2

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.

0

Procedure Day!

20140317-130239.jpg

I blogged yesterday about my prep for my colonoscopy procedure which was scheduled for today.

I had to get up at the crack of dawn this morning for my 7:30am appointment. It wasn’t easy to do considering I was up half the night making bathroom runs from the previous days prep. Since I have diabetes, the doctor wanted me scheduled as early as possible this morning.

When we arrived at the office there were already a few people ahead of me. However, I was the first patient for my doctor so I went right in.

I was given a gown and socks to change into. A nurse named Valerie took my vitals and medical information. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and a cuff was placed on my arm to monitor my blood pressure. Soon after a line was placed in my arm for my anesthesia. I laughed with the nurses as they were all joking about the judges they liked and didn’t like on the T.V. show The Voice. My favorite judge is Blake Shelton of coursešŸ˜‹

It was finally my turn to go in the procedure room. A pretty nurse and a very handsome anesthesiologist wheeled me back to the room. A few more questions were asked before the doctor came in. When he came in, he asked me if I enjoyed the delicious prep! We both laughed. He told me if I didn’t have any questions for him then it was time for my nap. As I wandered off to sleep, I was facing a T.V. Monitor. The staff was talking about the news of the day and the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Toward the end of the procedure I must have woken up prematurely. The anesthesiologist asked if I was okay and if I wanted more medication. I felt fine so I told him no. I then realized that on the T.V. monitor I saw before I fell asleep was now showing my procedure. I had the rare benefit of seeing my colon up close and personalšŸ˜·

Just like that, it was over. The doctor said everything looked good. Thankfully, no polyps. I don’t have to go back for another seven years.

Some of the patients around me weren’t as lucky. They had polyps and needed to have biopsies done. I pray for them.

The nurse that took care of me in recovery was very sweet. She had five grandchildren like me. We had a lot to talk about, compared notes as I sipped my apple juice and ate my cookies.

Although the prep isn’t pleasant, it is well worth getting it done. It could just save your life. Better yet, you could get a clean bill-of-health and go out and enjoy your life. If your over 50 and haven’t had it done yet, do it!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

2

Paper Airplanes

With the frigid cold temperatures outside, sometimes keeping our grandchildren amused can be challenging.

Although plopping ourselves in front of the television is appealing, we can only watch so many episodes of the shows on Nick Jr.

My grandson asked if we could make a paper airplane! What a brilliant idea. Of course I couldn’t remember how to make one. I must admit it’s been awhile. Thank goodness for You Tube, there you can learn to do just about anything.

Before long we were like two pros. We watched our planes fly around the house. I watched my grandson get so excited over the distance his plane could fly. Who would have thought that a piece of paper could bring so much joy.

Today reminded me that it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on toys for your kids or grandkids. It’s the time you spend together that’s important.

20140304-150646.jpg

6

Our Greatest Gifts

th

Shortly after our youngest son got married ten years ago, he called one day. He lives out-of-state and since he is a police officer, when he calls it makes me a little nervous.

This particular day when he called we chatted about the usual things, such as the weather and what he had been doing. At the end of the conversation he said, “Mom, I think you better sit down.” I was panicked, I thought for sure something bad had happened to him. I sat on the side of my bed with my heart in my throat. Then he said, “Jen and I are expecting a baby!” I started jumping around like a crazy person and tears were rolling down my eyes. I yelled to my husband the good news. Then my son said, “You’re not upset?” Why on earth would I be upset I asked. He said, “We’ve only been married a few months.” I said, “What difference does that make?” He said, “We don’t have a lot of money, we just got married.” I said, “If you wait until you have enough money, you may wait your whole life. It will all work out.”

It did work out of course. They have a beautiful daughter and have since added twins to the mix a year and a half ago.

We just learned several weeks ago that our oldest son and his wife are now expecting their third child. It just never gets old. Knowing that you are going to be welcoming another baby into the family is one of God’s greatest blessings.

Overall this is the fifth time we’ve been given the news of a new baby joining our family and it is as exciting this time as it was the first.

My husband and I have been so blessed. We may not be rich in fortune, but we are rich in having a loving family.

This Christmas our greatest gifts won’t be the boxes under the tree, but the family that sits around the tree. That is truly our greatest gift.

Merry Christmas!

0

Stormy Weather

nanaknells

It was a dreary day here in New Jersey today, but I had no idea that in the Midwest they were experiencing such devastating storms.

When my husband and I got home from doing some errands, we turned on the news only to see breaking news reports on what was happening in the states throughout the Midwest. Several people had already lost their lives and many were injured in Illinois and the surrounding area. The storms were heading towards Ohio where our son and his family live.

We called them immediately to see if they were in any danger. They were bunkered down in the basement. The tornado sirens had just gone off. However, they weren’t expected to have a tornado, just very heavy winds and rain. Their lights had flickered on and off several times. They were prepared with candles and flashlights just in case the lights went out.

The two youngest of our three grandchildren that live there thought it was fun. They were laughing and playing having no idea what could be happening outside. Their parents were playing with them and trying to make light of the situation. Our son works nights as a police officer, but thankfully tonight he was off and able to be with his family.

I remember how scary it was last year when we experienced hurricane Sandy. Although we were all nervous, we tried to keep things as normal as possible for our grandchildren here while we lived for a time with no power or water.

My heart goes out to the families here who have loved ones in the Philippines. It’s so hard to see what they are experiencing and not being close enough to help and provide support.

A few minutes ago our son and daughter-in-law sent us the “All Clear” message we were hoping for. I pray that the families here receive that same message soon from their loved ones in the Philippines.

0

Why I’m Thankful

Fall 2013 056

As I’ve told you before, we are fortunate enough to have five beautiful grandchildren. Two of them live local to us and we get to spend a lot of time with them. Before Halloween I got to bake cookies with our grandson Garrett (3 1/2). He listened very carefully to my instructions with measuring the ingredients. He helped me mix the batter for our cupcakes and waited patiently for the cupcakes to be ready. I put on the icing and Garrett decorated with sprinkles. I ‘m not sure how many sprinkles actually made it on the cupcakes, but we had fun. His little sister Zoey (19 months) was taking a nap while all this was going on, but she got to taste test a cupcake when she woke up. Next year she will get to help too.

Our other three grandchildren, Emma, Oliver and Olivia live 600 miles away.
That night we received a bunch of pictures via text of them decorating rice crispy treats for Halloween. Our oldest granddaughter (9 years) was helping her twin brother and sister (17 months) with the decorating. Her Mom said she had such patience with them.

We saw pictures of them eating the tubes of icing and laughing with each other. Quite like Garrett and the sprinkles, occasionally they got some icing on the cookies. I shared the pictures with Garrett and he giggled as he looked at the pictures of his cousins.

I am thankful that we live in a time where even though we are so far away from our family, we can still participate in their lives thanks to modern technology. We have so many options available to us for communicating. We can text, Skype, use Face Time. We are fortunate to be living now. I often wonder what our ancestors did.

I look forward to our visits when we can all be together and we can do things with all our grandchildren at once. But I am grateful for the technology we have that will keep us forever together.

2

Role Models

My husband and I attended a Baptism today for our close friends grandson. It was a beautiful affair. Six young babies were baptized today.

The Deacon spoke about how we as adults are all role models to these young children. He spoke about we as parents, grandparents, family and friends will be examples for all of them.

On the way to the party after the Christening I saw that my daughter-in-law had a new posting on Facebook. She wrote about how our oldest granddaughter Emma (9 years old) was outside their house selling bottles of water, posters and bracelets she had made to raise money to donate for a cure for cancer. She said, “Too many people are being diagnosed with cancer and we need to find a cure.”

At the Christening party I was talking about this to a friend of mine. We were laughing because when we were kids we asked our Mom’s if we could set up lemonade stands in front of our houses to make money so we could go out and buy the latest new toy.

It really made me wonder…Who are the real role models?