Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Saturday, December 10, 2011


First came Nadene, my awesome mother-in-law. She never stopped working. She raked leaves, washed dishes, tended the baby (more about him later), vacuumed, and dusted. I couldn't stop her! And when all the work was done, she was the queen of the games: Quiddler, 5 Crowns, Banana Grams, Shanghai Rummy, and more. Fun times indeed! Here she is with her delicious "Cloud 9" rolls for our Thanksgiving feast. Oh, and did I say she cooked? Well, she did that too!   

Next came the Alison's family: Brandon, Alison, Emerson, and Brisquette, the dog. 

You better believe there was a lot of baby spoiling around here!

Then came Carl, Brandon's dad. He came to be here for Emerson's blessing. 

And now for some pictures, because we took a lot of them!
Four generations
Guess who likes being a grandma
Proud uncles
I'm having trouble adding more pictures. I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to stop. For more fun pictures, check out Alison's blog entries:  Family Thanksgiving,   New York City & Asbury Park, and  Baby Grows.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Aftermath of a Storm

Let's say your son insisted he needed 16 female betta fish for a science project, what would you do with them when said project was over?

I borrowed this picture from the internet.

Before he even acquired the fish, I made mine promise that he would treat them humanely and find them good homes when he was done with them. Trouble was, not a lot of people are looking to adopt female bettas. Eric was finally able to get rid of  give away some of them, but we were left tending way too many. As they started to mature, they got aggressive and ugly. Bullies picked on the smaller ones by nibbling on their fins and tails. We dutifully cleaned their tanks and carefully fed them, but the fish fun was over.

A few weeks ago, the East suffered a freak, too-early-in-the-season snow storm. Leafy tree limbs couldn't hold the weight of the wet snow and broke off, knocking down power lines all over the area. The power outages left our home without electricity for four days. We were inconvenienced and cold, but that was about it. Then we noticed the fish. Apparently bettas like to be kept warm. One by one, we found the poor little fishies belly up. I'm sorry to admit that nobody was crying when the cold did them in. Nature took it's course. Who can argue with that? I'm not even going to try.

  Any one want a fish tank?  We have three available.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Promised Pictures

For those who can tolerate a proud Grandmother's brag shots:
Getting Ready   

Emerson and His Grandma
Going Home

The New Family
If you can handle more cuteness, see Alison's blog pictures and videos here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Baby Had a Baby

Emerson Scott
October 6
6:38 PM
8 lbs. 9 oz.

Alison got her wish of a natural childbirth. What a trooper! Her midwife called her a "strong woman" and said she was awesome. Don't I know it!

By the way, cute baby, huh? Yeah, I'm kinda in love. Obviously, there will be more pictures to follow :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Letter of the Law

"Technically, I'm not on the table if I'm not actually touching the table, right?"

(Still waiting on the little tyke...)

Monday, October 3, 2011

No Baby Yet...

...but thanks for appeasing me with your guesses :-)
While we're waiting for news of the first grandchild, go ahead and chuckle at this picture of a young couple and their first born .

Friday, September 30, 2011

Keeping Busy

Here's what we're doing while we're waiting:

The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey is sponsoring a fund raiser tomorrow (Saturday, October 1st).  Scott, Neil, and I will be walking for an undetermined amount of miles.  (I guess we'll just stop when they tell us to.)  Feel free to join us or sponsor us (or just wish us happy thoughts!)  We are Team Stone Soup.  We each have our own sponsor page, as follows:

Scott's page

Neil's page

Lori's page

As I write this, Neil has the most sponsors.  Surprised?  Yea, me neither ;-)  A thousand thank yous to our generous donors!  Eric would be there except it's marching band season, which means he's either practicing or competing at any given hour of any day.

Also, we're making guesses for Alison's baby's birth date and weight.  Please venture a guess in the comments!  FYI, her official due date was yesterday, (though she always thought it should be October 1st). One dear friend predicted 5:00 PM tonight.  Guess not.  Want to guess again, Trinyan?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Sitting Here Waiting By My Phone...

Stole this pic from Alison's blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Tribute

In honor of RWC 2011, I give you...

More look-alikes!

Which one is the rugby ball?

I know.  Kinda hard to tell, right?
Eric almost picked up the wrong one for a spin pass...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Is It Just Me...

...or does this tomato from Alison's garden look like Leonardo?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fresh Start

Eric chose to celebrate his first day back to school by participating in a mud sliding contest after band practice.  Yes, he is a high school Junior.  But he did clean up after himself when he got home.  Yes, the shoes are shot--he had to cut the laces to get them off.  But they were too small for him anyway, so no harm done.  I'm learning to chill about stuff like that.

Here's Neil on his way to his first day at the community college.  You can tell from his smile that he was pretty excited about it.  The problem was, because of days of constant heavy rain falling on our already water-soaked, hurricane-abused state every road we tried to take ended up in a "road closed" barricade.  Fortunately, we allowed 30 minutes to make the trip that usually takes only seven.  He ended up arriving to class only 10 minutes late.  He wasn't the only one tardy and his teacher was very understanding, so yeah, he's chill, too.  Just like me.  I think Neil's in good hands.

By the way, Neil was smiling like that on the way home, too.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Touched Down in the Land of the Delta Blues

Mmm, Mmm, Mmm!

Our brief weekend get-away had two purposes.  Firstly, BYU was playing at Ole Miss for their season opener and it seemed like a great opportunity for us to celebrate our 29th anniversary.  Secondly, Neil and Eric would have a chance to prove they could be responsible and take care of themselves and each other.  Well, despite a nail-biting game throughout, BYU eventually pulled off a win, and Scott and I had a wonderful time enjoying the hospitality of our southern neighbors.  Check off purpose number one.  Neil and Eric managed to get along and not burn the house down.  That's a check for number two.  Success!

Can you tell Scott enjoyed that tasty Memphis BBQ?
We had time before the game in Oxford, Mississippi, so we followed the map on my phone to William Faulkner's home, Rowan Oak.  Really, really cool!  (Well, actually, it was really, really, hot.  We learned there was a short-cut through the woods and gratefully took that way back to the stadium.)
We experienced the never-ending tents in The Grove, the biggest tailgating party ever.  Seriously, you'll want to check out that link.  It was amazing.

And finally, the game.  I don't think we ever really stopped worrying until it was over.  That was a tough win.

A hopeful Scott, before the game

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Yes, it's full...and then some.

Neil and I tried to lend a hand yesterday.  We went to help some friends pump out the flood waters from their home, and to assist with clean-up.  What would have been a 15 minute trip before Irene ended up taking much, much longer.  Power outages are widespread throughout our area.  You can imagine what that does to traffic when most of the signals are out.  Many roads are closed, but you won't know that until you have almost reached your destination and you are suddenly faced with the dreaded barricades.  I already learned on Monday when I took Neil up north to Chester for therapy, that often times you can go around the road blocks and you'll be just fine.  But that isn't so in every area.  Yesterday we took many detours.  When we finally neared our friends' home, we passed through a police stop and verified that we were there to help friends and that we knew their address.  When we entered the stricken community, I had to choke back sudden tears.  The streets were lined with the sodden belongings of families resigned to a long recovery.  

 AP Photo/Mel EvansPhoto source:

Our friends had had their basement flooded before, so they knew to bring things up before the storm.  What they hadn't expected, was the sudden rise of water four feet or more into the first floor.  The flood line was visible on the side of the house above my head.  

Scott snapped this picture on Sunday in another neighborhood where he was helping out.

What impressed me most about my friends, their neighbors, and most of the people we know who've been affected, is their attitude.  Everyone is helping each other.  People are sharing their homes.  Generators and pumps are being passed around.  I've seen a spirit of cooperation and a lot of reaching out to help one another.  How else could anyone maintain hope through such trials and devastation?                        

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Happens When You Sow Your Garden With Joy?

You reap happy vegetables!
(See the smiley faces?  Give it a minute... there they are!)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Youngs + Stones = Summer of Love

 We attended two reunions in July.  Lucky us!  Here are some pictures that make me smile.

The Youngs in Utah:

The Originals
Grands and Great-Grands
The Dutch Doll Always Visits
Camping Out in the Porch Room
Previewing the Family Photos
Grandpa and Cousin Mitch on the Kiddie Scooters
Thirty-three of Us at the Folk's House

The Stones in Oregon:
Big Stones and Little Pebbles

Feeding the Multitude
Ladies' Man
Alison Practicing
Loving the West Coast
Grandma Nadene and Two of Her "Kids"
Special bonus video, "Sumo on the Beach":