brynn, cooper, family, friends, holidays, imagination, silas, travel, west virginia

Playtime at Grandma and Grandpa’s

My dad fully embraced his role as Grandpa during our Christmas visit to West Virginia. Jan6057From the minute we arrived, Dad had an entire playtime schedule planned for the kids. He pulled out classic wooden toys from his childhood and was giddy with excitement as he shared them with Silas, Cooper, and Brynn. It was a memory-in-the-making to watch my dad’s joy at playing with the kids.Jan6008Jan6066

He even threw caution to the wind and rode down the hill in the little red wagon, letting out whoops and hollers. Too bad I missed out on taking a video of his ride!Jan6023Jan6065

Cooper and Brynn especially loved pulling the wooden yellow horse. Jan6006Silas couldn’t wait to see what idea Grandpa would pull from his hat next. He played with the matchstick fort Dad made as a boy, wore some of my dad’s historical hats and uniforms, and played “ship” in the family room with Grandma.Jan6016Jan6017Jan6041

There were tickle fights with the aunts, wagon rides, croquet races in the backyard, and stories on Grandpa’s lap. Jan6018Jan6014Jan6059The kids didn’t quite know what to make of Dad’s puppet voices he used for all the different story characters.Jan7004Jan6046

One night, we showed the boys Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson movie. It was adorable to watch the intensity on Silas’s face during the pirate battle.Jan6019Jan6067

We spread out the Christmas celebrations by eating the big turkey dinner on Friday, Jan6013Jan6015opening Christmas presents on Saturday,Jan6025Jan6026Jan7002Jan7003 Jan6033and then attending church and visiting with Uncle Tim on Sunday. It was great to introduce Brynn to her Great Uncle Tim on Christmas Day.Jan6036Jan6037

Later in the visit we walked through the old railroad tunnel,Jan6004Jan6007 ate a family dinner at the Chinese buffet, and enjoyed several tea parties courtesy of my sister Rebekah. Jan6032Our dear adopted grandparents, the Bells came for a visit too.Jan6044Jan6050

Spending several days at home led to some good conversations, bonding time with the aunts and grandma and grandpa for the kids, and—as you can see—lots of games. So glad we could be home for Christmas.Jan6055Jan6010Jan6060Jan6054

On our return drive to Indiana, we managed to squeeze in one more reunion with Uncle Paul and Aunt Elissa. They met us for lunch south of Pittsburgh, and we introduced our three munchkins to them for the first time. Stephen and I hadn’t seen them in over a decade when they came to our wedding ten years ago!Jan7001

This trip made it more evident just how far away we are in Portland. Our first flight from Indy to Denver was long, and I was relieved that our second flight would be shorter. It wasn’t! Denver was simply the halfway point—we’re really far west out here!Jan6011Jan6034Jan6049

I also saw more concretely the effects of living so far from family since it had been years since our last visit East. The kids grow up and pass so many milestones that we don’t get to share with our families. I was thankful for this blog. At least there’s a small connection, a chance for family to watch these little people develop and get to know them a bit before visiting.Jan6002Jan6056

Blogs are great, but in-person visits are the best!

1 thought on “Playtime at Grandma and Grandpa’s

  1. What fun photos and memories to treasure! I especially love the photo of Rebekah and Brynn with the yellow pull toy 🙂 So cute!

    And you’re right—blogs are great, but there’s no substitute for in-person time!

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