Monday, December 31, 2007

Celebrating a Good Life

The Friday before Christmas my dear and beloved Grandpa Thaine Taylor passed away, just a few weeks before his 100th birthday. He was in the same room at home in which he was born when he closed his eyes for the last time on this earth. My parents were with him and explained what a bitter-sweet, emotionally spiritual moment it was. This is a wedding photo of my grandparents in 1927. He has been without my Granny for 5 years and is finally able to be with her again. He was the last surviving child of the 14 born to his parents, so I'm sure there has been a great reunion happening in heaven.

Here he is with Seth just back in September. What a legacy he has given all of us!

The funeral was the following Friday, and all of my siblings (sans spouses and kids) and cousins came to participate. All nine of us grandchildren took a few minutes at the funeral to relate our thoughts and memories of our grandpa. Here are a few snippets of my comments I wanted to share:

I will someday tell my children who won’t get to know their great-grandpa the way I have that he was a respectful, diligent, humble working man who was free of judgement and lived the best life he knew how. Whenever people of all walks of life have come to visit him, he always had a witty anecdote, words of encouragement or bit of farmer’s wisdom to pass along. Through my sadness is a happiness in knowing that he has received his reward for the life he lived. It has been said that when we are born to this earth, heaven cries and the earth rejoices. We should live so that when we leave this life, the earth cries and heaven rejoices. We cry now because we have lost our Grandpa, but heaven is surely rejoicing at his homecoming.

Quite a posterity! 2 children, 9 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren

"Chappell" kids Darrell, me, Terilyn, Gerilyn

Christmas fun!

Christmas this year was in Utah, and what a whirlwind tour we had! We traveled to Summit and Parowan first to visit Matt's grandparents and introduce them for the first time to Seth. They thought he was pretty OK! We went to a Christmas party at the church in Summit and here is Seth's first encounter with Santa.

Most times he'll happily go to just about anyone. On the plane ride, the flight attendant took him to the back of the plane and walked up and down the aisles without a peep. But put him on the lap of a scary red guy with white a fluffy, white beard and he loses it. Maybe he'll warm up to the big guy later.

I like this little picture of Seth sitting in a cute wooden high chair that's been used by his Grandma Diane and just about everyone else in the family.

Here are other random photos during the rest of our stay with my parents in Loa.

No peeking!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Last weekend Matt and I took the "Snow Train" to Leavenworth for our anniversary. Friday I took Seth down to stay with my sister Gerilyn in Tacoma, and Matt and I went to a nice dinner in Seattle and stayed in a hotel before catching an early train the next morning. It was a beautiful ride and the best part is that we didn't have to drive ourselves over Stevens Pass. Folk singers, accordian players and magicians entertained their way through the train cars. The closer we came to Leavenworth, the more snow we encountered. It's a beautiful little Bavarian town, quite touristy this time of year, but we didn't mind the crowds. It snowed the whole day and it got heavier later in the day. The smell of burning wood stoves, roasting chestnuts and cider meant Christmas is around the corner, and it made everyone a little more cheerful and celebratory.

We shopped and walked the streets admiring the Christmas displays and hospitality of this little town. At 4:30 every Saturday in December there is a tree lighting ceremony in the town square. To our pleasant surprise, there was a prayer by a local pastor and we all sang "Silent Night." What a nice surprise to have some "Christ" in Christmas at a civic event (not something you would experience in Seattle). We all counted down together and then all the lights came on in the town square and all the shops turned theirs on as well. What a magical sight!

That was the first time we've been away from Seth overnight, and we missed him terribly, so we kept getting out the camera to gush and coo over our little cutie. Last year's family photos were taken when Seth was just 2 1/2 months old, and here we are holding him on the special Christmas stool.
(photo courtesy of the Teeples)
Now here he is this year sitting up all by his big self "helping" us decorate the untangle the lights and decorate the tree.
This is such a bad video we took on our little digital camera (we have the longer better version on the camcorder), but this is what we looked at on our trip whenever we wanted to see our little guy in action. I think the flashing lights were making the autofocus feature do some strange things. Still, I love this short clip and cannot count how many times I've watched it!

Here's just one last random photo. Seth loves bath time and gets a kick out of lying on his back surrounded by bubbles. He seems to have fun hearing his voice with his ears under the water. It's obvious by the round tummy that we had just finished dinner!