Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Great Grandparents

 Our kids are fortunate to have grandparents and great grandparents who love them and enjoy them.  Great Grandma Weber lives within walking and/or golf cart distance of us, and we get to see her regularly. 

One quiet evening, she popped in to return a vase.  I happened to be nursing Henry at the time.  She didn't hear me call out to her, so she went outside to the kids who were on the swing set.  Imagine my surprise when I saw her up on the first level of the play house!  I grabbed my camera, but at her nimble 87 years of age, she was down before I could get hard-and-fast proof.

We saw my Grandpa Gingerich while we were in northern Indiana this summer.  It was great to see Henry in his arms for the first time.

Henry also got to meet my Grandma Bontrager in Indiana.  She's a natural with babies. 

She wanted us to stop by her house before we left so she could give Henry his sock monkey and the other kids some treats for the trip. 

Grandma has sewn oodles of sock monkeys, and they are all over her house--in plants and hanging on stair railings.  She has given one to each of her great grandchildren, and now is making them to sell.  She has made all sizes, with the exception of George the giant one, which Aunt Julia bought for her.

I really can't find the words to say how grateful I am for my grandparents and their godly influence on their family's lives.  I have so many good memories of them, and it's sad to me that my kids can never know them the way that I do.  I can only hope to leave a similar legacy for my children and grandchildren.    

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Four-Year-Old and his Construction Cake

 What can I say about this small boy child?  He delighteth in heavy machinery.

So when he turned 4 in late June, planning his birthday cake was a cinch. 

I'm not sure I've ever had more fun decorating a cake!  Everything came together in the perfect creative storm.  I think I stopped to ooh and ahh more than I actually decorated. 
My sister in law found a multi-pack of brand-spankin-new John Deere toys at Tractor Supply.  I cleaned up Jack's sheep's foot packer, and we borrowed Grandma's excavator.
First, I outlined the number four using a straight edge.  Then I laid the crushed Oreo road.  The powdery sand is nothing more than smashed pretzels.  Cocoa Puffs made small boulders.  We couldn't find plastic traffic cones, so I whipped out a paring knife and a carrot.  So much fun!

My real challenge involved my *ahem* pride.  I wanted the cake to look perfect for our party guests, but sonny boy couldn't keep his hands off of it.  Oreo crumbs were spilling onto the table and floor, the road grader was not remaining in its neat and tidy place, and my nerves were fraying.  After a long moment, during which I realized that his little boy days are going fast, I decided it was OK to let the birthday kid play with his cake.  After all, he probably won't still be fascinated by silly things like cake by the time he is 12.  Better grab his heart while the grabbing is still easy!

Happy Birthday long past, Jack!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Blur of Summer

Today was the first day of school.  Besides the fact that my inner worn-out mama is jumping up and down like a kid in a bouncy house, I'm left scratching my head over what happened to the last few months.  Other than the speed bumps of vacation, we've been at home, going ninety-to-nothing holding babies,
making dough,
  styling personal pizzas,
and baking a crazy cake all by our little self.
 We've been picking flowers,
picking noses,
 and picking footwear.

We've been buzzed by a crop duster,
scared delightfully out of our skins once 
 and twice.

We've lost teeth
and gained them,
drooling all the way.
 We've put up green beans,
sweet corn,
and gobs of tomatoes.

We've sneaked off during Daddy's Sunday afternoon nap,
  and mobbed him to look up the tractor classifieds.
 We've eaten many breakfasts,
 many dinners,
 and a little bit of ice cream.

 We've read voraciously
and slept soundly.
  We've been together...

a lot.

We've had a great summer, no matter the speed of life.  On the other hand, if my washing machine could talk, it would slap me.