Do you think we should adopt this kitten to be our very own?
This morning, we picked up Brittnee on the way to the library and she brought the kitten to the car so we could all say hello to him. So far, my husband says “no”. To be exact, he threatened to buy a motorcycle if I brought a kitten home. It’s hardly fair.
When we arrived at the library, the girls were happy to see that two of their friends were there! They sat right down on the floor for a nice visit, and I must say, they weren’t exactly “library quiet” but who can reprimand young and beautiful readers like these?
I’ve been eyeing this book for a while…..
….so I added it to my stack.
When I was done picking out my books, I went and found Sarah.
And then I tried to sneak up on Seth, who was behind a bookshelf on some comfortable bean chairs. I asked him how he knew I was coming. “By your legs” “How did you recognize that they were MY legs?” “By your Converse sneakers.”
We (and our bag of books) left the library and went for a picnic lunch nearby in a most picturesque location. There were cows standing in the water on the other side of the lake.
(((Life is Good Together)))
“Everyone please eat as slowly as you can.” ~mom
“Because I want to enjoy myself.”~mom
When Grace was done eating she climbed way up high in a tree.
(I heard this song at the dentist with my son Caleb yesterday and liked it so much).
April 1, 2018
It was Easter Sunday and we decided to take a day of rest. Rich read resurrection Scriptures to us in our hotel room that morning and then we slathered on sunscreen, put on our bathing suits, and headed for the pool.
Oh I forgot to mention that Caleb and Seth tried to play basketball first thing in the morning but came right back to the room because “There is an easter egg hunt going on, there are eggs everywhere even on the basketball court.” I noticed Sarah (who was still in her pajamas and in bed) perk up at these words, so I asked Caleb to “hop like a bunny and go get Sarah an egg”. We all laughed hysterically as he hopped out the door as only Caleb can, and then 10 minutes later, hop back inside the room with an egg and his front teeth sticking out of his lips just like the Easter bunny. We affectionately call Caleb “Moose” for a reason, his bunny “hops” were more like heavy stomping earthquakes and he quickly hopped/launched himself off balance and into the wall as he tossed the egg to his sister. “They were all gone so I told a man I needed one for my sister and asked if he would give me one of his. There were kids with huge bags full of eggs.” Sarah opened her egg to find a grape-flavored hard candy and was thrilled.
Rich and I settled into pool chairs and very soon David was coming over to show me that he finally caught a lizard. (the round scar on his stomach is from a spider bite, chronicled on this blog about 10 years ago).
David was very curious about the wild life around the pool. Now and then a duck or two would fly over to see if there were any crumbs to eat. David tossed one a potato chip and we laughed to see it gobble it down only to bob his head up and down forcefully to bring it back up. It landed on the pavement just as dry as it had gone into his beak.
David also saw a bird spear a fish over at the lake and came to report enthusiastlically.
My heart bursts with joy that he comes to share things with me so often. I love to hear his stories and the way he tells them is always unique and interesting. I am an eager listener.
Sarah (in pink) quickly made a friend of a little girl just a year younger. Eventually I met the little girl’s mother. They had plans to go to a park that day but after seeing the girls swimming and getting along so well they ended up staying at the pool all day too. They had traveled to Orlando all the way from Ireland and it was fun to visit with the mom and ask her questions about her country.
We eventually made the girls get out of the pool to share a hot dog lunch together. Sarah didn’t want to get out of the water and made sure to let me know that she “wasn’t done swimming yet.” I was so glad to have gotten the children goggles before our trip because they had the greatest time throwing a little plastic card into the pool and diving for it.
Behind the pool there was a lake and Caleb was so happy to go fishing. He and Seth also played basketball for a while, too, and Seth was nicknamed “Seth Curry” by some other boys were were playing with them.
After Sarah’s great reluctance to meet Disney characters at the park, I was truly intrigued to see that she got out of her beloved pool to approach the Easter bunny. But on second thought, I decided that it had more to do with the eggs than the bunny. It was the most adorable thing to see her and her friend get out of the water and hold hands as they walked over to the bunny for an egg. All in all, Sarah managed to bring home about 7 or 8 plastic easter eggs.
I spent the day in my chair with my book, journal (pictured above) and various nice coffee drinks. The tallness of our hotel blocked the sun after a while so Rich moved to the other side but I stayed put. I would rather not roast myself; it was perfect in the shade and Rich always gets annoyed because I still get tan so much better than he does even though he stays in the sun.
Eventually it was time for dinner so we got all cleaned up and headed to a steakhouse for a good meal.
“Yeah but mom look, I’m not even in the picture.”
What is it with boys trying to look cool and thereby not smiling?
Handsome Caleb after a day in the sunshine.
Someone take away that soda!
The boys had steak dinners. I had crab legs and Sarah had spaghetti.
Even though we truly didn’t NEED dessert, the next thing we did was drive to a soft serve place for cones.
It was the kind of heavy cream soft serve that makes you feel full and sick after eating only half of it.
It was a good ending to a relaxing day.
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven–and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.
The Day is coming when you’ll have it all–life heal and whole. ~ 1 Peter 1
I smashed the screen of my iPhone last night when Rich and I were walking. I had whipped it out from my back pocket to check my steps for the day and it kept flying right out of my hand, landing face down on the road. It still works, but after a day of looking at it covered in hairline fractures it is a relief to be in front of my computer screen. The computer screen is so perfectly NOT broken!
Grace and I went to breakfast this morning after a morning of cleaning the house. Jacob stayed home and watched the rest of the kids. Grace and I took our books, of course. She is reading Mark Twain and I’m reading a biography of Jane Fonda of all things. (I recently read an autobiography by Doris Day, too) I found a new podcast to listen to that appeals to my “memoir” side, the side of me that LOVES learning about other people’s lives no matter how they lived it, which compelled me to pick up Fonda’s book at the library yesterday. The podcast is called “You must remember This” and it’s about first century Hollywood. Like most podcasts, not every episode is worth listening to but the few I have heard gave me a lot to think about in regards to the entertainment culture of that time period. There is nothing new under the sun!
One generation goes its way, the next one arrives, but nothing changes—it’s business as usual for old planet earth. Ecclesiastes 1:9
So anyways, we read and ate and then went to Goodwill where she found me a fiesta jumbo mug in cobalt for one dollar. I passed right by it! We shared a hug in the aisles of Goodwill. She found a cute little dress and I bought a few books, too. Then we went to the grocery store to get things for spaghetti because last night Rich came home and was so happy to step through the door into the house……to the smell of spaghetti. His eyes lit right up and he smiled big…….only it was roast pork and corn on the cob. So I promised him spaghetti today.
When we got home I put everything in the crock pot for a good sauce; homemade meatballs and chunks of sausage that David cut up for me, a big chopped onion, spices, and a big can of tomatoes.
Grace had her friends Brittany and Tessa over (who also happen to be Jacob’s girlfriend and Ethan’s girlfriend) to make homemade ice cream and I went for a power walk and was almost bitten by a dog. I was so scared. The owner was a very large man on his riding lawn mower who couldn’t be bothered to get off it and his dog (pit bull?) was not on his leash. The dog was following the man around as he mowed and then when he saw me, he ran full force at me, barking in a very scary way and came so close, I could feel it’s breath and mouth touch me as I clutched myself and stood very still…..I eventually got away while the large man simply yelled at his dog. The dog ran down the road at me a second time, barking. I didn’t know what to do. Should I call animal control and complain? The dog did everything but actually BITE me. When I had to turn around and walk back, I went into the woods to get past his house because I was so nervous. How ridiculous to have to do that!
Safely home now, and blogging from the chair in my bedroom. The house is completely clean; all beds made, bathrooms spotless, because the two maids came today (every Friday), dinner in the crock pot, so it feels extra wonderful to be able to relax. David is watching soccer videos on Youtube and the girls are upstairs now, visiting.
I’m posting photos today that I took last night when Caleb came in to say, “Mom come and see this”. I was tired so I said, as I got up off the couch, “This better be good.”
He was on stilts! Grace got them from Mrs. D at the HS when she helped her clean out the Drama Props Closet.
Thank you Mrs. D!
It was worth it!
David had to try. (you can see a small part of Caleb,too)
And there’s Sarah in her nightie ready for bed.
Big sis and big bro looking on……..
Seth wearing his watch that he got in his Subway kids meal.
Summertime + end of the day playtime outside = the BEST.
Parker is smiling! with his girl.
Sarah wanted to try getting on the stilts but I said “go put something on under your nightie first.” so she did, happily.
THIS beautiful sunset sky is the reason why everything was pink last night.
Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! Even if you live a long time, don’t take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour…….. Ecclesiastes 11:7 MSG
This picture is from a few days ago when it was raining. We had a squirrel come to visit stuff his little cheeks full of sunflower seeds.
I never realized how brown their heads are. I though they were all over gray.
A delegation of mourning doves.
I took a few hours to admire our sleeping buddies yesterday. They were on this chair together for most of the day.
David arrived home from school.
“Dave, you’re wearing all black today”
“Yeah, but I wore my blue hoodie to school instead of this black one because I didn’t want them to send me to guidance thinking I was depressed.”
This boy thinks of everything.
And he made the middle school baseball team! We are all so proud of him and can’t wait to see him play.
Parker the Dog is flat on the couch snoring as I type–tired from the morning. He helps get the kids off to school, you know, by barking when the bus comes and stealing their breakfast bagels.
This morning’s gently clouded striped sky.
This morning I attempted to scrub a marker drawing off Seth’s arm, “It’s not coming off,” I muttered, “Put it under the water,” he tried. No such luck, but it is lighter at least. We stood in front of the mirror and I styled his hair with rosemary gel as he squirmed and groaned. He’s wearing his baseball shirt; ’tis the season. And this is truly his technique; he either misses entirely or it’s a good big hit. “Don’t over swing, Seth!” is the advice he gets from his coach repeatedly.
We finished The Children of Noisy Village, by Astrid Lindgren. It took us a very long time to get through it because we had misplaced it for about a month and forgot about it; such is life.
A very dear book, however.
On the last page.
“TEN IS MY STUDENT NUMBER!” she explained in a loud voice.
“OKAY, THAT’S FINE,” I answered in like manner.
Our next book? One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Hope is a geranium about to flower for the first time in a year.
I started a new book last night and LOVED this quote:
“Children don’t know the meaning of yesterday, of the day before yesterday, or even of tomorrow, everything is this, now: the street is this, the doorway is this, the stairs are this, this is Mamma, this is Papa, this is the day, this is the night.”My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante, page 29
“Come in, — come in! and know me better, man! I am the Ghost of Christmas Present. Look upon me! You have never seen the like of me before!”
I’m going to be completely honest with you, by yesterday evening I was filled with glee because I was glad Christmas was over….and by “Christmas” I mean all the buying of gifts, wrapping, baking, cleaning, and so on. I really wish Santa WAS real, it would save me a lot of work. It’s fun and all, but only to a certain extent, and then the stress kicks in and you start to wonder if the gifts are okay and if they will be received with gladness and if the children will be healthy and then it becomes your time of the month on top of it all, which explains why you were grumpy that one night when the kids had friends over and it was all you could do not to go in your room and shut the door because your head felt as if it would explode…….
But then your husband helps you find the presents in all the secret hiding spots and tells you numerous times that you did a great job and gives you little kisses and it’s Christmas Eve and the boys keep trying to get up without ever even going to sleep and you say over and over to yourself in that still small voice, “remember these moments”…….because you know even if you do at this moment wish things were a little quieter– someday you just might wish things were back to chaotic for an hour or two. Maybe.
On Christmas Eve we crave cinnamon rolls and thanks to my friend April we also made orange rolls for the first time and boy were they heavenly.
I totally fell in love with The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’ve seen the movie through the years and have read the book a few times but this year I became a true and devoted fan of the story. It’s so rich and beautiful. It has everything; loss, darkness, greed, selfishness, ghosts, hauntings, music, bitter cold, snow, old city life, memorable characters, lessons learned, truth, love, nostalgia, joy, smiles, laughter, and a HAPPY ENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I read the book again, which of course is the very best way to experience the story, and then watched two of the movies and I watched them with as much full attention as I could (without my phone next to me).
And lest you think my opening confession was rather Scrooge-like, let me clarify that I wholeheartedly love Christmas for what it truly is supposed to be; giving and receiving, yes, but also heart and soul, togetherness, beauty, family and friends. Those are the qualities of Christmas that I love the most, & I know you do, too.
“For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.”
“He was consious of a thousand odours floating in the air, each one connected with a thousand thoughts, and hopes, and joys, and cares, long, long, forgotten.”
“I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
(Caleb was feeling under the weather and buried himself in blankets and pillows as he watched TV) soooo cute
Ethan is home from college and my heart is content to have all the children with us again.
waking up the sleepy heads
We unwrapped all the presents and then got ready for Church.
Seth had a candy cane in his mouth and Ethan had crest white strips on his teeth. I didn’t know this until on the way to church when I had time to study the photos and ask questions.
I thought Sarah’s Christmas hair was adorable. I put it in two pigtails, pulled the hair through half way, and then pinned on gold bows. She of course, hated it, but I told her too bad. And with a compromise, she didn’t have to wear a fancy dress.
My camera heart gravitates toward the child who doesn’t get to attend church with us during the school year anymore….it was so nice to see him in the pew as I looked over at my sons in a row.
Rich and Grace both had small parts in the service so they sat in front. To be honest, I made Rich come back to sit with me as his part wasn’t until almost the end of the service and I didn’t want to sit there alone without my husband the whole time.
Caleb got a hug…….
Sarah found a listening ear…………
Grace read from Luke chapter 2……….
Best friends and brothers in Christ.
(Michael took a photo of the family for me but I’m not going to post it until next month (year) because I never sent out Christmas cards, therefore I am sending out New Years cards with a family photo and I don’t want to show anyone the picture yet or it will be boring to send out in the mail).
After church I made a ham dinner and then was filled with the feeling that all was accomplished and I could rest. It was a most blessed evening of being so very relaxed with all the children around us.
I’m in the midst of the the book on top, which is something I bought a few years ago but just got around to reading. It is very very good (high quality writing). Sigrid Undset also wrote Kirsten Lavransdatter which is an amazing book. The rest of the titles are from my husband based on my explicit instructions.
How thankful I am through it all, for the blessings of our life, the warmth, the joy, the endless little surprises from living with children, and for most of all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the eternal life He has given. God is so good and we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses that prove all of what He truly means to us. I’m so glad He loves us just the way we are.
“I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”
“His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”
PS, Penny, I wrote this post for you. (because you encouraged me). xoxoxo loves.
I bought a book recently based on the recommendation of an author I thought I could trust. She raved about the book Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett, and consequentially, as soon as it came out, I bought it and read it. It was terrible. The best thing about it was the cover and that’s saying something.
This is just one example of what usually happens to me: I pick up a fiction book because it says “bestseller!!!” on it and then wonder why I can’t get into it. I thought maybe I wasn’t intelligent enough to understand the deep and hidden meanings/ideas that made a book a bestseller. (this still could be the case, I suppose)
When I read I want to get lost in the book. I want to get that feeling like “I cannot put this book down.”
If I get the sense that a book is trying too hard to be a book, I can’t read it.
The book has to be a book!!
My mistake was made when I subconsciously lumped *all of fiction* into one category…decided I wasn’t cut out for fiction….abandoned it….. and resorted to reading mainly memoirs. I have the best time with memoirs. I’ll always love memoirs. (For a while I thought I had a problem with fiction because it was “made up”….after all, memoirs are for the most part true, or based on, truth.)
I watched the movie “The Age of Innocence” and watching the movie provoked me to read the book (free with kindle). Ahhh, here was fiction to respect! The Hunger Games? Bah! Yawn! Sneeze! (actually, truth be told, I did like the first book, it was the 2nd and 3rd I couldn’t read.)
But why? Why did I enjoy The Age of Innocence and not Catching Fire? And how? How could I find these books, the fiction books, that I could read and respect? Certainly not by walking aimlessly around the fiction section at the library!
The answer came to me just the other day when I was in the depths of reading a most wonderful book which I had selected at random from a used bookstore. How on earth can I be enjoying this fiction story, I asked myself. It was written in 1942, perhaps that was the answer. Perhaps I have a problem with modern fiction. After all, I hated Commonwealth (for example) and that JUST came out. Perhaps the internet/online world destroyed the creativity and seriousness of the written word so that fiction works are no longer respectable? How very depressing!
Not at all. As I thought and thought about this problem, I finally realized and came to the conclusion that I was wandering around in the wrong type of fiction……
(I’m sure I should have realized this years ago, but whatever, I was too busy having babies.) I’m excited! what’s the point, you ask?
Look to the Mountain, as I researched it online, was a Pulitzer prize nominated book, and that was my light bulb moment. What could be more literary than a Pulitzer prize book? I quickly searched for the Pulitzer prize winners list and realized I had only read a few of them. Right then and there, in front of the fire place, I realized I had a lot of reading to look forward to.
The point is this; I am going to read all the Pulitzer prize fiction winners and not in any specific order because I’m going to search and find them all in second hand bookshops.
(insert squeals of joy here!)
I may even read all the runners up, as well!!
There is an awesome little used bookstore in Rutland, VT. My son Ethan’s college is nearby and when we drove him back on Sunday I went inside to look for my books. My Pulitzer books. I quickly found two: The Good Earth, by Pearl S Buck, and Ironweed, by William Kennedy.
But first I had to finish Look to the Mountain. Which I did, last night.
I just want to say….I highly recommend this book. It was the best book I’ve read in a long time, and it was reminiscent of another long time favorite, Hannah Fowler, by Janice Holt Giles. There is a special place in my heart for early American pioneer stories. Reading them makes me want to make stew over an open fire and put on a long full skirt. I often sighed to think, “I wish I could find another book like Hannah Fowler.” And I did! This one is even better!
410 pages of wonderful words…..woven together into a meaty, rich, beautiful book.
She stood at the top of the rise and she watched to the eastward….guessing between which two treetops would be the place where the sun would come. Then the sky grew too bright there to see the tree branches. The true gleam of the sun, it the first instant she saw it, was of the sun itself—and a long ways away from her. Then across all that distance it came into her eyes…and her eyes had to turn from it. She threw back her hood, and on her face was the morning. pg. 107