Monday, May 2, 2011

Visit of Love

My parents came for a weekend visit. For the past couple of weeks, my boys have crossed off a calendar box each day to count down. 

Friday, the day my parents were due to arrive, Micah woke up early asking if "Gwamma and Gwandpa are going to be here in time for bwekfast?" Sorry kid, you have a full day of waiting and they won't be here until dinnertime. This didn't bode well since, after all, the calendar showed they were coming "ttoooooddaaaayyyyyyy!" [Insert tears. Loud tears.]

The boys biked laps up and down the cul-de-sac during the half hour before they arrived. You can imagine the excited, and shrill, yell when Grandpa and Grandma's car turned the corner and Grandma jumped out to run alongside the boys.

My parents live in Michigan and spring hasn't sprung yet, so they were happy to enjoy sunny skies and warm temps and fully-blossomed trees. We made sure to play outside and grill each day they were here.

Friday evening we enjoyed an evening at our local park. My Dad spent time with his two of his favorite girls...
... while my mom joined the boys and played soccer. Yes, you're seeing what you think you're seeing. Grady Lee's shorts are indeed around his legs and he is being supervised while taking care of business. When you gotta go, you gotta go!
We walked and talked while the boys raced and made skid marks on their bikes. Apparently, when you are three and four years old it's a big deal to compete in skid-making contests.
After playing, biking, walking, sliding, hanging, and swinging, it was time to head home and put three very tired kids to bed.
Saturday morning Grady Lee was so excited that "Grandpa and Grandma get to come watch me play soccer because I'm very good at soccer and I've gotten five goals! I'm going to run fast and show them how good my cleats stick in the mud!"
I'm not so sure my parents were excited to see cleats dig into the mud, but I know they enjoyed watching Grady Lee trot around the field, Micah play with his buddies, and Annalyse smile and coo. 
After an injury-free and drama-free soccer game, we went strawberry picking. My parents were visiting this same time last year and we picked berries together. I'm declaring this our new annual tradition.
Micah has never been a fan of strawberries, but he couldn't keep them out of his mouth this time! Every time I turned around he had red juice running down his chin. And on his shirt. And on his shorts. And on his knees. And on...
How's that for some berrylicious goodness? Come on over and open my fridge - the smell of fresh strawberries will knock you over when you open the door. Yummness.
Later that Day, my Mom brought Annalyse downstairs donning a dress I wore at her age lots and lots of years ago. Still cute and semi-in-style... I just may have her wear it to church a time or two before it's too small.
Grady Lee and Grandpa watched Toy Story together, but I'm not sure if Grandpa's eyes stayed open through the whole thing. He may have snuck in a short catnap... lucky.
Alright. Put on your thinking caps. Remember this time last year when my parents visited and my dad helped build the now famous sandbox in our backyard? 

Well, what fun is a sandbox without new, clean, fresh sand? My parents took the boys to Home Depot and bought bags of sand to top off what has been lost since last year. I think a third - nope, maybe two thirds - of what was initially put into the sandbox ended up in my washing machine, on my floors, or in the grass. But you know what? I wouldn't change it for a second. 

My boys spend hours in the sandbox. Hours that I don't have to entertain them. Hours that I don't have to worry or wonder what they're up to. Hours that involve creative play outside. Hours that let them dig and build and be boys.
That evening, Grandpa showed the boys the trick to roasting marshmallows so they are golden brown. Growing up, my dad and uncles held contests for Perfectly Golden Roasted Marshmallows. I grew up listening to exchanges of bragging rights, and now, I think my boys have been taught the tricks of the trade.

Thank goodness, too, because check out the flaming torch of a marshmallow in this picture. That would be Grady Lee who hasn't yet been taught by the Master Roaster.
Just think, next spring this little girl will want in on the action. Maybe not to roast one, but certainly to eat one!
At last, Grady Lee's turn to learn. Although, I think his patience level demands that he crisp every marshmallow so that he can be done and on to the next one STAT.
Grandma assumed her self-imposed role of bath time and shower time giver, a role which I didn't fight to take back from her.
And, before we knew it, it was Sunday morning and time for church. Our weekend together was almost over.

I love having my parents visit our church. They are always so interested in where we worship, who we serve with, who our friends are, where we do ministry, how our kids are learning... it's fun to show them a small piece of the place that makes up the most important place for our family.
Sunday was a relaxing day at home, playing and enjoying being outside. Inevitably, this morning dawned and it was time to say goodbye. Goodbyes are hard. Real hard.

Especially hard when I don't know when the next hello will be.


  1. Oh, looks like a wonderful visit filled with togetherness. What a blessing. I hope it won't be too long before you see each other again.


  2. What an awesome visit together!! I LOVE that last photo of all of you together, beautiful!!! How cool that they came all this way just for a weekend visit...that's love!

  3. Grandparents are such a blessing. It looks like you had a wonderful weekend. And I loved the picture of Annalyse in the sink, so sweet!

  4. So glad you had a wonderful weekend!