We spent a couple days up at my parent's house during our trip to UT. My parents have lived in the Cache for seven years. Although it isn't a house I grew up in, it's been fun to watch the next generation of kids gain fond memories and traditions when they go to visit.
There is always a great mix of work, play and visiting/eating. Sadly, we missed out on the harvesting because we were out buying a second car, but it's one of my favorite things to do - get in there with the sibs and do some work/service. It must bring Mom and Dad lots of joy and satisfaction remembering how we used to balk and complain at the word "work" when we were kids. Mom would say, "Now, if we can just work until noon..." (groan) But, look at us now! Josh expects to help rearrange furniture every time we visit - it's awesome.
The kids have been talking about Grandma's toys for weeks preceding the trip. Mom knows her toys, and has been accumulating them from DI for years. Yaks and the "shouljers" or Bug's Life guys, and Boo and the dolly dress-ups. It's like visiting old friends when they get to Grandma's toy room. *Are mine the only kids who refer to it solely as "Grandma's house" or "Nana's house"? I feel bad they discount Grandpa and Papa - I'm sure it's nothing personal, but there it is. Sorry, Dads.*
It's fun to see the special traditions that emerge with grandparents and grandchildren. I remember my Grandpa would take us on wagon rides around the neighborhood and for Aggie ice cream, and my Grandma would take us to sit on their little bench by the creek and tell us tales of water fairies. My mom started a fun tradition of "Grandpa's Secret Closet". The house came with a basement office, which has turned into my Dad's study. The door has a wooden woodpecker door knocker that you pull to knock. Needless to say, the kids love it. They each take a turn and have to knock three times, and then Grandma takes them in and they get to choose a toy. It's magical.
There's just as much to do outside as in. It was so fun to see the little kids learning to ride bikes and they have all gotten so tall! Each one is interested in different things, and it was fun to get to know their individual personalities a little better.
The adults were nice to teach the little kids how to hit a volleyball
How to shoot the ping-pong ball gun
That butterfly nets double as catcher's mits for the launched balls!
Or just be content to sit and visit.