Summer Fun: July Edition

A little over a week ago our second week of having the grandkids at our house began.  We met our daughter-in-law and grand kids in Springfield which is about the halfway point between our two homes.  We arrived home after eating supper “on the road” and got the kids settled in their rooms.  We went to church Sunday morning and out to eat lunch at Tios, a local Mexican restaurant, with our good friends Pam and Perry.  Then we headed home to — swim, of course!

Monday was my husband’s birthday.  As soon as he left for work that morning, we got busy making him some birthday cupcakes.  They were to be “Minion” cupcakes.  The grand kids and I had lot of fun decorating them.

Icing the cupcakes.

Icing the cupcakes.

Putting on the Twinkies to make the Minion.

Putting on the Twinkies to make the Minion.

Next we used icing to put on the eyes.

Next we used icing to put on the eyes.

Working on the details.

Working on the details.

Now the brown candy sprinkles for the hair.

Now the brown candy sprinkles for the hair.

Minion cupcakes!  I had to help with the black eyes, goggles, and mouth.

Minion cupcakes! I had to help with the black eyes, goggles, and mouth, however, they told me EXACTLY how to decorate them!

Originality abounded when decorating the faces.

Originality abounded when decorating the faces.

Each Minion had it's own individual character!

Each Minion had it’s own individual character!

Their Minion cupcakes turned out pretty cute.

Their Minion cupcakes turned out pretty cute.  Ooops!  Open your eyes, Jackson!  🙂

After we finished making the cupcakes, we had to hurry and change into our swim suits.  I had scheduled a former student of mine (Brooks), who is now a Junior in high school and a life guard and swim instructor, to come over and give a private swimming lesson to the two little ones.  They “swim,” so to speak, and do quite well in the pool, however, they have gotten to the point where they think they know how to swim and won’t listen to our instructions when we’re trying to help them improve their strokes.  I thought a young man like Brooks might be able to get them to listen and work on their strokes a little better than we could.  I was right.  He worked with each grandchild individually for 30 minutes while Jade, the oldest (who is a great swimmer!) and the other younger one and I swam on the other side of the pool.  He said the kids did great and I could tell an improvement.  It was well worth the money.  Now we had to hurry to get ready for our birthday lunch surprise because their Papa Jack would be home for lunch very soon.

My husband finally came home for lunch – LATE – and I was sure glad for once that he was late!  After we all ate, we brought in the Minions and had the celebration.  We sang “Happy Birthday” and ate our Minion cupcakes.  Then we gave Papa our birthday gifts.

"Happy Birthday to you!"

“Happy Birthday to you!”

I new Keurig coffee maker.

I gave him a  new Keurig coffee maker.

The GIANT birthday card from the grandkids.

The GIANT birthday card from the grandkids.

The grandkids got all the coffee accessories.

The grandkids got Papa all the coffee accessories.

After a stormy Monday night, we awoke to a very stormy Tuesday.  Without the option of swimming, I had to resort to The Nana Files (aka:  Pinterest!) for ideas of things to do to keep the grandkids busy.  Look for The Nana Files coming soon!

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Retirement CHOICES

I didn’t just start thinking about my choices of what to do after I retired when I retired last May.  I have been thinking about various choices I might make for over a year now.  When I submitted my resignation and intent to retire last November, my quest began with an urgency only gained from the knowledge that it was now a REALITY!

Coming up with ideas wasn’t as easy as you might think partly because I live in a small town in a rural area.  What was easy was coming up with a list of things I do NOT want to do!  The list of things I didn’t want to do began growing by leaps and bounds.  However, I slowly began to come up with some realistic ideas:  have more time and freedom to visit family, work a parttime job in town (with flexible hours, of course!), do some substitute teaching (just some, not a lot), volunteer more at church, participate in a Mother to Mother Mentoring program, and employment as an online editor are just a few of the choices I am considering.  As of this date, I have not “officially” made any decisions but some possibilities are beginning to take form and might just become a reality!

I have taken action on one of the items on that list — visit family more!  Seven years ago on August 18, a granddaughter was born!  One of our sons, his wife, and three children live a good distance away from us (it’s an 8 hour drive to get there).  Because our granddaughter’s birthday was always on or right around the first day or two of school, we have never been able to go and help her celebrate on the actual day.  This year was different because I am retired!  We were able to go and be there on the actual day.  In fact, her parents helped us surprise her  — and WHAT a surprise it was when we met up with them at the restaurant she chose for her birthday dinner!  We also surprised her with a new bicycle.  I’ll only share a few photos with you today, so I don’t bore you to death!

Granddaughter, Kylee, gets a piano keyboard from her parents.

Surprise!  A new bicycle!

Finally, the birthday party with friends complete with activities such as painting pictures on canvases, making bead bracelets, and decorating their own cupcakes (my DIL comes up with great party activities!). I think decorating their own cupcakes was the big hit of the day!

Well, that’s enough of the birthday pictures.  Needless to say, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed participating in our granddaughter’s birthday celebration.  We look forward to being able to enjoy many more family celebrations such as this…thanks to my being RETIRED!!

Hey!  I think this RETIREMENT thing is truly going to be a new road in my life that I will enjoy immensely!

I hope you will join me as I go down this road, not because I have an interesting life or I’m an eloquent writer.  I am just an ordinary person living an ordinary life.  I won’t guarantee my posts will always be interesting, funny, or entertaining (although I will try to make them so).  I will guarantee that my posts will be varied:  my retirement decisions, trips to visit family and friends as well as vacation trips, and everyday things such as old favorites and new recipes, crafts I might try, and other projects I might tackle.

I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what my next post will be about (just like I had NO idea what this post would be about until a few hours ago)!  I’ll be just as surprised as you!  So, until then……God Bless!

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