Thursday, April 28, 2016

april 28

 These are pictures of my mother in law's father.

Today would be his 123rd birthday.
You're so beautiful and so dearly loved.  Happy Birthday, Grandpa.   Love forever, Everybody.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

party pictures

 It was a great, warm sunny day, lots of energy to burn.

 This little guy turned four, and Buddy, it's been so much fun having you for a kid.

 My parents and my sister were there too.

 All the wild cousins were there.  At one point they disappeared.  I wandered upstairs to see what they were doing and they were all in the bedroom with the door shut, music playing and a light sabre, having a dance party.   As I peeked in the door, someone rushed to slam it and I hollered, "Hey, that's my head!"

Oh my goodness.

Happy day celebrating in spring with a beautiful kid.  

We all love you so much, Bud.   Happy Birthday.

Love, Grandma and Grandpa and Everybody

gloomy day

 It's cozy in the house though.

 The rain has made a huge difference this week.

 When the sun comes back out, spring will be fully gorgeous.

And this little lantern is the sweetest thing on a gloomy day.  It was a birthday gift from someone I love and I brought it in by the computer to enjoy while I work.

Onward to the end of April.  Cannot wait for May to get here.   love, Val

Saturday, April 23, 2016

the matching dresses

These little girls bring out some kind of emotion I can't describe.  Just like how tender and protective and fierce I feel about their boy cousins?

Yes, that same thing. Who knew grandmas are fierce and wild?  (We are.) There are so many things I understand about my own mother as we have spent these last ten years being grandmas together.

She's an awesome great grandma, but no surprises there.  We always knew she was pretty great.

And the granddaughters have brought out tenderness in Jay that's touching too, the way they toss themselves against him, confide in him, jump on his neck, confident in him and his affection and love.

The boys were one thing, tussling around.   This is different, but equally sweet.

For my mother in law, who was not there for the wrestling match this photo shoot required, THANK YOU--for the dresses and for the love and affection those matching dresses represents.

Grandmas together.   High fives.  love, Val

Thursday, April 21, 2016

a guy is four

You were the littlest, tenderest baby ever, Buddy,   We loved having you for a baby that whole summer and winter, irresistible little you.

You were so cuddled and snugged, and you let us.

 And now? Four years old??

You make the whole family better: your ideas, sense of humor, conversational skills.

This whole family is better with you in it.

Lucky, lucky us.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.   Love forever, Grandma and Grandpa and Everybody

Sunday, April 17, 2016

flying with sam

Last week I had a dream while I dozed on the couch during Curious George.

Sam has always done this thing where she puts her head against my leg and leans.  She'll look up at me and lean harder.  I scratch her ears and pat her.  She's been a great friend, the epitome of patience and good-natured cheerfulness.

Well, in this dream she leaned on me harder and harder until I was on her back, and then she flew me around the house.

Not high or fast, just around.

At that point, on Sam's back, zipping through the doors between the dining room and the family room, I thought, "I am SO dreaming."

I told the kids about it and they laughed.  I told p.j., "What would people think, there goes a grandma and an old dog flying by?  Where's the cheese and crackers, Lady?"

We laughed and laughed.

Dreams are weird.

A few weeks ago I dreamed there were numerous buffalo in the back yard.   I called people on the phone, animal control and so forth, getting no where.

I told the kids not to let the dogs out right now because of this huge problem.

They came back and said the dogs had to go out. I told them to use leashes, and walk them in the front, but not where the buffalo could see them and get antagonized.  (I don't know if a dog on a leash walking by would actually antagonize a buffalo, but who wants to experiment like that?)

The kids told me the gate had been left open and the buffalo were gone.  I told them to shut the gate  then!  Hell's Bells!  Don't let the buffalo back in!

As if our flimsy chain link or picket fence could contain or deter a herd of buffalo anyway.

Dreams are so weird.

love, Val

opened up the cabin

 Didn't take that many pictures.  The swamp is growing noisy with frogs and toads.

The well was primed, the water softener went in, the water was turned on.

 The water is so, so cold.

 They tried to wade around, but it was just too cold.

 John brought his hot spot so Internet for all.  It's very calming.

 And this little girl is so sweet and friendly and funny, little baby last year, toddler this year.

 And then we came home.

Back to reality.   love, Val

Friday, April 15, 2016

happy birthday, mom

 This picture was taken the night of my dad's high school graduation.

This one is from back then too, the honeymoon?

 That's the two of us:

 My mom is in the back, her mother in the dark dress, and HER mother in the red.  I'm wearing the stripes and Pam is the little baby child.
 My brother's baptism:

 My mom with a bunch of kids up at the lake one Memorial Day.  Looks like about 2001?

 John modeling Mom's sunglasses:

 Maria on the famous occasion of the day she sneaked off, climbed on top of the table and ate chip dip straight from the container and even had it on her FEET.

Mom, here you are holding my grandson.

 Being Little Jay's National Honor Society Mentor:

All the things we've shared, it never occurred to me how much fun we'd have being GRANDMAS together.

Who knew?   When a small grandchild cut off their own hair at a sleepover not long ago, I called you to fortify my strength to call the mother.  I love how you gasped when you heard, totally understood how appalling a moment that was.

I have heard a lot from moms and about moms and you can be pretty hard on yourself about the ways you imagine you fell short--times when you were stressed and grumpy or just really did not know what to do.  There are those few times when you sincerely wish for a do-over--which all of us have and none of us get.

The kids have said it best, how it is being one of yours:  "Grandma always has your back."

Yes.  You have upheld us all, and helped, encouraged, defended, been incredibly generous in every way imaginable.   Things go wrong and you help us up, brush us off, and say, "It's ok.  I understand. Keep going."

You give money for school, no strings attached, and yet it makes every student stand up straight and want to do well.  Who could face you, having wasted your good money?


I never have to wonder what you're going to say to me at any point because it's going to start out, "Oh, Sweetheart."    You told me one time about your own dad on the phone with one of your sisters who had been sick, and when he heard Anita's voice on the phone, the way his voice was warm with affection.

Yep.  That's you too.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, you and Pat, celebrating your birthdays, and know just how lucky we all feel to be your kids.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

love always, Val and Everybody

You and Pat, and an enormous, tame chicken--look at those long claws dangling: