Saturday, March 31, 2012

Redbud and Honeysuckle

Of wishes and dreams and memories.  I am mostly sure that I could never live in a state or area that did not fully demonstrate the changes in the seasons like Missouri does.  With each season change, new memories float back to me from my past.  This spring the redbud have been in full splendor in our woods.  I can't see a redbud without thinking about how much my mother loved those trees.  I don't think I was as impressed with its beauty as a child.  I now see the redbud as a very early sign of warmer weather and season change.  They stand out among the brown and dull trees of winter that seem to take so long to turn green.  I think that someday my children and grandchildren will remember how much I loved the spring (and fall) beauty of Missouri. 
I don't have any particular memories of honeysuckle.  This bush is not so impressive from a distance, but upclose you appreciate its delicate blooms and the heavenly smell from the branches.  We have a hillside covered with honeysuckle and you can smell it from quite a distance away.  Maddison was not so impressed with the smell of this spring experience, but maybe it will trigger a memory on a warm spring day 20 or so years from now.  She may get a whiff of the sweet fragerance, close her eyes and remember a day, many, many years earlier and smile.  She won't know quite why, but it will make her think of days spent wandering around Mimi and Papa's farm.
I don't have a lot of material possessions to leave to my family.  I am not a collector of antiques or jewelry, I don't quilt or crochet or create beautiful crafts to pass down to anyone.  Neither did my mother.  I have very few of her "worldly possessions".  But she gave me patience and caring.  She shared her love of nature and life and oh so many memories of times spent together.  My wish is that I can do the same thing for my children and grandchildren.  Redbuds and honeysuckle. . . and the memories they bring. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I know I keep posting pictures of the kids at the creek, but honestly that is all they want to do when they come to our house!  Mason spends most of the time on his hands and knees looking for frogs and bugs.  Maddie is usually wary of such creatures, but she did let this caterpillar crawl up her arm last weekend.  I think she favors caterpillars because of the book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  Who wouldn't love these insects after reading that book?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Kid in Town!

Step aside old tractors and skid loader, there is a new kid in town!  Yes, my husband wore me down and we are now the proud owners of a new tractor.  I am really not sure which "kid" is more excited!  Randy knows how to persuade me, and we are now in the process of consolidating all of our very old, very used machines to welcome this new shiny red tractor in!  He has sold our old dump truck (good bye red neck field), probably has his skid loader sold, has one old tractor in the shop before advertising it, and his "baby", a 1934 gray Ferguson (before there was a Massey) will be photographed and advertised soon.  The gray Ferguson was a gift from his Dad about 25 years ago, and it will be hard to see it go.  It was too small to be very useful, and we just aren't the type to go to antique tractor shows, so it will be sold.  If Randy had his way, he would probably keep everything he ever owned, but our barn is only so big, and the spill over (a field away from the house, but still. . . ) was beginning to look like a final resting place for farm equipment, so the great compromise was signed!
So, whatever the back story, the kids are loving this new tractor.  We watched Papa brush hog the little bottom yesterday and it was some kind of exciting! 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Last weekend the kids and I went for a walk around the farm.  We have lots of thorn trees here, and the top photo shows some of their wickedness.  On the way back, we spotted this black snake sunning himself.  Maddison stayed quite far away, and was afraid to even look at it.  Mason was intrigued and commented, mostly to himself, "huh, snakes really do make an S".  I had to smile as I thought about this from his view. . . Mason is learning to recognize his letters and I am sure snakes and s's are always featured in the study of the alphabet.  I guess he just wasn't completely convinced about the "s" thing!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Dolphin's "Tale"

Maddison and Mason are crazy about dolphins.  They spent the night with us this weekend and brought their copy of "Dophin Tale" to watch.  In the top picture, Mason drew a picutre of a dolphin.  The bottom picture is Maddison's drawing of Winter, the dolphin from the movie that was caught in a fisherman's net.  Maddie is so tender hearted she really worries about these animals.  I think we might have a future marine biologist in our midst.  Now Mason, on the other hand, may be destined for being a scientist who studies insects and bugs (what is that "official" title?).  It was a great weekend full of sun, outdoors, some fingerpainting and a little cooking!  More pictures will follow!

Luck 'O the Irish!

Amanda and Josh and Mason really believe in celebrating the Irish holiday in style!  For some reason Maddison missed out on this picture.  I come from Irish heritage, but I don't really do much to celebrate.  My grandmother, I believe, was full "blooded" Irish.  Her last name was McKeighan, and my Grandfather was a Sullivan.  That could explain some red hair in the family!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's Bubble Time!

Last weekend, Maddison was sick on Saturday, so she stayed home and slept on the couch while her Dad was also sleeping.  Mason came to spend the day with us.  He had held off taking a bath the night before, so he could take one in our jetted tub.  Boy did he have fun!  I think it might have been the longest bath on record. . .  full of bubbles, sharks and wrinkled fingers and toes.  We had a great time with him, and he enjoyed getting all of the attention from us.  He was a good sport and agreed to let me take his picture.  He may someday wish I hadn't!

A few of my favorite. . . . people!

 My father and his wife, Martha are "forever young"!  They are the ring leaders of our large family organization and model successful living to the rest of us!
 The hostessess with the mostessess (or something like that!) are my sister, Debbie and her husband, Mike.  They put on quite a party and are the kind of family that are there when you need them NOT MATTER WHAT!
My eternally young brother, David and his equally as young wife Kathy add some class to our group.  They keep us up to date in the world of music and wine (okay, most of us are hopeless at both, but they keep trying!).

Together, these three couples link my past to my present and future.  They are always there for me when I need them, make me laugh when I don't think I can and provide the support and encouragment only a family can give.  We get together about 3 or 4 times a year, with our children and their children (no small task, since we are a group of almost 30!).  I know that my mom is in heaven smiling when we are all together.  She would have wanted us to stay close and support each other.  Thanks Mom for giving us such a strong and loving family!