New Blues

Brand new blue blooms - more than I think I've ever seen in any season yet!
The perfect combination of colors - only the Great Designer could have come up with this!
The ants love them, too...


Just Words - A Dream

Last night I dreamed about my Grandpa who passed over in 2006. In the dream, we were indoors, there were lots of people in a vaguely familiar place, and it was very sunny. I saw him sitting in another room, and went in to him. He was sitting directly in the sun at a table next to the window - just sitting there, as I had seen him many times when he was alive as a very old man. When he was younger, he only sat down to eat a meal, or watch the 11 o'clock news. The rest of the time, he was in constant farmer-motion, a whirlwind of industry straight out of the Greatest Generation. As he saw me approaching, his normally taciturn face broke into a huge grin, and he began to rise to greet me, reaching out for me. The dream is especially vivid here, as he never reached to hug any of us. We hugged him, and he awkwardly responded with stiff and brief returns of affection. As he got older, and I knew the time for hugs was getting shorter, I hugged him longer and more often. But it was always the same sort of awkward, stiff return. In my dream, though, he smiled wider than I had never seen him do and enfolded me in a strong, warm hug.

And I heard his voice near my ear say, "Come here, and let me hug my oldest son!"

In truth, he only had one son, the youngest after two daughters, and it certainly was not me.

Go ahead. Analyze that.


Migrating Heroes

Old plastic superheroes don't die ...
... they just move to the greenhouse. This one even found a (bird)house of his own!


Birthday Photos from the Stash

Today is Our Middle Son's birthday - fifteen years ago, right about now, I was begging the triage nurse to NOT send me home. Thought I'd post some photos from the found photo stash, with a little narration, what else?

All my babies had such pitiful baby acne. And they were jaundiced, too. That's not the golden evening sun kissing his little bald head. He's only a few days old in this photo.
And there's my other best friend from those days --- The Pacifier!

Totally different from The First, Our Second had to be tightly buckled into the high chair. In this photo, Danger Child is about to slide down, and down further, until only his fingertips are hanging on to the tray - one of his favorite tricks. No crying, of course, only his eager anticipation of my total freak out upon finding him this way.

Do you see the pattern here? That look of gleeful mischief? It's why he's in the playpen - because the rest of us were trying to decorate the Christmas tree. This was the year that all of the balls on the bottom half of the tree had to be plastic. Since glass balls fly across the room so well. And shatter in such a spectacular manner.

Here is the birth of an extreme case of 'Santa Fear' - right here, folks!
Was it the beard that caused it? The sort of sinister nose sticking out there? Hmmm... We only know that this is the one and only photo of Middle Child (not shrieking) and Santa.

Middle Child got all the way into his first birthday cake and was eager to share some, too.
Tonight, he's asked for chocolate peanut butter pie. And he's going to get it!



In the spring, before all the weeds ruin the fun of the garden like they are beginning to right now, it's fun to watch the flowers emerge. After waiting all winter, it's exciting! The iris pop shyly out of their paper jackets.

The peonies (pine-y, please) push their faces out of their tight, tight wraps --- they had help from the ants, of course.

But the best, the best of all, are the poppies. They hang their heads, like nothing at all is about to happen.

Then, when it's almost time for them to bloom, their heads lift up... They shrug out of their fuzzy sweaters...



Fish on Friday

Is it gonna be this kind of day...
...or this kind of day?
(photos taken at the Newport Aquarium, school field trip)


Phone Call

I got the phone call on Saturday morning. The one that parents of a new driver DON'T want to receive. My Eldest had left the house early to go to a baseball game with a friend. All was quiet. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not good at answering the house phone, but this time I happened to be standing nearby when it rang.

"Mom, I've been in bad wreck..."

I had a Matrix Moment until I heard the next sentence, "...but I'm OK."

This morning I realized that I hadn't gotten a photo of him in front of the first vehicle he ever drove, holding his keys and his new license. And now I never will, since it's all smashed up.

Oh, the marvelous grace of the Heavenly Father, who allowed him to emerge without a scratch! We are all grateful.

And we are ducking down, wincing, as we wait to find out just how high our insurance rates are going to climb. I'm thinking it might get ugly...


Photo Stash - Firstborn

More photos from the found photo stash. These are of My Oldest, better known as Trial-and-Error Son. Not his trials and errors, but ours perpetrated on him as our firstborn. My largest offering of sympathy for all firstborns out there.
And to mine, since he is still living the life as our firstborn. (1 Cor. 10:13)

What a serious face he has! Always had and still has. Once a neighbor who had come from the across the street to play with our chubby baby confessed to us, "We ask each other, 'What must be wrong with this baby that he never smiles?' " Nice confidence booster for the new parents - yeah, thanks. Here he is in his long johns and indian gear - and I think it's an appropriately menacing face.
Watch out or I'll nail ya with this nerf-tip arrow!

There! Looking delighted (take that, opinionated neighbor!) at his third birthday party. We're wondering why we bought presents for him when all he seemed to love were these worm-shaped balloons. Somehow all our boys happily wore those pointy birthday party hats well into their older years. Until adolescence set in --- how painful to wear a pointy party hat at twelve years old.

This photo was taken on his first big fishing trip - which happened to occur just when the new Middle Son arrived home from the hospital. A little distraction from life's big 'adjustments' never hurts, yes? They're fishing at a favorite uncle's house. The landscape around that lovely lake is completely changed now - surrounded by subdivision housing.

Footie pajamas and powdered donuts - does life get any better? It had to be a special occasion of some sort, since powdered donuts do NOT just trot through here on any ordinary day. Maybe a zoo day? This was his response to, "Make your funniest face!"

Way back in our first house when he was the only child, Our Boy used to climb up on the sink to watch, fascinated, as his dad shaved around the edges of his beard. Sometimes, he would get to put shaving cream on his own soft, soft cheeks - then 'shave' it off with the back of a comb. On this occasion, though, he gained an eyeliner mustache, delighted to look just like his dad.

Now this little guy is tooling around in a sleek, red car. He's got a McDonald's visor and is preparing food for the general population. He is visiting with friends, and girls, that we have never seen or approved of. Not that we might not approve, of course, but there are no play date decisions for us to make anymore.

Keep your eyes open wide, Sisters in the Motherhood - your Boys are fast growing into Men! Enjoy them and your station in life - make memories to savor later. Memories that get sweeter as time passes by.


Sowing Seed

I've found that salad containers make wonderful micro-greenhouses! The little 'Jiffy' pellets fit in their flat bottom so nicely and they hold moisture amazingly well. (As we all with three-day-old soggy spinach already knew.) On the lid, I was able to write what seeds were planted in each pellet-pot. No popsicle stick markers this year!
Planting seeds is one of the most satisfying tasks of spring - much, MUCH nicer than cleaning out closets or washing windows. This year, it turned into a homeschool project, with My Youngest having his own container for seeds of his choosing. (Since that's lots better than being stuck inside with a math book when mom has wandered out to the greenhouse.) Lots of good conversations ensued: "Should I crack the seedcoats or not?" "Why are some seeds so big and other so small?" "What happens if the pots get too wet?" Seed packet reading, germination calculations, and experimental methods --- now that's what I call Home Education. Too bad it doesn't happen like that every day at our 'academy'!