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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year from the Granville Leithausers, May 2018 bring Love Peace and Hope

life on NG Road-photo taken 2/24/17
life on NG Road-photo taken 2/25/17
What a difference a day makes!  Look at that sky, although we do love the yellow stripe on the road, the red in Peter's sweat shirt and mild temps.  And for once a picture taking event brought laughter, smiles and quick results- peace!  Yes, making them stand in the middle of the road facilitate all of that!

Happy New Year from our home to yours. Life on Newark-Granville Road takes a literal approach to our holiday message.  Simple updates on our family:

Clare- our junior is thinking about colleges. She says she wants small and is undecided on career path. She did enjoy seeing mid Atlantic small liberal art colleges this summer.  Due to her busy sports schedule (field hockey, basketball and lacrosse) we'll make spring break our Midwest college tour time, trying to add something fun, like maybe a visit to Chicago?? Yes, she will apply to Denison but it really is too close to home. It is her journey and we're excited to support her efforts.  She takes her studies very seriously, she won't leave class to meet with colleges when they visit her high school.  Her Global Scholars track has peaked her interest in political science and international studies, but does well with math and science.  Clare spent the summer of 2017 at Camp Alleghany and enjoying quality time with friends and family.  Interesting times as she continplates what 2018 will bring- a family vacation without her?? Stay tuned to the blog to share the excitement the new year will bring.

Peter- our sophomore continues to enjoy being active. He and his friends started a business doing yard work, placing signs around town.  We are grateful to those that put them to work!  Summer included an extended stay in Hagerstown with Nana and Pap and skill building on the courts.  2017 took him from basketball to the pool, a contributing member of the GHS swim team.  Mom is thrilled to be back at meets seeing a summer activity move to winter.  2018 has hopes for tennis team at GHS- the blog will share the scoop! He and Joe found time to hit the links and Peter even manged to beat him once.

Sally- made the big move to the middle school this year and is doing great. She joins her siblings in the car for 7:30 am departures.  Field Hockey this fall was fun with our new neighbor joining Sally on bike rides to practises down NG Road at Bryn Du.  Her winter sport is basketball and 2018 will bring more lacrosse.  2017 had quite a season with a big win at the Ohio Cup end of season tournament and Joe coaching.  Sally enjoyed Camp Alleghany and quality time with family this summer.  2018 moves her into the teenage years.

MBCC golf course selfie
Susan and Joe continue to enjoy their work. Joe wrapped up his first year at Infoverity with Next Generation Analytics and Susan is in her 3rd year with Family Philanthropy at Denison.  Both places allow us to engage with great people and coordinate fun travel around the US. It could not happen without family and friends assisting and carpooling, helping us enjoy this life on Newark-Granville Road.  We're very grateful.  A highlight of the year was taking in the Dead & Friends show with Scott and Ann Leithauser in Columbus. We made a full day more fun by adding it to the end of travel home from fabulous Stoner Thanksgiving in Orlando.

If we're not at home or work you'll find us at First Presbyterian Church, Granville Library, Denison and GHS sporting events, Moundbuilders Country Club, Newark Rotary or outside taking in time in beautiful Licking County- these are places we find peace and happiness.  We'd love to have you join us if ever interested.

We HOPE your new year will be filled with LOVE and PEACE.  We HOPE to see you for our Kentucky Derby Party on May 5, 2018 4:30 pm start, post time for the 144th Run for the Roses is 6:34 pm. Hats encouraged...more details will be posted here in April!

Thanks for sharing our life on NG Road- it is a special place to live, grown and love.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas on Newark-Granville Road

This is the time of the year I should be writing the Christmas Update for the Christmas Cards.  We have joined the digital age and keep the cards simple- instead encourage blog reading.  That will wait, just as our holiday and end of calender year with Derby invite cards will wait. Good news- I can check off- "order New Year Cards".   That happened yesterday, after a successful picture was taken on the 25th!  We actually took photos on the 24th that would of worked and then it snowed!  Our white Christmas made for a prettier for backdrop and Eve all the more special.

Christmas Eve is the magical day.  My mother says it is her favorite day, she will call or now text me and say- it is our favorite day - and I do love it.  Why do I love it?   It is still the day about our faith, family and friends. We've enjoyed the preparing and now celebrate the ultimate gift from God. On the 23rd we attended a beautiful funeral celebrating a wonderful life.  A life that gave life, life I'm lucky to have in my life.  A life filled with faith and pursuit of peace. Saturday was wonderful time in the midst of holiday to dos to be reminded of what our faith is- a gift. A gift to be cared for and tended.  Christmas Eve allows us to celebrate and honor our faith as Christians.  And FPC celebrates it well!

First Presbyterian Church of Granville is a special place on Christmas Eve and all year round- join us.  Join us for Family's in Faith for Sunday School.  Join our choirs- boys in HS in particular!  Thanks to all who joined us for Christmas Eve.  I loved the 4:30 pageant/children's choir and then the message and music and the 6:30 service was just gorgeous. All three of our kids in the choir- and the voices. Lucky me- in the back ushering with adult choir members- we sang our hearts out and oh it sounded good!

We went home to long over due family dinner at home. Cocktail hour by the fire,  shrimp scampi on china, and texts connecting to family. Clare took me to see the lights as we ran an errand taking in the beautiful Granville snow glistening landscape.  

Our Christmas morning had delighted children, grateful for their gifts- yay! Delicious and beautiful breakfast treats provided by dear friends. And kitchen time as we prepared for Leithauser Christmas in Westerville this year. The afternoon was very special as fifteen Leithausers all gathered- the sweet one year old on hand to remind us of the simplicity of the season.  Our gift exchange and dinner were wonderful and being together with Joe's family important and special.  Three cheers for dear Ann and Scott for hosting and providing a perfect venue for the crowd.

Christmas continues on Newark-Granville Road. We embrace the 12 days of Christmas and celebrate into the new year.  On the 26th Nana and Pap arrived and we again gathered around the fire place for cocktails, set a pretty table and enjoyed a Stoner tradition- beef fondue.  Beautiful gifts exchanged delivered from Maryland and quality time with my parents made for another memorable night.

Life on Newark-Granville road embracing Christmas meaning- faith, family and friends. Hope and Peace have been a focus this month, Love and Joy abound - a very merry and special Christmas.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Skating on Christmas Eve Day- Join Us!

Dear friends would host an amazing Ice Skating Party on Christmas Eve Day. We're so grateful for the years of fun, fellowship and energy release!  The event isn't happening in 2017 but the kids want to continue the traditon of skating.  So on 12/23/17 at noon- we'll be at the Gib and Lou Reese Ice Rink in Newark- http://newarkicearena.com   We'd love to see you there!   Life on Newark-Granville Road honoring tradition and what works- great exercise and family friend fun on a special day!

2015 Christmas Eve Fun!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December Festivities....half way there.....

I have to wonder about songs in my head- I wonder if others experience them like I do? I know I know book club friends- I need to read This is Your Brain on Music  maybe it has the answer.  Song titles often inspire my blog titles and directions. There are so many ways I could go for today's blog entry and pop- there it was "we're half way there"  and even better- "oh yeah livn' on a prayer".  I'm living on a prayer my packages will make it on time...Bon Jovis says- they'll make it he swears!  Ha ha...

What is going on in my life on Newark-Granville Road?  It has been 11 days since I posted and so much has happened.  A highlight was life off of NG Road while in the DC.  I had grand plans to share so many details. It is like I want to take you readers on these trips with me.  I so enjoy being in new and familiar places.  Returning to Maryland, PA and DC in my role, as an almost fifty year old is a gift.  But today's blog time doesn't allow to expand on this.  I will share being at my parents white table and experiencing their Christmas letter- to the tune of "I Love" by Tom T Hall was something I hope I never forget.  A beautiful song in itself and the inspiration and structure for their Christmas letter.  They gave it to me to read and Daddy said but you need to sing it....I tried and was wrong.  So he brought up the song on his lap top and proceeded to do it right.  A beautiful thing.  Mom shared details on the why and what and process and I enjoyed my east coast (NY Style) pizza while soaking in the moment.  Their words are beautiful, upbeat and positive- their year's beauty aligns with the song's intent to be grateful for simple pleasures and being in love.  Love is such a wonderful theme of December, their life and my life on NG Road.

So we're half way there, not really.  Regular readers know we celebrate the full 12 Days of Christmas, starting at Christmas.  We're working hard to prepare, get ready and sayin a prayer that we're there. Saying a prayer to be in the moment and love this crazy, full, crammed pack life.  We're mixing year end work, a new sport (Peter on the swim team), basketball and other commitments into prepping packages. Giving birthdays in December their priority focus.  Sharing my Mom's birthday with her in person with her first grand child- oh yes a treat indeed and worth any delay caused from six days off of NG Road. It was supposed to be five, but SW cancelled our flight on Saturday, we dropped everything and took the Friday night flight to make it work.  Hooray for SW and our flexibility!

Okay- I'm going to go make a list to help me check things off and stay on track.  I hope the music in your head is happy and festive and your day is filled with things and people you love...like little baby ducks.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Getting into the Spirit..feeling the Hope of Advent

I will be very honest- the whole "Christmas" in or out of the Granville Christmas Candlelight Walking Tour put a damper on my spirits as we approached the date. Both sides had valid points and both sides had representation that I found very disappointing.  Our beautiful town's wonderful kick-off to an important and special time of joined step with national events that are interesting and disappointing at times. At the same time it is a very important time and we need these topics to be discussed, explored and even exposed.  I try to stay positive- we live in very very interesting times.  I could go on about this but will not...instead I'll turn to this wonderful time of year.

As readers of the blog know it was a very good Thanksgiving and that prepared me to be in a good place this past weekend and excited to welcome December.   Woosh- in my life on Newark-Granville Road December arrived with fantastic festivities and lots of wonderful music and fellowship.  The sermon on Sunday at FPC was all about Hope and it resonated so well.  I hope you will read it- coming soon here: http://www.granpres.org/sermons/  Karen's message was well timed and powerful. I take it for inspiration and a theme.  Here are some reflections on the weekend with humor and reflection, not deep but real.


The weekend included a beautiful cookie exchange. Cookie exchanges can cause me stress- this was an elegantly simple cookie centered gathering beautifully executed for mother-daughters. Joe gets bonus points for picking up Sally so I was able to stay the whole time. I attended with Clare first then Sally.  The hope and idea of enjoying the cookies sadly vanished when Griffey made way with my box of cookies.  I didn't need the calories but still.  I've reached out to some of the bakers of the cookies I was HOPING to taste and I'm on the list to be contacted when they bake again!


Hoping to find a great Christmas tree our afternoon included a visit to our beloved Messerall's. Search for the reason why we go here, beyond there continued great service and offerings.   I blogged about it on 12-8-14!  Four out of five us set out in lovely weather.  Each year it is a bit different and we understand trees and farming require processes and land.  This year no wagon ride, instead a good hike.  The trees available to us were not as tall as we hoped, so we tried something new- we came home with a pre-cut tree.  I have to say it is GORGEOUS! It is everything I had hoped it to be...big, a bit on the fat side, soft, small needles, great shape, no holes- the only thing it wasn't was in the ground, we didn't have to cut it down.  We did take a healthy hike around the property. We did vote on the process.   The one who was unable to attend gave two thumbs up on the end result.   It did take us some figuring out to get it up on Sunday.  Joe and I had words, I did raise my voice- keeping it real- not what I hoped for but we both said we were sorry and we carried on...changing the stand, redoing the lights and getting life on Newark-Granville Road inside festive and bright.  Tree isn't decorated- hoping for a great night with all of us home to do that!


Hoping to enjoy the music of the season was an easy expectation to have met in Licking County this weekend.  With all of the rehearsals and coordination of who goes where when how for the Walking Tour performance and the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra's Holiday event at the Midland- we hoped all would go well. We enjoyed FPC's Youth Choir so very very much this year.  Having all three kids in this choir is very special.  Joy Hire does an outstanding job bringing wonderful talent together all year long. The showcase for the walking tour allows us to clap and hoot and holler making it fun.  The addition of "Sisters" from White Christmas with two darling boys and the Plaugher sisters was just incredible.  This is a song my mother always wanted Sarah and I to sing- ha!  So seeing it executed so well by a family we share life on NG Road since we moved in was pretty wonderful.   Last night's event with the Granville High School Choir and Newark High School Choir joining the NG Symphony was certainly a delight.  Peter is part of the group and it was a treat to behold.  My middle child, my only son is growing up- tall and handsome and quite sharp in a tuxedo.  All of the students looked wonderful and sounded even better- a wonderful way to spend the evening.


The to-do lists are long, December brings additional work but so much fun.  I hope I can stay positive and stress free, maybe better said I hope I can keep the stress and worry about getting it done to a minimum. I hope I can be in the moments like I was (for the most part) able to do this weekend. I'm humming the music and smiling at the memories we made this weekend in our lives on Newark-Granville Road.  I'm looking forward to so many upcoming gatherings...it is going to be a wonderful month!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday Giving Season

I love giving Tuesday.  I even embraced Cyber Monday this year and I always partake in Small Business Saturday. I'm not a Black Friday shopper by the way.  I was in the great outdoors canoeing with family, celebrating Thanksgiving.  Life on Newark-Granville Road enjoys giving gifts and shopping for Christmas is a treat.  I prefer to wait until December and Joe knows this.  Maybe that is why he asked me last night while I was focused on the screen texting for sizes if I was getting deals or just getting things done?  All the more reason to embrace today's Giving Tuesday.

If you are reading this and didn't make a gift to your favorite non-profit- there is still time!  A bonus this year was an organization giving to charities on my behalf!  It was such a great way to start the day- they allowed me to select from one of three and I chose The American Red Cross.  My father receives blood twice a month- blood drives and collection are critical.  All of the natural disasters this year- hurricanes and fires alone- the Red Cross was there.  And I post today to ask you, if able, to donate beyond money, donate your blood.

I'm donating blood on Thursday at the Granville High School Latin Club's Blood Drive- please join me!!  Here is the scoop:
The Granville Latin Club will host a blood drive on November 30th from 7:45 am to 12:45 pm in the Granville High School Gym. For more information or to make an appointment to donate, email Derrick Fisher at dfisher@granvilleschools.org or sign up online at  redcrossblood.org  with sponsor code GranvilleHS. Walk-ins are also accepted. Donors will receive a Buy One Get One Free six inch sub from Subway of Granville. The Red Cross needs donors with all blood types, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative. Double-red donations are also welcome and very much needed! This blood drive is our way of giving our school and community an opportunity to help save lives.

Tomorrow at Denison- time slots are available.  Can't make it this week- here are other opportunities- thank you for making time.  http://redcrossblood.org/give/drive/driveSearchList.jsp?zipSponsor=43023&sd=112917&ed=022718&zipFormat=true&_requestid=145994#

We can all make the concept of Giving Tuesday be an everyday event.  We can give our time and care, as well as our treasure.  I know it is the time of the year when the "asks", the solicitations are as plentiful as the emails advertising Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I hope Giving Tuesday's stories and testimonies were inspiring.  I'm inspired to share one of the reasons I give. One amazing bit of advice I value when it comes to making the decision, to give or not to give.

My father always said- do you enjoy the magazine from your alma mater? Cover those costs with a donation to the Annual Fund.  Do you like receiving invitations to events?  Want to be on the mailing list- make a donation.  The advice I share about networking or career experience- consider a non-profit volunteer opportunity!  Give your time and receive not only the satisfaction of making a difference, you can sharpen skills and meet amazing people.

Life on Newark-Granville Road encourages your giving today, tomorrow and everyday.  Stay tuned for more holiday updates....decorating coming soon!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Stoner Southern Style!

What a wonderful Stoner Thanksgiving.  Dawn and Matt hosted us so very very well and we all loved the quality time together.   These pics showcase just a few of the amazing activities and outings we all enjoyed!  We laughed, toasted, relaxed and really enjoyed the trip.  I didn't know how much I needed a trip like this - a true vacation, 70 degree weather pretty awesome!
 


 
 
We of course missed trotting in Granville's Turkey Trot- Matt and Dawn gave us an almost 4 mile route. Some of us ran, some walked, some took a ride. A great scavenger hunt was part of the fun for  the kids- inspired by Forest Drive days!  We all were pleased to have this exercise as we ate very well. Dawn is an excellent cook- what a treat!

A highlight for me was our canoeing trip on the Wekiva River.  Hmmm river? I've heard about this activity for years and was anxious to see it for myself.  I admit the idea of being close to alligators and snakes was concerning and added anxiety.  The day's cons- cold and rainy, nerves, inexperienced canoers.  The day's pros- willing participants, beautiful setting, incredible planning and packed lunch of left over turkey sandwiches- mto!! The results- Peter and Mom had some learning time about each other.  Or maybe better said I benefited from seeing Peter in this situation- we made memories and overcame a rough start. We did not capsize but zig zagged and barely made progress.  No worries of wildlife due to the banter.  Once we found shore and switched positions, did some yoga breathing we were great!  The hurricane damage did curtain our access, but the day worked out fine. We all had an adventure, can take pride in our success and enjoyed the fun of being together.  As usual I wanted to be in two places- my sister, sister in law and Mom shopped and enjoyed a great lunch out together- that would of been fun.  I'm glad I shared this beautiful with challenges outdoor adventure!

Matthew, Dawn, Grace and Emma have a beautiful home. You can tell they love to entertain and enjoyed having us as much as we loved being with them.  They shared their wonderful community, favorite haunts, loaned us cars, coordinated every detail. We are all very grateful for a Southern style Stoner Thanksgiving.  My father summed it up- we're lucky to have a family that likes to gather and likes being together.  Life on Newark-Granville Road had two fantastic family filled Thanksgiving- lucky lucky me!