Category Archives: The Boy

Babies in the House

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Guys, we have a FULL house! The Boy and The Dane flew in for the last time from Seattle, Washington with their two children and lots of stuff on January 25! They all arrived sick and oh so weary. It was quite the feat getting themselves packed, their shipping container loaded, and I do mean loaded, apartment cleaned and their car shipped, all while wrangling a 1 1/2 year old, tending a newborn, and wiping noses and bottoms and possibly tears. 

Since they have been here, Mitten weather has been on full display. Snow days galore, some due to freezing temperatures where the wind chill was estimated at –50. There have been thaws, sunny days and then 2 ice storms. Pure Michigan.

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Honey was laid off for about three weeks in a row, one planned, the others unexpected due to a strike in Mexico leaving his plant with no parts. BUT, someone got their wall built! He wanted to give the kids a little more privacy in the basement, where they now all live. They put MoonPie in the spare bedroom, in hopes that she would sleep better without hearing Little Dipper’s nocturnal waking. They had planned on just setting up their bed and area in the tv side of our basement, but Honey decided to go big and attach a wall to the ceiling. It can all come down with no harm to the walls! It’s as sturdy as can be and has the added bonus of being warmer and more soundproof, a win/win! They Boy was so surprised! We call their new space Shangri-La 🙂    The picture looks like it’s metal, but it is some kind of insulation.

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It will be way better for all concerned when I have to go downstairs to work, somehow I don’t think they would want to wake up seeing me and my clients parading by!

We finally got to meet this little darling ❤  He probably had the easiest move of all.

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We spent all week passing that boy around like a football 🙂

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And were we ever glad to SQWUNCH our little MoonPie!!! She seems a little happy to have so many people looking at her and thinking everything she says is adorable!

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Back to the baby passing. Papa is an old pro.

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The Ab-Cat picked it up pretty quick! It’s been about 11 years since we had Little Goomba at this age!

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And here Mousey was snuggling one beebee and giving comfort to our big baby who is feeling a little out of sorts because of the loss of laps.

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I ❤ those faces.

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How do you spell mujj, muzshe? Kiss it!

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The Usher is around quite a bit and he has a little fan.

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This amuses me, The Boy puts MoonPie in her pajamas backwards, so she cannot unsnap them and get naked!

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They have her in many layers because our house is ….brisk. We have been turning it up a couple degrees for the children.

Abby is loving being an Aunt.

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This REALLY amused me. We received these alerts on our phones on the 2 coldest days. We typically keep our heat at 64, so we should probably turn it up!!!

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I have had the thought a few times that I should get in here and do a little blobbing, but I have been protecting our animals from poking fingers, reading books about animals and playing with plastic animals and giving a little gal stuffed animals. We will do what we can ❤

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First List of the New Year

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Hi Guys! I am trying to think blog-ally in 2019. I have gotten out of the swing of going on the big computer to post, as well as taking pictures to show you the usual this and that that make up a lot of my ponderings. Before and afters, documenting life, things we find humerous/ ironic, places we have gone. You know, the usual nonsense. Plus, Mrs. Schmenkman is back to blogging and reminding me to JUST GET IN HERE AND DO IT.

I was downstairs yesterday trying to get the too full basement in some kind of working order, because if you were not aware, The Boy and The Dane are moving in there!! I kept hearing a dripping/draining sound, but Mousey was doing laundry and I just associated it with that. As I got further back I heard a burbling noise, and that is just not a normal thing. I went into Honey’s workroom and lo and behold it was the water heater. Not spewing, but an unhealthy, more than a drip, gurgling. I hate to wake Honey up with bad news, but up the stairs I went. I told him on a very good note, the water was snaking into the very nearby drain, so YAY us for that one! Y’All, what IS it with us and water heaters??? This will be our 4th or 5th one in 20 years!! The last one was Halloween of 2013, handy to have that memory of date, made it easier to go back and find it on the blog, for reference purposes. DTE is coming sometime today between 8am and 4pm (nice narrowing it down DTE) and then we will have our old friend Mitch come and haul it out and install a new one. one kiss on the cheek from God in this whole thing, it was still under warranty til next December!!!! It would have been the norm for it to have expired last December! Thanks God, we really appreciate that ❤

Did I mention The Boy and The Dane are moving in??!! Oh, I did 🙂  Next Thursday they will board a plane at SeaTac for the last time and fly back to The Mitten with MoonPie and Little Dipper! We have been moving things around trying to make room for them and their belongings. Can’t wait to smooch those little faces ❤

We have confirmed what we already knew; we have a LOT of stuff in our basement. In our defense, we are a holding tank for a goodish amount of our children’s stuff, but we are absolutely guilty of contributing to the problem. The Ab-Cat would like to get her own place this year, there is talk of Mousey moving out with her best girl Chip sometime, and when The Boy and The Dane find a place to live on the other side of town, and everyone takes their belongings with them, we will see what we need to do! It is our goal to purge then, and prepare for putting our house up for sale and downsizing to a home with a much smaller yard and driveway. #goals. In the meantime, I have been going through some things and doing what I can.

Speaking of going through things, I have watched several episodes of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up on Netflix. I enjoy a good before and after and found the process inspiring enough to light a fire under me to facilitate getting rid of things we don’t, nor will we ever, need. I went through some of the kids toys that we currently have in baskets, buckets and containers in our basement. Yikes! There is a lot of really good stuff down there! Through the years I kept what I considered to be the best stuff for the future grandchildren to play with. I know our kids loved to play with Beeve’s and my old toys. I went through all the holding implements, dumped them out to make sure there were no broken or small choke-ables at the bottom, and sorted by some loose categories. Play food and dishes, dress up clothes, little animals/characters/people, BARBIES and gear!, stuffed animals, Legos, Star Wars and Super Heros, so many BOOKS!,and Beanie Babies. Oh my goodness the Beanie Babies! I had a basket full and then found another whole tote full! Our kids loved them and played with them a bunch. Most were pretty well loved and I know for sure some of Mousey’s kittys have been through the wash. I think it will be so fun to see which toys the Grands gravitate towards.

Some of the toys made it into the ever growing Salvation Army donate pile, but only 2 things I actually threw away. A Pocohantas doll, that Abby got when she was in the hospital in 1995, because she had lost her arm, and a Pocohantas head where you can style their hairs. Mousey said she learned to braid on that head! No one was ever going to be able to comb that hair again #ratsnest  So what up Pocohantas??!!

They are predicting the first snowstorm of the winter this weekend. We really can’t complain, we haven’t even had many dustings. But this is Michigan, so the predictions are wild and anywhere from 1-8 inches. Pure Michigan. Honey works tonight (when the majority of the snow will come 😦 ) but then will be off all next week. There is some sort of strike in Mexico and that is causing a shortage of parts. Works for us!! The Usher has been looking forward to snow all winter! He works at a local community college and snow means overtime to him! Plowing and salting = that green paper 🙂

I’m going to leave on that note. Not going anywhere, just here, waiting on DTE, the snow, and our kids 🙂

The Little Dipper is Here!

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Our family received a late Christmas present, Little Dipper made his appearance 4 days after his due date and 2 days after the holiday!!!!

The Boy and The Dane were anxiously awaiting his arrival, they were pretty ready to have him on the outside! If he had been anything like his father, he could have been born a week into the New Year!

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There were some contractions, some more waiting, and then The Dane said they were getting the ball rolling by breaking her water. He then made great haste to come into the world!!

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Awwww, I know honey, it’s a harsh start! Was very glad for The Dane to be able to deliver with the doctors she has come to know and trust.

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Hello Mama ❤

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What a punkin!

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Thank you Lord for another sweet baby to love ❤

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They are snuggled in adjusting to being a family of 4. Looking very forward to welcoming them to The Mitten on January 24 and meeting the new little grandboy 🙂 ❤

Unexpected Moon!!

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I realize I got off track from my thankfulness agenda, but it was for a very good reason!! We had an unexpected visit from Moonpie and her folks!

The Boy and The Dane were ready to move on from their position in Seattle, Washington, and they decided to look for employment in The Mitten! He was looking for a church to hire him on as a youth pastor, and he had gotten to the point in the interviewing process where they decided to fly him out to meet in person. Because he was providing his own lodging and car (ours!), they told him they would fly The Dane in too! And that means Moonpie is a freebie! A wonderful surprise 🙂  ❤

They took the redeye from SeaTac, thinking that would be the easiest for Moon. It was most likely the right choice but they had a sassy, complaining gal in the row behind them who will forever and always be referred to as Ear Plug-Wino. We picked them up a little after 6 a.m. and they were so tired they passed on breakfast at their beloved Coney Island so they could have a nap before they started their extremely heavy itinerary with the church!

Moonpie had a little reintroduction chocolate Cheerio’s snack with her Papa first. It had been a whole year since they had bonded over his famous balloon noises. She seems to really enjoy Facetiming with Grammy and Papa, and it sure helped when we were face to face! She remembered me from my visit in July ❤

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She was checking him out, and he spent the rest of the weekend trying to get her to say PAPA, super loud! He was successful!

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They did some light reading. Animals, colors, the usual.

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She woke up from her nap happy and Grammy was so glad to see her girl!

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She was saying “awwww”, heart melted 🙂

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She had not seen The Ab-Cat in a year either. Ab took delight in introducing her to some of the videos her kids enjoy in the young five program at her school. Ba-by Shark doo doo da doo ta doo!

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Maybe a little jet lagged, but could kiss that little face all the live long day!

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She is getting so tall, even since the summer!

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Mousey had a pretty heavy work schedule but she was around when she could be. My two beebees 🙂

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The kids had a full weekend of interviewing, meetings, coffees, housing look-sees, dinners and ending with youth group on Sunday night. They decided to leave Moonpie with us on Saturday, which was the fullest day, and on Sunday morning. She went to dinner with the staff and met the kids at youth group. We were happy as clams!

Was glad to see she liked the toys we have been saving in the future Grandchildren area of our basement! She tasted every morsel of the fake food :/

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Was a diligent mama to the naked baby doll..

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Had a great time with our own resident toddler whisperer!

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Awwwww.

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She was very interested in our own teenage catten. He reciprocated the interest, and for the most part, was a gracious host.

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She likes to feed and water her people.

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With GUSTO!

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He was strangely obsessed with being near, but inaccessible.

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She quite enjoyed rides in the wheelchair, as all children do. Honey tried to get her to call Abby “Aunt Wheels”. I don’t think it’s going to stick.

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Fond of hair.

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And kisses ❤

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A quiet minute selfie.

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More LIT-erature 🙂

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Peek-a-boo, I see you!

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They are fast friends ❤

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They lovin” Finally got to the Coney Island in between church and youth group. The Dane and Moonpie stayed home to nap. I’m sure the weekend was grueling for her and her 30 some odd week tummy. The only picture I took of The Boy all weekend!

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One of the things I love about our baby is she is not at all strange with folks she doesn’t know! They think it’s because of their job. She even was happy to sit on The Usher’s lap for a spell. Do any of you long time Readers remember The Usher? Yeah, he has been spending time over here again with Mouse Ann. They are “talking”. Not dating, because she has sworn off that until 2019.

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She just made herself at home.

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After youth group on Sunday night the pastor offered The Boy the position!!!! He said their board voted unanimously to hire him, and they would love for them to be an addition to their staff!

Before we knew it, Monday’s flight back was waiting. 😦  Grammy is sure gonna miss her Moonpie ❤

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Her Mama bundled her into the back of Juanita, and I sincerely apologize to The Dane for this sparkling beauty picture, but it was ALL I HAD!

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I see that little smile ❤ ❤ ❤

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They will be coming back for good on January 24, 2019, HAPPY NEW YEAR for us!!!!!!!

Place-Washington State

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What I am most thankful for here is that this PLACE has NOT experienced the giant earthquake that The Boy told us could happen ANY DAY NOW!!! I guess they are overdue and the carnage of the ensuing tsunami would supposedly wipe out Seattle, and Y’All, The Boy and The Dane and little Moonpie live just on the other side of Seattle! Since they will hopefully be back in The Mitten within the next few months, they will hopefully dodge that awful bullet!

I told you that I would find a way to weasel our Washington trip onto this month of thankfulness, and here we are! Mousey and I left Detroit-Metro Airport at the crack of dawn on July 14. We flew Spirit, which is a whole different sort of animal than we are used to! After Honey dropped us off at the North Terminal, we entered into a swarm of people, lines everywhere. We waited in our first line to check our luggage, You would think waiting in the line would be the long part. You would be wrong. The lady checking our bags could not get her machine to work, so she kept trying. And trying. She shut it down and rebooted the system. Nothing. I was praying for Holy Spirit intervention here because the security line was getting longer. And longer. After about a half hour she finally asked the man working next to her to print out our tapes for the luggage, which is what I wanted to do for THIRTY PREVIOUS MINUTES, and closed her window!! Thank you next door co-worker!

We then raced over to security to wait  in a loooong, snaking line that ate up another half hour and where we had plenty of time to worry that we might have needed to be at the airport TWO hours before our flight! I was TSA approved, but Mousey was not, so I waited with her, no sense me making the flight if she did not! When we got closer to the inspection, we understood a little why the line was so long, there was a TSA agent who was snarkily giving mixed instructions, that was causing people to do the wrong things, and when people questioned him he gave them condescending answers. Mousey said if she hadn’t been worried that we might miss our flight, she would have had a snarky comment or two for him. Finally we got to the front where Mouse was waved through, but then we saw them carry my purse over to another counter. I was getting a little freaked out by this because no one said anything to me for some time until I said HEY what up with my purse!!! Of course I didn’t say that, but I wanted too. Wouldn’t you think they might mention that they were going to look through it instead of letting me think that someone stole it??!! An agent finally brought it over to look through and he asked me if I had a fan in there. As a matter of fact, my post menopausal self did have a metal folding fan. He opened it up and waved me through. What the actual heck?

Our original plan was to arrive, saunter through security, have a leisurely breakfast once in the terminal, and then board our flight. None of that happened. We split up after security because I needed to use the restroom, and Mousey went and stood in ANOTHER long line at McDonalds. I also had to wait in line at the restroom and I foolishly thought we might meet up together after. I walked back to McDonalds to see her still at the counter where she waited, and waited. Finally someone noticed she had been there a long time and asked to see her receipt number and said they had been calling the wrong number. How does that even happen??!! They gave her the bag with her correct number and we hightailed it to our gate where our flight had been boarding. We thought we were the last people to board until another couple ran in. They were probably in that McDonald’s line!! Then they closed the door and we left. Sheesh!!!

We made it!

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The Boy picked us up a little after 8 in the morning their time, and then the rest of the post will be full of pictures of our sweet little Moonpie!

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that Moonpie and I were usually the first ones up and I brought her over to the “girls dorm” where Mousey and I entertained her and introduced her to Pringle’s, Cliff bars, and our other snacks!

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She liked Mousey’s phone and they had a photo session.

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Selfie, or Us-ie!

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My two Beebees ❤ ❤

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Since The Dane had been feeling pretty rough before we arrived, we assured them we had no plans to do anything, just wanted to hang out and get to know Moonpie! We went to Maggie Moos for ice cream, and to The Boy’s favorite 1/2 price book store.

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Mousey and I were trying to get a selfie/us-sy,

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when we realized we had a trio going!

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How big are you? SOOOOO BIG!!!

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She was most entertaining at Uneeda Burger,

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mostly just hanging out, eating lemons, as you do 🙂

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She is a huge fan of the lemon.

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At the park, being thrown high by her Dad.

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This is one of her big ‘’”brothers” who live in the house. His name is Kaleb and he loves her a bunch!

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She is purty fond of him as well!

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Another big “brother”, Vincent.

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More lemons!!!

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Mousey and I introduced her to our family favorite, Raffi. She liked to watch him on my phone.

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She must have been ready for a nap, she looks mighty relaxed!

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Awww, love her little smile here.

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We went to an outlet mall and I believe this may have been her first horse ride.

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It was very unimpressive. And I think it cost a lot of money! You can ride Sandy up at our friendly neighborhood Meijer for a penny and she has more action than that tired steed!!

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Mousey was way more exciting!

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Family photo ❤

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Can you ever get enough sugar off your grandbaby?

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The Boy took us to a thrift shop that Mousey scored at! She bought a bunch of stuff for her winter wardrobe! We mostly talked, ate and watched the antics of the baby.

That was the first half of our trip, Mousey went home before I did. I have another post but I’m not sure I can stick it in this month of thankfulness, but just know another picture heavy post is coming!

Person-Moonpie

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I am barely making it on the first day of Thankfulness!! I’ve been gone all day but I am tryin’ to be all committed here so LET’S GO!

Today I am thankful for little Moonpie, who I was able to get to know much better this past August! It’s hard being an across the country Grammy and Papa. Honey and I flew out to Seattle last August when she was one month old. That was pretty special and we enjoyed meeting her! Our second meeting was exactly a year ago today, when The Boy and The Dane flew home for a visit! Unfortunately I got sick the very next day and coughed my dang head off the entire time. I banned myself from touching her in an effort to contain the contagion.

We saw her on Facetime, and I have never been so thankful for technology 🙂  But she really didn’t know who we were, except she likes loud, and Honey is LOUD. So she kind of liked those loud people.

I didn’t know what to expect when Mousey and I flew out to Seattle this past August. I asked the Lord to incline her heart to us, and in His great mercy, He did! She was not one bit strange with us, let us pick her up and give her loves, and just all around acted like she was fond of us! This was the afternoon we arrived, that’s a happy Grammy!

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You think you will forget all those things that you do with little ones, but they all came flooding back. It’s been 10 years since Little Goomba was this age, but there was only a tiny bit of dust on all the songs, noises, and all around baby interacting.

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We so enjoyed carrying her and holding her on our laps. I am an early riser and some days she was too. In an effort to give her tired folks a break and let them sleep in, I would get her up and bring her back to our room that we called “the girls dorm”. She LOVED it over there! We shared our treats with her, played with her babies, taught her to raise her hands up high when we asked her how big she was, and introduced to her to a family favorite; Raffi!

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I felt like we got to know her sweet little personality so much better.

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I also saw a lot of her Dad peeking out in all kinds of situations! She so reminds me of him here!

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It’s funny when you remember your kids doing the same things! Our beebees were also known for loving lemons AND pickles! I don’t think we gave her one of those.

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The laundry basket, one of the best toys ever.

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I mentioned to The Boy that I knew I was a Grammy, but this was the first time I really felt like one. It was like Grammy Immersion! She may not have understood who I was, but she knew me! And as a wonderful blessing, she now remembers me on Facetime!!! We go through all the fun things we learned together, she makes the faces, blows kisses, loves on her babies and says awwww, and throws her precious little arms in the air when I ask her how big she is!! We have a connection!

After I had been home a week or so The Boy sent this picture that I LOVE. He said every time she was able, she made a beeline to the girls dorm looking for us! How cute is that?!

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Oh sweet baby grandgirl, Grammy is thankful for for you! ❤

Catching Up

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Oh my People, it’s been a busy summer! I had big intentions to blog, blog, blog, and there was SO much to talk about! But there were 5 trips since the end of May, 6 if you count helping getting Honey get ready for his big fishing trip to Alaska, and I am counting it because even though I didn’t actually go on the trip, I was certainly involved in the discussion of needs and co-packing for the trip. And you all know pre trip prep is important!

Added to the continual packing and unpacking suitcases has been near constant sweating. I saw on the Facebook yesterday that this summer in The Mitten has been the 6th hottest on record since they have been recording temperatures from the 1800s!!! That is far too toasty for me and my post menopausal self!!

In addition to coming and going, perspiring all the way, has been the usual walking with Keelyody and Jip the Farm Dog, the cutting of the grass, the weeding and watering, and the getting swamped by my clients who need their hairs done when there are pockets of free days in between trips.

Mixed in with the mundane have been more pressing issues, like what color am I going to paint our dang walls?? The angst of wondering “when will The Boy and The Dane move back to Michigan?”, “is Honey going to retire this year?”, and “will my right kidney and I ever be able to live in peaceful, bacteria-free harmony?”

All of that was overshadowed by the unwelcome news that some dear Loved Ones are dealing with seriously life threatening situations, requiring many prayers, asking for all manor of intervention. But do you know what I am most thankful for? We have the ability to take everything that concerns us to the One who made us. He knows just what to do, even when we don’t. Thank you Lord.  We will continue to believe that He can use all things for His good.

I wanted to show you the back porch, it has done exceptionally well! I have to give a big shout out to Mousey and Honey for keeping up with the watering while I was flying and driving hither and yon! These pictures were from July, when I thought things were looking very loverly 🙂 Mousey calls these Jurassic Park plants, otherwise known as the beautious coleus.

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See my cutey cute ceramic kitty cat from Virginia? ❤ Probably not it’s permanent home, but that’s where I stuck it when I got home and there it remains.

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And the other side.

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This little fella in the front row is winner of the My Precious award this year! So soft, so lush and reliable, and when you touch it it smells like lime!!! No idea what the name is, but I surely have plans for it next summer!

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This pot was another unexpected favorite. You know how sometimes you have some leftover stuff and you jam it all into one pot and hope for the best? Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I find myself inordinately fond of this combination.

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My lantana has seriously underperformed this year in all pots, but the coleus more than makes up for it here.

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Here we are the end of August, FULL ON Jurassic Park!

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They have met in the middle and completely blocked the unused doorwall to our bedroom!!!

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It’s a jungle out there! I have to say though, I don’t like when they sprout those long things. I used to pinch them off, but this time of year it can be a full time job, and it seems like the bees like the delicate little purple/blue blooms that are on them. So we do what we can to support our local bee population in their efforts to live a successful life.

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Honey will be wanting to close the pool any minute now, so their days are numbered. I would like to keep them until after we have our Caregroup get together, it looks much nicer 🙂

In other news: From The Boy and The Dane!!!!!!!

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SURPRISE BABY!!! The more the merrier ❤ It will be grand to have another little nugget to smooch!

I had planned to begin painting the inside of our house this summer. I did not get around to it. Paint is on sale all over this Labor Day weekend, and it is my intention to get a gallon and paint a wall in the kitchen, foyer and great room, to see what’s what. We have a tri-fold goal of finding something neutral for resale, looking good with our crown molding (that I do NOT want to paint), and if possible, toning down the orangey honey in our honey oak cabinets and wood trim. It’s a LOT to ask, I know. I think we have found a color up to the task. More details to follow at a later date.

Honey has received highly unofficial word that he will pretty sure be laid off several weeks this fall. Most likely. You know that Ford Motor Company, it’s all set in stone, until it isn’t. I think he will be happy to be laid off as he has several things on his plate to attend to. Fairly high on his list is to ferret out two leaks in our basement. One is coming from our shower, the other is a little more problematic and will require the removal of some drywall 😦  We are thankful that he will have some time to address these issues. Because it is a rare task for Honey that only requires one trip to Home Depot. That time will come in handy.

I have much to tell you about our trip to the new place in Florida, my trip out to Seattle with Mousey to see The Boy, The Dane, MoonPie and the gestating Little Dipper, a fun visit to Gun Lake, and Honey’s musings on his Alaska Adventure among other things. Thanks for hanging around! ❤