Monday, March 25, 2013

Impromptu Party

Some friends from church and our neighborhood
discovered unexpectedly that they
needed somewhere for their kids
to stay while they went to a play.
So last Thursday night, we had eight "big"
kids at our house.
We are used to pre-schoolers,
so having these kiddos around was
great fun!

Games of Twister and
Hide and Seek in the
freezing cold (not pictured because
I was too wimpy to join them)
Watching a crazy movie
Lots of general silliness

What a fun night!
Thank you Katayama's, Jones', and Arthur's
for sharing your very polite and fun children
with us.  

Book Review--Stillmeadow Farm by Gladys Taber

Stillmeadow Seasons (Stillmeadow Series, #3)Stillmeadow Seasons by Gladys Taber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not really sure how to classify this book published in 1950 and written by Gladys Taber.  It is beautifully written with passages that you just want to stop and savor.  The whole book is about a Connecticut farm family as they go through the seasons in a year.  It was recommended to me by Patti who said she found the Taber books when she was in high school and has loved them ever since.

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I would like to share a passage.  This quote, found on page 39, was obviously found beautiful by another reader because it was marked in pencil.

"It is good for us, I think, to keep as much joy in life as we can.  We busy ourselves with so many things that are not of the heart and spirit.  We worry about money, we agonize over the terrible state of the world, we fret at household duties or business minutiae, we work, we argue, we squander our strength in a million ways."

"And all the time the wonder of life is around us, the ecstasy of breathing air ravished by apple blossoms, of walking on fern-cool driftways, of listening to young leaves moving in the moonlight, and of seeing the twilight stars in the violet bowl of the sky.  There is joy enough in one spring day to furnish forth the world, if we but knew it."  

I'm so glad I read this book right before the arrival of Spring!  It is my favorite season of the year, but this year, I think I will enjoy it all the more.  

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Confession to Parents of Young Children

It seems that these days, I am
blessed to be the Nana 
or the friend of young parents
with small children.  

A precious friend, Allison,
shared this excellent Blogpost on 
parenting in Facebook.
Because she was kind enough to mention
that I had once encouraged her
when she was a young single mother, 
I thought I owed it to her
and to other young parents
to make a confession.

If you haven't already clicked on
the link above, please click below
and then read on.

I confess, I have said the words
“You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”
I now know, and should have
remembered from when my children
were little, that this is a 
terrible thing to say
to parents who are working hard
 to do the very best job possible of raising
children who love and respect
God and their fellowman.  

I also have had some actual experience
knowing that although this
quote is oh, so true, it is also not
productive.  You see, I have the 
honor and responsibility of 
babysitting for my precious
grandchildren quite often.
It is a joy, but also one
of the hardest things I do.
At the end of a day of fixing breakfasts, 
which I must admit consist of Pop Tarts,
which one of my grandsons calls
Breakfast Cookies, cleaning up,
playing hide and seek, playing Super Heroes,
playing with Play Doh, cleaning up,
coloring, watching a video so
that Nana can breathe for a few minutes,
fixing lunch--also not the 
healthiest, cleaning up, getting
one child off to school and then
getting the other one down for a nap,
playing some more, and then 
getting them ready to go home,
I am TIRED!!!!!
And unlike their parents,
I get to send them home and
Nana gets to rest.

Life as a young parent is
a huge responsibility and a
huge labor of love.
I hope all of us who have
been there/done that,
will remember those days,
not with rose colored glasses, but
realistically, so that we can support
these young parents as they prepare
the next generation to live productive lives
of service to God and mankind.  

And as the author of the
blogpost mentions, let's also help them
out in creative and genuinely helpful ways.  

Prayers for them and their
children would also
be most welcome!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day 2013

 At last year's St. Patrick's Day
Grandchildren Party, Caleb asked
if next year we could invite his
neighbors and friends,
Luke and Sophia.
What a sweet idea from a sweet boy.
So this year we expanded our party
a little.  I hope you enjoy the
(MANY) pictures.
For a party to be a success,
you must have balloons,
and if you think the balloons stayed
in this pretty bucket, you
don't know children.
The slips of paper were used to play
the Treasure Hunt Game.
Here comes the food!
All of it nutritious and delicious.
Well, at least delicious.
Skittles for the colors of the rainbow.
Grandma's Green Sugar Cookies.
Mint oreos--a much bigger hit than
my homemade cookies.
Grapes--one of two nutritious items.
The other was Kiwi, but alas,
no picture.

Green Twizzlers--who knew???
Lucky Charms--Get it???
Each child decorated a sack to take
their goodies home in.
Imagine having a girl's name
at one of our parties.  Next year,
we will have a girl in our very
own family.
Hurry baby sister--we're waiting for you!

The Fruit Loops Necklaces were a big
hit--or should I say eating the Fruit Loops
for the necklaces was a big hit.
We made Leprechaun hats from
styrofoam cups.  Unfortunately, I
forgot to take a picture of the finished
product.  You put them in a 250
degree oven, and MAGICALLY,
they shrink and become hats.
Working away.
This is our fun group--
Caleb, David, Sophia, Aaron, Annabelle,
Luke and Nana.
It was cute!  I asked our visitor
children if they would like to
call me Nana or Ms. Karen.
Nana was the unanimous choice.  
I wonder what we
were all looking at (except Aaron).
Look closely at my arm in
this picture.  I will explain later.
A real artist.
Luke and Annabelle
Aaron with the rainbow necklace.
Not part of the party decor, but found
in the costume chest.
David loves stickers.
The absolute ONLY time I got the
whole group still and quiet was
when I was reading them a book.
I have to wear a compression sleeve
to combat a side effect from my
surgery 2 years ago.
Caleb and Aaron found
the "Shamrock Tatoo Sleeve"
for me and gave it to me
as a love present to wear
to our party.
The gang with their
St. Patrick's Day crowns.
This should have gone with the food--
Rainbow Ice in Sprite.
A BIG hit! 
YES!  We had a grand time!  


Monday, March 11, 2013

Cooking with Aaron

Aaron is my Stuffed Animals
Grandson so it is only
natural for "Big Clifford"
and "Little Clifford" to oversee
the baking of cookies.
I'm ready to bake Nana.
I have my Chef hat and apron on.
If this face doesn't melt your heart,
I'm not sure what will.
I LOVE cooking at
Nana and Ducca's
In fact, I think I'll deliver
some cookie dough to Ducca.
Nana has been treating Ducca
(previously known as David)
to cookie dough (yes raw)
for 40 years now.
I know, I know, it's not
safe, but does he look worried?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New and Improved Kitchen

As promised, here are the pictures
of our new kitchen.
It was a challenge first of all, to find a red sink.
The back story is that when I was
in chemotherapy and feeling pretty miserable,
David and I went to Lowe's one day.
I saw a red sink and said, "When we
redo the kitchen, can I have a red sink?
Remember that my sweet husband is a realtor and
his most famous line is
"What will that do to the resale value?"
However, this time, those words
didn't come out of his mouth.
Instead, I heard, "SURE".
That was pretty much his response to
everything I wanted when I was sick.
Come to think of it,
that has pretty much been
his response to
everything I have wanted in the
last 40 years of marriage.
Yes, I am spoiled.
But even after I got well,
and there was no longer
a red sink to be found in Colorado Springs,
my sweetheart moved heaven and earth
to find me my red sink and the granite
to match.
You cannot tell from these pictures,
but the sinks are very deep and very big
and I LOVE them.
Just in case you wondered,
washing dishes is fun when
you have a red sink.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review--Here is New York by E.B. White

Here Is New YorkHere Is New York by E.B. White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite Children's Book of all time is Charlotte's Web.  I noticed a little book on my daughter's bookshelf entitled HERE IS NEW YORK by E. B. White, the same author.  It was published in 1949 (before Charlotte's Web but after Stuart Little).  I knew White was an essayist, but I had never read one of his essays.  This one was fascinating and somewhat prophetic.  Here is a quote from page 51, "A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions."

The book is not all pessimistic, on the contrary, it is pleasant reading about our largest city, but this certainly caught my eye.

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