"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Friday, April 29, 2011


My teens can't stand that word.  Me neither.  We used to laugh when our dad used it to forewarn us of dangers in future dating.  Then again, my teens dislike all my directions of conversation these days.  Like it or not, hand holding leads to hugging, hugging leads to kissing, and kissing leads to ....  

However, whatever the lead up to my love affair with summer, I do so adore the tantalizing titillation of the world turning green.  

In the end, it makes it so hard to go back to just holding hands.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28th -- A good day to turn 11

Did I fail to mention it's birthday week?  Three in one actually so we're not done yet. I really tried to have these girls on my birthday two days from now, simply so we could all forget it was my birthday and just celebrate them.  I blew it.  Now we just eat lots of cake the last week of April and walk away looking for our fat pants.

My mother says that families with birthdays clumped together can be very telling. Like her long, cold winters resulting in our family's shlew of July birthdays.  I guess my summer's end was riddled with grand finales.  You might not want to think too hard on that.

11 reasons why Annie is the grandest of the grand:

1.  Her laughter.

2.  Her creativity.  This girl is the Macgyver of art.  She can make something beautiful out of a paperclip, Q-tip, and piece of string.

3.  She's the bestest frienemy in the entire world.

4.  She can slam a door like she means it.

5.  Annie looks around her to fill other's needs.  There's no asking.  She just sees what needs to be done and goes for it.

6.  Her mothering skills far surpass her years.  When I'm feeling like I'm not sure why I'm trying so hard, a comment like "I can't wait to be a mom like you someday!" puts the wind back in my sails.

7.  Annie is a helper.  What she wouldn't give for ten minutes in the kitchen alone just helping with anything I need.  It swells my heart every time.

8.  That girl can share.  And share everything she does.

9.  I love her tender care and concern for her sisters.  She is their second mother and loves them like none other.  I love how she gathers them around her and tucks them under her wings protectively.  

10.  Her imagination is infectious.  It all starts with a story, and then throw in some props and next thing you know, we're all involved in a play of her creation.

11. Could I ask for a more beautiful girl inside and out?  She's dedicated to the important things in life.  Family, learning and making the world a brighter place.

It's certainly brighter for me because you are a part of my life.  Happy birthday, Annie!  I'll always be grateful that you made the opportunity to be your mother so full of love, light and laughter.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 24th -- Janie Turned 9

There are two ways to look at it.  Feel passed over when a birthday falls on a holiday or feel totally celebrated that the hoopla of a holiday coincided.  I think Janie will always remember the year her birthday fell on Easter Sunday.

She declared it the best ever.  I couldn't love more that she was so utterly thrilled to receive as her gift, a new dress made by her mother from the watermelon fabric I caught her coveting time and time again.  She's so happy with the simple things in life.

Nine things to celebrate our nine year old girl:

1.  She took us from "parenting 101 to parenting 505".  There are things to be learned from children with a lot of spunk and boy, has she upped our patience, negotiation skills, and reasoning.  We're better at what we do because of her.

2.  Every family needs a policeman.  She's ours.  Where would we be without her?

Probably walking around with dirty hands in a house full of un-flushed toilets.

3.  She's a very best friend.  The best any could ask for.

4.  I love how she loves having a baby sister who lights up when she's around.  Last night, I listened to the two of them say "I love you'' back and forth from bed to crib, crib to bed in the dark after I'd left their room.  I didn't want to loose that moment ever.

5.  She has come so far this year from some of our past power struggles.  I love the times we sit to discuss a difficult situation and the "reasonable" light comes on and we understand one another.

6.  Janie is reliable.  That girl has her room cleaned, bed made, chores done, homework finished, planner signed .... she's orderly, on time, and dedicated with no second asking. 

7.  Janie stands up for what is right every time.

8.  I just love that toothy grin.  It's contagious.

9.  And she has a love for the simplest of things.  Family movie nights, crafting with sisters, walks at sunset, reading together ... she and I were cut from the same fabric, so to speak.  That gives her a soft spot in my heart always.

Happy Birthday, Janie!  Our family wouldn't feel complete without you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eastering II ...

Here's to continued laughter over Janie's dislike of candies containing a "compressed bread center". Sorry malt companies.

"Hand-me-down" purses as easter basket gifts.

And hoping they never get too big.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eastering, Part I...

Traditions are what bring us together in memory even when we are far apart.

I hope every Easter brings a memory of good times spent as a family and a longing to be together far after our birds have flown from our nest.

To me, that is the beauty of Easter and it's promises.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Brush your teeth, comb your hair

Commemorating a good week of all things teeth and hair.

A first tooth lost and an on the ball Tooth Fairy.  A good day.

Six kids, six dental hygienists, no cavities.  I love tying up their entire office working on just us.    I don't love arriving late while tying up their entire office waiting on just us.
This time ... on time ...  a very good day.

Best school crazy hair day ever ... an exceptionally good day.  

And just cuz she's cute ... making every day a good day.