Monday, September 19, 2016

You Say Tomato, I Say Heaven

Wow, the way to my birthday heart- heirloom tomatoes. When Aunt Tish presented me with this giant gift, that weighed a ton, I could not even imagine what was in it.  I was so surprised by a box of heirloom tomatoes. It has been a happy tomato fest in these parts as I eat them for breakfast, lunch and supper and hold to hope that before the box is gone, I'll be good and full of tomatoes and happy to wait until July for my next one.  That has never happened, so we'll see.

 Bean and Bugg visited for the weekend.  We went to see a movie, an animated flick based on Robinson Curuso.  The animation was terrific, but the story was lame.  Next we tried the new little pizza joint, Toppt's. I was not much impressed with it either, but enjoyed the time with the kidlets.

Say fish, and you'll see this big smile on Bean's face.  After church, he and Pap spent the afternoon at the pond.
 Missy Bugg had a game.
 She was  up for a free throw and I had the camera poised to capture the moment if the ball went in.  You know, I'm not small and I was on the first row, the aisle seat with this black box pressed to face in the middle of a game, for which I assume all the small audience was there to see.  Right when the ball goes in, a kid, probably fourteen or so, steps right in front of the camera. I mean inches from my face,  and I missed the whoosh.  I think that is the thing that generally just makes me crazy.  Simply going along with whatever is on your mind, and not worrying the least about how your actions affect someone else.
After the game, we headed out to visit Mom.  She was some better from last week, but still struggling with easy breathing.
It was a busy weekend. Hope it was a good one for you.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Big Birth Week

Happy Birthday on this Labor Day to Aunt Tish, Aunt SuZQ and Jakester. Tomorrow- Happy, Happy to Laurie Lou!
A rather low key weekend for me.  Since we've gotten chickens and lots of gramerlings, my front yard has looked like a place where feral children and animals play.  With no sun, and chickens who eat nine of every ten grass seeds you throw out, it was just a mess.  Since my littles enjoy chasing chickens and riding jeeps and go-karts better than grass and flowers, I've let it go.
The recent tree removal, however has allowed some sun in my front yard for perhaps the first time ever.  In addition, I've a notion to have a couple of soirees this fall and I'd rather not have my guests be wide eyed and ask if I have feral children and animals about.  So I hauled myself to the nursery for the big holiday 75% off sale to put in a little front garden.   I should've taken the pictures this morning. When the sun shines through the pine on this little space it is all red gold and glowing and makes me smile.  My hope is there are enough plants disliked by deer to keep them eating stuff further from the house. If not, well then I can answer honestly, yes, this is where feral animals have dinner.
This past week Gardner E. and I made weed pockets with my students.  I made them at home with the kidlets that showed up for Playdate.  Well, we made Wayside Rosie's for her posies.
 My little missy had been all smiles and sweetness through dinner prep and supper, but when Pap finished eating, she was ready for a snooze and so was he.

 Gee, I'll have to try this picture another time of the day.  You can see that some green stuff is actually starting to fill in the dirt patch.
 That highlighted butterfly bush in the corner is a new plant. As soon as I sat it down, critters were all over it. I just love it.
I wasn't able to get Mom bathed on Thursday as she was too short of breath, so I returned on Saturday.  She is absolutely not herself, which usually means another UTI.  Bless her heart.  She gets a week or two off before we're right back on antibiotics that make her sick.
I hope you found something lovely in this holiday.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mid Summer All Summer Long

Whew, weather wise, it has been August since April this year- hot, hot, hot.
I've loved having an i-Mac because it made storing and sharing my pictures so easy. Just pop the little card in, and there they were.  When I went to browse, in order to add pictures here, just go to the last import and ta-dah, done.  Well, it got to where I couldn't do anything and was required to download the new, ummm, something or other that is not Safari.  Now, it won't read the card at all unless I turn off the computer and turn it all on again.  It doesn't give me an option of my latest import. I find nothing about it easier to manage than before.  Consequently, I'm way behind on posting here, so this is going to be a long one! Well, maybe, if I can ever find the pictures.
Ol' Mother Hubbard was in need of a sitter for just the boys, so Bean and Giddy-Up came and we had our boy's night and morning.  They always want a fire, so it was hot dogs and ravioli on the fire. Ugh, so hot, but not so they noticed.  We had science experiments. Here they are making their own lemonade.
Pap pitched a tent and growled at me for taking his picture.  He and the older boys were supposed to sleep outside. Pap did, the boys caved.  When he came in for breakfast he teasingly said, 
"Good morning girls."

 We created rattlers with seashells and had blessing gems and lots of sausage for breakfast.  The amount of food these children can consume is astounding.
On the day Rae, Rosie and I shopped, Pap had a date with Giddy-Up and Mr. Smiley.  After shopping at our house and thrift stores for metal items, they created a sound board to hang outside and  play whenever the spirit moves them.

When I cleaned out my room this summer, I found a science kit I bought for the classroom. I had used most everything that there was enough of for a classroom.  This past Tuesday, I turned it over to the boys to enjoy what was left of it.  It was our one late afternoon of milder temperatures and drier weather.  So we all enjoyed the outdoor time.
Our sweetest little Rosie so enjoyed being outside and watching all the action.  She is the dearest littles bit.  Sometimes your kiddo makes you so proud your buttons about pop off.  I really had no idea how this fostering would be.  Well, at this point, we just have another baby we love. No one on the outside looking in would have one clue that we didn't welcome her into the world as our newborn.

 Let me tell you, this interest and these smiles are the best there is and set the world all aright for me.
 I also had left over ice cream from a classroom treat and toppings were on sale this week, so banana splits were dessert.  Yummy. Swimming has started, so Bean and Bugg couldn't be with us.

And, at last, what my sweet girls have been pining for all year- The Fairy Ball.  Since the boys spent the night, the girls needed their turn.  I also needed them to spend the night because they had so much planned, there was no way to do it in an afternoon.
So we began on Friday evening with fairy houses and fairy lanterns.
 Saturday morning, we headed to the Farmer's Market for a bouquet of flowers to make tiny flower baskets.
 And the food, oh my. We served our guests Lichen Sandwiches, Wood Chips, Butterfly Crunch, Berry and Twig Delight, Fruit Logs, Cheery Berry Punch, Acorns,  and Birdseed Salad.  The girls worked long and hard on a fitting fairy description of each dish and presented them one at a time
 Finally, dresses, hair and make-up. My little girls were transformed into woodland beauties.

 Autumn, the Fall Fairy
 Winter Eve
 Midsummer Night
 Preparation Perfection
 Ready to serve.
 The guests were simply delighted with this favored invitation to the very best of the woodland realm.

Me, I smile at how darn cute they are, I feel grateful for a Sidly-girl who shows up,  helps and plays her part, I cry because I know this time is fleeting, I love how, right now, this magic is so very real to them.
Whew, I am worn out!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Miscellaneous Life

Since school began, the Gramerlings have come to visit on Tuesday evenings.  It always is such a transition for me back to the classroom.  I have a pretty clear picture of how the year is going to shape up, where the strengths are, where the challenges are as well.
I had an strange experience this week.  I'm not Facebook savvy. I'm not quite sure why things appear and what my actions in response to other's posts, though rare, fall out in cyberspace.  Anyway, a disgruntled lower grade parent left our school for a public school close by.  On my fb feed was a former administrator sharing that parent's post about how wonderful her new experience has been and how horrible the former teacher was.  She had something to say about life not being black and white and too bad that teacher couldn't see the gray.  We are a small school in a small community. She might as well have said her name.  I just felt sick.  When you've spent twelve years watching someone teach and have long understood that in fact, what the teacher sees  is each individual person and works hard to love them in every color known to man.  I desperately wanted to respond in defense of this teacher.  This was  a post with  no option for commenting.
If you know me, you would know I run from this type of thing, like my tail's on fire.  I have no desire to fight on FB.  Still, my guilt was enormous to let this go, though I didn't know how to address it.
I will tell you one thing I've discovered. There are parents who have no expectation that their child should have to follow the rules.  Yes, they may find a classroom where their child is  "happy" for a time, but I've discovered this often means the teacher is overwhelmed and can only put out so many fires at one time.  What happens, parents with an expectation for their children to respond appropriately to authority have their child receiving less education than they should while a few children are ruling the classroom.  I know of which I speak.
There was only one teacher who knew the heart of everyone he taught, my Lord and Savior, Jesus.  When he sat high expectations to love your neighbor as yourself, they hated Him.  How will I or my co-teacher ever compare?
I know I wake up every day and plan for it to be good, plan to be patient, loving, kind, plan to find a way to reach a child. Still, that child who walks in every day believing that the rules don't apply to him, that he's above the expectations of our school, well, it is hard to do for hours on end.  What is always interesting to me is seeing those very people outside of school and their own frustration with the child is evident, yet they fully expect me to manage it with a smile six hours a day.  Let me say, it makes me wish their was no such thing as Facebook knowing the hurt those nasty comments have on someone undeserving.
On a different note, a new baby every week.  First my little Wayside Rosie, and this week the Captain's new boy Scout, a furbaby.

So cute.
Getting to know her cousins

What, are these more furbabies?

Showing Pap her fancy skirt.

Rae needed to attend a school orientation with Giddy-Up, so I came to care for the two little ones.  Rosie had to have her vaccinations and was not feeling well.  At various fussy times, two year old Mr. Smiley would try to comfort her, "It's okay baby, just take a deep bwef,"  Dragging a book over, "I will read her a story," and he did.  " I will sing to her," and proceeded to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle."  How dear that a little two year old knows how to comfort his sister.
Today was spent shopping for little girl things- Be still my heart.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My "Wayside" Gramerling

I got a phone call this week.
One I had expected, but just not what I wish was necessary to hear.  One that has had me tearing up but again and again. For a bit now, Rae has been certified to offer foster care for a baby and has had the nursery ready for sometime.  Circumstances have left a littlest bit of girl baby with need of a that nursery.  So your heart, for a wee person I had yet to meet, breaks just a little, knowing the need this baby has.  Then your heart rejoices that there is a safe place for her to land in this upheaval.
We jump in, knowing she needs cared for and loved up for a moment? a few days?  a few weeks?
It is no small thing is it, to give the best of yourself to someone who is leaving you.

I don't know why but the notion of "waysides" came to my mind.
Once I had the fun opportunity to help create all the flower arrangements used for  Oaks Day and The Kentucky Derby- flower heaven.  The young lady who won that contract named her company with "Wayside"  in the title. As we worked, I asked how she chose the name.  She reminded of those little wayside pull off's along old roads to where ever you were going, before interstates came through.  I do remember. Sometimes there was a picnic table and trash can.  As a little flower child, she loved to gather whatever was growing in that little side by the way.

 I've always loved that description and isn't it ever more lovely than the negative definition of "fallen by the wayside."

I am just the mom to the foster care provider, but you know I want to be the Gramerly to this little one.  So, I will grandparent in this wayside moment  the best I can.
We would love your prayers for all parties involved.

I got to visit this evening and enjoyed grabbing a couple of summer clearance items on my errands from this morning to bring.

This girl of mine is excited to have all that pink in the laundry.

She was a little bundle of coos and wide grins for her Wayside Gramerly and Pap.

And almost as smitten by her brothers as they are with her. So sweet to watch them come running with her blanket or pacifier every time she made a sound.
On the way home we were driving through quite a rain with the sun glaring at us through the windshield, then a beautiful rainbow.  All is well, God is nigh.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Done and Done

While there were days I seriously doubted I'd ever finishing emptying boxes and finding a home for all my teaching materials, it is done and mostly ready for kiddos tomorrow. Hallelujah!

 My former desk was as big as a barge.  We have had a little wooden desk, gifted to us for the kids back in the day sometime.  Handy Man gave it a new coat of paint and it is in that back corner.  My goal this year is to maintain a cleared desk.  I really tried to think through my places to put things to help make this happen. I don't hold to hope as I am so messy. Something my great nephew enjoyed pointing out to me recently.  I know neatniks cannot grasp the mentality of someone who likes their stuff out and all over. Even though messes are fine by me, I usually know where everything is in the pile.

 My most favorite change is the decal on wall.  If you click a picture you can see it bigger.  That's my favorite spot in the room.

After vacation, I had two more Playdates and a boys only sleep over.

The first Playdate back was supposed to have been Klub Kymbi, but it was pouring rain.  Giddy-Up listened to Little House on the Prairie on the way to Florida and was eager to pretend those things he learned about.  It was really quite hysterical the things the older girl helpers called themselves relating to pioneers and other, ahem, things.
 Everyone got involved in something else.
 You know you have to stare at "The Shirt" and have a little rainy day conversation.
 Everyone needs a little spell of wrestling.
 The rain slowed, so we made our way to the creek.

 When we realized there really wasn't sufficient time for everyone to get painted up, we decided to put that on hold for the next week.  Then we remembered that this one had camp, so she was our only client of the day.
 Pretty girl.
So, the next week we'd combine make-up and science. Sounds reasonable.