Cleaning and scrubbing will wait ’till tomorrow, but children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs! Dust go to sleep! I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep. – Ruth Hamilton

Thursday, January 29, 2015

His Way

I've taken a while to write this post and now I finally figured out how I feel. My last living grandparent passed away. My grandpa Ralph. My kids Papa 2. My mom's dad. As I drove home tonight after an emotional few days, I finally let myself feel sad and tears were finally really ready to flow. He's all I've ever known as a grandparent and he may have not always been the most involved grandpa, he had to do it alone. My grandma passed away very early-she was only 55! Grandpa was left alone to be the grandparent for 12 grand children! That's a huge responsibility!
He did his best and was present when it mattered! Sure he forgot to send birthday cards, but he was there the day I got married and gave the prayer before dinner. My memories are full and that's what matters. He got to see and hold 19 great grandchildren! My other grandparents didn't get that!
He flew his plan almost to the end.
He loved people and was always happy to talk...always told stories!
The above picture was from a trip to California. Abra and I were obsessed with Rodeo Dr.  and grandpa couldn't understand this! There was too much in the world to see!
The past two days were spent sharing stories, looking at pictures, and watching the video below:

As my kids waved goodbye to Papa 2 and asked a lot of questions, my sadness grew. I just assumed grandpa would be with us. He was for 33 years! I'm going to miss seeing him. I get to share his remarkable life with my kids and hopefully they will pass them down. He had the coolest stories about WWII, stories I wished I'd captured. Remember to take those pictures and listen to those stories because life has to end. It might be the right time and it might be sudden. It was his time and he did it his way!

Grandpa, I hope you found grandma, your sister and your parents! Rest in peace!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our Own Time and Watson Time

I titled this post "Our Own Time", but then I realized I had one picture on my camera haha!  Which only means I was in the moment!  As soon as we got home the kids ran in to find their stockings full and Santa had left a little at our house too.  It was fun to give them our own gifts together just the five of us.  It also gave Mark and I time to exchange gifts.  Traveling is so much work, but its worth it at this time in our lives!  

We cleaned them up and headed over to the Watson family Christmas.  Nanny had the house ready filled with delicious food and cookies the kids can't resist!  The kids know on Christmas most rules are out the door!

When the sheet was lifted... 
The kids were excited to find bags filled with presents! 

Then everyone exchanged gifts.  This year it seemed much calmer and everyone was taking turns so we could all see what they got.

a tradition is to pop open our poppers.  Inside we all found silly hats, a joke and usually a game.

Every year it gets easier to get a picture of them all... until we add to this crew someday.

Merry Christmas everyone and we hope your new year is off to a wonderful start!  We are ready for warmer weather and it's only the 9th of January!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Eve into Christmas Morning

I found these cute pictures that I had to add.  Before we left town the kids had a little gift exchange with Meme.  We are so very lucky to have her in our lives!  The kids have missed her like crazy during this break.

Christmas Eve

It was our year to be in St. Louis for Christmas Eve.  We spent the days enjoying our time doing new things, so when the Eve of Christmas came, it was time to calm down and relax to relish in the evening and remember the true meaning of Christmas.  Our first stop was church.  We have been non-existent in a church in a very LONG time.  We joined my family at their new church-it was small and friendly and made me wish we had something like that.  My kids need to know more about our faith and develop a family within the church.  At that moment, I knew my new years resolution, to attend church and get the kids involved!  After the Christmas Eve service everyone ventured back to my parents house for our tradition of a sea food feast! 
Mum and Avery baked everyone's favorite cookies in the shape of candy canes! 
The kids waited patiently to open presents!  They exchanged gifts from each other first. 

Avery received a neat kit to make her own button hair ties!  Luckily Aunt Sarah taught her how to do it. 

We were able to keep them in their clothes to capture a few pictures:) 

We got a few of the cousins. 
And then the door bell rang... 
Santa came by to give the kids a train set-this kept them entertained while dinner was being made. 

Uncle Matt gave the boys these huge trucks.  Lincoln and Mack are used to sharing toys and Mack usually dominates them.  Lincoln was excited when he saw the truck, but nothing made me smile more than his reaction when he saw a second truck waiting for him!  It was pure joy! 
Since we leave on Christmas day and my brother's family likes to have their own Christmas morning, we open all our presents on Christmas Eve. 

After finally falling asleep around 11:30 (only because we were tracking Santa and he was almost at our house) he arrived.  They all woke up around 8:00 the next morning to more gifts from Santa.  This year they were so excited to see he had come! 

They can each find their pile by the first letter in their name. 

My kids are beyond blessed.  At times I feel guilty by the amount they receive for holidays and my hope is they appreciate it all and can be thankful.  Our new years resolution is off to a great start!  We have found a new church were the kids can jump right in.  It feels nice to know we have found a place where everyone seems happy.  Through this experience, I hope we as a family, can work to live a life that has meaning and teach our kids to always be grateful for all they have.  As a family we couldn't have had a better time in St. Louis!  Thank you Mum and Papa for a wonderful night filled with pure joy!  

After a big breakfast, it was off to celebrate with more family!