Family, History and Love

Wanda and I have been discussing, of late, the need to set down in writing some portion of our family history so that in the future our children and grandchildren will have the stories and tales of our lives direct from the source. The technophile that I am, I choose to do this online so that the what we write will be accessible and available for comment to our wider family (though I reserve the right to moderate those comments).

To that end, I have repurposed this blog. In coming posts, we will endeavor to provide an abridged story of our life (hey, everyone has their secrets). We're writing this for our children and their children and those that come later so elements of these tales will be familiar only to our family,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Playtime in the Park

We had a rare day of warm weather and sunshine this weekend. The rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun shined on the valley. The temperatures soared into the mid-50's (hey, it's still January, remember), so we bundled up the kids and took them to the park for a bit of playtime (I'm sure my son and daughter-in-law in Arizona are laughing by now - or maybe not given the rain they've had recently).

It was good to get out of the house and to the park. Ryker and Makayla got to play on the sides, to swing for a while and even managed to kick the soccer ball around a little bit. Their grandmother enjoyed getting out in the sunshine too. She's always claimed to be solar powered.

We all enjoyed getting out actually. It's been raining quite a lot lately, though the temperatures haven't been too cool. The ground is soggy and the moss has a jumpstart on all the susceptible surfaces, and I can see the lawn is going to need lots of attention come spring. We took a towel to the park, though, and once the water had been wiped from the slides and the swings, all was well and kids were able to run around and spend some of the energy that had been pent up over the last few days.

Ryker especially enjoyed his time in the sun. The little tyke has really been using his energy in creative ways. His latest antics have included pushing the kitchen chairs around to whatever surface he is interested in at the time and gaining access to whatever he wants. He especially enjoys playing with the ice water dispenser on the refrigerator. 

After about an hour in the park, the kids were tired, a bit cold, and ready for a hot snack and a nap.  Nap times are good. Nap times are quiet. Nap times mean that Papa gets a few minutes of uninterrupted reading. And when the little ones wake up from their naps, they're much happier than right before their naps, and you get lots of big smiles like you see in these images.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Full House

My youngest daughter had some shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Fortunately, it was all done orthoscopically and the surgeon was able to find and repair a defect that had caused her left shoulder to sporadically dislocate with certain movements, which is not a good thing at all when your a paramedic and the mother of two young children. Her arm will be immobilized with a shoulder and wrist cuff for the next six weeks. That means she and her two children will be staying with us for a while. That's lots of grandkid time, but Wanda and I both love it, even if we get a bit worn out at time. We sure aren't as young as we used to be.

Fortunately, they are both good kids and we've spent some time baby-proofing the house in advance. The little one, Ryker, has 5 teeth coming in and can be somewhat irritable at times, but when he smiles at you, you forget all that and just want to pick him up and give him a great big hug.  Makayla is just a joy these days. She's so funny and smart, and she can be quite lovable with spontaneous kisses and hugs when you're least expecting it.

I guess what I'm saying is that a house full can be a little stressful at times, especially when you're not all that used to it, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I'll find a little quiet time as needed, but I'm going to enjoy my grandchildren as much as possible (now if I could only get the third one here for a while), because I know someday they may not have time for me.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Dancing with the Wii

I've been seeing a few commercials lately for a game called Just Dance for the Wii. It looked like a very fun family game and I thought the grandkids would really enjoy it. Makayla and Ryker certainly love to dance, and I'm sure Jocelyn will enjoy it as well when she comes to visit with her parents.  Target had the Wii Console and the game on sale, so I picked it up to install in the family room. Like I said, I knew the kids would enjoy the game, but I didn't expect that the adults would enjoy it so much too. Wanda and I tried out a few songs that evening and it was fun (and funny to watch).

The game is simple. You hold the Wii Controller in your hand and attempt to follow the moves of the animated dancer on the television screen. The Wii senses the movements of the controller and grades your movements against that of the dancers. If you really get into the game's premise and movements, your can get a pretty decent workout too. I was certainly out of breath after a couple of songs, and when Wanda tried it she found the same to be true.

On Thursday (New Year's Eve) when Amber brought the grandkids over we fixed some new recipes for a little party, played some games with Makayla and Ryker, and then put on the Just Dance game. Ryker fell asleep before we got started, but as I suspected Makayla loved it. She didn't actually play the game, but instead danced alongside each of the adults. I managed to get some video of it, but Wanda won't let me posts any of the video where she's actually in the frame. So, I thought I'd post this little cut that shows just Makayla dancing to the music (Wanda threatened me with dire consequences if I included her so the video is cut somewhat). So here's about 15 seconds of laughs.