Thursday, August 26, 2010

We're Back!

Lily is taking first grade right in stride, just as I knew she would. This little fashionista is her mother's daughter, though, I promise you, I didn't have NEARLY the fashion sense she does at age six.

Anyway, she jumped out of bed yesterday and rushed off to meet the rest of her life. These cute little brothers tagged along to the bus stop. WARNING: Possibly the sweetest photo in the world ahead!

We waited forever for the bus to come, but the kids were good!

I'm also back to life. I was down for four days with such a killer headache! I've been diagnosed with sinusitis, and the sinuses still don't seem to be draining. I'm not complaining though, because the headache has finally died down.

I'm 16 weeks pregnant today. Here's a photo to show you all that Baby #4 might just show a bit earlier and larger than you might expect!

I still look a little rough around the eyes, but I, for one, am just amazed that I managed a full day of work and then, of course, a full evening of dealing with the kids all by myself. I think I'll stop there, 'cause remember? I'm trying not to complain!

"In spite of all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
From my favorite poem, "Desiderata"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do Your Best

I decided to organize a little Back-to-School Feast for our beautiful first-grade queens, Lily and Julia. They head off on that big yellow bus in the morning, but tonight: lasagna, cupcakes, crowns and a fashion show!

Our theme: Do Your Best!

Miss Lily will have Mrs. Starkey, who was MY first-grade teacher 25 years ago!! Miss Julia has Mrs. Schaad, who Lily had last year. Both are in good hands!

These pesky little brothers are scheduled to be in preschool together. Dear Lord, bless the teachers....

We ended the party with a fashion show in which the girls modeled four outfits each. In all honesty, if they can keep their innocence, their friendship and their lovely smiles, they'll be just fine!!

Good luck, baby girls!! Do Your Best!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sweet Fair Days and A Tribute to Belle

So, when I was about 12 years old, my parents convinced me to take a pig to the fair as a 4-H project. I wasn't too keen on the idea, but my sister, who must have been 14, and my brother, 11, were taking pigs as well, and the care was split three ways. We spent our hot summer days in the tomato and pepper patches, which we loathed, and then one of us would step into the hot, dusty pig shed to water and feed the pigs. Not much to it, really. Occasionally, as part of the project, we were to get the pigs out, or climb into the pen with them, to "get used to them" and "train them," or something. (This was the part about which I wasn't fond.)

I, perhaps unwisely, even named my pig. That stinky pink sow was Belle, to me.

Summer marched on, and fair time drew near. Back then, the pigs all had to be tested for drugs or steroids or something, so the local vet had to make farm rounds in the weeks leading up the fair. The day Doc Lowe came to our place was in the 90s. And the quest for Belle's blood wasn't pretty. She ran, she squealed, she fought like hell (like somebody I know). And damned if she didn't end up having a heart attack and DYING!!!

Seriously, a week before the fair, my pig died.

And, as if that wasn't bad enough, I remember my dad was in Ann Arbor or someplace for work, and my mom was charged with finding help to butcher the thing within the hour lest all the meat be spoiled in the heat. (Thanks, Neil Huck. Wasn't it you who came to our aid?)

At any rate, I didn't show a pig that year, or EVER. In a wry twist of fate, my sister's pig was a mere two pounds underweight and didn't make it into the fair either. So, after feeding three pigs all summer, we netted just one to the fair.

And, Belle, I'm sorry about how it all turned out. It was traumatic for both of us.

These days, the fair for me is much more enjoyable. I don't have the pressure to show a pig, the frustration of unrealized teenage lust, the insecure feelings of wearing the wrong thing. In fact, now I'm a PTO booth shift worker! That's right, folks. I'm a parent. So now I get to see sights such as these: beautiful kids riding carousels, waving flags while watching parades, smiling big from the most rickety rides and feeding OTHER PEOPLE'S animals. Seriously, folks, it doesn't get much better than this.

If you live in the area and haven't yet visited the Waterford Community Fair, go tomorrow and get yourself a lemon shake and at least one delectable food item.

And, if you get down the hill and get a whiff of those pigs, please help me to remember Belle, who taught me that you can fight like hell sometimes and still not make it to the goal.

And now: My beautiful kids!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Have and To Hold

Wow. I sure am glad I have this handsome man to have and to hold the rest of my life.

As predicted, it was a big weekend full of emotion. Saw some meteors, went to a fantastic wedding, saw old friends and family... and had some tense and sad moments as well. But I'm through it a better person, with more perspective than I had before.

I'm also suffering from a summer cold. So instead of regaling you with my words, I'm going to feed you some fun photos and sign out.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Eich! What a party!

My girl, Roberta, and I looking sassy in black!

Looking for a party crowd? Here ya go!

The blushing bride and her super fun sisters on the dance floor!

My baby and I with the sheen and breathlessness that comes with a good, old-fashioned dance party on an August evening!

To the Eichs and all young, married couples awaiting life and its blessings: My wish for you is that you come to know, appreciate and accept the ebb and flow that is marriage. May you know the blessings of true love, healthy children and amazing friends and family. May you grow older, wiser and more grateful together.

And, for heaven's sake! Go to bed mad if you want! Everything looks better in the morning anyway.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Warning: Big Weekend Ahead

Colby passed out in a precarious position on the loveseat after a long morning of yard sales and cleaning the house. Meanwhile, the other two kids were proud to show off their yard sale finds....

We've got a very special friend campfire to enjoy tonight, a wedding that will be gorgeous, fun and kid-free tomorrow and two family meetings to attend on Sunday. (One on my side of the family, one on Shrek's.) These meetings will pack a wallop on a Sunday, but I am confident that, through the grace of God and the meek following of humankind, these meetings will bring about peace, and not just change and heartache.

So. It appears this tired momma is missing naptime again.

Gotta go. May peace be the centerpiece of my weekend and yours.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to the Basics

Somewhere around here, I have a couple of gorgeous photos of my husband and son, Max, in a field with a barn in the background. It was taken my my aunt Patti after a fall hike on her and my uncle Terry's farm. I had the pleasure of spending some time there tonight "working" and came away with about 32 quarts of freezer corn.

I wish I had taken my camera to capture Colby toddling around with a shorn corn cob, sucking the juice and making himself a sticky mess. It was sweet.

Anyway. I don't have a photo for this post, but let me paint you a picture in your mind. Cicadas chirping, Moses the old dog bellowing about but scaring no one, a breeze after a hot day, a seamless operation of shucking, boiling, cooling, shearing and filling bags of corn. Kids running barefoot and dirty; the whole thing ending with sweet tea and butter and salt for the last dozen ears of corn.

This is what I want. I want a house in the country, with a proud garden and the time to store food I've grown for the winters. I want kids and dogs running free, and my baby and I on the porch swing late at night where no one can see.

You can have your Starbucks and even your Targets. Isn't this what it all ends with anyway? Family, land, hard work and the knowledge and pride of a job well done.

I'm goin' back to the basics of life.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Perfect Weekend

My sweet Colby and I about to dip into the lake!

I'm pretty beat tonight, but I made an effort this weekend to take more photos of my life to share with all of you. After a Friday morning of yard sales with the boys, I headed off to shop with Lily. It was fantastic! And then, to Lake Tweet!

We've been spending most of every weekend at Lake Tweet. I keep thinking I need a break, but come Friday, what sounds better than a free campfire with amazing friends and family and endless fresh air? I also keep telling myself that soon enough I'll be cooped up in a germy house and the whole family with nowhere to go but the germy mall or other people's shut-up houses. (Doesn't winter sound lovely?)

Anyway. Let's just see some photos:

Red-headed cousins enjoying a camper bath before bed Saturday night.

Momma and her cubs floating on Lake Tweet.

The kids were bathed at the camper and asleep with their Pillow Pets by the time we pulled in to our driveway at 7:45 p.m.

Yes, I bought the Pillow Pets, and they are worth more to the kids than the money was to me!

I didn't take any photos of volleyball, my best girl Berta, my hunky husband or delicious food, but they were all part of the perfect weekend as well.

It's summertime, and the livin' is easy. Peace out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fight for Pillow Pets

So, yeah, have any of you other moms seen the Pillow Pets commercial on TV? My kids have, and they want Pillow Pets!

So much so that when I told Lily I have arranged for the two of us to finally have "Girl Day" tomorrow afternoon for school shopping and other fun, she said all she wanted was a Pillow Pet! I said, "Lily, it's time for school shopping. We're not getting Pillow Pets." She insists that she has $9 and that I'm a "mean mommy who never buys [her] anything!" This, of course, was after she put on a fashion show with the five or six outfits I bought her at a yard sale on the way home from work.

Remember the post about teaching my kids to be grateful? Still working on that.

In other news, Lily has been an amazing help lately. She can even get Colby to fall asleep for his nap now. She takes her own showers, pulls the stopper at just the right time to "get the boys' bath ready," and she's just kind of amazing in general. Come to think of it, she just might get that Pillow Pet after all.

Mr. Max is also growing up. I've noticed this week that his "thank you's" are automatic. He's still working on the "please" part, but we're getting there. He is a strange mix of sweetness and aggressiveness right now. He and I have had some one-on-one time this week as well, and it was great! One of the bigger challenges in my crazy life right now is getting enough time to spend one-on-one with each kid. Of course, Colby doesn't yet care.

Speaking of Colby, he's rotten and ornery. He's walking everywhere now. I said the other day, and it's true, that he has turned in his gorilla baby crawl for more of an old chimpanzee walk. He looks like a wobbly old man still, but the huge, proud smile really helps!

Alas, another week has passed. I'm saying goodbye to the first trimester. (May I never see it again. =) ) And I realized this: I'm starting my 132nd week of pregnancy (in my life, you know.) So hey! I get to be quiet, moody, peaceful, tired and elated, in strange and twisty turns.

Hoping my energy level is about to spike... There is just so much I want to do!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Quiet on the Mind Front

So I feel a little bit like Lil looks in the photo above. I guess I'm a little burnt out on blogging right now, but I'm feeling pretty peaceful and comfortable in general.

I'm gaining weight, or at least gaining a belly. I tell ya, the fourth shows quickly. I'm bidding farewell to the first trimester, thanking the Lord for blessings in all areas of life, and trying to get myself back into the spirit of sharing more of it with all of you.

Hope all of you are just chillin', waitin' on me to recharge. =)

Ciao for now!


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