Friday, June 27, 2014

Big Red Lips

So, this Playdate past, the special afternoon event was Klub Kimby.

The Klub Kimby Porch is open for business.

Step right up and get your nails done-

Your hair chalked-

The kidlets take painting themselves up very seriously.

And this vision inspired us to break out into a rendition of "Age of Aquarius," don't ya know?

Then all the ghouls, I mean guys and dolls took a break for story time and snack.

Then they dressed up in their fanciest for a Ball in the living, where it was cooler.
The cash register was  utilized for the admission charge and then the proceeds were used for dollar dances when the Ball morphed into a wedding reception.

 And what did Mr. Smiley find most fascinating about today's events?  Why his own tiniest toes, that's what.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Slip, Slip, Slide

That's how this summer feels, like it is slip sliding away.
With the new balanced calendar we have a total of a whole six Playdates, and three are already a sweet memory.
I love what Playdate gives us.  Time to be outside and disconnected from technology and air conditioning. Well, since most of my big people have crossed the Smart Phone bridge of no return, they are ever sneaking a peek at something, but the wee ones, it is all water and play.  I have to laugh at the big people texting while they are knee deep in the creek.
I must be honest and say my favorite part of Playdate is when I recover enough to look at the pictures taken throughout the day.  Otherwise, it kind of takes all my thought processes to count heads and keep them fed and watered all day.  A week ago Monday our Playdate population totaled 38.  Whew.
So this year's pictures look much like last year's and the one before that.  The kidlets have an expectation of what the day should be.
Participants begin arriving at 9, unless like last time, three were already here, having spent the night.  Usually we begin at the wee splash park pavilion.  Where, no matter how old you grow, you don't really tire of pouring water.

It always makes me kind of sad the way we constantly segregate children by age.  During this session of, according to Baby Boy, "bab-buh-tizing" each other, the children ranged from 3 to 13.  Giddy-up being the least, learned to weave his way around and the big ones who knew he wouldn't take to being bab-buh-tized, didn't attempt it.   Amazing, they managed it perfectly.  In case your wondering, the girls in the back are lounging in what they refer to as "The Hot Tub."

Shark riding is always a delight.

A lot of scientific experimenting is done under the pavilion with mint harvested from the garden.  These minty concoctions are then used for mouth spray, antiperspirant, bug spray and perfume. Baby Boy said his experiment would turn the girls into pussycats and boys to werewolves, so beware.

A steady stream drift from the water to the paint and art blooms all over the pavilion.

 No one it seems, but the chickie girls I'm guessing, tire of chicken tending.

Frequent excursions are made by varying groups to the tree fort.

And this boy, in his cape, has finally learned to drive this jeep and has put about five hundred miles on it this summer.

 Fighting over who gets Mr. Smiley to give us his best grin goes on all day long. Oh lands, I can't stand how adorable this boy is.  Ol' Mother Hubbard says I say that about everyone of them.

 When everyone is content, I leave specific folk in charge of the littles and run in to pop the corn and fill bowls with popcorn and another with cheese cubes, meat sticks, raw vegies and fruit, with something exciting like blueberry milkshakes thrown in now and again.  We herd them in, wash hands and eat lunch.

Aunt SuZQ arrives to keep us hydrated through these hot and humid afternoons with spearmint tea.

Well, they can't be put off any longer, so to the creek we go.  Here again, we see all manner of the older ones handing down their creek wisdom to youngest, like our little Westerly Wind making his first creek visit. 
He was delighted and not the least bit happy to leave.

We get lots of minnows, and crayfish, which delight, but the best find is a frog and must be showed around.
When I can haul them out we head back to house for a good hosing with orange Dial soap to remove all traces of swamp water.  Then it's time for a story and snack. The rest of the afternoon is often a repeat of the morning, unless it is a special day. 
Then, rinse, wash and repeat and feed whoever remains there for  supper.
Finally, the day winds down just chillaxing on the front  porch, rocking our sweet babies.  

By this time every ounce of my energy and creativity is a long time gone. But, I can't seem to come up with any better way to spend it.  Thank you Lord, for the blessings of all my people and for watching over us!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hide it Under a Bushel No, I'm Going To Let it Shine

Oh lands, what a very long few weeks this has been.
Sometime in May, Rae was late for afternoon Playdate. Like her mama, she doesn't much do late, so it had me wondering. I was wondering even more when she finally got there and Michael was with her. They weren't dressed  for a Playdate.
Giddy-Up popped into the kitchen with a big smile and said, "I have a brother."  Well, Michael's sister just had a new sweetie boy, so I assumed they had been to visit and that was Giddy-Up's interpretation of the situation.
Not so, they'd come bearing news of a new member being added to our family.
I think the whole brother thing threw me, as we've been planning for a new girl. I was still confused.

Girl, shmirrl.
Our newest little punkin' had a very rough start, and it took a couple of weeks for him to find us, though he didn't have to go far.
We only had to wait one day after knowing he was here to see him.   
Oh my, I can surely fall very far and very deep in the tiniest bit of time.  I dare you to look into those dark deep pools of eyes and not be in love.

Well, once my little mother hen arrived on the scene, this is where her boy went, and where he's spent a great deal of time since.

We did manage to get a minute or two with him.

Such a snuggly boy.

Love me some baby toes.

He thinks his Pap is very interesting guy.

Soon the crisis was over and he got to come home to an elated Mama and Papa,

in addition to a very excited big brother.

You know there are legal matters to adhere to, so it was necessary to keep things on the down low for a time, but we're so very excited now to let this little light shine.

Even for one so tiny, this old shirt still has it's mesmerizing quality.
 It's amazing what some good loving can accomplish. He's been gaining weight and hitting developmental milestones like a champ.  He and I have great conversations, he coos and smiles all over his sweet face.  See his little cheeks filling out, though I'm surprised as we try to smooch them off.  Which reminds me, Rae asked Giddy-Up if he was going to help her as she was massaging the baby. He told her no, that he was in charge of smooching.

Well, hello Uncle Adam and Missy Bugg.

 Are you my great Granny Wandy? So nice to meet you.
 Well, I don't know what to say, but the tears flow freely when I snuggle this little bundle. I've never been looked at so intently by a newborn, a preemie even,  as this little fellow in my life. I have no small amount of experience with newborns.  He is so alert when he's a awake, and when he's out, he's out.  He is just so precious to us. I thank God for him and  pray that to his toes he'll know the love we have for him and that will surpass whatever comes.

This pictures was taken when Rae brought him to meet my class.  When I first shared the news, one of students declared, "Finally, we've been praying about that all year!"  Indeed.  Praise God for answered prayers.

Thank you for your prayers  and support as we've navigated these choppy adoption waters over the last three years.  For those curious, Rae and Michael will stay active with the agency, where we'd planned on the baby in January, in hopes the money  previously spent will be used toward baby number three sometime in the future.  For now, we are all just enjoying the babymoon with little lovey.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Friend, the Creek

Dear Little Indian Creek,

Do you remember these kiddos.  You certainly have seen a great deal of them over the past nine years, but this, this was that first year. The first time a new generation of children discovered your rocky shore.

The first time to be excited by a bowl of rocks, a bobber that could be tossed and reeled in over and over, a so tiny fishy.
Do you remember my contemplative meanderings?  How grateful I was to having something right out my door that provided hours of exciting entertainment.  
How I wondered when life would get so crowded with friends, video games, baseball games, life, that your babbling stream would no longer call to them, would stop being such a delight.  How each year brought such obvious developmental milestones- slippery rocks managed without Gramerly's hand, 
minnows caught independently,

 those beloved rocks that now skip instead of sinking,

and oh, my, holding a crawdad all by yourself.

Was that a humorous gurrgle I heard when you noticed that creek boots weren't meant to used quite this way?
Or when adults discovered they might still need a hand to hold?

Did their discoveries delight you as they have me?

Tad Frogs

Chilly tootsies.

 And when the rain came, did watching these water sprites widen that curvy smile?

Were you as surprised as me to turn around and find them growing so fast?
And, oh the songs we've sung, and the stories I've told about you, and the many trips they've taken in their imagination,  down this creek to the Ohio, then on to the Muddy Mississip, which of course required a rendition of "Look Out for Me, Ol' Muddy Water."  
Do you have memories of natives of old who might have paddled down this creek?

And that Grumpy Ol' Troll still lives here. I hope he hasn't bothered you much.

  Even when scorching summers empty you of those cooling waters, your dry bed is still an exciting place for a little pioneering.

And here we are, nine years  down the road, and you've changed as well. Each season brings a bit of a twist in the rocks and the shoreline, but the joy continues.
Do you ever wonder, like me, if your seeing double?  Isn't this the same little boy in that first picture?

No, Bean is big guy now, and he is showing you off to the wee one, who might just live down here if we pitched him a tent.
 The thrill of being brave enough to hold your own critter hasn't waned.

 New friends still come to meet you and see what treasures await them.

 And even when you really are big enough to walk without slipping, it is nice to have a hand to hold.
So, as with all my dear friends, I thank the Lord for you, and pray we have many more sunshine and laughter filled days of discovery.
Love one grateful Gramerly