Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day, Part 2.

Yesterday afternoon, on the way to our friends house, we stopped to take a few photos. Grady needs some new pictures for his room, to replace the baby pictures, and he has been wanting me to "picture" him with the trains. It was rainy and muddy and  yucky, and I think I will want to re-do these at another time, but here they are.

I love the way his eyes disappear when he smiles. And I love how his daddy jumped in for a few pictures, without even being asked.

Oh, how these two men melt my heart!

Happy four day week to you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember.

This Memorial Day weekend we remember the lives of the men and women that have died for our freedom. We celebrate those who have committed their lives to defend our freedom. And we are grateful for the families who are without their loved one, even on this very holiday, for my freedom.

We started this weekend with a trip to The Farmer's Market on Saturday. We haven't gone in a while, and I don't know why. I sure do enjoy a morning out in the fresh air, enjoying things made and grown by our neighbors.

We sat and enjoyed a little live music, and did some shopping.

We stopped and had lunch at our favorite German Restaurant. We sat outside, along the sidewalk, and enjoyed a warm breeze. "Rain is coming" observed our little weatherman. We talked about things that we're thankful for, and how we are so blessed. Blessed as a family, and blessed as a nation.

And then, just as he predicated, it rained.

That evening, my parents came over from Melbourne. Every few weeks, they come to our house on a Saturday night, and spend the remainder of the weekend with us. They are a treasure, in so many ways. They read books, and tell stories, they wrestle and snuggle, and laugh and play. Oh, how they love our little family.

Today, we rocked a Memorial Day parade. It was overcast, and warm, and perfect parade weather. We waved and smiled at the people sitting on top of cars, and at the horses, and the people marching. We waved our flags, and clapped for the veterans.

I have to admit, I cry at these events. There is something overwhelming to me, about seeing our service men and women in uniform. There were veterans represented for many of the wars, dating back to WW2. There were precious, elderly men, still so proud to be wearing the uniform of their youth. There were injured soldiers in wheeled chairs, smiling and waving. And because of them, and so many others, I have the freedom to bring my children to a parade and proudly wave our flag.

As important as it is to me, that my children know the real reasons we celebrate Christmas and Easter, it is just as important to me, that they know why we celebrate our national holidays. I want them to know that men and women have died for our precious freedom, and we can not take it for granted. I want them to love this country. And today, as I explained what Memorial Day means, and why we celebrate it, I found myself choking up again, with such a huge feeling of gratefulness, for the courage and sacrifice of so many.

Thank you to all the men and women that have served this great country. We appreciate your sacrifice, and the sacrifices made by your families. We remember those that have given their lives. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's make a list.

Yesterday evening we rocked a very impromptu play date at the park. Like, "hey we're heading out the door, do you want to meet at the park?" kind of impromptu. We put on our shoes, left dinner on the stove, and hurried out the door. (Bryan was home, and the stove was off. No cause for concern.)

Brothers, Jacob and Noah.

They were playing hide and seek.

We got home just in time to finish making dinner, and sit down to eat in a timely fashion. Then we ate the "surprise" for Bryan that we brought home from the chocolate factory yesterday. It was delicious, just like the last one. I'm thinking maybe we should "surprise" him more often...

If I made a list, (which that statement alone makes me want to get out paper and pen and start writing, but if I made a list) of everyday things that I love, trips to the park with friends and caramel chocolatey apples would both be on there.

If you made a list, of everyday things that make your day extraordinary, what would be on it? Are there simple things that make you smile and feel happy? Feel free to leave a comment, and share some of your favorites. Or just make a little list of your own, to pull out on a rainy day.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back in the saddle.

Today started out a little rough. We've been staying close to home for the past week and a half, in a bit of a sickness induced slump. Today, I woke up ready to run, or fly, or just plain get outta the house. I wanted to celebrate the fact that I feel better. I wanted to go, and do something fun. But this morning I could not come up with anything to do. The kids didn't want to do the park/picnic thing, or the splash park, and I just couldn't think of any good ideas.

So we did school, and puzzles, and chickens, had lunch and took naps. And then, the ideas were a plenty. And we rocked this afternoon and evening.

We went to Barnes and Noble, which is one those ideal places, perfect for rainy or hot days. Our normal routine is to kind of move in, sit and read books, and laugh about silly things.

The kids have spending money that they save from their chores. They get to spend it on pretty much whatever they want, but I do try to encourage good choices. Today they insisted on a stuffed shark, and a stuffed cat. All I could think about was the top shelf in the playroom, that is piled high with stuffed animals, that rarely come out to play. I did the speech about "it's your money, but wouldn't you rather buy a book? We have so many stuffed animals already...", but in the end, we came home with a shark named Douglas, and a kitty named Daisy.

Bella and Grady have taken a special interest in my camera lately. As you may know, my camera is much like my 4th child. It goes everywhere with me. And I love it, and feed it, and give it a bath...

So today, I let them take a few pictures. The next three are Bella's. She walked around us, quiet and steady, photographing different angles. I told her she's hired.

I love that she got the whole mess. Sometimes I'm too quick to zoom all the background stuff out.

Then it was Grady's turn. He took five pictures of Bella's head, a shot of my rear (I'll spare you), a few of a headless Lilly, and a couple of these...

After the bookstore, we went to the pet store. This is another one of our back-up plans. We weren't in a hurry, so they all had plenty of time to see their favorites. Bella likes the bunnies, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Grady, is of course all about the fish, snakes and lizards. And Lilly loves to sit a watch the birds. She talks to them. She waves at them, and holds up her toys, to show them. She is the bird whisperer...

After that, we met my sister-in-law, Brittany, at Chick-fil-a for dinner. The children played for a little bit, actually, I take that back. Bella and Grady played, while Lilly tried on the other kids' shoes, and walked around the restaurant in shoes that were not her own... Then we carried on with our little  evening adventure .

 After that, we all went to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to share a caramel and chocolate covered apple. And since they had no little table or chairs, we sat in the trunk of my car, and made a delicious mess.Yum.

And tonight, bedtime was sweet. The little loves were tired, and so was I. We read stories, and snuggled, and carried on with our normal bedtime activities.

It's so good to be feeling better, and closer to "normal". It's so good to know that these little babes are my gift, and I get to raise them. It's so good to plan fun days for them, and enjoy our time together in the process. It's life, and it is so good.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Under the weather.

I have been feeling so under the weather for a week now. I think that was part of the reason for my hibernation earlier last week. Before I had children, I would have crawled into my bed, and slept deeply for a week. But now, I feel an obligation and a desire to carry on with normal life, as much as possible. I want the kids to have fun, even if we rarely leave the house. We've been reading a lot of books, playing games, and doing a whole bunch of shows.

Yesterday, we played in the baby pool. It was a warm day, and the water was perfect.

This is Grady's "Samson soup". He put Sampson in the bowl, and mixed him up with water, and then tried to eat him.
Plastic spoons, bowls, and measuring cups make the best pool toys on the fly. These kids are bright and beautiful, and oh, so loved.

It was refreshing, even if it was only 12 inches of water.

That evening we went for our jammied trip to watch the sunset. This time, we packed a snack. Grady was eating his Kix "like a dinosaur". There was lots of roaring and general mess-making. I don't know... There were birds all over the place, just waiting for us to look like we were packing up, so that they could swoop in and clean up after us. They were probably so happy to see the dinosaur.

It was nice to get out of the house, and go for a ride in the car with the windows down. And it was a beautiful sunset.  It was good to breathe the fresh air, and feel the breeze, and just sit and enjoy the sounds of the birds and the ducks, and the dinosaurs...  We took the long way home, just for fun. The kids all went straight to bed, and fell fast asleep. It was a good night.