Baking with Granny Jo Jo

Below is my mom … mom to three girls (I’m the youngest), grandma to six grandkids, and “Granny Jo Jo” to six great-grandkids. She turns/turned 84 on August 24. You’ll see this first picture again soon because I am entering it in an I Heart Faces Weekly Photo Challenge called “White.” The picture has to be in color, no black and whites will be accepted. I thought about what I wanted to do in the way of a photo shoot and came up with the idea of baking a “White” Cake dressed in white. I knew I wanted it to be done at my mom’s house because she has a cute little white table and little white chairs, and some nice window light. When I told my mom we would be embarking on her house for this project, she laughed and said “okay, just let me know when so I can be gone that day.” Welllll, of course she was joking. And not only was she there, but when at the last minute I asked her to go put on a white shirt (which is her signature outfit by the way), she gave me no trouble whatsoever and went right in and changed and even combed her hair and put on a little lip stick. Mom? Is that you? What did you do with my mother? (Side note: Mom hates being in a picture.) To say every woman in our family can be difficult at times is an understatement, but she is mellowing in her sweet ripe age and I love her pre-ripened and post ripened little body, spirit, energy and creativity — she’s a keeper my mom. Say’s what she wants and means what she says, is a giver, a quilter, a gardener, a great listener, and one who loves all her greats and grandkids. Invite her for dinner and she comes with some homemade goody in hand … pie, cake, cream puffs, biscotti, you name it, she can make it. As a matter of fact, not only did she hang around for the mess, she had a hot lunch all prepared ahead for us. 

I made my grandkids little aprons for this photo shoot (they were pretty cute — I’m just sayin’), and the kids were eventually excited to put them on to bake a cake … not that they know what baking a cake is but when I said “want to bake a cake?” they both said “yah” so I took that as them being excited. OK, that’s not sayin’ much cause that’s their response to just about any question, but come on, you know they were excited. My daughter preferred Syd not break the eggs because she still has this little thing she does called putting everything in her mouth, so best to not tempt fate and salmonella. MJ got to be the one to crack them and he was all good with that … until he cracked one and got his fingers dirty. “Yucky.” He’s not much for slimy things on his hands. I’m sure he’ll outgrow it.

MJ was staying pretty clean so Syd thought she would mess him up a bit. At first he wasn’t sure about it, but then he started putting the cake mix on himself. It got pretty silly for a while.

The cake was done, and what was supposed to fit in a 9 x 13 cake pan fit quite nicely in a 9 x 9 cake pan. I forgot to take a picture of their finished cake, but it looked surprising good and tasted just the same. The clean up? Well, let’s just say that took a while. 

The rest of the morning didn’t go as well. The kids practiced pretending they were two — they were obstinate, they cried or screamed or hit one another. They had time outs and stressed mommies, and me? Well, I started laughing so hard I cried at the circus of it all. “Bet you can’t wait for another photo shoot … are we having fun yet?” I totally understand now my mom saying [when my kids were young] “Gee, I’m glad my kids are grown.” Love you mom … you wise old woman you and Happy Birthday! Mary XO

LoraLee - August 24, 2011 - 1:26 AM

Oh my gosh, is this the cutest idea ever!!! Mary, you never cease to amaze me. What a precious way to cherish the kids at these adorable ages with such beautiful pictures with Grandma Jo Jo. I loved the kids’ darling aprons. And as I always say, I enjoy your captions as much as the pictures!! Keep up the wonderful work. I will be back to see what’s next. - August 24, 2011 - 8:25 AM

Lora Lee, you’re the best. I compete every week against 600 or more photographers so while I’ll never win against the great competitors, it’s always fun entering any way.

Linda Johnston - August 24, 2011 - 8:33 AM

What precioius pictures! Granny Jo Jo is very brave to take on baking with toddlers AND have her picture taken to boot. Give your wonderful Mama Happy Birthday wishes from me.

Megan - August 24, 2011 - 1:12 PM

What a sweet post for Grandma…I loved all the descriptions of her character, personality and loving demeanor. She is a keeper…we’re all so very lucky, aren’t we.

Oh, and the pics- you’re totally gonna win. 😉

Roberta Johnston - August 24, 2011 - 2:00 PM

What a wonderful memory for your mom and those precious grandkids to have; and for the generations to come! Great idea Mary and even better that you were able to capture all their personalities to boot! Very creative, reminds me of something Sandra Lee would do on her show “Semi Homemade”! She always has her background match her outfits or visa versa, but it’s always beautiful (just like your work!) Blessings to your mom on her 84th! - August 24, 2011 - 5:06 PM

Roberta, cool comments that are truly appreciated and I will give my mom your blessings. I let her read my blog today and she snickered in a place or two … didn’t ask which ones since I figured it was the comment about the obstinate woman in the family. Yes, me included at times. Thanks for reading Roberta. Mary

Your Man - August 24, 2011 - 5:08 PM

I BELIEVE YOU WILL outdo all of the other 600 or so entrants. Nobody does WHITE like u do. Great great pics. My grandkids r the cutest ever.

[…] of the adventure … if you want to see more of what progressed, you can find it here: Baking with Granny Jo Jo. Surprisingly, the cake turned out pretty good … what wasn’t on the floor of […]

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