We loved watching the boys interact with Papa and Grammy ... and we really appreciated their help getting ready for both boys' birthday parties!
In between party preparations, we did some other activities together ...
Ian enjoyed showing Grammy and Papa his classroom and introducing them to Mrs. Miller. The main important places to show on his "tour" included his cubby ...
... and a class solar system mural. Ian proudly told Grammy that his name was picked first, and he chose the design Earth!
On Saturday morning, Ian had a blast ball game. Papa and Grammy were happy to come cheer him on. I think they might have been a little surprised by just how slow-paced the game was. We got a late start, and due to an injury of a player from the other team, each player only went to bat twice before they called it a game. Nevertheless, they got to see Ian at bat,
running to base (and beyond ...),
As it turned out, Ian also had a soccer game the same morning -- immediately following blast ball. This game had a lot more action. They got to see all of the players cluster around the ball,
Kim was excited to show her parents what Sunday school is all about. They got to see Kim and her friend Kati leading the Sunday school opening -- and even served as substitute teachers (along with Matt) since many of the regular teachers were gone that day. How many out-of-town visitors would jump in as subs? What servants!
Ryan and Ian wanted to show Papa and Grammy all sorts of favorite toys and items around the house. One morning, Grammy and Papa listened patiently while Ian showed them every page of his preschool notebook. Ian loved telling them all about what he's done and learned in preschool this year. (I was surprised at how much he remembered, even from the beginning of the year. Preschool has definitely been a good experience for him.) Ryan got a little bored at looking at Ian's schoolwork and, in current favorite fashion, dragged the stool over to the counter so he could either drive trains along the countertop or take apart and put back together the towel rack near the sink.
It would be hard to guess how many minutes (hours?) Papa spent pushing one or both boys on the swingset. One morning, Kim went in to shower and get ready for the day while Papa watched the boys. The boys were swinging. Thirty minutes later when Kim came back outside, they were still super excited about Papa pushing them on the swings!
Grammy took her turn pushing the boys on the swings, too!
Grammy made finding the boys' birthday gifts an adventure. She came up with a series of clues (some of which she encouraged Ian read by himself!). Ian and Ryan ran around the house, eagerly looking for the next clue.
Papa worked hard to help Ian inflate the pool!
The boys were excited to help fill the pool and test it out as soon as possible! What a great gift, Papa and Grammy! Thanks!
Grammy and Papa jumped right in to the daily "flow" of our day, and they cheerfully helped out however they could! Papa read the boys their morning devotion one day after breakfast.
Of course, a lot of our time was spent getting the party decorations and activities all set.. Grammy helped Kim create a bunch of Thomas characters from diaper boxes so that each of Ryan's party guests could have one. Grammy was great at troubleshooting and brainstorming solutions when we needed that! :)
Grammy helped Kim to think through the cake decorating process ...
...and we were very happy with the finished product!
Papa and Grammy worked together to create all of the bike flag decorations for Ian's party.
Papa taught Ian the "Two-Card War" game he and his brother had invented growing up. Ian thought it was so much fun and asked Papa to play zillions of times.
Papa was excited to teach Ian a little more about baseball (especially his Cardinals) on the computer.
Papa read our boys plenty of books ...
...and so did Grammy!
Ian enjoyed showing Grammy and Papa the "resurrection eggs" he created at preschool.
(LOTS of party pictures to come ...:))