Aren't grandparents great! I LOVE watching my mom with Vincent. It warms my heart.
I wish we were there! -- Michael
About the pictures...it is all the camera. I have a Canon Digital Rebel EOS and I love it. I usually use the portrait setting. I did take a photography class in college that helped and I think some places offer seminars for free. I enjoy changing the images to B/W or Sepia in Photoshop too. You have a good eye so you are going to have a blast with the new camera!
Great pictures -- tell your mom and dad too. So glad your Texas grandparents are getting to spend some time with you! :)