Thursday, April 29, 2010

Warm Day + Little Gardener + Hose = Fun!

I've written already about how much Sydney loves to be out in my garden. She would play outside for hours, digging and puttering about. Today's discovery? The garden hose! The pictures tell the story... but I've added a few captions for fun too!

Ready to start working.... Syd's got the hose in hand!
First. you actually water plants!
Are you sure this is work? This is fun!

Whoa! You can stick your hands in too!

The next thing you know, you're washing your face!

In for dime... in for a dollar! Besides, I won't need a bath tonight if I do this right!

Syd: "Look Gramma, I'm all wet!"

This is what happiness looks like on a 2 yr. old!

Banilla Makes the Day Alright!

Today was good day that got made even better by some super after school time spent with Sydney. I picked her up at her sitter's house and we went off on an adventure. (Papa was at the farm spraying our grapes.)

First stop... Lyon's Custard for a cone; more specifically a "Banilla cone" because that's what Syd told me was her favorite. Syd polished off her first full-fledged kid cone. She managed not to let a single drip hit the ground (or her shirt)! Throughout the adventure, she kept saying, "Oh Grandma! This is so tasty!" Then she would giggle and keep right on slurping away at it. It took her almost a half an hour to eat a cone, but she did it! (and had the occasional slurp of my strawberry one as well). The other discovery was that Syd thought going to "Lyons" Custard meant we were going to be with some LIONS... as in growls and eats people! So I had to show her that it was a name of a place that just sounded like big cats! Funny!

We followed our cones with a stop at the library next door, where we stocked up on Dora books. Then we came home and played in the garden for almost an hour before her daddy arrived to pick her up. We now have a ritual... we come in, put on our "garden clothes" and our garden shoes, put on our sunscreen, put on our sunglasses, and then out we go. Syd spent an hour watering her flowers and moving "soy-il" from one bucket into another.

I am really liking all our new "habits!"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Time to Mourn, and a Time to Laugh

We buried our dear uncle/brother-in-law, Jon on Friday morning. It was a very sad yet very hopeful morning. The pastors at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Stevensville shared many words of comfort with all who came, and the honor guards and ceremony provided by the various police departments present reminded us of all the people Jon had served in his career as an officer. We also were able to share in a post-funeral luncheon which gave us time to connect with a lot of family and friends we hadn't seen in quite awhile.

In the afternoon, after the luncheon, we rested for a bit and the kids napped. When dinner hour came, we headed to the local little park where Gabe had baseball practice. What a great thing to do at the end of our day! The kids played, we all cheered like silly fans for everything Gabe did on the field, and as the day ended we felt very grateful to have one another.
Walking to the park, cousins go hand in hand.

Asher is a cutie in his Cardinal cap!
The next generation's major leaguer!

Gabe scoops up a grounder and we all cheered!

Syd liked the teeter totter the best.

Rhy loves slides... in ANY direction!

This is what contentment looks like.

Uncle Leon, Ash, and Syd check out the teeter totters.

My girls, Gretchen and her Syd.

Rhy loves slides!

Asher: "Whee! Catch me Daddy!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the Eve of my 55th

My brother-in-law is now in a coma as he nears the end of this life and is about to move to the next. He was given about 3-5 weeks to live in late March and we are all having to face the truth that the end is near. It's been such a sad time for all of us who love him and we find that there simply aren't words to share what he has meant to us for the past 16 years and what we hope will be his joyous entry into heaven.

Ironically, yesterday was Jon's 77th birthday and tomorrow is my 55th. His near passing has made me feel more than usually reflective about my own day tomorrow. Generally I try to ignore birthdays as much as I can. I say that I am not sensitive about my age, and in terms of being coy or reluctant to admit how old I am that is true. However, tomorrow will be a day with a difference. I suspect it will be the day of Jon's heavenly homecoming, and that will overshadow everything else that happens.

There are many things about Jon that I will miss. I will miss his sense of fun. He has a great love for doing little magic tricks, especially if youngsters are anywhere nearby. It never ceases to amaze me how he can do slights of hand with the littlest of props and have kids oohing and ahhing.  I will miss how fiercely loyal he is to family and friends and especially to my sister-in-law, Kathleen. I will miss knowing that he is there to spoil my grandkids in St. Joe when I can't be there. He took to them as if they were his very own and I will be forever grateful to him for that. I also will miss his beautiful art... Jon is a woodcarver, and he makes the most intricate and amazing things out of little chunks of wood. I have a couple of walking sticks he made me and oodles of beautiful wooden kitchen utensils that will make me remember him every time I hold them in my hands.

The thing that hurts and confuses me is that even though we've had "time" to prepare for Jon's leave-taking, we don't feel prepared. We jump when the phone rings, we cling to some hope for a reprieve, and we hate to see him suffer even the slightest lack of personal dignity as these last days play out. It's been confusing and heart-wrenching and yet seems as if this is the way things are meant to be. It's somewhat exhausting to contemplate.

So Godspeed and God Bless you, Jon. You have been a gift to all of us and we hope in some small way we've been as much for you. Our love goes with you, and our hopes of a joyous reunion, in a future mansion where we will all be free of this world and its ills, are sure.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If you can dig, you can garden!

Syd learned to enjoy soil (yes, she calls it soil (as in "soy'-ill") not dirt) this evening. We were together after school and had stopped to get a few more herbs for the garden. We let her pick out a geranium to plant. Thus began her new love affair with "soy-ill". For almost 2 hours she sat on a stone happily moving dirt from one spot to another. It was fascinating to sit there and listen to her singing happily to herself while moving dirt. We should ALL be so contented! Our little garden buddy is well on her way to a lifelong love of digging!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Herbs & Closet Turn Overs

I am presently on spring break. Yes, it's that rare thing that we teachers somewhat live for this time of year. Be jealous of me only if you would be willing to grade papers from 6-10pm virtually every evening of the school term cycle.

In any case, owing to travels and other "must do's" of the time away from school, today was the first day (and likely the only day) that I was allowed to "sleep in". I lollygagged about in my pj's until the ripe old hour of 10 a.m. It was wonderful. Then I decided I must get something worthwhile accomplished, so I decided to change over my closet from winter to spring.  This is the annual sorting, pulling out, and packing away of clothes that I won't bother to look at again until the weather chills down round about next October. It always makes me feel good to do it. I pack the sweaters away with their cedar blocks, and change out my winter jammies for my spring/summer ones etc.

 As many of you know, I've lost a good deal of weight in the last year and a half so each seasonal turnover lately has involved pitching clothes that are too big or baggy and stating to myself, "Life is too short to wear baggy or ill-fitting clothes." and then off those go to the Thrift Store.  That makes me feel pretty great too! So today, I did a good deal of that.

Then it was off to run a few errands and we wound up at the plant market buying the herbs for the upcoming summer. I love planting them, even if I rarely cook with them. Ed does such amazing things with a little basil, sage, and thyme! So I help him grow those... and he cooks us things... it's a good deal all around. All in all, a wonderful day of moving from winter to spring!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Eggs, Bunnies, and a Cute Little Huntress

Had a beautiful Easter Sunday here in Missouri... after church the hunt for eggs began. As in the past, the grown-ups had as much fun as the little-uns!

 "Merry Easter"(as Syd said to folks on her way into church this a.m.) He is Risen, Indeed!