camp nana – day 3 – all about me

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all about Me

We learned about each other today.  Paper people shapes were glued to some white cardstock paper.  We made the paper people to look like us.  Max decided he would dress himself as Captain Underpants while Abigail and Ginny took a more conventional approach.  Abby used yellow feathers for her blond hair.  Max drew his short blond hair with crayons.  Ginny dressed herself in a ruffled shirt and Abby made an entire outfit coordinated right down to the boots.

Then, we made notes all over the paper background about what food we like to eat or what color was our favorite.  We wrote what made us happy and also what made us sad.  That is how we learn about each other.

About Me

We learned about each other today.  Paper people shapes were glued to some white cardstock paper.  We made the paper people to look like us.  Max decided he would dress himself as Captain Underpants while Abigail and Ginny took a more conventional approach.  Abby used yellow feathers for her blond hair.  Max drew his short blond hair with crayons.  Ginny dressed herself in a ruffled shirt and Abby made an entire outfit coordinated right down to the boots.

Then, we made notes all over the paper background about what food we like to eat or what color was our favorite.  We wrote what made us happy and also what made us sad.  That is how we learn about each other.

Before Ginny arrived for camp, Max and Abby donned their Camp Nana aprons and made some yummy banana nut muffins that we sent to the swim meet that evening.  They squished up bananas and mixed the other ingredients.  Abby was in charge of locking and unlocking the big mixer while Max controlled the mixing speed.  They took their time and lifted the mixer up several times to scoop any unmixed ingredients from the bottom and sides of the large silver mixing bowl.  Down the mixer would go.  Abby would do her job and would loudly state “LOCKED!”  Max would then turn the mixer to the proper speed.  They alternated the muffin liners by color and took care in filling them with very little spills.  Abby ran back and forth from playing to the oven to check the progress.Image result for tap shoes

After cleanup, we practiced a bit for our dance review and had story time and play time.  It was a fun and productive day!Image result for tap shoesImage result for Storytime

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camp nana – day 2 – field trip

Max and Abby started the camp day early with a Trail Dust Town Excursion. Max took a 20 dollar bill and stood in a not very long line to obtain 2 wristbands.    Of course, the first stop was the railway station.  Max insisted on being in the first car after the conductor and upon returning, Abby exclaimed loudly with covered ears … “I am NEVER riding in that car again.  It was bidiculously loud!”

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Next was a visit to the Stagecoach ferris wheel and the old-fashioned carousel.  Not really exciting rides, but very cute and the happy campers delighted in riding them as if they were in Disneyland.  I wish I could remember what it was like to see things thru a 4 year old’s eyes.


After two hours of rides and seeing all of the Farmer’s Market stands and wares, the kids were hungry for lunch, That’s when we came upon the Dragon Pizza Company.  They make a great cheese wood-fired pizza in the belly of a big green dragon.

The campers must have been hungry as there were no complaints of the sauce being too spicy or the cheese not the kind Max likes.  They devoured 2 and 3 pieces each!  Best I have had in a very long time.

 

Image result for dragon pizza oven Tucson Farmers Market

So what do you do after you eat some pizza and ride the rides and check out each and every vendor booth as well as listening to a great youth mariachi group …?

You get a triple flavor shaved ice with 3 spoons!

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It was a great day.

 

 

camp nana – day 1 – all things rainbow

Connor was our special visitor for our first day of camp 2017.  Off to a busy start creating beautiful rainbows from bits of tissue paper and lots of glue.  Max handled his own gluing and dutifully assisted Abby & Connor with dots of glue where needed. 20170601_123857-1.jpg

Max decided on a miss-mash of colors in the shape of a rainbow, taking creative license.  20170602_144732Connor took a more abstract approach to his canvas (paper) of work. 18871631_10209221513085627_783146094_n

Ginny went minimalist while Abby was precise and exact.  20170602_14475520170602_144809All in all, a succesful gallery of color, giggles and glue.  And keeping with our theme, our quiet reading time was HOW THE CRAYONS SAVED THE RAINBOWS.20170531_141210

Since Ginny attended camp after her nap time, she missed story time.  When she arrived, Maxwell picked up the book and got her a pillow and read her the entire book.  At one point,Abby and Ginny were giggling, and I overheard Max … “do you want me to keep reading the story or do you want me to put the book up and you can keep talking”.  They chose the book.

What should little campers snack on during a rainbow of a day?  Well, a rainbow of fruit, of course (with a couple of other food groups as well)  Strawberries, cheese, pineapple, cucumber slices, crunch berries, black berries and marshmallow clouds.  It was quite the success!20170601_114713

Have you ever painted with spaghetti?  Well, we did.  And the results were nothing short of spectacular.  After cooking and cooling the spaghetti, I placed it on a dish in the middle of the kids table.  I then got busy setting up 4 plates with 2 colors of paint each, and when I returned to the table with the paint plates, there sat a tiny Ginny with a single spaghetti noodle hanging out of the corner of her mouth.  But once she saw the idea, she was ready to go.  Just in case, I did give her a little plate of noodles so that if she was inclined to grab another bite, she had un-painted pasta at the ready.

 

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The rest of the first camp day, was filled with music, legos and a short walk to find items in the neighborhood to make up the colors of the rainbow.  20170601_123814

After camp, loaded up my new pink Nana chair and headed off to watch Maxwell compete with his Indian Ridge Swim Team, where he took 3rd in the backstroke and the butterfly.  He literally has never done the butterfly before, so his coach had him go underwater and watch another swimmer and that was his training.  Off he went and was quite impressive for the first time.  Looking forward to many more swim meets.

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photo stolen from  courtesy of Megan Mundle.

Camp Nana 2017 Kickoff

Tomorrow begins the 5th year of Camp Nana in Tucson, formerly known as Camp Grandma in Leesburg for 2 years.  It will be a short day, but for three and a half hours this tiny house will be filled with laughing and talking and some  “he took my paper and she knew I was going to use that one!”.  It will be loud and full of questions and quiet storytime and messy.  Connor, Ginny, Max and Abby will participate in all things rainbows.

Rainbow art.  Rainbow reading.  Rainbow  snack.  Maybe some rainbow songs, if there is time.

And then, just as fast as camp noisy began, 3 of the little ones will be whisked away to a swim meet … another will return to his Vail family and there will be scarcely a trace of the afternoon, save for tissue paper pieces floating around; sticky glue residue on the tables and chairs and bits of snacks abandoned on little plates and something squished on the floor over there.  Hmmm.

And as I drag the vacuum out, I will take another look around and picture the sticky fingers and messy faces and as though time had never even passed – I will hear his voice in my mind saying “good job, honey”.

 

 

 

 

a smorgasbord of an evening …

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Ricky & Isabel each prepared a dinner casserole featuring pasta and I did absolutely nothing except enjoy the food and company.

Victoria was suddenly overcome with shyness at the “kid’s table”.

We take some time out to remember this evening in pictures.

Alexander decides the perfect way to end the evening would be to form a pyramid of kids… what could possibly go wrong with four kids in a stack on a hard tile floor?

 

oh my

Most afternoons when I am on pick up duty for the Tucson Grand-Angels, everything goes smoothly.  Oh, there may be the occasional complaint or spat between the two, but such a rare event.

rare  

adjective

(of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often.

Today, rare picked itself up, put on it’s shoes, and walked right out the door and disappeared without a trace.

After Abby’s swim team, we make our way to my house for some play time and dinner while daddy has meetings and mommy gets a well deserved pedicure.  I am busy in the kitchen area and I hear Abigail from her relaxed position on the sofa.

“Max, can you please get me a blanket and a pop up book and a cuddle toy because I went swimming and I have my pajamas on and I really really need to rest here.”

“no”

“Maaaa-ax.  But I am tired and I asked you nicely and you should do it if I ask you nicely.”

“no.  If I get you a blanket then I will have to fold it and put it back and I don’t feel like it.”

“But I will put the blanket back, I pwomise I really really will!”

Max gives in to the high-pitched whine from the little sister, and not only returns with the blanket; but brings TWO – count ’em 2 – pop up books and THREE cuddle toys for her to choose from.  Max is tired from a busy day at school and Pokemon discussion with some friends at Abby’s swim team practice.  He tosses a pillow on the big shaggy living room rug, and with a big exhale, commences to close his eyes and begin operation unwind.

Abby begins to “read” the spelled out numbers in one of the books … loudly … and punctuating each syllable.

Forty-Five.  Sixty-Three.  Fifty-seven.

Max is getting annoyed and then, reaching his breaking point … “ABBY!!  Please give me some quiet time for a few minutes. Read it in your mind.  You are not even reading it right!’

thirty-three.  seventy-nine.  Nana, am I reading it right?

“ABBY!  PLEASE just read it in your MIND!”

Well, you can surmise for yourself how Abby responded – or, didn’t.  Max was now near tears and broke down, marched into my bedroom and shut the door.  I gave him a few moments and went in just to check on him.  He had piled some pillows near my big craft cabinet, laid down on the pillows and open the large drawer above him to make a little sleeping berth.  I hugged him and asked if he needed anything and he dried his tears and said he just wanted to rest.  I left him to it and returned to the kitchen to finish cooking dinner.  All the while Abby is still “reading” loudly, only stopping once to ask me what was wrong with Maxwell.  I had to leave the room to hide my laughter.

After dinner, I turn on the television to watch a Disney show with them, and on comes the ID channel where I had left it the night before.  As I start to change the channel Max holds up his hand  “Wait Nana!” On the screen it showed a hooligan family tormenting a grandpa next door with a dangerous growly dog and fireworks and loud music.  On commercial, I explained to the tiny Grand-Angels that they were just taunting him to be mean and that they should be more respectful.

ABBY:  “Nana, you might give me a time out for this, but I just have to say I would like to knock the shit out of those mean people.”

I am trying not to laugh while looking shocked and thought this would be a good time for a lesson.  No, Abby.  I am not giving you a time out, and then went on to explain that I do not like that language from my granddaughter.  And then to engage Max in my teaching moment, I asked Max what would be a better way to express that same feeling of anger.  He thought for just a split second, and replied …

“I am going to punch you right in the face!”

Turning to Abby to solidify my argument, apparently Max was not done with his thought on the matter.

“You Bastards!”

i give up.

a mini-man with a MAXi-heart

Before he was 7 and before he could read … before he played soccer and before he went to Kindergarten … before he told jokes and before he knew his colors and shapes … before he danced to Cuban Pete … before all of that, he took my heart to places it had never known.

Together we have read books and colored pages.  We have gone on long walking adventures and out to lunch and in to nap. We have played tennis and badminton and t-ball.  We have painted and gardened and made home-made popsicles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

We have laughed and giggled and cried together.  I have wiped his tears and he has wiped away mine.  He has patted me on my arm with a little hand when I needed it most.  He has helped me through the days; without even knowing it.  And I could not love him more.

He is 7 years old now.

He is Max.