Bert has finals this week and needed a little help with the boys so she could study yesterday. I went over there after church and hung out with the little guys for a few hours. We had a wonderful time. Marcus pulled all the pots and pans from his kitchen set and arranged them into a drum set. He then proceeded to play them with a pair of metal chopsticks. He really does have a knack for playing drums. He's very coordinated and has a sense of rhythm. James was busy loading up his backpack, which he calls his "pack pack" with a variety of tools and books. I guess he is planning on a long hike in the near future. Next week I hope to go visit my other set of boys. I am one lucky grandma--let me tell you. 4 beautiful, smart, healthy and happy boys. My heart is full. My cup runneth over. I am richly and abundantly blessed.
My friend and Visiting Teacher, Pargie, made this beautiful gingerbread house for me. She is so kind, generous and good-hearted. I'm just totally overwhelmed. My brother sent me a Harry & David fruitcake. So much for Weight Watcher's this month. I'll be lucky if I don't gain 20 pounds this week alone.
Mal has been in Japan for the past couple weeks visiting some family and doing that tourist thing. He took a bunch of Japanese language and history classes in college, so it seems appropriate to get him over there to see the real thing while it was still possible to do so. He's been having a blast. He stopped over in Vancouver on the way there and visited with his old high school friend. He'll be stopping there again on his way back. He should be home either this weekend or early next week. He's bringing me back a Hobonichi Techo. I'm so excited.
Marcus has a coxsackievirus infection. It causes this terrible rash in and around his mouth and on his arms and legs. Also on his bottom unfortunately. He's a trouper...but I know he is miserable. The virus is super contagious among kids, so the daycare is probably headed for major outbreak. I expect James will also get it any day now. My kids had it when they were toddlers, when we were living in Germantown, MD. The entire neighborhood came down with it. It's fairly benign...like a chicken pox virus...it will run it's course. Not much you can do about it but wait it out. In the meantime though you have one sad little baby. I feel so bad for him. And his parents!
I spent Saturday night at John and Penny's home in Hope Mills. Penny made me a dairy-free birthday cake which was completely delicious. Oh, BTW, did not count any weight watchers points this weekend...Sunday we headed to Myrtle Beach, SC and spent the night at the SeaCrest Hotel. Very nice room, beach front. The weather was perfect. Monday morning we did a thorough weather check. Taumi had a friend of his at NOAA run a cloud cover forecast program. Traveling with a NASA scientist definitely has its perks. Clouds/rain predicted on the coast, so we headed inland. Ended up in Santee. The sky miraculously cleared during the eclipse. It was an amazing sight. Definitely worth the trip. Getting home was a bit of a pain. Traffic was horrendous. Thank the good Lord and baby Jesus for GPS. We were zigzagging all through the backwoods of SC until we got to Lumberton. This was definitely the best birthday celebration I ever had.
My birthday was officially a week ago. I took the whole week off from work to celebrate. Then this weekend, I joined my brother at his friend's home in Hope Mills in preparation to head down to SC for the eclipse. John and Penny surprised me with a birthday cake (dairy free) and Taumi made a photo album of pictures of mom and dad. It was beyond sweet. What a great guy. I spent the night in John and Penny's brand new camping trailer, which BTW is much nicer than my house. I also got to hear a lot of stories about my brother's wild days in high school and college. Quite a revelation.