Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

I know some people find cemeteries spooky, but I really love them. I think they are peaceful places and a little bit sad. I often find myself cutting through our local cemetery on my runs and loved to do the same up in WA where there were far more small cemeteries associated with little churches. I like to read the names and wonder about the people. I get sad of course when I see a grave of a child or one where a husband or wife died years ago while their spouse remained. But I like going there all the same, and I love love the Memorial Day weekend tradition of visiting the graves (and, of course, going for ice-cream directly after). Ever since returning from living out of state, I have made sure to call my mom and force her to take us each year. Does this tradition exist in other states? It seems like Memorial Day is really meant for remembering veterans, and I don’t recall seeing the cemeteries crowded and full of flowers on this particular day when we lived in WA, but here, the cemeteries are very crowded on this weekend. It’s a nice tradition and there is really a pleasant thoughtful atmosphere among all the flower bringers at the graves.IMG_6532IMG_6535IMG_6541_edited-1IMG_6553_edited-1IMG_6554_edited-1IMG_6556

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this grave always makes me very emotional. It belongs to my mom’s great-great grandparents and eight of the nine children they buried. Can you imagine? I feel like if even one of my children were taken from me I would shatter and scatter into a billion ungatherable pieces. Look at the ages – 15, 9, 2, 5, 1, 1, and two newborns (I don’t know how old the child was who was buried before they came here). Oh it makes me cry to even type it.IMG_6562 (2)IMG_6565IMG_6566

Another thing also touched me quite a bit today. There was a man standing not far from us at a grave – very red eyed and quietly crying. It was clear that he was very upset, but I would have never dreamt of speaking to him – or of knowing anything to say. I would have been far too nervous to intrude on his grief. My dad however put his hand on his shoulder and called him brother and asked if he was all right. At that small act, the man burst into sobs. It was the grave of a very recently lost grandma, and from his sorrow you might have guessed she was the only person in the world who ever loved him. I didn’t hear everything that was said as my dad spoke to him, though I did find myself crying. I heard my dad assuring the man about where his grandma was and telling him that he would say a prayer for him. The man told my dad that what he said meant a lot to him and even stopped us later as we were crossing a road into another area of the cemetery to thank my dad.

Anyway, more pictures of telling stories, etc. at the graves and of eating ice-cream afterwards:IMG_6568IMG_6573IMG_6580IMG_6585IMG_6587IMG_6589IMG_6592IMG_6619_edited-1IMG_6624IMG_6639IMG_6643IMG_6652IMG_6653_edited-1IMG_6657IMG_6669IMG_6679_edited-1

Monday, May 23, 2011

Penny’s Birthday

This little girl turned FOUR on Saturday.IMG_6439

I well remember the whole business of her getting here – four years ago. As those things go, it seems like it was just the other day. It seems impossible how much has changed in life since her tiny arrival. IMG_6154_edited-1IMG_6445

We had driven down from WA the week prior to her due date. Looking back, that strikes me as a rather crazy thing to have done – carted our little family 730 miles away from our home just in time to have a baby. But, Mike would be able to take a week of vacation plus two weeks of sick leave once I had Penny, so it just seemed like too perfect of a way to see our families for three whole weeks. IMG_6121_edited-1 

Her due date found us in the emergency room . . . only not for her arrival, rather for nearly three year old Goldie to have a giant gash in her eyebrow glued shut (she’d managed to run in front of a cousin swinging at a Sunday family dinner just in time to get a kick to the head). I must admit, I was more than a little disappointed to be in the hospital on my due date for a very different reason than having the baby I’d been counting down the days for..IMG_6283_edited-1IMG_6446

Penny must have felt badly about that because she managed to kick herself into action in the wee hours of the following morning – arriving shortly after 7:00 am.IMG_6375

It’s odd to think that each of my kids started out like that – new and helpless and with no real spot yet carved for them in our family. They just came and sort of squished everything over a notch with out us knowing at all what type of a little person they would become. What their personality would be. How they would interact with the rest of us. How they would even learn to sleep through the night.


And then, somehow, they are suddenly four and sneaking out of their bed at night to put on a different outfit; and running in the house to yell for help because they managed to get freshly cut lawn grass not only all over their bodies, but in their mouth as well; and printing a picture to color off of the computer all by themselves; and crying because they can’t find a certain stuffed animal, or because a sister won’t give them a turn on the swing. 

Happy 4th birthday Penny Pearl. We sure love you!

IMG_6481And, on a totally unrelated note. Goldie decided at one point on Saturday to gift herself to Penny.

What a bunch a silly girls I’ve gone and gotten for myself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Robot Boy and Fortune Telling



Oh. It’s just you. You startled me . . . AHHH! Sorry. You are still startling me. Who are you again? Have we met? And why are you sitting at my kitchen table smiling calmly up at me? I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just . . . you’re a paper . . . boy . . . and suddenly here you are . . . and it’s all a bit unnerving.

Turns out paper boy is actually a “robot” creation of Goldie’s. Where do these cool ideas come from?

Also, today as I did Daisy’s hair for school, she was looking through some little round thing and saying something about “seeing the future.” She said she couldn’t see very far . . . only until she was 11. As she is currently nine, I laughed that that wasn’t much as far as fortune telling goes. “I’ve just been practicing. She explained, “I used to only be able to see a month ahead.” Funny clever little girl.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Chicks Have Hatched!

I do believe I owe little Hennykins an apology. Did I say something about lacking fortitude, earlier, when I spoke of her egg hatching prowess?

I take it back.

She sat on those darn eggs for three plus weeks before hatching these cute little chicks. And even now that they are hatched she sits on them to keep them warm and leads them around and pecks Mike’s hands to death if he tries to come near them.


I used to think things like, “Bah” and “Pshhh” when/if I thought anything at all about the puny little variety of hen this gray one was, but I have a newfound respect for the small chicken. Perhaps it is because I can relate – being as I am getting ready to hatch and care for my own little one. And I must admit: despite all my mockery of our chickens, it is a cute thing to see a mother hen looking after her little chicks . . . and it makes me sad thinking of our previous chicks who had to learn to survive totally motherless. Why, this very hen was one of those. How did she know how to be such a perfect little mom?

Nice work Henny. You’ve done us proud.


P.S. I had no idea, back when one little chicken flew to our window well, and I then named my blog “A Chicken in the Window Well”, just how apt the title would continue to be. This little hen flew down there to lay and sit on her eggs in privacy. Then, when they were hatching and it was so cold, Mike moved them to the garage for awhile. Today, however, when they were out pecking around and a certain Jesse began to terrorize them, Henny lead her chicks straightaway to the safety of the window well (though it seemed a bit of a leap for the poor chicks). Anyway, it all keeps coming back to our window well . . . and chickens being in it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Speaking of Trampolines

Pictures of my kids on the trampoline always end up being my favorite pictures to look at. They are just . . . funny . . . and seem like . . . I don’t know . . . “Hey, I get to be a little kid! Look at me leaping around so happy and carefree.” Plus, check out Goldie’s hair in these pictures. Ha! I love it.


Trampoline Stunts

Abe put on a little trampoline stunt show for me yesterday. We both agreed that his cool poses ought to be shared.


That last one gave us the best laughs. Nice work, Abe.

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