Thursday, March 31, 2016

My brave and lovely Emma Joy ...

Emma has always loved to dance. When she was a tiny girl, she would dance all over our house if there was pretty music playing. When she and her family moved away to Texas back in 2007 and Jesse was deployed to Iraq, Emma took about 4-6 months of ballet. I never got to see her perform because I was 1600 miles away.
When their family moved back to Grand Rapids late in 2013, I was playing my piano one day and played Beethoven's Fur Elise. Emma immediately began dancing to it. She loved the song so much--she couldn't possibly NOT dance when she heard it.
Ever since then, I have tried (somewhat in vain) to learn to play Fur Elise as it SHOULD be played. And every time I play it, Emma dances. I love to watch the music get inside of her and seep back out with her graceful movements.
Emma has been talking for a long while about the yearly talent show at school. She has been wanting to try out and perform in the talent show ... probably two years now. At first, she wanted to sing a pretty song--but a few months ago, she decided to she would try out and do an interpretive dance to Fur Elise.

So that is exactly what she did! She tried out a few weeks ago and she was chosen to perform in the school talent show. Yay, Emma! 
 I was very thankful that the talent show began at 1:15 this afternoon, because that meant that I could take a late lunch, punch out, drive over to the school and watch my Ems! I showed up exactly at 1:15 and greeted a very nervous young lady! I asked her how she was doing and she covered her face with her hands! I told her she would be fine and to just pretend she was in my front room dancing for me!
 She had the #4 written on her hand--which meant she was the fourth performer. Yes! I knew I would have to leave right after she danced, and I told her this so that she would not think I was rude to get up and just walk out!

 Emma, honey! You were SO brave to do this! I could never have had the nerve. You are something!

 I put this little collage together and posted it on Facebook ...

 I hope you will see it before you leave for your spring break vacation with your family.

I love you, dear Emma Joy. So proud of you, sweetheart!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A quiet afternoon with Kaity Jane ...

I am very much looking forward to consistent nice weather so that Kaity and I can explore interesting outdoor places. Monday was a bit wet and chilly to do that sort of thing, so we were "stuck" inside!
 Before I picked Kaity up, I stopped in real quick at Toys R Us to see if there were any small playthings that might help keep us occupied during the afternoon. Kaity is a tricky one to entertain ... for many reasons actually. First, she is VERY active ... fast on her feet ... she loves physical stuff to do, which is why playgrounds work so well for her. Plus, her attention span is a little limited. She decidedly does NOT like to be read to--which is very hard for me! I love reading to kids!
I picked out a set of snap-together beads, as well as a few "eggs" of silly putty. I was surprised how long we played with these little inexpensive toys! Whew! Kaity loved the little beads. She always brings a bag of her "stuff" with her--i.e. her toys that she wants me to see. Her bag contained her baby giraffe stuffed animal, her baby horse stuffed animal, her baby owl stuffed animal and a few miscellaneous items as well. She was really thrilled to make necklaces for all of her little animal friends.
 And we had a blast with the Silly Putty too. I actually like it better than Play-Doh because (1) it doesn't stick to stuff and leave a residue, and (2) if you make a nice round ball out of your putty, you can bounce it all over the place. We did exactly that. Kaity mixed two of the eggs together--the orange and the green putty; but I held out on the blue putty and kept it separate.
 We spent most of our time at the round table just pretending with the animals. It was a nice, quiet afternoon.

Monday, March 28, 2016

This darling little laddie ...

I spent Sunday afternoon (Easter) with Dylan, Kelly and Brendan. Kelly made a wonderful chicken, mashed potato, vegetable and salad lunch. I brought a graham cracker frozen cake I had made for desert. Dylan requested that Brendan sing "Christ is Risen" after our meal. Brendan sang a song that he had completely made up! It was very involved about Christ defeating death by death. Dylan thinks he might have combined a few songs together.
After lunch, Brendan and I played in their basement for awhile. We watched part of The Polar Express, played trains, cuddle/snuggled for awhile -- but then it was time to go outside. It was beautiful weather--upper 50's with sunshine!
Brendan and I explored Plaster Creek. This time we took the stroller along for our hefty Little Fellow in case he needed a rest from walking. Plaster Creek flows right by their house. The river is a little high right now and will likely continue to be high since it is spring and we get a lot of rain this time of year. I love creeks, and I love to explore and get to know them.
Brendan is the perfect little partner for this kind of activity. He is SO interested in everything. The smallest things just thrill him to death. I love it.
We sat along the creek bank for quite awhile choosing which stones to throw in--which would make the biggest plunk? Or would it just be a "plink"? 
Isn't Brendan the dearest little laddie?
We had such a nice and relaxing time. No hurry. No time constraints. Heavenly.
Afterwards, we went over to the Crock Center and played on their very interesting playground. It has so many cool things to play on!
Brendan played on all of them! Me too!
Brendan was captain of the ship for awhile ...
Isn't this cute of him sliding down the slide? He is such a short little person. I just love his little self!

We played and talked. We pretended all kinds of things together.
We played in the sand together too.

We made "houses" out of wood chips and stones. Brendan was very intense about his building.

We pretended that some of our wood chips were space ships. I kept blasting mine off. "5-4-3-2-1-zero, ignition, blast-off!"
 And then Brendan would copy me ... "Four, five, six, Mexican, blast-off!" He didn't quite understand the backward counting and he completely thought the word "ignition" was "Mexican" ... so cute.
We went back to their house and Dylan talked Brendan into showing me his nice bike and dinosaur helmet.
Brendan is still a little tentative on the bike, because he is new at this. Plus, he has had a couple of falls which he did not like.

Love this little laddie so much. It was a wonderful couple of hours with these dear folks. :)

A few hours of "girl" time ...

We dropped the boys off at Three Mile Project at 6:00 on Saturday evening, and then we girls went over to my house to hang out for a little while. There are 10 years between Kaity and Emma ... so it is difficult to find activities we can do as a threesome. It was okay, though, because they each found stuff to do and I was able to spend time with them separately and together.
 We tried to teach Kaity how to play "Trouble" but she was all finished in five minutes flat. But still, it was a beginning and she seemed to enjoy it a little bit.
 Emma got out the marble run and made a huge construction project. Emma is wonderfully mechanical (which she must get from her dad) and can build just about anything you give her. She is almost better without instructions because she is very intuitive about how things work. That's a good strength to have, Emma!
 An extra benefit to Emma being good at building is the JOY she gets WHILE building. I love to watch her when she is happy.

 Kaity wanted to enter into the design and building ... but to be fair, Emma had almost finished her project by the time Kaity and I joined her ... so we waited on the sidelines until we were given the OK to test it out.
 And then we had a whole bunch of marble races!
 We only had a few hours, but they were good hours together. So thankful to spend time with these precious girls.