Texting With Grandma

Sixth grader Kayleigh on the beach near her house
One of my favorite parts of each weekday is between 10:30 and 11:30 (ET) when my cell phone tings! I know it'll be texts from my Flower...my 11 yo granddaughter on her way to school! It's  3 hours earlier in southern CA.  She texts (or sometimes calls) while walking 3/4 of a mile to the bus stop at Marina park, and somedays continues to text as the bus heads along the route to middle school. I look forward to her cheery good mornings, catching up on what's new...and  tidbits about the students boarding the bus!
Hi gma...we got the gift cds tk u soooo much
Good morning, mon fluer! u r welcome! TGIF!
The new Marina Park is open and is SO MUCH MORE FUN
Cool! I miss u sweet girl...ready for the wkend?
awwwww miss u 2. I hope u can come in March so u can see my room and go to the park
Hope so 2...we can ride r bikes
yesterday me and my friend went to the park and took abunch of videos of the nw stuff
wow...ur really ready for it! fun for ms kids too? Never too old, right?
have a great Friday my flower. off to do errands. LU
ok. u 2 love ya   omg...a kid I don't even know jst sat nxt 2 me!
Is he cute?
Practicing her viola (whom she's named Marge!)

That was the end of that convo....guess if he was looking over her shoulder, my comment was embarrassing.  LOL   I've gotten pretty good at this texting back and forth thing.....but sometimes it's easier to spell the word out than to think how to shorten it! She does a lot of letters only.....like nbd (no big deal) and idk (i don't know) which I can so 'coolly' use with my sister and older granddaughter now!

 Some evenings I'm delighted to hear from her again. It's after school and she's practicing her viola! I actually have several audio texts of her playing for me; including Christmas carols and Happy Birthday! (She taught herself in time to play for the twins....and I got a sneak preview/listen!)
Hi Gma, I'm going to play "Old McDonald Had a Farm." I feel that I've really progressed on my viola playing, so I just wanted to show you! I'm working on some of the harder notes now.

She plays it perfectly! 
And now "Jolly Old St. Nicholas!"......which sounds wonderfully Christmassy to me!
And now "Lightly Row" I'm really bad at this one.  Yes....some hesitant, scratchy sounds here, followed by 'you can probably tell I'm bad at that one! Now this is my D major scale.......a bit scratchy as well and trails off to the end.

Needless to say, I've starred this as a favorite and listen to it over and over! I called her immediatly to rave about her playing and got to hear more songs! I asked her permission to share it here on my Gramcracker Blog and she said "sure!"
However......no luck getting the audio onto here.

My oldest, McKenzie, taught me to text before we took her to Alaska 3 years ago. But she was a bit more reserved as she headed to school....have to have phones turned off, Gma! Nowadays she keeps it sweet and simple; answering my questions with ys, no, mb and sending me xxxx and ooooooo most evenings for our goodnights! She's more inclined to call and talk to me about stuff ....which I treasure!
 But Kayleigh has no worries.....my free spirit! I am so lucky to have this daily connection ...it's a limited window I know; but for now.....I'm her texting buddy and we're going to be texting up a storm as we get ready for our trip to NYC in April!

Kids Photo Poster

Look at my latest photo project for the Kid's Bedroom!
A 3 foot x 4 foot engineering print from Staples, laminated at Kinkos, decorative molding from Lowe's and wall letters from Michaels. All for less than $ 50!

Gramcracker goes to Nutcracker

I took my three youngest grandchildren to a local production of the Nutcracker this weekend. What an awesome experience! This was the first live performance they've seen; and since the daughter of a colleague was one of the dancers...it was even more exciting! Couldn't take any stage pictures....but these photos of my little muchkins say so much!

The twins, Paige and Lane, both take ballet lessons and have given recitals at their preschool. I love that it was especially reaffirming for Lane as he watched the male dancers leap and twirl and catch the ballerina on their shoulders. "That is so cool!" he exclaimed again and again.

 Paige was so intrigued throughout the whole thing, she forgot to suck her thumb!  She kept saying she wants to be in it next year!

She is wearing the hand-me-down dress from her cousin.....my oldest granddaughter....who wore it ten years ago when she watched my niece perform in the Nutcracker! I'm so happy my DIL sent it on to Paige! And look at my handsome 8 year old grandson.....he loved dressing up for it too! Kudos to my daughter for making this a very special occasion! I was so proud of them......and tickled to provide such an awesome brand new experience for them!

Grandpa's Christmas Ornaments

Grandpa started two very special traditions when our older granddaughters were young! Whenever he travels, he always sends a postcard to each child. Whether it’s back to the same states again and again. . .or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the land down under, he always finds five different cards, writes something about the area and what he/we’ve been doing and gets them mailed in the first few days of the trip!
The second “Grandpa thing” all the kids look forward to are their Christmas ornaments!  Gramps chooses something unique for each child from the time they’re born.  As they grow older, he thinks back through the year about something special that really captures a meaningful event, adventure or talent for him or her!  There's been horse camp, a little bookworm, the California move, karate, music lover, swimmer, a budding actress and dogsledding! 2012 is highlighting  interests in archery, volleyball, flag football and expert gaming!

They look forward to these every December as they celebrate the joys of the Christmas season. Their new personalized ornament from Grandpa is right up there with decorating the tree and house, baking goodies and making lists for Santa!

We used to head to the mall to the Ornament kiosks and select two; then three when our grandson came along. Once there was a sale “buy four, get one free”. . .so he bought one for our grand dog and one for us depicting our love for the beach! By the time the twins were born, he’d discovered online shopping and a wealth of online ornament vendors and selections. Nowadays he browses site after site where there’s bound to be that special one for each child; not only can it be personalized with their name and the year, but you have choices of gender/hair color/sports/artistic
skills/disabilities /school teams and much more.

Grandpa is getting just as much pleasure out of this awesome tradition. He prides himself on picking just the right thing for each child, and beams for days after they’ve excitedly opened the gift, hung it on the tree and jumped into his arms with a big thank you hug!

It’s especially heartwarming seeing them on the big girls’ tree. . .there are soooooo many by now!  And the younger ones eagerly anticipate what’s coming as soon as autumn fades.  He makes it a surprise of course, but they love to guess! What a wonderful collection they are acquiring; beautiful ornaments to cherish. . .AND a symbol of Grandpa’s love and pride! Looking at each one will tell them Grandpa was there. . .and that Grandpa knew this was an important time in their life.