Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kindergarten Part Deux!

I had the honor last week of taking Mason to his Kindergarten Screening.  He did wonderful and was praised by the screeners as eager and friendly.  He passed all of his requirements and made some new friends there.  His personality could not be any different from Maddisons.  He is as outgoing as she is shy.  She was a big help to me during the process, as she took him around the school and showed him where the bathroom was, where the kindergarten rooms were and where to get a drink.  It seemed to take forever to complete all the paperwork required.  Mason is officially enrolled in school for next year.  I think he will do well!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Nature's Perfection

There are signs of perfection all around us.  We found a few this weekend and enjoyed observing them and their natural beauty. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dirty Thirty and Laura Ingalls Wilder

Part of our Saturday involved a snack, blanket and book.  Maddison seems to have left the "picture books" behind calling them "baby books".  So, I broke out one of my favorites, Little House on the Prairie to read.  I gave the kids some background information, and then we took this blanket to an open spot by the creek.  We imagined how it would be like to live there without all the things we have now.  The kids were super listeners as we read the first chapter.  It will be interesting to see if they make it all the way through the book.

Last week, Amanda celebrated her "dirty thirty" birthday.  We went to Red Lobster for a rare mid week celebration. I usually prepare the birthday person their requested meal, but Amanda and Josh are very scheduled for the next few weeks with camping and graduations, so we had to squeeze the event in on a Tuesday.  It was a fun meal, and I was glad to get a picture of the family.  Jessica and Scott also went with us, but they weren't in this picture.  Happy Birthday, Amanda!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


What a splendid Saturday we have had today!  We started the day off with a visit to the creek.  We noticed that there were lots of beautiful butterflies around the farm and I was determined to get a picture of one.  We spent about an hour exploring the creek bank and then we spread out on a quilt and read the first chapter of Little House on the Prairie.  I wasn't sure if this would keep the kids attention, but it actually did and they remembered enough about it to recount the first chapter to Randy.  After a little lunch, we ventured back to the creek while Randy mowed.  This time, it was no holds barred, and the kids were totally muddy and wet in minutes.  Maddie noticed a furry animal on the edge of the creek, and thought it was a mouse.  The creature stepped into the water and began swimming in circles.  I believe it was a very young muskrat or beaver.  It was about 6 inches long and didn't seem to be at all scared of us.  We watched it swim in circles for quite a long time.  Unfortunately, I had left my camera at the house.
On the way back to the house, the kids wanted to visit our old buddy the oak tree stump (from the tornado).  We found a perfect, beautiful robin's egg.  There was no nest to be seen, and the egg was inside part of the log, like it had been placed there for us to find. 
After the kids showered, we decided to sit on the back deck for awhile.  The kids began playing on the tire swing when one of those gorgeous butterflies landed on me.  I called for Maddie to come and take a picture of it.  It stayed on my shirt for a few minutes, and then flew to Maddie.  She held it on her finger for some time before Mason came and scared it away. 
I am not sure if I just get excited about life's little things, or if we are blessed to experience amazing aspects of nature.  I told Josh later that none of those things would have meant much without the kids here to share it with.  Someday (as I have said before) I hope Mason and Maddison look back on our Saturday farm adventures and feel a tinge of regret that those days are over.  I love sharing times like today with them.  Deposits made into those memory banks are priceless!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Summer Scene

I don't know about you, but this will be a familiar scene for us this summer.  The kids love to play in water, especially the hose.  They enjoyed their first spray fest of the season recently after planting garden with us.
I have to admit that the reason I posted this picture today is that I did not take pictures on Mother's Day (okay, one picture of Maddie and Amanda at the race).  We had a great day, which started off with a 5K walk/run for breast cancer.  Maddison and I walked (l hour and 4 minutes), while Amanda ran (30 minutes).  After the race, I stopped by and visited with my Dad and Martha. When I got home the kids and their families came out and we had a wonderful lunch, followed by a family gardening event.  We now have potatoes, watermelon, cantalope, tomotoes and peppers planted.  In a few weeks we will add pumpkin and maybe squash.  I had tons of photo opportunities during the day, but I decided I wanted to enjoy the day without any distractions of an electronic nature.  The weather was amazing as was the time with the family.  It was one of the best Mother's Days I have ever spent.  I hope everyone else had the same kind of day!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Race is On!

This is a picture of Maddison and Amanda from the  Mother's Day 5K 2011.  Amanda ran the 5K, and Maddie and I walked.  Maddie wasn't sure what a 5K was, and about 5 minutes into it asked "are we about done?"  She finished the race with me (we walked), but it was a struggle for her (she fell and hurt her knee, which didn't help!).  So, this year, I decided to not particpate in the race and give it a try in another year or so.  However, Maddie called me last night and asked me to join her in the race.  No way I could turn that down.  She apparantly remembered the race and enjoyed it enough to want to do it again.  So in a little bit, I am going to make my way to the race and see what happens.  What a nice way to start Mother's Day.  The race raises money and awareness for breast cancer prevention, which is a cause near and dear to my heart.  Wish us luck! 
Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's out there.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Mom

 Dear Mom:
It is hard to believe that you have been gone for over 25 years.  I didn't realize it at the time, but cancer took you in the very prime of your life.  After raising 3 children and working a demanding job, you were so close to being able to retire and relax.  I still miss you.  I still talk about you.  I still quote you and wonder what it would be like to talk to you again.  I still want to be like you.
Now my grandchildren are the age that your grandchildren were when you died.  What joy and fun you missed out on.  It doesn't seem fair, somehow. You would have been such a wonderful grandma to your grandchildren.  The older ones still remember you, the younger ones not as much.  Debbie and David and I have made it a point to make sure our children know what a special person you were.
The lessons you taught me have carried me well through my adult life.  I credit you for teaching me about priorities and values.  I remember you saying, (about 1,000 times) that people matter more than things.  And of course there was the golden rule that you loved, and the serenity prayer that you believed in so deeply.   I frequently share stories about how you taught us to love reading and music.  I remember hot summer days spent laying on the floor reading with you in front of a fan, and the nights that you sat up with me as I was struggling to breath, reading me stories.  I know that my memory is fading, but I honestly do not remember ever hearing you complain. . .  is that even possible? 
I guess if I had to pick out one single way you changed my life, it would be teaching me the appreciation of family.   I may not always show it, but not a day goes by that I don't stop and say a little prayer of thankfulness to God that I have my family.  I spend every minute I can with my grandchildren and hope to pass along some of the life joys you taught me. . .  love of nature and reading, appreciation for the world around us, and an inner peace and tranquility.
Mom, I really want to thank you for the love you gave me as a child, the values you shared and the example you set.  Randy and I credit you and Berniece with being our heavenly "angels" that have watched over our marriage and parenthood.  I hope and pray that someday Jessica and Josh, Amanda and Scott, Maddison and Mason reflect on me as fondly as I reflect on you.
Happy Mother's Day,
Love, Diana

Monday, May 7, 2012

It's a Farmer's Life

 We finally set aside enough time to plant our little garden boxes.  The kids helped us with the planting and we all worked up a sweat in the unseasonably hot (90 degrees) temperatures.  We planted grape tomatoes, sweet and jalapeno peppers.  When our "bottom" dries up, we are going to plant potatoes, cantalope and watermelon.
 Mason is such a great kid.  He has his own unique personality and is always full of fun and advice!
Boy did we work hard!  Maddison takes a little rest on the deck after we planted.  Shortly after, they talked me into letting them play with the hose while Papa mowed.  It was a fun weekend!