Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hoping for a drink of water...

Once again lots of things happened today that went unphotographed; basketball camp, playing in the blow-up pool at a friends house, enjoying a chocolate coconut mocha with a friend at Target. We do so many things during the day and I'm constantly on the look-out for "the picture of the day." I finally decided on the subject of today's photo just before sunset. 

This is our livelihood

This baby cotton could really use a good drink right now. Oh sure, it's irrigated or it would never have broken ground; what I mean is a really good drink from above. As I was taking this photo the clouds were rumbling and hopes for a rain was off in the distant west, but as I am writing this our rain chances are gone. We'll keep irrigating and this baby cotton will keep growing, but a good rain would make things a whole lot better...in the meantime we'll also keep praying.

Monday, May 30, 2011

So Thankful for our Freedom ~

On this Memorial Day I am so thankful for all the freedoms that I, more often than not, take for granted. I do not come from a military family and although I can name several extended family members who fought for our freedom, I've not been close to anyone who has served in recent wars. I have a cousin who is a Marine and another who is getting ready to start his career as a Marine and I couldn't be prouder of these two young men who find it important, deep down in their being, to fight for our country.

We were on our way home (almost home actually) when I realized I had forgotten to go by the cleaners, so I whipped around and drove the 9 miles back only to realize they were closed in celebration of Memorial Day. I knew this because I had read the sign when I was there last week, yet I was still slightly annoyed that I had wasted my time and gas (which is not cheap these days.) I grumbled for a few blocks and then I came upon a section of the road that was lined with U.S. flags...it was beautiful. I decided to whip into the bank's parking lot and snap this picture with my iPhone. All day long we had been griping about the wind. In fact, I think I woke up in a slightly grumpy mood this morning because the wind was already blowing, but because of the wind I captured the beauty of this flag in all it's glory. Because of this picture I've been counting my blessings; thankful I can drive to the cleaners only to find it's closed, thankful I can snap a picture of our country's colors flowing in the wind, thankful for the two young men who share parts of my history that are willing to risk their futures ~ thankful for too many things to count...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Tire Swing...

There are two things I remember always wanting as a child ~ a tree house and a tire swing. One day about 5 summers ago my awesome husband came home with an old tire and a long rope and before I knew it we had a tire swing hanging from a very old cedar tree in our front yard. Fast forward a few summers; the kids and I were sitting on a quilt in the front yard, under that same tree shelling peas when I looked up and pictured a tree house in the other cedar tree. All I had to do was mention how awesome it would be for the kids to have a tree house and a few days later big R pulled a trailer into the drive full of materials to make it happen. Two days later we were perched in that tree house high up in the cedar...you could see a long long way ~ it was so cool. 

I wish everyone could enjoy a shade tree and tire swing in the summer.

We were sad to leave our tree house behind when we moved last year, but one of the first things we did was pick out a spot just right for our tire swing. I've learned the last few days that it's the perfect place to hang out during these unbearably hot days of summer. It's perfectly shaded, the kids can play with the sprinkler under the trampoline (without sunscreen) and I can sit and enjoy watching them play (without sunscreen.)  We've gone through what seems like hundreds of water balloons over the last two days and if it weren't for all our beautiful shade trees we would be stuck in the house on these sweltering days.

I have the perfect view of our tire swing from my kitchen window. On those days when the kids are at school and I'm in our quiet home standing there doing dishes, my mind will wander into the future when our children are grown and the only thing swinging the tire will be the wind. For now I will slow down and enjoy the lazy days spent together under the shade, swinging on the tire...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The 105 degree Ride

Let me just start by saying I'm a wimp ~ a really big, I don't like to be outside when it's over 90 degrees, wimp. When the kids found out we had to go to town to round up supplies for their daddy, they started asking to go to the park. With gas prices the way they are I hated to waste a perfectly good trip to town, so we loaded up their bikes and decided we would head to the park with the longest sidewalk. Needless to say, we lasted long enough for them to ride all the way around the park once before we were loading the bikes back in the Tahoe ~ it was hot!

As the kids ride their bikes on the safety of the park sidewalk under the watchful eye of their mom, I think back to the summertime freedom I enjoyed as a girl growing up in small town America. I experienced a freedom unlike anything my kids will ever know. I remember my friend Pebble and I riding over what seemed like the entire town. We would visit friends and  go to a convenient store close to her house and hang out forever playing video games. You always hear people say this and it seems like such a cliche, but things seemed so much simpler back then. A part of me wishes my children could experience the same feelings of freedom, but the other 95% of me is happy to keep them safe and sound and riding on the park sidewalk. :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Operation Summer Fun is Underway...

Well it's officially the first full day of summer vacation and no one could be happier than this mama! In addition to my plan to keep the chaos to a minimum and the happiness no a maximum, I also want to keep a photo journal of everything we do this summer. For the past few years there's been a trend in the digital scrapbooking community to capture a photo a day for an entire year. It's called Project 365 and sounds like a huge undertaking. But after listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day (The Paperclipping Roundtable) I was inspired by Stacy Julian and her 180 day project she was doing for her son's Sr. year of high school. Why not take one picture a day to document our summer; that, in addition to the kids journaling will tell the entire story. I love this idea!!

Water balloon fight and jumping on the trampoline ~ last day of school
So, here's the back story...R thinks it's pure torture when K has a friend over and he doesn't; this day was no exception, but you can tell by the smile on his face that it wasn't all bad. My two have always loved water balloons and after watching them have such a great time yesterday I made a mental note to always have them on hand for the last day of school. Next year we may have to make it a big deal and invite lots of kids to join in the fun!

You've heard that little saying, "Mama knows best?" Well, this mama, just like all you mamas out there, usually do; I kid you not, not five seconds after I said, "Don't slam the door. Someone's gonna get their fingers smashed," I heard a blood curdling scream. I have never heard R scream like that before...apparently he was trying to get out of his bedroom and the girls slammed the door on his leg. Ok, I'm one of those moms who usually tells her kids to shake it off, but this looked like it really hurt. Once he calmed down and we had ice applied to the wound, he starts complaining that something like this always happens when K has a friend over. This incident brought back a great childhood memory I just couldn't help sharing with him.

When I was about R's age I used to go over to my friend Mitzi's house. She had a brother who was two years older than us and we delighted in torturing him. Thoroughly enjoying his attempts at trying to catch us to pound us in the ground. Of course he never caught us; we always seemed to make it to the bathroom just in time to lock him out. I'm sure he hated it when his little sister had a friend over, but we had so much fun! I can totally empathise with R being the oldest in my family, but I have no idea what it's like to be the older brother. I loved it that I could share this story of my past with him. I now have a whole new appreciation for Mitzi's brother, and I kinda feel bad about the way we treated him. :)

I feel like I must add ~ the girls weren't being mean to R they were just playing chase. It's funny how things happen that bring up childhood memories that haven't been brought to the surface in a long time. I love how stories of my childhood are being intertwined with those of my children. In a nutshell, I just love telling the story.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Will work for beans...

Will work for beans...jellybeans that is!
I guess you could say for about the last month I've been gearing up for summer. Trying to figure out how to keep the kids busy but not too busy, keep a routine but not too strict a routine, and still relax and enjoy our time together. I've had this thought swimming around in my head for a few weeks now and just this past Sunday I figured out how it's all gonna work. For some reason I think it's really important my two darlings learn a little responsibility and "earn" the fun stuff we do all summer, and I also want them to remember what we do so on the days they're so bored they think they're going to die we can look back and recall how great a mom I really am. :) So, here's the plan: both kiddos will have a notebook; on the top half of the page (each day) will be a list of chores that must be completed before anything gets turned on ie: t.v., computer, wii, itouch, nintendo (yes I know we have alot of electronic devices.) Anyway, for every chore they complete they earn a jellybean. You also have to understand what drives my children. I could offer to pay them a dollar for every chore and they would just stare at me...but you offer to pay with jellybeans and they are all about it. I do try to keep a tight reign on they're sugar consumption, but they get way more sugar on a daily basis than I would like. At this point, I'm just thinking we're going with whatever motivates them and right now it's Jelly Belly jellybeans.

Back to the notebook; at the end of the day and on the bottom half of the page they will write a three sentence paragraph about what we did that day. (This is the part that will remind them how great I am.) And last but not least they will write one nice thing about the other. K's already said the first thing she's going to write about R is how much she loves him.

So, this notebook will serve at least three purposes: responsibility, gratitude and appreciation for each other; then at the end of August they will both have a pretty neat documentation of their summer.

I'll post a few weeks in and report on how it's going ~ Happy Summer!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

She grew up on the side of the road...

K's favorite song right now is Lady A's American Honey. More times than not when we get in the car she's asking to listen to that song. I love that she knows all the words and we can sing together. This, on the other hand, drives R crazy (he's really sick of this song.) I love that the song reminds me of my childhood and it describes K's perfectly.

Last night while she was in the shower and I was brushing my teeth she busts out singing her favorite song ~ it was beautiful. When she finished, she said, "Mommy, I thought of a song but I'm embarassed to sing it." I told her not to be embarassed and that I would love to hear it. What happened next was magical. She started singing the most beautiful song I've ever heard in the sweetest little voice. I quickly ran and grabbed my journal and started scribbling the words as fast as I could (trying to remember.) I asked her to sing it again so she did, pretty much the same as the first time.

He Died on the Cross

He died on the cross
He died on the cross
For us...for us
He died for our sins
He died for our hearts
He doesn't like it when people be mean
He cries...
He  died  on  the  cross

I love this so much ~ it makes my heart sing to know that out of all the things she could have thought of to sing about, she chose our Saviour. I love you so much sweet girl and I pray you always have a song in your heart.


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