Look who's "almost 6".

We had the opportunity to make a quick trip to Illinois for Kelly's end of 
the year recital.  I alway love it when I'm able to make one of my yearly trips to 
coincide with recital time.

I'm excited to make a post about it but I'm waiting on pictures so that will be in a post soon I hope.

Even though we were there for just a few days, most of the time was taken up with activities
regarding the recital.  However on the last day we scooped the kids up and crammed as much fun
in 24 hours that we could.

We got a hotel room and had a slumber party.  We surprised Brody with balloons,
a banner and presents when he woke up the next morning.  We won't be there on his actual
birthday next week.  Luckily his Aunt Melissa and cousin Dylan are going to fly up to celebrate
with him.

The theme of his party this year is Octonauts so I tried to make his "fake" party as he calls it
to be the same.  

We had breakfast downstairs and went swimming first then upstairs for presents.

Most of his gifts were Octonauts but we also gave him an outfit which he'll open on
his "real" birthday (nothing exciting about clothes for little boys).  We also got the book
Our Great Big Backyard written by Laura Bush and her daughter Jenna.
Makenzie promptly read it to him.  It's a great book about exploring America.

The kids asked me to take a picture of them blowing a kiss to their Florida family and
Brody wanted a picture of his favorite gift because the Vegimals are his favorite Octonauts.
Thanks Aunt Carrie.

Afterwards it was back downstairs in the dining room for cake.

Brody was so sweet and offered other random people in the room a slice of his birthday cake.
Finishing our celebration, we decided to drive to a local lake with several playgrounds. 
 Due to a heat wave of 96 degrees and several bee incidents we changed course 
and came back to the hotel for a little tv and hotel bed horsing around.  

This is the visit that Poppy introduced Makenzie to the funny papers.  She had never seen
them before.  How times have changed.

Then it was time for dinner.  We let the birthday boy pick.  Pizza Hut it was then on
to Dairy Queen for dessert.

Brody finished his ice-cream quickly and then helped me with mine.

Happy "fake" birthday Brody Bear.  Nana and Poppy love you very much and
we're so glad we got to be with you for the 6th birthday.



This is the first year Dylan participated in scouts.
This particular troop requires that the Dads are involved in all the meetings.
They take turns organizing the projects and being
the leader at their Tuesday night meetings.

 I suppose that would make his dad's (Randy) first year also.
I applaud the leaders who put in hours of their time each week and
the Dad's who after a long busy work day attend the
meetings with a group of "active and energetic" boys and give up weekends for out door
scouting activities.  

In first grade you are a Tiger Scout.
They went camping, sold popcorn, had car races, earned 
patches, participated in community service and had all around fun.

At the end of the year they have a cross over ceremony to move up to the next level.
Bear Scouts.

The boys showing their new patches.

And after they cross over the bridge the become Bears.

I know they are looking forward to another adventurous, fun and crazy busy
scouting year.


Saturday Morning Soccer

Soccer came to a season end today.

This has been a season for learning what good sportsmanship is all about.

He has such  fantastic coaches that he's had 3 seasons.  Unfortunately
he will be moving up an age division and will be on a different team.
The coaches have been very good about teaching teamwork and encouraging
them on trying instead of results.  I know that's not what a lot of people go for
but at this young age Kindergarten and First Grade it's how I prefer it.

The first season everyone was new and were just learning so they pretty much
lost every game.  By their second season they had learned to play well together and 
won all their games.  The coach decided to move them up in skill level 
and this season they lost most of their games again.  The teams they played 
were much harder to beat.  That's how you learn.

I'm gonna miss these sweet faces

They played hard but lost their final game.

And I had to add this picture to remember this season of his little life and how
learning to lose well became an important lesson that we are working on.

It was short lived as after the game they had a end of the season party at the sprinkler park
across the street.  It's amazing what cool water and horsing around on
a hot day can do to lift your spirits.

Thanks to all you coaches out there who dedicate your time to invest in
these young lives and teach them lessons that they have for a lifetime.


My Favorite People Call Me Nana (MFPCMN) Fun Friday Edition

I decided to begin posting "My Favorite People Call Me Nana" to show some of the fun things I do
with the grandkids (nieces/nephews/etc) and how with just a little prep and small budget
you can make everyday activities into memorable fun times for you and your grandkids.

I made my first post in March and thought I would do a weekly post.
…….best laid plans…..


When I get the opportunity, I like to have the grandkids over on Fridays for 
sleepovers.  That's pretty much impossible for my Illinois grandkids so we make the most 
of the time we get together trying to cram everything into a visit that we possibly can.

My eldest granddaughter spent practically every Friday night with me
from the time she was born until the month she began high school.
When you're a cheerleader, football games trump your grandparents.  sigh….

As it just so happens that was the exact time Dylan turned two so he picked up 
her Friday nights.  He loves movies and I'm schooling him in the art of loving
Disney movies.

We decided to do  a Lady and the Tramp disney movie night.

I hadn't seen the movie since my kids were young and I thought we
had at least a VHS copy but we didn't.  It's not available for purchase at the stores
so my sweet husband got on Ebay and ordered a new in the unopened box
Platinum Edition DVD for 8.99/no shipping.

I decided to make a meal reenacting their Italian dinner scene. Most of the ingredients
we already had on hand.  I bought red and white checked napkins 
and plastic table cloth at Party City for a few dollars and the Little Golden Book
at Barnes and Nobles for 3 or 4 dollars so we would have it to read as a bedtime 
story afterwards.  
For every thing, including the ingredients to make a few cupcakes, paper products,
DVD and book, I don't think I spent more than 20 dollars.

My inspiration for picking this movie theme was my favorite exhibit at
the Epcot Flower and Garden.

After dinner our plans are to watch the movie, paint or color the picture
and read the story before bed.

I'd like to point out that the frosting looked better when I made these last week.
 I picked Dylan up from school last week and he was not feeling well.
He decided he wanted to be home with his Mom.

  I had already made the dinner with the exception of the 
salad and garlic bread so I just put everything straight in the freezer and it held
up well.  The icing seemed to somewhat blend together but you can still make
out the white "spaghetti" icing.  It tasted fine.
The "meatballs" are malted milk balls.

I think it was a hit because he's wondering aloud what our
next family movie night will be.

Thanks for joining us.


Flower and Garden, one last time.

I thought I'd made my last trip to Epcot's 2016 Flower and Garden
Celebration on Cinco de Mayo but I had an opportunity to go
with one of my dear friends and her lovely daughter so I jumped at the chance.

It was hot and we got rained on at the very end but I won't complain.
Beautiful flowers, great friends and delicious food.

As soon as we arrived at Epcot we took the monorail over to Magic Kingdom
and walked around to explored for an hour or so.
It's my favorite park but not so much for Mike so anytime I get the
opportunity to go with others, I take it.

We jumped on the Little Mermaid ride (no line) to cool off.

After perusing the Dooney and Bourke/Vera Bradley shops
we headed back to Epcot via the monorail. 

I didn't take pictures but I tried the Rum Pineapple Dole Whip for the first time. 
It is absolutely amazing and it surely won't be my last.

I also got my usual Paris Strawberry Macaroon which everyone must try
if you're ever there for Flower and Garden.

Thanks Kathie for my Epcot food gift card for my birthday.

Snow is one of my all time favorite princesses.

Before we left, we headed into the America's so I could 
purchase a tervis cup for Mike.  He had just broken his water cup
so I thought he needed Mickey since he bought me Minnie on our last trip.

Well that wraps up my  2016 visits to Flower and Garden.
I'm already looking forward to next year.
Thanks Kathie and Jana.  I had a great time visiting the parks
with people who love Disney as much as I do.


My favorite way to shop.

I've started a new tradition with my oldest granddaughter that
I hope continues for years to come.

She's a very busy young lady with college, a part time job, a serious boyfriend
and her girl friends all of which keep her busy.  It seems like the only 
time I see her is during family get togethers which leave little time for 
many heart to heart talks.

So we are making an effort to take a day every month or two and 
go out for coffee, shopping and lunch.
A day for just the two of us.

We have a great time.  We actually like all the same stores. 
More so than anyone else I know.

Lilly, Kate Spade, Pottery Barn, Bath and Body Works, Michael Khors,
Anthropologie, Pandora, Williams Sonoma, Vineyard Vine etc.

Our favorite mall recently opened a Lilly Pultizer.

I just love their dressing rooms.  I wish I could have the wall paper for my closet
but they don't sell it.  I know because I asked.  Ha.

I had so much fun watching her try on clothes.
She looked so darling in them.
In case your wondering why I'm taking pictures, 
I just had to document her first Lilly clothing item.
She's had numerous Lilly products:
planner, candles, jewelry, cooler beach bag, cup etc
but never clothes.
And it's absolutely adorable.

And we just found out that Disney Springs is opening a Lilly Pulitzer all their own.
Not to mention Kate Spade, Alex and Ani and Sprinkles Cupcakes.
All with Disney themed items.  
Taylor happens to have a love of Disney also.
I think I know where our next date will be.

Love you Taylor girl.  Thanks for still wanting to spend time with your old grandmother.