Wednesday, June 30, 2010

last Saturday morning at breakfast...

It's a hearty rendition of a song they learned at vacation bible school.

I emailed this to Dan and he said, "I didn't even know you liked country music. What IS this? Something about Jesus?"

Tim complained, "That SONG is clogging up my brain."

Yeah. It goes on for like ten verses. This is only the first verse, but the singers are so cute.

Okay now, eat. Your pancakes are getting cold. love, Val

(How to make a fried egg sandwich? Toast two slices of bread and butter. Fry an egg, breaking the yolk first. Place a slice of American cheese on the toast. Slide the egg over, cover with the second slice of toast and press down until the cheese melts. Close your eyes while eating.)

an afternoon at the pool

It's the first time we've been since last year, and it was fun to see old friends and be in the sun on a perfect 85 degree day.

This is b.g. with his other grandma. We didn't know they were going to be there too, but that was a definite bonus, chatting with my son's mother in law, and kissing this creamy little baby who smelled like suntan lotion.

Oh, summer. love, Val

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We made it through the weekend. It was fun, noisy, stressful, intense--special and weird and wonderful. I fried shrimp and we played cards, and it was hot and it stormed.

Now we're home again.

Here are a few pictures. These are pics of the soccer game. They don't include the swearing that occurred. Though there was no actual fighting, there were accusations of cheating.

this team
vs. this team

here he's trying to convince me to play goalie. that's not ever gonna happen.

okay, that's a fierce goalie.

Here's John helping Tim build his latest construction kit from my parents.

and the kids painting it before bed--

A little tubing

john and julia, then john and t.c.

a little swimming
After the little kids were done swimming, sitting in the pontoon, warming up in the sun, Dad, James, and Little Jay goofed around in the water, picking up rocks from the bottom and skipping them across the surface.

Everything was good, and then Big Jay yelped and hollered.



Right on the right nipple. The darn thing drew blood!

Who knew this was even possible???

See what I mean about weird?

If you want to see the photo, send a message, but I'll spare the rest of us.

Okay and these pictures were taken on the world's loudest boat ride.

see that guy calmly sitting there? this was after being bit ON THE NIPPLE by a fish. good lor-ed.

aww, these guys ain't never made no noiseThat guy in the front there was cranky at one point this afternoon, storming around, fussing at his parents. He wanted the full sized adult water skis to play with. (no, no, no.) He wanted to get on and off the boat, blah, blah, blah.

I went over there and called him to my lap, said I wanted to hold him, wrapped him up with a towel. I cuddled him close and nuzzled my nose in his damp hair, and he relaxed against me for a minute. Then he said, "Val? How come you love me so much?" (Val instead of Grandma? It's okay.)

I said, "How could I not love YOU?" He accepted that as a reasonable answer.

And speaking of people I love, this girl was there for the weekend also.

Heidi and Joe came and brought their puppy and plenty of their good cooking to share. Joe fried fish this morning, absolutely splendid, and Heidi brought a new pasta salad to try out on us. (Fantastic.) Anyway, Heidi is patient and good and helpful, and Joe's low maintainance, God bless him. He also can check storm warnings on his phone, which was very, very helpful.

When they left tonight, she came to hug me good bye, and wrapped her long tanned arms around my head, held me for a long minute against her smooth brown neck and shoulder, her goldy curls covering my eyes.

I could hear her heartbeat.

I know it sounds lame, but the years we spent with tiny her tucked against MY neck flashed before me, and I was glad for all the many years we had living together. She has her own family now, her own home, she and Joe and their dog, Morgan. It's life unfolding just right, and yet the sound of her heart softly beating in my ear...

The first time I knew for sure that Joe loved her was when I saw him sniffing the curls at her nape. Okay, that's MY spot for sniffing. That's when I knew he was for real.

All right. Enough of that. Onward. Tomorrow is Monday. And it was all very, very LOUD this weekend, but now it's very, very quiet. Life is nuthin' but good. love, Val

Thursday, June 24, 2010

it's almost friday

Okay, yesterday in traffic Maria and I were on a hill, and the city skyline was perfectly framed with all these wild storm clouds. Well, the stop light changed as she fiddled with the camera, and I had to drive down the hill, and this is all we got. I don't blame her. It was a moment quickly gone.

The clouds are cool, hey.

Our caterpillars--(please don't smack me like that!)--we had one caterpillar who did the J thing, spun a cocoon and then stopped before it was done. We didn't know what to think. And then a day or two later, it fell from where it had initially latched, and lay in the leaves in the bottom of the tumbler. We thought it died--a bit unfortunate, but out of our control.

(Okay, the vet was by here yesterday to see the dogs, and the kids showed him the cocoons. He thought that fallen one was dead too.)

Well, this morning I checked the cocoons and realized there was a butterfly wiggling in the bottom of the glass. The delicate legs were fine, and the minuscule antennae, the tiny, exquisite body, but the wings were not right. There was one half a normal looking wing, and the other was wonky.

The butterfly was stuck on its back in a water tumbler. I took the cup out to the garden and put the butterfly right side up in the shade under the peonies--not gonna die on its back in a glass on MY on dining room buffet.

A couple hours later I checked on it, and it was gone. Maybe a bird snatched it. Maybe it flew away on its little funny wings.

I don't claim this as a serious world problem, but I couldn't believe it lived at all to be placed in the flower bed on a June morning.

Today we had b.g. here. He was tired right away, and so was I. I took him to our bed, to the pile of pillows and sheets, and he rolled around for half an hour chewing on the TV remote, drinking his bottle, showing me So Big, little soft arms flung over his head. Finally he fell asleep as I smoothed his blonde hair while his eyes rolled in opposite directions. I cuddled him in the crook of my arm and slept too.

When he woke up though, he looked at me, surprised. (I'm not his mother.) Then he dove over on my chest and stayed there in a big hug. (He didn't even laugh at my outrageous bed hair.) I loved it.

Later he ate snacks with Julia and took another nap in a nest on our bedroom floor.

I love this crazy cuddly baby, and his little aunt too.

Heidi came later and took Julia and Tim to a parade where they were thrown candy. (Tim remembered the candy part from when Dan and Alicia took him last year.) They're asleep, and I'm feeling a bit like a little chocolate now, actually. It's been a great Thursday. With a bit of luck, I might even steal a tootsie roll here. love, Val

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

it's a dumb story

a random kid...they're not sure who he is

The kids are playing softball, and last night was picture night. We took them all over there, in their softball shirts, and photos were taken. Seemed fine.

Well, this morning I had an email from Tim's coach, saying pictures were tonight at 7:15.

Weird. I emailed him back and said all the kids had their pictures taken last night. I asked Tim and he said yes, he did.

A few hours later the coach called saying he wondered if Tim had been photographed with the wrong team. His neighbor coaches that team and was out of town on a business trip, so someone else was with the kids for pictures.

I told him Tim had told us Coach Murphy was there.

There was a second of silence and then the coach said, "I don't know who Coach Murphy is."

That's when I started to snicker. He was photographed with the wrong team.

I asked if we'd have to pay again? His individual picture is fine, but for the team picture? Hmm. Probably not.

Then I realized this--what about the other team? They're not going to all come back again to have their picture re-taken, and there's going to be this weird, random kid in their picture, a kid nobody even knows.

I told him this, and then I started to laugh, and laugh. I had to sit down. That's when he started cracking up too, and told me that other coach is a friend of his.

Yeah, well his team picture is going to have Tim in it.

We asked Tim about this. Did he know any of the kids last night? Were they from his team? He said no. We asked him why didn't he say something?

"You set it up and Dad took me." Meaning: You two should know what the heck you're doing. Oh yeah, that's us, really on top of it.

Oh dear. Happy Wednesday. love, Val

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

kirby's pics

three sisters

These are some of Kirsten's pics from Memorial Day:

a big girl

a big girl fishing--this keeps her absorbed for hours

a tired boat ride

beautiful lydia

james and bella

bella is as fascinated by frisbee as sam is with fishing


Oh, how I love summer. love, Val

Sunday, June 20, 2010

the weekend and father's day

the one who is the dad around here, head neatly chopped off. he puts up with this.

It was a pretty nice weekend.

We went to a family party Saturday, had a very good time.

We got to see all the babies of our nieces, and I cannot even describe how lovely that was. Some we had never met before. (The babies, not the nieces.) My sister in law and brother in law live in a sprawling, crazy old house and have very beautiful grandchildren.

our niece and her daughter...our niece's name is Grace and she and her husband named the child Evelyn, after Graces maternal grandma, prettiest two names I may have ever heard.

this little one is so sweet

the napping room--no, you may not touch them.

Plus some kids of mine were there too:

smile boys!

Tonight we had Father's Day snacks on the patio, another nice night.

Oh my gosh. No wonder June is my favorite month of the whole entire year. love, Val

Saturday, June 19, 2010

those people and their dang butterflies

The scary looking caterpillars began hatching today. They were the spiky hair type Tim caught on the patio a few weeks ago. He had five and kept them in two big glass tumblers on the buffet.

We let them go in the garden. Kari took pictures. They're called Mourning Cloak butterflies--something new to us. There are two more cocoons almost ready to open. love, Val