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

-- Robert Frost

Friday, May 24, 2013

factual friday favorites

Okay ... not a favorite really to start with but ... my beautiful blue eyed grandmother spent the greater part of last week in the hospital having heart surgery.  

Regardless, she is our favorite so we worried our hearts out. Though we could not be there or even talk to her, we had to suffice with a digitally sent picture of the part of us that were home to wish her well and a speedy recovery.

I'm told, having been released from the hospital just Tuesday, she immediately went to have her hair done and spent the better part of today bathing suit shopping for summer.

And .. we are a rough looking lot after five o'clock.

This poorly out of focus picture just pushes the pause button for me.

These last days of school have really hit me that time is moving too fast. Next week, I will have two high school students and my baby-girl-fifth-grader will move on up into middle school. I'm not ready for that.

This boy still turns and waves at me at the door of the school. I tried to save the moment but didn't want him to turn around to see my camera rather than me with my smile and returning wave ... so this ... this is that moment before the moment and my sad efforts to never forget the time and place.

Celia was inducted into the National Thespian Society. A way more energetic group than those Spanish Honors inductees :)

We are bad teasers and never let up about her being a thespian .. because we are immature .. and it's a funny word.

Every Friday, Eliza likes to go to story time at the library. Some, because Mrs. Denise does fantastic crafts and activities, like last weeks tea party. Mostly, because she's made a friend named Mike who she talks about all. of. the. time.

We should probably get out more.

But we like Mike.

And he likes Eliza.

They have a lot in common ... like ... they both cut their own hair, hate baths and are super good at putting their own shoes on the wrong feet.

He's really smart and loves to whisk her away after the stories and crafts for a game of checkers. I worried that her inability to play might hinder his game so one day I sat close by to help her actually play. Mike promptly explained the rules to me which included some tower building and bumper checkers ... and I realized they had it all in hand and didn't need me after all.

This from my email in box. I'm pretty sure there are animal activists out there that would disapprove. But hey ... it's the country ...

I wonder what child social services would say if they'd heard Newel jest about a swap meet for children ;)

We have two female barn cats who are sharing in the feeding of ten kittens between them. They can't tell whose kittens are whose and quit trying, so both mothers just lay side by side and feed whichever kittens whenever. Sometimes, they take turns and one mother feeds all ten while the other skips off for awhile.

Janie calls it beautifully disturbing.

Though frowned upon by human mother's .. I gotta say they might just have something there with the tag team mothering idea .. if not only once in awhile ;)

Still, I paid a visit to the swap meet to put up an advertisement for kittens.

Someone was unloading a pair of peacocks.

I had to send Newel a picture and text, asking if we needed peacocks to wander with our chickens in the yard.

His reply was firmly in the negative.

But ... the guy that tried to sell me this hawk on a leather strap trained to hunt peasants?

Newel did validate that it would be cool whilst maintained his "No".

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "hawking one's wares."

Charlotte has been the worst sleeper lately. Here's an early morning effect of sleep deprivation. Bet someone is glad I caught my mistake. That oatmeal would be a doozy cuz that ain't the cinnamon.

She was so strung out on Sunday night. On the advice of a friend, I moved her bed out of my room finally. Low and behold, that girl slept in the dark, quiet, cool guest bedroom for thirteen hours straight.

And has never looked back.

Poor baby. We've been keeping her awake worrying that she might miss out on our party.

So much for thinking I'd loose less sleep if I didn't have to travel at night for feedings.

Now to establish a good sleep pattern so I can move her in with the girls.

Annie directed a play scene for her drama class student showcase. It was hard for her because she's generally pretty quiet and reserved around the other kids at school.  I love to see her do hard things out of her comfort zone. She did it beautifully.

Her bestest best friend -- who I've said before, I would keep as my own -- did an awesome job, too. She was all drama up there on that stage. 

My favorite time of the year is finally upon us.

We are in love with out door dinners.

This was Mother's Day TFD's (tin foil dinners over the fire pit). It was such a good Mother's Day. And I can't complain about a since, seein's how Eliza has wished me a Happy Mother's Day no less than four times a day every day.

Celia ran the sound and lighting booth in the high school play. She did fabulous and we supported her behind the scenes efforts by enjoying a night attending Holes.

She was very in charge ... though it was hard to get a picture of her working in the rafters in the dark to get those spotlights and sound effects just right.

I lost my phone charger this week and well .. when that happens .. sometimes magic does too.

And that's a fact.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

factual friday

on Sunday night ... cuz let's face it .. whose got the time?

When I was a kid, I watched a guy wrestle an alligator at the local county fair. It was just a little disillusioning to find out that it was a baby. 

Attempting to change this baby's diaper lately ...

Not much different than that spectacle and no longer disillusioning.

Annie performed beautifully in Alice in Wonderland as a chorus member playing a card in the Queen's deck and dancing in the Caucus Race. She looked like she was having the time of her life.

Dora's biggest fan .. and would be stalker.

Janie's musical program and she beamed like this through the entire thing. That stuff is right up her alley.

Mornings start like this.

I planned to be in the best shape of my life, write a book, hike a fourteener, join a rock climbing club ... all by my 40th birthday. Turns out all that other stuff was just too hard so I cut my hair instead.

No better way to celebrate than with these people.

And great friends who know me well enough to throw a small family party rather than invite everyone I know.

Mostly, I don't ever want to forget how those fat little thighs feel in my supporting hand as that soft baby leaned against me.

This favorite gift from my favorite friend of my favorite daughter named Annie. Seriously, I'm going to adopt her.

Celia was inducted into the Spanish National Honor Society.

There was some candle lighting and chanting. She got tickled at the thought of having joined a cult and her laughter made her snuff out her own candle.

That girl works so very hard.


Field day excitement.

Sunday walks and wagon giggles.

A little light reading on a fourteen year old boy's nightstand.

It's working because this window washer has won me over as a friend for life.

Looks like he'll need to do the insides again ;)

Some moments should be breathed in deeply. And that's a fact.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


We live in a competitive society.

Yes, there are plenty of team trophies for participation where every one's a winner .. accompanied by adult eye rolling.

But, by and large, our society is competitive and comparative.

We put three year olds on a soccer field and scream for success from the side lines. We wish for bigger houses. We push for higher grades. We aspire to better jobs. We want for improved experiences. We suck our lives dry with sporting and cultural practices. Why is she so put together, so patient, so polished, so creative, so .... SO?

We like to win.

And that's not all bad. Who doesn't want to be better, run faster, do more and improve?

As a former ballet company dancer, there came a day when I suddenly realized there would always be someone more aesthetic, more athletic, more talented, more energetic, just .... more ... than that girl staring back at me in the mirror. Always. No matter how hard I worked. The only competition worth anything would be that against myself.

Sometimes it's hard to remember that.

This spring season, Celia joined the girl's JV tennis team. Most JV high school teams are a spring board of competition for a Varsity slot. Ours was a no-cut team of girls who, having never picked up a racket, loved learning the sport together as a group of friends.

What's not to love about that? Playing just for fun. It lit a fire in each of them of excitement just to see themselves succeed.

I was asked to create a slide show presentation of these girls. Every time I whipped out my camera, they cringed in self conscious of their abilities.

On awards night, I had to send Celia with Christian as her cheering section due to another conflict. I was so darn sad to miss it but they had such a good time together. All dressed up for a banquet at our local tennis/golf club. They drove out of here full of eager grown-up responsibility.

On their return, my first words were, "Was our presentation better than the Varsity? Did we look good?" -- before I could catch myself.

I cringed with guilt.

Because all of those girls are examples and a reminder to me of what it's like to love the doing of something. And man alive did they have a good time in the doing of it.

It almost brings me to tears to see them stand where the only competition was internal.

And to them ... nothing else mattered.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mother's day

There are times when others say everything in my heart so much better than I.

This link for a great relate .. for better or worse.

And this for amazing gratitude:

Happy Mother's day to my mothers, my grandmothers, my sisters who are amazing examples of mothers to me, to mothers I have come to know far and wide, and to all those who mother my children in every way when I fall just a little bit short of myself.

I love you and am grateful everyday to have been put in your path.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

18 years

I remember standing in that first year and thinking that those with eighteen, nineteen ... twenty years of marriage, under their belts had been together an immense amount of time.

Doesn't feel so huge now.

It is a little funny to realize that I've had him as long as his mother had him. I think that makes us equals now :)

I know that there are a lot of marriages that don't succeed or struggle to under the best of circumstances. I'm no expert and we're definitely not flawless. Why ... we even had our own little speed bump last weekend, leaving me wishing I could return him to his mother ;)

But .. I am a firm believer in this this little gem :

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities." 

That sums it up. If ever I am lacking in one of those above points, I'm quickly reminded I've got to get back to that "work" portion mentioned.

When both sides work equally and unselfishly ...

When we put each other first above all else (even children and I know that's hard to grasp!) ...

When we evaluate and supply what the other one needs ... and I don't just mean flowers or foot rubs, though those are nice once in awhile ...

When we communicate all of this between us ...

All else sure seems to fall right into place. A lot of work and not a bit of it easy.

And eighteen years of "worth it". Happy Anniversary!