Archive for the ‘Granddaughter’ Category

It has been a crazy, wonderful week here at Oleo Acres (one of the cheaper spreads)! Since my last post, I have been cleaning, anticipating, excited, frustrated, and elated, then tired. Why? Our DD and 7 month old granddaughter arrived from New Zealand this past Sunday!
At the end of last week, I also bit the bullet and bought a laptop computer. Sitting at the desk for long periods of time was just not working out – my neck and spine were not happy no matter what I sat in or where I moved the computer screen. Something had to change or I had to give up doing anything on a computer. I did quite a bit of research before getting one. Since the DD, aka The Computer Guru, was installing a home server to back up our computer(s) each night and store information, I thought it best to time my purchase with her visit and get my laptop included with the rest of the system. She has been so generous in her help with all of this. So far everything is working well.
I LOVE the laptop. I can sit anywhere I feel comfortable. As I write this I am sitting in my recliner while everyone else is watching TV. My spine and neck are so much more comfortable although I am relearning where the keys are. Thank heavens for Spellchecker.
But enough about the computer…I feel so very blessed having my daughter here. Although we keep in touch almost daily through computers and emails…and Skyping on the weekends so everyone can see each other, I miss having her closer. While we get to see how our granddaughter is growing – the new teeth that have come in or the crawling on the floor – I love seeing my daughter and her wonderful husband as well.
I am a believer in children leaving home and making their own ways in the world, but that independence comes with a price. I love seeing her “fly”. I am proud of all her accomplishments. But with that comes a few feelings of being like a rock – grounded here while she soars. It’s the way it should be, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it all the time. Kelly has grown into a wonderful woman whom I am overjoyed to be friends with. My father used to say that a parent’s first duty was to be a parent…to teach your children to be good people. Sometimes that meant being tough, but that’s the job. If you ended up being friends at the time the child became an adult, so much the better. When I watch my daughter interact with people and hear what colleagues say about her, I know I both did the best job I could and that we’ve added the dimension of “friends” to our mother/daughter relationship. Win-win.
Now I get to see Kelly in the parent role. She’s a beautiful mother. It shows in the smiles my granddaughter, Gwen, has on her face as she goes through her day, embracing all the universe has to offer. It shows in the patience Kelly has with a cranky child fighting jet lag and time zone changes when she herself is so tired from the very same reasons. It shows in the way she cuddles and kisses her daughter when she thinks no one is watching.

I am also appreciative to my son-in-law…for sharing his family with us. It’s very clear that Gwen is a “Daddy’s Girl” and misses him, even though she loves her mommy.

And I’ll bet he’s missing them just as much…

(PS – As soon as I get access to photos again on my computer, I’ll be including some photos of The Visit with Kelly & Gwen) 🙂

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This beautiful cardigan and the matching set of booties were knitted by our son-in-law’s mother, Val. Isn’t it gorgeous? Val chose a laceweight yarn (hope I’m correct here, Val) to knit this for the new granddaughter, Gwen.
Val’s the kind of knitter who could look at you, holding an in-depth conversation, while knitting right along at Warp 9. Sigh. I am in awe of her talents.

I count our extended family in New Zealand as one of the blessings in my life. While everyone was a bit anxious at our first meeting years ago, we all hit it off straight away. I feel as if I have known Val and Hugo all my life. The private joke between Val and I is that both of our kids came home with foreigners. 🙂
Both Val and Hugo have been over to the States a couple of times. We have a ball when they visit even just doing simple things like visiting the sheep down at the barn or shopping at the local Kohl’s store where everyone seems to find at least one necessary or frivolous thing they needed. And Las Vegas will never be the same. wink, wink…
So, you see what I aspire to as I learn how to knit myself. No, I never learned although my mother, another knitter-extraordinaire in her own right, tried to teach me many times. I was the child who could not sit still indoors long enough to learn anything even remotely domestic. The knitting talent has jumped over me and landed in the capable hands of my daughter. Maybe, someday, with practice, I will be able to at least do a hat or two.

I just hope I’ll be able to keep my jaw from dropping while watching the two “real knitters” in the family. But, it’s like having the Mona Lisa hanging in front of you while you are stuck doing paint-by-number….

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Getting Bigger!

OK…I just had to share a couple of photos of Gwen and her mum, Kelly. She’s over a month old now! I have to say that computers, cameras, and all the modern technology that goes with it has been a blessing since family is so far away.
When we had Kelly we were stationed in Germany and had only each other to lean on. Kel’s got all of Ross’ family for support, of which I am so grateful.

There’s nothing like Mom’s shoulder

I can see that Gwen is growing out of the “wrinkly” stage and getting her personality in her face now. Yes. We can hardly wait to see her! Well, I know I can hardly wait to see all of them. We are in the midst of planning for a trip now as Ralph’s surgeon encouraged him to travel while he was recuperating. Speaking of my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits, he’s doing extremely well. I guess it’s true…you can’t keep a good man down….although I have to admit that I’d like to “bean” him once and a while as he gets extremely grumpy when his pain meds wear off. If this is an indicator of what retired life would be like, I think we may need separate houses. 😉

I do want to share one of my favorite photos of my DD and new GD. This was taken by my Son-In-Law, Ross, soon after Gwen was born. Mother and daughter. Both tired from Gwen’s arrival. Beautiful. (Or at least I think so.)

Mother and Child

Tomorrow we’re off to take the three remaining ram lambs from last year’s breeding season to Chino Valley for “processing”. I hate to do it, but we don’t have room for extra rams we can’t use for breeding due to genetics. And with the economy the way it is (with hay $20+/bale) we just can’t keep them. They, like a couple of their former flockmates, will serve in other ways. Some of the meat will feed us, some will be sold to restaurants and/or friends, and some may go to the community kitchen. I thank God I haven’t had to go to bed hungry, but I know there are people right now who don’t have that comfort in these hard times.
I was talking to my friend, Tina, yesterday about taking them. We were discussing this part of shepherding. She and The Shepherd have had to send some of their boys to market through the years. This is the first time we’ve had to try this route. As usual, she not only comforted me but put things back in perspective. I have given them a good life with green pastures, food, and a shepherd’s love while they were in my charge.

…Thanks, Tina.

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Gwendolyn Sophia Atkinson
Born 22 December 2008
Auckland, New Zealand

Mother and Daughter

Father and Daughter enjoying a moment to themselves

We are so delighted to become grandparents! Our only wish is that we could have been there, but as soon as my Hired Hand With Benefits gets clearance from his doctor after his upcoming surgery, we’ll be over in a shot! For now, little boxes sent from the States will have to suffice.
Congratulations to you both, Kelly & Ross! One never knows or understands the love of the Parent until one becomes a parent themselves. Bless you all…

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