Category: Photos (page 1 of 85)

I’m so glad it’s summer break.

how long has it been
since we didn’t have to rush
to get everywhere

how long has it been
since I listened to you talk
and did nothing else

how long has it been
since I held you in my arms
til you fell asleep

We did as little as possible the first few days after school was out. Now, we’re starting to shift into our summer schedule. We’re staying up later and sleeping in a little. Sometimes a lot. Each day, I put a to-do list in a clear pocket folder for each of the kids. It usually includes some school work, piano practice, and a few chores.

Just a little school at home during summer break

It doesn’t take long for them to get it all done. I do my part along with them, so then we’re free for laid-back summer fun until softball or dance class.

Phoebe and Jack playing in the sprinkler

Lucy running through the sprinkler and what is Jack doing?

Sprinkler!

Jumping Bee in the sprinkler

We have some busy weeks ahead, but I’m hoping a lot of the summer is just like this.

And all the years will come and go, take us up, always up!

We may never pass this way again! Seals and Croft sang that in 1973. And if you graduated in ’73, there is no way that wasn’t your class song. I was born in the 70’s and am soothed by that music. It makes me think of a golden-haired girl walking in a meadow at sunset. That may have been in the commercial for Sounds of the 70’s from Time Life. Still, it’s a nice feeling. I’m listening to it today because I am completely aware that a phase in our family life is ending.

Today was Julia’s last day of middle school.

Julia's last day of middle school

It was Lucy’s last day of elementary school.

Lucy's last day of elementary school

It was Phoebe’s last day of Kindergarten.

Phoebe's last day of Kindergarten

And it was Jack’s last school day at home as he’ll be heading to preschool in the fall.

We may never pass this way again!

Welcome to summer vacation!

The great thing about an ending is that something else can now begin. I’m looking forward to what will take us up. Always up.

Post #2,181

I’m not a big selfie person, but I love this one. It’s 55% Dipper.

Dipper and Me

Cats are supposed to have 30 teeth. Katie had 22 when she went to the vet on Monday. She came home with 14. You can see how she feels about that.

Katie

That’s actually a significant improvement in her mood. As bad as it must have felt to have 8 teeth pulled, having 8 bad teeth felt worse.

Katie cat

That’s happy Katie who, by the way, is 13 just like Julia will be in one month, which is a teenager. A teenager! Holy shit, folks. HO-LY SHIT. Let’s talk about something else.

I have skin tags. You’ve likely seen them if you’ve ever seen me or searched for skin tags on the internet because there are more than a few websites using my photo.

Even more skin tags!  Ahhhh!

I just happened to stumble upon one of the sites and then did a Google image search. I was surprised to see my neck show up again and again, promoting natural remedy blogs, doctor’s offices, medical sites, and more. I guess I have really great skin tags! But it bothered me that my photo was being used without my permission. I started contacting the webmasters to alert them to their error and ask them to remedy it. So far, everyone I’ve contacted has agreed to take it down, though one had to be asked twice. Some apologized. One even offered to compensate me for the use of the photograph and I like that guy the most.

Okay, haiku time.

two parents, four kids
two ballgames, three dance classes
let’s hope that it rains

I actually really love mornings.

I’ve been staying up late cross-stitching and listening to podcasts.

My latest cross stitchery

I just finished the family heart and have started a sweet little sampler featuring a 90s rap lyric. After that, I’ll stitch a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure sampler. (I’ll share pictures when they’re done.) Then, I may just design my own pattern because I am the captain of my soul.

As for podcasts, last night I listened to: Women of the Hour with Lena Dunham and The Complete Woman.

Today was track and field day at the elementary school. Look at my girls run!

Phoebe runs at track and field day

Lucy runs at track and field day

Lucy also did the softball throw and rocked a side ponytail.

Lucy does the softball throw at track and field day

Third place in the softball throw

I missed getting a picture of Phoebe doing the long jump, but I can tell you she got fourth place and felt enormously pleased with that.

This week on Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, she recommended writing a daily haiku. Remember when I used to do a daily haiku? Those were the days, folks! I’d like to say I’m going to start that up again, but let’s take it a day at a time starting with today.

school’s out on Friday
the kids can’t wait to sleep in
but I know they won’t

Mother’s Day Weekend and Also the Day After

Dave gave me two dozen roses for Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day roses

Mother's Day card

The youngest three kids made me breakfast in bed, which they ate themselves, in my bed. And they made me some lovely crafts which they forgot to clean up after doing, but it was alright because they decided they’d leave that to me. You know how moms love doing that stuff! After Julia woke up, they all presented me with a card, some cash, and a sweet poem she’d written telling me to GO SHOPPING! We ordered Chinese for dinner so I wouldn’t have to cook and could instead sit on the couch and cross-stitch while watching Twister with my mom. So I guess you could say it was a pretty great day.

The weather was beautiful all weekend. We spent some time outside and that felt good.

She had her hands behind her back and said she had two things to give me.

We took the guinea pigs out for a while and that somehow magnified their cuteness. I mean, LOOK AT SPOTTY RUN!

The guinea pigs!

Spotty

Phoebe and Waddles

Julia’s team won their first softball game of the season, yesterday.

After their first win!

I missed it because I was watching Prince Charming perform with his dance class for some nursing home residents.

Jack's Tap Routine

Jack's Ballet Routine

This would be the perfect spot for some emojis because there are no words.

Dynamite with a Laser Beam*

Yesterday was Julia’s first game of the softball season and her first ever pitching.

First game of the season and first time pitching

I am so proud of her for trying something new! Pitcher is a high pressure position. She is sharing it with another team member – when one pitches, the other catches. I get so nervous watching her! It actually stresses me out to watch any of the kids play. My stomach churns when they go up to bat and I pray that they’ll hit it. They usually do and I realize my anxiety comes from my own experience with sports. I was never an asset to any team I was on. I know how it feels to see your coach hang his head and hear the crowd groan at your performance. I was an outfielder at best. I did have a kickass volleyball serve that landed me a spot on the varsity team in high school. My coach was never so nervous as those moments between my serve and his first opportunity to take me out of the game. He would give an audible sigh of relief when I’d take my place on the bench. I created such conflict in that man. He hated himself for loving my serve. Any time I played softball, I just wished to be walked because I was scared of striking out. Julia is furious if she’s walked. She wants to crush it! I love that about her.

Here is something I love about Jackson. He sings. For me and to me.

True Colors

I know, his face is dirty. It’s always dirty. Last night, I washed it immediately before we walked out the door for the softball game. By the time I was strapping him into his car seat, it was filthy again. How did this happen? It is the mystery of age 4. He’s living his Filthy Face Years. He also has two warts on his face. And, a broken tooth in the front. Much of what is left of the tooth is yellow because there is enamel missing. People notice these things. But when he sings? Love and joy.

Phoebe has been singing, lately, too. She’s on a real Queen bender. We listen to Queen plenty, but she watched the video for Bohemian Rhapsody recently and was completely awed by it. She’s been working her way though all the songs on Queen’s YouTube channel. She can’t get enough of Freddie Mercury’s theatrics and pays close attention to the way he changed his look from one song to another. And of course, she is blown away by his voice. She has specific moments in each song that she especially loves. She’ll listen to an “oooh” or some phrase again and again and sing it herself. Anyway, now we’re trying to convince Julia to learn this so she can sing along.

*From Killer Queen by Queen because oh my gosh, we love it.

Softball, Wind, Deer

Softball season is here. It has begun and there’s no turning back now! Lucy had her first official game last night. Here she is scoring her first run of the year.

First run of the softball season

Julia’s games begin next week. Phoebe’s will start in June. There will be thirty regular season games. Then, there will be tournaments. I’m not even thinking about practices. Julia and Lucy have been practicing with their teams since April, but I’ve only taken them to one because Dave takes care of that. (Thank you, Dave!)

Game day was windy. How windy was it? Well, look at this.

It sure was windy.

Our trees lost some branches. Big ones. And speaking of the damaging force of nature, check this out.

There goes Dave hitting a deer again.

Dave hit another deer. Or this one hit him, I guess. It ran into the car. Julia was riding with him and thankfully, neither one of them was hurt.
Sadly, the deer didn’t make it. The car wasn’t totaled this time, but it is busted up enough to justify a rental car for a few days.

We went on a date.

Dave took the girls to the Daddy-Daughter Dance.

Daddy-Daughter Dance ??

I took Jack to the movies.

Movie date with my guy.

You knew this was coming.

Meet Waddles.

They say every guinea pig needs a companion. Meet Waddles.

He’s a little guy. His hands are little. His features are small. He’s a little guy. (We should have named him Garmin!)

Jack and Waddles

I know this is starting to seem a little bit like the whole fish tank affair what with the getting the new guy, a new cage and a bigger cage and even more supplies, but the thing is, these guys are furry and cuddly. FURRY AND CUDDLY. Totally worth it.

I should have just named my blog Cats and Cakes.

Yesterday was the first day back to school after a short spring break and oh, it was ROUGH waking up. I don’t remember back to school after Christmas break being this hard. I think it has something to do with the longer days and pleasant weather and having had a little taste of what summer feels like. The kids love school, but they also really love summer vacation. After enjoying either of those things a while, we start to anticipate the shift back to the other. We are at the counting down point of school. 28 school days until summer vacation!

Lucy turned nine on Easter, though we did a lot of the celebrating the day before. Here she is making her birthday wish.

Making a wish for her 9th birthday

And here she is holding her birthday present.

Lucy asked for a guinea pig for her birthday. Say hello to Spotty.

That’s the most adorable guinea pig in the world. She calls him Spotty.

Phoebe and Spotty

Oh my goodness, WE LOVE HIM.

Holding our new little guy.

It was a lot of fun to welcome a new pet, especially after losing one recently. Our cat Fluffy died last Thursday. Julia always claimed him as hers, but he found his way into all of our hearts. We spent the first day of break weeding and putting mulch down in The Jungle and it was lonely without that orange snaggletoothed beast winding his way around our feet and arms and brushing against us as we worked. He was the most talkative cat I ever met. And he had an incredible ability to hop in a lap as quickly as it appeared. His breath was as horrible as his personality was sweet. He loved us. He always wanted to be with us, which is not the usual way of a cat. His absence has left a gaping wound and, even this morning, the ache is incredible. We really miss him.

Since Lucy’s birthday happened during break, they didn’t celebrate it at school until this week. I sent in cupcakes.

Eggs in a nest cupcakes, I guess

Not just three, though. I made 30 for school and 18 more for Dave’s work and our dessert. It took all day to make them. It would have been so much faster if I’d had Wilton tip #233 to make the grass! I need to buy it! The cupcakes are meant to be eggs in a nest because Lucy is ALL ABOUT hatching eggs right now. There’s a bird’s nest full of eggs in the lid of our propane tank we’ve been watching and they’ve been incubating chicken eggs in Lucy’s classroom for weeks. They did some candling before break and yesterday during school one of the eggs hatched! The kids got to see it in real time which was THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER for Lucy. She really wanted us to be an adoptive family for some of the chicks, but we’re just not ready for that, yet. We just got a guinea pig! And maybe we’ll get one more. Some people say it’s best to have two. I only had one when I was a kid and he seemed very satisfied with our life together. But last night we were watching a video about what guinea pig noises mean and when Spotty heard those sounds, he was like, “WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS?!?!?” So maybe we’ll get another. Probably. Maybe.

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