Friday, July 24, 2015

Remembering Grandpa Lee

At my Dad's memorial service my brother Joel put together a beautiful eulogy and bulletin with a short remembrance of my Dad. I wanted to print it here as well so we can always look back and remember him. Eric put together a great slide show to display at the lunch after the service and so I am including some of those pictures as well. There is no way to really do justice in this space but the words and pictures are too special not to repeat. 

Leland Gary Peterson Jr. April 12, 1943 - July 10, 2015
Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a
belief in the grace of God so assured that a man
would die a thousand deaths for its sake.
Martin Luther

Lee was born April 12, 1943 in Spencer, Iowa to Leland Harry and Caroline Marie. He had five brothers and sisters Sonja Kreitzer, Stewart Peterson, Patsy Patterson, Douglas Peterson and Penny Costigon.
He married Janis Ruth Hartkopf on June 20, 1970 in Chicago, IL at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. They have three children, Joel Gary Peterson, Eric Scott Peterson and Sara Elizabeth Davis. He had six grandchildren.
He received his education at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska graduating in 1966 with a BA degree in Art and Education.
He began his career as an elementary school teacher at St. Luke Lutheran School in Oaklawn, Illinois. Later he became a special education teacher’s assistant and school bus driver for a school in Chicago. After several years in the teaching profession he worked for an office supply company as a salesman. He then became employed by General Motors in their locomotive division and later became a foreman.
In 1985 Lee and Janis decided to be closer to extended family and moved the family to Southern California eventually settling in Simi Valley. He joined his brother Stewart's business as the manager of his Mobil gas station in Reseda, CA. He worked with him for 30 years until his retirement. While at the Mobil “station” Lee and Stewart employed many of the cousins and gave many of us our first or very early work experience. While working in Southern California he developed and interest in Spanish speaking culture and taught himself to speak Spanish by studying books in his spare time.
Lee enjoyed travel when he had the opportunity. He took a fishing trip with Eric to Alaska catching Salmon and Halibut and met Sara and Alex in China and Hong Kong. He also took a trip to New York City in recent years with Eric to see a taping of the Jimmy Fallon show. Always known for his sense of humor, he was a big fan of late night comedy shows and one of Jimmy Fallon’s biggest fans.
Throughout his lifetime Lee was a dedicated member of the Lutheran Church. In the last decade he was a member and valued leader at El Redentor Lutheran church in Panorama City, CA. He was very involved in church and attended almost every Sunday even after he recovered from surgery. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Happy July 4th

We spent the holiday weekend in Carp with Granny and Grampy. It was overcast until afternoon. I guess July didn't get the memo that June gloom was supposed to be over. As soon as the sun popped out we headed down to the beach. 
I really think next year they need to get a bigger flag. 
See how sunny and bright it is? It wasn't really, just my mad camera skills. The gray skies didn't keep people away, the beach was packed. Lily is all about kitty's these days so they had to crawl down the beach.
We headed away from the crowds. We like to walk the shore but these two rascals just want to dig and splash in the waves.

We woke bright and early on the fourth to head up to Ojai for the parade. It was Granny & Grampy's first ever 4th July in America!! We had to show them the ropes. 
You HAVE to dress in red, white, and blue. More points for more bling.
I think these two got the right idea. They could be in the parade themselves.
Here we go! Let the show begin.
The girls had fun taking pics with Granny's camera. Pretty sure she got a whole lot of pictures of people with their heads cut off.
This years fan fave. Ol Jimbo dragging his ball and chain from the back of his tractor.
There were plenty of the usuals, dancing horses, marching bands, and of course the hare krishna's.
This little sparkle is my fave. After the parade we went back to the condo to relax and BBQ.
My good looking crew. In the evening we returned to Ojai for the fireworks show. It was going to be a late night but our crew was excited.There were balloon animals.
We had a few snacks and played out on the football field while we waited for it to get dark enough.
The show starts about 9:15 pm but there is plenty to see and do while you wait.
You can get glitter sparkle tattoos for instance.
Finally it was dark enough and time for the show.
 Then the lights went off. We came prepared with dollar store glow sticks and necklaces.
 We saw lots of this. The girls loved it, it was their first time seeing a fire work show.
 Gemma was tired but glowing.
 What a wonderful day. If only our kids knew how to sleep in the next day. When they are teenagers and want to sleep in I'm going to be waking them up bright and early just for pay backs.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Seven Heaven

I think for the girls one of their favorite things about their birthday is picking out their theme. It is a difficult choice and they change their minds up until the second the invitations go out. This year Lily couldn't decide between mermaids or dolphins so she went with Under Sea Adventure so it would incorporate both.  She did try to change her mind to kitty's but we had already bought the figurines for the cake. Oh, and I really did not want to do a kitty cake. 
Her party was a swim party at Goppy's house. We did it on Sunday, the night before her actual birthday. He sea cake turned out really well. It was almost the same as her Ariel cake from a couple years back. Super easy.
We had red gummy fish and also chocolate covered pretzel rods. Sneaking a few early!!
It wasn't overly hot like most years. It was really pleasant out and everyone enjoyed the pool time.

Gwynny has never been in Goppy's pool before. She looks pretty pumped up about it.

Ben is an old pro. He's not afraid.
The verdict on the pool: not a fan. She cried most of the time.
The jacuzzi saw some sweet action. We surpassed the limit I'm sure.

Then we all got out of the pool for dinner. Pasta! Cheesy macaroni and also Spaghetti bolognese, plus salad, and garlic bread. It was a yummy feast and everyone gobbled it up. Then on to the good part...cake! It was one layer chocolate, one layer marble, topped with vanilla buttercream.
She made her wish but knows better than to tell anyone what it was.
Then it was presents time. Highly anticipated.
She got so many wonderful gifts and everything was perfectly suited to her.
She wanted a mermaid tail and got a mermaid fin to use in the pool.
She lost her mind over "Tundra" the stuffed animal from Aunt Judy. This girl and her stuffy's.
Gwynny got some practice walking so she can be rocking it before her first birthday. She is a mover this girl.
Not a fan of the glasses though. If only she knew how cute she looked.
Grandpa Lee chilled in his room inside and didn't make it into any of the party pics so here's one from the previous weekend. It was Father's day Sunday and we took him to his church. It was all decorated and they had a wonderful lunch.
It was a wonderful night and everyone was pooped out. The next morning Lily knew to wake up early for her M&M pancakes. The balloons make our house look so festive.
A few more presents from out of town friends. She also hand an inkling that more presents might be on the table in the AM.
More wonderful treasures.
Almost enough to make them forget about pancakes.
Well, not actually.