Just thought I’d tell you what we’ve been up to. Ben and Bekah flew over to the UK yesterday for a week.  Yes, all by themselves. They took one suitcase and two carry-on’s and left the children with us for the week. They had a very boring flight (the best kind) and zipped through Heathrow with no stories to tell.

Meanwhile, on the home front, I am simultaneously in “Nana heaven” and having the workout of my life. But the kids are easy as can be, and they are all self-sufficient (no diapers, no shoes to tie, no high-chairs, and they can buckle their own seatbelts). All I have to do is drive them around to activities and feed them. Bekah made sure that I would have an easy time of it. She even put their clothes for each school day in labeled zip lock bags, packed up the basketball bag, the ballet bag, and arranged their Sunday clothes in neatly labeled piles. Not only that, but she made them muffins for each morning for breakfast (frozen and labeled), as well as pumpkin pies to take to school for the Thanksgiving parties they’ll be having tomorrow.

She left me a detailed sheet of instructions for each day. Yesterday, besides the daily schedule of school, ballet, and basketball, she had listed all the homework assignments for me to oversee (oh, dear). After considering what kind of crazy load they might be asking me to jump into, they very kindly decided to cancel piano lessons, hockey (I don’t know how to begin to put all the equipment on Judah), and something else I can’t remember. Last night Doug met me half-way through Knox’s basketball game, and I left with the girls to go home and fix dinner. Each night one of the kids gets his or her favorite dinner. And I tell you, it is nice to have such an easy crowd. Last night Judah requested homemade chicken noodle soup and tonight was calzones for Hero. I’m pretty sure someone requested corndogs, and I’m hoping that’s what’s on for tomorrow.

Not only did Bekah get all the scheduling, clothing, and breakfast treats arranged,  but she also arranged for a treasure hunt each day for the kids, and posted the clues and who opens what each day. Here are a couple below.


So the kids are having a great time, and I am having a blast, and the parents are no doubt shuffling around wondering what to do with themselves and feeling like Oxford is a whole different place when it’s just the two of them.


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15 thoughts on “Nana Time

  1. Whoa. I am suddenly feeling very guilty about the lack of organization I leave my parents with when they have my TWO children! Hahaha!
    Really, that is so nice for you, the parents AND the kids. I am SO blessed to also live near my parents- and they are wonderful grandparents!!

  2. Okay, that’s just too cool! I love it. What a beautiful example of love and grace between mother and daughter.

  3. Wow. You taught her well. (Just wondering if she was like that as a teen; please say yes so there’s hope at this house!)

  4. Nancy, Do you happen to know why old pictures are no longer available to view on the blog? For example, I was looking at the post “I’m Just Saying” dated 3/6/08 and the cinnamon roll picture isn’t available anymore. Other old posts seem to have the same problem. Thanks!

  5. WOW. Okay, so now will Bekah post a sample of her daily schedule so we can all see how to fit in everything she does…including running a business? I’m in awe. And very curious. 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing, and for the many concrete examples! We are expecting our second child and I am beginning to plan for those first few days when we will need the grandparents to care for our firstborn (who will be two).

    Our concern that we haven’t been able to resolve is the issue of discipline, specifically with regards to punishment when our child is disobedient. Our parents are wonderful, but I know they will have a difficult time in this front, and I am not sure what their role should be in our absence.

    Can you speak a little about this? Any thought that can point us to the right direction would be much appreciated.

  7. Ampy,
    I think that my blog can only hold so many photos, so the old ones clog up the system. We are in process of switching to a new server. When that happens I will even be able to change the Recommended Reading. Can you believe, all this time I have not been able to switch those two books out? So we will do our best to have the photos available eventually. Thanks for checking.

    Normally I do not need to do anything but speak to a grandchild if one is disobedient because the parents will be back in an hour or so and I can hand it off. If I have a real stinker, I have flicked a hand when I said “No, No” which is quite a shocker. The Merkle grandkids are older (11-5) and it would be very unusual for them to do anything that required discipline from me. A word will do it. I suggest that you let your parents handle this while you are away. You can discuss it with them, but I would not expect them to fill your shoes on this front. Let them be the grandparents and you can always get things back in good form after things settle down.
    Just my two cents!

  8. And another word about Bekah. She loves to be creative, and so she adores nothing so much as organizing and decorating schedules (or lunchboxes), as you can see. She does not put her kids’ clothes in baggies normally when she is here. She also wanted to keep my life relatively simple, which has indeed been a big blessing for me. She is not the type who has every detail of every day organized and alphabetized. But she can do it if she thinks it will benefit someone else.

  9. I hope they have a wonderful time!

    (makes me think of a similar trip my husband and I made in March – where our last full day in England was spent being shown around Oxford and having dinner with a delightful and thoughtful family… 😉

  10. Hope Bekah and Ben realize how blessed they are to have parents who will enable them to get away. Our first opportunities to go out for the evening were when oldest son was about 14, and to get away for a whole weekend when he was about 20. Not that he needed to be that old to leave him, mind you, but that he could watch all the younger sibs:-)

    And to Seda, I would say that help with the older children might have been nice, esp with the first six who came in just six years, but we always wanted to include them in baby’s first days. Hopefully your son will have the opportunity to see and share in those early days at least some?!

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