It was a weekend of memory-making moments.
It started off with a bang, with a Friday evening dinner invitation!
I met Joanne and her family years ago through homeschooling, but we had lost touch. Recently Joanne and I were reconnected through mutual friends, Facebook, and blogging, although I can hardly remember which came first. We have found that we have lots in common--a love for the Lord, grandchildren, coffee, and October, to name a few. We also share a loathe of heat-and-humidity. With that in mind, Joanne had planned a wonderful inside picnic...a yummy barbecue feast, complete with "ants" and the cutest table decorations and red gingham and scrumptious s'mores cupcakes in a jar! Can anyone say blow torch? Fun!
(These pictures were taken with Kati's cell phone, because Bad Blogger forgot to bring her camera. They certainly don't do justice to the charming theme, but you get a glimpse.)
When I wrote my 31-day series on hospitality, I talked about how exciting it is to receive an invitation. Thank you, Joanne and Stewart (and Amelia and Brandtly too!) for rolling out the red carpet (and the red gingham) and blessing our family with a delightful evening of fellowship!
On Saturday morning, five special guests arrived for a summer sleepover.
Bekah had gone to Kristin's for a sleepover in June, and now it was time for the grands to have their summer sleepover at our house. This year, all five came. I wonder who had the most fun...me or the kids?!
It is such fun being a Gran! I love watching the children grow and learn and change. I love eavesdropping on their conversations and play. I love seeing their personalities revealed, and watching their creativity blossom. They are each so different.
At lunch, Alaine (almost 3) wanted to tell me a joke.
Alaine: Knock, knock.
Me: Who's there?
Alaine (grinning): Toilet.
Me: Yeah, you live with brothers. :)
Inspired by the summer television series American Baking Competition, the children brought a mound of homemade glitter play dough to recreate the show with their own creations. We had a ball! I say "we" because Kati and I joined in their play too. The enthusiastic play dough bakers each chose one of the TV bakers to imitate. Owen was "Brian" and did a great job of imitiating his confident attitude. Maddie was sweet "Effie". Bekah was "Darlene", wearing the signature red lipstick and leggings. I was "Francine" and made bacon a featured ingredient in all of my bakes. Kati was asked to be "Kolette", complete with hairstyle and emotional breakdowns. We took turns being the judge(s). Our version of American Baking Competition continued over the course of two days!
Gavin's creations were more of the building, rather than baking, variety.
I was thrilled to have three of the kids join me in the kitchen, doing real baking. They took turns helping me make pizza crust and putting "decorations" (cheese) on the pizza.
And is there anything sweeter than being awakened by a smiling toddler? Papa had sent her upstairs to wake me, but she just stood by the bed smiling and not saying a word. It was enough to start my day off oh-so-right!
Then there was the breakfast request from Ben (4).
Gran, can I have chocolate chip pancakes and orange juice? And can I have a banana as a side dish?
And when one of Ben's older brothers corrected his pronunciation of "three" (he had said "free"), he said indignantly, "For Heaven's sake, I'm only four years old!"
It was definitely a weekend full of smiles!
On Sunday, we had an indoor beach day.
It was not as convincing as Joanne's inside picnic, but we did our best.
We had originally planned a trip to the ocean for Sunday, but the weather prognosticators had told us all week long that it was going to rain. It seemed so sure, that we made the call to change our plans, thinking that it is better to be disappointed a few days in advance and make some new plans, than to be disappointed at the last minute.
As it turned out, there was not a cloud in the sky yesterday. We kept hoping for the dark clouds to roll in and validate our decision, but it didn't happen. (I hear there were thunderstorms on the coast. I'll believe that.) But we kept our beach menu of subs, chips, and watermelon...and had a non-beachy treat of root beer floats.
At the end of the day, there was no sand in the van and no sticky sunscreened bodies, so I suppose it wasn't all bad.