Sunday, April 20, 2014

Swirling Hymns

Wow, what a beautiful Easter morning. 
 So many old hymns swirl around in my mind- The Old Rugged Cross, Up from the Grave He Arose, Because He Lives, In Christ Alone.  I love so many new and beautiful praise and worship tunes, but those hymns comfort my heart like nothing else, reminding me why we celebrate this day.  I want to sing them all the day long and reflect on the truth that makes me free in Christ. 
Recently I came across a prayer that was simple and so very real to me. 
 The book said it was a seaman's prayer- Lord be good to me today. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.
As all holidays now, in addition to the rejoicing part is the missing part of those gone on, but the song in my heart reminds me of the hope in seeing them again one day.

Thursday's Playdate was surprisingly warm, so we visited the creek while the eggs were hidden.
Aunt SuZQ's grands and great grands visited.  First trip to my creek for Tony/Todd Jr.

 You just can't have too many egg hunts, but this year I added a little twist.  The baskets stayed in one spot and hunters had to run, grab only one egg at a time and bring it back to the basket.   Turns out it was a great idea and they were happy to come in and have supper after all that running.
 I never tire of the antics of tiniest ones.  Those who only want eggs with candy, those who can't move on until they see what is in that egg, and those are just thrilled with the hunt.  Good Times.




Wishing you many wonderful Easter Blessings!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with Strings

Well, it wasn't exactly tied up with strings, but still, packages in the mail are a favorite.  I frequent the blog of Susan Adcox, at About.com Grandparents and have for some time. It is a great resource for fun ideas and just to hear opinions of grandparents from all over.  She has a new grandparenting journal out and sent it me to look at.
Love the cover and love, love that it opens flat for ease in writing with so very many great topics.


Excuse me a minute whilst a haul myself up on my soapbox.  If you'd prefer to miss seeing a chubby ol' grandma haul herself up there, look away my friend.
Personally, I'm appalled by what electronics are doing to relationships and traditions.  Don't misunderstand. I'm delighted to get funny texts and pictures of that "right now" moment, but there are a lot of moments that happened long ago that are no longer being discussed.  How long before they stop building houses with dining rooms and kitchens I wonder.  Can I tell you how many kidlets we put in cars at the end of day with the DVD already going, or how many times a handheld device is waiting in the car seat.  What ever happened to, "What did you do at school today?"
My children come to me in fifth grade very nearly geographically and historically illiterate.  They don't pay any attention to where they are when they travel.  There are no conversations overheard at dinner about politics or past family stories.  Every single year I am amazed at what children learn about their families from projects I send home that ellicit some conversation. They frequently have no idea that grandad fought in the war, or where their ancestors came from.
When I first flipped through Susan's book, I was ready to grab my pen and start.  I realized though, I do have this blog, and though I have not recounted childhood experiences, my grandchildren could learn a lot about be through reading it.  
My mom doesn't have a blog.  In the summer, when I'm out of school, I'm able to spend more time with her.  Some days it's hard to find things to talk about because as her health has been more challenging, her world has grown smaller and smaller and smaller.  I'm excited to ask her questions and record her answers.  In one section it tells about grades and school work.  It always fascinated me that my mom was good with numbers, but could never spell, especially considering I was just the opposite.
In these pages she can share about her wedding to my Dad and whilst this book will reflect many happy memories, it also has places to share the tough times. 
 Mom is 85 and I feel like now is the best  time to start.
What do your children and grandchildren know about your life, your parent's life?  Do they understand how certain cliches and traditions developed?  Do they know how you came to be in the career you are in?  Why your faith is important to you? Don't wait, there won't really be a better time.

Stepping down now.

Thanks Susan!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Newbees and Olbees

Last year we bought two boxes of bees. Both hives did really well, but if you remember, the bees in Langstroth hive were as mean as striped snakes.  I didn't want attack bees for myself, but I certainly couldn't have that with my wee folk about, so we had to requeen that hive.  Though the Top Bar hive was content and lovely to work with, they clearly found the grass greener on the other side and swarmed with all the honey in early September.
I waited a few weeks to see if the few bees that remained were raising another queen. Apparently not, so I put them in the Langstroth and closed up the Top Bar and brought in all the combs so moths and beetles wouldn't destroy them.
Well, the bees with the new queen survived very well in the Langstroth hive and today are hauling in pollen as fast as those tiny wings can go.
 We have yellow, red, nude and gold pollen.

Handy Man picked up our new bee box for the Top Bar hive today.  Since neither of the boxes last year were satisfactory- a hive that swarmed and a mean queen that needed beheading, we decided to go with a different breeder and bought ones bred for good hygiene, which should help keep down the varroa mite population.
This little box contains Queenie Bee, but the cork was already cattywhampus.  Usually there is a piece of candy in there. It gives the hive time to get used to her scent. So, I stuck a marshmallow hunk in there.

 This box was like a different critter from last year. I don't think there was one dead bee and you see lots of new little fuzzy girls, which means they aren't very old.
 See them going after that queen. You can see a piece of the marshmallow  peeking through.
I tell you, I can't say enough about this bee jacket.  You see they are all over me, but it doesn't phase me.  Since I've learned to pull a puffy pair of sweat pants over my jeans, or whatever, there is no problem at all.  
I'll check back in a couple of days to see if they have her out.  Man there were a ton of bees in that box.  Since all of their comb is already built, I'm expecting big things from these littlest bits.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Done and Done

Before Bean and Bugg headed south for the week, we had to wrap up these science projects we've been working on for a month now.
They came over Saturday night to put the many pieces together. First we ventured outside in cold wind to spray paint their science boards.
Pap helped Bean put together a tiny model of a Langstroth hive for his display.
 Bugg went right to work gluing her topics to a pretty purple background.  Through the first week of spring break they had worked on word processing each explanation to follow the specific criteria given in the packet.
 Now it was time to put it all together and glue, glue, glue.

As she was gluing she realized she placed the "B" upside down. My little Pollyanna declared, "Oh well, it will just look like it blowed over."  Next she had to decide where to add her tissue flowers and where to put her purple glittery (um, germy)  handprints.
 Then she twirled about and exclaimed, "I LOVE it!!"
 Bean glued and glued and glued as well, but the whole time  said something like, "I hope this is the last science project I ever have to do!"
 We found some adorable wee bees that made the perfect addition to his model of the hive.
Lastly, we practiced presenting.  I am so very sorry I did not videotape Miss Bugg as her presentation grew in boldness and drama each time she did it. Then, as soon as mom and dad walked in, she was a shy little mouse.  I hope she is able to pull out at least a few of those moves in the classroom.
Bean really learned a lot about bees and both of them worked hard on their project.  
Let's just say, I was one exhausted Gramerly at the end of that evening.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Asian Adventure

This was our first stop.  Small sign, side door, no heat.
After spring break, my fifth graders will embark on an adventure to WWII and Japan.  Since I have so few kiddos this year, with parents so willing to haul us around town, I wanted to plan  field trip to an Asian grocery and a Japanese restaurant.  So, Rae and Giddy-up and I sat out to have an Asian experience last Wednesday.
Giddy-up was endlessly fascinated.
Lots of long aisles and screaming colors coming at cha'.
Of course, he was with Gramerly and had already chosen a treat when the cashier gave him a star sucker. Happy Boy


 We were putzing around, waiting for the restaurant to open when we saw a sign for an International Grocery, so thought we'd check it out.  Giddy-up found all that pretty glass fascinating and questioned, "What is dose?"  Mostly it was filled with these colorful pipes and beer.  There were some hard to find Chana Dal lentils for a mere $10.99, um, no thank you.
Next stop, the used book stores, not much Asian here I fear and way too high prices for used books.

Love this puzzle from a family picture. Great for pre -lunch entertainment.

Yummy appetizer.

For Giddy-up the chopsticks were the hit of the day. After being utensils they were used for airplanes and all manner of other things. 

Everything we had was yummy. This was that sticky rice Korean dish.


 It was a great day.
I've enjoyed this break.  This evening Bean and Bugg and I will complete their science boards.
A friend's spring break will never be forgotten.  She was on a trip with her youngest girl, a senior, and was called home.  Her son, recently married, died unexpectedly.  It is believed to be as a result of meningitis. She lost a child seven years ago in a car accident.  Our community is so very heartbroken for this poor family.  Her name is Tess and I believe she can use every single prayer and sweet thought anyone wants to share.





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Break Yes, but Spring? Take Two

Hmm, well I managed to do something wrong trying to post. A picture ended up being on here twice, I tried to cut it and it became gigantic and I could not get it to do anything else.  Ughhhhh. So, let's try this again.
Monday was candy making Playdate, but the forecast predicted a high in the forties, so thought we should soak up some of that warm sunshine.  Out we went, and in just about two minutes I came right back and depleted the closet of all manner of gloves, hats and coats to keep us moderately comfortable in temperatures that were like thirties. We looked like a band of roving squatleys.
Bean doesn't go far without a wee shadow trying to keep up on little legs.

This is such a different year. Bean is so big and now a big help to me on Playdates.

Baby Boy still needs a little help sometimes.



The girls are selling ice cream. Umm, better change that to hot cocoa and perhaps they'll get a few customers.

Is there a boy behind that pole?

Previous playground experiences had Giddy-Up steering clear of all things slidish. Now he is fearless.

My girlies had all kinds of fun on this contraption.

Egg, er I mean kid roll.

Wheee!

It cracks me up that even though they start separately, they end up in a pile before reaching the bottom.

Candy Making Time

 Giddy-Up napped through the first round of candy making. When he got up there were only three little pieces of candy on the table yet he exclaimed, "Oh, those are beautiful."  Then he ate them.
Some of the those molds have been used over twenty years.  But my those chocolate melty wafers have gotten so expensive.  They love making them their own selves and you better believe each one of them knows the exact candy they made.
It was a good day.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Playdate Catch Up

We had a mini Playdate a week ago Thursday, before Giddy-up's big school day.
Those gramerlings of mine still want to go to the creek the minute it has stopped being frozen over.  The problem is, no matter how much we talk about it still being very, very cold and not a place for feet, something inevitably gets wet.  Oh well- the rites of spring, might as well get her done.
It began with a little bobbering.

While creeks are high on the list, note the residual candy scrap on his lip.  Giddy-up's first job when coming to visit is to find where there might be some interesting bit of sweetness.  This week it was malt ball Easter eggs, yummo!

Next, rock throwing, followed by a slip and wet bottom.

 Once the cold settled in, Giddy-up was ready to move onto to warmer activities.
Well, if you are already wet, might as well jump in a few puddles.

 "Pappy, you did NOT just throw a snowball at me."
 When the wet pants come off, no more go on until pajama time.
 This time it's Bugg's turn to play teacher and give Giddy-up the finer points of using a tablet.

 It's also that time of year when Missy Bugg's hair is as red as it will be before it  again lightens in the sun.  I love those springy curlicues which are simply glowing in the this picture. Add to her Punky Brewster sense of style and she is just all kinds of cute.
And this Sunday past I enjoyed a highly unusual event.  The Captain had the family for dinner and it wasn't even a holiday.
Do you remember back in the day when you routinely either had someone to dinner, or went to someone's for dinner?  That cultural practice seems to have sadly declined in my world.
Now that face doesn't look too excited does it?
Well, anyway, it was also unusual for me as it was my first time ever to taste burgoo.  He was following up tradition and using up the last of winter stores with venison, squirrel and rabbit.  It was quite tasty and the wee cousins, played and played.



So nice that Bean willingly takes such good care of the little ones, like helping Giddy-up with his shoes.

Then playing some baseball.

A lovely way to spend a sunny Sunday.