Friday, February 14, 2014


Zoe was our very first grand-puppy. Just a year after Chris and Kelsey were married, Zoe came into their lives as a sweet little Corgi pup. Yesterday she passed away, just shy of her 15th birthday and as sweet-natured as ever. We will all miss her. Be sure to check out Kelsey's tribute to Zoe, here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Highlights of Robert's Visit

Until this visit, the "kids' room" in our house looked like this.

The pretty little white sleigh bed and armoire used to be Clara's, until she got her bunk beds and passed this set along to us. It was perfect for Clara, but it was QUITE feminine; and Robert was relegated to a little air bed on the floor. Now that he's getting bigger, a bedroom re-do was in order. Bunk beds seemed the way to go, since the room is not large. Here's our new, more gender-neutral room for two. 

And now it has been Robert-tested and -approved. I was surprised at how easily and happily he went down each night, and how quickly he fell asleep. He told me it was his "very, very, very, very favorite bed ever!" (He's definitely into the superlatives.)

This truck/trailer rig was new to our toy box, and Robert played with it almost non-stop. Give this boy something with wheels, and he's perfectly content! It was his "most, most, most favorite thing" to play with.

On Sunday afternoon we did some artsy-crafty stuff, including making valentines. I thought, since Robert's middle name is "Fox," that he would like to make the cute fox valentine for his sister, Clara. But he was quite adamant that the fox should be "To Robert, From Robert," and that Clara would prefer a penguin valentine. He loved gluing on the googly eyes. 

Our original plan was to take Robert home on Tuesday but, in watching the weather forecast, we saw that Tuesday was going to be a re-run of Friday . . . treacherous, icy roads. So we shifted our plans and took him home on Monday afternoon. In the morning, before we left, I took him to Kiddo Kingdom, a big play area full of bouncy houses. He LOVED it! (It was the "most, most, most fun place ever.") I think it might become a tradition for when the kids are here. It is the perfect place to release some of that pent-up energy. 

It was just after 4:00 p.m. when we arrived in Katy, where Robert & Family live. Clara had just gotten home from school. It was fun getting to spend time with her and hear about the excellent time she had on her weekend daddy/daughter camping trip. On Tuesday we surprised her by showing up for lunch at her school. We got to sit with her at the visitor's table and take in all the wonderful hubbub of a cafeteria full of grade school kids.

We spent two nights at their house, waiting for the road conditions to improve, and left on Wednesday morning. Robert got very clingy at the end and, in keeping with the superlative theme, told us he loved us "very, very, very, very much, even seven-by-seven and a thousand!" and that he wanted us "forever!" Way to Grandma and Grandpa's heart, Robert! We assured him that, even though we had to go to our house, we were his forever.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Next Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock - that spontaneous, free-form, abstract artist from the 1940s and 1950s - is well known for his large canvases painted while they were stretched out on the floor or ground. He is remembered for his style of dripping, flinging, splattering and pouring paint onto the canvas. Check out THIS picture of Pollock-in-action and compare it to Robert-in-action on our back patio yesterday afternoon:

And as for works of art, I may be looking through Grandma-colored glasses, but I think Robert's Number 1: Gray compares quite favorably to Pollock's Number 14: Gray.

We had a blast yesterday afternoon painting the patio, the fence and the bricks on the house. What fun this little guy can have with something as simple as water and a paint brush. Of course, a water shooter added another dimension to the fun. I wonder if Pollock ever used one of these to put paint to canvas?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mission Aborted

Today was the big day! We got up and headed to Somerville, TX, where we were to meet Kelsey, who would hand-off Robert to us for our long weekend together. We have been looking forward to this for awhile, and Kelsey says Robert has been really excited.

Imagine our disappointment (and Robert's), therefore, when we failed at our mission and had to turn around and return home without our little passenger. The Winter Weather Advisory that we read about (and doubted) turned out to be accurate. When we left Temple, at 9:00 this morning, it was cold (in the 20s), but dry - no problem. But before we reached Cameron it started to rain, and the roads were getting slick. Our windshield, wipers and mirrors were icing up. After several emergency vehicles passed us, we stopped at a convenience store and learned that there was a 5-vehicle pile-up on a bridge, just ahead. There was no alternate route for us and, even if there had been, we knew it wasn't wise to continue on in these conditions. So we made the call to Kelsey, telling her it was a no-go for this morning. It was sad but absolutely the right decision. On our way back home we came upon two more wrecks involving multiple vehicles. We drove slowly, carefully and prayerfully and made it home just fine.

We will watch the weather and make revised plans when it looks safe. These pictures show the icy glaze that coated our car by the time we arrived back home.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Visit with Captain America/Spiderman

You've heard of "mixed metaphors"? This is "mixed superheroes."

We drove up to Dallas on Friday to visit Dan's sister, Marci, and Caleb, Tammy and Miles (her son, d-i-l, and grandson). Marci was in a bad car accident about three weeks ago, and is staying at Caleb's while she recuperates from some pretty severe bone bruises and other aches and pains (no broken bones, thankfully). Although she is still limping and has difficulty sitting down and getting up, we were relieved to see that she is making good progress in her recovery.

We had a great visit. They took us out to a Japanese hibachi grill for dinner on Friday, which was a real treat.

While our Robert is infatuated with cars, little Miles is equally into superheroes. Here he is, sitting with his daddy, Caleb (whom he calls "Papa"), while watching a Superman movie on TV.