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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daughter Heather and grandson Jameson made the local news tonight

Our daughter Heather was shopping with her son Jameson and friend Connie today in Ashwaubenon...

On their way into Dollartree, they were stopped by a roving reporter on the local NBC TV26 news out of Green Bay.  He asked them questions about the economy and living paycheck to paycheck...

I think she did well, being put on the spot.   Our grandson Jameson was being held in her friend Connie's arms, so it looked like she was the one who was his momma!  LOL

Here is the video clip from the 6pm news:

They just aired another segment tonight at the 10 pm news, 
so not sure which clip you will get to see when you get to the website. 

Also, yesterday we got a surprise visit from my folks!  They were wheeling and dealing with Steveio involving a riding lawn mower, a snowmobile trailer, an old ATV and an air compressor and gosh knows what else.   I had about a 2 hour notice they were coming, so Chelsea and I baked apple pies!   

Mom thinks the lower pie has a funny face on it...... okay?????  Ya right, Mom.... .whatever you say..... 

We know Great Grandpa Lowell LOVES apple pies....  so little Chelsea was good as gold while I peeled sliced and rolled pie crusts. She sat in her little bouncy chair on the floor in the kitchen to offer advice and support.   My little baking buddy! 

When the fols got here, we grilled out brats and burgers, had one pie for dessert and sent the other pie back home up to Michigan with them.   What a nice visit... and the guys got all the wheeling and dealing done! 

Steveio also got the rear shocks done on the motorhome too.   Just in time to take it tomorrow for a five day camping getaway to our friends cabin up in the northwoods.   

No crowded campground for us this weekend, 
No fireworks scaring the dogs, 
No kids running amok, 
No all night drinking parties and loud music

Should be a lovely weekend....


Third Day at Camp Grandma - Jameson's Day at North Bayshore County Park


This is the third post about "Camp Grandma" --- 
I have been taking one day with each of my grandkids at a campground in Northern Wisconsin.   

The first two posts are here:

Now it is Jameson's turn.  He is going to be 2 years old at the end of July and has been camping quite a few times already with us.  So the motorhome is no stranger to him, and he is eager to explore and have some adventures with his Granmuddah Pfun! 

At noon on Saturday, after dropping off Allegra, I picked him up in Green Bay with his bags of gear and we did a little shopping before heading north.

We traveled up to our house to pick up the dogs and a few things needed for a birthday dinner the next day for our oldest daughter Erin. The moment we got into the house, he was kinda upset that "his" ceiling fan was not running.  That is the very first thing he looks at when he comes into the house, ever since he was a tiny baby.  It's wayyy up high on the cathedral ceiling in our home, and for some reason each time he comes, he points to it and watches it spin.  I ran in and out of the door with a few items loading up the car while he explored the toys on the shelf, but each time he would point up and ask "Fan?"   So, okay, I turned the fan on just to please him!  It's funny, but Chelsea looks for it too each day she comes over, and she is only 5 months old. As a matter of fact, she is looking at it right now and smiling as I am typing this.  She is set up next to me on the couch and drinking her bottle and looking at that ceiling fan.  Go figger?

Before we were ready to leave, he grabbed the Cup-O toys to take along (because we knew he would be needing a bath later that night in the motorhome bathtub)  and off we went to the park, dogs and all.   So we left all loaded up in our car with Jameson and car seat, 2 dogs, a big cooler of Alaskan Snow Crab, 3 bags of groceries, a turkey deepfryer kettle and the propane  burner stand and a 20 pound propane tank!     (more later on why we took that along)

We pulled into the campground and he was very excited to see Grandpa's Camper parked in a campsite.   He helped me to unload the car and carry things to the motorhome one at a time.  Kinda fun to have help!   Plus, my favorite quoted line from the movie "On Golden Pond" is when Henry Fonda says about his grandson:   "What's the point of having a dwarf if they don't do chores!"    haha! 

Once we had everything stowed away, we hauled out the stroller and took a walk. 

It was pretty hot and humid, but he wanted to PLAY!   Around the loop we went and over to the playground.  My oh my,  the first thing he did was to KISS the dinosaur!   

Then he was on and off and up and down and around the playground equipment and having a blast!
We took along some new sand toys.. but no sand or swimming beach!
He found out that the bark chips on the playground area were the next best thing. 

He wore himself out on the playground stuff, and I popped him back in the stroller to cruise the grounds.  Wonder what folks thought seeing me wheel around three different kids on three different days?  LOL    We went down by the harbor and Jameson was excited to see the seagulls.  They were flying around and squawking, much to his delight.  Here he is following some as they flew overhead. 

It was fun seeing things through his eyes.  He saw a leaf hanging on an invisible spider web... it was flickering and fluttering in the breeze, suspended right at his eye level.  We watched it for a bit till he reached out and touched it.  Then it broke free from the web and fluttered to the ground.  He waved and said:  "Bye bye".

Finally we headed back to our campsite---  it was time to "set up camp"  Here is my chair, and here is a special little red folding camp chair that is just his size.  What is so special about this chair is that it once belonged to his mommy!

Here is a link to the blog post I did about these chairs a few months ago:

25 years ago I saved up labels from Heinz baby food and sent them in for personalized little red camping chairs. They are made super duper durable and have lasted through many camping trips back in the day, and are still in great shape.  I have saved them all these years, hoping to have little grandchildren to sit their butts down in them!  We have one with Erin's name on too;  Chelsea and Allegra will sit in it when they get bigger.

It was time to cook up some supper.  I asked Jameson what he wanted to eat.  After all, it  *IS*  his special day, right?   Of course, he chirpped HAM!~  which is his current favorite food of the month.   I baked up some tater tots, his second favorite food.  Not the most nutritious meal, but he ate it all up like a good boy.  We set up his little chair in front of the cooler as a little table, and he dined like a King.

Once supper was done, it was time to explore some more.  But not too far...  Silly boy HATED the feeling of grass on his toes!   He would not leave the tarp area in his bare feet.  Kinda reminded me of those Invisible Fence devices for keeping dogs in a yard!  hahahahaha

Well, we put shoes and socks back on him, and we did another lap around the park.  
I let him toss the garbage into the big recycling dumpster.  
He liked sorting the bottles, cans and paper.  Gotta start 'em young to recycle, ya know.  
We put in some fun playtime running around, ball playing and getting some fresh air. 

Finally-- it was time to head inside.  He did a little bit of coloring while I was doing up the dishes.  
See how my footstool makes a good seat pulled up to Steve's little coffee table for him to color on?   
And of course we have his Blues Clues sleeping bag all rolled out and ready for bedtime.  
(once he falls asleep, I will transfer him to the portable crib for safety, otherwise he might roll off the couch) 

I told him it was bath time and he RUSHED to get the stack of Cup-O's (Discovery Toys Measure Up Cups) his favorite bathtub toy.  These are also saved from when my kids were little.  Here is a link with more info:

I bought sets of these stacking cups for each of our kid's baby showers to have when their wee ones came into the world.  They sure are a favorite toy.  Jameson tossed them one at a time into the tub as it was filling and then I stripped him down and popped in the tub to play. We are fortunate to have a tub/shower combination in our motorhome instead of just a shower stall.  It is roomy enough to sit in, or set a rack of drying clothes in, or for two people to take a shower in together. (it saves water ya know!) 

Heather has not wanted him to have a squirt "gun" at his age, but I checked with her on giving him a squirting dinosaur.  The only problem was that Jameson wanted to see the dinosaur's face each time he held it and pushed the lever to squirt.  It would squirt right in Jameson's face!!!  He couldn't get the idea that you had to aim it outwards and squirt other stuff! ... Oh well, he will figure it out sometime soon.   It was fun though.

Once he was out and all toweled dry, he slipped into his Sponge Bob jammies and was ready for bed.  He settled right down when I turned on the tv to a musical RENT.  Once the music intro part was done and the talking started, he was out like a light.   I transferred him into the portacrib and he didn't move a muscle.  I guess all that fresh air did him in.   He slept all night, and at 6 am I felt a wiggly bump up front and then a small cry from him.  OH OH!!    I jumped up outta bed and looked up front and here the big collie, Duchess, had jumped onto the passenger seat and plopped INTO the crib with him!!!!  Of course it woke him up---- awwwwwwww   so I took him out and cuddled him for a while back in the big bed.  We watched a cartoon on tv and then started our day.  After a fruit and cereal breakfast, he was ready to rumble! 

I took out the sidewalk chalks and went to the parking area across the road.
He knows every letter in his name, and was adding to the ones I wrote. 
Then we did numbers, too. He can count to 20, but we only wrote out 10. 

An older boy from a site down the way came to join us.  Helped Jameson with some more artwork.

The edge of the roadway is lined with these big squared off rocks. Jameson had a blast, climbing and following the big boy from rock to rock.  Here he is showing me a mosquito bite, itched into a big red welt! 

We had a great morning, and took a few walks,Jameson hugged a few trees, crowed at a few birds and picked up a few branches to play with too.  Exploring natural things is part of being out in the woods. 

Soon it was getting close to noon, so we had to get ready for his parents to come to the campground, along with Erin Mark and Chelsea.  We were going to celebrate Erin's birthday and our anniversary with a nice meal cooked in the turkey fryer.   (Alaskan Snow Crab legs-- not fried - but steamed with salt water) 

I will do another blog post on that.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Second Day at Camp Grandma - Allegra's Day at North Bayshore County Park


If you missed the First Day at "Camp Grandma" with Chelsea, here is the link:

Ahhh---   it's time now for Allegra to have her turn at "Camp Grandma"!    Erin was heading to Green Bay for some service work on her SUV,  so she offered to pick Allegra up and bring her up to the campground for me!  Otherwise it's 46 miles one way to go get her and another 46 miles to bring her to me.   In the meantime, Mark brought out Chelsea for a few hours on Friday, and Erin planned to pick her own daughter up when she dropped off Allegra.  Erin and Mark only live about 8 miles from the campground.

Both little girls were excited to see each other.  They had some Cousin Bonding Time in the portable crib...

They were just hilarious as we sat them in there together...

They are 6 months and 5 months old.

Soon it was time for Chelsea to go home.

Now it was Allegra's turn to have Granmuddah Pfun all to herself!
Just take a look at the shirt she is wearing:

Erin left her stroller with me, so we could get in some laps around the park with Allegra too.

She sure loved rolling along.  

We put on a little sunscreen and enjoyed the playground area.  Wee Allegra was squealing with delight at the dinosaur, but she sure got VERY serious and quiet when I let her ride on it.

The day was warm and muggy, but it sure didn't bother her.  
The more we walked and played, the more she crowed and squealed. 

Back at the campsite, Allegra was put to work with a new job.  

They are both good camping doggies, but need to be reminded from time to time that barking is NOT allowed at all.  So the flyswatter does the trick.  Most of the time. 

We sang songs as we cruised around ... but by now the campground started to fill up with weekenders.  
We had to kinda cut down on the singing and squealing so we didn't disturb the peace!

We ate supper and took another walk around the campground. All of the sites were now filled up, and it was getting busy with folks coming and going.  It was interesting to see them set up.  Some haul out nothing but a lawn chair or two.  Others pile out everything but the kitchen sink onto their campsite. Saw 2 tents go up on the site behind me, around the corner.  Then about 8 or 9 young people were there.  I thought "Oh oh" on the noise factor... but they were very quiet, polite and respectful of the campground quiet hours.  How nice!

Soon it was time for beddy bye, but first we had to bounce on the great big king sized bed just like Chelsea got to do.  Jameson always does too.   Ya know, come to think of it, any time we ever rented a hotel room when the kids were small, we let them jump on the bed too!  LOL 

After calming her down a bit, I read her some stories, got her into her jammies and it was time to doze off.

She was zonked out by 9pm and slept all night long in the little portable crib.  It rained a bit overnight, but not too bad.  She woke up all smiles and happy baby grins.  We ate a little breakfast and played with some toys till things dried up a bit outside.  We had time for one more lap around the campground, and dump the trash bags over at the recycling bin on the way around.  

It was getting hotter and hotter and very muggy and hazy.  I had originally planned to leave the dogs in the motorhome, with the AC on, but the neighboring site was having trouble with their electrical box, so I was thinking perhaps it might go off by my site too.   Not wanting to leave the dogs for 3 or 4 hours in a hot motorhome, I decided to drive to our house and drop them off there while I ran errands to Green Bay, and do the baby drop-off and pick-up of Jameson. 

I reached Green Bay about a half hour early for dropping Allegra off at  our daughter-in-law Heather's place of work.  So we went to Erberts & Gerberts sub shop for my absolute favorite sub sandwich.  
When I worked in Green Bay, our office would order from them at least twice a week.  The favorite of mine was the Boney Billy... turkey meat, alfalfa sprouts and guacamole ... yummmmm!   So Allegra sat in the little high chair and I fed her applesauce while they made up my sub.   Then we went to Heather's bank and Allegra got to see her mommy in action and finish up the day' work.   With hugs and kisses, it was time to turn her back over to her mommy.  Awwwwwwww

I had about an hour for errands till Jameson was ready to join me (they had a charity benefit walk for Jesse's dad out in Rio Creek WI to help offset his medical expenses of being in a coma for 3+ weeks last month)  

I hit Walmart and picked up 8 pounds of Alaskan Snow Crab legs they were saving for me.  Then a few other items and I was of the store about $100 poorer.  How does that happen???? 

I met up with our daughter Heather, Jesse and Jameson at the mall parking lot and we did the big handover of the grandson ... the next camper who is slated to come to "Camp Grandma"!   

(tomorrow's post will be all about HIS day with me...) 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Wedding Anniversary


June 28, 1997

Fifteen years ago, we had our first date....    
and thirteen years ago today, June 28, 1997,
 I married my best friend.   

It was a magical day-- we were married in a historical church in Heritage Hill State Park.

How fitting for two folks who love camping sooo much, to get married in a State Park? 
We also camped for our two week honeymoon in our RV, circling Lake Superior.

Our wedding day weather was perfect, and we arrived at the park in style.
We had a driver with top hat and tails, a pair of fine horses
 and a white carriage like Cinderella! 

I felt like a princess in a fairy tale... and had found my Prince Charming! 

We shared our vows in front of our families and friends.. 
with our children taking part in the ceremony. 

Oh gosh, this is the Happiest Day of our LIVES! 

Our four lovely children were our Best Men and Honorly Maidens.  

Karen, Erin and Heather                  Steve, Dan and Mike

And here is our new family! 

The carriage had escorted us to the church, and then brought us to our reception 
in a lovely park setting on the grounds of Willowbrook. 

We rented a large tent, catered in a Spanferkle (pig roast)  and had a great picnic afternoon family picnic type reception.   My boss offered this lovely park setting for the reception location on the banks of the Fox River.  

It was a warm sunny afternoon.  We didn't care for a late night drunken dancing party, 
so an afternoon picnic was more our style.   Friends helped with the setup for us.
Soft music, good food, family and friends was all we needed to celebrate our marriage.

Steve later swept me away in our little Fiat Spider convertible...
 to a cozy bed and breakfast for our wedding night. 

He bought me this little car for a wedding present!


Thank you, Steve, for making my life more wonderful than I could have ever expected!!!!!