Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've been waiting over 2 months to share this!

I've been waiting since November 17th to tell this story, and I finally got the green light.
(which I totally and completely understand why I needed to wait...I'm not complaining)

This was one of those moments in time I will never forget.

First before I tell you what happened....I want to back track about 2 years. It was Jan 16, 2011.
Tyler had just called to tell me they were expecting their first baby. And while I was talking to him,
I could see that McKay was also trying to call me...but I told Tyler, "Oh, that's McKay, I'll call him back."

But I forgot! The very next morning McKay called and said,
"Didn't you notice I tried to call you last night?"
and then he proceeded to tell me that he and McKenna were also expecting their first baby.
So they both tried to tell me at the exact same time!
Rich and Grant were due just 10 days apart.

Okay, so fast forward to last November 17th. It was a Saturday morning about 10am.
McKay called and asked if we could Skype. McKenna was at Target so it was just McKay and Grant.
First off I asked how McKenna was doing and McKay says, "Well, uh, she's pregnant!"
Took us totally by surprise. So excited for them and for us, that baby #2 is on it's way.

Then I excitedly asked:
So how far along is McKenna?  Just 4 weeks
When is she due? July
Oh, when did you find out? She took the pregnancy test last Thursday night
So do Karen and Tyler know? No, we want to wait a few weeks before we tell anyone.

About 3 hours later I told Den I needed to sleep some of this excitement off
so I was going to take a nap. Thirty minutes later Den walks in with the phone
in his hand and says, "Tyler wants to talk to you!"
Den does not usually wake me up unless there is an emergency
and he looked too happy for that. I immediately grabbed the phone from him and said Hello.
Tyler quickly says, "I just wanted to call and tell you we're pregnant."
Now instead of saying, "Oh that's wonderful" I was stunned and said loudly, "WHAT??!"

So really? Am I hearing Tyler right?
So I'm trying to breath and I ask, "Does McKay and McKenna know?"
"No," he said, "We don't want to tell anyone for a few weeks."

Then I asked,
Uh, how far along is she? About 4 weeks.

Okay, this is getting weird.

As I am talking Den is standing above me laughing...
every so often I look up at him with my mouth wide open and jaw dropped.
Sort of like a mute scream.

I try to act calm, and continue, "When is she due?" July
When I got to the question: When did she take the pregnancy test?
I almost said, "Was it last Thursday night?"
but he beat me to it and said, "Last Thursday night."

Okay, this is getting more weird.
All the questions had the same answers!
And the amazing thing is Tyler and McKay did not know the news of the other!

Okay, just had to get that out. Turns out the babies are due 5 days apart.
Summer of 2013, you are looking doubly exciting!

***This last little note may not mean anything to anyone but me, but I still feel compelled to add it.
Since I pride myself on trying to be as honest and accurate as I can, I want to add that either Tyler or McKay, 
when I asked what day they found out said, "It was either Wednesday or Thursday night." 
Since I can't remember which son said that, I am just going with Thursday night for both of them. But still....

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fly over America during breakfast

That's what we did the other morning.
We suddenly found this video, and ate while we watched.
But we quit eating because we couldn't take our eyes off it!

Den could name just about every area we flew over.
I couldn't ...being the world traveler I am.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reader's Digest July 1947

This past week I found a few old Reader's Digests while thrift store shopping.
I like to read them and sort of get a feel what life was like back then.

Now remember, this is not an article telling about 1947. 
It's an article written in 1947...which make it all the more real.

This first page below I didn't find so remarkable...but look on to the 2nd page below...

How do you like the first question below? 
Women's "lot?" ...
Like being homemakers, wives and mothers was just thrust upon them?
Like it was just this awful terrible life?
I wonder if a lot of women really felt that way?

And the very last question makes me want to laugh. 
Women were turning more responsibilities of raising their children 
to the churches and schools...making the children overstimulated?
Sitting in a church service was too much for them? 
Sorry but that generation knew nothing about overstimulated children.
They didn't even have TVs back in 1947.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Will you still need me, will you still feed me?

Dennis turned 64 today...and he's proud of it!

I'd been looking forward to Dennis turning 64....
ever since I heard my friend's sons sing that Beatles song to their Dad
when he turned 64. Perfect!
I wanted to do the same for Dennis in some way
but wasn't sure exactly how since I don't sing.
And of course I never told anyone.
Especially all this week as his birthday got closer, I kept thinking about it.

And then this morning I was sort of panicking because TODAY is his birthday...
It's not like I could change the words for when he turns 65 next year.

Well guess what! The McKs called today
and said they wanted to Skpe, and look what they did!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Different styles of parenting?

So when the twins arrived here on Sunday night without their coats, 
I thought we could just improvise if they got cold. 
Monday at the cemetery is was near 70' so they were just fine.

But later in the evening when we decided to take them to Carrows for dinner, 
it was quite nippy. 

Téa decided she would just put her bathrobe over her clothes. 
Problem solved. No big deal. 

For some reason Den thought a bathrobe was not good to wear to a restaurant.
Men are different about these kind of things.
Téa is 3 1/2. Does it really matter what a toddler wears as long as she is dressed and happy? 
That was my thinking. 

However, I guess I didn't realize how much this bothered Dennis. 
As we were getting out of the car, 
and he took Miss Téa out of her car seat in her fluffy pink robe, 
he said quietly so just I could hear, 
"She looks like something from a homeless camp."

And then as we entered Carrows, and on to our table, 
he stopped and said to a nearby couple, "Her parents didn't give us a coat." 

I thought, are you kidding me? My poor dear husband. 

It was right about then that I told him he probably would not have liked my mothering 
back in the day, long before I met him. 
I let my kids wear their Halloween costumes on any given day or month. 
And then there was almost an entire month or 2 or 3 when Logan wore his church suit 
everywhere including to bed. 
(well except to church, it was too dirty and worn for that...wearing it every day and all.) 

I learned not to sweat the small stuff from my Mom. 
And she was way better at it than I am. 

Then suddenly Grandpa Dennis could not quit laughing.
No one was laughing but him.

I just could not relate to what the big deal was about that robe.

Den was so distracted by the pink robe, 
that he didn't even mention the monkey on Bubba's back. 

The way I see it, neither of us is wrong or right about this. 
Just differences in thinking. Agree? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Taking 3 year olds to the cemetery

Ever since our cat died last June, nearly every time the twins come to visit us,
the conversation nearly always goes like this, practically word for word:

Téa doing the talking with Jonas standing by her side.

Téa: "Where is the cat?"

Me: "She died."

Téa: "Oh! How did she die? Was there blood?'

Me: "No blood. She was very old and she died."

Téa (never satisfied with my answer and always wanting more drama)
"Did she run into the street and a car hit her and there was blood everywhere?"

Me: "No. She was just very old so she went to heaven."

Téa: "But she will be fine in a few minutes."

Then I go on to explain that she is fine, but she is in heaven, etc etc.

However Sunday night Jonas interjected something that he has never said before.
He had a hard time getting it out since there were many Ds in the sentence,
but he said it slowly and thoughtfully:
"My Dad's Dad died."

So naturally the question I asked him was, "How did he die?"
Jonas stood there, and just looked at me. Nothing else came out of his mouth.
I was not sure how much his parents had told him about his Grandpa's death
or how much they wanted him to know, so I just left it alone.

But I did start thinking that perhaps now would be a good time to take the twins to the cemetery.
I texted their parents in Vegas, and Amy said they were totally fine with it.

So yesterday I explained to the twins that we were going to see their Dad's Dad's grave.
Jonas said he didn't bring his church clothes. I told him no problem,
we don't need church clothes for the cemetery.

Den tried to explain a little about what to expect during the car ride there.
They were both very quiet and listened.

We were the only ones at the cemetery, which is often the case when we go.
The twins noticed that right away and said, "Where are all the people?"
Before I could think of an appropriate answer Dennis said, "They all died."

The twins noticed the flowers on graves, 
so suddenly they got it in their heads that they wanted to collect sticks for their "Dad's Dad."
.....they don't quite understand yet that he is also their Grandpa.

 They would go way over to the other side and collect all they could and bring them back.

As they were getting all their sticks, Jonas would often stop to stare and ponder.
At least that's what I think he was doing.

Then it was back to work again.

They said they were making "decorations" for their Dad's Dad.

They built quite the tribute to their Dad's Dad!
I'm sure he loved it too....much better than flowers.

 To lighten up the morning we took them to one of their 
favorite places for lunch that Jonas calls, "Open and Shut."
Or known by others as "In and Out Burger."

 Téa looks more concerned about the lunch, than she did at the cemetery.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


A kindergartner and her Mom made a little video for kids about Martin Luther King,
and I was quite impressed.
Go to their blog and check it out. 

I'm old enough to remember going to Woolworths in downtown Fresno 
and noticing all the black people sitting in their area, at their own counter. 
As a little girl I just thought that was how they wanted it. 
I had no idea they weren't allowed to sit elsewhere!

How will you be spending MLK day? 

Our entertainment for the next 3 days arrived tonight:  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Miss Violet

She disagrees with her age, and she's stickin' to it.

That was last month, obviously.
And below was this week....

I wish I had been in the room to see her pushing the cash register in place for the climb!
But I know she did it all by herself!

 Love her natural curls!

While I was taking her picture, I wasn't expecting to catch her knocking over the lamp.

"Forget it, I'm outta here. "

And so concludes my update this week of our three 2011 grandbabies, Violet, Rich, and Grant.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Goodnight Moon Room

Does this look familiar to you?

Can you imagine having a room like this? 
I showed this to Dennis this morning and he said, 
"When I was a little kid I was just happy to have a bed of my own that sagged in the middle." 

Well we aren't talking about our generation here. 

A Mom somewhere designed this room for her little girl, of course taken from the theme of this book..

This was one of my favorite books to read to my kids when they were very little. 
Dennis said he had never even heard of it! You have though, right?

If you are interested, 
you can read about how this Mom put her Goodnight Moon bedroom together here. 

And if you really want to get into the spirit of this,
go here to see other children's book-inspired bedrooms!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grant's Acting Debut

One day while McKenna was putting on her makeup,
she put Grant on the counter to be near her.
I use to do the same thing with my boys.
Grant started practicing frowning in the mirror.

So later on he decided to re-enact it for both his parents!
Love the way he holds his little hands....just like a professional.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My ONE thing a month plan

I read a blog post earlier this month about a woman who chooses just one simple thing 
as her New Years Resolution each year. 
One year she chose not to drink any Mountain Dew for 365 days 
and she made it! 
Another year she decided to hang up her clothes every night before going to bed. 
She aced that one too, I think.

So I'm thinking, why wait a whole year to start a new goal? 
Instead I am deciding on one different goal each month. 

Just one minor little specific thing that I need to change. 
I'm not going to say what my January goal is because you will think, 
"Hasn't she got that one as a habit yet?" 
But so far I've made the goal everyday since beginning it on Jan. 7th. 
That's not quite a week, but I'm on my way.

The plan is to add something in February while still maintaining January's goal. 
So by the end of the year I will be doing 12 things perfectly. Or such is my plan.

I think the key is to make each monthly goal very simple and do-able.

Otherwise by about June, I may be too busy to do anything else.

Have you heard about The Happiness Project 21 Day relationship plan?
Begining today, Gretchen Rubin will give you something simple to work
on to make your relationships better.
Today is the beginning, and so check out your first assignment.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Is necessity the mother of invention?

Last month with Richie and his parents were here, we had 10 of his cousins over for dinner.
Then suddenly they all left just like that....and Richie was whimpering.
So look what he does about it....

I think we wore them all out but it was a priceless week...
These photos on the way to the airport weren't posed...they really were that tired.

 I always have to remind myself, don't be sad it's over, be happy it happened.

We sure miss them all, especially this little guy,
because he's growing and changing everyday without us.

I have videos soon,
to show what's new with our other 2011 grandbabies, Violet and Grant.
(hey, I have to make a video every week or I'll forget how.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My mother knew how to do this...

When I saw this video I thought ....My Mom was able to do this! (but in her own way)

I think it just came natural for her to love all 8 of us specially.

Either that, or I was her favorite. 
But I think she made us all feel that way.  

Gretchen (author of The Happiness Project) explains how she does it...
It's less than 2 minutes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Update on the Vintage Christmas

Remember a few weeks back I wrote about a friend of mine
who was going to have a Vintage Christmas?

All her kids and grandkids were going to be together
so they decided to all give gifts that were used, or homemade.
I went to see her today and it was fun learning about her gifts.

Here are 2 of the gifts she received that I was able to get pictures of:

One of her daughters in law made her this one.
Now she can keep track of measuring her grandchildren, 
and watch how much they grow through the years!

She's planning on putting to the right, little markings along with their names.

And every Grandma needs one of these....
a special step stool for those little tiny ones who come to visit 
but can't quite reach the sink to wash their hands.

I've never seen one so cutely personalized. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Parental Guidance

Have you seen this?
Did you like it?

I'd never heard Dennis laugh so much during a movie.
I was even clapping at the end.
Yep, we pretty much loved it.

Some of my thoughts:

 * I related in many ways to the wacked out parents, more than the grandparents.
If my kids see this, they'll probably agree. Unfortunately.

* The girl who played Harper, (Bailee Madison) reminded me so much of my niece Natalie....
her looks, her mannerisms, her smile, even her voice tone.

* The biggest message to this movie? The value of family.
Someone once told me before I became a Grandma,
that we're born with a special place in our hearts that comes to life
when the first grandchild is born....but until then we don't know about that kind of love,
we don't understand it because it's a little different than parental love
....but it has the ability to be just as fierce...
and rise to the occasion of when it's needed.

* Because of this movie I want to put myself and Grandpa Den
more in the pictures with our grandchildren.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This may look like old news but it's not

Okay, so let me explain...

1. This video....I know Richie's 1st birthday was last August 4th,
but I finally was able to learn how to put this thing together
(thank you Brock and Erin!!)

2. I still don't know how to do captions,
or I would have said that sweet Aunt McKenna made his adorable cake....
And that we so loved having cousin Grant in the pictures.
We wish we could have been in Oregon for his birthday too!

3. Love the look on Richie's face while he is trying to figure out
what in the world is going on while we sing Happy Birthday.

Rich and Grant both  have lots more hair now. 
Amazing the changes in just 5 months in baby time.

I chose Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as the opening music
because that is what Richie's Dad use to sing in his crib every morning
when he was near 2 years old. His Dad and I got to wake up most mornings for months
to the sound of his little Twinkle song over the baby monitor.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Crockpot Pork and Apples

From the blog, Eat, Live, Run....
I tried her recipe for Crockpot Pork and Apples.
 It doesn't get much easier than this.

I made it for dinner last night and it'll be a keeper.

Den mentioned that whenever his Mom use to make pork chops,
she would serve hominy to go with it.

So I just drained a can of hominy and put it in a frying pan 
with a little butter and salt and it was quite good. 
Why didn't I know about this nice little easy side dish before?

We quite liked dinner last night.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Book Club #2

Interesting looking line up. What do you think? Have you read any of these? 

January 10th
The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

February 7th
Catherine the Great
by Robert K. Massey

March 7th
Heaven is Here
Stephanie Nielson

April 11th
Minor Adjustments
by Richelle Andersno

May 2nd
The Remarkable Juliette Low: 
The Founder of The Girl Scouts
by Stacy Cordery

June 6th
Faith Behind the Fences: 
A True Story of Survival in a Japanese Prison Camp
by Kelly Dispirito Taylor

July 11th
The President's Lady
by Irving Stone


September 5th
by Anna Lee Waldo

October 10th
Why Faith Matters
by David J. Wolpe

November. 7th
The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck

December 5th
Two From Galilee: The Story of Mary and Joseph
by Marjorie Holmes

The only one I think I will pass up is June's selection.
It actually sounds interesting to me, but being the wimp that I am, it'd give me nightmares. 
I'm especially looking forward to Apr, May, and Oct. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The long ride home

The McKs and Grant drove home yesterday from Montana to Portland,
and Grant did not like it at all.
SO, after the first 5 hours of their trek, they stopped somewhere to eat lunch.

Problem was, when they took Grant out of his car seat and into the restaurant,
his head was still leaning.

And just so you'll know he recovered...
or maybe these were taken while in Montana...
whatever, I love them.
                                                              Book club #2 list tomorrow.