Google+ Followers

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Random Pictures

I am well aware I haven't posted anything in awhile.  I must admit, I don't have any creative juices flowing at the moment.  I do, however, have a monster cold that is making my life miserable.  But because I found some gems on my camera, I'm going to do random pictures.  And maybe explain them.  Or not.  It might be more fun if you caption them.

I call this one,
 "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?"  
Actually, Matthew 7:3 calls it that.
This pic just vividly brought to mind that wise verse.

Now it's your turn.








Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ah, The Places Minnie Has Been

So with a new family member, I might have to dedicate a post or two for her.  I know my kids are cute and all, but you may need a break.  So, here is a poem, to the tune of Old Mother Hubbard.  I don't know why.

She went to the groomer to get her a, uh, groom.

She sat on a lap to watch the cars vroom.

She checked out the dashboard to catch her some rays.

She felt the wind blowing one hot summer day.

She jumped on a boat and set out for sea.

She checked out some ponies, with a little monkey.
(No, she's not in the picture, you'll have to trust me.)

She's walking and swimming and napping for sure,
She can't hardly wait for the next adventure.

The girls are excited whenever we go,
Their family member they've so much to show.

The End.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Change. Again.

Today was the first day of school.  2nd grade for my oldest.  1st grade for my youngest.

The girls are 11 1/2 months apart.  We went from zero kids to two kids in a year.  Children that are a year apart, in my opinion, are harder than twins.  Their development is not the same, and they are not far enough apart that the parents get a break before the next one begins.

All that being said, I we have been very, very busy for the last seven years.

Ashamedly, I tend to escape when I feel overwhelmed.  Usually when they are home, squabbling or tearing the living room up.  I escape to my computer.  Or my phone.

Because when they were two, and wanted to play, I liked building blocks with them.  Or swinging them on the swingset.  Or reading them stories.

But now, they are older.  And I have no interest in playing Barbies, or Ponies, or Fairies.  I love my daughters' imaginations, but I have little patience for the intricacies of the societal norms of plastic toys.

And so, with full knowledge that time is slipping away, I read while they play.  Or do laundry.  Or make dinner.  Because as they become more independent, I need some space.  And I think this might be normal, but I feel guilty all the same.

Last year was their first year of all-day school.  I spent a good part of last year staring at walls and roaming an empty house.  It wasn't entirely unpleasant.  I was tired.

When summer began, I was happy to have them home.  We camped, got a new puppy, beefed up the chore list, reviewed some school, visited relatives and swam in the pool.

When they said school started August 21, I thought that seemed early.

And it is.

I'm not ready for them to go back.  

But they already have.

We drove them to school this morning.  
Dropped them off with their teachers.  

And headed home.  

I have a few things I want to do different this year.  Staring at walls got boring.  So I got started on my projects.

And 3:30 came faster than I thought it would.

Because I missed them.

More than I did last year.  More than I thought I would.

It took my breath away how much I needed to see them again.  To hear about their day.  To feel them hug me and tell me they were happy to be home.

They were excited.  Over ice cream, their words stumbled over each other's as they told me the details they remembered.  And they were content with school.

And I am grieving.  Just a little.  But enough to surprise me.

I am proud.  Proud they are confident little spirits who feel safe at school.  Safe by themselves.  They are able to navigate their ways through lunch and rules and homework.

The independence that I have longed for, they have achieved.

The little girl stage is gone.  For both of them.  But especially my oldest.
And she will break my heart as she grows up.  

Because my youngest is my admirer.  
She will always be a Mommy's Girl.  

But my oldest is brave.  
And  shrewd.  And seven.  
She is trying her wings.  

Especially with Mom.  And my efforts at being direct with my children are being mirrored by her.  Which can sometimes be jarring.  From a seven-year old with a previously docile temperament.

And I know I have to let them go.  
I know things change. 
And if they didn't, something would be wrong.

But I'm not ready for summer to end.  
Not yet. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Almost three years ago, we gave up cable and our land line.  Partly to help our budget, partly because we weren't impressed with the shows available for our ever more observant children.

We got Netflix for a Christmas present, we bought Hulu, and Brian had subscribed to Amazon Prime for the free shipping.  (If anyone can tell me which two would be your preference, I'd be obliged.  I feel like there's a lot of repetition between them.)  I figured out how to watch some of my shows on the channel's websites, and we were set.

Except for sports.

My husband is not sports-oriented.  In my youth, however, I spent weekends snoozing in a beanbag with my dad while watching various sports on TV.  It is a cherished memory.  (I now can not watch a ball game, televised or live, without getting drowsy.  Unfortunate side effect, I know.)

I am a firm believer in the benefits of organized sports.  And that's a whole other post.  But watching or playing, I'm in.

So during the last few years I have sacrificed.


I have paced at home during the Superbowl.

I have sat down during a waitressing job to watch the Olympics.

I have monkeyed with my phone when I realized it had NFL Live on it.  And beat my head on my desk when I couldn't figure it out in time.

I have wondered, out loud, to my husband, if there was something he could do about it.

So eventually, he bought an antennae.  It didn't work.  And then we kind of forgot about it.

And then he splurged and bought a digital antennae.  And it did work.  And then we kind of forgot about it.

Until today.

Today, amazingly, I had nowhere to be, all my chores were done, and I was bored.   And then  I remembered we had 4ish local channels.  And I excitedly asked whether there was a ball game on.
And he said,

"Let's go see."

We found Little League, golf, a western, and on the last channel, a baseball game.  An honest-to-goodness, live baseball game.  It was Boston vs. New York.  Not teams I follow.  But I settled down on the couch for the duration.  And in a few minutes, Brian came in and sat down beside me.  And I was content.

A few minutes after that, my girls stumbled in from the 90 degree heat and sat down.

And my memories had come full circle.  The weekends with a game on TV.  My sister and I half watching while we played.  Or dozed.  A time to quietly bond while learning about the intricacies of opposing teams, game rules, statistics and ethics.

And then I was more than content.  I was overjoyed. And satisfied.  That we could continue a tradition.  Continue to come together and learn.  Learn about sportsmanship and excellence.  To watch TV without sex or violence.  And watch a show that didn't have singing unicorns or pink mermaids in it.

And to think.

Football is just around the corner.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August Update 2013

Where does the time go?  (Do I sound old now?)
It's already August 15 and I haven't updated you on our exciting lives.
Well, here goes.

The girls having a garage sale.
I was especially impressed by the way they made a hanger bar out of their toys.
As I look at the date, I see that this was actually taken in July.
Forgive me.

Every year about this time we get a few motorcycle riders in town.
My girls and I went home to Iowa to avoid the traffic.
While we were there, we made a side trip to Kansas City.

We saw my grandma.

We went to the Deanna Rose Children's Farm.
I think it's silly to pay to see a farm, seeing as how I'm from the Midwest.
But another blogger recommended it, and I'm glad we went.
My girls aren't ready for World's of Fun yet.
This was much more their speed.
Plus they learn valuable skills.

Like milking a cow.

Catching a fish.
(And huge props to my mom for putting worms on the hooks.  
Still not my favorite thing to do.)

Feeding bottles to baby goats.

Papa relaxing on the front porch of a very nice garden shed.
You know it's Papa, because his shirt says,
"Papa, the man, the myth, the legend."

My little sprouts and a cousin.

Later in the week, we headed to Des Moines.
I took the girls to the same science center I went to in the 5th grade.
This swinging pendulum clock was still there after all these years.
But we didn't get to see a rattlesnake being fed a live mouse.

We did try our hand at weather reporting though.  Along with rocket ship making, sound wave experimenting and IMAX butterfly movie watching.  Oh.  And lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.
Definitely a successful outing.

This is the car I drove in high school.
Dad just fixed her up again.
She looks way better at her age than I do at mine.

I was going to show you my senior picture.
You know, the one where I lay across my cool car.
But I can't find it.
So here's another one.

Just pretend that deck is my car.

a big (little) family: When the days are hard.

a big (little) family: When the days are hard.

A good read from a good friend.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I can't get a picture

of this one

 with a genuine smile

 even when she's hanging with Daddy

or compliantly posing for me

unless she is engaging in shenanigans
for which I will happily be the victim.
For that smile.

Unlike this one

who will give me her best smile

for any chance

to be immortalized
on film.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


The girls have rediscovered their stuffed bunnies that Ginka made.

They are huge, about half the size of My Littlest Girl.

This morning, she was looking for a bottle for her bunny.  She ran upstairs looking for it, telling her bunny, "Come on, my doll.  Let's go find it."

I couldn't help but notice....

Friday, June 28, 2013


After many, many years of trying to tan, I realized I just wasn't a tanning kind of gal.

I could burn, tan, burn, tan, burn, then tan, and at the end of the summer, if I had spent enough time outside, my overall color was a jaundice yellow.

Not something to flaunt.

But as I got older, I realized I was okay with using the tanless stuff.  It protected my skin and turned me a few hundred shades darker than I ever could have gotten naturally.

Until last year.

I think the elevation has finally gotten to me.  We live a few thousand feet higher here than anywhere else I've ever lived.

And my skin gave up.

Because now I tan.  A kind of tan I had always seen on my dad and grandma.  And now I know.

The answer to tanning isn't a lot of melanin.  It's complete and utter defeat on behalf of my skin.

Although I am tan, my freckles are multiplying.  And my wrinkles now rival those of a baby elephant.

My 15 year old self is ecstatic, my 40 something year old self is panicking and wondering if the spackle they sell in the makeup aisle really works.  And if they have it in tan.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Big Weekend for My Littlest Girl

Last week My Littlest Girl went to dance camp.
The first day, she was anxious.
She said she would miss us.
It took a couple of tries to help her realize dance camp wasn't an all-nighter.
Just a couple of hours a day.
Once she figured that out she was all in.
At the end of camp, the dancers got to perform in a local art fair.

This was My Littlest Girl before her performance.
She might have been a little nervous.

But once the music started, she couldn't be stopped.
(It was a scarf dance.  She was a Sprout.
Yes.  People infinitely more creative than me come up with these things.)

She loved the experience and couldn't stop talking about ballet the rest of the weekend.  
And then some.

But on Monday, she had more to talk about.

Can anyone figure out what this is?
(Without looking at the answer at the bottom?)

Nope.  It's not a doll hand...

It's her tooth! 

It seems her teeth come out a pair at a time.
But this was the strangest tooth I had ever seen.
I had never noticed it when it was in her mouth.
I might have to ask the Tooth Fairy to give it back. 

This week we are back to our normal schedule.
No driving to the next town for dance lessons, 
or lunches out, 
or really, really good naps.

But I'm okay with that.