Saturday, February 28, 2009

Different Personalities

It amazes me how two kids born to and raised by the same two parents can be so completely different. For example...Bumblebee spontaneously tells me he loves me throughout the day and gives hugs and kisses. I can tell Double A "I love you. Do you love me?" and she just stares back at me blankly. Nice.

Well, I think these two pictures also show the differences in the two kids. These are their beds taken just after they have gotten out of them in the morning, the same morning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday!!

Today is my dad's 60th birthday. He is on his way to Florida to spend some time with his birthday present to himself...his new boat. :) It is hard for me to believe my dad is actually 60 years old. He doesn't seem 60 to me. He doesn't act 60. I know that 60 is not considered "old" anymore but it sure sounds older than 50. The good news is that to me he seems closer to the 50 mark.

I wanted to do something big and exciting for his birthday like a party with friends or something but was pretty much shot down by the others who would have been involved in the planning. They also said he would not like that or care about having a party or anything It just seems like this is an occasion to be commemorated.

My birthday wish for my dad today is this: that he take more time to enjoy his life. He has worked exceptionally hard all his life to get where he is now. I think he deserves a break. He has a plan to get to retirement (my dad has nothing if not of his favorite catch phrases when I was growing up was "Plan your work and work your plan.") but still works hard and gets too stressed out too often. Don't get me wrong...he travels for pleasure a great deal but he still "works" on these trips. I wish he let out more of his fun side more often and worried less. I cannot tell you the last time I have seen him do a napkin magic trick or hang a spoon from his nose :) I wish he had more time to spend with his grandchildren; I want them to be able to have lifelong memories of doing fun things with him.

I am also discouraged by the lack of time he takes to take care of himself. I don't want him to be old and decrepit. He has worked long and hard and I want him to be able to enjoy the "golden years" without a gazillion medical ailments. Plus, I don't want to have to take care of him! Ha ha!

I am proud of my dad and how he has gotten to where he is now. I am grateful for the way he and my mom raised me to turn out the way I have. I am touched by the way he cares for those who work for him, even though he does not always say it out loud, but shows it in little ways.

I know he has always been there for me from showing me how to ride my bike while throwing snails at me. Or instructing me on how to best clean and organize my closet all day on a Saturday (he needs to come teach my daughter that!). Or showing me how to find the best "deal" at the K-mart tent sale. Or dealing with some of my crazier adventures in high school. Or even now with something as simple as taking my family on a vacation we would not otherwise have been able to go on. My dad does not often express his love verbally. But he does show it in his never failing support of me, despite the crazy situation I am in or if I got there making decisions he did not necessarily approve of. I am thankful I have had him as my dad.

I hope this birthday is fabulously wonderful and that there are 40 more to come. I love you, Dad.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jack and Kay

This is the wedding picture (I think) of my maternal grandparents, Jack and Kay. Kay was actually born Catherine/Kathryn/Cathern. We are not sure how it was actually spelt. My niece is named after her. My grandpa always called her Katie. My grandpa was Jack but not until late in his life did he find his birth certificate and find out his birth name was John. Oddly, he named his first born son John! I am struck by how beautiful my grandma looks here. Of course, I never knew her like this. I am also moved by how much my mom looks like her. My grandpa was so handsome. By the time I came along he had eyebrows that could allow him to take flight and these horrible military issue glasses he wore because they were free or super cheap. Interestingly, I think my brother looks very much like my grandpa. If you take his features separately they are more like my dad's side but the whole package looks like Grandpa Jack.
My Grandpa Jack served in the Navy all his life. In fact, he lied about his age to enlist at age 17. He was retired in the late 60's/early 70's. They moved to Oregon and built their own house by themselves. They lived there the remainder of their years. As long as I can remember my Uncle John and Aunt Linda lived on the 20 acres also. This proved to be quite fortuitous as my grandparents aged and became sick; John and Linda were invaluable in caring for them. My grandpa died about 8 years ago. All my life they lived on this rural property and had a small amount of cows and chickens and such. They loved to travel in their RV. They would come and visit us for weeks and months at a time. Grandpa was always sort of gruff and rough on the outside but deep down he was a sweetie. He would walk a mile to get the newspaper every morning and it was always great fun to be up in time to go with him.

My Grandma Kay seemed quiet and sweet and caring on the outside but was also very strong and tough on the inside. She raised four kids with a military husband gone quite often. Plus, she put up with my seemingly often grumpy grandpa! :) She made the most wonderful blueberry syrup for pancakes when we were there from the blueberries out of her yard. She would let us go get the eggs out of the hen house. We played cards alot and she taught me how to play cribbage (not that I remember now). My grandpa died before her, right before their 60th wedding anniversary. She gradually declined in health. My mom, Double A and I were flying to visit her in late September 2004 (I was pregnant with BumbleB). As we got off the plane, my aunt and uncle met us and told us in the airport grandma had passed away that day while we were on the plane. It was quite the shock as she had been ill but nothing more than usual. It was just a regularly scheduled visit, not one due to illness or anything.

My cousin and his wife and family live in their house now. They have redone some of the necessary things in the house. I have not seen it yet but hear it is nice. I am glad someone is living there so the house does not deteriorate. My aunt and uncle still live in their house on the property. I miss my grandparents. I have wonderful memories of playing with my cousins when we visited. Spending time together as a family and just hanging out around the property or doing other activities in the area. So many memories: the farming game, bumper billiards, being chased by cows for apples, picking blueberries, go cart racing, crazy shaggy rugs in the twin bed room, the awesome spinning chair with that horrible squeak in the kitchen, sleeping in the various RV's or the basement and on and on and on.

I want to go visit with Husband #1 and my kids but just have not seemed to find the time. I want to see my family who are still there but maybe in a way, I am hesitant because it will be so different with both of them gone.

(If you are one of my family members and I have some facts wrong, please let me know. Or if you have a great memory to add, please comment!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snow Daze!

So, we got some snow last week.

Actually the first day we got just a little snow and it did not even cover all the grass. However, that did not stop Husband #1 from getting out there with the kids and making them pull and push him in the sled! He is such the taskmaster!

No, actually if you will notice the sled marks back and forth across the grass...that is where Husband #1 was running as fast as he could in snow to pull Double A back and forth across three yards. She loved it but Bumble B was still a little under the weather from his stomach flu and would not get on the sled.

Well, that all changed when two days later we got more snow. Double A did have school but no one else did so I kept her home. One reason was I did not get up early enough because I thought it would be cancelled like everyone else. The other reason was she slept until 9am, which NEVER happens. I was worried she was getting the stomach thing Bumble B had over the weekend and Husband #1 had on Monday. She did not have it, thankfully but by that point more snow was supposed to be coming so I just kept her home. We went sledding with some friends. It was the first time the kids have ever been sledding on a real hill. It was sooooo cold and ice pellets fell from the sky the whole time but we had fun. It is hard to tell in the pictures but this was a really big hill. So big I had trouble climbing back up the steep parts.

This is Bumble B getting ready for his first ride down the hill by himself. Double A was great about taking him and then pulling the sled back up. He wanted to go on his own but I told him he would have to pull the sled up and he changed his mind. Then I felt guilty so told him I would meet him at the bottom to help with the sled.

Not sure if you can see his little face but he was grinning ear to ear. The funny thing about this picture is he was going down backwards at this point! This hill had two parts...the first part was a pretty good slope then you hit a drop off and went even steeper from there. This was taken right before he went over the drop off backwards. He did great and stayed on all the way to the bottom.

Double A loved sledding. She always loves the snow which always surprises me for some reason. She was borrowing our friends disc sled in this photo. She did not want to go home but Bumble B was crying hysterically he was so cold and i was pretty miserable myself after a little over an hour out there.
Then Wednesday Double A's school was actually cancelled but there are no pics of that day because we did not leave the house! I found out later that Double A's school has not had a snow day in three or four years and in fact are one of the local schools that almost never closes. We got bunches more snow Tuesday night which caused the school closing (and the first pic in this blog post).
Well, today is Monday again. We still have snow in the shady parts but it was in the 40's this weekend so much of it turned into a slushy mess. But never fear! We have more coming tonight! UGH!