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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words………..And Then Some!!!

What better way to begin this new post than with a slideshow and video presentation of the grandchildren acting and posing as their alter-egos!  Actually, I didn’t intend to include all of these photos, but then as I was preparing to “spill the beans” (that is kind of what I sometimes feel I do when I write about me and the family…..ha, ha, ha) for this month’s post, I just couldn’t resist a bit of tattle-telling, so to speak.  As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and these particular pictures sort of ring true in matching up with a grandchild’s particular personality profile.

For instance, the very first picture is of Mayce in her “curtain dress”.  The story behind this dress is that Mayce recently became enchanted with the Sound of Music and particularly with the Do-Re-Mi song where the children in the movie are relieved from their  military style attire by their new nanny (Julie Andrews) who dresses them in clothing made from her bedroom curtains (hard to believe the Von Trapp children felt that idea was a step in the right direction…..LOL).  At any rate, while Stephanie and Mayce were shopping (a pasttime they both enjoy, by the way!!) at Old Navy a couple of weeks ago Mayce suggested that they look for a”curtain dress” just like the ones worn by the girls in the movie.  Stephanie, in an attempt to ward off a potential Mayce melt-down, cautioned Mayce that “curtain” dresses were not exactly a staple of Old Navy’s inventory!!  Well, wouldn’t you know…………..there, on a rack of discounted children’s clothing, was the pièce de résistance…………the one and only……….. “curtain” dress!!  Mayce was thrilled………..Do-Re-Mi’s 2014  “curtain dress” rendition by Mayce “Von Trapp” Baird is now not only endearing, but also quite authentic!  .

The next photo in the gallery is of Josh and Mayce taken one random day as they showed up wearing their version of “Nana” fashion………..black and white!!!  (You see, I dress just like my mind thinks……………..black and white!!  LOL).  Actually Josh doesn’t normally mimic my style, he typically models himself after his Great-Uncle Mike…………… Josh will choose from his closet each day a very narrow selection of short-sleeved tees paired with knee-length gym shorts that he (like Mike) has worn all through the winter, much to the dismay of his parents.  Chris and Jessica have done battle with Josh every single day of this long, harsh winter, fighting him tooth and nail, finally arriving  at a compromise……………Josh had to put on a long-sleeved shirt and gym pants over top of his “Uncle Mike” attire whenever he had to leave the house!!

I am not quite sure what to say about the next picture in the gallery!!!!!!!!!!!…………….it seems as though whenever Tommy and Sydney are together, they never fail to give me a reason to smile :)  This particular photo was snapped after Tommy and Sydney “disappeared” one evening while we were all over at Chris and Jessica’s for a recent Sunday dinner.  They had gone upstairs, rummaged through Sydney’s “dress-up” clothing and then apparently searched Christopher’s closet and when they reappeared…………voila!!!……….Little Bo Peep and Buckeye Guy!!!!!!!  I am saving this one for their high school graduation………there could just be a little blackmail lurking in their futures LOL!!!

The next two characters in the slide-show are of Sam and Sophia which were taken this past Halloween.  Sam, unsurprisingly, stepped right into his role as a mafia kingpin, thus fulfilling Jennifer’s once upon a long time ago fear that Sam would end up as a juvenile delinquent!!  LOL  You see, Sam like many red-blooded American boys (and yes, I am stereo-typing!!) could sneak a forbidden candy treat or provoke his little sister Natalie into endless bouts of hysterical crying, and yet profess, quite convincingly, that he was oh so innocent.  Every now and then Jennifer would confess to me wondering, in the deep recesses of her mind, if Sam possessed any conscience at all as the punishments and reprimands seemed to seldom phase him.  Having grown up with five brothers, I continually reassured her that if my brothers had not become jailbirds (well……….not permanent ones anyway……………just kidding, brothers!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL)…………Sam”s conscience would eventually find him and, along with his kind-hearted nature, both would serve to keep him on the right path.

Sophia, interestingly, also exhibits a personality that is somewhat reflected in this choice of costume. She has this deep-rooted sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair, just and unjust (some might say that she inherited a few of her Nana’s genes!!).  She can be “Little Miss Sunshine” or she can be “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” :).  One might also say that she has a bit of a “Catholic” conscience…………with the proverbial angel on her right shoulder and the devil on her left shoulder………..her guilt usually will lead her to the telling of the truth eventually………..even when she has not been found out!  I can remember when she was only four or five years old, I had given her some chocolate candy which she happily took from me and went on her merry way.  A short time later she came back into the kitchen to find me to confide that she had been told earlier by her Mom that she was not to have any dessert that night.  Sadly and sheepishly she returned one of the uneaten pieces of candy explaining that she didn’t want her Mom to be mad at her :).  I love that kind of honesty!

Olivia’s photo showcases a small milestone of sorts for her, in that in preparation for her Confirmation, she actually had to go dress shopping for what may have been the first time since her First Communion (okay, okay…… I guess she has actually worn a dress or two since then, but she is definitely not what one would call a fashion diva!!!).  I can remember when I went along with Olivia and Jennifer to look for the First Communion dress, Olivia was content to sit in the dressing room while Jennifer and I scoured the store bringing dress after dress back for Olivia to try on.  Because Olivia seemed so nonchalant with the entire process, Jennifer and I narrowed the selection down to three and then, satisfied with our choices, asked Olivia which one she preferred.  With little hesitation she happened to choose my personal favorite, and when pressed for the reason for her decision, Olivia simply said that it was the one dress that had scratched her the least!!!!!!!!!!   Olivia……………..you are a chip off the old block……….your Papa is definitely smiling down on you :).

I decided to add the above video so as not to let Natalie and Luke off the hook when they both realize that Nana has been busy “showcasing” their cousins on her blog (or to put it another way…….. “spilling the beans”)!!  One of the favorite cousins’ activity, when they are not outside playing soccer or dodge-ball , is making up a play or putting on a self-made musical performance.  This video was taken one TGIFriday afternoon after Natalie and Luke had put their collaborative heads together and asked me to review their “innovative” routine. Obviously, they are not yet ready for prime time, but if “Tiny TIm” & his song “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” could become a one hit wonder, you never can tell!!As long as I am sharing pictures of the grandchildren.

I may as well share a few pictures of myself to let you in on some of what I have been up to in the past few weeks.  To keep it short and sweet I will simply add that the photos will reveal an increase in my political activism and that I have finally, (thanks to my brother Tommy and my niece, Melanie). made good on a challenge (involving the 2nd Amendment) that I had presented to myself shortly after Crick’s death.

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When I get to this point in my post, I usually pause to consider what, over the past few weeks, has brought me a measure of comfort, peace, hope, courage or inspiration that I can share with others.  As I reflected on this today, I recalled that one Saturday morning last year, as I was driving to one of the grandkids’ baseball games, I happened to tune in to our local Catholic radio station and heard the most inspiring priest delivering a talk on prayer.  I actually drove out of my way just so I could hear the talk all the way through to the end and on Monday morning I called the radio station to find out how I could obtain a recording.  Long story short, I discovered that the priest was Father Larry Richards, the pastor of a parish in Erie, Pa.  He has established A Reason for Our Hope Foundation in answer to 1 Peter 3:15,  “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.”  The mission of the foundation is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Church through multimedia resources.  I have since ordered several of his CD’s as well as MP3s and have rarely been so spiritually moved as I have been by the message Fr. Larry brings to his listeners regarding the truth of God’s love.  How fitting then as we approach the three most holy days in the Catholic church’s liturgical observances—the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday) — that I should discover this particular you-tube video presentation of Fr. Larry which reflects on the words Jesus spoke on the Cross just prior to his Last Words,  “I thirst”.  I believe that you will find the video very worthy of your time.

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!

TNT

TGW