Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas with my Grandkids


This is the first Christmas in many years that we have been with our son, daughter in law, and oldest grandkids for Christmas Morning. They arrived at our abode on Sanibel at noon on Christmas Day having spent Christmas Eve in Alabama with their maternal grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Sam and Erin decided that they wanted a REAL Christmas morning so they held off opening presents until the morning of the 26th. That is quite an undertaking for a 14 year old and a 10 year old.

Can you believe that the grandparents were the ones to wake everyone up Faux Christmas Morning?? And we had our traditional Cinnamon Buns for breakfast. Yum.

Anyway, following is a photo display of Sam and Erin's Christmas Morning. A good time was had by all!! Please forgive some blurry pictures but they were too good not to post.

Erin getting a copy of Scrubs.


Sam In a Pickle


Erin really happy over something.


You'd better watch out young man, I've got my eye on you!


Sam and Erin opening more presents.


Erin with Gloria Gorilla and Runta Red Eye.


The following is a series of pictures of Sam and Dave getting their new XBox 360. Dave knew that they were getting it but Sam had no clue in the world.






Then Sam was presented with a copy of Halo 3.






Ok, here are the blurry pictures but they were too good to pass up. Erin was presented with her own cellphone!! Not too shabby for a 10 year old.




Yeah, the adults got presents too but, hey, Christmas is all about kids, right? Anyway, it was so much fun being able to watch Sam and Erin open their goodies.

OK, Karen, where are the pictures of the rest of my grandkids and their Christmas Morning??? :-)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wordless Wednesday--Christmas Past



This was taken several years ago. Our cat, Shilo, loved to get in the Christmas spirit.

See more Wordless Wednesday here and here

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Sanibel Star For Your Tree



Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Good Health, Joy and Peace to All

Friday, December 21, 2007

Obsessed!!!


Ok, I will be the first one to admit that I am obsessed with shell picking. I can’t go to the beach without my eyes constantly searching for the “Shell of the Day” or that perfect shell. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be perfect. I may even be what is termed a “Militant Sheller”. I want the beach all to myself and the shells all to myself. That isn’t always possible especially on this island which is a Vacationer’s Paradise. And from Christmas to Easter, there are tons and tons of people walking the beach looking for MY shells!

But, I do live on the best place in the USA and the third best place in the world to hunt for shells. Sanibel is positioned rather strangely. It is kind of shaped like a kidney bean which means part of the island faces north and south rather that the usual east and west. In fact when I am at my home and face the beach—I am facing south. Weird! Because of the way we are positioned, the island tends to suck in the shells and deposits them nicely on our sandy beaches. And then I—and thousands and thousands of other people race to the beach in hopes of finding the illusive Junonia or Lion’s Paw. I did find the illusive Junonia years ago but have never, ever found more than a tiny piece of a Lion’s Paw.
We dedicated shellers live for storms because these bring the shells piling up on our beaches. This week, the remnants of Tropical Storm Olga met up with a cold front and produced high surf out there in the Gulf. And YES, it piled those shells up big time. I have a secret place I go to shell. Well, it’s not really so secret but only residents are allowed to park in the parking areas on West Gulf Drive so there are never throngs of people on the beaches there. What with remodeling and other stuff, I haven’t been able to do a lot of shelling this fall. So, after Olga and said Cold Front deposited their bounty on our shores, I hit the beach on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. OMG, it was like an early Christmas for an obsessed shell picker like me. There were piles and piles of shells full of such lovelies as Shark’s Eyes, Apple Murexes, Whelks, Olives, Alphabet Cones, Florida Fighting Conchs, Scallops,my favorite Horse Conch etc etc etc. I forced myself to leave the beach when my bag was so full I couldn’t cram another shell in it and it was getting really, really heavy. Still, I knew that there was just one more shell out there with my name on it.
Mr. Snowbird asks what the heck I am going to do with all these shells. Well, I pick out the very best of the litter and keep them on display. Then I bag up the rest and haul them north every spring. There are probably more Sanibel shells in Ohio right now than there are in Florida. Funny though, I don't think I am alone here. It seems that people actually fly down with empty suitcases so that they can drag their shells back home with them.

So, now you know that I am obsessed. And I'm not apologizing at all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Twins Turn Two Today



Where does time go for crying out loud? Wasn't it just yesterday that those tiny little guys were born 6 weeks early? Now they are all grown up--well, as grown up as 2 year olds can get. Ethan, my blondie and the first born, has always been the bigger of the two. He weighs several pounds more than Luka. Luka, our wild child, looks like his mommy did. He is the wirey one and afraid of nothing! He is into and up on everything. He walks off of couches, climbs on tables, swings from chandeliers (I'm not kidding). He is going to be our gymnast and yes he has the scars to prove it. Ethan, on the other hand, is more in to having Mommy write letters and numbers and he identifies them. He actually did this for me on the phone a couple of times. I loved it. His mommy and daddy joke that he says more numbers and letters than he does words. Luka isn't so into talking yet. He would rather use those very active hands and sign his words. Nope, he's not hearing impaired--he just prefers signing and is so pleased with himself when someone understands what he is signing. I miss seeing them grow up but we will be seeing them in a few weeks and I can hardly wait to hug them both, write letters and numbers for Ethan and use my rusty signing skills to talk with Luka.

Happy Birthday guys. Beyuh loves you and misses you.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DONE!!!


Bob the Blind Guy came today and installed the mini blinds on the front windows in the Florida Room and on the doors. Then in the mail today, we received a gorgeous black with white dots Futon cover from a very nice friend (Thanks Linda). So that means—except for probably painting the two little bookcases and the entertainment center white---we are DONE!!!!! Well, actually we are waiting for the guy who put in the windows to come back and fix them so they can be removed to be cleaned. And I guess actually we need a futon cover for the other futon. But hey, we are done with Home Depot. Well, actually we’re not. They are coming Friday to install the new carpet in the Living Room and of course Bob the Blind Guy measured for new blinds in the Living Room today so those have to be ordered, waited for, and waited for, and waited for, and installed. Then we will be DONE!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-Santa Sam



Time to embarrass my oldest grandson, Sam. This was his very first Christmas 14 years ago.


See more Wordless Wednesday participants here and here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cousins

Over the years we (mostly my daughter) have taken some really neat pictures of my ONLY granddaughter, Erin, and my ONLY dark haired, dark eyed grandson, Noah. I was going though all of my pictures the other day and was amazed at how they have grown over the years but yet have remained "best buds". I thought I would share them.



Erin and Noah in early 2003




Erin and Noah again in August 2003




Erin and Noah in 2004




Erin and Noah in 2005




Noah and Erin in 2006




Noah and Erin in 2007



And then there are times when faces change!!







And yes, Erin loves her other cousins Ethan and Luka too.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grandma’s Brag Book-part 5B


Luka is the last of my grandchildren by an hour and 20 minutes. This little guy who reminds me a lot of his mommy when she was little tends to have a mind of his own—and has since before he was born. When his twin brother, Ethan was born, Luka must have decided that he liked all that room in there and just laid back and relaxed for an hour and 20 minutes while the rest of us stood around waiting and waiting.

When the twins were born, we all thought that they might be identical but as the days and weeks went on, we soon realized that they weren’t. Luka was quite a bit smaller than Ethan but became the first to do most physical activities. First to crawl, first to stand, etc. And as time went on, he became fearless. He has given his mommy and daddy more than their share of frightening moments—such as walking off the couch with no fear of where he lands, cracking his head on the corner of the brick hearth, falling down a flight of stairs, climbing up on the table and swinging from the chandelier- - you get the idea. Oh and did I mention the minute he goes outside he heads for the closest dirty rock and puts it in his mouth. Yum!

He didn’t particularily enjoy his first birthday party and voiced his opinion by screaming his head off through much of the celebration. Maybe it was the crazy hat we tried to make him wear or maybe he just didn't like chocolate cake. I can’t believe that their second birthday will be next week. Time goes way to fast. I’m wonder if his mommy and daddy think that way??

As is usual, being premature twins, both guys are a bit slow to achieve some things. Ethan is just now developing verbal language whereas Luka prefers to sign. He watches signing videos and is picking up lots of new signs and is quite proud of himself when he shows off a new one. Mommy and Daddy are having some trouble keeping up with his new language. Of course some of his executions of the signs are his own so it takes them awhile to interpret what he is telling them. Since Beyuh taught Hearing Impaired for many years and did use some sign, she is anxious to get out to San Diego in January to carry on a “conversation” with Luka.

And you know what mommy? I don't care if his hair does make him look like a girl. I like it long!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday-Tired Daddy



Ethan and Luka having a nice nap along with Daddy.

See more Wordless Wednesday participants here and here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

And the saga continues.....



Well, we got two calls yesterday--one from the installer and one from the measurer. Both would be here sometime today between 8:00 and 11:00. We even got an email today from the installation company giving us the installer’s name and badge number and picture!! Wow, that’s service. Then we get another call this AM saying he will be here between 9 and 10. And sure enough Dennis the Installer showed up between 9 and 10. He walks in the house and says, “This is supposed to be an empty room. They only send me on calls that have empty rooms. They send a team of younger guys when furniture has to be moved. ” I about freaked for the umpteenth time. We had paid an extra $50 to have the furniture moved. So he calls the store and I’m not sure what was resolved. He said that we could delay installation until another day and I said, NOOOO!! We will help move the furniture.” Which we did. He made some noises about not knowing where he was going to lay the carpet out to cut it.

About that time, Gary the Measurer shows up. So we have Dennis the Installer in the bathroom changing clothes (not sure why) and Gary the Measurer measuring the living room and hallway and bathroom (after Dennis the Installer gets out of there) for new carpet. Then Dennis the Installer without saying a word jumps in his truck and takes off! Gary the Installer, Mr. Snowbird and I just stood there wondering what the heck was going on. Apparently Gary the Measurer used to be Gary the Installer and he said there was no reason he couldn’t cut the carpet in the room. Anyway, after Gary the Measurer left, Mr. Snowbird went in search of Dennis the Installer. He found him down near the office with our carpet spread out on the lawn cutting it. Now my pessimism goes into overdrive and my thought is, “What if he cuts it the wrong size and we have to re-order this whole thing again??” So back comes Dennis the Installer in his super loud truck which you can hear a block away.

Ok, so he brings it in and I LIKE it. Then Mr. Snowbird questions whether it is actually the pattern we picked out. I’m not sure but I’m NOT sending it back!!! You would have to drag it out with me attached to it kicking and screaming. So he lays half the room then we three senior citizens move the two futons to the other end of the room so he can do the other half. Hey, it’s beginning to look pretty cool out there. Of course my back is beginning to yell at me a bit! And he and Mr. Snowbird are very chatty so work is slow to get done. Come on already, I want to see what it looks like. After all, I’ve waited for this for exactly 1 month 2 weeks—or 46 days. I’m too lazy to figure it out in hours.

Well, Dennis the Installer finishes the job and takes his leave. And now I look at my new carpet, blinds, paint etc and then I look at the tacky entertainment center and bookshelves and futon covers and I think hmmmmm, I think we need some new furniture. Even Mr. Snowbird agrees. So, now I guess it’s off to Sauders or some other such place to look for new furniture. Don't think we will do Home Depot! Will it never end?

But at least everything is installed. Ooooh that’s right, we still have the front blinds to install yet. Of course they haven’t arrived yet. Hmmmm, wonder if they got ordered? I’ll keep you posted.