Thursday, October 25, 2012

Grandbabysitting is the BEST!

 Last night was the annual fund-raising dinner for Acton Institute, where Dylan works as an assistant editor. So Dylan and Kelly got all dressed up in beautiful finery (don't they look great?!!) and went to the dinner. I was invited to be the babysitter for Brendan. I arrived while Kelly was getting ready for the dinner, so Dylan and I and Brendan hung out for awhile ...

 I snapped these two photos of Brendan and his daddy, along with many many others that I will not post here! These two were my very favorites. I love these two fellows!
 Brendan was very animated last night. Every time I reached for my camera, he beamed that smile and his little eyes were just dancing with merriment! He is a real ham when it comes to getting his picture taken. He's become quite a famous Facebook baby!

 This is Brendan showing me his great pumpkin. He was so pleased with it! Dylan said he had been referring to it all day as, "Bahh" and since he has two fun little toy balls he plays with and enjoys, it could be that he thought this was just a giant ball ... who knows? But I think he would have been extra pleased if he could have gotten it to roll around in their front room.

 I think Brendan is cuter than the Gerber Baby! He is SO full of personality and inner JOY. I think he is in love with my camera!
 And this picture just absolutely cracks me up ... he KNEW I was enjoying his facial expressions and just kept them coming!
 Brendan with his old-fashioned dial-up phone ...
 There is a story behind this rather SAD face on our baby. [I didn't post this one on Facebook for fear (!) it would ruin Brendan's reputation as being a perpetually happy baby!] 

It was getting near his bedtime you see, and his mama was NOWHERE to be found ... so ... Kelly had told me to try yogurt if he got fussy. So I fed Brendan his yogurt and he did really well ~ WE did really well, until I thought he was opening up his little mouth for more so I spooned in another mouthful. But what I didn't realize was that he hadn't swallowed the previous spoonful I'd given him. Since he is kind of a "new" solid food eater, this extra load in his mouth threw him off and he was NOT pleased with me one single bit! Most of that superfluous bite of yogurt came back out and down the front of him. :( Thankfully, he forgave me and cheered back up!
After the yogurt, we went upstairs to Brendan's room to get ready for bed, read some stories, play quietly and see if he would actually go to sleep for me! These pictures are of Brendan playing with his RUSSIAN (!) (Dylan!) blocks. He was very careful to share them with me.

We played for about 20 minutes, but then Brendan was really really tired. So ... he has a routine of being walked, cuddled, sung to, and then falling asleep. I followed that as carefully as I could. He's a heavy little fellow to carry around for 30 minutes, but this is what he likes! I sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" (which he somewhat tolerated), but he much preferred, "O Holy Night" and "What Child is This" emphasizing their minor keys (he's a musical baby). He finally fell (heavily) asleep in my arms and I transferred him to his crib. 

Mmmm ... the sweetness of this little baby ... he has completely stolen my heart. Being his grandma is pretty special stuff.

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Only Prayer ...

I can't seem to get these photos to load in the order I would like, so I give up on trying to do that! This post is just to show two frames of pictures that I have finally finished and are now hanging in my bedroom. 

 I got the frames with the six little windows at Pier 1 ... but then I had the dilemma of one extra window and FIVE grandchildren ... so what was I going to do with that extra window? So instead of waiting for Dylan and Kelly to birth another grandchild (!) I decided to put a poem (which is actually a song) in one of the windows, and selected verses from Psalm 139 in the other.
 It's always difficult to choose just which photos to put in a frame of all the many pictures I have of these beautiful grandchildren ... however, I am VERY lacking in Kaity pictures presently ~ I hope to remedy that when I travel to see them in mid-December!

Can you read the words to "My Only Prayer"? I hope so, because they are wonderful words. This is actually a song Paul Marino wrote and I have it on a CD by The River. I love this song. And this is my prayer for my children and grandchildren.
 So now my bedroom is a happier place. I can see the grandchildren no matter where I am or what I am doing in my room!
Beautiful little children, every one of them! Dear to my heart. I'm so thankful for them.

"With all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all you know. When you sit, when you rise, as you walk the road of life. My only prayer is that you know the LOVE of Christ."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sweet Brendan ...

I'm just posting some random pictures of baby Brendan tonight. I've posted pictures regularly over on Facebook in an on-going album entitled "Brendan pictures." But it's been a few weeks since I've posted any of him over here on my blog. The photo above is of Brendan and me sitting in front of my MacBook Pro using a feature called PhotoBooth. The grandkids out in El Paso think this feature is the best thing about my computer! You can sit in front of the computer and the built-in camera allows you to see yourself and distort your features if you choose to do that. I didn't want to scare Brendan with distorting our faces. He was very pleased just to see himself on my screen.
 Brendan has had a little "head" cold the last week-and-a-half or so. But even when he doesn't feel good, he's as sweet as peaches ...
 I love this little jean jacket on him!
 My camera is on the wrong setting in these last few pictures, causing everything to blur, etc. But Brendan's little face is so adorable anyway ...
 This is Brendan today (10/18) sitting at my piano and actually POSING for me ... 
 Of course his adored mama was very nearby ... he is happiest when that is the case!
 Droolie sweetheart ... he is still teething his first set of teeth ...
 And here is Brendan standing at my side door looking at the falling leaves ... he LOVES to stand.
 He is the fattest, chunkiest, most adorable little baby boy I have ever known ... I know ... I am a bit prejudiced! Look at his darling little shoes!

 This is Brendan waving ... at least I think that's what he is doing. He is 8-1/2 months old now. He is crawling everywhere. He pulls himself up to stand if he is nearby anything that can assist him to do this. He is really on the move! It was wonderful to have Brendan and Kelly come over and play today! 

A few (!) fall photos ...

It has been a gorgeous few weeks here in West Michigan. I've been out and about with my camera, trying to capture the handiwork of God. The photo above is of a 500# pumpkin on display over at Robinette's Orchard ~ isn't it HUGE??!!

 The other day, I was looking for a place to take a nice hike so I googled "parks in Rockford" and low and behold a park I never knew existed popped up on my computer! A nature reserve nonetheless! This is Pickerel Lake Park, a Fred Meijer Nature Preserve, down Ramsdell a little beyond Townsend Park.
I took an amazingly peaceful walk ALL AROUND Pickerel Lake the other day. The colors were ... fabulous! 
 I have had a long-running love affair with trees ever since I can remember ~ most likely influenced by my literary friend, Anne Shirley, and her writer LM Montgomery. Montgomery can describe the beauty of a woodsy walk better than anyone I know. And Anne regularly "named" her favorite trees. I've always liked that she did that.
 I got to do a little tiny bit of climbing as well because ... if you go DOWN a ravine, you simply have to get back up and out of it!
 I think this is one of the most colorful falls we have had in a very long time ...
 It was so fun to just be out in the woods enjoying God's creation. My friend, Wendy, was along for one of the hikes around the lake too. 
 The above shot is me attempting to photograph the many birds, elusive creatures, that were yapping up a storm in the middle of the lake. But not one single one came close enough for me to actually SEE and photograph.
 We've had almost draught conditions in West Michigan the last few years. I'm thinking Pickerel Lake is VERY low on water. I will be very interested to hike out here ... all winter ... and into the spring.
I hiked Pickerel Lake two days in a row. The first day, these trees did not have a single mark on them. They were located at a crossroads by the restroom area and I know I would have noticed this! But the second day ... look at what the busy beavers had been up to during the night! Yikes. TIMBER!!!! 
I also hiked around various paths at Warren Townsend Park ... beautiful beautiful spot!  
 The above photo is my favorite of all the pictures I've taken in the last few weeks. It was right after quite a downpour, so the tree bark is wet and the leaves as well ... making them just a delicious color.

Couldn't resist this cute little ladybug ... 

 My friend, Wendy, took this picture of me ... which turned out nice!
 This is a mushroom! Huge!
 There are many hiking trails at Townsend Park. It will, for sure, become a regular "haunt" of mine ... amazing beauty out there.
 And this is Wendy. We found a teepee out in the middle of the deep woods! It was VERY cool and had a doorway and everything.

 Lots of people come to these spots to have their graduation portraits taken ... or engagement pictures, etc. It's a perfect place for an event like that ... difficult to take a bad picture here.
Well, these are just a FEW of the hundreds of pictures I took in the last few days. I will make card after card from these photographs ... thank-you Lord for your wonderful creation!