Saturday, August 28, 2010

This Week-end I . . .

Keys to the Cottage

  • Watched my poor hubby's face looking like he'd been in a boxing match from skin cancer surgery. It looked even worse the next day - eye almost swollen shut.

  • Played "slide" and every other playground piece of equipment with the littles.

  • Fed the twinnies their new favorite lunch - ham and cheese pinwheels.

  • Hubby took himself to the emergency room (I couldn't go because the twins were sleeping soundly in their little beds). Got home 3 hours later with a kidney infection diagnosis. What a double whammy! At 10 when he left, I thought he was going to the grocery store to get cranberry juice to stave off said diagnosis. What a communication snafu!

  • Left hubby home in his sick bed while I went to visit the CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden with our 4x4 group, then out to eat. I really needed the fellowship with adults after many hours with littles the last two weeks. (Of course, I forgot my camera - got this pic off the web).

("The purpose of the trial program conducted at the Annual Flower Trial Garden is to evaluate the performance of different annual plant cultivars under our unique Rocky Mountain environmental conditions. Our growing conditions are characterized by high altitude, intense solar radiation, drying winds, severe hailstorms, large fluctuations between day and night temperatures and a season-long need for irrigation. Each year, our annual trial consists of over 1,000 different cultivars of annual bedding plants. Varieties are grouped by genus, arranged by color and grown in rows, side-by-side, so as to facilitate the comparison of similar varieties.") You can Google CSU Annual Flower Trial Garden and see amazing pictures on their home page.

  • Got the confirmation of good news that my cousin Ann, the missionary in Mali, Africa, is coming to visit in 3 weeks for the first time ever. So excited!

  • Didn't get any cleaning or grocery shopping done. Did finish a bit of laundry, though. Finished the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Excellent - highly recommend!

  • Took Care Bear to look for "Silly Bands" - if you have a little girl in your life, you may have heard of this latest fad. We lucked out at Walgreen's, our second stop.

  • Caught cold from little Emma - just can't stop kissing those little faces, even if they're a bit snotty!

  • Was challenged by Sermon #10 of the series in James.

Go on over to Becky's place to join the fun.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just Some Odds and Ends

Have you ever seen a six generation picture before? I've seen many five and four, but this was a first for me - imagine the excitement in this family when the great-great-great grandma lived to see this amazing occurrence. (Sorry it scanned crooked!)

For some reason I always like to keep you posted on what I'm reading - maybe because I just enjoy sharing good stuff I've found. I wish I remembered where I hear or read about these books that I then go and put on hold at the library. Often it's when I'm reading People magazine at the gym while I'm exercising.

This book, The Imam's Daughter, is autobiographical by Hannah Shah (name changed from Hannan). It is a gripping, sad, victorious story of a young woman who escaped from the horrendous life under the thumb of a vicious Muslim "leader." It is an eye opener for sure.

This is a novel set in the 60s in the midst of the racial tensions. I am about 1/3 of the way through it, but am having a hard time finding enough time to read, as I wish. It is so well written, and another eye-opener.

I was sitting and reading yesterday afternoon on the patio, as I mentioned in a previous post, and of course, I dozed off. I had to pick up the girls from early release day (which I find the most annoying, ridiculous decision the school board has ever made) at 1:50. Suddenly I realized I'd better check the time. A few minutes earlier it had been 1:00 and I had plenty of time. All of a sudden it was 1:41, the littles were napping (again) and I had to rush down, drag them out of their sweet slumber, buckle them in, and pray for green lights and moving traffic as I headed the 4 miles to the school. Got there at 1:52, before the girlies panicked. Yikes!

Earlier in the day, the littles had decided to empty one of the big tubs of stuffed toys - it's like Christmas, you know, when you find things you forgot you had. Speaking of Christmas (which someone so kindly reminded me yesterday is only 4 months away!), Emma found this in the tub and wore it around the rest of the afternoon - so cute!

Saturday evening we headed over to Walker Manufacturing for their employee picnic - it was hot, which is why they had it in the evening. The girls really enjoyed themselves. Of course I left my camera in the car. The littles had fun in the bouncy house, although Miss Emma preferred the 7-older one to the 6-under. While the other 3 were riding ponies, she headed back, in a heartbeat, to the more dangerous one - out of my sight in the blink of an eye. Scary moment!! Forty acres of grass out there that she could have gotten lost in - thank goodness she loved the big kid bouncy house and had on a very bright yellow shirt.

The last thing on the agenda was face painting - they did a great job of butterflies on their faces - here is the happy look ---

. . . and here's the look of the one whose face got all sweaty and lost most of it before she even got out of the park!

One commenter asked about the sculptures in the previous post - the one where they're singing along is called "I Would Love to Live in Loveland with a Girl Like You." You can climb up there and see the actual music and words. The one where Care Bear is curled up in the soldier's lap is called, "Departure," I think. It's quite a touching piece. I must do a photo day of all my favorites - I've been promising that for a long time.

In the spirit of keeping it real, it's been a really tough couple of weeks, with "stuff" I don't feel comfortable sharing. Suffice it to say, I've not been sleeping well, have had headaches and upset stomach, and lots of kiddo time. I have been asking the Lord for wisdom, courage, and peace. The peace - promised by Him, but hard to relax and accept.

The song, "Peace Like a River" has been playing in the car on the kids' cd about every day as we drive around. I don't really think of a river as peaceful, since so much of the time it's churning and roaring down the canyon in our part of the world. But the lake in the middle of our town - God gave me this gift yesterday morning on the way home from the school run --

The view of these little ducks paddling together out in the middle of the water, totally oblivious to the mess in the world around them, gave me such a sense of rest. Thank you, Lord.

Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.

What a treasure I have in this wonderful peace,
Buried deep in the heart of my soul,

So secure that no power can mine it away,
While the years of eternity roll!

I am resting tonight in this wonderful peace,
Resting sweetly in Jesus’ control;
For I’m kept from all danger by night and by day,
And His glory is flooding my soul!


Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!
Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray
In fathomless billows of love!

Warren D. Cornell (1889)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Memories of a Very Fast Summer

Memorial Day - so long ago, it seems in some ways, but so quickly it has become the end of summer as we know it.

School started yesterday - it seems impossible that the three months of summer vacation went so quickly. Feisty has a very nice new teacher, but she's having a hard time weaning herself away from kindergarten and the awesome teacher she had last year - the one who came and took her out to lunch and to the park just because Feisty missed her and was afraid she'd never see her again. Last night she told me that she did not like the new kindergarten class. When I questioned her some more, I asked her if she thought maybe she was just suffering from envy that they were in Ms. Logan's class and she wasn't any longer. She had to agree. She then prayed to Jesus that there would be someone in that class that looked like her so Ms. Logan wouldn't forget her. Awww.

First day of first and third grades.

Last spring, at the end of school, I mentioned that Care Bear's teacher had told me about the haiku she had written (I couldn't believe they did haikus in 2nd grade - I think I was a sophomore before I knew that word!) The teacher kept a copy so she could use it as a teaching tool for the kids this year to understand how to write one. I finally got a copy myself. Here it is:


Syllables are cool
Syllables go with haiku
Haiku can be fun

I had the 4 girls a lot, and as I've said before, in the math of summer, 4 is much more than 2 times 2. What better way to spend many mornings than going to VBS? As I mentioned before, the big girls went to VBS at six different churches and enjoyed each one. One of them had a carnival and program on the Friday night - the littles enjoyed the activities as much as their big sisters. In fact, it was the first time we saw them actually interact and "talk" to someone other than each other.

They really didn't like cotton candy after all.

There was a lot of dirt and a lot of baths ---

Throw in swimming lessons, camp, Girl Scout camp-outs, library time, the county fair, swimming for fun, sleep-overs with friends and they've had quite a summer.

Then there was helping Grandpa get the dirt off his truck ---

Helping Grandpa in other ways --- picking up sticks from the wind the night before, then "helping" mow the lawn. BTW, their "twin language" has finally given way to our language, and what fun it is to be able to converse with them a bit - and know what they need a bit more easily!

There was the day that they got to my house really early because I had an appointment to get their pictures taken - wouldn't you think a place that photographs kids all day long would have a better way of keeping a schedule? Or at least have some toys to play with?? I chose this place because it had appointments. If I'd wanted to take a chance on ever getting in, I would have taken them to Wal-Mart and sat all morning. You can imagine how much fun it was to find out they were already behind - one hour after they started. We left. Still haven't had the pictures taken and now school has started.

We headed on up to CSU to get my free parking pass (one of the perks of retirement - free parking on campus for life - not a bad perk, when parking costs go up there every year!) They had some fun climbing on one of the less attractive sculptures (or whatever it is!) Their colors matched.

The fun thing about living in the same town with lots of relatives is that when they get company, it's usually someone you want to see too. Such was the case this summer with my sister when her kids came to visit. Second cousins can be a lot of fun.

The little train in the park with more second cousins was great - the cattle car was such a fun place to ride.

The parks in our town are full of sculptures - Katie wasn't quite sure if she liked this one or not.

But we had some fun at the park by the library -

Care Bear couldn't resist a bit of dramatic acting!

Then there was the day we went and got this beautiful bouquet of flowers for the church nursery attendant's birthday - Sandy is our favorite person! Turns out she was gone for the week - so we ended up enjoying them at home and she had to settle for a nice picture!

Then there was FINALLY losing a top tooth --

What's wrong with this picture? My next door neighbors - nice folks - but they don't seem to get the concept of a BACK YARD. Big back yard. But everything sits in between our house and theirs - I have to work at not looking. DC works so hard to make our space beautiful, and this is such a mess. Especially the compost dealie-bobber - what's up with that??? Don't they have a door into the back yard??? And before you ask, no, we don't have covenants. Oh, my. I guess if that were my worst problem -- but it's not.

Have a great week-end!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where HAS the Summer Gone??

Well, here in Northern Colorado, at our house, it has gone to lots of time with the girlies, for various reasons. Grandpa is a whiz at keeping the big girls busy and happy - his company closes for 3 weeks, and it has been good for us. School begins next Wednesday already, so I thought it would be fun to look back at the summer.

I was blessed to have missed the one week that the temps were at the 100 degree mark - I was in Minnesota, where I expected to be miserable with heat and humidity. Oddly enough, the weather was very pleasant for me that week and I was able to enjoy a walk every morning - I need to share the pix I took there one of these days.

Because of the nice weather, when I've had a chance to be home without little people, I have spent a lot of time on the patio doing my favorite activity ---

Right now I'm reading the 5th book of the Anne of Green Gables series. I'm reading them again in hopes of visiting Prince Edward Island when we go to see Kevin in Maine the first week of October. I need to watch the movies again. Best movies ever made from a book - ever.

Speaking of Kev - he was here last week and it flew by. The littles fell in love with him - in fact, it was as if they remembered him, though that seems impossible since they were a year old when he left.

Kev was as excited to see his dog, Callie, as he was to see any human in his life. Sema has done a fabulous job of training this huge animal, even though she has only recently become willing to have a pet!

The big girls came such a long ways in overcoming their fear of dogs in general, Callie in particular. This was HUGE and made Kev very happy.

Kev had either a sinus infection or allergy issues while he was home and didn't feel great most of the time. But I'm so thankful he had this week to catch up on his rest and have time to heal.

The highlight of the week for me was Sunday evening, when he shared with our church family. The Sunday evening crowd is always fairly small, but this group was made up of folks who have known him since he was born, watched him struggle, prayed for him, loved him, supported him financially. Now he opened his heart to them and told them things they had never heard. He did a fabulous job, and was, as the pastor said, very transparent. There were many tears, including mine of course, and even some from him. It was a powerful time. Pastor called Sema up and we surrounded them with prayer as they face many decisions in the next year.

Kev left very very early Monday morning (as in we left the house at 3:30 am!) for a six month internship back in Maine. Thank you so much for your prayers for him and Sema over the years, and please continue to pray that they'll discern God's will for the time following the internship.

Remember last fall when we tore out our old patio and put in a new one designed by DC?

Because our yard is so very shady, we can't have lots of roses or petunias or other summer flowers that I love.

This is my only rose bush, not counting the mini ones that do well.

It's funny - DC says we've had these lilies for years, but I never noticed them before!

DC spent a great deal of time finding plants and flowers that could thrive in this cooler area. They're doing well, and it'll be fun to watch the perennials fill in as the years go by.

I brought this dahlia bulb home from the grocery store one day and watched as it grew and grew and grew - very tall. It had one blossom when a huge gust of wind hit one afternoon, snapping it off flush with the ground. It was sad. But, as so many things in life, it came back from adversity and is growing again - I don't know if it will have time to bloom again, but I'm watching it every day. There are many more things that should be blossoming yet, but we'll see if they have time before the weather gets too cool.

I have lots more that I was going to write and show tonight, but decided to give you a break. I'll be back with the girlies' activities soon. I'll close with some beautiful skies.

Have a great week-end!