Friday, May 31, 2019

Downtown on Memorial Day

Memorial Day, May 30:  Kaity and I arrived downtown at 6:15, 45 minutes early for the parade. Thankfully, the Children's Museum stays open until 8:00 on Thursdays. Kaity was very happy to have another place to play while we waited to meet Jesse for the parade.

Kaity put Jo-Jo and her newly acquired black labrador (that she named Sophie) on the table to have a CT scan ... here they are ... laying perfectly still, just like a person HAS to do who is having a CT.
 We had to take "Sophie" to the operating room because her back leg was broken.
 Kaity got everything set up for the surgery ...
 I watched and took pictures from afar ...

 It's pretty cute how the Children's Museum has all of this cool medical equipment for the children to explore and pretend with. 
 Kaity kept telling me she was a NURSE and that she was helping the doctors in surgery.
 I think you could BE a nurse some day, Kaity!
 We took baby Jo-Jo up to the tree house where Kaity made a "fort" for her ... kind of a treehouse bed.

 Kaity tucked Jo-Jo in very carefully ...
 But THEN it was time to meet Jesse! Kaity was very happy to see him.
 Jesse was photographing the Memorial Day parade for his veteran's group.
 I took just a few pictures of the parade; but since I only had my PHONE, I wasn't very good at it! My camera was unintentionally left at home. Thank goodness for cell phones with cameras!

 Kaity watched the entire parade. Grandma and Grandpa Hand were here too!

 Jesse reminds me each year that MEMORIAL DAY is to honor the FALLEN soldiers. Back in the 70's, legislation officially made the last Monday of May to be the day OFF from work, etc. to honor our war fallen. However, Grand Rapids does their Memorial Day parade on the actual DATE of Memorial Day, May 30.

There was a decent turnout for the parade. Kaity was getting a bit tired after the parade, so we decided not to stay for the speakers. We drove back to her house ... rather exhausted! Thankful for this day in every way. Thankful most of all to be a Blue Star mother and NOT a Gold Star one. Thank you, Lord, for bringing Jesse home safely from Iraq.

A surprise cousin time

Thursday, Memorial Day, May 30:  I picked up Kaity from school at the usual time and we were practically all the way to my house when my phone rang! If anyone had told me when I was a kid (some 55+ years ago) that one day I would be driving in my car and I would be able to receive a call over the speakers of my car and be able to talk without ever having to lift my hands off the wheel, I would have thought they had lost their ever-lovin' mind! But that is exactly what happened! It was Kelly! She seemed stressed, which is highly unusual for Kelly. She said that both she and Dylan had failed to tell me to pick Brendan up from school today! We had text'd earlier in the day and I told them I was unable to do that due to my schedule with Kaity. I told them the only way it could work is if I picked Brendan up super early from school and then I could pick Kaity up at her usual time. Since they had never gotten back to me, I assumed that picking Brendan up early wasn't an option.

BUT ... it WAS an option and both of them thought they had told me! Anyway, long story short is that Kaity and I high-tailed it over to Brendan's school just as fast as traffic would allow (which was as slow as a snail). We took all of the uncrowded back roads that we could, but it still took us 38 minutes to get to Brendan! Dylan and Kelly felt terrible! Me too! But do you know something? It worked out just fine.
 I was super thankful to see a smile on Brendan's face when Kaity and I showed up. We decided Brendan should show Kaity around his playground for a little while to let off some energy! So the cousins played for a full 30 minutes outside: climbing, playing tag, running, etc. It was so much fun to watch them.
 Darling Brendan ...
 And our monkey-girl, Kaity!

 They had so much fun!

 Brendan and Kaity were super happy to see each other. Since Brendan had been cooped up inside for an hour after school, this outside play was a good thing. AND Kaity had been sitting in the back seat of my car helping me (!!) maneuver in and out of traffic. We took ONE wrong turn (I always make at least one mistake), but it didn't cost us too much time. Sometimes those back roads can turn me around!

 For a little extra fun, we ate at Chick Fil-A, because they kids were hungry. I let them play first in the inside playground. They were wild in here! They had so much fun!
 Baby Jo-Jo was with us (of course) and joined in on the fun.
 Kaity set Jo-Jo up in her high chair and she joined us while we ate.

I love you kids! We were meeting Kaity's dad downtown for the Memorial Day parade, and since it is a school night and we would be late, we dropped Brendan off at his house (without ever mentioning a parade), said "hi" to Aidan and Dylan (baby Erin was sleeping), and aimed our car for downtown!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Stories and puppets

Wednesday, May 29:  I got to go with Brendan today to his sessions. I have to tell you that this was directly of the Lord! And I am SO thankful to Him because of this. You see, I've been SO worried about dear Brendan ... he's been struggling and hasn't seemed as happy as he used to be ... nervous and uncertain instead of like he was before--confident and easy!

I got to be in his speech session and they played a game called "Guess Who?" It was SO interesting to watch Brendan play this game! I loved it so much and it was very encouraging to me to see how his mind works. Also, I noted how POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING the words were that his therapist used, and how REAL she was with him. 

When we got home to my house, we ate our dinner. I finished eating before Brendan did, so I read a book to him, "The Aunt and the Elephant" by Bill Peet. I'd forgotten what a delightful story this is! And Brendan super loved it!
After we ate, Brendan requested that I get out the puppet theatre. He had some story ideas that he wanted to act out! YES! I told him I would quickly clean up our meal and then I would join him. 
 He set the whole thing up ... well ... I did add the instruments for his orchestra pit to make it a bit more authentic. But then ... the stories began!
 Brendan fashioned his after the premise that the puppets were in trouble and no one was being very helpful (just like in the Ant and the Elephant), but Brendan's stories had different twists and turns.

 He enjoyed himself hugely. He asked me to do a few stories too--so I did! We cracked up laughing, relaxed, and had so much fun.
 This went on for about an hour ... until we had to tackle some of Brendan's homework--but that went better this week too! I think it helped to play for a good long time first!
I love this dear grandson so much. He is such a treasure ... pure GOLD.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Middle Aged ... ????

Tuesday, May 28:  Today is my baby's 35th birthday, making him officially "middle-aged" ... what?!?! HOW did that happen? He is about as "middle-aged" as I am "elderly!" 
Dylan and Aidan
Date? Aidan's 2nd birthday
 Thankfully, we arranged to have lunch together--a rare treat! I met him over at his work place and we walked over to the Cottage Bar and grabbed a yummy burger together. I got to hear about the stuff he is working on, and we talked a good bit of politics--not bantering--more of me just asking what he thinks about the current state of affairs. I respect his thinking very much and wanted to pick his brain. Being a rather disgruntled former political enthusiast, I just wondered what his perspective was. It was interesting and a good learning experience for me.
Dylan and baby Erin, same date as above
 I love these pictures of Dylan!
35 used to be thought of as "middle aged", but I'm not sure that's true anymore. It was barely true in MY day! 35 is practically a youngster in my books! Anyway, 35 looks good on you, Dylan. I pray for you as you father your little ones and love dear Kelly.

This is the card I made for Dylan this year. It has the passage from Nehemiah 9 that I used for his birth announcement all of those years ago.