Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The artistry of our great Creator ...

Some of the gorgeous blossoms out at Meijer Gardens ...

Monday memories ...

Monday, August 13:  Beginning week three of my retirement! August has been a busy month so far, mainly because the children are on summer break and I want to take advantage of their available time as much as I can before school starts back.

Mondays belong to Brendan and Aidan. We drove to Meijer Gardens this morning to soak in the beauty. Brendan loves it out here. Wee Aidan super enjoys it too.
We took the long pathway out to the little "farm" ... there ARE no animals ("ant-imals" as Brendan pronounces it) out there, just sculpted ones but it is a nice little hike and it is just beautiful there. 
 See? Baby Aidan watched with much interest ...
 Brendan is a very hands-on child. When he saw this water pump ... he just HAD to pump it! But that's exactly WHY it is there. Meijer Garden's is a very interactive place.

 Brendan delights in cause-and-effect (don't we all?), so it was a little hard to get him away from here once he started!

 We finally walked over to the Children's Garden to play with the boats. We met a "grandpa" who was there with his autistic seven-year-old granddaughter. Her name is Lenox, so unusual. The grandpa is a retired teacher and told me all about his granddaughter's extremly premature birth (27 weeks) and the journey they have been through together. He does all he can for Lenox, and she thrives with his love.

 There were volunteers at the pool today with plastic toys (I forget the name of this building toy ... my boys used to play with them when they were small) and the children could use them to make bridges (or anything else) to add to the fun. Brendan is a very intense builder, so he was at this for quite awhile.

There were volunteers there today who also had little plastic cars and tiny boats that kind of connected together. Brendan had one in his hand and saw a little boy (perhaps five years old) with two little boats that were connected. Brendan approached to see if he could connect his to the two the other boy had. Brendan was super soft about it--not aggressive or anything--but the boy reacted rather meanly and said: "Get away from me! You can't play with my toys! These are MINE! Go away!" Brendan immediately stopped ... but oh, his little heart was hurting and tears were coming down his face. I gathered him close and we talked and hugged.
 Baby Aidan finally tired of his stroller, so I set him free to play. He is very cautious around water--quite opposite of Brendan. 

 Brendan's little heart was still hurting, so we went to the gift shop on our way out of the Gardens. We picked up a wind-up dancing pig (seriously!) and brought him home to our pig family where he entertained them for awhile.

 Baby Aidan slept in the car for a little bit while I fixed lunch, and then we ate and played some more.
 We listened to a lot of children's music and played our instruments! It was great fun.

Love these little boys! Such a nice day we had together.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Priceless ...

Saturday, August 11:  How can I describe how precious these children are to me? I guess I think photos are the best way! Life is complicated and so difficult sometimes. People are multi-layered. My grandchildren remind me how great God's love is for each individual.
 My Kaity-Girl loves to be at my house. She loves to be with me ... no matter what! Even if there is nothing terribly interesting going on, she just loves to be near me. That's a very precious gift and I value it highly.
 While I throw dinner together, Kaity (who knows what is in each and every cupboard/closet/drawer of my house) busies herself as best as she can. Here she is doing some creative art. She is something with her art. I have noticed a lot more detail in her drawings lately, AND better yet, I see that she truly enjoys the things she makes. 
 I love to see her concentration. She takes great delight in all of my art supplies! I'm so glad!
 Kaity also organized quite the tea-party for many of our animal friends. All four of the kiddos were over--we ate our dinner, cleaned it all up, and then got out our Bible story stuff. 

I've been quite sporadic about our Bible stories lately. I had just about given up on trying to find a way to conduct a Bible lesson with these four at their separate ages. But then Emma appealed to me, "Aren't you going to teach us any more Bible stories, Grandma? You know I don't learn well by reading myself, and I love to listen to you tell the story." 

SO ... I re-commited to doing the best I can to engage these guys (even Kaity) for 20 minutes each week. Since we had already gone through the life of Christ and the book of Acts, and prior to that we had done Genesis through Deuteronomy and most of Joshua, I decided to pick up on the kings and prophets. We had a very good time with our Bible story this week. I was so thankful for that 20 minutes.
 Afterwards, we took the 25-minute drive out to Cascade Township Park and played for an entire hour! Kaity had a blast (naturally).
And Emma had a very nice time too! I think she just decided she was going to enjoy herself, so she did!
Thankfully, Emma enjoys exploring as much as I do. Kaity too. Emma wanted to see what was on the other side of "that hole in the trees" so off we went!

 There are some trails through here and some pretty woodsy areas ... not too much is public land, though--we came across "Private Property" signs before we had gone very far. But it was still pretty.

 Emma asked me to take a picture up, up, up looking into the sky through the trees ...
 Emma wants to paint a picture of the trees like this (looking through to the sky) ...

The boys were with us and played around on the playground ...

 Isn't this a cool swing?

 I brought some balls along ... just in case ... 
Kaity and Emma played a game of soccer (kind of ... since Emma told me this is a mini-volleyball NOT a mini-soccer ball).
 Look at Kaity's determined face (below).

 We had a really relaxing and fun time out here tonight ... and it didn't cost me a single penny! Just pure fun in the great outdoors.

 Love these boys ... so much.
Thanks, Lord, for these great kiddos. They help me realize how great Your love is! Help me to love like You do!