weekend reports

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Can you believe it’s only 55 degrees here today?  We woke up to rain, not a nice summer rain, but a very chilly rain.

A hummingbird landed wearily and cold on the porch feeder and just sat there for a while….too cold to move.

My friend Kathy came over today with four of her five children and it was a fun visit with pizza.

These photos are from over the weekend.

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We went to the library and then the park.

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We went from the library to the park to the coffeeshop.

The view from the coffeeshop window is always interesting.  A train went by while we were there, too.  Sarah sat across from me with an apple juice, reading a book about wolves.

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We foraged for berries.  Sarah and I.

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She gave them all to Grace.  (she adores Grace).

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Someone brought a toady toad inside the house.  He visited for a minute and then went back outside.  His skin was so dry and bumpy.  A proper toad.

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Seth stuck this on his sister.

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I sat on the couch with my cup of coffee and a cat promptly got on my lap and the dog quickly followed to sit by my side.

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what a spider!  It’s legs are so very straight and yes it’s on top of pond water!

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At the coffee shop again the next day…with Grace, Jacob, Ethan, Zak, and Sarah.

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I was looking for something to put monarch caterpillars in and we found this aquarium which I brought home and scrubbed and polished clean.  I layered dirt and stone on the bottom and then moved in the baby caterpillars, about 15 tiny ones and two big ones (one is already dangling from the top).

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This is a caterpillar just newly hatched and eating milkweed.  It’s an amazing year for monarchs and I’m just so pleased.

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Seth jumped (flew?) onto Caleb’s bed and hit his eye on the bookcase (the bed is pushed against a wall of bookshelves).  Rich and I were both sleeping on the couch when Caleb brought his brother to us, “We have a problem.”  I woke up, took one look and woke up to tell him he would have to take his son to get stitches.  I am so thankful it happened on a Saturday when Rich was home and even more thankful that Seth’s eye was okay.  It took SIX stitches to close the wound.

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While they were away at the hospital, David gave Jacob and Ethan tattoos with Sharpies. Maybe he will be a tattoo artist?

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And then when they came back we all hung out on the front porch watching the older boys and Rich kick a soccer ball.  They were trying to kick it way across the lawn into a garbage can.  Seth didn’t want his face photographed.

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On Sunday Jacob and his friend taught astronomy (earth, moon, and planets) in Sunday School, as a lesson on the amazing handiwork of God.  Jacob was a natural and was able to be himself in front of a room full of people of all ages.

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Sunday afternoon photo-update on Seth’s face.  (he hit his nose and cheek at the same time).  He was still sore all day yesterday and asked for pain medicine but he’s better today.  He can’t get the stitches wet for a few days but they are the dissolvable ones so that’s a relief.    He and Caleb skipped a football practice and we all went downtown for ice cream on Sunday night.

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THIS MORNING Sarah joined me on the porch, we watched the rain and she held Gentleman Gray on her lap while I drank coffee.

I am tired.

 

madame moth

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One evening this week I went into my room and found a large brown moth playing a rather dangerous game of tag with the ceiling fan spinning over my bed.  I quickly turned the fan off but the moth continued to fly around like something crazy so I turned off all but one of the lights in the room.  The moth gravitated toward it and settled down on a closet door.  I was able to get a photo and then attempted to trap it under a large glass in order to take it outside where it belonged.  However, Madame Moth had other ideas and escaped the glass with fluttering wings…..to my shoulder.  I did a quick, sly shuffle, while squealing, toward the door but alas, it vanished off my shoulder and disappeared.  For the remainder of the night I found myself absentmindedly brushing at my hair and clothes.  I hadn’t seen the moth fly away and felt as if it were still on me somewhere.

The next morning……….

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I found it on the light pink curtains in the bathroom.  The curtain rod was one of those spring loaded kinds that can be adjusted between the window frame so I took another photo and then pulled the entire curtain down and took it and the moth outside….where it belonged.  We have a large wrap around porch and I put the curtains on the quiet side, away from doors and activity of people and pets, on a small table.  The poor moth was so still and silent that I wondered if it was even alive.  I checked on it throughout the day and it never moved.  I felt badly that I hadn’t been able to get it outside the night before when it was so obviously full of life.

The next morning…….

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It was gone, all but a single leg and 11 chartreuse colored eggs.  I think it left it’s leg behind because even I had a hard time removing it from the curtain, it was hooked into the fabric rather tightly.

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The eggs look amazingly like green grapes.

Caleb, 12 years old today

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We have a birthday boy today; Caleb James turned 12 years old.

It goes by so fast.

But it’s all very good.  Each year is a gift.

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And there is lots to look forward to.

Grace had her graduation party yesterday so her purple decorations served another purpose today.  We bought the festive cupcakes at Sam’s Club.

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Younger siblings looking on….eating more cake.  (we had cake yesterday, too).

They have started to take the frosting off the top and run for the milk.

Enough is enough.

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Mine was lemon.

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Thank you, Jesus, for this boy of ours!

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Caleb is 12 and Seth is 8, they are always together.  They play video games, baseball, football, swimming. . . .get along very well with arguments started and ended throughout the day, too.  So much learning going on.

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comic relief from all Mom’s portraits

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Tom Brady, Jr.

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action shots:

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“Take one of me jumping over Seth!”

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Happiest birthday to you, Caleb!   Mom and Dad love you so very much.

 

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.

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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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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.”