I love having the grandkids spend the night! Ever since the oldest was little and started sleeping over......she would sleep with me in the big bed while Gramps slept in the guest room.  Same when her little sis came along, and then my grandson as soon as he was old enough!  And now the twins take turns doing the sleep-with-Grandma-in-the-big-bed thing!
A few weeks ago, my little cuddle bug guy said he was going to "stick to me like glue" as he leaned against my back. Both he and his big brother like me to hold their foot while they fall asleep!  Last night, his sister said "you're the refrigerator, and I'm the magnet" as she snuggled up tight against me! Cracked me up!  But the older kids did the same thing. That feeling of warmth, security, love and devotion...... that special "Grandma and me time" feeling......greatest feeling in the world for both of us! Have some of my best night's sleep like this!
Sunshine always stroked my earlobe as she drifted off, Flower wanted to hold hands......and so does my little Pumpkin Jr.  She also loves patting my cheeks repeatedly. These are some of those pictures that only the heart can capture!
As they all grow older, they like playing word games, telling silly jokes and hearing me tell tales of their parents when they were little! It takes a long time to get to sleep sometimes.......but it feels soooooo good to fall asleep after giggling your head off!!!!!

Everytime the five cousins are together for Christmas or during summer vacation……..we have a camp out on the living room floor! (Gramcracker gets the couch!)  We have every blanket and pillow and flashlight in the house. Make lots of hand shadows of course and tell silly/spooky/nonsense stories!  I love that even the oldest gets into it and becomes a “kid” again in the midst of laughter and craziness! She and her sister sneak off to their bed once the Littles are asleep………..but I stick it out on our comfy old sofa till morning peaks in!  J

Follow the contest I entered this piece in. Voting closes August 31st........winner announced in October. Hoping to win the trip to Disneyworld for the kids


                                                 Another Gramps and Gramcracker Book

Welcome to our yard, gardens and deck! We have built and planted all these years with the best helpers of all.....our little gardenyardigans! We have watched our GRANDKIDS blossom and grow along with the beautiful outdoors! Each child has been an important part of making this house a home. The yard work......building the deck and the wall, planting, watering and weeding. The yard art.....from the frog collection and rock garden from my Mom and Dad, the nautical touches from living on lakes and oceans to my collection of decorative birdhouses.

But it wouldn't be HOME without the squeals, laughter and delight that has filled our yard with love and joy! They have planted flowers and a veggie patch, built and painted birdhouses, "watered" the lawn by running through the sprinkler!

They have used binoculars to hunt for bunnies and squirrels, magnifying glasses to look for crawling, creeping creatures and used their creativity and imaginations playing in the huge sandbox.
Thank you my Sunshine and Flower for showing us the way. And thank you to my Shining Star and the Dynamic Duo for keeping us going!

Michigan Lake House Vacation

Sometimes it's a trip back in time that means the most! In this repost I share the importance of our adult children in our lives along with having grandchildren. We came home from this vacation with the assurance and pride that we had done a good job as parents. We watched as our kids' happy childhood was recreated for their own children in this slice of life that touches us to this day. 

We decided to rent a lake house on Crooked Lake, one of many in Michigan; in honor of our 45th anniversary five years ago. Since Treg and Tracy spent their early childhood on another Crooked Lake, they wanted to show thier own kids what lake living and swimming was all about!
Well, it turned out to be better than our expectations! Two families drove from Georgia (in separate cars) and the other family flew in  from California to meet by mid-afternoon the first day. The home and property were perfect for eleven of us! We enjoyed outstanding weather, everyone got along and all five grandkids had the time of their lives.

A sandy bottom meant the 3 year old twins could walk out pretty far and it really helped them gain confidence in the water. Grandpa and the daddies played water football and 'Shamu' with all the kids.
John kept us organized and fed and was in charge of the grill and fire pit! We had kayak and pontoon boat everyday and rented the jet ski for a day so everyone could have a ride. Daughter Tracy really rocked the jet one would ride with her! She had a blast. And our son Treg helped every child catch their first fish!

The front yard leading down to the lake was huge...there was a great swing set/playground area, a hammock and lots of trees!  Plenty of room for tossing the football, playing tag and hide and seek and even a firepit for our smores! ( I shared all of this with an artist friend who did the beautiful painting above! ) My husband had no problem getting around with his walker or cane.......strong fencing along each side of the huge yard allowed him to get down to the lake and dock. He was totally in charge of piloting the pontoon boat!


Flashback to a picture of me in the early 70's with my husband with our son then and now!
I loved every minute of it..watching the grandkids' faces all day long as they discovered some new moment of delight about the lake and yard! John or Treg would serve us  Gin & Tonic's each evening...pretty cool to have favorite son and son-in-law taking care of us! Our daughter-in-law made sure every moment was captured with photos and video.

Tracy & John went to bed early with their young kids...but we stayed up late with Treg and Cara and the older girls for the "night life"... catching fireflies, swirling sparklers and sitting by the bon fire. The night we made the yummy smores it was 9:00 PM and the sun was still shining...but that was the only way the Littles could participate and still get to bed!

Favorite places from the past made for awesome day trips. The Gilmore Car Museum, the Air Zoo Museum and the stables where Jim's nephews keep their harness racing horses were great fun for all three generations. The three older kids helped out with grooming and feeding the horses....and Treg got to ride the little cart they use for racing! He also got up on water skiis again on a friend's boat! It warmed our hearts watching him and his sister be kids again!

                                                                            At the end of the week, Treg and Cara stayed on to visit Michigan friends, the Littles took to the road again to visit their Ohio grandparents and Grandpa and I brought the older girls back to Georgia to enjoy them for another week!

"Oh, I miss the comfort of this house...
Where we are, where we are,
Where we are, where we are;
The floor under our feet whispers out
Come on in, come on in
Where it all begins."    Lakehouse by Monsters and Men

This photo book is a favorite for all of us....allowing us to savor this trip...and also to recall our  early days living on the lake! We  had the best vacation/family reunion/walk-down-memory-lane time ever! 

Gramps and Gramcracker Books

I love taking pictures! My camera is my constant companion whenever I'm with my grandkids. After years of scrapbooking, I decided to try this Photo Book method where I could add narrative and creative designs just like I spent hours doing with my stacks of memory books!

  The first attempt was "Our Alaska Adventures"  book; written and photographed with my granddaughter after our dogsledding and snow trekking vacation. Living in Southern California, she wanted to experience snow and learn more about this unique sport. She quickly learned the lingo and moves. It really was the 'lightness of being" as we flew over the snowy meadows like a magic carpet!
We put Travels With Gramps and Gramcracker on the back cover.

 But now every time I create a new book, we call it Another Gramps and Gramcracker Book!


Gary and His Grandkids....A Grand Life  is a tribute to our old cat, Gary Gare. Always an indoor cat, he passed away in December, 2010. Our grandson, who was 3 at the time, peered out the window at his backyard grave and announced; "now Gary's an outdoor cat!"  The twins love reading this to Burney...our new kitty....and I've shared it with the staff at our vet's office.   

I wrote about  Gardenyardigans....what we call the kids playing in the yard; helping with gardening and 'watering' the grass as they run through the sprinklers! You know I had their help with this title....straight from the  Backyardigans kids' program!

Having our fab five kiddos together every summer is a highlight for us all; so I've created  memory books of photos and funny tales for the cousins each year. Although these have all been made with Shutterfly, I also work on projects through Heritage and Snapfish! Check out their sites for great promotions and discounts.

Each child has had the 'honor' of being on the back cover as well! Who knew it would be such a big deal! Lane learning to swim last summer was a real highlight! This year....on our 10th book... it's our turn!

Finally....two pounds!

February 21, 2011
The scale finally moved to the left a couple notches today! After three weeks of cardio and weights.......only two, but I'll take it!!
Spent 3 months working with nutritionist from Berkley Heart Lab and got myself on healthy diet......high fiber and protein.... and keeping calories @ 1800. Started walking in neighborhood 2 or 3 miles a day. Joined LA Fitness/ Atlanta Track Club and have been working out at gym in mornings; walking in afternoons. Running/walking 5K's once a month (have done four so far). So.........I'm on the right track, right????? Frustrating that the weight around my middle is so hard to lose.......but I'm determined! Two pounds on the scale, but clothes fitting better. Getting stronger core from Yoga once a week; lifting 7 1/2 or 8 lb weights and doing upper body twice a week/lower body twice a week. Walking streets 5-6 days of the week. High intensity/interval pacing on treadmill or eliptical 4 times a week. Hopefully it's all going to come together soon.
Eight pounds of middle rolls and bulges.......going to do it!!!!!!

Another 5K

January 21, 2011
Another 5K in the morning.....Polar Bear Run.......25 degrees! What to wear for cold weather running?!?! Layering up and wearing a hat and mittens, that's for sure.
Hope my sister doesn't bail. We did rain last time/woodsy terrain before that.....we can do this. Update coming! :)
Yes! I did it! 48:08 minutes this time! New Year's Day it was I shaved a minute and a half off! That's all I want......trying to do better and trying to stay in good shape! It is so much fun doing with my sister and having these monthly commitments! We push ourselves to register, then whine and need support to set that alarm and get up............but once we're on our way, we're excited and ready! And afterward, oh my's such a great high....a great accomplishment.....a great thing we have done for ourselves :)
I love doing it with her......she is my best friend as well as my little sister! We have had ups and downs /on and off over the years.....but she is my source of support and humor and understanding about so many things. I love that we don't always agree, and it doesn't matter!