The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Our Daughter Stacey’

Christmas 2018

We celebrated Christmas three times.

Christmas celebration #1 was held on Sunday at my brother and sister-in-law’s home.  We left our home in Warren PA at 10:30 am en route Jim and Judy’s house. Jim and Judy live about an hour’s drive north of Pittsburgh. We arrived at Jim and Judy’s house at 1:00 pm.  We thought we were the last to arrive.  But that was not the case.  While we were filling our plates, Judy’s brother Donald and his wife Gina arrived.  Others who came to Christmas dinner, in addition to Jim and Judy, Donald and Gina and Bob and I, were our nephew Michael, his wife Kailey and their three children; our nephew Jared, his wife Sara and their two children; Sara’s parents; and Judy’s mother.  Our niece Emily and her husband Dan and their daughter, who live in Minnesota, were not able to join us this year.  Christmas dinner included turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, sweet potatoes, pickled eggs, and corn.  Dessert included pumpkin pie, chocolate dream pie, cookies and a gingerbread cake.  We departed Jim and Judy’s house at 3:30 pm, as gifts were being opened.  Bob and I did not participate in the gift exchange; however, Judy made sure I didn’t leave empty handed. 

Judy made this wooden sign for me. Great job, Judy, and THANK YOU!

We returned home at 6:00 pm.  It was good to see my brother and his family and the others.  We had a very good visit with everyone.

Christmas celebration #2 was held on Monday at Stacey’s house.  We left home at 1:30 pm and arrived at Stacey’s house about 15 minutes later.  Chris (Stacey’s mother) and Jay arrived a short time later.  Our dinner included roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and, for dessert, apple pie, ambrosia, and brownies.  Harper and Juniper received a surprise visit from Santa Claus.

Santa Claus is showing our granddaughters that their names are on his nice list.

Santa Claus brought the girls early Christmas presents.

Harper and Juniper with Santa Claus

Stacey, Chris, Jay and I knew Santa Claus would be stopping by.  Nevertheless Santa Claus took Stacey and me by surprise.  We expected Santa to come to the front door.  Instead he came to the back door.  We heard bells and “ho-ho-ho” a short while before he made an appearance.  At first we didn’t know what we were hearing.  To me the noise sounded like it was coming from a radio.  Stacey and I got up from the table (we were finishing up dinner) and walked into the kitchen.  We were looking out the kitchen window, when Santa’s face appeared.  He startled us!

After dinner we opened gifts.  Everyone was happy with their gifts.

I took a few pictures, after we opened our gifts.

“Big Grandma” Chris and her granddaughters

“Big Grandma” Chris, Grandma Linda, and our granddaughters

Stacey and her daughters

While we were at Stacey’s house, it snowed. 

Snow fell on Christmas Eve!

It stayed cold through Christmas Day, so we had a white Christmas.

Christmas celebration #3 was at our home on Christmas Day, with only Bob and I in attendance.  Bob and I opened our Christmas gifts to each other in the morning.  We are happy with our respective gifts.  I prepared Christmas dinner, which we ate around 2:00 pm.  Christmas dinner included baked ham, baked potato, whole berry cranberry sauce, cauliflower and broccoli medley and, for dessert, pumpkin pie.  The ham was a spiral ham.  We have lots of ham leftovers!

’Twas a very merry Christmas for Bob and me. We spent the Christmas holiday with the people who mean the most to us.  We are so blessed!

 

 

 

 

Dexterity

The word dexterity comes to mind, when I think back on the time I spent with our granddaughters this past Wednesday (August 5th).

Stacey and the girls arrived here around 1:00 pm. I fed them lunch – sliced turkey, cheese, applesauce and goldfish crackers. After lunch, we went to the playground…to a new-to-us playground. Actually we went to two new-to-us playgrounds.

It amazes me each week that we go to a playground the improvement I see in each girl’s dexterity. I never had the opportunity to watch children grow, as I never had the pleasure of having children of my own (Stacey is my stepdaughter).  I didn’t live near enough to my niece or nephews to afford me the opportunity to watch them grow either.  I am very happy to be given this opportunity I have now with my granddaughters to watch them grow.

Our first playground destination was at Island Park in Youngsville. For the first time Harper and June swung in a regular swing, not in a baby swing.  The playground had swings low to the ground that were rounded, not flat across.  Another first …  I saw Harper and June use their hands and legs to go up and down a spiral climber. Their arms are still too short to reach the climber, so I have to carry them from the playground platform to the climber, when they want to climb down from there.  In addition to swinging, sliding and climbing the girls had fun playing in the Brokenstraw Creek.

We stopped for a short time at the Hilltop Park playground, also located in Youngsville, on our way back home. The highlight of that playground was a slightly swinging balance beam that the girls enjoyed walking across. After a couple tries, holding onto my hand, June was able to walk across the beam without holding on to anything. Harper gained confidence to walk across the beam without holding my hand.  However, she held onto the bars on either side of the beam, as she walked across it. If we return to this playground (or find another playground with a balance beam), I am certain that Harper will walk across it without having to hold onto anything like her sister.

The girls had lots of fun at both playgrounds.  Here are three photographs and a short video from our afternoon playground fun.

Harper enjoyed swinging on her stomach.

This video shows Harper swinging and going up and down the spiral climber at the Island Park playground.  The video also shows June swinging at the Hilltop Park playground.

Do you see Harper’s pride at being able to go up and down the spiral climber?

At the Island Park, there is a pavilion with a deck
that overlooks the Brokenstraw Creek.

We walked underneath the deck to the creek below.

Harper and June had a good time playing in the creek.

Stacey and I both preferred the Island Park playground. The playground equipment at Island Park was close together. At the Hilltop Park playground the equipment was spread out. The Hilltop Park playground was better suited also to kindergarten and elementary school age children. The Island Park playground was geared for younger children.

Independence Day at Home

Our July 4th activities began shortly before 11:00 am, when we met my stepdaughter Stacey, our twin granddaughters, and Chris (Stacey’s mother) to watch Warren’s 4th of July parade. We met at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carver Street, at the start of the parade.

Harper and June did not stay in those chairs for very long.

The parade lasted 2 hours, and I spent most of that time sitting on the ground, cross legged, with Harper on one knee and June on the other. Stacey, Chris and Bob stood for the duration of the parade.

See the man and boy who are wearing patriotic hats?

That man, his wife and son were already at this parade location, when we arrived.  They moved their chairs over to allow room for Harper and June’s chairs.  Harper and June pushed their chairs back because they didn’t want to sit at the front, alone, beside strangers. I sat down where the chairs had been.  Harper and June liked that seating arrangement.

Brett Fallon

A highlight of Warren’s 4th of July parade is the candy that is tossed (and handed) to the children.  The older children in this picture went out of their way to make sure Harper and June got candy.

Neither Harper nor June like loud noises.  June is even more sensitive to loud noise.  The fire trucks hit their sirens in the parade.  You could count on June holding her hands to her ears, whenever that happened.

Harper and June liked the Zem Zem Hornets and their Go-Karts.

This was the first year Bob and I saw the parade with Harper and June. The girls liked the parade, and I am so happy that we were able to share the experience with them.

 

Backyard Picnic

Bob’s daughter, Stacey, and our twin 3-year-old granddaughters joined Bob and me for a backyard picnic this afternoon.

Our picnic fare included hot dogs, hamburgers, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato chips and strawberries.

 

A folding child-size picnic table would be a nice addition to our pavilion, but the table and chairs that the girls use inside the house worked well.

Stacey’s mom told me that Harper and June knew about S’mores from one of their storybooks but had not yet eaten one.  We introduced the girls to S’mores this afternoon.

June was upset, at first.
She just wanted the chocolate.

We finally convinced June to take a bite of the S’mores.
All she got that first bite was marshmallow.

I don’t think June liked how gooey a S’mores is.

Harper sat down on the pavilion step to eat her S’mores.

Harper enjoyed her S’mores.

We had a good time today and look forward to the next picnic.

Sled Ride for Two

We finally had sufficient snow accumulation that stuck around long enough and temperatures above the single digits to allow my husband and I to take our granddaughters on their first sled ride of this Winter season.

I took this picture of our granddaughters and their mom at our house shortly before Bob and I left with the girls for their sled ride.

There is a bike/hike trail at the end of our street.  The trail was a good place for a sled ride.

We followed the bike/hike trail to where we could get a clear view of the Conewango Creek.  .

 

Harper and June with Grandma

 

Harper and June with Grandpa

We turned around here and went back home

The girls had a good time on the sled ride.  Bob got a good work out!

Dinner Delivery

Bob and his daughter, Stacey, were in contact with each other on Father’s Day but unable to get together, as Bob and I were on an all-day motorcycle ride along Lake Erie in New York.  Bob and Stacey made plans to get together on Monday, after Bob came home from work.

Monday afternoon, soon after Bob came home from work, Stacey, Harper and June arrived at our house.  All three girls said “happy Father’s Day” to Bob, which I know warmed his heart.  Stacey brought dinner – Uncle Harold’s marinated chicken, corn pudding, monkey bread flavored with garlic and Parmesan cheese and black bottom pie. While Bob grilled the chicken and talked with Stacey, I played with Harper and June.   Harper, June and I played hide ‘n seek and tossed / rolled a couple balls all over the back yard.  Harper and June especially liked rolling the balls down a small hill into our neighbors back yard.  The girls would run down the hill after the ball, laughing the entire time.  Then they would slowly climb the hill and do it all again.  My part in this play was to sit on the top of the hill and say “yay” each time the ball rolled down the hill.

When it was time to eat, we went inside.  It felt much better inside, as it was hot and humid outside.  The bugs were being a nuisance as well.

Stacey, Harper and June

Harper and June are almost 25 months old.  They sure are getting big fast!

We had a great visit with Stacey, Harper and June.  We couldn’t have eaten a better dinner.  Stacey is an excellent cook.  Dinner was delicious.

Mother’s Day Weekend Visit

Bob and I visited with Stacey and our granddaughters yesterday afternoon.  It was nice outside, so we spent most of the visit outdoors.

Stacey and our Granddaughters

The girls will be 1 year old one week from today.  Time sure flies!

I LOVE these two photographs that I captured of Grampa, Harper and June!

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