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Kids Say Some of the Greatest Things!


We're facing our nest being officially empty at the end of next week - and I'm not talking about our bird house! Our oldest child Megan will turn 30 next month, and since her birth we've had kids at home, except for short periods as the kids were at summer camps or in their college years working in summer camps. But now after just one month shy of 30 years, this is it - The Empty Nest. Our daughter Nora has been living at home again for the last several years, having moved back in with us while our son Mark was still at home. But next Friday Nora moves into her own apartment.

My wife and I loved raising our family and enjoyed watching and helping our kids go through all the stages as they grew up. Some of our favorite times were during the years when they were little and often thinking out loud. Some of the things they said will always live on in our memories. Little kids are so refreshingly honest in their naïveté, evaluating and commenting on things from their limited perspective! We especially love young children, and all three of our kids seem to have picked that up from us - they are all pre-school or elementary teachers.

Today's instant vacation is some stories I've received from people recounting what young children have said.

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While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist' s desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, "I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too."

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Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful. "In ten years," I said, "you'll want to be with your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like you do now."

Carolyn shrugged and said, "In ten years you'll be too old to do all those things anyway."

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One afternoon while I was visiting my library, I noticed a group of preschoolers gathered for story time. The book they were reading was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. After the librarian finished the first page, she asked the children, "Do you think she'll die?"

"Nope," a little girl in the back said. "I saw this last night on Fear Factor."

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Near our town in France there's a nudist colony. One day as I was driving along in the car with one of my grandchildren, a member of the nudist colony rode down our street on a bicycle. My granddaughter said, "Grandpa, did you see that?!"

I tried to change the subject, but my granddaughter was insistent, "Grandpa, did you see that?!"

I replied, "Yes, honey, let's look the other way," and tried again to change the subject.

My granddaughter said, "Grandpa, did you see that?! That's bad! That person wasn't wearing a helmet!"

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My sister had been ill, so I called to see how she was doing. My ten-year-old niece answered the phone "Hello," she whispered.

"Hi, honey. How's your mother?" I asked.

"She's sleeping," she answered, again in a whisper.

"Did she go to the doctor?" I asked.

"Yes. She got some medicine," my niece said softly.

"Well, don't wake her up. Just tell her I called. By the way, what are you doing?"

Again in a soft whisper, she answered, "Practicing my trumpet."

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On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson asked my son the question. "Dad, I know that babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?" he asked innocently.

After my son hemmed and hawed awhile, my grandson finally spoke up in disgust. "You don't have to make something up, Dad. It's OK if you don't know the answer."

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Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him. "I'm going to be away for a long time," I told him. "I'm going to Iraq."

"Why?" he asked. "Don't you know there's a war going on over there?"

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Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS and blood diseases. One afternoon he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids. A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients wouldn't know that Newman was a famous movie star, explained, "That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?" ... Blank stares ... "Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton?"

An eight-year-old girl piped up. "How long was he missing?"

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My last name is a mouthful, so when my three-year-old niece learned to spell it, I was thrilled, until her cousin burst my bubble. "You can spell Sczygelski any way you like," he pointed out. "Who's going to know if it's wrong?"

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For the first time, my four-year-old daughter Kelsey was coming to my office to have me, a dental hygienist, clean her teeth. She was accompanied by her grandmother. When they came in, I greeted them warmly, seated Kelsey and, as usual, put on my gloves, goggles, and mask. About ten minutes into the procedure, she got scared and cried, "I want my mommy!"

I quickly pulled off my mask and said, "I am your mommy."

Without hesitating, my daughter yelled back, "Then I want my granny!"

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A little girl stared questioningly at her grandfather. Finally she asked, "Grandpa, were you on Noah's Ark?"

The grandfather replied with a slight chuckle. "Of course not."

Then girl asked, "Then how come you didn't drown?"

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On the first day of school, the Kindergarten teacher said, "Whenever you need to go to the bathroom, hold up two fingers."

A little voice from the back of the room asked, "How will that help?"

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I didn't know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure out some of these on your own!"

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A mother had invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"

"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.

"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.

The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

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While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my four-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. She was unfailingly intrigued by the various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

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A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write - and they won't let me talk!"

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A woman was trying hard to get the catsup to come out of the bottle. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her four-year old daughter to answer the phone.

"It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added on the phone, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

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When my daughter was three, we watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the first time. The wicked queen appeared, disguised as an old lady selling apples, and my daughter was spellbound. Then Snow White took a bite of the poisoned apple and fell to the ground unconscious. As the apple rolled away, my daughter spoke up. "See, Mom. She doesn't like the peel either."

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Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children. One day I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle. "No, no, no!" she screamed.

"Lizzie," scolded her mother, "that's not polite behavior."

With that, the girl yelled even louder, "No, thank you! No, thank you!"

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This week, thanks to Skype and webcams, for the first time we saw our grandson Drew walk. He's also now saying words, and we can't wait till he strings them together into memorable things like what you've just read!

Our daughter Megan is an avid scrapbooker. Here's a picture of one of her recent pages about Drew - Your First Year in Review...

first year in review

To see more of Megan's scrapbook pages, click here.

Speaking of seeing things, those of you who read my blog posts by e-mail or by blog reader missed something in my last post, unless you came to the blog itself. (Embedded video clips don't come through in the e-mails or blog readers). To see the video of the Japanese woman showing how to fold a t-shirt in mere seconds (an art that even I have now mastered!), go to my blog and scroll down.

I hope that some of you with kids in your lives will share in the comments some of the great things they've said!

quotation...

"Sometimes parents point their kids to heaven while they lead them to hell." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Children will soon forget your presents; they will always remember your presence.


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Quotations about Grandparents


Becka and Nora left this morning a little after 4:00 and arrived safely in Michigan in time for dinner this evening. On the way they stopped in Findlay, Ohio, to have lunch and a short visit with Becka's aunts. I called a little while ago and got to hear our grandson cry on the phone - I attribute it to his sadness that I didn't accompany them, but it could be that Becka pinched him too. We may fire up the webcams later this evening if things settle down up there. My next blog post should have a fresh picture or two.

Since Becka is getting to enjoy grandmothering in person again and since we're between Mother's Day and Father's Day, I thought I'd share a list of quotations about grandparents that I received the other day. When I noticed that five of the quotations are attributed to Gene Perret, I did a search to see who he is. He's been a comedy writer for over thirty years for such comedians as Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, and many others. Some of the others quoted are unknown to me, and I didn't take the time to track down info about them.

Quotations about grandparents...

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting. - Author Unknown

What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure. - Gene Perret

Grandmothers are just "antique" little girls. - Author Unknown

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. - Welsh Proverb

A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television. - Author Unknown

Never have children, only grandchildren. - Gore Vidal

Becoming a grandmother is wonderful. One moment you're just a mother. The next you are all-wise and prehistoric. - Pam Brown

Grandchildren don't stay young forever, which is good because grandfathers have only so many horsey rides in them. - Gene Perret

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window. - Ogden Nash

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. - Marcy DeMaree

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies. - Author unknown

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. - Author Unknown

If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first. - Lois Wyse

My grandkids believe I'm the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too. - Gene Perret

If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it! - Hannah Whithall Smith

It's such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother - that's why the world calls her grandmother. - Author Unknown

Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. - Mary H. Waldrip

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. - Proverb

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. - Gene Perret

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby's grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida. - Dave Barry

I wish I had the energy that my grandchildren have - if only for self-defense. - Gene Perret

Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love. - Author Unknown

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. - Alex Haley

Grandmother - a wonderful mother with lots of practice. - Author Unknown

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside. - Author Unknown

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. - Joy Hargrove

It's amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. - Author Unknown

If your baby is "beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time," you're the grandma. - Teresa Bloomingdale

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. - Author Unknown

What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I'd like to say that grandparents are God's gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate. - Bill Cosby

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother. - G. Norman Collie

quotation...

"We used to play spin the bottle when I was a kid. A girl would spin the bottle and if it pointed to you when it stopped, the girl could either kiss you or give you a dime. By the time I was 14, I owned my own home." - Gene Perret

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If illegal aliens really wanted to take American jobs, wouldn't they be moving to Asia instead?


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Choices in Life


With an eye towards Mother's Day coming up this next Sunday and Father's Day in a few more weeks, I'm posting a version of an pictorial email I've received from several people.

Choices in life

Many of life's decisions are not simple. The importance of the initial decision should always be examined in light of the longterm consequences. Consider the following two choices....

Should you get a dog ....

picture of dog and chewed up couch

...or have children?

picture of kids covered with paint

I would choose children again in a heart beat. They are indeed a blessing from the Lord! And then there's grandchildren - icing on the cake after enjoying your children! Here's a picture of our little guy taken this morning...

picture of Drew in his frog suit

We had a relatively uneventful trip up to Detroit this past Saturday, except for having to fight our way through Kentucky. It rained a lot, sometimes in torrents, plus there was an accident around Berea, KY, that had the traffic backed up for quite a distance. Fortunately when we had to stop, it was literally right beside the exit to Berea. We got off, stretched our legs, and enjoyed a Frosty at Wendy's before taking a detour on US 25 to Richmond. Unfortunately, by that time half of the nation's drivers who were on the road that day were also on that same detour.

The baby dedication Sunday morning was very nice, and we were happy to have been able to be there. We have already enjoyed holding Drew and doing our job - spoiling him. 😎

Today I spent some time setting up my Mother's Day present to my wife and our daughter Megan. I got the idea several weeks ago from a long-time ivman reader who has grandchildren living far from her - it's webcams on Meg's computer and on ours. I got everything installed today, and it works! We'll have to see how it works when we get back home. 😎

quotation...

"In three words I can sum up everything I know about life: it goes on." - Robert Frost

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

A baby usually wakes up in the wee-wee hours of the morning.


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