Tag Archives: granddaughter

Averi-Girl: The 5th grandbebe turns 7!


I was so proud of myself when I took this picture of you at 1 1/2 years old. But I did have to chase you around the yard for an hour as you excitedly explored the garden before I got this! You make me smile! Oh, yes, you do!

Hey, my sweet birthday girl~

averi & sisters

 The day we all did our make-up. :)

Happy-hApPy-delightful-delirious-joyful-head-over-heels-laughing-dancing-rejoicing-fun-FUN-fun-gladhearted-jumping-jelly-beans-cartwheels- & -kisses Birthday, Little Miss Averi!

Oh your Nonna loves you, girl. You know that, right? You’re funny and sweet and wry and so-very-mature and insightful. You’re considerate and thoughtful and every bit the perfect firstborn, and big-sister. I just don’t know what we ever did without you! You make life sweeter and neater and so much more beautiful! Every time I think of you, I smile. When I get to see you, well, I just go a little bonkers with happiness!

averi 7th

 I thank God for you, Averi Jadyn! I think He outdid Himself in creating you! I thank Him and I add my blessing. I bless your days and all your ways. I bless those piercing, liquid-blue eyes. I bless those oh-so-kissable cheeks.

I bless you as a big sister and a good cousin. I bless you as the perfect niece and a wonderful granddaughter {we’re so lucky to have you}.


You were 4 or 5 months here and so scrumptious I could just eat you up!

I bless the things you’ll see, that you may see them with God’s eyes. I bless your hands, those beautiful, graceful little hands, that they’ll be applied to good works God prepared ahead of time for you to do – even before you were born.


I bless you as an honoring daughter – knowing that as you honor your mommy and daddy, the Bible promises it will go well for you and you’ll live long on the earth! What will go well? LIFE! The life Jesus came to give you, abundant and wondrous and free from any kind of captivity! I bless your life. May you always be in Christ. May you find your most treasured identity and home in Him!

You’re becoming more beautiful by the day because it is coming from the inside. As I see you growing up, 7 going on 17, I see a deep radiance, a caring girl. It is lighting you up from the inside out. And oh, how your Nonna loves you and is blessed by you. I know God is pleased by you, too. I sense His joy in you!


Someday, when you need reminding about what I have always thought of you and maybe you’ll need to know how much God loves you, I hope you’ll remember to come to this blog and read these words again and know that Nonna is shaking heaven’s gates for you, praying for your life, for good things for you. And I am reminding God over and over that I want Him to be with you always and make His face to shine right on you and to surround you with His favor like a shield and to give you grace to be all He created you to be and to do all He calls you to do.

And you what? He has already promised that He will do and be all these things to you in His Word! All the wonderful secrets are there – in your Bible! But I will keep on praying for you and reminding Him for you, anyway. And I will agree with His good plans for your life and shout AMEN! Yes, Lord! Let it be!

Happy Birth~week, my sweet! You are a good girl. And I’m so proud of you!

Love, {Nonna}

GemGem is 7!

Oh, my Gemma-Loo, how I love you!

gemma bday

Her mommy is a fantastic photographer and I fall in love with the photos she gets of my grandbebes (her children and nieces and nephews)  :)

Our lively, darling grandbebe #4, Gemma May just turned 7 a few days back. She is silly and giggly and has this amazing cascade of red hair that just knocks you out. She dances, she acts, she smiles with her eyes, and she wears glasses now.

I can wrap my arms around her two or three times, wisp of a thing she is. But what I love most is the delightful, insightful, thoughtful conversation. The dancing light behind her eyes when we talk, behind those super-cool specs, sets a soft breeze in motion. Gemma May is more sugar than spice, she is sweetness and demure. She’s the girl next door and a little exotic, too.

I love this little girl like there is no tomorrow!

gemma and her cake

This is the cake I did for Gemma. A ballerina. In Gemma’s very proportions, give or take a centimeter!  :)

So, Gemma-Roo/Gemma-Loo, let me just tell YOU:

I bless the day you were born, the beautiful-beautiful May day you came along with that perfect round, soft-as-silk head and the sweetness of that button nose and those little pink lips from which so many laughs have escaped since. I bless the days of your life, all of them, as you grew and downy-soft red hair started curling every which direction and you could barely talk, but you could sing songs from Annie and do the dances with gusto!

I bless the days of pre-school and coloring and cheering every time you did something wonderful, which was every 8.4 seconds and pattering around in your galoshes with an umbrella in the rain and singing, oh-so-much singing.

I bless your life and I bless your heart and I bless your dreams and your wishes and your gifts and talents and I bless your place in this world. You know why? Because I love you and I can. I am your Nonna and I get to speak a blessing over you that they actually hear in the halls of heaven!

So I am agreeing with God’s plan for you, with His total delight in your life – and all the things He planned for you when He created you for us. Everything God wants for you and all the things Jesus is saying about you when He intercedes for you, I am shaking my head YES-yes-yes! And may the angels attend to you, and keep you safe!

And Gemma? Even though I never-ever-ever want your heart to be broken in any way for any reason, I do pray your heart will always be flesh and blood and that you will feel the intensity of living with all the sensitivity you now possess and that in spite of anything life throws at you, you’ll keep feeling and risking love and refuse to have a heart of stone.

For you are beautiful and your thoughts and feelings are precious beyond words. And oh, my sweet, your Nonna loves you. You are, as your name indicates, a jewel, a rare treasure.

And now, here is a promise for you, from the God of good promises:

“On that day the Lord their God will rescue his people,
just as a shepherd rescues his sheep.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.”  Zechariah 9.16 NLT

Of course, the grand-girls are always actually interpreting songs from Frozen these days, but I didn’t leave that music in because YouTube would poo-poo it. Imagine the Frozen soundtrack, though.

I love celebrating you and your birth~day, week, month. Happiness and love, darling Gemma!

She’s like the Wind


A few weeks ago, I followed Averi (the youngest of my grandbebes), around with a camera.  Each time she “stopped,”  I’d try to snap her picture.  But she is faster than the digital can handle.

june-days-009 june-days-011 june-days-012

She’d be looking right at me, center screen, giving me that smile all grandmotherly-photographer types are dying to get.  And then?  Dang it!

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Finally.  The money shot.


The cousins arrive.



Popsicles all around.  Summer is good.


She’s Like the Wind,” from the Patrick-he-used-to-be-so-cute-Swazye

Happy 1st Birthday, Averi Jayden Rhoades!

Today is Averi’s first birthday!


Was it a year ago already that we gathered at the hospital for hours and hours and hours waiting for you to arrive?  And when you waited until just about an hour before your “due date” to make your arrival – we cheered madly in the hallway and  sang praises for God’s gift!? Can it have been 365 days since I first layed eyes on your pretty little face and teared up watching you and your mommy looking at each other with the deepest human love possible?  Yes, it has been a year.  And now, we cannot even remember life before you!

All your cousins and aunts and uncles and Nonna and Poppa call you “Baby Averi,” and still delight to see you come through the door!  What will her hair look like today, we wonder?  Will it be mussy and full or in barrettes?  Will it be in a mature pony and better yet, two little pigtails?  The only thing bigger than your adorable hair are your two gigantic, liquid-blue eyes.  No wait, maybe those puffy, pink, kissable cheeks.  Yes-I think the cheeks first, then the eyes and then the hair.  You are the original love-marshmallow: soft and sweet and delicious and you smell wonderful!


I love to see you eating your veggies, chew, chew chew!  I love your tooth-revealing smile and crinkled nose.  I love singing “Averi-Baby” to you to the tune of “Pretty Baby” because you bounce and dance, loving your song.  I love how you rattle off stories and baby jokes to me and then rear back and push out that long, loud laugh!  You are a comedianne and you look just like your mommy except when you draw those eyebrows together in a scowl – then I see your daddy loud and clear!

Happy Birthday, Averi-Baby!  I love you bunches!…Nonna

NOTE TO SELF:  Watch all buttons on TVs and computers and anything tech because this is Averi’s passion right now!

pictured: Averi, all Averi…click on images for a better look

Happy Birthday, Guinivere Eden~


Guini is three!

Last night we celebrated Guini-poo.   She was in ponytails wearing a Little Mermaid dress with sparkly pink shoes when she graciously opened all her presents, layed the clothes aside without much thought, oohed and aahed over the fun stuff and then got the pink, shimmery bike with the glittery festooning and horn and took off riding, never to be heard from again.

She rode and she rode and she rode.   Perhaps she stopped long enough for the Little Mermaid cake?

Since the day you were born, sweet Guinivere, I have always seen you as my little princess.   So fitting that you love the Disney Princesses so and have landed on my personal favorite, Ariel.   And it is kinda funny because  you  are the only Kelley kid who isn’t a red-head, but  your princess-of-choice is one! (See Guini above as Ariel the Little Mermaid  at the Fall Harvest Fest -sometimes known as Halloween – shhhh…).

To know you is to love you, Guini-muggins.   But to know you takes thought and patience and time.   In the crowd, you are quiet and self-sufficient, but get you alone and the true powerhouse, chatterbox comes out.   At three, you already know your own mind.   You are sweet and sensitive, sassy and silly.   You are smart and singular in purpose.   But my favorite part of you: the singer, as you belt out the song of the Lord.

A few weeks ago, just you and me on a Saturday evening watching the most gorgeous purple and orange sunset of the summer, your little song of the Lord began to rise.    And as we stood, arms raised toward heaven, I know the whole neighborhood heard your unabashed worship, it would have been impossible not to, as you sang from the deep place in your heart with your loudest voice over and over and over:

He loves us, O how He loves us!

He does love us, Guini.   And He loves you and He is going to use your strong passion to declare it!   I am watching, giddy with excitement!  

Happy Birthday, my Guinivere!…Nonna

NOTE TO SELF:   More one on one time with Guini.

pictured: Guini, “Under the sea” and Guini as Ariel; Guini with the Little Mermaid beach towel and the bean bags game, both handcrafted for her with love from Aunt Stormie!

We have a new granddaughter!


Twelve days “late,” she finally arrived in the wee hours this morning: Gemma May.  Steph & Tris are the happy parents; Gavin and Guini, the delighted sibs.  She’s 8 lbs. 6 oz. with down-soft red hair, and truly beautiful!

“Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.  The Lord bless you out of Zion…all the days of your life.  Yes, may you see your children’s children…  Psalm 128.4-6 NKJV

I hope everyone who reads this will have lots of granchildren for they are wondrous….Jeanie

NOTE TO SELF:  Pray for this new new little girl for all the best God has to give!