august 2006

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(taking photos)

I remembered taking some photos years ago at my Grandparent’s house.  They were “last time” photos, as I was unsure I would ever see it again the way it looked when Grandma and Grandpa lived there.  Grandma had died and Grandpa was moving out of the farmhouse.

After I took the photos I didn’t do anything to save them.  I thought I would print them out, put them in a scrapbook or something.   But Caleb was a baby and I would end up having Seth and Sarah and being extremely busy and distracted by motherhood.

However, every now and then I would think about the photos from Grandma’s house and wonder where in the world they went.

For a time I was having my digital photos put on CD at Costco and I assumed that I had done that and lost the CD.

Last week, when I was blogging about the Nancy Drew books Grandma had given me, and I was over in the garage looking through boxes, I thought of those photos again.  I found an old picture CD and turned it over to see the label.  Nope.  Not the photos.  I stood in the closet and said a little prayer that I would someday find them.

Amanda and Cassandra came over and I wanted to take photos of the baby and our walk.  There was no camera card in my camera so I took one out of the plastic baggy I keep all my cards in and inserted it into the camera.  We went on our walk and I put the camera aside for a day or two.

In the meantime, I went to a thrift store and found a framed needlework that I had remembered Mom giving to Grandma years ago, and which Mom now has hanging in her house.  I took a photo of it, and of my ongoing collection, and texted them to Mom so she could see.

Then, I thought I had some time to blog the photos of my walk with Amanda and Cassandra so I got the camera card out of the camera and inserted it into my laptop.

This card, by the way, was funny, because during the walk I could only get it to hold about 10 photos before it was full.  But I couldn’t see any other photos on it while it was in my camera.

When I inserted it, all the photos flashed up and there were about 20 from the year 2006, including little videos of baby Caleb.  I hadn’t seen these photos in so long that I almost didn’t know what I was seeing.  In a moment, I was taken back 12 years to when Caleb was a baby, when we were getting our new puppy Parker, AND YES, those photos I had longed for, when Grandma and Grandpa’s house still looked the way I remembered it……..I cried a little with my hands over my mouth in surprised joy.  I studied each and every photo.  I just could not believe it.

I saw the needlepoint on Grandma’s wall that I had JUST BOUGHT THAT DAY for my own wall!

The only (small) disappointment was there were not nearly as many photos of the house that I thought I had taken!!!!

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The corner hutch in the kitchen with seasonal Watkins pie plates, a photo of me and my siblings, and a sweet drawing of a goldfinch.  I have one of the pie plates.

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More of Grandma’s kitchen decorations.

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kitchen

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This is the indentation in the kitchen linoleum that I always put my heel in for a moment or two….it fit just right.  So funny the things kids do and remember from childhood.

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Just a small part of the livingroom, which was nice and spacious for family gatherings.

The framed needlework design hung on the wall over the TV.

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Old clothes hanging up in Grandma’s closet.

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And of course the bookcases upstairs on the landing.

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Looking at all the books was always one of the best things to do during a visit.

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On top of the shelves there was space for all the senior portraits that she framed and displayed, of her children and grandchildren.  There I am on the far right.

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Makes me smile to think of her doing this.

And that’s that.  sigh.  I wish I had taken 100 more!!  But I can’t complain BECAUSE I FINALLY FOUND THE MISSING PHOTOS AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!

I’m in the kitchen while Jacob videotapes his baby brother.  What makes me laugh every time is seeing Caleb pick up a piece of who knows what off the floor….and eat it.  Poor baby number 5!!!  Mama’s too busy to make sure you don’t eat yucky things!  (honestly, it happens no matter what number baby…..)  He’s so cute!!!

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Me and Colleen with our gang of little ones, 12 years ago.

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Mom and Dad’s old dogs Brutus, and Lion.

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Ethan with puppy Parker.

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beautiful mama in her garden

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visiting mom and dad

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Rich (at the store?)….a photo taken by one of the kids.

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Little Caleb in the flower bed by Grandpa’s garage.

A trip down memory lane!

Home is where the heart is,
Love is where the home is.

 

christmas time happenings

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“I don’t have any good photos to blog with,” I thought.

“Well you do have some on your phone,” I replied.

“They aren’t that great of quality though,” I continued.

“But they are priceless and of great value, since they capture the moments authentically,” I said wisely.

“Oh fine,” I sighed.

And then got all emotional looking at them because there were over twenty photos, twenty moments during which we were living life and I grabbed the nearest camera, my phone, to record something quickly and easily.   I honestly LOVE this stage of life.  My youngest is 7 and without any toddlers daily life is much calmer, however with seven children it is still busy enough to never be boring and to always have that feeling of “what’s next” — you really can’t prepare, there are surprises every day and lots of laughter.

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Handsome son Dave, who was dressed in his High School wrestling clothes for the first time in his career.  And, by the way, this door used to be a curtain hiding our laundry area, but the laundry room has been moved downstairs and now this is a big spacious closet just off the kitchen.  I’ll take photos eventually because I really like how it turned out.

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Sarah Joy arriving home from school.  “Christmas Porch” with a wreath, and a snowman flag.  She made me and her dad an ornament made out of a glue/cinnamon dough that smells so good.

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LOOKING FOR THE PICKLE IN THE TREE

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I gave him the present; a chocolate fish and a card that I had prepared for the Amazing Pickle Finder.

“Keep looking for hidden treasures your whole life and you will be amazed at what you will see and discover.”

“I am really good at finding things,” he agreed.  (debatable, I thought)

Sarah was holding back the tears because she didn’t find it.

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SHOPPING WITH MY SISTER

We had SUCH a good time.  We got manicures ; my nails are so pretty now, a deep red with red sparkles similar to Dorothy’s shoes on the Wizard of Oz.

We talked and talked and laughed and just felt so comfortable together; “This is good for my soul,” she mentioned.

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We had bison burgers and freshly cut french fries for lunch.  I indulged in a diet coke.

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There was a giant Christmas tree at the outdoor shopping center.  We did a little shopping and I bought Caleb, Seth, and Sarah some nice warm mittens/gloves for outdoor play at LLBean and they liked them so much they literally spent HOURS until dark outside everyday until our snow melted a couple days ago.  Wise purchase even though the line was long.  With a sister/friend the lines go fast.  More time to talk!

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My dear Hannah sent me and my family a Christmas box.  She lives in Alaska and has visited me 3 times and I haven’t visited her yet.

So guess what I asked Rich to give me for Christmas?!

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We spend time together like this every chance we get.  In fact, he’s next to me as I type and he’s rather insulted because a laptop is on my lap and not him.

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COLLEGE SON ETHAN IS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As of two days ago!

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AND COLLEGE SON JACOB my FIRSTBORN is here as well, the person I gave birth to 21 years ago at just this time of year.  CHRISTMAS and JACOB’s BIRTHDAY are all wrapped up in my heart during this season.

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Uncle Dave always sends cards for the children under 18.  The rest of us get a family card.  So now there are “only four” in the tree waiting for Christmas morning even though they keep asking me if they can open them NOW.

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WRESTLING MEET on Wednesday, two days ago.  David was .5 over so there was a little bit of unwanted stress in making certain he made weight and then come to find out he had no one to wrestle in that weight class.  (he did make weight, however)

But eventually they did exhibition matches (which don’t count in the team scores) and Rich bumped him up to give him experience.  I could see Dave giving a little shake of his head “no” but Rich didn’t give him a second glance and got him right on the mat with someone who weighed 5 pounds more than him…..and Dave won.

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He won right in front of his big brothers who also wrestle for college.

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Right in front of his big brothers AND their girlfriends.

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AFTER THE MEET it was time to play.  Ethan wrestled with his little brothers but what really gives me joy in this photo is Bruce the man on the left just walking out of the camera frame with a smile on his face.  He’s one of the custodians of the school and is ALWAYS so quietly kind and friendly.  We notice he turns a bucket over and sits on the side of the gym during meets, we think he must like wrestling.

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^^ Jacob and Seth on the left and Ethan pinning Caleb on the mat.  And it took me a long time to get that sentence out right.  (names LOL)

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Seth’s turn to wrestle with E.  It was such a fun night.  We were only missing Grace because she was at work.

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We are forever trying to hug Dave and he is always this reluctant, but we know he secretly enjoys it.  Tessa is a good sport.  Such a dear girl who, along with her sister, has grown up with my own children (they live nearby) and is in love with Ethan. ❤  She’s a senior this year, while David is a freshman so she sees him now and then and tries to get hugs.  You can tell (sort of) that he’s warming up to her.  (no, his arm never got higher than it is in the photo).

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HERE SHE IS!  She got back on Tuesday (thank you to Michael who went to get her from college).  Yesterday she and I went shopping with Ethan and we took this photo as we were waiting for him to finish up his hair cut.

(I prefer myself with bangs but when I am too lazy to deal with them I pin them back).

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When Seth got home from school yesterday he had a sore by his mouth which immediately freaked me out (internally, I didn’t show it to him) because it wasn’t there when he left in the morning.  He complained that he thought his jaw was broken and his cheek hurt.  But he pointed to the sore spot by his lip as the place where it hurt.  (I don’t think he knew what “a jaw” really was) I was thinking “Oh my goodness my child caught a contagious skin rash during wrestling” and took him to the docs who told me it was basically NOTHING.  I mean, it was infected slightly (like a pimple actually but he’s too young for them just yet).  She gave us a prescription for an antibiotic cream but Rich didn’t get to the pharmacy in time so we just rubbed neosporin on it and this morning it looked much better.  I’m still picking up the prescription though, don’t worry Mom.  I’m sure it will come in handy.  Seth has had chapped lips so the Doc thinks he was touching his face with dirty hands.  (8 year old boys are generally dirty) I do tell him to wash but when he’s at school who knows. . . . . .

The whole experience ended up giving us a nice time together.  His appointment was at 6:10.   WHY is it SO DARK he kept asking.  We agreed that it isn’t a pleasant feeling to be going to the doctors when it’s dark outside.  Scary.

I took him to Dunkin Donuts after, it was just a short jaunt down the sidewalk from the office.  He ordered himself a bacon egg and cheese on a plain bagel, toasted, and five glazed munchkins….and a hot chocolate and he looked so cute as he waited.  He didn’t want help carrying his treasures.  He ate and drank everything.  He hugged me.

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We went to the Goodwill store next and he and his bright eyes saw a wrestling head gear for Caleb (who needed one) for ONLY A DOLLAR.   Jacob said they are twenty at the sporting goods store he used to work at.   So Seth got the deal of the day.  Grace scrubbed it with antibacterial wipes this morning.

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Then we met Jacob, Grace, and Sarah at the pet store.  WHAT are the girls looking at, you ask?

Stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I typed all this at the end of the couch at Ethan’s feet.  He sleeps on the couch when he’s home even though he has a perfectly good bed in a bedroom upstairs.  I think he finds it cozier to be on the couch.  He’s sound asleep.  Listening to him breathe gives me joy.  He stretched his feet out and pushed against me, waking up just enough to look down at me and say sorry.  I said, “I like it.” and gave him a pat on the leg.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

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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