Monday, January 16, 2012

a great thing about children...

In the past several weeks, Mercer has exhibited a wonderful quality a number of times -- inclusiveness.

When we were in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago, Mercer did something cute and unexpected: he asked my mothers parents (his GREAT grandparents), Melvin & Inez, to play catch! Granted -- he had a very soft object that he was throwing around -- it seemed to have startled them both. They did end up playing and I think it made them feel young and happy to get some play-time in. Later that evening, Mercer also wanted my aunt to play "hall ball" kicking a ball down a long narrow hallway over and over again. He loves involving everyone in his activities. This is a wonderful quality that he possesses!

Most recently, Mercer asked some neighbors (in their 50s) to play ring-around-the rosie... "and they all fall down!" (I think he was a bit bummed that they didn't fall to the floor like he did, but he still enjoyed including them in this childhood game -- and I've heard from each of them -- the neighbors also enjoyed it / made a unique memory at coming to one of our Soup Night events!)

We have been hosting Soup Night again this year. It's a lot of work, but we are still enjoying catching up with long-lost friends who seem to only come-together each January... watching their children grow up... and meeting new additions to their families.

Speaking of new additions to families -- we are well underway on completing our adoption Homestudy. If anyone hears of any opportunities -- please let us know! We will be "ready" soon~

This post was begun on MLK holiday. Unfortunately, it was not completed for some time afterwards. But - I did want to mention that this is the first year that we have discussed Martin Luther King Jr. We attended the tail end of the parade + a little bit of the party on the square after the parade in his honor. Mercer is definitely too young to understand why this man has earned a place in history -- but he did enjoy the parade, the cheerleaders, the bands, and the old cars that brought up the rear. Next year, we'll try to make sure he gets a little more out of it and starts to develop a greater level of understanding.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

last blog post for 2011

I've been having a hard time writing the last blog post for 2011. We spent Christmas at home. We incorporated some new traditions focusing on doing things together as a family unit such as observing Advent & doing some small community service projects (suitable for a 3 year old). We made gingerbread houses (3 different ways). We made bird seed ornaments for our tree and for neighbor's trees. Mercer also visited Santa on Christmas Eve. We went to several different church services focused on the birth of Christ. We put up a tree and a train underneath it on Christmas morning -- a "real" Lionel train with whistles, smoke, and a controller which changed speed and direction. It was quite nice.

Unfortunately my dad's mother, "Grandma Moore," passed away the day after Christmas. She lived a very full life, however, until the age of 88. Grandpa - "Poppy" as I always called him - passed away just over 5 years ago. We were unable to attend his funeral because we were in Italy. Attending Grandma's funeral last week (at least for me) was like attending a service for both Grandma and Poppy. Their relationship and marriage was very strong. It was evident how much the two of them loved and respected one another. It seemed that they really did "complete" each other and were one. Poppy was a very tall, broad, and intimidating man (to most)... but honestly he was a softie. I learned last week that Grandma, however, really set things straight in the family; she was the tough cookie!
Personally - I don't recall her being too tough. She was a very loving and caring grandmother.
It was nice to learn things about her as a girl, as a young married woman, and as a mother to my dad, Uncle David & Aunt Becky. As an adult, I admired the values that I was just learning that they possessed. They were very accepting of other people. They were Quakers (simple and pacifists) and they participated in activities around a village called Snow Camp. I thought they were even adventurous, as they took a driving tour across the United States after Poppy retired. One thing I would have liked to have seen was them in their prime as young parents -- and running their flower business harvesting 11 acres of dahlias. In their later years, they raised an acre of peonies. For ever... when seeing a peony... I will think of them.
Many of the photos enclosed have not been published on the blog before. My absolute favorite is this one of Grandma and Poppy laughing. They helped bring beauty to this world. Now they are together again.