Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend & Summer To Do List

I love Memorial Day weekend. Everyone's yards looks so nice all at the same time. People seem to be in an extra good mood - extra friendly - as they're finally enjoying some much needed rest & relaxation. I love all the red, white & blue flags that pop up all over neighborhoods & towns. And I love that Memorial Day is a time to reflect & shift our focus from all the blessings we enjoy here in America to the sacrifice that others have made in order that we might enjoy them. Today is as close to perfect as it gets here. The sun is shining but it's breezy so it's not too hot or too humid & the mosquitoes aren't out yet :) Flowers are blooming all over the place. We here in New England are SO ready for summer vacation by this time!

Memorial Day weekend is the kind of the unofficial summer kick-off and this just may be Playmaker's (16yrs) last summer to be footloose and fancy free & not needing to work or be tied down w/ other responsibilities. I think she senses that too & perhaps that's what prompted her to make the following summer "To Do List". Her original was handwritten w/ little cartoon illustrations :) - I'm just publishing it here "for the record" w/ her permission & I can't help but wonder how many things she'll have crossed off three months from now. Time will tell.

make homemade ice cream
make a painting on canvas
huge slip n slide w/ a tarp & bubbles!
sleep under the stars
waterballoon slingshot
boogieboard in the ocean
jump off a rope or cliff into water
throw a bottled letter in the ocean
dance in the rain
walk in a thunderstorm
do something completely spontaneous
read 5 books
cook food over an open fire
make a new friend
make a new drawing every week
write a short story
really want to go horseback riding!!!!
tie dye
not go to the movies once!
get a temporary tattoo
climb a tree
swim at nighttime
flashlight tag or manhunt
get ice cream from the ice cream man
feed ducks
write a letter
surprise someone w/ a gift
drive to the beach (her/Playmaker driving)
fly a kite
sidewalk mural w/ chalk
dance w/ David
skip stones
make homemade popsicles
watch the sun rise & set
get a blanket and watch the clouds go by
go to the Boston Aquarium
do something I've never done before
try a new food
swing on a swing set
wish on a shooting star
stay up all night talking to David
make a time capsule

Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

 Oh, say can you see, by the dawns early light, 
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? ....

And the rockets's red glare, the bombs bursting in air
gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

,,,Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation...

Excerpts from The Star Spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key
September 1814

*** Have a nice long weekend!***
Bunny over HERE shared this video of such a tender moment that brought tears to my eyes this morning.

The baby's reaction reminds me of how I've reacted at times when I've just been so sure it was God's voice that I heard & watching the mother here caused me to consider how God must feel each time someone new hears His voice & acknowledges Him.

17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message,
and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Li'l Slugger

Strike was a team captain in the all star game last night. Her team lost but it was a great game! Really fun to watch. She's never worked so hard in her life at anything as she has at pitching. In the beginning she lacked coordination but she put in countless hours during the off seasons & endured lots of sore/iced shoulders bc she wanted to be good - and it paid off! :) I'm so proud of her.

I love this pic. Strike is in the the background
at 3rd base & one of her best friends is at bat. I think
it's neat how the catcher's glove & the bat frame her face.

Since I tend to be a softy when it comes to playing hardball (letting my kids fail now & then), I'm so grateful that all our kids enjoy sports. Hard work ethic & hard life lessons (the ones learned best from failure, mistakes & hard work) come so naturally when our kids are competing.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3

Monday, May 17, 2010

I've got the hang of it & I'm hooked

You've probably already seen my slideshow of Senegal - but I finally made a Blurb of it - my very first blurb ever! - & now that I have the hang of it, I'm hooked. I'm ordering this photo journal of our trip in a hardback coffee table type book & I can hardly wait to see how it turns out "for real".

I'd love to make a book of some of Strike's best photography - or maybe I could write a story and Playmaker would illustrate it for me?! The possibilities for blurb books are endless. What unique gift potential! ... One can even "slurp" their blog into a blurb!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How do opposites attract?

If you didn't know that these dark & light people didn't even know each other & share little, if anything, in common - you would never. even. know it.

Perhaps all the friendly (key word here) smiles captured here contain some sort of magnetic properties that encourage opposites to attract?

The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.

I've studied these pics and tried to figure out how they do it?! How do children manage to bridge the very same barriers (language, cultural, economic, etc...) that adults find to be almost insurmountable and so intimidating - without. even. trying?!

Hmmm. Perhaps that's the secret?! Maybe adults just complicate something that's so simple a child can do it - by trying much too hard to bridge a gap that only grows bigger with each difference they see - but is non-existent when those differences are simply overlooked.

35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said,
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."
36He took a little child and had him stand among them.
Taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me;
and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teeeeacher....I have a question.

edit - oops, - she's actually already passed this particular test - she's prepping for a math one next. But the underlying point remains the same.

I need some help figuring this one out....

Just what IS Playmaker (10th grade) supposed to focus on for the Long Composition portion of the upcoming MCAS test (for which a passing grade is required to graduate from high school here in our "progressive" state) since she was instructed NOT to be concerned with spelling, grammar or punctuation?

Note: I actually thought about saving this for a "Funny Friday" post but since it's true(!) I think it's too sad to qualify :(

Time Flies

For Mother's Day Playmaker gave me the transformation (below) she made for an art project at school. Only after my intitial thoughts of how "timely" such a unique gift was given how my kiddos are growing up right before my eyes (Spokes graduates this month, Playmaker just got her permit & Strike is officially a teenager now!), did I find a note she'd written explaining how she thought it seemed appropriate for a house full of kids who are growing up fast. Hmmm - who knew I had such a good eye for interpreting fine art?! One aspect I didn't manage to capture very well in the photos is the fact that it's compiled/drawn/comprised totally of the teeniest of tiniest little dots -- all done by hand and in ink. The dots remind me of seconds on the clock -- tick-tocking away. One by one.... I was so thrilled to receive this work of art - but the more time I spend thinking about it, the sadder I get (talk about transforming)! Yikes! ... please excuse me while I go spend some precious time w/ the artist!

Monday, May 10, 2010

An organic (com)post

I always thought it would be neat to own a farm. But somehow this....

...isn't quite what I'd envisioned in my grandest of dreams along that line. There's no big red barn, dirt roads, rolling hills of green & gold - no horses or cows :( But - nonetheless, my new worm farm is a start! Hubby built it for me from the ground up (all 5 inches or so :) and it's soon (hopefully) to be some "rich" real-estate. I think there are a couple resident worms in there but it looks like I may hafta mail order some initial breeding stock - as I can't seem to find them for sale locally.

I already fed the "animals" a gourmet mix of banana peel, coffee grinds, veggie scraps & egg shells this morning. I gather they love rabbit poop too & we have a most reliable source for that. Meet our steady supplier, Oliver Twix:

Future plans include relocating farm raised worms, & the rich "rabbit poop soup" (compost!) they produce, to my flower & vegetable gardens. If that grosses you out - sorry - but that's what "organic" is all about. As I see it, it's one amazing way God illustrates His unique ability to turn something bad into something good - in a most remarkable way. Call me crazy - but actually, I'm serious.

I found some helpful starter tips here: Vermicomposting

"Manure is an art, and I consider myself an accomplished artist."

- John Adams to his son -
(my note: this was one of the most memorable scenes
in the John Adams HBO miniseries :)

A "charming" gift

Strike's aunt & uncle gave her money to pick out a piece of jewelry that she reeeaaally liked for her 13th birthday. The fact that she got to pick out exactly what she wanted made it a very personal gift & extra special too - as we rarely shop at fine jewelry stores & she had fun doing that. She picked out a Chamilia Bracelet & thanks to a procrastinating mother who finally took her shopping - and a timely Mother's Day sale, she was able to stretch her dollar in terms of the first charms she chose from oodles of options.

She has long loved Eeyore! They say opposites attract :)
She's found her niche as a softball pitcher , hence her nickname, "Strike" - as it's what we love to hear the ump bellow over & over again. We never tire of hearing it! In fact, if we don't hear it much we start to get a little concerned!

Smile! This one was perfect as it captured her passion AND her birthstone :)

The same aunt & uncle gave Strike's big sister a similar bracelet for her 13th bday - so I'll hafta keep my eyes open for another sale bc if this spotted fellow....

...were given a special spot on each one, I think he'd do a fine job jogging our memories now & then of people we met, things we saw & places we visited during our recent trip to Senegal, Africa - a trip from which we all returned slightly different. Not quite the same. Forever changed such a way that I hope they (we!) never forget.

Hmmm....Since this is a gift designed to keep on giving, I can't help but wonder how it will morph to accommodate what her future has in store. No doubt it packs the potential to illustrate what only time will tell - in a most charming fashion & w/ a style all her own.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hubby started smoking

Tho't I'd never see the day that my husband would start smoking. Apparently tho' I wore him down & drove him to it - & low & behold .... it IS addicting! I think it's safe to say that everyone w/in a one block radius of our backyard was probably sufferin' from intense cravings conjured up by the second hand smoke generated during our first attempt at smokin' last night :) If this post were scented, you'd be hooked too!

The ribs, chicken & bacon were to die for delicious!

In the event that I die of a heart attack trying this (be sure to scroll down to see how it's prepared!) least I will have picked a poison wrapped in bacon - what a way to go! And in the event that I survive ..... well then perhaps by wielding a bit of peer pressure we'll manage to talk you into joining us for a smoke sometime too :) Trust won't regret it!