The Big Number One!

The Big Number One!

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Squiggles and snuggles, giggles and goofy faces, babbling and bum bouncing, granddaughters together with hugs and laughter and smooches galore, family gathered celebrating a new milestone, surprise visitor to help celebrate, farm time, horse and buggy rides, food, food, food, little girl laughter and learning new games, hide and seek, grandma and grandpa come play, baby bye byes and words that sound like mom and dad and sit, precious time with family and friends, new memories created to last a lifetime.  God is good and Life is great!

 

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What could be better?

What could be better?

Little girl laughter, playing games, hugs, playing dolls and little girl tea parties, party preparations, the anticipation of a birthday and picking out a new bike! Adorable baby laughter and giggles, army crawling, finding invisible crumbs on the floors, playing with dogs ears and tails, more giggles and funny noises, snuggles, and squiggles. What could be better than weekends with our granddaughters!

Hugs, and laughter. Gathering together for meals filled with incredible Mediterranean, Thai, and home cooked Mexican food, topped off by home baked incredible pop cakes, and chocolate chip/lemon/orange pound cake. Birthday party prep and shopping, dog walks, beer tastings, more laughter, gathering together for the big birthday party, church outreach and 168 palm crosses made for Palm Sunday, more laughter, more beer tastings, relaxing, chilling, movies, more laughter and just enjoying being together. What more could be better than weekends with our 2 sons and daughter-in-loves (my new name for our daughter-in-laws).

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Laughter, hugs, relaxing, sumptuous food, missional outreach, sitting by the fire pit, chatting, relaxing, sipping wine, more laughter, more sumptuous food, off-roading in the country, rummikube tournaments, being together. What could be better than time with wonderful and awesome friends!

We are blessed and our hearts are filled.

And We Have Liftoff!

And We Have Liftoff!

NASA we have had a successful launch at the launch pad birthday! The mission was filled with experimental planet cake pops surrounding Saturn, Galactic Punch, NASA banners, terrestrial tacos with all the fixings, Martian margaritas, a new two-wheel terrain vehicle and a bunch of giggling, new scientists.  The older scientists in the crowd had a blast getting the launch prepared and also enjoyed tons of laughter and hugs from the newest 7 y.o. scientist.  Mission complete!

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Out with the Old, In with the New!

What an absolutely incredible year this has been for our family! We are extremely blessed as we look back to all that we have accomplished, the places we’ve been and the changes in our lives! From our first trip to Cuba, the blessed birth of our 2nd granddaughter, our first hurricane evacuation experience, tons of wonderful and fun FaceTimes with our oldest granddaughter, the beautiful baptism of our new granddaughter, helping our son and daughter in law move from Long Island, NY and culminating with the gathering of our entire family to celebrate Christmas in their new home! Not to miss the numerous trips to Walt Disney World, visits with family and wonderful times spent on Marco Island! Our year has been filled with blessings, love, adventure, hugs, family, friends, butterfly kisses, hearing grandma and grandpa come play with me & baby smiles too numerous to count! We can hardly wait to see what 2018 brings,

Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

Do You Promise… I Baptize You…

I sat in the church pew and watched my husband, our son, his wife and baby, our other son, wife and their sweet daughter and and a couple additional close friends gather together at the baptismal font. I listened as my husband asked our son and daughter-in-law the questions regarding specific responsibilities they have for helping their child grow in the Christian faith and life. I listened as they answered “With God’s help, we do.” I listened as he addressed the questions to our other son, daughter-in-law and 2 close friends the questions about specific responsibilities they as sponsors have. Again, I listened as they answered “With God’s help we will”. I then watched as my husband took his new granddaughter in his arms and they all laid hands on her to pray over this beautiful new child that has come into our lives. Later in the service my husband and I watched as our daughter-in-law took the baby in her arms, placing her head over the font, watched as our son, using a special shell from Marco Island, poured the baptismal water, from a special lake in Minnesota and listened as our son said “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. We watched as our son lit the baptismal candle with the words “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”. We watched as he anointed her forehead with oil with the words “You are marked with the cross of Christ forever”.

Then we celebrated! It was an emotion filled, button popping, beautiful day for our families!

Grandpa and Grandma Come Play With Me!

Grandpa and Grandma Come Play With Me!

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Oh how we love hearing those words!  It was a weekend of precious time spent with our MN family!  Our adventure of course began with a routine trip to MOA and lunch at the newly opened Shake Shack.  We were excited to be able to try it since we can never really get near the one at Grand Central Station in NYC.  It was absolutely everything everyone claims it to be!  Being St. Patrick’s Day weekend we thought we would start our celebration early with dinner and music at Claddagh Irish Pub, but unfortunately the wait was over an hour.  But, we were so lucky that across the street was Punch Pizza, our fav pizza place in the Twin Cities.  We were not disappointed!

Our next adventure on Friday took us to downtown Minneapolis to meet up with our son for lunch.  We had not really spent any time in downtown so it was fun to at least walk along Nicolett Mall area and then check out the soon to close Macy’s, which was closing it’s doors on 3/19.  It was sad to see the emptiness of the store with so little left to it.  The era of downtown department stores slowly seems to be coming to an end.  But, they did have some good bargains!  Next it was off to meet up with our son for lunch on the skyway.  We wondered why the downtown streets seemed so deserted, such a contrast to NYC.  But, we soon found out why.  When you have a climate controlled skyway like they do in Minneapolis why would you bundle up in all your winter gear and trudge the streets of downtown looking for somewhere to eat!  Sure didn’t see any Naf Naf Grills streetside!  To our surprise our granddaughter was off on Friday and couldn’t wait for us to come over and we didn’t waste any time getting there to spend the rest of the day with her and our daughter-in-law.  It was time for fashion design, Barbies, Lego’s, decorating for the party, and whatever else you can squeeze in with a soon to be 6 year old!  And it was fun to experience St. Patrick’s Day at a Mexican restaurant for dinner!  Even the waiters had green on!

We always love heading up north for the birthday weekend because it’s just chock full of fun, work, play, do this, do that, go here, go there, baking, cooking, decorating, preparing and excitement!  Birthday #6 was a camping theme!  It was just like a campground with even a tent and campfire!  Kids everywhere playing, laughing, giggling, eating trail mix, popcorn and adults pretty much doing the same-I think maybe a little more eating and adult type conversation!  It was a precious time to see our daughter-in-laws grandmother meet the newest of her great-grandchildren for the first time.  What joy was on her face as she held the precious little blessing in her arms.  Needless to say our son and daugher-in-law went all out as usual for the big celebration and as usual the birthday party was a huge success!

But, our time was not over just yet!  Monday held a little bit of time together with our son and granddaughter at MOA for the morning/afternoon before we had to head to the airport for our flight home.  What more could a grandma and grandpa ask for than some little girl shopping time at Claire’s or the American Girl store, picking out fancy little rings for little fingers and fancy doll dresses, watching her “fly” on the carousel and ride the “roller coaster” with those precious little arms held high in the air?  Giggles, smiles, “one more ride” filled our morning and early afternoon topped off with another awesome lunch at Shake Shack introducing our son and granddaughter to the delights of Shack burgers and shakes!  But, even little 6 year olds wear out and it was time for some R&R for both dad and daughter and for Grandma and Grandpa to think about heading to the airport.

Grandpa, lift me up and give me a swing goodbye!

The countdown is on for our next visit.