Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pictures and Memories

You can either be a photographer, or have fun, at least, it works that way for me. I had not seen my grandkiddos (that's what we decided they should be called now, since none of them are truly babies) in months. I asked if I could come up to see their primary program. I begged Dee to let me go, and he rented me a car (a cute red Mazda 6...I looked adorable driving it, but, again, you either have fun or take pics...and I had fun driving that car!) I drove, by myself, constantly saying in my mind, "I can do hard things", though, in that car, it wasn't very hard. Four and a half hours seemed easy, compared to the 10 hours we drove a couple of weeks ago. Here is my four days, in fun memories, and in pictures.

First,the arrival. I drove up to their apartment and parked. I surprised Allison, because she wasn't expecting me in a cute red car, I am just sure! I walked up to sweet Joshy, riding his bike. He clammed up, though Allison assured me he had been talking about Grammy earlier. It didn't take long for that sweet stare to turn to a slight grin. He showed me the "spookies" as he called them (Halloween decorations) on a nearby apartment. No pic, but oh, so cute when the corners of his mouth turn up.

Their apartment, adorable, as usual. Paperplate ghosts hanging from the ceiling. Halloween decorations, lights in the window. Their home, though small for five people, just oozed Halloween! It is amazing what she does in a few months: bedrooms switched, which was an awesome idea. Joshy gave me the tour. Mike brought Adam and Grace home from school and I greeted the happiest kindergartener who was having the best day ever. Grace finds every day the best day ever! Oh, how wonderful the world would be if we all saw it through the eyes of happy, sweet Grace! She had five green squares on her calendar, so she got to pick a surprise. Her's: a pair of glasses with yellow bloodshot bulging eyes. What a treasure. She also received a medal for being super. Adam was so grown up. I swear, he grows six inches every time I see him. He's a mature 3rd grader, but still gives a great hug!!!

That night, Grammy got to babysit. Of course NO PICS. I am a responsible babysitter. We watched "Phineus and Ferb", just two shows. We had pizza for dinner. We talked. We read. I even got them bathed...Love it when a sweet almost two year old finds such joy in jumping and landing with a huge splash. Wet Grammy was icing on the cake for him. I even had their teeth brushed (quite a production: "Upper left: 1 2 3 4 5 6..." (Apparently, I was supposed to go to 10" ) AND sleeping when Allison and Mike got home from an awesome Bellagio Hotel Fall display! (That is a miracle. I am responsible, but rarely do I abide bed time rules!)

Saturday morning was Primary Program practice at the church. I was in charge of Joshy. Too. Fun. We hugged soft stuffed kitties. We walked outside around the building. We put stickers on Grammy, and the bench. We walked outside around the building. We pulled cushions off the foyer couch and made a train to push on the floor. We walked outside around the building. He threw rocks in the trickle of water in the gutter. We walked outside around the building. We turned the lights on and off and on and off. We walked outside around the building. I fear for them today, when they go to church. Grammy has done some BIG corrupting.

Afternoon, they worked on Halloween projects they didn't have time for during the week. I watched, and took pictures.

We ate a snack. Then they dressed up in their totally awesome costumes. It was too warm for Joshy to be Clifford, the Big Red Dog, but Gracie was "Emily Elizabeth" his owner...and Allison put together this whole costume with Thrift Shopping, some dye, and lots of great creativity. Adam was beneficiary of this creative Mom and sewing skills too as he became "Ash".
Adam and Grace saved their allowance and used it to purchase tickets. Here, Adam bowls.

Gracie used some of her many tickets for this petting zoo. She tried to feed the lamb , goat, and rabbit, but they were sooooo full from many "feeders".

Joshy was thrilled, as long as the animals made NO eye contact .

Joshy got this black balloon. I swear, that boy LOVED that balloon. It lasted the whole time I was there. 

Each went in the "bouncy spider house" but my flash was more on the netting than on the kiddos. 

Joshy won some fruit snacks, and was very adamant that he eat some. 

Adam and his friends visit the fortune teller. One boy was so excited to find out he would someday be a pirate. Adam is going to be a hotel owner, and Gracie will have her own pet shop someday.

Here is what Gracie won at her cake walk. She even sent one cookie home for Aunt sweet. AND she gave me a ticket to go on my first cake walk!

Adam won these, which we ended up decorating the next to follow. 

Grilled Cheese Sandwich dinner, baths, toothbrushing (the ten count was discovered when Mommy did it correctly) scripture reading, stories, and bed...though when Grammy is there, Mommy and Daddy are so understanding!

Sunday, few pics, again. I was living and having a Gracie "best day ever". Highlights: watching Adam and Grace say their parts in the Primary Program: Hooray Gracie for saying "created" instead of "made". And Adam's talk about his baptism and choosing to listen to the Holy Ghost: superb, watching them sing and sign, "If I Listen With My Heart", watching them sing with every ounce of conviction in their souls, "Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah! Jesus annointed that prophet and seer. Blessed to open the last Dispensation. Kings shall extol him and nations revere. Hail to the prophet ascended to heaven. Traitor and tyrants now fight him in vain. Mingling with gods he can plan for his brethren. Death cannot conquer the hero again." Tears. Streaming. (I still have that memory: cute blonde curly hair with pink and orange striped sweater. Spiked hair, light blue polo shirt. Four brilliant bright eyes. Fervent singing. Never to forget.) Allison's talk, since she is the President of primary, summing all her loving, leading, and absolutely perfect way. Joshy entertaining the rows behind us, trying to throw his socks. Daddy is soooo fast on the reaction. We only lost the Jesus picture ring into the lap of the sweet couple behind us. Me helping "Nana" with the nursery class Joshy is in. Oh, that sweet wonderful woman who LOVES to be called to serve in the nursery. After playing with toys, snacks of fishy crackers, mandarin oranges, pineapple, string cheese, and water, they clean up, and she has class. Typically, a lesson in nursery is a quick 5 or 10 minute lesson, with a coloring activity to follow. It is nice. But this sweet wonderful lady puts a lace tablecloth on the table, vases of streamer sticks and big stuffed flowers. The kids help. They read a scripture, "Jesus said, Love One Another". Joshy took his star and climbed on a chair to magnet it to the board while we all sang, "I am like a star shining brightly, shining for the whole world to see. I can do and say happy things each day, for I know Heavenly Father loves me!" tears now. tears then. Those six angels each took their turn, praised for saying the prayer, for reading the scripture, for holding a picture, and we sang the song for each and every one. They looked at the picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet. They washed each others feet. (Josh wasn't too sure about Isaac washing his feet, though) They swang the streamers to music. They held their blossoms. That lesson lasted 30 minutes. They knew Jesus loved them and wanted them to love one another. 15 months to three years. In that room, Nana and her daughter helped them know Jesus loves them. Nana, I know Heavenly Father was smiling then, as I am sure he does every week when He sees that nursery. A bit of heaven. Home after church, they created their holders for the traditional "dinner in a pumpkin"
Joshy is not a fan of Grammy photography when he first wakes up. 

Sweet Grace ready for church. 

Scraping out the sugar pumpkins to ready for dinner. 

Off to Stake Conference Childrens choir practice for Adam. Again, Grammy is losing what little makeup she had left on when, on the left side of the choir loft, about the third row up, a sweet angelic boy in a blue shirt sang,

"If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example? Would I live more righteously,
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel? Would I speak more reverently
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would my thoughts be clean and pure?
Would His presence give me strength and hope, and courage to endure?
Would His counsel guide my actions? Would I choose more worthily
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

He is always near me, though I do not see Him there
And because He loves me dearly, I am in His watchful care
So I'll be the kind of person that I know I'd like to be
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me. "

We returned home to yummy, awesome "dinner in a pumpkin"and  cookie decorating.
Gracie made our pumpkin dinner more "jack o lanterny"

We read scriptures, made blanket burritos, and went to bed, though Joshy took a bit to stay in his bed...he is quite the athlete when it comes to climbing out of bed, plus, Grammy did her share of riling him up with burrito blanket play, and more ball rolling/bouncing.

Monday morning: breakfast, Adam to school, playing with Gracie, digging with Joshy,
Gracie with her birthday scooter. 

Only Grammy lets her granddaughter jump in puddles in her  jammies while on a walk. 

Joshy loves to stand on his porch and throw the basketball out in the parking lot and then bring it back. This boy LOVES balls!!!

Gracie wrote "Grammy" on the sidewalk in chalk. Then, she invented a game, or scavenger hunt, with chalk drawings, that we played over and over. 

and finally home.

My "Grammy Battery" was recharged, and I keep remembering: funny stories, sitting on the couch on a Sunday afternoon and reading book after book, sitting on the kitchen floor and throwing balls at the cupboard door so they bounce back, learning about the millions of lego people, snuggling close, vacuuming oreo ice cream sandwiches off the primary rug (second in nastiness only to popcorn!...who knew something soooo yummy could be soooo messy), my first cake walk, making peanut butter and honey sandwiches, singing, laughing, driving with two monkeys in my back seat (I swear I heard a jungle back there, but I only saw two sweet children. odd???) Thank you Mike and Allison, for your wonderful, welcome home, and for your patient and loving way. No worries to be had here. Your home is a heavenly training ground!

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