Category Archives: Grandma

Grandma Come Back!

Brynne has been missing her grandmothers.  One has gone to Arizona.  One has gone to Florida.  Nothing like somebody leaving to make the heart grow fonder.
She wrote out a list of all the things she will say when the grandmas comes back….

Remember when you threw a snowball in my face?  Wasn’t that fun?

Can’t we play dolls again?
Christmas makes me miss family.  Remember how much fun we had last Christmas?  And Grandpa killed the possum?
The last post was not a guilt trip.
This one is.

A Weekend for Alice

This weekend was Grandma Alice’s funeral.  Grandma Alice was Gregor’s grandmother.  She was an opinionated, fiesty, funny lady.  I’m so grateful my children knew her.  By the time I was 10, I only had one living grandparent, and he lived 1000 miles away.  My children are blessed to have so many grandparents who adore them, visit them, call them, talk to them, and are in good health, 
I don’t know why, but I really like cemeteries.  I find them peaceful.  I like to think Dan and Alice are together again.

On this day I decided to play with the black and white feature on my camera.  I love the look.

I also learned how to crop pictures using the iphoto software that’s been sitting on my computer for how many years?  I know.  I’m rather slow.

Brynne loves Grandma Alice.

My children are fascinated by cemeteries and headstones too.

They are also rather dramatic.  Here Paige sobs for the departed.  We didn’t know this person.  She didn’t really sob, just pretended.

Oh dear cousins.

Oh dear Grandpa.

Grandma Alice’s son and grandson had an impromptu horn-playing tribute.  Alice’s brother, Philip, held the music.
This life is long.  This life is short.  This is a very very busy time in life.  I don’t slow down enough.  I hear my kids saying, Mom, listen!  I used to get bored sometimes, but now I’m never bored.  I never feel that I get everything done.  There is always something else to do, another task to complete.  
What I would like to do is sit down in a cemetery like this, in a picture that is black and white.  I would lay on the grass and close my eyes and not think about anything at all, not dusting, sweeping, fixing a broken DVD player, or a to-do list.  I would just lay there and feel the grass under my body and the sky above it.  I would start to think about my family, my husband and my children.  I would want them to lay on the grass with me because I would be lonely without them.  And when the time came I would open my eyes and smile and say, Yes. we did it right.


This year we had some mighty fine and large pumpkins from our very own garden!  Then a neighbor came by and gave us three more.  No trips to the pumpkin patch this year.  We had a fun family home evening digging out pumpkin guts.  
I have dramatic children, no?

Brynne played a witch at school for her class play.  I began to video tape it per her request and I got message, tape ended.  Can you believe I’m still recording on tapes?  I need to get with it.  We’ve got loads of video to convert over.  Sorry B.  But what a cute witch!  It was funny to watch who was so shy and quiet and who didn’t mind an audience.  This one is definitely on the shy side when it comes to public performance.

Oh. Oh. Oh.  You’re about to get a baby fever post.  Because we’ve all got it.  Bad.  Real bad.  Allison and her baby Sydnie are visiting from New York City.  Sydnie is such a doll.  She’s got perfect disposition and the cutest little body.  Everyone wants to hold her.

Her mother dressed baby up as “Old Man Syd.”  We laughed and laughed.  I’m sorry, Sydnie!

This is the first year I’ve done anything with food for Halloween.  Puffed pastry on top of a casserole.  I snuck in sweet potato and parsnips and didn’t tell the kids until after they ate it (insert wicked laugh here.)  They said, That’s what that gross taste was.  Sure.

Jello brain compliments of Grandma Heather.

If there is anyone you want to visit you for Halloween, it’s these two.  Even though Allison is only 5 1/2 weeks out from a C-section, and has not completely healed yet, she still came with a costume!  She’s a Wall Street protester.  And then there’s my mother, master of the witch costume.

Grandma Witch, Bumble-Bee Princess, Kung-Fu Master, Mulan, Princess Paige borrowing Allison’s wig.  She got sick of it after five minutes so I put it on.  You would not believe the amount of compliments I got from that purple and black striped wig!  Maybe I should start wearing one.  Then I wouldn’t have to do my hair.  Dreamy.

Little Mulan
It was a cold and snowy Halloween night.  The girls went home after one street as the older ones persevered down Lawrence Street to see all their friendlies.  I love Halloween.  I love the feeling of dressing up, going out into the dark with other trick-or-treaters, laughing at each other, crunching through leaves (and snow), being scared, raiding the kid’s buckets (this year I’m digging the Almond Joy), and falling into bed content.  Hope you got scared too – Boo!

Maggie and Haggie

A family who likes to write…
My mother is working on a children’s story about two witches named “Maggie and Haggie.” She started writing her stories down because my children would howl every time she’d launch into the next Maggie and Haggie adventure.  You see, Maggie and Haggie would never be invited to your house for dinner.  They have zero manners.  That’s why my children like them so much.
Nelson massages to get those ideas flowing

Paige sits, transfixed, as Grandma reads the latest installment in-between caulking and painting my bathroom (pics coming of that transformation!)

Maggie and Haggie are always doing such disgusting things.
Thanks to M&H, my kids are always singing, “Pink stinks, everyone knows it…”
Paige frequently refers to M&H as if they were really in the room.
Brynne’s teacher invited Grandma in to read her stories.  Grandma was in a panic!  But then there was a snow day.  And Brynne cried.
We need to motivate Grandma so she will finish her stories, find an agent, an editor, and a publisher.  Then, you too can enjoy Maggie and Haggie!

Snow and Cookies

Today is MLK Day, one of my favorite holidays as a teenager because we went to school and got to listen to Martin Luther King’s famous speech.  Oh I just loved it.  Cope told me today she wished they had school so they could do cool workshops.  Hm!  But we agreed we’d need another Monday off. 
However, we did have a great day with the Needham Mass. Makechnie cousins going to the SEE Science Museum in Manchester NH.  It was a fantastic place. GREAT for little kids and big kids.  It wasn’t too crowded and it was very clean.  Check it out!
I forgot my camera. Can you believe it?
I have so many backed up posts I’m going to do one a week until I’m caught up!  Beware of posting frenzy.  So here goes…
Last week we sadly said good-bye to Grandma Mary, but not before she could have a some fun with the kids.
Our neighbor Mr. Goody is such a goody that he comes over to plow us out.  Gregor has to race out at soon as snow starts to pile up or Goody is the first guy on the job.  It’s a man thing.  Me, I’m happy to let him plow 🙂
It’s not every Grandma that will throw a snowball in your face.
Every Christmas I like to make my most favorite sugar cookie recipe from Aunt Naomi.  This year we had so much sugar coming in I decided not to do it.  But then, January descended and life was unfulfilled without that very special cookie in my life.  Paige rolled hers on the floor.  Kept her busy a good long while.  But she was the only one who ate hers.

Num num

I’ve become a fan of these cute little cookie racks

Frosted sugar cookies are so divine.  Daddy chops something for dinner and talks with that dang-fangled ear piece.  I never know if he’s actually talking to me or talking on the phone.

Another Grandma Mary favorite?  Maggie and Haggie!  My mother tells the most marvelous witch stories.  My children all have different names when Maggie and Haggie is told – Worm rot, Stink face, and Slime germ are just a few.  Here she works on a story while Nelson rubs her neck.  He’s become quite the masseuse.

The tree stayed up longer than it ever has.  Like Megan says, “When does it become white trash to keep the decorations up?”  Ha ha.  That made me laugh.  I began to get the post-Christmas itch.  The tree must go! Tired of all those falling needles and Christmas decor that became Christmas clutter.  It is all put away.  The holidays are over.  Grandma is gone.  
And it is January.  
The snow is here and we are less mobile.  I used to hate this month.  It used to make me feel restless and slightly depressed.
Now, the stillness makes me feel peaceful.  I feel like I can exhale and since I can’t go anywhere, I am happy to be inside and just be.  Next storm prediction:  Tomorrow!

Beautiful Paige

Paige is a wee bit spoiled…we can’t resist buying the “baby” cute little outfits.  I was at Target yesterday and had to be hauled away from the Dorothy costume.  It was a giant effort of self-control.
Here’s a great find from Grandma Heather after Grandma school.  Halloween perhaps?  Who knows.  It changes daily.
I didn’t even ask her to do this.  She just knows how.  Who says clothes don’t change your behavior?  Ha!  I see it first hand everyday.
Always posing, feeling beautiful

Gramma School

I’m the luckiest…
Now that Paige is 3 years old she gets to go to Gramma School!
It’s every Thursday morning from 7:30-11:30 ish.
Grandma Heather did this with Brynne at age 4 and when Brynne found out it was Paige’s turn and she had to go to real school – oh dear!
We LOVE Gramma school.  Last week was the first week.  They picked pears, did some canning, rolled some dough, worked in the garden, and had stimulating conversation.  With Grandma Heather of course, there’s no other way to do it!
Tomorrow Paige is looking forward to picking some apples with Grandma.  Who knows what other adventures will await them.  You just never know with Grandma.  Aren’t I so lucky?  I couldn’t PAY someone enough for the quality time.
And what do I do with this child-free time? 
No housecleaning!
No laundry!
No chores!
I’ve deemed it my writing morning.  I will write the masterpieces my mind swirls around with…yup.  That’s the plan.  That’s my goal.  I will not wander around the house wondering what I should do without children.
Whenever I think about Gramma school I think of Napoleon Dynamite saying, “Lucky!”

Summer Catch-Up

Before summer is completely gone, I have to get these pictures in.  Many of Gregor’s basketball boys play AU summer basketball.  Here are two we just love:  Ben and Christian.
Ben on the left just graduated from Proctor and will be attending Brandeis this fall.  Christian on the right will be graduating from Brandeis soon after having played at Proctor a couple years ago.  Christian is from Camaroon.  Both of these boys have spent many nights on the Makechnie couch!  

“Come on G – smile!” Ben implores.  Thanks buddy.
We had good cousin time this summer.  Hailey and Cope Makechnie.  Two peas in a pod.
Grandma time is the best.  Heather is the master storyteller.  She can keep a child’s attention as well as anyone I’ve ever seen.  Truly the pied piper for all the grandchildren.
Grandma also makes cool cookies.
After blueberry picking, it’s time for cousins to make each other sick.

Then Paige and Brynne decide they want to “help”mom make a blueberry pie.
You know, someday I’m gonna master the whole crust thing.  It tastes good but it ain’t so pretty.
When Brynne and Nelson aren’t really fighting, they pretend to be.  Poor Paige has fallen to her doom.
Brynne must avenge.  And Nelson thought he needed a brother.  Ha.  Brynne can fight with the best of ’em.
And on to ninjas.
Indoctrinating Paige early
Well I just don’t know what to say about this one
We had lots of underwear time.  You might want to announce your arrival before getting too close to the house.
Ah…Highland Lake.  The best summer reprieve.  This was a windy and choppy-water day.  Still great.
Nelson and Brynne learn to play chicken.  I love the look on Nelson’s face here.
Paige and goggles
The baby bum
It’s cold!

Cope and her corset
Paige is always trying on her older sister’s clothing – including the swimsuits.
This was a particularly great look.
Nelson read a spy book and bought these spy glasses.  They have reflecting mirrors so he can see whatever lurks behind him.  So watch out!  Can’t catch that boy off-guard!
Playing dentist.  Paige loves to brush Brynne’s teeth.  And nose.
Brynne is not afraid of small creatures that jump and hop.  Catching a frog in her girly umbrella.  Truly a great combination.
Daddy had a birthday this month!  Nelson wraps the presents.  Pretty much all food 🙂
For the first time EVER, I sunk to a new level.  I did not make a birthday cake.  I bought one.  From Market Basket for $3.99.  It was supposed to be a yummy ice-cream cake for a hot summer day.  It was gross.
Brynne compensates with her own cake.
Lots of love on his birthday.

Then Brendaen and Jill make a cake for G!

A birthday haircut.  

My cousin Emily Castleton from Boston come to visit for the weekend.  Four kids in 6 years.  They are amazing.

Baby Robert is so squishable!  I wanted to eat him.
Cope loves when Ben comes.  He can play ANYTHING by ear.  They sing Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera together.
A bulls-eye.  Summer sum-up.  Good work Nelson!

When Grandma Comes

You should see the reaction my kids have when they know Grandma has pulled into the driveway.  A frenzy ensues, there is a race to the door, there is screaming and shrieking, with arms outstretched…who can reach Grandma first?
 Grandma LOVES to play.  She does it very well.
Grandma also knows how to be serious.  She has so many stories.  I wish my brain could hold the information hers can.  She rocked Paige, sang to her.  And then she held Brynne, told her a story about a song her grandmother used to sing to her.
Brynne was quiet and listened to her grandmother’s amazing voice.
Grandma has that effect on children.  She has a gift.
She began to sing an old Protestant hymn that is also in our hymnbook now,
Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy

Brightly Beams our father’s mercy
From his lighthouse evermore
But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.
[or Some poor struggling, sinking sailor you may rescue, you may save.]

Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.

Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Trying now to make the harbor, some poor sailor you may save.

A grandmother holding her grandchild. It was very nice. 
I especially like the line, 
For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.
This is how our Grandma does it.