Sunday, May 26, 2013

My Rocket Man!

Tony has always enjoyed building model rockets.  Years ago he started with kits, then began designing his own rockets.  He gave up the hobby for a while when our daughters grew older and started to lose interest.  But now that he's retired he has the time and patience to work on the models again, and with 6 young grandkids, he has an instant  captive, interested audience of potential future rocket scientists.
At home Tony has his own rocket/hobby room, sort of a man cave.
When he builds a new rocket, he fills the payload section with candy for the kids.  As the section parachutes back to earth after the launch, the kids go running through the field looking for their candy.
I suppose this stuff makes sense to rocket aficionados.
The design table, where the magic happens.
He likes to paint the rockets bright colors to appeal to the kids.
Some recent models under construction.
Um, remember a few pictures back when I said Tony had a man cave?  I neglected to mention he generously shares his cave with our baby paraphernalia.
Only a real man would allow a crib in his man cave.
Yeah, the room literally screams pure masculinity, alright!
Finally, launch day arrives. Maggie and Etta are ready to tromp through the fields in their protective boots.
Leo, Zoey, and Ruby love to explore together.
Sam obviously can't contain his enthusiasm.
The first rocket goes up flawlessly.
What goes up must come down, candy and all!
Setting up for the next launch.
Everything must be perfect so the rocket will go straight up.
Another successful launch makes it into the record books.  After cleaning up our equipment, it's off to McDonald's for ice cream cones.  Memories made!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Super Sam!!!

Our sixth and last (unless God decides otherwise) grandchild was due Oct. 20, just after my   scheduled trip to Disney World (see previous post).  Normally that wouldn't give anyone pause, but Jenni follows my time-honored tradition of always delivering early.  The race was on to see who would arrive in town first, baby or Grammy.

The last day of the Disney trip began uneventfully.  After getting ready and packing for our trips home, the Silver Foxes would spend our final hours at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, savoring one more time the sights, smells, and sounds of the world.  On the water taxi from hotel to theme park, my phone rang.  Jenni was in labor!

As enjoyable as the Disney experience was, my heart and mind were in Texas with my laboring daughter and soon-to-arrive grandchild.  We kept in touch periodically throughout the day.  I was even able to hear Jenni power through several contractions; like her mom, Jenni always labored and delivered naturally without medication or intervention of any kind.  At last it was time to head for the airport.

With Jenni's other three deliveries, I was at her house in a matter of minutes as soon as the call came that she was in labor, ready to help with the other kids.  This time I was half a country away, unable to help at all.  Fortunately, dear, dependable Tony and Erika were able to take care of things in my absence, and no one skipped a beat.  

Sitting at my gate at the Orlando airport, it was all I could do to keep from calling Jenni and Dave every 5 seconds to see how labor was progressing.  Finally, just moments before we were about to board, the call came: Jenni and Dave had a son, Samuel David Cribbs!!  It took every bit of my self control to stay in my seat the next 2 1/2 hours while the plane dragged its way to Dallas with agonizing slowness.  As soon as I landed and collected my suitcase, Tony hustled me straight to the hospital to meet our new grandson.  After a short visit and a stop home to pick up some necessities, we headed to Jenni's so I could send Erika back to her family and take care of the girls for the next few days.
The following day, three very excited big sisters responded to the question, "Who's ready to go meet your new baby brother?"!
The entire Cribbs family of 6, happily reunited at the hospital.
Big sister Zoey had the first turn holding baby Sam......
.....followed by sweet Ruby.....
.....and finally adorable Maggie, who was instantly in love with her 21-month-younger sibling.
Daddy was able to squeeze in a turn, too.
Samuel David Cribbs, hours old, 8 lb. 3 oz., 100% cuteness!
Papa thought Sam was pretty cool.  All the menfolk were ecstatic to have another male in our heavily female-dominated family!
Same was an exquisitely beautiful baby.  Of course, I'm not the slightest bit prejudiced.
He has the bluest eyes.  It will be interesting to see how they end up.  Zoey's and Ruby's turned brown fairly quickly.  Maggie's stayed clear ice blue until about a month before her second birthday, when they suddenly turned gray-green.
After 2 days it was time for Sam to come home!
This is a terrible picture of me, but I couldn't resist sharing the almost instantaneous bond between Sammy and Grammy. 
Sam quickly carved a permanent place in our hearts and lives, especially those of his precious sisters.  We think we'll keep him!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth!

I've been so remiss in my blogging duties lately.  Life is very full these days and priorities (meaning our wonderful, delightful grandkids for the most part) keep us pretty busy, and happily so.  Well, there's nothing like a heavy duty case of bronchitis with a side of sinus infection to slow one down and give one opportunities for catching up with sedentary activities--thanks to Tony, who has imposed total bed rest this week.

This past October some of my dearest high school friends and I met for a long weekend at Disney World.  One of the group, Deb, is a member of the Disney Vacation Club and takes several trips to Disney every year.  A college professor with many commitments, she finds the Magic Kingdom her favorite place to decompress.  After our enjoyable mini reunion in Dallas/Fort Worth last year, Deb invited the same group of gals to be her guests at a beautiful suite in the Animal Kingdom.  Another high school friend who lives in Florida, Terry, met us there with his wife, Betty.  And the fun began.......
Our first day was spent at Epcot, enjoying the annual International Food and Wine Festival. It was my first time at Epcot, so of course I had to take the requisite sphere photo.
Here we are in our Florida finery.  Left to right: Deb, me, Terry (from Vermont), Bobbie (from Oklahoma), Terry, Betty.
That night we were treated to a concert by Starship.  Mickey Thomas still sounds great, and the female singer was a passable Grace Slick.  We were transported back a few years!
Later we saw some beautiful fireworks over the lake, a lovely end to a fantastic day.
The next morning we all donned our "M-E '68 Silver Foxes" t-shirts and headed for the Magic Kingdom.
Yeah, we're hot stuff!  As corny as it was to have match-y match-y shirts, we got a lot of compliments.
We stopped for a yummy lunch at the Plaza Cafe, and we didn't get kicked out for acting silly.
Well, Terry almost did!
After the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, Bobbie channeled her inner Captain Jack Sparrow.  She rocked the dreadlocks!
We had to kick some little kids off this carriage in order to grab a photo op, but they were respectful of the granny Smurfs.
Day 3 took us to Hollywood Studios.  The last time I was in Disney World our kids were 3 and 5, and there was only one theme park.  It was staggering to see how the resort had grown in 30 years.  It's still extremely well designed, authentic, and clean.
Lunch at the Brown Derby was a fantastic experience, just like dining in Hollywood.
Deb's friend Garrett joined us for lunch.  He's well known at Disney so he scored us a celebrity table!
Our table looked out over the entire restaurant.
It's hard to believe you're not in Hollywood when standing in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater.
This is where we stayed......absolutely breathtaking!
The four Silver Foxes on the balcony of our suite overlooking the African Savanna.
Every morning we had coffee in the room while watching beautiful wild animals roam freely below.

The lobby of the hotel was absolutely exquisite.

Our last day at Disney took us back to Epcot for more festival.
Lunch was a lobster roll and a Samuel Adams beer sampler from the New England area.
This is for Ruby, our resident Cinderella.  I hope to be able bring all the grandkids here some day soon.  It certainly is a magical place where dreams come true!