Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wild Weekend

My weekend started Thursday night when Jack spent the night. It was his first sleepover with just him. He slept 10 hours....Then on Friday, my last Friday off work for a while, I met Steph and the 4 geese at my parents house for a pumpkin carving party. I stopped at the market and got bargain pumpkins for only 99 cents. I picked up some carving kits and we set up our work station outside within view, for my parents to watch. They really enjoyed watching the kids creating (with Mimi and Mommy's help) these amazing jack-o-lanterns. Carter is showing off the $1 he won at the pumpkin contest. Gray took home first prize....(it was my best work). Ivy was running around and too busy to pose for a picture. But I do have to say that "Jack" was the cutest Jack-o-lantern in the patch.....

After we were done with our pumpkin carving and ate lunch, we went to Lake George to feed the ducks. I tried to post a picture of me surrounded by gobs of feathered friends but it wouldn't load. We stopped at the bread store and got 3 loaves and within 15 min. they inhaled all we had. Saturday night the 4 geese came over while their parents went to the Bulls game (for work) and Carter ended up spending the night with us. He was so cute, he told me he was tired and was going to lay down in our spare bedroom, then minutes later he came to me and asked me what I was doing Sunday morning, which I replied, I can take you home if you fall asleep. So, he stayed the night and I ended up going to church with Steph and family, which was really nice. It's nice to have each grand kid stay one on one. He told me later he really likes spending the night. Is it because he gets what he wants for breakfast? He gets my undivided attention? He gets to watch what he wants on t.v.?
Fast forward to Halloween night...Abby was the cutest Butterfly and Jack was a Gorilla.
Abby showing me her wings.
Jack couldn't wait to open up his candy bar. He enjoyed the nestle crunch and Penny was waiting to see if he would drop a bite for her. At the end of the night when all the little ghosts and goblins stopped coming, my neighbor walked over to dump her remaining candy bars in my bowl. She didn't want to be tempted by them and knew I have 6 grand kids that would finish them off. I blew out the candle in the pumpkin and called it a night.
Like I said, it was a wild weekend, but filled with lots of fun activities and hearing the sweetest words come out of my grand kids, "Mimi, I love you".

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween traditions

When my kids were growing up, we enjoyed the excitement leading up to Halloween. (No, these are not my kids). The shopping for the costumes, large pumpkins, candy to pass out, and even the container they would carry for their special treats. I remember being exhausted travelling from Grandparent's house to Grandparent's house to Aunt & Uncle's house, to Best friends house, then around our neighborhood. My kids were trained that we examine the candy before eating. Each would make their own piles and do their trading after we examined it. They would usually give Mike and I our favorite candies.
Some of my most enjoyable times were when I was their Room Mom in Elementary school and helped plan the parties. I can remember one year going to McDonald's and getting Big Mac containers donated to later change them into treat containers. We spray painted them black and added black pipe cleaners and turned them into spiders. My mom helpers and I had a blast working around my kitchen table. I was blessed to be able to work at their school, which made it a lot more convenient. The costume parade was a highlight of the school party.
A few days before Halloween we would carve the pumpkins at the kitchen table and I would usually bake the seeds. I loved how they would get so creative with their carvings. We would put a candle inside and sit out on the porch.
Now, I'm a grandparent and I get to enjoy opening the door to my little trick-or-treaters and await their arrival with camera. I look forward to my own grand kids and nephews kids coming by and meeting up with their cousins who they haven't seen in a while. And the neighbor kids. It's like a little family reunion. And the traditions live on....What's yours?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Feeling the love

I never thought in a million years that being a grandparent would feel like this. First of all, It is still hard to believe that I have been a "mimi" for 9 years already. I have "6" beautiful grand kids who love me unconditionally. I can have my sloppiest clothes on, no make-up and bed head and I am greeted the same way, as if I had on my Sunday Best. I wish we ALL could see through the eyes of a child. They don't see our flaws. They don't see our imperfections.
They love like No other. They get excited over the smallest things. All they really want is our Time, Attention, Lap, Hug, Smile, Eyes to read....tender voice and a praise every now and then. Oh, and I forgot to mention, a purse with little surprises. I have learned so much from my SIX wonders.....they inspire me! They are my heart! I don't want to let them down. I want to create memories that they can share with their kids some day. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Before and After - Thank you Mike!


I was on a mission this past summer to find a night stand to match my white provincial furniture that I still have since childhood. I went to furniture stores, antique shops, unfinished furniture stores & checked the Internet. I couldn't believe the prices, so I knew that I would come across something that I liked and affordable sooner or later. Well, it was on a Sunday morning that I was feeling kinda blue and didn't go to church that morning. I needed to clear my head and decided to go for a ride around town and that's when I spotted a yard sale sign. Before I even parked my van I said a little prayer asking God to help me find a nightstand. Well, I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted this lonely, pitiful looking blueish piece of furniture that could be a night stand. I asked how much they wanted for it. The lady said she WAS asking $1 for it yesterday, but today she would have to ask $2, because her husband found the wooden leg that goes on it, so they raised the price. I couldn't believe it, so I said "Sold".
I loaded it in my van (it was a heavy little sucker). Now, you have to understand, I hate to refinish furniture, but I figured a little bit of white paint and it would work for me. When I got it home and unloaded it and showed my hubby, Mike, his wheels started turning. You see, he is a professional, expert at fixing things and making things come back to life. I didn't even ask him to refinish it. He took the reins and away he went, first taking it to work and sanding it down for 3 hours. He covered the top and edges with a material that would reinforce it and make it water proof for setting things on. He matched up the special paint to match my dressers. This was a project that took many weeks. I had to park my van outside while this thing sat in the garage in it's special work space, but that was OK with me. He even took me to pick out trim to fancy it up. We put the original knob on the drawer but I may go get a new gold one. And here is the After.
I love how it turned out. The shelves need a little touch up but I may cover them with something. The cost of refinishing it was minimal. I appreciate so much, the time and effort my hubby put into this project for me. He knew how special this was to me. I can always count on him. I think I will keep him!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hand in Hand we walked at the Zoo

I held the most tender, sweetest hand yesterday and it made my heart swell with pride. He only extended out his "silly band hand".

Gray's wish was to spend his 5th Birthday at Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago. I switched my day off so I could go with. I am so thankful for a flexible job that will allow me to spend time with my family. Be prepared for lots of fun pictures from our day. Gray was the sweetest boy and he was our tour guide. He knew exactly which animals and what order he wanted to see them in.
The Giraffe's were outside eating.
Gray and Ivy were looking for Nemo.
Gray was looking for Mr. Crocodile, who is usually lying on a rock.
Steph & Ivy amazed at Mr. Hippo.
Meerkats are my all time favorite little guys to watch.
I could stand all day watching "Lee" the polar bear swim in this sky blue water. I love the reflection of the tree on him. He always puts on a great show for us.Gray had a permanent smile All day long.
Gray enjoyed his Birthday lunch. Cheeseburger and fries. He later made friends with a squirrel
by sharing his fries.
Gray and Ivy in a log looking in at the chimps. Gray was pretending to be a tree frog the whole time he was playing in and on the log.
I think this is such a precious picture. Gray was taking a little rest.
Little miss Ivy "Lulu" enjoyed her freedom, running around, doing her own thing.
Gray climbing on Mr. Ape at the end of our playtime at the zoo.
After the zoo, we were home just in time for Noah and Carter as they got off the school bus. We loaded up and headed to Designer Desserts
for Gray's special Birthday Cupcake. We each picked out our favorite's from the case of many different kinds. It was a very hard decision. I chose a delicious Coconut Cream cupcake.

Gray chose a chocolate/raspberry cupcake. He just sat and starred at it for the longest time.
He ended up finishing his brother's cupcake and taking his home. I don't think he wanted to mess it up. This was an ending to a perfect, wish fulfilled 5th Birthday. He didn't need to blow out a candle cause he already got his wish. What a Fun Day! And during the course of the day, Gray would say in a soft voice "Mimi, I love you".

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Grayson

Today, we will make Gray's Birthday wish come true by visiting our favorite zoo in Chicago. Gray is such a special little boy. He lights up our world by the things he says. You wonder, how that vocabulary came out of such a little guy. We will celebrate with family on Sunday, but today we will celebrate with Gray's favorite animals. I am so glad I get the opportunity to join him today and make more memories on such a great, sunshiny day...."Gray's 5th Birthday"....... I LOVE this little man!
Happy Happy Birthday Grayby! Mimi loves you sooooooo much!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Babysitting Five and still alive

My house was very much Alive on Saturday night. With the help of Grampy, we had a very entertaining evening with 5 of our 6 grand kids. Little miss Ivy "Lulu" is talking on her play phone and just look at her expression and hand. She has ruby red eyes that are so funny.
Jack is Mr. Police man. They all had so much fun playing in all the riding toys and chasing one another.
Jack thinks he's big stuff now that he can get in and out of the riding toys. Ivy loves riding "Moo" the pony. Abby named him when I bought him a few years ago. Ivy was a little jealous when I changed Jacks diaper. She wanted me to change her too. She even told me she had a poopy, but didn't really, just cause Jack had one.
Gray loved cooking in Dora's kitchen and answering the phone.Gray also enjoyed building Lego's and of course doing a lot of snacking. There is always every one's favorites in Mimi's kitchen.
I must have caught Noah talking or he was just amazed at how fast his brother Carter builds. Grampy saved the night by going to the toy store ahead of time to get some new Lego's. They were actually an off brand that worked just like the real thing. It kept them busy most of the night. Grampy made the comment after they all went home that they were all so good. This was the first time we watched 5 together and It went so smooth. Noah always helps by picking up toys and keeping things organized. He also helped a lot with Jack. And we laughed a lot at Jack's funny expressions. So, I guess we could try tackling 6, since 5 wasn't bad. We will see.....