Tag Archives: grandparenting

Holy shambles!

Christmas lights are twinkling through bedroom windows as nightlights and I pray over cherub faces and tuck each child in with the requisite two stuffed animals and/or squishy toys.  We whisper our good-nights, the boys in one room, and 4 little girls next door.

grandkids at christmas

I give the regular if-you-wake-up-before-everyone-else-please-just-read-a-book-and-don’t-wake-your-cousins speech, though I know with 100% certainty that it will be ignored at 5:54 am sharp tomorrow.  Still, I go through it and ask one more time: Did you go pottie?  Brush your teeth?  I add more blankets so they won’t get cold.  They kick them off, “I’m hot, Nonna.”

Everyone is tucked.  I can’t help but pray over them again and again for God’s anointing on their little lives and for peace and joy and for good restful sleep and a smile in their hearts and for God to heal little sniffles and keep them safe from evil, who lurks near our babies – this, we know.  I pray and I pray and they let me.  They make their requests known and soon, if I don’t say amen, we will be up all night praying over every detail in their universes…

More hugs, more kisses, more one-last-drinks…whew.  We made it.

I walk into the hallway and through my house.  O.my.goodness.  There are globs of toothpaste in every sink, toothbrushes teetering on counter edges.  There are overcoats and outer-wear and underwear strewn about in bathrooms, entry, living room, family room, and yes, even in the kitchen.  Every couch pillow and cushion has been used otherwise and our floor is covered with blankets and baggies of cheese balls and water bottles with names written on them.  Are there any toys left in the playroom, I wonder?

12 29 12 with their reindeer prints

Is that a marshmallow gun target on our front door?  Why, yes, it is.  Why do you ask?

Evidence of a family feast-night and a disco dance and watching the Turtle Man- Christmas episode and a couple of Gilligan’s Island re-runs (to my great dismay) and my house is in utter, complete and total jumbled, snarly, tangled, topsy-turvy, chaos and clutter, with a side order of full-blown dishevelment.  Yep.  It is a mess.

And me?  I love it.  I am neck-deep in grandbebes and it is grand!

Still basking in the glow of the holy days of the holidays. Merriment continues…

Isn’t it Grand!?

Grandparenting.  All in a day’s {most joyous} work…

An invitation to a tea by Gavin’s 2nd grade class.  We “adopt” his friend, Keenan, whose grandparents are out of town and they serve us tea and lemonade and assorted muffins.  The boys are so energetic it makes my head spin.  But right in the middle of a school day Monday, my grandson gives me a hug and a kiss and he’s is so glad we are there, I can tell.  And Keenen likes us, too.

I pull into the driveway at their house to drop off their cousin and two little Kelley girls run to meet me.  “Nonna!! ,” squeals Gemma, and she jumps up to hug me through the window with abanoned glee at my arrival.  Guini is slightly more reserved but makes her way to me, “Oh, it is my lovely Nonna,”  she says, touching my face, and she kisses my cheek and hugs me through the car window.

Know what is sweeter than kissing a grandbebe goodnight?  Waking their warm little faces with a quiet kiss in the mornings.  Hunter spent the night and was my little sweety-pie-let’s-have-hot-buttered-toast-for-breakfast guy.  I miss having a little person in the house.  How did those years go so quickly?

Averi’s momma says Averi has my feet.  I ask her, “Do you have Nonna”s feet, Miss Averi?”  Yes, she tells me AND we both have bejeweled flip flops.  We lie in the grass looking at the clouds and prop our feet up on a retaining wall and take a picture of our cute shoes to remember the moment.  Averi thinks mine  are pretty and she tries them on.   We chat about all sorts of nothing before she insists I push way high in the swing.

Good, and I mean, really good times!

On being a grandparent

THE MOST AMAZING THING…according to me.

“THE most amazing thing about getting to be a grandparent is that the very kids you made so many mistakes on

(may have-could have damaged irreparably) 

grow up and honor you by trusting you with their babies.  Could there be a greater grace?”

You may quote me on this!  It is true!



The first five: Guini, Averi, Hunter, Gavin and Gemma. (group shots by Aunt Stormie)

And baby Amelie Belle…soon to have her own plastic weapon.

Happy 6th Birthday, Gavin!

Today is Gavin’s birthday ~ what a day to celebrate!

Six years?  How is that possible?  That is when I first became a grandparent.  Time flies and the days get richer!

late-may-007 late-may-002 


Gavin wanted garden plants for his birthday.  His mom specified that they should come in a pot that he could tend to himself (as I did not raise a gardener in Steph…yet).  Well, how could I refuse that?  Gav is my garden helper.  He plants and waters and listens to everything I tell him about growing things.  Flowers are OK to him, but veggies (especially tomatoes!)  are better: truly a man after my own heart.

So, last week on a beautiful, sunny day, we took Gavin to my favorite garden center just outside town (Horiuchi Brothers Nursery – great stuff and generous-they always give me free stuff!).  Gavin was so excited as we were turning into their drive.  He told us, “My mom and dad never take me to the garden center.  I always want to go here, but they say, “No – let’s just go to church.'”  Hahhahahhha! 

I hope he is not somehow equating a passionate indulgence in gardening as a sin or some opposition to good church-going folk??

Anyhow-he’d have turned his entire backyard into the garden of Eden if I hadn’t made him choose just a few favorites!I ended up with a bunch of specialty pepper plants in my own 4 x 4 because he just had to grow them!


Oh the miles of smiles you’ve brought me, Gavin!  You are my heart’s joy and delight!  You opened the door that turned me into a Nonna!  You are exuberance and curiosity.  You are a good-finder and glee.  Your love and zeal for all things family and gardening and learning at school and Wii and Xbox and cartoons (especially Spongebob) and your sisters and cousins and building and running and jumping and playing?  Inspires me!  I want to enjoy life like you do!

You’re 6 now, Gavin!  Happy Birthday!…Love, Nonna

pictured: Gavin with his 2 birthday pots; a pot of flowers for the front porch (marigolds, purple petunias, purple salvia and white wave petunias which will soon cascade down the side of the black Malaysian pot; a grape tomato plant for the patio with a couple of marigolds to keep it company.

The Grand-bebes

“Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.”    –unknown

They do make life grand!

Guinivere Eden.

Guini jumps on my lap, wraps her arms tightly around my neck and with an almost-urgency says, “I need you, Nonna.”  I look to see if a boogey-man has been chasing her, but I see no one.  I ask, “What do you need?”  She tells me, “I just need you, Nonna.”  I am overcome with gratefulness that she does.  I hug her tightly back.  The moment vanishes and she off to play again.

Hunter Douglas.

Hunter tells his mommy, “I need to speak to you in regards to…”  He is four.  What does a four-year-old know about “regarding?”  Today he is busy cutting out paper crosses.  He says he wants to put them all over the ground at Heaven Fest so that people will be able to worship Jesus there.

Gavin Lee.

Grandpa will be taking Gavin to school while his mommy is at the dentist.  “It’s almost time to go,” Grandpa tells the little red-head.  Gavin looks his grandpa up and down.  “I think you forgot to change your shorts…and that shirt,” he says, clearly concerned that his grandpa will not be meeting the fashion standard at the schoolyard.  Dave is wearing a orange t-shirt (which I ask him not to wear, but he believes to be quite comfortable on his work-at-home days) and some navy stretch shorts (which, though they are the closest things you can wear to pajamas in public, are nice).  I laugh my head off and wonder whatever Gavin will think of us by the time he reaches 1st grade next fall?!?

Averi Jadyn.

“O wow o wow o wow o wow,” Averi said to me the other day.  Despite the remaining fullness in her cheeks, both those seen and unseen, Averi is getting taller and thinning out, growing into her baby weight as she darts from room to room as quickly as her little legs will carry her.  Averi’s true passion in life is putting all her new teeth to work.  She loves food with great zeal and loudly mourns the end of every meal or snack time.  This, I am certain, she inherited from me.

Gemma May.

What a saucy little redhead!  When she walks in a room, it is with great fanfare as she invites, “‘Ook at me!  ‘Ook at me!”  Then usually, and with great authority, she’ll spew some cursory commands at Sandy-the-Dog, who wishes for nothing more than to slink from Gemma’s sight before her tail is yanked on unmercifully or Gemma hops aboard for a ride.  Gemma’s life is spent in pursuit of any reason whatsoever to laugh.  She never fails to respond to my affectionate “I-love-you” with a very bright response in her quivering little lamb voice: “I wuv you!”

Who knew it could bring this much?…Jeanie-the-Nonna

NOTE TO SELF:  I am being fully compensated.