Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Important Day

Saturday

I think by now I have mentioned often enough how much William likes trains. So before Christmas James researched whether there was any train ride we could do. We live only about three miles from the Amtrak Staples Mill Station. He found that there was one going to Williamsburg leaving 10:11am and it would take 1 hour and 10 minutes. After discussion with Helen he bought tickets for William, Helen and himself. Since the return train would give 5 1/2 hours there but we had no idea how the weather might be, the plan was to drop them off at the station and then take the car to meet them at the other end. And Ben came too. It worked out perfectly.
Some of the following pictures are from me and some from Helen.
Getting on!




Helen said he was glued to the window.





Williamsburg Station


The waiting room seemed from a different era. I was looking for a board to tell me whether the train was on time. The gentleman at the ticket window told me that HE was the board. And he gave me a coloring book and crayons for William.


It's coming. I took a video!
But I didn't know where William would exit ... and a lady took sooooo long.
So I had to take another one. William loves watching the videos!






And then Ben and William found an ice cream.



We walked around some. William kicked a sweet gum ball along the street and we took turns to help. The sun was shining so nicely.








On the way to the car. Children played with some toys from the colonial era which, of course, I found very interesting.


Oh William had fun. But he was asleep as soon as we were in the car for the drive home.


No, Omi is not good at selfies.


Sunday

Helen and Ben were packing to leave after lunch on the long drive but with a night halfway. So far once we skipped church. Grandpa and Omi "had to" play with William. This puzzle came just in time yesterday to play with.




Gifts from friends Betty and A.P.


Sarah and Co came for lunch. Ben had prepared a casserole the evening before. All around the table and then finally the wished for (by me) "photo of eight"! Sarah had brought her camera and tripod.
Can't decide which one of the next three I like best ??? Any opinion?







And then they were all gone.
The house was so quiet. James and I went on a fast walk around the neighborhood and that felt good. More exercises must be on my New Year's resolution because I feel always so good afterwards.

James and I are so happy that our girls and their families like spending time with us. It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving or Christmas or Birthdays ... as long as we have quality time together during the year, we are happy. We are so blessed!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Me and a block of chocolate

26th of December

Yup, that's what my father got for his birthday 65 years ago. He was born on this day in 1919 and I in 1948. Zweite Weihnachtsfeiertag in Germany and Boxing Day or St Stephen's Day in England. The war was over but not so long. My mother was pregnant with me when my parents with their then 5 year old firstborn fled from East to West Germany, over the border in the middle of the night. My mother had spunk and my father quite often had no choice, thank goodness. My father would do anything for his family, and many others too. He was so sweet and kind. Well, both of them. But my mother had definitely the spunk!
They were living very remotely, there was a lot of snow, of course no car and no telephone to call a taxi. So my father went on a bike to get the midwife. I was born at home at 7:15 am, the exact same time as my father. And I was a Sunday child.
My parents were wonderful and I miss them.
Now, being a parent and grandparent myself, I think quite often that I was so far away with their grandchildren. But James and I made sure that the girls knew their family, saw them as often as possible and they loved their grandparents.
So, this is the day. Medicare and all, ha-ha. We take it easy. Helen went to her sister. They had things to do for my party the next evening. After some really cold days weather-wise at least the sun is shining today. We (the rest of us) are craving a walk. William loves the idea and we dress for it.



William is quite a good walker but this was close to nap time, so his father's shoulders are the thing.




Yup, nap time.


For dinner we were invited to Sarah and family. Edy is a very loving cat but normally disappears when children arrive, especially toddlers. She was delighted though to be petted by William.



We had layed the table with the Christmas crackers for the Christmas dinner at our house the day before but didn't get around to using them. So Helen or James had brought them to this dinner. And we had a lot of fun. Aren't the hats (excuse me, crowns!) stylish?
I have to tell you though a little story. Crackers of course are a British thing and I got introduced to them as soon as I had married James. Never had heard about them before. A few days ago I went to Target and could not believe when I saw them there. It used to be that we had a terrible time finding them to buy and in the beginning even asked the family (in England) to get them for us. Anyway, there was a lady standing there trying to select. We got to talk and I asked her whether she knew what to do with them. She said "no" but she really wanted them. So I explained to her when and how: each person grabs a cracker with the right hand, crosses arms right over left and everybody with their left hands grabs their neighbors cracker. Everybody pull at the same time on account of three. And I told her what would most likely be in it. Oh, was she excited to know this.
Yes, the trivia and the (lame) jokes! Can't help but laugh. And what is that on James' head? Somehow we seemed one crown short. Sometimes the things fly!


After dinner we retreated to the living room and Caleb tried out his quilt.




Thank you for a lovely day and dinner.

Friday December 27
Next day ... everybody especially James seems busy doing things for the evening. I can take it easy. For lunch I decide to make those mini chicken pot pie muffins (from previous blog)


Helen said that William would love to go to Toys-R-Us to spend his Christmas money from great-grandmother Geegee on a new train engine. So we did and had fun.



Omi sprang two quarters for a ride.


A backwards picture from the front. Don't think can call it a selfie since I am not in it.


We stop back at the house but then go to the playground. The weather has improved.
Helen posted this picture on FB saying "A happy boy".





He was sure wanting to be on the swing even so they were quite high off the ground.
Yes, finally a video again ha-ha.


We walked across a large field to the ducks. Actually they were mainly Canadian geese. William counted accurately that there were 8! He loves counting.


The evening! I had mentioned that it would be nice to have a party ... so James and the girls arranged it ... catered in the CR Pavilion Ballroom. It was lovely! !!!

















THANK YOU, THANK YOU everybody! Especially my wonderful family!