Tag Archives: grandbebes

Childlike

“It’s snowing!” she squealed with sheer delight, lifting her dazzling smile to the sky and throwing her hands into the air.

Look, mommy, it’s snowing,” three-year old grandbebe, Bailey, declared as the cottonwood seed-fluff nearly white-out blizzarded on our picnic at the beach the other day.

Bailey's Day at the Beach #family #colorado

We were grabbing covers for food and waving it away from our faces with frowns of aggravation. But Bailey saw the fun in it. Right here in the summer sunlight, while she was wearing her cute new swimming suit and playing in the sand: snow.

Sometimes, in an effort to grow up, be mature, represent our religion by “putting away childish things,” we forget that Jesus wants us, for all times, to remain childlike: full of wonder, hope springing eternal, looking for the good in everything around us. “Unless you become as little children,” He said. The path into the Kingdom of heaven starts with that premise.

Jesus: “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Amplified

family beach day eva #colorado

Do you remember? Can you recall when life was an invitation to joy, to experience whatever happened, to see a complication as an adventure to explore? Remember innocence? Whatever will be, will be…

Oliver at the beach

Oliver recently visited the beaches of Florida. This was old hat to him.

Childishness? No. Put that away. Don’t be a selfish, self-centered booger demanding your own way.

But childlike in spirit, in hope, in wonder, like a little one full of innocence and trust, pure-hearted and content in what comes?  Oh yes. Be that.

Even though we all had cottonwood fuzz in our hair, probably ate some in our S’mores and had it stuck to our skin with sunscreen (and I nearly choked on a breath-full walking to our shady picnic area from the beach), it didn’t hurt our day in any way that mattered. Like so many things, tiny annoyances we have come to barely tolerate in life, we should just let the fuzzies float by against the blue of the sky on a sunny June day, like a sweet child would. Like Bailey did.

Childlike.

#colorado #beachday #family #statepark

Played all day

Matthew 18. 1-3 NIV   “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”

Kai setting sun #beach #colorado

Oh, we stayed until that sun set.

PS- Don’t make fun of colorful Colorado for DIY beaches on homemade lakes. It’s our can-do attitude! We’ve got the Rocky Mountains already. You can’t replicate that.  :)

Snow Babies, part two

The weekend following Thanksgiving, I hung out with 5 giggly girls – and a bunch of snow ever-so-fortuitously dumped on us. A great excuse for hats and boots and mittens and Nonna snapping some pics!

snow babies

How perfect is this? Then…

snow babies amelie

Yesterday I shared Snow Babies, part one, with snapshots of 5 of my cherished grandbebes (Gavin, Hunter, Malakai, Evangeline and Oliver). Today the rest: Guinivere, Gemma, Averi, Amelie, and Bailey.   All pics snapped on the iPhone 6+

And as fate would have it, today is a major ***Snow Day***

Guini

Guini texted that she wanted to spend her snow day with me. How sweet is that? She’s 10. She came over for a few minutes, but actually formed a band with her brother and sister. Their dad posted a few seconds of their performance on Instagram and  3 hours later, it has 1100 likes. 

Guini

Guinivere looking so grown up and so much like her mommy. Wasn’t that just yesterday?

Bailey Bailey

Bailey-Baby, 2. She’s the little, but oh-so-powerful one.

Gemma Gemma  gemma

Gemma May is 8 1/2. She is all the colors!

Averi  averi averi

Averi. She turns 8 tomorrow! 

amelie

Amelie sent me voice memos saying, “FaceTime us, Nonna, we’re having a snow day!” That melts my heart!

amelie amelie

Amelie is 5 and was the ornery one. Snow was flying very which way. And she couldn’t quit giggling and incriminating herself.

 

bailey baby

A bonus picture of Bailey from craft time. We made Saint Lucia crowns.

It is a white out in the Denver area. I texted all my grandbebes and said, “Look out at that white, white snow. See how pure it looks? Well, that’s what Jesus’ blood does to our messy, ugly sin. He covers it and then we are WHITER, even, that this snow! Can you believe it?! Whiter than snow!

Psalm 51.7 “…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”

Promise I’ll go easy on the grand-kid pictures for awhile.  But I am a Nonna. What are you gonna do? :)

Snow Babies, part one

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned I have 10 grandchildren?

Haha! Just kidding. I know I have mentioned it.

FB collage

Our FB header recently

They are so much fun, these grandbebes of mine. They let me kiss their heads and squish their cheeks. They let me hug them tight and call them by many silly names of endearment. They call me Nonna. And that is enough to melt me all the way.

IMG_0346Gav 12 1/2  Gavin, 12 1/2Hunter 11 Hunter hands raised Hunter, 11
the boys Hunter and Gavin, cousins and buddies

What is it about grandkids? Why on earth do they turn us upside down in the most dazzling and deliriously happy way?

When Gavin came along, my very first grand-boy, almost 13 years ago, I wasn’t really seeing myself as a grandmother at all. I sure wasn’t going to be one of those people bragging about them, pulling out a stack of photos and gushing with pride. Yeah, right.

But this thing happens. I looked at my daughter just having had a baby and thought, “Wow – she is amazing, look what she did.” And in short order, I tumbled head-over-heels for this little red-headed guy.

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Evangeline is 2. And always looking for a reason to smile. Here, we had tossed some snow her way.

eva in snow

Evangeline and Oliver

The snow was so deep this day, we had Oliver on a little chair. I decided to re-do their a shoot a week later to make him more comfortable. But we got some great ones this snowy day!

Then came Hunter and it happened again. By the time Guini came along, a grand-girl, I knew to clear my schedule for falling in love.

Each time a grandbebe comes in to my life, I know it will never be the same. My heart gets bigger. It gets expanded and beats hotter with love, stronger love than I knew existed. It beats with wild joy and passion for another little human being, something of me, a part of me I’ll leave to the world. I will never get over these ten…and anymore who may come along. :)

Oliver happy Oliver, 10 months. He liked sitting on the ground a lot more  (especially since I covered it with a sheet)eva and oliver

IMG_0872_2oliver 10 months

On 5 different days, each with snow falling or on the ground or still around from a previous snow, my sweet grands let me snap some shots of them with a tree-on-fabric thing I got from IKEA a couple of years back. All snapped on the iPhone6+.

kai kai

Malakai, almost 3 here, just wanted to lob snowballs at his Nonna.

kai throwing snow at nonna kai smile

I live in Colorado. There will be snow. We need the snow. I certainly long for snow every single Christmas. After that – not as much snow zeal here. But these pictures of ten little human beings who love me like I love them? Well, they make the snow oh-so-much-more enjoyable. Oh yes, they do.

Let it blister and bluster and blow…Let it snow!

Lucky you…I’ll share 5 more of my sweet snow babies tomorrow, when I’ll likely be snowed all the way in!

Snow Babies, part two

 

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.

oliver-small-size

Photo by Stephanie www.maydae.com

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

*James 4.13-14

 

 

Ten Little Monkeys! {{.*Oliver:is:here*.}}

I have been woefully neglectful in posting, but that is because I have been deliriously enjoying the fact that I now have TEN Grand-bébés! Oh yes, I do! And isn’t that just THE most fabulous number???

“There were ten in the bed and the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over’…”

“Ten little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head…”

Yes. It is true. I am very well versed in toddler and pre-school songs and rhymes.

Ten!

Well, you have heard of Gavin and Hunter, and I’ve told you about Guini and Gemma May and Averi-J. We also have Amelie Belle and Malakai plus Bailey-Baby and Eva-Girl. But may I introduce you to my newest, darling grand-boy?

This is Oliver. Born to Dessa and Ryan (and to his big-sister, Evangeline) almost 2 weeks ago.

Oliver

*Oliver*

3 4 15 oliver

So much to say, but I’ll try to share it in small doses. Because, as you know, Nonnas can be overwhelmingly exuberant about the little-grands! Oh, yes, we can!

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“Oh, my sweet grand-bébés ~ YOU are my life’s greatest story!” -me :)

grandbebes

 

Oliver and his proud grand-poppa-

Dave and his newest grandson

 

#thesearethemoments November’s Song

Yes, it is true. From my Family-Table-November Spotify playlist (see it to your right), I can’t get the song by Sara Evans off my mind. It may just end up being the song of the month for me. However, I really have no idea what the lyrics are, except:

These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive

These are the moments I’ll remember all my life

I have all I waited for – And I could not ask for more…

That’s all I know. And I am pretty sure it is a love song and probably a codependent love song where she is putting ALL her stock in one person for her happiness, which is a lot of pressure for said person.  Haha.

#thesearethemoments aspens and blue sky

Just another November the 8th…I’ve enjoyed 55 or so of them so far.

But, the words I do know, the ones above, which I bookend with lots ‘o humming and made-up-lyrics, are reminding me to look for the simple moments I should be grateful for, the little, everyday snippets of life that don’t seem to amount to much, but are the Jenga blocks that make up my ordinary living, and give structure and solidity to dreams.

I went to sleep last night to the sound of the sweetest November rain. It signals a change on its way from the sunny, amazingly beautiful fall weather we have been having. Snow is headed this direction, they say. But oh, the sound of that cleansing, whole, full-on rain. That was a good moment.

It morphed in to the brightest sunrise, blue skies and raindrops sparkling on the windows. The earth was rejoicing for the deep, refreshing drink. My Aspens are half empty now, but the way the remaining leaves dance against that Colorado-blue sky takes my breath away. It’s such a savory moment. I’m dining on it still, as I write.

#thesearethemoments Hunter and 4 freckled-lemonades

It was Grandparent’s Day at Hunter’s school yesterday. So I reciprocated by making it Hunter Day. :)

#thesearethemoments Hunter smiles

The waitress gave him another one to go! Ay-yi-yi!

The grand-boys are here (it was a sleepover): Gavin (11) and Hunter (10). I cannot believe how many dishes they generate in such a short time. Meals, snacks, snacks after snacks. Soda-pop glasses, hot-chocolate mugs. Candy wrappers piled on the coffee table (blame their grand-poppa, I tell you!) and some candy wrappers just found a spot on the floor beside the couches where my little men piled blankets and cushions for movie-watching, boy-flicks. And as I load my arms with the dishes and debris to head for the kitchen, I can’t help but sing it, I could not ask for more.

We all make bucket lists and have grand plans and create goals and make Pinterest boards of exotic places we want to see and things we wish to do. But I never even took my kids to Disney World. Can you even believe that? And I took French all through junior high and high school and I have never gone to Paris. These trips would have made for the most incredible memories, moments-of-a-lifetime, for sure.

But this morning, my cutie-pie grand-boys helped me move the sofa away from the wall and what did we find? Birthday gift-wrap wads. We have gift-wrap paper fights at the end of gift-opening, every birthday. All the kids go after Uncle Rocky with zeal, because he deserves it for always getting me right in the face! And there they were: remnants of a happy celebration past.

And there were 3 or 4 Hot Wheels behind the couch because Malakai is all about those cars these days and a few are bound to crash off the back of the furniture at the speed they are going. A few crayons were there because this house is about my children’s children being able to express themselves creatively. And some wayward gum balls from the gum ball machine that supplies the grandbebes when they are here were back there, too. Those are things I found behind the sofa. And I could not ask for more.

malakai chasing the red ball #thesearethemoments

Kai-Kai is a boy on the go.

When Dave squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube because he likes to do that, I try to remember that he thinks I tighten it all up from the end just so he can. And when he leaves the bread on the counter right beside the bread basket instead of in it {which may or may not make me slightly crazy}, I know it is just one of the things I will always remember about him. I’ll remember that he loves me like crazy, that he pays too much for rib-eye steaks {“Wait until they are on sale, honey!“} because he knows I love them and I could eat steak everyday. I’ll always remember that he wants to close the bedroom windows through the winter, but he freezes all night because I need fresh air. These are the moments, ya know? And I could not ask for more.

#thesearethemoments Hunter Day

The baby who cries all night – means we have a baby to love, a little person to usher in to their destiny. Used diapers are a sign of health and life. Lots and lots of life. :)

The dirty dishes piling up in the sink, means we had food to eat. There are so many things in the fridge that I can’t decide what to have for breakfast.

The relationship that needs mending means we have people who mean enough to put forth the effort. We’re so lucky.

How on earth did we end up with this much laundry, except that we have so many clothes from which to choose? Leaf-blowers make tidy piles for us and a big truck comes and takes the autumn debris away, no-muss, no-fuss. Toys are scattered around the house because they don’t even fit in the designated boxes. Kids are loud, parties make messes, meal-making comes around three times a day, day after day. They are just mundane moments passing by. They are not glamorous, nor brag-worthy.

But they are surely divine – the things for which we can be grateful. Day in and day out, one foot in front of the other, faithfulness in the little things – I could not ask for more.

#thesearethemoments Gavin crashing

My life and times and seasons are soundtracked by songs and melodies. October was “Autumn Leaves,” feeling memories and melancholy drift by like the leaves of an old tree.

#thesearethemoments Hunter and Gavin

But November, November’s song is really less Sara Evans and more thankfulness, reflection, gratefulness for life, the things we’ll end up remembering with deep fondness. Maybe less about trips to Disney World. And more about all the candy wrappers we were privileged to scoop up and throw away.

NOTE: Ohmygoodness. I am just about to hit publish and in come my guys, Dave-the-husband, and Gav and Hunter, the first two of my nine beloved grandchildren.  They all three tracked mud all the way through the house. After I had vacuumed. Oh yes, they did! Haha. Oh my…

These days, these monotonous, wearisome, repetitive, routine and sometime tedious days: “These are the moments I thank God that I’m alive.” #thesearethemoments

What are yours? What makes you thank God you’re alive?

On being a grand-mom {nonna}

Yesterday was Malakai day.

malakai day 1

Kai-Kai came to hang out with me. It intersected with my first day home in 17 days. And a more glorious Colorado day, I don’t think there could have been. Seriously – even a few puffy white clouds cannot dissipate the bluest of blue skies in Colorado. The sun was warm, the breeze was gentle and Kai was cuter than ever.

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Malakai Day 3

And I was thinking as my grand-boy and I were swinging and making pictures with chalk on the sidewalk, while we picnicked on a blanket in the cool green grass, as we climbed around on the play set and scooped up pebbles for throwing – I was thinking how amazing I am  as a Nonna.

Malakai Day lunch

Grilled chicken, peas, quinoa and blueberries for lunch. Animal crackers for dessert!

Yes. There. Can you believe I actually said that? Well, I did.

I am really a great Nonna.  :)

I am really good at this grand-mom thing, it turns out. But it isn’t of my doing. It is not because I am accomplishing anything or being especially productive or impressive at all.

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We enjoyed the neighbor’s beautiful autumn tree during our picnic

It’s mostly just because, I have realized, I just accept and receive the grandbebes for who they are. I enjoy them and embrace them and am in awe of them just as God has created them to be. I open my heart to all of it and feel giddy for the honor of getting to watch them and know them and see their lives unfold.

In short, I really do nothing other than enjoy them. I just sit around receiving everything they bring to life, the gift of them.

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Sandy-the-Dog wishes!

I am much better at being a Nonna than I was a mom.

As a mom, I doubted myself constantly. I was sure if I didn’t do every single thing right {I didn’t} my kids wouldn’t turn out {they did}. I was afraid it was all in my court: make sure they get good grades, are well-rounded, excel in athletics, become super citizens, are polite at all times, have the best of everything, never get hurt, {make me look good…true confessions}, and become who God wanted them to be. That last one – well, I was pretty sure God had a plan for them and if I didn’t work hard enough – I could totally mess up His deal.

“Direct your children onto the right path,
    and when they are older, they will not leave it.”  Proverbs 22.6 NLT

And yes, of course, we have a part, as the above Proverb encourages us.  But somewhere along the way (when they were almost grown…it takes me awhile), I began to realize that more than my children were “mine,” they were His. More than any love I had for them, more than any protection or experience I could provide, He had more, so much more – that He had known them from before…(see Romans 8.29 and Ephesians 1.4). My “hard work” in raising the world’s 5 most amazing kids was mostly ineffective, at best, damaging to them at its worst.

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
    Before you were born I set you apart
    and appointed you…” Jeremiah 1.5 NLT

I really did do my best, the best I knew to do with my children. But I over-parented a lot, I obsessed over things that didn’t matter sometimes. I erred towards discipline and creating righteous little children along the way when I should have laughed with them more, let some things slide and just plain enjoyed them. Too often I was set on molding them into godliness (at a level I could never even seem to achieve) as holy human beings to be admired instead of receiving them as the gifts of God He created them to be. And just loving them like the Father loves me, foibles and all. How does He love me?

  • God is mindful of me, always thinking of me (Psalm 8).
  • He created my inmost being and His works are wonderful (Psalm 139.13-14, the whole chapter, really).
  • God loves me with an ever-lasting love and draws me with loving-kindness. That is some deep love (Jeremiah 31.3).
  • He chose me and does not reject me (Isaiah 41.9).
  • I was actually made in His image (Genesis 1.27).
  • His thoughts toward me are countless-like the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139.17-18).
  • He rejoices over me with singing, just like I do over Him, but better! (Zephaniah 3.17)
  • He sees me as His treasured possession (Exodus 19.5).
  • He will never stop doing good to me (Jeremiah 32.40).
  • He is my greatest encourager, believing the best in me always (2 Thessalonians 2. 16-17).
  • God comforts me in all my troubles (2 Corinthians 1.3-4).
  • He comes in even closer to me when my heart is broken (Psalm 34.18).
  • I am precious in His sight (Isaiah 33.4).
  • I am the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2.8).
  • We’re friends, God and I. He has called me His friend (John 15.15).
  • God delights in me (Psalm 150.4)
  • He carries me close to His heart, just like a shepherd carries a lamb (Isaiah 40.11).
  • He doesn’t count my sins against me, not keeping a tally of my failure (2 Corinthians 5.18-19).
  • He forgets my sins – as far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me. Awe-inspiring.
  • I didn’t choose Him. He so loved me, He chose me and appointed me to bear fruit that will last. I can ask Him anything, anything! He is my Father. (John 15.16)
  • Nothing can separate me from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
  • He has always been my Father and He will always be my Father (Ephesians 3.14-15).

So that’s a good start on how to love our kids. And the grands.

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 Look at that little face. I think Kai was telling me, in this shot, “You’re doing pretty good as a Nonna.” As best I can, I’ll reflect the love of the Lord towards me back onto him. And I receive all he is, the gift of him. He knows.  He can tell…

This was in the kitchen upon my return:

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From the Kelley kids. They love their Nonna and their Nonna loves them. And I am really great at that!

Dear Gavin, Hunter, Guinivere, Gemma May, Averi-J, Amelie Belle, Malakai, Bailey-baby, Evangeline and baby-Faaland-to-be: You’re the reason I was born!  :)

 

Wheels of Love Go ‘Round*

Mi Familia…

Happy 57th Anniversary, Mom and Dad

Wheels of love go ’round
Love go ’round
Love go ’round
A joyful sound*

ross and norma moslander august 2014

Ross and Norma Moslander (also known as my mamala and pappasan), married August 24, 1957. They are my parents, the two people I adore and most admire in the universe. Like most kids, I suppose, there were so many things I was going to do differently as a parent. Then I didn’t. Or I did and found out their way was better, anyway. They are both amazing and flawed, both extraordinary and just plain human. But their trajectory has always been headed towards heaven, walking with Jesus, being guided by the Holy Spirit and the closer they get to their goal, the more perfect they become.

My mom thanks me each Mother’s Day and on my birthday for making her a mommy – everything she had ever wanted. I love them! And I’m so blessed to have them as mine!

He ain’t got a penny 
For Cotton Jenny to spend
But then
Wheels go ’round*

Another grandbebe is on the way!

eva 8 months plus sibling announcement

That’s right: you heard me. GRANDbebe #10 is due at the end of February 2015. He or she will be Tredessa and Ryan’s second child. Eight-month-old, Evangeline Lilly made the announcement at church wearing a shirt that said, “Only Child, expires February 2015.”

eva's announcement 1

Singing through the Decades

Tara (my firstborn) and her husband Dave are back with a concert follow-up to the wildly successful, sold-out show they did for Valentine’s Day at the Mad Cap Theater in Westminster.

This concert is called Decades, where, rumor has it, they will sing some of the best love songs from various , you guessed it, decades in the past. They are pulling out some of my favorites and I don’t know if I am suppose to tell, but one is a very sexy version of “Let’s Stay Together,” and **maybe-maybe-maybe** even “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” one of my mom’s all-time fav songs (she wants me to make a video of pictures of my dad and add that song as a soundtrack – how cute is that???).

dave and tara powers decades concert poster

Anyway – the concert is at the historic Armory Center for Performing Arts up north and you can get tickets at  dtp.eventbrite.com. It WILL be sold out, so buy early. I get a pass ‘cuz I am their mom! :)

Rocky @Rez.org & other places

rocky rhoades big tent revival

Rocky just started a new phase of life and ministry at Resurrection Fellowship in Loveland. He’ll be leading worship a couple of weekends a month and engineering sound in a super-cool exposed brick office with a full-blown recording set-up. He is a little bit in heaven.

He just got back from The Big Tent Revival in Butte, MT where he led worship and just a day before  that from a Rez trip to Lake Providence, Louisiana where they were raising money for a ball field there and he was thrilled to get to meet Uncle Si and some other Duck-Dynasty family. This was an explanation of the event CLICK HERE. I think there were follow-up news stories, but I live in Colorado, people.

rocky rhoades at the big tent revival butte, mt

Image from The Big Tent Revival, Photographer Tom Curry, copyrighted

Jovan is going to home school Averi this year as they transition, prepare to sell their house and move to Loveland (which, while only 45 miles from us, will still make them seem quite a ways away compared to now, which has been 15 miles). They are having an exciting year.

Stormie was at The Big Tent Revival, too

Crazy girl plays bass and sings. She uses her vacation time to travel wherever she is invited to glorify God. We like her very much!

stormie rhoades at big tent revival butte, mt

Image from The Big Tent Revival, Photographer Tom Curry, copyrighted

You have been following Beat a Day, haven’t you? You haven’t??? What?!

Stephanie and Tristan are movers and shakers and are always doing something new that wows all of us. And they are both wildly popular on Instagram. Is that such a mom thing to say? It is! :) But it is still true! Steph is an extraordinary photo stylist, see here.

stephanie_may on instagram

Tristan started posting a 15-second “Beat a Day” drum vids to Instagram {he is the BEST drummer in the world}} and everybody is talking about it! You MUST check it out!  :)  You totally have to watch the 100th beat that has exactly 100 hots played at  100 beats per minute! So cool! Also lots of beats at TristanKelley.com

So-this is just a little bit of what is happening with my people around here –

All the result of Ross and Norma saying I do 57 years ago this week!

*”Wheels of love go ’round” are lyrics from the song, “Cotton Jenny” written by Gordon Lightfoot. But it was the first song I ever heard by Anne Murray. I was 12. I loved her low voice and I still sing this song around the house! A lot!

 

I could talk about my grandbebes all day long

Do not test me on this. Unless you have a whole day!

grandchildren quote by jeanie rhoades
Have I mentioned mine to you before?

There’s Gavin and Hunter-Magoo, Guinivere and Gemma May. I’ve got Averi and Amelie Belle. And the three born last year, Malakai, Bailey-Baby and little Evangeline. They really do thrill-me-silly!evangeline

small-2

Large Size (1)

Got grandkids? Oh, then YOU know!  :)

Prepare the Way! Advent music filling the air over here

BIG announcement below…

I have never actually seen an Advent-Music category at a music store and while I do have a pretty high stack of Christmas records (the old vinyl kind, ya know) and CDs, I don’t have an Advent music category.  I am just visiting all styles and types of music with words that seem appropriate for this high-church tradition of the days leading up to the {12} days of Christmas, as evidenced by most of my blog posts these last 2 1/2 weeks or so.

baking day just getting started

What I am doing is trying to make sure I just take a few minutes,  the length of the time of the song, to observe these days from a perspective I was not raised in (I come from the day-after-Thanksgiving-to-the-day-of-Christmas-is-just-a-mad-rush-to-but-to-bake-to-have-a-gazillion-church-activities-and-parties-and-then-collapse-in-utter-fatigues-the-end variety) and think about {in expectant waiting and preparation} Jesus – and all His coming changed, the first time…

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;  on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned.”  Isaiah 9.2

And I don’t want to be as blind and as busy and as un-expectant as those who may have missed Him the first time.  We are people of the Light and we just live like…nothing is different (I included you in that sentence so I wouldn’t have to take all the blame, *wink).

So for Advent, I am remembering that the Light, Jesus, He came and that we’ll be celebrating that in a few days.   But that He is not finished and He has gone to prepare a place for us and He will come again and we are looking for Him, preparing for Him and waiting for this momentous occasion with expectant joy, on earth as it is in heaven!

Today’s happy-song of watching and waiting: Prepare the Way by Charlie Hall

Prepare the way, because we still can for so many living in darkness.  An oldie, but goodie.  :)

I didn’t post yesterday (because of something BIG). But I did observe Advent in probably its’ most recognizable heart-longing way, which I shall explain…

I won’t tell the whole story here, but there will be details to follow, I am sure.  BUT, on Sunday, we had our Annual Girl’s Baking Day at the house.  We get together with sugar and flour flying through the air.  Nuts are chopped, pretzels are dipped, chocolate is melted,  icing is squeezed…and at 6 pm, all the guys show up and ooh-and-aah over tables and counters full of Christmas treats and sweets.  Every year, we cut back, waaaaaaaay back.  And yet yearly, there are just mountains of sweets and Christmas treats – it is crazy!  But then everyone has some festive goodies to get them to December 25th, or to share with neighbors and friends.  It is ONLY once a year!  Because otherwise….no bueno.

baking day 2013

So, we did that on Sunday.  Ay-yi-yi!  We worked our buns off.  And Tredessa, completely pregnant, with a baby due THE NEXT DAY, worked and worked and worked!  We were hoping she’s go into labor because of it.  Instead, we wore her out!  And me, too – the doula!

9 pm…whew!  Tired.  Everybody leaves, everybody is exhausted by the merry-making.  Everyone has been up since before the days-shortened dawn.  Then, suddenly…her water breaks at that moment, at that least-expected, boy-we-could-sure-use-a–good-night’s-sleep moment as she was leaving.

We get to the hospital a couple of hours later and blah-blah-blah…

EVANGELINE WAS BORN!  *happy-dance*  *singing and rejoicing*

She came at 1:23 pm on her “due date.”  She was 20″ long, weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and has some curly looking honey-colored hair and is just gorgeous-gorgeous-gorgeous!  I LOVE her!

 evangeline

Stephanie took this one, a first glimpse at Evangeline

So I didn’t post a song yesterday but it was mainly because I was in a room filled with longing and expectancy, a birthing room.  The room was filled with holy music the entire time and it was beautiful and all I could manage to do was Tweet about it.

tweet evangeline

After they told Tredessa, late morning,  she was dilated to 5 cm and she had been hoping to be so much further, I backed away as she and Ryan literally danced through contractions.  He’d reach out his hand to her like they were at any romantic event and she would lean into his chest and they’d sway softly, Tredessa breathing carefully while Ryan cheered her on and encouraged her.  Then as the contraction would subside, she’d sit down to rest for a minute or two and then he’d say, “Let’s have another contraction.  Are you ready?”  And he’d reach out his hand and lift her, as if he had just said, “May I have this dance?”  And they had a contraction every single time, on and on, for nearly an hour.  And I sat in front of my majestic snow-capped mountain backdrop on this perfect sunlit day praying for them, praying for my sweet daughter to have the strength she needed, and I wept.  They were working hard for their love, for this baby…

birthing day out the hospital window

This was part of what we saw through the window at the hospital

The birth of a granbebe shows me the Advent-Christmas connection in Technicolor You wait with longing for 9 months, you labor through dark hours hoping, concentrating, wondering if you can see this thing through…then in a moment of total surrender, when you believe you cannot go on – she arrives…LIFE!

birthing day dessa and eva

Welcome to the world, little Evangeline Lilly.  Your Nonna already loves you.

birthing day the family

And now to Ryan and Tredessa: Prepare the way for Baby Eva!  Eva!!!