yesterday

Rich took Seth and Caleb to their wrestling tournament and I took the others to church.  When we were leaving church David told me, “Mom.  I’m craving a jelly donut for some reason.”   “Oh, really Dave?” was my reply, and we went to Wendy’s drive-thru for lunch and started the half hour drive home.

*****

Five minutes from home, I pulled into our local Dunkin’ Donuts saying, “I’m craving a jelly donut for some reason.”

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It was fun to see his smile.

I found his cookies

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David came home from practice yesterday, made a protein shake in the blender, took a shower, and then wandered back into the kitchen and said in his morose-sounding Eeyore voice, “I think I want to make chocolate chip cookies.”  “Do it!” we all cried.

“Mom, where’s your recipe.”

“I just use the one on the bag but add more flour.”

“Okay.”

He wanted walnuts in them but couldn’t find them.  I knew this by the loud moans and groans, so I ran to the kitchen to pull out a stool to help him look.  When I found them I sang a happy celebration song, sort of bragging, until he said, “Okay, stop.” in his dry way.

David is charming to me.  I used to blog about him the way he was when he was a little boy and all the interesting things he would do….catch birds with homemade traps, catch turtles, draw comics, fish, swim in his underwear, read interesting books, make crafts, say interesting things as only he can say them.

I still blog about him the way he is, with his shirt off, now 16 years old, working on cookies, trying to take a 8 minute nap on the couch as each tray bakes, and suddenly noticing “Mom has the camera out.”

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“I think I feel sick,” he admitted.  “Too much cookie dough.”

****

Sarah started watching him.

“Dave?  What kind of cookies are you making?  If you answer me now, I won’t ask you again later!”

“Sarah go away.”

“Dave, how can you be so mean, I never heard her ask a question so sweetly!”

“I know!  She’s being FAKE.  I can’t STAND FAKE WOMEN.”

She’s not even nine yet.

*****

“Just so everyone knows, these are MY cookies, I’m going to hide them and save them for rewards.”

He has to watch his weight for wrestling so I think this is smart.

He likes to put cookies in the toaster to warm them up.

He doesn’t wear an apron, he doesn’t need to, because skin is easy to clean.

He tidied up his mess somewhat, but this morning when he was gone at school I scrubbed the cookie sheets with hot soapy water and put them away.  I also got to eat the one solitary remaining cookie for breakfast, dunking it into my coffee.  Thinking about my son.  The walnuts and chocolate tasted so good.

Later on, when I wasn’t thinking about him at all, I found his cookies.

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seth wrestling

Seth started out really well in his wrestling career at age 5 but now that he’s nine he definitely has to work a lot harder for wins because unlike Seth who practices only during the season as a town sport, most of the other participants are in clubs.

Seth had a meet today and I didn’t go so I have nice detailed texts from Rich.

When I got up this morning they were about to leave and Seth was wearing 1) his Nike leggings 2) his wrestling shorts that are just like Tristan’s from the HS team who is a great wrestler and Seth looks up to him, and 3) his Champion Tshirt from when he won states at 7 year old.  As soon I opened the door and came out of my room he walked straight to me without a word and gave his mom a big hug which became a moment I have thought about all day long.  “You look snazzy!” I said.

Sometimes wearing just the right clothes gives you that winning edge.

I awaited the first update and here is is:

10:32am

“Seth lost a heart breaking match.  He was up 8-2 but got caught in a headlock and got stuck for a pin late in the 3rd against the same boy he lost to a few weeks ago.  It was a crazy fast paced match.  Both boys are real good but Seth was clearly the better wrestler today which made it hard for me to watch the way it ended.  The other boy’s head coach came over after the match told Seth the same thing.  Ugh!!!  Time to wrestle for 2nd.”

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As his mom I felt better a little while later when Rich sent me this adorable photo of Seth and his friend Johnny talking over their matches in a quiet corner.  I can see a smile on Seth’s face and I had imagined him like huddled in a corner crying or something (which he honestly never does).

11:18am

“He won his second match.”

“Good!  How was it?  Points or pin?”

“He won by pin.  He could have wrestled better though so we need to do better this next match.”

12:07pm

“He just won his 3rd.  Most exciting match of the day so far.  He was down 3-4 with 20 seconds left in the 3rd and he was wrestling very well.  Seth was on top but having a hard time turning him for back points.  I had Seth let him up which would give the other kid a point but if we could get a takedown we could tie it and have a chance for the win.  Well Seth got a takedown with only seconds left to tie it and we went into overtime.  (In first overtime first wrestler to score wins.)  Seth got in on a good shot but they ended up in a scrambled he couldn’t finish it going out of bounds.  Then he got the same shot but ended up in a scramble that was back and forth–at one point the other kid clearly had better position and almost scored the takedown, but Seth held the helm and ended up being able to get around and finish the takedown for the score, the win, and to take 2nd for the day!”

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Way to go Seth (and his Dad)!

 

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

******

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!

 

 

lately

“Mom, you’re the best mom in the world.” says Caleb

“I would have to agree with you,” I tease with a hug.

“You really are the best Mom,” says Seth.

“If you were the worse Mom ever, I would be crying right now.” he further explains.

***

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Reason number one (why I haven’t been blogging):

WRESTLING

Wrestling is coming to a close for the season which means all the meets are even more important than usual.  On Friday I drove to the HS meet to watch my husband’s team.

To watch my husband.

The gym was absolutely packed to the gills with people.  Seth, Sarah, and Caleb ran off to the cafeteria to play with other random children and to say hi to the goat which one of the coaches brings to the all meets in a carrier.  Seth borrowed my phone to take a video of the goat.  I sat by Grace and Angelina and chatted with my wrestling mom friends.  All our chats have to be done with yelling voices, so we can hear each other over the din.

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Cody was wrestling in this photo.  We had already been in the gym for several hours.  He was the only one on the team to make states, which will be held this weekend.  Rich and Jacob are in the far corner, coaching him.

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After Cody had wrestled I decided to head out and go home.  It was after 8 and the drive was 40 minutes.  The kids were getting tired.  And I was getting tired.

We walked out the door and behind the school through the snow to get to my car, which I had parked far away because there was no more room in the main lot.

It was magical to be outside at night with only the lights of the school shining for us.

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(not sure what seth is doing, eating snow?)

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She thought it was super stylish to wear one of her black socks pulled up on the outside of her pants.

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REASON NUMBER 2:  The Stomach Bug

The strange thing is, by the time we got home she was complaining that she felt sick.  I tucked them all into bed and I went promptly to sleep.  The next morning Rich told me, “Sarah’s sick.  She threw up all over her bed and floor.  I gave her a bath last night at 11.”

Grace had helped him clean up the mess and inside I was singing praises that I missed out on the vomit clean up for once in my life.

REASON NUMBER THREE:  Trip to Rhode Island

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On Sunday we went to watch the last meet of Ethan’s college season.  He wrestled twice.  The first time was against the number one guy and he was pinned within the first minute of the match.  The second time was a loss by only 2 points.  11-8.  He has improved amazingly over the last few months.  We stayed to watch the whole entire meet so we could bring him home with us afterwards.

REASON number 4:  bird watching, house cleaning, cooking, too much distraction all around me, too tired, writers block, not taking pictures as I usually do and a general feeling of “who cares” anyway.

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But all good things.  How thankful I am to be able to be home with the children.  They had Monday and Tuesday off from school for Presidents’ day and they were free and happy.  We still have snow on the ground but the air was mild and sweet so they spent lots of time outside.

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sweatshirts, boots, hats, and SHORTS = New England in the early spring.

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At the end of the day there was an epic sword fight.

And this morning?  They are back to school, all but David, who now has the stomach bug.

Ethan is away for a day of skiing with his girlfriend and her family.

*****

Put your hope in the Lord, travel steadily along his path.  Psalm 37

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.  Psalm 37

The winds of grace blow all the time.  All we need to do is set our sails.  Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.  CS Lewis

Trust in the Lord and do good.  Psalm 37

****

dreaming of…..

cleaning and decorating the porch for springtime

quietness

visiting with Joanna this weekend

going home to help make maple syrup

orchids about to bloom

a slow cooked chicken for dinner tonight, and mashed potatoes

****

happy wednesday, friends
i love you ❤

 

 

 

 

a boy named seth

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Last night after the High School wrestling meet, there was a special youth exhibition.  Seth was one of the boys who got to wrestle.  He wrestled a boy who was bigger and better than he was (although, actually, Seth would disagree with me on both counts) and was soundly beaten.  He was also dropped on his head.  The ref stopped the match while Seth recovered flat on the mat, Rich and the coaches by his side, and me on the bleachers with an icy stomach and worried sisters by my side.  He got up and finished the match, getting pinned 2 seconds before the buzzer blew to end the match (which he would have lost by 2 points).

It was very disappointing and sad for Rich and me but only because we are his parents.  The team did awesome and won the meet.  All the boys did so well and we were extremely proud of them.

Seth has only lost two matches this season out of about 14 (I lost count).  He is very good and enjoys the sport.  When we got home, Rich was concerned about a concussion and slept four inches away from Seth on the couch all night long.  I was concerned about my precious sons wrestling in general but Rich said that life is risky and they were just as apt to get head injuries on the playground or climbing trees or wrestling each other when I’m not looking.

Rich decided to have Seth stay home from school today so he could rest and be quiet.

This has worked out nicely for Seth, because

it

is

his

birthday.

Seth turns 8 years old today.

He is currently sound asleep on my bed after a whole morning of “quiet”.

But this morning after his bath, I took these portraits of him.

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Remember the time when your legs were so short you couldn’t bend your knees over the edge of Mom’s old rocking chair?

Remember that baby face you used to cover in kisses that you can still see glimpses of?

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Remember that birthday when you were turning eight and you asked your mom to bake you a chocolate cake with vanilla cream filling and you licked the beater?

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Remember the card that your sister made you and she wrote “You’re the best brother ever in the world?” and when you read it you said, “I said that to Ethan once.”

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And how on your birthday you think you need to go outside and look for your shadow?

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Remember how I love you?

special

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EVERYONE say HI to RACHEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last night at the winter sports awards Dave had my camera and she squealed, “Take my picture so I can be on your Mom’s blog!”

She’s adorable.  Grace tells me that Rachel is a devoted reader of this blog and for that I say, “I’m so very glad you enjoy it and yes you may save any photo you want!”  xoxo

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I had to run over to get in a picture, too, (along with goofy wrestling boys in the background).  Gosh, I look tired almost like I had spent half the day saving my flock of hens from a fox.  (true story)

Rachel is the fabulous Mary Poppins in our upcoming school play so she’ll make another appearance here soon…..stay tuned!

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It was a fun night honoring the winter sports.  We had pizza in the cafeteria, awards in the auditorium, and then broke into groups in order to honor individual sports.

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Rich was this year’s head coach for wrestling.  He presented each of his boys a certificate and told everyone in the room his favorite memory of the season for each of the boys.

Doesn’t Ethan look handsome? As soon as the night was over, Jacob walked up to him and said good naturally but emphatic, “Now get my brand new tie off, E!”  I laughed and laughed because Ethan doesn’t ask to wear his brother’s clothes, he simply takes them.

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Rich was told by another coach that his wrestlers were the best dressed team of the night.  I would have to agree.  🙂

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Caleb, Seth, and Sarah Joy wanted to be in a  picture, too.  I simply must mention that Sarah is amusing us lately by trying to be stylish.  She puts thought into her attire and dresses herself in certain outfits every day.  Today she carefully chose a dress to wear.  Last night it was all purple: pants, shirt, and sparkly headband.  She wanted to wear her earrings again after months of refusing to wear them.  Personally, I think she’s being influenced by a friend at school to dress up more fancy.  IT’S SO SO CUTE!!!

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Ethan proudly wearing his brother’s tie.

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I had my camera around my neck down low, shooting “blindly”, and this was the shocked expression I got from David when I said, “I’m shooting you, Dave.”  (with my camera, of course)

Caleb and Seth were busy fooling around in the hallways.  At one point, Seth was hanging upside down behind Caleb as Caleb held his legs.

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Grace and Caleb

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Me and my handsome, handsome husband who has a BIRTHDAY TODAY!!

Happy Birthday, love.  ❤