Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yosemite Continuted

Be ready to swim at any given moment. That's his motto.

Bobby and Amy.

Boys playing in the creek, just as they should be
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Yosemite...Part III?

Animated. I don't know if there is a better work for Nate's storytelling skills. He is telling a story of the first time he found a grub. You'll notice that he's discovered one that reminded him of the story.

Family Photo!! I'm so pleased to have such a handsome brood of men.

The view.

Kiddos work on some art at back at the campground. This was a big favoite activity for the kids. I came home with a stack of kid art, pages covered front and back...
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Sunday, July 25, 2010


We mamas tend to spend our days of little ones marking down & getting a little thrill over all the firsts. I am still counting firsts. Because my kiddos are learning right at home, I'm aware of so many firsts.
But what about the lasts? I've been thinking on this one for awhile. I have loved-loved my babies, toddlers...and now it seems they're just gone.
Elijah will be 5 in a short little month. I can hardly stand it. I never thought the day would come that my youngest child was five years old. Don't get me wrong. If you know me you'll know that I love each season, and I'm particularly enjoying these little boys these days. But it just goes so stinking fast. Eli seems to know how to speed that up. When he turned 2, he climbed up on the potty (unbeknownst to us) and did his thing, wiped his tiny hiney and flushed, proclaimed he was just done with diapers. I know, it's dreamy. But I was a little sad, my littlest boy wanted to grow up so, so fast.

and he's done it again. Yesterday, he decided he would try a bike without training wheels. Ralph was watching the boys on bikes from the garage when he saw Eli trying it on his own. "Wait!!" I said, "I have to get the camera!" but of course I wouldn't have him wait and it's a good thing, he didn't. He was off just then. By today he was stopping and starting, up on the sidewalk & two blocks down the street all by himself.
Last training wheels.
I'm so happy to see his beaming little face. He's so happy to be a "big kid," and I can't think of what would seperate the little ones from the big ones other than diapers and training wheels. Eli was cruising up to the big neighbor boys with a strut, "hey, this is my first day without training wheels" (hand on hip). Isn't this just how it's supposed to be?
But to me, it's another last. All just as it should be, but these boys, they just keep on growing.

They keep on getting faster, better, riskier, and tougher. I love it and I cry. That's fair, right? I'm a mama. I get to cry when I want to. Give me some grace, ok?
After all, this is the last of my little kids. They're turning into young men right in front of my eyes. And I must say I'm the luckiest mama on the planet...I get to spend so much time watching them grow...

...and just check out those muscles!! Not, the last...I'm sure.
And I'm happy to report that my sweet little man called to me from his bed tonight, for just one more snuggle. He wrapped his little arms around my neck and I eat it up. Far from the last of the lovey little boys. You see, my nearly 9 year old did the same tonight. :)

Okay, a few more posts of pics from our vacation below. I love to share all the pics, so enjoy!
Nater and the gianormous pinecones in Yosemite.
I love this pic, daddies and their clan taking a break at the fork in the trail.

I don't want you to miss a thing. This is Amy with her brand spanking new beloved Nikon. We were picture taking fools.

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This is another boyish pic...Joey and Josiah hanging out at the park, being big kids.
This was a proud mama-teacher moment, when my four year old says "Look mama! Abraham Lincoln!" ~ Did you know he was part of establishing Yosemite as a National Park?
Nate found his marshmallow stick...
Bobby and Amy. Lovebirds. :)
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Little boyishness

I have nothing to add to these vacation photos....

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Yosemite Vaca

After we spent a week in the Northern California mountains, we drove to Yosemite to meet up with two long-time friends of Ralph's. These are friends he spent a whole lifetime with back in College, before me. Amy (my friend by blog & facebook) and Bobby have been married 10 years & have three sweet munchkins. The wee one, shown above, was a friendly chatter-girl I got the pleasure of hanging out with often. Do you just love those curls?
Ralph and Bobby (and all their hair)
Grown men should not race scooters down a hill. I am happy to say we had no broken bones or even blood, but I hold to my opinion. Grown men should NOT race scooters down hill.
But they're cute when they walk. :)
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

8 days

It's a strange thing, I keep counting how many more nights I'll go to bed in my bed. Wondering how many more times I'll sweep this kitchen floor, if this will please be the last time I will scrub this toilet....

I'm comforted that there will always be another toilet to scrub. At least until my boys have perfected their work of cleaning the bathrooms.

These last days are really, really full. Come to think of it, each day since Ralph got news of the new job has been really full. This week have been days full of seeing a friend just once more for the boys, including two birthday parties. I went out to dinner with a friend, and a few appointments to get things wrapped up before we go. This weekend is the same, a day at the lake with my folks, a day of quiet, and next week we'll have more time with kid friends and packing.

I can't say enough how wonderful it is to have someone else do the packing for us. I have so much time and presence of mind because of it. I have been organizing and making lists for what we'll take to our next short-term residence, next week I'll pack up all of those things.

We did take down all the curtains and wall hangings. That made me cry. Those things were such a personal part of our home. But we get to take them!! This is good.

I'm going to miss my mom & dad being ever-available, I'm going to miss my friends and all my local favorite sweet spots. AND I'm hopeful that this job for my husband will be one that will be a great fit. I'm hopeful for the new Classical Conversations group we'll be part of. I'm hopeful for new community, new church, new local favorites and one day a new home.

In the meantime, I'm still here. If you're here too and you want to grab coffee just hollar. Most likely I want to have coffee with you too.

And thanks to all of you who have offered to help with the kids or whatever needs to be done. Much, much love!!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Yes, MORE Pool Pics!

The boys got thrown in the pool again, again and again. Loved every minute of it!
Freckles, flowers, smiles, reading, swiming, nature...what a wonderful time we had at Nanna & Grandpa's!
I love the photos below...Little sitting in the pool counting, catching drips of water and all smiles. The last is the boys all wrestling with their dad. What a fun time we had. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home Mom and Dad !!

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Vaca Happenings

What we did at Grandma & Grandpa's....

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Placerville, CA

This summer we got the treat of heading up to Nanna & Grandpa's retreat house in the CA foothills. The boys, of course, were just in the Pool ALL.DAY.LONG
Nate takes a flying leap
Joey's flipping out
Nate's impression of a swamp monster...
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Goodbye, home

Somehow I feel like the best thing I can do is stop this morning.

So I'm sitting this morning, in my favorite morning spot, the boys are watching PBS and my husband is working on his 5 th to last day of his job, for the job he really, really already loves.

The last 3 weeks have been a blur, sitting poolside, out to eat at fancy-schmancy resturaunts. Fireworks, sleeping in my favorite little camper, playing in the river and marveling at the huge rocks God put in Yosemite. Driving, oh, can't forget all the driving and great conversations, then training for a new year of Classical Education & thought provoking reading & hearing.

All the while, my mind is twirling around the fact that we'll be leaving our home, our little community and "normal" in just a few short weeks. I've had sudden bouts of tears unexplained and created lists repeatedly. Spin. When I drove home on Wednesday I knew that this I could only call this place home for a dozen more nights or so, and that makes me sad.

These last two weeks are for saying goodbye home.

It's in pulling the blinds that spins me into remembrances with this home. I use the blinds everyday. I love them, I love the windows. I love how I know how to best keep the house cool in summer and how they let the beloved sunshine in in Winter. We've been in this house for 4 years, which isn't long for some but is for us. Eli learned to walk here. My memories stretch back that far and it seems the milestones will fade just a little when we leave this house. *sigh, sniff*

Sometimes it's a good thing to induce tears.

I have long ago let go of this house as a possession. I have loved this home and while I know that it's time to leave it, I do love this home we've been in. I find myself praying for the folks that move in, that they're time here will be blessed and that they'll fully enjoy all that we put into the house.

Home, sweet, sweet home.

Letting go is hard.

And it all makes me glad to say I'm not moving across the country in a day before communicative technology, leaving all my people behind too. I'm grateful for blogs and texting and phone and 3 hour car drives that will keep my in touch with my treasured family & friendships.

But how I have loved my sweet, little home.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'll take you with me....

Here we are, in the middle of this whirlwind. Do you want to come?

Two weeks ago: 5 days with my in-laws, sitting poolside & nose in a book
Last week: @ Yosemite with sweet friends & their little ones. Catching a view of the beautiful falls, mountains made of rocks & building a dam and splashing in the river & encouraging conversation.
Today: Unpack. Pack
Tomorrow: on to Spokane for the 3-day Classical Conversations practicum and tutor training I'm so excited to attend. Yes, tutor training, because I'm teaching next year. And I'm so, so excited!! But I'm leaving one of my sweet boys to keep company with his dad and it just might break my heart. My umbilical cord is not so long...
Next Friday: going away party...for us. :(
Next Saturday: Much anticipated family reunion...4 hours away
Next Sunday: Breathe
Intermission: two weeks of packing and readying to move
Last week of the month: Load up our truck, doggie and essentials to move to provided (Thank you God) temporary housing.

I hope your head isn't spinning. Mine does, sometimes. Maybe I've done this too many times or maybe I'm covered with overwhelming grace...I feel all I have to do is today. Mostly just peace
Some days I cry a little about leaving our sweet home. (We're selling) Some days I'm just overwhelmed with all the blessing that comes with this change. Some hours I cannot.stop.making.lists. Mostly I'm covered with amazing peace that all the details are just falling into place.

I'm grateful to get time with friends here before we go (we don't have to pack--amazing!!)
I'm grateful for housing when we get there (time to find a rental home)
I'm so grateful my husband gets to change to a job he's going to love.
I'm so, so grateful for a Classical Conversations community to go to. Did I mention I get to meet new cc mama's this week?
I'm so grateful, and I'm a little exhausted.

So many photos to come. Bear with me. Until....October.