Sunday, September 13, 2015

When the Relatives Came--continued

Elika, Auron, Amanda, Zane and AJ

The beds were stripped, washed and dressed again.  This time for the Virginian family.  Baby Zane enjoyed the toys Noah had abandoned, and we didn't miss a beat of the baby grins and noises.  The high chair stayed in the kitchen and the cupboard was restocked with mac and cheese and other kid friendly eats.
Zane with a ready smile!

We kept the Uno cards handy and the Lego's continued to invite young builders to new constructions. Bike rides were frequent with Grandma or Grandpa jogging alongside Elika who wanted a spotter close by.  Pokemon episodes on Netflix were popular with both Elika and Auron not just to watch, but to act out in pretend play.  With all that exposure, I'm still not sure what Pokemon is all about!

Elika loves collaborating with me in the kitchen.  We kept up our tradition of making cinnamon rolls. Since her birthday was close we decided to celebrate early.  She helped me make a castle cake for her fifth birthday.

Our local investment firm invited clients to dinner at the South Bend minors Cubs stadium.  We each enjoyed favorite parts of the evening--Grandpa actually watching the game, Grandma keeping watch in the inflatable kiddies section while Auron and Elika bounced the night away, Zane snoozing in Mommy's front pack and AJ purchasing souvenirs in the store.  Fireworks capped off the event as we prepared to head home.

Great Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed a visit from the relatives.  Having moved from this area only two years ago, AJ and Amanda had church friends and other family to see, too. We did manage to have enough time to visit The Chief, of course! and several evenings we dueled at grueling matches of Euchre between the ladies and the gents after the kids were in bed.
Great Grandparents enjoy the visit! 

Great Grandma toys never grow old


More Cousin Playdates

Bubble Suds

Cousin Beauties!

The day arrived to say our goodbyes.  The other side of the family came over to send them off, too, and we filled the house with our last minute conversations and well wishes.  After all the hugs and kisses, the Viriginians eventually drove away while the huddle of relatives waved goodbye from the front lawn.

Hubby and I turned and walked into our empty, quiet house.  It had been a summer full of bodies and blessing, movement and memories, grace to face the challenges and love to linger long into the future.

Thank you, Father, for children and grandchildren.  Thank you for creating family and the way you continue to pass on your love and faithfulness to future generations through Godly parents.  May we each take our place in this legacy of faith and serve you with fervent, grateful hearts. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

When the Relatives Came

Imitation of The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant in blue print

It was the summer of the year when the relatives came.
They came up from Florida and Tulsa and Virginia. They left when school 
was out and life was getting boring; but not quite. (Read about the visitors from
Tulsa here

The Floridians left home by plane with plenty of diapers for 
the baby and toys and games to keep the brothers happy.
Big brother packed 5 peanut M and Ms in a ziploc with the Uno cards.
"For the winner", he said. The group barely balanced the teetering loads of
bags and luggage that were on their backs and towing at their heels.

The group arrived to Nana's place late at night. 
Then it was into the house and so much tearing upstairs
and down, checking into closets and rediscovering Nana's toys.
You'd have to go through at least four different ways of saying it 
was time to settle down as you followed the inspectors from 
the kitchen to the basement.  Those relatives! 

The relatives were particular about beds, which delayed the sleeping
even longer, as they asked for night lights and fans, stories and drinks.
The brothers usually don't share a bed, so it was different going to sleep
with new breathing in your ear, an arm across your back or a knee 
jammed into your stomach.

The relatives stayed for weeks and weeks.  They helped us have fun
and visit places outside of our normal routine,  They ate up all Nana's
macaroni and cheese and promised to finish the green beans so they
could have dessert.

Baby Noah happy and adaptable.

Most of the time.

Dominic and Ian being boys. Sometimes fighting; being brothers.

 Nana and Mommy enjoyed time together,
Co-conspirators of plots to keep little bodies active, busy.

 Our scheming led us to parks, the library, restaurants and a Lowe's workshop. We drove to Michigan to see cousins, and hosted other cousins for play dates at home. One of our stay-home days, we made a watermelon hippo. Of course, we had several visits to The Chief and enjoyed the noise and intrigue of the Fair.  Papa joined us in the evenings and the days flew by. We left a few tricks in the bag for doing with Daddy when he arrived near the end of the visit---like eating at Venturis and the Goshen Brewery.  Our last weekend together, we hosted a family picnic with Ashley, Austin and Rowan visiting again, Dan's family, and Amanda and her family who were on deck for moving in after the Floridians moved out. Out of 14 grandchildren we had 10 of them together.  Sadly, we didn't get them all in one place for a group picture.
                                                                  Park Visits

Krieder Nursery

                                        Play Dates and Visits with Cousins

Making Pizza for Lunch

South Side Soda Shop

                            Lowes Workshop, the Library,  Hippo Fun

                                                     The Elkhart County Fair

Corn fun

Ian and Papa on the right enjoying a Crazy Mouse ride

                                                          Sweet Moments

 Our normal empty nest was rocked with a hubbub of action. In addition to people noises, baby toys chimed in with electronic voices and songs.  Strange sightings were spotted:  the sink held captive growing sea creatures, and one day I discovered a ladder blocking my way downstairs.  A dollhouse resident was found hanging out on the kitchen windowsill.  I was told she was in time out until her playmates could decide who should get to play with her. 

 Eventually these relatives loaded up their bags and we drove them to the bus stop. 
We waved them off and watched them disappear inside the bus.
There were lumps in our throats and moisture in our eyes. They thought about their
Legos sets waiting at home in Florida.  But they thought about us, too.  Missing them.
And they missed us. And when they were finally home in Florida, they crawled into 
their soft beds and dreamed about the next summer. 

Goodby,  Dominic, Jodi, Ian, Emanuel and Noah!

Then we came back home to greet the next pack of relatives, from Virginia...

To Be Continued