Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day


Happy Memorial Day friends!


How is your day going so far?  
We got up a little late this morning and had to rush a bit to wash up and get ready for the little Memorial Day Parade that our fair city hosts each year! 
Even Bailey needed to get read to go to her first parade!


The children dressed in their best 'red, white and blue' and put a patriotic bandanna on Bailey too!


She didn't mind the marching Veterans or the funny vehicles that went on by, but the Marching Band was quite another story!  Poor Bailey was terrified and scooted out of her full body harness ( her nick name should be Houdini!) and high tailed it back to the van!  It was a bit scary for us, but thankfully the streets were quiet for the parade, and she eventually came to the children!  She has not been trained to come on command outside yet - we are going to work on that this summer for sure!



We enjoyed the rest of the parade holding our calmer, but tired out dog very closely.  No more marching bands thankfully.  Then we headed home! Something about a parade can make a family hungry!
We enjoyed our brunch of fresh strawberries from the garden, french toast and bacon.  



There is always lots to do outside on such a nice sunny day - the guys are tackling some dead tree limbs that fell in the last wind storm and Dreamer and I are working on weeding.


We're planning a little picnic for later - though quite likely just in the backyard since most of the parks are crowded with family reunions and the shelters are reserved for the day. We'll see.  The fridge is stocked with lots of good things to eat - pasta salad and potato salad included!  I think I might put a hot fudge cake in the oven for later too!


I do hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend! In whatever you are doing, even if you are working hard or not doing quite what you'd hoped to be doing,  I hope that you are reminded of the blessing of living in a free country, founded on godly principles, and fought for by valiant men and women, our Veterans!

We are truly blessed!

Monday, May 24, 2010

On my knees ...

 "We are obliged to pray if we be citizens of God's Kingdom.
Prayerlessness is expatriation, or worse, from God's Kingdom. It is outlawry, a high crime, a constitutional breach. The Christian who relegates prayer to a subordinate place in his life soon loses whatever spiritual zeal he may have once possessed, and the Church that makes little of prayer cannot maintain vital piety, and is powerless to advance the Gospel. The Gospel cannot live, fight, conquer without prayer-prayer unceasing, instant and ardent."

E.M. Bounds


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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birthday, ballet, & baseball - minus the spray paint!

Happy Birthday!
 Today is my dear Historian's birthday - I won't tell you exactly how historical he is now, but let's just say he's crowding sail on the big 5-0!  He does look rather distinguished with the touch of silver in his light brown hair, and he sure doesn't feel as old as he is - unless he tries to help out and play catcher for 14 innings when a few girls were missing from Sandlot Softball!!!  The next day he felt older than dirt, but for the most part we just can't believe the numbers, even if they are simple mathematics!

I am working on a special birthday supper - roasted chicken with chalet sauce, homemade yeast rolls, tiny jello salads, crash hot potatoes and corn on the cob - with French Silk pie for dessert!  Everything is done but the chicken is still roasting, so I have a minute to sit and be still!  I put two chickens in the oven because they were on sale and I'll have the Historian de-bone the second one for other purposes - maybe a casserole or two for the freezer if I'm feeling ambitious!  Dreamer has the house all decorated with balloons and ribbons, so as soon as the boys get home, it's time to celebrate!

Can you guess where our boys are - three guesses and the first two don't count!  Another baseball practice tonight!  Storyteller played his second tournament game last night and it was a hummer!  I'll tell you, I was sprouting white hairs left and right!  Storyteller has never pitched, he has been given a few pointers, and practiced with his Daddy in the back yard, but he has been catcher and outfielder for the whole season.  He asked Coach if he could pitch, and Coach warmed him up, reminded him of the fundamentals and told him he might pitch, but not this game.  So, I could have swallowed my teeth when my son was lead to the mound to pitch - with the bases loaded and not many runs on the score board!  His face was a mixture of terror and joy - my heart was skipping beats and his balls were all over the map!  Than, they put a batter in the box, and he actually pulled it together - my baby struck out 5 batters. 
His eyes danced and my heart settled down!  What a surprise!

They still lost, but hey - what a memory!

In other sports news, our Dreamer has an upcoming Ballet Performance - and this past Monday night, her instructor finished writing their third dance for the performance!!!!!!  Can you feel the mad panic?  Thankfully, she scheduled extra practice for the girls who didn't get it memorized first run through - that would be our Dreamer!  She has had an extra practice every afternoon this week!

Today we enjoyed such wonderful sunshine - it was dazzling!  I was itching to get out my spray paint and get to work on the long list of project for Dreamer's room make over that haunts me in my dreams I have compiled.  However, along with the beautiful sun came fluffers - millions of white puff balls floating in the air.  We're way past dandelion season, so I suspect a tree is the culprit this time!!!!  My only day for spray painting in over a week!!!!  We have two more days of rain in the forecast.   

I'll just keep on enjoying these beauties until we get some more real sunshine!

and ...

After supper I am going to get my plants in the ground, even if I have to do it by flashlight!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mum sent sunshine!

Mum knew I was feeling blue - missing the sunshine during the rainiest spring I can recall!
So, she sent me some sunshine!  Look at what came to my door just minutes after I returned from a tiring shopping trip with the children!!!


Isn't it beautiful??? Gerbera's are my favorite daisy and I can put them out in the garden when things dry up a bit!  Double blessing!



Mum sent me 'sunshine' with this verse too! 
Psalm 84:11 (and I love verse 12 too!)


Just making my heart sing - off key to be sure, but at least I'm singing again!


Just a couple of hours after these beauties graced our home - the real sunshine came out!  Not for long, but just long enough to know that God has been hearing my pleas for the last few days and sent just a taste of His goodness to remind me of His faithfulness!

Now, it's off to the ballgame!!!  Yes sir, it is actually dry enough to play ball - and they don't even need canoes to get to first base!

And speaking of blooms, here is your laugh for the day - I was crying last night, but I am TRYING to see the humor today!  Last fall I babied my poor pathetic peony bush with compost, Posie Power ( at $18 a bag) and TLC, praying for a better show of blooms this year!  I was so EXCITED - my bush is twice it's normal size this spring, and had 60 beautiful pregnant buds just waiting for SUNSHINE to burst forth into glorious blooms!  Every day I have watched and prayed over my peony, thanking the Lord for His goodness!  After supper last night I went out to inspect my peony, and to my great horror, my bush was partly flattened and most of the buds were GONE!!!!  It seems our son lost his baseball in the peony and while searching for it he noticed the nice full round buds.  He decided to use them for BATTING PRACTICE!!!!!  My stars and garters - I was devastated!  I know in the grand scheme of life, it is just a plant, but my heart cracked just a tiny bit, I think.  He is so sorry, but my bush is a sad sad sight, with no hope for recovery this year.  I assured him that I love him more than any plant in the world, and he forgave me for getting cross and giving him the silent treatment.

Will I ever understand boys???

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yeah!

Great job Son - we are proud of your accomplishment!

Do you ever feel like you deserve a little something when your children earn an award??? That's how I felt tonight - like many of the parents should be up there with their children getting an award too!  Some children are self-motivated and do their work on their own, but many of us are very involved in our childrens accomplishments! Storyteller and I have worked long and hard on his second AWANA T&T book, but it has been worth it in so many ways! He has learned over 45 Bible verses this year, and become familiar with some very important theological principles form God's Word.  He has struggled with difficult verses and some hard words, but despite everything, he finished his book! We're so proud of his hard work!  Now, if only he will agree to a haircut this week! That would be between baseball games and school, of course!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tournamant Triumph & Buyer's Remorse

Tournament Triumph - at last!  Storyteller's junior baseball team won their first game today during the Mid Season Tournament!  My oh my ... and I missed it!  I still have not figured out how to be three places at once! After 6 straight losses in the regular season so far, this was quite a nice way to begin a week of double elimination tournament games.  The boys are learning something and gaining skill and confidence with each game experience. You can bet that our Storyteller was very very excited - he had to call Grammy and report the great news!  Coach said he was so proud of the boys that he couldn't stop smiling!  Storyteller will never forget this day!

Buyer's Remorse - and where was I during all this excitement???  I was at the best used Home School Curriculum ever!  Our Co-op coordinator and her trusty crew put together a huge sale venue for those who had things to sell - it was huge!  Unbelievable quantities of materials!  I had hoped to go the the seller's pre-sale last night, but we were enjoying a lovely evening at the ballpark instead - a make-up game because Wednesday's game was rained out. I hoped to get up early and head to the sale before my 'shift' as a bag lady, but that didn't work out either!  I am all but over my sinus issues, but still a bit tired from the whole thing.  I actually saw the boys off to the game and went back to bed! I rested a bit longer, got up and scrubbed the 3 bathrooms, and than we got ready and headed to the sale just in time for my shift! 

I gave my 'wish list' to Dreamer, but she didn't find anything on it - she found a few other small things that we will use, but she got her eye on a Latin words curriculum and brought it over with the pile.  I was busy bagging and only glanced at the stuff she chose, but I thought the tag said $8 and I was fine with that.  When we got home I realized I paid $18 for something we could have gotten for $14 new - and we can't even use it because it is second in a series that needs the first books as a foundation!  Not a stellar day for frugality!  I should not have been so careless, but at least it wasn't a major mistake!  Maybe we'll find a way  to make it work for us, but I do have a small case of buyer's remorse.  I wish I had taken time to really look through the sale items, but just getting there seemed to be a big energy drain.  
After the sale and clean up, we had a bite to eat at Panera Bread with my sweet friend Mrs. S.  She had worked the whole sale, and was pretty tired, but she took the time to visit a bit and we enjoyed catching up, so that was a blessing!
It is so good to be home and enjoying a quiet evening together.   I am going to finish the dishes and head to bed soon.  I am really looking forward to worship tomorrow, and tomorrow night our Storyteller will receive his Second Book Award at the AWANA awards night!  He worked so hard to earn this, so we are really glad for him. 
 I am still working away at Dreamer's room.  Her crazy slipper chair slipcover is done, and so is her lamp base and shade.  I have her bulletin boards painted and up - though I am really regretting not priming them!!!  They are chipping already - so I don't know if I can sand them a bit and prime and paint them again, but I think I'll have to do something.  She picked apple green and it is really pretty, but I should have primed!  Live and learn!  We have her rods painted and ready to got back up, and the valances are cut out and ready for sewing!  
My to-do list is never ending, but I am just grateful to feel like I can get back to work on it, since I have be stalled this week with illness.  Three more weeks of school and we are ready for summer break!  Yeah!





Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Wildly Windy Saturday

Yesterday a warm and sunny day gave way to a wild and windy night.  Thankfully, the ball game was not canceled or postponed again, and Storyteller had a great time with the Historian.  It was the fourth loss for his team - in four games! He took it very well saying that it really was the best game his team had played so far, so he was just happy to see improvement.  He is such an encourager, and he takes his games so seriously!  We just about smiled our silly heads off on Thursday night when our Storyteller asked for a time out and went out to the pitcher's mound to 'talk' with the pitcher!  We asked him later what he had said, and he told us that he just was telling him what a great job he was doing, and not to give up, the game was not over yet! He encouraged him with 'we can stop the bleeding'!  The game ended 18-1.  Thank heavens for the mercy rule and the school night rule!

Dreamer and I risked tornado warnings to go see some friends from our home school co-op in a Drama Class play of their own making!  It was really well done and very enjoyable.  We got home just as the sky was erupting in lightening.  It wasn't a fun drive home - there was more than one vehicle blown off the road by the 60 mile an hour gusts of wind last night. I still love the nice heavy feeling feeling of our Honda van, but I especially appreciate it in the bad weather.  Thankfully, we avoided the hail damage than many neighboring counties sustained. I was praying for my hosta!  One year we got 1" hail and the hosta looked like tattered lace all season long, and much of it died.


We awakened to more wind and a 40 degree drop in temperature, but thankfully no more rain or hail, so the kids happily got ready for sandlot softball, while I started dreaming about going back to bed for a while! I'm struggling with a super sore throat and major sinus headache, so the peace and quite was going to be quite a luxury and a blessing!


I made pancakes and sausage for breakfast and the kids were running out of time, so things were a bit rushed!  They still had time for silly faces and goofy grins of course!


I guess breakfast was a bit too rushed for our tired out Storyteller.  After jamming feet into cleats and grabbing water bottles and hats, they ran out the door to the van where our Historian was waiting.  They drove out the driveway with cheery goodbyes and one 'my tummy feels funny' and I started to tidy the kitchen before heading back to bed!  Not 5 minutes later the van pulled in and a very green little guy ran in the house and to the bathroom, loosing his breakfast.  Poor fellow!



Dreamer and Daddy headed to Sandlot softball without our Storyteller, and I installed him on the couch with gingerale and warm blankets, and a baseball video! He was right as rain in no time, enjoyed the extra cuddle time, and was quickly out the door dressed warmly for playing.  I never did get my extra sleep in!

I did make a loaf of bread - I have been really enjoying the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day recipe that I got from their website!  The book is on my wish list! Actually, the new book Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day would be even better!  I love having the dough in the fridge ready to pull out, shape and throw in the oven - and it is soooo good! I also made a batch of Chicken Noodle Soup, and thawed some homemade vegetable soup for Dreamer since she isn't a noodle fan.  It was a nice lunch for such a chilly day, and now they are all back at another ball field for Storyteller's baseball game - well bundled up against the chilly winds.  Today is our day for team snacks, so we made some giant cookies and packed juice boxes for the boys! Storyteller will no doubt have fun handing out his 'Chipper Mix' cookies to his teammates!

Now for my nap, but first ... the kitchen needs to be cleaned up ... again! 

and the wild wind is still blowing ...

I am thankful for Saturdays, even wild windy Saturdays that don't go as planned.  I am especially thankful for our Historian who is cheerfully making it all happen for the children!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In which baseball takes over our lives ...

... and I solve one of the great mysteries of life! 

Hi there!  Remember me? Sure you do - it hasn't been that long after all ... or has it? Well, all I can say is that we are alive and well and have begun to enjoy spring in a way that we have never experienced before!  Baseball has well and truly taken over our lives - temporarily!  We are grabbing healthy snacks and hasty meals at odd hours, filling water bottles, washing uniforms, scraping mud out of cleats, staying up late to watch the high schooler's home games, keeping track of games, practices and make-ups and generally living a crazy kind of  way for a quiet and routine loving kind of family. 
Someday I will look back on this, our first year of baseball, with fond memories of sitting out in the icy dampness, blazing sun, freezing rain, and downright beautiful afternoons and evenings and think only of the joy on our son's face at the first crack of the bat! 

Today, our Storyteller declared his major with a shrug,

"Mama, I just want to serve Jesus 
and play baseball - that's all!"


Oh honey!




Now, I am sure than many of you have solved this mystery long ago, but in case you have not, and were waiting with bated breath for the answer to this truly profound quandary, I am here to help. I now know the reason behind the death of the polyester leisure suit! Yes, I really do.  It is NOT because they are horribly hot, or because they are a genuine fire hazard, and not even because they will have the fashion police after you faster than any other garment on earth - nope!  The reason is ... they are STAIN MAGNETS! And - those stains never come out!  I always wondered why the dear old gents at the nursing home looked as though you could trace at least their last 5 meals by looking at their leisure suits - I assumed the laundry wasn't doing it's job.  Now that I am dealing with Storyteller's leisure suit-esque uniform, I know the truth!  Those clothes were washed - they just don't come clean!!!! And now you know!
See, I knew your life would be better if I shared these profound thoughts!



I could use a little advice from my  'baseball mom experts' out there - as long as it doesn't involve 'don't worry about it - all the kids look a bit dirty'. My Historian already tried that one.  I didn't buy it.  I want our son to at least start the game clean - after that, he can slide away, get as filthy as he wants - I don't mind!  As long as I know how to get it clean.  So far I have found Shout useless, and Spray N' Wash has not done much better.  Even my trusted Oxi Clean has let me down! I have used good old Sunlight Soap with less than satisfactory results. To be honest, the gel Zout has been my only salvation, and I am running out and can't find more locally. Please share your secrets.  I am a 'wash and hang it up' kind of laundress, and I have not pressed over the stains, so there is still hope, isn't there?  I have BANNED any more eating in uniform - he can change in a phone booth if need be! His uniform is light gray - top and bottom!  Polyester - not a fiber I know anything about since I am very allergic to it.  I have taken to wearing gloves to do his wash since my hands are looking like raisins with deep cracks.  Help!

In other Quiet Rest Family news, progress on Dreamer's room is going slowly, but it's going! I will have pictures soon, but we have some more sewing to do and some spray painting to do, and even a little woodwork!  Her quilt is at the quilters and will be ready in 3 weeks or so! Fancy that!  Last week Dreamer and I made her a new skirt for her Piano Recital on Sunday - her skirt is cute and fits perfectly. She did well with her pieces, though she was very very nervous this time. We made her another skirt yesterday for her Ballet performance - 6 yards of fabric in one skirt!  Talk about gathers! It is fun and swirly, but 'puts on' about 10 pounds visually! It's the most Bohemian thing I've ever sewn.

Time to throw together some dinner and enjoy a simply glorious evening ... NOT at the ball field!