Friday, February 17, 2017

our 38th anniversary

 It was so exciting.  He didn't have any jobs for today, so when we woke up we stayed in bed for a while and watched Nature Cat.  They were having a dance party to celebrate the winter solstice, and that show, so bizarre.

But no less bizarre than watching the news.

Then we went to Menard's and got ceiling paint and some other things and came home and he painted the ceiling in the family room.   There was a damaged spot from many years ago, who knows why.  And there were the traces of the mud Tim and Julia sprayed all over the ceiling some years ago in a wild, muddy, mitten shaking incident.

 It was 60 degrees out.  Yes, in mid-February.   I don't know what to say about it.

The windows were open while I was working this afternoon.

And this--the curtains from over the stairway were washed and hung out to dry.

 And then Elin snatched one of the curtains off the line and dragged it through the mud so it had to be washed again.

Then she dug a hole, and the kids had to give her a bath.  She also chewed on my grandma's clothespin bag, but we saved it in time.
 This is all that's left of the snow, just a dog piss glacier of some kind.

 Over the stairway is definitely the hardest part of this job.

 She was worried, paced and whined.  That's paint on her whiskers.

 Julia, my baby:
Heidi arrived about the time I finished working to drop of p.j. for a Friday sleepover, best day of the week, always.

There was some wildness and wrassling in the family room. Gotta have some of that, Grandpa and the Bear Child.

And that's the end of that.

Time to see if kids are in bed.

The living room ceiling awaits tomorrow.

And the dining room wall and the hallway.

I love you, Buddy.

Tomorrow we'll go out for dinner and celebrate this fine anniversary of ours.

Nothing but love,   Val, aka MOM, aka Grandma

earlier in the week

 Some kids came to play earlier in the week.  The older one had her school cancelled due to some water main problem.

That's fine.

She and Julia gave Elin a bath.  Here she is trying to brush her afterward.
 Yeah, it got wilder:
 And then ended up in a pure ruckus.

Later the two babies were tired and took naps on the couches beside each other.

  These girls are making desserts with yogurt, granola, jelly, and brown sugar.

It was a fun, wild couple of days.

Love Mom, aka Grandma

Monday, February 13, 2017

a guy turns 8

Yes, indeed!  Missing a tooth, and yup those are his real eyelashes!

Here you are, Buddy, with  your special cupcake and shark.

 This was from Saturday when we were at Dairy Queen:

 A picture Heidi took at Christmas, very handsome:

This is one of my favorite pictures of you--just a big old cold in early spring SHOUT of joy.

Or maybe this one--you in my arms up at the lake.

Thanks for coming to this family, for being ours.

Your booming voice, big ideas, outgoing and crazy?

Yep, all of that.  Your scratchy voice and a laugh I can hear right now in my ear--

This family is better with you.

Lucky little old us.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

Love forever, Grandma and Grandpa and Everybody

Sunday, February 12, 2017

florida girls

These girls went to Florida this weekend to visit my parents.

That's a picture my mom texted me of the two of them.

And a picture Maria sent of the beach.
Kirsten is there too with her dogs.

I can see it was a beautiful time.

So much love, MOM, aka VAL

Saturday, February 11, 2017


Today was a great Saturday.

I saw all of my grandchildren, not all at once, but all of them.

Tonight was Jack of Hearts, the school dance, and these two went:

She speculated, "Two introverts at a dance.  I can already picture it."  And yet she was the one who coaxed him to go.

Last week she and Maria went shopping for the dress, and tonight it took half a dozen tries and Dan's help to get his tie right.

Teenagers. I love them.  Kari's the eighth one, and it's good to be here, now, and to know what I know.

Letters arrived in the mail today. Tim and Julia's school requests for next year were both accepted.


I have done worked myself out of a job.  This homeschool started in 1989, and in September, 2017 it will be over.

Not a bad run, considering.

And such fine students emerged, over, and over, and over.  How? I have no idea. This was not an ambitious Smart-Guy endeavor. It was scruffy and seat-of the-pants, lots of kids and babies and arguing. I actually bailed on homeschool groups in 1994, could not stand them anymore.

Our homeschool of 1989 hardly resembles homeschool over the three decades of evolving that have passed, and yet it's all good--all good students, decent, responsible people.

Plus we all still love each other.

And in one more minute, it's Sunday.

And they had fun at the dance.

Nothing but gratefulness and love, Val

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Heidi sent a message asking how her baby was.

She's great.  Busy, eating snacks, digging through everything, being a one year old.

But that text had me laughing my head off.  Yes, like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, plus drama.

What a great Wednesday.

Love, Grandma

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

stormy tuesday

 It was rainy and dark outside, freezing rain and gloom, but warm and nice in the house.   This little dog's tail is growing along with her.   A newf's tail reaches to the floor when it's not waving around.   Sam's tail cut a swath six feet wide, one way and the other, knocking ornaments off the Christmas tree, glasses and magazines off the coffee tables.

This is still a baby tail, but I recognize it.

Sunday night, during the Super Bowl, I went with Heidi to supervise the swimming lesson.  It was humid and warm in the room.  p.j. was fish, diving and swimming all around.  This was more for her enjoyment than swimming instruction.

I always hated getting dressed when I was her age.


Especially anything like tights or getting dressed half-wet.  Every morning before school I'd roll around on the bed waiting for my mom to come deal with my tights. Eventually she'd come do it, bitching at me all the way, but it was a small price to pay.

So I helped the child dry off and get dressed.  I don't know if she appreciated it or not, but my six your old self did, and I probably owe it to my own mother.

Last night when Elin was hungry, Tim took treats and coaxed her down the stairs to this room. She was scared, but she was also hungry and he had treats placed on each stair and a way of darting in and out of the picture to keep her interested, but not overwhelmed.

Today when we were downstairs with this little girl, she came bouncing down on her own, no treats needed, just had to overcome that nervousness.

 She barked at her own reflection in the mirror and tried to steal the baby's gummy bears.

 I did a couple errands with this little girl today and she's grown up so much, was actually quite cooperative and sociable.  It was fun.  She ate snacks and dragged me around by the sleeve.

She's quite a girl.
It was a lovely Tuesday.

I love you kids.

Love, Mom