Tuesday, August 26, 2008

For the Birds

Word is getting around the neighborhood that we have food for the birds.  Yesterday we had sparrows, a chickadee, a pair of goldfinches and a gorgeous male cardinal (who's picture I did not get so I hope he comes back).  

It is lovely fun watching these birds.  The kids all love it, although Ellie is not so easy to observe with as she lets out a crazy high-pitched squeal of delight at any living creature that makes her happy!

Speaking of birds:  I currently have Elizabeth Mitchell's You Are My Little Bird album out from the library.  I couldn't resist as we have called Ellerie "Little Bird, Baby Bird, Chickadee and Birdie" practically from birth.  It is beautiful and sweet music and is a big hit with my birds, even the bigger ones.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Just wanted to post pictures of Ellerie in her dress from her dedication on Sunday.  She looked so sweet.  I am really glad I took the time to put it together.

Life With Tate

And these pictures don't say anything about the fact that you may, at any given moment, suddenly find Tate naked from the waist down.  Or that yesterday, as a matter of fact, Mike came home to a completely nude and somewhat chocolate syrup covered Tate in a TO in the kitchen as I cleaned up the mess from his self-made "chocolate milk" (more commonly viewed as a half pint of chocolate syrup poured in a glass.)  Or that Tate is the one SURE to do something crazy and dangerous (like jumping full-tilt and unsupervised off a stepladder wearing rubber rainboots into the kiddipool ) when his nervous nana is visiting.  Tate tries my patience, doesn't listen, has his own way for EVERYTHING and is stubborn beyond belief.  But he is incredibly creative, supremely independent and funny as anything (when I remember to laugh instead of freaking out).  I love you Tate and I am sorry for the times when I forget to let you be the crazy little man you are.  You DO need to obey, but you also need spaces and times when you can just do it your way without worry.  I'm trying Hot Potato, I'm trying....

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Just now, as I stood outside hanging diapers to dry on the line, it started to rain.  Sunshine all around me, still scorching my skin, but a black cloud just above was letting loose.  That's a bit how I have felt about my life lately.  There is sunshine all around me; I can see it and I can feel it and sometimes I can step into it fully, but never to stay because that darn cloud keeps following me.  This song keeps running through my head.  

This week, even though I have a MILLION other things I could (and probably SHOULD) be doing, I decided to throw my stress into sewing.  I have been wanting to make a pillowcase dress for Ellerie out of some of my grandmother's old pillowcases and recently found this tutorial.  We are having Ellie dedicated at church this weekend and I thought it would be a sweet occasion to have some vintage family loveliness to wear.  But, as usual when I tackle something for the first time, SOMEBODY has to get the prototype.  So, sweet Polly, you will benefit from my practicing again.....

Ellerie's is the one on the right.  The patches are from some vintage fabric out of my other grandmother's stash, recently passed to me from my mother.  They cover up a hole and a hole that was at some point darned, hence the randomness of their positioning.  And that fabric was also used for a cloth headband for each of them, but Ellie's wasn't with the dress because she was wearing it when I took the pics.

They turned out so sweet and just the way I imagined.  I think Gram would be pleased to know she is a part of Elle's blessing this week and happy too that Lady P is getting one of those pillowcases as well.  So, for now, I'll try to focus on this happy bit of sunshine and ignore those pitter pattering drops falling around me. 

And, Meg, if that isn't enough to get you to load all the kiddos in the car and come see me, I don't know what is! ;-)  

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Joyce Kilmer in Me

I am by no means a poet.  I love to read it, but have never written (not even in a college level creative writing course) a poem that I felt had very much merit.  One of my favorites is an old stand-by from Joyce Kilmer: Trees.  I hadn't realized how much I had been missing trees around until I saw this one.

For all the ugliness and dirtiness of this house when we first saw it, that giant maple just drew me in.  I had an immediate urge to climb it and embrace it's cool shelter.  Maybe, I thought, we could just live out here in the tree like The Swiss Family Robinson, rather than the less-than-inspiring house?  I know I am not the only one to be drawn in by the loveliness of something, so much that it almost begs for a presence in your life.  (My sister-in-law rented her apartment here (before she was my sister-in-law) based almost solely on the beauty of an antique doorknob.)  I am so grateful God created us with an appreciation for beauty of all kinds.  It seems a tree manages to appeal to all of our senses.  Hmmmm...... maybe not taste, unless it's a fruit tree!

And, the kids?  Well, they can't get enough of the tree either.  Whether they choose just to play under it's cool canopy or include it in their schemes.

Really, I can't blame them.  These old branches, stretch out forever and shelter us like the arms of God.  

As financially nerve-wracking as it has been for us to be carrying the weight of two homes and the bigger of the two mortgages, I firmly believe this home is a blessing for our family and our tree reminds me to keep looking up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


This picture just about sums it up:  We're here, we are managing, we're pooped!