Five grandchildren in the fold this week makes for one crazy week at the Probst homestead. My older sister and brother-in-law had grandchildren first and started their “Cousin Camp” a few years before us. We more or less stole the idea, and started “Camp NaniPoppie” shortly after our first grandchildren were born. This is the fifth year to hold camp (or court, as it sometimes turns out during the week).

When our kids were young they spent a week at each of their grandparents’ homes during the summer. My sister, however, thought it was a good idea to have all the cousins together at one time so that those relationships could grow.

All their grandchildren live in New Braunfels now, but they didn’t when they started their camp.

Our grandchildren live in different cities – two in Frisco, and three in Galveston. When Camp NaniPoppie 6 rolls around next year there will be three grandchildren in each of those cities.

Our grandchildren range in age from one to five (almost six). There is no way we could handle that size crew without a little help. The first three years we did it on our own. The past two years our oldest daughter has been in town to watch the babies when we go out and do “cool camp things” with the older three.

The camp will definitely evolve during the next few years, as the grandchildren get older. In the meantime, we just hold on and enjoy the ride.

Dad’s birthday

Thanks to everyone who sent my father emails and cards. He was still exhausted a few days after his surprise birthday parade Saturday morning at their (nursing) home in New Braunfels.

I thought I blew it when he called me asking if I knew this person, or that person, from Rockport who had sent him an email.

I had to come up with something quick, noting I had mentioned his big 90th celebration in this space. Luckily, he didn’t suspect a thing, and my mother was able to keep it a secret and help gather addresses, phone numbers, etc. of people we needed to contact from his years in the ministry.

The original plan was to have a big party at the nursing home, much like we did when my grandmother (my dad’s mother) turned 100 while living at the same nursing home.

Again, it was hard not being able to hug my dad on his birthday, but I’m sure it was harder on him having to talk to his family, and to wave to friends, through a pane of glass.

The smile on his face, as people passed by honking (probably disturbing all the other nursing home residents) will be etched in my memory forever.

We are just hoping all this COVID-19 stuff is behind us when my mother turns 90 in November.

Until next week, have a good week … and let us all pray the asinine idea of some wackos to defund police departments does not come to fruition. That will go down as one of the stupidest ideas in history.

Mike Probst can be reached at

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