Thursday, August 30, 2012

party at dan and alicia's

Here's the cake, ready to go.   Julia and Kari asked me if they could decorate it.

I said sure.

They asked if they could put toys on it.

Again sure, just wash them first--soap and water and dry them off well.

First they placed that old 80's wrestler dude on there.  Whaaaat?

They had a plan.   Ei-yi-yi.

 Yeah.  Very nice.

I made the chicken divan and cake, and others brought food, and Dan and Alicia offered to host it at their house and so a very, very nice evening came together in all its loud, rowdy way.

 It's my mom with kids in the living room.

And opening gifts, an excited horde crowding around--

About now is when I offered to take that baby, "Give him here.  He looks heavy."

Dan handed him over, and then flexed and rubbed his arm.  Dang, he is awful heavy, and he also tends to lean out.  And he's crawling and his blonde hair looks like baldness, but it is all sprouts.

 This guy had so many funny stories and smiles for my mom.   He's the sweetest little string bean of a guy, bright and fuzzy, long skinny arms and legs.

Uh oh. Time for candles!   He loves this sooo much, the singing and all.  He looked out at the sea of all of us singing to him, serious expression on his face.

And then he blew and blew on those candles, back and forth.

 Here are the other birthday people:  We've got your Dan and your Heidi, with birthdays last week, and b.g. and also Dannell next week.  This is a first--we sang to all three adults at one time and they blew out the candles all together. 
 It worked.   And then ice cream was scooped and cake was eaten and kids went nuts and then the evening was over.

Thanks guys for hosting this wonderful celebration.

And thanks all of you for being mine.  We love you so,  Mom and Dad

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a quick birthday supper

We're having a big party next week, but tonight was just quick hamburgers on the grill, salad by Dad, and a cake baked by Joe--red velvet with sprinkles.

It was pretty fun.   After the State Fair trip the kids did yesterday and my being tired after work, it was a pretty tame evening.   Kirsten has all the little girls at her house for an End of Summer Sleepover.

God bless her.

After supper, Heidi and p.j. went over there to tie-dye some shirts with the gang.  Pretty ambitious.

Just for fun, some old pictures:

Heidi, twenty-eight years of you?  I can't even really remember what life was like before you.

When you were the age of your own baby, I bought a very pretty picture for the wall near the kitchen door.

Dad and your brothers didn't even notice it as they went through.  But you?

You couldn't talk yet, but you pointed to the picture--eyes wide with approval.   Just like now when I nod and tell your baby, "Ah-ha, ah-ha, ah-ha," and she grins back and nods along with me?   It was that kind of moment when I was sooooo grateful life included YOU, a daughter, someone to be girls with.

(I didn't realize then half my children would be daughters--and they'd have their own little girl parties just for fun.)

This whole family is lucky to have you.   We could not love you more, and in twenty-eight more years?  When you'll be older than both me and Dad?   You will still be my girl.

Happy Birthday.

love forever, Mom and Dad and all the rest


Saturday, August 25, 2012

a great party

Okay, James' dearest friend is heading off to boarding school next Saturday.

It's a lovely school in somewhere fancy-sounding, like Connecticut, a huge opportunity.

They don't much care about that right now.

Anyway, tonight his family held a going-away party for him. It was a beautiful occasion, wistful and hopeful and lovely.

He played the guitar, sweet and elegant, sang Justin Bieber hit songs on the steps of his deck.


And if you'll observe the card above--Kari, aka Lydia made this for him, accounting for every single person in our family who will miss him.

Wherever you go, Aaaron, you can't escape love.  love always, Val and Jay and every dang kid in this whole house.  

Friday, August 24, 2012


 "I'm fine with him opening beer with his teeth for now...after all they're just baby teeth. Also its true I like sweatpants, the cool breeze of any open fridge, and a beer within reach at all its true I find a home there for hours most days."

Okay, this was on facebook and I laughed my head off.

Then I saw this, and the caption, "My BFF, Karen."

Oh my gosh.

Then there are these--

When I want a picture of you, all I have to do is check out Alicia's facebook page.   Among numerous things we have in common, one is our affection for YOU.

You, Daniel--Thirty-two years of you.   

I've told you this before:  I love a lot of people, but in the whole world, not a single one more than you.

Thanks for being mine, for being ours.  The whole family is so lucky for you.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.

Love forever, Mom, Dad and everybody


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

intensity, or a cousin fest

John's kids were here last night for a sleepover.   (See all the new boards in that fence--yes, getting some work done around here.)   t.c. is hanging on the gate, keeping score.

 Here they are asleep very late in the night.

Someone else took this picture with my camera.  It's some kind of mac and cheese tower.  The thing that bothers me a little about this is that in the middle of the table is a fancy old ashtray I like, and a couple vintage trinkets that were Jay's grandparents.   I'd really hate to see the tower go over and those things be broken.

And it'd all be an accident!  An accident!    Grrr.

 Okay, this is the Sweetie who had to be waked up for lunch.  He stayed up far too late last night.

But he wanted to.   Later in the afternoon, this lack of sleep caught up with them, and they were pretty dang cranky by the time their dad came to take them home.

Notice how his pajamas look like clothes?   I was working last night, didn't realize.  And today, I thought they looked great, still didn't realize.

 See Lydia whipping up that lunch?

 Maria was babysitting for Dan and Alicia, so she brought over their guys for lunch and to play.

Then we corralled all the little rowdy monsters outside.   I yelled a little at this point, sorry to say.

He was happy to be outside.

 Here they're making something noxious with leaves and mud.

And now they've all gone home, and the evening was spent cooking, which is always nice, and that's the end of a very fine Tuesday.

Just a little while ago, Jay was in Tim's room bitching about where were Tim and Julia?  "I told them to go to bed! Where are they sleeping?  Is he in here?  Nobody is!"

I yelled upstairs for them and they came bouncing down.   He scolded them some more, "I told you to go to bed, but no.  You just keep disappearing!"

Tim ventured, "Yeah, we're real good at magic."

Okay, that made us all laugh.   Good night, you magical little farts.

Onward to Wednesday.    Life is all right.    love you all, Grandma, aka Mom