Thursday, July 30, 2015

Clutter, Be Gone! {The (In)Famous Red Sweater}

Many years ago, long before I was born, my mother started knitting a red sweater for my dad.
Life got busy, as it tends to do; and my mother cared for her four children and for her husband and for her home and for her aging parents and for her garden and for her friends.  But she never finished the sweater.
Through the years, we would occasionally tease her gently about this; and she would laugh her wonderful, cheery laugh.  I don't know at what point she realized that she would never finish this red sweater, but I do know that if I knew the first thing about knitting, I would complete this project for her.  Not having ANY experience with knitting (and not wishing to add that to my spend-time-on-this list for a very long time), I'm ready to declutter and let this go--but not before taking some pictures and typing some words about it.  :)  If my dad didn't already have a nice red sweater, I would buy him one--much easier than figuring out how to finish knitting this one!  And there's a slight chance this wouldn't fit him now anyway.  ;-)
Unless a blog reader speaks up and says, "Hey, I could really use that red yarn!" (there is more of it than is shown in these pictures), I suppose I'll drop it off at the thrift store in hopes that someone will be able to do more with it than I ever could!

Clutter, be gone!  :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday {Beauty on the Windowsill}

 Tobin and Moriah collaborated on the largest bouquet...
 ...while Shav gave me this little tiny one... well as this medium one.
Sweet bits of beauty from three of my sweethearts!  :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

School Planning, and Strange Produce

For months (half a year, perhaps?), ideas for this coming school year have been bouncing around in my head, but haven't made it onto paper a document on the computer.  It's time to change that.  :)

With the added...shall we say?...challenge of having a baby in the middle of September :), I realize that a few things will be keys to making the official school year flow smoothly: good planning, an early start (August 10 is what I'm thinking), and bushels of flexibility!  :)  So tonight it's time to do what I can about that first item on the list--the planning part--and get these ideas written down so I can refine them more easily.

With that said, blogging will obviously take a backseat tonight.  But here's something to look at.  :)
Finding this interesting specimen in the garden recently prompted a wild run into the house with the shout, "HEY, MOM!  LOOK!  IT'S A DOUBLE CUCUMBER!!!"  And then, of course, "YOU SHOULD TAKE A PICTURE OF IT!"  :)
Alrighty then.  I will did.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

"Unca Dafid," Two Sundays in a Row

What's better than seeing (in Moriah's lingo) "Unca Dafid" one Sunday in July?  Seeing him two Sundays in July, of course!  :)

Our first opportunity to visit with my brother David came last Sunday when he drove down for an annual family reunion.  I knew he was coming but had not told my kids, thinking to surprise them when we walked into the reunion; but when we woke up that day, my son David started talking about seeing Uncle David at the reunion.  Had someone spilled the beans to him?, I wondered.  Turns out that it was just a lucky guess on little David's part, based on his remembrance that big David had come to this reunion before.  Smart boy.  :)

Well, even if it wasn't a surprise, it was a delight, for sure!  :)
Before, during, and after the meal, Moriah kept slipping out of her chair and going around the table so she could sit in her uncle's lap.  He always made room for her.  :)
She also got to sit in her grandma's lap and show off their pretty "matching" dresses (an unplanned coincidence since I didn't know what my mom was going to wear that day!).  :)

Little surfer dude Shav also loved the chance to hang out with Uncle David.  :)

The after-dinner entertainment was provided by a local barbershop quartet, including one of the members who is Jeff's customer (and who happened to also be in this barbershop quartet that came to my house a few years back on Valentine's Day and embarrassed...I mean, serenaded me!).  ;-)

 Our little branch of this family tree (although we were missing quite a few leaves on this branch!).
 Before we said goodbye to Uncle David and let him drive back to his home in Pennsylvania, there were certain requests for individual pictures with him.  Nothing new about that!  :)

Besides seeing my brother at the reunion, it was also great to see a couple of my cousins.  I got to sit next to the wife of my cousin Matt, and it was really the first chance that Megan and I had ever had to talk much.  Of course, our conversation was *occasionally* interrupted by the needs of little ones, but we moms are used to that.  ;-)  As the reunion wrapped up, I felt like I could have stayed and talked a lot longer!  :)


Fast forward a week, and that brings us to today: our second Sunday that we got to spend with Uncle David.

This time, our visit involved us driving up to their house--something we try to do each summer on a nice warm day that is perfect for playing in their pool.  :)  (Pictures from our 2013 visit are here.)  Today, the drive up seemed to take half of forever, rather than the normal time of three hours, and the kids were bouncing off the walls of the minivan by the time we arrived.  But most of the craziness was happy craziness, so it wasn't too bad.  :)

A delicious lunch as soon as we arrived, and then...

THIS...  :)
 For hours, the kids played in the pool, loving each minute they got to be in it.

 Tobin, who has his first official swimming lesson tomorrow, reviewed the skills he does know...and even improved them a bit.  He was having a blast and excitedly told me (many times) ;-) about the things he was learning.  :)

 Moriah enjoyed spending time with Uncle David.  :)

 It might look like Jeff is very affectionately giving Josiah a big hug, but it's more like a moment captured in the midst of their wrestling match.  ;-)
Shav was the indisputed captain of this floating boat.  In it, He Who Despises Water in His Face could safely keep his face dry (usually) while simultaneously spraying water on others.  Perfect.  :)
 These pictures don't really show it well, but both Josiah and David got some pointers from Uncle David and from Jeff about how to improve their dives--a relatively new skill for them.

 Tobin calls this pose "criss-cross undersauce" which makes me smile.  :)

 We had an absolutely fantastic day.  We ALWAYS enjoy our time up north, but this particular trip was one of the best.  It was just so much fun.  :)

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of the rest of the family; and I'm sorry about that.  :(  But we loved each bit of our time with David's wonderful wife Lori and two of their children (the third is away at camp).

For "The Davids" picture, little David said that they needed to do splits.  That's all well and good for him, but Uncle David wasn't exactly successful in attaining that pose.  ;-)
 Monkey see, monkey do, and Moriah tried to do a split for her picture, too...
 ...before getting picked up and held upside down.
 That's a good way to take a picture, too.  ;-)
 More imitation for Tobin...
 ...and Shav...
...but Josiah decided he didn't need to be held upside down by his uncle.  ;-)  I should have taken a picture of the two of them together though!  Next time.  ;-)

And then we rode home in a considerably quieter car than we did on the way up.  Moriah fell asleep right away; and during the course of the trip, all the boys but Tobin slept, at least for a little while.

Swimming all afternoon is hard work after all.  :)

And that is the story of our two Sundays with "Unca Dafid!"  I wonder how we can contrive to see him for a third Sunday in a row...  ;-)