(Ryan’s mom and dad take each of the grandchildren for one fun-filled week during the summer of their 8 year old year. This year it was Jane and her cousin Elise’s turn. Karen sent us delightful emails full of pictures and text and I thought I would let these email serve as the blog post for this once in a lifetime event!)
Subject: Day 1
“Love your girls!! Probably won't send them home so keep the pictures to remember them by.
Love you all!”
Subject: I guess we wore them out.....
Subject: Day 2
“Another fun day! 9:00 and both girls and Grandma are ready for bed. Good night. Love you all”.
Subject: Day 3 - Service Day
“The girls were awesome. They mixed, stirred, measured, and tasted until they had created 2 large batches of cookies - Rice Krispy treats and chocolate chip cookies. Then they made individual cards for 7 different people, and off we went to meet a lot of ailing older women and one super set of grandparents. It was interesting to see their reactions. Jane was very nervous at the first stop and I realized I should have better prepared her for some of the conditions we would see. This lady was diabetic (we took her cottage cheese and fruit rather than our sugar load.) Her feet were heavily bandaged and her apartment smelled very smokey. Jane declined from being in the photo, but it gave us an opportunity to talk afterward about how lonely some people are, that they are Heavenly Father's children, and He is happy when we show them love. (I also assured her that I wouldn't take her anywhere that was dangerous, and that I would stay right with her the whole time.) She was very receptive to the goal (showing love to the others) and we were back on the road heading toward our next few stops which included a hospital. The sweet lady in the picture with both girls is my friend Sherry who made all the crocheted snow hats for the girls. She was so happy they wanted to meet her (and they really did!) Our last stop we saved for tonight so the Grandpa would be there. I'm sure you will recognize him. Fun day. Love these girls!!!”
Subject: Day 4
“We started today at the tattoo parlor and then moved on to the wild animal petting zoo. Both places were great!! Between afternoon swims, late lunch at In n Out, and a quick sewing project, the girls managed to eat lots of Skittles, cookies, and pizza. So as you can see, I am taking very good care of them. They are finishing up a movie right now. Wish you were here!!!
Subject: Day 5
“Today was a fun day - especially going to the temple and the Visitors' Center. I told them that it looked much like it did the day Ryan and Jessica got married. Also mentioned that it was covered with tulips for Heather and Kevin's wedding. Sorry, no pictures. I remembered the camera but left the battery charging at home. It was so pretty up there that my error was annoying. They continue to be fun and sweet. Thanks so much for sharing them.
Subject: Day 6 San Francisco
“This was such a fun day, but unfortunately several pictures I know we took (maybe the camera wasn't cooperating) didn't download. So I will give you the best of what we brought home. The BART ride over was fine, however when we got on the cable cars to return from the Wharf we were told that the Powell Street BART station was closed due to a riot. "Oh Great," we're thinking,which $300/night SFO hotel will be housing the 4 of us tonight?" Luckily, however, by walking a mile or so to the next station, we were able to board BART and head home tonight.
In between those 2 events, we enjoyed riding the cable cars, looking through every single t-shirt & souvenir store to find the perfect items to remember the day, eating at Subway, enjoying sweet treats from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company, watching the pirate, Jack Sparerib, at Pier 39 juggle and work his magic, taking the tour of the Rainforest Cafe, seeing (and smelling) the sea lions, talking about Alcatraz and how we'd ever escape if we found ourselves in jail there, discussing some of the unusual people (i.e., wierdos) who are everywhere in SFO, watching the jumping bush man and the dancing gold man, and posing with Obama. We were all starving by the time we got to the Dublin Bart station at 8:00 and decided we needed one more trip to In n Out. Elise has become a fan with us and polished off 2 cheeseburgers while Jane had her usual animal-style burger and fries. Given the right food, these 2 are serious eaters!! What a great day! Can't believe I have to send them home in 2 days. It's going to be danged hard!!
Love you all,
(Truly, this week is one of the most anticipated of my kids’ lives. Karen and Jeff are so generous and we think it’s so neat that they get to deepen their relationship with their stellar grandparents. WE LOVE OUR GRANPARENTS NUT!)