Monday, June 28, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, technically nothing.  This was taken May 14th, the night before the Cribbies left for their summer at Kanakuk.  At the time, Leo was 20 1/2 months, Zoey was 3, and Ruby was almost 14 months.  It's obvious the 3 cousins love each other and enjoy being together.  Togetherness is a very good thing in our family, because in January 2011 this group of 3 little ones will increase to 5!  That's right, they are each expecting a new sibling.  We are over-the-top excited!!  Erika is due with #2 on January 12, and Jenni is due with #3 on January 26.  Since historically Erika has been late and Jenni has been early, there's the likely possibility that the 2 babies will be born even closer than 2 weeks apart. 

Jenni and Dave do not find out their babies' sex, so we will be 100% surprised by Baby Cribblet.  Erika and Josh like to find out the sex, so we'll know ahead of time (at around 20 weeks) if Baby Wieselet is male or female, but we won't know any names until after these babies are born.

This is Jenni's and Erika's dream come true, because they've always yearned to be pregnant at the same time.  I don't think any of us ever expected them to be so closely pregnant together but God knows best, and we are all very happy about the timing.  We all feel so tremendously blessed to be given these precious new lives to nurture and love.  Stay tuned for updates!  Woohoo!!!  Am I a happy Grammy or what?!!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's a small world after all

This is the house in which I grew up, located in Endwell, NY.  We moved in when I was 1 year old, in 1951.  My father, grandfather, and uncle built this house by hand.  It was a solid, cozy, comfortable home, and I have many happy memories associated with it.  My mother sold the house to a family in 1972 when she, my siblings, and I moved to Florida upon my graduation from college.  In the years since, whenever I've visited my hometown in upstate New York, I've always driven past the house and sometimes dropped in on our former neighbors, but I've never been back inside the house.

Fast forward to the present.  I work out at Curves in my current town in the Dallas area.  I also work there as a circuit trainer 1 Saturday every month.  My last shift was a week ago.  As I was performing my Curves duties, one of our regular ladies, Marge, came up to me and started chatting.  One thing led to another, and she told me she had recently returned from a trip to New York, where she had visited the gravesite of her late husband.  Marge is nearly 20 years older than I, but she's a tiny bit of dynamite.  She's funny, smart, active, and a joy to know.  She's originally from Vienna, Austria, so the adorable accent only enhances her charm. 

As we narrowed down the parameters of Marge's NY destination, it became apparent that we shared many common links.  She had actually been in my hometown!  Now, New York State is nowhere near as large as Texas, but it's not a tiny state.  She could have been anywhere, but she was in lowly Endicott.  Crazy!  We spent the better part of an hour talking about favorite restaurants, shopping, churches, schools, people, etc.  Then Marge mentioned a cousin who lived in Endwell, the small town abutting Endicott where my house is located.  Narrowing down the location even more by using Google maps on the computer, we soon realized that Marge's cousin lived on the street where I grew up.  (cue music from "The Twilight Zone")  I asked her which end of the street--there is a flat end and a very hilly end.  She said the flat end.  Okay, this is getting freaky now, because I lived on the flat end. 

At that point I told her the actual house number, and Marge got out her address book.  Yep, you guessed it.  Her cousin bought my family's house all those 38 years ago, and she still lives there!  You can imagine how Marge and I looked, with our jaws scraping the floor.  Incredulity doesn't even begin to describe it. 

Think about it.....2 virtual strangers living in north central Texas, and 1 of the strangers' cousin lives in the other stranger's childhood home in upstate New York.  What are the odds? 

I can't wait to have more conversations with Marge in the future.  Who knows what other odd connections we might discover?!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Leo's Nom Nom song

So Tony and I babysat Leo last night while Josh and Erika went to a wedding. He was tons of fun, as always. Lately when we've watched him at his house, I've taken to bringing along my laptop, since Leo loves to look at family photos and videos, and if all else fails to keep him happy, I can always resort to showing him endless streams of our family in 2 dimensions. One day not too long ago, I happened upon a very cute video called Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom, and I thought he'd enjoy it. I played it for him a few hundred times, as after the first viewing Leo kept saying "more" and making the baby sign language sign for more. It's a cute, catchy tune, and he loves the little animals.

Okay, fast forward to last night. Tony and I arrived at Leo's house, and while receiving the evening's instructions from his parents, I started taking my laptop out of its case to set up on the dining room table. Leo made a beeline for it and started insistently repeating "Mas, mas, mas!!" Erika and I looked at each other with bewilderment, since we had no clue what he wanted. We finally gave up and continued our conversation. Leo shrugged and went to play with his Papa.

After supper, Leo again went to the laptop and again pointed and very firmly repeated "Mas, mas, mas!!" I sat him down and showed him pictures and videos, still not comprehending, and he patiently waited and watched, every so often punctuating the viewing with a soft "Mas". I was thinking how brilliant my little grandson was, already knowing the Spanish word for "more" at a mere 21 months. After all, we do live in Texas. But something kept gnawing at my brain, and I knew he wasn't really asking for more. Suddenly, the light bulb came on. "Mas" was "mouse"! Leo wanted me to play the Nom Nom video for him! Once I got it going, he was happy as could be, and our frustration ended. Another bullet dodged. Happy Grammy and Leo watched Nom Nom a few hundred times, until it was time for bed. Now I know what to expect the next time, at least for this particular scenario. He's really talking very well. I'm just not listening.

Hope you enjoy the video!

Friday, June 11, 2010

America Rising An Open Letter to Democrat Politicians

This is a very important 3-minute video that explains why we conservatives are putting the Socialists in the White House and Congress on notice. It does not touch every single frustration, but it does nail the main issues. Watch, listen, digest, and remember in November.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A new room, sort of

We've been in this house 26 years next month, and for most of those years we've talked about screening in our back porch.  The house came with a covered porch with 3 sides.  All we needed to do was add the 4th wall of screen.  Such a simple concept.  It took 3 adorable little birds to finally motivate us to do it. 

Lewisville has a "mascot" bird, the purple martin.  These little guys are very pretty, with a sweet song.  They generally like to roost up high, so people buy special purple martin houses and install them on tall poles.  Several years ago 3 of the birds decided to make their homes not up high in one of the exclusive condos designed just for them, but rather on a 1/2" strip of wood under the roof of our porch.  At first we thought they were very charming.  Until they started to poop.  And to construct impossible nests of grass, twigs, and mud.  On our house.  We went to the experts, the good ol' boys at Lewisville Feed Mill, who sold us an assortment of rubber and plastic owls and snakes, guaranteeing the expulsion of the purple martins.  Yeah, right.  The birds and reptiles became fast friends.  The birds were no more afraid of the owls and snakes as I am of oatmeal.  We tried everything.  Squirting them with water from spray bottles (they loved it).  Hanging CDs from string (classy) after being told the mirror effect would scare them (nope).  Letting Millie out to bark at them and loudly clapping our hands and shouting at them.  Our neighbors were worried about our sanity, but the birds just mocked us.  Finally we strung up some clothesline across the porch and hung up an old sheet, thereby not only blocking the view to the pool but also designating us the trailer trash of Clarendon Drive.  Something had to be done.

It was time. Time to finally screen in the porch.  Tony got busy with tape measure, pencil, and graph paper, designing a wall of wood and screen.  After a few minor roadblocks, mainly due to lack of construction experience, he was ready to buy the materials.  Josh offered to help and supply some very cool power tools, which Tony is now coveting.  It's amazing how easily a project comes to life if one has the proper tools.  They worked pretty much all of 2 Saturdays and a few hours of a Sunday (with extra hands offered by Dave), and our open-sided porch is now a lovely, open-air room.  And the birdie problem is solved.  A win-win for the Leos.  The guys also installed a screen door to the garage access.  All we need to do now is paint the wood to match the house trim.  When it gets cooler, we'll paint the concrete floor, install a ceiling fan, and hopefully buy some end-of-season sale furniture.  It will be a nice place for the kids to play, or to enjoy a book, or to have dinner or breakfast.  And it will be permanently poop free.

Thanks, purple martins, for motivating us to finally tackle this project.  Hope you enjoy the condo we put up for you, 'cause Casa Leo is off limits for good.