Saturday, July 30, 2011


There is a road sign near an exit in Brooklyn that reads---

Leaving Brooklyn?  Fuhgettaboutit!

But, all good things must come to an end…  Here is a list of what I will miss the most from my visit and what I won’t really miss.

  • Of course, the grandkiddos…
  • I do like walking everywhere, it was just so hot this visit
  • Elaine coming and grabbing my hand to go and see or do something
  • Century 21…it is not a real estate office but a great department store with real brand name markdowns
  • Amazing Savings…a little like a Big Lots but cleaner and a great aisle of scrapbook supplies
  • A Thai restaurant we got take out from…so much better than Chinese take out around here
  • The many, many people and different nationalities…like having the entire world walking beside you on the sidewalk
  • Simple living…I always come home from Andrea’s with a desire to change something

What I would like to Fuhgettabout!

  • The traffic…one day we went out to do a couple of errands and we sat in traffic a long time.  I asked Ben how far we might have gone…only about three miles away!
  • Parking…or the lack of it
  • Street cleaning…running out to move the car (thank you for being home that morning Ben!) and then two hours later running back to move it again.  Repeat this the next day for the opposite side of the street.   If you park over on another block, better check to see when their street cleaning day is so you can run out and move your car!
  • The heat…and the phrase “heat index”.  As if 103* isn’t hot enough we have to be told it is really 113*!
  • LaGuardia Airport…I have yet to arrive in new York or leave as scheduled. And this time, we sat on the runway waiting to take off for an hour and a half!  If the Pilot ever comes on the speaker and begins with the words “well, folks,” you had better brace yourself.

It looks like there is still more to like about New York than to dislike, so I will be back!

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Golden Morning

My last morning in Brooklyn was just about as perfect as perfect can get.  It started off right when Andrea said to me, “it’s only 76* out today!”  Awesome!  A perfect morning to walk up the street and get a bagel! 


Andrea had found a new bagel shop and one of the best things about it is that it was caddy-cornered from a Starbucks!



We purchased our bagels and went over to Starbucks to get coffee and eat.  Elaine wanted to sit at this little round table.






She was so fun and happy!  Nolan too…


…you can tell by his toes!  See how they twitch?


On our walk home Elaine was feeling very playful!  She was doing the splits on the sidewalk and walking backwards.  There was some construction on the street and she loved watching the big shovel dig and dump into a big truck…(she’s been reading Diggers and Dumpers!)  It was a wonderful morning and made it hard to want to leave.


I sure do miss these three!  You too Ben!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Greatest Show on Earth…

It’s not the circus, though some days I’m sure Mom feels like it is.  And it is not the latest Broadway show.  Maybe one day when I visit New York I’ll take in that show, but really nothing can compare to a day with grandkids!  It’s an entirely different kind of a show but well worth watching! 

Bath times…always an adventure!



Helping! Smile


Mornings with Elaine.  I just love peeking in her room when she hollers to get up.  I catch her eye and get the biggest smile.  She is ready to be picked up and the adventure begins…first she has friends that must come along…and she points them out to you in the crib.  Bunny, Betsy, her cup, sometimes a blanket, sometimes another stuffed critter. There is quite an entourage she brings along! 





Here she is all ready for breakfast!  Betsy is going to join us today!








And here she is after adding a few more fruit loops to her bowl.  This was actually a snack and not breakfast.  And actually, Grandma was supposed to be watching her and I guess I wasn’t!


Busy.  Wouldn’t you just love to crawl into their minds and see what they are really thinking!


img_3562A suitcase is a perfect place to sit and write a few thoughts down!

Maybe she’s thinking of sending an email to Grandpa!

Here’s Nolan and Elaine and Betsy posing for Mom’s diaper blog.  They are all wearing the same diaper…gumball!

Swimming.  Ben and Andrea’s landlord put in a pool and said they could use it.  They went down after the Birthday party to cool off…they said it was like getting into a heated pool.  This was around 7:00 in the evening!  I stayed with Nolan and took these pics from the kitchen window!



Ben is teaching Elaine to float.


Pretty good!

Outings.  By foot or by car we are looking good!



And what does Nolan do for the show?  Well, he does cry and gets fed.  Or he cries and gets his nappy changed.  But he pretty much does this…


He’s very good at it too!

Showers of Blessing

Editor’s Note:  I was writing this post last night and was too tired to finish it.  I looked at my email today and Andrea has this very same post on her blog today!  You might want to look at it here.  You can get Andrea’s take on the event.  And some better photos… a woman at the shower was taking pictures and she is photographer!

The ladies of Andrea’s church planned a surprise shower for her.  Andrea did not have a clue.  First of all because you usually only receive a shower with a first baby.  Secondly, these ladies had already taken up a collection and bought a new double stroller for Andrea.  So when we walked into the church on Saturday afternoon, and those ladies all yelled “Surprise”…Well it was a good thing Ben was standing by to hold her up! 

The theme of the shower was Showers of Blessing and that is just what took place!

img_3648This is Agnes and Mary, they put the shower together


This is just the dessert table. The kitchen was also full of hot food dishes.  That struck me as a labor of love, because it was really hot in New York.  I would not have wanted to turn the oven on to cook!  They even boxed up a large pan of leftovers to go home with.



Ben’s Mom and sister drove down from MA to be at the shower also.  Here’s a Grandma shot…both of us with Andrea and the little grands!


Meredith met Nolan for the first time and Sissy had not seen him since he first arrived home from the hospital.  He has put on a couple of pounds since then.


img_3663 img_3661

My umbrella girls! Andrea in the “special chair” and Elaine with one of the table decorations! (Have I mentioned that she is just so cute?  Not in this post anyway!)


These girls sang Cherish the Moment…very sweet.  There were a lot of teary eyed Moms when they finished.  Their Mom, Sherry Hyden, gave the devotion.  (Her husband is the Pastor of the Russian congregation that shares the same building as Ben and Andrea’s church.)


It was an acrostic of Nolan’s name and full of encouraging and practical examples.

N-new grace that God gives.  For each child and each day!
O-only you can be your child’s Mother…and it is an important work God has for you…Eph.2:10
L-look to and lean on God. Your quiet time and prayer are important.  God, Who created and knows your child best, will hear your prayers for help. 
A- a sense of adventure is a good attitude to have, whether it is an exciting time or a time of trouble.  Prov. 22:6 
N- never ending encouragement to start and to keep doing what is right.  Gal. 6:9

And then the gifts. It was just such a joy to see the love and care each of the ladies have for Andrea.


After the shower there were many “hands” pitching in to clean up and put the room back in order for the church service on the following day.  These ladies gave of their time, energy, creativity…and it was evident it was from the heart. 

From my perspective, my heart was very full.  I know in many ways it has been a struggle and kind of tough for Ben and Andrea to make the move to Brooklyn. (This is also my perspective but in a lot of ways, it is a foreign country!) But when you follow the Lord’s leading in your life, these things are not a surprise to Him. He takes care of you and in many ways it is through your church family. I was so glad to see Andrea being cared for in person and be reminded that shower’s of blessings are much more than a theme for a baby shower. It is God’s Hand of grace poured out in very real ways!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Brooklyn Re-visited


Here are two of my favorite things…Elaine and bagels in New York.  Andrea found a new bagel shop and we tried it out my first morning in Brooklyn.   I also had an iced coffee for the first time…it was already a bit hot out.  I think an iced coffee is kind of refreshing when it is 100* out.  But if it’s only 90*, I’ll keep my coffee hot.


Here’s my New York girls!!


Nolan did what he does best,  snooze!


Then we did some fun shopping and went home to sit near the AC units! .

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Happy, Happy Birthday Benjamin!

Friday was Ben’s 26th Birthday!!  You are a very blessed man indeed Ben!  You are a great husband and Dad! You love the Lord and serve Him faithfully!  You are a hard worker and walk in integrity in all that you do.   We are very blessed to have you in our family!



Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Getting Ready to Party!!

On Thursday evening us girls did a bit of scrapping.  We needed to make Birthday cards for Ben.  (It was his Birthday on Friday.) 

img_3591She’s a natural!


img_3592Those are hands from both Mom and Dad…helping!


Ben says it’s a keeper…he’s a good Dad!

Then Andrea made Ben a chocolate cake...His favorite!  Yes, she turned the oven on in 100+ heat.  Yes, that was at night time! No, that does not include the heat index!  (Did you hear NYC is having a heat wave?   Sure wish it would wave on out to the ocean!)  Elaine and I frosted it the next morning and we put the cake in the fridge all day…Ben likes it cold.


Being a good Grandma and following the advice I read everywhere “to sugar up the grandkid”), I showed Elaine to stick her finger in the frosting and lick it off!


We quickly graduated to the spoon!


Here’s our gift for Ben…I used snowman paper to help us “feel” cool. It really didn’t help!img_3621

My card for Benimg_3619

Andrea and I also walked up around the corner to get some balloons and candles at the dollar store.  I wished I had a way to measure the heat coming off of the houses.  And the little shop did not even have a fan blowing!  I could not believe it!  Sweltering!!  Well, let's get onto the Birthday Party.  That is more my kind of a “hot time!!”


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