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Grandparent Fun

Grandparent Fun

There have been lots of good grandparent times in the last few weeks, and we are looking forward to many more in the next few.  I LOVE grandparents (both the “regular” and the “great” ones), and we are fortunate to have 8 that live here and 4 more that we have either seen or will see within the month.  Here are a few funny photos of our times with my dad while visiting our St. Louis grandparents, posted in honor of good grandparent memories old, new, and yet to be made…

Random Quote

Random Quote

I’ve begun to appreciate the generational patterns that ripple out from our lives like stones dropped in water, pulsing outward even after we are gone. Although we have but one childhood, we relive it first through our children’s and then our grandchildren’s eyes.  –Anne Cassidy

I can’t speak to having grandchildren, but I continue to enjoy the ways that having children helps me see my childhood in new ways.  Watching Nathan read Charlotte’s Web for the first time, seeing Katya dress up in the Easter dress my grandfather picked for me, homemade pizza on Friday nights as a family, listening to the Suzuki Piano Book 1 CD endlessly–just a few glimpses of my own growing up reflected in my kids.

Return to the North Pole

Return to the North Pole

According to the Smithsonian website, there’s a bit of controversy about whether Peary or Cook discovered the North Pole, but there is no arguing that our family sure had a lot of fun rediscovering the North Pole amusement park outside of Colorado Springs.

My grandparents had taken me there several times as a child, and we decided this was a fun family outing for the beginning of our summer vacation.  Than’s parents came along for the adventure and we left home early enough to arrive just before the park opened.

The kids were trying to guess where our “mystery trip” was headed, and when Nathan figured out it had something to do with rides he was a bit reluctant.  He quickly changed his mind once we got there, however, and had a great day running from attraction to attraction.

Katya turned out to be quite adventurous herself, screaming and clinging to a nearby adult while on the ride but then clamoring for more as soon as she got off.  The weather was delightful and there were not very many people there, so we got to ride everything as many times as we wanted without waiting in line.  Hooray!

We saw the illusionist (I swear he’s the same one who was there when I went), enjoyed a picnic lunch, touched the frozen “North Pole” and kept going until closing time at 5:00.

A delicious BBQ dinner at Rudy’s on the way home finished off a practically perfect day.  Hope you enjoy the photos both old and new.

Random Quote

Random Quote

Home is the wallpaper above the bed, the family dinner table, the church bells in the morning, the bruised shins of the playground, the small fears that come with dusk, the streets and squares and monuments and shops that constitute one’s first universe.  –Henry Anatole Grunwald

I like the way this quote captures different threads of what the word “home” conjures up in my mind.  Not just a house, not even just the place I lived, but a unique and precious combination of people, places, experiences, and memories.  It is also true that I feel at home when some of those fragments are recreated, either through intentional planning of my current life or through accidental encounters with people or objects that jog my memory.  I wonder what will represent home to my children…

Rewind #2

Rewind #2

More catching up–celebrating Grandpa Train’s birthday!

While mom and dad were here over Thanksgiving, my mom’s dad turned 85!!

I had fun helping my mom and aunts plan a party for his friends.  It was very special to hear stories from others and from Grandpa about his childhood, his growth in faith, and the impact he has had on those around him.  My mom and aunts also sang, always a special treat.

We celebrated again with a family dinner at White Fence Farm followed by dessert at my house.  Nathan learned to play Happy Birthday on the piano and proudly performed for his Grandpa Train and Katya did a dance to go with it.  A little more family singing (Moon River, The Way You Look Tonight), then gifts and cards, followed by a walk down memory lane as we looked through old slides projected on the big screen.

It was a special evening full of laughter and warmth.  We had one more family gathering when we all descended on Grandpa’s house to clean up leaves and get his yard ready for winter.  I am so glad to be part of this family!!

Teddy Bear Picnic

Teddy Bear Picnic

Well, Teddy Bear week is over.  Nathan sure enjoyed having his friend with him at school each day!  They even dressed twice in matching red uniform shirts.  The final event of Teddy Bear week was the Teddy Bear picnic at a park near school, and I was able to join Nathan for the fun.  The kids all enjoyed lunch on the grass with their bears, followed by plenty of time to play on the playground.  Bears were everywhere–one even got stuck in a tree!  The picnic ended with the kids splitting into groups to read the stories they had written about their bears.

Here’s Nathan’s:

“My bear’s name is Buddy Bear.  Buddy Bear is tan and medium sized.  My bear likes to copy me.  I love Buddy Bear because he copies me.”

Well, Buddy Bear, your friendship has lasted over 5 years and seems to be going strong.  Hope you enjoyed your time at school!

 

The Pool

The Pool

It was FINALLY warm enough to pull out the kiddie pool!  The kids were delighted, and amused themselves for several hours while Than and I did house chores.  We had to drag them away for lunch!

(yep, that’s me in the purple suit with my head in the shade–summer of 1987)

It brought back good memories of playing in the pool with my siblings as a kid, splashing away and enjoying the warmth of the sun in between soakings.

(there I am again in that purple suit, with fabulous shades.  Hope my sister doesn’t come after me for posting this picture!!)

Hammocks

Hammocks

Back in the old days, people used to lazily while away the summer hours sipping lemonade in their hammocks (at least that’s what I imagine…!)  When I was little (yep, that’s me with the glasses) my grandparents used to set up a hammock while we were camping.  We didn’t do much lemonade sipping, but it made a great horse-drawn carriage!

That very same hammock has now become part of our backyard furniture–delightful!  I tested it out in the classic lounging pose (lemonade not included), but of course my kids have plenty of more inventive uses for it.  Here is one of my favorites–instant tent/playhouse…

Somehow grandpa (via Kaye, thanks!) ended up giving us two, so I forsee lots of good times with two kids, two hammocks, and a big warm summer ahead!