Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Weekend

This is one of those weeks where I'll be confused all week long as to what day it is. Three-day weekends do that to a lot of us. Other than being rather damp, it was a good Memorial Day holiday weekend.

On Saturday I started a load of laundry first thing and then went grocery shopping. I like to do my big shopping on Saturday mornings, because then I have plenty of helpers to carry all the bags from the car. Around noon Dan and Luke took off for a baseball tournament "down south." For us, that means the southern portion of the Denver metro area. Emily and I went over to a graduation party for my nephew. It was held in my brother and sister-in-law's backyard, the same yard of the house I grew up in. We sat in lawn chairs under the big maple tree with lots of friends and relatives. My cousins' young children ran around and played soccer and played with bubbles and played softball. The older kids "hung out" together.

Later in the afternoon, Dan and Luke arrived and there was much oohing and aahing over how tall my son is now and how grown up he looks, even though everyone had seen him a year ago at another graduation party. Young boys seem to do that, growing leaps and bounds in just a year, until they're hardly recognizable.

After the party we went home and Dan and I watched Last Chance Harvey while the kids played a video game.

On Sunday morning, I made pancakes for breakfast to celebrate Luke's birthday. We watched the Sunday Morning Show, then Dan and Luke headed "back down south" for another round of baseball games, taking Emily with them. It gave me a few hours to clean the house, do some laundry, bake a cake and clean the downstairs rec room. A job I most intensely dislike. I don't get down there as much as I should and when I do, I find havoc has been wreaked. (?? Can havoc be wreaked? Or do you just wreak havoc?) Anyway, finding cups, glasses, and dirty socks galore, I picked up, vacuumed and set everything straight.

Dan and the kids arrived home just as my Dad and Carol arrived for the birthday celebration. My Aunt Ann and the rest of the family (brother, sister-in-law, nephews, one with a girlfriend in tow), followed.

We ate pizza, drank wine and assorted beverages, and had birthday cake. Chocolate cake, strawberry frosting and neopolitan ice cream, as requested by the birthday boy. I love family birthday celebrations. Everyone gather around the kitchen table, squeezed in, having homemade cake and talking at once.

That night, Dan and I watched Frost/Nixon. I liked it. Then, as is my practice, afterward I googled the whole story and watched the real tapes. The movie was then a disappointment.

On Memorial Day, ("second verse, same as the first!"), Dan and Luke headed back down south for another round of baseball, taking Emily with them. I went to meet a couple of women from my centering prayer group to discuss our lesson for the week. At noon, I drove to meet Dan and the kids, to go to a Rockies game. Just as it was starting to rain. We met up at a friend's house to leave one of our cars. Then we decided to go have lunch at a nearby deli, rather than head over to the ballpark. We finished lunch, found out the game was on a rain delay, but eventually got over there and the rain stopped. It would have been just as well if it had kept raining, because the Rockies got spanked but good by the Dodgers, and by the 7th inning we left.

Denver redeemed itself when the Nuggets beat the Lakers that night. During the game, I baked two dozen giant-sized cupcakes for a banquet later tonight, and helped one child create an Alkhar the Great costume for a final presentation today.

And if you have read all of the way to the bottom of this post, you get my Reader of the Year Award! Leave a comment to claim it:)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The tree

Our plum tree died this winter:( It was nice little tree that welcomed us to our new home by bearing lovely little plums. But over the winter, something chewed it up and there was a big crack in the trunk. So, DH and DS2 spent the morning cutting off the branches until they had just this part of the trunk.
This is where a pickup truck comes in handy. And tow hooks and a tow strap.
And a driver, accompanied by his little sister/navigator.
Give a firm, but careful tug. . .
Dig a little more dirt out. . .
Thar she blows! . . . oh, dear. . . we'll fix it Mom, promise.
And they did. And we found a lovely little peach tree to take the place of the little plum tree.
A strong teenager comes in handy.
Well, done!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Seasons change

This week seems to really have marked the passage of spring to summer. We've had 90 degree days. We put the air conditioning on for the first time this year. It's too hot to sit out on the back porch until late afternoon.

On Saturday, my daughter played her final soccer game of the season, and no sooner had the soccer bag been put away (wait a minute, it's still on the floor in the family room), then she pulled out her softball glove and was playing catch to warm up for Monday night's practice.

Son #2 didn't miss a beat, sliding from regular baseball season into summer league. He has three games this week.

Son #1 is preparing for a long summer in Tacoma without his college friends. Most of them have taken off for the summer, and he is experiencing his first summer ever without a break, as he is in the workforce now.

DH's softball league started playing a couple weeks ago. As if we don't get enough bleacher time, Tuesday evenings will find Emily and I down at the park, watching Dad pitch and Luke playing outfield.

My flowers are planted and I'm going to look for some rosebushes this week. I've started my summer routine of going out first thing in the morning, watering the pots of flowers on the front porch and starting a pitcher of sun tea on the back porch.

The kids have just one week of school left. Then it's official, summer will be here to stay.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You know you're too old to parent when. . .

. . . you suspect your 12-year-old is wearing eye makeup, but you have to put your reading glasses on to be sure.

. . . you lecture the kids about how wasteful it is to use an entire bottle of stain remover in less than a week (like they even do laundry?) and then realize it's the old bottle because the new one is in the bag of groceries you left in the car last week. (At least it wasn't pork chops this time.)

. . . you wake with a start and see by the clock that it is 2 a.m., so you reach for the phone, call your child's cell phone and say, "WHY aren't you home by now?" And they replay, "I am. I'm in my bedroom sleeping."

My kids are already choosing my nursing home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day revisited

When I think of my favorite holidays, Mother's Day is never one that comes immediately to mind. Funny, because I think it is a day that fills me with gratitude more so than any other.

I was blessed to have a mother who was loving, wise, and strong. We were always close, and as the only two females in a family of six, I think I often felt it was her and me against the world! My mother passed away nine years ago this month. It was one of the times in my life, other than the birth of my children, that I truly understood what being a mother meant. It is a connection that defies time and space. And there is a void in my life that will never be filled. She was first and always my mother. And as I grew older, I was so blessed that she counted me as her friend.

Years ago, my husband started a Mother's Day tradition that continues to this day. Breakfast in bed, made by the kids. Even though it's a tradition, I have been surprised more than once. I am not a morning person and it takes a while for my brain to start rolling. There was one Mother's Day that I thoughtlessly got out of bed and started my morning routine, when my husband cracked open the door and hissed, "Get back in bed!" A few minutes later, the kids came parading into the room, the oldest with the tray of scrambled eggs and cold toast, the second carrying the jar of strawberry jam and the little one with the one pound margarine tub. Breakfast at the Brown Palace couldn't have tasted better.

There was the Mother's Day that I was presented with breakfast in bed and my present of a new camera. We have pictures to prove it, all of us in rumpled pajamas, bedheads and cozied among the sheets.

This year, my fifteen-year-old did the honors. Golden pancakes, sausage, fruit juice and coffee fixed just the way I like it. He presented me with the tray, both of us yawning and half asleep, asked, "Is there anything else you need?" and proceeded to go back to bed for two hours. Later, 12-year-old daughter came in and announced, "well this just isn't right, you in here all alone." She crawled in beside me and we both feasted on cold pancakes, discussing our plans for the day. Later in the day, my oldest son called and we talked on the phone while Dan and his brother and the kids fixed dinner. Dan's parents and I were watching the Rockies play on T.V. Kinda nice, being the one with my feet propped up, while dinner is being fixed!

My favorite part of the morning is the quiet that ensues when my husband insists I have a bit of time alone. I reflect on the women who are the real heroes in my life. The three women who gave birth to my children. I ask God that he bless them as abundantly -- no, 10 times more -- as they have blessed me. I don't know what I would be if I wasn't a wife and mother.

My mom taught me much of what I know about being a mother, wife and a woman. But she left too soon! Before I knew how to be a mother to teenagers and how to deal with the challenges of an aging body. But this sisterhood of women is a large and extensive one, and other women in my life have stepped in. My Aunt Ann has loved me and my family and cared for us in the past nine years, especially nurturing me in times of need.

I am so lucky to have a mother-in-law who not only gave me the best present in the whole wide world -- my DH (and, no Sweetie, it doesn't stand for Damn Husband!), but has shown me how to be the best mother-in-law when that day comes for me. And when my dad remarried a few years ago, his wife Carol became a part of my life, and I love her for bringing happiness to my dad's life, and have learned a lot from her, watching their marriage and the two of them being a couple.

The day ended with a phone call from my BFF Kathy. There's another "mother link" here, in that her mother and mine were good friends. We went over the day with one another, talked about her birthday, which always falls close to or on Mother's Day, and ended up laughing about some dumb little thing which made me think, good grief, are we becoming our mothers? We only wish.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday, Monday

For Today...Monday, May 4, 2009

Outside my window...Awoke to a gray, cloudy day. The sun came and went throughout the day, and now its come out to warm the late afternoon.

I am hearing...the hum of the washing machine, the whir of the drill as DH is putting up a curtain rod, the clink of the ball on the metal bat in the back yard.

I am thinking... how much I enjoy doing a Monday daybook, even if it is technically an evening book.

I am thankful for... The new storm door that DH installed on the front of the house. I can open the inside door, and the sun shines in, warming the house, or the breeze blows through the screen giving us fresh spring air.

From the kitchen... remnants of banana chocolate chip muffins, baked yesterday. Lasagna for supper with salad and garlic bread.

I am wearing... jeans, brown shirt, sandals.

I am reading... Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly

I am hoping... to work in the garden this week. It is supposed to be gorgeous weather, all week.

I am creating... order out of chaos in the spare bedroom. This weekend, we rearranged the furniture, moved a futon in, I hung some pretty blue curtains I had stashed away and lined some shelves with books. It's feels rather cozy in there.

I am praying... for guidance for the young people I know who are graduating. For our troops.

Around the house... could use a bit of tidying up. As always. I'll get over it. . . there, I'm over it.

One of my favorite things... tulips.

A few plans for the rest of the week... soccer games, softball starts for DH, track meet, Bible Study, Rockies game, dinner with DH

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
For more Daybooks, or to create your own (come on, you know you want to!), go see Peggy over here.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Treasure hunt

It's time for Friday's Fave Five, where we look back at the week and list five favorite things. Sponsored by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

1. This red teapot, purchased at a yard sale today for 50 cents. It will be a nice addition to my teapot collection, which was sorely lacking a red one.
2. This darling little bench, also purchased at a yard sale. Two dollars. A perfect resting spot for one of the resident Teddy Bears.
3. Another yard sale purchase. (Do you see a theme here?) I don't have a photo, but I found an electric skillet for one dollar. I had one years ago, and it went to Goodwill one day when I was "simplifying." I hardly ever used it. Then, yesterday I read this post by Jerri, and knew I had to have another one.

4. An almost-brand-new small size crockpot for . . . one dollar. Because you can't have too many crockpots.

5. Sharing my finds with another shopper. We became fast friends over the 25-cent table. You meet the nicest people at yard sales.

Teapots, Teddy Bear benches, new kitchen gadgets and new friends. Just a few of my favorite things.