Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life @ Grammy's - Day 5 in Branson

We started the day s.l.o.w.l.y.  The boys slept until 11:00. Josie beat them by getting up 1 1/2 hours earlier. Then Randy took them to the pool. I stayed behind and did a bit of picking up around here and doing some laundry. Randy has done most of the laundry while we've been here so I thought he could go play and I would stay behind. Besides, I was catching up on the Anthony trial.
So far, here at StoneBridge, we have seen a raccoon, a chipmunk, the boys said they saw a beaver, Randy says he saw a rat (please note - these were all outside) All I see are kids! Not really true, I did see the raccoon and the chipmunk.

This leaf bug landed on Josie's shirt tonight!

Today we played miniature golf. It was HOT! I forgot to get pictures while we were playing because I'm so competitive when I play mini golf...  and even though we weren't keeping score - because it was so hot - but I think I won. : )

Riley after mini golf - trust me that's sweat. - and we all looked like that!

After miniature golf, Andru and Josie wanted to ride go-carts but Josie wasn't tall enough.
She's pretty irritated because she either doesn't weigh enough or isn't tall enough...
Life can be so tough when you're 9... and your hanging with a 13 and an 11 year old boy.
So, Riley and Josie played in the arcade and
Andru rode the go-carts that look more like a roller-coaster than go-carts.

We had a gourmet meal at McDonald's! Then went to the IMAX theater and watched Cars 2 - in 3D. I loved it!! I think everyone else enjoyed it, too. We ended the evening with watermelon.

I have greatly enjoyed spending time in Branson with the kids. This is the third time I've been here with Randy and the first with kids. I told Randy today that I've really had fun with the kids - but I Really like coming here with him alone! Much more restful and laid back! - also have more reading time!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Life @ Grammy's - Day 4 in Branson

Let me introduce you to our dining guests for the evening.
The gentleman on the left works at the Empire State Building.
The one in the middle is a member of the Mafia.
(we had to be very careful because he likes to shoot people)
The distinguished lady on the right is a lawyer.

After a fun filled - tiring day, the kids spent about an hour at the pool and now they are playing. Randy and I are thinking an early bedtime may be on the schedule for tonight.

 We spent today at the lake in a pontoon boat. Andru does this every year and it's one of his favorite things. 

 Andru is part fish - part boy.

Riley was our Flag man. When we stopped and had someone in the water
it was his responsibility to make sure the orange flag was out.
He also spotted other boats with orange flags out.

He did a great job. Especially for someone that is not a water lover.
Now, I want to show you Josie's progression throughout the day.

Randy did some GREAT training on the life vest and how to be in the water.

I'm so proud of her. She did such a good job!
Then she decided she wanted to ride the tube.
I did NOT want her riding alone.
Randy had to drive the boat.
I felt Andru wasn't the best choice.
Soooo -

Just in case you don't comprehend -
I don't think God intended for people to be in water....
Okay, so now I'm getting a sermon from my husband :)
He brought up Baptism -
I say: which is down and up quickly.... AND you can touch the bottom...
Then he brought up the whole "Jesus walking on water"
I say: ..... UMMM He was ON TOP of the water - not getting in the water...

I think I should win this discussion...
(but I'm going to let him think he wins)

Anyway, we had another great day of great memories. 

It's always good to leave your comfort zone - once in a while.
I just don't want to do it too often!

P.S. Randy says he won't parachute with me. He says he wouldn't jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

hmmm - that's exactly what I say about a boat!!

Wednesday Wisdom

I was so involved in VBS last week, I forgot about Wednesday Wisdom. I apologize.

One of my very favorite authors is Jan Karon.

I've done a review on her books here. As my friend Diane always says, "When you read Jan Karon's Mitford series, it's like coming home."  They are such a comfortable, relaxing read.

Wednesday's Wisdom comes from Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. This is a Father Tim quote - everyone I know that reads these books wishes Father Tim was their pastor!

"Whenever I find myself in the cellar of Affliction,
I always look about for the wine."

Life @ Grammy's - Day 3 in Branson

We had planned to take a boat out today, but weather forecast didn't sound good for boating. So we spent the morning at the pool. Randy got the kids some good life jackets and decided this was a good time to teach them some water safety before the boat trip.  So he taught Josie how to float - plus many other points of safety.  Riley was already a water bug but Randy taught him how to be in the water with a life jacket.

We all had a nice relaxing time. We then went to The Titanic Museum which was very interesting. I really enjoyed it. Looking at it from the outside it almost looks like an amusement ride. It's not like that at all. Very informative - the kids enjoyed it, too. - This is one of Andru's favorite museum's.
When you start out in this museum, you get a paper with your name and information of a passenger of the Titanic, at the very end you find out if you survived or perished. - Josie got the most interesting, she was Margaret Brown - better known as the Unsinkable Molly Brown! I was Edith Brown, 15, no relation to Molly. At the end, Randy and Andru perished, Riley, Josie and I survived.
 The sun was bright! No pictures allowed inside the Titanic Museum.

Then we went to McFarlain's for dinner. This is a favorite place for Randy and I. They have the BEST chicken pot pie! and homemade fruit pies. From there another of my favorite things - NOAH the musical. I was so excited to take my grandkids to this! 

It was a hit with all. Andru, Randy and I had seen it before. Josie said she liked it even better than the "Hit's of the 60's" - and she starred in that!! :)  Riley said he liked it as much as the Dutton's !! So - a big hit.

It was a fairly relaxing day. Wednesday - weather permitting - boating on the lake!! I am not a "water" person so prayers will be appreciated!!

Just as an added bit of information - when you take 3 kids swimming for several hours, and they want grilled cheese for lunch, you may need more than 1 full loaf of bread and package of cheese.... Appetites are HUGE!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Life @ Grammy's - Day 2 in Branson

We started our Monday by going to “Breakfast With the Stars” at the clubhouse of the condo where we stay.

Josie and Riley were still on that excitement buzz that kids get when they are so excited about something but they aren’t sure what it is. Andru has been coming here once a year since he was three and he loves this place so his excitement was strong but different than the other two. He was thrilled to be able to “show” them Branson and he wants them to love it as much as he does. For the last week or so before we came, Andru kept saying he couldn’t wait to get to Branson because it smells so good here.  He says, there is no air like Branson air!

Anyway back to my story:
We got a great breakfast with lots of entertainment. Several performers from the shows come and do one or two numbers. Well, my granddaughter is NOT shy!! She had such a great time, getting autographs and talking to the stars. After she had gotten several, Andru got in on it and got some autographs himself.  Riley wasn’t interested in the autographs – except for the young men from Legend of Kungfu but he really enjoyed listening to the performers.

Jeanna from the #1 Hits of the 60"s 

  The Dutton's

I believe my 13 year old is smitten with Cassandre'!!
The best part of Andru and Josie talking with Cassandra'
was them coming back to the table telling us how good she smelled!! :)

(she was wearing Thieves from essential oils!
Josie told me that's what she smelled like so I told her to go ask what it was and JOSIE WAS RIGHT!!) (that girl cracks me up!!)

Josie really wanted to go to the #1 Hits of the 60's. So that was the first show we went to.

Remember me telling you about Josie being on stage at VBS everyday singing? Well, that just prepared her for the BIG TIME!! We will probably be coming to Branson in 10 years to watch our grandkids perform! Andru has a very great talent of singing and he has always said he wants to work in Branson! Now I think Josie will too!! 

They picked people from the audience to come on stage to dance! 
This time she didn't volunteer, they just picked her!

From there we went to ride  Segways.  Josie didn’t weigh enough to ride, Riley was 10 lbs short of being able to ride, they told him he could but he chose not to. That left Andru to ride by himself. He was pretty disappointed that no one else was sharing in his fun.

After dinner - where the singing waitress sang to Riley and the waiter sang to Josie - Andru made sure he told them it was Riley and Josie's first time there - we went to the Wax Museum.

Randy is giving advice to James Dean!

(Oh, I left out the picture of me with bunny ears reclining on a round red velvet bed beside Hugh Hefner!!!! I'm not sure the world is ready for that one!)

Then we headed next door to the house of mirrors. Now let me explain here that the kids think they can run ahead and do what they want.  So they took off - ahead of us. There is a story that is on the walls before you enter the hall of mirrors.  Randy and I read that as we were entering so the kids by now were way ahead. Randy and I hadn’t been in very long and all of a sudden we hear screaming “GRAMMY”.  Riley had panicked and gotten scared. Didn’t take long – like seconds before they were all screaming….   Of course, did I explain that I am NOT a fan of house of mirrors? I can’t find my way in a parking lot half the time and your putting me in hallways with mirrors????  So Randy and I are yelling “Don’t move” we will find you…
Anyway to make a long short (actually it was only a few minutes – well, not even a few minutes – just a few seconds and we found them – EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN’T STAYING IN ONE PLACE!!

So, we immediately left there. Once it was over, Riley and Andru were relieved to be out in the parking lot but I’m afraid Josie inherited one of my traits  – once it was over, and she was out and safe and all her people were safe, she started crying!! I used to do that. I would stand firm in a crisis or emergency and once it was over,  then I would  let down and cry!!

So - all in all a very exciting time!!! 

But we ended the day with one of the best shows in Branson – The Dutton’s. I got to sit between Randy and Riley and I must say I was very surprised at how much Riley enjoyed the show. Of course the two “performers” of the family, Andru and Josie loved it but to watch Riley clapping and laughing  just made my day!

We got back to the condo – I am exhausted!!! But I ended my day in the best way ever. Reliving every memory with Randy!!

I am blessed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life @ Grammy's - On the road

I probably could take these three grandchildren on the road as actors. Much drama often happens when you have cousins aged 13, 11 and 9.  However,  for the most part it's not in arguing or fighting, it's playing pretend. Many apartments have been rented, offices have given interviews, fishermen have fished, models have modeled, plays been acted out.

Well, today we took this troop on the road. We left Wichita about 8:25 and headed east and south to wind up in Branson.  We went through Joplin and I thought of taking pictures, but the pictures I would have gotten are nothing like the ones that we have seen on the internet. Being familiar with Joplin I was so sad to see the changes that the storm made there. I can see how the people are slowly regrouping and beginning again. It was quite a moving visit. After leaving Joplin Josie called her mom and told her it was very sad to see what we had seen.

The boys slept much of the trip, Josie slept only alittle. We have a dvr in the van but unfortunately only one of our movies worked. So they watched the Bee movie three times!

We finally :) made it to Branson. I was so tired. I stayed up too late last night doing laundry. - Well, late for me anyway! It was 11:00!  When we got here, Randy took the kids swimming and I went to the grocery store.

When I got back we fixed dinner and then went back to the pool.

I have had such a good time with the kids. I enjoyed taking them to VBS, and all the fun things we did last week. It's been fun getting to know them better.

When we first got to Branson, Riley wasn't very happy because he doesn't like heights and he wasn't prepared for the Ozark Mountains. I didn't even think of that when we came. Then when we got to the condo, we have one that is on the bottom floor of a three story, - except that the top story is the one on the ground level, it is built on one of the mountains. So we have three levels of outside stairs to go down to get to our front door.

He wasn't happy. He told me he wasn't comfortable with this. I was trying to unload the van  when he told me, my arms were full, the others had already started down the stairs with their load. I couldn't even give him a full hug, just a one armed hug and my hand was holding a case.  So I told him to stay there at the van and I would come right back up. In the meantime, he had the opportunity to look around without little sister telling him what to do, without bigger cousin telling him what to do and without any grownups trying to talk him into trying the walk down,  by the time I came back up he said, "I'm okay, I'll go down the stairs holding your hand." Well, after the first set of stairs he ran off and left me! He told me later, I'm not afraid of heights anymore! I am so proud of that young boy! I told him, Riley, your Dad and Mom are going to be so proud of you! He beamed.

Ours is on the bottom.

I'm excited to go into this week rested - had a nice long jacuzzi bath tonight!! and am planning on a good nights sleep.

I've never had the opportunity before to spend so much time with my grandkids and I am truly having  a good time. I am tired beyond belief but having fun!!

I would like to be able to write poetically like my friend Debra, or to be funny like I usually try to be, but tonight, what I've written is all I have left to give!! I hear that bed callin' my name.

Oh speaking of names, I'll just add this. For some reason, Randy keeps calling Josie - Jody! and instead of calling me "grammy" he calls me granny. Josie keeps saying, "Granny is for old women and Grammy isn't old."  Man, I love that girl!! At first with the whole Jody thing - she would correct him, now she just rolls her eyes!!       good times...

Okay, NOW I'm going to bed.

God has blessed me so much.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Life at Grammy's - Saturday, June 25, 2011

A hot - hot Saturday.
Randy got up early to play yard boy and
get the yard done before we leave for Branson.
I ran the vacuum, swept, mopped and started the laundry.
Then later Randy and Josie ran a few errands - 
took Andrea some lunch at Eric Fisher - 
where she is going to school.
Plus a few more stops he needed to make.
After our lunch we headed to Wallmart and got the three kids some life jackets.

Josie needed to buy a purse, or a wallet or SOMETHING with the $8.55 she had earned.
The purpose of the wallet or purse is to have something to put the money in.
BUT if you spend the money to get the "money holder"  you have no money...

Very wisely, she got this cute small back pack to carry her stuff in and
still have her hands free in Branson.
Of course the hat was a must because it is a different shade of pink than the one she already has!

With that errand finished
Randy was ready for some peace and quiet :)
So we have had a quiet afternoon.

 Yes, there are 3 boys here, Cade came over to visit.

The King of the Castle making sure his "short people" are behaving.

Andru is ending the day with a birthday dinner with his mom! 

My cup runneth over.