Tattooed And So Happy

My Sister Linda and I were Sunday School teachers for many years. Here is Little Dude singing one of the songs we used to teach our students. He loves to sing and I love to teach so it is a match made in heaven. I want him to see how he sang when he was little because I know some day down the road he won’t admit he ever sang for me. This is for his future wife and their kids. Wouldn’t it be fun to see your dad doing something like this when he was little? Sorry about my taping again. I know it isn’t the greatest but the content is so sweet I wanted to always have it for him. I had to put it on twice because I love how he claps like he has cymbals. Blessings everyone.

Blame It On The Heat

We have had unbearably  hot weather here in Michigan this last week. I was so looking forward to the storm that I knew would eventually break the heat wave but I never knew it could cause such commotion. So rewind here we go.

Hungarian Work Horse came home from work yesterday with a big grin on his face. He works outside all day and this was the first night in a week that I saw him really smile when he walked in the door. I knew he had a story and I was ready. Sometimes he finds stuff out about the grandkids before I do because our son-in-law Mike works with him. His abbreviated story was that Brooke had to evacuate the house because the smoke detectors kept going off and she didn’t know why. Mike left work in a hurry to help. It seems it was so hot outside and somehow one of the windows in the basement got opened and it kept making the smoke detectors go off. Can you guess who Papa thought the culprit was? I’ll show you a mug shot from this winter.


We had a bad storm last night and this morning quite early I got a phone call from Brooke that they had no power and she and the kids were coming over. I knew my day wasn’t going to be like I planned and I hopped right in the shower thinking that today would be a good day to take Brooke to see this little Mennonite grocery store I love to go to. I was just getting dressed when the bedroom door popped open and here comes the Little Dude and all he has on is his underwear. His mouth was going so fast with stories about the no power deal I was just cracking up.

“Nana, not a man or a monster open da window but I was wooweed about dat smoke deflector.”

I knew when he said that he never opened the window. He would tell me if he messed with something. Remember I am his girlfriend and he is going to marry me.

Downstairs we go and he is the first in the shower. I help him dry off and people I know what heaven smells like. Little boys that just get out of the shower with shaggy hair and stained feet. I suck in the baby loveliness that will be replaced by dog smell in about an hour. He lets me rock him for a few minutes and then he is off.

We get all the little girls showered and I start telling about the adventure we are going on to my little store. Please don’t judge me but I tell them we are going to a for real Mennonite store and if they look they will see a real Mennonite. Miss P asks if they sell toys there and I answer that she will just have to wait and see. I know she will be my partner when we get to the store because she is so curious about these Mennonites.

We get there and Miss P and Little Dude go with me and we shake Brooke and her two. As we are walking I start to tell her about the Mennonite faith and she asks me if they believe in our God. I tell her yes and let her know that God is everyone’s not just ours. Little Dude is walking a bit ahead of us and he comes running back excited because he thinks he found some pizza ice cream. When we look I start laughing because it is pineapple orange but it does look like pizza on the box.

On our way home Brooke tells me her version of the smoke detector caper. She wasn’t as rattled as her Dad made it sound but she did pack up the kids because she didn’t know why the thing kept going off. Mike had her looking at wiring and everything when she was on the phone with him. She just said it was so hot in that basement she couldn’t believe it and it had a weird smell so she took the kids and left. Mike came home from work and finally  figured out a  window was open and the temperature got so hot in the basement it made the detector go off.She said that they were talking about it later and Miss P was listening. She stated that she and Alexis never opened that window in the back room.

The funny thing about that was nobody said it was the window in the back room.Hmmmmmmmm. It kind of reminded me of a television set that got shot with a pellet gun at my nieces house. Nobody did that either. It must have been a man or a monster.

Old Grandkids 001

Here is a photo of the suspects. Who do you think opened the window and let all that hot summer air in and caused such havoc that their dad had to come home from work to shut a window.

I hope he wasn’t too mad because there is a silver lining in all of this. He got to start his weekend a little early and he got his favorite cheese from the Mennonite store. Let me tell you I don’t care who opened it I love them all and someday when they read this it will come out how it happened. A lesson was learned in the Mennonite store and next time they come over we will thank God for pizza ice cream that tastes like orange pineapple. I am so blessed and sometimes I forget. I let worry take me where I should not go and then I have a day like today that brings me back where I belong. I need to remember to be patient and know that things don’t always happen when I want them to.

image (12)I love you Alisha and McKenzie. We can’t wait to see you.

The Dog Toe

IMG_0426My Little Dude always makes me laugh. Here is a conversation we had as I was washing him up after a long day of play in the sand.

“Nana are you going to da fireworks wiff me?”

“Yes, Buddy, Papa and I are going with you,now climb up here on the sink so I can wash you up before we go.”

He climbs up and I get him stripped down and start washing his body because we don’t have time for a bath. I get to his legs and the sink is already black from all the dirt. I am giving his feet a good scrubbing when I hear him yelp,”Owwwwwww,my dog toe!”

I am confused and scared because I love my family’s feet. I can tell you who anybody in my family is just by looking at a picture of their feet. I don’t know why but kissing my grandkids feet is one of my greatest pleasures but I will not kiss an animals foot even if it is attached to my Little Dude. I had to get to the bottom of this.

“Your dog toe?”

“Yes,my dog toe,I got it at Aunt Yinda’s.”

I look down at his big toe and he has a scratch on it. Apparently one of Linda’s dogs nails scratched his big toe and made it bleed a few days before and it was still sore.

Thank heavens it was a booboo.You never know when people will try to scam your grandkids with a lucky dog toe.


The Princess And Miss P

IMG_0860My granddaughter Peyton is probably one of the most confident little girls I know. She is seven and her favorite thing to be is a girl. She loves to wear dresses and when they play she is always the mother. She loves to laugh.  She really isn’t afraid to do anything and most things she does she is very good at. Sometimes she sets the bar kind of low I think because she wants to be a Walmart worker when she grows up due to those scanners they use. I always laugh when she is dreaming of that and her mother looks at me in disbelief. This is the same person that had aspirations to be the successor to Barbra Mandrel with a beater from my mixer as a microphone when she was about that age. I know where Peyton gets her ideas from. Like the old saying goes—the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

IMG_0393Sometimes she models for us and sometimes she sings.

100_0717But her favorite thing in the world is to be a princess.

Every year in the thumb where we live a little town called Sebewaing has a Sugar Festival. Just before school let out papers were sent home with the kids for a prince and princess contest. This was right up Peyton’s alley . If you entered the contest you got to dress up,get your hair and nails done, and ride on a float in the parade. She was so excited and told me her greatest wish was to ride on that float. I was so glad when I found out that the little girls could ride on a float even if they didn’t win. She could cross that off her very extensive bucket list right along with getting her ears pierced and that cat purse she had to have.

Her parents had a talk with her about how to act on stage and what to do when the winner was announced and so did I. I wanted her to be prepared when she didn’t win.

“Peyton you know the most important thing in this contest is to have fun and be a good girl on stage,right?”

“Oh I know Nana,Mom told me I couldn’t run around and to  clap when they say who the winner is if it isn’t me. I really just want to ride on that float.”

“Well, that is good Honey  you probably won’t win because you are one of the youngest ones up there. If you don’t I want you to be nice and say congratulations to the winner and not cry because you will always be my princess no matter what.”

I thought that would be the end of it.

A few days later we were at her big sisters ball game and she came up to me all excited.

“Nana, I was just talking to that lady over there (she was a parent of one of Brooke’s kindergarteners) and I told her I was going to be in the princess contest and guess what,she told me she was gonna pray that I win.!”

My shackles immediately went up because Peyton has such a strong faith in God for a seven year old. She is the only one of the grandkids that will tell me she loves God first then me.

“Peyton that does not mean that you are going to win.Don’t you think that other little girls have people praying that they will win? God answers all prayers but there can only be one winner and He might say no to it being you. Remember how you kept praying for Grandpa Perkie to come back from heaven? God heard you,He just couldn’t give you that desire even though you wanted it so bad.”

I left that ball game thinking that woman needed her head examined saying that to a little girl and really wishing that Peyton was not a part of this princess thing. I started conjuring Toddlers and Tiaras in my head and Miss P being so disappointed because she didn’t win. I guess that imagination Peyton has comes from me too.

The night of the contest was I have to admit something I will never forget. We had so much fun with all of the kids. I forgot what a festival looks like in the eyes of little ones. We walked the midway and put the grandkids on rides.My face as well as theirs hurt from smiling. As we sat there watching our girl on stage I looked at Brooke and I choked at how proud she was as Peyton walked up on that stage with her Daddy. It didn’t matter if she won or not. There we were a family in all of our glory clapping for a little girl that just wanted to ride on a float. That family that I am so thankful for and that loves me as much as I love them. I thought of how I would have felt being that little girl with her daddy walking her in front of all those people. He loved his girls just like that and even though I never got that chance with him I have seen my girls escorted by a daddy that loves them and now my granddaughter too. The little girl in me now knows even though my dad isn’t on earth he is proud of this family that my children have created. That gives me peace.

Princess Peyton 001 I learned another lesson that night. Sometimes a little girl does get the desire of her heart.parade 

So some day if you happen to be in Walmart and you see a girl with a tiara on her head using her scanner with a big smile on her face know she really is a princess. She is Sugar Royalty but most important to me she is Peyton my little believer.




The Wheels Fell Off The Bus

I took this video last summer after I had my first knee replaced. I am posting this for my daughter Bethany that is in Thailand right now. I know how much she misses the kids. Notice the Little Dude’s scratched up nose(as usual) and little Landyn’s monotone voice. I was sitting on the bar stool barely able to move because I had just come home from the hospital the day before. It was pure pandemonium with Miss P in the background trying to put her two cents in and both of them singing two different songs. I know the video is  so home made looking and I am not very good at it but I hope you get a laugh at this Nana’s little monkeys. Please notice Collins mouth as he sings the last part of the song. It killed me.

Just to let everyone know Beth is doing well and I got to talk to her again last week. She finally got some of the packages and mail we have been sending her. Love you Bethany

The Sands Of Time

IMG_0874Last night the Little Dude got himself in a wee bit of trouble. Trouble follows him around like grease on a french fry and I am not sure why. Well, OK I guess I do know why but still. He is the only boy in a field of pink and long hair girl loveliness and sometimes it takes a toll on him. His parents are trying to raise a guy that knows how to treat girls with respect. It is an on going project that is a hard lesson to learn. He is bigger and stronger than his twin sister. They are three and she is a whopping twenty four pounds so you can knock her over by breathing to hard or turning the ceiling fan on or blinking. He does all three with his hands tied behind his back. That little twin girl can be like a yapping Chihuahua with the heart of a super hero. She is not afraid of anything and she is so stinkin cute that her cunning ways are hard to see. I love watching both of them and some of the antics are almost more than this old heart can stand.

 IMG_0334They got in an argument the other day and she hit him right where it counts.

“Brodder, you not my best friend any more and you not my brodder.” Talk about confusing to a Little Dude!

He told his mother what she said and got,”Well, Collin you might not be her best friend today , but you will always be her brother.”

He has to learn that when some one is littler than you they really have the power in the eyes of the adult and rightly so because those little ones can get hurt very easily and his sister has. That doesn’t make it any easier when you are in the heat of the moment. I am so thankful that his parents grew those eyes in the back of their head after they had the kids. They really do keep on top of things but once in a while when you are at a ballgame and big sister is up something happens.

IMG_0030Peyton was playing ball and we were all watching because she hit a home run last time and I wasn’t there. The kids are just learning the fundamentals of the game and everybody is having fun. Her dad’s family are really into sports and they take things very seriously. Me not so much. I am just so thankful that my grandkids have so many fans in the stands. Both sets of grandparents are there plus mom and dad. I love my son-in-laws family and we spend a lot of time together because of the grandkids. I am thankful for them because they love the kids as much as I do. I keep thinking how blessed the kids are because when I was growing up we never had that. There was no money for summer sports and there was always work to do. Even at eight years old I was in the field every day in the summer. I thank God that my grandkids have all of us and I hope He keeps us around for them for a long time. It also helps that there are so many of us to keep track of all the kids on the playground while the game is going on. Sometimes the Little Dude and the Chihuahua can be hard to keep track of.

IMG_0428Little Dude had already been in a sit for five minutes in your car seat in the van because of a sand throwing incident before I even got there. I wondered what happened as Brooke was telling me but didn’t think to much of it. He saw me and sat down beside me and said “I smell something.”

I had gum in my mouth and I laughed because of his sneaky way of asking for a piece.

It was then that I started asking why he had to sit in the van already. Sometimes I feel like a private eye with these kids.

“Why did you have to sit in the van?”

“I was throwing sand,Nana.”

“That’s not good Buddy, you should never throw sand because someone could get it in their eyes and that would really hurt.”

“Nana,dat boy put sand down my back and threw some in my hair.”

I look in his shirt and hair and sure enough he had sand everywhere. It is then and only then I am mad thinking he had to sit in the van because of retaliation. Brooke looks at me all reasonable and says “Mom you always take his side.”

Well, somebody has too and I fit the bill. Even though she is right I can’t help myself. It is hard to be objective when it comes to my grandkids. I really have to work on that. So I thought OK I will try.

“Buddy that wasn’t nice of that kid but you still can’t throw stuff back. That is how people get hurt. If someone does something to you walk away so you don’t get in trouble.”

I could have choked on those words but I said them. I really don’t think that it is so bad defending yourself. That’s what we did when we were little. It was called survival. We had to learn that if you played rough you suffered the consequences. You treated people the way you wanted to be treated and by golly if you wanted sand threw at you go ahead and throw sand. I know that is not how it is done today and I understand but really I can’t help myself when it comes to any of my grandkids. Some kids are bullys and I think Collin encountered one. The real thing here was that he learned how to handle it.

The game went on and after a while I told him he could go play back in the sand. I was watching him take his cowboy boot off and fill it to the brim with the stuff knowing he was looking for buried treasure and dog bones. That’s what he does. It runs in the family. Miss P came up to bat and I was watching her my heart pounding and pleading that she would hit the ball when all of a sudden Collin comes running heaven bent as fast as his little legs could carry him with a sand thrower right behind him.  Collin turns on a dime and sits right next to me knowing he is safe. The kid has his hand raised up in the air ready to attack. In my Nana save you voice as mean as I can I look at him and say “ Don’t throw sand.”

The criminal takes off like a scared rabbit and I don’t care. I sneak a look at Brooke and smile. I am wondering if she remembers when her brother threw a corn cob at Darcy Talaski in retaliation.

My reward for heading him off at the pass you ask? It was my Little Dude all snuggled next to me knowing he was vindicated. He knew there was a new sheriff in town and she was nothing to mess with. I know some day when he reads this he will laugh like I am now. My Little Dude and me. It is pure bliss. I love you Collin Michael Merchant even when you have to learn not to throw sand.






Green Eyed Monster and Who You Can Marry


100_0900Alexis was sitting on my lap with Peyton  the other night when the green eyed monster came out. She is at that age when things start to embarrass her.She wants to do them but just can’t. As Peyton was crooning a song all of a sudden I heard,”There she goes singing like she’s on American Idol.”


A few weeks ago Alexis came over after I moved the furniture around in the front room to which she told me,”Nana I just love how you remodeled!”

IMG_0708We were outside walking around the other day and decided to go in the house. Landyn was playing with a broom and didn’t come with us.All of a sudden in she comes all sad and looking defeated.”You left me outside all by myself.” she sobbed “I might as well be lost.”

101_0909Peyton is the romantic in the family and is always talking about getting married. As we were baking cookies I asked her who she was going to marry and she said,”I think Uncle Greg if Aunt Linda doesn’t mind.”

“You can’t marry your uncle,Peyton.”

“Oh, I thought it was just your cousins.”


IMG_0835Ronda watches the kids and is like a second grandma to them. She is always at their beck and call and does it with a smile.

CollinI asked Collin what Ronda’s job was to which he replied “ Oh, Ronda doesn’t work,she just plays with me.”