Travis on April 29th, 2011

The night before Easter, we dyed eggs with Gavin.  He got a real kick out of coloring the eggs.  He was pretty good with the egg ladle too.  The next morning, he got up and found the eggs that were hidden.  He got a Cars Easter basket with lots of candy.  The Easter Bunny even brought him a new bike!  It was a hotwheels bike with a Cars helmet.  We spent a good chunk of the morning riding his new bike.

Every year, Nicole and I host Easter.  This year we had an especially large crowd.  We had 11 adults and 5 kids.  The weather was awesome, though.  The kids ate outside while the adults had dinner inside. It was:

  • Nicole
  • Travis
  • Gavin
  • Stephenie
  • Josh
  • Samara
  • Dalton
  • Jericho
  • Moziah
  • Mom
  • Dad
  • Ken
  • Arne
  • Nancy Lee
  • Josh’s Brother
  • Josh’s Dad

We all had a great time.  Good dinner and good conversation.  After dinner, the adults went outside and hid some plastic eggs in the back yard, as our annual tradition.  The kids played for better part of the day.  I know we all had a great time, even though it was a lot of work!

Travis on February 10th, 2010

A precious life has been lost. Suzanne Williams Stanley (“Grandma Suz”), age 66, of Billings, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.

Suzanne was born on Oct. 11, 1943, in Raleigh, N.C., to Creighton and Sue Williams. She graduated from Needham B. Broughton High School in 1961 and spent three years at N.C. State studying applied math before leaving school to marry Kenneth Stanley on Aug. 3, 1968. They lived in Newport News, Va., and then Lynchburg, Va., until they decided to make the move to southern California in 1979.

They lived in Orange, Calif., until 1985 and then spent 15 years in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where they finished raising their family. Suzanne was a stay-at-home mom during many of these years and very involved in her children’s school activities. She was an active band booster parent and attended countless music events for all three of her kids.

Suzanne eventually returned to school at Moorpark College, earning her associate of arts degree in 1987 and her associate of science degree in computer information systems in 1989. In her 50s, Suzanne decided to study martial arts and attended Woodard’s Todai Dojo to train in the art of ninjitsu. She attained her black belt at the age of 58 and it was one of the proudest moments of her life.

After leaving California in 2002, she lived in Las Vegas for 15 months before moving to Charlotte, N.C., to renew her family relationships on the East Coast. In 2008, she moved to Gilbert, Ariz., to be near her daughter Lisa and grandson Alton before settling in Billings in May of 2009 to be near her daughter Nicole, grandson Gavin and son-in-law Travis and his family. The time in Billings was the happiest of her life, being the best grandma ever to grandsons Gavin and Alton, and fixing up her town home “mansion” to be exactly the way she wanted it.

Suzanne was preceded in death by her father, Creighton Williams; her mother, Sue Williams; and her grandmother, Inez Pearce. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth; children: son Michael Stanley and his wife Jennifer of North Hollywood; daughter Nicole Cook and her husband Travis of Billings; and daughter Lisa Stanley of Gilbert; two grandsons, Gavin Cook of Billings and Alton McKillop of Gilbert; and brother Kent Williams of Baltimore. Her aunt, Marjorie Pearce of Raleigh, N.C., and her uncle Marshall of Wilmington, N.C., also survive her.

The service will be held at the Smith West Chapel, at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11. There will be a viewing on Wednesday evening and again on Thursday morning up until the time of the service.


Copied from her obituary from The Billings Gazette

Travis on October 27th, 2009

Here’s a little Halloween Greeting from our ghoulish family to yours!

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Travis on September 6th, 2009

car showToday, Burn The Point had their annual car show at the Metra.  Nicole, Gavin and I thought we’d go and see the “Fancy Cars.”  Gavin really wanted to see a Toyota, but we had to explain to him he probably won’t see one at a classic car show.  But we did see the Bat Mobile, or at least a cheap knock-off.  He thought seeing Batman was pretty neat.  He was fixated on Batman.  He had a really good time seeing all of the cars.  carshow2He especially like the Corvettes and the bright colored cars.  It was a pretty hot day, so when he saw the icecream stand, we pretty much had to stop.  He got a big cone and ate the whole thing, too!  Much of it was on his face and shirt, though.  It was a lot of fun.  He got a huge kick out of seeing all of the cars.  Later that evening, he went over to Steph’s house to play with his cousins on the slip-and-slide.  As far as summer days goes, he had a pretty good one.

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Travis on August 21st, 2009

We captured this video of Gavin dancing to Tub Thumpin’ in March of 09.  We originally posted it on Facebook, but didn’t post it on the blog. But now that I’m a bit more Facebook savy, I found the embedding code. Enjoy! Yay, yay, yay!

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Travis on August 19th, 2009

The other day, Gavin informed me he was going to drive to the forehead store.  “The forehead store?” I said, “That’s silly.”  He laughed and I laughed.  Then he’d say “forehead store, forehead store, forehead store.”  Each time we laughed.  This lasted for awhile.  He tells pretty good jokes.

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Travis on August 11th, 2009

peas1We have a garden this year that is much larger than the years before. We ended up putting in 4 4×8′ raised beds, plus our regular garden. We planted 3 rows of corn, 2 varieties of peas, 2 varieties of green beans, lima beans, asparagus, 4 tomato plants, 3 cucumber plants, 3 varieties of lettuce, turnips, carrots, white onion, yellow onion, green onion, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, banana peppers, and watermelon. This weekend we were able to harvest a bunch of cucumbers, green beans, onions, turnips, and lettuce. I was able to freeze green beans for the long Montana winters. Hopefully that will continue to produce.

peas2Today we grabbed a meager amount of peas. Here’s Gavin helping me free the peas from the pods. He is a really good helper and always wanting to help out with the “weediing.”  Now if we can only get him to pick up his toys, we’d be set.

Travis on August 4th, 2009

Mom and Dad had to make the hard decision to put Rajsha down last Saturday.  It was a tough one as she has been with our family for the last 17 years.  She was an old, but faithful and loving dog.  We were all able to go and visit Rajsha for one last time and say goodbye.  Each of the kids had time to pet and feed her treats.  We were all able to say goodbye to our friend and family member.  She may be gone, but she won’t be forgotten.

Travis on July 31st, 2009

Since moving Just Us Cooks to a new server, the Family Tree has been down.  I went through and fixed the software so the records are now accessible.  I’ve restricted the data to family members only.  You can register for an account, but if I don’t know you or someone I know can’t vouch for you, you probably won’t gain access to the data.  If you are a family member, I would encourage you to register.  It is a lot of fun looking through our family history.

Travis on June 23rd, 2009

Gavin’s going to love this post, especially when he gets older.  Yesterday I got a two calls from Gavin.  The first one, he was so excited because he went pee in the potty!  This was his first time and quite a milestone.  Then awhile later, I get another phone call from Gavin telling me he went Poo Poo.  Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the pictures!  I guess this means we’re officially in the potty training stage.  He did really well and he’s pretty excited about it.  And the sooner I can stop changing diapers, the happier I am too!  Those dern things cost a fortune!