Monday, August 30, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation: Cape Cod!

Poppy and I took a little trip of our own to visit Dad and Dana.
We did it last summer, too, and we have so much fun there.
We eat our favorite food. For me, that means seafood! For Poppy, it means ice cream. Dana took us to Four Seas, where we enjoyed ice cream cones and chose several pints to take home and restock the freezer. (I have dreams about the fresh peach ice cream, and I was not disappointed! Lemon Chip! Penuche! Peppermint Chip! Frozen Pudding! Pistachio!) Ice cream was eaten every day.
We swim twice a day, every day. Beach in the morning, lunch, pool in the afternoon, or the other way around. 

Dad and Dana are great sports about coming to the beach with us, and sitting on the sand, watching and admiring Poppy's growing confidence in the water. Actually, I love seeing all the friends who greet them on the beach, and are so happy to see them there. And I love watching my dad boast about his great-granddaughter visiting! You see, with Dana's help, my dad is fighting cancer, and through it, he is cheerful, and positive, and personable, and it's really a joy to be with them.

I love swimming in the Atlantic! The water is warm, the waves are gentle. Poppy and I played a game for about 45 minutes where she would jump off my bent knee and swim back to me, with her life vest giving her lots of confidence. We went to the sand for a while to rest and eat a snack, then Poppy jumped up and ran back to the water, and we resumed our game. She jumped and swam for another half hour or more before she realized she didn't have her life vest on! Her face looked like Wile E. Coyote when he realizes he's run off a cliff and is about to fall, "Gramma! I'm gonna drown!" 
We also went on a couple outings. Have you ever taken the Duckmobile tour? The open-air tour bus is an amphibious vehicle, so after you drive through the streets quacking at people on the sidewalks, you motor into the water to see the sights in the harbor! 

Poppy got a little scared when the bus went into the water, and she asked Dana to sit  on the outside of the seats.
Here's a sweet picture of Grampa Win and Poppy in front of the Zooquarium.

We had a wonderful visit. Thank you, Dad and Dana!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation: Pittsburgh!

Here's the reunion when Max picked us up in Pittsburgh. That's some sweetness!
As soon as we got home, my job was clear: "Gramma, you have to PLAY with me!" Clear instructions from Poppy on how I was to "talk" the designated toy characters, and what they were supposed to do. My imaginative play brain cells really got a workout! 

Watching Poppy and her blonde, curly-haired friend Hannah play dress-ups, I was reminded of Bethany and her best friend, Joy.
And sometimes Poppy's mannerisms are a lot like Bethany's!
Poppy, age 4

Bethany, age 4

Sometimes I called on Bethany's and Max's friends to take us on outings. Bethany would have left the car for me, but driving in Pittsburgh is tricky! Streets are never straight, there's always a bridge or a tunnel involved, and lots of hills. Besides, outings are much more fun with friends, and these friends quickly have become my friends, too. 
Science Center

Children's Museum
Idlewild Amusement Park

Bethany and Max are part of a community service group called Pretty Up Beechview. On Thursday afternoons PUB Jr. enjoys activities at the library and the park. Here's Poppy showing off the candle she made. (In the background, Hi, Ely!)

More in another post to come....

Friday, August 20, 2010

What I did on my summer vacation: Arizona!

The last week of June was a propitious time for me and all four of my sisters and our families to enjoy reunion and Grace's birthday celebration in Northern Arizona. Bethany and Poppy joined Ralph, John, and me, and we had lots of adventures!
First of all, many thanks to Drs. J and B for letting us stay in their cabin in Oak Creek Canyon, and at their home in Flagstaff. The cabin is right on the creek, and we loved the noises of hummingbirds and water and breezes in the trees... and nothing else. Dark, dark at night, filtered sunlight in the day, and room to spread out. What a treat! Here's a photo of Poppy exploring a "fairy trail" (a trail that leads nowhere) near the cabin; the rest of the time we were too focused on fun and family to take pictures!

You'll have to ask John or Bethany about the Hopi Red Hawk Katsina dance they were privileged to attend; their stories are amazing! Ralph and I took Mom and Jack and Poppy to Mormon Lake, where Poppy rode a horse and we ate lunch at the lodge. It's so beautiful driving out there through the woods! The pony ride went too quickly, and Poppy was a little scared up there on that big horse! She relaxed a little as she went on, but did not want to go for another ride!

As my sisters arrived in Flagstaff, there were more adventures to be shared. We hiked Red Mountain, a beautifully eroded cinder cone. Lots of wildflowers, and a snake!

When Aunt Pamela told the kids the snake was harmless, they were ready to cozy right up to it, and to make it a pet. Wildlife, folks! 

No photos of Slide Rock or West Fork in Oak Creek Canyon, but lots of fun was had there!
Walnut Canyon is ruins of Indian dwellings built into the canyon walls, and a great family hike!

After a picnic lunch at the top of the canyon, we drove past Sunset Crater and amazing lava flows, enjoyed a vista of the Painted Desert, and walked to Wupatki, an Indian ruins made of red rocks.

Of course, there were domestic pleasures, as well.
The pool at the hotel, for instance. There were also a couple of great barbecue dinners around the pool, thanks to Alex and Chris!

Meeting and making new friends; Hi Hornbecks!

The obligatory stop at Baskin-Robbins for ice cream. All five of us sisters have fond memories of working at B-R while we were in high school.

Must. Eat. Mexican food.

Here is Grace during her birthday dinner, appreciating our mom. Love. Love. Love.

I loved being with my family, and in my home town.
Next on the tour, Pittsburgh, PA!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hello again!

I'm back from my 6 week summer adventure, and I'm just going to jump into today's boring content, and hopefully catch you up on the summer a little at a time.
Tomorrow I go back to work, and will start by testing kids. I'll enjoy seeing all the kids briefly, and it's intense but easy work, so it's an okay way to start. Next week I'll start working Kindergarten intervention, and I've yet to here specifics about what's expected. Even where I'll be working; workroom? extra classroom? Getting a space ready is going to be a lot of work, and planning and equipping my lesson times will be a lot of work! Working with the kids will be fun, I think.
(I really ought to be putting stuff away from my trip. I've gotten everything from my bedroom, but the kitchen table is still covered with travel detritus. iPod, receipts, umbrella, itineraries, lists...)

Sunday night we had dinner at the Hitching Post with John and Joseph and Evelyn to celebrate John's and Joseph's birthdays. They are such loving sons, and we really enjoyed being with them. Evelyn is a doll, and fun to hang out with! I hardly see them now, maybe when they move to San Diego we'll visit more intentionally and I'll see more of them!

She's All That

Here are some photos of the quilt I made for Grace's birthday. Every whirligig square is a different fabric. Most are from my stash, so it includes fabrics that are in Ellie's and Bethany's and Laura's and Mom's and Win's quilts. I also asked my sisters to contribute, so there are fabrics they chose and sent to be included. Cherry blossoms and birthday cupcakes and ice cream sundaes (and others!) from Amy, designer pink and green from Pamela, fireflies and Christmas pine cones (and more!) from Laura. Mom sent a favorite dress that I cut off to make into a shirt, and I made a quilt block and saved the rest for future projects.

That light blue whirligig is the one I made from Mom's dress.

I get a kick out of this green fabric printed with Girl Scout badges.