A Day With Mac

Mac’s mother called to let all of the grandparents know that Mac had a few open days after Summer Rec ended and before school started. Between those ending and starting days and an upcoming vacation to Washington, D.C., there were a few days open to Grandparent time. We ended with him this last Wednesday for twelve hours.

Now Mac is eleven years and is able to entertain himself a good portion of the time, but when Granny and Gramps get involved, the expectations are raised. Plans are made to fill almost every minute of the day. Fun must be had on an almost continual basis.

We picked Mac up first thing in the morning. He spent about an hour on my phone playing a video game called “Simple Planes”. He built and destroyed numerous planes in that short hour.

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Then it was off the movies to see “Jungle Book”,  in 3D of course. It’s a great movie of love, loyalty and perseverance – good wins out in the end. And Bill Murray as a Grizzly Bear is just funny no matter how old you are! Mac loved it! We all did!

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Child eating out with his grandparents in a restaurant

After the movie we went to lunch for burgers, chips, sodas and BBQ sandwich for Gramps. The music was very retro, so Gramps and I were humming along to songs from our college and high school years.

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The weather here in Texas is too hot for outdoor anything during the day, so home we went to play board games. Our current favorite is a game called Qwirkle, which is somewhat like Dominoes. Mac wins more often than not.

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Gramps and Mac watched a car race on TV together in the study. They rooted for their favorite cars and drivers. I have no idea who won! It’s a guy thing!

As the sun got low enough and the temperature lowered, Mac and Gramps rode bikes down to the lake near our house. They talked to the men who were fishing on the edge of the lake and rode their bikes back.

By then, everyone was hungry. Sweet Gramps made us a lovely dinner of baked chicken and sautéed squash. After getting full on nutritious food, Mac took a bowl of chips into the back room to read a book.

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An hour later, Mac’s mother came to get him. When she asked how his day had gone, he answered, “Fine. It was a normal day.” Normal day?!

Gramps and I certainly had a great deal of fun and loved the time spent interacting with Mac. We love listening to him talk and explain things. We love watching his brain work. But this was anything but a normal day! Mac was still raring to go. Gramps and I were exhausted, pooped, worn out, wasted.

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Mac’s normal day had taken the stuffing right out of us. All we wanted to do next was sit down, lay down and sleep. What a difference age makes!

 

That’s Funny!

A sense of humor can be a gift from God. It can also be taught. Almost every baby I’ve ever met had some sense of the funny and the silly.

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Being playful certainly helps develop that sense of whimsy. When my grandson Mac was about nine months old, he was sitting in his highchair with his sippy cup. He set the cup on the tray and carefully pushed it forward with a twinkle in his eye. I saw this and carefully pushed the cup back. Mac laughed with his whole body and then with one finger, pushed the cup toward me. We played this wonderful game for about ten minutes, pushing the sippy cup back and forth, laughing the entire time.

Believe me – children understand humor!

As kids get older, their sense of humor changes. Granddaughter Marie is deep into Knock-Knock jokes.  What is even funnier is when she forgets the punch line of one joke and goes straight into the next one. Hysterical!

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Then, of course, there is the period every child goes through when potty jokes and body parts are the funniest things going. Mostly this period is tolerated by adults rather than encouraged. But sometimes, I have to admit, the jokes can be funny and I can’t help but laugh.

Seeing the funny side of life is the best way to get through a day. The sillier, the better really. I can’t imagine a day in my life without laughter. Who could get through a good day, much less a bad day without some fun and joy? Not me, that’s for sure.

Letting children see you laugh and enjoy the little things around you is the best example ever. They learn more by what you do than by what you say. So I recommend you do both – talk about humor and demonstrate it.

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Decide each day to see the humor in the world, laugh at the silly things and enjoy the whimsical.

Decide each day to be the best example of good humor to others, especially the little ones.

Decide each day to encourage the children to laugh and embrace their own unique sense of the humorous.

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Decide each day to be happy!

Fancy Bottoms

This is a beautiful window I made out of an old window, cabochons (small glass discs with one flat side), and cut-glass dishes.  Of course, it did not start out looking this good.

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The project began with an old dirty window I found at a local antique store.  In fact, one of the panes was broken and had to be replaced.

 

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Some old windows have slots on the sides where cords are attached to run the windows up and down.  I removed the cords from the slots, which are not visible when the window is hanging .

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The first thing to do is paint the old window.  I chose Annie Sloan paint because it requires no sanding and dries to a nice matte finish –  white to match the bathroom trim.

 

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Here is the window all nice and painted white.  What a difference, right?  I then used a razor scraper on the panes to remove the paint I got on them – no need for masking.  The window was ready for decorating!

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I looked for glass dishes that had nice fancy bottoms because they would be glued on upside-down.  I bought glass cabochons online in four different sizes to set off the dishes, using different layouts in each pane.

Weldbond glue holds everything very well and dries clear.  All the pieces were glued to the glass panes with the window laying flat.  Any design will work – use your imagination and lay the pieces out in varying ways.

Simple chains and hooks from the hardware store are used to hang it from the window frame.

Here’s the window in the bathroom over the tub at sunset with no lights on.  I love it!

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A different view of the window with the lights on.  Isn’t it amazing?

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This is the window after sunset – it changes through the day with the varying light.  I hope you enjoy my lovely window as much as I do.

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New Neighbors

I love my neighborhood. It’s small, quaint and in my mind, adorable. The houses are cottage sized with good-sized garages and well kept lawns. Sidewalks connect all the homes and lovely wood fences keep all the backyards nicely separated.

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I know everyone on my block and most of their pets by name. We see each other on evening walks around the neighborhood and at local gatherings. Often times we just meet on someone’s front lawn to discuss the day and recent happenings in our lives. Children and dogs are also found running in packs at these spontaneous gatherings, which adds to all the fun and joy.

A few months ago, a For Sale sign went up at the house across the street. Our neighbors were moving. And so began the showings and people in and out, looking at the house. Eventually, a SOLD banner replaced the For Sale sign and things change at the house.

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Boxes were taken in empty and brought out full and taped shut. Some furniture was given away and some was set out on the curb. A party was given and attended by everyone on the block. A van came to move all the big appliances and furniture. Many trips were made in the truck and the car to move everything else.

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After several weeks, the house was empty. All alone. The only unoccupied house in the neighborhood. Sort of lonesome looking, but full of the potential of new owners.

We waited for new cars to show up. And they did. We waited for a moving van to show up. And it did. We waited for new people to show up. And they did.

New parents, new children, new pets, new furniture. All are moved in across the street. Starting a new life in a house on our block.

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Today I’m making banana bread to take over and welcome the new family to the old neighborhood. I’ve seen they have three children and one boy looks to be about ten years old.

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My ten year old grandson Mac is going to be so excited to make a new friend!

One Perfect Moment

It was not a holiday. Just a Sunday afternoon, about 3:30 pm as I remember.

There were no streamers. Just a small audience of friends and families.

There were no fireworks. Just the sounds of applause after each child played their musical number.

Nothing all that special, but just right in its own way – one music recital, one afternoon, one perfect moment.

Our grandson Mac has been playing the drums for almost two years now and is getting pretty good. He enjoys it, which is the most important part.

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He doesn’t actually smile while he drums, except, of course, when he sees a familiar face in the audience. Then there is the briefest grin and sparkle in his eyes. Otherwise, he is very serious and most intent.

Drumming after all, is serious business at this point. He seems more confident than at the last recital and is able to smoothly go from drum to drum to cymbal and back again. But all that requires thought, memory and attention.

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Mac played his recital number, “God Bless America”, flawlessly. All that practicing really paid off. He kept the beat, played the off-beats, made the riffs, and ended with a cymbal slap. Video cameras and cell phones were poised and recorded every second of the wonderful musical event.

We, meaning both sets of grandparents and his mother, were proud beyond reason. We clapped and shouted, smiled and laughed, pointed and high-fived.

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After the entire recital of drum, piano, and guitar numbers, we hugged and praised the budding musician. All attention was on him and his two minutes of fame.

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Then we all went home with joy and pride in our hearts. We relived that special time in our minds for days. Now we are enjoying watching the video of our prized drummer on the TV.

That’s all there was – just an afternoon. Just a recital. Just a perfect moment preserved forever in our memories.

Becoming A Granny

I remember well the day my grandson Mac was born. It was ten and a half years ago and I was there to see the whole event.

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I remember the feeling of awe and wonder at such a perfect little human being born after so much work by him and his mother.

I remember the overwhelming love I had for him. I knew in one tiny moment I would give anything to make sure he grew up happy and healthy.

I remember the instant bond I felt between us. One person older and the other brand new. One person experienced and the other having no experience at all. One person having lived many years and the other seeing life completely fresh and new.

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I remember thinking – now I am a grandmother. A grandmother to this child. A first for both of us.

There were so many feelings of joy, happiness, completion, newness, all swirling around me. I was completely overcome and overwhelmed. I laughed and cried all at the same time.

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Becoming a grandparent is the completion of one cycle and the beginning of another. Two forks in the same road at the same time. No wonder it is such an emotional time!

Becoming a Granny for me was the start of a new job – a most important job. I think it is the best job I’ve ever had. Everything in my life has led me to this job, being a Granny. All my experiences have taught me what I need to know to be a good Granny.

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Being a Granny is also a privilege. Not everyone is given this particular lot in life and I don’t take it for granted. I’m thankful every day that I’m allowed to be a grandparent to seven wonderful kids.

I also think being a Granny is a reward for being in the right place at the right time. I have gotten grandchildren by many means – by adoption, by marriage and by blood. Gramps says if grandchildren were sold in stores, I would probably buy them too! I say, get them anyway they come to you! And be glad of it!

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Being a Granny is the best and hardest thing I have ever done, but I wouldn’t change one minute of it. Being a Granny is the most fun I have ever had. Being a Granny is . . . . . GREAT!