Monday, August 29, 2016

A special birthday present

Monday, August 22:  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!  For my birthday this year, I requested that all FIVE of the grandchildren come to Grand Haven with me for the afternoon. Thankfully, Kelly was willing and very happy to bring Brendan and me and the other four grands out at Grand Haven.

 The air temperature and the water temperature were both 76 degrees! It was very easy to get in and out of the water this way--because I HATE cold water and I HATE trying to get used to cold water and I am a complete wimp about it. How nice on my birthday to be able to swim and play on the beach and run back into the water, etc. without it taking so much ... effort!
 Chris and Matthew made sand castles, roads, canals, forts, and did an excellent job of all of it.
 This was Kaity-girl's first visit to the big lake. She was a little bit intimidated by the waves because even though they were not large, they had a VERY strong pull to them. 
 I loved watching these beautiful children have so much clean good fun together.
 Aren't they so beautiful?!
 Brendan spent most of his time IN the lake, as did Emma. They seemed to enjoy each other's company very much. Cousins are a very wonderful thing to have!
 After we went swimming, we walked to find a good place to eat. While we were walking, one of these two initiated holding hands. I watched them for quite awhile before I actually remembered to raise my camera and snap a shot. I missed some really touching moments on film, but I will remember them in my head for a very long time--such sweetness.
 These two adore each other.
 Brendan called this little area on the boat his "boat bed." This is the cool playground behind the YMCA in Grand Haven. It is a really good place to set kids loose to imagine and explore.
 My Emma ... my dear Emma ... so grown up, so fast. Why, it seems like just a few days ago YOU were a little tike and now you are a young lady. Fourteen is a very big deal. I remember it well.
 Brendan and Kaity played school bus for quite awhile. Brendan insisted Kaity be the bus driver and she very happily obeyed.
 Matthew demonstrated a small zip line to me. He was very good at this and not one bit afraid--probably because it is so much smaller than the one he had ridden over at the zoo.
 After our time at the beach had ended, I was invited over to Dylan and Kelly's. We ordered some pizza and shared it. Brendan and Kelly had made me a chalk birthday message on their front sidewalk but the message did not show up well in the photograph, so I cropped it off.
 Look at this adorable boy. I could just eat him up.
What a beautiful birthday. Thank you, Jesus, for your kindness to my family and for these precious grandchildren. I am SO blessed.

To the zoo again ...

August 21--Sunday afternoon:  The grandchildren and I had a late afternoon visit to the zoo last Sunday. It was a perfect-weather zoo day! The pelicans were resting on the rocks ...
 The children all gathered to say hi to him and get acquainted.
 The bald eagle was perched just so ...
 We visited the wallabies but they were very shy today, so they stayed inside their pens!
 We walked on over to where our favorite birds and very cool monkeys live. I forget the kind of monkey that is over on this side, but one of them was having a complete fit because a family was pulling a wagon behind them and the wagon made a loud scraping sound on the pavement. The monkey was quite displeased.
 We visited Balli, our cockatile friend--but took no pictures today. He was being highly uncooperative, hanging upside down and acting all aloof and stuck-up. We gave up on him talking to us and moved on to the barn owls.
 The kiddos had one last zip line ride for the summer. I thought the event was a $5/person charge, but found out it was $9/person charge and had to walk all the way back to my car in the parking lot to retrieve more money. Meanwhile, the kids rode the zip line and I never got a single picture of them doing it. I forced them to stand by the entrance and pose for a picture. Don't they look super excited about it?!!!
 Since we were up on the very top of the zoo, we paid a visit to the tiger habitat and got a very wonderful treat. The tiger was VERY friendly, and bit restless, pacing back and forth, back and forth, allowing several nice pictures.
 All of us enjoyed him very much ...
 These wonderful, darling, sweet, grandchildren ... I love them so much.
 We kept up our vigil for quite a while actually. It was fascinating watching the tiger strut his stuff.

 We played for awhile over at the little train, which the zoo moved from one end of the zoo to the very opposite end. Kaity loves this train.
 The other children are much bigger now but still climb all over it like a bunch of monkeys.

 Aren't these kids the BEST?!!
 We talked with our baboon friend a little bit. He was very quiet and not one bit interested in us today.

 These flowers were begging to be photographed ...

 And you will NEVER guess. We actually learned what a fox says! Yes! I'm not kidding. AND after listening to him howl his face off for five minutes, Emma could imitate him exactly. She was so pleased. Me too.
 We had so much fun watching and listening to Mr. Fox.
 We went into the aquarium to see the penguins for a little while, and the fish. Christopher wanted me to get a good shot of the fish so that he could use it as his background on FB. Here it is Chris.
 We played for a little while at the zoo playground, because ... the zoo closed at 6PM and we still had some time left to play.

Sunday afternoon outings are some of my favorite times of the week. I could not be more blessed if I had all the money in the world. You see, I have the love of these little hearts and I get to be their grandma. I also get to love them and share Jesus with them. What a privilege it is.