Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My buddy has gone to school . . .

Cooper has been my buddy since I started watching him around the age of 6 months when his mother started teaching on a part-time basis. Yesterday he went to kindergarten at the age of five. He seems very excited to go to school along with his big brother Chandler, a second grader, and also his mom who teaches 6th grade Science at the same school. I look back and cherish the time we spent together. Such a caring grandson that always had respect for his Nana.

I am glad he is growing up but I miss his little body sitting on the right side of the chair arm every day he was here. I will miss making pancakes every morning even when somedays he wasn't even hungry, wipping his allergy nose, rubbing lotion on his dry itchie legs, watching endless episodes of Sponge Bob, and driving him back and forth to preschool for two years. The pizza man will probably wonder why he quit delivering a medium pepperoni to our home every Friday. But, I am glad you are growing up healthy and happy too so have fun in school Cooper!

Alvin started his 40th year of teaching at Chandler High School. This is suppose to be his last year. I hope so - he needs to quit working so hard and just work part-time for the community college. That would give him just enough to do where he would have some free time for himself.

Gretchen finally closed on her home purchase two weeks ago. She has been busy cleaning and painting and hopes to move in the next two weeks. Defnitely an exciting time for her right now.

The Snesko family has a new puppy named Winston. He is suppose to grow up and be a mate to Sophie so puppies can be eventually born. He is a very pretty unusual brown color.

Happy school year to everybody!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How Long Could I Actually Stay?

We just returned from our two week vacation at Newport Beach and I was not ready to come home. We are hot since Chandler is nearly 30 degrees hotter. When we arrived in California it was actually a little bit chilly but as the days progressed it became a little warmer and the ocean water wasn't quite so cold.

We had great family time doing a mirage of things. We visited the Orange County Park and Swap, The American Girl Place in Beverely Hills, Disneyland (of course), and the tide pools. We rented an electric boat and toured the harbor and ate our lunch on board, shopped the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach stores, rode the ferry to Balboa Island and went up and down the quaint streets and ate frozen banannas. The beach seemed to be an afternoon spot for most of us.

We celebrated the 4th of July big time! In Newport they close the streets at Noon and everybody parties in some way or another. Many play football in the streets and others ride bicycles. You see young and old enjoying the day. Grilling on the grill and people watching makes for a fun holiday.

We all have cruisers and Gretchen decorated her basket.

Tatum has an American Girl dolly from a previous New York trip so we had to check out the LA store to buy a few accessories. We all liked the NY store better.

The mall was a fun out door place with a trolly that Stephen and the kids rode. We ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

We actually planned some kids projects this time. We baked the star brownies in the picture above and Gretchen made hamburgers and french fries for them to decorate. The bun is a sliced cupcake and the hamburger pattie is a brownie. The french fries are made from a sugar cookie mix.

Other paint projects kept them busy and mostly happy.

Pa rented a 12 passenger canopy electric boat and all the boys took turns driving. We packed a lunch and toured the harbor for a hour and a half.
Our tour guide for the boat ride.

The Snesko family drove to the tide pools and climbed down a big hill to get to them. A beautiful place!

The ferry ride to Balboa Island and walking the streets.

Bringing a bike is a must - at least for Alvin and I.

Of course can't forget Disneyland. Arrived around 8:00 AM and left at 11:30 PM. A long day for Nana and Pa but very memorable.

We celebrated Cody's birthday at a local restaurant. They made him dress up Hawaiian style and of course the birthday song!

Our beach time was relaxing. Some slept, others read books, boys dug holes in the sand, and the water was refreshing.

Opps! Cash had fallen so Alvin "tried" to rescue him.

Thanks for coming everybody. Many ups and a few downs with so many people and five kids under seven but it is worth it for Alvin and I to have the family time. I hope you all feel the same. Thanks to for Blythe, our cousin from Albuquerque who most often joins our scarry family. Now, I want to go back and relax!!!