Tag Archives: grandchildren

Fires of Life

Janet and I have eleven children between the two of us, and the count’s at 9 on grandchildren. We’re thinking there’s plenty more to come, especially since 5 of the kids aren’t married yet.

We bought a place last year that was right for family and grandchildren.  I built a standard wooden swing set from a hardware kit.  Easy peasy. But it needed more!

We looked at playground ideas and my imagination ran as wild as an East Texas roadrunner.

Then a blast from the past popped up on Pinterest, a firetruck.  I grew up around that!  My dad was a volunteer fireman for years, and two of those years I was the official “mascot” of the fire department. That’s pretty cool for an elementary age kid!

I knew about an old fire truck which had been sitting in a field rusting the last 22 years. I got permission and scavenged pieces and parts.  Continue reading Fires of Life

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Nightmare at Bedtime

Our granddaughter, Claira, is 15 months old. She was spending the night with us, along with her brother and sister, ages 5 and 3.

Claira has a sweet, happy personality, but she’s also semi-strong willed.

She was all rainbows and unicorns! She even had them on her pajamas, but then it was… bedtime.

Claira had been laughing, cooing, and cawing until JJ (my wife Janet) and PawPaw (me) had the audacity to lay her down in the baby bed.

As JJ carefully laid her down, Claira immediately let it be known that she thought we were completely incompetent to try to put her down to go to sleep!

We talked softly to her, patted her back, patted her diapered bottom, rubbed her head, nothing made her happy.

She spit out her pacifier like it was a poisonous trick, pulled off the baby blanket, and screamed even louder when the door closed. We figured she’d quickly settle in for a long night of restful sleep.

Nope!

The unicorns changed to red and grew multiple horns.  The rainbows turned into a Class 5 hurricane.  She started to wail, not whimper, not cry, wail.

Continue reading Nightmare at Bedtime

Where Your Story Starts


I told four of the grandsons, ages 3 to 5, a story before bed time.

I learned a long time ago, the hard way, you don’t tell a scary story to small boys, UNLESS you’re camping and you have to sleep in the same tent with them.  Then, any old ghost, alien or crazy wild flesh-eating bear story will scare the living bejeebers out of them.  Afterwards, you can go soundly to sleep in the tent while in silent terror they stare wide-eyed listening intently for any ghostly rattles, spaceships or bears creeping through the woods.

This wasn’t such a time, so story time was about four boys with names that rhymed with their own. They were just amazed how the names seemed so much like their own. 😉

The story was about a submarine adventure in the Gulf of Mexico. The four boys were looking for sunken pirate treasure.

Instead, they found a sunken K-Mart cargo ship full of copper forks, tambourines and a miniature cannon. Continue reading Where Your Story Starts

Dear Emmitt

Dear Emmitt,

Stillborn — that’s what the doctor said, but to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family, you very much lived!  Thank you so much for entering our lives, even if ever so briefly. It is sweet, yet bitter, to miss and love you so much at the same time. Goodbye seems impossible before hello.

Your mother knows you better than anyone. She loved…no, she loves you dearly, Emmitt! You made her really sick those first few months. She was miserable in the mornings, and certain smells, like baking brownies, made her really nauseous. By the third trimester though, she was talking about how much you moved and how hard you kicked. We knew you were there because sometimes your mommy would let us put a hand on her tummy and feel you move. You would roll and stretch big, then give a hard kick just for good measure! I think you got all that energy from your daddy.

Continue reading Dear Emmitt

Family Frog Genes

Some family traits are passed down generation to generation as consistently as a calendar. From my life angle now, it’s fascinating to see traits in the grandchildren that my children had. Some could discount this as trite or trivial, and maybe it is just sentimental thinking that sees what I want to see, not what is.  But then again, in some ways my oldest son, Blake, and his soon to be four year old son, Cooper, are remarkably the same!

Case in point, frogs. Continue reading Family Frog Genes