Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

There is often a brief hiatus in blog posts over Memorial Weekend.  That is because we usually congregate as a family at the cabin.  I have written in the past of this treasured family hideaway, which has been in the family for four generations.  This weekend we shared another grand gathering, complete with Nana in tow.  A day in the life at the cabin is not to be missed:

If you are lucky, you will wake up to the smell of Papa's bacon and GranMo's carmel rolls,

and the sound of John Denver's "Country Boy" playing on the record player.

After breakfast, there is the requisite living room dancing to "Grandma's Feather Bed" 
(E-Bear and G-Bear show cased their dance talent this year),

while some enjoy the view from the kitchen picture window.
It was Baby Bear's first trip to Cabin Clear, and he fit right in.  He already loves the great outdoors.

When everyone is dressed, it is time to take the path down to the lake. 
It's a long and winding path, but it is worth it.

Once life jackets are on, it is time for a boat ride.
The men had done a great job of getting the boats in the water, despite the questionable weather.

G-Bear and E-Bear were breathless with excitement.

It was chilly on the dock and even colder on the boat, 

but fortunately, we all came prepared, even Baby Bear.

We cruised on Papa's pontoon and enjoyed the sights of the lake.  
This year we found a loon's nest and a beaver dam, both right on the lakeshore.

G-Bear loves to drive the boat with Papa.

E-Bear and T take in the sights

The lake is a special place to share with those you love.

After a few of Aunty Sharon's legendary meals, if you still have room for dessert, campfire s'mores are the perfect treat.  The kids roasted their own marshmallows this year, which was a huge hit.  
Nana helped E-Bear,

and G-Bear perfected her technique.

G-Bear and I like our marshmallows brown all around, with a little char to make it extra oozy.  Delicious!

If all goes well, baths are required after dessert!

Note the s'more in the hair.  Good luck brushing that out!

By far, however, the best part of being at the Cabin is just being together.  

Thanks be to God and our veterans for Memorial Day.  Thanks be to GranMo and our Aunties, Papa and our uncles, Nana, T and the kids for making this Memorial Day at the Cabin so very special.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Going to the zoo, zoo zoo

G-Bear's first year of preschool is rapidly coming to a close.  This week, her class celebrated "Z" day and the completion of their alphabet weeks by taking a trip to our local zoo.  

Nana, E-Bear, Baby Bear and I all got to come along as "chaperones."  

E-Bear fit right in with G-Bear and her friends.  She and her friends were so sweet to include him.

E-Bear also loves G-Bear's amazing teacher, Mrs. Rogers.  
They were often holding her hand at the same time.

As we left the zoo, we took a few minutes to ride the old carousel.  

There is something almost magical about the old, wooden carousels.  They are so rare and hard to find these days.  All the horses are unique and hand carved.  Plus, it moves quickly!  We had to really hold on so that we wouldn't fly off!  But nobody seemed to complain :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tunnel Slide

Today Nana took E-Bear to the park while I was at a meeting and G-Bear was at school.  He amazed her with the fearlessness with which he tackled the slides.  She suggested a low, slow, straight slide for him as they arrived at the park.  E-Bear chose instead to climb the tower to ride down the tallest, twisty tunnel slide.

Tunnel slides can be scary because it is hard for kids to see the bottom.
When it comes to life, many of us are the same way.

"I wode the TUNNEL swide, Mommy!"  E-Bear announced proudly when I returned from my meeting.

"Great job, E-Bear!"  I replied.

"I a BIG boy!"  He said.

Nana wisely commented that E-Bear's approach to slides is the way we should all be going through life:

In the Park of Life, ride the tunnel slide rather than the straight slide.
You can't see your way to the bottom, 
you have to trust God to get you there.

Well said, Nana.  And way to go, E-Bear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We love a good swim

We have taken the swimming lesson plunge here in Happily Ever Johnson Land.  

G-Bear and E-Bear have had two lessons with "Teacher Mike" the past two Saturdays.  The lessons may be more aptly called "therapy lessons near water," as they have mostly involved copious G & E Bear chatterings to Teacher Mike as they dangle their feet in the water on the pool steps.

Their shyness toward the water when their teacher is around stands in stark contrast to their hold-nothing-back attitude when we swim just as a family.  Ah, c'est la vie, at least when it comes to teaching toddlers to swim!  Thank goodness for our teacher's patient, therapeutic nature.

E-Bear loves to talk and splash on the steps.

G-Bear shows off her skills.

The kids love to show off their new suits that they received for the lessons:  Lightning McQueen for E-Bear and Disney Princesses for G-Bear.  They amaze the check-in desk attendants with their enthusiasm as we arrive.  No amount of preparatory coaxing to "walk please, on the deck" can keep them from sprinting toward the water when we enter the pool doors.  E-Bear can hardly contain his excitement on the side of the pool as G-Bear get her lesson time.  They love their teacher's mini kick boards, even if they use them more for splashing each other than for practicing their kicking technique.

Kickin' it poolside.

Showing off the pipes!

So far the kids are doing a great job of blowing bubbles, feeling the water with their hands and kicking with their feet.  Aren't these the same children who were flinging themselves off the edge into the water and doing underwater dips with us last year at the pool?  Yes, we have a long way to go, but it is refreshing to remember where we all start when learning to swim.

Swimming buddies through thick and thin

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekly Thanksgivings

For Nana, who is here this week while T studies at his review,

for a renter and a lease signed and off the list,

for playdates, park picnics and walks around the block with three munchkins in tow,

for weather so nice we can eat at a table outside,

for Baby Bear, who slept while I ate,

for MoMo and Papa, to whom E-Bear and G-Bear will sprint down the street when they see them from afar.

for my T, who knows just when I need a hug, a kiss, and a patient, knowing smile,

for G-Bear, who stretches me one minute and makes me burst with love and pride the moments before and after,

for E-Bear, whose sharing and sweetness blow me away,

Lord, I have many things to thank you for this week, and today is only Tuesday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Overheard in the house this week 10...

E-Bear:  "Mommy, your baby needs you; you need to hold him.  I don't want him to cry."

G-Bear:  "Mommy, I like your shirt!  Is that a complement?"
E-Bear:  "Mommy, I love you. Is that a complement?"
(Can you tell what the Word on the Street was on Sesame Street this week?  I'm loving it!)

E-Bear (after falling down in the bushes): "Ouch! Ouweee!  I hurt my bottom! Mommy, I hurt my bottom! Mommy, can you kiss my bottom?"

G-Bear:  "Oh, it's okay sweeeeeetie."
(in her most soothing voice while gently rubbing the head of screaming Baby Bear)

E-Bear (Red cape on, arms stretched out, running down the hall to the exam room at the doctor's office for G-Bear's check-up):  "Mommy, I am going to WHOOSH back to the castle!"  (i.e. the exam room)  "WHOOSH!"

G-Bear: "Mommy, do you want to meet my friend Kelly?  This is Kelly."
Me (noticing that Kelly seems to be an invisible friend who is sitting on my bed): "Hi, Kelly, nice to meet you."
G-Bear: "Kelly just had a baby and she is here in the hospital just like you, Mom.  Do you want to hold her baby? She says you can hold her baby. "
Me (picking up an imaginary baby): "Well, sure, I would love to hold her baby."
G-Bear:  "Oops, her baby just pooped.  You can change her diaper for Kelly."

E-Bear:  Mommy, can I have a hug?  Oh, wait.  Be careful of my ouwee on my knee."
Me:  "Ok, E-Bear, I'll be careful."
E-Bear : "But don't worry, it's getting better.  I have a Buzz and Woody bandaid on it!"

E-Bear (leaping out of bed in the morning):  "Gooooood morning trains!  It's time to get up!  Do you want to play?  Mommy, do you want to play too?  You can have James."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nanas are Awesome

NB: All of the below Nana accolades apply to GranMos as well.

GranMo just returned from a week away in Boston.
Nana comes tomorrow to visit for the second (of three!) time in 8 weeks.

We are living the high life around here!

The awesomeness of Nanas is well know around these parts.  
Everything is better when Nanas are around.

For instance:

At our house, there is storytime before bedtime.....

....and there is ipod video time before bedtime with Nana: 

Note storybook replaced by ipod videos....likely princesses.

At our house, there are jellybean treats after dinner.....

and then there is treat time with Nana:

G-Bear's sundae creation built by Nana.

The smile says it all.  Hey, Mom!  Check out my treat!

At our house there is nap time...

and then there is nap time with Nana:

No nap time like cuddling with Nana!

See what I mean?  Our house is the place to be this week.  We are soooooo excited to have Nana coming (and GranMo back!) again.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Month Today

Mommas can never believe their babies are growing up.  I am no different.  How is it possible that little Baby Bear is one month old today?

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Baby Bear, you are the perfect third child.  You are such a peaceful soul.  You are taking in more of the world everyday.  You are so loved.  E-Bear asks for you when he wakes up.  G-Bear asks for you to lay by her as I sing to her at night.  And still, you are so easy on your momma.  Thanks for all the snuggles.  We can see that your smile is on the way, and we can't wait.  

We love you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Miss You, Dee

July 2, 1938 ~ May 19th 2009