Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Grandma-ing and Other Things

The story of the irises and the short hailstorm strikes me as a metaphor for life. We can be doing well, "June is busting out all over," we are productive and "blossoming." We feel blessed and like things are just going our way.

Then the clouds gather ominously. Our experience is, though, that often clouds are just that - clouds. The rain or snow may go som
ewhere else and effect others' lives, but not ours. But this time, a cloudburst hits and it's not just rain. It's hail, and it wreaks havoc on the beauty of our lives. We feel shredded and useless. It is all out of our control.

But God is still there. He is a redeeming God. He creates beauty in the midst of it all, and in spite of it all. The words that come to mind are endurance, courage, fortitude, perseverance, persistence, stamina, tolerance - it is amazing what can come out of trauma. These flowers popped out as soon as the sun came back out. (See my previous post if you missed it).

But the most interesting thing of all to me is that the new growth, in some cases, grew right THROUGH the destroyed blossoms. Reminds me that God can work THROUGH all the "stuff" of our lives. And He can create something beautiful out of trauma.

It gives me such hope that, no matter how tough things get, no matter how long it takes to see the beauty again, it can and will happen, and beauty can come from the ashes of our "stuff."

On Memorial Day, our family met, as is our tradition, in my folks' back yard for a picnic. This event began when my parents moved here from Oklahoma to retire close to my sister and me. They moved on Memorial Day week-end that year and the tradition began - my brother and his wife and son always run and work at the Bolder Boulder, the 10K race which has become the largest race of its kind in the world.

This year was extra special because of the significance of my nephew David's graduation from West Point the week before. My grandgirls are crazy about David, and the feeling seems to be quite mutual.

David will make a great daddy someday - he is great at making up games - and he's really good at figuring out ways to get a little break from hard playing - this one is called the "Rock Game" - see how long you can keep the rocks from falling off your body!

Care Bear and Feisty had a great time that day - Great Grandpa put up the swing in a tree when they first moved into this house - probably the smartest thing he ever did.

The twins love being here without the big girls, I think. They've spent a couple of nights here by themselves and they think they don't need to go to sleep for some reason. They were playing hard this night with their little tunnel -

One trip to bed didn't do the trick, so Grandpa got them back up. They played and played. I finally put them back to bed and they continued to chatter with their "twin language" until after 10:30. I sure wish I could understand what they're saying!

They have become huge fans of "Dowa" and Boots - if you haven't watched Dora lately, I'll fill you in a bit. There is a character on the show called "Swiper the Fox." He is always trying to swipe something from Dora and her friends. The kids watching are supposed to yell, "Swiper, no swiping!" When he is snafued, he says, "Oh, Man!" That's one of their favorite things to say now, "Oh, Man!" So cute.

These girls are just like their big sisters - whatever you do one time soon becomes a "habit" - something they think has to happen every time. So I started this one - turning on Dora right after their bath while they are getting dressed. The second they get out of the tub now, they run into the t.v. room where they get dressed and "demand" Dora to be turned on.

The most recent new "habit" just happened this week. We came home from the library with a few videos to watch. Care Bear was tired and feeling kind of puny that day, so she was lying down to watch it. Before you know it, all four of them were dragging out quilts, sleeping bags, and pillows to join in the fun. Now they immediately head for the closet when I put a video in for them.

The other day I went to find some little strollers for them - they love to play with the ones in the nursery and the gym and at church. Turns out the only ones I could find were Fisher Price and required a lot more assembly than I felt like tackling. So Good Old Dad (great grandpa) was willing to do the job for me.

Let me tell you, they have had more fun with these two little strollers than anything else they've had in a long time. We've been on so many walks since they got them. I read a book by Chuck Swindoll that's called Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back, which reminds me of our walks. Only I'd have to call it Two Steps Forward, Ten Steps Back, as I am constantly running back to bring one up with us as the other one is too far ahead. Herding cats, I say!

We made the mistake of taking the strollers and their babies to library story time - will never do that again. Every kid there wanted to take them for a spin - caused quite a ruckus!

On these walks, we often have a good time with the "wildlife" we find - Care Bear has loved roley-poleys since she was the twins' age. Emma says "EWWWW" when she sees a tiny ant.

They love to "help" Grandpa with whatever he is working on.

Emma is a budding fashionista - she insisted on wearing this ensemble --

Katie seems to be pondering the meaning of life - or how to learn to jump rope.

Well, I hope you're all having a good week


Needled Mom said...

Oh man! What a great post. I love seeing pics of all the little girls.

The strollers here are always the hottest item too for the girls....and sometimes the boys. Those are great strollers too.

I love your metaphor of the rail and hail. It is sooo true. The iris do look just gorgeous again and gives us all hope.

David looks like such a wonderful man. He will make a great father and will be a real asset to our military. Bless him.

Glenda said...

Lots of good "stuff" in this post, Dawn! I love the picture you painted of our Redeeming God and thought of the song "Something Beautiful" - I'm sure you know it! Also enjoyed your iris pics; they are absolutely gorgeous. And your little grands are precious; you have some wonderful family shots.

grammy said...

we did not have that hail
your flowers have made a great comeback
this weather is so crazy
probably more storms tonight
The littles are looking so much like their big sisters
mine all love rollie pollies
they are easy pets (o:
I have strollers from garage sales and they have always been a big hit.
I am going to try that rock game (o:

Sammy said...

Oh, great post!!

I can't tell you how much Khai loves his stroller! We have to take it everywhere!! It's literally the best toy we've ever gotten him.

I love the beautiful way you described how with time, beauty can come from the ashes. It reminds me of how I feel about the worst "ashes" of my life--my father's death. Even in the midst of the worst, there are gifts.

Love all the photos of the kids. And watching a movie on the floor with sleeping bags and pillows looks like heaven to me. Man, are those kids going to have fond memories of grandma's house when they grow up!

Ooh, that rick game is such a funny trick! I'll have to try that with my sister's kids! :-)

Have a wonderful weekend!

nancygrayce said...

The flower analogy is so so true! You have such beautiful flowers. When I got home from CA, some of mine were dead! Someone didn't water flowers and it is HOT here.

The girls are so cute! As always!

Susan said...

"It gives me such hope that, no matter how tough things get, no matter how long it takes to see the beauty again, it can and will happen, and beauty can come from the ashes of our "stuff." "

Loved this post and the beautiful pictures to go with it.

You are wonderful grandparents. These 4 girls are blessed beyond words. I'm glad they will have this "history" of these yound years on your blog.

jmckemie said...

Wonderful post, Dawn. Love the connection to the storms in our life - how they sometimes scoot on past and we often worried for nothing but how sometimes, we get pelted. God IS so gracious to us.
The girls get cuter every day and look just like mom!

Needled Mom said...

The new pics are great. I love Emma's outfit! Rolly pollies are always such a hit! Ewww! The girls are all adorable.

Becky said...

Really cute pictures, Dawn.

Gigi said...

Awesome post, my friend!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hi Dawn. Your irises are just beautiful (or were anyway ;>). Weather sounds like Colorado!

Sioux said...

Oh, my, those irises came back beautifully! We have a very short iris season at best. They are my absolute favorite flower. Remind me of a great big orchid.

My the girls have grown...and the twins, wow, they are big now!

West Point...we have a girl in our church who graduated two years ago. She is a black hawk pilot and is in Afghanistan right now. I wish your nephew well. God bless those who protect this land.

Love ya!!

Linda said...

Those sweet girls certainly keep you busy Dawn. The strollers were a great idea.
I love your analogy with the flowers. It really is just like the Father to bring blessing from disaster.
Have a wonderful weekend.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Hello sweet thing you!!!! As always, I so appreciate you sharing one of my favorite flowers. And your comparing with nature and the ways of the world is so to the point and so very true. I never really sat down to think in those terms but you opened my eyes.

Love all the photos of the girls and grandpa sharing little chores with the helpers near by!!

What a treasure you have in life!!!

Hope your weekend is going well. Irene is on her way soon to Colorado for a visit with some of her old high school buddies, and we watched the games between the Rockies/Astros on TV....wow, I had forgotten all the bad, bad pollution days there in the mile high city!! One of the reasons we left. LOL

Anyway, 'nough gabbing on my part...enjoy your Saturday and have a blessed Sunday too.

PEA said...

A great metaphor indeed! As you say, no matter how bad or ugly something is, something of beauty and goodness will come through it.

I always love seeing new pictures of the girls and what they've been up to. I've never met these 4 adorable girls in person but they have a special place in my heart:-) I can imagine how tired they make you but no doubt you wouldn't change a thing!! All of the pictures are so precious. David has the kind of smile that you can't help but smile back at, even in a picture:-) He will indeed make a good daddy one day and how lucky those children will be.

We're having beautiful weather this weekend and have spent most of it outside. Thought I'd better come in and start doing some bloggy visits, though, before I get disowned! lol xoxo

Sharon Lynne said...

It's neat how God teaches us things through nature. I'm glad your Iris's are doing better.

That must have been hard to get that great stroller shot of both of the girls together!

I like David's rock game.

Love the swing picture! (how the girls are pointing different ways looking pensive)

Amy said...

I can't believe how much the twins have changed and grown since I started following your page. All the girls have gotten so big!