Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Grand" Parents

DISCLAIMER: lots of pics!

Our kids are so very blessed to have wonderfully loving grandparents.

Bob's dad went to be with Jesus the day before Father's Day. We were able to spend some good time in New York with him in April before the twins were born but were very sad to say goodbye (for now).

Bob's dad was a character, in the best sense of the word. I remember meeting him for the first time when he visited Bob in law school. He was thoroughly upset when I referred to him as "sir" and told me that's how people talked when he was in the army but not now. He ordered me to stop the No or Yes Sirs. That's a pretty hard task for a good southern girl. But I tried. =)

He was absolutely hilarious. Bob would say this is where he gets his great sense of humor. I won't go that far, but his dad was a hoot. He was Irish to the core and wanted to make sure the kids wore the Notre Dame gear that he would send.

When Eveley was beginning to talk, we debated the many names for her to give him -- grandpa, pops, gramps, etc... But one day she called him by his actual name, Bob Byrne. He loved it and decided that was what the kids should call him. And they did!

We will miss him greatly but will have fun remembering the funny stories he gave us! And we are looking forward to a visit from grandma this week!

On top of the great love that the grandparents show our kids, both of their homes also provide awesome vacation destinations. Whether our kids are going to see Bob's family in upstate New York or my family in southeast Tennessee, they always have a wonderful time filled with outside play and getting dirty.

This past week, the kids and I traveled south to spend the Fourth with my family in Tennessee. Bob had to stay put and work (and catch up on some rest) but my cousin Mathers is still here helping out so we attempted the first road trip with all four.

{almost as difficult as trying to get a group picture of all four...}

It took a ton of prep time -- cleaning out the van, laundry, packing, organizing baby stuff, -- but it went much better than I expected. And, to beat all, the DVD player did not accompany us! {I can hear your gasps}

We have been having some issues with the power outlets in the van, so the DVD player was MIA. It was replaced with several children's CDs and we nick-nack-paddywhacked our way down the interstate.

I'll keep the commentary to a minimum.

One of the highlights of a trip to Tennessee is always getting to spend time with the cousins.

My grandmother gave the twins a wagon -- for future use, of course -- but the other cousins put it to immediate use.

We spent the holiday weekend at a nearby river/campground area, which Caleb innocently referred to as the ocean. (It doesn't take a lot to impress these kids...)

Eveley with Uncle Eric

Caleb and Eveley helped Marmee pick the garden.

until we realized that Hansel Caleb was leaving a trail of green beans.

These action-packed days wore everyone out.

We spent many evenings cooling down in the pool. This was the kids' first chance this summer to swim. I was so excited to see how much they are improving.

{The cousins with Marmee and Pop and their great-grandmother, Mimi}

The twins just sunbathed.

The kids relaxed on the hammock, ate homemade ice cream, had picnics outside, and giggled with cousins.

And the girl cousins experienced their first "Pop's picnic".

Growing up, my dad loved to pile us all in the car on a Saturday and set out for "Papa's picnic". We never knew where we were going, and it wasn't something extravagant, but it was always fun...well, it was usually fun!

Since my dad had the week off from work, he decided to take his 3 granddaughters, Layla, Eveley, and Anna Lea (ages 5, 4, and 3) to the movies to see Cars 2. This would be their first movie theater experience. We women were a little skeptical but the girls (and Pop) were pretty excited. I don't have any pictures of this experience and I'm not sure it will be repeated any time soon. After 3 large buckets of popcorn and 45 trips to the bathroom, the crew returned home. Pop just shook his head. But the girls were still giggling. And when we got home from Tennessee, Bob asked Eveley what her favorite part of the trip was. "Going to the movie fee-ater," she yelled. I would say it was a success.

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Lauren G. said...

Haha! Hope they had fun!!!

CMG's Mom said...

I'm sorry to hear of Bob's father's passing...I remember him so well from the weekend of Robbie's services. He was so sweet and you could just tell would be a joy of a grandpa.
Hugs to you all,

Lauren Gudalis said...

Hope they had fun!

Clare said...

lauren, you are amazing me!! i couldn't even think of a road trip with two kids, good job mama!!