Tag Archives: nonna

Turn around and you’re 2…

“Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a [grown boy] going out of my door.” -Harry Belafonte, 1957

The grand-boys

Only four of my 10 grandbebes are of the male persuasion. Hunter, who is 10, is keeping score and wants everybody to work diligently on even-ing the tally a bit.

the four grand-boys

Gavin is 12, holding Oliver who was about 4 weeks here. Hunter is 10 and Kai, 2, did not want to be in a picture!

Kai is 2 – this is mostly about him…

Kai on a walk

Malachai spent the night last week when his parents were doing a concert in the Springs. He is two, in all its’ glory. He has shot up like a spring weed ready to take over the world. He has opinions and understands every single thing I say, even if I cannot quite return the favor. If a request I have made vexes him, he need only cover his eyes with his hands and slump his shoulders for Nonna to take it back {{No, no, it’s ok – you don’t have to put the toys away, Kai-Kai}}. If he’d like one more piece of candy (after too many, already), tilting his head a bit while drawing me into the liquid blue pool of his gorgeous eyes and jabbering away (saying something quite funny, which I know because he then laughs uproariously) is all it takes. Ok, one more…

Alright, I must interject here: he is soooooooo smart! Malakai randomly pointed to the Excel icon on my Mac a few weeks ago and said, “Oh, Nonna – X!” I was like, “Kai-how did you know that???” Whereupon, he jabbered a long paragraph of explanation in his own Pentecostal-toddler language before clearly and assuredly saying, “I know that!”

Then the other night Dave was wearing a Broncos shirt and the font was kind of scrolly-semi-cursive. Kai said, “Oh, Poppa: B-O-O,” pointing to the letters that were obvious. Can you believe that? He is TWO…and pretty much extraordinary! IMHO.  ;)

Kai and his toys

Life is a vapor, people. James 4* was not kidding!

It is here and then, like a breeze just lifting a dry leaf and blowing it across the lines on the front walk, time is blown quietly way on down the road, section by section and everything has changed. And you wonder – how did we get here, already? You don’t notice it much day by day. But my little leaves, my darling grandbebes, are swirling and growing and each time I turn around, my breath catches and I wish, with eyes closed tight and fists clenched, I wish I could just stop time for a little while. Oh to love more, hug my bebes, kiss-kiss sweet cheeks and just soak in everything each one is right now, today.

But time marches on and there is nothing to stop it.

Gav & Hunter devices

Gavin will be twelve soon. He was only 3 when I started writing here on the blog. So it is here I have wept and laughed and tried to put words to the depth of my love, the increased capacity to feel and rejoice that grandchildren have brought me.

“Being a mom was the most wonderful thing.  Being a Nonna, I am completely undone.” ~From a post I did about Gavin, Hunter and Guini in 2007 SEE MORE HERE

And every now and again Kai says or does something and I remember Gavin or Hunter doing the exact same and it nearly knocks the wind from me to realize how fast that happened.

Gavin was building wooden block towers with Poppa just so very recently, wasn’t he? He was two, like, minutes ago…But now he texts me and we play games with our iPhones (he teaches me little tricks and secrets for using it). He seeks me out in crowds to give me very warm hugs and never leaves without kissing me good-bye, so thoughtful and grown-up. He was 2. Then a *snap of the fingers…Now he is almost 12.

Kai is 2 and I dare not look away, because he is also, I know now from experience, almost 10, nearly 12.

Gav & Hunter

Where are you going my little one, little one…

Kai woke up at exactly 5:55 a.m. the morning he was here. Even though his mommy told me that when he does that you can tell him he has to wait until the sun is up high in the sky to get up, I didn’t want him to feel unheard or uncared for being in a different place. I went to him and picked him up with such great affection I thought my heart would burst. “I’m here, Malakai, Nonna is here.” Dragging his blankie along he reached for me, then wrapped himself around me securely. In the quiet I hesitated, memorizing this fleeting moment, this tiny sliver of space and time in which you know that you know you are fully loved and fulfilling your purpose exactly perfectly. He relaxed, then, and he felt the  features of my face with his little hand in the early morning dark, “Nonna?” he asked, just to make sure.

Oh yes, I am, I thought. I’m your Nonna, baby boy. Let me hold you, let me carry you while I can. Let me love you and cheer you on and keep you safe and drink you in.

I brought him to our bed and placed him between us, his Poppa and me. He wanted to chat, but I whispered that we needed to wait until the sun was high in the sky. “High and ‘lellow’?” he asked. For “lellow” is his favorite color. It’s the color of his ultra-blond hair and his favorite cars and school busses and everything he loves the most. It’s the color of sunshine and it’s warm and happy and all the things Kai is to us.

Yes, bebe. Wait until the sun is high in the sky and bright lellow…

So he closed his eyes, he settled into plump pillows, his little feet resting against my leg. And as if my wish for making time stand still came true, a wave of deja-vu came over me: Gavin at not much older, in this same bed, he and I watching a Christmas movie. I kept drifting off and would be awakened with his little hand on my face, whispering, “Don’t go to sleep, Nonna – watch with me.” Then he would hold my face and look into my eyes making sure I stayed awake with him. I did.

And wasn’t  it just yesterday little Hunter would spend the night and when I’d think he had gone to sleep finally, on a special bed right beside mine, I’d wake up to find him, head propped on his hands, leaning on his elbows, practically nose to nose with me – just watching me. When he saw my eyes were open, he’d ask, “Are you awake, Nonna?” He just wanted to chat, middle of the night or not.

The memories felt thick and real.

For a second I couldn’t tell what year it was, suspended in timelessness and love.

I opened my eyes to check. And there was Kai, looking right at me in the slowly increasing light. He whispered something about us waiting for the sun to get high and lellow. He was holding his blue blankie and his little ‘lellow’ motorcycle {aka Vroom-Vroom}. He took the tiniest corner of the blankie into his mouth. It’s his comfort, the way he deals with things. You’ll see him just barely, very gently bite the very corner. It’s his alone, his thing.

We looked at each other in silence for a little bit, me, mesmerized by his baby blues, him, just barely touching his teeth to soft blue fabric.

Then he offered it to me – the corner of his blankie. He extended it my direction. “Bite? Want a bite, Nonna?”

He was giving me all of his earthly treasure, sharing the deepest love he could possibly share. Even recalling it now, *melting…

Kai and his umbrella

He is two. But he is already almost grown, too,  and the man God created him to be (so quickly). And I am not only undone, I am blown away at the power of the beautiful love of God through him.

Oliver is 7 weeks and 2 days old. Soon, so very soon,  he’ll be two, too.

See his newborn pics by Stephanie HERE.


Photo by Stephanie www.maydae.com

Thanking God for my grand-boys, His little men, today!

*James 4.13-14



The Evangeline Countdown

I suppose it is because we’ll soon have grandbebe #9 arriving, I guess that could explain it?  But I have been looking at photos of the current 8 great {mucho verklempt} and re-reading old blog posts where I oohed and ahhh-ed over them and wow, I have been adoring them for the past ten years, 5 months, and 10 days, give or take.  Oh, yes, I have.

This quote was from {{this post}}, way back when ~ when there were only three.  Wow, how my treasure has increased!


“Being a mom was the most wonderful thing.  Being a grandma, I am completely undone.”

Ship Shape

Pre-school is cool!

The privilege {greatest honor} of my life is that I have gotten to be the “pre-school teacher” for my grandbebes.  First Gavin, whose thirst for all-things-learning just blew me away.  He came at 8 am on his “school days” and just was raring to go.  Then I got Hunter and then Guini.

A year ago, Gemma and I started hanging out for a couple of hours for arts and crafts and “school.”  We still meet on Wednesday mornings.  Next week, Averi, who is almost four, will start showing up for some everyday-educatin’.  I am one lucky Nonna!

Simple stuff.

For several months when Gavin was only 2, his favorite “toy” at our house was a big stack of disposable, plastic cups.  He’d build and build and build with those things.  Hunter got to make art from his paper shapes a few years ago, too.

Simple learning is the best.

I am drawn to big expensive learning systems like everyone.  I felt my own children suffered because I couldn’t afford the I-am-hook-ed-on-pah-honics-I-am-learning-to-read” back in the day.  They didn’t.  Because life teaches us what we need to know.

Pre-schoolers just drink up knowledge from measuring cups while helping you cook and getting to run around the house with rulers and measuring tapes and making texture pictures with paper and crayons.  They learn by watching you and yes, even watching Sesame Street.

My advice? Forget trying to have your children read at a 3rd grade level by the time they are four.  Some kids are prone to it, but some parents are grieviously hungry to prove something about themselves by making their little ones bypass learning-through-play to following rigid educational systems.  No bueno.

A three-year-old should be a 3-year old.  And a four-year-old who is four rather than acting 12 is so much more preferable.

Shapes and colors.

I started this with Gavin and every kid since gets to do this simple thing, too.

The simplest.  Colors and shapes.  I pull a piece of every color of construction paper I have at the moment.  I cut basic shapes from each (stack ’em four-high!).   Currently we have maybe 8-10 colors (including a blue and a light blue) and the shapes are just squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, hearts and stars.  With this simple little pile of paper, your pre-schooler can achieve success over and over, time after time in lots of fun ways.

  1. Practice identifying the shape and color by using full sentences, like “This is a red triangle.  Here is a purple square.”
  2. Sort all the shapes by color.
  3. Sort the whole pile by shape.
  4. Divide shapes into “sets,”  making sure each set has one of each shapes.
  5. Gemma is currently into “patterns.”  So you could start a pattern and have your pre-schooler finish it, like: circle, square, heart, circle, square, heart…”  And then they would keep the pattern going from the shape pile.
  6. Then there is counting.  They could go through and count just the triangles, for instance.  Or they could try counting the whole pile of shapes.

At the end of their pre-school time with Nonna, I let them make an art piece gluing all the colorful shapes to a large piece of paper.  Somewhere surely I have pictures of everybody doing this?  Must look.



Shapes and colors, because we all had to start somewhere.  *smile.

An October Sunset

Pictured, left to right: Averi, 8 months; Hunter, 4; Guini, 3; Gemma (in Gavin’s grasp), 1; Gavin, 5

O God, thank-You for these, my amazing five!  They’re the reason I was born!  They are my heritage-the gift You have given me.  The eternal things I place in them are the legacy I will leave. 

I pray Your Word will always be in their mouths.  I pray that Gavin and Guini, Hunter and Gemma and Averi will grow up hiding Your Word in their hearts and will choose, even now, to serve You and You alone.  I pray these five, my little amazings, will seek You for wisdom and will receive knowledge and understanding from Your heart for their lives.  May their worship rise to You.  May their song reach Your ears and bring You joy.

Thank-you for the gift of them, Lord.  I will tell my grandbabies of Your faithfulness.  I will declare Your great works to this generation.  I am watching for the spiritual harvest, Lord.  Because I am sowing to the Spirit – I am watching for the harvest…

I am so honored God has brought me this incredibly noisy, full and increasing heritage.  He is making all my dreams come true…Gavin, Guinivere, Hunter, Gemma and Averi’s “Nonna”

NOTE TO SELF:  I have earned the gray hair and grandma wrinkles-even if I don’t yet wish to avail myself of them.


“Enjoy the good life…everyday of your life.  And enjoy your grandchildren…”  Psalm 128.6 The Message