with rich

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We were really rather silly last night at the baseball game.  I guess being apart for 2 days and generally being over-exposed to little league baseball lately can do that to a couple.  It was cold!!  So he let me borrow his really nice jacket that he bought in “Norway” at Epcot in Disney.  We did a little walking before the game started.  It was just the two of us, no other children but Seth who was in the game.  Seth had left his glove in the rain and had to borrow a glove which was too big for him.  We got silly watching them play.  Our team didn’t do very well and Seth struck out all but once.  Rich says he needs another trip to the batting cages and I said, “Yes, lets go after church on Sunday, they have good food there.”  And then he looked sad because he has another business trip coming up.  And then as soon as he gets back I am leaving for 10 days on my trip to Alaska.  But we sat together on the bleachers and leaned into one another and talked and laughed.  We walked with our arms around each other trying to keep our legs going in the least awkward way.  The bathroom doors were locked and I didn’t want to use an outdoor toilet (because too many little joyous boys use them *ahem*) so I ended up leaving an inning or two early (we had driven separately) and he walked me to the car and buckled me into my seat.  I gave him back his jacket and drove home.  Later on, we watched TV.  We’ve been watching the original Star Trek series together and I almost always fall asleep before the ending.

seth was creative

I took these pictures of Seth at five o’clock yesterday evening.  The boys were getting ready for football practice and Seth was taking much longer than usual to get dressed.  When he appeared I took one look at him and noticed he had mysterious blue socks on….no one in the family has socks like this…..did he actually have the nerve to borrow someone’s socks?….no, wait….those aren’t socks….those are sleeves….did he cut the sleeves off his blue underarmour layering shirt???????????  He insisted that he had not.  I started using my “tell me right now I need to know what is going on” voice (similar to an excitedly squealing pig).  When it all became oh so clear, I took him outside to take photos.

“You better not post these anywhere,” he said.

“When you do something like this, it’s going to be on the blog,” I replied.

Taking his photo proved to be as difficult as IT ALWAYS IS with Seth.  He cannot stay still.

Although he has the looks to be one, he will never be a career fashion model.  As soon as I “see” the perfect photo through the viewfinder of my camera, but before I can push the button, he has moved.  I have to use high speed settings and much patience.  However, I persevered this time and got some good ones, all to show you his creativity.  Genius.

Notice the “SOCKS”:

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THEY WEREN’T SOCKS

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THEY WERE SLEEVES.

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IT WAS AN ENTIRE SHIRT.

(and yes he went to practice that way)

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bless all the dear children

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See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

In church on Sunday Seth walked past his seated siblings in the pew to get to me.  He had his fidget spinner in his hand and looked at me with intense eyes.  “Will you put this in your purse Mom, or I’m going to play with it,” he confessed.  I gave him a little hug, “You can fidget for now, Seth!  Really, it’s okay!” and he went back to his place, Sarah and Caleb between us.

I thought about how easy it was to say “it’s okay” this time instead of “give me that!” and how it softened my own heart as well as his.  I know it softened his because very soon he came back and sat himself between me and his sister, snuggling up close to me with his small hands holding the spinner.  Eventually during the sermon the fidget spinner did end up in my purse, but even that was okay, because Seth knew that sometimes it’s okay to spin and sometimes it’s not okay to spin, but his Mom loved him and understood his thoughts and ways.  He knew he was a good boy.

We listened to his Dad preach and I thanked God over and over for the small son next to me, leaning into me, playing with my hair, my hands, the rings on my fingers.  I scribbled sermon notes on a piece of paper and meanwhile Seth was thinking about Mama and wondering and thinking thoughts so he leaned over and whispered, “Are you going to be sad when we’re all grown up?” and I looked at him and nodded a sincere “yes”.

He smiled as he sat back in his seat because it reinforced what he knew was true, “My mom loves me.”

I want to shout it from the rooftops:

BEING A MOM HAS BEEN THE MOST WONDERFUL BECAUSE the CHILDREN HAVE BEEN THE MOST WONDERFUL.

It’s not so much that I myself am a “good mom”,  it’s that I know children are gifts from above and I have deep appreciation for the opportunity to love and be loved by them.  Wow, what a blessing.  So often I have this in mind as I bend down to hug, or reach over to pat any one of my children next to me in the front seat of the car.

WHY DID GOD GIVE me CHILDREN?

One of the reasons is, not only that they need me, but BECAUSE HE KNEW I NEEDED THEM.  They, without even knowing it, have served and ministered to my heart in countless ways.

I need their love, I need their childlike wonder to show me what really matters.

We all do….teachers, bus drivers, coaches, aunts, uncles, dads; we are all enriched by the little people in our worlds.  We can learn so much from them.

****

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant.
He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God
like a little child
will never enter it.”
And he took the children in his arms,
placed his hands on them and blessed them

life itself is grace

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(violets for thia) my friend

“Real love creates a generous openness.  Have you ever been so caught up in something that you just had to share it?  When you are walking alone in the woods, something takes your breath away–a sunset, a waterfall, the simple song of a bird–and you think, ‘If only my beloved were here’.  The best things in life were meant to be shared.”
The Sacred Romance, by John Eldredge

I do so love to share life with you here.  We had a full and happy weekend and I know you did, too.  Isn’t it grand?  Air to breath, faces to smile, good food to enjoy, family, friends, sports, hometown plays, children, grown ups, secrets?

beautiful things don’t ask for attention

open your eyes and notice (be on the look out!)

often life brings me to tears

lovely things are silent

Lovely things are silent….
Rosebuds waxing bloom,
Shadows stealing softly
In a darkened room;
Dragonflies on rushes,
Stars in dark blue skies;
Hatching, fuzzy birdlets,
Love in sweethearts’ eyes.

Lovely things are silent. . .
Rainbows in the sky,
Violets shedding fragrance,
A soft breeze waltzing by;
An apple tree in blossom,
Sunsets all aglow;
Moonlight on the water,
Falling soft white snow.

Lovely things are silent. . .
Foam clouds in the sky,
Hummingbirds at flowers,
Butterflies gliding by,
A spider’s dainty spinning,
Wild flowers on a hill.
I bow my head in silence
And in my heart I’m still.
~Betty Fox Solberg

It’s 44 degrees at our place this morning and there is a cheerful fire going in our wood pellet stove.  I’m still in my comfortable clothes, with thick socks and slippers on, too.  Jacob is getting ready for college and work, our chocolate lab is snoring at my feet.  Cat snoozing on the windowsill behind me.  The house is quiet and peaceful.

Outside purple and white violets are still in bloom.  Some of our town has lilacs open, but mine are not flowered yet.  I worry about the trees because last year’s gypsy moth eggs have hatched, there are tiny baby caterpillars everywhere.  Baby turtles were found on the bank of the pond this weekend, a miracle in miniature.

‘Tis the season of shivering as we watch our boys play little league baseball.

My husband preached yesterday in church.  The whole service did something to my heart; softened it.  Love was in the air.

Our daughter Grace is a senior in High school.  There is nervousness in the family because we know “last times” are happening and happening fast.  In the fall, our three oldest children will be going away to college.

This weekend was “the last school drama production”.  I cried and so did she.  Oh how she has loved being part of it all. . . .

Grandma and Grandpa came to watch her.  We had time for a ramble in the woods and a trip to town, too.  Ice cream cones, laughter, games of catch for the boys.

*  * * *

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory.”

“. . . .this happened (life itself?) so that the work of God might be displayed.”

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girls visiting before getting ready for the play on Saturday; Brittany and Grace

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our family pianist

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Grandma’s here!

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my mom, my friend

we enjoy the same things; home decorating, kitchen life, family, and nature, birding. . .

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I ran the baby turtle back to the house to show the children. A wonder and a marvel.

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thick grapevine growing up and into a tree

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marsh marigold, ferns growing

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crossing the stream with a handful of apple blossoms

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garden flowers

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granddaughter and her grandma

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the brothers were practicing baseball and grandpa couldn’t resist joining in

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I think ofttimes as the night draws nigh
Of an old house on the hill,
Of a yard all wide and blossom-starred
Where children played at will.  ~Author Unknown

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coffeeshop

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street bench

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little lady with her grandpa, eating chocolate

ice cream

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Grace’s last high school drama production:  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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dancing in the middle of the stage with the boy in white shirt

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“Old bamboo” number

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scene at the beach song and dance

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very old inventors “The Roses of Success” song and dance (Grace is in the middle)

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teamwork song (second to end, next to her friend Jenna)

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“The Bombie Samba”

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final bows

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finale

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a touching tribute to their beloved director, as this was her last musical

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after the show on Saturday night

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lots of hugs

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with her proud Grandpa and Dad

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after the show on Sunday

many tears were shed

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Dad with his precious daughter; we are so proud of you, Grace.

Happy Monday friends!

thankful for:

friendship
love notes on the counter from an older brother
little hands touching my hair
questions from curious minds
my husband’s embrace
my husband going to the gas station to get me cream for my coffee this morning
a caring school nurse calling to tell me Sarah has a sore throat
purring cats
warmth inside when outside is shivery
guitar clips via text from Ethan, who is coming home this week
the start of a fresh new week; may God bless us everyone!

“And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water.”  Isaiah 35:7

 

snow day

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I just got home from grocery and Christmas shopping.  I have some wrapping to do before the children start getting home from school but I thought I would do a quick post about our day yesterday.  I thought I would take photos all day long but I didn’t.  I ended up not taking any pictures after the point where Grace and I went to the grocery store to get stuff for lunch.

The morning began with breakfast, and proceeded right into a nerf fight between Caleb and Seth.

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There are nerf bullets ev.very.where.

I went outside to take care of the chickens and the rabbits.  The chickens are not laying eggs.  It’s pathetic.  I have to buy eggs.  I think they stopped because of the time change and some of them are molting.

We have rabbits because Jacob agreed to watch someone’s rabbits for them and so far they have not come to get them back.  Apparently she moved in with her sister and there is no place to put them.

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They are very cute and the entire family has grown fond of them.  I opened their door so they could hop around the coop while I took care of the hens.

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And this one

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immediately went into a bag.

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I thought the green background behind these red berries was lovely.

The children had a snow day because the snow had switched over to ice and then rain,  consequently everything was drippy.

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Under the trees the snow was dimpling from all the raindrops.

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cracks in the ice look like trees

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The children went outside for some sledding.  Of course it was rather wet but they still had fun.

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Seth was so little down there making a pile of snow.

And that was that.  Grace and I went to the store, by the time we left Seth was back in the house and he asked to go with us.  We said yes and bought him a big container of tic-tacs which turned into contention when we came home.  Sarah and Caleb wanted them.  Seth poured them all into a fiestware fruit bowl and then cried and cried because Caleb took the plastic container and threw it, causing it to break, and making the tic tacks fly out of the bowl onto the floor.  I sent him downstairs.  So then Seth gave it to Sarah and then a few minutes later decided he wanted it back, she started to cry, he threw it back at her, it hit the wall and broke further.  I sent him downstairs next.  Then Sarah was crying.  Grace taped it up for her.  This all happened because I was nice and bought Seth a treat.  Never again.

Grace and I made a sausage stuffed french bread for lunch.  Then, we prepared dinner, which was marinated meats for mixed grill kabobs–shrimp, chicken, and rib eye.

I gave Grace and David the job of cleaning the storage room and crawl space downstairs and they did a great job together.

We all took naps.

Rich came home early.

Seth broke one of my Christmas angels.  Broke the wing right off.

Everyone liked dinner!

We had a relaxing evening and went to bed early, where I read a book until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Check out my instagram later for a photo of what I found at Goodwill this morning!!!!

Have a great afternoon, friends!

don’t cry, kids

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I agree, it was a wonderful long dreamy dream of a summer; the summer of ’16.  But it’s over now and you must go back to school today.

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I love how Grace started High School with two brothers by her side and is ending High School with two different ones.

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She’s rather full of herself.  David said, “Will you please get off me?”  And I said, “Uh oh, Grace, I bet Caleb will be taller than you are by the end of the year.” and she lifted her head to try to gain a few more inches.  Then she ruffled his hair and said, “Caleb you have nice hair.”  “He has the best hair of the family,” I say.  “No, Ethan does,” she replied.  “What about my hair?” said Dave.  “And Seth has the nicest eyes,” Grace continued.

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There was wet stuff coming from the sky but it was only a gentle light rain.

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They go to two different schools this year so they ride separate buses.

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For the 7th year running, the winner of the “best eyes” in the family contest!

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They melt me.

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Seth got on his bus and then it was just the two of us….”Let’s sit on the bench together and wait.” she said.  So we did.

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“I’m going to make lots of new friends this year.” she decided.

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Of five little children, off to school  

Only one of them cried,

Can you guess who?

 

enough

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Poor Rich had a rough start to his day.  He has been getting up early to work out with Ethan, who has to stay in shape for his college wrestling team.  This morning when they stepped out the door to leave for the track, they were confronted by a huge mess on the porch.

I knew something was the matter a few hours later when Rich was back home and stomping around the house getting showered and dressed for work.  So, the first chance I got I asked him if something was wrong.

“Oh, a few things irritated me this morning.  First of all, someone, instead of taking the trash out to the bin, hung it on the porch railing instead.  A raccoon must have gotten into it because it was ALL over the place and not only that but it was nothing but raw eggs.  I had to scrub and hose the porch and steps off.  And then, there were no towels in the bathroom but that wasn’t that big of a deal because I’m used to there being no towels in the bathroom, but when I got out of the shower I slipped on the floor.  Also, the big things of shampoo that I bought before camp are gone so I had to go out to get my bag and use my travel shampoo.”

“Wait.  Raccoons don’t like eggs?”  I asked innocently.

“Oh, they liked them.  They had a great time with them.  They were all over the porch.”

I was highly amused, and he was too, at that point.  But he was not happy in the midst of these surprising experiences.

I confess, it was I who hung the garbage on the railing.  And I was the one who filled the bag with raw eggs, too.  One of my hens needs to be “dispatched” because she has been laying nothing but a daily stinky egg.  I never know which egg I crack will be stinky so I am determined to stay at the coop and check each and every hen’s egg.  When I find out who is laying these unusable eggs, I’m going to have to get rid of her.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I could visually identify which egg it was (out of 14 per day) but unfortunately there are a lot of eggs that look identical, thus all the light brown eggs are under constant suspicion.  As I told Grace, it has become an obsession with me.  Sarah Joy saw me industriously smelling a raw egg, which I had broken in a cup, and said, “What are you DOING?  That’s discusting!”  We can’t have this, we can’t.  The mystery must be solved so I can enjoy my hens and eggs again.

((stay tuned.))

So yeah, it was pouring rain yesterday as I reached out the door to hang the trash on the railing.  I meant to tell someone to take it to the bins, but I completely forgot.

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Ethan was distraught.  He was hungry.  He’s been working out so much and I am of the opinion that he needs to eat more…..so yesterday I was in the kitchen for a few hours, making pancakes and eggs,  and then a delicious homemade coffee cake.  Soon not only Ethan was happy, but we all were, and sugar was falling like snow.

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Seth was too close to me in the kitchen and I couldn’t resist.

We ate coffeecake while playing a game.

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Seth had come upstairs all upset because Caleb had “broken his nose with a hard pillow.”  I felt it very carefully.  “It’s not broken.” I said. “Lean against my leg and I’ll give you a back scratch.”

It was a contented moment, to play a game with Grace, eat coffee cake, comfort a small son, and look over to the couch now and then where Ethan (who finally had a full tummy thanks to me) was sound asleep under a striped crocheted afghan.

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Gratitude unlocks
the fullness of life.

It turns what we have
into enough……

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Grace spent some time on a school paper which needs to be done by the end of this month.  When she was finished for the day, she stacked up all of her things and proclaimed, “I have so many books that give me joy!”

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Happiness is an afternoon power walk with a cheerful, talkative daughter & admiring a giant picturesque pine tree by the side of the road.

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This morning I went outside to check on the gardens and smell the flowers.  It’s going to be a wicked hot and humid day (for us new englanders) so we will spend the day inside.

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I found Gentleman Gray in one of his wild moods, attacking my morning glory vine which I have been patiently training up the porch railings.  I took his picture right before he fell off the porch, with a little help from a friend.