Halloween History

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 5:19 AM

Shel posted these Halloween pictures of Eliza from this year and last year.

Eliza halloween

When I saw them I thought, Oh I should have gotten my costume together last year and gone to Georgia to go trick-or-treating with Eliza. I went into the basement the other day and this is all I could find that was left over from past Halloween costumes.

mike halloween 2010

Then I decided to take a look and see if I could find a picture from the last time my pumpkin costume was used.  I couldn't find one so I had Steph email this one to me.

pumpkin patch 002

This was from 1985 and was quite a pumpkin patch.  So I guess the vines continue to grow and produce new fruit.

While I was looking for the Pumpkin Patch picture I found several others that I thought I would post just for the fun of it.  Hope you enjoy the memories as much as Verna and I have.

Halloween 1978 Joshua

We'll start with Joshua as Cookie Monster from 1978

Halloween 1979 Mom Joshua Luke

Verna, Joshua (??a devil ??), and Baby Luke (the angel) from 1979

Halloween 1981 Joshua, Luke, David

Luke the clown, David the bunny and Joshua in my old cowboy clothes from 1981

Halloween 1982 Joshua, Luke, David

A bat, a bug and a tiger from 1982.

Halloween 1983 Joshua, Luke, David, Shel (a)

Robot, witch, devil and a mouse in1983.

Halloween 1984 Broken Arrow

Army man, Sox player, scarecrow, and the tiger once more at Broken Arrow Campground.  David won a prize this year for his scarecrow costume.

Halloween 1984 Jill R at Broken Arrow

We were camping with good friends that weekend who I thought needed to be in this review.

Halloween 1989 Joshua, Luke, David, Shel

Jumping ahead to 1989 we have another cowboy, a good looking woman, m&m's and what I would call a Dancing Wafflebird.

Halloween 1990 Joshua, Luke, David, Shel

A cowboy for the third time, Pirate, Davey Crockett and another mouse in 1990.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.  I know we had tons of fun making these memories and are looking forward to making many more.

Another Vandercar

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Checking out some of the other Vandercars on the net and came across this guy's blog. about Lewis Vandercar.


I remember reading about this once before on the web and I suppose Nancy will want to see if it is still sitting on this point.


but I had not seen these


I can't say that I would have agreed with all of Lewis's views on life and such but it seems like he would have been an interesting character.


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Saw this at the state fair and the first thought that immediately came to mind was "Bitty Bug"

sparkle 3

Alaska Road Trips

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Tuesday, July 13, 2010 at 6:37 PM

When you're in Fairbanks, Alaska and you decide to take a road trip your choices of where to go are pretty limited.  There are only three roads that will take you out of town.  One goes to the Southeast, one goes North, and one goes Southwest.  The guys in this VW took the Southeast route and ended up stopping at the campground we were at in Beaver Creek.  They looked like in another time they could have been on thier way to Max's farm in upstate New York.  I really liked their ride.


They were just out for a drive and to have some fun, which may not have been possible if not for the efforts of the guy and dogs that piloted this sled/buggy to the Worlds Fair in Chicago and then on to Washington DC to lobby for a road from the lower 48 up to Alaska.

sled & team

For more interesting pictures, videos, and history of Slim Williams click on his name.

Addendum to: The Yukon Territory

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 8:31 AM

Earlier I posted about how people liked bragging about the size of things up here and I forgot to post this picture.


She was a pretty BIG Storyteller with some TALL tales to tell.

In The Yukon Territory

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, June 21, 2010 at 9:22 PM

The sign says "Larger Than Life" and believe me every thing in the Yukon is just that.


They have these huge pans for panning gold.


Which led to me finding this huge gold nugget.


I know some folks from the lower 48 like to think that Texas has bragging rights about everything being big, but up here even the days are big.  It is about 10:15 pm and you would think by the position of the sun and how bright it is outside that it is around 6:00 pm.  They will have over 21 hours of sunlight today.  Now that is a BIG day.

I can't wait to get back to Alaska tomorrow.  They have T-shirts up here that show an outline of Alaska with an outline of  Texas fitting comfortably in the middle of it.  Below that it says " Pissing Texans off since 1959"  That's BIG.

Posted By "BIG PAPA"

The Stars were out in Lafayette

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Nancy had an interesting visitor in the bookstore on Sunday May 16th which I thought was quite strange until today when Verna and I were visiting Classic Klutter in town today when we bumped into a couple ghosts from the past. Well Jim would have to have been a ghost but I guess Helen is still alive and well in the Land Down Under, but what was she doing in Lafayette?

Jim Croce

Helen Reddy


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Tonight Mom gives me a DVD that she got from Youth Encounter and says could you put this in, I'd like to see what is on it. So I go through the challenge of getting the DVD player to play. We are supposed to be able to turn the VCR and the DVD player on and the Dish Tuner off and all is supposed to work OK. Evidently the DVD player was not reading properly off of the disk because after I got every thing set right it had been playing for about 30 seconds. I stopped it and was going to restart it but no matter what I would do it would not start playing again. After tracking down every controller in the house looking for the right one and pressing every button on the DVD and VCR Mom says well if it was playing it probably won't restart until you REWIND IT. Hmmm???? can anyone tell me how to rewind a DVD??


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Sunday night when things were starting to wind down at the Vandercar dinner at Susie and Jerry's the old four year old, before her time, Evia asks Sandy if she could come upstairs to one of the bedrooms to put a movie on for her. On the way up Evia tells Sandy "I need some alone time before I get in that car to go home"

A good place to surf.

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, April 12, 2010 at 4:32 AM

I heard this guy on the Lutheran Hour broadcast.


He has some very enjoyable music that you can listen to and there is a link to his wife's blog telling of living full time in a RV.

Good Advice

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM

I came across this in some of my reading and thought I would share it.

Taking Care of You

Drink plenty of water.
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.
Eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less that is manufactured in processing plants.
Avoid eating food that is handed to you through a window.
Live the 3 E's - Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did in 2009.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Sleep for 7 hours.
Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Your Outlook

Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Don't have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
Dream more while you are awake.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
Forget issues of the past. Don't remind others of their past mistakes.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
Learn a new word every day.
Smile and laugh more.
You don't have to win every argument

Your Relationships

Call your family often.
Each day give something good to others.
Forgive everyone for everything.
Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Your Life

The worst promise you can break is one made to yourself.
Do the right thing!
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
The best is yet to come.
When you awake alive in the morning, thank God for it.
Your Innermost Self is always happy. Follow it.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Keep these rules handy and review them often. Follow them and small, almost imperceptible, changes will accumulate into something big. Your life will change.

You still have that?

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Nancy has a post on her site http://dancewithnance.blogspot.com/ with the Hayden's modeling their FFA jackets so I thought I would join in.


I'm a little further away from the days when I wore mine and the zipper is a lot further away from being able to be zipped up.


Looks a lot better from the back.


Of course in my defense I had to tell Verna that when I bought my jacket I was also wrestling in the 95 lb. weight class.  I'm much more muscular now.

Verna's comment was "Yes, Sandy we still have that"


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 4:45 AM

Dancing with Shel Belle

Nana said can you believe your daughter is 27???? It can't be.
Happy Birthday Michele My Belle.

Treasure Hunt

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Can anything be more fun than a treasure hunt?


Sorry for the cell phone pic but I had to share this.  After our first attempt at geocaching on Saturday which was cut short by Evia ralfing all over.  Emma kept asking if we could go out to find the other treasures that we had intended to look for on Saturday.  So what better way to cap off a few days with Nana & Papa then to get out in the woods on a beautiful secluded trail to find another treasure.

Tonight in our Bible sutdy we talked about things that make you happy.  Well who can ask for more than finding a hidden treasure with some that aren't hidden?

TTHM & Precious Memories

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 6:53 PM

How many times have you heard a grandparent say how much more enjoyment they can have with their grandchildren because they can just spoil them and send them home whenever they want? I know I’ve made that comment and must say that it is great when you can do that. The problem is that sometimes the option of sending them home whenever you want is not an option and that’s OK because it can sure give you a greater appreciation of your children, and make you wonder how did you ever get through raising them.
So enough said about that here’s where the story starts. Thursday night we get a call from Tammy that her Mom had called and said an ambulance was on the way to take her Dad to the hospital fearing that he was having a heart attack. Shortly after that we get a call from Luke saying that it was in fact a massive heart attack and unfortunately it was fatal.
Verna & I canceled our weekend plans to go visit Joshua & Adrienne with Steph, Elden, Shel and Eliza and told Luke & Tammy that we were available to take the kids for as long as needed so that Tammy and him could have some undisturbed time with her family. They dropped them off on Friday afternoon with plans for us to bring the kids down to Linton later.
Saturday morning dawns with Levi trying to go potty, but ending up, pretty much uncontrollable, in excruciating pain, we’re guessing from constipation. We felt so sorry for the little guy, but unfortunately there was not anything we could do to comfort him. This goes on most of the morning on Saturday and finally by noon or so he was able to go and instantly was back to his old adorable loving self.
Everything was going pretty good after this we went to the park, the kids played in the hot tub for a bit, we watched Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Cars, and so many cartoons that I lost track of them all. Before I go on I must say in our defense that we were really being responsible in what we gave them to eat since we knew that we would have to suffer the consequences of any sugar highs or tummy aches that may be created.
Which takes us to today, we took a ride after lunch to find a couple geocaches and out to an open house at Wolf Park. We weren’t ten minutes into the trip when Evia started complaining of a stomach ache. She’s been know in the past to complain of a stomach ache so that she could get some of the good pink medicine which always miraculously fixes everything that ales you, so we went ahead and went to Wolf Park hoping that she might get to feeling a little better. She ended up being carried or sitting on my lap the whole time we were there. About two miles down the road after we left Evia lost it and threw up all over herself, the seat back ahead of her and Emma who was sitting beside her. We had just cleaned the Pacifica out for our trip to Minnesota so the only thing we had to clean up the mess was a blanket, that we use for Macy to lay on, that Nana was at least able to wipe Evia’s mouth with, and told both of them to sit tight till we get home where we finished the clean-up. If there was ever a moment when you wish that you could just spoil the Grandkids and send them home this was it, but then still on the way home with Emma sitting in the stench she comes up with the comment “I can’t wait to be in heaven because when I’m there no one will throw-up on me.” Those are the moments/memories that can never be replaced.


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Last night we spent the night at Luke & Tammy's so we could go with Emma to Grandparents day at school today.
Shel had fed Eliza and put her down for a nap just before her and Tammy ran into town to get pizza. Eliza wasn't ready for a nap and was back downstairs with us shortly after they left. Nana was holding her and she was fussing a little. The following conversation followed.
Nana: Are you getting hungry little girl?
Papa: Shel just fed her before she left.
Nana: Oh did she give her some cereal?
Evia: No she fed her from the boob!

An Old Car??? & Cockroaches???

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 8:42 AM

The other day when we were at the Oncologist’s office with Grandma Elser (I’ll refer to her as this, usually to me she is Verna but I don’t want to confuse people into thinking I am talking about my wife) he used several analogies to describe her condition and possible treatments and etc. to us. I thought these were quite unique and not usually what you would hear from a doctor and thought I would share what I can remember of them with you.
The first was when he was talking of her present conditions and the health aspects of her body. He said it is like a car. When it is new and you get into a little fender bender you will naturally take it and get it fixed. As the car ages and starts to get some miles on it and the water pump or something on the engine wears out if the miles are not excessive and the engine runs good without using a lot of oil and such you would replace the water pump. If the engine was getting a lot of miles on it and using a lot of oil but the rest of the car was in good condition you may consider replacing (transplanting) the engine with a good used or remanufactured engine. When your brakes are getting worn it is not unusual for them to be working fine when you pull up to a stoplight and maybe at the next light they start grinding and suddenly need to be replaced. (emergency medical care) As time goes on and the miles continue to pile up on your car it really begins to show it’s age and some of the dings and dents are overlooked, some of the repairs needed are overlooked as they are not critical to the operation of the car. The paint starts to fade, and often times rust starts creeping through. This is when it starts to become more difficult to make decisions as to if it is worth while spending anymore on this old car. It was at about this point in the discussion that he told Grandma Elser that she is like this old car. She has some dings dents, scrapes and bumps but more importantly her kidneys are only working at around 70% efficiency, she has had heart by-pass surgery several years ago, she has had a knee replaced, she had a broken hip a while back, her bones are getting weak, she cannot see well enough to read or drive, and now there are spots of cancer on her colon and her liver. He said the bottom line is your getting pretty rusty and I’m not just talking about your bumpers, it’s the whole car that’s rusting away.
He then proceeded to tell us about treatment procedures which led to his analogy of a room with 10 cockroaches in it. Referring to the cancer as the cockroaches he said that you can stomp on eight or nine of them and help the problem of the infestation but unless you can stomp on all ten of them they are likely to come back. With the different chemo or radiation treatments they could probably kill 8 or 9 of the cockroaches, maybe even all ten of them but to be certain that they were all gone the best thing would be to get entirely eliminate the environment that the cockroaches are living in. This would be the surgery needed to remove the affected area that the cancer has affected which is typically what they would do in a car with only rusty bumpers.
There were more analogies that he used in the hour or so that we were in his office but I can’t remember them all right now. If they come to me I will try to pass them on as it was quite entertaining but yet enlightening to listen to this professional bring things down to a level that we could really relate to.
Oh yeah, I must add that Grandma Elser related very well as she shared with the doctor that the car she just quit driving a few months ago had something like 230,000 miles on it, (she knows exactly how many) has had the engine replaced, has had many repairs and is in fact starting to show a lot of wear and tear and rust.

R Rated Stories

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 4:00 PM

After the blueberries for desert we start talking about how Dr. Oz talks about how good blueberries are which then leads to Verna E talking about his show yesterday that consisted mostly of talk about female parts and sexual matters. On a program in the middle of the day. I said well I guess that is no worse than the male enhancement ads that run all the time especially during prime time. So Verna E says did ever tell you the story of when Clayton the neighborhood boy wanted to show me where babies came from?  So she being a typical naive 11 year old girl says of course I would like to see this.  Clayton then leads her out into the field behind their house, drops his pants and as Verna shows the stroking motions that he proceeded with, she says Clayton responds with this is where babies come from.  Verna said she went home and proclaimed to her mother that she knows where babies come from and after describing what Clayton revealed to her they got to take a walk down to Clayton's house so Nanny could tell Clayton's mom what he was telling all the kids in the neighborhood.

I don't imagine Clayton demonstrated his knowledge of the birds and the bees to any other girls after that.


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On at 3:23 PM

Spending the night with two Vernas @ Uncle Jim's.
Converstion around desert:
Verna E: I want something sweet and creamy.
Verna V: How about some blueberries with sugar on them.
Verna E: Sounds good to me.
So Verna V. brings out a small bowl of blueberries and starts to sprinkle sugar on them.
Verna E: Don't stop, put some more on them.
Verna V: Well I didn't think you needed that much.
Verna E: Well I've lived this long, so I don't think a little extra sugar will hurt me.
Mike V: She doesn't want you to get to fat.
Verna E: OK, I guess I don't want to work my grandsons to hard carrying my casket and as Macy walks by and gives her that begging look, she continues with, Oh and I want to tie a red flag onto Macy's collar and let her lead the parade.

Just For Fun

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 10:18 AM

This song came up on my I-tunes this morning so I thought I would share it.


I happen to know someone with a new guitar that by changing the lyrics some could have some fun with this. :) :)

Man he really had some good stuff.


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, January 25, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Since Verna was gone to Lutherhaven for the Women's retreat Macy and I spent Friday and Saturday night at Luke and Tammy's. Saturday night Macy jumped up on Evia's bed while I was telling her and Emma a story. I left her there while Luke and I continued working on the closet doors in their bedroom. Before I went to bed I checked and Macy had made her way under the covers still in Evia's bed. Tammy said "hey if she's OK with it so be it." Macy ended up staying there all night. The next morning when I asked Evia if Macy slept with her all night she said " Yes Papa she did, under my covers, but I didn't spread my legs for her to sleep between them"
:) :)


Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, January 11, 2010 at 4:45 AM

Luke & Tammy and the kids came down Friday to spend the night and go to Matt & Michelle's wedding on Saturday. Verna and I had invites for parties in Kouts & Hebron on Saturday. So while we were getting ready on Saturday Verna laid out my clothes on the end of the bed as Emma looked on.
Emma: Why are you putting out Papa's clothes?
Nanna: Papa doesn't pick out what he wears because he doesn't care what he wears.
Emma: Did Papa care what he wore when he was a little boy?

I Love those girls that keep Papa in line and looking good.

New Blog - New Ideas

Posted by Big Papa | | Posted On Monday, January 4, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Going to try to use my new blog to share more. One of the ways will be titled TTHM for Things that humor me. Here are my first entries of TTHM:

We're in the living room at the Lafayette house and an ambulance goes by with the siren blaring and this conversation follows:
Emma: Where are they going?
Nana: Probably to help someone who got hurt.
Emma: How do you think they got hurt?
Nana: Maybe they were in a car accident.
Emma: or maybe they were jumping on the bed.

Later Levi is in the kitchen saying papa cokinerat. I'm not understanding so he repeats a couple more times cokinerat, cokinerat. Then Nana translates. Papa he wants a "cookie from under the hat" which of course is the lid on the cookie jar we have that Verna made in ceramics.