Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's a Guest Post!

(One of these things is not like the others ...)

I have a Guest Blogger today -- my mother-in-law! The idea that she would ever blog would probably make her fall on the floor laughing (although she does possess an astonishing array of skills), but there is a first time for everything. You know, some of my best childhood memories are of times spent at my grandmother's house. I don't think we ever baked cookies, but she provided me with plenty of love and attention and oatmeal served in Bunnykins bowls ("Eat up," she'd say, "so you can find out which picture is at the bottom.") I sometimes think that my grandmother was most successful in her role as a grandmother, that that perhaps gave her the most fulfillment in an otherwise rather painful life. She suffered a massive stroke when I was sixteen, changing her life and our relationship dramatically, so I'm so glad she made the most of our time together and left some indelible memories.

So, without further ado, cutting and pasting from an email sent to my SIL and me tonight after we fetched home our adored offspring, I give you ... JoAnn, a.k.a. Nonnie, in her own words.

We have just had a wonderful, awesome time together, and now that the children are all in the care of their mommies, I am going to post some photos and try to convey some of the highlights of the past 24 hours, before I forget them altogether ... Life is full of memories, and it is always a joy to be a part of the happy ones.

All the children play so nicely together. I don't know how much longer we can expect the older ones to be content with this; I think the Great Divide may not be too many years off, now, but we shall continue to enjoy their imaginative play as long as possible.

Everyone enjoyed a dip in the Corks' pool; it was a blistering hot day, so the pool was so welcome. Then we all packed into my car and went to our house.They all got into their dress-up clothes almost as soon as they got in the door. I got out the doll clothes my mother had made for my best doll when I was growing up. She had made a whole wardrobe of clothes for her, including a bride dress (!). The veil from that outfit spent more time on little girls' heads than on the doll, but that was fun, too, and they took turns. the girls really enjoyed playing with Cathy's clothes. I'm glad I saved them.

Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs, then we went upstairs to watch a movie. Ashley chose to watch a Christy movie, Ian played a computer game and the others watched Alice in Wonderland. I finally got everyone bedded down around ten. I'll never stop enjoying the sight of five little ones sprawled all over the game room fast asleep in various ridiculous positions. How can they be comfortable all twisted around like that?

They were all up by eight, and Ashley fixed the eggs and I did the sausage and cinnamon toast. Yum! Lots of pink lemonade, made pink by the addition of pomegranate juice, which as we all know, is very healthy and compensates for the fact that there is so much sugar in the lemonade. We sneak those vitamins in any way we can.... ;-)

While they played upstairs, I cleaned up the kitchen and set up for the tea party. I was so amazed at how excited they all were about this, even Ian, who I hadn't expected to want to participate. I brought out my beautiful china tea cups, and he was in there early on to choose the black one with roses on it. Ashley was a great help to set things up. then they all went to collect their dollies and put on their fancy dresses. I had the little china tea sets for the dolls and the real tea cups for the children. I fixed one pot of peach tea and one pot of lemonade. The lemonade won, hands down. I think Eliza was the only one who liked the peach tea. Even the dollies didn't like the tea! But they really enjoyed the miniature Oreos that I found for them. There were also regular size Oreos and chocolate chip cookies for the children.

Ian enjoyed his portion, then left to play a computer game, while the rest of us stayed at the party. At one point, Ashley tapped her cup with her spoon and said, "I have an announcement to make." When she had our attention, she said, "Nonnie, I want to thank you for having this lovely tea party for us." Then she asked the other children to say something. Eliza: "This is really a lovely tea party." Amber: "We forgot to pray. Let's pray." At which point we all joined hands, with dollies in between, and had a brief prayer, emphasizing our request that the Lord would bring Opa home safely. Caroline also tapped her tea cup and shyly said, "Thank you, Nonnie. I love you." Needless to say, Nonnie's heart was filled to overflowing.

After the tea party was over, they all went upstairs to make crowns. A little while later, Caroline came downstairs with hers on her head, skipped around the room and sang, (to the tune of "happy birthday") "Happy tea party to you..."
And a good time was had by all.


Jenni (SIL) said...

What a blessing that our kids have such an awesome Nonnie!

Stephanie said...

I just got misty-eyed.

Tim said...

Family, at its best...

Bear Creek Mama said...

Okay, a sleepless night brought me, at long last, to your blog and I've been seriously laughing through your menagerie of posts. This one brought mists to my eyes especially since it followed the reading of noticing the wonder of our children. I must admit, I've not been doing too much of that lately :) Thank you for sharing with me some of the amazing reasons we "do" this life. Yes, "Family, at it's best..."