Happy Grandparents Day!
Grandparents are such important people in our lives. From the very beginning they show us unconditional love. I grew up with grandparents close to our home. So many of my childhood memories include moments spent with them.
I remember Sunday dinners, sleepovers, board games, music lessons, walks around the Square and yummy banana bread or sugar cookies from the cookie jar.
I remember picking raspberries from the garden. Some even made it to the old ice cream bucket we were trying to fill. I remember climbing an old crabapple tree and feeling on top of the world.
There were afternoons in the glider swing while we waited for the temperatures to cool or a breeze to find us; and old family stories told at the kitchen table while drinking yummy strawberry soda. We rocked in chairs on the porch and helped to count the cars that passed on Main Street.
There were sleepovers with cousins (and sometimes without), in beds warmed with heavy quilts. Peaking into the biggest cedar chest I've ever seen and admiring the treasures or knew I could find a pair of hand-knit slippers or mittens to warm me when I needed.
I love those memories.
|My dad's mother. Raised her four children primarily as a single parent. Widowed when my dad was 7 years old. Worked long days. I don't think I ever heard her complain either.|
|With some of Dad's family, a weekend at the cabin near Black River Falls. |
|Elma (Hollibush) Dreher - her eyes smiled. |
I was pregnant with Erin and visiting WI. Grandma was in the nursing home already. She passed April 23, '88.
|And then it was our turn...|
Our first grandson Adam, born April 28, 1983 in WA. He is the son of Mike's oldest Rex and his wife Debbie. With Adam's arrival I was officially a grandma before my own mom!
|Mike and I at the baptism of our first granddaughter Andrea, born May 26, 1984 in WA. Her folks, Rex and Debbie, brought her to Santee, CA where we lived, for her baptism in our church. We were her Godparents as well as very proud Grandparents.|
|From the beginning Rex and Debbie have been family as well as good friends. When you have a family tree which resembles a forest you have to celebrate your uniqueness. Our visits have always been memorable - good times.|
|Washington visit Spring 1985 - granddaughter Andrea, daughter Erin and grandson Adam. Andi is eight months younger than Erin and Adam is six months older. These two were the very first to call me Gramma Deb.|
|Mike with our beautiful granddaugher Jourdan, born July 3, 1992 in Jamaica to Mike's daughter Renee and son-in-law Jerry. We were so blessed to have them visit us once or twice a year in Wisconsin.|
|Our first blue-eyed grandchild, Mikayla was born in TX January 12, 2000 to Mike's daughter Tonya and son-in-law Danny.|
|Hopeton - lived with Renee and Jerry as a young man, now an adult working at and care-taker of the school. He was never officially adopted but is family in our hearts.|
|Nardia, too, came to live with Renee and Jerry as a young teen, and now assists at the school as an adult. She is a beautiful young woman who has a heart of gold. We love her as one of our own.|
|Hopeton, and grandsons Kalen and Mandela. Mandela remains in Jamaica where he is volunteering in their community and helping at the school.|
|Grandson Alex. Now on his second tour in the USN, serving on the USS Carl VInson - following his Papa's footsteps in the Navy's aviation world.|
|Our beautiful granddaughter Naidia. Graduated highschool in Texas, works and attends college in the Dallas area. Children are drawn to her big heart and contagious smile.|
|Our youngest grandson (to date) and MY first grandchild Taten, born in WA April 4, 2007.|
|Both Mike and I have such special memories of times spent with our own grandparents. We love having this same opportunity with Tate.|
|We are so blessed to have Tate be a part of our every day lifes. He spends two mornings a week with Papa and Drahma before going to school.|
Over the years we've tried to remain a part of all of our grandchildren's lifes though not always with success. Our visits to Washington have helped to remain close to our oldest Grands.
We've missed too many music concerts and sporting events due to geography and schedules. Sadly Mike even missed Jourdan and Naidia's graduation because of his health.
We just have to be accepting of things over which we have no control. It's not always easy... So you just move forward.
|Today our Jam-Texas Grands look like this... all grown up.|
|Adam and Alexis have blessed us with our very first GREAT-granddaughter Ava and are due with a second child the end of September. Add TWO GREATS to our GRAND count|
|Our oldest grandchildren Andrea and Adam with Alexis|
|Our oldest granddaughter Andrea, beautiful, single, independent and loving Auntie to Ava.|
|Our younger Texans are now Teen and Tween in Tennessee...|
Our youngest grandchild is now a big kindergartener!
(Drum roll please... ) And our family circle will expand to welcome Grandchild #12.