Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Lazy Dayz of Summer

Lazy days of Summer? I wish! It seems like every day is a busy day at our house! 

Celebrated the annual blooming of the day lilies.

We hosted our annual Gramma Mimi's Cousin Camp for nine of our ten grandchildren the last week of June. Number ten was born on the 4th of July! 

I finally talked Grampa Merry into a bucket list vacation to the coast of Maine! We used Diners, Drive Ins and Dives recommendations for restaurants and were pretty disappointed. I guess we are just Red Lobster people. I did check off sitting on the beach, looking at the ocean and eating a (tasteless) lobster roll ($22).  Burger was Grampa's. 
It has been stinking hot and humid here in Northern Ohio which has made summer activities challenging. We let the grandkids play outside first thing in the morning, but by 10:30 it is so humid, that we are concerned about dehydrating. So we bring them inside where they destroy my house. 
(the wrecking crew)

We did take two of the boys to an Ox Roast in a nearby country town. The fire department buries the foil wrapped beef in a trench of burning charcoal and digs it up in time for lunch beginning on Friday. The boys said the beef was delicious and did not taste like dirt at all. Unfortunately we had to use the potty immediately following lunch and preschooler do not use portapots . We were unable to stay and visit the rest of the festival. 
Was asked to resume service to 4-H by helping to construct the fair booth for my three oldest grandchildren. 
I think I actually baked 15 pies for our church festival this year. Halfway through the day. 

I talked Grampa Merry into a trip to a nearby Bratwurst Festival. It was sunny with only a 20% chance of rain. It was a good thing I remembered umbrellas, it was like a typhoon. But the festival was amazing, the food stands plentiful and we had music from TBDBITL. 

We celebrated Grampa's birthday. 
Dyed my hair lavender. On purpose. 
It was my (gulp) 45th class reunion
Had a few picnics. This was a Chicken BBQ for the Senior Center. 
And we even baked some cookies
Hmmm.  After looking at these photos, I think we did an awful lot of eating this summer, too!

Tomorrow is our last picnic; school starts on Thursday! We will have two in the nursery school carpool, one newborn,  three toddlers on alternate days and one first grader that will board the bus at our house at 7:30 a.m.  So much for lazy!

Friday, July 26, 2019

2019 Gramma Camp

When I started my "Gramma Camp", I had one grandchild who lived in Florida. I guess I forgot to do the math. I have five children and now TEN grandchildren, seven who live in the same town and three who live about two hours away. But it is a tradition and traditions must continue. 
We stepped up the t-shirt game this year with my youngest daughter's purchase of a cricut machine. We made three different shirts that could rotate through the six days of camp. We also made additional shirts for a family event with even more "cousins" and a special shirt I will show you at the end. 
The theme for this year was "Star Wars, A Grandparents Galaxy Far, Far Away". We began with just the "littles" since the bigs had to finish some tournament baseball games and a final swim meet.  One of the day 1 activities was pool noodle lasers which were a big hit. They are wearing "paint" shirts from another project. 

Day two was our annual trip to the lake. High water levels and a dangerous undertow resulted in two drownings the week after our camp and another drowning this week. We will no longer be traveling to the beach. 
And we had our annual lunch at our favorite pizza restaurant. 
We worked on some shoe box robots, played some games and headed to our favorite Mexican Restaurant for supper. 
Day Three started with rescuing Star Wars Characters who were encased in death star balls (of baking soda playdough). We had to shoot them with vinegar lasers to melt the death stars. 

Camp week had temperatures close to 100 degrees. We decided to visit an indoor playground that is air conditioned in a neighboring town. 
Could these cousin be any cuter?
And how scary are these cousins!
Even Baby Leo got in on the fun!

Day Four welcomed the Bigs! We tried for some official camp photos. Looking at the camera is not our strong suit. 
I put them to work making paving stones for my fairy garden. 
We had a day full of crafts including these R2D2 cutouts and some painted rocks (they were supposed to be Star Wars Themed). 
Then we headed back to our favorite pizza place for a family reunion with relatives from Florida and Georgia! 

The next morning was the Fourth of July and we all headed to our small town parade. It was in the high nineties and so humid it was insufferable. How did those marchers stand it?
And trying to get some shade (and hide from the drummers)
And while we were at the parade: 
Grandchild #10 - in case you were counting only 9 in previous photos. The day finished with fireworks. 
Well, one watched the fireworks. 

Day, who remembers. It was supposed to be Bigs only, but we had Big Sister for the next few days and the mother of two of the Littles had to work, so it was a full car load. And since it was forecast to be 100 degrees again, we headed to the indoor playground. 
And then a road trip to take the Bigs home for one last baseball tournament. 
 And the ride home. 
The Last Day - we took another trip up to help the Bigs put up a fair booth. This is their first year in 4-H and the first year in the club that their mother and a friend started. As a former 4-H advisor for a measly 25+ years, I agreed to give them a hand. 

Pretty great job by these new 4-Hers! 

So - it was a pretty long week for Gramma Camp. We started at breakfast and had full days of crafts, activities, field trips and meals before ending after dinner.  It is getting harder to schedule with all the different activities the grandchildren are involved in. And the past two years have been uncomfortably hot which means activities have to take place indoors.  I think we are going to make some changes for next year. We are thinking of camp "weekends" where we will do maybe two days of camp with a theme.  The grandparents are getting tired and the campers are getting more energy!  We will have to see what next year brings. 
And here is that "special" shirt:

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two Days Without Rain

Stock Photo - Google Images

It has been a very wet spring.  A very, very wet spring.   We have had a lot of rain, a lot of thunderstorms, a couple of tornado warnings (2 spotted, but did not hit) and lots and lots of mud. The farm fields have inches of standing water and we actually pray for wind to help dry them. And if they don't dry soon, they will not get planted. Most will not get their crop in at all. It is supposed to rain 14 of the next 15 days, with 13 of those days at a chance of over 40%. 

With the awful weather for farmers, it seems petty to complain about how much fun it is to be penned indoors with toddlers and small children when it is too wet or muddy to play outside. But it sure has been fun to have two sunny days in a row! 
ANYWAYS - On Tuesday it was sunny! And there were no rain clouds! We only had my three year old granddaughter to babysit so we took her to the park to play on the swings. 
Finally talked her into wearing the bonnet I got her in Amish Country. My kids had little brown summer bodies.  But now we use lots of sunscreen and I try to keep hats on all of them.  Both of my daughters have experienced skin cancers. 
Pretty proud of herself. 

AND today was gorgeous, too! We picked up two of my grandsons after Vacation Bible School and took them on a picnic to another park. 

By pack a picnic, I mean pick up prepackaged snacks at Aldi. Meanwhile, the sun was shining!
This guy was pretty happy on the BIG slide!
It was a gorgeous afternoon

And now it is raining. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Meet Pearlie Mae!

Well, this is the real Pearl May. She is my great aunt born at the turn of the last century. She and my grandfather worked hard to help raise their little sister and take care of their mother. My great grandfather was an unfortunate alcoholic. My grandfather left school in 8th grade to apprentice to a jeweler and Pearl went on to college and became an elementary teacher. After their baby sister graduated high school and my grandfather married and took his mom to live with his family, Pearl May changed her "country" name to Patricia Ann, left with a traveling salesman and moved to Seattle where they married and, I believe, sold real estate and managed an apartment building. 
Pearl may not have been in love with her name, but I sure am!  Our local Herb Farm offered a chance to make this lovely garden lady for Mother's Day and I talked my husband and granddaughter into accompanying me out to the farm this morning. 
My granddaughter spotted the owner's own garden lady on our way in. I would like to call your attention to the winter coat and cap. Yesterday our temperatures were in the 70's. Today - low 40's with a chilly wind. 
I got distracted with her herb display and filled a box with some healthy plants before we began. 
Then we got to play dress up! Look at these gorgeous aprons!
Floral Dresses
Blouses and gloves and necklaces and scarves. 
Hats and flowers and baskets and . . . stuff!
My granddaughter's favorite color is blue, so blues it was!
On our way to the car, we stopped to visit the fish in the pond. She has a lovely yard. 
And here is the lovely Pearlie Mae! I am so in love with her. Once she was "planted" I rearranged with some strategic safety pins and a stapled hat. I think I am going to decorate with patriotic colored annuals this year, so the flower may be replaced with red ones.  The herb shop is only charging $25 for the form and clothing which I thought was a terrific price. I know I could easy spend that much on vintage clothing, even at Goodwill.  

Miss Merry