Pig Roast At Wallace Stone (Or Papa Shows Off His Grandkids)

quarry1My husband Hungarian Work Horse is a quarry man. That means he is one of the few guys at Wallace Stone Quarry that helps harvest stone for many applications. If you live in Michigan you have probably driven on some of that stone. This place is a source of income to our family as my son-in-law Mike and my brother-in-law Arnie also work there. Although the guys sometimes complain about their work the dedication to this place holds me in awe of the work ethics that are instilled working at a place that can be tedious and dangerous at times. I know that The Horse loves that place and he will miss it when he retires. This post is about a pig roast they put on every year for their employees and friends to show appreciation. It also gives this Papa and Daddy an opportunity to show the grandkids the beauty of the stone and some of the equipment that they use.

IMG_1305We had Miss Peaches with us and this is how she looked when we first got there. Charlie and Naked Bath Baby too were along for the ride. Papa and I ate our food sitting in the car waiting for her to wake up to join the fun.

IMG_1309IMG_1316We went inside diggers.

IMG_1310I think this could be an ad for Caterpillar.

IMG_1312Water anyone?

IMG_1314Some of the buildings are the original buildings that started  the quarry. Now I get it when HWH says the shovel building and the horse building. This quarry was a place people lived and worked at like an old miner town.

 

IMG_1318The kids loved it in the tires.

IMG_1320Big dumper.IMG_1315All the kids got on with Papa.

IMG_1322These things are huge.

IMG_1328Then Papa decided to take them to see the gravel train. It was a long walk.

IMG_1329Peach got tired so she hitched a ride.

IMG_1330Made it there.

IMG_1333IMG_1334The girls loved being in the train and Mackenzie as usual got to drive.

IMG_1336Then we started walking to the car because Papa wanted to show us the plant where he crushes the stone. These two our oldest and our youngest granddaughters have him wrapped around their little fingers.

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These are some of the things we saw on the way back.

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Here is the plant where Papa and sometimes Daddy crushes the stone. They walk those catwalks all day long. It’s no wonder Papa is so fit and handsome. He gets a work out here.

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The kids learned that their Dad and Papa are quarry men and they are proud. Little Dude and Minnie had to leave early to go to another party and they were sad. I could see Little Dude’s imagination going crazy as he was getting to go on all of the equipment.

IMG_1363Guess what he was for Halloween? A quarry man of course. He has loved diggers from the time he could dig and now that I think of it why wouldn’t he! It’s in his blood. If I had the money I would buy him that quarry and just bask in his happiness but for now I guess I will just watch his imagination and the girls too as they say proudly to people , “My Papa runs the belt.” That’s quarry talk. If you want to know what it means ask Little Dude or Alexis because they will tell you proudly.

I will carry that day in my heart for the rest of my life. My husband and son-in-law make me proud the way they love these kids. My sisters and I had that for such a short time with my Dad. Today my daughter Brooke and I were talking and I found out how much she loves Mike and The Work Horse like that too. She has had that love all of her life and when she says My Dad it is with unadulterated love. There is nothing more precious than the love of a child and we are so lucky to have had all of this time with them. I know that people think they will have tomorrow but sometimes tomorrow is to late. I don’t think my dad knew that morning he left to go to Saginaw would be the last time he ever saw his little girls here on this earth. This day at the quarry reminded me of that. I am so glad we have every bit of time with these precious precious kids and nothing is more important to us and so today I thank God for time. The time that I hope to use wisely with my loved ones and the courage to know that today could be my last day with them. I know to some people that sounds morbid but not to me. Reality is we only have so much time and we need to use it wisely for the sake of our kids. I wish that I could have had more time with my laughing daddy but it didn’t happen. I learned from that. I hope when my grandkids read this someday they will know how much we loved every minute with them and we never wanted to be anywhere else but with them. I just love them more than anything else on earth.Blessings everyone.

Good Bye Summer

The summer of 2014 in pictures….

IMG_1132Miss P lost her first tooth. She was so excited at first because her big sister was such a chicken every time one of her teeth loosened and I think she thought that she could be braver. I don’t think that happened.

 

IMG_1137Everybody at the Merchants can ride a two wheel bike. Even little Minnie.

IMG_1130Collin learned how to wink. I love this picture of him.

IMG_1162Little Peaches found out she loves to bake and when she bakes Charlie winds up in the washing machine.

IMG_1158Boots found out that when Peaches says walk they walk. Poor Charlie! I think he is hanging upside down. That guy never gets a break.

IMG_1211Papa ended it with a big kick to his bucket list and walked the Mackinaw Bridge on Labor Day. He has wanted to do that for years.

IMG_1184 This may have been my favorite. The kids camping in their back yard and getting so scared they came tramping in about two o’clock in the morning because they thought something was killing Mike’s hunting dogs and mosquitos were biting Miss P into craziness. They all looked punched drunk the whole next day.

So good bye Summer of 2014 and thanks for the memories. Blessings everyone.

The Dude He Is A Changing

IMG_0981Collin is growing up. This was him last summer being just an innocent that didn’t have much of a conscience. A little boy that was four in a house full of girls.He was at my house quite a bit because the girls needed a rest from him in the summer time hotness and I was home recovering from another knee replacement. He was my little knight in shining armor and I was his damsel in distress. We were a match of rocking chairs creaking and story books of diggers and tractors. He still chose to sleep in Grandma Jahr’s old metal crib after his body would betray him into limpness while cuddled in my lap. This little guy was my promise from God that life could be simple. A kiss could cure his booboos and a smile was all he needed for encouragement. Although each one of his siblings mean so much to me he in his uniqueness lets me know that we are all wonderfully made and boys are boys even in a house full of girls.

IMG_1135This summer he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels. It was the first thing he ever accomplished before his twin sister. Who knew that hand me down Dora bike would hold so much significance in his little existence. I laughed so hard when he told me it was just a practice bike and his bike was in the garage with the trainers still on it. It wasn’t long and he was doing wheelies and riding like he was a race car driver with the checkered flag in sight. He ran his mother over and she went flying in the air that brought a flash back of her doing the same thing to her brother the year she learned. That bike gave him confidence and freedom.

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This year he became a protector of his cousins feelings. They still fight but when she is sad he is sad. I saw him give her one of his beloved tractors to take home when she was crying something unheard of before she was a part of his wheel house. She is his Kinz as he calls her and he loves her just like a sister. He knows how to comfort because of her. I know she will be special to him for all of his life.

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He learned how to wink. The first time he showed me his little eyes were going light a corner caution light because he couldn’t get the one to stay closed but now he has it down. His mom was so proud that she posted it to his dad and Aunt Aimee with the caption—Watch out ladies. This is going to come in handy because on the first day of school he came home and announced he had a girlfriend.He didn’t know her name but he liked her because she gave him a pencil and a color. After much prodding from his mother we found out Adeline was the recipient of his affections. Sweet Adeline you are a lucky girl.

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Gone is that baby and now emerging is this delightful little boy that I so adore. His baby magic smell is now replaced with soap and a smidgen of his dads cologne if he is ever clean and that is rare. He will always be my Little Dude no matter what age. I ache for that little guy sometimes. I miss it. It goes by so fast I just want time to stand still for a few minutes but that is not to be so I must revel in his newness of life everyday and thank God he is healthy and hope he doesn’t blow something up or flood the basement. Whatever he does I hope he knows that I will always love him even when he destroys the garage in five minutes or leaves the hose on outside for two hours. His vices are safe with me. He needs me and I need him. We are a heavenly match on earthly soil and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Recharging

There was a whole lot of battling going on today after my daughter Alisha left for work. Miss Peaches and the thing we call a dog were at war. She was hollering at him in Chinese (she is trilingual) when he stole a plate she was using to make something that only God and she knew what it was. All I know is it must have been delicious because Peach sounded like an Amish person at a smorgasbord while she was taste testing in her little  kitchen. I was trying to put clothes away when the dog came jumping over the step like a gazelle with the plate in his mouth. I grabbed him and gave the plate back. Disaster averted. One pair of socks put away and he has the stinkin lei she was wearing and it is on again. I was glad I couldn’t understand her at that moment because the German that was coming out of her mouth wasn’t a prayer I can tell you that. She was soooo tricked off. He tore the lei and I had to throw it away and give her another one. Back to the toy room she goes. I think what ever she was cooking was on fire by then. She is working away and I sit and watch her for a minute loving her little ways and listening to her. She can’t say a lot but she is a master when it comes to pretending. It reminds me so much of her mother when she was little. She wasn’t a big talker either at that age. Pretty soon she is immersed in her cooking and so I go to finish putting away the clothes. I am almost done when I hear her bellering TOP TOP TOP CHARWEE. That is English folks. It means stop stop stop he’s got Charlie. This is serious. That dog snuck back upstairs and took Charlie right from her little table where she was entertaining and serving the charred remains of her whatever it was. You don’t mess with Charlie. She is so mad and I am too. The dog is disobeying and it takes me twice as long to get anything done because of it. I finally talk her into going down stairs for a little snack. The phone rings and I am talking maybe five minutes and hang up.

IMG_1181This is what I find in the living room. I knew she was tired. Charlie got left upstairs and Snoopy must have been on the couch.

IMG_1180Guess who else was tired.

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Recharging. I’d say on the seventh day they rested but it’s only Wednesday! Blessings everyone.

She’s Hot

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I got a phone call from Brooke the other day. She is my oldest daughter and the mother to the bulk of my grandchildren.She had the kids at the park because Alexis had ball practice. I think she was a little taken back as her kids were playing when she over heard a couple of boys make a statement as they looked at Peyton. Two simple words. SHE’S HOT

She is only eight years old and the boys weren’t much more than that I guess. Brooke is a teacher of kindergarten so she pretty much hears everything but this was about Peyton who thank goodness never heard the statement. She needs no more self confidence. She oozes it like water from a crack in a Michigan basement and it drives her big sister Alexis crazy.

I know what that is like. In my eyes my little sisters were always way cuter than me and it took it’s toll on my idea of how I was perceived to other people. Thank God Alexis has two wonderful parents that keep the nobody is better system in place. There are no big heads at their house. They are what my dream family would have been when I was little.

We laughed as we were talking about those wonderful kids and I kept thinking that my love for Brooke just gets stronger and stronger. How is that possible when she has always meant so much to me. She is the mother I always wanted to be. Peyton is kind and loving because of the way Mike and Brooke taught her. She is one lucky little girl and her and all of the kids are fun to be around because of that. Like I said everybody has their heads the right proportion for their age.

I just wish I would have been the one to over hear little boys say something so stupid. I would have replied— Yes,  she always sweats like that.

Baby Baking

IMG_1120My Peaches woke up from her nap today as I was making my son-in-law Mike some chocolate revel bars. Being the accomplished baker that she is she got started right at it making the filling for the bars. Please don’t tell her mother about this because I don’t want to get in trouble but do revel in her joy of making the bars.

IMG_1122She said there wasn’t enough vanilla.

IMG_1121Oh much better but not quite.

IMG_1123 Now tell me please could this little Peach get any sweeter. I don’t think so. Blessings everyone.

Two Kids And a Garden Tractor

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Today was one of those days I will hold in my heart forever. I had two strong willed kids that love to pretend at my house. It was a day for plowing and seeing who was going to be the driver of all things that move. McKenzie aka my Little Peaches was doing a lot of button pushing on Little Dude’s tractor and I was OK with that until she figured out how to get it to go. That thing is too dangerous for her to drive herself. Her mother usually hops on the thing and they go around the yard but she had to work today so that was not an option. IMG_1102

They climbed on Papa’s garden tractor and you can see it is always safety first with Peaches.

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There was quite a discussion on who was going to drive. You can see who won. I mean would you argue with that?

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It took her a few minutes to study the controls but after that Little Dude had complete confidence in her. Oh the places they went and the giggles that in sued.

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Just look at her backing up. Now that takes skill.

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Can you tell which one of them had the bath after all that work?

Today I say thank you God for my grandkids and the parents that don’t let them sit in front of a television screen or gaming system. The world is theirs to explore and pretend. Someday Little Dude will tell Peaches about the day he let her drive and she will laugh and laugh. He will say it is because she was spoiled and she will know in her heart he is right.She will always love him for that and he will always love her because she needs him. That is what big boy cousins do.

Blessing everyone.