Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wonderful time away... making memories and remembering

On Friday Ken and I went with Gwen and Tim and the kids to an indoor water park/hotel.  We have visited this park several times in the past (we skipped last year, thanks to Anna!).  This year we had connected rooms, which was such a blessing.  We had a great "room service" dinner together and then Ken and I and Gwen took the older three kids for a swim.  Anna was ready for bed, so Tim stayed in the room and put her down for the night.  After an hour or so of swimming the kids could hardly keep their eyes open.  So we returned to our rooms.  Zeke wanted to go to bed right away.  Lia and Ellie wanted some time to play games with the adults!  So we played several rounds of "Frozen Spot It" and also "I Spy Bingo".  After several games, Ellie was ready for bed.  So, off she went.  Gwen and I decided to teach Lia how to play Yahtzee.   Let me tell you about our family tradition of Yahtzee playing.  I can't remember how long ago Yahtzee made it's first appearance at our family kitchen table.  But one thing is for sure, it was a LONG time ago.  And it was my mom that made Yahtzee such a tradition for us.  Grandma Nona LOVED Yahtzee.  My mom and I played so many games of Yahtzee that I could not even begin to imagine what the total number would be! We played so many games that we actually both had more than one "perfect card"! (Is you are not a Yahtzee player, let me just tell you that this is not easy to do.  Since the game is mostly chance - with a bit of skill thrown in - this is really amazing).  Anytime that I was with my mom, it included games and games of Yahtzee.  We once made an "emergency run" late at night to a 24 hour store to purchase more Yahtzee pads when we ran out.  Both Gwen and Doug (and Ken) will tell you that they often went to sleep to the sounds of the dice hitting the table and laughter filling the air.   Since my mom died in 2011, I don't think I have played one game of Yahtzee..... until last night.

Gwen and Tim brought the Yahtzee game to the hotel.  They had pulled it off of their "game shelf" and the dust on the box was evidence of the number of years that the box had sat, unopened.   When Gwen opened the box, this was on the top....
This is Grandma Nona's score sheet from 2003, when she visited Gwen and Tim and stayed at their house.  Gwen had purchased this game especially for Grandma's visit.  Both Gwen and I recognized her handwriting immediately.  It was a bittersweet moment for us, holding this score sheet in our hand.  Isn't that silly?  You know, this was almost more important to me than finding a letter she might have written.  That score sheet represented so much more for me.  It was a reminder of those wonderful times with my mom.  It was a wonderful Valentine for me.  Lia played her first game of Yahtzee and beat both Gwen and me! During the game we had a chance to tell Lia many wonderful stories from years ago.  Grandma Nona would be so proud.  

This morning the kids got their own Valentines from their mommy and daddy.  And they loved the singing card and the great books that they got.  Don't you just love this picture of all four kids cuddled together?  

We had a great day today, spending hours and hours in the water.  Anna took a long nap in the stroller and both Zeke and Lia conquered the "Big Slide",  riding down on a tube!  Yes, it was a day of making new memories. Ellie and I got to spend some time by ourselves in the Hot Tub (we bent the rules just a bit since you need to be 6 to use it.  Ellie turns 6 in two weeks).  It was fun to have some one on one conversation with her.  By the time we headed home, everyone was tired, but very happy.  

The last several months have really brought to the surface for me, how important family is.  I can assure you that this weekend was the best valentine that I could ever receive.  Surround by the ones you love and filled with joy, laughter and fun.  

And here is the icing on the cake for me.  While riding along on the Lazy River during one of the many trips we took around that track, Gwen and Anna came up behind me on their tube.  Gwen pointed out that Anna was calling for "Grandma!"  And she loudly called out "Grandma" and gave me that killer smile.  Honestly, there is nothing better than that.  

Jesus, thank you so much for your great love for us.  Holy Spirit, thank you for family and fun.  As we know your love, we share that love with those around us.  What an amazing gift you give us.  Jesus, help us all to stop and draw up closer to you, and feel that love.   Thank you for signs of love from the past and new memories made and shared.  Amen

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful Valentines day. Making memories. Our family played a lot of Yatzee too. Always fun memories.