Monday, July 21, 2014

Keeping the habit

Here's me, still trying not to fall off the blogging wagon.  I love to blog.  I love to write.  I want to keep the habit.

Sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I don't.  Well, I always have a lot to say, just sometimes I don't know how to say it.

In the meantime, here are some things to be grateful for.  When in doubt, if I'm grateful, I feel better.

This will be a memorable summer for big and small reasons.  Today I celebrate the small.  I like the way Braeden climbs in bed next to us when he gets home late from a social engagement.  He makes me scoot over to make room for him so he can tell us about his adventures.  I'll always make room for him.  I like the small cleverness Emma adds to everything.  She is a thinker with a quick wit and that's a dazzling combination.  I like the way Mark is always making a scheme, mostly involving things he wants to buy.  (I just nod and say "that's interesting.")  I like how he is increasingly able to hold his own amongst his siblings with his own clever wit.  I like giving him problems to solve and sitting back and watching him go.

I like Adam too.  A whole lot.  Last night he showed us a clip of an 18 year old boy with cystic fibrosis who was able to play in the Sounders soccer game because of the Make A Wish foundation.  Adam's eyes got teary when the stadium of over 60,000 people were cheering for the boy.  I love that about him.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sometimes boys are awesome

On Tuesday night Adam and two other leaders took a bunch of boys on a bike ride.  They're preparing for their scout high adventure activity next month where they'll ride their bikes a long distance.  I've been told the distance but I can't remember.  It's longer than I would want to go, I know that much.

My job was to drop Adam and a few boys off at the church and then pick them up later at the park.  They were joining the older boys and their leader at the park to play frisbee hockey.  In the time I had between venues I went to the pool to watch Braeden finish up his swim lessons.  (Then buy him dinner.)  I love watching Braeden teach swim lessons.  He's always having a fabulous time.  He was teaching a little preschool group.  They were singing "The Wheels on the Bus" with abandon.  Braeden was singing his loudest.  He got a yellow floating tube and called it a banana and they had to swim with "big monkey arms" to the banana.  Then they all pretended to chomp on the tube which is sort of gross but they were all having a fine time.  He got a hula hoop which was a "ring of fire" they had to swim through.  The girl instructors next to Braeden were doing the same sort of things, but quieter.  I remembered the times we'd had boy babysitters when our kids were small.  It was loud and messy but the kids had a lot of fun.

We went to the park.  Of the four adult leaders there, no one had a frisbee.  Who was supposed to bring it anyway?  Nobody seemed to care.  They boys joined some other kids playing soccer.  One of the wives showed up with a frisbee and a game of Ultimate Frisbee ensued.  The men and a few boys were on one team against the rest of the boys.  There was no coddling, there was fierce competition.  The men were ahead and rubbing it in.  I couldn't help but contrast the difference between that activity and how women and girls would have been instead.

For one thing, someone would have had a frisbee.  Possibly a back up frisbee too.  There would have been refreshments (probably a tablecloth) and structure, structure, structure.  They would have made sure all the girls were feeling included and not getting their feelings hurt.  I'm glad to be a girl; I like the way we do things.  (I like refreshments.)  I had to admire the boys too though.  Without exception every man and boy had an enormous grin on their face.

Men and women are different and I think that's wonderful.  We need each other.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The other day Mark said to me:  I have people to see, places to go.  I am a busy guy.  I'm surprised I have had time for this conversation.

Sometimes I don't know what to say.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Princess Potter

Last summer Emma tried to read all seven Harry Potter books in seven days. 3,674 pages.  She finished at 1:20 a.m. on the eighth day so she considered that a failure.  (I tried to convince her it wasn't because she didn't start at midnight on the first day.  She didn't believe me.)  When you make up your own challenge, you make up your own rules.

Last week she tried again.  She finished at 7:30 on Saturday evening, well within her desired time frame.  I visited her several times during her reading to check her progress, I'd call her Princess Potter and try to get her to do something else with her eyes.  She still had to help a little around the house but she mostly read and read and read.

She said she still saw words when she closed her eyes.

At the end she cried.  She said things made her cry throughout that she'd never cried at before--like when Mrs. Malfoy loved Draco more than she feared Voldemort.  Emma didn't know why she cried.

I do.

Because she has a mother heart.  Someday she'll love her own children.  Even more than she fears Voldemort or any other scary thing.  Watch out if you get between a mother and her babies!

I'm glad Emma's back from her reading.  If for no other reason, I missed her texts:

Reading can make you tired...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Braeden and a half

In the morning when Braeden was at work, Emma and Mark were weeding in the flower beds with me.  I made them promise they'd never be 17 1/2.

Braeden is and it's too much.

He worked a lot of the day but in the time he was home, mid-day, we went to lunch at Alfy's.  I ordered three pizzas to accommodate his favorites.  He told me I made him feel really special and then I had him refill my soda because I didn't want him to feel that special.

This week he broke our couch by flopping his six foot three inch body on it and he left his clean laundry around one too many times so he is now the master of his own laundry domain.

He's not perfect.

He is pretty great though.

I love how friendly and happy and loyal Braeden is.  He can be counted on to rise to the occasion when it matters most.  He has a ready (and loud) laugh.  He's kind to children and he is witty and bright and a creative speller.

And he's my boy.

For dinner he wanted to have the Jorgensens over.  David came home from his mission to Taiwan this week which was a thrill around here.  Here's maybe one of the best pictures I've ever seen, stolen from Facebook.  It's Janet and David at the airport:

I cry every time I see this picture of my beautiful friend and her boy.  It's a picture that captures a story.  It's a story of a good and strong mother who loved her boy and let him go.  She watched him soar then welcomed him back with gratitude and relief and a whole lot of love.

It's my favorite kind of story.

I had to convince my boys it was not OK to go visit David the afternoon he got home.  Mark went anyway, under the guise of a bike ride.  Just like Janet is my hero, David is theirs and how can I fault them for that?  If my boys are going to want to emulate someone, David's a good choice.

When I saw David, I told him he was a sight for sore eyes.  He was.  I first met him on the day we moved in our house over ten years ago.  He was there with his dad to help us.  You've got to love someone who shows up to help you move.

We had a lovely dinner, chatting and laughing and just enjoying.  As changeable as things can get, the Jorgensens and us, that won't change.

By the time Braeden and Leif returned from work, things got louder.  It was the tall tan boys with their music and stories and laughter taking over the world.  I loved it.

We sang happy birthday (and the Jorgensens' harmony classed us up a bit):

I should have taken more pictures.  This one fills me up with joy though.

Happy half Birthday dear Braeden.  I love you, even though you insist on growing up...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Amidst the moth balls

Olivia wondered why I haven't been writing and I said my mind was moth eaten.

I kind of doubt that's technically true...I hope that's not technically true.

Here's something for you Olivia:

I am trying to put random stuff in a random scrapbook and I came upon a pile of things from the trip we took to London.  Emma was just barely nine.  And sassy.

I found this note she apparently gave me on the trip:

Dear Mom,

I need to write this or you'll get yelliosuss.  (I am guessing that's her version of thinking I'd yell at her.  Which I would never do.  Since I'm a perfect mother...)

I don't think you get the whole point of gift shops or you wouldn't disgustedly say, "What would you even do with it?"  Well, do you see how it's "gift-shop" and not "extremely useful thing-shop"?  You must not, or you might let us get stuff, (especially things we buy for others!) with our own money.


I started laughing when I found it this afternoon and I went to show Emma.  She laughed too and then she said, "I'm sorry, Mom.  I'm really sorry."

And it's OK.  Because I'd rather have my Emma just the way she is than any other sort of Emma.

Here are my babies on the trip. 
climbing on the lion at Trafalgar Square

They were so little and cute.  Maybe I should have let them buy what they wanted.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What I've been thinking about

My friend Heather posted this on facebook:

I can't stop thinking about it.  I love the message of relying on your capabilities rather than your circumstances.

My mind takes it a step further too.  I can't help thinking that its message is to rely on the Lord.  I don't just have to rely on these wimpy wings of mine.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10


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