Tag Archives: grandchildren

Hello, It’s Me

Hello, It’s me……..

I’ve been scarce on my posting this semester. As most of my readers know, I care for two of my grandchildren five days a week while my son and wife attend University/work.

My head swirls with things I want to talk about but writing with a two year old who talks extremely well for her age and is found under foot more often than not is certainly challenging.

So today, I bring you entertainment. I bring you a song from a talented group singing and performing Adele’s song, Hello.

I will write soon. I’m in Missouri, dreaming of how it use to be………….

Enjoy!

Cate B

 

 

School Days!

Well this coming Monday is the beginning of a new school year in The Burg.  The University of Central Missouri begins classes and I begin watching my wee grand girls once again.

Am I ready?  Well, it depends what perspective you take.  I think I’ll take God’s perspective and just love on them.  It’s the best I can give them and me.

This year the oldest – four years old – will be gong to a pre-school, in September, a few days a week.  I think she will enjoy that and that means Penny June and I can bond deeper.

I love the transitional period when school begins for all ages.  I love driving through campus and seeing the parents carrying refrigerators and boxes and bedding and sad faces trying to look happy when they say good bye to the children.  I don’t take pleasure in their conflict but I am excited for the students and sad for the parents.  I had many tears when we drove away from our kids. 😦

Our campus here just opened new dorms overlooking the football field and a Starbucks (for those who have yet to experience real coffee) and a Spin Pizza – all open to the public for all to enjoy!

University of Central Missouri - store

University of Central Missouri – store

New dorms and shops - UCM

New dorms and shops – UCM

Any of you have university campuses in your town?

What are your experiences?

Enjoy!

cate b

What Uma’s Do

It is now my summer time.  It actually started about two weeks ago.  The university is pretty quiet now and I don’t have my sweet grand girls five days a week.  I am still adjusting to the quiet and the freedom to stay in my pjs for hours.

The girls did come over for a few hours the other day.  Since the first one was born, Lucy, I sang to her.  She liked to fuss a lot with me and singing certain songs always worked to comfort her.  They still do at the age of four.  One song I sang to her was Sloop John B – I changed the words a little so I wasn’t giving her ideas to drink all night and get into a fight to: Singing all night – till it was nearly daylight.  It works.  Her other favorite is JJ Heller’s song, The Boat Song.  She both loved the song and the music video on youtube.

Penny, however, didn’t take to those songs.  Her comfort songs became How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, Jesus Loves Me, and Shake it Off by Taylor Swift.  She can watch that video over and over.  She travels to a different beat.

Since I took up the Ukulele a couple of years ago, I play their songs for them (except for shake it off – I do that a cappella).  Well, I must show you what Penny June did with my uke.  I normally don’t let them play it.  But I put her hands in position and off she went……. I am bragging, I have that right, I think she is a natural.

Drum roll please…….. Penny June singing and playing How Much is That Doggie in the Window……..

Enjoy!

cate b

Love Is Stronger Than Snot

For those who know, I care for our two grand daughters while our son and lovely wife attend university full time.  Finals are over and we all collapsed yesterday.

A very busy semester just ended.  This past week our little Penny June (eighteen months), AKA \, came down with a cold.  Kids tend to hate having their noses wiped.  And why should they like it when they have Uma’s shirt to just rub on back and forth until the problem is solved?

As my title strongly states – Love IS stronger than snot.  It’s a good thing I love her to pieces.  After raising four kids I’ve learned there isn’t a mess that can’t be cleaned.  Well, except for the black oil pastels our middle son used on the rug in his room so that when you lifted his art work up from the floor there was a tan rug “picture” framed in back on the carpet.  Nothing got that up………. But all else is a piece of cake.

I didn’t always see it that way.  I cleaned up constantly when my kids were growing.  But there came a day, somewhere in my past, that I really realized that “crying over spilt milk” is not the end of the world.  It’s just a minor inconvenience.

Love wins.  Look at my life.  I’m a great complainer to God (and husband) and they still love me.  God loves me so much that I have a picture implanted in my head of Him laughing loudly with arms folded over his chest.  A real gut-type belly laugh just because He loves me and enjoys my antics. Please note:  I have many antics and strive daily to overcome my bad attitudes.

And that, my friends, is how I try to enjoy my grand girls.  Just laugh and enjoy their antics.  Why?  Because they will grow up and become their own adults and enjoying their growth while I can is delightful!  All the things I think are problems that need solving in my life become very small when I actively try to not sweat the messes and other little things in life.

Life is short.  It really is.  And if I can accomplish one thing in my life I want it to be that I didn’t sweat the small things and that I took the time to enjoy the snot on my favorite shirt…….. because I am totally washable!

Enjoy!

cate b

Amazing Human Nature

As most of my readers know, I am in a season of life where I care for two of my grandchildren while their parents attend full-time University.  It has been an incredible journey for myself and my husband.  We are learning to be loved and to love on a whole new level.

Human Nature.  Sigh………

We are all born into this world with a mind that is so ready to learn.  When I began giving birth to my own babies and found myself in an unfamiliar life setting I read, I talked, I observed and I listened to what others were doing and not doing with their children.  As parents I think we find ourselves in a life full of busyness and just plain old work!  Keeping the house work up to the best of our abilities, changing diapers, feeding our babes and spending loving moments with them.  AND, don’t forget, longing for sleep and time to ourselves and with our spouses.  Our whole world changed – hopefully to the better.  Mine did.  As a matter of fact, we tend to spend so much time tending to the babes physical needs (and that is VERY important) that we wonder if we are fulfilling their other needs that lead them to become the amazing human beings they are meant to become.  We don’t always feel that we are making a difference, do we?

Does that make sense?  I do believe they take in a lot by observing us and how we treat them and others.  Example is nine tenth’s of the law – is that how it goes? Whatever……

But what about that human nature?  I do believe that babies come into this world with a need to be loved and held and comforted.  They have a need to be fed and cared for…… Feed Me!  Sometimes my human nature takes over and doesn’t want to love them right now – I don’t want to hold you, I just want you to sleep so I can sleep…….. Know the feeling?

Well, as a grandparent, I can tell you that it’s a whole new ball game.  It is not my responsibility to be their parents.  It’s a new freedom to be able to love on them and comfort them and spoil them to some degree and then send them home.  Since I have them five days a week, and most of the day, I, of course, change the diapers, take to the potty, wipe the snot, etc.  BUT, I also have a different perspective than when I was the mommy.  I get to see things about children I didn’t have the time for when I raised mine.  It’s amazing.  Well worth the wait for this time in life.

But back to that Human Nature.  We teach them to love and be kind, and we better, because in each of us is this uncanny ability to be mean.  There, I said it.  I sat here and watched as the little one (one and half years old) approached the bigger one (almost four years) and wanted what Sissy had.  Thankfully, Sissy is kind, most of the time, to little sister.  When Sissy wouldn’t give in to little one, the little one became a human piranha – her mouth flew open and she came at her sister with the intention to bite.  And bite she did!  Other sibling confrontations have been pushing, knocking little one over, etc.  All normal behavior as far as I’m concerned.  Usually they work it out among themselves or parental – type intervention comes in with time-outs and good talks.

Have you ever wondered this – we teach them to love and be kind and to help each other, etc.  But how did they learn to bite?  How did they learn to want what the others have?  They seem to pick up on all the selfish traits and desires much sooner than they do the love and kindness and sharing.  It is born in us. Baby, you were born this way……..

So, that being said, what is our “job” as parents, grandparents?  I see it as a very serious and high calling.  Guess what peeps?  These little ones have come into our charge, whether we were expecting them to come or they were a total surprise.  And these very little ones will be the people who are in our government offices or businesses or neighbors when they grow into adulthood.  These very little ones are the future of our world.  This is serious stuff.  Don’t ignore them.  Feed them with love and kindness and giving hearts.  Listen to them.  Get to know them.  Each little babe is an individual human being with a built in personality and gifts that we, as parents, need to discover and nurture them into the adult they were meant to be.  There is no one solution for every human being.

A particularly favorite Proverb of mine is: English Standard Version
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This isn’t easy.  It takes some serious time with our babes to see who they are.  It would have been much easier for me, as a parent, to have treated my four all the same.  Even the same discipline techniques did not work on all four – I know, I tried.

So, Dear Parents and Caregivers, let’s do our best to know our children and raise them along that path.  Then, when they grow and mature into adulthood we can look at them with love and pride.  We can continue to cheer them on and we can rest assured they will do their best to make right decisions for themselves and others and this crazy world we live in.

Who could not love these………

DSCF8194
11018675_10204041471779489_6075986558168864039_oEnjoy!

cate b

 

Stop In The Name Of Love…….

……. before it breaks my heart.

Love is a funny thing.  It’s something we all want and need.  But it is also something we tend to run away from.

We’ve all seen others do it or have done it ourselves.  Just when the love is being poured out on you, you want to run away from it.  We start laying brick upon brick faster than The Flash himself!  Then we stop.  We hesitate, with the next brick still in hand.  Isn’t this the love I’ve been waiting for and longing for?

Drop that brick!  Stop resisting love.  I’m not talking about desires and one night stands or even about the guy or girl that may not stick around.  I’m talking about true love.  Love that accepts us the way we are – baggage and all.  Love that we pour out on someone – with their baggage and all.  Sacrificial love.

Sacrificial love.  It comes it many shapes and sizes.  Currently mine is for the two little girls that I care for.  The daughters of my youngest child.  Is caring for them inconvenient – yes – not all the time.  Is it hard physically – sometimes.  Am I tired – yes.    Could I be doing something else for myself and maybe even making money doing it – yes.

But that love.  That look from their eyes into yours.  It goes very deep into my heart.  It is a love I have longed for and a love I have longed to give.  That love they dish out on you even though you are way older.  It’s a love that they feel secure in when mom and dad drop them off.  They feel safe, they feel at home.

I’ve had thoughts lately of when the kids graduate from the university and find jobs, who knows where, and they will move and begin a new chapter.  Where do I and my husband fit in?  I’ve even thought of hardening my heart, laying brick after brick to my wall that is ever so tempting to build,,,,,, why?  So I won’t get hurt when they say goodbye.  So my heart does’t break in a million pieces when they don’t need me anymore.

Then, like the slowly rising of the sunlight on my window, I realize I can’t live without the love they give me and the love I have for them.  So, we will do our best to follow them and care for them until…. until …. until they have to care for us – Hahahaha.

I’m saying this because the love I have for the grand girls, and for the grand boys we had to leave back east, is stronger and ever growing.  I never want to build the wall of protection over my heart because, no matter how convincing we are in our heads, that heart wants the love.  And with great love can come great hurt, BUT when we surrender to love it comes around to great love again.  Love doesn’t go away.  Love works to heal, to stand, to hold  and to continue.  Love never fails.  Love is truth.

And, Dear Readers, love originated in God.  His heart is so big and so loving and so merciful.  He has taught me to lay down the bricks and let His love come to me.  And that is how, and only how I can give true love to my self, my husband and my kids and their kids and to friends and strangers.   And most of all the only way I can love my God.

Let Love in today and everyday.

Enjoy!

cate b

I Know How to Wrap Up Summer

summer

Summer is over, even though the temperatures are still summer-like.  The colors of the leaves are lighter and some have actually fallen.  You can feel it in the breeze – the changes are coming.  Soon we will have our fall clothing on and jackets and the leaves will turn gorgeous colors while we sip on spicy hot apple cider while dunking the cinnamon donuts.  I love fall but I hate the end of summer.  I didn’t go anywhere this summer but it was pleasant here in the mid-west.  The temperatures were perfect.  I enjoyed my own backyard and drives into the country.

Once you are a mom whose children go to school outside the home you get ingrained further into you the school year schedule.  I still like seeing the school buses go down the street and the quietness of the neighborhood during school hours.  My youngest son and his wife are doing an amazing thing.  They decided to go to college.  D has a couple of years finished and K has his basics done.  This semester they went big league.  They moved into family housing on campus of a university in the mid-west along with their two year old daughter and another daughter to be born this fall.  I admire them greatly, especially the pregnant one.  Of course they realized early on that they needed me still to stay with their daughter a few days a week.  Needed me, Mammy.  I made my son say it three time, “We need you”.  So I go there and stay with my little buddy and it’s fun.  She came to my house last week and I got to dislocate her elbow.  Yup.  Good Mammy.  Not.  I was devastated.  But life is full of always learning.  I learned that this is pretty common and easily fixed.  So easily fixed that there is a video on youtube to show you how to fix this. Apparently it can easily happen again until they outgrow this…….thing.      

I even have been really bad at my homework – blogging.  I am behind reading blogs I follow.  Forgive me fellow bloggers.

I am behind writing.  I must forgive myself.  But I have two new ideas for books.  Good grief.

So once again Summer days have gone by and the newness of an autumn, yet to discover, is upon us.  I wish you all good health and old and new dreams coming true………

Enjoy a great cup of fall tea.

Enjoy a great cup of fall tea.

And enjoy this classic song as summer sadly comes to an end.

cate b

Who Does He Take After???

I have mentioned before that I gave birth to four lovely children.  Motherhood is truly a blessing from God that is priceless.  It’s not always easy and it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet.  Ask my oldest son.  I still tell him to forgive us.  After all, he was the first-born and we were clueless.  He was like a guinea pig in some ways.  I am, however, thankful for those authors who published helpful books.

My first two, a son and then a daughter, were pretty by the book, so to speak.  Challenging, but great with their feeding and growth timings.  Even their behaviors were not too difficult as young babies and toddlers (teenage years will have to be another post).  Then along came the third born.  Another son.  Cute as a button.  I wanted a boy and told my husband.  I even had his name picked out before conception.  I just knew, therefore I had to have.  And there he came.  Things were going along quite nicely until he began to crawl and walk and then talk.  Crawling wasn’t good enough.  He had to climb before his first step.  Found him in the middle of the kitchen table standing there at seven months of age.

Then came the talking.  He had an amazing use of baby language.  It went something like this:

Son:  Ma!

Me:  What?

Son:  ldkfuosienro aisghos  pih anodi asj u dijg dfkg ifug o???

Me:  Yes, that’s right.

Son:  Ma!

Well, you get the idea.  This type of conversation went on the entire car ride length of the mountain valley we lived in.

When words made more sense to him he would ask for Mackaners for dinner.  Took me a while to realize he wanted a hamburger.  Mackaner being a cross between a big mac and a hamburger.  His Uncle Peter was Uncle Computer – cross between the other uncle that gave us our first computer and Peter.

As he grew my husband and I would look at each other from time to time and ask, “Who does he take after?”  We were clueless.  He looked a lot after my side of the family so we knew there was no switching at the hospital.

One day, I was home alone with him and his new baby brother, who was taking a nap.  I watched our number three son go around the kitchen opening all the lower cupboards hoping for an empty one he could crawl into and be alone.  I knew how he felt.  I was vacuuming and just talking to the Lord about this little guy he gave us.  I asked again, “Who does he take after?”  I believe God can talk to us in a deep place within in a still small voice, a strong whisper (bible reference I Kings 19:12).  I heard, “He takes after you”, as I continued to vacuum.  I said, “No, I don’t think so.  He is very confident and travels to his own beat.”  I heard again, “He takes after you.”  And then it hit me.  He is so much like me and I couldn’t see it until that moment.  I began to see my life unfold before me – as I continued to vacuum – when I was just three or four years old my parents faced a difficult time.  My dad became ill and suddenly he passed away when I was just four.  My mom found herself having to raise three children on her own, the youngest doesn’t even remember our dad.  From that point we, as young children, were put in a place where we had to grow up fast.  My older brother was told the old belief, “You’re the man now”….. what????  I was a middle child with great imagination and creativity that got forced into a left-brained world.  I was lost.  I became withdrawn and extremely shy.  No one knew what to do with me because I was so quiet.  I grew up with my mom constantly saying that the teachers think I need a psychiatrist.  That was the 1950s – that was the mindset.  Now a days we go to counselors or life coaches because, let’s face it, we can’t do it alone.  But the generation my mom came from were very strong and very proud folk.

So I knew at that moment while vacuuming that my son and I were two peas in a pod.  He was just being raised differently.  I knew my mom did the best she knew how but there were consequences that I had to walk through.  That day was such a day of freedom for me.  A day of healing.  I told my husband about it that night and told him to look out!  I now know who I am.

That is one of the most wonderful things about having children and raising them.  They are each a different individual.  Each one cannot be raised identical to the last one.  Your family will have a general way you want to raise your family, your beliefs, religion, moral standards.  But the carrying out of those things will be different for each child.  Time outs may not work for one as they did for the others.  And that is what I think is the hardest part of parenting.  Knowing and discovering each of your children as individuals and what makes them tick and what will be the best for each one is a lot of work!

Hats off to you parents of today!  And to you grandparents who play such a vital part in your children’s and children’s children’s lives!  Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy life with them.  They are a joy not a drudgery!

A classic for you: 

Enjoy!

cate b

Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

Several years ago, and four dogs later, I had an incredible desire to have an Airedale Terrier.  I even got a key chain with a picture of one.  Thing is I was never around one.  I thought perhaps I had seen one or met one at one point in my life but I just cannot remember where.  Even my older brother said we never knew anyone with one.

So the time came to get a new puppy with the new house we had just bought.  Airedale Terrier here I come!  But no, everyone in the family wanted a Siberian Husky.  I read up on them and I was not convinced.  They tend to run and get into all kinds of trouble.  But no matter how much I debated I lost.  So my husband, with a smile on his face, loaded me into the van and we drove about three hours up into the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania to pick up the last husky pup of this particular litter.  We walked in their house and the lady picked up this gangly legged , blue eyed puppy and plopped in into MY arms and talked to my husband about her dogs.  I looked into those blue eyes and he looked into mine and he shook and so did I.  I sat in the back of the van with him as he proceeded to throw up on my feet.  I house trained him and everything else he learned.  I was his Alpha dog.  And he was wonderful – Eryndil was his name and he lived a ripe and healthy life with us until he was thirteen.  When he was about eleven we finally got our Airedale.  I named her Hayley Mills – after my favorite childhood actress – and we call her Hayley Mills, the full name.

DSCF6364This is Eryndil.   And here is Hayley Mills and Eryndil together.  He wantedDSCF6348  nothing to do with her – she wanted everything to do with him.

 

 

When he passed away she was a little lost and so were we.  But I have to say Airedales are very people attached and she prefers us to any other dog.  She now has a brother named George Bailey (yes, the character in It’s A Wonderful Life) who is a basset hound/border collie mix.  A snuggler.

When I got Hayley Mills I fell in love.  She is the smartest breed dog we have ever had and there are times she scares me because I think she is actually part human.  For real.  When our grand daughter Lucy came along that dog took to her as her own.

uShe loves to snuggle her girl and try to comfort her.  Hayley Mills weighs eighty pounds and lets Lucy sit on her and play horse.

 

 

 

 

There is nothing more comforting than a dog (except God) when you feel down or life hurts.  They are faithful and kind and love you even when you are a jerk. I’m glad we waited to get this Airedale because the joy of knowing our husky was wonderful but also because this Airedale – Hayley Mills – is perfect for me.

gbGeorge Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

mail.google.comHayley Mills today.  She will be four this year.

 

 

 

 

 

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.  ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

Enjoy!   cateb