Windy Grandkids

Birthday Flowers
Another year starts today! Last year is gone, like a leaf on the wind! A clean slate for this next phase of my life. Everything I have experienced, everything Mike and I have experienced, and all the people in our lives who have been influential have prepared us for the next piece of this journey we call life. 

The year is off to a bang up start! We just had a wonderful two nights and three days with the grandkids. We picked them up in Wednesday. We love them so much and look forward to spending time with them. We miss them terribly while we travel. The length of time between visits feels like an eternity aand then the time we spend passes just like leaf on the wind.

We picked up the kids on Wednesday and had dinner with them and their parents at Red a Robin. They drove down from Arlington, WA to Olympia. We drove up from Castle Rock to Olympia. We spent some time shopping for a few things we need before we head out in the first leg of our epic loop! 

What could we possibly need? Not much. Mike needed jeans. I needed a belt, socks, and handbag. Like I said, not much. Minimalistic living at its finest. We evaluate everything to make sure we need it and that it goes with is already in the closet! 

Turns out we ended up with quite a bit of time before meeting the kids so we just spent some time talking about our trip, upcoming ministry opportunities, sights we want to see, and experiences we will be seeking.

By the time the kids got there, we had picked out tickets to the Seahawk v. Buccaneer game on November 27! I’m so excited! I’ve never been to a professional football game and I really didn’t want to go to CenturyLink field. Turns out I gave an allergy to cold weather! Who knew?

The kids blew into our home with bags of stuff, toys, books, and snacks. When we looked at everything they packed we wondered how long their Mom thought they were going to be gone. Then I remembered everything I used to send when one of the Jew would go for a couple nights. I’m sure their grandparents thought I had sent enough stuff for at least a week. I really had to giggle! We Mom’s seem to always try to plan for every contingency!

We didn’t get back until after 9. Zack was committed to s’mores so we made s’mores and had a wonderful time. Obviously he went on a sugar bender and was up until well after 11:30. The kid goes to bed around 8 or so normally! Ach! He doesn’t do so great when he’s tired so we were pretty sure we would have an interesting day in Thursday.

Thursday dawned around 7:30 for Mike and the dogs. Zack slept until then! Yippee! He’s normally a super early riser. When I say early riser, I mean like 5:30 early. Praise God he slept ’till 7:30. Haley had to get up then too. She’s the exact opposite. She can sleep ’till noon. However, there is a huge difference between hiw a 6 year old manages his emotions while fatigued and a 15 year old hers when tired.

We hit the pool around 11:30. Zack was chomping at the bit to go before he even ate breakfast so holding him off was a bit tough. He is a force of nature! Likening him wind is not unreasonable. He can be like the warm breeze on a sweet spring day or a roaring tornado. Because he had been up so late he was very tired. While Haley and I sought out some “girl time” Grandpa was able to get him to sit still long enough that he napped an hour and a half. Thus we all had a much nicer evening!

Girl time! Whoop whoop. We ran into Castle Rock, a huge mega metropolis! Stopped at the local pharmacy to pick up a script for Gandpa and then went and checked out a new place, Rhe Vault. It’s a bookstore/coffee shop in an old bank building. The architecture snide us amazing with awesomely high ceilings, mouldings, and filigree. They were even able to restore the 100 year old marble floor in the entry! The coffee is good and the company was great. Haley shares a love of books and we are always up for browsing. 

She enjoys little quirky antique shops too. We found one opened and probably spent a good 45 minutes wandering and admiring the amazingly diverse offerings. They had everything from Corning Ware to electrical insulators. Vintage clothing to piano player scrolls. The selection of miniature salt and pepper shakers was absolutely amazing! We were a little grossed out by the old dental spit bowl and decided shaving would have been diffucult, if not painful with some of the early Norelco electric shavers on display.

Haley is curious about all things historical. She loves museums and can wander for hours, even revisiting a particular artifact npmultiple times. She’s super smart and soaks up learning through her pores! Handing into her Junior year in high school, she’s looking at colleges. She and her Zmom (Angie) are planning a college visit trip sometime this year. She’s looking at Colorado State and a school very near Syracuse. Both specialize in Environmental Science or Health which capture Haley’s imagination.

We played Yahtzee wuth our Big Dice! Zack learned quickly! He even rolled the first Yahtzee. Grandma won with the kids a close second and third. Unfortunately, Grandpa didn’t think his score was worth the effort to tally.

Desert abounds when at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s. Ice cream.Umpqua Vanilla Bean, the absolute best ice cream in the world (in my humble opinion)! What better to serve as a second course on the desert menu? Yep, another night of s’mores. The best camping desert ever. Really! What beats roasted marshmallow and melting chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers?

Yeah, we know we loaded him up on sugar again. This time we had a plan. He needed a shower and that was a great segue to bedtime. A story read by Gransma and he was out for the count at about 9. He slept until 7:30 too! A much better day was had by all. At least until their parents arrived.

What is it about kids spending time with Grandparents and having few if any issues needing to be addressed? Mom and Dad show up, negative behaviors and attitudes appear as if by magic. It seems to be a universal truth. Other people get to see your kids’ best behavior. I’m not sure why it works that way, it just does.

Tony and Angie made it down this afternoon to pick up the kids. It as wonderful to host them foe dinner and have casual relaxing time. We also happened to make the best turkey burgers ever which are now going to be a regular menu item at our house. Super easy to make:

4 lbs organic turkey
2 tsp salt
2 Tb granulated garlic
Two pinches of pepper
4 Tb Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp Cumin
A heavy shake of Tumeric (to taste)
1 egg

Mix well. Spoon on BBQ mat and shape into patty. Cook nil juices run clear. Serve as you would a beef burger. Prepare to sigh, and to over eat!

Then, just like that, the packing is done, the loading complete, and we stand waving watching the wind carry them from our loving arms! 

Family love!

I must say, I do believe God gives us special times like these with our kids or grand children, maybe even special friends to fuel us for His plan for our lives. We get to take this wonderful memories with us as we travel these not several months.

Featured image: Haley Todd

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