My dear, dear folks came to visit this past week. They are such wonderful people. We were all very much in need of their love and attention. And did they ever deliver! Let me count the ways. Let's see, there was the yard work, and the reading to children, and the garden expansion, and the game playing, and the exterior clean-up, and the concert going, and the food prepping, and the scripture reading, and the movie going, and the frame finding/hanging, and the secret bed making, and the shed cleaning out, and the basketball shooting, and the happy chatting, and the yummy restaurant eatings, and the joke telling, and the compliment giving, and the choir attending, and the flower planting, and on and on and on. These guys came and gave everything to us, day after day. The only thing we could give in return was our wonderful springtime weather and our smiles and hugs and thanks. Not sure it was balanced, but they didn't seem to care. Here are some pictures of the fun:
We've had this sandbox for at least six months now, but making the push to buy the sand and put it under the play place was apparently too much for us. Until now! And it's a gift that keeps on giving; the two littles are at this exact moment in the same positions you see them below, while I type blissfully nearby:
(Annie wanted to remember her sand castle creation. She's been learning lots from those cake shows on Netflix.)
Our garden produced some wonderful greens during the visit. We had enough homegrown happiness for four or five family salads, made up of kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce. Annie's garden for the win!
Speaking of gardens, ours is thriving! So much so that we got the courage to double it in size by removing some nearby bushes. And by "got the courage" I mean I told my dad I was thinking about doing it and 12 minutes later, the bushes were out and the garden was huge! He was like my fairy godfather---bippity boppity boo!
With our newfound spaces, we (Gramps and Annie) planted pole beans, tomato plants, cucumbers, bush beans, and a basil plant. Bring on the summer veggies!
The rest of us looked on and helped when needed/blew bubbles/shot basketballs that night. Soren also had his adorable new binoculars from Sunbeams handy, just in case.
Gardening by osmosis (aka watching while other people get their fingers dirty) is my favorite kind of gardening!
We asked Zane to take a couple pictures that same night. Soren would NOT cooperate until we offered him some MarioKart time (another highlight--getting batteries after needing them for many, many months--I'm telling you, things other than food for the table and toilet paper are just outside my usual purchasing radar). And even then, his best attempts were a little subpar. As my mom noted, it's hard to get both. sides. of. the. smile. up at the same time sometimes! Silly boy.
Hydrangeas started to pop during the visit! Can't wait for more to come.
Here's another fun activity, this time inside the house. This is our beloved Golden Books Go Fish game, in which you might be asked, "Do you have the Saggy Baggy Elephant?" or "Do you have the Pokey Little Puppy?" When Soren sat down across from my dad, he said outloud, "I'm going to crush the competition!" And he did.
(Lucky you, there's the Saggy Baggy Elephant down in front!)
One thing that was very cool this trip was that both my parents got to take a grandchild on a date to a performance at the Brooks Center on campus. My mom and Zane went to something called Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk and my dad got to take Annie to the CU Symphony Orchestra where some of her older ballet friends performed with one of the numbers. We don't have a picture of the Gigi/Zane night, only funny stories about missing the turn and almost going all the way to the church in the next town instead, but we do have a picture of Annie all dressed up with Gramps. As you can see, they were quite a pair throughout the visit.
And speaking of the Botanical Gardens! :) What, we weren't speaking of that? Well we are now, and let me tell you, I've figured out the way to get Zane pumped about the Botanical Gardens. Simply allow him to skip school AND supply him with a Slurpee and you're golden. Brilliant! It only took Gigi and Gramps to figure it out!
We basically walked around and soaked in the beauty of spring and our love for each other that morning. And when it got too hot, we left. Easy peasy.
(It was such a nice change to see a smile on that Zane's face! Love these boys of mine!)
Here's one more shot from my front yard. Happy girls, beautiful azaleas:
I am so grateful for my parents. They swooped in and gave us a wonderful and memorable week. Brandon was here for the first half, but he got out of pictures by going out of town for a conference before I got my camera out. And when he left, though we missed him, his void was filled by these two loving helpers. Easiest out-of-town-conference endurance ever.
On top of everything, my parents make me feel like a super hero. Much like Soren below. Mom and dad, thanks for making me feel like I have huge muscles, inside and out! Love you guys!