Friday, August 10, 2012

A random catch up for Friday

The fact that you all still come to visit my blog despite my frequent neglect astounds me ... and blesses my heart! I'm sorry that I took an unexpected blogging break - thank you to those who were concerned and e-mailed me just to check in! Sweet kind friends - you are wonderful!

I thought it was about time I catch up up on things around here - I'll try to hit the highlights and cover a lot of ground quickly.

Storyteller's daily summer baseball clinic went right to the end of June - it was killing me to have all these super nice days interrupted by baseball, but of course he loved it!  I did some cleaning and a few smaller painting projects and of course some gardening - but very little else. By the time baseball was really over it got really really hot - for days on end and my motivation to do anything on the project list quickly melted away!

All but one of my June classes at our local cultural center were cancelled for a lack of attendance. There were a number of women who signed up and then had to change plans at the last minute.  I am going to offer the classes again in the fall and hope they are better attended. I'm all ready for them - I just need students!

July 1st the regular baseball season ended for Storyteller with the All-Star game. It was so so hot - unbelievably hot. He got to pitch, but only for a short while since his shoulder was hurting.  Thankfully that's healed now. His All-Star team was soundly beaten - sad but true. I was kind of glad since it meant we got to go home! So long ball field!

I decided to make a sign for our porch and this is what I came up with.  I have painted the porch ceiling, posts and floor and am just looking for the right fabric to make new cushion covers. When I'm done sewing I hope to follow my own advice and take some naps out there! I have been doing tons of reading - discovering some inspirational fiction writers that I am really enjoying!  I love to read outside too, so I hope to use the porch for that more as well.

In between baseball games and general life stuff we had Bach - lots and lots of Bach.  Dreamer practiced faithfully and finally the date was set for her adjudication. I could tell she was really stressed about it because she was a bit short with her brother and not sleeping well at all.  I tried to keep him out of her hair as much as possible, and he learned a bit about extending grace.

Somewhere in all of that our churches Man Camp was scheduled and the guys were really excited about all that the men of the church were planning to share.  Again though it was a terribly hot day and the Historian had to wrap it up and head home a bit early because he was on the verge of some heat exhaustion.  It so hard to adjust from days in the A/C to a full day out in 102 degrees. They took in framing basics, replacing a switch, brake repair and a few other manly skills.

Dreamer's Early Bach adjudication was July 10th and it went really really well  - it is so helpful to know that this is something that most piano students don't even try to achieve. It was really hard - 15 Bach pieces memorized with their scales, chords and inversions two hands two octaves. Hearing from 5 well seasoned piano teachers that they had not had a student achieve this award ever was mind blowing.  It put all of the effort, frustration and stress into perspective - our darling girl set a goal and achieved it with wonderful results! She will be presented with the Early Bach Award plaque sometime this fall during an informal recital. It is quite an honor for our Dreamer and for her amazing piano teacher as well. We can't wait to see what God has in store as Dreamer uses this gift she's been given to glorify Him.

Right after the Bach adjudication we scrambled like crazy to get ready to go to visit Poppa and Grammy in North Bay!  Yes!  First - I had some sewing to do - a special padded case for Dreamer's Yamaha piano needed to be made. It was a fun project - lots of calculations and measurements and then two long zippers to figure out.  Dreamer loves it and it protected her piano well. I love the black and white fabric she selected ... and making it saved us about $50 so that was a blessing too! Poppa came all the way down to get us since the Historian was not able to get away and I was not up to that long drive alone with the children.  While we were away our Historian ended up at the ER twice because of a sudden case of cellulitis in his leg.  I felt badly that I wasn't home to take care of him, but he managed pretty well without us here - except for the loneliness.

So where do we head first at Poppa and Grammy's - why, the beach of course! I definitely have two water lovers!  They enjoy the lakes as much as I do!  We're so thankful for our time in North Bay with Mum and Dad - it's just not summer without the smell of the water, the sound of laughter as the children swim and play, and of course more pretty rocks for our collection! I made two big batches of jam while in North Bay - Dad and the children picked the very last of the strawberries and than some super ripe raspberries a week later!

A strange thing happened while we where in North Bay - our boy turned 12! How is that possible? Sister followed our tradition of making an acrostic of his name and adding positive words that describe our boy, which he loved.  we had fun decorating the dining room and making he day special - and he especially loved the money cake we enjoyed at dinner.

Looks like they are having a great talk in the water while they keep cool! 

Lots of swimming time for the kids - and I went in too and remembered how much I like swimming in the lake and cooling down that way! My sister sent her youngest boy T. to join us at Poppa and Grammy's house and they had good times together.  Poppa bought an airsoft gun for them to target shoot with and that was a big hit with all three children.  My Mum's brother Uncle Larry and Aunt Joan came for a one day visit which was really nice and I spent another pleasant afternoon eating ice cream with a childhood friend. Of course there was lots of cooking alongside Mum, cleaning up a bit and endless amounts of laundry to do ... and wouldn't you know it - the washer died! Grrr.  Timing is always bad for a washer's death, but with 6 people in the house instead of 2, it was especially poor.  We used a neighbour's washer for a few loads but then Poppa and Grammy had to go out an buy a new one.

 I also bossed my Dad into making  helped Dad make a pretty corner garden for Mum to gaze at from the kitchen window - it's a bit of a shady spot, but I hope everything with thrive and bring lots of color and texture to the yard. Dad financed the operation and did all the grunt work - I was the just design coordinator and slave driver implementer. Uncle Larry and Aunt Joan contributed four lovely plants and the solar lights to the project - I am praying that everything will survive the winter and the dry sandy soil. There are two spots with annuals that will need to be tended and replanted each year, but everything else should just fill in and flourish. Dad took this picture - I took some better ones on Mums' camera but she hasn't sent them to me yet - hopefully Dreamer will help her with that soon!

Two men drove 12 hours to get Storyteller and I home in time for him to take part in the first ever Cincinnati Reds Baseball Camp. Poppa drove us part way and the Historian picked us up and took us the rest of the way home - it was a terribly long day for all four of us, and we were thankful for safety and strength to do it. Reds camp was amazing for our boy - he learned so much and enjoyed every minute.  I made lunches each day and struggled to keep those white uniform pants clean, but other than that just I stayed at home chipping away at the project list.  I didn't have any wheels all week since we were waiting for parts!  It was hard, but we made do!

I did lots of weeding and trimming back - getting some areas cleaned out to buy some new perennials in the fall. I did some painting and cleaned through the house though you'd never know it now! I've also been working on small sewing projects - pillows and a giant purse for Mum {before we left} and new pillows and a table runner for our home.  I made a skirt that fit well but visually put 20 pounds on me, so it's in the donation box. So sad - it just wasn't flattering.

Dreamer stayed in North Bay with Mum and Dad and we are missing her terribly - her sad Daddy has not seen her in 4 weeks and I haven't seen her in two weeks and she is greatly missed.  She's having such a good time in North Bay though, and I am looking at it as a reward for all of her hard work on her Bach program, as well as good bonding time with her Poppa and Grammy.  I know she'll be right ready to buckle down to school work when she gets back.

There have been a number of deep sorrows in the past couple of weeks that have really broken our hearts for those who have lost so much. My dear friend Laura's eldest daughter was in a terrible horsebacking riding accident which left her battered and bruised but not broken.  We're so thankful because it could have been so much worse, but it really made us sad to think she has to go through all this pain and prolonged time of healing. God certainly had His hand of protection upon her in many miraculous ways. Since we have always wondered just how God will use this very gifted girl for His glory, it's a joy to know He continues to be at work in her life even in this accident.

Sadly another lovely girl, a 19 year old homeschool graduate - a friend through soccer and co-op was killed in a senseless car accident along with a 19 year old boy.  Storyteller and I attended her homegoing celebration yesterday - because she loved the Lord and had accepted God's free gift of salvation through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, we know without a doubt that the Scriptures say she is in heaven right now, but or sorrow for the family is great. We're also sorrowing for another local family - and mom and three sweet girls that we know a little bit through ballet and the AWANA our children used to be a part of.  The husband died after a terrible hiking accident - his funeral is tomorrow, but again, he had put his faith in Jesus Christ and his life was a shining testimony to that vibrant relationship with God through Christ so we know He is with his Saviour.

The air is crisp and clear tonight and I can really believe that we are turning the corner into fall when I smell the wonderful freshness of the line dried laundry.  I've been struggling with back issues for almost a week and am so very thankful to be better - much less pain and much more mobility!  I have so much to catch up on - and the good news is that this cool clear air is a great motivator. Our school year is going to begin in just two short weeks and I have much to do before we plunge headlong into the schedule.

Thanks for catching up with me.  I hope to get back to blogging on a more regular basis soon - and I have a fun giveaway coming up too! I just have to work out the details! 

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  1. great catch-up post Heather.
    The Heffalump, AKA the gardener - who has been bossed into it.....

  2. Storyteller looks sooooo grown up in his reds uniform. He looks like a major leager.

  3. Dreamer - I can't wait to see you! I've been missing you terribly! Your crazy brudder does look very grown up in his 100% POLYESTER {hot} Red's uniform! The pants are a wee bit long, but other than that a men's M fit him to a 'T'. Yikes!

  4. Just catching up after a very busy August. I'm sorry for all those sad circumstances that came your way this summer with your friends. Very thankful to hear that these people were trusting in Christ.

    I hope your parents made it home safely -- that is the last news that I remember from FB. SChool is off to a good start but the days are very full and sometimes attitudes are not always the best. :)


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