Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The reward for their labor ...

Four weeks ago tomorrow (Wednesday) marks the day that Ems and I cleaned the upstairs bathroom at her house so that it could be usable for three growing kiddos. She has kept it clean now, with the help of the boys NOT trashing it, ever since. She has washed the sink, mirror, bathtub, toilet and floor every week and has earned $5/week. Matthew has maintained an orderly room for three weeks now, and Christopher has kept his part of the room in order too.
This is a very big deal accomplishment for these children! Also, they have helped to keep Katie's little room free of debris, junk, trash, etc. so that Katie has a nice area to play too. I am very proud of them! 
We had agreed, a few weeks back, that if this could be accomplished I would take them out to dinner at their favorite place, The Golden Corral. It is not MY favorite place by a long shot … but the children really enjoy buffet places, and this is five minutes from where they live. I picked them up right after school yesterday and agreed that they must each eat ONE plate of healthy food before going to their favorite place on the buffet--the chocolate wonder fall.
Yikes. These kiddos ate SO much, I thought they would burst. I think we sat too close to the deserts! But they did make a valiant effort at eating a few healthy items before completely and recklessly diving into their deserts ...
How they ever managed to eat so many plates of junk, I will NEVER know! I was a tiny bit worried they would make themselves sick … but each of them made it home and through the night without losing that wretched meal they ate! 

Dinner out is always a nice reward! They have worked really hard on various cleaning projects around their house. I wanted this little dinner night to encourage them to continue cleaning up after themselves NOT as a chore, but just as a part of their everyday lives--taking care of the good things God has given them.

 Just when I thought they couldn't possibly eat one more bite … the desert guy brought out cotton candy! Christopher said he had never tasted the stuff before so ...

Congratulations Emma, Christopher and Matthew! Grandma is PROUD OF YOU for keeping your areas clean and being responsible for your stuff! Way to go!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

They make my heart sing ...

Friday night and all day Saturday has already come and gone. How does it go by so quickly? Every single week just flies by. I would like to put the brakes on and just put us ALL in a time out … just to sit back and enjoy everyone; but life doesn't offer us that option. However, each day DOES have 86,400 seconds in it (I learned this on Facebook this week) and I hope that I can make the best of them while I am still young and healthy ...
We studied about Cain and Abel this week. Such a sad story … but even with all of the bad stuff that happened in the story, we are not left without hope.  
 So we learned a little bit about pleasing sacrifices and talked about how serious sin is and how God requires payment, retribution, and how Jesus was God's perfect lamb. The kiddos did a great job coloring the illustrations as I taught ...

 They are very serious about their art work!
 It was Emma's turn to choose the movie of the week, and she chose "The Secret Garden." I love that story! So we watched it together on my laptop, with everyone in their pajamas, cuddled up in sleeping bags. It was a nice time. I think all of the children were actually soundly sleeping by 11:30--nearly a miracle!
 We had a somewhat late breakfast, but that was okay because everyone slept in! This is good!
Christopher brought over lots of his own art supplies and kept busy all weekend drawing NFL team logos ... 
 We ate lots and lots of mostly healthy food … fruit and dip, salad, veggies and dip … pizza and ice cream (!!) ...
 The kids all get a bang out of my humidifier and like to put their faces in the steam!
 Emma Joy continues to learn more piano skills each week. She has a lot of music in her. I am so glad.

 When I took the children home tonight, I came in to play for awhile. Emma had wanted to show me the little piano she designed using her mini-LEGOS that Aunt Kelly had given her. Look how great she did! 

We played in Emma's room for a little while ... 
 Christopher! I love your smile, sweetheart! I am so glad you came over this weekend. I love spending time with you.
 And I also got to play with Kaity-Girl. She is the cutest little thing.

 Look at that smile!
 She laughs and laughs, skips, plays ball, runs in circles … endless energy, this one!
 Christopher was playing a game pretending that he was stuck underneath Kaity's train table. She kept saying "Guck." "Help." So we kept yanking Christopher out by his feet ...
 It was quite a game, and Kaity enjoyed herself hugely. Christopher even admitted to having fun!

Well guys, this grandma is one tired lady tonight. But it is the very best kind of exhausted there is.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wednesday's are becoming a Little Fellow Day ...

It seems like the best day of the week to play with Little Fellow is turning out to be Wednesday's, after work. The weekends are too full with the other grandkiddos … and Brendan would be offended to come over here on a weekend and find OTHER children here (!!) … so for now, a mid-week connection is going to have to do!
I picked Dylan up from work, we picked up a pizza to bring home for dinner, and then we arrived home to this little cutie (who wasn't at all interested in eating but REALLY wanted to play!). 
Brendan is always excited to share his toys with me. He has some very nice toys, I must say! 
Dylan and Brendan built quite an elaborate Duplo car wash the other day … that green vine hanging down is the squirter … Brendan showed me the whole thing--he was SO pleased. 
 Brendan has this cute electronic lap gizmo … I don't think it is as fancy as an I-PAD or anything, but he can sure maneuver his way around on it!

 But still, his favorite thing is "The Polar Express" movie, book, and anything whatsoever to do with that sweet story!
 He knows how to load the DVD into the player and use the remote to start it … which he does at every single opportunity he is allowed!

"So Brendan, can you tell grandma the story of The Polar Express?" asked Dylan. And Dylan began reciting, "On Christmas Eve …" and Brendan's sweet little voice followed, " … many years ago I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently …" Brendan can recite quite a bit of this much-loved story. 

Wait, wait, wait, Little Fellow, until you SEE what I got you for your GOLDEN BIRTHDAY! Brendan is going to flip out when he sees the Polar Express train set I got for him … I can hardly stand to wait until February 3!
 And look at this great gear toy Brendan has!
 Dylan and he build lots of cool stuff with it … everything connects … and SPINS!

This is not a very thorough narrative of my time with these dear folk … and Kelly-O isn't in any of these pictures! I love her! It was so nice to spend a few hours over at their house … I hope every Wednesday can be a Little Fellow Wednesday!