Saturday, November 25, 2017

Happy Kid, Happy Morning

During an outing yesterday, Ben picked out silly straws. It's been amazing to me how captivated Ben has been by them.

Ben and I did a few errands this morning.  Ben has quickly learned how to lock and unlock my Prius.  He doesn't understand the technology involved, but then, neither do I.

In the hunt for bargains, I was able to resist this ornament, even on sale and with a valid coupon in my purse.

Our next stop was the library.

It seemed like we were the only patrons.  Ben found some puppets to play with.

When a kid showed up, Ben asked him if he'd like to play.  This young man was delighted to escape from the lava with Ben.

Our new friend had to leave before we did, so Ben asked me if there was a place he could dance.  I happened to know that there was.

Our next stop was a park.

I loved this park before it was refurbished, and I love it even more now, especially since it has a zip line.  Ben is a pro -- this was his first pass.

The park has a clever merry-go-round.  Ben takes his merry-go-round-riding very seriously.

He jumped off to push when it slowed down.

And then he climbed right back on.

Naps are a gift for tired grandmas, and I'm not talking about a nap for me.

Friday, November 24, 2017

"Those Kids Were Amazing!"

This shipping box has become the place where Ben sits when I put his shoes on him.  A shoe box, so to speak.  Don't ask me how it got started or why it works, but I'm going with it.

Today was a beautiful day.  Ben and I spent quite a bit of time on the balcony chatting and watching birds.  I don't know how there can still be water in my planter hoses, but there is, and Ben learned how to get to it.

My salute to Black Friday involved entering JoAnn Fabric armed with coupons.  Ben chose this X-Wing fighter and has played with this aircraft and its mount all day long, making the purchase a tremendous bargain.

I picked Will and some friends up from campus this afternoon.  Ben saw them approaching the car and asked if one of the girls could sit by him.  At that moment he fell in love with Maddie, who couldn't have been kinder to Ben.  As the day went on, I ordered and picked up my very first pizza from Costco.  Either I was really hungry, or this was very, very good.  Hard to say which.

After hours of games in the basement, the crew came up the stairs.  To Ben's delight, Maddie chased him.  

His affection for her was adorable.

After dropping them off, I asked Ben if those kids were fun.  He said, "Those kids were amazing!"

Completely worn out, Ben played a game on his tablet.  He's almost ready for bed.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Delicious Thanksgiving

Ben has discovered my Legos, which his uncles used to play with.  He knows things can be built with them, like planes or trucks, but he doesn't know how to make them.  Papa helped out this morning.

Later in the morning I found a box scooting along my floor.  It talked, too.  And it poked if I got too close.

My most important task today was to make a coconut creme pie.  Ben helped me with the crust.

Once the pie was in the fridge, Ben and I went to the river and threw a few rocks.

Technique is everything.

Some of the splashes were excellent.

It was a beautiful morning.

Can you see Ben's splash in the right corner?

I spied our shadows in the water.  No people got wet in this endeavor.

Ben and I found a new park this morning.

Why haven't I ever taken kids here before?  Beats me.

This was a perfect playground for a little kid.

Will joined us for our Thanksgiving feast, which Corinne had made while Ben and I were out playing.

The salad included cranberry-flavored goat cheese with pomegranate seeds and blueberries.  And avocado.

Papa Ben requested Corinne's special mashed potatoes, which include sweet potatoes and a celery root.

Ben grilled the salmon.  Will loved it, had seconds, and took home thirds.

Also on the menu was creamed peas and pearl onions.  This was my second favorite part of the meal.

The mushroom gravy, from scratch, of course, was so delicious that there will not be enough left for lunch tomorrow.

This was my plate.  My favorite part of the meal was the stuffing, on the left.  Corinne made this with sourdough bread.  I will never again use regular bread for stuffing.  This was over-the-top delicious.  And those words came from someone who often completely skips the stuffing on Thanksgiving.

The Cannon Center was closed today, so Will missed breakfast.  He was in heaven.

After our meal, Will and Ben played for quite awhile.  Ben and his laser chased Will, but the laser stopped working.  That meant the chasing had to stop while Will fixed the laser.

Once I'd made a dent in the dishes, we sat down for pie.  From now on, this will be my choice for Thanksgiving. 

Later in the day, Papa and I spied this yellow jacket nest while on a walk with Ben.

We had a big problem with yellow jackets this summer.  I think we found the source.

Excuse me for being a little obsessed.  I actually looked for a nest like this during the summer, but for some reason missed this basketball-size nest in a tree 100 feet from my house.

To top off a great day, Ben found a track hoe.  Papa wouldn't teach him how to start it, but he did let him turn the lights on.  Note to construction workers:  Next time, take the keys, please.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Snuggle Game

Ben was up early with me this morning.  He worked with Play-doh.

I worked with pie dough.

I didn't buy a new can of pumpkin this year because I knew I had one.  Somewhere.

Honestly, I'm working really hard to clean out all my shelves, but this looked just fine to me.

Ben built a garage with the magnets.

As I rolled out the dough, I found myself thinking about Mom.  I wondered why, because Mom didn't teach me how to make pies.  Ah, then I remembered.  She gave me the rolling pin at my bridal shower.  At the time I wondered if she was sending me a subtle message.  Maybe not so subtle.  I have used the rolling pin to make many pies, and not for anything else.

Ben was delighted to help me make tarts from the leftover pie dough.  Mom let me help make the tarts, too.

Ben asked if he could have tarts for breakfast.

Since no other adults were up, I said yes.  I added whipped cream and made him chocolate milk.

Will joined us for lunch today.

Ben likes pho.  Will deliberately ordered seafood pho and then gave all his crab to Ben.

Ben behaved much better in the restaurant when Will sat by him.

At this point we couldn't have pried Ben away from Will if we'd wanted to.  Ben came with me to take Will back to campus.

Ben was napping in my bed when Papa and Corinne got home.  I'll spare you the details, but I will say that my mother never, ever burned a pie.

Funny thing, it tasted just fine.

Papa and I took Ben on a walk tonight.  We found kids and a dog and a man with an electric scooter who gave Ben a ride, and we had a fabulous time.

Not to mention that the sunset was out of this world.

After dinner, Ben and I played my newest game.  He loves it.  I love it.  He calls it the snuggle game.  I hope Will loves it, because I suspect this will be a big part of tomorrow's activity.

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...