Hoffman Family Reunionby Angie

13 Jul 2008
12:07 pm

We had a wonderful time at the reunion this weekend!  It was for all descendants of Verne Hoffman, Sr. –  grandfather of my father-in-law, Roger.  It was held on Saturday at the Heritage Oak Winery, a vineyard owned and operated by Roger’s cousin, Tom Hoffman, and Tom’s wife, Carmela (we all call her Camucha).  I was given the job of running the sign-in desk, where we collected contact information for everyone and let each person make their name tag.  We had a great time figuring out each person’s “code number,” which we also put on the name tags, indicating their relationship all the way back to Verne Sr.  My code was 1.3.5+, which means I’m Verne’s first child (Verne Jr.)’s third child (Roger)’s fifth child (Jim)’s spouse.  Jim’s, of course, was 1.3.5 – all rather complicated, but very entertaining.

We ate lunch and various family members gave announcements, performed musical numbers, and told stories.  After mingling and chatting some more, several of us changed into swim suits and headed down to the Mokelumne River, which runs along the boarder of Tom & Camucha’s land.  We had innertubes and kayaks and took turns floating down the river beginning at the launching point and arriving at the beach area 30-40 minutes later.  Huge blackberry bushes grow along the river in a couple of places, so we paddled over to eat ripe, delicious berries right off the bush several times.  It was incredibly relaxing and fun.  I absolutely loved it.  At the beach area, there was a picnic table, where we set up snacks and leftovers for dinner, and then across the dirt road was a meadow where a wiffle ball game was held.  We stayed until twilight finally forced us to pack up and head home.

Hoffman Family Mini-Reunionby Angie

12 Jul 2008
1:07 pm

Since we were all getting together this weekend for the big family reunion, the Roger & Kathy family decided to meet up and have a BBQ on Friday evening.  Tom & Pam Dozier were kind enough to open up their home and pool for our family’s use.  They are good friends of the Hoffmans, from back when they all lived in Texas:  Now that the Doziers are in Livermore, we get to see them all the time!  Tom grilled up some delicious steaks and hot dogs, and we all swam and ate and played for hours.

Since Jason’s birthday is Sunday, we wanted to be sure to celebrate that, too, so we all had prepared movie scenes for a game that consisted of Jason guessing what movie we were portraying, despite the fact that we changed situational elements to make the lines harder to place.  He won lots of candy that ended up being shared all around.  Jon’s girlfriend, Michelle Piazza, came for part of the evening and met everyone; and even Kathy’s mom, Vera, flew out for a special visit, since she didn’t want to miss a gathering of so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren!

A Weekend in LAby Angie

2 Mar 2008
12:03 pm

Mary Poppins

Oh, there is so much to write! We spent this weekend down in Los Angeles, where we saw my cousin, Melinda, perform with the BYU Young Ambassadors: It was a fantastic show, and Melinda was “practically perfect in every way” as Mary Poppins. “The New American Songbook” included a musical review of the 60s, 70s, and 80s and also show tunes from recent Broadway hits, including “Wicked” and Disney’s 2006 theatrical production of “Tarzan.” It was wonderful!

We drove down to Culver City (in West LA) on Thursday morning, which took us a little over six hours. We ate dinner with Jim’s Grandma & Grandpa Packard, and then drove down to Long Beach, to see the Young Ambassadors’ show. After that, we returned to Culver City to stay with Jim’s Aunt Debbie for the night. Friday morning we had breakfast at Dinah’s – a cafe restaurant that is famous in the Hoffman family for selling the most delicious apple pancake you’ve ever tasted.

That afternoon, we went to the Hyatt Hotel in Garden Grove, to see the ACDA Western Division Honors Choir Concert. We attended because Jim’s niece, Amber, was selected to represent her school in the Children’s Honor Choir this year! It was a beautiful, varied program, and the kids did an amazing job. Jim’s mom was also in town as Amber’s escort! After a mini-family reunion at Outback for dinner, Jim and I made the long return trip in the car back to Livermore. This time, we were driving late into the night, but at least that meant we weren’t fighting traffic! So, we arrived home a little before midnight, exhausted but happy to have had such a wonderful weekend in LA.

A Busy Weekendby Angie

9 Feb 2008
10:02 pm

Jim’s Grandma Pat passed away a week ago, so several of our relatives were in town for the funeral today. It was a rare time (and the first time in a long time) that all six Hoffman siblings and their parents were together. Everyone had arrived by Friday afternoon and Jon had managed to arrange for us to all tour the Pixar Animation Studios with him. It was so amazing to see the concept art and maquettes that decorate the entire facility!

After the tour, we went out to eat at a restaurant called KC’s BarBQue. I had found this place listed on citysearch (since Jim requested BBQ for his birthday dinner), with 41 five-star recommendations out of 45 reviews, so we were really looking forward to it. When we arrived at the spot, however, we almost drove away: it was in a terribly run-down part of town, and it looked like little more than a hole in the wall, wedged in between a tire place and a paint store. Inside, however, it looked like a cross between a museum and an antique shop! The food was fantastic and the staff were very friendly and helpful. I would definitely recommend it (for lunch or an early dinner – it was kind of scary walking to our car in the dark in that part of town).

This morning, we drove up to Galt, which is about an hour northeast of Livermore. There we attended the funeral services and graveside dedication for Grandma Pat. There was a small luncheon for family members, where I got to meet several Hoffman relatives (more than I can remember names for!), and where Jim’s family got to visit and catch up with cousins and friends that they haven’t seen in years. I never knew Pat, but it was wonderful to hear so much about her and to see so many family and friends enjoying one another’s company and comfort.

Before heading back to Livermore, we drove over to the Heritage Oak Winery to visit Tom and Carmela Hoffman – relatives who were not able to attend the funeral. Their lands and trees are beautiful and very peaceful. They let us pick dozens of ripe oranges from their tree, and we enjoyed an incredible sunset together as the lovely, exhausting day was closing.