auf wiedersen

Today we celebrate the life of Walter Otto Krumich, my grandfather.  I am a lucky lucky woman.  You see, my grandfather lived next door to me.  I saw him every morning as we waited for the bus.  He attended every concert, graduation, etc.

My sister shared many memories here.

When I think about my Grandpa, I tend to think of him 10-30 years ago.  He was as strong as an ox.  I used to hope he would just break my arm once so that he would KNOW that he was playing too rough with me.

He was my biggest fan and musical critic.  I sat through many many concerts with him, peeking at his program to see just WHAT he could be taking notes on.

I love my Grandpa and miss him terribly, but I know he's enjoying the heavenly angels sing... and someone needs to record their key signature, tempo, and remind them to keep practicing!


To Alaska with Love

The highlight of our summer was a visit from my Marianne, Christoph & Annaliese (Annie).  Their visit was chock full of laughter, chores, swimming, time with my dad and giggling girls.

Annie got to enjoy the warm weather (she lives in Alaska).

No toddler cousin-time would be complete without bathtub play!
FYI:  that is Heidi's "I'm being silly" face

 After baths, Marianne had fun playing dress-up with Hazel's vast dress collection.  The girls twirled and giggled and twirled some more!

And OF COURSE, a coordinating cousins photo shoot.  (Yup, this IS the best shot...sigh)

The photo shoot consisted of a little of this:
"We bouncin' Mama!"

A LOT of this:
Why is it that my smiley, good-natured girl cries during EVERY photo shoot?  Remember THIS?

And a LOT MORE of this:

Don't believe me?

Hazel needed very little encouragement :)  Notice the mid-shoot bribe... YUM!

Cousins are so special.  I'm thankful for mine and so glad these three girls have each other!

And finally, my all-time favorite photo from their visit:


Campfire Cooking Series

Hi friends!  Though I've generally been MIA this summer, I do sometimes appear at www.woojr.com.  That's my "bread and butter" blogging site.  The site is in the midst of being overhauled, so most of my writing is patiently chilling in the queue, but I wanted to share this tasty gem :)



Last night, I lay awake thinking of my girls new skills/ humor/ depth.  I struck me that I haven't shared some of these milestones on my blog for awhile and since this blog is mostly my journal to them, it's time I update!

good ole BOX-O-PACKING-PEANUTS!  Good distraction, horrible to clean-up!
Hazel is 3 years old and blossoming!  Last weekend we went to Eli's 4th birthday party.  I was a little nervous because Hazel is used to being the "belle of the ball" and opening all the presents.  She handled everything brilliantly!  She listened to the nature lesson, she graciously gave Eli his present, she used her manners, she LOVED it!  That evening she and I went to our local parade.  I told her that if she waves at the floats, they might throw candy.  You've never seen a girl wave with such ferocity and determination.  The best part was watching her dance and copy the moves of all the dance groups that went past.

This week Hazel has decided to be the "babysitter".  She sings "Jesus Loves Me" to the babies when they cry, she teaches them how to play with her favorite puzzle, she follows them around (which I think is annoying Heidi) and she insists that I go away (SCORE).

My favorite Hazel moment occurred the other night while she and I were cuddling on the couch watching the Olympics.  I called her "my baby" which she adamantly DENIED.  I sweetly explained, "but, I grew you in my belly" to which she replied, "NO!  GOD grew me!".  Wow... speechless mother moment... I did not teach her that (Thanks Sunday School Teacher, Susie!).

As for Heidi, my oh my!  For fleeting moments of each day, I panic knowing that any day now, she will stop being a baby.  She still has the Goodyear Tire thighs, the chubby cheeks, the finger sucking, the snuggling, the nonverbal way of explicitly stating her demands, but soon... she will cease to be a baby.

I spend my days removing Heidi from every tall object in the house.  Why oh why did I breed with a rock climber?  It is unbelievable.  If a chair is not tight against the table, she is triumphantly on TOP of the table.  Yesterday while canning blueberry jelly and had  a counter full of boiling hot pans, she repeatedly climbed onto the counter!  No matter how low I made her tower platform, she was able to raise her foot ABOVE head height, hook it on the counter and pull herself up.  It was a very long, hot 20-minute boil.

The past few nights, she's been waking up around 3am and gently INSISTING that I cuddle her in my bed. It's uncanny.  However, I can't sleep with her in my bed, so once she falls asleep, I TRY to return her to her crib... she wins every time.  And she doesn't just want to spoon, she uses her monkey feet to grab my waist and pull it closer.  How can something so annoying be so delightful?

Both girls have been caught quietly "reading" to themselves.  They also like to put themselves in a room, close the door, and GIGGLE.  I need spy cameras to find out what's going on, but I love it!

Oh, there's still lots of tantrums (mostly over candy) and pushing and food on the floor, but it's still a very good life.