Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Random thoughts and stories....

* While driving through a particularly bad rain storm on Friday on our way to Fargo, Mazie pipes up from the back seat and says: Poppa, it is raining cats and dogs and leopards and bears and whales and...and...and
* Steve had to get to the airport at 4:30 AM on Sunday morning. I wasn't feeling the greatest and so was having difficulty sleeping. I set my alarm on my phone for 3:30 AM because Betty (Jon's mom) said we had to leave their house by 4:00 to get to the airport. Because I wasn't sleeping, I saw a flash from my phone and realized that it was out of battery and it wasn't going to make it to 3:30. But...Betty had an alarm clock right by Steve so I set that.
I decided that I should go out to the couch and see if I could sleep out there...sitting up. I didn't do a whole lot better there but the last time I looked at the clock was 3:15. I opened my eyes at 3:55 and ran in to the bedroom to tell Steve he had 5 minutes before we had to leave. I opted for jeans and a sweatshirt instead of my pj's which was heavenly directed....We left and he got to the airport!!!!!
I drove home and rounded the corner to Betty and Carl's house and was struck with a bit of panic. It was now 4:45 and I realized I didn't take the key to their house. I prayed that it would be open. I crept to the door and tried the knob and NOTHING....Here are my options and why it did not make sense to me with little sleep and rational thinking pretty much out of the picture...
Option 1: Ring doorbell or knock at the door. I didn't think it would wake Betty and Carl but I thought the kids would wake up and they needed their sleep.
Option 2: Call Betty and Carl....very rude behavior from a guest!!!!
Option 3: Drive to Jane's....if B & C weren't up...chances are neither were Emma and Jane.
Option 4: Call Jane....faulty thinking connected to option 2.
Option 5: Sleep in the car and wait until morning. So back to the car, tucked my purse under my head and thought about sleep.
Here is where it is really important to get very personal. I have a panic bladder. I am fine unless I think that there is no place for me to go to the bathroom. I panicked and had several options:
Option 1: Go out in the back yard...See Option 2 above!!!
Option 2: I wasn't sleeping because I had a list of things to get at the grocery store before we left for Omaha the next day...go to the grocery store NOW! So off I went to the store, used the bathroom and came home at about 7:00.
Crept up to the door and listened...nothing....went back and fluffed my purse, tucked my arms in my sweatshirt, and went to sleep. I woke up at 8:20 and went to the door.
I knocked and Mazie finally came to the door. She greeted me with, "oh, hi Nana. Could you please make me some breakfast?" Right on her heels came Simon Bear with the same request. I asked about where Gramma and Grampa were...they were still sleeping.
Recommendations....um....I don't think I would recommend it!
* We were getting ready to leave for Omaha. I was nervous driving the 400 miles with the kids and no other adult. The weather was proving to be a challenge with sever thunderstorms that could produce hail and tornadoes looming on the path to get home. When I first got to the Tengesdals (I had slept at Jane's that night) both of the kids were in the car and in their car seats before we had the car loaded. I suggested that they wait because I figured that they would spend a great deal of time in the car.
Later when we were ready to go, Simon came up from the basement where they were both had been playing and I said, "Simon, where is your sister." He said, "She is playing in the basement. She gets distracted like that, you know."
* Bed time is never a favorite time. One of the nights we were trying to get the kids to bed. Mazie had to be put to bed several times. The last time she was escorted to her room and I knelt down to tell her again why she had to go to bed. She held up her finger and her thumb about a 1/2 inch apart and said, "Nana, sometimes I don't like you this much." Then she looked at the space and increased it to about 2" and said, "No, more like this, sometimes." All I could do is laugh!!!
* Betsy and Jon's apartment gets exceedingly hot. To open the windows in the big apartment you have to shut the alarm off. I decided that I would just open the windows and run to the office and press the okay code in INSTEAD of punching the code and then the individual windows. So it went like this...Open the window...LOUD alarm ringing....run to the office. I did this for about 5 windows and went into the kitchen. I couldn't get the window up so I called for my man of the house to help me. The conversation went like this...
Me: Simon, could you open the window?
Si: Yes, but this is what we are going to do. First, you go to the office and tell me when you get there. I will open the window and then the alarm won't go off for so long.
Me: Si, that is a great idea.
Si: [waiting with a funny look on his face, primed to turn and open the window] Well, go to the office. [I run to the office]
Si: Are you there? Are you ready?
The window was opened and the alarm went off much quicker....
So...I do not know who is taking care of whom but I am thoroughly loving being with our kiddos and looking forward for a few days with Miss Emma who made her mommie so happy when she rolled over on Saturday several times...but then...she stopped. She hasn't rolled since. Oh how I love being a Nana!!!! It truly is an amazing blessing from God.

Trip to Fargo and back....

We went to Fargo right after school. The kids finally fell asleep about 9:30 and we pulled into Fargo at the Tengesdals at around 11:30. Long trip, lots of rain.
On the up side...Lacy got into her crate and didn't run away....
One of the highlights of going to Fargo including seeing Grampa, Gramma, Uncle Jerod, and Jen...was EMMA and JANE were coming over on Saturday morning...
Waiting was really hard for these two. They waited...and waited...outside...
They looked both ways on the street. Were they EVER going to come? It was a very long wait but then the black car drove up and there was gleeful screams and joy ringing through the house.

Simon was a little cautious at first. This little baby may have stolen the love of his favorite person. Did she still love him too? And this baby? Was there room in her heart for both of them. He liked her. He just approached her...like a boy!!!!!

Mazie got Lucy the Leopard in Disney world and Emma smiled at it then so she knew that Emma would really love to see Lucy again. And she was right. Emma did love Lucy and Mazie was thrilled that she still loved Emma and could make her smile!
Lucy was not the only one who could make Emma smile. Mazie loved her little cousin and Emma laughed whenever Mazie was around. Here they were playing on the floor....

Janie always has a project and great ideas. Here she was stirring up the cement so that the kids could make stepping stones for Gramma Betty and Nana.....
While we waited for the cement to dry enough so we could put feet into it...a game of Mother may I? was played and Simon says. The kids love their Aunt Jane and I think this "cemented" the fact in Simon's mind that even though Emma entered the picture...she still loved her Simon Bear!!!

Cement ready....Auntie held, Nana pressed the toes into the cement!!!! Simon first...
Then Mazie.....

There was time for everyone to cuddle with Auntie Jane...

Mazie made "birthday cake" for my birthday and served everyone...even Lacy got a plate for the cake...and placed so she wouldn't have to move very far!
There was time to read books...this was a favorite both the book and the person! And both of them know it well enough that I couldn't read different words....
Emma has gotten very good at kissing and LOVES to kiss. Poppa wasn't a fan (to his credit...he wasn't fond of them with our own kids) but Nana LOVES kisses! And Nana and Emma kissed a lot...

Poppa was good for a laugh. She loves her Poppa and he is quite smitten with her!!!!
More kisses...more love....not great pictures....

Simon and Mazie love playing with the other dogs that live at Tengesdals. Here they were petting Teka Rose....later Simon was teasing Teka like he does with Lacy. Lacy is more tolerant that Teka and Abby....when warned by his Aunt that it may not be smart to do that...he replied...that's okay...I'm good with dogs.
When he later fed Emma, he reflected, I am good with babies too.
It's good that he realizes his strengths....

Getting 3 to pose is a bit of a struggle but...we love these kiddos. and what fun we have had together. I feel so blessed!!!

Yesterday, we traveled back to Omaha. Steve left Sunday morning early, and so it was the 3 of us and Lacy. We stopped and I paid for our water and treats and turned around to see these two monkeys with hats and glasses and of course...willing to pose!!!!! I love these 2 so much... they are so much fun.
We have some exciting things and surprises coming in the next 2 days. Stay tuned....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Nana!

My birthday morning was great. I woke up with hugs and greetings from Simon and Mazie and Steve
I even had lots of Birthday greetings. Even the BT girls remembered (with the help of Poppa) that it was my birthday.
Simon made it on the bus!!! Go Nana and Poppa. It does help to set the alarm.
Steve went to Simon's school for a morning of fun. He asked him to come and listen to him make the announcements for school. Steve said he did a fantastic job!!!!
Then there was a fun and fitness day that Steve was planning to stay for but there was a very sad mix-up and Steve thought Simon sent him home instead of staying for the fitness day. At the end of the day, the mix-up was discovered and Poppa felt terrible.
It was a gorgeous day outside so we waited for the bus outside. Steve was pretty tense outside while Mazie rode her bike.
Mazie asked me to tell her a story and was very intent on the story. It was a version of the 3 little pigs...Nana style! Later, her friend Nathan came over and we started the story of the 3 little seahorses and the big bad shark. Mazie gives me the characters and off we go. I don't think she took her eyes off of my face one time. This must have been a quieter part of the story because there is always exagerated animation going on.
Mazie gets buckeled up in her bus while Cliff, the bus driver, reminds me of the schedule for Wednesday's graduation!
After school popscicle time!!!! Simon's idea to bring popscicles for everyone! He is such a considerate little boy. He asked if it was alright...and told me that it was and there were plenty to share. It was a perfect day for them!!!! Good idea Si.
Off to Paradise Bakery for supper...and Mac n Cheese was on the kids menu!!!! Wahoo! We took a picture while Poppa ordered our food. A kiss from a prince and a silly face from a princess. My favorite part of the meal....Mazie screamed: Nana, Potty!!!!! and we RAN!!!!!
Then we went to see Gnomeo and Juliet. Steve has read it over and over during his teaching days. When it started out, he began reciting the words of the character. Simon looked up and said, "How do you know the words, Poppa?"

We came home and Skyped with Betsy and Jon who said that they were having a fabulous day!!! The kids were very excited to talk to them. Both of them told me at different times that they miss them.
There had been some very sad things that happened during the day:
Mazie: Earlier in the day, Maz started sobbing accross the courtyard. She met me half way. She was holding her hands together and sobbing. She was so gentle one would have assumed that either there was a great treasure or the lifeless body of her best friend. Through the sobs, she said that her toy (covered suspiciously with teeth marks. Lacy? We can't prove it!) and smashed by the wheels of a truck...lay in her hands. She was unconsolable. It was from McDonalds! I finally asked what mom would say and do...she told me that she would say the same thing that I did.
Simon: Loved his clean room until bed when he couldn't find his coloring book from Disney World. (I did NOT throw it out! I know there will be those who will ask) We looked in the book case, we looked where we put his night time books and colors. We looked .... hm, I didn't look under the bed...or in the box that I did put a lot of the papers. We may have to look there later)....but last night we looked everywhere and he was a very sad little boy. (He was also very tired little boy.)
We leave for Fargo today after school. Simon had a great idea last night. He said, it was going to be late AGAIN when we went to ND so we should leave right after breakfast!!!! He did not have to go to school every day!!!! That said, he did go to school this morning! And it will be late again.
If you would continue to pray for our babies....it is tough when you are tired...and your mom and dad are off in "Coco Rico!!!!"
All in all...it was a good birthday! It was fun to spend it with 3 very special people! Day 2 was a success and I will remember this birthday for a long time.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 1: Nana and Poppa babysit in Omaha...

When Jon left for 10 days this past year, Betsy wrote to him every day on the blog about the things that happened during her day....I decided I would write Betsy and Jon each day....
Day 1:
Dear Betsy and Jon,
This morning, Mazie came to bed and said, Nana I'm hungry and I want a snack. I said, oh Maz let's just cuddle. So, she cuddled and soon she was fast asleep. Later, Simon came in and said, Nana can I eat. He wasn't up for that whole...let's cuddle ploy. So we went to the kitchen for breakfast.
Steve said, so what time does Simon go to school?
I said, the bus comes at 8:03. What time is it?
Steve: 8:05
Ooops....so breakfast and I jumped in the truck. I had taken Simon to school before and knew where it was. First mistake. I could not find that school. we looked and looked...and Simon said that he didn't know where it was...you have to know that he has an internal GPS like his father! After about 10 minutes that seemed like an hour...Simon informed me that when his mom got this lost, she just took him home and he stayed home that day!!!!! LUCKILY, we turned the corner and there it was....
Then, it was time for me to go back home. I circled that development for another 10-15 minutes before I found the right street to get back to Boys Town. When I told Jane, she said, Not a very responsible thing to do.
Tonight when I put Simon to bed he said, "Nana, mom usually wakes me so I can eat breakfast, get dressed and ride the bus." I assured him that I would be more on the ball tomorrow.

Later in the day, I broke Rule #1!!!! When I said I would babysit, I told Jon that when his dog ran away, I would NOT go looking for her. She would have to come home on her own or the police would have to call me.
Today, Steve came in and said, Lacy is on the lamb again. I said, don't worry about her, she will come home when she is ready.
I would check. I made sure the gate was open. I would call: Lace Here (in my deepest Jon voice because she doesn't respond to shrieking.) Nothing....absolutely nothing. Time passed....no dog. More time passed...no dog. Did I mention that it was RAINING????????????? Finally, I grabbed Jon's jacket and his baseball hat and went out looking for her. I found her in their old yard staring at the shed. She came home, wet and stinky.

So, for a time she was tied to the front door to dry off. If only that would help. Later I noticed that she would run out the door, look at both gates and walk back into the house slowly with a (I'm sorry I have to use the expression...) hanged dog look about her. Seriously? You check the gates?
For today, I looked. We'll see what happens tomorrow...It is hard to be tough on someone who thinks that you are worthy of cuddling with on a couch.
Otherwise...I think we did okay....Tomorrow...well, you'll have to check back tomorrow for our plans. Suffice it to say, we do have a birthday to celebrate!!!!

Emma's Dedication

I can think of no greater joy than when witnessing a couple bringing their child to dedicate that child and place the child in God's hands. They promise that they will raise the child with the principles of Christ. Now multiply that joy 100 fold when you are a witness of your grandchild's dedication.
There is a special bond with Emma and her Daddy. She gets so excited when she sees him. For this special day, she is wearing the baptismal gown that Andy's grandmother made for her children, passed down to the grandchildren (Andy wore this gown for his baptism), and now on to the great grandchildren. Great Gramma Betty told me that she never realized that it would become such an heirloom. Emma Ahna looked beautiful in this gown.
I smiled when I looked over during the singing. The band was quite loud and Andy was using his finger for a little ear protection.
Andy and the seamstress, Great Grandmother and Great Grandfather at the dedication.
Oh how we love this little addition to our family. I look at our grandchildren and cannot help but praise our Father for such precious gifts.
I was talking to Simon and Mazie yesterday and told them:
We had 2 precious girls who grew to be Christ followers.
They, then, brought home 2 men who love them very much.
After that, God gave us 3 precious and amazing bundles of joy...He is so awesome in His gifts to His people.
The Queen and her court...at least part of it!
Steph and Emma also have a special friendship...mostly Steph is also wrapped around the Queen's finger!!!!
It was back for a lunch and a fun time...and a little time to celebrate.
Let us go to the house of the Lord
Let us bring the gifts that we have received.
He has given us every gift which is perfect and precious.
Celebrate the life that He gives you.
Dedicate your children to Him.
How I praise Him that He has blessed us so abundantly.

Catch up .....

I wanted to let you know what the days are looking like on our trip "east" to the Midwest
When Steve came we moved to the motel...and when I say WE...I mean....WE....Mazie has a room full of stuffed animals and since we stayed at the motel 2 days...several were able to come and visit. We always have to pack more out that we did the first trip. Cookie, Roger, Oliver, Snow, Waddles, Mazie (yes, she is named after her owner), Cutie...and I can't remember 2 of them...all came with us. We swam and had breakfast. We read stories and watched movies. And the kids still made it to school on time.
It is so much fun to spend time with these two precious bundles of joy...
Steve and Mazie read the paper. Steve is frequently seen with stuffed animals and dolls...and colors, and books....
He rides like the wind and that makes it very hard for a clear picture...he could ride every day. Unfortunately, today, he came home early and it had been raining....which meant no bike riding today....
This was also before our Fargo trek and Simon was loving making funny faces and poses while waiting for the bus...and Nana had her camera for just such an occasion...
Lacy, the dog, loves sleeping with me. She doesn't sleep with anyone else but allows me to feel special as she attempts to "cuddle". Anyone who knows Lacy knows she is NOT a CUDDLY dog. But, she wants to snuggle with me...until I move and then....I get growled at and she begrudgingly gives up her position and leaves the room.
Meeting the bus is one of my highlights. I get to see them when they get off of the bus. Simon and Tom, the bus driver, are friends. He thanks him every time he gets off the bus and greets him when he gets on. Just one of the many "skills" he is learning being part of the Boys Town Community! He also models this for some of the girls too!!!!
Maz and I walked to the gift shop on campus. When we got there we had to round up several stuffed animals and 4 books and read to the animals. There was no fussing about keeping them, they were put back in their spots but they did seem to enjoy the attention and really liked the stories....reported by our Mazie girl.
We left Omaha after a wonderful ballet recital. Mazie was great with both ballet AND tap.
Shuffle kick has never looked so good.
When we were going to the recital rehearsal, Mazie asked if she was going to be on a real stage. She was on that stage and did a great job!!
Right after treats at the DQ we headed to Fargo and the fam went to host their open house for their 6 graduating seniors.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 1 Fun with Simon and Mazie

This morning, I woke up with Simon waiting patiently on the floor for me to open my eyes!!! He wanted to snuggle and let me tell you...he is the BEST snuggler and I LOVED every minute!
But it was breakfast time,
then getting ready for school,
off to meet the bus time
and he went to school.

Mazie was snugglie this morning too! A REAL treat from her...once Poppa gets here it won't be the same so I am savoring the minutes and hugs NOW!!!!
After a couple of errands which included:
we had to go home and get ready for school....
Remember my "plane" experiences...well, I can add buses to that...today, I took Mazie to the wrong place to meet her bus. Thankfully, Cliff drove around front after waiting for 5 minutes in the back. Mazie told me that he picked her up in the back...my response..."Silly girl, he does not. He comes to the front."
Silly Nana...listen to the children.
Now among other things...Mazie has an aMAZing imagination. Since I have been here, we have had wild animals running around...if you look carefully in this picture, you will see that she is holding a .... baby jaguar.... a real figment of her imagination!!!!

The Tengesdal household had one of the "important" people from Boys Town for supper so...Maz, Simon, and I set off for supper and then Simon's TKD. While I was watching Simon, Mazie made friends with another parent...whom she showed her bears-Laura and Jackson- she pointed out her Nana and her brother.
Mazie did watch Simon every once in a while and once when he did a great kick, she cheered...."Yeah Simon! Good job Simon" Until Simon caught my eye and asked me to make her be quiet. He was so subtle. He would kind of "point" with his eyes at Mazie and then put his finger to his lips...I had to indicate that he was heard and I would do my best!!!!
While I was watching Simon, Mazie came to me and asked if she could have orange juice. I told her...when we get home. Then, she came and asked if she could have strawberries...that was just a little too specific. I looked around and there was a mom with....yep....OJ and strawberries feeding her kids! I watched as Mazie just sidled right up to the table and joined in. When I went to rescue the mom...she said it was okay and then she said..."she is very social, isn't she?" Oh Yes, our little Mazie is a social butterfly...and she has a homing device when it comes to food.
While Mazie ate...Simon kicked! He yelled "I-e"! And he was so attentive. He watched the teacher and followed her instructions. He did such a great job and I was so proud of him. He takes this very seriously and he is on his 3rd belt!!!! I wanted to cheer..."Good job Simon" too...it's a good thing I didn't!
Mazie and the bears...Laura and Jackson! Some objects appear to be invisible because of a figment of her imagination!
Can I just say...I am completely in love with these two children.
Tonight, Mazie came in and with candy that someone shared with her...
She told me, "Nana, I feel so cared for." When I asked her if she had ever felt that way before...you guessed it...she had never felt this way before!
I have to say...when these 2 tell me over and over that they love me....give me kisses...even on my glasses....and hugs...I feel cared for!!!
Day 1 with Simon and Mazie....Fantastic...and this is ONLY day ONE!!!!! We have more to go!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nana on the go...day 1

Nana on the go….Today I started my 3 week trip to Nebraska and North Dakota....
I thought I would enlighten you on the things you cannot do anything about in the hours before you leave on a trip.
Last night I had to figure out if I should sleep before I got on the shuttle to go to SEATAC at 1:40 AM. I decided that I should try so at 9:30 PM I decided that we should try to sleep before 1 when we would have to “wake up” and head for the shuttle.
So I went to “couch” because I take NAPS on the couch. I fall asleep right away. My body was ready…but it didn’t communicate that with my head. My mind was WIDE awake. Here are the problems I faced with my wandering mind....
Earlier in the evening, I would be in the bedroom packing and I would come down stairs. Steve asked the same thing EVERY time…. "Are you done packing?” So I would trudge upstairs, feeling dejected and lonely, and continue packing. (Okay so I did take some time to watch the last part of 102 Dalmatians…) I didn’t have a list so I just packed…I always have a list. You are thinking…so this is a problem How?????
Here is how: On the couch, I started thinking that I had forgotten something. Now when you don’t have a list, you have to rely on your memory…not something that I should ever do. I would think and think (that sounds so much better than obsessing and stressing and being anxious) about what I could have forgotten. Example: Oh, I should pack my cord from my phone to my computer (I have NEVER used it…but I thought I should pack it?) OR I didn’t pack that shirt…which one would I wear instead of it? Some very important things were bouncing around in that very busy brain of mine.
I also started to panic about getting into the house where we are staying in Fargo NEXT Saturday! Now, when it is 3 am no one really wants you to call them. Here was my question: Would I remember in the morning to talk to Betty (Jon's mom)???? Obviously, it did stay with me.
Should I bring thread to mend Mazie’s skirt? What about the buttons, should I bring them and ask Mazie if she wanted a button on her bow? (I made her a new skirt...)
And my favorite…I made a COMPLETE plan for getting the kids to bed and pick up after themselves. It even included Jon and Betsy when they returned home. (BTW: Betsy was really excited about my idea; Jon, on the other hand, had a look that was barely tolerating my idea.) I had stories and story ideas that I could tell the kids.
Let’s not forget their dog, Lacy. I can’t even go there with those concerns…but, Jon, Betty (Jon’s mom), and the kids were not happy that we stopped in S. Dak!
By this time, I had been on the couch, moved to our bed, and went back to the couch.
I decided that it was really stupid to waste my energy on all of this mindless stuff…it was now 11:00 and I had 2 hours. So I decided to pray.

I prayed for my friend who just found out she had breast cancer that God would fill her with His peace. I prayed for another friend deciding whether he should do another round of chemo that God would give them wisdom. I prayed for a friend is starting a new career today (at the age of 53) that God would fill her with courage. I prayed for our children that they would become the men and women that God would have them be. I prayed for our grandchildren that they would become a person who falls at their knees before the King of Kings. I prayed for my husband who has been so supportive of me and puts up with all of the things that I do to him. I prayed for grandparents who are worried about their grandchildren, those who are raising their grandchildren, and those whose children are not following Christ. I prayed for friends who are expecting their first grandchild. And God filled me with peace and I slept…not for long…but a peace filled sleep and I praise Him for His rest and thank Him that I really can’t add a minute to my day with worry….
The alarm went off at 1 am and I was on the shuttle at 1:30 headed for SEATAC…God is a God who takes our concerns and gives us the peace that He is in control of our lives.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You are...

"We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is is the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. ...Looking up, I, with tear-dimmed eyes, saw the might Milky-way. Remembering what it was--what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of light--I felt the might and strength of God. Sure was I of His efficiency to save what He had made: convinced I grew that neither earth should perish, nor one of the souls it treasured. I turned my prayer to thanksgiving: the Source of Life was also the Saviour of spirits."
Jane Eyre
Then go on to Isaiah who spoke of God using earth as His footstool...How great is our God...He is so inconceivable that our words fail us. Celebrate His love for you and for those whom you love. Praise you Jesus.