Sunday, June 15, 2008


I will always remember my grandma telling me that the birth control pill was the greatest discovery of my lifetime. She had lost eight children. (six babies in the eighth month of her pregnancies and she had two more children die before they reached the ages of two). She said she just kept getting pregnant knowing that her children most likely would not survive

Grandpa and Grandma raised one child. This child was a miracle. His name was Owen. When Grandma was pregnant with my father she says she went into a field and got down on her knees and bargained with God. She promised God if he would let this child live, she would dedicate him to the service of the Lord.

Her faith was tested when Owen was born weighing less than two pounds. My grandma and grandpa lived in a coal mining community in Oklahoma and medical needs were difficult to tend to. They kept my dad warm this December 5, 1914, by placing him in a shoe box near the wood stove.

This child grew nicely for two years until he was suddenly stricken by a crippling disease. Polio was the scourge of the nation and thankfully my great-grandmother had read that massaging the limbs of the victim on a 24 hour basis would keep the patient from being crippled by the disease. My dad had a slight limp and a barely noticeable withered hand but overall he came out of the illness with barely any lasting effects.

It was around 1919 when the Swine Flu epidemic hit the United States. At that time my grandparents had relocated to a coal mining community in New Mexico. The family legend has it that my dad was the only person in the small community that did not get the flu and took care of his family as well as running errands from house-to-house for all the people who were incapacitated.

Grandma and Grandpa and little Owen were visiting family one Independence Day. Grandma and Grandpa decided to take Owen to watch the Parade while the rest of the family watched from the porch. While they were gone, a deranged family member pulled a gun and began shooting. My grandparents returned with Owen to find many were killed or injured.

Dad was curious about the coal mines. His dad and his dad’s friends and brothers were all coal miners. One day grandpa took 8 year old Owen into the depth of a coal mine and told him to remember what he saw because it would be the first and LAST time he was ever to be in a coal mine. It was.

My dad died at age 85 on September 23, 1999 after a long, eventful, productive and influential life. He held many college degrees and had advanced in his chosen field to high levels in the United Methodist Church during his 40 ½ year ministry. He was a genuinely good man, reaching out beyond his retirement years to help anyone in need. He did, however, believe in a hand up more than a handout.

My grandma always insisted that she never influenced dad’s decision to enter the ministry and that she never told him of her field dedication. He was a business major in college. He met my mother and she had always vowed that she would never marry a preacher. Dad was on a trip to visit his fiancé when he “felt his heart warmed” and felt the call to the ministry. He told my mother and once she got over the initial shock she said she would marry him anyway.

Dad had some problems in his 80’s with strokes and dementia and his doctor ran many tests. One specialist discovered that dad never had polio. He had contracted encephalitis at age two, not Polio, which caused damage to the right side of dad’s brain. We had to laugh knowing all that dad had accomplished in his life, his continued education, the people he had helped, the family that looked to him and adored him and his tremendous abilities, only to learn he suffered brain damage at the age of two!

He was a wonderful father and I will always miss him.


Did I mention that he was a miracle?


Monday, June 2, 2008

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag

That is happy birthday in German. Its close enough to Dutch. 

So happy birthday Ann!

happy day


Monday, April 21, 2008



Sunday, April 13, 2008

one last time

Sorry, I feel like a blog hog but I found the picture of Ryan and his date to the formal and I just had to add it ;-) this is Ryan and Meridath. What a cute couple :-)

bad daddy

As I was reading through my last post I realised that I had failed to mention Dillon's latest drama class production. The class presented the play Where the Lilies Bloom on friday evening. Dillon was not the lead in this one but did I wonderful job with his part. As he told me, "There are no small parts. Only small actors". The play was a drama and I must say that it was incredable. It was a story about a family of orphaned children in the smokey mountains the did not want to be taken away from their home by the county so they hid their fathers death. managed to secure thier family home and the land it sat on. And survive the winter. Quite a feat for four kids in the 1960's. I was proud of all the kids for putting on such a wonderful show. The picture is Dillon and his friend Blake after the show. The boy one the left is one of Ryan and Dillon's best friends David. he was not in the play but came to support his friend :-)

Hello Hello Hello

Good morning all :-)

I hope all are doing well. I woke up way too early this morning so for once I have time to post something. The kids are keeping me pretty busy with their sports, plays, and church activities. Not that I mind but it leaves little time for blogging. As many of you know my Grandma Sugar passed away several months ago. My aunt Michelle was caring for her in Washington State and had her creamated. We went to altus last week for the memorial service and to spend time with the family. I'm sad to say that my dads family is not as close to Chelle and I as the Gragg clan are, so this may be the last time I see some of the extended family on that side of the tree. All in all it was a nice visit and I enjoyed seeing all those familiar faces and some strange ones as well. On the last day we took one last tour of the town and I felt the tears coming realising that I would probaly not be back. There are no family left there, only happy memories.

Once we got back we jumped right back into our busy schedules. Elizabeth was sick before we left and missed a practice and her first softball game. While we were away she missed at least two more practices and I think the coach thought we had deserted the team. They were all very happy to see her again and I'm hoping she will be able to keep up with the more experienced girls on the field. I know she hits like a pro and I'm very excited to watch the first game on monday. Also on monday Ran has percusion ensemble rehersal untill 5, I pick up Dillon and Beth at 5:15 and have them both at diffrent ball fields for games by 5:30 then picked up after each game. Anyone feel like coming and playing taxi for me :-) Just kidding. I think I have it all worked out :-) we'll see.

Ryan had his first formal dance a couple of weeks ago. He looked afull, afull sharp that is. I took him and picked up his date for the evening and drove them to the dance, then picked them up after. When they got in the car the told me that they had been invited to an after party and a friends house. I was not Happy about the ambush at the last posible minute but after I found out who the parents were and realised that I did know them I let them attend but only for about an hour. all parties seemed to be satisfied and I still made it home by 12:30. I realy hate being out that late on and weekend night. I'm such an old fuddy duddy :-)

Today I have nothing to do and no place to be. I plan to catch up on house work and sleep and maybe even watch a movie. Wont that be fun. I feel kinda bad about skiping church but without the kids its just not as much fun. Oh well, I'll try to update more often. I'm definatly thrilled to see all the posts and I noticed that we even have a couple of lurkers (blog talk for those that read but have not posted yet) please feel free to go ahead and throw your two cents in. Or you can just be like me and read all the great news.

Love to all

Friday, April 4, 2008

the jones kids in l.a.

well, travis is off in Australia learning to boogie board without me! we had a wonderful time. we are both fans of taking it easy on vacation as opposed to being busy during every second. we watched a lot of South Park and ate a lot of food :) we went to the Griffith Observatory and got to see Saturn through a huge 16ft telescope! we also went to LACMA to see their new Contemporary Art collection - very cool!
travis always gets jealous of me because of the food i get to eat here in l.a. we had delicious sushi, burritos, hamburgers, cajun, argentinean and other assorted goodies :)
we didn't go to the beach - sadly it was a bit chilly for that. besides, he'll get plenty of that overseas!
all in all - it was a great trip!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i'll be!

thanks travis - for inviting everyone to see me....i can't wait.....oh - too much sarcasm? sorry ;)
yes - burritos and sushi - the king and queen of food. i don't know which is which. i guess sushi would be the queen, as it's beautiful and delicate. whereas burritos are fat and messy - so they will be the king.
that's all i've got for now. maybe we'll do a joint post when travis is here!
back to work!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Here it is. My first Blog. Tandy sent me an invitation today; so, here I am. Since I have no idea about the proper blog guidelines I will follow those set forth by Michael. I mean he is interested in particle physics, relative time, and Ministry!?!. Talk about cool stuff. Anyway. Here it goes....

Hello to everyone! I sure wish I could have been at Ann's little farm for Easter. Ham and "fluff", whatever that is, sounds good... well, at least if Ann had not cooked the ham, not because she is not an amazing chef, but because she should have the chance to relax. Instead, I have been working on a few projects. The most promising of which is a new partitioning of space around atoms.  I've also been attempting to link the quantum mechanical view of molecules with classical equations of force, and I've been exploring the quantum mechanics of various solid state phenomena. In short, I guess I am a bit like Mike, spending my time trying to understand wave(particle) physics. Christiane seems to think thats not good dinner conversation though. So, I'll talk about "fun" stuff instead.

This weekend I'll be going out to LA to see my big sister. She tells me we are going for sushi and burritos, two of the two food groups. I am very excited. If you have not been to see her you should go! My first trip out there was over thanksgiving and it was a blast. While the police helicopter was a bit unnerving, calling Ann and convincing her that Jessi had made up the fact that Keith, Christiane, and I were there really made up for it. Just imagine how fun that was! Now, she will deny believing that, but trust me, she thought poor Jessi was delusional... This time Christiane won't be with me though, but after seeing Jessi I will be off to Sydney to meet up with her. She has been doing some work bringing the analytical lab at the university of new south wales up to speed on her method. We will go boogie boarding, but I am more interested in riding some sort of strange animal (it will make my boss jealous). Barring being eaten by a sharp, bitten by some extremely poisonous animal (come on, since when are mammals poisonous?), or death rolled by a crocodile, I'll let you guys know how it was. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Good Morning and Happy Easter to all!
We had a wonderful celebration yesterday with Mom and Ron,Tandy,Terry and all the kiddos.My children slept all the way home in the car. Kit was the only one not able to join us. He was missed and was very sad that he didn't get in on Mom's ham. I will be cooking him one today though. (he really likes mine better Mom! :-) ha ha)
The kids made another spectacular film which I am sure Mom will be posting here in the future. It sure brings back alot of great memories to see this group of cousins putting on productions like we did. If only we had had the technology they have now!
Anyway, My love to everyone.I hope you are all having as nice of a family celebration as we shared yesterday. Chelle

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Ryan is on a plane at this moment as he heads to Boston. We miss him but he will join Beth, Dillon, Terri, Joey, Ian and Jasmine here on Wednesday. Meanwhile he is going to have quite the adventures to tell us about. And we all know Ryan will tell, and tell, and tell and tell....

Dillon has started a story about Granny Annie. Here is the beginning: "The lady was going bald on the chicken farm who barely sells enough at the flea market to cover her monthly booth rental."

I am posting a photo of Beth and her expression when I asked if she liked Peanut Butter Whoppers. See if you can tell how she feels about them.

We're having a grand ole time but work, work, work must happen today.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Thank you Russell Leff family for coming to Kansas. Despite harrowing plane trip, no food and exposure to the was a great time. : )

Grant and Nora decorated this cake.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Tandy and the kids visited us this weekend. It seems like ages since we have seen Ryan, Dillon and Beth.

Ryan is 6' 1".

Dillon is 5' 7".

Beth is 5' 3".

Thankfully Beth is still a little shorter than her Granny Annie.

All three have stories of romance and tragedy and grades and band and contest scores and every tale had a happy ending or at least an ending with optimism.

They brought the DVDs of play, You're A Good Man CHARLIE BROWN and we watched Ryan's wonderful Linus performance again.

I enjoyed cooking and feeding everyone.

They enjoyed making us laugh. Tandy, Ryan, Dillon and Beth together are a single entity of entertainment. It doesn't matter if you think they are funny -- they KNOW they are funny!

It was a beautiful two days of sunshine and warmth.

Today it is snowing but this Granny is still warm from the weekend memories.