Hanging Out at Home

When daughter Jenny comes home from Tioga, North Dakota — this time by car and not by train — son Nick and his family drive over from Brooklyn Park and we all hang out together at our home in Victoria, the only home our kids knew before they left for college and marriage.  Jenny, Addie and Gunnar (Christopher stayed in Tioga to work) arrived in Victoria around noon on Saturday, February 19th (they spent an overnight at hotel in Jamestown, ND,), and left for Tioga on Tuesday, February 22nd.  The kids make us smile from morning to night.

Gunnar is now 6 years old!  How is that possible!

And Addie is now 8 years old!  Her birthday was January 21st and she invited everybody in her 2nd grade class to her birthday party.  Jenny and other moms drove them to an indoor swimming pool in Stanley, ND.

Little Mia is growing like crazy and she eats like a little piggy.

That’s Mommy Jen hanging out with her baby girl.

After a relaxing afternoon and delicious supper (I made barbecued ribs), it was time for a bath for the babies.  Nobody believed my kitchen sink was big enough to hold two of the biggest babies.  Little Sophie never saw anything like it in her whole life, but then she’s only 2 years old.

Sophie got her bath upstairs, not in the sink.  Look at that curly hair!

Mia got her bath in my kitchen sink.  Nick is very good at being a daddy.

Jenny talks to her little niece while Nick does the diapering and jammies.

Grandma Sue makes sure that Sophie has a bedtime snack before she leaves for her own crib.  Sophie always makes me laugh because she has such a mind of her own.

The two little girl cousins check out some of Grandma Sue’s movies on “the little screen,” which is sometimes more fun than “the big screen” downstairs.

How did Sweet Adeline’s hair get so straight and Sweet Sophia’s hair get so curly?!  Remember Addie contributed her long tresses last summer to Locks of Love for little kids with cancer, but it’s growing out and she can even put it in ponies again.  See little Mia in the background?  Her sensitive eyes don’t like the flash of my camera.  Darn camera!

Gunnar loves to hug Sophie.

Addie loves to hug Sophie.

Grandma Sue loves to hug Addie, Gunnar, Sophie, and Mia … and they all give her the tickles.

“The little screen” is certainly more convenient than the big screen, which takes us downstairs with pillows and quilts and popcorn and ice cream.

You can see why they all give me the tickles.

The littlest ones of the little Orsen family are ready to sleep now … all the way home to Brooklyn Park.

“One more movie!” says Sophie.  “Mommy, I’m looking at you,” says Mia.

A goodnight kiss from Grandpa Al.

“Grandpa, enough of that smooching!”

“Okay, one more hug, but that’s it.”

“Addie, I’m so glad you get to stay by Grandma Sue for two more nights, and I’m so glad I can still pick you up and hold you.”

Grandpa Al helps Sophie with the zipper on her coat, but Sophie does like to do everything all by herself!

And that includes putting on her own cap!

One more squeeze from Grandma Sue.

One more squeeze from Auntie Jenny, not to mention Godmother Jenny.

And then it was time for Addie and Gunnar to read us bedtime stories.  Even though Gunnar is only in kindergarten, he can read almost everything and he especially loves the Wimpy Kid books.  Grandma Sue gave him “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” for his 6th birthday on December 21st.

Addie has always been a champion reader and speller and Grandpa Al is amazed at her continuing skills.

The reading continues, and Jenny keeps using my camera.

Thank you, Jenny, for taking these good pictures.  It makes me smile that Addie is reading a Sesame Street book from our house even though her favorites are “chapter books.”

Addie and Grandpa Al have one other thing in common:  they both enjoy Soduko.

The next day was a stay-at-home day.   It had to be a stay-at-home day because the snow and ice outside were terrible and we didn’t dare drive to the Mall of America as we usually do.  So Addie and Gunnar constructed a tent in my living room.

Gunnar swiped my camera to take this picture of the inside of their “tent.”

Legos is also a good pastime.  Addie and Gunnar are especially good at building space ships.  Grandma Sue builds passenger trains and depots.

My favorite pastime with my own little girl is to lie on the couch together, she at one end and I at the other end, and talk and laugh and sometimes nap.  Jenny is talking on the phone here to Grandma Claeys down in Texas.  They talked about the oil fields at Tioga and Addie’s upcoming First Communion and all kinds of other things.  In no time at all, it was time for Jenny to leave home again, for Tioga, ND.

Love, Mom