Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Grand Days

Today I want to share with you two special topics.

The first is that Monday was the birthday of my favorite person in all the world.  (That's BIG because I love a Lot of people.)  John Franklin Hawley celebrated his 63rd birthday.

All teasing aside, I love this man more than I have words to describe.  He swept me off my feet over forty years ago and continues to amaze me with his faithfulness and determination to grow.  I recently heard a friend say, "If we keep learning, we won't become conceited about what we've already learned."

That describes Frank perfectly.

I chose to pray his birthday blessing when we had his family party on Saturday.  Tears caused me to stumble a little as I said, "God, please continue to bless Frank, who is without a doubt the most wealthy man I know.  He chose a path for his life as a young man of sixteen and could never have imagined then what joy You would bring to him.  As his family, we honor him and thank You, dear Lord!"

Frank was sixteen when he chose to make Christ his Savior.  That choice really did change the trajectory of his life and as a result, all of our lives as well.  I'm one grateful lady.  We snapped this picture with the nine grands after an impromptu bonfire last week.

Sitting in our pot of gold

But I also promised pictures from our recent foray into full time grandparent duty.  I mentioned that John and Joy went away to celebrate their twelfth wedding anniversary.  The Smiths, McGhees and Hawleys all jumped into service dividing the care of their four babies between us.

Kristin took the first shift.  Friday morning until dinner (which included but was not limited to) all school runs, naps and lunches.

Meagan collected them just after lunch on Saturday which meant she had EIGHT children to corral until John and Joy returned home around bedtime.
Here my counter reveals how four little people get ready for bed.
Noni and Papa took the longer shift which commenced Friday before dinner and concluded just before nap time Saturday.  I didn't get very many pictures because I was up to my eyeballs with answering the perpetual conversational musing of four very verbal children.

Papa had taken a couple of hours in the middle of the night to put together a race track we had purchased.  (Boys and Girls take turns getting special treats from Noni and Papa; mostly items we find on clearance or at yard sales.  Although these aren't expensive, the children keep close tabs on whose turn it happens to be!)  So, he was a bit tired.

If this exchange happened once ("Noni?"  "Yes, Baby.") it must have happened 500 times during those 10 hours.

Here are some of the pictures I was able to snag:

A few sheets turned the fort into a spy house.

Fortunately, we had several spies ready to move in!

Of course, all spies need special spy snacks

We ate avocados then planted the seeds

Papa was in charge of keeping all hydration equally dispersed.

Noni stayed busy trying to keep everyone fed!!

I had Plenty of Help . . .
. . . help that looked like this
Ava knew exactly how to clean up after spaghetti

(Sadly,  my computer won't let me add anymore text below the final picture.  Still learning you know.)
When Aunt Meagan came to pick them up, Papa and I were blessed with some extra snuggle time that looked like this . . .

(Grayson, Parker and Madi.  Taken on another day.)
A picture I'll treasure for Always!

Andrew Ryder Smith hanging on Papa's every word!


  1. What a sweet post. I am sure your husband had a great birthday. I love when families take the time to make sure the people in their lives realize that they are a blessing to you. Looks like you had a great time with the grands. If spaghetti going in six different directions is the most help you had you made out great. I do think you are very wise having your trade off with the children just before nap. Then you could have your much needed nap.

    1. Cathie, you called it! Frank and I BOTH took a rest before starting again. LOL Thanks for commenting.

  2. Oh what a sweet group of grands you have!! It looks like you did great! I always enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing.

    1. We sure did, LeeAnne! Thanks for stopping by. :-)