"Little fingers, little toes Teeny weeny tiny clothes Adorable face, smiles of joy What a gorgeous little girl An infant, but a moment ago Now one, how you did grow Not slowly, no, but ever so fast In a blink, a year has passed" Her favorite word is YUCK and she adores her sisters. She's walking and laughs at everything!
Of all nine of the grands, this one is the most *growny.* I think everyone would agree that she has seemed older than her age since she was just a teeny tiny thing! She is tall, strong willed, opinionated, feisty, original, smart as a whip, verbal, absolutely adorable and one of the greatest blessings I have ever received. She knows exactly what she wants and she doesn't waiver from that. A leader in the greatest way! Five going on ten is a great way to describe her. I adore this girl!!!
Happy Birthday precious A. Nonny and Poppy ADORE you! (photography by Jenny)
1985 A pirate. A cowboy. A ballerina. Concocted with love by me..... the day before Halloween.
(I'm pretty sure the article below was me and my brother and sisters in the 60s and 70s!!)
(minus the cigarettes)
"Just a few days ago, my 6-year-old and I were discussing what she wants to be for Halloween. We still like to (mostly) make our costumes instead of buying them. Plus, who can afford them today? I kid you not, I saw a little girl's fairy costume for $89.50 a few days ago. (When is the last time you spent $89.50 on something just for you? Exactly.) So, my daughter wants to be Hello Kitty this year, but not just any Hello Kitty. She wants to be a Hello Bat Kitty -- which totally rocks. (I love this about her.)
Anyway, all of this discussion about the upcoming holiday had me thinking about my own 1970s childhood Halloween experience and how different it is for her today.
Today's Halloween vs. a 1970s Halloween
1. Halloween Costumes.
1970s: The night before Halloween, your tired mom takes you into K-mart, where you look through the picked-over plastic masks with matching costumes. You clutch that $5.99 Cinderella or Spiderman mask and matching costume to your chest on the way home as you slide around on the bench seat without a seatbelt in the back of your parents' wood-paneled station wagon, while your mom smokes in the front seat. There were no costumes left in your brother's size, so when your mom gets home, she pulls out an old stained sheet from the musty bottom drawer and cuts two eye holes in it so your brother can go as a ghost. She then puts four frozen Salisbury Steak TV dinners in the oven (and this time, she remembers to pull back one corner of the aluminum foil on top so the sauce isn't frozen popsicle gravy).
Today: Three months before Halloween, your mom starts researching politically correct costumes and narrows it down to three choices. A family meeting is held for everyone to vote on their costumes, in order to allow the children to exercise their decision-making skills. Your mom then spends three days on Pinterest planning the components of the non-genetically-modified corn costume. Afterwards, she spends $279 at the local craft store to purchase non-allergenic material and locally made glue, only exchanging the green material twice to get the exact shade for the corn husk. She has you model the finished product with a series of 17 photos so that she can blog about the steps to making it. Then, she posts it to Pinterest and Instagrams the photos.
2. Getting Ready On Halloween Night.
1970s: You bust through the door from school and run straight to your costume, pulling it on over your school clothes. You try the mask on, knowing its tiny breathing hole will in no way facilitate oxygen exchange while you run around like a crazy person during trick-or-treating. You lie to your mom and say you can breathe just fine. The mask eyes never fit perfectly, so vision is limited, but you lie and tell your mom you can see, even though she doesn't care by then because she is too engrossed in her "stories" on TV to be worried about something as minor as breathing and seeing at night. You run around in your costume in the yard, getting sweaty, until it's time to go right at the moment it starts getting dark outside.
Today: You come home from school and your mom has a tray of organic vegetables fashioned into non-scary Halloween shapes like smiling pumpkins and happy ghosts with a side of homemade hummus. You have dedicated quiet time in your room reading a book or drawing so that you don't get over-stimulated. Your mom double-checks the neighborhood association's newsletter to ensure that she's right about the designated trick-or-treating hours of 6:37 p.m. to 8:01 p.m. One hour before the designated neighborhood time slot, your mom tells you to pee, wash your face and brush your teeth. You open the package of new organic thermal underwear that perfectly matches your costume. Your mom gently helps you into your costume and carefully paints your face with dye-free, organic tint. Your mom takes two selfies of you and her and posts them on Facebook with a countdown clock. She then positions you into 12 different poses in front of the recycled farm background that she made during her lunch hour earlier that day. She posts those pictures to Instagram.
3. Halloween Night Trick-or-Treating.
1970s: As the streetlights click on, your mom rips two pillowcases off of the pillows and hands one to you and one to your brother to put the candy in. She hands you an old flashlight that weighs about two pounds, but has to shake it first to get it to work. You immediately shove it into the pillowcase as you run down the sidewalk, your mom waving from the front door as smoke from her cigarette encircles her head. You meet up with some friends from the neighborhood and run like maniacs from door to door until your mom yells for you or the scary widow lady tells you it's time to go home. You drag your full pillowcase of candy along the road and into the house. It's 11 p.m. Your mom is asleep on the couch with a cigarette burning in the ashtray.
Today: Your mom presents you with an organic tote bag on which she's stenciled your name, the holiday and the year with dye she's made from soaking organic fruits and vegetables. She clips four flashing orange lights shaped like small pumpkins onto your costume and bag. At 6:34 p.m., your mom buckles you into the back of the Range Rover. She drives to the first neighbor's house and waits in front of it until precisely 6:37 p.m., when she gives you permission to unbuckle and go up to the first door. After the first house gives you a sugar-free, organic sucker and a toothbrush, you get back into the Range Rover and your mom drives you next door, where you repeat the process until precisely 8:01 p.m. when your mom drives you home.
4. The Candy.
1970s: You rush into the house and dump the candy from your pillowcase onto the floor. Your mom immediately takes the apple (because it has razor blades in it) and the Pop Rocks (because they make your stomach explode, especially if you mix them with Coke in your mouth). She hands you one of the homemade popcorn balls from your stash so you can eat it while you sort through your candy. Your mom puts the pillowcases back on your pillows and tells you to check the chocolate for pin holes in case someone injected something into it. You and your brother eat candy to your hearts' content while you watch Halloween. You pass out on the floor in front of the TV with a stomachache, still in your costume, at 1 a.m.
Today: Your mom carefully helps you out of your costume. You go upstairs to take a shower while your mom swabs your candy wrappers for signs of drugs, explosives or other illegal substances. She throws away the products that are not organic and separates the candy into chocolate vs. non-chocolate. She unwraps the 17 toothbrushes you received and puts them into the dishwasher to sterilize them. When you come downstairs, clean and in organic pajamas, you are allowed to pick one piece of candy to enjoy before you go to bed. You brush your teeth with one of the sterilized toothbrushes and you are in bed by 9:17 p.m. You got to stay up late for the special occasion and are excited! Your mom searches Pinterest for healthy ways to use leftover Halloween candy and looks for local dentist offices that will trade candy for another toothbrush.
5. After Halloween.
1970s: You wear that costume every single day until it falls apart. The cracked plastic mask lasts a little longer because your mom keeps replacing that broken rubber string on the back of the mask with a rubber band. Next year, you're bummed because your plastic Cinderella mask is too cracked to wear. Your mom asks you to hold her cigarette while she tries, one last time, to replace the mask string with a rubber band. It doesn't work.
Today: After Halloween, your mom carefully rinses your non-GMO corn costume in the organic homemade laundry detergent. She discreetly hangs it to dry in the laundry room so it doesn't waste electricity in the dryer. After, your mom carefully folds it, places it in a recycled bag made of hand-sewn fibers and donates it to the church for next year's costume exchange. She then immediately starts researching handmade Christmas gifts on Pinterest to make for the 42 extended family members who will be at your house for the holidays."
(article by Jacqueline Wilson Founder, Primeparentsclub.com)
Three years ago a couple of miracles joined our family. They were born a couple of months early and were SO tiny. But their fight was incredible and we knew from the very beginning that they were special boys.
Today these baby boys turned three. We celebrated them with friends and family and Daniel Tiger and his friends too! THREE things they love: Milk. Outside. David and "Gowiaf".
We feel so blessed as Nonny and Poppy tonight. The joy we have for these twins truly is unspeakable. I am reminded of the words to one of my favorite choruses.
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.
The half has NOT been told boys. We can't wait to see how your lives unfold. You are going to do great things for the kingdom!
So, it's October. I wanted to jump on the band wagon and choose a theme and post every day. But, I can't think of a theme. Decorating or grandchildren or books read or ???????? Have any ideas for me? And, just because I can't post without a picture…..
How is it that our youngest grand is this big??? And this cute!!
Now, help a girl out. What should my 31 day blog theme be?????
One of the things I am most proud of in life is my marriage. Hubs and I committed to each other for life when we said *I do*….and today we celebrate 39 years together. We have raised three children….and now we have six! We have been blessed to be a part of the lives of nine grandchildren, who bring us more joy than we ever imagined. Life is not perfect for us, but God has been so good and so faithful. Today as hubs sets out to ride from the mountains to the coast of North Carolina I will spend my week being thankful that his life includes mine. Happy 39 years to the one my heart loves.
We spent last week at Holden Beach, NC. There were 20 of us in one house. 10 of them were under seven. It was hard and glorious. Seven of the ten got a virus with temps. and sore throats. It rained for the first four days. The smoke alarm went off one night at 3 a.m. and a run to the grocery store for a nine volt battery reminded me that a poppy's job isn't easy either. We rented a house on the beach with a clean pool and nasty bathrooms. So, we spent a lot of time in the pool and took showers in the outside shower. But it was STILL a great week!!!! It's a tradition that we go to Sunset Slush every single night of our trip. The kids look forward to it all day. They talked all week about the last night and how they could get as many scoops as they wanted and what kinds they would be. (Rainbow SA (USA) seemed to be the favorite)….all the kids loved it! YUCK. We played games at night and talked lots about Uncle J's dream of opening a business. We laughed until we hurt about eating two containers of cookies that nobody in our family made. Seriously. They must have been left in the beach house by the previous renters. We each thought the other family had made them. They were all gone but a few when we couldn't find who to thank for making them. It made for lots of beach laughter that we will never forget!! I won't lie to you…it's not a piece of cake with that many little ones in the same house…whew!! It's not for the weak at heart! But man there is some love between those cousins! They play so well together!! They all get along remarkably well and the issues usually don't lie in them arguing with each other but just in the sheer numbers of them. Believe it or not, we all braved going out to dinner one night. We left the house at 4:30 and ate at 5:00. It worked, though Provisions Seafood may never be the same!! :) Nonny and Poppy took the five big kids to the park and Walmart for a *Beach Treat* and we had as much fun as they did! It helps mommy and daddy to get them out of the house a little while dinner is being cooked. Each of the families take a night to make a meal….That way, nobody has to do all the work!!! We ended the week with a prayer for safe travels home. Now we are all tucked in our homes and are thankful for the memories we made. Until next year sweet family……..Nonny and Poppy dearly love you. (So thankful for the video made by Jenny)
The oldest two grands are girls. They are four and six. For the last few years they have enjoyed dress up as part of their every day play. They have collected a few costumes and wear them a lot. I saw a photo about a year ago that a friend had taken of her daughter that I fell in love with!! (Thanks Shanda!) I so wanted to recreate it for these girly girls! I was reminded of how quickly these sweet days pass. I just used my little point and shoot camera so the pictures aren't professional by any means. But they capture a big part of their childhood and for that, I am grateful!
One day this will be a distant memory. Glad we have these so we don't forget.
Just finished up with Cousin Camp 2014! We all agree it was one of our best ones yet!! There were 14 cousins....The oldest one was EIGHT! (Sure did miss our teen cousins who are working at a summer camp!!) This will be picture overload that may not interest anyone except my family. But I like to document it here every year. (Past years are on my sidebar under cousin camp.) Each year we try to have something *new* for Cousin Camp. This year we had two new things. One was the Extreme Coaster by Step2. The kids loved this and it's for ages three to eight. Our kids as young as 15 months loved it too!!
The other *new* thing for CC was a playhouse/workshop for the boys. Poppy used an existing building we have in our back yard. He put a wall down the middle and turned half of it into the *boy house.* It is a work in progress and is not complete but the boys (and girls) loved playing in it!! Here are a few pictures before landscaping and completion! The door and the windows are real road signs!! How cool is that??!! Poppy and J (son) worked so hard to make this happen! They still have a roof to complete, some stairs and lots of inside work. I will post again when it is complete. (Hopefully soon!)
The kids loved playing in the new house with the real wood! The beginning of a *busy board* is on the wall too! Poppy has a long way to go but doesn't it look great?
Our shirts this year were color coded by families! The niece in the green shirt has two older sisters that we missed so much! They are working at a camp this summer!! And little W, in the yellow shirt, has a sibling on the way in late summer!
There are 14 children here....hard to see the two week old on the top row! Our goal was to take the picture at 8:30 am. We only missed it by a few minutes!
Look at the adorable cookies I had made to look like each child! They are much cuter when the names aren't blurred out! But...............
We had such a great time this year! The children all got along so good! Pretty amazing to have that many children without an argument! May never happen again! :) The moms come to Cousin Camp too. Poppy and I couldn't do it without them. We might be able to in a few years when the children are older but there are too many little ones for that now! Thanks so much to you moms and to my mom for all your help. Thank you for allowing Poppy and I the privilege of loving them and making memories with them.I hope they will grow up knowing how important family is and I know they will grow up knowing *your cousins are some of your very first friends!*
And, I can't close without saying, guess where Poppy and Nonny spent the night during Cousin Camp? We gave away our bedrooms and every ounce of floor space, so, we snuck away at 8:00 pm and returned at 6:30 am.
Until next year sweet cousin friends....always know you are so very loved...by us but most importantly by Jesus! And, you ALWAYS have family to come home to!
I dropped hubs off at 5:00 a.m Saturday morning for him to begin his bike ride. He participated in the Double Down to the Beach again this year. That is a 200 mile bike ride in one day. 11-12 hours of seat time pedaling a bike. Can you even begin to imagine that? Last year he made it the 200 miles (204 to be exact!) This year he was a few miles short (150 miles) because of some light-headedness and over heating. STILL, he is my hero !!!!!
He rides with a GREAT group of guys! Proud to know them!
Anyway, after I dropped him off to begin his ride, I drove two hours to see #2 grand in her dance recital. She did great and was so happy doing it!
Amazing to see a little four year old up on a big stage. Such a brave girl! Can you tell I am the Nonny?!
After the recital, I scooted to the beach to meet hubs and his friends after their ride. We spent the weekend in Wilmington, NC and took a little day trip yesterday to Southport. We love the quaintness of Southport and enjoyed lunch at Provision Company before heading home.