Friday, January 24, 2014

Boys will be Boys, and Girls will be ... Tomboys

A Race Car IN a Tire?  Hunter's new concept.

And they're OFF!  First the tire, then Hunter.

This is the Big Bopper . . .
also known as EVAN!

It's time to PILE ON Stephen!

It's Christmas in January.
Drink up and chow down.

These guys are getting very computer savvy.
And they still love the Christmas games.

Even Jedi knights take time out for a good book.

But then it's back to ridding the universe of evil.

Don't worry Hulk.  He wasn't referring to you when
he mentioned evil.  You're a GOOD guy.

Three kids in their own worlds.

At some point even super heroes have to go home.

A visit from Christy and baby Cheyenne.
Bri and Hunter look on in wonder.  Were they
ever that tiny?

Yes, Cheyenne is Number One!

Bri is privileged to help hold Cheyenne. And
Cheyenne gives her smiles freely.

Up the same tree Jennifer and Amanda once climbed.

Like mother, like daughter.

And like mother, like son, too! Up goes Hunter.

Later we get in the "play car" to get out of the wind.

"Where do you guys want to go today? The
beach or the mountains?  Or maybe the zoo?"
Wherever our imagination takes us.  But let's
start at "Old McDonald's."

It was Hunter's personal brainstorm to put a race car
inside the tire (see video above).

Evan may bop you, but it won't hurt.

The smile guarantees no pain.

Bri's triple costume:  Supergirl, Princess Mirada,
and a ballerina rolled into one.

Hunter's Iron Man mask may be a bit out of
alignment, but that just makes him look ever fiercer.

"Yes, of course the Hulk knows the Macarena."

"Grandma and Grandpa, thank you so much
for coming to our house . . . so we could stay
up past 8:00.  We love you!
 And WE love YOU.  ALL of you!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wrapping up Christmas: at home and in Atlanta

The whirlwind of Christmas may be over, but the
 PEACE, LOVE, and JOY of Christmas remain.
These pictures include Christmas Eve, Christmas
Day, and our 2nd Christmas in Atlanta.
Bri demonstrates how to make the gingerbread
man race up the strings.

Hunter has also mastered this authentic
Appalachian toy.

Former students know how much I love to make up
games.  Bri and I played a game where four Santas
and four Frostys roll the dice and race across the
checkerboard to the North Pole.

Superhero Santa is about to swoop down on a
very naughty bad guy.

Do Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus remind you
of the Beverly Hillbillies?

Bri saw Hunter get "into" this fold-out book of the
Nativity last week.  This time, they both got "into" it.

Christmas day dinner at Granny and Granddaddy's is
a tradition the (great)grandchildren are loving.  And this
was before they saw any presents!

Claire and the others all showed remarkable patience,
not tearing into their gifts until permission was secured.

Just what they need to play pirates, war,
and Robin Hood-- foam swords.  En garde!

Claire and Bri both received Doc McStuffins items.
Claire, in her new lab coat, is ready to receive patients.

Bri and Hunter love this pirate ship-- with crocodile!

This swordfight between smiling Bri and laughing Emma
is so fast you can barely see the swish of the swords.
Or maybe they're light sabres.

These three are fascinated by Granny's moving
Santa Claus with lit-up woodstove.
Okay, it's off to Atlanta for second Christmas!
I had to stop by PDK airport to see
their new playground.  Until age 9,
I lived just across the road from the
end of their main runway.

An observation ampitheater with
the control tower in the background.

When I was a kid, PDK was still the Naval Air
Station, a holdover from World War II.  Before that,
it was the site of World War I's Camp Gordon, and
our home was on the grounds of that historic camp.

Here is the playground.  I bet when airplanes take
off, so do the kids-- in their imaginations.

Here's our simple little tree at Mama and Daddy's
house, where a couple of dozen friends and family
would gather for music and fellowship.

Human nature:  since the kids were asked not to mess
with any remotes they saw, they hovered over this one
with glowing blue indicators, and just stared at it.

Fast thinking sister Caryn provided toys and coloring
books to help occupy the six children, all but one of
whom were preschoolers. (Ages 3 to 6)

Four are coloring the over-sized Christmas coloring
books, one is on his throne, and Hunter is still homed
in on that remote.  : )

It's MUSIC time!  Smart mom Amanda already had
her kids in pajamas, for they would soon need to head
off to bed.  Smart Grandpa (moi) had unplugged the
organ-- a lesson learned last year (turning it off and on
to hear the motor was most popular).

Evan inquires with Uncle Buddy (Ellis) for coloring
advice.  Yes, Buddy is our family artist.

The kids know that Grandpa Loyd is in heaven now,
and they know Uncle Buddy.  But due to a strong
family resemblance, Bri called him Grandpa Buddy,
which I thought was SO cute!

Caryn had dug up an old Flintstones coloring book
that she and I had colored back in the '60's.  Bri asked me
 to read it, and since each picture had captions, that's what I
 did.  In a few moments, my audience had gone from 1 to 6!
Reading is magical, there's no doubt!

When we did our group singing of carols,
Mallory and Evan helped me out by playing
the high notes.

Mallory also demonstrated the cutest
little dance she had learned.

Brian and Steve treated us to the annual
rendition of "O Holy Night."  Spell-binding.

An angel couldn't have sung
"Silent Night" more beautifully!

Or how about FOUR angels!
A new tradition has been born . . . .

Matt and Ev-man say "We like that."
I did, too.  And I hope you did.