Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mason & Grandpa at Phil & Terri's wedding in November Posted by Picasa

Grandchild No. 3 - Mason (GrandSON No. 1)

Now, remember, I'm numbering them in the order of appearance, NOT in order of preference, although Mason is really a sweetheart. He is now 2 years and 4 months old, and in the throes of the terrible two's. We have this running joke between us: he gets into saying no all of the time, and when I ask him if he's a "no boy" he says, of course, "no". Then I give him a look of astonishment and say "yes, you are!" Somehow this simple exchange makes him aware of the conflict of being a no boy and having to say "yes" to a question. His face breaks into the cutest smile I've ever seen.
Up until a few weeks ago his vocabulary has been fairly straightforward and simple, and with Brittany's help we have always been able to make out what he is saying. Lately, though, he is trying long strings of syllables that even have Brittany stumped. He has been listening to everyone for so long, absorbing what we are all saying, and his first attempts over the last year or so have been rewarding enough that now he has the confidence to try all of the thoughts and sentences he has been storing in his little head. Unfortunately, he may know what he's saying but the rest of us are stumped!
He looks a lot like his Daddy and his Grandpa. Big head on a little body. Actually, Scott and Paul don't look like that anymore, and I'm sure Mason will grow out of it eventually. P.S. Kayla had a big head, too. Mason's head was so big for a while that I was embarrassed to take him anywhere! He grew into it a little and now he's just cute!

Kayla taking advantage of our outdoor cooling system! Posted by Picasa

Yesterday's double rainbow! Posted by Picasa

Our favorite tree with swing Posted by Picasa

Heat Wave!

We have been having 100+ degree weather for three weeks with only two days in the high nineties! Whew! I spent an hour yesterday in Kayla's wading pool with her. What a sight! But it was cool. Luckily we have this great shady front yard and a good sprinkler system for Kayla to play in!

We have family visiting this week. Judy and Jack will be here, along with Chuck and Julie. I have invited Leah and her family to join us. Hopefully we'll get to see them a bit before they leave Reno. We are excited about having our mini-reunion!

Oh, yesterday we had a beautiful, bright full rainbow, with just a hint of a double. It was so nice to have a break from the heat for the evening. Hope it continues through the family fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Something Beautifully Touching

I know it's been too long since I've posted anything. It may be a few days before I get back to the grandkids, but I just had to share this. Please check out the links below and go to the one called "Now that's God!" Mom sent this to me and it brought tears.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Fathers' Day!

Because we lost Daddy at an early age, Fathers' Day was a tough holiday for me growing up. In my thirties I found the most wonderful statement in the Bible, for which I am forever grateful - God is described, among His many characteristice, as "father to the fatherless". I had known that because He had made His presence known to me all along, but it was gratifying to see it in writing! God is good, and He is always with us with loving open arms and the biggest heart of all!

So Happy Fathers' Day to all the fathers in the family! First of all to Paul, the number one father in my book. You have helped me raise three great kids, and I am singularly grateful for your commitment to us as a family. Thank you and I love you.

To my brothers Gene, who took being a great big brother to it's logical next step and became a great dad; and Chuck, who took one of the bravest jumps of all and became stepfather to two grown children!

To my sons Scott, who has taken on a lot of huge responsibilities starting even before he was old enough to graduate from high school; and Pobby, who isn't even positive that he is a father yet because everything is so new. To my son-in-law Phil who has been such a blessing to Terri and Kayla with his huge and loving heart.

To Chuck Breit, who helped my sister Judy raise three of the most responsible and fun kids I've ever known.

To Paul's brother Larry who, along with his wife Debbie, has raised his two girls to almost the end of the truly parental part of the job and is about to embark on having two daughters with lives of their own.

To all my nephews: Shawn, who has the two luckiest kids I know because their dad works at home and has all kinds of time to go fishing, swimming, and play with his boys; John, who is making one of the biggest sacrifices of all - to leave his family for long periods in order to keep this country and our world a safer place to raise all these much loved children (thank you from all of us, John); Mike Atkins, who has made great efforts to allow his mom to get to know her two grandchildren who live so far away, Alan Gorski, who kept his kids closer to Grandma and is the father of twin boys!; and Joe, who helped Tammy blend what I think is the most widely spaced bunch of kids into a cohesive family unit.

To my cousins: Buzz, who is almost done with all the hard work and can now sit back and wait for grandkids; Chris, whose two beautiful daughters I have yet to meet; Jonathon, who I haven't even seen since he became a dad (next family reunion, OK, Chirs & Jonathon?); Lee, who has been so loving and caring the few times I've seen him; Brian, who (lucky for us!) just moved Leah and their two little ones to Reno; and Kim, another proud grandaddy who is so family oriented, fun, and generous.

I love each of you and hope that being a father has rewarded you all in very special ways. Being a dad takes so much time, sacrifice, and money! From my heart, thank you for being great dads and bringing all these kids and their kids into this ever-growing family.

Finally, the bittersweet part of Fathers' Day is remembering those who we no longer get to hug, to thank, or to talk to anymore. Paul's dad, who always had kind words for me, my Dad, several grandfathers - Spud, Grandpa, and Paul's Grandpa Larry, who are always in my heart; Phil and Henry, whose hearts were so big and used so much that they just wore out too soon; Bill Hargrove, who loved to laugh; and Clarence, who took a bunch of little kids through some very trying times and then did not get to reap the rewards of seeing this big family that he helped raise. We miss you all, and are grateful for God's promise that we will all be together again some day for that great Family Reunion in the Sky!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Halloween '04 again with the giraffe named "Mason" Posted by Hello

Halloween '04 Posted by Hello

Brittany last July, at Kayla's skating party Posted by Hello

Grandchild #2 - Brittany

Brittany has been in our family since she was eight months old, and sometimes we forget that she wasn't born into it. Just the other day Scott and I were talking about one of Brittany's characteristics (I can't remember what) and my comment was that it must have come from her mom's side of the family, because we didn't have that trait in ours. Then I caught myself. It's not that I was being dumb, but just that I think of Brittany truly as family.

She is a dark-eyed beauty, and always has been. When she was little that beauty tended to hide behind a thin little kid with a runny nose who hated to have her nose wiped, but now that she has grown into her height and out of the illnesses (for the most part anyway) she is lovely. And is beginning to develop a charming sense of humor - can she make me laugh! We have lots of fun together. It's only been for about the last year that I have contributed to some of her daycare, too, and I am grateful to Lisa and Scott for letting me help. It's given me a lot of time with her and we've gotten to know each other a little better.

Now six, Brittany is just six months younger that Kayla, but you'd never know it. She is taller, and reads at a higher level. She has been reading poems from Shel Silverstein's "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and is able to grasp the humor. Kayla likes the book, too. They are very close in development, which makes them close as cousins. I try to have them over together some, so they can have playtime with each other.

Brittany is a very watchful and considerate older sister to Mason (now 2). The other day he had only been gone from the room for a minute when she asked me "Where's Mason?" He was close, but she is aware of him in a very big sisterly way. She has helped me so much with him, and she is the only one who can translate "Ca Hay Sur" into "Can I have cereal?", so Mason's life is much easier for him, too. He turns to her all the time when he needs something. Lucky boy, to have a big sister, huh, Scott?

Monday, June 13, 2005

Kayla, age 4.  Posted by Hello

Kayla at her sixth birthday party at a skating rink Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Kayla or Grandma?

Posted by HelloOne day Kayla came up to Grandpa and said "Take my picture. I look just like Grandma", so he did. Here she is at age 5 in my glasses.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Grandchild No. 1 - Kayla

I had originally wanted to feature the grandkids one by one in order of appearance with Kayla being first, but since Carmen wrote I had to share her news, so Kendra got the first spot. But now we go in order beginning with Kayla.

When Terri found out she was going to bless us with a new little person, I was not ready at all to be a grandparent. My mom was 40 when she became a grandma - now that's too young! - , and I was 48, but I still went around telling everyone that I was too young to be a grandma. I think Terri got kind of fed up with me, because one day she turned to me and said, very sweetly, "Mom, you're not that young." Needles to say, that shut me up!

When Kayla was born, I was so glad to be able to enjoy her and help with her, and immediately got over the fear of looking old to others. She has been a true gift from God in our lives. Being around an infant after so many years without one was rejuvenating and exciting. Watching her grow and become such a sweet young girl has been wonderful, and we look forward to many more years of witnessing the unfolding of this beautiful person.

Having had the honor of being day care provider for Kayla two to three days a week for her first six years, we are closer to her than we probably will be with the others, although they are all equally special. She knows us better and vice versa, and there is a bond there that is equal to none. She is now living in Carson City with her three new brothers and new stepdad, and we don't see her as often as we used to. We miss her, but our times together are now even more special.

Grandchild #7

I got a note from Carmen, Pobby's old girlfriend. She is now living in Washington, rather near Trudy and Lisa. I hope to visit them all one day soon. Most of you remember Carmen, because she came to the El Paso family reunion with us. Carmen has had a little girl, Kendra, who is our seventh grandchild! Imagine, just last year we only had three. Thanks to Terri and Phil our little group grew real fast!

Carmen has a site (which I have added to my links below) where she has posted pictures of herself, Kendra, and Carmen's artwork. Yep, Carmen can draw. Move over, Grandpa!
Love you guys!