When I think of all the pictures I took today, I think that I might have been camera crazy. You’ll see a lot of them in this blog. I just love pictures, and of my children particularly. Kids are so fun to take pictures of (except when they deliberately don’t cooperate, as Paul has taken to doing recently).
This morning we went to my grandma Gardner’s to trim her toenails. It was quite a whirl around here to get everything done and ready to go to be there at 10:00 a.m. Yeah, I know that is about mid-day, but somehow it is hard to get everyone dressed, fed, pottied, changed, and everything packed up before then. Not to mention my 45 min. of exercise, and then the necessary shower. Anyway, we got there soon after 10:00. Paul and Hannah were in remarkably good moods and played very nicely the whole time we were there. I was so impressed with them! We had a nice, relaxing visit. I didn’t take lunch along because I wanted to come back home for lunch. If we eat lunch with Grandma, then the kids nap on the way home, and don’t nap any more. Then, I don’t get a nap, and it really stretches me.
Hannah & her great-grandma Gardner
Paul loves Great-Grandma’s plastic fruit. She keeps it in a
basket just for Paul (and Bobby when he comes) to play with.
As soon as Paul walked in the door, he went and got that
basket of fruit.
Paul putting the plastic grapes in the
Grandma served Paul some saltine crackers
(which he loves) before we left.
My mom stopped in toward the end of our visit.
Here she is with Hannah.
Somehow, Andrew thought it was mild outside today.
I thought it was cold, but Andrew really wanted me
to take Paul outside after lunch. He wore his new
gloves and bogan that he got for his birthday from
his Vogan grand-parents. (Of course, he took off the
gloves soon after he went outside, silly guy. Then his
hands got cold.)
This evening, Paul and I made pizza for supper. Andrew loves pizza the most around here, and I really like it too. I just don’t take the time to make it that often. Let me tell you, though, that I make it as easy on myself as possible. I only assemble them when we are going to have pizzas. I pulled browned sausage out of the freezer, peppers out of the freezer, and pizza sauce from a jar that we canned last summer. So, all I have to do is make the dough, chop up onions, peppers, and black olives, and we are set to start putting them together!
Paul loved helping. He rolled out the dough while I was doing other things. When it was time to put some dough on the pizza stone, I finished rolling it out, put it on the stone, and gave him the next ball of dough to work on a while. That kept him entertained about the whole time I was putting pizzas together and baking them. It sure was nice for me–he wasn’t getting underfoot!
Eating the pizza is at least as fun as making it. I am probably biased, but I don’t think I have ever eaten a bought pizza (hot and ready to eat, or frozen) that I liked as well as I like our pizza. I have the perfect sauce, just the right dough, and so on. I learned how to make pizza from Andrew (that is assemble it). You put the “pretty” things on top the cheese so it looks nice. The dough recipe is from a neighbor back at home, Robin Ulmer. The sauce recipe I created with Andrew’s tasting help.
Paul rolling out pizza dough.
Paul pinching off little pieces of pizza dough.
Paul eating pizza.
Our lovely pizza!
What was left after supper.
Here are Paul and Hannah in the bathtub. Paul has become quite the little fish in the last couple days to a week. He loves to raise his leg up and do big splashes (and water goes everywhere on some of them!). Then he raises his leg up again and says (while waiting for me to acknowledge his great feat about to occur), ” ‘nother splash!” and splashes again. Then, when Hannah is lying down to get bathed, Paul takes a hold of her feet and leg and helps her do splashes. While Hannah is sitting up, she does her own great splashes.
Hannah & Paul
Well, that’s the story of today.
Now, for Thankful # 19.
I am thankful that for my whole life, so far, I have lived close to my Gardner grandparents. The lived next-door to us the whole time I was living at home (and Grandma still lives right next to my parents). I have lots of memories of working with Grand-daddy. I guess I was about 7 years old when one or two of us girls started helping him every night. I remember chasing cows, pulling calves (helping them be born), feeding calves, bedding cow stalls, cleaning the stables, sweeping the barn floor (and learning how to use a broom properly and park it properly–stand it on the handle, not the bristles) doctoring cows, shaking the hay, riding out to get a newborn calf in from the field in that old truck if Grand-daddy thought it was too far to either carry the calf or haul him in the push calf-cart, warming our hands on the hot water tank, his glasses steaming up from the steam of the very hot water we washed up the bottles and buckets with, learning how to test the electric fence with a blade of grass, going to get a load of hay in the middle of the night over at the Pink Barn if we ran out, or if it was a slow night and we had extra time, and not the least of my memories, how he could touch and work on hot electric fences without turning them off and it never seemed to bother him. However, if he accidently bumped into one, he would hollar in surprise and/or jump. He also could work down in a water trough, reattaching a float, or whatever needed done, on the coldest nights in the coldest weather. He had amazing self-discipline and self-control. On the nights he was gone and a water trough had to be worked on (in the winter), I always so hated doing it because it was so cold. I had great respect for him doing it without complaining and acting like it wasn’t cold at all. One of the hallmarks of Grand-daddy was his conscientiousness for safety. He never, ever passed up an opportunity to lecture us about safety, regarding cows, equipment, driving, PTO’s, elevators, whatever. He lectured us until we could repeat the lectures word-for-word in our sleep, I am sure. But, likely it saved our lives. Grand-daddy passed away in Jan. of 2001 with advanced Alzheimer’s. I’m glad he was able to live right there with us the whole time.
My Grandma was a meticulous seamstress and an unbeatable cook. Infact, when she was young (such as I guess in her 20’s) there was quite a write-up (with a big photograph!) in the newspaper about her bread-baking (I think that’s what it was, I will have the re-read the article next time I go see her). I just know that when she made rolls for our Thanksgiving gatherings, they were the very best rolls I ever ate, and I don’t think I have ever eaten any as good as hers (except for Marilee Reeves’ rolls, they were equal with Grandma’s). They were always perfectly golden on top, risen to an amazing height, never doughy inside, didn’t sink in the middle, light, fluffy, melted in your mouth, and, the greatest thing about them–they were white! (My mom always made whole wheat rolls.) (Hmm…speaking of all this, I want to ask her what her secrets were.) As far as sewing, I know she made at least one dress for me when I was growing up. And she made clothes for my doll baby and a diaper bag for my doll. Whatever she sewed, it was perfect. She agonized over her sewing, ripping and stitching, and ripping and stitching again, until it was flawless and fit perfectly. There was positively nothing slip-shod about her work. When I graduated from high-school (which was homeschool, by the way), she made me a fancy pillow (which is what I asked her for). We used it for the ring-bearing pillow at our wedding. (Hmm… I should include a picture of it. Maybe I will add it tomorrow since it is rather late right now.)
All this to say how thankful I am that we lived close to my grand-parents. I doubt I would have most of these memories if they had lived further away, or far away.