Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hepner Christmas Morning!

We were so happy to have all of our family here on Christmas Day. It is so much chaos and confusion but I wouldn't have it any other way. Here are some pictures...not the best shots of people...but this is reality for us. First the tree before the grandkids found it and then the grandkids lining up to see what Santa brought!

They all exploded through the door and the chaos and confusion began! It is so magical to be amongst all those little believers!!

The gift opening and exchanges went on for quite a while and then the day was heavily into computers, games, other electronics and the WII. Our family has a love-hate thing with Rock Band. Most love it and some hate it!!

I am so glad that Karen and Kat joined us that day so their families could be together. We gave our kids hiking boots for Christmas and that motivated several hikes, starting with one on Christmas Day. I will save the hike stuff for another post!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


We just want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We appreciate all of our friends and family and are so grateful for all you add to our lives. Come by and see us - our door is always open and we love visitors. (Tom says to be sure to bring your hiking boots!!) We hope to see you soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow in Gilroy!

Yes, we woke up to snow this morning. At 6:15 am big flakes were falling and it was so quiet outside. By 6:30 it had warmed up enough to stop the flakes.

I didn't snow nearly as much as it did in March of 2006. Liz & Andy were in the house then and the kids had a great time playing in the snow with their sand toys!

But when I left for work at 7:30 am my car still had snow and when I got to work 20 minutes later, much of it was still there. I think the last clump finally melted around 10:00. Once I was a mile to a mile and a half down Redwood Retreat Road there was no snow on the ground.

Just a little fun for us - not the trial for some of you out there!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


We haven't done too much to the house this year but Tom's buddies are out to welcome us as we cross the bridge when we come home. If you come to visit us, you could see for yourself but since not too many visitors have crossed our bridges this last month we'll share them with you! I don't know if you can tell in the picture with the skeletons, they have their own wood burning stove this year.

The kids like the little pumpkin on the cabin porch.

We hope you have a Spooktacular Halloween this year!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Family Letter

We have a family tradition on the Lewis side of the family. We write a family letter every other month (so five times a year since every one does their own Christmas thing in December) and send it to my Mom. Then she, Jeanne & Laura (usually) copy and collate them and send them to all of us. I love it. I love hearing what is happening with all of my family. Meg Willardson (Megan Lawrence) suggested that I post my family letter to share with others. Since I usually update each of my kids it might be fun to share. (Hope they don't mind!) Here it is for this month...

October 2008
Happy Halloween!

This is such a fun season of the year. Every month has cause to celebrate and good reasons to get together with the ones we love! I love autumn time. We had our first rain this weekend and it brings such sweet, fresh smells. Although it’s refreshing, we aren’t quite ready for the real rain to begin since we are painting the outside of our house and doing some roof repairs. Things are looking so much better around here with the repairs and the landscape work that Tom has undertaken. We have a cool three-way arch with wisteria and a fountain. The fountain allows us to hear sounds like the creek is running, even though this house is too far from the creek to really hear it. I’m always reminded of the peacefulness we enjoy when I sleep at Mom’s and hear all the neighborhood sounds we don’t have.

Okay—I started this two days ago and I’m finally getting back to it! Sound familiar? Tom has been totally swamped with all the projects around here. He’s been painting the house, working on the roof repairs (we aren’t going to have it re-done until we remodel), moving the old trailer (that was down by the creek) and readying it for a trip to the dump, finishing the studio roof, etc. etc. etc. He’s still found time to get together with friends and play a little music. He’s even written some new songs and we’ve gone to some song writers contests. He spent most of last week in Atlanta and has to go back for one night next week. It gives me a chance to spend a night at Mom’s when he travels. He’s had a ton of IBM work lately. We went last Saturday to Tom’s 40- year High School Reunion. What a kick!

I’m plodding along at Signatone still. I like the flexibility and the lack of commute. It’s hard to squeeze the rest of my life in around a full time work schedule. I have gotten involved with blogging. I have really enjoyed finding so many people out there – from relatives and friends to some of the Laurels I taught a few years ago in the other ward. They’re all getting married and having kids and it’s really fun to see what they’re up to. Today Aimee sent me an invite to Facebook so I’m giving that a shot. If any of you use it let me know and we can be “friends”! Lance already found me and Tom’s niece Brandi. You young guys are quick! I’m getting more and more organized in my house and before you know it I just might be scrapbooking again!

Andy has relocated to Portland, Oregon. He’s keeping the same job with Bookette Software in Monterey and working as a contractor. I hope that means he’ll make regular trips this way. We enjoyed the time we had with him the last couple of months. We were one of the many places he crashed now and again while he was wrapping things up in this area. We sure do miss Coleman and Aedan. I guess we’re going to have to travel north and visit in the near future. We’ll wait until Andy finds a place and gets a little settled.

Matt was just here last weekend and he and Tom got lots done. It was raining off and on all day Saturday but that doesn’t stop Matt or Tom either really. They both were fighting nasty colds and being out in the damp weather certainly didn’t help either of them. I think he’s trying to get back up here next weekend too. That just tells you how much work there is to be done here. I’m glad he’s so willing to help with some of this stuff. He’s still very busy with his jobs down his way.

Liz & Andy are expecting a new member of their family at the end of March. Everybody is quite excited. Alexis is doing great in Middle School. She says she likes it much better than elementary school. Jeffrey & Tyler have finally ended up at the same school. That is such a relief for Liz and her driving kid’s schedule. It is also so much easier to be part of the parent support in school if you aren’t spread between so many schools. Nathan is still such a happy easy going guy. Everybody enjoys him so much. Andy is so helpful with the kids and works from home when he is needed (instead of driving to Monterey).

Tim and Caleb have moved to Cupertino. (18630 Medicus Ct. – 95014). Tim and Sam are sharing a house now instead of an apartment. He really wanted a back yard for Caleb, since he loves being outdoors so much. Caleb still loves it here and the other night told me he “just loves that big guy.” After the third time I asked him who (thinking he was talking about Tom) and he said Grandpa’s tractor. Still the same funny guy that’s in love with the tractor. Tim is still working at TiVo and likes his job. Tim & Caleb come to help often.

Aimee and Glen are still on the lookout for just the right house to buy. It’s nice that they can take their time and watch for the right deal. I hope they find something close! Gage is growing so fast. He is also a smiley, happy guy. Glen is still at TiVo with Tim but he has a longer commute. Aimee works a little at the vet hospital to stay current with her vet stuff. They have been out to help a couple of different weekends, sometimes with the Hales. Last Saturday Glen and Tom really got drenched in the downpour.

Emily and Steve have made it up a couple of times in the last few weeks. That is amazing since they are trying to get a roof on their addition before the wet weather and Emily has 19 units this semester. It’s keeping her hopping. Steve is so supportive of her school needs. Becca loves kindergarten and is acting quite grown up these days. Kate likes pre-school but really misses having her big sister close by. She loves going with Emily to help in Becca’s class on Thursday mornings.

We loved seeing Kribbe and everyone else while he was here. Andy got to say good-bye to family at the same time. We also had the Hepner side of the family down for a good bye before he left as well as some of his friends. I love to have people over. We need to do it more. Probably will with the holidays just around the corner! Come see us…all are invited! Just let us know when you’re in the area. We’ll plan a bash! We love our family and friends. That’s what makes life wonderful. We love you all and hope to see you soon! Love,

Tom & Anne

Wilcox High - 40 Year Reunion

Last Saturday we went to Tom's High School Reunion. It was a lot of fun. We had a fun evening visiting and reminiscing with many of his high school friends. He's the tall guy in blue, in the middle. It's amazing how "old" some of those people have gotten! It was fun to hear so many of the old stories revisited. (And even a couple of new ones!)

We've keep in contact with our friends Bob & Anne Hall for years and really enjoy a chance to catch up. They live in Placerville so we don't see them real often but it's always fun when we do. We do keep in touch through our annual Christmas letters and cards. We sat together for dinner and that was great. (Bob had wandered off when they snapped this shot.)

We've also stayed connected with Shari Morwood since a few reunions back. She lives in New York and used to work for IBM so she and Tom talked off and on. When we went to New York City a few years ago, she came to town and had dinner with us. We've seen her several times when she's been out for her own family events and it's always fun to get together.

We had a great time seeing so many friends. I didn't make it to my reunion in September. I kept watching the RSVP list to see if I really knew anybody that was going but I didn't end up going. Most of my friends were a year older than me so they had already graduated. My senior year they split our school, Pioneer, with Leland, when it opened for the first time. There are many people I'd love to see, but I just wasn't sure. I'm glad that we have so many friends from Tom's class.

One fun little extra was seeing my best bud from San Jose State, Kerry Burnham. He is the year after Tom at Wilcox, and he was there checking things out for his reunion next year! We had a fun visit with him too. Luckily he works in Gilroy and we get to do lunch every once in a while.

P.S. Hey Emily, I did it all by myself!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Redwood Retreat Rd. in progress...

We are still alive! We're just not so good at blogging yet! With Emily's encouragement I may get more stuff on here. We have been working continually on our property. Since we moved up to the house our focus has been a little more up here than down at the cabin. We're working hard to get rid of the trashy, dumpy look. Tom is the hardest worker I've ever known. He's sometimes like a machine, maybe the Energizer rabbit...just keeps going and going. We've had some help from our kids too, and that is much appreciated. Since Emily helped me get some pictures on here I'll share a bit of our progress...
This shot is the before.....

And this shot is how we are looking now...

You can't really see the little plants that are mixed in the rocks and gorilla hair, or the drip system that is making watering easy. Just wait 'til those plants get growing!

We just love living here and when I spend the night at my mom's I'm reminded of how totally quiet and peaceful our surroundings are here. The biggest thing I miss about living in the cabin is hearing the creek. We're too far from it in the house, to hear it, so Tom has removed a ton of the jungle surrounding the house and spoiled me with a fountain so I can hear the trickling water. I love it!! Here's the before again...

And these are the now....(in progress of course!)
(Did you notice the stairs in the jungle above? They were half covered in junipers and we thought they were half as wide as they really are!)

He's building a three-way arch that will be covered with Wisteria, along with planters, benches and paths and gardens. It is really shaping up nicely.

We have stairs up to the deck with a dirt area in between. A couple of weeks ago Tom and some of our guys dug out the dirt and replaced it with pavers...
One more before....

And look how much better the "now" is!

This is just a little bit of what has been done recently. They have patched lots of the asphalt and it will soon be sealed for a more uniform look and wear. Just wait until the house painting gets done and we get some pictures of that! You're already seeing the "before" shots of the nasty stuff we have now. This place was so neglected for so many years...both the buildings and the vegetation but we are slowly getting a handle on it! Any one interested in a little work...just give us a call! We're also open to hikers and visitors in general! I'll try to stay a little more on top of this new blog stuff as we progress!