What a fun day it was today. Tom and Laurel were driving through Davis on their way back to Santa Barbara and stopped for a visit and brunch with my mother. Walt and I went (of course), and Ned took advantage of the fact that he can still drive (he has neck surgery next week and will be house-bound for about six weeks) to join us too.
I had brought gifts for everyone (except my ,mother, because I had given her her gifts from our vacation when we returned from the vacation). For Ned there was the finale season of Dexter on DVD for him to watch during his recovery. For Tom there was a collection of spices I bought at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. For Laurel there was a box of apple tea, also purchased in Istanbul. For the girls there was an apron and a flower wreath for Bri and a doll for Lacie and whistles for both of them, all bought in Ukraine and then there were books for Lacie's birthday (which was a month ago) and books for Bri about dinosaurs, which she studied this summer (all books purchased at Logos).
(Obviously I should have purchased an apron for Lacie too, but I didn't think she'd be old enough to appreciate it. Obviously I was wrong!)
We sat in my mother's apartment and visited for awhile and then, when the kids began to get a little restless, they went out into the garden. The lady next door to my mother has a dog. We knew that she had a dog because I'd seen the fence for it for weeks, but I had never actually seen the dog. But today, with all the commotion of the girls playing outside, the dog came out to investigate, and they made friends with it.
They also enjoyed running up and down the path in the garden, while Walt, Ned and Tom watched.
Eventually, we headed off for brunch. The girls both had to walk with Uncle Ned.
I was able to reserve the little private dining room, off the regular dining room, which was just perfect since we didn't have to worry about the noise or the girls running around.
Ned and Lacie looked cute for the camera.
and he and Bri mugged for the camera.
Lacie had worn shiny black boots and my mother loves shoes. As a kid the thing she wanted most was a pair of black patent leather shoes, so she loved Lacie's boots and the two of them made a game out of taking them off, stealing them, getting them back, and putting them back on again. It doesn't take much to entertain a toddler...or a great grandmother!
Ned was talking to Bri about his upcoming surgery (he is having a bulging disc in his neck fixed, with cadaver bone and fusing of the two segments of the cervical spine). Bri was very interested in hearing about it and trying to imagine what he was feeling (numbness and tingling in his hand and pain in his neck). She listened intently and was very cute and asked good questions and Ned was just great about explaining it in terms that a 5 year old could understand.
When we returned to Grandma's apartment, Ned got out his x-rays and showed her the bones in his neck and explained how the doctors were going to fix him.
But eventually it was time for Tom and family to get on the road. They had to make it back to Santa Barbara tonight and it's a long drive. But it was such a good visit and I think I'm going to put together a Snapfish book about it for my mother, who by next week will have forgotten they were ever there!