Thursday, December 29, 2011

September 2009

I'm sorting pictures again, early in the morning.  I love to go back and see how Zane has changed, to revisit those photos again and remember how cute he was.  I don't seem to remember otherwise.  He's so cute now, but he's a little boy, no longer a baby.

Zane has such a roguish look on his face in this photo.  He's not walking yet, but he can sure get around.

I took a number of very special pictures at  York 2009.  

These are some of my favorite. This little boy belongs to this family, and he and Zane share a love of wheels. 

Ready for a bath.

Sweet Dreams.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dear Uncle Tim and Aunt Cindy

I don't know if you know how much we appreciate this train set that you gave to us when Titus was finished with it.  Lorene divided it with us, so Zane can play with it here as well as at home.  He loves to play with it so much, that it makes my life so much easier when I have him 8 to 10 hours at a time on babysitting days.  

I have to confess that we enjoy playing with it, too.  (But, only when Zane is here.)  If I set up a track for him in the morning, he will play with it for a long time in the morning, and then come back to it all day long. Sometimes, it takes me quite a while to get it set up.  I always want to try something new and interesting.  

This time I tried to use all the track pieces.  I got pretty close, but the long straight pieces stumped me after a while and I got tired of crawling around on the floor, and Barry was more interested in eating, than in having me build train tracks.

My attention span is shorter than his when it comes to trains. 

I love to watch him play.  There is something fascinating about little trains that go around and over and under and back again all by themselves. Barry likes to watch, too, but his attention span isn't nearly as long. 

I'm beginning to worry what we are going to do when Barry gets mobile.  He'll want to play trains, too, but you know how crawling babies play.  He'll want to be right in there on top of it, heading the demolition crew.

So, thank you, thank you, to Titus for loving trains so much he had a lot to give, to you for being willing to give it to Zane to enjoy and love them. 

They have truly saved my sanity when I have these two little kids to look after three days a week.  You will be happy to have a reasonable sister around for a few more years. 


Gramma At Home.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Snow Fun

 This is the first time my brother got to see his great-nephew Barry Thomas.  

It was also the first time we got snow.  Tim is beloved of all his nieces and nephews because he is young at heart and willingly plays with them. So, as the snow came softly down, 
(after a whole bunch of the stuff came down not so softly)
the youngest members of the family (sans under threes) went out to slide on the packed snow on the road in front of my folks house.
Oh, how often I did this during my growing up years! 
I love snow by the way, but I love it a lot more from the inside these days than I do from the outside.
I used to love a good walk in the snow, on those perfect days, with snow coming down, 32 degrees with no wind, but I'm lazier now.  

I did go out to take pictures of the spectacle.  I tried to take some without the flash.  It gives a softer look, but the flash ensures we can see the action.  I have only a point and shoot digital, so the photos aren't great, but I never did get any pictures of all the times I slid on this road when I was young, my 110 camera just couldn't do that, even if I would find someone willing.  So, taking a trip down memory lane gives us these. 

And, from my old home, you can see the town Christmas tree in the middle of the intersection on Main Street 5 blocks away.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Barry--3 months

It's surprising how much Barry has grown these 3 months, and how much he's learned.  He can smile and laugh, coo and talk.  He can lift his head and chest off the floor.  He likes to look around and watch people work and play.  He had found his tongue, both to chew and stick out.  He also likes to suck on his fists. He likes to stand up either on our laps or being held upright in our arms.  It's like he's tired already of this baby stuff, and "let's get on with life".   

Sometimes Zane likes Barry too much, but it is neat to see him talk to him, trying to get him to smile. 
"Hey, baby, " he says. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby Bare-y

Such a sweet baby makes a sweet subject to photo.  Thanks to Lynette's skills and a little editing, we have some lovely photos. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hit the Rails

 We have this project hanging around the house because we can't bear to get rid of it.  It represents a lot of hard work by our son. When our kids were in elementary school they were in a year-round program that started school in mid-July, had three week breaks between quarters and got out a week later than everyone else.  It was nice when all the kids were in elementary school together.  We took our vacations in March and October and in those breaks we were also offered some mini-classes for kids to help fill up their time.  They also offered some of these same classes in the summer and one summer I signed all the kids up for a week long class and the one I had Nathan take was railroad building, and what they did, was build a piece of scenery using the supplies and techniques that model railroad builders use.

When we saw the finished product we were astounded.  The quality of the work is amazing.  I had no idea Nathan was so talented with his hands. I think this was done in the year between 4th and 5th grade when he was 10.

I love this thing so much, I took pictures of it and am just now getting in a place where I can go back and look at them whenever I want, since someday, it will HAVE to be thrown out.  It measures about 12" wide and 16" deep.  We even found a little trolley car thing to ride on the rails.

View from the top

Down in the Valley


Rugged Terrain

Close-up Again

Over the Top

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods

We always used to sing this song on the way to my grandparent's house.  We always went out to see them in western Nebraska, at Christmas break time, and while they didn't exactly live "over the river and through the woods", we were going to "grandma's house", and there were a few trees around their home place in the sandhills.  Now we take that trip to MY folks house and we do go over the river, but there aren't any woods to go through either, they are all "out back" near the river overflow that the house is situated next to.  

It wasn't exactly Christmas break this time, but the first time my brother was visiting my folks, since moving as far away from the middle of the US as he could get. So, we went, even though snow was expected and hindered part of us getting there in a timely manner, as well as making the home going difficult. 

However,  the whole point of this is the remembering.  Remembering the places we've visited and the places we've lived, and the toys we played with. 

My daughter and family came along, so almost three year old Zane needed toys, so out came the toys that are left from the raising of four kids.  

The ones that are left, are my favorites.  I remember playing with these Fisher-Price toys, A LOT.  

We had the whole set, house, barn, garage, school.  We took turns (I hope) on who got what building, set them up and played, visiting our people back and forth, telling stories, playing games, and shutting up our naughty children in the little staircase that had an actual door to get in it.  

Zane liked the the garage the best, which is understandable since he likes anything with wheels, and acts like there are no other toys worth playing with in the world.  

They don't make the Fisher-Price house and barn anything like this anymore.  They are big with "chunky" people.  So, kids won't swallow them, I suppose.  But, little kids didn't play with these sets.  I played with them until I was 10 and long past putting anything into my mouth except food, and lots of it. I don't think kids play with toys very long anymore.  We did, we didn't have anything else TO do. There weren't electronics in those days.  I loved these because of the details, the paper on the inside of the rooms had carpet and wallpaper and other things that didn't come as furniture. There were stalls and animals in the barn, ABC's and apples in the schoolroom, and roads on the garage. Because of these, I like anything miniature. I had so much fun with these I expected my kids to, but they didn't.  They never played with them like Zane did when we were there.  I guess each kid likes his own thing, and that wasn't ours.  

We are making new memories, too.  Grandpa Black often has raspberry cider for us to drink. I see Zane enjoyed it too. 

This little train is another memory.  I don't remember playing with it myself.  But, it has been around a long time.  Dad painted it.  But I would have liked it just the same it it wasn't.  

Zane made good use of it as a place to hold his snacks. 

Time marches one, things change.  It is nice to see some things never change.  Especially little boys and their fascination with wheels.