Monday, October 16, 2017

Being Grandparents

Saturday was the big birthday bash.

Ha-ha, the following week could also be called "what a week"!

Sunday (Oct.8)
James served at both services in church. So Jane and I went early to pick William up for church and say good-bye to Helen and Ben. They had rented a cottage on a farm in Abingdon for some couple time and William was going to spend the time with us. Caleb loves to go to our church so we promised him that it was his turn to go to church with us the following Sunday and all was good.

William was sad because he wanted to see his cousin. No problem. We picked Caleb up early from his day-care. Jane was a trooper and squeezed between the two car seats. Otherwise we would have had to go in two cars.

We went to the James River. First we walked around a little and explored.

Then we found the playground.

William's favorite was this bowl thing which moved you around with gravity but also turned you somehow sideways. 

I had to try it. It looked so interesting. OMG what a strange feeling. I had to laugh so hard that I couldn't get out. Just like the Dead Sea.

The boys had no objection to go to Sweet Frog for an ice-cream. 

One should take smaller pieces ... or get "brain freeze".

William had to check out Caleb.

Jane and I went to the CR Quilters meeting while William and Papa went to the History Museum who just had a toy exhibition. Then we had to bring Aunt Jane to the airport. We think her impromptu visit was splendid. And she was a great help too.

Later we played with the trains. William and I made the best bridge ever. We/he also played a lot of Wii. The weather was not so good. He got a lot of exercise that way and got really good playing tennis forehand and backhand.

Papa took William to the Science Museum. They stayed a long time. Even had lunch there.

And more cousin-time. Papa just went to get pizzas and we had a good and easy time.

William and I baked cookies. Papa had gone to Lidl and they had a very cheap cookie press for sale. Of course we had to try it out.

Sarah and Wade had to work all day of course. So we were at their house at 4:30 pm to deliver William with his suitcase etc. They were taking him with them to Pulaski first to spend the night at Wade's parents' house and then hand William over to his Helen and Ben in Abingdon.
(Sarah and Wade are going to a wedding in Asheville)

We got Caleb's suitcase and Schatzi and then picked Caleb up from his school (day-care) and took him to our house. He was quite excited. He sleeps on the blow-up toddler bed in our room and is happy.

Papa brings him to his school for the day because it was a rainy day and he would have more fun playing with the other children. I think we went shopping after picking him up again at 4 pm.

More train track time.

We went to the Short Pump Mall and Caleb wanted to ride the train. Children six and under have to be with an adult. Papa folded himself into one of the cars with Caleb. He had a lot of fun but he has eagle eyes. From the train he saw a "build a bear" store and afterwards we had to go and look at the window display. Luckily no problem that we had to go in etc.

In the afternoon the weather got better and we could go for a neighborhood walk.

Later we played a lot. He spied the Kerplunk game we had played with William. So much for not putting things back into the right places. But he had fun with it. Even if the rules were a little different. He liked it better that those with the most marbles would win.

We also played Dominoes for the first time with him. He can count now and did quite well. We didn't play individual though but had all stones in front and played "can you find one which will match to put on?" We had to play twice. 

Every day since arrival he had asked whether we were going to church. As always he was very good during the service and went with the children to Sunday school class.
Afterwards we had a spaghetti lunch fundraiser for the youth. He liked that too.

We had to hurry a little because we had to bring him (and Schatzi) back to his house were Wade's relative Carolyn was spending the afternoon with him until his parents and brothers were coming home.

James and I had our first opera season performance to go to. Matinee at 2:30 pm.
Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saéns. 
We would have "sacrificed" not to go but Sarah insisted that she can make arrangements which was very nice because the music was great. The performance too but the "party scene" in the last act was a bit too graphic for me. It is enough for me when sex is "implied", it doesn't have to be "spelled out".

And now it is Monday. Just James and me. It rained during the night and everything is wet. Perfect for getting the household straight again and washing done. Sigh. And, oh yes, a letter is written to William. He had asked me before he left whether I would write to him and tell how much fun we had. How can I not?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, James

Exciting times.
On the flight back home I thought whether James' sister Jane wouldn't like to visit for his birthday. We had a party planned on Saturday since 75 is one of "those numbers". We were all going to be together with Helen and Sarah and their families. 

Monday morning I called her when James had gone for a haircut ... crazy idea ... just asking ... 
She said "I am not saying NO yet". She had to look at her calendar of course. Few emails forth and back. In the evening I had her itinerary that she was coming Wednesday. I printed it out and gave it to James without comment when Sarah was here. Big eyes of surprise. 

So, on Wednesday we went from the State Fair straight to the airport to pick Jane up. Good flight. All went well. First thing she gave me though was this greeting card. She said that she couldn't resist. I think it is hilarious.

Thursday we grilled lunch. She certainly likes our weather. 

THE day! After lunch I found something in the freezer which pretends to be birthday cake. 

In the evening we were invited to Sarah & Co. 
Helen, Ben and William had arrived from Nashville there too. And they were spending two nights there. 

We all had our hands/arms full, ha-ha. 

After dinner: dessert outside!


Last minute things to do before the party. 
I got 15 smiley face balloons from the Dollar Tree. 
Good thing that the car has outside mirrors. 

It's time!

A change right away!

And this made especially Omi happy!

Otherwise ... I was too busy and forgot about photos. We were 43!
The children loved the balloons. Should have taken a video. Should have. 

These photos courtesy of our friend Mike. Thanks. 

We all had a great time. 
This blog was requested by Kate and Dave in England who bitterly complained on Tuesday that there had been no photos yet. 

This morning (Wednesday) William also asked (out of the blue) whether I was writing a blog for him about how much fun we had. I do think though he meant the (weekly) letter I usually write to him. 

How did I do?. Everybody happy?