To say that our big boys were in good hands during our house-hunting trip would be a giant understatement. Grandma's hands were full, to be sure, but they were super busy, fun, and creative, as well. Thanks to Grandma's camera, we can offer a play-by-play of Zachary and Tyler's week with her.
The boys and I picked up Grandma from the airport in the morning. We played at Washington Park near the zoo for about an hour. Grandma was especially enamored with little Gavin, who enjoyed a bucket swing for the first time. That was lots of fun. Then we met Garry for lunch at Costa Vida and played outside in the afternoon. All too soon it was bedtime and the boys weren't ready to quit their Grandma fun!
We all woke up in the wee hours to make our 7:30 flight to Colorado. Three sleepy boys accompanied the grown-ups to the airport, and then Grandma navigated all the way home with the aid of a GPS device. Not bad, considering the route crossed five freeways and 30 miles! The day was pretty busy in Beaverton. Zachary had a ball game at 9:00 a.m. He did well at first base, although once when he missed catching a ball, he dove to first anyway, hoping that the move would still make an out. After the game the boys went to a Primary activity, then home for lunch, and then bowling!
Grandma wasn't tired yet, so she took Zach and Ty to Rood Bridge Park. It was there that they realized the boys' coats were missing. They backtracked to the bowling alley, but it seemed that someone had stolen the left-behind coats. Bummer! After checking out a few stores, it was apparent that buying coats in May is a tough proposition (even if the cool weather warrants warm outerwear). She did, however, spend quite a while in Kohl's outfitting the boys in new summer clothing! Zach and Tyler are thrilled with their new wardrobes.
Grandma took the boys to church, of course. While the boys were in Primary, she went to Relief Society. A woman investigating the church was touched by a comment Grandma made during the lesson and said Grandma's words helped her realize the gospel was true and she wanted to be baptized! Amazing! We'll definitely have to follow up on that investigator and attend her baptism when it happens.
Zachary had a three-day school week while Grandma visited, so she got to see Zach's classroom a couple of times every day. While Zach was off learning, Tyler and Grandma puttered at home and ran errands. On this day she bought supplies for some art projects. The boys LOVE the construction paper, smelly markers, and giant coloring book! Grandma gave a Family Home Evening lesson on how to bear a testimony of the gospel. She explained the steps and then had the boys share their feelings about the church. It sounded like a wonderful lesson! Their activity was making "welcome home" signs for Mom and Dad and Mother's Day cards for me. What sweeties! For dessert they had ice cream with chocolate pudding sauce. Apparently it's the dessert of the year.
Zachary went to school again. Grandma spent the morning playing with Tyler. They were super silly and played some games. That afternoon, she took the boys to Rood Bridge Park, their favorite outdoor destination. They took scooters and helmets and spent three hours there! Zach and Tyler enjoyed the play structure for a long time, but also roamed all of the paths around the park. They even followed some paths we had never explored and were delighted to discover some new things.
The morning started early at Pump-it-Up, Jr. While the boys romped on all the inflatables, Grandma struck up a conversation with Melissa, one of Heidi's friends who happened to be there with her daughters. After Pump-it-Up, Grandma took the boys to Krispy Kreme where they had free samples and bought a dozen donuts. Then they ate sack lunches and drove to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry -- another favorite). Incredibly, they spent five and a half hours at the museum! Zachary was especially obsessed with a paper airplane area, where he followed instructions and made lots of wonderful aircraft. Both boys dressed up as squirrels and hid acorns in a giant tree for a long time. They also toured the submarine permanently docked in the river outside of OMSI. This is something they have always wanted to do!
Zach had school on Thursday, so Ty ran errands with Grandma. They went to Costco and Fred Meyer and even got the van's oil changed! Grandma bought us four lawn chairs since all of ours broke last summer -- and so we'd have something to sit on during baseball games. Zach had another game that night and apparently it was absolutely freezing!
In preparation for our return, Grandma cleaned the house, washed laundry, and even scrubbed bathrooms. Then she went outside and vacuumed our filthy van.While she engaged in that two-hour project, she turned the boys onto a project of their own: blasting chalk "graffiti" off a brick wall with their water guns. They filled some big buckets with water so they could refill their guns easily and then went to town. What fun! Later they picked up Garry, Gavin, and I from the airport. While we rested, unpacked, and got settled, Grandma enjoyed Gavin some more and fixed dinner.
I left early for the half marathon, and Grandma stayed behind with Garry and four boys (including little Jackson Lyman, my running partner's 15-month-old). It was quite a feat getting four little ones fed and ready at the same time! The whole crowd met us at Champoeg State Park to celebrate our finish. I wasn't worth much after the race, but we had to drive straight to Zachary's baseball game. He had a wonderful time, but in my condition the game seemed long and the weather was too cool for my worn-out body. Grandma watched Gavin for me so I could rest in the car. That evening the whole family enjoyed a lovely dinner together at Stanford's.
Grandma spent as much time as she could with the boys during her last morning here. We also exchanged Mother's Day gifts and I discovered I had wrapped up the wrong thing for her and inadvertently given her present to Aunt Heidi for her birthday last week! I felt like a Class A Dweeb for the mix-up, but Grandma and Heidi were both gracious about my faux pas.
Garry and the boys drove Grandma to the airport while I started working on this little [big] post. Good-byes were hard all around, but at least we can look forward to another visit from Grandma at our new house next month! We are so grateful for all she did for our little family this week and hope that someday we can repay her generosity.