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Sweet Determination

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I know you have to be determined in life to obtain the things you want and realize your dreams. You have to work hard and set goals for yourselves. Some people are more determined than others. However, the main thing is that you’re happy in whatever you do.

This morning we were watching our youngest grandson, Evan. He just turned seven months old this week. His smile can make your heart melt and despite his young age, he is so full of determination. He loves to watch his big brother and sister play, but I believe he thinks if he can walk, they will let him join in in their games.

We were holding his hands so he could stand and walk with us this morning. He confidently places one foot in front of the other with a huge smile on his face. At times it is almost as though he is saying, “Nana and Pop Pop, I don’t need you to hold my hands, I can do this!” I truly believe he will be walking before he crawls. I believe he thinks so too!

How awesome it would be if we had no fears or worries like a baby and just went for the things we wanted. They don’t worry whether or not they will fail, they just do it. If they succeed that’s great, but if they don’t they will get up and keep on trying.

The next time I think about giving up on something, I’m going to think about the determination our grandchildren have to get the things they want. It will give me motivation to keep on trying. I hope it will do the same for you.

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My husband and I have been season ticket holders for Rutgers University Football and Basketball for more than twenty years now.

In all these years we have witnessed many wins and losses. We have seen many changes in coaching staff. We have seen good seasons and not such good seasons.

We took our sons to games. We’ve taken our grandchildren to games. It has always been a great atmosphere for them to be a part of. Tonight my husband and I along with our cousins witnessed one of the best games we’ve ever seen at a Rutgers men’s basketball game! They beat Wisconsin who are ranked number four in the country.

The atmosphere was wonderful. There were several hundred Wisconsin fans there which made it even more exciting. We all cheered and screamed for our teams as the clock ran down, and the score was close enough that it could go either way. Somehow we held on!

The team played as a team. They pulled strength from each other to get the job done. They showed so much heart tonight. They should be very proud. Their coaches should be very proud. I know the fans are proud.

You have to believe. Good things will come if you do!

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The Little Things

I have seen and heard the saying, “It’s always the small things that take your breath away.” Today my breath was taken away.

It was a beautiful afternoon here so we decided to play outside with our grandchildren, Garrett and Zoey.

While I pushed Zoey on the swing in our backyard, my husband took Garrett for a ride around the block in the wagon. Garrett took the Etch-a-sketch along for the ride.

When my husband and Garrett returned home, Garrett came running in the backyard calling for me. I asked what he wanted? He said, “Nana, I drew this for you!” I wasn’t quite sure what it was so I asked him if it was a pirate? He said, “No Nana, it’s love!” And thus, he took my breath away❤️

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Labor of Love

As we enjoy the last “official” weekend of summer, I began thinking about the fun times we had this summer with our grandchildren.

We were fortunate enough to spend a week on Long Beach Island, NJ with our oldest son Mike, his wife Kim and their three children. Besides how impressed I was with all the rebuilding that had been done since hurricane Sandy, I was impressed by how much our grandchildren enjoyed the beach and the ocean. It was our youngest grandson Evan’s first visit to the beach. At a month and a half old, he handled it like a trooper.

After we returned home, our son Brian, his wife Jen and their three children came from Ohio to spend a week with us. Having all six grandchildren together can be crazy but it fills the hole in my heart that’s there when we’re not all together.

We got to spend another day at the beach with five of our six grandchildren and close friends of our families two boys. It was such a beautiful day. The water was perfect and the kids had a great time jumping waves with their parents and their PopPop. Unfortunately for me I had eye surgery that week and couldn’t get water in my eye. But, I was able to get my feet wet and watch them play.

It was fun watching the grandkids interact. Our four year old grandson Garrett was thrilled to be able to play games on the iPad with his cousin Emma. She is our oldest granddaughter (10 years old). She seemed to enjoy spending time with Garrett too.

Our three younger grandchildren, Zoey, Oliver and Olivia ( all 2 years old) had their good times and bad. Sharing toys is still a little touch-and-go with them. But, they seemed to have fun together.

Baby Evan slept and ate through it all. Don’t worry Evan, you’ll be running around with them next summer!

It won’t be long before we’re all together again…Christmas! It’s right around the corner.

After our time together and everyone went home, the house was quiet again. It always takes me a few days to adjust to the silence.

Happy Labor Day everyone. I hope you get to spend the day with your loved ones.

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Little Boys Crack Me Up!

A little more then a month ago my husband and I welcomed our sixth grandchild. He is an adorable little guy named Evan.

Evan is our third grandson. Having raised two sons, I must admit I have a soft spot in my heart for little boys. My boys always had a way of making me laugh. They still make me laugh. They are always there for me in good times and bad.

One day I stopped over my son and daughter-in laws home to see the baby. As soon as I walked in the house my daughter-in-law handed me the baby to hold so she could take a bathroom break. I sat on the couch next to our oldest grandson Garrett (4 years old). He was not paying much attention to me because he was busy playing with his iPad.

Evan started to cry. I leaned over to Garrett and said, “I think Baby Evan is getting hungry.” Without lifting his head, Garrett’s reply was, “You have to take your bra off Nana and feed him, just one side!” I thought I was going to pee my pants! He acts like he isn’t paying attention, but Garrett doesn’t miss a thing!

The next evening I was talking to my daughter-in-law in Ohio. She was telling me a story about our grandson Oliver ( 2 years old). Oliver was carrying around a baby doll. It was probably his sisters, but he claimed it as his. His Mom said, “Let’s put some clothes on your baby.” She found a newborn diaper and a newborn outfit and Ollie’s baby was ready to go!

Ollie carried his baby into the living room. Now, this baby talks and cries. He started to cry and Ollie attempted to comfort him. He laid the doll on the couch and as he did the baby said, Mama! Ollie looked at the baby and said, “No, Da Da!” The baby said “Mama” again and Ollie told him again that he was Da Da! He got disgusted and left the baby on the couch.

I’m telling you, they crack me up! I am looking forward to seeing what Evan’s personality will be like. So far his brother Garrett and cousin Ollie are keeping their Nana laughing 🙂

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Happy Birthday Kimberly!

 

Today we will celebrate our daughter-in-law Kim’s birthday.

My husband and I were blessed with our two sons. We watched them grow into fine young men. I never expected that we would have daughters; however, we have been blessed with two beautiful daughter-in-laws who are as close to us as any daughter could be.

Kim has always been warm, caring and thoughtful. I remember the first time I was introduced to her.  We were at a friends wedding.  My husband was unable to attend, so Kim took it upon herself to make sure I had a good time.  She kept me on the dance floor all night. Sore feet and all,  I knew then that she would be a great addition to our family.

She is pregnant now with her third child and our sixth grandchild.  She also cares for her Mom who has been ill for some time now. She always makes time for my husband and I.  To her family comes first. She is a wonderful wife, mother and daughter. We always feel welcome at her home and never like an outsider.

I know that often daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law don’t have the best of relationships. I believe it’s partly because as a Mom you don’t believe anyone can care for your son the way that you did. It’s very hard to cut the apron strings.  However, as I get older, I realize that the most important thing is that your son is happy. I am fortunate to have an amazing relationship with both of my “daughters.” And, I know our sons are happy.

I wish you a very Happy Birthday Kim. Thank you for all you do each and every day.

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Things That Make Me Smile

We went to the park today for a picnic with our son Mike, his wife Kim and our grandchildren Garrett and Zoey. It was a beautiful day here and a perfect way to spend Memorial Day.

The kids had a great time playing on the swings and going down the slide. A lot of people had the same idea because the park was quite crowded. Luckily we were able to find a picnic table so we could sit down and enjoy our sandwiches that Kim was generous enough to make for all of us.

Not long after we began eating our sandwiches, the Ice Cream truck pulled up. Garrett and Zoey both started asking for ice cream. Pop Pop took them over to the truck and two happy children came running back to the table.

We played awhile longer and then decided to pack up. It was nap time for Zoey.

We had told Garrett that Nana & Pop Pop would be heading out to Ohio soon to visit our Ohio family. While we were walking to the car Garrett asked me if we were leaving for Ohio today? I said, “No, not today.” He said, “Nana, when you go to Ohio, can you take a picture of Uncle Brian and Aunt Jenny and send me their picture in a text?” He said he wanted his three cousins pictures texted too! I said,”Garrett, you can text now?” He said, “Yes I can!” I looked over at his Mom and she just rolled her eyes and smiled. You see, Garrett is just four years old! I don’t think he can read or write yet but knowing Garrett he probably can text. I smiled and said, “Okay!” That was just the perfect ending to a perfect afternoon.

Happy Memorial Day!

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Happy 2nd Birthday Oliver & Olivia

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Today is our grand babies Ollie Bear & Livy Sue’s second birthday. It’s times like this that makes the distance between New Jersey and Ohio really stink! We can’t just get together whenever we’d like. I know for some families they may think that’s a good thing…but not us! We actually enjoy spending time together! We try to get together as much as possible.

After our son Brian and his wife Jen had our grand daughter Emma, we didn’t think they were going to have any more children. Emma was nine when they surprised us with the news that they were expecting. When they had their twenty week ultrasound they called us to tell us the sex of their little one! Brian said, “We’re having another girl.” In the background Emma yelled out, “And a boy!” I said, “Okay, which is it!” They all yelled out, “It’s both!”

They were born prematurely which is not unusual for twins. Olivia was so tiny compared to her brother. However, they seem to have a bond that is adorable to watch.

It was such an exciting time. Both our daughter-in-laws were expecting at the same time with their second pregnancies and due within a couple months of each other. It’s a time I will never forget.

These babies are the light of our lives. We are having such fun with all of them. Making memories with this bunch of kids is so much fun😊

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Happy 4th Birthday Garrett!

Four years ago we welcomed this little guy into our lives. He is the second oldest of our five grandchildren.

From the moment we saw him we knew he was going to be something special. He was trying to roll over in his bassinet a few hours after he was born.

At two and a half he taught his Pop Pop and I how to use our new iPhones! Of course he knew exactly which App’s to download to our phones. The App’s that would benefit him while we were cooped up in the house on those cold nasty days.

He is a wiz at all the Lego games for the Wii. If we can’t keep up with him, he simply drops us out. He loves to sit next to me on the couch and watch the gamers play the Lego games on You Tube. He gently takes my arm and puts it around him so he can sit as close to me as possible. He knows how to melt my heart.

This little boy is so full of love and life. He can be so silly and loves to make us laugh. He puts a smile on my face each time I see him. He loves his little sister and is excited about his baby brother who will join their family this summer.

It’s funny how different each one of our grandchildren are. They all have something about them that make them so special and oh so easy to love.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

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Happy Birthday Miss Emma!

Tomorrow our grand daughter Emma will be celebrating her 10th birthday! She is the oldest of our five grandchildren.

She lives ten hours away from us by car and and two hours by plane. But we are lucky to be able to make frequent visits out there. We talk by phone several times a week and she fills us in on what’s going on in her life.

I can still remember the night she was born. We had our bags packed for days so we would be ready to leave at a moments notice. Our son called us around 10PM on April 8, 2004. He told this was it! Our daughter-in-law Jen was in labor.

I called our son Mike who lives nearby to let him know we were on our way. My husband and I packed a few last minute items and we were on our way. We drove through the night. We only stopped for gas and a few coffee breaks.

Our son Brian called us frequently with status updates. Around 3AM he called us to let us know his daughter had arrived. She and her Mom were doing fine. I could hear the happiness in his voice.

We arrived around 8AM that morning. When I held her in my arms for the first time , it made me realize what a wonderful life this is. She was so perfect.

She is a smart, beautiful young lady. She is full of love, laughter and kindness.

Happy Birthday sweet Emma. Always stay as sweet as you are! Pop Pop and I love you very much!

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