Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Party girls

In our family, Jenny holds the title of Party Girl. She and Bethany hosted a baby shower for Annie. Finding a date for it was challenging, because the week was packed with family activities. We wanted to do it before Edwin went back home to North Carolina so that he could haul the loot with him. We settled on Wednesday night, which was fine until I realized that it was my busiest work day of the week. Four preschools in the morning and five piano lessons in the afternoon. I had a few hours in the middle of the day to get groceries and clean the house. Luckily, Edwin is Mr. Speedy when it comes to chores. Between his efforts and those of Jenny and Bethany after I left for the afternoon, everything came together very nicely with minimal stress for me. It was epiphanic, the concept of my kids being ready to take over some of these responsibilities that I always think of as being uniquely mine.
Do you think they're ready to take over Thanksgiving yet?
Jenny went all out on decorations. Those are real onesies and bibs hanging from the ceiling. We had a splendid time with friends old and new. 

Oh dear, the chubby forearm doesn't quite hide the unintentional cleavage.
Charlie has been rather cuddly lately. I'm so glad that my boys turned out to be loving sons. When they were in their prickly teenage years, I despaired of their ever even liking me.

Bethany received rave reviews over the salsa and other treats.

Men and little children were banished to the rec room with Star Wars and pizza.

After everyone went home, we checked out some of the family photos on Lindsay's photo blog.

There's nothing better than spending time with people who love you. I am grateful for people who also love my kids. This is the community that gives me strength, that bears me up when times are tough, and rejoices with me in the good times. Thank you friends.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Mother's Day to remember

Mother's Day is a strange phenomenon. For 364 days out of the year, we take care of our families. Then, for one auspicious day a year, we expect them to pamper us and to do it without burning down the kitchen. I don't know about the rest of you Moms out there, but the day has rarely lived up to my expectations. So, rather than be disappointed, year after disconsolate year, I just decided to bypass the whole expectation thing and be happy with whatever happened. 
Let's just say that the philosophy has served me well.
This year broke the mold.

I've been wanting to perform a family musical number at church for several years. This seemed like a good time to do it, so on Sunday we sang "Be Thou My Vision". I found several arrangements of this old Irish hymn and did a little fiddling around to come up with our own version. Bethany played an introduction on her flute, then Jeff, Bethany, Jon, Annie, Charlie, and Mum sang the five verses while I accompanied on piano. We had a lot of fun practising, if you ignore Jeff threatening to quit when I got impatient with his repetitive mistakes, and Jon being all grumpy because he was tired from having worked all night on Saturday. I love this hymn. It's not in our hymnbook, so here is a lovely rendition if you want to listen.

Chris, with some wheeling and dealing, got himself a Traeger grill, and he looks for any excuse to use it. After sitting through two meetings with the little guys on Sunday, he left church early so that he could smoke a couple of chickens. Charlie went over to their house to pick up the grill the day before. We got home as the birds were going onto the grill. Let's just say that it's more work than I'm willing to do for chicken, but I'm mighty glad that Chris likes to do it. Here he is, with the curiously anthropomorphic finished product, looking quite pleased with himself. Yoga frog pose, anyone?

It was very tasty.
The men peeled potatoes and mostly prepared dinner, but I took pity on them and made the strawberry shortcake. Yummy.
Josh wore himself out and crashed on the couch.

After thirty years of mothering, I think this was the best one yet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Demise Part II

I can't sleep.
I've had this stupid cold for about two weeks. I go all winter without getting sick and now it hits me. The first week, I just felt tired and draggy all the time. Then this last week has been bouts of sore throat, sinus-y stuff, and cough. Tonight, cough. 
Plus, Charlie is leaving tomorrow.
There's so much I want to share about this last week with all the kids at home, but tonight I will do an easy post.
About Saturday.
The day the mimosa really bit the dust.
Jeff and I did yard work all morning. He stacked our new cord of wood in the woodshed. Which had to be cleaned out first. I dug bulbs and sprayed weedkiller and planted vegetable seeds and generally got distracted by one job after another. Then we sat on the deck with Mum and had a nice lunch. Leek soup, toasted homemade bread, and
strawberries and vanilla icecream for dessert.
We deserved it. 
Under this sky.
Charlie and Chris showed up mid-afternoon to finish taking down the tree.
You know, I have some pretty smart sons-in-law.
And a hunky son.
Don't you think?

The last limb to fall.

Jeff didn't even pretend to be directing the action.
He just watched.

That chainsaw was a smoker! 

Joshie likes Harvey.

Later on, I found this funny little sight. The toadstools are living in the back flowerbed now. Right behind them yesterday were some real ones. Do you see them hiding under the penstemon?

Maybe I will sleep now.
More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A wee brag

It's been a long and busy week, but I managed to finish this quilt for Annie's baby. I struggled with the machine quilting concept a bit, but settled on sewing around random squares. I like it. The back is fleece and it's soft and cuddly and warm.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Too tired to think of a post title

Things are crazy around here. Today, we had our family photo session. Here are a few of the photos I took while Lindsay was doing the real ones.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Debunking the myth

Tonight at our joint belated birthday party for Annie and Charlie I was taking photos and Edwin kept saying, "Man, I hate your blog." Then somebody else said, "Yeah, she blogs about EVERYTHING."
I just want to set the record straight, in case you were wondering.
I didn't blog about my trip to beach with friends on Friday and the fun we had doing the scavenger hunt as we were driving there and the shopping and the walk with Barb on the beach and eating too much chocolate and then coming home and not being able to go to sleep until 2am because of the chocolate and then being woken up by Jon a few measly hours later at 5:45.
Oh wait, I did mention that last bit.
But I didn't blog about going back to bed and finally waking up when Annie got up and was worried about Nana because she wasn't out of bed yet and how I was dog-tired all day and decided I have been sick all week and didn't know it.
Or about how nice it was to go to church today and almost fill up the bench and how much I love these two guys...
...and Annie too of course.
And about how worried I am about my Mum because her short-term memory is shot and I don't know how she is going to go home and live on her own again and all of the dilemmas that are presented by that situation.

So, I'm just saying, in my own defense.
I don't blog about EVERYTHING.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekend warriors

6:30 am.
Ready for a big day playing paintball.

Jonnie spent all week getting his gear ready for action.
At my house.
 Which was a mess.
 Apparently, it's okay for my house to be a mess but not his. 
He should be a Sergeant Major. 
He called at 5:45 this morning to wake up the crew. 
They were reluctant. 
He was full of energy. 
He lives for this stuff.

They arrived home early this evening.
Tired, but happy.