Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Grandkids - Part Three

This was Brenna's first Christmas as a walking participant. She got a bear quilt.

She LOVED it. Every time it was spread out, she climbed on it. And loved to be wrapped up in it.

Her personality is really coming out! As Jared said, "It's not always a good thing...she's got a temper!" She's also quite a clown!

Her favorite food group? CANDY! Anyone's. She kept finding the big suckers that her aunt and uncle from New Zealand sent them.

Unfortunately, the sucker she found wasn't always hers! And a war would result... Taking candy from a baby is NOT an easy thing! Jared could actually lift her off the chair before he could get it away from her! And when he did - you should have heard the protest!

She's a happy little girl! And SO quick! Keeping things out of her reach and notice kept me on my toes! And she would laugh the whole time she was running circles around me!
She doesn't like shoes! Truly MY granddaughter!

And her little fingers - here she is signing part of her Christmas presents - "Baby signing times." She wanted to watch her video. She learned the sign for "down" which proved very helpful in getting out of her high chair!

She didn't understand what the trip to P.I.R. was all about. But she had a great time! Barefoot. I tried to cover her with her new quilt and she would laugh and kick it off.

I have three other grand-kids in Utah. Thought I would be able to see them the weekend after Christmas when we all were at the temple. The weather changed that. Would love to see what their Christmas was like.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Grandkids - Part Two

Grandchild #2. Cayden. Melts your heart with his smiles.

Cayden's quilt was a blue puppy. All the kids LOVE their quilts and cuddled with them the whole time we were there. They won't know the time and love it took to complete them for Christmas morning until they are MUCH older. I think they will be treasured for many years.

Both Brenna and Cayden using their new blankets while watching TV

Caught in the car with it.
(Why doesn't this boy trust a Grandma with a camera in her pocket???)

These were taken in the car, by his mom, while coming home from seeing the lights at the Portland International Raceway.

Opening some presents.
I added some books to the Skinner family library. I finished the "Quiet Book" and plan to make one for each of the families, as the need arrives. So - Heather - I'll be working on your next. It wasn't the favorite toy Christmas day, but one they kept coming back to while I was there. I hope it works as intended.

Getting in trouble with Grandpa.

Cayden is so loving. He is the most thoughtful little boy. If his parents are talking about Brenna needing a bib, Cayden is getting up and heading to the kitchen to get one for her. He is VERY pro-active, which sometimes works well and other times gets him in trouble. But he is very generous with his hugs and cuddles. He has the biggest heart.

He loves Spiderman. And anything like Spiderman. Here he is with his "sticky hand." It's tacky enough to stick to these for a short while. He loved throwing it onto the ceiling and having it stick there.

He has numerous Spiderman poses that he will patiently pose in for pictures. He knows the value of keeping your fans happy! With fan comes great responsibility.
I love this next picture. Cayden found my sandals and came over to the table wearing them. Reminded me of the responsibility being a grandparent. There is always some little one watching, trying on your "shoes." Modeling what they see you do. How important it is to have your shoes worth filling.

As I watch my mom decline, and I look at my extended family, I realized something. There are less and less "elders" left. My grandparents are all gone. My dad is gone. Soon I will be the oldest one left in my personal family. The family tree is inverting. Once I was a little leaf on my family branch. Soon I will be the truck supporting the extending network. Odd feeling. To be the elder. Never considered this.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Vancouver - the Grandkids

Ericka made a rag quilt for each of the kids. Many frustrations, late nights,and sore fingers - but such a great keepsake! Faith's was an aqua kitten one.

Once the presents were opened, this was how we saw Faith:

There were necessarily moments of providing the body with fuel....

And then back to the tasks at hand!

Saturday was going to be our day at the temple, but with the weather's intervention, that didn't happen. The roads improved, but not enough to make it to Tri-Cities. Seemed like someone ought to have a good temple visit, so I really wanted to babysit the kids so Ericka and Jared could go. They have a hard time getting babysitters, and Jared's work schedule is so unpredictable. They have planned several trips while visiting down in Medford and had them not work out. I knew they wanted to go and this was something I could DO to help.

I had two adults there with me and STILL was getting bamboozled by the little guys! Faith was my answer person. she knew were everything was and could translate Cayden-ese and Brenna's signing. I would have been lost without her. We didn't get to do ALL the things we wanted to do, but I hope we were able to make some memories.

I got an education about "heelies." Never heard of them before. Like secret shoe skates.

We went to the mall Monday. She held onto Grandma F's wheelchair and glided all over the mall as I pushed them both. Shopping took on a whole new aspect!

This year Faith made ALL her own Christmas presents, completing some of her Activity Days requirements. Getting to spend time with her created a variety of "(fill-in-blank) pants" jokes and a new and very personal rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." And we won't talk about the Glow Golf score....
She's growing up so fast.

The Amazing, Vanishing Pies

And then there were none......

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Vancouver - Part One

Christmas with little ones is the BEST!

Everything is exciting and special to them. It doesn't take a lot of money to make their day. It so much fun as a parent to see them so happy and excited about their long -awaited surprises. Until you have your own kids, you don't have a clue of the emotions that run through your heart as you watch their delight at each box they open.

It was Ericka's first Christmas when I experienced that phenomena. I was SO excited about her gifts that I didn't even realize I hadn't opened mine. I didn't need to. There was nothing in a box that was going to make me as happy as her smiles.

I saw that look on Ericka and Jared's faces Christmas morning.

I love OUR family get-togethers. They always are fun. When I used to go to my in-law's (the parents of the kids' dad) as a young mother, the get-togethers always ended the same way. There was too much alcohol. Tempers and voices rose. Angry words were said. Feeling were hurt. Old issues were re-hashed and it was never fun. We left swearing never to do it again - but we did. I'd never been around a family like that.

Our family? The pictures speak for themselves....