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Put the Kettle on....

"Best Grandma" 
Dec. 22, 2013 6:05 am 
Updated: Dec. 27, 2013 5:17 am

I was given a gift last night that I sure hope I can live up to!  Jon and I have become very close to our friend’s (Federico and Marisela who run the restaurant) three children and since we have no grandchildren of our own, we have adopted them as our grandchildren.  They are sweet children, ages 11, 8, and 6. 

Over the years we have started many traditions with them that just keep getting better and better.  One of those traditions is that every year we take the kids for the day and bake and decorate sugar cookie cut-outs. Kristal is my assistant in this venture and I must admit that this year the cookies turned out very pretty.  They took the time to ice them neatly and use the sprinkles and colored sugars sparingly.  To put it bluntly – the cookies are no longer blobs covered in sugar and icing! 

After the cookie marathon is over we always have dinner and allow the kids to open the gifts we have bought for them.  Kristal and Jake gave Yahir a remote-controlled monster truck and it was a huge hit.  Suzy didn’t find it so fun – she was a little afraid of the noise and bright lights buzzing around her living room.  She was much more interested in Jocelyn’s new Barbie and accessories.  She was even more interested in Jeanette’s grown-up baking things.  Jeanette is 11 and at that awkward age where toys are for kids, yet she still wants some kind of toy.  She is very interested in cooking and baking so we picked out everything she would need to make cupcakes; including a bright lime green spatula (green is her favorite color) and collapsible measuring cups.

Federico had insisted he and Marisela would pick the kids up.  Marisela had baked a choco-flan cake and wanted to share it with us.  He told me to have a bottle of wine ready that would go with chocolate.  They explained this cake is made in Mexico for very special occasions because it is considered very rich and expensive to make.  Last night was a very special occasion so it was a perfect dessert!

The kids had insisted on getting gifts for us.  They are very kind and generous children.  After we had opened our gifts and all the “thank-you’s” had been given, Jocelyn (the 6-year-old) came to me with another gift.  She had gone shopping at her school’s Santa Shop and had picked out this gift for me and wrapped it all by herself.  I opened the gift and inside was a coffee mug – bright green with pink (of course – pink is her favorite color!) flowers.  On the side it says “Best Grandma”. 

This gift brought a tear to my eye.  We get much pleasure out of these children and enjoy spending time with them.  I know they love to spend time with us, as well, and they do consider us their “American” grandparents.  But now it’s in writing!  I can only hope to meet the standards of “Best Grandma”.  Holy Cow!  Best Grandma means I have some huge shoes to fill!  I think of my Grandmas and how much they meant to me, and how my children speak of their Grandmas.  A Grandma is a very important part of a child’s life and to think I am taking that place in a child's heart!  It is a little over-whelming to me and also very heart-warming.  My coffee tastes a little bit better this morning and my heart feels a little more joyous as well. 



Dec. 22, 2013 6:35 am
Hi Mother Ann! What a beautiful family you have.. you really made me smile this morning. Your adopted grandchildren sound very sweet. Aren't the hearts of children beautiful?
Dec. 22, 2013 6:56 am
BamBam - Yes they are very sweet, and their hearts are so huge! :)
Dec. 22, 2013 8:02 am
Mother Ann, I think you have some sweet kids here and thoughtful, too. Merry Christmas and enjoy your mug filled with hot cocoa and of course marshmallows!
Dec. 22, 2013 8:35 am
Love this blog! Just goes to show that the love you have so generously given this entire family is being returned to you...even better and more than you could have hoped. You are a blessed woman!
Dec. 22, 2013 8:46 am
Grandmother Ann, as I always say, it's not who conceives, it's the ones that love. What a heartwarming story.
Dec. 22, 2013 10:18 am
Beautiful Blog MA! Made me cry! You have always written about these cherubs as your own... now you have a trophy mug to prove it! Merry Christmas dear friend! Hope Suzy gets something special this year I can relate to the dodging of remote control toys around the house!
Dec. 22, 2013 4:19 pm
Lela - They are sweet kids. While we were cutting out the cookies to put into the oven Yahir asked if we could send some to Steve. Last year we did this baking before I had packed up and sent Steve's cookies out to him. They were disappointed that I had already sent the package. I'm thinking I'll have them over to make heart-shaped Valentine cookies and we'll send him some of those.
Dec. 22, 2013 4:20 pm
Paula, how very true! Just getting to spend time with these kids and play with them is gift enough for me.
Dec. 22, 2013 4:21 pm
bd.weld - thank you.
Dec. 22, 2013 4:24 pm
Terry - Suzy has a brand new big old chew bone that's going to be in her stocking Christmas morning. I know she'll love it. One year we gave both of our kids a remote-control truck. They ran on different frequencies so they could race them round and round our house. Our dog at the time, Buffy, loved trying to catch them. It was fun to watch her follow the trucks. Merry Christmas to you! I saw all your wonderful family pics on FB - what a beautiful, huge crowd you had!!
Dec. 23, 2013 7:10 am
Thanks MA, that was just a little over half of the family! We are quite loud and overwhelming at times , but we have so much love and fun! Dad just sits in a chair and just marvels at this crowd he and mom started!
Dec. 23, 2013 10:35 am
Ahhhhhhh! Thank you again for the holiday gift of blackberry brandy cranberry sauce! Lovely blog!!
Dec. 24, 2013 7:45 am
Terry - I love large family gatherings. Years and years ago (My kids were quite yound) we had the entire family together (including my sister and her husband from S.Dakota) so we decided it was necessary to take a family photo. We did the "normal" shot of everyone gathered around Grandma in the living room. Then, we got goofy - we all piled into the bathroom (not a very big one either!) and took a shot like that. I still have my copy displayed on the back of my toilet.
Dec. 26, 2013 7:16 pm
What a beautiful thing has happened to you - - we usually think of "adoption" as being something that adults do for children - - but in this case "you" are the one who has been adopted by them - - "GranAnn" - - there is an adoption poem that says "Not flesh of my flesh - nor bone of my bone - but nevertheless, still my own - never forget for a single minute that you weren't born under my heart - but in it." And that is what has happened for you - you have been born in their heart - - so special, so amazing, so much love - - Rock on GranAnn!
Dec. 27, 2013 4:35 am
How lovely, Mother Ann. I think your story illustrates how sharing love multiplies it!
Dec. 27, 2013 5:17 am
luv2cook - you got that right - I do believe I've been adopted! :)
Dec. 27, 2013 5:17 am
Bibi - you are so right!
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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