……….thanks for the help UA………

more pics in next post





Welcome Home J&A

Cookies are baking in the kitchen … not mine … Whit’s (cookies, that is … not kitchen).  Ua & A just walked in and the dogs are crazy!  More later, i’m busy.  Enola’s sweet, as usual … she’s in the kitchen, too.

eliza’s out visiting great grandpa rockhill

(name of Steph's twin site)
Once again, Steph and i unknowingly chose the same color to wear ... it's a twin thing.


Hello mom!

If you are up for the challenge and the change, here is a new blog for you.  i can get you the password and such, should you like.  And here’s the first post for you … a picture of us and our first Christmas tree!  Enjoy!

Christ’s Love,

JA Christmas Tree