Tag Archives: grandbebes

My Table is Full of Good Wishes

During an agonizing {excruciatingly painful} Broncos versus Patriots game (the very reason I do  not want to watch football), Guini and Gemma and I made 33 air-dry clay wishbones for Thanksgiving.

Since the turkey can only provide us with one, and everybody always wants a chance to make a wish and win the contest ~ well, we are solving the problem by providing every single family member a wishbone of their very own.

wishbones for thanksgiving

While a perfectly sweet, light snow is drifting down this morning, the wishbones are just drying in the air (www.sculpey.com).  Tomorrow I’ll spray paint them…gold, maybe.  They are very magical wishbones, you see.  For, no matter who gets the bigger piece after they are broken, both contestants will get their wishes!  Who says so?  Guini, Gemma and me.  That’s who.

I saw this project on Pinterest, and you can see the tutorial from the Oh Happy Day blog {{here}}.

Joyeux Anniversaire, Cher Blog


I started blogging in the dark ages with absolutely no technical no-how at all.  Everything changes and people are so much better at it, but I am still rattling around here in the dark yelling “Hellllllllp, Tristan,” to my long-suffering son-in-law with some regularity.  I mean, the whole blog crashed like 3 months ago and I am still puttering around some default template, unfixed, un-personalized.  Tsk.

www.jeanierhoades.comThis was the header when I first started, 11-29-06.  The leaves actually fell and swirled.

As I approach the date of the 7th (the 7th!!!) anniversary of my first dip into blogging waters, I am restless and embarrassed not to have gotten better at it.  It doesn’t feel like me right now.  It should be about something specific, right?  It shouldn’t be all over the map of serious-to-ridiculous, of well-formed thought-to-explosive opinions and stupid jokes, should it?  By now, I should have found my voice and my rhythm and a nice tidy package labeled “identity.”


my out.

Oh well.  That is why I named it after my favorite elementary school art unit: collage.  I named it Thought Collage because that meant I could cut colors and scraps and shapes and symbols and pictures from any and every area of the magazine of my very existence and paste it all together to say: Look.  I think this – all of it, even if it sometimes conflicts with itself.  All the pieces make up the whole.

Collage (From the French: coller, to glue, French pronunciation: ?[k?.la??]) is a technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole. -Wikipedia.org

brace yourself.

Worse yet, I am going to quote myself from these very blog pages over the next 10 days or so to celebrate this monumental anniversaire.  Yes, I am!  You’ll be forced to reread something I already said that I still like when I read it.


“It’s a trail of bright colored Play-Dough bits and crayon drawings of “piles of snow” and stickers and paint and Light-Saber battles with vacuum hoses and cookies and orange pop and more cookies and dancing to the Fiesta Latin music channel (learning to do the twist and to shake our booties) and announcing, “Watch Nonna, I’m gonna fly now” as we jump from 3 steps up and Nonna’s heart is temporarily arrested until the landing is obviously successful.

It’s Guini loving the most dangerous thing a one-year-old could love: neon-colored plastic jacks, which she likes to pull one by one from an old Quaker Oatmeal cannister and place on the floor and then immediately one by one they go back in. She actually squeals with delight as she pulls them out, dazzled over and over by the colors and we just watch her and she dazzles us.

It’s Hunter begging to be frightened again and again. He makes me put on the Darth Maul mask and chase him, but screams in utter terror when I truly surprise him and then lifts the mask to make sure: “Nonna?” Ok. Relief. It is just Nonna. Back to being chased. Then, time to cuddle and repeated requests to sing “Jingle-bells-all-the-way.” With Hunter, nothing is ever done once. If once was good, many times are better.

Gavin, Guini and Hunter

It’s Gavin “posing” me with a couple of stuffed animals as he cranks and adjusts Grandpa’s tripod, pretending there is a camera there. He tells me to wait “just one second” then instructs me, “Say cheese.” He squinches his eyes and I smile as he creates a clicking sound with his tongue and then he tilts his head and says, “Awwwwwe…” because I smiled so prettily. And as he thanks me for sitting still, I wish I were aiming a real camera back to capture this exact moment of pretend into which I was invited. And I force myself to see it deeply so I can never forget this February afternoon…

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

It is proof beyond any possible reason: God is good and He rewards you even when you couldn’t possibly deserve it.  I am so thankful to have had this little bit of cyber-real estate where I have captured the great record of His faithfulness and find reminders of the glorious color of love and life I have experienced so far…

Come back tomorrow.  We’ll dig through the archives again!   :)


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.”

Hunter is 9 on the 9th!

hunter nativity 2007

Hi-ya, Hunter-Magoo!  Happy Birthday today to a boy who has been surprising me and making me smile since that Saturday morning you were born 9 years ago.  You absolutely messed up my work day – because back then, I never took one off, and when I emerged from a meeting and was told: Uh, you have a grandson, I thought I was being punked or something!

But I wasn’t.  I was deliriously excited and shaky rushing to buy flowers for your mommy and trying to get to the hospital.  And oh-so-tiny you were.  And so mysterious, too – born to two gorgeous blond-haired, blue-eyed people, there you were with that shock of black hair – THREE weeks early!  See?  **Surprise!**

Hunter at three months

WARNING: Lots and lots of pictures that make your Nonna go “Aaaaaawwwwwwwwww


I know I get all gooey on you and it makes you a little crazy.    But it is because I just adore you with my whole, entire heart, ya know?  You’ve been The Little Prince and my “widdle guy.”  I have tickled your little M & M toes and watched them graduate to being ‘Tootsie Rolls’ haha.  You’ve gone from this short, tiny kid with the big-thinking brain to become my almost-double-digits man-child, a boy who thinks like he’s grown, a boy cut out for important things.


So, on the occasion of your 9th birthday, Hunter-Magoo, I just wanted to tell you that I love you.  I respect your insight into he things of God and I love how much you love and care for your baby brother.  I praise God for giving you a brother because you soooooo wanted a brother and that makes me happy that He saw that and blessed you.  I admire what a good son you have grown up to be, how honoring you are of your parents and it makes me so happy to see what a great fun-making, playmate you are with your younger cousins.  They always have so much fun following you with all your great ideas!  Your are handsome on the outside because of all the goodness and love on the inside.

hunter summer 2007

Now that you’re old enough, I can tell you all the secrets of our family universe and answer any questions you have.  I can give you grown-up advice and still cuddle you in the mornings when you stay over.  I love your gentleness, I admire your attention to making sure I get plenty of love and affection when you’re around and having you in the room always always always makes me happy.  I am so proud of you, HP.  You’re a good boy and becoming an amazing young man.

I guess I should share a picture of you as my big-guy.

hunter 1970s costume

Spirit Week at Hunter’s school.  He got to be “70s.”  Makes me smile!  :)

Happy Birthday, my man-child.  Your Nonna loves you to infinity and beyond!

Oh, and in other fun news, Hunter is not only 9 on the 9th, but his baby brother, Kai, is 9 months today, too.  On the 9th!  How cool is that?

hunter and malakai october 9 2013

 UPDATE 10-10-13:  Today his mommy blogged this, it is amazing!  http://www.powersadoptionstory.blogspot.com/2013/10/hunter-adopted-brother.html

And God said, “Let there be neon!”

Averi and I ran some errands yesterday.  We purchased a package of brightly-colored, stretchy headbands for which she had an instant affinity and she was explaining to me how much she loved the bright colors, but she was trying to think of the “right” word for them.

Neon!”  She finally remembered.  They were neon-colored!  Oh, how she loves neon colors, she kept effusing while deciding which one or two to wear with her outfit.

Did you know, ” I took her down memory lane, “that when your daddy and all your aunts were little kids back in the 80s, neon was a huge thing?  They had lots of neon clothes and shoes and headbands back then!”

She was awed by this news.

“Really, Nonna?  Wow!  God must have thought all the little children wouldn’t know about neon unless He made it for them now.  So He made some more neon so we would know!”

Her extreme gratefulness for God’s kindness in making neon known to her all these years later was evident as she adjusted her headband and sighed, with a very big smile on her cute little face, “I love neon colors.”

Gemma, Averi & Me in Estes Park

In other news….

A wonderful thing:  I got $60 worth of kid’s Creatology Musical Instruments today at Michael’s for a little less than $12!  Yay!  I had been wanting them for the grandbebe playroom.kid's instruments

I can just hear a little {grandbebe} band making merry music in my very near future!  In good, old-fashioned primary colors.  ;)


This quiet moment

pool grandbebes

Sunday afternoon.  My garden is still smiling from a torrential downpour yesterday evening.  It battered the petunias a bit, yet they are bright and beautiful, fragrant and deeply brilliant, anyway. It is so wonderful to step outside, know there are lots of things that need “done” and still be greeted by beauty all my works cannot create, anyway.  I thank God for this amazing grace! 201 208 213I have about a dozen weekend projects going and I don’t think they’ll get finished, but I am so grateful to get to work on them and see the mirror wall really taking shape (since Dave’s ribs are fully healed) and I have been re-doing all the grandbebe craft supplies trying to answer the age-old question: how do you keep creativity-inspiring supplies for art and crafts on hand for kids (and accesible) AND not go crazy when they are actually {quite liberally} used for inspired creativity?  This doesn’t answer that question, but I have decided to make a list (because I LOVE lists) of simple art projects they can do at anytime with the things I have on hand.  That will at least answer the question, “Nonna – what can we do now?” when the little ones are here.

What a loud and glorious week I have had.


There was an old woman {who is actually not that old}  who lived in Colorado; she had so many grandbebes she could barely keep up…  I have enjoyed large chunks of time {days, even} with the first 6 (of 8.4 current grandebes): the K-kids, the little Rock & Jovan girlies, and Hunter-Magoo.  I got to see Kai briefly, but baby Bailey was away (D2S).


There was splashing (the pool), and tiny little swim suits and trunks in a veritable trail from the doors to the bathroom.  There was squeaking (the trampoline) as little ones jumped high and long.  Everybody stayed up way too late and we probably snacked way too much.  There was art and “school work” and playing pretend house and dress-up, dancing and army guys, fort-building, sand-digging and looking through the telescope at the moon {“I see the real craters, Nonna!!!” said one.  “You can actually see the dark side of the moon!” another told me} and general silliness all around.


I am pooped out.  Good thing I had my kids young because these little ones wore.me.down!  But – with goodness.  I am depleted wholly by the best things of life.  I am blessed!



Tiny Dancer

Amelie Belle is three years, 3 months and almost 3 weeks old.  And she is a little worshipping, praise-dancer.  I love how she loves this little purple and peach, pleated dress because when it goes on, the joy-dancing starts!

This is a video of her at the big Dare2Share Conference in Lakewood this week while her daddy was leading some late-night worship. The room is big and dark, but the skirt is unmistakably neon!  :)

Hey, btw – Amelie’s Auntie Stormie is rocking it on the bass!

This is a daylight look at the dress (she had gone to bed with wet hair and her cousin and sister fixed her up in ponies and flowers in the morning) at our house 2 days ago.  As Amelie often says: see??? This dress personifies the colorful, energetic, playful, happy, ornery, sugar and spice, super-sweetie-pie, girly-girl little Amelie is at this exact moment in her life.

I love the dress.  I adore the darling Amelie Belle!

I’ll be up on a rainbow, sweeping the clouds away!

Thanks, Maurice Chevalier, for this happy 1930 tune, “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away!”  It seemed a nice accompaniment to the day I recently had with the girlies.

Don’t go ’round moping, hoping happiness will come,

That’s not the way; it doesn’t pay!

If you want happiness, just help yourself to some,

Why don’t you try to take life the way I do:

Guinivere (7 1/2), and her little sister Gemma (6) and their cousins, Averi (5) and little Amelie Belle (3) came over on a sunny morning and we did each other’s hair and put on make-up and everyone got to dress up in Nonna’s old clothes  and shoes if they wanted to.  Or not.

Then we made paper chains and stars for decoration and set the patio up for some fun-fun-fun!

Let the whole world sigh or cry,

I’ll be high in the sky,

Up on top of a rainbow,

Sweeping the clouds away!

I don’t care what’s down below,

Let it rain, let it snow,

I’ll be up on a rainbow,

Sweeping the clouds away!

Averi and her little sister, Amelie – above.

Gemma just eats the camera up (above).

Averi got her momma’s pretty eyes (above)

Guini is growing up so fast (above).  She’ll be 8 in July.

And this little silly (Amelie, 3, below) keeps us laughing.

 It was a fun morning!

Isn’t May really truly the merriest merriest month?

I was strolling through the park one day

In the merry merry month of May

Amelie and her baby “Emily” in Estes Park, Memorial Day Weekend

True story: So, two little girls run in to see their Nonni~

A beautiful morning in May, two little darlings come bounding through the house and into the kitchen, breathless with excitement.

“I have something for you, Nonna.  I have money for you,” the big sister tells me.

“What?  You have money for me? What’s this?” I ask them with complete surprise and total awe at their cuteness.

“I have money for you, too,” the little one exclaims.

The first 5 grandbebes on the patio at a family celebration, mid-May

They both open their bags and pull out tiny coin purses, whereupon the older sister beamingly presents me with 10 pennies, lined up one by one, and tiny girl carefully adds her 4 pennies, as well.

“This money is for you, Nonna!”

They repack their bags and set off on their merry way.  They are so generous, so loving, so sweet.  And I am rich!  The interest is compounding daily.  I am loaded with benefits and treasure.  I have 8 grandbebes and I am made of this stuff.  :)

I love May.

Every May without fail, Tara has a birthday, Stephanie has a birthday and Gemma May does, too.  The grandbebes have lots of cute school programs, there is Mother’s Day and usually some one is pregnant (this year that is Tredessa). The final frost date finally arrives in May and you can go into a gardening frenzy.  The skies seem unusually blue this fifth month of each year and of course the green is that intoxicating shade of “spring” as new leaves unfurl and floofy, wildly-hued prom dresses get packed away while flowers in every dazzling color from here to heaven and back take their places and begin to bud and blossom with abandon.

May is sunny.  May is new leaves fluttering in gentle breezes, really enthusiastic rains washing away the meandering Colorado winters, rainbows, crazy-gorgeous clouds quickly moving by, colorful sunsets that rival Maui and the beginning of lemonade season.

Cornhole!  Happy Birthday, Tara! Amelie loves it!

May is a soft shade of yellow and a bright-sky blue.  It is lush, sky-watered grass and all the windows and doors flung wide.  It is kids counting the days until school is out and then wanting to go back to play in the school yard when it is out.  No rules!  It’s hearing the neighbors you didn’t hear all winter and graduations and weddings and baseball in full swing.

May is for expressing possibilities {I just may do that} and relishing long days that you thought had actually been swallowed up by long nights.  But here they are again, May days.

I was strolling through the park one day

In the merry-merry month of May

I was taken by surpise by a pair of roguish eyes

In that moment my heart was stolen away

Warning {roguish eye picture ahead}

The black eye is pretty much gone now.  I have lots more wrinkles there from all the swelling.  I hope they will go away.  Seriously.  But I shall always remember I had my first (hopefully last) real shiner in May 2013.


Oh, May, how I hate to see you go.  Thank-you for the the green, the new life, the sunshine, the rain, the hope, the promise and the lovely month, year after year.  Good-bye, merry-merry month of May.