grandparenting


mans black hat

What do you think when you see this hat?

Do you think of a certain type of man that would wear it?

Maybe a certain age of a man that would wear it?

Would you relate it to a man wearing a dress coat when he wore it?

Some may think of guys with dark shades- kind of like the blues brothers.

Some may think of  men in their 50s, maybe in executive type positions.

Well, a man walked in the restaurant we were at with 2 of our grandsons a few weeks ago. As soon as Preston saw this man – out of total excitement he whispered to me……”Gramma, a cowboy is in here. I see a cowboy!”A big ol’ smile on his face, eyes twinkling and smiling too….just like he  saw Santa Claus or something !

I told him quietly it was not a cowboy, it was a man with a black hat. The man sat at a table right behind ours, his back towards Preston- I watched the man carefully place his hat on the chair next to him, Preston still watched him quietly, as if waiting for magic to begin.

We proceeded to eat breakfast, and Preston had finished with the rest of us. He had gotten up to walk over by his brother.They were to get their coats on. Well lo and behold the man with the hat stood up next to Preston. Preston just looked straight up at this over 6 ft tall ,man in his late 60s. The man carefully placed the hat on his head…Preston looked in awe.

AS the man walked out of the restaurant, ever so quietly, I could just barely  hear him….… Preston started singing a song as he swayed back and forth , arms bent and swinging in front of him… “I wish I was a cowboy, I wish I was a cowboy……””””It was so innocent, so precious, he really felt he had seen a cowboy…

TO be that innocent…. Love to all, Mrs justa alias Cindy

After we came back from the first family reunion,100_1023 which was my side of the family,3 weeks later  we went to a camp site North East of Lockport NY and had our family reunion with our kids and our kids kids.

This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is really nice to do it.

We can focus on one another and being less people it is a great way for the cousins to play together and our kids to spend time together.

Life is so darn short, life is so darn busy, we just do not get together enough. We were there for 2 full days, leaving on the third day in the morning. 100_1065As I look back at the time I think I was most moved by just watching the interactions and realizing that all of this could not have been possible without Marks and my children. Adrianne and her kids came out on the 1st full day we were there for an afternoon and evening, her husband unfortunately was not feeling good and could not make it. She said maybe next year she will plan to camp the full time too… It was awesome to spend time with them.

The other part that was special to me was 100_1061some one on one time I was able to spend with Emily. Emily is now 16 and being a teen is not easy ever, I think it is tougher in 2013 than it was when I was a teen. Emily is a smart young lady and she has a pretty good sense of humor. I just like spending time with her. That was special.

I also love time with our kids and their spouses, it is so neat to watch them interact, like they just saw each other the day before, we did miss Josh though. The time separated seems to disappear. And their kids – our grandkids are funny to watch. Jeff and Amanda’s kids are 3 and almost 5 and Adrianne and Josh’s kids are almost 2 and 4. 100_1053So they go right up the totem pole of toddler ages. They walked around, they rode bikes, they watched as we tried to fly kites, they played until they dropped with exhaustion. The magic of the fire, the wonder of the sunset, the toasting of s’mores, the memories are priceless.

I feel blessed to have this opportunity and I look back at all the bumps in the road, the hills of life climbed, the slopes sometimes slipped on—they all led us to here. And ya know what— every tear, every smile, every wonder, every pray— it was all worth it. 100_1114

Until the next post…. hang on to the blessings that come before you..watch for the simplest things that mean so much. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

family reunion 2013 077 (7)

Well another year has past for our family reunion. I am from a family of 9 brothers and sisters, one sister has died and our parents are both deceased. We live in various parts of the country and we try really hard to get together. This year there were some of us, not all of us. This year we went back to the State Park my mom had chosen so many years ago. It was really not bad, we got heavy rain one evening, but the base of the fire was strong enough to withstand the rain and light up some more logs. It was neat to see the cousins spend time together. family reunion 2013 077 (15)Wish my brothers who could not make it had… it was strange not to have them and their families there. We were missing some nieces and nephews and their kids….

We had no cell phone coverage, we had electric on the sites and public bathrooms. Some people tented, some had trailers, some hoteled it….  all seemed to have a good time.

As we entered the weekend and started to observe things, we came to realize there was a passing of the baton so to speak. When we started to go to this part- we were in our 30s and our kids were 7 . Now we are some  of the elders and our kids have kids of their own. Jeff and Amanda became the dinner site- we all gather together for dinner, a dish to pass and eat our family reunion 2013 077 (21)meals, talk, laugh and end it with a nice campfire and s’mores and memories being created.

Adrianne has not been to a reunion for years- but I bet she would like to sometime in the future.. she had mentioned tenting it at some point with her family… and heck if they are more on the line of hotel people, there are some people who do stay in hotels. One year we rented a cabin off site and one year we rented a cabin in a town near by….—that is an option too,.….their kids will be a better age next year… hmmm….maybe they will come too.

The transition was subtle at first, but became more apparent as the clock ticked to 10 PM and Mark and I were headed to the camper to call it a night… leaving behind the 30 something year olds and the younger cousins. Yikes.. we were the “older relatives” who went to bed early…

The kids seemed to totally love the camping experience, and I have to admit I soaked in watching their smiles, there sense of adventure, and looking at how totally exhausted they got from being outdoors, faamily reunion 2013 (89)from going “creeking” and from building sand castles.

I thought about all the electronic devices and the automation we have in our homes- and even though they are nice… … (as Mark says to the boys… _)

“this is living… it doesn’t get any better than this !”

And ya know what he is right!. Regardless of our various challenges in life,

regardless of our stressors our hectic sometimes lives… when we got here—the waters smoothed, the days were peaceful, the experience was something I am so glad we got to share…the only regrets are the people who could not be there…. but than again –we do have next year !!.

So I am off…. kinda chilling tonight…. reminiscing …feeling blessed. Love to all… Mrs Justa alias Cindy,

June 2013 029Well it has been a very long while since I popped over here to this home of my thoughts. Life seems to be a little chaotic, a lot busy and sometimes full of unpredictable things.

Work is good, it is never ever boring, and very fast pace. Changes within the government on healthcare reform, changes in medical treatments and advances in current treatments and medications, it is always an opportunity to learn more new stuff.

Mark and I will occasionally go to Oswego and watch the sun set. It is so darn peaceful up there, and a place to kind of put life in a temporary hold pattern. Sunsets and the time just before them is a favorite time of day for both of us.

It is a time when the world slowly changes yet I feel I can stop.

It is a time to reflect on the day passing behind us, and planning for the day that is yet to be.

It almost feels like no matter what happened- it is a closing of a chapter and an opportunity to start a new chapter- fresh.

It is a time to relax and June 2013 042know that the bed is not too many hours away.

My days are busy, I really love my job, and the people I work with are good people. So all that together makes an environment where a day is something to look forward to doing. Have you ever been in a situation you hated? Boy the day drags, the clock seems like a minute is an hour.

I am so thankful that I have the days that fly by!.However, as the days fly by, that means the years fly by.

Our grand children are growing fast, our 1005886_10201429826646558_1989262251_n[1]little guy Brandon just had pre-k graduation! We were able to get to it, the school had it in the evening.  It was so cool to see how hard the class worked for this.They sang a variety of songs, choreographed, and one with even sign language too.

Wow next year kindergarten.

 

And this weekend our niece is graduating from high school. Gee whiz… time flies.

But fortunately as time flies, we learn lessons, we learn that things in life do not always have to matter, we learn that life is short, we learn that there is a reason for everything, sometimes it takes a lifetime to try to figure it out.

This weekend is the “Strawberry Moon” as it was referred to in the news article today. Tomorrow it is supposed to be the best night to see it. I can not wait. For somewhere in the child part of my brain, many many year ago, I found comfort in believing those who had died , those who meant something to me, that they could sit on the moon and watch over me. I refuse to let that comfort go. Tomorrow night- I will be watching the moon, waving to my mom, dad, sister and grandparents…. making loving faces to our dogs and cats…. and trying to capture the moment on film. I hope you too can see it….what ever it will look like. Lots of love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 009

Make your own pizza night. It was a fun evening, and really I was amazed how good the pizzas came out!.

I bought a mix for the pizza crust, it was the mix and 1/2 hot water..let it rise for 10 minutes and split it up and away we went.

The kids seemed to enjoy the tasks, but I am not sure if they enjoyed it more than we did LOL.April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 013

They each had left overs to bring home to share with mom and dad.

It is always so amazing how there are such changes in kids in a matter of weeks. Brandon does not take naps any more, so he went in for rest time . Preston is talking up a storm.

They both are very good together and can throw each other under the bus the next April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 002moment. But at the end of the day..they are brothers thru and thru.

I love listening to their laughs, and trying to work around their whines to turn them into laughs, and to watch them interact with one another.

I find it so hard to believe the now our grandkids are almost 5,4,3,2 . How the time flies.

This morning they were up at 7:00. They were hungry so we made frosted cinnamon rolls, small ones , to hold them over till mid morning. We ended the weekend visit with a mid morning brunch. Jeff and Amanda got here around 10:30, and we had an array of breakfast foods. Bacon, Sausage, French toast sticks, eggs scrambled, some cinnamon rolls and hash browns. And now… the house is quiet…. Riley is snoring quietly in the background in Preston’s bed…April 13-14, 2013.the boys came over 001she loves when the kids are here, gets super excited when Jeff walks in—she becomes a hopping jumping overjoyed maniac when Jeff arrives..and we do have to warn Preston not to run..because he is just the right size –that Riley thinks he is a play mate and will run him over .

Yes I love the sounds of talking, laughter, squabbling, and giggles…. and when everyone is gone… and silence fills the house it reminds me that we are parents that have done our job , our kids are grown, they are all independent , and life turns to being us…. grandparents…. the silence is different… and deafening right after the people leave.

So off I go, so put way laundry, maybe go get grass seed, and maybe read a little. I think God for all we have… we are truly blessed. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

As the days get lighter and the temperatures try to rise some, I am comforted by the signs that we have made it through another winter. This year we can not say it was a mild winter ! We probably have another month of snow potential..but than the camper will come home from storage and our spring time summer time  will begin.

The times of our life are made in memories of days gone by, memories of trials that situations have created and by hopes for many tomorrows. I was thinking about life , and special times, and memories, and what makes memories stay in our minds. As a kid I remember the games we would play together, like huck-abuck-a bean stock, or the card game war, or rummy, or go fish. Hide and seek and red light green light, simon says, I remember making tents out of sheets and sleeping on the floor, I remember staying up late to play a game , and the feeling of falling asleep after being tucked into bed and given a hug.

This past weekend we were blessed with Brandon and Preston for a day and a half. Oh we made a tent out of the dining room table, a king sized sheet, a blanket, and hauling in toys and books and little lanterns. 100_0733

We baked mini banana muffins, we cooked meals together, we did house hold chores, and had cuddle time. We played games, did puzzles, and ate dinner late one night, stayed up late because we ate dinner late, we watched some TV and sat and talked about things.

It cost nothing in money, yet was priceless in memories and time spent.

It was a great weekend. Oh we had some brother squabbles, some whining at times… but 100_0738it was all good.

As they left, saying their goodbyes, ( in French because we taught them “auvoir” ) I was wondering if some of these moments are etched in their minds, to surface again in years to come.

I look at the kids and think how quickly they have grown , it seems like only a few days ago Brandon was in the NICU… and we were excited to meet him… Preston was just a twinkle in his parents eyes… as were Mackenzie and Caleb….

and now they are 4,3,2,and 1!!!…. Pretty soon they will be all in school..before we know it..and I just hope the memories are kept close to them..as my child hood memories are close to me.

I am feeling fulfilled from the weekend and the fun being a grandma is…. I love when a child says “ I love you gramma..” it just melts my heart…

Life is good… there are not so good times,,, sad times,,, but all those times have got me here…and here is ok.. We are not money rich..but we are rich with special moments.

I hope you too have some. Love to all Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_0615

Finally I get to post on last weekends Christmas Craft project. We had the boys on Friday night last week and I had thought they are old enough to make Christmas gifts for their parents. So Saturday morning, after breakfast the kitchen became the craft land. Foam picture frames, and foam designs to stick on them. The kids could choose the colors and what ever they wanted to stick on their frames.

Than I let them look through a bunch of100_0611 photos and they both chose photos that were similar. We taped the photos to the frames..and cleaned up for

project number 2.

100_0616Making light catchers. Fortunately the store had similar ones so they each had the same thing to do. We had such fun…but I knew I could not post the fun till today…

Christmas…when the packages got picked up to open we had each parent have one of the gifts… This became exciting..hands everywhere, pointing and rustling the packages. The boys were so proud. 100_0667I wanted this shot of all the hands….

Than I zoomed back to get the faces… I think Jeff’s face says it all…unfortunately I was not able to get Amanda’s smile too…but I think the boys gifts were a surprise…

100_0668

 

 

 

I remember when Jeff was little he loved making Christmas gifts for people. Suncatchers, potpourri , model cars, drawings… it was fun to watch the different gifts be created. I am thankful we had the boys at the right time to be able to do this.

Christmas was quiet this year… Mark and I got up around 8, we did not exchange gifts this year… we really did not have anything either of us wanted from the other. We had gone shopping together, but walked out with no needs, so it was quiet. Yesterday was a day at the emergency vets with Riley..she has Hemorrhagic GastroEnteritis (HGE). Kinda scary. She was fine on Sunday night, but Monday morning she would not eat, seemed like she could not get comfortable. Mark and I noticed something was wrong, but we could not figure out what….and fortunately I was watching her outside when she tried to move her bowels, and it first looked like a garden hose of bloody water, than it was really mucous filled… ..So off to the emergency vet… they did some tests, gave her fluids, antibiotics and an anti nausea med and we got to bring her home. She is on a bland diet after 24 hrs of clear liquid. Boiled chicken, chicken broth and potatoes. We will try to wean in regular food in the next day or so… we are still waiting for her to have another bowel movement to be sure she is not still bleeding. I guess that dogs die very quickly form this if it is not treated… had I not seen her water show yesterday..who knows what would have happened. I read a lot on line when we got home and quite a few people have had their dogs die from this within 24 hrs… yikes.!!

We are cautiously optimistic that she is getting better… I hope so.

I hope you are safe wherever you are… enjoy the next few days…looks like huge snow storm up here tomorrow night and Thursday… grrrrr. One day closer to spring…

Love to all, Mrs Justa..alias Cindy… Merry Christmas everyone…

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