Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010




Since our last posting was on Columbus Day, it's only fitting that this posting involve Columbus Circle. That would be where we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year.

For the first time in many years we went to the city for the parade this year. We were concerned that it might rain, but the weather held out for us. In fact, we didn't see any rain until we were walking from the train to our car for the ride home. ***Whew!***

We drove down on Wednesday, parking on 68th St. and enjoyed the day in the city. Half of the fun of going to NYC is driving in it, getting lost, getting cut off by other drivers and trying to figure out how to get where you're going as you drive in the madness.

We walked and we walked and we walked around the city. We had lunch in Central Park in Sheep Meadow. Then we walked to FAO Schwartz, then down 5th Avenue to the Empire State Building. There we went up to the observation level. It was fun, beautiful and cold. Seeing the city at night from that height was really fun, but did I mention it was windy and COLD?

Back at ground level we walked to Macy's, then Times Square for a Jamba Juice and dinner at the Roxy Deli. For anyone going to the Roxy, plan on huge portions. Next we took the subway back up to Central Park West and 81st St. where we waited in and enormous line with a huge crowd of people to see the balloons that would be used in the parade on Thursday. That part was ok, but to anyone else making the trip, I can't say it was worth the wait at the end of a very tiring day. Finally we walked - again - to our car and drove to our hotel in Secaucus, NJ.

On Thursday morning, we drove to the Secaucus Junction station and took a train into the city. I don't mind driving in NYC, but not on Thanksgiving day when all the roads are re-routed. We then took the subway to Columbus Circle where we watched the parade. It is very difficult to find a good place to see without arriving at 4AM. The spot from which we watched was actually across Broadway from Central Park West where the parade was marching. However, it was close enough to see and we had no one in front of us. It's possible we saw more from there than we would have up close with a dozen people in front of us.

Riding the subway on Thursday was an experience in an of itself. The trains were packed so full that there was nowhere to move. I mean nowhere. "Packed like sardines" only begins to describe it. What a riot!

After it was all done we took the subway, train and van home, stopping at the Ramapo rest stop for our sumptuous Thanksgiving feast of Quiznos and Dunkin Donuts. Now we're home and hope to rest our aching feet. It's the stuff that memories are made of.

It was fun but we missed having our other kids, and grandkid, with us. Of course our family is what we are most thankful for on Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Columbus Day





On Columbus Day Glen, Lauren and I went to Lake Placid. It was an absolutely beautiful day, we couldn't have asked for a nicer one. Our first stop was the "Cloudsplitter" gondola at Whiteface Mountain. It takes you to the top of Little Whiteface. The view from there was amazing. The pictures can't quite capture it like your eye can - but trust me, it was awesome. At the top there were picnic tables where we ate our picnic lunch. It was cold and windy at the top, so that's why we're in parkas. After that we went into Lake Placid to a bike trail that went down to the lake. It was a great ride, and not too long. Then we went and parked on Main Street and walked up and down, ducking into the cute little shops along the way. Glen especially liked the Adirondack Popcorn Factory stop we made for caramel corn. While we were looking out at Mirror Lake there was a man on what looked like a surf board standing up paddling with an kayak paddle. It was the funniest thing. It looked like he was walking on water. I have no idea how he kept his balance. It was funny to watch. On the way back to the Northway we saw where they do ski jumping and the bobsled runs, but they were already closed. It was the perfect day and the perfect way to spend it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

GE Global Research's 110th Anniversary Celebration

Saturday there was a party at GE Global Research celebrating their 110th anniversary. Glen, Lauren and I went (since we're the only three still in NY). It was fun. When we got there they had a bunch of things to do. There were bouncy bounces, jumbo slides, bands, a rock wall, and a Velcro wall. There were cooking demos and all kinds of fair food - pizza, fried dough, popcorn, cotton candy, caramel and candy apples, and ethnic snacks.

There was also and big tents - one had their technology showcase and the other had a history showcase in it.

Lauren and I jumped on the Velcro wall. It isn't as easy as it sounds because the thing you jump on to get some altitude onto the wall is like a big air pillow. So where ever you step it sinks in and it is hard to get a good bounce. But we tried!


When we were done Lauren's hair had gotten stuck in the Velcro suit that she was wearing. She had to crawl off the thing and I had to gently try to pull her hair out of the Velcro. Poor kid!

Then we tried the rock wall.

Glen was the first to try -
he went on the medium difficulty part of the rock wall and got pretty far up it.

Lauren and I went up the easy side of the rock wall. She got up pretty far too.

Here's me at the top of the easy side of the rock wall ringing the bell. I think the guy working at the bottom of the rock wall was surprised that I made it to the top.

There were five different bands that played and then we had a BBQ dinner - hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ chicken with sides. It was yummy. They had apple crisp and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

After dinner we rode our bicycles around the grounds of the center. We went down by the river, and then to the Lodge. We rode up and down some really big hills. We were trying to work off a little bit of the food we'd eaten all afternoon. I'd say we probably worked off at least one slice of pizza. Ha ha!

The night ended with an awesome fireworks display choreographed to music. They were the best fireworks I've seen all summer. We had a great time!

Monday, September 6, 2010

How about THEM apples!

No, this is not some optical distortion from the camera lens, these are actual apples we picked at an orchard near our home today. These are the apples you don't see in stores, but you will see in a pie in our home soon!

Today started with mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom... You know, Labor Day stuff. Then we went to the ward picnic (thank you activities committee!) where we enjoyed good food with good friends. After that we went over to the pitch and putt, which is a local par 3 golf course. We won't mention scores, but we did have a good time. It was the first time in about 10 years that Michelle and I had golfed. The first time ever for Lauren. Here we are on the 5th green.

That's Michelle putting.

Shhhhh!!! Lauren's putting!

After golfing, we went apple picking where we got the aforementioned apples. We picked some Honeycrisp and Cortland apples. The big ones above were Cortlands. The Honeycrisps supposedly had some frost damage, but our mouths couldn't find it. To top off our day we had waffles for dinner.

All in all, a very fun Labor Day!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Rockets' Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting in Air...


So let’s say you're thinking of doing something patriotic for the 4th of July weekend. You want to feel patriotic and hear patriotic music. And you want good fireworks, so you want to go somewhere where people are trained to blow things up. West Point Military Academy rolls all of this into one, so that’s where we went on July 3rd. They held their Indepedence Day Celebration at Trophy Point yesterday and as usual it was very enjoyable. They started with their jazz band, the Jazz Knights, then marched in hundreds of new cadets. Then their concert band played a long list of John Williams pieces. It ended with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture which of course was accompanied by cannon fire, and firework salutes. Lauren and Jared each brought a friend along to share the fun. It was very hot to begin with (a lady next to us was carried off with heat stroke), but once the sun went down it was very pleasant.

Marie, Katie, Jared, Michelle and Lauren
(The shade has almost reached us!)

The new cadets filing in. Lots of new cadets.

The West Point Concert Band.

A word to the wise: If you’re planning on doing this someday with your family I advise you get there very early. For a good spot of grass you’ll probably need to be there by 4:00PM or earlier. We arrived around 5:45 PM and got a patch of rather steeply pitched grass. Too steep for our lawn chairs.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Wilsons Come to Visit

Erin, Justin and Bennett came out to visit a few days after Brett got home from his mission. None of the kids (including Brett) knew (for sure) that they were coming. Glen went to the airport to pick them up. Meanwhile Brett, Jared, Lauren, and I all went to an open house for a family friend who was leaving on his mission. Glen brought the Wilsons there - that way the kids would be surprised. And boy, were they ever!

While they were here we took some family photos. We didn't do a very good job or arranging us, but here's the best of what we took.

Justin and Erin holding Bennett.



The cutest baby boy ever!


And all of us together. (In real life Lauren is not as tall as Justin. Darn the slope of the lawn. We didn't notice they were all like this until it was too late.)

It was wonderful to have them visit and to be all together again after such a long time. We can't wait until Christmas when they come again.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Brett's Home

It's so wonderful to see him. He has an accent that is undefinable. Not English, not Irish, and definately not a New Yorker either. He arrived about an hour later than expected which left us anxiously waiting and watching at Terminal 1 in JFK. One of Brett's good friends who attends college about 20 minutes away from JFK was also able to come to the airport, which was a great surprise for Brett. We hit traffic leaving NYC and ended up getting home just after 7:00 p.m. (just when his flight would have taken off from JFK for ALB). Family and friends were waiting to greet him and hear all about his experiences.


We're so happy to have him home!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

THIS WEDNESDAY!!!!!

We are driving to JFK to pick-up Brett. He was going to fly into Albany, but they changed his itinerary and he ended up having a six-hour layover in JFK and we knew that we could be down there and back in six hours. We asked Brett what he'd rather do and he said: "Yes, please relieve me from a 6 hour lay over in JFK. I would love that! It would just give me an opportunity to see good ole home again, and 6 hours to talk! That is my final answer!"

So we're leaving at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Lauren and Jared are coming too. We are all so excited to see him and have him home.

Three more sleeps!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Brett!

Today is Brett's 21st birthday.
It's our second year celebrating his birthday without him.


Here are pictures from a year ago. My how time flies!


We love you and can't wait to see you on May 5th!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday Jared!

On Friday, March 5th
Jared had his 18th birthday party.
He had a bunch of friends over.
Unfortunately we didn't get any
really clear pictures of the kids at the party.

Sunday, March 7th was Jared's actual birthday.
Normally we would have given him breakfast in bed,
but it was Fast Sunday.

At least he got to open most of his presents.
Glen wasn't there, so Jared got his from Glen later.
The things you see in the picture are all on top
of the luggage that he got for his birthday.
What would an 18th birthday at
the Brooksby house be if you didn't get luggage?


We had Evan, Suzanne and their family over
along with Grandma Brooksby.





Jared wanted a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting,
and Cookie Dough ice cream. So that's what he got.

The cake says it all!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Amazing Throw

Ok, you've read Michelle's post about our bowling outing. I will now treat you to a video Lauren shot of Jared making an amazing shot. Jared had decided he would just have fun during this game. He was doing what the gentleman in the next lane called "Freestyle bowling". He had a few different throws, but this was by far the most amazing.


video

Yes, it was a strike.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bowling!

During Winter Recess we told both Jared and Lauren to pick something that we'd do as a family. Lauren choose to go play racquetball at the Schenectady "Y", which we did on Friday. Jared choose to go bowling. So Saturday night we went to Burnt Hills bowling alley.


Jared was a very creative bowler.


Bowling twice in a couple of months is amazing for us.
We usually bowl once a year on New Year's Day and that's it.


On her second game Lauren did really well.



Glen beat all of us on his first game (just like he usually does).



But check out the scores on the last game we bowled.
That's right EVERYONE beat Glen.
He probably had the worst game of all time - for him at least.

Snow Finally!


Tuesday of Winter Recess it snowed so Jared went outside and made a snow pyramid. He used a large round bucket to make the "bricks". He said that each one probably weighed around 50 pounds, and that getting the last one on top was hard.
Lauren went x-country skiing around the yard until she and Jared got into a snowball fight.



A week later it's snowing again and this
is what the snow pyramid looks like now.



And Lauren once again decided to do some x-country skiing!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BYU-Provo, here I come!

This is one happy boy! Jared just found out on-line that he's
been accepted to BYU-Provo for Fall 2010.
He's calling Erin to let her know.


I'd checked earlier today, but when I went on-line again,
there is was,"Accepted Fall 2010"
It feels like we've been waiting forever to find out.


Way to go Jared!!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010 BHBL Follies

This year Jared and Lauren once again participated in the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Follies. It's the annual school talent show. They both did great. Considering that he was battling a nasty cold, Jared did fantastic. It was fun to watch them perform. Now you get to watch them too!

video

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Plotter Kill Hike

Today we decided to enjoy the outdoors. It was only in the 20's today, but around here in February that's as warm as it gets. We decided to take a short hike in the Plotter Kill nature preserve. It was a cold hike but we got to see some people climbing the ice on the waterfall. We also got to hike up the frozen river a little bit. It was interesting to hear the ice creak under foot and hear the water running under the ice where we were walking. After we left we stopped by Jumpin' Jacks to look at the ice that was stacked up on the Mohawk River there. It was pretty impressive and fun to climb around on. Here are some pictures.


And here's a map of the ground we covered.
It looks green and lush in this image, but trust me, it was all white today.


View Plotter Kill in a larger map

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY GLEN!

I can't believe that it's Glen's 50th birthday!
Where have the years flown?


I didn't want to go with an "Over the Hill" theme.
I'm hoping that is still far in the future!
So I went with something "cheery" instead.


Jared gave Glen some new white shirts and a new tie.

Lauren doing "Heavy, heavy hangover". Does anyone else do this? While holding the present you are giving over the person's head you say: "Heavy, heavy hangover thy poor head. What do you wish with a bump on the head!" Then you proceed to bump them on the head with the present you are giving them. They don't get the present until they have wished you some fantastic (usually impossible to fufil) wish.

Lauren gave Glen a new pair on pants and some shirts.

Glen also got an I-Pod Touch. Lauren had gotten one earlier,
and Glen was always teasing her about taking it for himself.
So we thought we'd get him one of his own.

Erin gave him a bunch of pictures and videos to put on his
I-Pod Touch along with an I-Tunes card.

This year Glen deviated from the traditional cheesecake that he's had each year since we've been married and asked instead for chocolate mousse for his birthday
(A great choice, if I do say so). Notice the "50" done in chocolate!
And one candle for each decade.

That's the look of a happy man! Happy 50th birthday Glen!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

May 5th!!!!

We just got word from the Birmingham England mission office that Brett will be returning home on Wednesday, May 5th. That's so exciting! Less than four months to go.

Ironically, Glen just joined a project at GE and is headed to - guess where? Gloucester, England this coming Monday. Gloucester is in Brett's mission - a little over an hour away from his mission home in one direction, and about an hour and a half away from Brett who is in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It's also about two hours from the town of Brooksby, where the Brooksbys are originally from.

Who knows what Glen will have time to see, but he is going to take over a package for Brett for his 21st birthday on March 22nd.

I can hardly wait to see the pictures!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

We had Evan & Suzanne and their kids, and Helen over to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Don't you wish you had a party hat as awesome as Helen's?

Stacy, Robb, Suzanne, Bradley, Evan and Emma getting ready to head home after a night of fun, food, and games.

Happy 2010 from Jared, Michelle, Lauren, and Glen. We hope your new year's a wonderful one!