Thursday, September 20, 2018

September 20, 2018

Being Grandparents 
Can be a Lot of Fun
September 20, 2018

What a delightful time Ron and I spent with family this past weekend.  Our second oldest son and his family live about an hour and 15 minute drive from us.  Our son and his wife wanted to take two of their children to see a Broadway style musical for the evening.  We were asked to care for their youngest 6 children at their home for the evening.  Knowing they would be very late coming home they suggested we stay over night in their guest room.

We did stay over and then stayed for the day.  It was 6:00 Saturday evening when I got home and Ron had stopped at the nursing home to see his mom, so it was 7:30 or so when he got home.  The kids were great.  They played for hours with one another.  One of the girls had started piano lessons this year and played a couple of little tunes for me while her brother who is next oldest in line to her also played several pieces for me.  Another of the children played for me at another time.
The oldest of the girls was helping one of her 
little sisters learn some new ballet moves.

Ballet classes had started for the fall and three of the girls are taking those lessons this year.  One of those three showed off what she was learning and her oldest sister helped her out with additional moves.  There are always so many things going on at their house and it was fun to just spend Saturday, just watching them be kids.  Swimming lessons start in a little while for the twins and then after a couple of weeks, several of the others will join in on the lessons.  Several of the kids are now doing Kung Fu and loving it. 
During Morning Family time,each of the
 children shared scriptures they had memorized.

We participated in their  morning family time where they sang, Mom read a story, they recited memory work they had been learning (one of the 4 year old twins recited several verses with complete confidence and then accepted Mom's coaching on others that she was still learning).  While this was going on, several played with toys quietly on the floor.  Right now they are focused on Psalm 1 in their Bible reading and reciting.  There was play time and several of the kids worked on illustrating the story  Mom had read.  There was prayer time and general happiness throughout the room.  It was good to be able to be a part of their day.
One of the girls with Nacho their pet donkey

Something interesting happened Sunday, related to my Cochlear implant.  As I was sitting at church before the service started, a lady came up, smiling at me like I should know her.  I did not recognize her, but she introduced herself and it was her voice I first recognized.  This was a high school friend who visits our church sometimes when a friend invites her to a special musical program.  The lady sat with me during the service since the friend who invited her is in the choir.  We spent time chatting and catching up with each other's lives.  And to me, the interesting part of recognizing her voice is that I often have trouble recognizing voices on the phone, but when I recognized hers, I recalled the same thing happening another time recently.  There was a person I did not recognize as I looked at her, but the voice confirmed who it was.  I am glad I am am able to recognize a friend from many years ago by the voice.  Thank you, Cochlear!
Picture one of our granddaughters did for me.
I think she knows me well!

This weekend was time for a couple of high school reunions here in Brownsville.  One was my brother and his wife's class; it was their 55th year reunion.  They came to town for the weekend and had spent time with my mom while Ron and I were in McAllen.  Another reunion going on was my youngest sister and her husband's class.  I don't recall what year their class was celebrating.  We had lunch Sunday with my brother, his wife and Mom.  My sister and her husband are staying at South Padre Island and did not come into town Sunday.  They will be here another week or more, so I hope to see them during that time.

The last couple of months since my last posting have been very busy for us.  Really more so for my husband.  When I wrote my last blog, Ron's mother had just been moved to a nursing/rehab hospital.  She made a little progress there, but very little.  She ended up going to another nursing home where she has now been for several weeks.  It is not too far from our home and is probably the newest one in town.  It is a nice place without the usual smells of many nursing homes.  She is fairly content there.  The food is not to her choice, but other than that, the care seems to be very good and she is looking healthy and other than her general weakness, she is doing well.

Ron has spent countless hours checking on her, spending time with her in the evenings, running errands for her, checking on insurance, and other financial things.  We are so blessed that even though she is weak physically, she is alert mentally and always wants updates on children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.  One of our sons sends almost daily photos of their toddler and she delights in seeing those.

I continue to do sewing whenever I have the time and energy.  I have just gotten another one back from the lady who machine quilts many of my quilts.  This one just came  back.

Speaking of that toddler, he has been sick this week and keeps running fever.  Sunday evening they called me on my cell phone with a video connection.  I was able to chat with him (and his parents) for a little bit.  He joined in the conversation saying hi, throwing kisses, saying a few more words and giving me a precious bye, bye.  It is hard to live so far from him but we are so thankful for the almost daily photos so we see how much he is growing and what his current interests are.

Our zinnia plants continue to produce lots of beautiful blooms.  The mosquitoes love to attack me when I am out there picking them.  They are producing hundreds of flowers.  At this point, I think I have picked about 2,700 this summer and there are well over 100 waiting to be picked.  It was been raining a lot the last two weeks.  At our house we have had close to 8 inches of rain during those two weeks.  Everything is rapidly growing.  Ron had spent time trimming trees before the rains and will need to do it again as soon as things dry out a little more.
Flooded intersection on my way home from work

The rains were needed and at lunch Sunday, my brother and I were talking about how green everything is.  I told him I have not seen a brown yard in town.  He said all the way from Corpus Christi coming down here, things were beautifully green.  Trees are putting out new growth like it is spring and things are blooming again.  It doesn't take a lot of rain to turn this area green but the amount we have gotten, is creating a jungle.  This last rain was from a tropical wave that came across the Gulf of Mexico.  Great way to get rain without hurricane winds.  There was a storm headed our way, but it weakened the last couple of days.  They think if it restrengthens, it will head to the upper Texas coast and not our area in South Texas.
Quilt I just recently put binding on.

I have been sewing some the last few weeks.  I finished one quilt top and my friend Dolores machine quilted it for me this past week.  I finished the binding on another one and have several in progress.  One of my problems with quilting is that there are so many beautiful, fun patterns available, that I just can't stay focused on only one.
This is one I currently playing with

A few weeks ago I spent three days with the grandchildren in McAllen.  Their mom was on a trip to see her dad. Their oldest daughter had cut out a dress to make (her first attempt to make clothing) and she wanted my help.  We worked on it.  She did the sewing and I helped her understand the directions on the pattern. 
Dress making in progress

It was not as specific as I remembered patterns when I used to make clothing (before I started making quilts).  She sewed, I directed and she did an amazing job of making her first dress.  She has now gotten material for a second one.  We will need to get together soon.  She is also eager to finish her quilt that she started a couple of years ago and set aside.  Her younger sister started her quilt at the same time and finished hers and has had it on her bed for a long time.
Granddaughter with her first dress that she made.

So, as you can see, life stays busy and we stay happy and pretty healthy.  I did find out from my brother, that a high school classmate had gotten a Cochlear implant recently and also the friend's wife got one.  Interesting.  We were in high school band together and he sat a couple of rows behind me.  I am so glad he has now been able to have his hearing greatly improved. Way to go, Larry!