Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Amazing Mother's Day!

What a Mother's Day my kids gave me! For days the girls had been secretive and planning,... something, while telling me to ask no questions. While anticipating a surprise is fun, there was a bit of nervousness as well. What were they up to? Had they forgotten any details that would spoil the day? With all they seemed to be doing, I would hate for it to be spoiled for them by a forgotten detail jumping up and popping their balloon.

As it happens, they had everything, if not exactly under control, at least accounted for and were flexible enough to handle the monkey wrenches that might have been thrown into the works.

Sunday morning I was told that after church I was to go to the Goggleworks to take a glass-making workshop- making glass flowers. I have wanted to do this for a while now! Yay! And, even better, two Moms/ friends from church would be joining me! So obediently we went, Piper, June and I, to learn how to handle hot glass and make it into a flower!

Carefully turning the molten glass in the furnace- not too fast, not too slow...

Dipping the glass into the colors, like pressing soft butter into sugar.

Pulling petals from the edges, like pulling taffy,... 1000 degree, molten, taffy.

The (almost) finished product- now it needs to cool for a few days!

Me, Ben, June and Piper.

One purpose for our Goggleworks experience was to keep us out of the way while the girls prepared dinner. Still having time left after making glass flowers and touring all of the galleries and studios, June and Piper directed me to the Pagoda, since I have not yet visited this Reading landmark. What a view- and what a gorgeous day to experience the view!

We finally arrive at the house, only to be told that we need to wait on the back porch. Piper's husband Ed is there already. As we wait, four more Mommies from church arrive! Husbands and children were welcomed into the house, Moms were sent to the porch! Soon, Erin comes out with trays of appetizers for us, after which we are led into the house by our children.

Eyes closed, we walk into the dining room.

Upon opening our eyes, we are greeted with a table beautifully set and strewn with flowers among lit candles. Absolutely beautiful!

The girls worked together to serve our meal, pouring wine, clearing dishes between each course, and grinning over the delight which this lovely treatment inspired.

Wow- I am speechless!

What a gorgeous table, surrounded by friends, laughter, and love.

Perfect evening, perfect day.
From new Mommies to Moms whose children have grown and flown the nest, we are all delighted with this unique and special surprise day.

And I didn't wash a single dish- by the time I woke up, they were all finished!

I felt so special and loved by my dear children today. Well done dear children, well done!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What I've Been Doing

So for the past 6 weeks or so I have not been blogging. What has been happening is that Spring has been springing, and I have been outdoors as often as possible. While he was here my brother Charles cleared the way for some re-landscaping in our yard,... to say the least. He did the big stuff, Jim followed up with more big stuff, and now I am working on the tedious little stuff.

In our front yard there is a line of White Pines that separate our yard from the road, and from view. Under those White Pines was planted English Ivy, lots of it. There were also some rather unsightly evergreen shrub things and stumps of long-ago cut trees hiding under the Ivy. Among the standing trees were a few dead trees, killed by the Ivy.

Before: from the road.

Under the trees, once some of the trimming of the trunks was started.

Charles hard at work.

The rest of the front yard.

So Charles went to work felling the dead trees, cutting out the shrubs, and trunking the White Pines, (trimming the lower branches). Jim ground out the stumps- fresh and old, and cut away the Ivy above ground. Now I am pulling up the Ivy roots in hopes of completely eradicating it from that area of the yard so that I can plant grass seed. Instead of the chaos of the Ivy and mess I am aiming for calm, sedate, mow-able lawn. Pulling up those roots, however, is not easy. Quite painful at the end of the day, in fact!

After: under the trees. Visibility!
The front yard now, ready to become grassy lawn,... almost.

We have two acres, much of which needs work and change. By focusing on one area at a time, working from the more visible to the private spaces, I hope to achieve small victories in the yard. One step at a time!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Playing Hookey Again

So I have to get back into the habit of posting here. It has been about 6 weeks... whew- and so much has happened. I'm sure being able to connect with folks on Facebook has dampened my urgency to Blog, but I will try to establish a balance now that life has resumed a more even keel.

I'll just make a list... Details to follow. Maybe.

In March we lost contact with Nathaniel for a while. The Army had lost him too, so Jim flew from Dubai to Honolulu and found him in three days. Nathaniel is now fine, communicating regularly with us, and is again training with his unit there instead of transferring to Ft. Campbell. In this process we learned again that God is a trustworthy refuge in time of trial. Many prayers were answered,... many, many prayers.

Also in March, my brother Charles came up for a visit to help with some of the big yard stuff that I was unable to tackle on my own. He cut down numerous trees in our yard that were either dead or just in the way of future projects. He gave us a big jump start on those projects,... also known as "removing my excuses" to get busy out there! It was so neat for the kids to have a chance to get to know him better, and me too. It has been years since I have had a complete conversation with Charles; drinking pots of coffee together in the mornings and finishing the evening with Bill O'Reilly on TV was a treat.

Also in March, Kate came home from Ireland. Yes, this was earlier than expected, but it is good to have her home. She is now searching for the "next thing". School, job,... not sure.

After Charles left and Kate arrived home, Jim came home for a one week visit. Perfect timing for lots of work to get done in the yard, he rented a stump grinder and finished off the stumps left behind by Charles's tree cutting. It was wonderful having him here and seeing the photos of where he has already been. There is much travel ahead of him now that he has returned to Dubai. The younger three kids and I hope to join him there for part of the Summer even. The passports are in process, so, we are preparing!

Isaac has had some serious three-day hikes with the Scouts; one on the Appalachian Trail and another at a State Park. Now that he is in Boy Scouts he will be busy!

Erin has been involved in Track and Field now that Spring is here- and the season is almost over. It seems that most Meets were rained out, so it is strange to hear that the last Meet is next week!

Rebekah has taken her first S.A.T. and is ready for the school year to be over. Her taking over more and more responsibilities in meal preparation at home has taken some of the load off of me and is such a big help.

As for me, when the weather allows I am outside continuing the work and projects that Charles and Jim started. The Bible Study that I have led since September ended today. The ladies and I have been blessed with looking at the Attributes of God over the past months and found that, once again, God has blessed the reading and study of His Word. We will meet for brunch to close out our year in a couple of weeks. Then there will be much to rush in and fill the void this Summer as we await a new beginning next September.

So there. I've done it. I've posted once again on my long-neglected blog. Whew... Perhaps there will be photos next time!

That wasn't so bad, was it now?