Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Baseball and toads. . . and TomTom

On Monday, Luke played a double header out on the eastern plains, where it was 100 degrees and dry as a bone. I'm surprised the boys played as well as they did. I packed a cooler with cold drinks and snacks, and Emily came upon a frog to keep her occupied! After four and a half hours on the baseball field, in the last inning of the second game, the sprinklers came on, giving the players and the fans a cold blast of water! We were relieved -- for the cool mist and that at long last the games were over!

Yesterday, we got to keep my nephew Tommy for the whole day! Luke and Em had a great time with him, at the park, the pool and later the three of them stretched out in front of the TV to watch a movie, and Tommy promptly fell asleep. I should have gotten a picture of that, it was very cute.

Here is Em and her frog. She has three fire-bellied toads at home, and was delighted to find a toad from the 'wild'. He lives behind the backstop -- a 'baseball toad'.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Reflection

It's been a busy, but productive week. And this weekend, especially, has been very productive. The kids were occupied playing with friends and I found myself with the entire day, yesterday, so I jumped on some projects that have been waiting on my list.

I cleaned my bedroom closet, got rid a bunch of stuff I never wear. Found some new linens on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond to spruce up the bedroom. I took the dust ruffle in the 'bed in a bag kit' and made a valence for the window. Tore down the very dated wallpaper border and fluffed up the new pillows. I looked forward to snuggling in the "new" bed and reading last night, but fell right to sleep instead. Got the van back yesterday. I had cleaned and vacuumed it before I took it to the mechanic. I emptied out all of Joe's "stuff" -- books, fencing helmet and epees, sneakers -- all the assundry items that he "stores" in MY van. I bought a new cup holder and a little car smelly thing from Yankee Candle. My grapefruit scented van, with new struts, breaks and cooling system, is so fun to drive now:) Best of all, I jumped back on my diet yesterday, so I feel so much better. I know, it's not supposed to be a diet, it's a way of life. But right now, it feels like a diet.

Dan called yesterday and we had a chance to really chat and get caught up. He's working weird hours this week, and with the two-hour time difference, it seems we've all but lost contact. The best part was this morning, when I got to spend the first slice of the day with my 2-year-old nephew, Tommy. My brother was taking the rest of the family to the airport, so I arrived at his house in time to see my sleepy, bed head boy in his pj's as he first woke up. We watched Sponge Bob while Tommy ate his cheerios, read "You're My I Love You" while he sat on the potty, and then played baseball in the back yard, collected rocks and smelled all the rose bushes until his daddy came home.

Judi, at Mommy to Two, sponsors "Weekend Reflection." Check it out!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's summer

Now, it's summer. A week ago, the kids were saying, "It just doesn't feel like summer." And it didn't. It was too new. We still had remnants of school lying around -- backpacks, end of the year newsletters on the bulletin board, and artwork on the fridge. We would drive by the school and the teachers' cars were still there. I was still able to reach the office ladies on the phone because they were still working in the office. A week ago, it wasn't hot enough to be summer. Now, it's summer. Emily went to VBS, brought canned food everyday to donate, decorated a t-shirt and brought home hand-painted crafts. It's been 90 plus degrees for an entire week -- that dry, hot air without a hint of moisture. Luke has complained he's bored. We're doing sleepovers. It's summer. Last night, Em had two of her girlfriends, who happen to be twin sisters, stay over. They all three slept on the pull-out sofa in the family room, so they could watch TV until they fell asleep. Luke went to a movie with a friend and then slept over at the friend's house. At 2:00 a.m. the phone rang. "Mom, this house is really hot. It's too hot to sleep." "Splash some cold water on your face and try," I mumbled. "Okay," he said. This is a house that he stays in almost as much as he's in his own. He's like family over there. I knew he couldn't be uncomfortable. Then I remembered they were supposed to see one of those scarey -- really scarey -- movies last night. I called him back -- he had called from his friend's cell phone. The voice greeting says, "This is Joe. . . and Luke." That's how good of friends they are. He must have turned the phone off. So, I lay there, feeling bad that I didn't wake up enough to really talk to him. And I lay there, awake. And I tried to think of the movie I saw last week, and for the life of me couldn't remember the name of it or the actress. And the clock struck 3. And I thought about the projects I intend to do this summer, like paint the powder room, and what color should I paint it? What was that movie? Why can't I picture the actress? Reese Witherspoon? no. Nicole Kidman? no. The clock struck 4. Maybe I should get up and read. What was the name of that movie? I can't even remember the movie. Let's see, we saw Oceans 13, Music and Lyrics, Because I Said So. The plots all start running together in my mind. No, no, no, Diane Keaton was in the other one, not the one with George Clooney. The clock struck 5 and, mercifully, that's the last I remember. Luke called this morning, sounding chipper and wide awake. Just checking in, he said. "Did you guys go see that scarey movie last night?" I asked. "Naw, we saw another one. It was just really hot and I couldn't sleep," he said. "I was awake until 3:30!" "Gee," I replied. Waitress with Kerrie Russell.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sayonara, books and roses

This is a hybrid tea rose that I added to my rose garden a few years ago. It's called "Just Joey." Isn't that neat? It's a beautiful, apricot color and smells heavenly.
Today, Luke and I are being lazy and enjoying the quiet after yesterday's whirlwind of activity. Our backyard was filled with people for the Sayonara party -- eight students, their teacher and lots of parents, siblings, and some grandparents, aunts and uncles. It was such fun to watch the kids in their excitement for the trip. They've become so close in the past 6 months as they've met as a group every other week to hone their Japanese language skills, learn about the places they'll visit and just really start to get to know one another since they'll be family for each other for the next six weeks. We had a barbeque and before we ate, each student presented a speech he or she will be giving, all in Japanese. After dinner, the kids presented their "entertainment" that they'll present at one of the many events they'll be attending in Japan. It was a song and dance to "We Go Together" from Grease. Really cute. The party ended fairly early, as they all met at the airport at 5:30 this morning!
As one takes off, another is coming home. This evening, Dan and I will go pick up the Girl-child from camp. We got a letter yesterday:
Dear Mom,
I am having a blast at camp. Write back! I love you guys so much. If Dad is there tell him it is so fun! Love Emily
(Dan arrived home yesterday, in time to be Master of the Grill.) I can't wait to see her this evening and feel that big squeeze hug that I've missed all week.
Luke is invited to go to the Rockies game tonight with his cousins. So, everybody's doing their own thing and staying happy. Can't ask for much more than that. I guess I really miss my little girlfriend, who is my favorite shopping bud. I had to talk Luke into going to Kohl's with me this afternoon. It's one of his least favorite activites, shopping with me watching me shop.
I'm in a (good) quandry about what to read next. Becky is lobbying for the next Mitford book, and Stacy did a wonderful review on an Elizabeth Berg book, and it sounds so great, I'm tempted to read the one I have by the same author. I'll let you know what I decide. I'm sure you're all waiting with bated breath.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Monday Musings

Of late, I can relate to this little guy. It feels as though I have been flapping my wings as hard as I can just to keep apace. And I've been neglecting my blog.

So much for the slow, lazy days of summer! We spent the weekend at full throttle, going to graduation parties, baseball games, and squeezing in an anniversary celebration -- it's our 23rd! As my dad would say, "Twenty-three years in the ring, and no one's been knocked out yet." (What a fun guy!) Our date on Saturday was actually an afterthought -- although my gratitude for my terrific husband is certainly not. It's just that we really didn't think we would have the time to do anything. And we were okay with that. Then, we got home from a graduation picnic for the son of some friends and thought, what the heck, it's our anniversary and the night is young. So we went out to a movie and afterward stopped at Rock Bottom Brewery where we toasted one another with our beers. He likes it that I'm a cheap date.

I did find time this weekend to finish Wish You Well, by David Baldacci. I love his writing style and the descriptions of the Virginia mountains and the mountain people in the 1940s. The author's intimate knowledge of the area rings through. The story itself was not extraordinary, but it was interesting, well-narrated and grabbed me in the first chapter. I like that there's a complete reader's guide on line for our discussion at Book Club later this month.

This evening I met a couple of girlfriends from high school days. We had dinner and then went to my friend's house, which was originally her grandmother's home. It's on the edge of town where the neighboring land used to be pasture and open plains. Now, the city has grown up around much of it, but there is still enough space that you can imagine there are still sheep out in the pasture behind the outbuildings and only an occasional passing car or truck interrupts the quiet of the evening. We sat on the front porch, as the night darkened around us and talked about old high school days for a bit, but mostly about our children and how they've grown. A few of them between us have graduated college already. We found comfort in the fact that we face many of the same issues with our younger kids, laughed with relief when we discovered our kids' antics aren't so bizarre, and puzzled over how we parent so differently from the way our own parents did. We don't mean to. But sometimes it seems our children today are a whole different species than we were.

We talked about our parents and those that are alone or getting up there in years. And we shook our heads over how fast the years have passed and when did we become our parents generation? We laughed at old memories and expressed amazement when one person remembered something out of the blue that the rest of us had forgotten. And when it was time to leave we promised one another that we'll be better about staying in touch.

Tomorrow is the second day of summer vacation. And after our discussion tonight about how quickly the time goes, I'm going to attempt to stop flapping my wings all day long and try to enjoy some of it.