Sunday, October 6, 2013


My cellphone rang this evening.
The screen on my smart phone told me the call was from my grandson Mason.
"Hi Mason."
"Hi Grandma.  You know how you said your were sending me some money for my birthday."
"Yes," I replied.

It turns out there wasn't any money in his birthday card.
"Let me check my checkbook," I said.
Sure enough.
There was a check made out to Gillian for her birthday money, 
but I had forgotten to write out Mason's check.

Oh how embarrassing!

His mother, my daughter, thought it was hilarious that I forgot to even write the check.
I guess I am losing it.
At least, I remembered it was his birthday.
I have five birthdays to remember in the span of a month.
Three birthdays in September and two in October

The story of my two October grandbabies...

One day fifteen years and nine months ago,
my daughter Amy called me with the wonderful news that she was going to be a mother.
I was so excited for her and for me.
I was thrilled at the prospects of having another grandchild.
However, with this wonderful news,
there was also a bit of an uneasy feeling in my heart.

My other daughter Keicha was trying to have a baby, but thus far, her attempts had been unsuccessful.
Just a month or so before Amy's happy phone call announcing that she was expecting,
Keicha had called in tears and told me she was trying in vitro fertilization one more time.
"If this attempt is unsuccessful, I'm not going through this again," she tearfully said.
Now, a month or six weeks later, Amy was pregnant.
"How will we tell Keicha?" I asked.

Still mulling over how to break the news of Amy's pregnancy to Keicha,
I answered a phone call from Keicha a few days later.
"Mom, I'm pregnant." was her happy news.
Only one egg was fertilized, but at least one egg was viable.
I let out a sigh of relief.
I then called Amy and told her she could call her sister with her happy news.
We had double happy news!

It was a bit of a scary few months in the first months of Keicha's pregnancy.
She was highly at risk of not seeing the pregnancy through.
Soon, it looked as if we would have two babies in October of 1998.

On October 4, 1998, my dear Mason Lloyd Hopfenspirger was born.
I was present at his birth, and even was blessed to witness it.
I was the very first person to see that boy.
That was a very special moment in my life.
Immediately, after his birth, there was a problem.
We were told he might not live through the night.
The next day, thank God,  all was well, and he looked like the healthiest baby in the nursery.
36 hours later, on October 6, 1998, my dear Gillian Marie Chapman was born.

Six weeks later, Keicha made the trip to Colorado from Utah for Thanksgiving so the cousins could meet for the first time.
Late at night, Keicha, Gillian, and Gillian's dad arrived.  I snapped a picture of the two girls showing off their new babies to each other.
I always laugh because each one only has eyes for her own child.

For the next photo, I had them both face the camera.

As you can see, I was one happy grandma with my arms full of two adorable grandbabies.

Over the years, these two cousins have had many photos taken together.
Aren't they cute?

Age five...

Mason hasn't always liked the attention and love that Gillian has shown him.
"It's embarrassing.  I don't want a picture!"

Gillian, Mason, Julie & Jason

There have been lots of fun times at Grandma Sally's jumping on the trampoline,

and dyeing Easter eggs.

This happens even now that they are teenagers and almost too cool to dye eggs.

Easter 2013

Easter candy tastes good at any age.

Hannah, Mason & Gillian
After the Easter egg hunt at Grandma's

They've gone from this
to this.

The table is getting a bit small.

This Easter, Mason showed Gillian some of his cooking talents.

All of my babies are growing up.
Gillian and Mason are standing side by side in this photo of all seven of my grandchildren.

Bridger, Parker, Regan, Jim holding Atticus, Sally holding Hannah, Gillian, Mason
It is time we had a new family portrait!

I know one thing these kids still love to do.
They love to go to the penny arcade in Manitou.
This past April, we made our trip to the arcade for fun times.

Gillian vamped it up in my sunglasses as Bat Woman.

Mason became the #1 Ice Cream Man.

They have outgrown the kiddie rides.
They are growing up way too fast.
Where has the time gone?

This year, I somehow managed to get both birthday cards in the mail for these two grandchildren who are so close in age, but I forgot to write out the check for Mason.  
I guess their old grandma is showing her age.

They are in ninth grade now.
The years have flown by so fast.
I hope they both always remember how much I love them and what a blessing they, and all of my grandchildren, have been to me.

Tonight, when I spoke to Mason, I asked, 
"When are you going to go get your driver's permit?"
His answer was a true sign of the times.
"As soon as the government is open again."

Come on congress.  I have two grandkids that you are impacting.
They want to get their driving permits.
They are now in ninth grade, the year that American civics is studied.
They aren't getting a very good lesson from you guys in congress.

I digress...
this post isn't a political commentary.
It is a a lesson in family history.

I will put a check in the mail tomorrow for Mason.
I hope he doesn't think that adults just can't be trusted these days.
I told him to look for a check from me in his card since I didn't make up to his house
 to celebrate his big day.
Oops, I forgot to put the check in the mail.
Please forgive me.
Gillian got her present.
Your's is on the way.

Gillian Marie & Mason Lloyd,
happy, happy birthday.
I love you.
Grandma Sally


Kay said...

I really agree with you about Congress. They are an embarrassment as the world looks to see how our democracy is working.

Seeing the cousins grow up together was such fun! They were beautiful babies and now they're beautiful teens. I'm trying very hard not to be envious of all the fabulous grandchildren you have, Sally. They are truly a blessing. I love that photo of you with all the precious treasures.

Jean said...

Looks like Gillian and Mason are having great times together as they grow up. You have wonderful family photos as proof! Now write that check....

thisisme said...

Hi Sally. What a lovely post, and how blessed are you with all those lovely grandchildren?! I loved the photo of the two of them at Easter 2013. They both looked so COOL!! Isn't it lovely to look back at the photos and see how they are growing. I did laugh that you forgot Mason's cheque! Oh dear - so funny! Really enjoyed seeing all those family photos, and, yes, I think an up to date one of all of you is well overdue!

Jeanie said...

I just love seeing these pictures and hearing about these 2 cousins growing up together. I am the same way about my two little granddaughters that are 4 months apart. I just love seeing their friendship develop. Even though they are only 5, I'm sure it will seem like a blink of an eye until they are getting their driver's permits.
I think it is great that Mason felt okay calling you about the check....he knew his grandma wouldn't let him down.
Happy birthday to both of them.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi What a wonderful family. Thanks for sharing and it was lovely to see over the years with your family

Olga said...

What a full month you have around this time. Those slip ups happen. You could have said that you didn't forget, you just like Gillian better, but that would have been mean.

mrsnesbitt said...

A lovely post. Lovely children.

Linda Myers said...

Great shots of your growing family.

Jeanie said...

This is fabulous -- what beautiful young adults they have become and what darling children they were! I can see why you love them so much! (The others in the photos were pretty cute, too!).

I grew up summers with my cousins -- David was the brother I never had and we were really mad when our moms thought we shouldn't sleep in the same bed at the lake anymore so I had to share with Patty who kicked! As an "only," having a cousin (then more) was a huge big deal! I'm so glad they can enjoy it all!

rosaria williams said...

This is so heartwarming!
Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories, including the oops moments.

#1Nana said...

I'm so envious of all your grandchildren. I still have hope that my son might someday expand the flock.

Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks.

Rose said...

Loved seeing all the photos of your grandchildren, Sally! I got a kick out of the kids' table, too. We've had one at my Mom's for years and now at my house. It's always an exciting time for one of the grandkids when they graduate to the "big table":) Don't feel too bad about forgetting the birthday check--I think we've all done something similar.

DJan said...

What a beautiful family! You are truly blessed to have such wonderful grandchildren, Sally. And I will be seeing you before the month is out! What fun!! :-)

Lynilu said...

Grandchildren are such blessings! Your pictures make me long to see mine!

Joanne said...

Sally what a wonderful post! My daughter J and her cousin are 6 months apart and we have so many pictures (similar to yours) of them together. They are now both 15 and I am soooo not looking forward to the driving thing. Thanks for sharing all those sweet pictures. I love the one of them at the kids table...yep they need a bigger one for sure! Your not getting's when you forget ALL their birthdays...that's when there's a problem! So're GOOD. LOL!
Blessings, Joanne

troutbirder said...

Sweet post Sally. We know about difficulties in carrying to term. Still there is one "miracle" biological grandchild and two adopted. A girl from Ethiopia and a boy from Rwanda. All love dearly....:)

Sandi said...

I just loved this post, Sally! Maybe because I can relate so completely to the absentmindedness! It's just one thing after another. I forget birthdays, names, ages, appointments, you name it, I forget it! At least I'm still remembering to head to work in the morning, but one of these days, I may just forget to go!!

Can't wait to see you in a couple weeks!! Big hugs until then!

Linda Reeder said...

I'm afraid the mess in congress may impact my daughter's home loan processing through Fanny May. They've waited so long already.
I love seeing the photo of all of your grands as little ones. yes, now we want to see an updated photo!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Hey, Grandma, that kids' table is definitely getting too small for the kids! Love to see these two growing up over the years.

Maggie May said...

What a lovely story and beautiful photos. It was lovely to see the two cousins as they were growing up. At first they looked like twins but gradually they had their own personalities showing through and they changed a great deal into lovely older versions!

Glad Mason had the gumption to remind Grandma of her forgetfulness! I am getting like this too and used to be so on the ball with everything.
It was a lovely post!
Maggie x

Nuts in May

Dee said...

Dear Sally, how lovely to meet two of your seven grandchildren through this posting. I'm glad that Mason felt confident enough to call and ask you about his birthday check. That shows his trust in your love for him and in your understanding.

I'm surprised that ninth graders are learning how to drive. That seems early to me. I'd always thought a young adult had to be sixteen to get a permit. Times change! Peace.

Jackie said...

A tremendous blog post!!
I love this...especially looking at the photos of them as they grew. How wonderful!
Happy birthday to both of your sweet Grands.

Deb Shucka said...

Such a happy post, even with the forgotten check. It was fun to watch these two gorgeous children grow up through your pictures. You're one lucky grandma, almost as lucky as they are to have you.

Barb said...

I had to smile - i can relate to sending the card and forgetting the check! Love the photos showing Gillian and Mason growing up to be teens. May they happily celebrate many, many more birthdays.

Friko said...

Oops indeed.
Luckily you can always trust the young to remind you, particularly when it’s the matte of money.

What a big happy family you have; enjoy them all while you can. Nothing is forever (as you so well know) and even the ones who make it through grow up and leave us behind eventually.

Perpetua said...

How lovely to have two grandchildren born so close together and how quickly they have grown up. American teenagers get to drive a year before their British counterparts. :-)

LC said...

I have also had to regroup on birthday snafus. Unlike you, I have yet to turn my goofups into a post that offers a look at the grands arrival growth and my love for them. Your post was delightful.