Sunday, 31 January 2010

On being a Grandmother . . .



Grandmas are for stories
about things of long ago.
Grandmas are for caring
about all this things you know.
Grandmas are for rocking you
and singing you to sleep.
Grandmas are for giving you
nice memories to keep.
Grandmas are for knowing
all the things you're dreaming of...
But, the most important thing of all,
Grandmas are for love.
~Author Unknown

I became a Grandmother yesterday, for the fourth time!!! Yipee!! Little Luke was born at 3:37 pm Atlantic Standard Time, weighing in at a whopping 7 pounds 12 ounces. What a joyous occasion. I wish so much that I could fly right over and hold this wee little spirit in my arms, but alas . . . that will have to wait for July! It is a special feeling, this being a Grandmother. I am not sure I can describe it with any justice. You love your children and you do the best for them and are so proud of them . . . and just when you thought you couldn't love them or anyone else any more than you already do . . . they get married and begin families of their own and there are these new children to love and it is a love that is different than any other kind on earth. My heart just swells to overflowing with it, and I have no words that can adequately explain how I feel.



From the time my son told me that he and my lovely daughter in law were expecting a new wee one, I have loved little Luke, and prayed for him, as I do all my family. Now he is here safe and sound, I praise God for blessing us with this new baby boy, and entrusting his care to our family.

I don't have many memories of my own grandparents. My maternal Grandmother passed away when I was 6 and my memories of her are very limited, but beautiful all the same. My paternal Grandmother passed away when I was much older, but because of distance and a language barrier, I did not know her very well either.


My own mother was a much stronger presence in my children's lives as was their paternal Grandmother. I made a huge effort when they were growing up to make sure of this, with many visits home to visit, and telephone calls, etc. Now, here I am thousands of miles away from all of my grandchildren as well. I try to be as large a presence in their lives as I can be from over here, which isn't always easy, but I do hope that one day they will always know that I have loved each one of them dearly, and that they will have fond memories of me as the years pass. I do my best from afar, and hopefully it won't always be from afar . . .



Right now though, I am the present Grandma . . . the one who lives very far away, but who sends letters, cards and presents whenever I can. I make sock monkeys, and send them noisy drums and books that my sons can read to them, bed time Noddy's and other odds and sods.



I am also the praying Grandma . . . who covers them daily in her prayers and thoughts. Praying that they are safe, and warm and cared for . . . praying that they know how very much they are loved . . . by me . . . by their parents . . . by their Heavenly Father . . .



Praying that they are happy. Most of all.

I have four Grandson's now. Four lovely little boys entrusted into our family's care. I have held one in my arms, and I hold all four of them in my heart. Oh, I am so very, very blessed. You Grandmother's who are fortunate enough to live near your grandchildren, hug them especially close today, and give thanks to God for the priviledge of being able to do so. You are so very, very lucky.



I feel like celebrating! I think I will! Many thanks for all your prayers and happy thoughts over the past 24 hours. They surely helped!

Here's a little something that I cooked earlier this week. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of what I do at work. This was one of the main courses I cooked earlier this week. It went down a real treat with the ladies. This tasty dish would make the perfect celebratory meal . . . for Anniversaries, or special Birthday dinners, or . . . Valentines Dinner! It's not all that hard to do and with a bit of ahead of time prep, is ready and on the table in about 45 minutes! I hope you'll give it a go!




*Roasted Poussins with Cranberry Port Sauce*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

A great entertaining dish, which is not only very elegant, but easy as most of the work can be done a day ahead of time.
Be warned however, that these need to be started the day before.

For the Poussins:
4 Poussins
4 tsp of finely chopped fresh sage
4 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS unsalted butter, melted

For the Sauce:
2 cups low salt chicken broth
1/3 cup ruby port
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 TBS butter
1 TBS minced shallots
1 TBS flour
salt and black pepper to taste



First prepare the poussins. Using poultry shears, remove the backbones, by cutting along both sides. Set each half onto a cutting board and flatten by pressing down on the breast bone with your palms. With a chef's knife, split each in two along the breast bone. REmove the last two joints on each wing. Discard any deposits of fat. Arrange the poussin halves on a large rimmed baking sheet, so that they are not touching. Sprinkle with the sage, thyme and 1 TBS of sea salt and 1 TBS freshly ground black pepper. Rub this into the skin. Refrigerate, uncovered over night. Remove from the fridge one hour before you are ready to start cooking them.

Place the cranberries in a bowl. Cover with the port. Leave to macerate overnight.



The next day, about 45 minutes before you are ready to serve the poussins, pre-heat the oven to 220*C/450*F. Brush the melted butter lightly over the poussins. Roast in the heated oven for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfways through the cooking time. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

While the poussins are roasting, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until tender. Stir in the flour, and cook, whisking gently until it forms a thick paste. Strain the port from the cranberries through a seive into the pan. Whisk for about 30 seconds and then slowly whisk in the broth, adjusting the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer, whisking occasionally until the sauce is reduced by about one third. This should take 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved cranberries and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Just before serving, pour any accumulated juices from the poussins into the sauce. Serve the poussins drizzled with some of the sauce and pass any extra at the table.



There is a delicious Creamy Parsnip Soup with Ginger and Cardamom on offer today over on The English Kitchen!



18 comments:

Julie Harward said...

Oh. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU...THERE IS NOTHING LIKE BEING A GRANDMA! I JUST GOT BACK FROM SPENDING A COUPLE OF DAYS WITH SOME OF MINE...I'M STILL ON CLOUD #9. I SO LOVE BEING WITH THEM, IT REALLY MAKES ME HAPPY! THE DISH HERE LOOKS WONDERFUL TOO..HAVE A GREAT DAY! COME SAY HI :D

Suze said...

Congratulations to you, Todd and all your family. I am sure you will enjoy your new blessing to the max! My children enjoy the time they spend with my folks. It is wonderful to have grandparents in your life.

Pat said...

Oh Marie, I can feel your pride and your happiness, and rightly so! I had one grandfather until he died when I was 4 but I've been told I was his favourite! I didn't miss a grandmother because I had my Mum's oldest sister who was just like a grandmother to me, I called her Suki.
I know I am so lucky being able to see my grandchildren so often, they are all such lovely kids, and they all get on really well with each other and all love our family get-togethers. I'm sure another sock monkey will be winging it's way to Canada very soon! Love to you all, Pat xx

jenjen said...

Oh Marie! I am so happy that everything went well and your little grandchild came into the world happy and healthy! You SHOULD celebrate!!

Thanks again for being such a great friend!

XOXO
Jen

Tracy said...

CONGRATULATIONS, dear Marie! So very happy your grandson has arrived and all is well. So very thrilled for you & your family. A new baby, oh so sweet! Blessings to little Luke and to you all. Be sure to sneak in some time to celebrate, though I know you're busy this weekend...LOL! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS! :o) ((BIGGEST HUGS))

All things nice... said...

Marie,

Congratulations on the arrival of baby Luke. That was a lovely post and you are a wonderful grandmother.

All things nice...

LYN said...

WOO HOO CONGRATS MARIE!!
OH YOU LUCKY THING!!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are blessed as am I with grandchildren. I guess I'm a present grand'ma' too. Like you I do pray all the time for them. I'm glad little Luke arrived safe and sound and that all is well.

Kath said...

"Congratulations" to you and Todd and the proud Parents Marie,on the birth of your new Grandson.My first Grandsons name is Luke which I was given the honour of naming.I love LUKE.I know the feeling of not being close to them.I live close, but I do not see them as much as I wish I could.Family problems.Like you I pray one day I will be able to.God is Good.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Amy said...

Congratulations on your new grandson! Though I'm not a grandmother, I identified with what you said about making effort when your children were growing up to make sure their grandmothers were a part of their lives. I feel the same. I'm fortunate to live 2 minutes away from my in-laws and 10 minutes away from my parents, and my children spend a lot of time with both sets of grandparents. Getting to spend the night with either set is such a treat for my kids! I love that they are close to their grandparents. Grandparents are treasures... to be cherished!

Again, congrats! And thanks for following my blog!

Bonnie said...

Marie this is just a beautiful post. I love it and am so happy the baby has arrived. They must have had quite a time of it~glad all is well.

I adore that photo of you and your little guy! You look so happy. Can't wait for you to get over there.

I hope you don't mind but I added that poem to my Gramma and You blog. I am not sure if you have ever seen it but if not, it is at
http://grammaandyou.blogspot.com

This is great way to keep in touch with your grandkids from a distance and helps them to make the cousin connection too. You would be fantastic at doing something like this for your boys!

Love you so much...congrats!

Kitty M said...

Congratulations Marie, what happy news and a lovely way to end the week. I LOVE that you are called the Present Granny ... what a great title :-) xxx

Sybil said...

Welcome to Luke...Congradulations to his wonderful Grandma X We will all look forward to lovely photographs soon and then real update ones, come July x
Much Love sybil xx

Rachel said...

Congratulations Marie! Luke is especially blessed to have a Grandma like you. I bet you can hardly wait for July to get here. :) Glad your weekend is going well. xoxo

Mindy and Ernie's Clan said...

I am happy you have a new grandson!!! That is soooooo cool how you became a grandma for the fourth time! I wish you lived more closs to them. That would be more fun for you LOL
Thank you for leaving me a comment!
Hugs
cLaIrE

Grammy Staffy said...

Dear friend,
I am so happy little Luke is finally here. Now you have 4 beautiful boys to love. You had better get started on another sock monkey. They are lucky to have such a talented grandmother. I know that you are sad because they are far away....but at least they know that you love them. I can hardly wait until July to hear all about your trip to see them.

I know how blessed I am to have 3 precious grandchildren close by. I do hug them tighter and with more appreciation since I met you. I never take them for granted. I know having them near is a real blessing in my life.

David's four children are far from me but we still get to see them once or twice a year. My 6 grands in Utah I get to see more often. I wish that they all lived close but at least they are not as far as yours are and we get to see them a lot more often than you do. I am thankful for that.

I will hug Mindy's gang extra tight tonight...and think of you.

How did you survive this busy week. I have been praying hard for you. I know you are very tired but this good news today has probably given you new energy.

I love all the pictures you posted today. What darling little grandsons you have.
Congrats on # 4.
Thanks too for commenting on Claire's blog. She was so happy to have someone besides me leave her a comment.

I am sending love as always, Lura

Julie said...

Congratulations, Marie! Sweet little Luke is so lucky that you are his Grandma! Enjoy every moment of this new little life--how blessed you all are!

hoLLy said...

4 handsome little boys! what a lucky lady you are. hopefully you will be able to live closer to them someday soon. i look forward to being a grandma someday-some people don't because it means they have aged or whatever:), but it sounds so fun! i plan on enjoying every season of my life as much as i can and right now i'm enjoying being a mama of my 3 girls! and someday hopefully lots of grandkids!:)