April 2008

Watching our Garden Grow

Editors of the Gazette will be canvassing for stories at the family reunion next month.

Watching our Garden Grow

Submitted by: Bobbi Spiker-Conley

This time last year I was feverishly scrambling to get all the pages of this new website finished before its debut during the 2007 Memorial Day weekend celebration at the Spiker family farm. Since then your contributions to the site of newsy articles, photos and ongoing family updates have helped it grow and mature. Hoping to witness continued growth throughout the next year, this month’s edition of the Gazette is focused on encouraging your continued participation.

As you will recall from last year’s Memorial Day event, our Gazette reporters will be canvassing the grounds searching for the latest scoop. Go ahead and start making your list now; catch us up on all the latest headlines (and gossip) in your family. Pass the list along to one of our reporters or be sure to schedule a time for an interview so that they can record your details for future editions.

And while you’re writing down all your notes, give some thought to compiling them into personal reflections that we can add to the Spiker Family Album created by Melanie Fouse. If you haven’t had the opportunity to view the album, we have transcribed previous submissions in the Spiker Family Library.

Of course, simply thinking about our family gatherings makes our mouths water. No event would be complete without the tempting dishes brought by our family’s best cooks. Fortunately, many of their personal recipes are already recorded in the Spiker Family Cookbook which is displayed in our Kitchen. So don’t forget…as you’re digging out your recipes and preparing your grocery list for this year’s potluck, be sure to make copies for us. If you e-mail your recipes to us in the next couple weeks, we’ll be sure to add them to the family cookbook before Memorial Day weekend 2008.

Lastly, we encourage you “shutter-bugs” to share with us the best of your photos of the 2008 Spiker Family Reunion so that we can display them in one of our many Spiker Family Albums. In the meantime, click here to view some of the photos of last year’s event submitted by Jean Spiker (EDIT - images no longer available after merge).


  • Haley De-an Conley will graduate with Honors from Florida Gulf Coast University on Sunday, April 27, 2008. CONGRATULATIONS on your hard-earned success!!!

    Gary’s parents had made plans to travel to Florida on Amtrak so that they could attend the ceremonies. However, Gary’s father recently became ill and their trip had to be cancelled. We are hoping they will be able to reschedule their trip sometime this summer. It will give us an excuse to have another party!

    Unfortunately, it may be quite a while before Haley will be able to begin her career as a teacher in secondary education. The current economic crisis has created severe education budget cuts throughout Florida. Some current teachers are being offered early retirement while many more are being laid-off (600 layoffs before the Fall term in Orange County alone). Gone are the promises we received four years ago of immediate employment, excellent pay and benefits, college student loan payoffs and expense subsidies.

    Nevertheless, Haley has always maintained great spirit in the face of challenges. We’re certain she will overcome this obstacle as well.