Friday, December 21, 2012

All Star Kid Vids

I think this is a great way to close out my
blog for 2012: five of the cutest videos ever.
They range from half a minute to a minute 
and a half.  During your busy holidays I hope
you have time to view these plus the two
 preceding blog posts that are pictures and
 captions (some funny, some not-so-funny).

Video # 1: Bri and Hunter help me refill
the bird feeder.  They share very nicely.
Bri goes first and is precise about how
many scoops she should do.  Then she
has "suggestions" for Hunter, whom she
hilariously refers to as "Son . . . Son."

Our gravel driveway is not ideal for 
pedaling, but Bri has enough leg power
to make it worth the effort now.  What
a great way to get your workout.  And
easy on Grandpa.

It's Hunter's turn.  Not quite ready for
pedaling, but I can just see those leg
muscles developing.  And you'll see Bri
toting her trike back up the driveway over
her shoulder!  Thanks to Gail, Marla,
Josh, and Seth for passing these great
three-wheelers along to our grandkids!

This video will tire you out just to watch!
What boundless energy these kids have.
They're chasing and being chased by the
deadly jump rope snakes.

In the final video, Hunter is intent on
carrying his "snake" in the folding shopping
cart Uncle Buddy recently gave us.  Every
detail must be just so.  You'll see Hunter's 
patience, diligence, and planning.  Also,
he loves a good crash.

I hope you enjoy viewing 1 or more of
these.  I can't wait to capture more moments
such as these in 2013.  Please visit often.
and a

Getting Ready to Ring Out 2012, Part Two

Here are several highlights of one of the last
warm fall days with Brianna and Hunter.

I showed Bri how she could literally be "IN"
this fold-out pop-up book.

Naturally, Hunter wanted to be in the sequel.

It was a fine day for raking and "un-raking" leaves.

And for piling leaves on Grandpa.

"Can you breathe, Grandpa?"

Bri's hair is so long is can touch the ground now.
If she bends over far enough, that is.

Everything stops when the trash truck arrives at our
neighboring daycare.  We race up to observe and listen
to the wonderful NOISE, then race to the roadside to
wave goodbye to the trashman.  EVERY Tuesday!

This looks eerily like a parking lot at a witches convention
(rakes are in, brooms are out).
Or it could just be break time for the tired rakers.

"Grandma, do ya have any good stories
about the 'good ole days'?"
These next several pictures demonstrate
how a couple of plastic jump ropes can
turn into "Snakes," instantly making
them much more fun.  The children
laugh and shriek with feigned terror as
they leap over the deadly, wiggly snakes.

I think these kids will like snakes
as much as their Grandpa does.

After a long and exhausting session of snake play,
Judy settles things down with a cool snowman-
building computer program.

In my next blog, view several short and hilarious
videos of some of our favorite activities.
Make sure you're getting your quota of
Christmas Joy!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting Ready to Ring Out 2012

Well, Christmas is next Tuesday, and I've
got some terrific grandkid pictures from the
last three weeks that I haven't gotten around
to posting.  So get ready to go into high gear
and be forewarned: we're on OVERLOAD!!

Hunter: "Listen, I'm gonna tell you one more time-- TALK!"

Brianna: "Anywhere you're going, I'm going, too!"

Hunter: "Yeah, well we don't buy from door-to-door guys."

Hunter: "This tent has an emergency escape route."

Sure, Bri.  Just ride your horse right in the tent
like you own the place.

"No problem.  The more, the merrier."

"This'll only take a minute, ma'am.
We're doing a potato census."

Do the legs on this table look a little short to you?

Nope, those legs are just the right size.

This was the scene at the Loyd/Kirby/Talbert family
dinner at the end of November.  

These children were like little adults, eating calmly,
conversing, and staying at the table longer than usual.

Hunter: "I love my cuz.
 Plus, Evan doesn't have a seatbelt."

Snakes and dragons seem to be a current fascination.
Hunter and Claire explore just what this snake can eat.

When these four are together, the grownups job
actually gets easier.  Sometimes, at least.

The computer trumps almost any toy we have.
Especially videos of monster trucks.

The next day we were at Amanda's house while
Jennifer and Amanda ran the 5K Reindeer Run.
Hunter: "Come into my lair, said the spider to the fly."

If you're going to slide headfirst it pays to employ
a stuffed animal for cushioning.

A simpler blanket transforms an indoor slide into a
playhouse-- with lots of hiding places and secret entrances.

Us three adventurers need a rest break.
Especially Grandpa.

But Grandma says she's not the least bit tired!
Up and at 'em!

Hunter is ready to show how his horse goes from
zero to sixty in about 10 seconds.  Just look at that
mischievous grin!

I never would have believed it, but we checked on the
kids after they both disappeared upstairs and found
them resting!  Aren't they darling?

Dear Reader, you may need a rest, too, so I'm going to
pause from posting pictures and do a separate blog to
wrap up December 2012.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Music, Motion, and Magic at Watch Me Grow

One of the many highlights of this past week
was my annual Christmas Music-Fest at 
Watch Me Grow pre-school in Southern Pines.

These youngsters and their teachers always
give me a heart-warming welcome.

Miss Marianne has some of the brightest
4 and 5 year-olds this year!

And very sweet, affectionate, and 
friendly, too.  When I arrived they had just
pledged allegiance to the flag, and I was in
time for the singing of the national anthem.
Then, one little girl spontaneously introduced
herself, clearing stating her name.  With slight
pauses, the others followed suit, acting just
as grown up as you please.

We were soon joined by the younger classes, who 
also wanted some Christmas joy.  These little elves
looked like they were just in from the North Pole.
And they looked like they might have been up
all night wrapping presents.

With a room full of Santa's helpers, I got the
program underway.

"Oh, you better watch out,
you better not cry,
you better not pout
I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is coming to town!"

"Jolly old St. Nicholas,
lean your ear this way . . ."

"Don't you tell a single soul
what I'm going to say . . ."

"Christmas Eve is coming soon,
Now you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me,
Tell me if you can!"

Of all the songs, "Jingle Bells" was
the obvious favorite.  We did it two 
ways, first with hand motions and no
keyboard, then with the keyboard.

One thing I still like about my 20 year-old
Casio keyboard is that I can use a foot pedal
to stop and start rhythms and music for
the ever popular Freeze Dancing.  I used the
lively "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Rockin' Around
the Christmas Tree."

Also popular were some novelty songs like
"All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth,"
Alvin and the Chipmunks' Christmas song 
(simulate an Alvin voice by holding your nose),
and "I'm Getting Nuttin' for Christmas."

We practiced "Frosty the Snowman" and
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas," which
the children will be performing for their
parents this coming week.  I asked the teachers
to request some of their favorites, and we
all joined in on "Silent Night" and "Angels
We Have Heard on High."  What a wonderful
spirit there was among us.

All good things must come to an end, so we
soon had to send the merry elves back to 
"Santa's workshop."

I still had time for a little more up close
and personal time with the older children,
and what a blessing that was.

If you need something during this holiday
season to lift and encourage your spirit in
the midst of the turbulence of this world of
ours, I suggest you seek out some of God's
children (young or old) to spend time with.

While it's true they are innocent and unaware
of the dangers of our world and our times,
there is no reason theirs should not be a 
generation full of hope.  But not because man
will finally solve the problems of our age.
Rather, because God, through His Son Jesus
has already given us the solution to the 
problems of all ages.

Helpful elves to the very end, the children
insisted on carrying my seat and keyboard
stand to the parking lot for me.  Two children
proved that with their combined strength they
could lift my very heavy keyboard and case
a few inches off the ground.  But I carried it,
thinking I might need it again next year!
It still amazes me each time I spend an hour
with senior citizens or young children, how
much joy, love, and enthusiasm can be
generated in such a short period of time.
For the past couple of years I've been more
convinced than ever (and I tell my listeners)
that music is a special language God has
placed in every heart, because there are some
 things that can't be expressed any other way.

In the words of Tiny Tim,