Monday, November 29, 2010


...YOU MAKE ME SMILE.  sort of.

you're kinda cold.  but none the less, i tried...quite unsuccessfully to get some really great pictures of the cousins.  all 9 of them.  which makes it a little more acceptable that i didn't get any super shots of them all together. you go, in spite of the fussy, pappy sucking, quick moving, squirming, shy, cold suffering, hyper, none picture taking liking, too old to be posing with babies, tired, hungry, flailing, bad mood...but oh-so-sweet children
  the girls in a sea of penguins


the nifty nine

chad and his lovely grandmother

chad's grandfather's WW2 memorial

the boys on their way to an iowa state football game

colt and sauce...guy bonding time

the graceful ballerina

a puddin cup, the sugar plum, and their sauce

colt lloy and his sue sue

loves to be thankful for during a thanksgiving week in iowa...and always.

Monday, November 15, 2010

nutrackers, twinkly light woodsy garland, and a sunday rescue

this weekend...

i feel somewhat satisfied with what we got accomplished around here.  friday, i spent the day at a little gem of a place called the nutcracker market with my mom and grandmother.  it has been a tradition each year that i have grown to love.  i can't even remember when i started going with them.  (probably after my "whining" kid and selfish teenager phases phased out and my ihavetobuymyownchristmaspresentsforeveryone phase phased in.)  never-the-less...i'm a part of the inner circle now and it can be said that if someone happens to mention that they really like something in my house, i usually respond with, "it came from the nutcracker."

i got all of my christmas shopping done for chad's side of the family.  which is good because in less than a week, we are packing up the ole chevy suburban and headin up to iowa to spend a very festive and cold week with our iowa kinfolk...(and i really just needed to use the word kinfolk)...where we will celebrate christmas with them.  needless to say, i have a lot to do to get ready for that trip, and sweet annslee james is not super great about entertaining herself quietly so that i can pack.  she takes a different approach in life...and it is called "i'm gonna scream as loud as i can until she gives me what i want because she has 4 of us and seems too frazzled and weak to win a stand off at this point."  so, i will have to utilize my time wisely...which is not my best subject.

saturday, we decorated the house for christmas.  and by "we" i mean me and aiden.  i guess chad helped by getting all the bins down from the attic.  annslee took a nice nap and we were able to finish the garland on the staircase and fireplace...which besides the tree, is the hardest part.  it always involves untangling and replacing twinkly lights and fluffing the garland...which i have the kids do and then re do myself to make it extra fluffy.  in the last couple of years, i have added red berries and pine cones...which lead to a successful finger sweep of annlee's mouth after she got a hold of a runaway berry on the floor. 

saturday night, i got to go see my grandpa.  my brother and i were there at the same we are a lot of the time, which is always fun and makes me think of the "olden days" when we did everything together.  sometimes i miss him.  i mean, when you spend your entire childhood in cahoots with just seems you should still be in cahoots anytime you are with them.  so, i suppose that we could go around stealing bedpans or getting in the elevator and pushing every button or something...but instead we sit by our grandpa and hang on his every word...critiquing them for hidden wisdom and hints of advise that we can take with us.  i guess we are getting old. 

yesterday, we got to wear our fun wintery clothes to church.  i love little girls in winter tights and flannel, pleated skirts and sweaters and boys in hooded sweatshirts and red noses.  aiden even got to wear a cute wintery hat...due to me finding a wad of gum in her hair when i went to fix it for church.  there was no time to mess with it we went with the "a hat makes everything better" philosophy.  mom came over when we got home and we worked the rest of the day on the indian paper bag vests for aiden's class.  it's a room mom responsibility that is not my favorite.  it took  however...anything i do with my mom ends up being fun.  after that, i successfully removed the gum from aiden's hair...which was a relief to aiden because she had been concerned about the use of scissors to get it out.  then i got to go up and visit a little with my grandpa last night.  he was the most confused i think i have ever seen him.  he wanted me to take him on the elevator and thought we were in a house and that people were coming down the stairs.  he would look at me and laugh like we were little kids and were hiding it was a game of hide and seek or something.  i didn't know what to do other than play along.  when it came upon 10 pm, i knew i needed to head home, but when i got up to say goodbye, he begged me not to leave him...which made me have to hide my teary face from him. at that point, i secretly wished for my brother to show up and then we could summon our inner cahootness and break him out in what would go down in history as the great triumph pappy rescue.

i mean...who doesn't want to be rescued?

Saturday, November 06, 2010


as i waited tonight, in what would soon be his room...i couldn't help but be anxious to see him again.  he was being moved from one hospital to another.  

i find my thoughts these days turning into daydreams about the next lucid moments that i will get with him. with a family at home, i covet the evening hours when i can go for a visit...and although i'm not traveling to grandpa's house in duncanville, like i remember so vividly as a kid...and the activities and dynamics of the visit have certainly shifted, the excitement of talking to him remains the same.  sometimes, he sleeps most of the time.  sometimes i can't understand what he is trying to say.  but, sometimes...when i get lucky, he shows up.  when he sees me, i always say the same thing..."hi grandpa."  he always responds with, "well...hi."  and we have great conversations.  sometimes he will want me to pray with him.  sometimes he will need a reminder that he still has a purpose here.  sometimes he makes his jokes, and i laugh and watch him laugh.  and last night, we talk about old times...when he was in a band and played the heck out of his guitar and had gigs at different places.  we talked about my favorite songs to listen to him play...folsom prison blues, and i'll fly away.  he would always let me sing along.  and i would always make him re-teach me how to play my favorite guitar parts.  he even sang some of folsom prison for me last night.  he didn't miss a note and he told me that when he would see a guitar on a stand, he couldn't stand just to look at it...he had to play it.  i always tell him i love him, and he always says in his most soft and gentle voice that is almost too weak to be able to hear anymore, "well...i love you too, hon." 

tonight, when he finally got there...he was tired and confused.  i know he needed to sleep, but i was longing for those moments...the ones that i will tuck away and carry with me when he is no longer here.  the ones that will bring comfort when it's time to say goodbye.  i need those moments...when it's him, and me, and a memory.  i want to remind him of how he used to make funny noises in my ear and how it tickled and made me giggle.  i want to tell him that i do it for my kids and they giggle and squirm too, and i always tell them that it is what grandpa did when i was a little girl.  and how they always say, "do it again" just like i did.  i'm already daydreaming of my next conversation with him. 

grandpa......tell me a story.