Thursday, May 28, 2020

May 28 Dylan

Friday:  It was a Monday that Dylan was born, and it just happened that Memorial Day fell on that particular Monday. He was born at 4:52 am, 8 pounds 10 ounces, 22 inches long. My labor was the usual four hours and I screamed him out with two pushes. A third son. I could not have been happier.

 I wasn't sure what to make for his card this year, so I got into a bin of old albums and found these pictures of Dylan. The picture above is during his first month, might even have been the first week because he is laying in his bassinette--the very one that I put him in when I brought him home from the hospital. I remember Jesse and Shane pulling up a chair and standing on the chair so that they could look at their new brother. They stood there for a very long time mentioning how little his toes and fingers were. It is a very sweet memory.

The picture below was actually taken in the hospital the day after he was born.


 I made his birthday card out of those first four pictures. The last of the four is SO Pahmanish ... I remember seeing baby pictures of Dylan's dad that look identical to this. Below is Dylan at about 18 months. He was weaned from me at six months (as were his brothers), and here he is drinking "juice" (I hope it wasn't kool-aid) from a bottle.
 I'm pretty sure Dylan is three in this picture (below). Jesse is wearing glasses, and I don't think Jesse began wearing glasses until he was almost 7. Look at the expression on Shane's face--such a beautiful boy.
 Believe it or not, Dylan was such a placid baby that I could place him in the kitchen sink where he would splash and play for the longest time! He never made any "moves" to get out and he didn't make a very big mess. It was a hot summer that year, and he spent a lot of time in the kitchen sink!
 A nice warm hug for my baby boy ... 
And today is Dylan's 36th birthday! Happy Birthday, Dylan! Time sure goes by quickly ...

May 28

Thursday: These first two pictures are from yesterday. I made sure Matey's cage was secure (all doors and windows locked and closed) and brought him out to enjoy the fresh air in the afternoon. I was working out in the yard, cleaning up the "mess" the trees make out here on my driveway and yard. 

 When I picked Kaity up at 3:30 (Thursday) she was all set to go! She had Baby Lily with her (naturally). When we arrived at my house, Kaity suggested that we make a "house" for Lily and Paco. It was Kaity's idea to use my alphabet foam puzzle to construct the house. Other than the fact that we ran out of material to make a roof, the house turned out just as Kaity wanted.
 Here is Kaity tucking Lily in for a nap. Since Paco is a pig, he didn't need a blanket (this was Kaity's logic).
 We ate some yummy hotdogs for dinner and we played a few games of foosball and played more with Matey, and then finally we played outside in front of my house. Late this morning, I got out my leaf blower, rake, and broom and cleaned the front yard and road up so that there was NOTHING out of order ... and then it rained ... see what happens when it rains (notice the tree debris all over the place)! But that didn't deter Kaity and I from playing a little bit of soccer out in the road.

 We brought Matey out to watch our game ... Lily too. 
We had a really nice time together today and I am truly thankful to the Lord for giving us the gift of Kaity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May 26

Tuesday:  It was a hot and humid Tuesday here at the Beach House (90 degrees), and with no air conditioning, it was a trifle uncomfortable. I don't think the kiddos noticed it very much, and so that was good at least. They DO have air at their house. I have three very nice window fans that I kept on high and the side door was opened, so at least the air was moving around in here.
 But between feeding these guys, playing a little bit, cleaning up messes (diapers!), etc. I didn't take hardly ANY pictures today. The picture above happened like this: Brendan, who was in an especially quiet mood today, had gone into my bedroom for a little relief from the chaos of the main rooms. Brendan has gotten to where he relaxes quite a bit in my round chair--and I am glad he has found a way to create a little space for himself. But TODAY, Aidan wasn't going to give Brendan his space without a little bit of a fight over the round chair. Anyway, they finally got laughing about it and I distracted Aidan out of my room so that Brendan could enjoy some quiet.
 Erin's main thing is this: she will walk back into the toy room, collect an interesting object, and then bring it out to show me. "Yook! Yook!" she will say, smiling. It's like she wants to show me something I haven't already seen. Naturally, she doesn't understand that I have had the majority of these toys since Emma was a baby and many of the toys go all the way back to when my boys played with them! But I try to look surprised, smile a huge smile, and she returns to the playroom to collect another object to bring out to show me. She did settle right into watching a movie this afternoon.
But mid-afternoon, I was sweating up a storm, relented and put on the Disney Plus station. We watched "Frozen" together, except Brendan remarked that he does NOT like this movie--he only likes Frozen 2. Sigh. Brendan did come in and out of the room as we watched, but any time something happened in the movie that was in any way tense or conflicting, he walked back into my bedroom. I wish I knew what this dear little person was thinking when he becomes so stressed at conflict. He had gotten a new Nintendo Switch video game, a Pokeman game, and he was pretty focused on everything to do with that, trying to explain the whole Pokeman world to me. Since I have no idea what he is talking about, I have to really STRETCH myself to listen and be interested. I do make an effort, though, because afterall, I am his grandma and I love him.

Aidan was his usual jovial self. The last hour of our time together was spent chasing each other around the house, occasionally throwing a pillow or two, and Aidan completely and loudly cracking up. I love this little child so much.

May 25

Memorial Day: I drove out to Countryside Nursery in Allendale this morning to pick out the annuals for my tiny yard. I have been out there perhaps twice before, but it has been many years. Naturally (!!) I got a little "turned around" on the way out there, but I did arrive safely ... eventually.

 It was really crowded out there this morning. People were good about wearing masks and staying a good distance apart. There is such conflicting information out there about the pros and cons of masks in general, but I comply when I am in a public place. Wow, though, it was very hot and humid inside the greenhouse there. And what a great selection and what wonderful prices!
 I got a few different flowers than I have purchased in the past. I love Gerber daisies, don't you? 
 I also purchased seven small containers of colorful annuals to put out in my rock garden, but I neglected to photograph them.
 I did the grocery shopping after I purchased the flowers, brought it all home, put it all away, planted the porch boxes, and was essentially finished by 6:00! Yay. I needed a restful evening and I was able to have one!
Thank you for the beautiful flowers and plants you have created, Lord. They bring me such joy. You are such an amazing Creator. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 24

Sunday:  Emma and I worshiped via LiveStream at Calvary this morning. Pastor spoke from Titus once again. His message was about "Obedience" to God and to His Word. I love sharing these times with Emma. We are hoping to be able to return to the actual church building ... but Calvary is waiting for the governor to open up the State of Michigan first.

Immediately after the service was over, we heard a bunch of cars honking. It turns out that my neighbor down the street was celebrating his birthday and this was a "drive-by" birthday celebration. There was probably 20 cars that went around and around the block, blaring the horns and waving. So Emma and I went out on the porch and waved. Such is life under the COVID 19 social distancing reality. Everyone is pretty tired of the whole thing actually.

After we did our Bible study (this week we talked about King Manasseh) -- a very remarkable story from 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33. If you don't read both accounts, you miss the really GOOD stuff about the story, because although Manasseh was one of the most evil kings ever to reign in the history of Israel, and God punished him by him being taken away to Babylon with a chain through his nose (!!), Manasseh humbled himself, repented, and cried out to God in his exile. The amazing thing is that God heard him and answered his prayer for mercy. Manasseh was allowed to return to Jerusalem and PROVE his repentance by his obedience. I never ever heard this part of his story before. It really amazed me how DIFFERENT God is than we are. God is so KIND to forgive, and He does it over and over again.

May 24 is a significant date in my life for two reasons: (1) I married Jim on this date in 1975 while I was 21 and Jim had just turned 20; so it was 45 years ago; and (2) my mom died on this date in 2018. As I was sharing this information with Emma, she suggested that we go and visit my mom's grave site (something I haven't done even once). I looked in her file to find out the name of the graveyard, and I thought SURE I would be able to find the grave. However, not at all surprising is the fact that after searching for almost an hour, her grave was NOT found. Cookie and his first wife share a plot just down the aisle from my mom (although across a little driveway), but I couldn't find THEIR grave either. I guess I'm going to have to research the actual Lot # and go back to see it some time--perhaps next year? Anyway, it was nice to walk around a graveyard with Emma. We saw so many interesting grave markers ... and besides, I love doing anything at all with Emma.

May 23 Kaity & Emma

Saturday afternoon and evening:  I certainly do not have very many VISUALS to remember my time together with Kaity today. I completely forgot to take any pictures while she was at my house. I must have been just too tired to care!

Kaity and I did just fine, though, and played for awhile with dolls and other stuff. But then we turned on "Frozen" and watched the entire movie. That's a rare occurrence for Kaity and I. It's not usually what I do with her, mainly because she sees enough videos at home and I like to stimulate her in other ways.
 When I drove Kaity home, I snapped just a couple of pictures of her in front of her house. Jesse has been working on a Memorial Day set-up in his front yard, since all other Memorial Day get-togethers and parades have been cancelled. Kaity was very glad to pose for a few pictures.
This was a work in progress at this point Saturday evening. Jesse added a few more touches and was ready for Monday's memorial.
Emma spent the night. We visited for awhile and then Emma requested that we watch a movie, and she picked the movie, "Matilda" a Danny DeVito production from 1998. I think the reason Emma relates so much with this story is because the parents in this movie were clueless about almost everything to do with their daughter. It's a very exaggerated story based on a children's book by Roald Dahl. I am going to have to check the book out of the library to see how true to the story the movie actually was. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

May 23 Callaghan

Saturday:  I accidently left my camera over at Dylan and Kelly's yesterday when I dropped the children off to them, so Kaity and I drove over to retrieve it today. I snapped just a few pictures of Callaghan the five minutes we were there.

He's a nice chunky baby, isn't he? His skin is SO soft!
 Actually, these first two photos were taken Thursday evening when I dropped off the kiddos.
 The next two pictures were taken when we went to pick up my camera. Brendan was having a little time getting to hold his baby. Kaity and I didn't want to interrupt his special time with Callaghan. Dylan had taken Aidan and Erin out for a drive so that Brendan, Kelly, and Callaghan could have a little quiet time together.
 Just a little over three years ago, Brendan was an ONLY child. Now he is big brother to THREE siblings, which can be a little bit overwhelming! Good job holding Callaghan, Brendan!
Love these beautiful grandsons!

May 22 (Cascade Dam)

Friday afternoon:  Here are just a few more pictures of the Thornapple River, quite flooded, and the path we took to see the Cascade Dam.




 This present structure of the dam was built in 1926 ...







 That's a LOT of rushing water. The sound was amazing.


Beautiful place. I'm looking forward to seeing it when the river is at it's normal level. There were many places we couldn't walk to today because ... they were UNDER water.

May 22 (Leslie E. Tassell Park)

Friday afternoon: Kelly told me about a "park" she had stumbled upon where she has brought the kiddos to run and play. There is no playground here, so that's good because we aren't allowed on playground equipment presently! 

Brendan was very helpful pushing the stroller with Erin, while I was keeping track of Aidan. This little "park" has evidently been here since about 2002 and I never once knew it was here! Good grief. It's only a 25 minute drive from my house, and it's just a beautiful little place.

 This is the very flooded Thornapple River ... it was moving SO FAST!

 The kiddos liked climbing the rocks, and since the rocks were safely away from the flooded river, it was fun to just let them go and watch them play.





 Erin is making a get-away up the stairs ... can you see?
 I was calling to her, asking her to come back ... but she continued right on up ... imagine that (ha!). So I had to run after her and put her back in the stroller. She was not happy with me, but she got over it.
 There are sculptures all around the park ... I love Aidan's expression in this picture (below).
 Wee Erin, feeling somewhat confined in the stroller ... she did cheer up a little later.

 We walked a pathway all the way to the Cascade Dam. It's not a long walk, and the sound of rushing water is just amazing. Here is Aidan, doing his best to see the pictures on the sign--but he's a short little kid!

 Brendan stops and reads each sign along the way to Aidan.




More pictures of the dam coming up ...