Thursday, 24 December 2009

Home again!

I'm home again and am absolutely exhausted! I feel that I could sleep for a week. If my family lets me, I may indeed do that :)

Well I arrived in Birmingham on Saturday two hours late due to the bad weather and Barb and I went directly from the airport to Tesco to get some food for our journey to Newquay. Brian and Joan had arrived from the north a short while before me and after having something to eat we all went to bed in the freezing cold house. The heating had been turned off whilst Barbara had been visiting me and had only been put back on a couple of hours earlier when Barb had returned home! I had two hot water bottles in bed with me as it was soooooo cold. (I know I'm a moaner, but I hate the cold!!!)
On Sunday morning at 7.50 am we left Redditch and made our way down to Newquay in Cornwall, arriving at 12.20 pm. For the next two hours we sorted out and looked through things that Aunty Ellen had left us. I spent a lot of time going through the jewellery that had been left to Barb and myself. I'd inherited Aunty Ellen's wedding ring and my Nana Gray's wedding ring and quite a few other rings and watches.
We went out for lunch and came back and carried on sorting through her personal items well into the evening. We had a good gospel discussion and then went to bed with more hot water bottles just before midnight.
On Monday morning we arose to tidy up the mess we'd made yesterday and got ourselves ready for Aunty Ellen's funeral. The hearse and limo were arriving at 9.30 am to take us to the cemetry in Truro 15 miles away. The funeral was simple and short. David conducted and gave a short life story of Ellen Pearce Gray Taylor. She was born on July 1, 1925 to Beatrice McFadden and Wilfred Gray. She was the eldest child of three. Our dad, Thomas Lakeman Gray was born two years later on July 4, 1927. She met Harold Taylor in 1942 and married him in 1946. They were sadly not blessed with children. Aunty Ellen had often bemoaned to me the fact that she'd been born in the wrong time; IVF would have been an answer to their prayers.
After the funeral we went back to Ellen's house for a small wake.
The estate agent came at lunch time to get our details and our ID's in preparation for the sale of house and then at 2 pm we all went into town to finish off some loose ends concerning the estate. Our appointment to see the solicitor was at 3 pm and because we were early we took a walk along Towan Beach.

After the meeting with the solicitor we took David to Newquay airport so he could get himself to London in time for his Tuesday 10.15am flight to Paris. where he would connect on to Boston and finally on to Salt Lake City. I think he had problems due to the bad weather. I'll find out tomorrow how things went for him.
Monday evening and Tuesday morning were spent getting rid off and sorting out the rest of Aunty Ellen's belongings. Outside the house there was a massive pile of black bags which Jackie, Aunty Ellen's goddaughter would have to get rid of.You should have seen the car - it was choc-a-block!! We had bags on top of us for the 4 hour journey back up to Redditch!
It was strange saying goodbye to Newquay; an era has come to an end. Ellen and Harry lived in Newquay for 32 years and it's sad that nothing holds us there anymore. I have very fond childhood memories and they will stay with me forever.

Whilst we were sorting through some of Aunty Ellen's photos I came across the following two of dad. The top one was taken in October 1940 and the lower one we think he looks about 16 or 17 years old, which would mean 1943-44. These were a great find!!

I'm glad I'm home; it was very tiring but worth it. It was great seeing Brian, Joan and David and spending the few days together. Once again, only 4 siblings together! :(
We missed mum and Keith.

Now it's Christmas and it's time to spend a few hours thinking about our blessings and the gratefulness of families. I'm grateful for mine, that's for sure. Merry Christmas!

Hugs all,


Friday, 18 December 2009


What at week that was!! On Friday (11th Dec.) Barb called me to tell me that Auntie Ellen had taken a turn for the worse and that it was only a matter of time! Well Barb flew in on Saturday and before we could even get home from the airport David rang letting us know that Auntie Ellen had passed away at 05.20 that morning! :(
Well that was a shocker! Barb and I spent the majority of the afternoon and evening on Skype talking to David and then later with Mum and Keith. Because Barbara's flight was an economy saver ticket she couldn't change the flight and there was no point me going over without Barbara. Barb, Dave and I are executors of Auntie Ellen's will making it obligatory for all of us to be there.
Dave was booking a flight to be in England on Monday to start arranging the funeral and cleaning up her estate, and Barbara and I would fly out the following Saturday (which is tomorrow).
The funeral is planned for Monday, 21st December at 10.00 am. I will then fly home on Christmas Eve, meaning that I will miss Daniel's birthday on Tuesday,

That meant that I had to get everything ready for Christmas 5 days earlier than planned! Barb and I have baked until our backs are aching, we've shopped until we've dropped and I've washed and ironed until I can't stand the sight of the iron and ironing board!

On Sunday evening we all went to the Christmas concert of Roland's music school in Rorschach. It went really well and got us into the Christmas spirit. We'd decorated the tree that afternoon.

On Monday, Barb and I went to see New Moon - again! It was cool! I can never get enough of Robert Pattinson. Obsessed, I know!! :)

We went into St. Gallen on Wednesday afternoon and froze our butts off :) It's been snowing and the temperatures have dropped a lot. We looked at the Christmas market and did some of the tourist stops.

Here is one of the shop windows in St. Gallen - selling chocolate - what else!! Well, we are in Switzerland.
Well I'm off to pack my stuff for England. See you next week!

Hugs all,

Friday, 11 December 2009

New snow

All of the snow that we got a couple of weeks ago had melted away and I thought, "oh, what a shame Barbara won't get to see any snow!" Well, think again! It's snowing and the forecast says its going to snow all day.
This morning Melissa and I went up to Speicher to renew her passport (she's off to New Zealand in February) and the snow up there was falling thick and fast. We were out of the car for only 10 minutes and when we returned the windscreen was full of snow. Down here in Speicherschwendi (300m lower than Speicher) we only have a sprinkling of snow but that won't be all if it continues to snow as forecasted. Thank goodness we have winter tyres on our car!

Look how funny the green trees look in the snow.

We will be picking Barbara up from the ariport tomorrow morning, so I hope the roads will be okay.
Barb will be sleeping in Jordan's room and by the looks of it at the moment, he has a lot of tidying to do before she comes. Daniel's room doesn't look much better so he'll be cleaning up his as well.

Laundry is calling!!

Bye for now. Rebecca

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Out and about

Even though I know it's not true, I still feel that I spent more time in my car than out of it today!
The day started with a primary presidency meeting at 8.45 am at the chapel and finished 2 hours later. We had a good meeting and I now have a long to-do list. On my way home I stopped off at the grocery store and finally at 11.45 am I arrived home and started cooking lunch. The hubster came home for lunch and Melissa was also home as she had a day off work. Jordan and Daniel left at 1.05 pm to get the bus back to school and at 1.45 pm Melissa and I hopped in the car and made our way to the chapel (again) for a choir practice. We are singing "What Child Is This?" in sacrament meeting on the 20th Dec. I am singing 2nd soprano and it's not an easy melody; it's up and down. We were there until 3.30 pm and off home we went, dropping off Elder and Sister Burbidge on our way. I dropped Melissa off at the house and then I went to the bank and post office. I got home at 4.20 pm and then cleaned up the kitchen as I didn't have much time to do it before leaving for the chapel. Two hours later at 6.20 pm I drove Daniel and some neighbour kids to their athletic meeting and picked up Jordan from tennis. He was so tired and the poor boy is currently doing his maths homework - geometry - not his favourite subject. Melissa is helping him as he doesn't get it.
I looked at the clock at 7.59 pm and realised that I had to pick up Daniel & co from athletics in 1 minutes time. Oh well, there was no way I was going to be on time as it takes me at least 5 minutes to get up to Speicher. Luckily they were running a bit late and I was there before they got out. It's now 9.00 pm and my car is finally staying put; in the garage where it belongs!

Oh, I forgot to mention - when I came home at lunch time Melissa told me that Nana had had an accident and had broken something in her shoulder. WHAT!!My mum is currently visiting Keith and family in New Zealand and they were out sightseeing for the day. They were looking at some lovely architecture and mum was looking up and proceeded to trip up and over the low curb. She threw her arms out to cushion the fall and fractured her shoulder joint (the ball is fractured). She doesn't have to have surgery (yet!) but she has her arm in a sling and is in a lot of pain. She'll go back to the hospital next Thursday for an x-ray to see if it is healing. She called me at 7 pm and told me she was being a "miserable cow!" I feel so sorry for her - what a bummer - you go on holiday and this happens! But at least she will be pampered and taken well cared for. I'm sure she'll be fine.
So there was my day. I'm off to watch Grey's Anatomy :)

Hugs all,

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Boys and girls

School, homework, tennis, athletics, seminary, mutual, work, housework, aerobics, meetings, music practice, church assignments, worries, bills, dentist appointments, MRI's, pysiotherapy, car pooling, more worries, etc., the list goes on and on.
I imagine this list looks very similar to that of a lot of families with a few kids still at home. Thank goodness I don't have to do it all at once, other wise I'd be overwhelmed before even getting out of bed in the morning!
Life is so different with teenagers (although Daniel at nearly 11 doesn't fit into this category - yet!) than it was with babies and toddlers. With the hectic of small kids came a routine that forced planning. Now that life has slowed down (although looking at the list above I realise that it hasn't slowed down, it's just different)I find myself sometimes lost in the free time that I have available. What is my priority today? What needs my attention? Does it really matter if I don't do it today? Can it wait until tomorrow? I find myself procrastinating and I don't like it. Life needs a structure and I realise that mine needs restructuring. The foundation is safe and good, so I just need to remodel it a bit.
I'll let you know how my remodeling is coming along :)

Here are some photos of the boys on a typical Wednesday afternoon.

The hubster showing Jordan how to play a piece on the piano.

Jordan playing "Nearer My God To Thee" - can't you tell?!

I'm grateful that I have at least one girl and I think we "planned" it pretty well in having our girl first. I love spending time with Melissa! I'd say she is one of my closest friends. We have a very open relationship and she knows how I tick. Even though our time together limited, I am glad that she is following her dreams and enjoying life.
This is Melissa with her friend Roseanne at a YSA autumn ball.

Gotta go - Daniel wants me to play a game with him.

Hugs all,

Monday, 7 December 2009

Second Advent

This was an exciting week. Stephanie and Ephraim R. had their baby girls on Tuesday and Jordan and I went to visit them in hospital on Thursday. They are so cute and so tiny. Eleanor was 2,2 kg and Liora was 2,4kg. Momma and babies are doing fine.I managed to get all my christmas cards finished and after finding everyone's addresses got them sent off today. That's one thing less to think about! :)
I should have done my ironing this afternoon but couldn't help myself when I saw the cute countdown calendar by Heidi Swapp from House of 3 and made that instead.

Then while I was reading her blog and video for the calendar I saw the candles that she'd made and decided I wanted to make one as well.

There went my entire afternoon and my evening will be spent tidying up my office.