Monday, November 27, 2017

A few "selfies" with Brendan and Aidan

These "selfies" were taken the other night when the boys were here. Baby Aidan was on his "last nerve" about missing his dearest mama and daddy, so I sought to cheer him up a little bit in front of PhotoBooth.
 You can tell by these pictures, that he is not quite certain what to make of my computer and seeing all of us in these pictures ... but if you look at the bottom right of both quadrants, you see that there is a tiny smile on his sweet face.
Brendan, of course, LOVES PhotoBooth and was cracking up as we took these pictures, helping me do the countdown: 3-2-1 snap! I do wish I'd have been able to snap a picture of Aidan when Dylan and Kelly returned to get the kiddos. Aidan's entire body lit up like the 4th of July--he just oozed out happiness at seeing their faces. SO sweet. Brendan used to do the same thing ... ah, he is growing up too fast!

Another wonderful Sunday

November 26 (Sunday):  One week ago, Chris and I sat down at my computer to order his birthday gifts from (where else?) I really hoped they would arrive on time for this Sunday, but there was no guarantee. Saturday, when I came home from Detroit, I had hoped to see a box on my porch--but NO. So, I drove off to church thinking I would have to bring this package over to Chris on his actual birthday and not be able to watch him put it together, etc.
But when I returned home from church ... YES! A box from LEGO! I opened it to make certain BOTH sets were included, and they were !! Good job, LEGO. I wrapped the box and got ready for our usual pre-birthday celebration. Chris was super pleased to see it on the table when he came into the house! 
 Matthew and I played a trial game of QUIRKLE because I had only played it one time (a different, but similar version) and Matthew had never seen the game whatsoever. Did he ever catch on quickly! Had we been playing a REAL game, he would have easily won. I think we will get a lot of joy out of this game all winter long. Thank you, Jesus, that I was able to buy it at Meijer's and at a good price too!

Kaity was busy getting out her favorite stuff to look at and play with. Emma was on my computer listening to beautiful music while watching DIY's.  
 Chris built both of his models and was kind enough to allow Matthew to help him on the second one. Good job, Chris.

 Kaity and I played in the playroom for a long time, racing cars, building bridges and wooden towers, etc. She is a very delightful playmate.

 Kaity is learning SO much at her Readiness Kindergarten class! She is picking out letters so much better now and even wrote her name (it was backwards, but it was definitely HER name). She also sits for longer periods of time drawing, coloring, constructing, etc. Her attention span has grown quite a bit! Yes!

 We had our Bible story too and Kaity sat through the entire thing, coloring an illustration of loaves and fishes that Jesus multiplied to feed 5000+ people. The children listened so nicely and asked really good questions afterwards. I love teaching them about Jesus and how incredibly awesome He is.

 I purchased a layered strawberry cream cake for Chris. We lit the candles and sang "Happy Birthday" to him, even though he doesn't actually turn fourteen until Wednesday. I love these pictures of him.

 The cake was a decided success for those of us who tried it. Matthew and Kaity wanted nothing to do with it, so they had ice cream instead! They both had Kit-Kat ice cream--yum!

What a nice time together. I always marvel at the strength and love that the Lord gives to us. I am so thankful that He cares for us!

A post-Thanksgiving Saturday evening treat

November 25:  I spent Thanksgiving in Detroit with Ruthanne, Terry, Shelley, Bob, Matthew and Nolan. Mom and I drove down Thanksgiving morning and did not return until Saturday afternoon! Would you believe I did not take even ONE picture the entire time I was there? Yikes. I do regret that now. Ruthanne and Shelley made a beautiful and very yummy dinner for all of us! I brought banana bread and pumpkin pie! We had a really nice time together. Shelley even autographed my "Beatrice Zinker" book! Yes!
After I returned to the Beach House, I found a message from these dear folk wondering IF I was able to take care of their two precious boys so that they could go out for dinner together. Yes, I said--with the clarification that I was too tired to drive over to their house--and could they please be brought out to me? 
 Baby Aidan came over dressed up like a darling little fox. Oh my. Look at Dylan's happiness overflowing with this tiny person! I love to see Dylan smile like this.

Aidan is quite attached to both Dylan and Kelly actually--he doesn't seem to prefer one over the other--which is pretty remarkable seeing that he gets NO MILK (other than from a bottle) from Dylan--but he gets lots of loving and cuddling from both parents. They do a mighty fine job of caring for their kiddos. 

I was a little concerned that once Dylan and Kelly left, Aidan might be super sad. Thankfully, there is enough "stuff" in my little haven that he was distracted and contented almost (but not quite) the entire time they were gone! 
 Aidan is at the point where he is pretty unstoppable. Brendan finds this a little unnerving at times, but he does really well with all of the interruptions and "undoing" of his play areas. Brendan is not used to sharing The Beach House with anyone at all--so I think Saturday night was quite successful, all things considered.
 Brendan was attempting to make a Hot Wheels track, attaching it to my desk. Aidan thought it would be a good idea to keep pulling it down. 
But he moved on and got busy with other things, and eventually Brendan got his road all built. 
 Isn't baby Aidan the cutest little fox you have ever laid eyes on? I know! I feel the SAME way!

We grown-ups thought Aidan would super enjoy this walker now that he is getting to where his little feet reach the ground. I tried him in it 2x, but he was NOT interested in being this confined! He is a very astute and happy crawler. PLUS, he pulls himself to stand up whenever and wherever possible. 
 Look how nicely Brendan is holding his pencil! Yay, Trinitas! Brendan is doing much better at all of his drawing, tracing, letters, etc. He is super intense with stuff like this!

See? Baby Aidan was not especially joyful
to be in the walker ...

 Aidan has allergies to dairy, gluten, peanuts !! Oh my! Brendan is not allergic to anything at all. So I had to be super careful with what I gave him to snack on and followed Kelly's instructions completely. He enjoyed chewing on pieces of apple and tiny bits of grapes too.
It sure was a treat to see this dear family Saturday night and to play with these beautiful kiddos. So thankful to be their grandma. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

These guys ...

November 19:  This is the second Sunday, now, that the kiddos have come on a Sunday afternoon rather than on Saturday. Chris and Matt were both at a birthday party Saturday, so we switched our day to Sunday this week. 
We didn't do anything special; we just hung out around here. Kaity-Girl did some puzzles ... 
 The boys and Kaity and I played a few games of Memory (I lost all games). Christopher looks rather bored/mean in this picture, but I don't think he was actually either of those things--he's almost 14 now and I think he is WAY past posing for and having his picture taken. Don't you think that's what his expression is saying? Yes, I agree. 
 Kaity brought her horses over to play today. We ate a good meal together, played games, etc. Emma was learning some origami with straws from a DIY on Youtube. She totally depleted my straw supply! But I was glad she was happy making stuff. She is good at making things and finds a lot of happiness in doing so. I have missed her so much since school has resumed and she no longer spends Saturday overnight here. I am glad she still comes once per week to see her old grandma (me). I know she knows that I love her and value her and enjoy her.
 Emma got out my marble-run and constructed a very good one for us to play with. She is super fast at putting this thing together and her designs are always better than the ones that come with it. 
Also, since the boys were "absent" the week we did our Bible story from Mark, the story where Jesus healed the men who were possessed by Legion--we sat at our round table and told them the story. Kaity listened for a second time, and Emma was listening too (even though she was sitting here at my computer--Emma always loves a good story). Chris and Matt listened very carefully as I got to re-tell this beautiful story of healing and hope. I'm so glad Jesus healed those men. Interesting, though, that only one of them sat at the feet of Jesus, only one of them went back to the village and told the wonderful things Jesus had done--but it was enough to change that entire region and impact them with the great news of forgiveness and wholeness. I love these stories from the Gospel of Mark and I was super thankful to be able to share this one with the children this week.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

A bonus Friday!

November 17:  Dylan and Kelly had a potluck Friday night and wondered if these two munchkins could spend a little time with their grandma! Certainly! We opted to come to MY house, since there was a monster spider on the loose at theirs ... no, seriously--Dylan said he killed it later on ... but who is to say it was the same one?!! 
 Baby Aidan hasn't been over to The Beach House very much in his little life. He explored every little inch last night.
 Brendan got himself all settled on the couch to play an alphabet game he had gotten at Trinitas. He was very excited to match letters and pictures on the game board.
 Baby Aidan was quite pleased with all of the interesting things to see and do ...
 Aidan has a very happy little heart ...

 Brendan showed me his completed alphabet book--they had worked on it every day at school since the beginning of his Kindergarten. There is a really cute song that goes along with this phonetic alphabet. Brendan sings it perfectly. He was very proud to show me his finished book. He told me that yesterday that had an "alphabet party" at school. 

We all had a little snack together ... 
Isn't Aidan the sweetest little baby? 
 Dylan and Kelly picked the boys up later in the evening. They visited for a little while before packing up their two boys and venturing out in the pouring rain. Love them!
Dylan and Brendan working on a marble run
back in the playroom.