Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas! We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas! We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas and a Happy New Year!

We are leaving for 'that other state that my daughter and family live in' on Friday to play in the snow and spoil our grandson! We will blog when we get back.

Remember to keep Christ in Christmas as you enjoy your families and gift giving!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

They say that the best gifts come in the smallest packages. While, I don't believe that to always be true, I do know that on December 24, 1983 my hubby and I received one of those special 'small' gifts. After a difficult pregnancy, 7 weeks of bed rest, and still 9 weeks premature, we welcomed Jon Robert Pumpernickel into this world. He weighed in at 4 lb. 2 oz. and measured 17 inches long. Huge by gestational standards, but not without the problems that come with tiny babies.

The first time we held him, he was 4 days old and so incredibly tiny.

He was our second child. We had all the same hopes and dreams for him that we had for his sister. We wanted him to be happy, healthy and successful. We wanted him to grow up knowing he was loved and that he was special. Most of all we wanted to raise him to know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

He was the sweetest baby. Quiet, laid back, content to happily watch his sister play. He demanded little and he had big blue eyes that melted my heart every time I looked into them. By his first birthday he was nearly caught up to other babies his age. He loved food and dove into his birthday cake with gusto:

By the time he was 5 he was a soft spoken, well behaved little boy. His preschool and kindergarten teachers loved him. They would often tell me that he was just so quiet that they didn't even know he was in the classroom. He loved to play with G.I. Joe's and Ninja Turtles. He liked to swim and play in the dirt with his best friend D.

At 10 he was all about sports. He loved basketball, especially Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He was a Chargers Fan. We often teased that his blood was really blue and gold.

He knew Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. He attended AWANA and was memorizing books of scripture. He earned the God and Me badge through Boy Scouts. He had a tender heart. By this age he had several younger cousins. At family events we laughed because everywhere Jon went he was followed by a line of little cousins. It looked like a daddy duck with ducklings.

(Yes, Jon, I know your glasses are huge. But, all little boys glasses were huge back then. I promise you that I never shopped at Nerds R Us.)

By the age of 15 he was a very typical teenager. He was embarrassed if we took a breath in the same zip code as he did. He was having trouble distinguishing colors. Things that we clearly saw as white were the darkest black to him. He was seeking his independence in the most normal of ways, but we didn't have to like it. Besides that, I wasn't ready to let go. It is just this desire to be independent that makes him the amazing man he is today. Through high school he played 2 or 3 sports. Most of my memories of this period of his life looked something like this:

By the time he was 20 there was no denying (try though I did) that he had become a man. He was handsome, strong, confident, funny and suddenly so grown up. He had become the man we always prayed he would be. Attending UCSD he was working towards his own dreams and goals:

This year, as he turns 25, I suddenly feel very old. He just completed two Master's Degrees. One in Counseling Psychology and the other in Religious Studies. He is engaged to a wonderful girl. He is not my baby anymore, but then I guess he hasn't been for a very long time. When I look back at pictures of him when he was little, it seems like a lifetime ago. My son has become an amazing man. Ready to take on the world and his new life as a husband, a provider and both the physical as well as spiritual heads of his own household. He walks firmly with the Lord. Seeking Him for guidance along his path. I am proud to call him my son and I love him with all of my heart. Happy 25th Birthday Jon!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yosemite 1997

There are places that you visit where you just feel the presence of God in everything around you. Yosemite is one of those places. We have been lucky enough to visit some truly beautiful places, many of them National Parks. Yosemite is one of the places that makes me feel like God is giving me a sneak peak of what heaven must be like. If heaven is more beautiful than Yosemite then I really can't even begin to wrap my brain around what experiencing heaven will be like.

The Yosemite valley is simply breathtaking:

We spent a week camped by the river, hiking, swimming and sightseeing. Hubby and my son hiked up Half Dome. I think it was close to 13 miles round trip.

We rented innertubes and floated on the river. Before anyone says were required to wear a lifejacket. My son wasn't afraid of the water. Just wanted to clear that up.

We hiked to some seclude mountain lakes. Someone forgot to tell my daughter that mermaids don't typically hang out in fresh water:

One week in the Yosemite Valley.....$418.00. Next year, back to Tahoe. It's the year that my daughter and her friend actually embarrassed Hubby beyond belief.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vacation Series Continues

June of 1996 finds us back at Lake Tahoe. This year we told the kids they could each bring a friend. They had picked out their friends months in advance. Our son took his best friend, who lived next door to us. They did everything together and he was like part of the family. It was the logical choice. Our daughter had asked her best friend, and then her second best friend, but both of their families were already going to be gone. She asked a close friend from swim team and she said yes. One week before we were to leave, this girl got into trouble and her parents pulled the trip from her. My daughter was devastated. I was furious. The prospect of having to spend the week outnumbered by boys was not appealing to her nor to me. I learned something in the parenting department that day. First of all, I respected their decision to make choices for their daughter and do what they thought they needed to do, but it didn't just hurt their child. Surely, something else could have been done? Finding someone to go at the last minute didn't seem like it was going to work out.

Now it is time for a side note. At this time, my daughter had a boyfriend. I use boyfriend in the very liberal sense. She was 14 and he was 15. We went to the same church and they only did things together in groups and with Youth group. Neither could drive and traditional dating was out of the question. To make a long story short, he expressed a desire to go on vacation with us. I did not even entertain the idea until he had said it a couple of times. Hubby and I talked about it. We called his parents. They talked about it. He came on vacation with us. It turned out to be a great decision.

The weather wasn't real warm in June. We had rain and it even snowed.We did all of the usual things and a couple of new things. We rode the cable car up to the top of Squaw Valley and went ice skating. Our daughter's boyfriend brought his guitar and we would sing songs around the fireplace in the evening. I think it is safe to say a fun week was had by all.

Four butts on Fannie Bridge:

I think they think they look cool:

Not too old to visit Tahoe Tessie:

One week with four great kids......$562.00

Next year....Yosemite.

Monday, December 15, 2008

He SCORES!!!!!!

This weekend was my birthday! My hubby SCORED big time points! Friday morning he went to get a haircut and upon his return casually says the following:

Him: Why aren't you ready? (said with a very sheepish grin.) We have to leave in 20 minutes.

Me: What are you talking about?

Him: Oh, did I forget to tell you? (grin is even more sheepish.) We are leaving here in a few minutes. And oh, you won't be coming home tonight so you should pack an overnight bag.

Me: Are you serious? What should I pack? Where are we going? What are we doing? And why exactly couldn't you tell me before you went to get a haircut?

Him: You're wasting time. (smile no longer sheepish.....purely evil and delighted at the prospect of watching me run around chasing my tail trying to be ready for an overnighter in 20 minutes.)

In actuality, we left the house about 45 minutes later. Not too bad for someone who was still standing in their PJs when he made his announcement.

He took me to the Hyatt Manchester Hotel in San Diego. We had a corner room on the 21st floor. Out one window we overlooked Seaport Village, Coronado Island and the bay. Out the other window was the Coronado bridge and the lights of downtown. It was beautiful. We spent the afternoon walking around Seaport Village and the marina. I would post pictures, but we didn't think to bring a camera and the pictures my cell phone took don't do the view justice.

He took me out for a very nice crab dinner. Then it was back to the hotel for an after dinner drink and dessert in the Hyatt Bar on the 40th floor. The view was amazing and the dessert just as good. Layers and layers of white, milk and dark chocolate cake and frosting etc. I had a coffee with Bailey's and whipped cream. Yummy! Don't even want to know how many calories were in that evening!

In the morning we walked about three miles along the harbor. We had to because our stay included breakfast in one of the hotel restaurants for a breakfast buffet. The food was great and I ate like a little piggy. Make that a big piggy.

I had such a nice weekend and I felt very loved. He says that he planned it because he missed me while I was visiting my daughter, but he had really planned it long before that. Nice to know I was missed, but even better to know he just wanted to do something nice. It was a great birthday weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm Back!

I just got back this afternoon from visiting my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. I had a great time. On the way home, I was praying and thanking God for blessing me with the opportunity to spend a week with all of them. I thought I would share some of my conversation with Him:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank you so much for getting me to and from my daughter's safely. Thanks for the added bonus of having no one else seated in my row either direction. Thank you that the trip was basically uneventful.

Thank you for time spent with my daughter. Shopping, baking, wrapping, talking and laughing. Those are the kinds of things we miss the most not living close to each other and I thank you for a weeks worth of them.

Thank you for the delight on my grandson's face when he saw his daddy and I pull up in the driveway. When he ran toward me shouting, "Gee Gee" with his arms wide open and a huge smile on his face my heart melted. How many times can you actually fall in love with the same person?

Thank you for the fun morning at the mall watching him visit Santa Claus. He was adorable. I'm so glad I got to actually hear him say that he wants Santa to bring him a "green hat." What exactly is that all about? Thank you for the means to be able to buy him new shoes and pictures taken on Santa's lap.

Thank you for letting me share "teetsa at Tosco" with him. (Pizza at Costco.)

Thank you for the mornings when he came into my room and crawled into bed to snuggle with me. He was so cute in his blanket sleeper dragging his blanket behind him with that silly pacifier in his mouth. (Why is it that when his mom had her's my goal in life was to get. rid. of. it., but he still looks so dang cute with his? ) Those mornings were so special. We would lay in bed and talk all about what we had done the day before and what we were going to do that day.

Thank you for all the times he reached into my pocket to take out my cell phone so that he could "call PaPa now." Then he would tell his Grandpa the same thing over and over and over again. Thank you that he has a memory like an elephant and can't forget that when he was here in October there was a bee in the spa and a lizard in grandma's hair. Thank you that, for whatever reason, he had to remind Grandpa about it six times a day. Thank you that he loves his Grandpa that much.

Thank you for his language development in general. There were new words almost hourly. We didn't nickname him 'Echo' for nothing. Please let him forget when I said it was "butt freezing cold" and we heard the little echo of "butt cold."

Thank you for bath time filled with giggles and wiggles. For bubble blowing and splashing galore. For the opportunity to snuggle with the towel wrapped, baby shampoo smelling, little boy.

Thank you that I'm grandma and I don't have to discipline him for dragging the chair over to the counter to 'steal' a fresh baked cookie that mommy said he couldn't have, or send him to his room when he won't stop pitching a fit when he doesn't get his own way in general. Thank you for helping me to not laugh out loud when he won't eat, won't get in or out of his carseat, won't come when called and when he talks back. The last time I heard NO with such conviction was out of his mommy's mouth. I guess the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. Thank you God that he is strong willed. I know from experience how awesome those kids eventually turn out to be. Besides, it's only fair that a certain strong willed little girl gets paid back.

Thank you, most of all, for the glimpses of the loving and Godly spirit my little Grandson already shows. For the concern he showed when his mommy's tummy was upset and he brought her an extra pillow. For the way he held the baby at church and kissed her eye. For folding his hands to pray when he eats. For his love of going to 'chuch' and the adorable way he says 'Jeesuss.' For already knowing that 'Jeesuss' is special. For the way he finds baby Jesus in all of the Christmas decorations and gets so excited when he points him out.

I could go on and on and on and thank you all day for one cute thing after the other, but this is only a 1.5 hour flight. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you get my drift. Thank you for a wonderful week.

In Jesus' name,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

See Ya!

Just wanted to let you know that I won't be around for a few days. I'm going to visit my daughter and her family in 'that other state' that they live in for a week.

I'm very excited. I get to see the new house they moved into. We are going to go Christmas shopping. We are going to try and get my grandson to visit Santa. I'm not sure how that will go, but it's worth a try.

I've never left Hubby for longer than a weekend. He's left me to go on backpack trips, but I've never left him for this long. This morning, I made him a meatloaf that should last him a couple of days. I froze leftover turkey and mashed potatoes after Thanksgiving. There is plenty of stuff to go with both. Seriously, he is a good cook, perfectly capable of taking care of himself, but for some reason I feel a little guilty making him come home to an empty house each night. I even bought him candy for the Santa candy dish. It will be interesting to see who gets blamed for eating it all when I won't even be

I might post something from my daughter's, but we might be too busy. Hopefully, she will post and you can catch up on us there. If you see my hubby wandering around the neighborhood, or at church, looking lost, give him a hug from me.

See you all soon.