Business Review: Soar Trampoline Park

This was the last day of school for three of my grandkids, with an early out day to kick off the summer break. I picked Joey, Oliver and Aubrey up from school and heard about their last day as sixth, fourth and third graders.

After dropping off backpacks at home, we launched into fun mode with a trip to Soar Trampoline Park, located at 1502 S Madison in Webb City Missouri. The kids have been to this unique park several times, however it was a first visit for me. I was excited to check this place out.

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

We arrived at Soar just after they opened for the afternoon. A steady stream of enthusiastic kids filed into the lobby area. Happy to be out of school, happy for an hour or two of unbridled free jumping, the throng of kids brought a lively, contagious energy into the building.

As we waited in line for wrist bands, I looked around. The large warehouse style interior was brilliantly lit and decorated in purple, lime green and dark blue. The area was divided into sections. There was a large foam pit and a scaled down version for small children, a dodge ball arena, basketball hoops, a room with a swinging air filled plank to jump over and a huge free form area with platforms, all equipped with trampolines in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

My grandkids bounded away as soon as they had their wrist bands on. I declined to jump, but I strolled through the facility, snapping pics, watching the kids, and laughing as they flipped and somersaulted and bounced high into the air.

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Joey spent most of his time in the dodge ball arena. Two staff members watched over the games, helping to divide the players into teams and calling out when a player was hit by a ball and eliminated. Joey was an excellent team member. Watch him for a few seconds HERE.

Oliver divided his time among several areas. He enjoyed playing dodge ball with Joey, spent time jumping with Aubrey and struck out on his own, leaping into the foam block pit. Catch him HERE. He’s the second child who shows up in the video, and Aubrey is in the background at the end.

And Aubrey stayed in the free form area. She instantly made friends, as she often does. The girls practiced backflips, cartwheels and somersaults. Aubrey was in cheerleader mode, prepping for football season this fall. Watch her moves HERE.

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Business Review Soar Trampoline ParkIt gets intense in the dodgeball court but it’s all good fun.

We had a fun afternoon. I enjoyed watching the kids as they celebrated the beginning of summer. I was extremely impressed with Soar Trampoline Park. The staff members were all friendly and helpful and very safety minded. The facility was bright, clean and in great condition. And it looks like they will be expanding soon, adding a ninja obstacle course.

Soar will begin their summer hours, opening earlier in the day, on June 5. They have weekly specials and host birthday parties. Visit their Facebook page for more details, or their website HERE.

I would have loved a trampoline park such as this one, as a child. I was always climbing and jumping and trying flips and stunts. Soar provides a fun and safe environment for kids, or an adult’s inner child, to move energy and jump, jump, JUMP! We will be back.

Business Review Soar Trampoline Park

Joy Multiplied

I truly do love this time of year. From the big family Halloween party at the end of October, to the beginning of a shiny New Year, this is a season of incredible joy and special connections and marvelous fun. At the center of it all is family.

I spent the afternoon and evening with granddaughter Aubrey, on outing two of five of the annual Yaya and Grandchild Christmas shopping tradition.

I can tell my grandchildren are growing up, beyond my observations of how tall they are getting or how mature our conversations have become. Their shopping habits are changing.

As she did for her birthday shopping trip, Aubrey avoided the toy store for our Christmas outing, preferring the mall and a big box type store. She shopped wisely and with great care for her family members, not wanting to waste any time in shops that did not have what she was looking for.

She did pause to point out a cute outfit, in case I needed any gift ideas for her. However, her focus, for the most part, was on others and surprising them with thoughtful purchases.

I love these one on one excursions with each grandchild, following them as they browse, listening to their chatter and observing their gift selection process. Each child is unique and has his or her own way of making decisions.

Aubrey chose Popeye’s for dinner, hungry for their cajun chicken, mildly seasoned for her, mac & cheese and biscuits. We continued conversations we had started in the car, including one on the serious topic of bullying. I questioned her about bullying in her school, and was relieved by her answer. However, we discussed the importance of standing up for ourselves and for others who are being picked on, and that it is always okay to talk to an adult if she notices a child being treated unkindly.

After that conversation, Aubrey found a yellow wrist band on the sidewalk outside of a store, with “No bullying” written on it. She asked about the big word that describes when things connect unexpectedly, leading to a chat about synchronicities! I love the interesting flow of life, and I love Aubrey’s heart.

At my house Aubrey made quick work of wrapping her gifts, writing her own gift tags and selecting bags and tissue paper. And then it was time to take her home, after a successful and fun evening.

I thought again tonight about how magical this season is. For me there is deep gratitude, a recognition of blessings and Divine guidance, and appreciation for gifts that cannot be wrapped, only experienced and held in the heart.

I love the sights and sounds of Christmas, the crisp cold air, the warmth of home, the joy that surrounds me and overflows my heart. And, that joy is magnified and multiplied by these grandchildren who share shopping trips and stories and meals and dreams with me. This is my favorite part of the most wonderful time of the year.

The Heart of My Day

My day has been spent being Yaya to two of my grandchildren. As a grandmother, that is one of the best ways I can spend my time, investing in my grandkids and being loved by them.

Grandson Jonathan and I kicked off the yearly Christmas Shopping with Yaya tradition. I take each of the grandkids out to purchase gifts for their family members and treat them to the meal of their choice.

Jonathan is an excellent shopper who knows what he wants to buy for his family, and he wastes no time in accomplishing this task. We chatted as we made several stops, and Jonathan introduced me to Snapchat, creating a profile for me as I drove. This young man is my techie grandchild, and I laughed as he crafted a bitmoji to represent me.

Jonathan has such a tender heart as well. As we pulled into the Walmart parking lot, he noticed a family holding up a hand lettered sign, asking for gas money. We purchased Christmas gift bags and tissue paper in the store…and picked up a gift card to give to the family as we left. This was Jonathan’s idea, and I was happy to encourage and support his generosity.

We grabbed carry out lunches from Applebee’s and returned to the house to wrap gifts and watch an episode of Stranger Things together.

I appreciate Jonathan. He is smart, funny and easy to talk to. He has big ideas and he is working on being able to carry them out. Someday he will be creating apps that make life easier or more fun for people. In the meantime, he is expanding his compassionate heart by being mindful of others and making a difference where he can.

This evening my granddaughter Aubrey joined me for a sleep over. It’s been a while since she has spent the night and both of us were excited about this special treat. Her thoughts about it…”We are having a granddaughter and grandmother slumber party. Some might find that weird. I think it’s fun!” I agree, Aubrey.

This beautiful girl is growing up. As we dined together at Texas Roadhouse she kept up a very mature chatter about school, football, friends and movies. Her current favorite film is 47 Meters Down, a shark flick. Aubrey has interesting and refreshing views about life, people and situations and I always enjoy a conversation with her.

I left my phone unattended for a few minutes, and found this surprise as my new background!

Aubrey knows her way around a cell phone as well, and offered to further my education in Snapchat. After donning our pjs and getting ready for bed, Aubrey gave me some quick lessons in using this photo based app. We laughed over the special effects and she patiently led me through creating my first Snapchat pic.

These kids are precious to me. I enjoyed spending my day divided between two of the grandkids. This week I will set up times to take the rest of my group shopping for Christmas gifts. That’s a fun activity, watching how thoughtfully and carefully each child shops. The greater joy though is just spending time with them, hearing their thoughts, learning what’s important to them, and encouraging them to follow their hearts.

Yaya is a sacred title to me. I am blessed to bear that name in honor of these five adventurous souls.

Birthday Dinner & Shopping with Aubrey

This evening it was Aubrey’s turn to be treated to a birthday dinner and a shopping trip. She will be nine years old on Halloween day. I began this tradition several years ago, of taking each of my five grandchildren out for a special evening to celebrate their birth. It has become a wonderful time of sharing and listening and being together, one that the kids anticipate and that I do as well.

Aubrey selected Chicken Mary’s, in Pittsburg Kansas, as her dinner destination. Normally these outings just include the grandchild and me. Because of my knee slipping out of place yesterday, Greg volunteered to join us and drive. Aubrey was delighted.

I’ve never seen this child eat as much as she did at our early dinner. Chicken Mary’s was a good choice for her, with their home style meals and plenty of food. I was able to enjoy a salad with the chicken on the side, so that Aubrey could take it home for her lunch tomorrow.

Back in Joplin, Greg dropped Aubrey and me off at the mall for the birthday shopping, promising to pick us up when we were finished. This is the part of the celebration that the kids most look forward to. I give them a specific amount to spend, and they can use the cash to purchase what they want or they can save it. They typically spend most of it, and that is perfectly fine.

I can tell my granddaughter is getting older. This is the first time she has chosen the mall for her birthday shopping trip, rather than the toy store. She wanted girl stuff…jewelry, a billfold, a unicorn, small items for her school backpack. And an experienced shopper she is. I loved watching her examine items she was interested in, looking for the wow factor, weighing the cost of the item against the gratification. She kept up an amusing chatter the whole time.

This girl loves her fake fashion glasses!

What an almost nine year old girl’s shopping basket contains.

Aubrey settled on Claire’s Boutique, and struck gold here. A big sale meant her birthday cash went further. We visited several other stores in the mall, but this one drew her back. The young female clerk did an amazing job of assisting Aubrey, and every other customer who walked into the shop, with genuine warmth and obvious joy. She and Aubrey connected well over their discussion of animals.

This child, who is rapidly approaching her teens, has a big heart and such profound insights. In her I see echoes of myself, and Aubrey likes to discuss all the ways we are alike. In her I see a boldness and a fearlessness that has taken me years to cultivate. In me she sees a woman who tries new things and makes her dreams come true. She believes anything is possible, and that she can become whatever she wants to become. I agree with her.

At the girls’ clothing store, Justice, Aubrey discovered a writing table set up, with the question posted, What makes your family special? She carefully wrote her answer on the star shaped note and stuck it to the display.

LOVE she wrote. Love makes her family special. Love fills Aubrey’s heart and overflows to touch her family members and her friends and even the kind clerk she just met at Claire’s. Love is woven into her very soul. Aubrey receives it, accepts it and just as easily offers it to others.

Happy birthday, a few days early, sweet child. I appreciate the love that you so freely bestow upon me. Someday I hope you can understand how much healing you have brought into my heart and soul, just by being you. I love you!


My intention in the last six days, has been to have lunch with each grandchild at his or her school. I have two reasons. This is the start of a new academic year and I enjoy visiting the kids at their schools and bringing them the lunches of their choice. And, I leave this Thursday on my trip to Ireland, Scotland and England. I wanted to see each of the grandkids before I go.

Last year, the four younger grands were in four different schools, requiring four separate lunch dates. This year, the younger two, Oliver and Aubrey, are in the same school. Today I met them in their cafeteria.

I am a frequent visitor to this school. They know me here. The school principal is the most interactive elementary school principal I have ever met. As I waited for Aubrey, who had the earlier lunch time, I watched with appreciation as he led second graders in songs and games. Wearing a mic, he wandered among the kids as they ate, calling them by name, asking questions, instigating fun. This school is quite a contrast to most that I’ve visited. Kids are allowed to chat and laugh as long as the noise level is kept tolerable.

Aubrey arrived and joined me at the lunch table. She requested a Jr Cheeseburger meal from Wendy’s. I noted her pink cheeks. She started cheerleading this year and spent Saturday cheering at Oliver and Joey’s football games. This bright eyed girl chatted about her school year and her schedule, cheerleading, making new friends and her family. She asked me about my upcoming trip and made me laugh when she asked if Scottish people wear clothes! She thought perhaps I might be wearing just my “birthday suit”.

The lunch schedule changed this year to an overlapping one for the grades, and I like it! That meant I had 15 minutes with Aubrey alone, and then Oliver’s 4th grade class arrived. For 10 minutes I got to be with both kids, one on each side of me. And then I had 15 minutes alone with Oliver. How perfect!

It was fun to be sitting between two spirited Tigers, which is the school’s mascot. Their colors are blue and white. The kids not only chatted with me, they enjoyed chatting with each other. The conversation turned to Halloween and costumes. In my family, it is never too early to discuss Halloween…and that day is Aubrey’s birthday as well! The theme for the family Halloween party is Criminal Insane Asylum, which promises to be spooktacular! Aubrey, Oliver and I were whispering about costume ideas and got the giggles as kids turned to listen in on our conversation. The school cafeteria is probably not the best place to be talking about insane historical figures!

Aubrey left with her class, after multiple hugs. I am thrilled she is having a great start to third grade.

As Oliver ate a Taco Bell lunch, he asked me lots of questions about real estate: What houses have I shown this past week? Which was my favorite? What is the biggest house I’ve been in? What house was the scariest? Oliver is the businessman/idea creator among my grandkids. He likes to think about new adventures and creative ideas. We were looking at houses together on the MLS, seriously, when it was time for him to go. He gave me a big hug and then politely tidied up our eating space before joining his classmates.

I am equally thrilled that Oliver is having a great school year and enjoying his second season of Tiger football.

I have one more lunch with one more grandchild. Tomorrow I join Joey at his school. I am grateful for these opportunities to visit with the kids, hear about their big little lives and get to know their teachers and friends. I am honored to be a witness to their journeys and to walk alongside them.

Summer Scavenger Hunt

I spent this hot and muggy day with three of my grandchildren. I had a creative plan. I brought along paints and brushes and colored markers and a pile of river rocks. Our intention was to join the latest artistic craze by painting the rocks, and hiding them in the Joplin and Carthage areas. 

It was a fun idea. However, the high temps and humidity made being outdoors for any length of time unpleasant. If I have learned one thing these past three and a half years, it is to let go of expectations and outcomes and go with the flow. If a planned activity doesn’t work out, something else always comes along. 

That was the case today. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
Inspiration came unexpectedly as the kids and I watched a humorous YouTube program. Three young adult men went on a city wide scavenger hunt. They gave themselves three hours to locate nine items they selected. Included in the mix was a selfie with a baby, an expensive sports car and a specific brand of shoes. It was a fun, well done show. And suddenly, a scavenger hunt seemed liked the ideal creative adventure for the day. 

Joey, Oliver and Aubrey each came up with six items to include on our scavenger hunt list. I wrote down their suggestions on strips of paper, folded them up and dropped them into a bowl. The kids took turns selecting three items each, giving us a list of nine treasures to look for. 

We drove to Joplin for lunch and visits to the library and the mall, our scavenger hunt list in hand. The rules were to locate each item, take a photo, and cross it off the list. We had an eclectic mix of easily found objects, such as a watch, very specific items, like a 1980s Ford Mustang, and more challenging quests like taking a selfie with someone we didn’t know. 

Here’s how we did:

1. Lemur – This animal proved to be impossible to locate in Joplin! We could have looked up a photo of one in a book at the library. Instead, we visited a pet store and took a pic of a white ferret. We named him Lemur. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
2. 1980s Ford Mustang – We saw so many Mustangs as we drove to Joplin, all newer models. And then, at the intersection of 7th Street and Range Line, we spotted the older red Mustang. Perfect!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
3. Hover board – This fun looking mode of transportation was found at a remote control shop at the mall. $200 will get you one!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
4. Selfie with a Random Person – Oliver came up with this comfort zone busting item. We had an awesome waitress when we ate lunch at Chili’s. Heidi was attentive and friendly and the kids adored her. She was happy to snap a selfie with each child. The kids encouraged me to leave her a big tip, something I was happy to do. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
5. A person wearing flip flops – Oliver spotted this person at lunch. He took a discreet photo of her foot, shooting over Papa’s hairy arm and around the straw in his water. Good job Ollie!

Summer Scavenger Hunt
6. A watch – The kids were so attentive and aware during our hunt. They saw this watch on the arm of the woman driving next to us. I kept pace with her truck so Joey could get a pic. Great shot Joey. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

7. Pink hair on a person – I thought this one would be very difficult to find. Surprisingly, this gracious person showed up in my office…with pink hair. We stopped by the Keller Williams office so I could send out a contract and the kids were so excited to inform me that they had found a woman with pink hair. They asked permission to take her photo. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

8. A bald person – This item on our list was much more challenging than I expected it to be. Aubrey added this one to the hunt and envisioned a man with a shaved head. We finally settled for partially bald. I laughed when I looked at the pic. It appears as if I was hiding behind a plant when I took the photo. I didn’t even notice the plant at the time. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
9. Blue 4 door jeep – Aubrey was very specific about this item. And it was the first object spotted minutes after the hunt began. Good eye Aubrey! Unfortunately, we found this one so quickly that we didn’t have an iPhone camera ready. Thanks to teamwork and persistence, Joey saw another blue jeep in Joplin and caught it in a photo. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt
This was an incredibly fun way to spend the afternoon. The kids worked well together and stayed very present in the moment as they looked for items on the list. More than having fun though, the kids learned powerful lessons about how what we think about and dwell upon shows up in our lives. These were not all easy items to find. And yet, except for the lemur, they showed up rather quickly. 

One of the most amazing finds was struck from the original list. Joey had added a painted rock to the list, when we thought we might go by one of Joplin’s parks. After deciding it was too hot, he scratched that idea, exchanging the rock for a different object. 

Guess what Joey found inside the Joplin Public Library? Yes…a painted rock. What a great conversation starter that was. I failed to get a photo of the rock. However Joey still has it. We will re-hide it later with our rocks that we paint. 

Summer heat and summer fun and an adventure that we won’t forget. I look forward to more scavenger hunts and manifesting what we are searching for. 

Summer Scavenger Hunt

Surrender 134: Nachos for Joey, Cheeseburger for Oliver

Today I finished up lunch time with the grandkids at their schools, with a double treat. Grandsons Joey and Oliver attend the same school. This year, their lunch times are back to back. I showed up with the boys’ orders: Nachos Bellegrande from Taco Bell for Joey and a cheeseburger meal from McDonalds for Oliver. Dr. Peppers and chocolate chip cookies completed their meals. 

Oliver, who is finishing up second grade, had lunch first. His class was entering the cafeteria as I was and he called out to me. As soon as his teacher gave him permission, he joined me and selected a place to sit. 

We had fun catching up. I asked him all about his recent activities and he asked me about mine. As school is ending, I asked him what he had most enjoyed about the past school year. He was quick to tell me about the fun classes he goes to that change with the days of the week: PE, art, music and computer lab. He’s especially enjoying computer classes, now that they are allowed to play games. As he ate, Oliver, who likes to try unusual food combinations, created the chocolate chip cheeseburger! He assured me it was delicious. I’d like to let him sample a donut hamburger, made with a beef patty between two glazed donuts. 

Our conversation turned to sports. Oliver will be playing football for the first time this summer, as a Tiger. We discussed sportsmanship, after Ollie told me about a classmate who displays anger when he loses, arguing about the rules or the call, and ultimately stomping away to seethe. Oliver’s eyes softened as he told me it’s not about winning or losing. The fun is in getting to play. Just play. I’m so proud of his attitude. I’m looking forward to watching this bright and wise boy play.

Oliver was the last child to leave the lunchroom, before the next group arrived. His amazing principle chatted with us, took a picture of us for me, and let Oliver stay a little longer. Inquisitive and charming, Oliver lingered to talk and hug on each other until the fourth graders filed in. After a final embrace and a non-embarrassing kiss on the side of his head, he tossed his trash and trotted away, just as Joey arrived at the table. 

Joey, completing fourth grade, is looking more and more like a young man. As he started on his plate of nachos he began our conversation with questions about how I was, how was my day going, what all had I been doing. He got the jump on me, this sweet, creative and thoughtful boy! 

We discussed a broad range of topics, from school to summer vacation to movies to sports. I love these one on one times of talking with each of my five grandkids, watching their earnest, expressive faces, listening to their thoughts expressed. I value what they have to say. I marvel at their keen intellects and perspectives. I asked Joey what his favorite thing about the past school year was, and he shared about the fun day his class had yesterday at the 40 Mile Party. 

Intrigued, I wanted to hear more. Apparently each child in the class set a goal of running 40 miles this semester. Every day they ran a mile or two at recess or during PE. For completing their goals, the whole class had a day long field trip yesterday, that included time at the park, a pizza lunch and time at the Y. I was impressed! What a great way to encourage kids to set healthy goals and accomplish them in small, manageable steps. And how fun, the celebration.

In fact, today seemed to carry over that party atmosphere. Everyone was in high spirits and casual dress, students and teachers and the principal all, as the last days of the school year are winding down. I’ve never seen a school principal who engages so well with his students. He interacts with them, in fun and educational ways, as they eat lunch. He let the kids play a game called Pick a Door, in which 6-8 kids at a time leave the cafeteria and one by one, they re-enter from the hallway through one of four doors. The kids in the cafeteria hold up fingers to indicate which door they believe the child will enter through. They love it, laughing as they count up how many guesses were correct. I only guessed when Joey entered in, and I guessed correctly. He came back into the lunchroom through door number four. 

As lunch with Joey concluded, I hugged him and kissed the back of his head. He cleared away his trash as I gathered my things to leave. Suddenly he was behind me, slipping his arms around me for a last tight hug. I love how affectionate each of my grandchildren are. They freely give and receive love. Delighted, I turned to embrace Joey again. His face lit up with a beautiful smile. 

As I drove away after those fun lunches, with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes, I thought about all five of my grandchildren. These kids. These fun, smart, talented, loving kids. I believe I am at my most authentic self when I am with any of my grandkids. They allow me to be me, fully. They allow me to be my quirky, creative, loving self. I hope they know that with me, they can do the same, be exactly, and fully, who they are at this moment…and in every moment throughout their lives. I love each one dearly. I am loved in return. 

I am a blessed, and grateful, Yaya. 

Surrender 133: Pizza with Jonathan

Today I had the privilege of having lunch at school with grandson Jonathan. He requested a pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut and a root beer. I also included chocolate chips cookies. He was excited to see me. When I asked him if he wanted some of his friends to join us at a booth, he answered that he preferred Jonathan and Yaya time. I was happy to oblige. 

Although we started off seated with the other fourth graders, Jonathan received permission for us to move to a far booth in the empty adjoining room, where we could chat freely. I so enjoyed conversation with this intelligent and talented boy as he ate his pizza. 

Jonathan is fearless when it comes to trying new adventures. He participates in plays, and sings in talent shows, offering from his heart. And Jonathan is very tech savvy. One of this 10 year old boy’s dreams was to have a YouTube channel that he hosts and regularly posts to. He can cross that goal off his list. With the user name of Classyguy 2005, he currently has 105 subscribers and that number is growing daily. I’m happy to be one of those subscribers and I enjoy Jonathan’s fun videos. 

Check out Classyguy 2005 on YouTube HERE It would thrill him if you subscribed!

Jonathan and I chatted about his videos and ideas for upcoming projects. His ease in front of a camera makes recording videos an ideal outlet for his creativity. I’m very proud of him! 

The school year is winding down. Lunch time was too. Jonathan expressed sadness that next Friday was his last day of classes, which surprised me a bit. I asked him why. He earnestly shared that this year, he has had an exceptional teacher, Ms. Tims. Holding his hand at chest level, he explained, “I’ve had regular teachers. This year, I’ve had a GREAT teacher. (He raised his hand to forehead level) Yaya, I don’t know how I’m going to go back to having a regular teacher.” He dropped his hand back down to chest level. What a beautiful tribute to an extraordinary teacher. Jonathan is right. Ms. Tims is great. I’ve been present for a couple of the Coffeehouse Poetry Readings that she creates for her class. I’m so grateful Jonathan was her student this year.

I stood with Jonathan as his class lined up to leave. We whispered together. He invited me to join him in creating a video and we worked out the details. It’s going to be fun! I hugged him and as he filed out, he ran back for one more tight embrace. At the cafeteria door he turned to wave and shouted out, “Bye Yaya!”  

I sure love this boy. These grandkids, they have the ability to make me smile and teary-eyed at the same time. It’s their superpower. 

Surrender 57: Games, Minions & Silly String

Today I picked up grandson Oliver from school and hung out with him until his mom got home from work. There’s nothing unusual about picking him up, except that for the first time, I only picked up Oliver from school. Aubrey was with her mom today. Joey had an overnight event. It was just Ollie and me this afternoon. After he thought about that a moment, realization dawned. He, and he alone, got to decide what we would do. He liked that!


Oliver opted for stopping at Casey’s on the way home, for a snack and a slushie. As we ate, at the house, we played his favorite card game, which involved sharp eyes and quick reflexes. He won! 

After building a mini fort on the sofa, we sat together while Oliver played Clash of Clans, a video game. All my grandkids know I’m not talented at playing electronic games, but I enjoying observing them as they play. I watched Oliver’s sweet face become a study in concentration as he intently focused on his next move. 


When he tired of his fighting clansmen, we giggled our way through the Minions movie. I had not seen this animated film and I enjoyed watching these endearing yellow beings and hearing Ollie laugh during his favorite scenes. Although the minions have been in two other movies, this one focuses on their “history”, from the beginning of time, until they meet a certain despicable person. It was great fun.

This charming boy and I talked this afternoon. Being the middle child, he sometimes doesn’t see his own talents, focusing instead on his older or younger sibling. He is gifted, and in more ways than running fast, jumping high, and climbing any tall object. One of his talents that impresses me is his ability to create amazing photos. 

I spent a couple of hours last Monday with Aubrey and Oliver while Joey had a dental appointment. When my son got home, he joined us in the backyard, playing with the kids and giving them rides on his broad shoulders. I took a picture of Oliver and Nate, that captures a fun moment. 


When it was Aubrey’s turn to climb on Nate’s shoulders, I handed my phone to Oliver and let him take pictures. His photo far exceeds mine in composition. He has such a creative eye. I look forward to seeing what he does with his gift. 
 Oliver’s amazing photo.  

As Megan neared home, Oliver and I headed outdoors into the chilly late afternoon air for one last activity. Some might question my decision to buy an eight year old boy a can of silly string, however I included it in our purchases at Casey’s so he could try it. What fun he had, especially when he silly stringed his Yaya! My only regrets were that I didn’t get a picture of the pink string shooting toward me…and that I didn’t have my own can of silly string. I would have gotten that boy back! 


We had a great afternoon together, Oliver and I. I love having all my grandkids together. And I love having one on one time with them as well. When there’s no one to take turns with, when you don’t have to wait to tell a story, it allows for a time of deeper connection.  I can listen with my full, undivided attention. I can learn more about that child. I can be shot with pink silly string. These times are precious to me.