One Grandma, Two Grandma’s, Three Grandma’s OH MY!

Hello All!  I hope your week has been great!  It’s been busy over here as the weather changes we are so happy to be finding ourselves outside ALOT!  Plus the kids started some sports this past week so life of doing as we please is now turned to doing as the coaches schedule!!  We will talk on that soon!  Last week we had quite the busy couple days with visits from all grandma’s!  S & K are super lucky to have not just two grandma’s but three!  As I’ve mentioned in the past Joe is adopted and his adoptive parents always allowed a relationship with his birth mom.  His birth mom lives about 3 1/2 hours away so not too far but her and her husband are crazy busy at a youth camp that they are the caregivers at so we see them usually twice per year.  Joe’s other mom and husband have been snow birds until just a few weeks ago!  Now we get to have them here about 6 hours away from us full time!  We see them a bit more.  Then of course my parents are 30 minutes away and they probably see us more than they want and my  mom comes up a couple times a week!  Last week just happened to work out that we saw all three!!!  The kids were ecstatic first up was Grandma Gail and New Papa!

They sold their home in Sunny Florida to live full time in the North Woods!  Their home sold much quicker than they had anticipated…1 DAY!  So, moving up happened a bit sooner than they planned so on their way up we were able to see them.  We did dinner at one of the kids favorite restaurants as there is a game area.  Grandma and Papa always come with a roll of quarters to play!  Air hockey is one of the games they all play against each other.  Papa and Grandma get quite competitive when it is their turn to play one another!  I love the seriousness when they play.  We also decided to celebrate Mother’s Day with her as we won’t see her on the day!  I decided to do flowers and a picture we had taken of Joe and the kids!  You might be thinking flowers WOW Amanda how creative of you!  LOL!  But these weren’t your everyday die in a week flowers.  We made hand painted bottles and construction paper flowers!  So these can go on a dresser or shelf to enjoy all year!  No water needed!  Sid also wanted to give Grandma Gail the previous project I shared with the egg carton flowers and pipe cleaners.  The visit was great and we are so very excited to have Joe’s parents back in the same state all year!  We look forward to heading up this summer for a vacation!!

Next up was spending the day with my mom!  You might be thinking you spend many days with your mom!  You are absolutely correct and we will spend Mother’s Day with her and her gift isn’t yet complete so when it is I will share.  We just enjoyed a beautiful day at the forest preserve hiking just under four miles.  Again, we weren’t celebrating anything it was just enjoying the day with another Grandma and Papa that we love!

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Lastly, Joe’s other mom (birth mom) Anne and her husband Brian were able to get away from the camp they are at for a few days.  Our house was the first stop on their trip down!  This was great as last time they visited was last 4th of July and that day is always crazy so I didn’t get to talk to them too much.  The day was beautiful so we had the sprinkler set up and the kids played in that with Grandma doing quick runs through with them!  They also enjoyed ALOT of time on the trampoline with both of them!  I made those fantastic skinny lasagna roll ups with salad and garlic bread.  It was great to sit and talk with Brian as I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to talk to just him.  Getting to know each other a bit better while Granny Annie enjoyed her time with the kids!  S had her doing everything from playing dolls, to watching her moves on the rings on play-set to flying with her down the slide.  They also discovered we have the start of a birds nest in the play-set!  The evening ended with Joe making it home to spend a little bit with them before they headed to their next stop on their trip!  We also gave Granny Annie her flowers and picture which she loved!

Overall, it was a busy couple of days but those are the best as a lot of new memories were made and as the kids get bigger they are remembering these moments.  I’m trying to be sure to get pictures as they are happening as they are so very important to all of us!

I hope you have a great Monday and we will meet back here again soon!  Cheers!

Well I’m not really sure where to start with this weeks post.  I’m feeling absolutely drained on multiple levels.  You may remember a few months ago I shared about my grandmother who had been fighting cancer since 2008.  Last week my mom thought it was best that the family make some time to come spend some time with Granny.  Her body was changing and the pain was becoming un-manageable for her.  She was put on morphine drops and narcotics to help try and make her comfortable.  I made plans to go and visit last Thursday with my mom.  It happened to be my mom’s birthday as well so we started by going to breakfast.  We arrived to see Granny in a bed that had been brought in and she was sleeping.  Which hadn’t happened in quite a few days.  She was spending many nights yelling out in pain or for those from her past.  She was sharing memories of her wedding, her best friend and my cousin whom lived with her and died last year during her what I will call shout outs.

During this visit I saw a grandmother that I wasn’t ready for.  My heart and gut told me today might be the last time I will have the opportunity to share what my heart wanted me to share.  I sat by her side a few times holding her soft hands getting a few words here and there from her.  I knew I was loosing the women that as a child I have fond memories of spending day after day at her house playing.  Spent Friday nights going with her grocery shopping for the upcoming week buying what at the time and actually today seems like an astronomical amount of food…I think we would leave there with two or three overflowing carts full!  Spending resting/nap time at her house watching cartoons for a short time and then when it was time for us to rest our eyes she would put on Maury Povich and after that Jerry Springer!  Granny’s house was always a blast and she always had the best snacks and I honestly don’t ever remember her saying no.  She truly was so great!  At the same time she was stern I remember she would babysit multiple other children and some were my age.  To this day I use her line that two girls together is fine but you add a third in and they turn in to cats!  She believed in time out and IT WORKED!  I think we just knew at Granny’s house you followed the rules; that was that!  We spent as a family Sunday’s at Granny’s house for a late lunch early dinner.  Many of those Sunday’s would start with us shopping at Zayre’s and a few other local shops!  It was not that we got anything at these trips but it was a tradition and we all loved it!  So as I sat with her I enjoyed these memories and felt sad that things had changed so much in the recent years but knew I needed Granny to know I loved her for those memories.

As the day came to an end I sat with her and shared that I loved her very much and as my tears dripped on her she told me “don’t worry about it, I will be ok.” I told her I love the memories she provided experiences to create.  I wanted her comfortable during this last part of her journey.  I wanted her at peace and she told me “he brings us to this world when he is ready and he takes us from it when he is ready for us.” She said she wasn’t quite ready.  I asked her if she was at peace and she said “not yet.”  When I was there she still hadn’t seen all of her children and many of her grandchildren.  So this statement made complete sense to me.  We shared a few other thoughts and she was passionate and genuine.  At the end she told me I needed to go be with my babies.  Which was true as they were finishing their school day.  I left my grandmother’s house comfortable with our conversation.  Over the next few days things started to change more.

I unfortunately had a change at my home as K had come down with the flu yet AGAIN!  So I could not be at Granny’s with the rest of the family.  Saturday after she saw my uncle who is the baby of her children and lives the farthest away she seemed at peace.  But the pain was bad and wasn’t allowing her to calm down enough to relax.  After medicine was adjusted she was finally able to relax.  She spent a few more hours appreciating all the family around her.  I truly do believe this as I mentioned in my December post my grandparent’s house was NEVER quiet.  It has always been filled with one voice battling another or fifteen conversations going on at once!  A sound I love!  She saw all of her children and many of her grandchildren as well.  Granny then went in to a peaceful sleep.  This sleep lasted a few days unfortunately the sound in the house turned ugly due to some family members not comfortable with not being in control of the situation.  At this time my mom had to make a tough decision as her power of attorney.  Monday they transported my grandmother into a wonderful facility that she could spend her final days with us in a peaceful setting.  Tuesday morning at 115am my Granny was given her angel wings and went to heaven peacefully.  As the director of nurses told my mom many times when we are at this stage our bodies need to be at a place that is quiet and allows god to do his job.  She said my grandmother went very peacefully.

I have spent the past few days unsure.  A good point was made by my sister and cousin as now that both these grandparents are gone it’s another generation we don’t have here. This makes it sad and scary for us.  There’s the thought that you should have said or did more.  But we can’t live in the shoulda, woulda, coulda state we have to move forward. There is anger at those that couldn’t allow my grandmother to pass peacefully in the comfort of her home.  Then I’m just sad.  Sad because this terrible disease took over her body and we couldn’t fight it.  Sad because I loved her so much and I shouldn’t have ever allowed any bump in family dynamic to keep me from making sure she knew this and being there.  I know time heals all wounds and its a new wound at this point so I need to allow my heart to heal at the pace it needs.  I know it will come and for any one else healing allow your heart the time it needs.  We will get there taking each day as it comes.

I honestly wish my post today could be all champagne and roses scratch that gerbera daisies I hate roses!  But sometimes life isn’t those things and we have to share the things that bring out emotions that we many times like to keep tucked in our pocket.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and look forward to connecting soon!

Lisenby Week In Review

Oh my what a week it was…and as the saying goes all good things must come to an end and boo for that!  As this morning was the first day in six days that getting up with the kiddos occurred. My mother in law arrived last Sunday evening and immediately Monday morning jumped in getting up with S at 630a.m. Which I wasn’t expecting so we were all up to have some breakfast. K woke and by 10:30 a.m. the house was dead silent as Papa and Grandma took the kids to go visit/meet our nephews wife and their new baby as well as run a few other errands. I had no idea what to do with myself. Being they were in town to help me recover from a recent surgery I cozied in a slept for a few hours.  Waking up to a still quiet house I watched a little tv…my own show of which I knew no other channel than Disney Junior and our local public access channel; Lol! I made dinner and that was the last day this occurred during their visit as my mother in law says “I can’t cook, but am happy to pay!” So carry out it was for majority of the week!

Tuesday was beautiful and I hadn’t really been outside so we went for a walk stopping at the park!  Grandma zipped between giving under dogs on the swings to the slides to uneven bars. Having not seen these two at a park recently she didn’t know what monkeys they were!  S and K most appreciated Grandmas slide participation!

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My girlfriend Amelia was in town on business so my MIL and FIL took care of the kids allowing me to join her for a little dinner and wine.  This was wonderful as we rarely get to see each other and as a mom it’s important to get out every now and then for a few good laughs with those other than the ones you are with day in and day out.

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Wednesday Grandma and S time I thought was appropriate so K and I played trucks while they went for pedicure.  Oh yeah and…drum roll! Tuesday night K went poop on the potty with Grandma! I know and she was worried the week would be a bore! So they also went to get him big boy underwear!  Wednesday morning he went twice with me! So exciting!  I am totally not pushing the issue this time around so we are still in diapers and when he asks for the potty we run to it!

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Thursday and Friday it was off to the races to find treasures at the many garage sales in ours and surrounding towns as I mentioned last week S is a garage sale’ing diva so we had a blast!   In the downtime Thursday and Friday we used our greatest find which was this crazy sprays everywhere sprinkler! Grandma had a blast cooling off with the kiddos.  Papa had the opportunity to teach or try to teach K some card games!  He tried very hard to stack like Papa but it turned in to more of a fifty-two pick up of sorts!  Fun none the less!

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You may wonder where Joe was during this week…we just about have our waterfall/Koi pond complete.  He was working feverishly on this as we have to get sod in this week.  Due to the last load of stones not ready for pick up Friday it will be completed early this week!  But here are a few pictures including the 2500lb stone he set last Tuesday!  I can’t wait to enjoy this feature of our backyard!

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Saturday night Joe’s brother and wife arrived, his brother departed today but my sister-in-law is visiting until the 4th!  So we are now starting the next bit of fun and craziness!  But my brother-in-law wasn’t let depart this morning without a good hour full of a kitchen dance party with S and K!  I’m pretty sure he couldn’t wait to catch that plane out! Lol!  My sister-in-law was doing Mermaid creations one sip after her morning Mountain Dew! Oh how I love family and the madness these two beautiful children bring to our lives!

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Happy Monday to all and Thank You doesn’t even touch on how much we appreciate our parents help these past two weeks!  The memories created will surely last a lifetime!

Lisenby Week In Review

Ok I’m a few days late in my check in. It’s been a busy week over here! I have had my mom and now my in-laws here helping me which has been wonderful. I mean my mom was here making dinners including chicken caccatoire and shrimp fried rice! The kids loved both which I’m sure if I make they will say they hate because isn’t it true no one does anything as good as mom/grandma! Mom also turned S into a garage saleing diva! Every time they got in the car she said “are we going saleing?” Bummed when the response wasn’t yes! We enjoyed lunch out and I will say this was the first time in a long time there has been no technology at the table so I had some anxiety going in to it. Well these two were fantastic! Used their manors and stayed occupied by being involved in our conversation and coloring! Who would have thought. Next time you are out and you immediately go for the iPad or DVD wait and give them the opportunity to be toddlers and take part in your real conversation and using good old fashion crayons and paper! I’m sure your tots will surprise you too!

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Mom ok is a big yoga guru which I’m excited to start doing next week with her! So in sticking with her routine she had the kids doing yoga in the mornings.  They of coursed loved doing silly poses with grandma!

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On to our garden…all that we planted seems to be producing! Our tomato plants and peppers are flowering. Our grapes are clustering.  Our beans and onions are sprouting! But the biggest Woo Hoo we have to report is our strawberry bush is producing! We woke up to this sweet little strawberry on the counter!  Not many things make me smile before coffee but this little gem did the trick! If I haven’t mentioned before this my very first garden. Our garden last year which Joe did was ginormous and honestly just too much was going on. My down sized beds are easy to maintain and it seems like the new location is working great too!

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4th of July has turned into a favorite holiday for me. I 100% think this is due to Joe and his families love for it.  Each year his family would get together to not only celebrate Independence Day but also his grandfathers birthday! I still remember my first time going to their family party. His grandparents live in a very small town in a cute farm house with what seems to be endless rows of Apple trees in the back. Everyone brought a dish, which was all comfort food. When I say comfort food I mean those recipes that remind you of being a kid. You know pineapple upside down cake, spaghetti noodle pasta, grilled burgers and hot dogs without buns, dump cake!  All traditional yummy food. So anyway, let me get back on track! With his grandfathers passing Joe decided he wanted to keep the tradition alive. This year will be the 6th party we have hosted and yes we have turned it up a bit. If you know Joe you know nothing is done small with him and any celebration. We always try to have fun activities which started with dunk tanks, volleyball, horseshoes you know traditional summer fun! We have now grown to pig roasting, pony rides, jump houses and face painters!  Getting prepared for the party takes a bit of time and communication. But I love getting crafty for this holiday! I can put my decorations out Memorial Day and I usually leave them up until Labor Day! So this week I made two crafts to get the holiday started off right!   One being a red, white, and blue burlap bow wreath and the second my pallet flag for the porch. I love how both turned out.  Next I’m going to paint my mason jars which I look forward to sharing in a few days as this project I plan to put the kids on. I mean how can you mess painting a jar up?

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http://www.dumpaday.com/genius-ideas-2/amazing-uses-old-pallets-30-pics

Our backyard is turning into something too! Joe has been working diligently on getting the water fountain and Koi pond installed. A job we initially planned to have contracted out but after researching Joe has decided to take the project on himself. Which has to be completed this week in order for us to move to the next party perpetration item which is laying sod.  Sod needs three weeks before it can have heavy traffic so as the clock ticks Joe is working away!

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I look forward to sharing the adventures S and K have with as they say “New Papa and Grandma” in just a few days. I will say today they had a blast.  It down poured when they left so they got lost but when they made it to lunch and play land they were as happy as two pigs in mud! Nap went to the way side today but I’m sure come tomorrow we will get back to a more normal schedule. No nap and two toddlers all day is exhausting!

Thanks for checking in! Enjoy your Monday evening!

P.S. This is just a pic of what Koi fish are so you don’t have to google them. These are not ours…