Saturday, April 28, 2012

Two Weeks Down

Thursday's warm playdate required some creek time, but not until the chicken seed had been distributed. Miss Swee-Tee hasn't spent too much time at the creek, so she and Gwanfader were warned about the grumpy ol' troll that lives under the bridge.

Lucky for them, they came out unscathed.
Time for a little catch and release.

Miss Bugg has gotten out of the creek habit and was bit squeamish about all the wiggling things, and while Swee-Tee didn't want to touch, she loved looking and sloshing through the water.
Bean on the other hand would have loved to have sat right down for a spell and he caught minnows, crawdads, he is now bold enough to pick up,  and threw rocks at snakes, until his Pappy came down for a bit of rock skipping.

I suppose in light of 1st Lt.'s long absence, I worried most about him.  He's a sensitive guy. I'm thankful he has so many good male figures that he spends time with every week.
Lots of folks have naturally asked if I've heard from 1st Lt., but I haven't.  Bean was able to talk to him last weekend when he hit his first ball and got on first.  Ceece says 1st Lt.  texts though.  Bean gave him one of his little army Lego guys to take with him.  Apparently he poses the little toy guy with something that he's doing and sends it to them now and again.
Bugg seems more affected to me than I thought she'd be.  She is such an "in the moment" party girl.  Daddy comes up in conversation a lot and the whole sudden scared of the chickens, scared of a crawdad, clinginess, make me wonder if that is kind of her expression of missing him.  I was swinging her and she said, "It just seems like Daddy should be picking me up, but I know he won't be." Then back to swinging and singing followed by, "Daddy will only miss one of our birthdays, just one." Next song please.  Ouch, poke, poke, another heart squeezer.
On Wednesday it was fun to celebrate Aunt Lois' 92nd birthday. I walked off to sister SuZQ's without my camera. Pete told me he'd send me the ones he took, but I haven't gotten them yet. SuZQ fixed a yummy meal and a couple of Lois' friends from Florence were able to visit.  It was nice to celebrate together.
Next week, in the classroom, I administer the final ISTEP test.  This week has been so stressful and long.  You can feel the tension in the building as we move toward this testing time.  Well, soon it will be over and I'll have fifteen days for the kind of teaching I enjoy!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do You See What I See

 Blueberries on my littlest blueberry bush-wheeeeeeeeeee!

The biggest show I've ever gotten from this clematis. I remember the little guy who brought it to me on the last day of school. He's driving now to pick up his little sister, the last sibling in that family for me.

Ahh, a scraped out Cluckingham Palace.  All the nest boxes washed, bleached, cardboarded, with new bedding. Turpentine on the bottom of all the roosts and diatomaceous  earth all over everything.  Too bad you can't smell it-not too shabby.

A few cabbages planted.

If you remember I had the tree trimmers dump all the trimmings in the yard.  The kidlets have enjoyed climbing it.  Anyway, you aren't supposed to use fresh would wood chips as mulch. It will pull nitrogen from the soil to help with the breakdown of the wood.  Well, there was no way I could manage that mountain of chips as far as the turning it would need to compost, so I decided to try something.  I put cardboard down, then layered the wood chips with weeds and grass clippings to provide the nitrogen.  For now, it will be a weed barrier, but next year, compost to till back into the soil.
A wheelbarrow of the palace bedding went to the spot where I'll plant winter squash for our spring babies and another where I'll plant tomatoes.  All the rest went to the up garden.
So, last year, I embarked on a new adventure, hatching purchased eggs of a rare sort of chicken.  It ended up that the hatch produced a rooster and hen Americauna,  a rooster and hen Penedesenca, and a hen and two rooster Black Copper Marans.  Well the BCM hen never laid eggs and developed some awful growth and let's just say, that did not end well.  Handy Man fashioned a little run where we could separate the breeds before hatching this year.  We did, the hens refused to lay.  The Americauna and Penedesenca, who were previously laying almost every day, have not laid an egg in three weeks.  Ever want choke a chicken?
Anyway, the girls cannot manage the stress of five roosters and I haven't been able to find someone who wants them, so they are about to become chicken soup.  They are awfully handsome fellows though.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sky Blue

Isn't grief such a strange creature? A stealth pilot, a sneaky snake, a crashing wave. Last night, lying in bed reading, Handy Man decided he needed a little late night nourishment and grabbed his Easter basket of goodies. First he pulled out his chocolate bunny and offered it to me. I declined. Next, a Russell Stover caramel egg. Crash! I'm drowning.
The last day I sat at the hospital with Kaye, I brought her a treat- a Russell Stover's treat, a favorite goody to make her smile, smack her lips, smile at me and say, "Dat's good." But she refused it. I see that whole scene in my mind so clearly, like someone had videoed from across the room and now I'm watching. Her sadness, tiredness, lifelessness so obvious to me.
I get why people used to wear black for a year. Don't get me wrong, I have no plans, nor do I think it a good idea to be in a black mood for a year, but at least you'd be recognizable as a grief stricken person. Perhaps just a band on your arm. I don't know. Sometimes I tell Handy Man, "I'm just having a moment." When that sneaky snake wraps around my tear ducts, I don't want to have to explain why I'm suddenly in tears. I didn't mean to be, it is just very suddenly present. I don't need to talk, don't want a hug, don't need a thing but a moment. I am torn because in some strange way those moments comfort me- see, I haven't forgotten, she's very there in my mind's eye, in my heart. Otherwise, I don't want my moment to make the people around me uncomfortable, which it obviously does. Yes, I realize you aren't having a moment, perhaps you never do, but I am.
Well, anyway, a new day with the bluest sky.
I don't post faces of my school kiddos on my blog. However, this year one of my sweet little fourth graders is well known to me and his mama don't mind and he loves blog appearances. Today was a special day.
It was his eleventh birthday and the day we put the eggs in the incubator at school. He got to do the honors. The girls just happened to lay eleven eggs for hatching which I had failed to connect, but he did not and was excited to put all eleven in the incubator.
Then it was Poopie night and Great Uncle Tim and I met up to take the kiddos to enjoy a rare artifact- a playground with a swing. The kids loved swinging so high and the sky was so blue and beautiful.
Wow, he fits in this one.
And what did little three year old Miss Swee-Tee say after a couple of hours at the park, walking to the car? " Are we going to yours?" "Swing in the dolphin swing?" I do not know what it is about that dolphin swing.
We ran by the house and grabbed the eggs laid today and took them to school so Missy Swee-Tee could put them in the incubator as she has not been privy to this baby chick hatching before.
Lord willing we will head back to a incubator full of babies in three more Thursdays.
Oh, an e-mail from the mom of a former student (in tenth grade now ) who wrote to tell me that her son had to write about an event that changed his life and he wrote about his fourth and fifth grade teacher- me. So sweet.
I love me some blue sky days.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yes, I Do Know

So we did it. The departure ceremony. All the government buildings in Indy and they had it in a maintenance garage. Missy Bugg said, "What is that thing up there?"

Let me just say that the events of the day did nothing much at all to make me feel good about his going, at least from the government involvement perspective.
These are the 12 going. Well, I guess you can't see all 12.
The ones behind are the ones who trained, but were pulled at the last minute.

I did feel a spiritual peace. This verse came to mind as I sat there.

2 Timothy 1:12

New King James Version (NKJV)

12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

I realized if I was going to manage, I would have to commit 1st Lt to my Heavenly Father. Now, mind you, I may have to do that several times a day. That's okay. I have a candle with his name on it. I light the candle, and say a prayer. I do the same with the Handy Man at the end of day. I just need a way to feel connected to Jesus and 1st Lt.

We received a coin with the name of the division on it. I thought to ask Handy Man for it to carry in my pocket. Before I could ask, he told me it was in his tool box, so it was the first thing he'd see every morning, when he would pray for his boy.

Still, these pictures squeeze my heart so hard.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

And So He Goes

Today's the day.

My Daddy's Got Your Back

Submitted by: CoryS

Author: Autumn Parker (2003)

I am a small and precious child,my dads been sent to fight..

The only place I'll see his face,is in my dreams at night.

He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.

I may be sad,but I am proud. My daddy's got your back..

I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war..

My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.

Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.

I may be scared,but I am proud..My son has got your back..

I am a strong and loving wife,with a husband soon to go.

There are times I'm terrified in a way most never know.

I bite my lip,and force a smile as I watch my husband pack..

My heart may break,but I am proud..My husbands got your back..

I am a soldier..Serving Proudly,standing tall.

I fight for freedom,yours and mine by answering this call.

I do my job while knowing,the thanks it sometimes lacks.

Say a prayer that I'll come home. It's me whose got your back.

Ol' Mother Hubbard gave me a framed print of this little poem.

My emotions seem to be swirling. It seems like such a short time ago since I made his first birthday cake. The first time he rode a big scary ride by himself. The first time I sat them down in the creek. How long I thought it was the first time he went to church camp for nine days. How forever it seemed when he went to work a camp at 15 all summer long. When he drove on his own. When he had a bad ear infection that ruptured just before I put him on a plane to Europe for two weeks. College in Murfreesboro. When he went to boot camp. None of it quite compares.

A favorite quote with the truest words comes to mind. "To have a child is to make the momentous decision to forever see your heart walk around outside of your body."

Prayers on his behalf and for his wife and children are coveted.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy First Birthday Giddy-UP

Time to set sail with Pirate Giddy-up.

Ooooh, what is this big, colorful box from my Aunt Lois?
Yes, it makes noise and I can bam, bam, bam!

Gideon certainly enjoyed the festivities today.
A pirate face if ever I saw one.

Hey, where you been keeping this sweet stuff? I love it!

Enough of being polite.

Ahh,now for some bittersweet. When Uncle Adam gets back, Giddy-up will be a toddling boy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Friday the 13th Blessing

A Friday the 13th blessing arrived at 7:45 this morning and she is a beauty. Don't you just love her chubby cheeks. I'm not sure of the spelling, but Maryn June, 8lbs 1oz is here.
Wow, lots of emotions this week. A friend learning of cancer, a son leaving, a sweet memory of 4:30 am on this day a year ago, followed by one of the worst experiences of my life, and now, another beautiful girl child.
I'm rejoicing that the hospital room (same place) will now have a different impression on my heart.
Drummer Boy and Gwen (you know mostly Gwen) did an awesome job. Baby was an eager, capable nurser, Daddy was proud, Mama found delivering a face up baby very intense, but hung in there, and delivered naturally. Buttercup will be so very excited to have a sister, though she wanted her named Sallie.
Drummer Boy and Gwen chose not to know the sex from the 22 week ultrasound, but for some reason, chose to give me the envelope with the news. I said to myself that I would not look. That lasted about 30 minutes. I cannot believe it, but I never told a soul, not even Pappy. I did however buy cutest pink clothes and hid them. They were washed and ready and already delivered.
Look at that hair. I can't wait to see it after her bath. All three have had different colored hair.
Is there anything in the wide world softer than baby skin. Love, love, love.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ah, Glorious Snow Days

Our mild winter meant we were able to be off on the days scheduled into the calendar as make-up snow days. This past Monday was such a day and could not have come at a better time. The weather was perfect, and I was exhausted. After feeding and watering all the critters and bringing the bunnies out for some sunshine, I sat in the sun myself with a good book. A friend joined me later and we enjoyed some yummy leftover pie with a cup of hot tea. Delightful!
A few more Easter piks.
No, our cherubs don't all run amok with a pacifier in their mouths. Those are bunny lip whistles.
A highlight of Easter was our Little Boy Blue discovering he could drive the truck. He's a whopping nineteen months old and small for his age. He took this truck driving quite seriously
though, as you can imagine, he did not quite have the steering down pat and Drummer Boy ran off his Easter feast trying to keep him out of trees and the creek.
It was a Keystone Cop moment.
Alas, we still don't have our new baby.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Time

Ah the day is done and thankful for all it represents to me.
The Resurrection Story of course-

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be;
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it

Seal it for Thy courts above.

And family, and friends, old and new.

Like Christmas, lots of work goes into to dinner for 40 so Aunt SuZQ so sweetly came to spend the day Saturday to help me.

I f0und this cute idea to cut of the top of eggs in daily use and rinse them out and use them for prizes.

SuZ-You want me to do what with these.

Me-Stuff them in the eggs, put a piece of tissue paper over it.

SuZ- You're crazy.

When the kidlets found them they were instructed to smash them to find their treasure.

The girls were a little timid about this . It just didn't seem right to smash their eggs. Bugg tried twice beforeshe finally pushed hard enough to break it.

Antebellie's had a gold necklace and when she smashed her egg, the sun hit it and it glinted all over everywhere and you would have thought she struck gold. So fun.

Though still a tiny tot, Mr. Giddy-up did not disappoint hunting his very first eggs. He picked up an egg, licked it,

made a face, dumped it in the basket,

clapped his wee hands as if to say, "Yes, I am cute!"

Found another one, licked it, made a face, put in basket, clapped, until his basket was full.

As soon as Buttercup discovered those eggs had candy, she abandoned hunting for eating and didn't stop till she'd gone through all her stash.

Your about there darling.

Aunt Lois dyed 3 dozen and 9 eggs for the big hunt and sat ringside to watch the participants.

Mom was able to come for a bit. Pete made it out. There were some tears for those missed and for the one about to leave, but mostly lots of food and laughter. Still, no new baby.

It's strange, it seems a little time ago when the pictures were of my own three. Then me following the next group around with the camera couldn't have been that long ago-yes, he was tiny once and now he's in college and has a girlfriend (I believe every Easter of his life has been spent in this yard),

now, Raina's tenth and Bean and Oh' Henry's eighth Easter Egg hunt already.

How can that be?

Gee, I'm old.

I hope you enjoyed your day.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers. I'm a little unsure what April showers will bring this year as the warming trend continues in the Ohio Valley and most all of my spring flowers have bloomed and have already begun to decline.
A dear friend brought some cast offs from her lovely shade garden. Yesterday was damp, cool and overcast-perfect for transplanting. Handy Man and I got most all of them planted around the property.
Looks like we had a nice rain through the night and another already this morning, so my new beauties will settle in so nicely.
The spinach and lettuce is up. I believe I'll take advantage of the nice rains and try to uncrowd some of that lettuce.

1st Lt. and family headed to Disney yesterday for a week of fun and memory making.

Handy Man and I went over Friday evening to give Bean and Bugg a busy bag (instead of an Easter basket) "to da wode." When Bean was wee, he always brought something he wanted to leave here and asked to take something, " for the road" when he left. Instead it came out "to da wode." Of course, that's what we all say now. I'll be praying "the wode" is easy and safe and many happy memories are made to reflect on in the upcoming year.
Drummer Boy's third baby is due just any minute. Two good friends are waiting on reports from biopsies. All good wishes and prayers welcome here.
Happy April- No Fooling!