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Tag Archives: grandchildren

It’s Only Twelve Weeks Long…

Here in Minnesota we celebrate summer after the long winter.  The problem is how to pack as much as you can into the summer.  It was a few years ago when our kids were graduating from high school that we came to the realization that the summer is only 12 weeks long and everyone tries to pack everything into those 12 weekends.

It starts with Memorial Day weekend with the parades and local remembrance services and directly into the graduation parties for the recent graduates.  Now in a small town of 400 no one wants to miss each others parties so the last of the parties may well be into July.  Spring and summer are traditionally wedding seasons here as the brides hope for the perfect spring or summer day.

July brings the Fourth of July activities with parades and local town celebrations.  We are surrounded by several other small towns each having their own celebration and then our town celebration of Heritage Days is the second weekend of August each summer.  This year is the biggie, 100 years since our town was incorporated.

Summer is the traditional time for vacations and camping when the kids are out of school so those of us who don’t have kids in school or our kids are grown work while others take their vacation with their kids.  Its okay with me because I prefer to duck out of town in the middle of winter for a little warm weather elsewhere.

Before we know it the back to school shopping season is upon us and Labor Day.  The boats are off the lakes and put away and everyone wonders what happened to summer.

My response lately is that summer is only 12 weeks long.

That being said we have already packed so much into the spring/summer season already it feels like it should be done but I am delighted to realize that we are not half way through yet.

We’ve been up north to Two Harbors to work on my brother’s new land he purchased to develop into a rustic retreat.  We’ve been to San Francisco to celebrate our nephew’s wedding.  We’ve attended several graduation parties and helped host a family reunion for my mom’s family from all over the United States.

Our most exciting news is welcoming our first granddaughter to the family.  We’ve welcomed two more grandsons to the mix since I last blogged and will be adding a daughter-in-law to the family in January.  Life is good…but short…celebrate accordingly.

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Sticks and Stones

Tonight after work I was outside taking clothes in off the line when my daughter and grandson got home. He stayed outside with me while she unloaded her car. While we were outside he found a stick and walked around in the yard poking the ground and everything with his stick until he broke it in two.

No tears were shed when he broke it. He just picked up the other half and walked around to the side of the yard where the steps come down off the porch. He started using his sticks like drumsticks on the bottom step.

After drumming for a while he put his sticks down and headed to my garden. When he got there he was distracted by something up above.

When I looked up to see what he was pointing at I saw a flock of birds flying overhead. I’m not sure what kind they are but this was just a small portion of what flew overhead.

After the birds passed by Jack picked up some small stones from my garden and promptly trotted down to the lake. When he got to the shore he threw one stone in and then the other. He turned around and headed straight back to my garden for a second and later a third set of stones to throw in the lake until the mosquitoes drove us inside for the rest of the evening.

Who needs fancy store-bought toys when you’ve got sticks and stones?

 

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Can I Speak Without Pictures? Maybe…

This past week I have been at a loss for words. Not because I didn’t have any to share but because I had no new pictures to go with them.

On a recent trip to Montana I lost the battery charger for my camera. I tried ordering another battery online but haven’t found anyone who stocks them. I thought it would be great to have a second charged up battery . I finally ordered a new charger for my camera but it was over a week ago and it’s not here yet so no new pictures with a dead battery in my camera.

Today has been a difficult day. I started loading up furniture and belongings of my two daughters and grandson into a pickup truck and trailer at 7am this morning. My daughters are starting the process of moving into their own apartment. We hit the road for the 45 minute drive to their apartment at 7:40am. By noon we had my truck, trailer and each of their cars unloaded into the second story apartment.

Our oldest has been in her own apartment for the past four years while she has attended college but home every summer to work. Our youngest who is 20 has never left home before and has a son that will be two next month.  They will be moving into the apartment full-time in about three weeks.

Tonight when I got home from work the house is a mess with things half packed, half sorted just the way we left it this morning but with a silence that is deafening remaining. I started picking things up and putting them away trying to keep a positive attitude. Thinking thoughts like the house will stay cleaner longer, there will be less dishes to do and less laundry for sure. Since I’ve done such a bad job in cooking meals lately I won’t mention less cooking to do.

The girls and my grandson will come home on the weekends they assure me to do laundry. My sons now both in their own homes have busy lives between their homes, work and other interests.  I struggle between feeling of wanting to put everything personal in the house away so I’m not reminded that they are not here or to start dragging out more pictures and stuff to fill the void.

On my livingroom walls I stencilled the words “There’s no place like home” many years ago, delighted that we were able to buy a home on a lake for our family to enjoy while our kids were growing up. Now it’s the last place I feel like being. If my husband said let’s go here or there…it wouldn’t matter where, I would go with him anywhere just to escape.

I’m excited for my kids to head out on their own. That’s the way it should be and I’m proud of them but does it have to hurt so much?

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Family, Grandparenting, Parenting, Reflections

 

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Red, White, and Blue

Tonight I put to bed another Fourth of July weekend. The anticipation and planning for the holiday weekend is always exciting.

The hard part is trying to fit every thing and everyone into the plans for the weekend. My daughters were especially excited about the weekend and planning all the food we would need and they made out a grocery list.

It’s a good thing they were thinking about meals because it was the last thing I felt like doing after a long VERY HOT week of working.

Part of their plans for the weekend was getting up early to go and pick strawberries at the local strawberry farm just around the corner from our home. We set our alarms for six am this morning and headed over to the farm. I would have liked to sleep in but picking strawberries is an annual tradition. Not necessarily on the 4th of July but each year we go picking strawberries.

This year grandson Jack accompanied, my husband, two daughters, one boyfriend and me to the farm. It was a beautiful morning with lots of beautiful berries.

Happy Fourth of July to all and a special thank you to all our service men and women serving and to all those who have done so faithfully in the past.

 

 
 

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Repetition: Disdain or Delight

Two weeks ago I made a trip to our local library to pick up some books to read to my grandson. We exhausted the books at home I was looking forward to some new reading material. I brought home ten books that were all new to me.

In the mix of books was Cock-A-Doodle-Moo by Bernard Most. It has become my grandson’s favorite. When I come home from work he greets me at the door with the book and walks over to the recliner and starts patting it for me to sit. He backs himself up to the chair for me to pick him up to read the book to him.

In the morning he searches for my library book bag for the book. When I ask him if I should read him the book he squeals with delight and follows the same routine as the evening. When I finish reading it to him he says “More”. I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book to him but there are parts in the book when I tell him to help read the book he says “Moo” where he should for the story.

As an adult I am often bored by predictable behavior. When did that change? As a teenager I would listen to songs on my record player over and over again until I knew all the words. In high school I worked hard at memorizing my parts for Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Arsenic and Old Lace. It required lots of repetition but it was okay because it was for a reason.

Everyday my mind craves new information. I want to learn and am easily frustrated with hearing the same old thing. Oh that I could find delight in hearing and seeing the same old thing as my grandson does when I read him the same book day after day even when there are many other choices.

 

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Are We Done Yet?

Yesterday after church my husband and I took our son, daughter and grandson out for dinner.

When we were all finished eating and the waitress had cleared our table of everything except our coffee cups my grandson struck this pose. I couldn’t resist taking out my camera and taking a picture.

Afterall, the reason I carry my camera with me everywhere is in hope of getting the perfect picture someday. This one comes about as close to perfection in my book as I can get. Just a proud grandma speaking.

On our drive home I remembered times, not often, when my parents took us out to eat for our birthday breakfast at a pancake house. We would eat our breakfast and then sit not so patiently waiting for permission to get up from the table.

It always seemed like it took forever as Mom and Dad drank their coffee. Just how much coffee did they need anyway?

We wanted to go the wishing well that they had at the pancake house. It was a little wooden well that was filled with toys. Each child got to choose one toy from the well before they left.

My grandson wasn’t worried about any toy but he did want to see the large stuffed bear that resides just inside the restaurant doors. There were also deer and moose mounts that caught his eye.

When we let him out of his high chair he headed straight for the door and stood next to the bear and began jabbering as only 20 month old can do.

I could almost read his mind as he talked to the bear saying “Finally they are done with their coffee! I thought they would never finish!”

 
 

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100% Sheer Determination

Twenty months old, 32 pounds, 36 inches tall and full of sheer determination. My grandson loves to be outside so yesterday after church things had warmed up enough that my daughter dressed him up to go outside.

We put a couple of lawn chairs on the paved driveway in the sun and brought out some toys for my grandson to play with outside. As we sat in our chairs, she read and I knitted as he walked up and down the driveway pushing his toy lawnmower through the mud and puddles.

Things were going well for quite a while until he discovered Grandpa’s snowmobile and wanted a ride. He came over to my chair, pulled me up and out of the chair, marched us over to the snowmobile, pulled himself up on it and wanted me to take him for a ride.

I can drive a snowmobile but I am not great in the starting it department. I can start it once it has been started for the first time for the day but pull starting it is not my strong suit. I told my daughter to go inside and get Grandpa to take him for a ride. He did not want to get off the snowmobile.

Grandpa came out and drove him around the yard and along the shore of the lake for about 20 minutes and then they came back to the house. He was okay with taking a break for about 20 minutes and then he wanted to go again.

We told him we were done for the day but he crawled up a 8 foot high snow bank from plowing that the snowmobiling was perched on. Then he grabbed hold of the rubber mat on the back of the snowmobile and pulled himself to standing next to the snowmobile. Next he reached across the seat of the snowmobile and pulled himself on the seat and then finally into place for riding. I can’t believe his upper body strength at his age.

He knows that you need to pull the yellow handle to start the snowmobile and tried his hardest to start it. No luck…Then he started hollering for Grandpa for a ride in his twenty-month-old gibberish. We didn’t need the words to know what he wanted. A picture is worth a thousand words or more sometimes.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Family, Grandparenting, Life Happens

 

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