Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Uncle Sterling is a Magenius!"

Our annual family sibling trip this year was combined with my dad's 70th birthday! We set up a fun surprise for him by playing (sans children) at La Toretta Resort in the Woodlands.  From the boys' matching swimsuits to the all-out snacking, it was good times.

When we picked up our kids, Kenny had learned the song "Piano Man" from the Sopers. When I told Kenny that Sterling has been singing and playing that song on the piano for years, he was just amazed, and said "Mom, Uncle Sterling is a Magenius!" (His combination of magician and genius... so true of Sterl).

The highlight of the weekend was gifting Dad his big surprise... the 300-year-old piece of wood which came from the Schmutz family barn in Bern, Switzerland.

We loved driving out to Vechigen to get it, bringing it back, and now having it safely framed in the family... time to put these pics and videos on the blog since the surprise is done!


It was pretty tricky trying to explain to these kind people who didn't speak ANY English that we were there to buy that one piece of old wood out of their barn... luckily the man's English-speaking wife had already told him about us since we visited a year earlier with Mom and Dad. So all the hand pointing and money paid off in the end!! They figured out what we wanted and Franz nearly fell out the window trying to pry it off the wall for us!


  1. What a great idea to get the wood! We got to visit my family's old homestead too in eastern CH. What a special memory. We just have photos...no wood :)

  2. Awww, that is very touching Mel! Please tell your dad happy belated birthday from me :)