My shirt Blake and Nathan got me for Christmas. Love it!! My great nieces and nephews call me Nonnie and Nathan picked it up and made his version to Nona. I guess it's silly of me but it makes me feel special like a grandma. A few weeks ago we kept Blake and Nathan overnight. We had such a good time! The boys loved playing with the toys and seeing the Christmas decorations. They especially enjoyed the village and skating rink in the bay window. Nate just wasn't quite tall enough yet to see what was going on. Nathan enjoyed all of the toys and was so fun all night. He loves to tease April by only saying MIKE!! And he does the same with Dwayne by saying Nona. But by the end of the evening he would shout out Papa Dwayne!! Dwayne would say, no just Dwayne. He would get a gleam in his eye and shout it out again. Dwayne doesn't want to take away from his Papa Kenny or Papa Mitch, so he was trying to get him to just say Dwayne. He would say, Papa? Dwayne would say no, Dwayne. I think Nathan was confused as he would say Papa Dwayne? Again Dwayne would say Dwayne. He got the hang of it and it was Dwayne after that. He really gets the DW sound in there as that is hard for most kids. Blake and Dwayne have been doing "tattoos" since Blake stayed with April when he was only two. We have a little plastic toy that looks kind of like a knife blade. That is their tattoo needle. It can also be used to give shots or sew up a wound. It's so surprising that Blake has always remembered that through the years. Dwayne will lay in the floor and Blake will do tattoos on his back for about an hour. Dwayne loves it as he likes his back scratched and this is kind of the same thing. (Plus, he can secretly just lay there and watch tv..... lol) Then Dwayne will do tattoos on Blake's back and most recently Blake's upper arm. He's older now and thinks that is the coolest place to have a tattoo. The pictures below are Blake having to sew Dwayne's leg up from a cut. Dwayne would flinch and act like it hurt and Blake would crack up. The last picture shows Blake laughing so much he fell.
I'm grateful for "grandkids" on loan. They are so much fun.
I ordered Dwayne and I a Holiday Package of Omaha Steaks. I received the package at work yesterday. Todd had dropped by after work so I invited him to stay for supper (uh, really to cook the steaks......) Todd and Dwayne sat at the counter while I fixed the salad and put the stuffed potatoes in the oven. Visiting in the kitchen like this reminded me of the kids were growing up and doing their homework as I fixed supper. Easy conversation and family time. April spend the night occasionally to cut down on gas cost. We had a nice family supper and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.
As the kids have grown up and are out of the house I have tried to adapt to family time and meals not always including all three kids. It has been hard for to accept they have lives of their own and also have plans. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more relaxed about family time and not to make my kids feel guilty when they can't all be there at the same time. But the kids are close and enjoy the times together and that is very important to me.
The moment every mother (and father in our case) dreams of, our daughter's wedding and picking out the wedding gown. Dwayne has always said since April's first prom dress, he wants to help her pick out her wedding dress. He has told us this repeatedly though the years, "Remember, I want to go with you when your ever buy a wedding dress". Daddy loves his little girl very much and has always wanted to share in the excitement of buying her dress. Imagine our surprise (and maybe relief.......lol) when the time came he declined to go. I'm not sure why, maybe because he gets a little emotional as he gets older.
The BIG DAY was Saturday, the 17th. The consultant at the bridal shop was absolutely a dream. She made sure she got to know April and her wants and ideas on a gown. She took all of these ideas into consideration before bringing in a few gowns for April to try on.
Mike's Mom, sister and one of April's friends joined us in the "viewing" of the gowns. I wanted to make sure the dress was what April wanted and didn't want to influence her decision. Mike's Mom felt the same way. The funny part is, the first several gowns she came out in, we didn't like. No one said anything and apparently we didn't even look at April either. On the way home, she said she didn't know what to think, she would come out in a gown and it was total silence. She said she would look over at us and we wouldn't even make eye contact with her. I didn't know we were that obvious!! lol
The dresses just weren't eye catching and just not April. Lisa and Danielle picked out a few for her to try on along with the others. Still, we just weren't "feeling it". The consultant then went to get a dress they just got in on Thursday. This was it. April came out smiling, she stood on the podium in front of us and we just all smiled. She glowed! It had the WOW factor.
Just to make sure, the consultant had her try on a couple more dresses. Nope, the WOW was the one. She tried it on again and there was the moment of just knowing we had found it. The first veil she tried with it worked perfectly. It was truly a wonderful experience. Dwayne would have loved that moment so I captured it on film for him.
April and I before leaving her house: (She loves me taking pictures, can't you tell with the roll of the eyes......lol)
Okay, this one is better: The beautiful bride at the bridal shop: Whoops!! I deleted the pictures after Dwayne saw them.This is as far as you get to go, stay tuned in September 2012.......
So so grateful for having a daughter and this journey we're on. Dwayne and I love this time of our daughter's life. Chad and Todd are just as excited for their sister and the day of celebration on September 8, 2012.
Dwayne, Me and Chad: We're standing in front of April and Mike's Christmas tree. Chad and Todd: I was handing Chad a lighter to light his candles. He already had them lit....... Chad and Todd: Our boys, still as close as when they were growing up. So proud of them. Chad and April:
Chad and April goofing around as they always do. He didn't turn her upside down this time though. lol Oh, I just got a vision in my head of him doing that at her wedding!! And he would so do that!!
April fixed Chad's birthday dinner Sunday evening. It was a nice treat having it all done and not having to cook. lol We had a nice evening visiting with all three of our children and our future addition to the family, Mike.
As every parent says when it's their child's birthday, where have the years gone? But really, 33 years have gone by so fast since our first born entered our lives on December 12, 1978. Love you, Chaddy!!
I am grateful for my family and the close bond we share.
My Mother-in-Law, not just Dwayne's mother, not just a relative by marriage, but a dear friend. I miss her, our shopping, card playing, trips with the grandkids, family gatherings. I miss it all, but most of all I miss us, me and her.
Doris Jean (Dodie) Elrod:
My Mother-In-Law, Dodie passed away eight years ago on December 14, 2003. She had been on life support for six weeks. It was a very emotional experience for our family. On one hand, you are hoping and praying she comes out of the coma, on the other hand, she is not really there and it is so hard to see her like that. We continued to hold her hand, talk to her, etc. We would watch for any movement of her eyes, a gentle pressure from holding her hand, anything at all. This was my first experience losing a parent. I was so proud of all of the grandchildren at her funeral and visitation. We never spoke to the kids (Chad, Todd, Dustin, April, Andy and Cody) about standing in the receiving line at the funeral home. Each one stood and greeted everyone that came through and stayed there at the receiving line the whole time. Dodie would have been so proud of them. At the time, it was sad losing Dodie so close to Christmas. But then, it was fitting. Dodie loved Christmas and all of the decorations. David Martin does a wonderful job decorating for the holidays and I know she would have enjoyed the festivity. So our final farewell was during Dodie's favorite time of the year. We have started using her Christmas ornaments on our tree. Dwayne decorates the tree now that the kids aren't home. I think it is a time of relection for him hanging the ornaments that were so dear to his Mom.
Take the time during this holiday season to really appreciate each member of your family and enjoy your time together.
Last Thursday night around 10:30 I get a phone call. I was in a very deep sleep. I could kind of hear my cell phone ringing but couldn't comprehend what it was. I groggily find it on the nightstand and answer. Here is the call: April: Guess what I have on my finger? Me: Not quite awake and even wondering who was talking........ Oh, uh, it's my daughter on the line. Finally I am kind of figuring out it's April and she's wanting me to guess what's on her finger. I'm still very very sleepy and thinking, oh, she was helping Mike with something and she has a blister on her finger and I just want to go back to sleep. So, I say: A blister? April: Huh? No Me: Well, a splinter (still not coherent) April: Huh? Me: I don't know, a spider? April: Are you awake? Did you not get my text message with a picture? Me: Uh, no, I guess I didn't hear it, I was sleeping. April: A ring!! Me: (Now I'm starting to wake up) I'm like, What? Oh, wait I need to go in the other room to wake up. (Before I leave the bed, I poke Dwayne and said, April is engaged!!!! He's like, yeah, I could hear her, I wondered when I was going to have to tell you what was on her finger!!)
I have been waiting since we had a little girl for this moment and to help my daughter plan a wedding AND it takes me a few minutes to even comprehend what is going on!!! I then went into the living room to listen and hear the excitement in her voice. After becoming concience, lol, I started getting excited and our plans started in full force!! Got out the 2012 calender and we started going through dates in September.
Thanksgiving, 2011: A day of thanks to remember and being very grateful for family and the celebration to come of another member being added to our family. We couldn't have asked for a nicer future son-in-law.
We've changed some since 2008. We celebrated 35 years of marriage at our daughters wedding in September of 2012. We've added a family member, Desmon who lives with Chad. Desmon is now nine years old and a big party of our family. Our dream of becoming grandparents one day finally came true with the birth of April and Mike's baby boy, Cash Michael on October 12, 2013. We were blessed with a granddaughter, Iva Lorraine Holtmeyer, born June 3rd, 2016. We couldn't be happier.