Showing posts from July, 2017

Just 3 or 4 words

When I am out and about, I often see young families struggling 
with their children. 

They usually look tired, and distracted.

I want to reach out to them in some way, but I usually don't know 
quite what to say. 

So I will smile. 

Or like I did with one frustrated Dad we saw at a restaurant 
recently. It was obvious he was really trying but his 2 toddlers were 
having none of it.  I leaned over to him as we were walking out the 
door and said, "You're a really good Dad." 

But yesterday I learned of something I could have said that 
sums it up better perhaps.

I got it from this article that was somehow sent to my in box 
yesterday. Next time I will say: "It's worth it." 

Or maybe I will even say, "It's all worth it." 

Whenever I have my grandkids and their parents come for any 
extended period of time I'm reminded how exhausting it is to be 
parents of very young children. 

There is nothing quite like that kind of tired. 

And it's not like the parent…

This was my kind of fun!

Don't watch the video below before I explain, 
or you may think we have no class. 

Okay, so I learned something last month. 

If you want the little grandkids to get excited about dinner....just  throw on any table cloth, use whatever paper plates.  But bring out the Dollar Store goblets

 and serve Sparkling Cider in them left over from Christmas.  

AND have your 5 1/2 year old grandson tell Alexa to  "play dinner restaurant music." 

(SO thankful to Kris and Mike for giving Alexa to us last Christmas.  We continue to find new uses for her.)

It was SO exciting to me,  watching the kids get all happy about this. 

The prep and excitement getting ready each evening  was as fun as experiencing it.

It was such a hit, we did this 3 of the 10 nights they were here.

First night, it was Chinese food.

Second "special restaurant" night was Italian. Alexa was so good about playing Italian music at Richie's request!

I think there was also salad with this dinner, but we were having  too much …

My Mom's recipes

So I came across some of my Mom's recipes from her little box 
where she originally kept them all.

This one stood out first to me. Not sure who she was writing it to, 
or for, but I still make this about once a month.
(She must have written this in the 1960s since Johnny was born in 1956.)

I made this for years just like she wrote here, but over the years I've made some changes that we like even better:
1. I wrap the packets just ONCE in foil, lower the oven temp to 475' and bake all the packets on a cookies sheet for 30 min. Perfect. 2. I use salt and Montreal Steak seasoning (or pepper), plus a T of butter on top. 3. Den likes it best when I put a big spoonful or 2 of Cream of Chicken or Mushroom soup on top before baking. 4. Sometimes I add other vegetable as well...whatever I have on hand...sliced peppers, squash, broccoli, etc

This next one I would vote was Mom's favorite. She loved this over 
vanilla ice-cream. I've never even tasted it since I never liked 
chocolate, …

How to get your kids to be cooperative when it's time to go home.

I so wish I had thought of this idea when I was raising my kids.

So any parent knows how hard it is sometimes to rally their kids together when it's time to go home
from a fun place. They can complain or cry or say "it's not fair" etc.

A young Mom of 5 explains what has worked so well for her.

I LOVE this because it not only helps in the moment, but what a skill she is teaching them for life!

Since I can't edit others' videos, of course, 
just go to 3:21.

He finally did it!

Ever since I met him 19 years ago, Den has had this fear of 
running over something while backing out. 

He always walks around the car before getting inside. And then he 
worries that meanwhile something, or rather someone, has still 
gotten behind his car.
Fast forward to years later when back-up cameras came with 
new cars. He's been wanting one. Yet, he didn't want to buy a new 
He can't help it, he's a minimalist and he's frugal. (which, btw, 
these 2 traits have been a great blessing in our lives.)
Still he kept talking about it, year after year.
Finally I told him to "Please just go buy a new car!" so he can 
have his back-up camera! 
He spent weeks looking at Car Max. Nothing impressed him 
Finally he discovered that Avis Rent a Car was selling the exact car 
he wanted. Only problem, Avis is 200 miles from us. 
(The Avis here does not sell cars.)
So early Monday morning he boarded a train in Fresno...
And rode till he reached Bakersfield.

Then he took a…

More of our Tyler and Karen visit....

Karen and Tyler arrived here in Clovis to temps near 110'....
for days. 

Here are a few things we came up with to keep the grands cool and comfy. 

Bags of ice made them so happy.

Lots of water and squirt guns
I don't think this is how we intended they use the squirt guns,  but JuJu didn't seem to mind.

Oh these birds!
(and the prices have more than doubled since I bought them!) The boys carried these around with them for at least 2 days.  (The birds repeat what they say, and make other random bird noises
especially when they are pet.)

I had the blue one for over a year and it's been in the clutches of  many grandchildren with only one battery change so far. 
Violet begged me to buy another one, and I'm glad I did.

Leo proudly helped me cut a few flowers.

We were able to turn frozen fruit into "ice cream." 

The rocket launcher gave them 10 minutes of fun,  and then it fell apart.

But I do think it was worth the pictures!

We got to have assorted family members come by.  They …

Where's Scarlett?

The McK family,  McKay, McKenna, Grant, Scarlett, and Annie  drove 12 hours to Ohio  to see McKenna's brother and his family
Plus they also met with (below), McKay's cousin Nick (son of John and Suzanne),  and his wife Julia  with their kids Caleb and Olivia.
I wish Oliva showed in this picture. I can just see the rim of her carrier. I have not seen them since Christmas Eve. 

But it is fun seeing them in the same picture!
On the way to this lunch, little Annie could not figure out where her big sister Scarlett was.
I didn't even know Annie could talk!

God Bless America

Yesterday I dropped a cast iron lid on my kitchen floor. The loud 
noise of it triggered our house alarm and I heard a voice from the 
control panel saying, "Broken glass in dining area." 

I rushed over to the panel where a man over the speaker asked if I 
was okay. I told him it was just a lid that fell, no windows broke. 
We chatted a bit and then he said, "Have a Happy 4th of July 

Oh that's right, the 4th is tomorrow, I thought.

Then later on last night as I was leaving my neighborhood 
bookclub a few of the ladies said to me as I was headed out the 
door, "Happy 4th of July tomorrow!" 

Oh right, I forgot again. I just wasn't feeling it this year. I'd had so 
many other things on my mind. 

Then this morning I got this text from my sister.

Then I realized what was missing. Not the zucchini. But the  God Bless America. 
I wish I would have told that man at our panel yesterday,  "God Bless America."
I wish I would have told the bookclub l…

We miss them.

So when Tyler sent this to me this morning....

I was impressed at how far they had driven in just 6 hours.
Then it hit grand babies are 6 hours away, and going  several more hours than that.
Yet, how can that be? They filled our lives up for the past 10 days.
They still have their hand prints on our windows.
I walked into where Leo and Rich slept and saw this.

I think Karen or Tyler left it for them at nights,  just like I use to do for Tyler.

Signs of them everywhere. Juliet's booster seat 

The bath toys Grandpa Dennis moved a little  so he could take a shower this morning.

And the backyard

And the remnants of our water fountain  that broke apart while they were here.

Richie told me his favorite part of coming was riding these. (Thanks again to Robin for buying these at a garage sale for $5.)

Even Leo's new pistachio phase left behind.

I woke up early this morning to find this note. 
But not as early as Grandpa Dennis. He is in parenthesis because  he actually got up with them at 4am to …