Camp Grandma’s 2011

 

Sunday, July 31: We started by going to Scott & Tammy’s to celebrate Julia’s 9th and Will’s 15th birthdays. Jill rode with us since Mike was fishing in Lake Erie.

 

We got home about 6:30. Wes drove his car and Joe drove his since they both have to return home for work. Their goody bags this year included $10.00 instead of $5.00 plus a $10.00 iTunes gift card. Julia got a surprise bag from the Dollar Tree plus an autographed picture on canvas of Justin Bieber! Julia and I went next door to the Castleman’s to give Mike a free copy of Scott’s book, Hutch. Scott gave Mike a copy because of all the Reds stuff he has given Scott.

 

Even though no one was terribly hungry since we had just eaten snacks and desserts, I did fix hot dogs. Everybody wanted to go to the Anderson Days Festival at Beech Acres but the boys did not want to stay for the fireworks so Joe drove the boys separately. Julia and I shared a funnel cake and she had a Snowie. We then oohed and aahed at the beautiful fireworks!!!

 

Monday, August 1: Since everybody was here, they decided that they wanted the ‘camper’s breakfast’ of blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, and eggs. While we were eating, Zak called to say he was coming over in an hour with Justin, who was going to give me an estimate for mulching my landscaping next year. When they got here, we walked around the yard and he gave me a terrific price. He will do my mulching next Spring! Zak, of course, wrestled with Will.

 

Everyone wanted to go to the movies today. We ended up at three movies! Joe and Wes (with Daniel & Will) drove their cars and they saw “Horrible Bosses.” Daniel and Will saw “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2” in 3D. Julia and I went later and saw the “Smurfs!” Joe headed home after the movie as he had to go to work at 4:00. Wes and Daniel were going home around 4:00 as Wes had to work at 6:00 and Daniel was going with him because they were both going to Batesville Tuesday to celebrate their cousin Bennett’s birthday. When Julia and I got home, Wes asked where Daniel and William were. I told him I thought he was bringing them home and he said they were supposed to come home with me because our movies got out about the same time. I drove back and retrieved them! As soon as we got home, Wes and Daniel left.

 

Will and Julia played the Wii. They wanted to go to Frisch’s for dinner so that’s what we did. After Frisch’s, we walked over to Cappel’s. Julia bought some items but Will couldn’t find anything he wanted to buy.

 

After we got home, Julia and I decided to go to Julif’s Park. As always, she made friends easily, even talking one girl and boy into helping her practice her softball pitching. She did many cartwheels in the sand, even one-handed ones. One mother commented that she was very talented. I told her that she could even lick her own elbow, which she proceeded to do! The woman was amazed.

 

When we got home, Julia took a shower and Will was in my chair, watching my TV. When I asked him what ‘campy’ thing he would like to do, he suggested roasting marshmallows. I had bought the huge ones and they were delicious! Julia asked me if she could serve Grandpa breakfast in bed the next morning and make a card for him. She went ahead, made the card, and gave it to him. She wrote: “Thanks, G-pa!” on the front. Inside she wrote: “Dear G-pa, I love you. You are the greatest grandpa in the whole world. I will help you with anything. You are nice and funny. Love, Julia” You know how much he loved it!

 

We watched (don’t laugh) Pawn Shop and went to bed by 11, as tomorrow was going to be an early day.

 

Tuesday, August 2: I didn’t wake up until 8:45 so after I showered, I woke Julia up so she could serve grandpa breakfast in bed. We fixed him yesterday’s leftovers of sausage and pancakes. She even picked a flower for him. He was thrilled! We woke up Will, had breakfast (Will had leftovers and Julia and I had Toaster Strudels). Then we got ready and headed to Coney Island’s Sunlite Pool, their favorite, and arrived by 10:30. I got lucky, too. I have a pass for myself and I knew there was one guest pass so I thought I’d have to pay for one of the kids. However, Tuesdays are ‘bring a friend free day’ so we all got in at no charge! We even got free ride passes that we gave to a couple on our way out. We had taken two rafts which Will filled with air and they hardly got a chance to dry. Will and Julia are both fishes! Will and I rode the double-seated tube down the Twister and Julia went down the In-Pool slide three times. Will also went down the Cyclone and off the boards more times than we could count. We devoured a LaRosa’s pepperoni pizza for lunch and later enjoyed creamy whips! We left after 3:00 and everybody hit the showers when we got home. I did a few loads of laundry while Julia napped and Will chilled!

 

Dinner consisted of steak, fries, corn-on-the-cob, and salad. YUM! After dishes, Will got me playing golf on the Wii. I was not good. Then Julia and I sat on the deck while she ate her Pop Rocks. Then she sang! When we came in, I painted her fingernails and toenails.

 

We amused ourselves watching Wipeout and America’s Got Talent. After snacking (Will finished the leftover steak), we got to bed by 11:30.

 

Wednesday, August 3: We got a good rainy storm early in the morning (finally) so Will and Julia slept in. Grandpa had a call near Daniel’s house so he picked him up and they got here before 11:00. Nobody wanted breakfast so they played Wii until lunch (mostly Just Dance 2). Wes is coming back tonight after work so we decided to go to the Newport Aquarium tomorrow.

 

They decided it was time to play some Minute To Win It games. The first one was called A Bit Dicey: You need to balance five dice on a Popsicle stick held in your mouth. Daniel was the only one who could do it. The next one was Baby Blocking: You stack 5 blocks on top of a paper plate balanced on your head. Again, Daniel prevailed. Then they all tried Back Flip: Place 2 pencils (unsharpened) on the back of your hand, flip them, and catch them with the same hand. Then add 2 more pencils and keep going. Originally it was to be 12 but we reduced it to 10 and then to 8 and still nobody could accomplish it.

 

It was time for lunch and they all opted for peanut butter and honey. Since the peanut butter was already out, Daniel smeared it on a piece of bread to play another game. Sticky Situation: Bounce a ping-pong ball onto a piece of bread covered in peanut butter. Finally everyone found success with that one! We played one more game called Tea Party: You flip two tea bags (stapled) onto the bill of a baseball hat. No one could do this one.

 

Then we were off to Eastgate Adventures to ride the Go-Karts and play Putt-Putt Golf. At last, Julia was tall enough to ride! She rode with Daniel, not only because she wanted to but because you need to be 16 to have a passenger. Before they got into their cars, two girls that were already racing got tangled up with each other. The worker went over but before he pulled them apart, he took their picture. As he came back, I asked him if he always took pictures of accidents and he said that the group was a Bachelorette Party! They also ended up playing Putt-Putt in front of us but let us go through. The bride was getting married this Saturday. I thought it was funny! Julia totally enjoyed the go-carts….she was nothing but giggles! After feeding the ducks, they played golf. I told them I would pay a dollar for every hole-in-one. Will was the only one who collected a dollar!!! Daniel, however, was declared the winner with Will next and then Julia (but only by one stroke).

 

We headed to Scallywag Tag. We were going to drop Daniel and Will off and Julia and I were going to Kroger. The wait, though, was over an hour (they were very crowded) so we all just went Krogering! I purchased our Newport Aquarium tickets there too. The kids picked out some of the ‘junk food’ they wanted. When we got home, they were very helpful putting everything away and the junk food started to get eaten!

 

We chilled for a while and then had dinner, which was spaghetti and meatballs, bread sticks, and salad, followed by watermelon for dessert. After dishes, we resumed ‘the games’ with a vengeance! First was one they did last year called Penny Hose: Two pennies are placed in the ends of the legs of a pair of pantyhose. Using only their hands, the contestants must inch their way down the legs to retrieve the pennies and pull them out. Each arm must work independently and the player cannot use one hand to stretch or hold the hose for the other. Daniel and Will got this. I think Julia’s arms were too short, even though we let her roll up her sleeves.

 

Next was Separation Anxiety: Contestant must separate a pile of 50 multicolored M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies into five separate containers in a set color order. They all accomplished this tasty one.

 

Another oldie was Movin’ on up: Contestant is given a stack of 36 large plastic cups and races to move their one marked cup through the entire stack. Contestant does so by holding the stack in their hands and one-by-one continuously moving a cup from the top to the bottom. All did well!

 

Then their favorite, Face The Cookie:  Contestants, using only their faces, must move three Oreo cookies individually from their forehead to their mouth. Daniel was the only successful one on this one.

 

The boys played the Wii and computer games and Julia crashed for a quick nap. Then she and I played Fish, Crazy Eights, Concentration, more Fish, and Dominos! She dominated. We watched some TV and then the three of them went outside to play flashlight tag. Wes arrived a little after 10:00 and joined them. I updated Buhale while they were busy!

 

After snacking and watching TV, Julia went to bed around 11:00 and the rest of us a bit later.

 

Thursday, August 4th: We all devoured donuts for breakfast around 10:00. We got ready and left for the Newport Aquarium around 11:00. It was a very enjoyable, awesome venture, especially for Julia. At one point, there were three divers in the water and one played Rock-Paper-Scissors with Daniel, Julia, and Will. The boys both won. Julia finally petted her first shark. Hank bought shark teeth for Julia to share but she was the only one who wanted them. The Aquarium is truly a gem.

 

On the way home, we stopped down by Lunken to buy corn-on-the-cob from Mr. Snyder of Batesville, IN. We got home after 2:00 and promptly ate lunch, mostly peanut butter and a few hot dogs. The kids mostly played Wii (Just Dance 2) as they were debating whether to go to Scallywag Tag or to Woodland Mound. We let Wes pick the activity since he is going home Friday morning and not returning to camp. A little before 4:00, he declared a trip to Woodland Mound so off we went! Wes did every Parcourse exercise and the rest of them did most of them. Even though it was in the mid-90’s, we all had water and it was not too hot.

 

Got home around 5:00 and I put a ham in the oven. The kids all took showers and played on the computer, the Wii, and watched TV and just chilled. We had dinner around 6:30. It consisted of ham, macaroni and cheese, corn-on-the-cob, and fruit salad. I think this ended up being their favorite meal. The kids were in the midst of playing Hide ‘n Seek in the house when Aunt Jill and Uncle Mike stopped by to see the kids and bring Grandpa some Stuffed Peppers. After they left around 8:00, Grandpa took us all to United Dairy Farmers for large malts! I was the only one who got a soda instead.

 

When it got dark, they played Flashlight Tag again. I think they had fun!

 

Julia was tired and went to bed around 11:00. Wes put on Despicable Me but I kept dozing off so I headed to bed around midnight.

 

Friday, August 5:  Wes had to leave by 8:30 and went straight to work. The rest were all sleepyheads so while they were still asleep, I watered the landscaping plants, flowers, and garden. I changed our sheets on our bed and did laundry. I finally got their going before noon. We had ‘brunch’ and headed out around 1:00. First, we went to Best Buy to return a product I had bought last April to convert Scott’s videos tapes (mostly baseball) to DVD’s. Zak had tried to get it to work but we were not successful. We then went to the Dollar Tree where they mostly spent their money on candy. We went to Backstop (the batting cages) but they were closed until 2:00 and we didn’t want to wait the extra 15 minutes. So we went to Gabriel Brothers because Daniel wanted to buy another pair of colorful gym shoes. He got red! We found a top and pair of jeans for Julia, too. Then we went to Scallywag Tag and Julia even said she wanted to play. They played two games and Julia absolutely loved it. The boys always enjoy it. They were hot and wanted to head home instead of going to the batting cages.

 

Grandpa was home when we got here. He had met two work buddies for lunch and said he was so stuffed that he didn’t want to eat anything for dinner so we thought we’d go to Skyline since Grandpa wouldn’t go there anyway. Until then, we spent our time playing a Minute-To-Win-It game that Daniel suggested. It was Water Bottle Flip: Flip a partially filled water bottle and make it land standing up five times. Daniel was the only successful one but he let Will and Julia each have another turn. Will got it and we let Julia use a smaller bottle and only do it three times, which she did!

 

It was time to tie-dye! That only took about 10 minutes as they have that procedure down-pat! Will dyed two shirts. I chased the boys off of the computer so I could spend a few minutes updating this journal. If I don’t do it often, I forget what we did.

 

The boys have been busy playing Adventure Quest on the computer and spent some time doing this while Julia and I played cards until it was time to go to Skyline! We stuffed ourselves!!! Grandpa did want some coneys so we brought three of them home for him.

 

Julia and I went to Julif’s Park and Daniel and Will went to Summit School playground. Scott called around 7:00 to tell us that Mike Shannon (who wrote the book that Scott illustrated) was going to be on WLW radio around 7:30 so Julia and I left so we could listen to the radio. We stopped at Summit but the boys had already gone home. I turned on the radio upstairs for Grandpa and found my radio to take downstairs. We did listen and Mike said some terrific things about Scott. I don’t know how long this link will be good, but here is the broadcast: 700WLW The BIG One  (Once the broadcast starts, you can move the time line to about 26:05.) He does say some nice things about Scott!

 

The kids played Just Dance 2 on the Wii and played on the computer and then they played Hide ‘n Seek. Julia and I gorged ourselves with miniature Drumsticks. She then ate Squeezy Cheese on crackers. I gathered the children J into the kitchen to play card bingo. I had quarters, dimes, and a one dollar bill. After that prize money was gone, I brought out another four dollar bills. Finally, we played one more game for a five dollar bill and Will won that one! Will won $6.30, Daniel won $4.30, and Julia won eighty cents.

 

They decided to watch TV instead of playing Flashlight Tag. Julia wanted to write a story on the computer which she did for a while. Then I started typing for her. We typed a few pages and then it was off to bed for her. I told her to take her notepad upstairs and if she thought about anything for her book, to jot it down. She came downstairs twice with pages of text!

 

Saturday, August 6: Grandpa got up and went to Busken’s Bakery and brought back the yummiest donuts! The kids were up and at ‘em by 10:00, which I think is almost a record.

 

After breakfast, Daniel was ready to play more games. The first one was Defying Gravity: They had to keep two balloons in the air for one minute. Daniel was the only one to do this one.

 

The next one was Sticky Balls: A strip of double-sided tape is placed at the end of an eight-foot table. From the opposite end of the table, the contestant must roll five marbles so that they stop on the tape without rolling off the table. They tried once and no one made it so they tried again, this time with Daniel needing four, Will three, and Julia two. Daniel and Julia were both successful!

 

The final one of the morning was Wheel of a Deal: Contestant must place 20 playing cards (four kings, four queens, four jacks, four 10's and four aces) on five tables set in a circular pattern on the stage. The contestant will grab one card at a time from a central table. Once they determine what the card is, they will run and place that card on one of five tables. Each of the five tables must have four-of-a-kind to complete the game. All three were successful!

 

They decided to stop playing these games and play indoor Hide ‘n Seek which was one of their favorite activities.

 

For lunch, I made grilled cheese (on top of the stove not under the broiler). I made Grandpa’s and Will’s with ham. Grandpa was upstairs doing his paperwork so I had Julia take up his sandwich to surprise him. He was just starting to come downstairs to eat as Julia was heading upstairs. He was so surprised!

 

After lunch, we finally got to Backstop Sports, the batting cages. They each batted twice. Julia hit softballs. The all did well. I then dragged them to Eastgate Mall so I could go to Kohl’s to buy a frame for Julia’s Justin Bieber picture but couldn’t find one we liked. We then walked down to Lunar Golf but they didn’t want to play putt-putt so we left. They did want to stop at a Red Box to check out the movies so we went to Kroger. While the fellows checked out the movies, Julia and I went in to purchase a picture frame. The boys didn’t see any movies they liked. We then stopped at Snowie’s and they all got different flavors.

 

We just kind of chilled in the late afternoon. For dinner, the kids had chicken tenders, fries, onion rings, corn, and applesauce. Grandpa had the stuffed peppers that Aunt Jill and Uncle Mike had brought. I had a fried chicken salad. After dinner, it was time for the final Minute To Win It games. The first one was Rapid Fire: Contestant must shoot rubber bands and knock a pyramid of six soda cans completely off a platform eight feet away. They all were successful although Julia got a little help from the boys! Next was

Nose Dive: Contestant must transfer five cotton balls, one at a time, from one serving bowl to another 12' away using only the nose. Vaseline on the tip of the contestant's nose is used as a transfer agent. They all got this one!

 

The next one was This Blows: Contestant must use a balloon to knock cups off of a table. He must keep blowing up a balloon and then blow the air out to propel the cups off of the table. All 15 cups must be completely off the table to complete the game. Daniel and Will accomplished this.

 

The final game was Ping Tac Toe: In this game, the contestant must get ping-pong balls to land in water-filled glasses. There are nine glasses and the contestant will bounce ping-pong balls until they complete one three-ball line. Daniel was the only one who completed this.

 

After cleaning up all our mess, we went outside in the front to play badminton. We first tried Daniel and Julia against Will and I but Daniel was afraid of hitting Julia so we played one against one. Julia started against Will but then decided it was a boring game, quit, and went next door to play on the swing. Will and I played, Daniel and I played, Daniel and Will played and I think Daniel dominated! We spent some more time outside just fooling around with the hula hoops and tumbling..  

 

For the past two days, I had been helping Julia type up her book called The Three Sisters. We finally got the time to finish it, especially the cover. We printed it out and put it into plastic sleeves and she had her book!

 

It was finally time for the award ceremony. The kids reminded me that last year I paid them one dollar for every Minute To Win It game they completed. Julia came in third and won $7.00; Will came in second and won $8.00; Daniel came in first and won $14.00! Congratulations to all of them!

 

As I was typing up this journal, I realized that I hadn’t marked down one of the contests so I paid them each another dollar! They were kind of waiting for Zak to come over as he said he might. He was staying at Katie and Chris’s to take care of their puppy, Chance, because they flew to Florida for their cousin Sara’s wedding next Friday. Zak is driving down later. However, they gave up waiting for him and went outside to play their last round of Hide ‘n Seek. Julia came in and played her favorite computer game, Sara’s Super Spa Deluxe. I sat with her and did some of the chores. Before we knew it, it was 11:30 so off to bed we both went!

 

Sunday, August 7: The troops rallied by 10:30 and we had sausage and French toast for breakfast. Kindra called and said that she and her Mom, Nan, were on their way home from North Carolina and would pick the kids up around 1:00. So they packed up all of their belongings, including the leftover cookies and snacks. We went outside and messed around, especially using the badminton rackets to hit balloons! The kids left around 1:15 and the house was suddenly very quiet.

 

Memories from this year’s camp, for me, were Will eating Skyline Chili four times at home as an evening snack and once at the restaurant; Julia’s firsts that involved her first trip to the Aquarium and first time in the Go-Kart. Daniel being so willing to do what the others wanted to do. Even though Joe and Wes were not here very much, it was still a great week. The number is getting smaller every year as the kids mature and have better things to do. But Camp Grandma’s will go on as long as anyone shows up!

 

Thanks again you for being such wonderful grandchildren and making me proud to be your grandma!