Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Monday, May 27, 2013

Annual Visit with the Gaeke's

Marilyn and I made a decision years ago to make an annual visit to our sister's home in Littleton, Co.  We've become the surrogate grandmas since the Gaeke children never knew their Grandmother Kopczynski.  We've had some really big shoes to fill, but every year we come home with new pictures, memories, and hearts bursting with the joy!

After breakfast snuggles with Grace and Ryan!  Those two are definitely lap buddies.  I had them on my lap reading stories, playing games on the IPAD, and at the breakfast table.

We planned to have a girls only day on Saturday, but didn't want the boys to feel left out so we took them shopping at Target.  Paul told me about his dream to own the Rancor Pit - a Star Wars Lego project.  He described every character and the entire story behind this particular project hours before we were schedule to go to Target.  Maureen called the store ahead of time and asked them to "hold" it for us.  When the clerk handed him the box he just grinned from ear to ear.  He had the entire project finished in less than 2 hours - he reads the instructions page by page!  Impressive for a 7 year old!

 We bought a smaller project for Ryan and he needed a little help from Dad and big brother to finish the space ship.

Saturday morning Grace put on her special pink dress and got her American Girl doll, Marabella, ready for the girls day out at the American Girl store at the mall!

Marabella's bucked up and ready for shopping!  The store is amazing and really overwhelming - there were so many displays and so many tempting items.  Grace found a little pet dog for Marabella named Grace.  We talked her out of it because the dog was $20.  We told her she could have her pick of pets for Marabella from the bag of  25 Beany Babies we paid $20 for at a garage sale instead.

Marabella with her new pajamas, slippers, and eyeglasses.  She scored big time!

Karlee talked Grace into a new hair do!  We all thought they looked so cute, but the hair bands came out in less than three minutes - barely enough time to get some pictures.

 First lesson with garage sale clubs
 Grace quickly mastered the garage sale scooter!

 Ryan knows all about Angry Birds and loved the new T-Shirt from Target.  I didn't get a picture of him riding the strider bike - darn! It has no pedals and he can ride it like a real bicycle.  We rode around the block several times and he loves to stop and talk to everyone!  Daddy Paul told me he'd only been riding the strider bike for three weeks.  Grace thinks he's ready for her pink princess bike!

 A final good-bye gift from the yard - lots of lovely flowers the kids painstakingly picked for us! I learned from Dad Paul that each child is very different.  Paul, the compliant one; Grace, the confident-CEO type, and Ryan, the demanding one.  This is what I observed:  Paul told me all about his unit on Egypt and Mesopotamia - he remembers everything!  He also knows all the Star Wars characters and proudly displayed two posters his friend gave him - they are now hanging in his room and he can name every character and tell you how they are a part of the bigger story.  We watched a little video of Grace at her school.  She confidently grabbed the microphone and in her CEO-type voice said, "My name is Grace Gaeke and I want to be a dentist when I grow up and I am going to Littleton Academy for kindergarten next year." She's also the one who sang the Jesus song with appropriate hand movements -"You can't put Jesus in a box...He is everywhere....You can't put Jesus in a jar...He is everywhere."  She has a direct line to heaven if judged by the prayers she could say before meals.  Ryan learns so much from his older siblings.  He wants to and thinks he can do pretty much everything they do.  I got to sit beside him in the car during our garage sale expedition and he seemed to know the way to Grace's school and the Yogurt Shop.  By the end of the trip he could tell me which turn was left and which was right!  I love the way children learn and also the way they teach olders like me about enjoying the simple things in life, like roly poly bugs, and gummy worms!  Pure unadulterated joy!

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