Tuesday, September 29, 2009

They Call Him Papa

After we finished raising our seven kids, Lloyd and I discovered the joys of grandchildren. It's such a rewarding feeling interacting with your babies' babies...spoiling them, playing with them, teaching them, and then giving them back to their parents. We both love the little critters and over the years Lloyd has become a loving and involved Papa to the 17 we have so far.

This is Baron, #17 in the line-up.

Lloyd likes exploring the world with them (Kenny)

He sits and plays games with them (Brooklyn)

He jumps and plays with them (Sydney)

And plays in their back yards with them (Anson)

He teaches them to play golf so that he'll have partners in his old age (Layla, Nathan)

Sometimes he just sits and relaxes with them (James and Micah)

Other times he lays down and relaxes with them (Micah)

and they climb over him (Kenzie and Brooklyn)

He goes climbing with them at Writing On Stone Park in Alberta (Nathan, Jonah and Sam)

And at White Tank Mountain in Arizona (Charlie and Max)

And sometimes he has to carry one of them down a mountain (Elly)

He listens to them while they go through the Christmas Wish Catalogue (Layla)

Eating with them is always fun too (Sam, Jonah, Nathan, Micah)

But most of all he just loves them and they love him back. I hope they all realize what a great man their Papa is and how much he loves them.

My apologies to Aidan and Alex not being able to find pictures of them with their Papa.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pretty Stuff

Isn't it pretty...

I've wanted to take pictures of this for quite a while now.

The colors are so bright and vibrant...

...ever changing...

...the pinks...

...the greens, blues, and purples.

You weren't fooled were you. You knew what it was all along.

When I picked Max and Charlie up after school we stopped at the local car wash on the way home. It's always a fun time. I had stopped at the entrance to talk to the attendant and pay for the service. The kids were screaming at me, begging me, to close my window before going in. Of course that just encouraged me to leave the window down longer than I probably would have. I so love to put some excitement into their lives :) We were never in danger of getting wet.
I remember the love/fear relationship our little kids had with the car washes. The noise and moving brushes/strips that were used would spook them, although they loved going with us to get the car washed. Our oldest son, Rob, used to make up his own words back then when he was 4 or 5 and his word for the car washes was "car-a-bath-pool". We called it that for years.
Go on out and get your cars washed...entertain your kids!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Candyland with Dora the Explorer

Lloyd and I had dinner and fun at Rob and Cindy's place last weekend and during the course of the evening, 5-year old Brooklyn got out her Dora the Explorer Candyland game. (that's not a tattoo on her arm - she was at a birthday party earlier in the day and the face painter panted ladybugs climbing on leaves on her arm)...anyway, back to Candyland...

I hear this game has been around for many years. We had lots of games for our 7 kids when they were growing up (before video and computer games were invented!) but I don't recall ever having Candyland in the house. It's a remarkably simple game that pre-readers can easily play, and is surprisingly fun for adults too...although I'm sure most of you already know that. I've played it before with Kenzie and Sydney but Lloyd had never had the pleasure before. I'm willing to bet he'll be playing it again now that he's tried it.

The Dora twist was interesting. Luckily having spent a lot of time babysitting grandkids I'm familiar with the whole Dora family. Brooklyn was Boots, I was Dora and Lloyd was Diego, complete with pseudo latino accent and an agressive (cheating) attitude that the real Diego would never have.

Happily for Brooklyn, Boots got to the finish first, but only after Dora and Diego had to backtrack to broken cookies, spilled ice cream, or whatever other bad luck squares there were. Funny that Boots only landed on squares that moved her forward!

We really had to watch Diego carefully though because he didn't believe in following the winding path and kept trying to jump across to the next twist of the path and get ahead of everyone - kind of like Swiper would do if he were playing...SWIPER...NO SWIPING...

We had a fun time. I challenge any of you with a Candyland game in your homes, attics or basement storage, to dig them out and have a game or two with the young people in your lives.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mickey the Mouser

I guess this is a sequel to Sara's blog entry from yesterday when she introduced us to Mickey's newfound skill. I've chronicled the young cat's hunting prowess over the summer, starting with moths, then graduating to grasshoppers and then dragonflies as prey. She's a very good hunter.

Yesterday she graduated to catching one of the mice that live under the back deck. Today she proved it was not a fluke by catching another mouse. This time she brought it into the house.

We are such city dwellers. When Sara screamed that the cat brought a live mouse into the house, I jumped up on a chair in the kitchen, while Sara and Charlie perched on the livingroom furniture. As soon as the initial scare wore off I grabbed my camera and went to document the action.

Percy was very interested in the whole thing but whenever he got near Mickey, deep low growls came from Mickey's throat. She was very possessive of her prize and didn't want Percy anywhere near it.

She played with the poor creature until it could no longer move.

and she guarded it

She even wrapped it up in a towel. In the end, she picked it up and carried it back outside where she played with it some more before dropping it in a space between the patio doors and the deck floor where it disappeared from sight. I hope that's all we see of mice over there now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm A Winner!

I love blogging. I love the interesting people I 'meet' through blogs - theirs and mine. Although I don't claim to be a good creative writer (there's enough of those in the family already) I enjoy putting some thoughts together and creating a word picture (with photos) of my life.

One of the extra benefits of blogging came to me on Wednesday when the author of one of my favorite blogs drew my name as a winner in her blog contest. I've been reading Kath's blog for quite a while now. She's an amazingly busy woman, mother of 6, busy wife, gardener, farmer, trucking company dispatcher who 'puts up' gallons of tomatoes and goodness knows what else. She's a wonderful cook, juice maker, and as far as I can tell she's a fun person. Someday I'm going to meet her in person. To see my excellent prizes, go to her blog link above and scroll down to her Sept. 17 entry.

I've got a contest planned for my blog and as soon as I come up with a suitable prize, I'll announce it. Stay posted.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visit from the Little Quists

Today I spent some quality time with Jenny's two youngest boys, Jammers and Micah. Jenn had to go to the passport office and that is certainly no place for two active little guys who wouldn't take kindly to standing in long lines.

The little guys were a pleasure to have. Micah disappeared downstairs to play video games with Max until Max had to go to school. Jammers was happy just to explore all the toys that were around.

They watched television while eating a granola bar and blueberry muffin.

They played in the back yard and had great fun discovering all the foam alphabet letters that were laying around. They'd bring them to me and tell them what they were. Even not-quite-two-year old Jammers could tell me what some of the letters were.

Micah's favorite letter of course was 'M' but he was quick to show me that if you turn it upside down it became 'W'.

The slide always has an appeal for all the kids who come to visit.

We had a good time together. When Jenn got back from the not-so-long lineups at the passport office, the boys didn't want to leave. They'll be back.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Water Baby

On our last day in Osoyoos last month Mary and Greg brought Layla and Baron to our hotel so Layla could play in the pool there. The child is absolutely fearless and loves the water.

She floats...

She swims...

She jumps...

She swims underwater...

And she especially loved going on the water slide...with her dad...

...by herself...

... and with her mom.

Meanwhile, Lloyd and I sat on the sidelines keeping Baron entertained.

It's a toss-up who among us had the most fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Anson's Birthday

Cindy and Rob had a small family birthday party for Anson's 8th birthday on Saturday. They rented a big bouncing structure for entertainment. The kids loved it. They took balloons in it and bounced till all the balloons were broken.

Then there was cake, of course. Chocolate...with ice cream.

Anson always plugs his ears when we sing "Happy Birthday" - too much sensory input for him, or maybe our singing is just that bad! - but he tolerated it and blew out all his candles.

Everyone was interested in the gift opening time. Then the goodie bags were distributed and the party was over. Short and sweet - the best kind. Anson enjoyed it, whch is what it was all about.

Anson's little sister Brooklyn showed me the lei she got at a birthday party she attended a week or so ago. Then she and Charlie proceeded to demonstrate the hula for us...pretty good for little girls who have never left the mainland.

Happy Birthday Anson. It was fun sharing your birthday with you.