Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What to carry in your purse

A friend sent me this several years ago and I saved it to reflect on and this time when reading it, I thought maybe I should share it.

TOOTHPICK - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others. -

*Matthew 7:1

RUBBER BAND - to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out. -

*Romans 8:28

BAND AID - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else's. -

*Colossians 3:12-14

PENCIL - to remind you to list your blessings everyday. -

*Ephesians 1:3

ERASER - To remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's okay. -

*Genesis 50:15-21

CHEWING GUM - to remind you to stick with it, and you can accomplish anything. -

*Philippians 4:13

MINT - to remind you that you are worth a mint. -

*John 3:16-17

CANDY KISS - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday. -

* 1st John 4:7

TEA BAG - to remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings. -

*1 Thessalonians 5:18

Saturday, July 16, 2011

June 26, 2011 Skagit Valley symphony garden tour

The ladies in my Cornwall small group, Kim, Doreen, Pam, and Fran do a garden tour each year.  I have gone about every other year and didn’t think I was going to be able to attend this year until a few days before.  Then when I realized I could go, tickets were no longer available online.  I emailed Kim to let her know I would not be able to go and she said her sister had to cancel at the last minute so I bought her ticket.  Kim, Doreen, Fran, and Fran’s cousin Geppie made up our group for the day.  Pam was off on vacation with her husband so she couldn’t join us.
Sunday morning the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a glorious day outside.  I had my sack lunch packed and after a quick stop at Wood’s Coffee, Larry dropped me off at Kim’s for a day with the girls in the gardens.

We were taking two cars and decided to meet up at the last garden on the tour and maybe doing the tour in reverse there would be a little less congestion.  Ha, ha!  The parking lot at garden #7 was almost full.  This garden backs up to Campbell Lake and has a subtle Asian influence with a wide variety of plantings, art, statues, a pond, guest house, and a modern twist with brightly painted oversized bamboo wind chimes, circles of black bamboo, lime green plantings, and the bright yellow low slung wooden benches.  A bridge over the pond to a Japanese tea house sat about midway in the garden surrounded by lush plants and trees.  Some of the symphony players were under a tent serenading the enthralled gardeners like myself who had cameras in hand snapping pictures and admiring what could be done with five acres, a lot of time, and money.  Finding an idea that you can recreate to scale in your own garden is what this tour is all about.  The Gunnera Leaf garden bowls that were tucked into the plantings were magnificent and Kim said that Pam knew how to make them.  Looks like Pam might need to teach a class.  This garden belongs to the owners of BooShoot Gardens in Mt. Vernon. 

The next garden stop was a hillside garden.  A sloping swath of green lawn disappearing into the forest greets you as you walk up the driveway to the garden entrance.  From the garden entrance you slowly work your way down a winding path past shrubs, plants, arbors, and flowering plants to the long lawn like path ending at a fire pit.  This was a serene garden that definitely takes a lot of time to maintain with the drop in elevation.

Garden #5 on the official tour, or #3 on our backwards tour, had us parking in a small lot to take one of four shuttles to the garden.   A quiet little street with a home set back into the trees surrounded by a decorative fence, plants, and a shoji style gate.  This Asian inspired garden was small and tidy, filling in every nook and corner of the garden spaces and leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed.  The home is literally built on a rock with a Kio pond in the front yard, large stone steps, sweeping views of the bay below from the second story deck, peeling bark from the Manzanita trees, and situated to be part of the landscape.

It was definitely warming up as we were winding our way back into the town of Anacortes to view a small city garden.  Tucked into every corner of this garden were trees, shrubs and flowers.  Containers full of flowers were mixed into planting beds and borders filling the garden. Moss covered rocks and rock pathways surround by moss, gave texture and softness to the garden.  A German birdhouse was the focal point of the garden and the visitors were treated to more symphony music.

Our two groups were sort of split up by now so Kim and I decided to go into Anacortes to the starting point of the tour at the will call at How It Works on 4th Street, where tables had been set up on the lawn and a three piece jazz ensemble was playing, to eat our sack lunches.  It was a relaxing break with the sun warming us and letting us rest up for the last three gardens on the tour.

We were going to deviate from the tour again and do gardens #2, #3, and then #1, closest to farthest away.  We pulled up in front of garden #2 and saw the rest of our group.  We parked across the street from the garden but as we started to get out of the car we were mesmerized by the garden right in front of us.  A white picket fence, limbs from a too tall shrub/tree that were starting to hang over the sidewalk and a pink rose that had wound its way up into the branches caught our eye.  We decided to take a closer look before checking garden #3.  A home with river rock on its lower half and white clapboard wood on the upper half standing on a small rise surrounded by a rock wall brought us to a stop.  Small flower beds, bordered with brick, were filled with flower plants; and beyond was what looked like a small guest house.  We oohed and aahed as we walked down the street admiring the lush plantings and wondering what some of them were.  On the other side of the house was another white outbuilding with a rather large dog hanging his head out an upper window to let us know this was his home.  As we turned to walk back down the sidewalk, the owner came around to see why her dog was barking.  This was the unexpected and remarkable encounter of the day.

The garden/home owner said the home had been built by her grandfather who was a stone mason and after his death she bought the home.  She told us her grandparents had raised a baby gorilla in the building now housing the once loud and rowdy dog, Tommy.  Her grandfather had once owned a cannery in Anacortes and during the great depression he lost it but dug up the pink rose we had been admiring and brought it to the garden.  The owner was very modest and described her garden as something she loved to do, no formal training, no fancy tags on the plants or botanical names, just weeds with flowers as she called them.  Not really!  This is a home with a history, cared for and loved by one family, a garden the nurtures those that live there and those that walk by, and a glimpse at something appealing and special that it makes you want to stand and look a little longer.  (This modest gardener is actually a member of the Lowman family of Skagit County and Anacortes.  The gorilla raised in her home was Bobo the gorilla who later came to live at the Seattle Woodland Zoo).
We walked across the street to join up with our group and tour the structured town garden of a formal house.  It was pretty and tidy, all the plants had brass engraved tags, and photos on the patio table to show the before and after transformation.  It was nice, but I was still thinking about the garden across the street.

We all walked back across the street to see the garden Kim and I had become enthralled with.  And just like Kim and I, they oohed and aahed at the garden and we filled them in with the story of the home and garden the owner had told us.  Fran or Doreen, I can’t remember which, suggested we walk up the street to view several other homes that had nice front yards.  One was better from afar than close up, one home was very ultra-modern cement and plywood built in a neighborhood of older homes.  As we crossed the street we stopped to admire two similar homes that looked very Cape Cod-like in style.  One of the owners told us the homes were built about eight months apart and were Sears kit homes from the 1930’s.  (You can read more about the Sears homes at: http://www.searsarchives.com/homes    http://www.searshomes.org  http://www.arts-crafts.com/archive/sears   )  The owner also told us that where these two homes stood was the original plots for the Anacortes Opera House.  He said “K” Avenue was built extra wide to serve as the main street of town, but the builders were unable to convince others and Commercial Ave. won. 

Our second to the last garden on our tour was another backyard retreat just a few blocks away.  This garden is certified as a backyard wildlife habitat with a circular flagstone patio.  The small fence bordering the alley was covered in red poppies.  A vegetable garden took center stage with smaller herb gardens.  Birdbaths and feeders along with flowers, and shrubs filled this backyard making it a great retreat to relax in. 

Our final garden was in the Cap Santé neighborhood.  A small 1890’s Victorian home sitting at the end of a small street with a wrought iron gate covered in clematis greeted us.  Little treasures were tucked in between the plants--imagine a ladybug fashioned out of an old hardhat.  Alliums, roses, honeysuckle, delphiniums, peonies, and  white rock paths scattered with glass marbles added a little bling to the garden.  An ornate white wrought iron gazebo had more symphony players entertaining those on the tour. 

The rest of our group was finished and they headed up to the top of Cap Santé to the park to see the view of the town, the bay, and marina below, while Kim and I got a head start on our pre-arranged meeting place of the Longhorn Saloon in Edison.  This is a favorite place Larry and I make for chicken wings and chicken fingers and a great little biker restaurant.  Later in the afternoon Edison is not as loud with the rumble of motorcycles as it usually is around noon.  Kim and I wandered into a local art gallery to wait for our friends to arrive.

When we were all gathered we walked over to the Longhorn Saloon with Fran leading the group.  She opened the door to enter then backed out laughing.  She laughed so hard she couldn’t talk at first.  The waitress was wearing a bikini top with a short, short sheer skirt over the bottom, her hair pulled up with foil in it, eye make-up that went above and below her eyes, and tennis shoes.  This was new.  Fran and I both commented that usually the waitresses wear a Longhorn Saloon t-shirt and jeans.  I wonder if this is the new uniform.  We headed out to the patio where Kim and I ordered cold drinks and the others ordered dinner.  The waitress was cute and friendly and took excellent care of us; it was just her unusual attire that would make us giggle occasionally—and, of course, Larry wants us to go there soon!

We took Chuckanut Drive back to Bellingham and Larry picked me up at Kim’s.  It was a great day with friends touring gardens and sharing a laugh or two.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Carol Ann - her crown

Back in January when I was visiting my daughter Kelly in Las Vegas, I was playing on Larry’s new computer that I took with me.  I like to check out and read about other artists, read my email, check into facebook and see what everyone is doing, and I play several games on FB with friends.

One night Cecile posted that the first five people who replied to her post and were willing to repost to their own FB page, would receive a handmade gift from her sometime within the coming year.  I wanted to do this but I had to think about if I really had the time to commit to this.  A year!  Okay, sure, I will make time and this will be fun, even if I don’t have a clue as to what I am going to

I clicked on Cecile’s post and then reposted to my FB page.  I had three takers quickly.  Carol Ann who I only know as one of my FB friends but gave support and encouragement when my grandson was born premature was my first post.  She is funny, determined, and from the comments I read from those who truly know her, she is a friend to treasure--and I do.  Cecile herself posted back to my page and I have known her since our children were very small.  She is a caring and talented individual and
we recently re-connected on FB.  Sherri was my third post and we refer to each other as cousins because it is easier to explain than her mother is my aunt’s sister. 
I sent Carol Ann, Cecile and Sherri a note asking some simple questions that would help me personalize each of their art pieces when I got back to my studio and figured out what I would be making for them.
1.       Favorite color
2.       2nd favorite color
3.       Hobbies
4.       Favorite word
5.       Favorite quote
6.       Describe yourself in 5 words
7.       Favorite city
8.       Children’s names
9.       What is your lucky number
10.   What colors do you hate

What to make?  I browsed through my files looking for ideas.  Finally I decided on crowns.  Carol Ann’s favorite colors are celery green and turquoise.  She likes to sunbathe, read historical romance novels, swim, cross stitch, cheer for her beloved LSU “Geaux Tigers” and the New Orleans Saints with their Flur De Leis symbol.  She has one son, JC, does not like orange, brown, or magenta, her favorite number is 13, and  she is sensitive, loyal, caring, outgoing, and funny.  “What Ever”   This is her favorite saying. 

I made a pattern, painted it, altered it, changed it, papered it, and finally I had a turquoise base that I liked.  Now it was time to embellish.  Authentic vintage 1960’s purple Mardi Gras beads from New Orleans, a black glittered Flur De Leis in the center of the crown and fabric Flur De Leis trim to honor the Saints, gems, rhinestones, a handmade miniature mask for Mardi Gras, red lips to symbolize romance novels, and the song title, "Oh When The Saints Go Marching In".  This adorned one side of the crown.  The celery green side had had handmade fabric flowers, metal and felt #13, a pink felt bird with real feathers, miniature voodoo doll, initials for Carol Ann and her son, and “Geaux Tigers.”

I researched the meaning of numbers, symbols, words, colors, and then included everything in
a poem I wrote for Carol Ann:

Gorgeous, glorious, and glittering
Don’t know
Don’t care
I’m not listening
It’s not worth my time
I’m bored
I’m tired
I’m done
She roars like a tiger “Geaux”
Protective of her cub
Jackson Charles
Living in the romantic south
A belle without a bonnet in the sun
Leaving you in stitches
She’s New Orleans royalty
A “fleur-de-lis” lily
Full of hope and joy
Constant, loyal, fair and generous
Carol Ann
Her name is a song on eagle’s wings
Soaring with nimble fingers
Tending her farm
An ethereal friend
Powerful and poised like a dragonfly
Living life with a deeper meaning
You are Carol Ann
Daughter, wife, mother, friend
A queen who deserves a crown

Three weeks after I started the crown I mailed it off by FedEx to Carol Ann.  One down, two to go. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

LilyRenee...unique gifts at affordable prices

Looking for a unique gift for a little princess or a grown
up princess?  Check out the tutu
chalkboards and the vintage rings at LilyRenee’s online store at :  http://lilyrenee.storenvy.com/

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Vegas...the real life part II

Friday morning I woke up to crying babies. Ryan had arrived and was not happy that his mom had to go to work today. Kelly was patiently talking to both boys and trying to sooth Ryan. As I came out of the bedroom I found the doorway blocked by the green Kawasaki riding toy and the yellow Caterpillar riding dump truck. It looked like it was going to be a long morning. I snuck Ryan’s blanket away to wash it and then had my Starbucks coffee in a bottle. Kelly held the little guys off as long as she could for their morning nap, but a little before 9:00 they were both in need of sleep. Ryan went down quickly but Mr. Kyler was so tired he couldn’t quite drop off. Grandma got to bounce and sway with him until he dropped off to sleep on my shoulder. What could be better?

After dinner a few nights ago, Kelly gave Kyler a little tiny ice cream drumstick. At first he didn’t know quite what to do with it. Kelly fed him little bits and finally he held it and got into eating it and smearing it around his face and tummy. So today Kelly had got out a drumstick but Kyler was not sitting at his highchair so she didn’t let him hold it. Well Kyler tried his best to get it away from her, stepped back, screamed, reached for the ice cream again, sat down and screamed, and then the real tears began to fall. It was pitiful and a little funny at the same time. This is the first temper tantrum I have seen him throw. In the end, he didn’t get any ice cream but within minutes he was off to play and had forgotten all about ice cream cones and how mean his mother was not to let him have it and make a mess.

My phone tends to beep, not ring, when I travel. Sometimes I don’t get messages for days and once I had a message that was several days old and had returned home before it came through on my phone. Kyler noticed this after about the second time my phone started beeping and would run to the baby gate across the dining room where my purse is and would then point and babble. We laughed because every time Kyler would hear that beep before Kelly or me. So Larry has started calling him “birddog”. How does this sound as a ring name for a MMA fighter-- “Danger Birddog Atkinson”.

Saturday morning was fairly quiet with just one baby in the house. Kelly did some packing and I played with my favorite grandson…only grandson…but still my favorite. Kyler had been up since about 6:30 AM and had an half hour head start on me. Coffee…now I’m ready to go. The little guy was down for a nap a little after 9:00 AM and slept until almost 12:00 PM. We had a birthday party for Aiden who was turning two and we didn’t want to be late. Miss Abby and Ryan were going to be there also. Kyler walked all the way from the parking lot to the building holding Kelly’s hand and wearing his new black police shoes with Velcro fasteners and blinking lights. Pizza, grapes, juice, and vegetables with dip, this was a perfect children’s menu and the grown-ups liked it too. Nellis AFB has a new family center that you can reserve for parties that also includes an exercise room, offices, several rooms for children to play in, one large room with a fireplace, big screen TV, nice furniture, an adjourning dining area, and a kitchen to die for--double refrigerator freezers, a gas stove with six burners, two microwaves, a dishwasher, beverage refrigerator, cherry cabinets, and granite countertops. Pretty impressive and a nice bonus for the families to use when hosting parties and gatherings.

We ran to pick up more boxes and tubs for packing and then it was home for the evening. Kelly has been working really hard and is sort of running out of energy. I told Kelly to lie down and rest for a little while and Kyler and I would play. This worked really well until about 4:00 PM when he began to get really tired. If he went to sleep now, he wouldn’t go to bed on time tonight. What to do? I bounced him on my knee until he just sort of closed his eyes. Ok, 30 minutes of nap time and I would wake him up. He just sort of snuggled up on my shoulder as I leaned back against the sofa pillows. When I finally got up to check the time, I discovered it was time to wake him and was just starting to rub him back to gently rouse him from sleep when my phone rang…yes it rang. Kyler opened his eyes wide…grandpa was calling. We fixed dinner and after the baby went to bed, Kelly began packing again. The pile of boxes in the garage is growing bigger, but somehow Kelly said it doesn’t seem like the piles to pack are going down.

Sunday morning we watched “Sunday Morning” while we ate bagels and shared with the baby. Packing and more packing is the order of the day. Snack, lunch, nap, play, snack, bottle, play, dinner, and ice cream…seems Kyler thinks the ice cream is too cold to hold in his hands and too cold to eat. So cold it made him cry, so Kelly gave him mini peanut butter crackers and then life was good. Bath, bottle, bed for Kyler and then Kelly and I watched Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; yeah it’s a chick flick, but I remember when Kelly and I saw it in the theater when it first came out. Sandra Bullock…how could a movie not be good with Sandra Bullock in it?

I fixed soup for dinner, Kelly fixed eggs and bacon. She finished sorting, dumping, and packing for the night while I took out the garbage and then we watched another movie.

The babble of little voices woke me up Monday morning. Kyler and Ryan were in full swing with toys all over the living room. We got through the morning and Kelly did a little more packing during nap time, but not much because babies don’t always sleep as long as you would like them to. Maintenance came in the afternoon to fix the door knob to Kyler’s room and the refrigerator. Kelly asked the worker just to fix the refrigerator and come back another day, but the first thing he did was rattle the bedroom door knob. Kyler was now awake and crying. The worker came in and out of the house letting the screen door slam shut, no consideration for sleeping babies. Luckily Ryan did not wake up and after the worker left Kelly got Kyler back down for his nap.

Kelly fixed chicken with vegetables for dinner and it was really good. Abby came to pick up Ryan and after they left I picked up toys and Kelly got Kyler’s dinner ready. The Air Force Red Flag exercise began today with the jets and planes taking off at 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM. You usually hear a few planes but during Red Flag there are about 70 aircraft participating. Good thing the homes are fairly well insulated. It was almost 7:00 PM when Kyler went to bed and Kelly resumed packing. I had one box of stuff to send home and filled the rest of the empty space with things Kelly and Kyler would need. Kelly has two boxes to ship and we will drop them off to ship tomorrow after housing comes tomorrow to do the first walk-through in preparation for moving out. Her final walk-through will be February 8th.

We watched some TV and just relaxed a little bit before I cleaned the kitchen and Kelly finished packing another box and taking the boxes ready to load into the POD out to the garage. Kelly finished, crashed and then I swept the floors of goldfish, animal crackers, and Kix bits that the boys smashed with toys and sippy cups.

After the initial walk-through on Tuesday morning, we went to Wal-Mart for more boxes and bubble wrap…surprise, surprise. A few groceries and we were home. Sean brought Ryan over about 2:30 PM and the boys played and wore themselves out for a short nap time.

Dinner for Kyler and then he had a chocolate cookie for dessert. I watched Kyler during bath time so Kelly could get a little more packing taken care of and get Kyler’s bottle ready. Kyler was really into bath time tonight and Kelly and I both got a little soaked as he splashed and played.

Kelly packed up most of the kitchen items and sorted through what needed to be dumped before she sat down to rest. I wish there was more that I could do for her other than dishes, sweeping, or watching the baby.

Wednesday…my last full day in Vegas before I fly home. We decided to put off the FedEx stop today and ship packages on the way to the airport on Thursday. We went to Lowe’s to buy a floor stripper to clean the old wax and built up grime off the linoleum floors, but they didn’t really know what to suggest so we left and went to Home Depot. Not a big deal to most people, but since Kelly had worked for Lowe’s in Bellingham and Las Vegas, she was a little disappointed in the employees' training for their departments. Home Depot had four people trying to figure out what we needed and it came down to two choices so Kelly just picked one. This will be a project after Kyler goes to bed tonight.

Kelly fixed lunch after we got home and just as we finished, Sean brought Ryan over. The boys played until they wore themselves out and then it was nap time. Kelly fixed a homemade butterscotch pie for dessert to celebrate Abby’s birthday today and since Sean has to work tonight, Kelly is fixing Philly chicken cheese sandwiches. After dinner Francis and Aiden came over to have dessert and sort of have a girls night / baby night with dessert and hot chocolate with a little something extra in it. The three boys play really well together and it was fun to watch them. I got hugs from Francis and Abby both as they left, it would be the last time I would see them, both their husbands have new deployments to different bases and will be gone when Kelly returns after Kyle’s deployment to the sand pit.

Bath time for Kyler, and then Kelly took a much deserved and needed fifteen minute rest before tackling the kitchen floors. I cleaned up the dishes and took out the garbage and then it was time to see if the Krud Kutter would clean up the floors. Kelly sprayed it on the floor and mopped. A slight difference. She poured it on and mopped. That was a little bit better. She poured it on full strength and let it set for a few minutes and then used a rubber spatula to scrape the floors and the “krud” just started coming loose. I am sure maintenance probably used a sealer over the floors when they cleaned them before Kelly and Kyle moved in, but the problem with that is it just attracted dirt and everything sort of stuck to it and then it yellowed. Kelly got about three quarters of the kitchen done and what a difference. She will tackle the rest of the floors (the whole house is linoleum tile) a small workable section at a time. She has one week to finish packing, clean the floors, wipe down the cabinets, and spend time with Kyle before he leaves. She works really hard as a stay at home mom and I am so proud of her for all that she does for Kyle and Kyler.

My bags are packed, my boxes are ready to ship, and I know Kelly and Kyler will be in Washington with Larry and me in just a few weeks but it is still hard to say good-bye. The little guy has learned to say puppy while I was here and when you ask where the puppy is, he will point out the dining room window to where the puppy lives. He is learning to climb the safety gate and I would have been pleased if he had waited on this accomplishment, but it is part of the growing process for him. There is just something new every day in his life and I am thrilled that Larry and I get to be a part of watching him grown and learn for the next few months.

Did I make my plane? Seems it was overbooked when I did my online check in so I volunteered to take a different flight and get a free ticket in exchange. I can’t figure out why the plane is so full on a Thursday going on a direct flight to Bellingham, when it is usually Sunday or Monday when everyone leaves Vegas after the weekend that they planes are full. When did I get home? I made my plane, but it was full to overflowing, two off duty pilots sat in jump seats in the cockpit to make sure all the passengers had a place to sit and no one got bumped. Yes, I got home to Larry's welcoming arms!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vegas..what life is really like

I breezed right on through security…sort of…take off shoes, coat, take laptop out of suitcase, take the laptop out of the protective case, take all lotions and creams out of suitcase, place 3 bins, shoes, purse, suitcase, and carry-on bag onto the conveyor and hope that I don’t beep when I go through. I cleared the security scanner and after several back and forth scans of my items, I was ready to put my boots and coat back on, put my purse in the carry-on bag, put the computer back in the computer sleeve and back into the suitcase, liquids back into the bags…phew…I was ready to sit down.

The flight was straight through from Bellingham to Las Vegas which takes about two hours and thirty minutes. I think I might like to fly down on any other day than a Thursday next time. I forgot about everyone heading to Vegas for the weekend and that they start the party early on the airplane. No sleep for the trip, so I just read a paperback book that I bought at the store earlier in the week.

The pilot was funny, pointing out the sights, Portland, the Columbia River, Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, Reno, and Lake Mead. My flight left at 5:20 PM or there abouts from Bellingham, because I think we were running a little late. But in the northwest, 5:20 PM means it is dark outside in January and add in the fact that it was dark, overcast, and raining, we couldn’t see anything with a minute or so of taking off. But the pilot had his script and he did tell us what we couldn't see.

Kelly and Kyler picked me up at the airport and as we exited the freeway just a few blocks from Nellis Air Force Base, we stopped at the In and Out Burgers for dinner. We took our food to go and Kelly got the baby back in bed as soon as we got home and then we sat down to eat and talk. We talk almost every day on the phone, sometimes 3, 4, 5, 6, or more times if there is a lot going on, but in person there just seems to be even more to catch up on.

I watched the baby on Friday morning while Kelly ran some errands and did the grocery shopping. Sean dropped baby Ryan off in the afternoon and Abby came after work to pick up Ryan. Abby has gone back to work teaching and Kelly watches Ryan when both his mom and dad are working the same hours. The boys play together really well and it was fun watching them share toys, snacks, sippy cups, and blankets. Kelly fixed quiche for dinner and I got to help give Kyler his bath. Watching a fearless 16 month old walking in a bathtub full of water almost made me hold my breath and I did keep my hands on the side of the tub, just in case. Kyler loves his bathtime, probably the best part of his day. You forgot the simple things like when they learn to blow bubbles in the water or that they can throw one of their little tiny toys in the water and make a big splash and get grandma wet. So as a trial run for Saturday night, I gave Kyler his bedtime bottle and put him to bed. Not a big deal for some, but Kelly is the only one who has ever put Kyler down for bed at night. Kyler likes his snuggle time with mom so I wasn’t sure how he was going to do with grandma trying to give him a bedtime bottle and then put him down in his crib. Three bottles and on the third try, he was down. That left Kelly free to fold clothes and do a few household chores. The only real problem was that Mr. Kyler woke up about 11:30 PM and thought it was time to get up. We just had to let him talk it out, and after a couple of loud shouts (can you hear me), some soft baby talk, and about 40 minutes later he was back asleep.

Saturday morning I woke up to Kyler babbling away. He was up, changed, had a bottle, and he was ready to go. Kelly had a hair appointment and was going to pick up Kyle at the airport afterwards. I stayed home with Kyler and we played with his toys, had a snack, listened to some country music, attempted lunch time (he wasn’t very hungry), had a bottle, and then the little guy got a big surprise when his mom came home with his dad.

Kyle and Kyler stayed home to spend a little guy time together while Kelly and I went to buy some things Kyle will need when he deploys, and the makings for fondue Sunday night. Nap time for everyone when we got home and then Kelly fixed tacos for dinner. Kyle gave Kyler his bath and then Kelly got him ready for bed. Now Kelly and Kyler could leave for a couple of hours for a movie date night. Not one peep from the little guy while they were gone.

Given all the options, I like to sleep in and have a cup of coffee and sort of start my day leisurely. I know that when Kelly and Kyler come to live with us life is going to change and my short stay helping Kelly pack and get ready for her move is easing me into going to bed earlier at night and getting up earlier in the morning. When I woke up Sunday morning there was Kyler smiling at me. He had already been up about an hour and now he was ready to wake grandma up and get his day going. I did get my Starbucks coffee because Kelly bought the four pack bottles when she went grocery shopping.

Kyler took his morning nap and then Kelly, Kyler and I headed to Henderson to Hobby Lobby. It was a good idea but when we got there we found out they are closed on Sundays. Thanks, Larry, for the directions and sorry we interrupted your morning…ha ha. We headed back up to the northern end of Las Vegas and stopped at a McDonald’s to get lunch. Kyler got chicken nuggets and Kelly and I had hamburgers. Off to Wal-Mart to get everything we forgot yesterday and then it was home. The baby had food in his tummy and a warm bottle and no way was he going to take a nap.

Before I flew down, Kelly had a request that I fix dinner one night and she knew exactly what she wanted. Kelly referred to this dinner as “drunken cheese”; better known to the world as fondue. Bread, little sausage links, zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower. It had been a long time since I fixed fondue and it makes a nice meal, but so rich. We watched half a movie “Legends of the Fall” after dinner and then it was time to get Kyler his bath and bottle before we could finish the movie. I love spending time with my family.

Poor me, I had grandma duty Monday morning when Kelly went to run errands. The little guy was just getting up from his morning nap when Kyle came home for lunch. I had the vegetables chopped and the chicken ready to make a stir fry for Kyle’s lunch. Kyle had enough time to eat and feed Kyler part of his lunch before he had to be back at work.

Kelly came home shortly after he left and after she had lunch, we decided to go back to Hobby Lobby in Henderson. A quick stop for gas and as we left the base two sets of jets were flying in formation and at least another four to six jets were doing touch and go’s. It is pretty amazing to watch these jets twist, turn, fly just feet from each other…sort of like ballet in the air.

Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas Nevada is home to one of the largest fighter bases in the world. The planes and jets fly on the Nevada Test and Training Range which is more than 15,000 square miles of airspace and 4,700 square miles of restricted land. The planes fly anywhere from 100 feet above the ground and to twice the speed of sound and they fly seven days a week. Nellis conducts advanced combat training, performs operational tests, evaluations, and develops tactics. Two major training operations that occur at Nellis AFB are Green Flag and Red Flag. Currently Green Flag is in operation and when it ends, Red Flag will begin. These training exercises keep all personnel on base and those that come to participate in the exercises trained and ready to defend our country.

We stopped at the Las Vegas Record Journal on the way to pick up end rolls of newspaper print to use for packing. Hobby Lobby is sort of a cross between JoAnn’s, Michael’s, and Pier I. Furniture, scrapbooking, fabric, artificial flowers, baskets, lamps, woodworking, garden, so much to look at. We worked our way around the aisles to the outside of the store, slowly putting some really great bargains into the cart and when we had circled the store, we then tackled going up and down the aisles in the center of the store. We had fun just browsing and we did get a few good ideas for making items when Kelly moves to Washington. Kelly fixed salmon and fresh green beans for dinner and after they baby went to bed, we watched TV for a little while.

Tuesday morning Kelly and Kyler greeted me with a soft good morning grandma and my Starbucks mocha…a great way to start the day. After Kyler’s morning nap we left to run errands up to the Summerlin area and then the Alienate of north Vegas. As we left the base, two sets of jets were flying a close formations with about 4 to 6 other jets flying single doing touch and go’s. It was pretty amazing to watch how agile these jets look in the air. We bought baby locks for the kitchen cabinets at Babies R Us since we don’t have one in Bellingham and then made our 2nd stop of this trip at In-N-Out Burgers. We headed home because Kyle got out of work early today and would get home about the same time we would. The little guy was getting very sleepy, that is until we got home and his dad came in the door a few minutes later. Then it was, "forget the nap, let’s play." Kelly got a box full of baby clothes sorted, photographed, and listed to sell on line after she got the baby down for the night. We settled in for a quiet night and watched The Newton Boys.

Kyle was out of the house before 7:00 AM and after Kelly and I got up and got going, we sorted and packed. She has a lot done but we haven’t really made a dent in what needs to be done. She did somehow manage to push, pull, tug, and drag her big heavy sofa she brought to Vegas into the pod all by herself while I watched the baby.

Abby invited us to dinner and we stopped at Starbucks on the way for a pick me up drink before dinner. Abby’s mom Paula and her step dad Jan are visiting from Georgia and they have been watching Ryan this week. Abby’s parents are really sweet, nice people and I am glad I had a chance to meet them.

Abby fixed lasagna and Paula got French bread and salad ready for dinner. We brought a bottle of margaritas but poor Abby is fighting a cold and couldn’t enjoy her favorite drink. Sean had to work swing shift so he didn’t get to join us for dinner. Abby and Sean will be moving the end of June as Sean will have a new assignment after training. Friends Francis and Jeremy joined us after dinner with their son Aiden and they will have a new assignment in February. There are lots of changes when you live a military life.

Kyler is usually in bed by 6:30 PM and it was closer to 9:00 PM when we got home last night and Kelly put him in bed. Because Kyler went to bed late, he slept until 8:30 AM on Thursday. So we all had a little extra sleep except Kyle who was up and gone before 7:00 AM. We ran to Wal-Mart, which is conveniently only two blocks off base, to buy more packing supplies and back home to work. Kyle came home for lunch and after he left to go back to work, Kelly and Kyler both took a nap. Kelly packed up a large box of clothes for the baby that we are going to ship home and she will finish filling the box with her clothes tomorrow. We might need one more box to ship “stuff” home.

Kelly fixed chicken fried steak, or as she likes to call it “smothered steak” for dinner with blue cheese mashed potatoes…great dinner. I cleaned up the kitchen and Kyle gave Kyler his bath while Kelly got the bottle and pajamas ready. We all crashed on the sofa to watch Waterworld, or at least the first part. The kids had a date night planned and were headed out to a movie--so they left me alone with a sleeping baby…poor me. We will watch the rest of the movie after they return home. They don’t really get a chance to go out and it’s nice to be able to give them some time alone.

Packing and more packing is priority for the day. Kyle came home for lunch and then it was nap time for Kelly and Kyler. Kyle and Kelly are going to the Bellagio for dinner tonight, compliments of Larry who wanted them to have a little alone time before Kyle deploys. The little guy went down and then got back up for a short bottle and then he was out for the night. Mom and dad had a good time and like true grownups they were home by 9:30 PM.

Saturday morning I slept in till 8:00 AM. Even baby Kyler was still asleep. Kelly was up and had already fixed blueberry pancakes for Kyle and a nice stack saved for Kyler and me. The kids had some errands to run and I stayed home with the baby…somebody has to do it. Nap time was over and it was lunch time and play time. When Kyle got back he found the country western music on the television and said no, it’s football….typical guy.

I ordered a crib to be delivered just about the time I return home and that is a good thing because it requires some assembly and that is the part Larry hates the most. A couple of baby gates, a highchair, Costco, grocery store, baby store, whoa….little guys require a lot of stuff and we haven’t even gotten to the toys and bath stuff.

We spent a quiet evening at home and Kelly and packed up some of the kitchen items. Tomorrow is another day and there is lots to do for Kelly and Kyle as he leaves Monday morning for more training.

Kelly fixed homemade clam chowder for Kyle and finished up his laundry. Kyle packed the last of his three bags and then it was football for the afternoon. I took a walk outside and soaked up the warm rays of sunshine from the Vegas desert weather. I could feel the warmth seeping into my body and the light sweater I was wearing almost seemed too hot to wear.

Kelly, Kyle, and Kyler were up early and off to the airport Monday morning. Kyle is flying to the east coast for additional training before he deploys. When Kelly returned she fed the baby his breakfast and we made a quick run to Target for diapers and wipes…and more Starbucks coffee in the little glass bottles. But wait there is more….there was a Starbucks inside Target so I bought Kelly a Tazo tea and I had my café latte. Life is good.

It was playtime, packing time, naptime. A quiet evening watching television and Kelly did get to talk to Kyle after he arrived at his base.

Kelly wasn’t feeling well when she woke up Tuesday morning, so I sent her back to bed and the little guy and I had morning playtime together. When he had exhausted all his energy, he wanted up on my lap to snuggle. When he thought he might fall asleep he wanted down, so I just stood up and gently bounced him and my shoulder still has its magic touch, because about five minutes later he was asleep and another five minute for good measure and I put him down for his morning nap (not like yesterday afternoon when I just let him take a short nap in my arms).

Wednesday morning when Kyler woke up, baby Ryan was already here and ready to play with him. Kelly has a routine for the little guys, playtime, snacks (they really like this part), diaper changes, sippy cups, play, nap, diapers, lunch, play, diapers, snack, play, whine and grump time before bottles, nap time, diapers, snacks, and more play time. The boys do really well together and Kelly amazes me with her patience. Abby wasn’t feeling well and was going to be late so tonight Kelly fed them both dinner and then they had bath time. They shared the bath toys and then splashed, not just little splashes, the bathroom floor was all wet, Kelly was wet, the rug was wet, I just sort of stood back and took cover. In between all the baby details, Kelly managed to pack up 4 large tubs.

Thursday was pretty much a repeat of Wednesday except we made a fast run to Wal-Mart to pick up more tubs and packing supplies and my RX which I had to have faxed down since my stay was extended.
Related Posts with Thumbnails