Thursday, May 28, 2009

Live Every Moment

Walk barefoot in the tall grass.
Pick the flowers.
Wear the pretty dress.
Hold the hand of someone you love.
Live. For we know not what tomorrow will bring.
Go read this. Thanks Mom for saying it better than I could.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Beautiful Women. Two Crazy Husbands. 5 Insane Children. One Heck Of a Good Time

They arrived on Sunday. There was this one
this one
and who could forget this one.
We also had my usual cast of characters. This one
and this one.*We were in a red covered wagon at the time.*
The two women all the kids came from.
the two husbands.
*Inappropriate gesture.* I can't tell you many pictures he has ruined this way. I think his mother should have a word with him about being nice.
It was so much fun.
Come back again real soon guys. We miss you already.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Day His Mother's Heart Burst With Pride

I can't sing the praises of Mark's school enough. It was started 40 years ago by the woman who still runs it today. She couldn't find a school for her son so she started one. Obviously it worked out for her. They had their 1000th student last year. The class sizes are quite small. There is a lot of one on one attention with the teachers. They really concentrate on social development. Something Mark was lacking in some at the beginning of the year. I always try to catch the end of class because you can really tell a lot about how the morning went by the last 15 or so minutes. It's been great to have a close relationship with his teachers. Everyday I get some little story from the morning. They are almost as excited to tell these stories as I am to hear them. They truly love these kids.
So the other day Mark had his end of school program. We got to see what songs they learned and also a few games they concentrated on. It was such a fun presentation. Another thing they did was a play or rather plays. The one Mark was in was 3 Billy Goats Gruff. He really played his part as the troll. A lot of the other kids said the lines but didn't really get in to the roles. Not Mark. He is a born actor. Since the play every single one of the other parents have told him how well he did. He just glows under the praise.
I don't feel right airing the whole play here. So I asked Mark if he would help be reenact the play at home. And shockingly enough he agreed. And it only cost me three jelly beans. Enjoy!
So there you have it. The culmination of a whole year's worth of schooling. It was totally worth risking our lives all winter to get him there.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Summer Workout Program

I'm going to let you in a little secret. Ready. I hate the gym. Hate. It. Sweaty people. Boring exercise. Dirty equipment. I just don't like it. I must have fresh air. So I have always walked for exercise. It was a nice arrangement. I load my 70+ lbs of kids in to my jogging stroller and pushed them all over our hilly little town. When I say hilly I really mean it. We are at the foot of the Adirondacks here. It was a workout. And a fun one too. This spring though Mark started wanting to walk himself. That did two things to my workout. 1. He walks at a snail's pace. He tries. But he is easily distracted by trees, rocks, birds, turtles, snakes, cars, trucks, street signs. You name it and it will slow him down. And 2. He is 50 of the 70+ lbs. And just pushing Anna is not a workout at all. She's a peanut. We still go just about every day but at a far more leisurely pace than before. It doesn't really get my heart going.
So I had to think of something. Sooooo welcome to my summer gym. Better than 24 Hour Fitness, Golds Gym, and Curves all rolled into one. I will tell you this digging holes is a full body workout. Especially when you consider our ground here is quite wet. And heavy. Most of the tree I got were in 5 gallon pots.
What is this I hear? You would like a tour of my workout room. Well OK, please step inside. Watch your step. This little guy got the singular distinction of being the very first thing in the ground. It is also the only thing to date that Jason and I planted together. I talked to him (A Bird's Nest Spruce) though and he says he is up to the challenge of meeting and greeting each of the other inhabitants as they arrive.
This is a Weeping Crap Apple tree. And I might add it was in a 5 gallon pot. The hole for it was 4 feet around. I did it as a thunderstorm was rolling in. It was little like doing sprints but dangerous. And fun.
Do you want a final look? Well, it isn't much to look at right now. It will have a far bigger visual impact once the leaves come out and we add mulch. By. The Truckload.

Next I am putting in a stone path with grass around it right through the center. My thighs are already burning from that project. And I haven't even started it yet. I am so excited to get it underway.

I will be back with a more thorough tour once the leaves come out a little more. This garden isn't going to be just pretty. We planted some nice fruit trees too. In about 5 years I hope to be have fruit by the truckload. So this space will be an ongoing workout room and snack shack as well.

Your Opinion

So which of these do you like better?

Come on back tomorrow. I am going to show off my summer fitness program for this year. It is kicking my butt too.

Kids and Duck Babies. Is There Anything Cuter?

What do you think my neighbor got? I'll give you one guess. Wow! You're smart. And let me tell you they are every bit as cute in person. The afternoon she showed them to me the kids were napping. So I got to hold them all to myself without having to share them with any pesky children.
My dear neighbor, being the wonderfully sweet lady she is, invited us back over later so the kids could see them too. I have to admit I was just a little afraid they were going to hurt the ducks. These are the same two kids that turn a clean house into a dirty one inside to three minutes. But contrary to what I thought they were both very gentle. They understood they had to be careful with them. Mark had a good time holding one in his hands. He and the duck seemed to get along quite well together.
Anna on the other hand did not have quite so much fun with the holding. She did enjoy feeding them though. Oh Durn! Now I want to get ducks. Wonder what Jason would think of that. Probably not much.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Morning After

Well that just sounds dirty. But this isn't so get your mind out of the gutter. This is a family place. Jeesh!
This Mother's Day was a good one for me. I think this is the first one that Mark really understood. He was so excited to go and get me a present with his Dad the other day. He made a big ordeal about keeping it all a secret. Then Jason left it in the van for me to find on Saturday. Oops. From then on it was referred to 'the thing that shall not be mentioned.' Then yesterday morning Jason and the kids trudged down the the basement to get it for me. The kids were so excited to give me something that they had picked out themselves. And don't worry, I acted surprised. So what was it you ask? Well, they know their Mama let me tell you. They got me this lovely petunia that will hang in the tree in the front yard to be enjoyed all summer. I love it.
But wait there's more. Mark made this in preschool the other day. He was very careful not to show it me when I came to pick him up. I even got a stern finger wag about not opening until the big day. I laughed so hard there were tears in my eyes. Then when I did open it he had to show me all the things it would stick to with the magnet on the back.
But wait there is still more. In Sunday School yesterday he made me this little lovely. Of particular interest was the red bead. That was by far our favorite bead on the necklace. I wore it all day even though the yarn was very very itchy. Next year I might donate some nice soft yarn.
Do they know me or do they know me? Jewelry, art and flowers. What a fun day.

How was your Mother's Day made special? Or how did you make your Mom's day special?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To All The Great Moms I Know

Including my own wonderful Mom who is one of my all time favorite people;
Happy Mother's Day!
BTW today also happens to be her Birthday. Go over and wish her Happy Birthday for me will ya.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Letter To The Man Around Here

Dear Husband with similar equipment as our son,
Let me just tell you a little story. The other night I made that final trudge up the stairs. I was tired and ready for bed. I brushed my teeth and took out my contacts. Then I made my fateful mistake. I sat down without first inspecting the seat. I understand that once in a while the boy's equipment will get away from him. He is still relatively new in the proper use of it. However, there is no excuse for a boy child not to LIFT THE SEAT. I can only imagine that in one of your and his many bathroom pow-wows this SHOULD HAVE COME UP. I assume you will speak to your boy child immediately so that this unfortanate situation doesn't happen again.
Sincerly yours,
Wife with a soggy bottom

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Rain

While Mark was in school yesterday Anna and I decided to go out and enjoy the lovely happening all over our town. Wow. Was it ever a pretty morning. It rained the other night so everything had that freshly wet sparkle to it. We'll just say I didn't get in much exercise on our walk yesterday. I may have flashed my derrière to a trucker or two though. Next time I will remember my belt.
Moving on. Anna helped me pick out a few things for photographing. She intentionally picked out low things so that she could pat me while I took pictures.
These apple (I think) trees line the center of town. They make everything down town feel so cheery. And if you are really lucky you will be walking down there to at the very moment the petals let go in a stiff wind. We were that lucky last year. It looks like great big snowflakes but in a good way. Also as you can see the town put up the summer flags. I like the fall leaf flags, the Christmas flags, and the snowflake flags but it just feels right when they put up the American flag.
I hope and pray my weeping crab apple tree does this next year. Oh, have I not told you about that yet. Well come back soon for this summer's series. This Old Yard. It's going to be quite a project but I think Jason's back is up to it.
And this was my very favorite of all. I love how the rain even makes the leaves shine.
Hope you enjoyed our walk. Next time I have to leave the camera hope if I hope to get any exercise at all.

Ensuring She Is Getting Enough Blood To Her Brain

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Day Mark Showed His Southern Roots

Mark and I play a game together. It's one he developed but I love to play too. Here is how it goes.

Mark: Mom, you're Actual Fish.

Me: Fine. You're Tux.

Mark: Fine. You're Anna.

Around and round it goes. Getting sillier each time. It's fun to see where he will take it.

So last night we were playing this crazy little game. Here is how it went.

Mark: Mom, you're Daddy. Yep. You look like Daddy.

Me: Fine. You're Daisy. Look at all that hair you have.

Mark: *Laughs like a manic crazy person.*

Mark: Mommy, you're Brett. *his stuffed bear* You have floppy ear like him.

Me: Fine you're a......*thinking*.......a cup. Yeah, you're a cup. See, here is your handle. Yep. You look like a cup.


Still pausing.

Mark: Mom, that just don't make no sense. *said in his best thick southern drawl*

And for just a moment, I thought my great grandmother from Alabama had joined me here in my kitchen. If he had said 'Hun' I would have been sure she had come down from heaven.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Great Big Thank You

Where do I start. Not long ago Flea from The Good Flea emailed me. It was the kind of email that makes your whole week. She wanted to make one of her beautiful smocked dress for Anna. I, of course, accepted her very generous offer.
So she went to work making this lovely dress. And, wow, is it ever. Smocking is so detailed. I can't imagine the patience it takes to be able to do this. Her work is gorgeous.
The biggest Thank You I can give is to show you how much she enjoyed wearing it. Every single person she came across in church told her how pretty she was. And she really was. Thank you so much Flea for giving Anna something she (and I) will treasure forever.

I must also extend a great big ol' heaping helping of Thank You to my dear Mom over at Dlyn who took these lovely pictures. Thanks Mom for having a super cool camera and the skill to use it.

Happy Sunday

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Day She Started Plotting

OK, so Mark had a birthday. When Mark has a birthday I can always count on my sister to find the most irritating, loud, annoying toys on the market and send them to him. Love that girl.
She got him the squirting bath toys. They got lost in the move.
She got him this globe.
You would think that would be a good thing. You know, educational. Except when Mark plays with it, he pushes the same button over and over and over and over. And it repeats the same three words over and over and over and over. Until my head finally spins 360 degrees. I take it away and put it on the high shelf far out of the reach of little paws. Sorry buddy that toy is special and we can't play with it all the time.
So I knew it was coming. I knew she was looking for something. I could almost smell her brain smoking down there in GA. Then it came. A huge box. It could only mean one thing. She tried to out do herself this time. She wants to finally drive me over the edge. See those buttons. Every one of them plays a different little electronic song. Every one of them can be played in a it's own style. Lots of different styles. From Reggae to rock to hip pop. We now have a dance club in our house.
See the dial in his right hand. That is volume control. Mark only has one volume. LOUD!!!!

That is a working microphone...with it's own volume control. Mark does not need a microphone to amplify his voice.
As yet my dear little sister has not procreated. However I am confident someday she will. When that day comes I will be waiting in the wings. Not with hugs and kisses for her and her babies. No. No. No. I will be waiting with toys. Lots of flashy, loud, irritating, annoying toys.

Just you wait.