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Sunday, August 19, 2012

One more week until our newest grandbaby makes her appearance! 
I remember hearing older people talk about how time goes so fast.  I heard them say that the older you get, the faster it goes.  I thought that was ridiculous. I remember thinking that time went too slow! It took forever to get to a birthday, Christmas, first day of school, get my license, the prom, get married, have my babies. And now, suddenly, here I am saying "How did I get here this quickly?"  Where has the time gone?  How can my babies be having babies?  I still feel like they are the babies!  
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow,
for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow,
so quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep!

I had these words embroidered and framed and hanging on my kitchen wall all the years the kids were growing up.  I tried to keep that in mind as life got busy and there was so much to do.  I was reminded of those words again this past week as the grandkids were here and we spent most of our time playing.  I would get home and look around and think, "so much is needing done", but off we would go on the next day's adventure.  Well, they went home and 'tomorrow' came!  I spent most of last week, cleaning and scrubbing, sorting and tossing, pulling weeds, mowing, and even shined up the windows.  So glad that I didn't waste a minute of the time when they were here doing those would have just needed redone anyway.  

The Perseid meteor showers were something I was looking forward to shooting.  It was perfect night sky for it right from my deck, so I had high hopes of capturing some.  I was surprised to see so many of them, but was not shooting in the right direction each time I saw one.  I would be all focused and ready in one direction and to the right one would fall, turn the camera, get ready, wait...and to the left, there one would go.  It was a good practice and I know I will be more successful next time.  When I saw the preview of one shot in my camera, I was pretty excited to see there was a line going through half of the frame.  I was anxious to get it on the computer to see it up close...turns out it was a plane.  But I was also able to witness a beautiful moonrise (3:00am!) Oh well, another night.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

18 months before the Olympics began, they had to request tickets.  They mapped out the events and sent in their request for tickets.  A few months later, the reply came that they had each been granted 3 of the 11!  They were really discouraged, but after thinking it over, they decided that they would still go.  The Women's and Men's Marathons were viewable all along the course and they would be able to see other events that were going on in the stadium while they were there to see the one they had a ticket for.  
They also were able to see the women's bike race as it went right past Buckingham Palace.  They were right on a curve and saw so many crashes.  Then came their first event.  They arrived early to an almost empty stadium.  But the torch was flaming and ready...soon the stadium filled and their event began.  They saw Galen Rupp win a silver for the USA.  They have followed him for years when he first began running at Central Catholic in Portland, even way back then, they talked about how someday he would win at the Olympics, so it was pretty awesome for them to see it happen.

After the first two days of running events that they went to see, plus all the added in events, they had a 4 day gap that they were not given tickets for, so they filled it in with a trip to Ireland.  They had to take a train up north, then a ferry over to Dublin.  It was a pretty fancy ferry compared to any  that I have been on.
While there they visited Trinity College, St. Patrick's Well, St Stephens Green, Guinness, and some castles.  
Then they rented a car and drove to Glendelough-Wicklow and took a hike for the day.  

Then it was a flight back to Cardiff, England for a Bronze Soccer match between Japan and Korea.  Then back to London for the Men's Marathon.
The next day they took the long flight home.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Let the games begin!
After months of planning and waiting, John and John headed out for the Olympics.
And then OUR games began!  Emily and Joshua came up and had a staycation with me.  I had something fun planned to do every day they were here.  We included Josiah as much as possible.

First day was a trip to the zoo.

The animals were too busy eating to face us.

We all rode the zoo train.  I liked this shot of Joshua watching the oncoming train, but then I looked over and there sat my youngest and my oldest grandkids, I thought that was pretty special too.

We had an activity or two every day, but there was plenty of home time too.  We built a fire and had s'mores, played in the fort, went on walks and went to Great Grandma and Grandpa's to hot tub.

Saturday, Rachel came up and we drove up to Centralia, Washington to Great Wolf Lodge for two days.  It is a hotel with water-slides.  It was a riot.  The place was totally designed with kids in mind.  It reminded me of a kid version of Las Vegas and Disneyland and Chuck E Cheese's all rolled into one. (I refuse to to go Chuck E Cheese's, but this place really was fun)

Joshua was a bit excited...these shots are a blur, but that is pretty much how he was when we first got there...he just buzzed from one place to another.
We arrived before check-in, but they let you go on the slides early, so the kids didn't waste a minute and they were sliding down them all.  As soon as the room was ready, Rachel and I joined them.  The first slide they wanted us to go down, of course, was the scariest!  I could not believe it as we dropped of the edge and slid up and down the sides...but since they promised it was the scariest, then it was easy to get up the nerve to try the rest of them.  It was so much fun!
When we were not sliding down the slides, there was a thing called a MAGI QUEST.  We had to buy a little wand and then there were places all over the hotel that Johsua had to wave the wand and he was given clues to complete his quest.  It ended with him in the dragon cave and he had to slay the dragon.  It reminded us of a video game that you act out instead of sitting in your chair at a computer.  They told us that if you went directly from one clue to another, you would cover 10 miles!  I am sure he did more than that,along with us, by the time he finished his quest.  

The next day back, we went and did ceramics and finished off the day bowling.  Joshua has his own style of bowling...he finishes each throw on the ground.  Emily and I forgot about needing bowling shoes and wore our sandals.  We could not believe it when the man in charge said "No problem, there are some in the vending machine."  We have never seen anything in vending machines but snacks.  The socks even came complete with little bowling balls on them. Can you believe that Emily and I wear the same size shoe?

Next day, roller skating.  The place was practically deserted.  I told them I had rented the whole place out just for them.  

We were supposed to go Rock Hounding in Madras.  Joshua was pretty excited about that.  But I suddenly thought about rattle snakes!  It is August, it is Central Oregon...snakes hide by rocks...I finally could not allow myself to take them over there and risk that one of us would be bitten.  I hated to cancel that on Joshua, but I was just too afraid.  I tried to make up for it by taking him to a local rock shop and letting him pick out a few rocks.  One of the treasures he found was an arrow head, I put it on a string for him and he was satisfied, as long as I promised that as soon as the weather was cold and snakes are hibernating, we would go and give it a try later on.  And maybe Grandpa would bring his pistol.
We finished off the day with school clothes shopping and a manicure for Emily. 
Another thing that I had for them while they were here, was craft time.  I set up my craft room with all the supplies out and ready for them to  make whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.  Wood burning, painting, beads, you name night we made soap.
A repeat activity that we did two years ago was a trip to Mt. Hood for the Alpine Slide.  Even though they had done it before, it was still just as fun as the first time, maybe even better.

Great Grandpa and Grandma joined us.  There were a couple of new activities up there this time, Hamster Balls (the photo will explain it) and a 32' rock wall.  Joshua made it all the way to the top.  There is trampolining, tube slides, mini golf, all kinds of activities. 
Last time we went up, Emily really wanted to drive the cars.  She was not old enough, so this time around she made sure that Great Grandpa was there to go with her since they didn't get to do it last time.  Joshua rode along with Grandpa.  I think that was the highlight for her.  She is already counting down the days until she gets her driver's license!
Rachel came back again on Saturday and we took MAX (light rail) into Portland Saturday Market. Then we came home and had a BBQ.  Jessi and Josiah joined us for that.  

Sunday, we went to Lloyd Center for ice skating.  It was the first time Rachel has ever gone! It seemed pretty funny to have her kids being the teacher.  

The whole time, Joshua collected and wore his event bracelets.  He finally cut them all off the last day.  I also added in a photo of his row of shoes.  How many kids need 5 pairs of shoes to visit Grandma?  At least he kept them all nice and tidy.
And then before we knew it, the guys were back home again!  They had a blast, but nothing as good as all the fun times I had with the kids.  
One day as we were busy with a craft, Joshua said "Grandma, we are making memories this week that will last us forever."  Isn't that what it is all about?