ordinary morning, I love you

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Exciting!

We have three black swallowtail chrysalises in our butterfly nursery and the first one emerged today and unfolded its wings.

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

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homemade rolls, warm from the oven

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There’s the pretty-pretty pinterest way (which I love)….and then there’s the “I took old bread down to the chickens and used the empty bag to gather the eggs” way.  (which I also love).

Happy Monday, friends.

You are loved. 🙂

It’s ordinary to love the beautiful,
but it’s beautiful to love the ordinary.

an anomaly

I waited for two hours this morning while my vehicle was serviced; oil changed, tires rotated, a latch fixed, vacuumed, and washed.  I read a book the entire time so now…….I’m sick of reading and have some free time to….blog.  I have all kinds of lovely little stories to tell.

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Starting with our son Jacob, who is a college football player now.  He LOVES school, is keeping very busy, and is also keeping a pet fish alive in his dorm room.  He had several football games this weekend, one of which was shown live online.  Rich hooked his iPad up to the TV and we all sat and watched it, keeping our eyes peeled for number 88.  And I was thrilled when we finally saw him!  I just had leap off the couch to take a crappy picture.  ((It’s beautiful to me.)) Seth asked me to print it so he could hang it on the wall in his room.

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On Sunday, Seth had to be at the football field at 9:45 in the morning and Caleb had to be there for 2.  However, Rich was preaching and the game was away, so I had to take both of them with me, meaning Caleb was over 4 HOURS early for his game.  It was a hot autumn day, very dry.  Perfect “baking” weather.  Caleb was in the sun so long that by the time he had HIS game (at 2:30) he was much slower than usual.  In fact, our team did win, but most of the boys were a little “off” from overheating.  I took this picture just as Caleb was saying, “Dad, next time coach says I can’t get here too early.”  LOL

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MONDAY NIGHT football was on TV.  My children were in a clump on one part of the couch.

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While their dad gave me a foot rub on another part of it.  I love Monday night football!  🙂

(He was have a conversation with David about why David wasn’t waking up on time in the morning….Dave was blaming his alarm …….because it’s NEVER his fault, right?)

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I recently rediscovered this photo of me and the children (before Seth and Sarah were born).

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Sarah had her things all set up for playing with marbles but then she left for school and Sherlock the cat walked over and had a turn.

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Chickens enjoying leftover morning cereal and milk.

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why kids, why????

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I couldn’t stop myself from buying mums (and ornamental grass) for the garden.  I also put Rich’s old riding tractor from when he was little in the garden.  I found a “pretty plate” garden decoration, too, which includes a chartreuse luncheon plate (Fiesta!).  I did some weeding and Gentleman Gray the cat got some on his face while he watched.

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Last night, Rich and I watched the boys practice football.  I love watching them (kids and coaches) so much that I sometimes get tears in my eyes.  They have such fun out there.

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THIS MORNING……a brief quiet moment, trying to wake up, before I left for the car appointment.

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The FED EX truck came and dropped off two storage bins that we ordered from Costco.  My hope is to contain sports stuff (one for football, one for wrestling).  And so on.  Rich and the kids get to put them together later!!  (have fun, honey!)

Also, we recently had our side steps extended on the porch. (not painted yet)

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I went to a thrift store after the car appointment.  This was in the same plaza outside of a yoga studio.  Since I had finished my book I left it behind on the shelf.

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Well, after the thrift store shopping I was hungry so I cast my eyes about the plaza and only saw a Vietnamese place.  “No”, I thought.  But then……

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“Yes”, I decided.  And I sent a picture and a text to our family group chat.

“The menu makes me cautious.” said Ethan

“Hmmm, adventurous?” said my husband

“In my own very small way,” I agreed.

and then

“What is their compelling differentiating advantage that made this place stand out to you?”  asked Jacob.

“It was right next to the thrift store.” I replied.

“It had good reviews on YELP.” I continued.

“and I was able to read the menu on YELP.” I further explained

“Okay, so your unconscious need was food, and they revealed that to you by placing themselves in a convenient location where shoppers go.  Their feature is that they’re a sit-down restaurant, their advantage is that they’re close by, and the benefit is you will no longer be hungry and you’ll feel good about yourself for supporting a small business,” Jacob texted, “These are my thoughts as I leave my sales class.”

And then Rich replied:  “But if they were not near the thrift store no matter what they had on yelp or what their menu said they wouldn’t have had a chance.  Your Mom’s not a good business test case, Jake.  She would be an anomaly in a field of data points.  And absolutely special beautiful one–but still an anomaly.”

I laughed all the way home about being “an anomaly in a field of data points” as they continued to banter via text messaging.

I eventually texted, “I think everybody should just shut up.” but no one listened.

MY VIETNAMESE COLD CUTS SANDWICH WAS DELICIOUS!

It had pork belly on it.

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When I got home, I washed my thrift store purchases (mama and baby tiger) and put them in the girls’ room.

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And found my cat—can you believe it–in the same spot I left him….4 hours ago.

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hershey park

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After we left Grace at college, we drove a couple of hours to Hershey, PA.  Rich and I had both visited the park when we were kids and Rich especially was excited to go back to the place of such fabulous childhood memories.  We went two days in a row so we could do everything.  The weather was gorgeous and there were crowds and crowds of people, but the park was big enough that it didn’t seem too bad.  It was fun to people-watch.  It was fun to eat chocolate.

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I thought the flowers behind Rich and Caleb were so pretty.  (I took all the photos with my iPhone.)

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(P.S.  Our anniversary is on Saturday.  )

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We went on rides all morning and then went to the water park.  I changed into my suit, but stayed on the side lines in a chair and read a book, which was really the only thing I wanted to do at that point.  The kids were able to stay together as there was only one entrance and one exit out of this section of the water park.  Rich took a nap next to me (he can sleep anywhere) and then he took the boys on the bigger water rides.

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This was when then came to the fence to complain about something.  LOL

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The water was so cold.  Seth had trouble staying warm, but Sarah was like a fish and stayed in the water the entire time….over 3 hours of swimming and enjoying all the neat fountains, slides, and so on.  She LOVED it.

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I was glad she had a bright bathing suit on….she was easy to spot.

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There is a magic to amusement parks, don’t you think?

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Cotton candy was on their bucket-list.

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That night we went to a pizza place, it was much later than we usually eat (around 9pm). The kids were good and hungry and a little sunburned.  I was absolutely enthralled with the very old man I could see working.  This pizza shop was obviously a family affair.  So I slyly took his picture and felt like a sneak doing so, but I wanted to remember that someday when I’m 90-something years old, I can still work.  🙂

(He was busy putting new sodas in the cooler).

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Never did a pizza taste THIS GOOD.  We ordered two and left with only one piece left.  It was thin crust, cheesy, hot, and perfect.

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The next day at the park, we began our visit at the chocolate tour.

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My mom has a little cookbook with this picture on the cover.  I used to love looking through it when I was little, just like a picture book for children, I would study each photo and recipe.  Years later, when I was a grown up, I was happy to find a copy of my own at a garage sale.

Of course I texted her this picture, too.

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“eight wholesome roasted almonds”

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chocolate, chocolate, everywhere

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chocolate of all sizes

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KISSES !!!!!

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And then, back into the park for another day of riding on all the rides.  One of which was such a scary roller coaster that Rich went on it alone.  I let the kids get their face painted as we waited.

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It was a huge mistake for Seth, because by the end of the day nothing was left of his Panda-face but the black around his eyes.  He looked like a zombie.

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I think the zoo was one of our family-favorite parts.  We studied every single animal…snakes, owls, everything.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.

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On a train ride together while the boys rode “the claw”.

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She was soooooooo cute!  She had no fear whatsoever.  The kids were good sports.  It truly was a wonderful experience for us.

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Merry-Go-Round with my girlie.

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She was full of encouragement for this one last ride of the night; the Scrambler.  (I get nauseous on the spinning rides).

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That night we ate at a diner next door to the hotel.  And I finally got a good picture of my darling handsome Seth.  He really is a mama’s boy and the adoration is mutual.

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Tasted so good after a day in the park, especially the juicy fruit.

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Caleb’s burger.

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We went back for breakfast the next day and this is how they served my raspberry muffin–queen style.

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so handsome.

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On the highway we found ourselves behind a tractor trailer which was shedding feathers…white feathers…we were curious so Rich sped up.  It was FULL of chickens.

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When we got home, David wanted a pizza right away.  I think he missed me pizza.

interesting things for an original girl

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“…use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.  For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence:  

Love others as you love yourself.”  Galations 5

*****

I went and got my nails painted dark bright pink today.  They are soooooo pretty!

House is clean and Caleb should be home soon and then an hour later the little kids will be home and then. . . . .David has his very first soccer game!  So exciting.

I want to post the photos we took when we took Grace to college.  It’s been a few weeks now and yes it is strange to not have her presence in the home. . . .we miss her.  But those feelings of “missing” are balanced nicely with feelings of “so proud of you.”

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We drove the truck as she had lots of stuff.   She arrived before her roommate did and we were greeted by a nice group of people who promptly carried her things inside for us.

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This cozy communal living room is just outside her dorm room.  I imagine lots of fun will be had here all school year long.

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In no time at all, she had her things put just where she wanted them.

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So many times she has stood in the gap for us as big sister/babysitter when necessary, and they have a close bond.  They know she loves them.

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I say this all the time to the kids only I say it in modern English:

“You’re going to be fine.”

I feel that I must try the medieval way next time.

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I told her if she ever feels lonely to just go to the library and….. “all shall be well, all manner of things shall be well.”  After all, her mother has been dragging her to libraries her entire life.

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Meet the roommate!

Bless them.

*****

The college is close to where Rich and I grew up, so we have some connections to some of the people.  When I was a little girl, my young parents spent a lot of time with an older couple from church.  Our families at that time became very close and they had an older, teenage son who was such fun, my brother and I adored him.

Well, all of these years later, through our FB connections, we found out that our kids would be attending college together.  Literally, as I was moving in Grace, I went on Facebook and “randomly” discovered that Mike was moving in his son Caleb at the same time.  So of course we had to meet up later!

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*******

Rich spent the entire next morning with Grace continuing to help her out with last minute things like what to do with her iPhone that she dropped and smashed right in the midst of moving in.

And then we had to say goodbye for a little while.  (Although we are always only a text away.)

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One last family photo in the parking lot of the school.  Makes me laugh out loud.  I am being motherly and “helping” Caleb get in the photo.

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“Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.  That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse.  We have far more interesting things to do with our lives.  Each of us is an original.

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Grace, you’re an original!  And I love you.

snippets

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Dryer is humming.

Lights are on; it’s 5:30, very gloomy, and raining.

When cars go by they splash up rain off the road, a lovely sound.

I made chicken and dumplings for dinner.

Seth got mad at Sarah because she started to give him a candy and then took it back.

The coffee table is covered in books and toys.

I finished a book today, and started another.

Sarah acted so guilty as she walked by me that I asked her what she had in her hands.  It was a package of crackers, a package of fruit snacks, and a granola bar.  “I’ll drink some water after.”

Caleb watched numerous youtube videos of football clips when he got home from school.

Seth liked dinner for the second day in a row and gave me a hug.  “I’m on a roll this week,” I tease.  “You’ve been on a roll with me since I started eating your dinners,” he replies.

I tried calling Rich but he didn’t answer and then he called me back later to make sure everything was okay.  Practice is cancelled so he might take the boys for haircuts later.

I took David to the orthodontist this morning, and then drive-thru breakfast.

Then to high school—–HIGH SCHOOL!

I found a vintage fiesta teacup (no saucer) for 50 cents today.

I took a newly hatched butterfly outside.

Seth and Sarah are busy running a bath, for their stuffed animals.

This was after I said “no” to washing the cat.

They are calling it the Shower Pet Shop.  

There is a pile of shoes and backpacks by the door.

Mail on the counter.

I heard from Grace today, briefly; she had a quiz in math.

And Ethan got an “A” on a paper.  He had interviewed his Dad about being a Manager.

Rich says it’s his first college “A”.

I think Caleb fell asleep in his room.

I know David did.  I took his picture.

I normally don’t allow 5:30pm naps.

But today it just seems right.

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brimfield again

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We live about 40 minutes from the Brimfield antique show so I will have at least one post a year (I think this is the second one this year) regarding the show…..it is just so fun to drive up in the morning, walk all over the place, eat lunch, and then come home.

Especially if you’re with a sister or two.

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This reminded us of our own Aunt Mary.  ❤

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Amanda found a nice green table with glass inserts right away for only 40 dollars so we walked it back to the car.

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I saw a few pieces of fiesta that I wanted to buy, but I decided not to because I have so much already……

Apparently I can show restraint now and then.

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She loves sunflowers.

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We thought this was neat…someone “carved” these tins into Halloween jack o’ lanterns.  They will look neat with a light inside.

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Amanda bought a wool blanket.  I found three wooden bats for Seth.

And, I bought this little xylophone.  It makes a very pleasant musical sound.

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We had lunch right there at the show (hot buttery lobster roll for me!) and then headed home, stopping at the thrift store in town and the diner for ice cream cones on the way.

rainbow!

Yesterday we had drizzly cold rain for 12 hours straight and I was outside in it, under an umbrella, during two football games (for the boys).

By 6pm we were back at home, and to my amazement, the sun started shining through the rain.  I ran to the window and bent my head to take a good look, up up into the sky.  Would there be a rainbow, too? …..and….yes!  Blessings upon blessings.  Praises and calls of “come and see!”

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My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky…
~William Wordsworth