The girls and I went to Aunt Lala’s today. Uncle James was at work.
Aunt Lala did the girls hair.
Then we hung out with Penny the Golden Doodle on the front porch and the girls loved the porch swing.
Anna and Penny traded bandanas and headbands. We had a relaxing summer afternoon.
Trying to not think about my return to school on Tuesday.
I used Laura’s sewing machine to stitch up the legs, arms and tails and now the two monkeys for Anna and her friend are ready to turn, stuff and stitch by hand. The socks were on Clearance for 93 cents at Target last year. I bought way too many thinking I would make a ton of monkeys.
Eight years ago I created a homemade book for granddaughter Anna for her third birthday. You know those blank white books you can buy in an art store or school supply? I photographed Baby Doll doing all sorts of things around the house and yard and swing set. I even had the photos printed on PAPER and mounted them on the pages and wrote a caption for each shot.
Anna wasn’t a collaborator then as it was a surprise for her.
You get the idea of the book I made. And I thought I could make another one, no problem. HA!
Today her sister Maura (5+) thought it would be a great idea to make a book together, starring her Bitty Baby and Chelsea baby dolls and her AG Clare. I thought it sounded like a good idea, too.
Only problem, Maura suddenly got into some unnatural poses and grimaces and it didn’t look right to me. Also the dolls seemed to have more vacant stares than good old Baby Doll (originally belonging to their mother Erika) who seemed MUCH more cooperative and responsive to my direction (plus it was my direction alone previously)
But I can learn from the experience of the photo shoot. The results did not match my vision. But Maura had a blast and likes the pictures and we all had a great laugh. Erika thinks my efforts are funny. I think it is good to show the outtakes sometimes, too.
I showed today’s pics to her mother Erika and she said she loved them all. Her brothers and sisters are the one who said that Maura looks like a Bobblehead in the one (due to Grandma’s angle and perspective)
Maura liked the photographs, just fine by her.
So here is what we came up with and for me it is back to the beginning and reworking the shots and getting Maura to ease up on the posing. Will see what we come up with on the next attempt.
Ooops down one subject
And the Bobblehead shot.
Siblings. The two youngest. Jack is 7 Maura is 5
They aren’t known for being charter members of the “get-along” gang.
In fact, they can annoy and aggravate one another with a simple song, a glance, a perceived injustice. Oh my. Sounds exhausting?
So Mark (their dad called) and ask how Punch and Judy were doing. It’s been only 24 hours.
Will see how it goes. Today there were a few rough spots but they are settling into a routine here.
I was wishing I still had the book. He Hit Me First so I could refresh my understanding of sibling rivalry.
Pictures don’t always tell the whole story.
They kids wanted individual photos, each sitting on the special wooden seat.
I said I had just one shot left on my camera card which was the absolute truth. I could have deleted a photo on the card to make room for two pics but it forced them to sit together. We had just come from a nice time at the playground in the park.
I had the camera already as I was photographing Mark grilling trout on a cedar plank. The late afternoon light was perfect.
Maura was running running running.
Old Grandma photographed her but Maura didn’t think anything of it and ignored my shooting.
My DIL called last night and asked if the boys could stay at Grandma’s house this weekend when the family comes in town for the big wedding.
Since their sisters are flower girl and junior bridesmaid the others will be very busy.
I’ve pulled out the PLAYMOBIL and LEGO and the little indoor tent. Stocking some of their favorite things to eat. Gearing up for company.
Tomorrow at school three classes taking finals and then I have to read and grade them but at 2:44, I’ll be out the school door and headed to pick up my two grandsons for the weekend at my house. Very exciting.
Jack and MIchael share a chair while building LEGO®
First Communion Weekend in my son Mark’s home office I saw his old Baby Jake from 1976.
I believed little boys should have a doll to love and care for when they were growing up. Preparing for fatherhood.
Now he has his own family of four, but it touched me when I saw his old doll Jake on the bookshelf. Jake has a soft body that has been recovered and filled with fluff, his rubbery arms surgically reattached by me.
You might have seen Mark’s 38th birthday post from Monday.
There is something about a toy or a doll with a face.
One that’s been well loved.
If you want to see a doll well loved, his wife Erika’s childhood doll (now named Baby Doll) adopted by their daughter Anna- really illustrates LOVE! (click the blue link)
Seems like just yesterday (May 26, 1976) you arrived at Ireland Army Hospital – Fort Knox, Kentucky.
You were born exactly two years to the day from my graduation from college.
And suddenly, in a blink, it’s 38 years later!
I am proud of you and the wonderful man you have become. WOW. You have a beautiful family.
With love and gratitude on your birthday,
and of course I should have included the best present ever
Been on a bit of a Beatles kick lately….
My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School
Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk. It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me. I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven. I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates. We followed each other to junior and senior high school. Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again. At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand. Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.
The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik, our physical education and health teacher. Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion. She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning. Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher. She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China. Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!
Allen School closed in 1961. The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School. However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place. On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that. Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward. Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them. Oh, I almost forgot! Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System! I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle. “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.
(Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the striped shirt!)
Granddaughters Anna and Maura and Cousin Parker- a junior bridesmaid and two flower girls for their Cousin Victoria’s wedding in June!
Anna found an empty room at the back of the hall and they were dancing and twirling in the available light from the window.
They had been so good watching all the gifts opened and had a moment of feeling free in their fancy dresses.
Cousin Parker dancing in the light
Here they were earlier watching the bride open all her lovely gifts