Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Big Birthday Party. .and Some Other Stuff

Life has been busy. .as one would expect in our season of life. The great thing about our season. .is that is full of a diverse spectrum of life and lives.  Last weekend. .we enjoyed spending a few hours with family celebrating Grandmom Jackie's 81 years.
Her life has been complicated over the last few years by a progressive dementia. .and right before Thanksgiving, life in her own home came to a close. .and a new life with 24 hour/day care began. It was fun to treat her with a special birthday party in her new home.
Though, she couldn't quite remember that we were celebrating HER birthday. .she remained her social self. .visiting with us, and calling several of us by name. Our crew occupied a lot of chairs around the table. .and not everyone was able to make it.
Grandma Pat made the cake. .as usual!! We never mind that. She has remained active around the nursing home since Grandpa died in October. It does her heart good to keep busy. 
It's always good to see our two favorite K-State students!! My boys always enjoy hanging out with Courtney and Jared. .it's so amazing to me how everyone grows up so fast!
We haven't had a family photo for a few years now. .so they all obliged, and we got a good shot!! They are missing their brother, who lives out of state. Jill and Uncle Jay have been working hard to make life as simple and nice as possible for Grandad and Grandmom. And I'm glad they work so well together!!
Granny enjoys listening to "Miss Grace's" endless stories.
We decided on the way out the door, that it may be helpful to bring some things to keep the kids out of the hallway, causing ruckus. .The little guys enjoyed a rousing game of apples-to-apples. .
. .while the big ones played Pictureka. .
It got so lively at one point, that even Grandad had to go check it out!!
More than once, the rulebook was pulled out. .
Although Aunt Amy was getting stomped by the kids. .She was pretty sure that they weren't following ALL the rules. .HA!
I'm not sure that I have ever gotten a photo of these two in the same place. .my brother in law hates pictures as much as his brother and father. .but this time, he humored his bossy, outspoken SIL!!

In other family-related news. .The boys all performed in our county 4-H day. .an opportunity for them to perform talks, demonstrations, music, or readings.  I was pretty pleased. Tristan performed his humorous solo he has worked up for forensics. .He did well and scored a blue ribbon. His demonstration on making a chocolate cake in a mug with the microwave on the other hand. .wasn't very good at all. .though he still managed to score a blue ribbon. Only because the judge didn't know what he was SUPPOSED to be saying!! 

Grant did a demonstration on planting seeds. He has always been the nervous nelly of the bunch. .and has hated getting up in front of people more than his other siblings combined. .I blame that on his shy father. He has never had to perform in front of so many people at the same time he was being judged. .and he was instantly nervous. He gave me the worst time of any of them during his practices at home. .and I was really pleased with how he did. He remembered nearly everything he had practiced talking about. .and scored a blue ribbon, alternate top blue. .and the opportunity (or punishment. .if you hear him tell it) to perform it again in a few weeks at our regional meet. 

My little 9 year old impressed me the most though.  The one who would cry real tears when he was "forced" to practice the talk one more time. .proclaiming that he "hated the world!" The one that has never had an ounce of "people-fear" or "performance-fear" in his brain. He stood right up at the front of the room and rattled off to the judge everything she might need to know if she wanted to take up archery as a hobby.  He was awarded the top blue of all the kids age 7-10 giving talks and demonstrations that night. He will also get to do his talk again next month. On the way home we talked about the judge awarding him top blue because he had been able to memorize his information and practiced it enough to be able to get up and talk about it easily with the judge. He advised ME that he got top blue because "the judge didn't know ONE thing about archery. .and I taught her a lot. .she said so!" That reason worked for me too!

With the impending arrival of spring. .we will be back into athletic mode. Grant will be doing track and Tristan plans to try golf. His growth plate in the broken foot has closed, and the podiatrist intended to release him back to full activity last week, until he discovered that the foot has been hurting again over the last few weeks. So, instead of full activity. .he got released back into his walking boot. .which he gets to enjoy until prom. He may remove it to wear his tux and dance. .and then we're planning on a surgery the next week to clean the bone fragments out of the joint space and do some cartilage grafting. He will then get a non-removable cast. .and a set of crutches to use for another 4-6 weeks. Cha-ching!

Grant's drumline group will be performing in a drumline showdown in Wichita next month, which may turn into several performances this spring. .depending on how well they do. It won't be long until he will walk the aisle to get his 8th grade promotion "diploma." And we will have 2 kids capable of driving. 

Devin is getting tired of the excuse "Because they are older than you, that's why. ." And he hasn't bought into the fact that he will likely be able to get away with more things than they have anyway!! He is already counting down the days until baseball and summer camps start.

Cami?? She is who she is. .a diva one minute. .and a WWF (world wrestling federation) star the next. Soon will be screening time for next year's school based preschool program. .and I find myself dreaming a little more often about what I might find to do in those afternoons by myself next year!

Jeremy. .busy as always. His eye has healed well. .thanks to all the well-wishers!! Drag racing starts in less than a month. .and then he'll be gone. .gone. .GONE! :-) He and Grant have been working on Grant's old pickup all winter. .J has decided that it is not nearly as fun to be perfectionistic with someone else's junk!!

And me. .Well, you know if you come here every week!! I did make an important realization this week .a realization that was several months in the making.  For over 11 years, I have listened to women tell me about this disheartening phenomenon that occurs as one approaches middle age. The phenomenon demonstrated by the sudden inability to get one's jeans on anymore. .despite the fact that they haven't gained any weight. My standard response has always been (until now) that as women age, their weight re-distributes to the center of their body. .namely their hips and rears. I'm here to tell you. .That's CRAP!! There is a definite horizontal repositioning of the pelvic bones. .making them noticeably wider!! I grew out of my leftover high school jeans several children ago. .but NOW I am growing out of new jeans. I still workout 3-4 days weekly. .this isn't fat accumulation. .and it isn't big muscles either. .(Jeremy's version is that it is MUSCLE. .pushing out the FAT farther. .he can open his blackened eye. .now!!)  I SO totally understand NOW why there is a "misses" section AND a "women's" section. I am finally a WOMAN! Cami and I had a little modeling session a couple days ago. .and my pile of jeans that barely button. .was taller than my pile of jeans that I can effectively button. .without standing on my tiptoes, sucking in all my air, and making momentum with my fingers and the button. .all while doing a little ballerina hop. .just to make 'em shut. 

It's a phenomenon I tell ya. .a P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-O-N!!
And I'm stickin' to it!!

Blessings to all!!


  1. Great, so if it is happening to you, then there is NO hope for me skipping that older woman thing. Why don't you figure out a cure and do it quickly!! Find some time in your busy schedule so that we can meet up at Mom and Dad's.


  2. You family certainly must appreciate all the photos you take and share of your gatherings. Those will be treasured in later years. And, knowing when they were taken will be so helpful. It's so much easier now that digital photos save that info in their properties.
    Glad to hear Jeremy's eye is healed (from the crowbar incident). Here's to an injury free spring for all of you!!!

  3. Looks like a great party! Thanks for putting up with a having an extra teen there! Sounds like the boys did great at 4-H Days! Sorry about Tristans foot. Miss Thang was telling me all about it today. Poor guy!

  4. I enjoyed reading (and seeing) about Jackie's birthday party. I remember she would often come across the street and visit Grandma and I on Grandma's front porch. :) Also enjoyed hearing about the 4-H things - sounds like the practice helped! And Ohhhhh, I hear you about the jeans PHENOMENON. lol

  5. Oh Mel...if YOU're having a jeans crisis then I know I'm in trouble! Glad to catch up on our your kids' happenings. sorry to hear about upcoming foot surgery tho. :P

  6. Aw, what a nice party for Grandma! Sounds like the kids did well with their 4 H presentations!! So, I have not heard about the jean thing even though you haven't gained any weight! Very interesting!

  7. Isn't it great to hang out with family. The birthday party I'm sure was well appreciated.
    As usual, you have your hands full. I don't know how you do it. I hope you have some time for yourself. Ha ha! And about those crack me up. I won't say a word.