music and slideshow

(MUSIC)

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We took so many photos that I thought it would be fun to put them in a slide show along with music to listen to if you would like, while you look at the pictures.

We had the party at my parent’s house “up on the hill” where mom and her sisters grew up.  We all have deep roots in this land, farm land, quiet country, woods, blueberries, birds, so many memories….all of it.

We had chicken BBQ (thank you Dave and Maria for all your work to make this happen!)

Kids played together as a pack; croquet, football, chalk on the driveway, running wild.

Mom was overcome with emotions a few times, just so happy to have all the people she loves the most with her.

One of my favorite memories was when sister Amanda and I were off by ourselves lost in conversation and Mom appeared wanting us back with her.  “You’ll have to leave soon and I want you with me!”

Cousin Erika made the birthday cake, I sure wish I had a piece with me right now while I write this post.

All she wanted for her birthday was her family.  And that’s what happened!  What a great day for a great lady.

Happy Birthday to our beautiful Cindy, Mom, Sister, Grandma, & Aunt.  You wear many hats and we’re thankful for who you are in our lives.

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(with a photo of her first birthday)

you’re part of my heart

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SUMMER
VACATION

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We went to the playground.

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The boys had friends over to play baseball, football, video games, fishing, swimming….

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If we should be so lucky
as to touch the lives of many, so be it.
But if our lot is not more than the setting of a table,
or the tending of a garden,
or showing a child a path in the woods,
our lives are no less worthy.
Kent Nerburn

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Grace and I went for a long walk through the woods, visited Sam-cat and the chickens.  She read to me the medicinal values of yarrow and elderberry, she chewed yarrow even though she didn’t have a tooth ache and said it made her tongue numb.  Mountain Laurel is in bloom and almost done.  We ate wild strawberries and sniffed deeply of wild roses.

I think this is how we’re supposed
to be in the world ~
present and in awe.
Anne Lamott

We went together to take our small visitors home and then to the grocery store where she is getting ready to work this summer.  I made chili and pasta for dinner.

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It’s fake blood.

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I sent Sarah upstairs to play while I worked in the kitchen.  When I went to get her for dinner I found her on the floor…fast asleep.

Summertime, fun and exhausting!

How was your day?

grace (graduation)

It was about a week ago now that I met a homeschooling family at one of my son’s baseball games.  The mom and I had a nice visit together as we watched the boys play and at one point Grace came walking by with her friend.  I stopped her and introduced her to my new acquaintance.  “Oh, I used to be homeschooled,” Grace offered excitedly, “I loved it.  I never wanted to go to public school but mom made me.”

Part of me cringed to hear these honest words.  However, after last night, watching Grace with her class and teachers, seeing her bright smile, how mature she was, how capable, her light shining bright, it all became clear to me.

She bloomed where she was planted.

She took a difficult change in her life and made the best of it.

She had ups and downs, more downs, a few more ups, on and on for the six years she was in school, rather like a roller coaster.

She had fun, tears, anxiety, sleepless nights, songs, dance, silence, wide eyed wonder, false friendship, true friendship, romance, responsibility, headaches, dizziness, academics, good grades, good books, teachers who were kindred spirits, teachers who were her second mothers, and through it all…….she had her faith in an unchanging dependable Father God keeping her steady.

She did it.  Rich and I could not be prouder of our daughter.

*******

A month or so ago I was feeling a little desperate about Grace leaving home so soon and mentioned, half teasing, that she might like to take a year off from college and just stay at home with us (me).  After all, she did start school when she was four and was younger than a few of the juniors this year.  “We would have so much fun, Grace!”  to which she replied (and I quote because I wrote it down):

“I know we would but. . . .we have all summer.  And I need to move on with my life.”

I just had to laugh with respect, happy to have a child this steady and focused on her goals.  I know how much she adores her siblings and depends on her parents.  The relationships within the family circle couldn’t be better, which is to say, perhaps this is the very reason why she is confident in moving on; her needs are met so she is not needy or clingy.  Plus it’s just her personality in general.  She’s forward-moving.

She’ll be attending Christian college in the fall about 5 hours from home (not too far), easy enough to get her home for the holidays.  I know she will have the time of her life there.

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For our small town, the class of 2017 was rather large and cars parked all over the the place outside in the parking lots AND out of the parking lots.  I drove up over the curb with my big mama vehicle and parked in the lawn!  Saving seats was a hostile experience!  But we all got squeezed in and you can see my view from the middle of the room. . . . . .thank the Lord once we sat down I found that I could see Grace if I leaned over to the right and then forward in my seat.

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There she is!

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Recognized with the other scholarship and honers students.

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waiting in line for her diploma

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two hours after walking in……the class left the gym to loud & happy music.

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(dear girl; Emily–our neighbor and also Ethan’s girlfriend’s sister…kids rode the bus together for years)

and now for the fun photos:

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With gratitude to the teacher who understands that some families NEED more tickets, Grace’s siblings were able to attend this year’s graduation ceremony.  (all 9)  Her two big brothers visited the old HS stomping grounds and saw some of their teachers and friends.  (I say “old” but Ethan just graduated a year ago, and Jacob the year before that).

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After getting through the crowd and out of the gym, we found our girl.

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Oldest girl with youngest girl; oldest boy with youngest boy.

 

 

friends

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adoring little sister

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One of “our other kids” Zak, also graduated.  He is a close friend of the family.

My husband coached him in wrestling.

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brother Dave

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W E N D Y ! ! ! !

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I had left my purse unguarded in the hall so Jacob collected it for me.  Brittany is another dear friend of the family and graduated with Grace.

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Caleb and Seth got through the night thanks to the kindle and…..cheese.  🙂

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Ethan with his girl.

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My daughter, my friend.

Love you, Grace…

How hard the battle goes, the day, how long;
Faint not, fight on! Tomorrow comes the song. ~Maltbie Babcock

 

 

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grace (class night)

The washer and dryer are going, and outside skies are clearing up after being washed clean from a night of rainfall.

A mason jar of wild flowers, freshly picked, sits on the kitchen island.

A collection of baseballs over there on the end table from a now-ended season of little league.

Parker the dog is sleeping, with his head resting against my leg.

I scrubbed something disgusting off the porch this morning.

Sarah’s stuffed owl on the coffee table.

A stack of stuff emptied from someone’s backpack.

shorts, a tank top, freshly washed hair, and comfy birkenstocks on my feet

*****

Today is the last day of school.

Last days are a tad heart-wrenching, aren’t they?

(I swear they each grew a foot this year.)

Thankfully, “last days”……. are followed by “first days”.

*****

Grace’s HS graduation is tonight.

Rich and I were away for five days, we returned last night just in time to go to the school for a fun “Class Night” put on by the Seniors, for the Seniors.  Grace looked so pretty marching into the auditorium with the rest of the students.  All the moms and dads looked and looked until their eyes rested on their own dear child. . . . . . . .suddenly on the threshold of completing all those years of school.  We couldn’t help but take the time to remember the years leading up to this day, as they grew from little babies all the way up to the 17 and 18 year olds that they are now.  Lots of love was in the room.

After a 30 minute slideshow, the kids put on one last talent show up there on the stage.

I sat between Jacob and Ethan and it was fun, but today, right now, as I watch these videos of the two songs Grace sang with her friends, I’m a big puddle of mama-tears.

 

Grace wore a long white dress with roses on it.

 

dishes n’ daisies

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I’m posting these photos today because my Aunt Colleen came home from an amazing cross country roadtrip with a bag all the way from West Virginia for me!  Guess what was inside of it?  A fiesta daisy plate!   She gave it to me when I was at her house this weekend and the first thing I did when I got home was tuck it in my collection; just right.

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Thank you, my friend!

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Wild daisies are just coming in bloom here in Connecticut and it’s hard to say which is my favorite; a handful of daisies or a fiestaware daisy plate.

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It was fun to take a few minutes to play with these colorful dishes in the midst of a busy morning.

“I will go pick daisies
and have a happy heart.”

 

at the present time

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“forever is composed of nows.”  Emily Dickenson  

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Now:  recovering from a mild concussion, “pink shorts/don’t care”, having fun with a neighbor-friend (who arrived wearing his shirt), fried chicken party from mom in the kitchen, swimming in the pond, lacrosse in the yard.

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Now: another summertime for romance

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Now: with a little adoring sister who loves her, too.

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Now: freedom to soar, to fly, to play

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to laugh.

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Now, with a faithful furry friend or two.

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Now:  time for graduation parties, a dear cousin, a loving family, and yummy food.

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Now, sisters.

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Now:  contemplating a secret recipe, sleuthing, enjoying.

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Now:  for oops and for trying your best to recover what you lost.

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Now: innocent childhood, cousins, holding hands, exploring magical places.

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Now is the time for youth, skipping stones, bare feet, a mama who adores you.

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Now:   a tire swing hung from an old apple tree,  and glow stick bracelets, and soft green grass.

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Now:  a trip back home to where your Dad grew up, climbing trees, flowers in the garden.

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Now: for memories, for listening, for fathers and daughters.

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Now; driving four hours to get back in time to watch your boy play baseball.

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Now; cheerful friends, watching the boys play, music, blazing sunshine.

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Now time to go home and fall into bed with that delicious “by God’s grace I did it all” feeling, and “it was very good”.

*****

And now it’s time for me to do lots of laundry in a ponytail, shorts and bare feet, with a dear son at home, thinking of the children at school taking finals, planning a graduation party, looking forward and not backward, reading and praying, talking to Jesus, a song or two, thankful always, with love all around. . . . . . .

Philippians 3:13   “… I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on. . .”

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I slept so good last night, finally, after a week of having the world’s worst cold ever.  I made it through the day yesterday with no nap (feeling better!), plus five miles of walking outside in the fresh air, two baseball games at the end of the day, trip to town for errands, weeding in the garden, cough medicine before bed, yes indeedy it all made for a wonderful night’s sleep.  I woke up with my face glued to the pillow I had slept so heavily.  It’s 8:30 and I still feel sleepy.  Delicious..

Kids are all in school, their last day is the 20th.

There is so much going on in my life.  So I haven’t been able to blog as much this week because I’m very distracted.  However, I did take some photos here and there throughout the week so I thought I would make myself sit still on the couch and post them this morning.  They are mostly nature photos.  The sun has been shining bright and we have two lilac bushes in bloom attracting the most beautiful little creatures. . . . . . .

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So I sit in front of the flowers in a lawn chair with my camera and it’s just the nicest time in the sunshine and perfume of the lilacs.

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I love the tips of it’s antennae.

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wildflower I smiled to see

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the purple ones smell like grape koolaid.  I’ve picked them and put them in the house for the most lovely of smells. . . ..natural air freshener at it’s best.

The peach ones smell good, too.  Thanks to mom for sharing her irises with me.

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Getting off the bus one day.

I sit on the bench on the side porch with a book and my camera next to me, ready to shoot anything interesting that comes along.

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Ugh…gypsy moth caterpillars are everywhere.

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This is a pretty little bird, my flash went off and the picture came out nice.  I like it’s eye and beak.

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A community of mourning doves at the end of the day…they were roosting together and cooing.

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see the green grasshopper on the pansy?

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It was raining outside, I was in the house on the phone with Tara, and took the photo through a window and porch railings.  Not bad!!! I love these birds (Northern Flicker).  They have stripes, polka dots, red, yellow. . .so pretty!  They eat ants and beetles and have been visiting our front yard to find food.

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so lovely (see the blue on it’s wing) –such beauty in a small bit of nature. . . .it’s wings flutter so quickly at times it’s hard to see the details, which is a nice benefit of photography!

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Sarah got new clothes, she picked them out of the miniboden catalogue.  I love their clothes and Sarah likes wild cats, reading about them, playing with her toy cheetahs and lions, so when she saw this shirt she just had to have it.  So this is what she wore to school yesterday, and even though she’s not partial to a top knot, I fixed her hair in one.  Adorable.  She didn’t know kitty was coming  . . . and then was so sweetly happy to hug him.

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Back of the shirt. cute, right?

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HUMMINGBIRD MOTH, one of my favorite visitors!!  They flap their wings so fast they are a blur.

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I threw something out on the porch at 8pm the other night and was surprised to see one “working overtime” in the dusky evening shadows flying around, dipping into lilac blossoms.

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The bumblebees were most amusing…there were so many the became territorial.  Flying, hovering, making contact with each other in the air, buzzing around.  Pollen looked like gold dust.  Wings as purple as the flowers.

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It was quite a challenge to be fast enough to focus my camera on a hovering bumblebee.

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last but not least…..I was at the edge of the woods at the end of the lawn and saw a chipmunk.

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It was busy eating a dragonfly!!

****

As I was typing the last sentences, and before I had time to edit, the school nurse called because Dave had hit his head in gym class.  He hit heads with a classmate, causing the classmates glasses to cut the classmate (he feels so sorry for that) and then fell on the floor hitting his head a second time.  So he has a headache and has to rest in a quiet room today. . . . . . .

I just hopped online to edit and publish again.  Happy Friday!

 

 

 

 

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