Grandma Mabel

Our Grandma Mabel, who lives in Largo, Florida celebrated her 90th birthday in February.  We've had some opportunities recently to visit with her and have enjoyed hearing about her childhood, her mission work, and her life with Grandpa. We have been so blessed to have this chance to get to know Grandma Mabel better. 
During our last visit we asked if we could interview her for this blog. She excitedly agreed and settled back in her chair with a twinkle in her eye. I knew we were about to hear some good stories!
Grandma Mabel's purple birthday cake
Grandma Mabel sitting in her chair holding her cake
Some of the things we learned about Grandma Mabel:
She was born in 1922 in Curwensville, Pennsylvania and moved to Endicott, New York when she was seven. She and her twin brother are the youngest of 9 children. She said being the youngest was wonderful as there weren't many chores for her to do- leaving plenty of time to do what she loved most- READ. 
She was told of Jesus when she was 7 years old by her Sunday School teacher.
When she was a child her favorite book was a book of poems by Annie Johnson Flint. Here is a link to some of her articles  www.homemakerscorner.com/annie

Grandma Mabel shared some of her 'favorites':
food: Mexican
hymn: All The Way My Savior Leads Me
color: purple
Bible verse: Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
holiday: Christmas
dessert: Chocolate Fudge Sundae
president: Bush

Grandma Mabel's favorite game she played as a child with the neighbor girls was called 'School'. She  chuckled as she told us how they played it.
She never played a sport, but she enjoyed watching baseball. She said she remembers watching her brothers and the neighbor boys playing.

She also told us about her most memorable Christmas. She was about 5 years old that year. When she came down the stairs she saw the most beautiful doll and cradle, just for her!  She still has that doll today and although it is 85 years old- and well loved, it is still beautiful.
Grandma Mabel holding her dolly. He is dressed in a crochet jacket and booties that Mabel made herself!
 This is my favorite dolly, isn't she perfectly sweet?
See her wee hands full of dimples, see her two dear little feet.
See her real hair, long and curly, eyes just as blue as the sky.
Oh how I love my dear doll! sometimes quite sadly, I cry,
What should I do if I lost you? Just cry and cry and cry!
Dolly wears beautiful dresses, dresses of pink, blue and white.
Dainty silk socks, tiny slippers, fastened with buckles so bright.
Hats trimmed with feathers and ribbons, prettiest hats I could find.
When we go walking together, dear little dolly and I.
Children crowd round us exclaiming, oh my, oh my, oh my.
When every evening the shadows, through the wide window panes creep,
Bedtime and sleepy time bringing, dolly must go fast asleep.
Gently I hold her and rock her, singing a soft lullaby.
Go to sleep, dear little dolly, mother is near, do not cry.
Go to sleep ,dear little dolly, oh hush, oh hush a bye.

Grandma Mabel met Grandpa in 1942 at Baptist Bible Seminary in Johnson City, New York. She worked as a missionary with the inner-city black children for many years.  They were married in 1960. They moved around a lot, as some pastors do, but her favorite place to live was Tulerosa, New Mexico. Their vacations were trips home to Waterloo, Iowa to visit family.

We asked Grandma Mabel if she collects anything. She said that her most cherished treasure, other than the doll, was a little trinket, (a little bigger then a votive candle) a neighbor woman gave to her when she was about ten years old. She believes it is more than 100 years old so we carefully looked, but didn't touch!
Grandma Mabel's trinket
Grandma Mabel always preferred cursive writing and to wear shoes. She was never much of a 'barefoot girl'. 
Her first car was a Datsun and was bought for her by Grandpa.

We asked her what illnesses she had as a child.. she laughed and said "Oh, I had them all!"

As an adult she enjoyed being a pastor's wife, and a mother, playing the piano, knitting, crocheting and reading.
Grandma Mabel made all her doilies. This is a large one with a lamp sitting on top. A framed picture of her husband is beside it.

All of her doilies... and these aren't even all of them!
Grandma Mabel now resides in an assisted living facility and is unable to do most of the activities she enjoyed when she was younger, but she still has a wonderful attitude and lots of laughs and chuckles and stories to tell.


A new chapter in our lives

Last October, we decided to re-open our home daycare. We had one several years ago when Collin and Kaitlyn were little.  Now that everyone is older and able to help, we decided it's time to welcome some sweet babies into our home again.  We started the process by attending a 5-hour class to learn about all the new rules and regulations for a Family Home Daycare and Meagan took three on-line courses so she could be the legal substitute.

In December, we laid out our plans to put up/replace fencing, have a fire inspection, lay out the playroom, porch and play-yard, and get paperwork together. Todd and Meagan were required to be fingerprinted and have a background check, even Collin and Kaitlyn had a juvenile background check!

On Thursday, January 19th we received notice that all our paperwork was in and we could schedule our inspection date... the inspector had an opening on February 8th. That gave us 20 days to get it all finished. Boy did we scramble!!!

I don't think we have ever done that much combined yard work AND house work EVER. The fencing was done within a week, the house gone over with a fine-tooth comb, cleaned, dusted and scrubbed (Meagan even pulled out the oven to clean behind, beside and underneath). Collin crawled on his hands and knees through the whole yard making sure there was no animal feces of any kind or ants anywhere! We put rocks around the pool, made sure every electrical outlet had a plug cover, put up the baby gates and put locks on cabinets.

Not only did we clean like crazy, we also went shopping almost everyday for all the necessary supplies.  Consignment shops, Craigslist, and Goodwill are our current favorite ways to shop.

There was not much sleep the few days before the inspection, and Todd was heard commenting that he needed to go back to work to rest!  The morning of the inspection Diona and Meagan stayed up until 1:30am getting stuff done then they were both up at 5am  Todd was a dear and brought Diona a mocha frappe from McD's to help keep her awake for the inspection.  The inspector took about fifteen minutes to inspect every room in the house, the yard, and the porch... and three hours to do the paperwork!!!  After all that... We didn't pass.  Three little things needed to be adjusted and the next day the inspector came out again to re-inspect and all is well!!! We are licensed!!!

Our opening day was Feb 13th.   So far it's been a lot of fun!  Meagan, Collin, and Kaitlyn are a huge help and they seem to really enjoy the little ones.  This is a blessing indeed!!!

So, in ending, here is a peak into the prep and the outcome...
Todd and Collin putting up the new privacy fencing.

Look how nice the fencing looks! Our yard actually looks bigger!
Todd and Collin replaced the fence that divides the play-yard from the pool yard

White rocks around our above-ground pool
Kaitlyn climbing the fence.

Thanks to Pinterest! We got a canvas drop cloth to make a curtain to hide the computer nook!
We used a puzzle piece to measure where to put the sewing pins.
The reading, music, and puzzle area with rubber mats and cozy pillows to sit on.
Lots of toys and the Rat... the babies love watching Lexus bounce around in her cage.

The children's play kitchen area complete with a stove, fridge, microwave, table, dishwasher and even a baby doll highchair.
The Picture wall. These were the kids' drawings from when they were little. We hope to add more in the future...
pictures that is :)
porch toys

Ride on and push toys
Our arts and crafts section. Mom found a really pretty hutch and we stuffed it full of artsy stuff!

Pinterest again! Ribbon on a tension rod!
Outside table... Todd drilled a hole in the middle and we stuck a beach umbrella in the hole to make some shade for the kids.

God has been good and blessed us with great children to babysit and great parents too! 
So, if we don't post on here very often... you'll know what is keeping us busy!!!
With love, The Boyles