Saturday, March 29, 2008

Freddy the Frog

Gabe's newest pet, "Freddy"

Freddy's New Home
- Until Mom is overcome with pity for him and demands his release into the wild outdoors. Marshal found him, turning up some sod to transplant a "deadened" tree (hoping life will sprout from it in new soil). He knew Gabe would be overcome with boyish glee. Gabe declares that his favorite pets are frogs, lizards, and deer. He has been wanting a deer in the worst way since he watched "The Yearling" when he was much younger than he is now. How many times have I explained that wild creatures only thrive and live happily in their God-given wildness?
Update: Freddy is now free!

Rainy Day Mountain

Every loose blanket, pillow, cushion, even sleeping bags were gathered for this mountain creation. I heard Lydia say, "I like to climb mountains, Gabe!" It soon became mountain jumping! It was all put away after dinner at Marshal's command as they hurried to catch a cloud break and hit some balls outside with Dad.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Together for our birthday.... The sun brightly shone upon us today. We went shopping, just the two us, thanks to Mom and Dad. We are wearing the new duds we bought one another!

Blowing out the candles... two... two of us... two decades apart.... Guess Gabe thought we were two too old to blow, so he helped us out.

Easter Morning

Gabe and Lydia were awake in the gray of dawn. Bathed and dressed for church, they sought and found their hidden baskets, and then waited for Daddy with shivers of joy and anticipation.

Lydia exclaimed as she saw Marshal's truck coming up the driveway. "Daddy is home!"

Gabe and Lydia led Dad to their hidden baskets and then brought them to the central spot, our great room. At last began the unveiling and showing off of their basket treasures.

Why do we celebrate?
"He is risen!"


Big Surprise! Lydia was a QFC coloring contest winner!
She won a "bunny cake."

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Egg Dyeing

Gabe and Lydia had the dining table masked in newspaper and tape, open and waiting egg cartons labeled with their names, mugs and spoons counted out for the dye before I came down the stairs this morning. With heightened expectancy, they waited while I boiled the eggs and water. We then had to wait for eggs and dye to cool, but it was only mid-morning when we could begin! I used brown eggs, 20 drops of food color (red, yellow, blue), 1 tsp white vinegar, and 1/2 cup hot water for each glass. Gabe and Lydia re-dipped their eggs for their secondary colors.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Bouquet

A dandy bouquet from our own landscape - a splash of sunshine on a Spring day. Too bad even the dandelions are closed up tight on this almost slushy first day of Spring, but the signs of Spring are undeniable. Gabe, Lydia, and I have enjoyed taking turns excitedly spotting and pointing out the daffodils, forsythia, purple heathers, pussy willows, early blossoms and tender leaves. Spring has indeed sprung!

Monday, March 17, 2008

March 17

St Patrick's Day 2008
After donning on a bit of green and cutting out green hearts for "clovers" in home-school, I read today that St Patty's Day was actually reassigned to the 15th this year. St. Patrick's Day on the 17th was superseded by Easter Week. I thought Easter came unusually early this year. I didn't know how unusual. The last time Holy Week overlapped March 17th was Palm Sunday in 1940 and the next time will be in the year 2160, according to Wikipedia.
I gleaned some further knowledge:
St Patrick was a Britain-born Roman, captured and enslaved by Irish raiders as a boy. He escaped six years later and then returned as a missionary to the Irish. Legend has it that he used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Wearing green most likely referred to wearing a shamrock pinned to one's clothing.

As a public holiday, we joined the fellow Americans and Peoples of the world with an excuse to celebrate our Irish blood however thick or thin it runs. We continued our day accented in green, a boiled dinner, and green-tinted tapioca pudding for dessert.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sugar Cookies

When Daddy doesn't come home... Mama sometimes loses her bearings. After a day of Eyewitness Amphibians, Beatrix Potter, home videos, and Caillou, while Mommy caught up with Grammy on the phone and got lost on the internet on the subject of henna hair color of all things, the day ended with cold cereal, yogurt, mac and cheese, and an imprudent suggestion to bake Easter cutout sugar cookies just before bedtime. So here we are, an hour past bedtime, with a counter full of sugar in pastels. (Sugar and food color dyes: the two things I abhor to feed my children.) Daddy will be pleased in the end, as frosted sugar cookies give him the same skip and smile that they give his children.

Lydia loves to be a part of kitchen creations. At the cooktop, at the mixer, at the island, she pushes me over with her stool demanding that she must see, while I retort back that this is where I must work. Here she is putting the finishing embellishments on a couple cutouts and proceeding to lick the bowls.
The kids were soon after in bed, and instead of putting my feet up and starting a good book, I was washing a sigh causing quantity of dishes and kitchen spaces. (I've found that a larger kitchen makes for a larger mess.) But now is quiet. I've stayed up too late. The Tirza dog has been snoozing for hours before the last late night trek out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Evening Day Light

I was noticing the lengthening of days just last week. Even so, daylight savings took me by surprise as did my delight in its extended light. Here I attempt to capture the warm golden rays and shadows on my walls this evening at about quarter to seven.

And here the sun kisses my children good night.

Saturday Play

Jedi or Darth?
Saturday, the kids and I spent a "slow day" of no routine or pointed action, although it vanished into past tense as quickly as the last. I spent some hours on the phone. My children never quite leave me to leisure phone conversations, but I did leave them to their own imaginations for the day. Their imaginations have been influenced by galactic proportions in the recent viewing of Star Wars. Yes, they are still too young, but nevertheless it is done. A whole new universe has opened up to them of battle, adventure, and heroism. Light sabers are now the most valued possession. And my, I couldn't help but smile at the creative unleashing of tape, glue sticks, cardboard boxes, paper sacks, construction paper, and scattered markers.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Flower Blossoms

New Blooms
Primroses for the entry and Gabe ushering in Spring with a butterfly net.

Ageless Orchid
The gift that has kept on giving the beauty of its blooms since Christmas.

Aging Beauty
I haven't been able to part with this Valentine bouquet from my sweetheart. They started out as the palest pink, a blush - the rose I had "envisioned" for our wedding day. They have continued to be a vision of sweet happiness, romance, and true love that does not die with age.

March 1st

Last week, Gabe came running into the house with loud exclamations, "Mom, you must come see! The plants are back!" I scanned internal files to decipher the meaning of this joyful announcement and was delighted as well to conclude that he had discovered emerging tulips. We had put these bulbs in the sanctuary of trees and rocks in a "rare to find" undisturbed place above the house. Though we had planted them late Spring last year, they had pushed up quickly to delight us with color in the closing season before they wilted before warmer days. On this first day of March, what better time to document the eruptions and promise of Spring. To my initial confusion and horror, I found.... "Deer Salad!"

Oh, well, they still composed a pretty "Spring scene."

Fall leaves, weathered birdhouse, sunwashed rocks, and "unravished" bulbs.