Today is the first day of Fall. Boo hoo. But I did have fun playing this summer. I enjoyed our new house that is now officially one year old (and I still LOVE it!), swam at the community pool a lot with Mike and g-babes and neighbors, went camping only three times but fun times, went to Jackpot to see Clint Black and to Cottonwood to visit longtime friends, and had birthday outings with wonderful girlfriends. We took g-babes to the circus and the rodeo and camping and took scooter rides whenever they were over to our house (and I got my own Razor Scooter this summer when I turned 61!). Mike and I celebrated 40 years of marriage (love you Babe) and I got back to the gym at the constant nagging of my chiropractor (thank you Scott Coulter!). I had fun planting flowers but did much more flower dead-heading than I ever want to do again. I am sad summer has officially ended, and while I do love Indian Summers, it’s just not the same. I am not a cold weather fan so the thought of winter puts me in a chill. But the most favorite thing I did this summer was take lots and lots of pictures of the little (and big) ones in my life — the ones that often have dirty faces and bad hair days (including me) but they still are, and always will be, the most precious people in my life.
MJ is our oldest g-babe and he turns 6 in October. He also turned the corner from being a boy to a more mature boy and wants to be called “Matthew” at school instead of MJ — that was a hard one for me. He is kind and thoughtful and is becoming a rule follower with little argument. He freely gives me I love you’s at the most random moments that melt me through and through. But then again, he is the one who calls me “the craziest Gramma in the world” — but truly, coming from him — I think it’s a compliment. 🙂 You will notice throughout these pictures that when his cousins are in them, his arm is usually strung over one of them. He has his moody times for sure, but is learning to take a break and come back into the action with a much better disposition. He started Kindergarten this year and I went to pick him up one day with Danielle and Jayden. He came out and saw me and gave me a big grin, then sat down beside me. I asked how he liked his teacher and he said “Really good. Gramma, would you like to meet her? I’ll introduce you.” We went to Mrs. Ball and he said “Mrs. Ball, this is my Gramma and she would like to meet you.” Now tell me how much bigger the proud suspenders can get on this old Gramma? As I said above I got a new scooter for my birthday (we have four scooters at the house so I would often borrow one of the kids to ride with one or two or them), and the other night MJ and Jayden wanted to take a scooter ride so off we went. Well, long story short is that MJ fell just around the corner from our house when coming home and broke his wrist. We all thought it might just be sprained but after a few days it was evident something more happened. When I went to see him Monday night after his x-rays he met me at the door and said “Gramma, I have some good news and some bad news.” I said I could use some good news so tell me that first and he said “I have to have a cast.” I said that’s the good news?! and he answered “Yes, cause I think it will be really cool — I wanted one.” I said so what’s the bad news? “I broke my arm.” Danielle sent me a picture of him from the doctor’s office and he looks pretty proud of his new accessory. He doesn’t get to play soccer now though so bummer for that. He’s shown with our dog/his dog while camping this summer but you will read about old Sammy a little later.
Jayden turned 3 in April and is our silly g-babe, always making faces and doing silly things. He says random things all the time … like “Know what I can do Gramma? I can do this” … and he’ll do some silly movement or make a face. He loves doing everything his brother does and parrots him with most things he says. MJ takes it all in stride and rarely stops him. He is happy and kind and crazy and loving. I have said it before and it bears repeating that the boy doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. He likes to stay busy and loves to eat — fruit mostly — but he’s a grazer for sure. When MJ fell on his scooter he rode home to get help and was so proud for doing it. He is a big boy and tells me all the time “I can do it myself Gramma.” He is a joy to be around for sure. He’ll continue to hang out with him mom while MJ is at school, but since she is a mom volunteer, he will get to go with her sometimes.
Sydney is the artist of the family. She loves crafts, paints, coloring, you name it. She has a unique style all her own and we love her individuality. She has her grampa’s laugh and bellows with laughter at something that tickles her — Tom and Jerry episodes have her rolling. Making up stories when my kids were young has been reborn in telling stories to the kids now and Sydney is relentless in asking for the continuing saga of my “Silly Sally” stories that also leave her crying in laughter (which certainly boosts my story-telling ego). Silly Sally gets into quite the predicaments and somehow avoids punishment at times, so stories had to be tweaked after Sydney told her mother she didn’t have to do something while mimicking Silly Sally’s squeaky little voice. Bad Gramma! Sydney has a curiosity about her that has her asking 20 questions every time she’s around or on the phone. “What are you doing Gramma? What are you eating? What is Grampa doing? Did you like that food? Do you love that necklace? Who gave it to you? Is it your favorite?” Who will get it when you die — not that I want you to Gramma.” She is just so darn friendly and wants to know every detail about everyone’s life — but seriously she does come by it honestly. (There may be a few grown-ups in her life that she might relate to. Just saying’.) She is also in Kindergarten and is about a head taller than the other kids but it doesn’t effect her in the least. Actually it gives her a vantage point to pick up her little friends. 🙂 She is sweet and kind and busy but also a little complicated (that means dramatic) at times. Her antics can just make me laugh to myself sometimes. She’s shy at times when the spotlight is on her, she loves wearing dresses and sparkly shoes and always wants to wear my jewelry when she comes over, but she’s a tomboy at heart too and loves a good adventure and getting dirty and all that goes with it. She’s a cuddler and a lover and loves her little brother to pieces, always baby talking to him to make him smile. She’s her sister’s big sister but there are times when I think she thinks she’s her mother. Sydney is her own person for sure and I love the uniqueness that she is.
Simone also turned 3 in April and while this next picture is not necessarily representative of her, she does have her moments! She cracks me up with her will which can be quite strong at times. She stands her ground too so if it’s not really an important issue, it’s sometimes just best left alone. But mostly she is a sweet little girl who still entertains herself better than all the kids by playing with her dolls and princesses or whatever is at hand. Sometimes she can be persuasive to get Grampa or I to play princesses with her because she asks to sweetly and with the attitude that no is not even an option. Sneaky this one. She started pre-school this year two days a week and loves it, loves it, loves it. She isn’t much for riding scooters, but has no problem staying behind if the rest of us go. She’ll find something else to do and do it happily. She does like running however, and has had many a cut or scrap on that cute little face from face planting it this summer. She is a cuddler as well and if I am sitting down, she will often come lay across my lap for me to scratch her back. She always chooses me to cuddle with when we watch movies, and she sits perfectly still and hardly wiggles so what’s not to love about that! Simone and Jayden are becoming buddies and I love to see them gravitate to one another and get along so well these days. She took gymnastics last year and loved it but this year she wants to do dance so I can’t wait to see her in action. She’s learned a ton from her big sister’s pre-school days so has this school thing down pat. 🙂
Cole was born in May and so he’s 4 months (picture below is 2 months) now and getting cuter and cuter everyday. (Wait! He already was cuter! But this Gramma might be prejudiced.) He’s been the best baby and we hardly know he’s around at times. He’s at his peak of personality when you lay him down because he just talks and talks and talks to you. His body is long but his legs are short so he can’t hold his toes yet. He just started rolling over but he still can’t quite get that arm out from under that heavy body just yet but he will soon enough. He is a happy content little guy who loves to ride in Momma’s Becco, smiles at the drop of a hat, and reaches to hold things. His head is still heavy so he cocks it to one side which is pretty dang cute I must say. He weighs around 18 pounds so does not lack for milk, love or attention that’s for sure.
From here on out you’ll just see random pictures from camping or the pool or other random events.
For my 61st b-day (above) Danielle made me fish tacos (fabulous!) and we spent time with our grand-chickens Kip, Cleopatra, Peep, LaFonda — and Whoopi and Tennessee (not shown). They were purchased this spring and have lived the life of Riley. They lived in the house for months in a watering trough, then when it was warm enough, Matt built them a luxury sweet hotel chicken coop where they reside(d) with Charlie the rabbit until Charlie became a free-range bunny after digging out multiple times. I understand from Danielle that he can be seen daily around the neighborhood always coming home to feast. Four of the six chickens now lay eggs although not necessarily in the nesting box like they are supposed to. They find eggs in the oddest places at times. They co-habitate nicely with Bowie and Sammy (although Sammy did get one this summer) and the kids all love them and vice versa. They are funny little creatures to say the least.
This is Sammy our dog of 13-½ years, but truly she isn’t our dog anymore. When we moved into an apartment for 8 months while looking and then building a house, Matt and Danielle insisted she come live with her. She is one of them now and loves her life with the boys and the chickens, Bowie, and Charlie the rabbit. She always was a water dog and this summer Mike and I took her camping with us. She is in her happy place in the water for sure. Love you sweet puppy!
And this is Bowie (named after Bowie Bay Socks), my grand-dog. She loves me and I do my best to return the affection, but she can be persistent this one. 🙂 She’s a lover not a fighter and would never harm anything but a tennis ball.
My wonderful mom turned 88 this August so we had a family gathering of 31 family (two were significants) at our house. She is surrounded by all but one of her great-grandbabies and she loves them all with an energy like no other. She takes them places, buys them toys and clothes and treats, and gets a kick out of each and every one. She is quite amazing, my mom, and I hope one day to be just like her. She is so energetic and generous and she just can’t hold it in. And when she’s had enough of us, she tells us so! We love you mom and Granny Jo Jo!
Our last camping trip of the year was over Labor Day and brrrr was it cold and no fires were allowed. Each day we acclimated more and found things to entertain ourselves outside of the warm trailers. The kids loved this hiking trail we found that went up the mountain, and on one day that warmed up to the high 50’s, the kids went in the water (translated mud). Tough cookies these kids.
Both boys get to play on the same team and were so excited for their first game.
Last year Simone was in gymnastics and she loved it, but this year she wanted to do dance and she takes it very seriously. 🙂
Sydney giggled her way through her first soccer game.
And sporting his daddy’s professional clothing line is my last g-babe. Ever. Seems so strange still to think he won’t grow up with a cousin-sibling. Something tells me he’ll do just fine though.
Oops, looks like he’s losing his hair — as they say “Like Father Like Son”. Ha! And so with that friends and family, we’ve come to THE END.