Sunday, August 31, 2014

summer went by too fast

Summer went by so fast again.  Tuesday James goes back to school and the other guy leaves this week for his private school in Connecticut. 
It's fine.  Sad, but fine.  The weeks fly past until the holidays.
There they are looking cool, him in the hat he knit himself, and James in his Mr. Rogers t-shirt. 
That's them.
As it is, high school itself has been over in the blink of an eye.
Friends now for the last nine years,  I wonder where the next nine will take you guys?
It's going to be fun finding out.
love forever, Mom, aka VAL

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

heidi's birthday

The proud child with the cake she and her dad baked.

 It was a great day.   We got food and went to the park for lunch.  We chose a park close to work, so Kirsten could come too.

Heidi if anyone would have told me when you were little that you would grow up to be a best friend, I would have smiled and nodded, but had no idea what was ahead.

All the fun, the milestones, the foolishness, the parties, and gifts and how much fun it was being girls together, and all the babies we'd chase after?   Oh my goodness.

Looking back on the last thirty years?   I feel a little incredulous, and also astonishingly lucky.

 Plus all the little kids are lucky with you for a big sister, a defender, challenger, protector.    And your big brothers too--having independent, self-assured little sisters taught them things about girls.  Good things.

So here's to the next thirty years of friendship and fun.

Thanks for being our girl.   We could not love you more.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

happy birthday, dan

These are from a long time ago.  You were an extremely beautiful baby, and also good natured.

You hardly ever cried, and it's funny but your efforts to not cry would kind of break my heart.

The little lip. 

Me? Gone.

One night I was sitting in our bed feeding you in the middle of the night, and woke up to a big crash and felt a moment of panic.  How could I have dropped you!

Good LOR-ed.

Nope. I'd fallen asleep and dropped the bottle.  A big glass bottle on an oak floor makes one heck of a racket, but it didn't even break.

And you were fine, asleep in the crook of my lap.

Another night I woke up with the bottle in my hand and no you.   Again in a panic, I searched the sheets and blankets for you, shook your father by the shoulder, "Oh dear God, where is Dan??"

I'd put you back into your basket, covers up to the chin, sleeping.

I was only 18 then, just a kid. Dad was 20. We were idiots.

But I was impressed at that point to know, that even in my sleep, I took good care of you.

You went on to be a cute kid. You never had that awkward stage most kids get.
And here you are now, in a picture Alicia took last night.


And here's a thing about you--if I irritate you, which at times I must, you never let on.  You are consistently so completely nice to me that I don't even know what to say about it.

(I know you save all the sass for Alicia.)

You share your kids in a completely generous way.

You laugh when laughter is indicated, and also say, "Aww," in the right places when things go wrong.

I might have been an eighteen year old girl when we met, but neither of us is eighteen anymore, and I, and Dad, and all the rest are nothing but lucky having you.

In this entire world, there is not one single person I love more than you.

Happy Birthday, Dan. 

love forever and ever, Mom and Dad and Everybody

Friday, August 22, 2014

a friday night party

 Here's an uncle and his nephew.   The t.c. person, the nephew was SO excited about this gift he could not wait to give it to Tim.

Lots of the pictures are blurry, like this one of Heidi:

 Here's my mom. She agreed to cooperate for exactly ONE picture, and even that wasn't certain.

Yes, my twin:

 A nice, blurry picture of Dan and Lydia on the left:
 It's a tackle box, complete with his own personal tackle.  Pretty darn nice.

And then in here, during gifts, the little wisecracks started flowing about how which one has the most blog posts of mine to their name?
I didn't know.  I tag them accordingly, if I think of it.

Unaware of any contest.
So we went and looked and it proved, maybe something?  Or nothing?

Tim had 103 posts tagged. Dan had 50.  His grown sisters were in that range too.

I don't live with them. I have only occasional glimpses into the weirdness of their days.

Plus they also have a right to some privacy, that I do try to respect.  


How does an affectionate, uncontroversial Mommy Blog become anything?

We had chicken divan for supper, not necessarily a summer meal, but it's traditional at this point for their birthdays.   And there was watermelon and chips, and Dannell baked rolls, and there was the usual chocolate cake.
 The two birthday kids, smiling nicely.
Back when he was about five and she was an unruly toddler, he was taking revenge on her in the living room, and I sent him to his room to "think about it."

She still could not leave him alone and went into his time-out to pester him some more.  I overheard him growl, "Heidi, get out or I'm going to do the same thing to you what I did in the livingroom."

I said, "Daaaan."

Then I heard this exhausted tone, "Oh Heidi.  Lay down your sweet head."

That was too much. I removed her from him.

A year or two later she went at him with two slapping hands during Mr. Rogers.

"You can't look at him!  Stop LOOKING AT HIM!  He's MY NEIGHBOR!"

She's nothing but reasonable now, and so is he.   Woo Hoo.
 The little ones were so on top of those candles.

It was a great night for a party, and we even planned ahead to have the air conditioner going.

August has been an interesting month, but we'll take it.

Love you guys so much, MOM

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Okay, this is my favorite picture of Lydia during the last year or so and definitely a favorite even over her lifetime.

Heather took this picture last spring and everything about it is perfect.  Heather is intuitive and understated, and talented.

And this little girl is going to school in two weeks. 

Grade 9 begins, and she is ready

James took her to school for her student ID picture.  Orientation is on Tuesday evening.  Kirsten is taking her shopping for school clothes on Saturday.

And this is a big deal.  Kirsten knows clothes and what looks good.  Kari trusts her.  They had words on Easter morning back in April and have taken their time coming back together again.   Our trip to Canada together helped.  Time has helped.

The whole big, happy family thing?

It's real, in a sense, and yet this is not a community of saints.  It's a community FULL of personalities, and many teenaged people actively moving through intense growth stages of their lives. 

But there she is, my sweet Karinka Doodle, as seen through the lens of The Heather.

Lydia Karina--I am so excited you are ready to go, and I hope you have an awesome fun time.

Love forever, MOM

Saturday, August 16, 2014

tim's twelve

 He is, so we had a party last night.   It was a beautiful, hot day, just like the day he was born.

 We were mostly outside because it was just too stuffy inside the house.

 The new bike:

 The big, fat chocolate cake:
 I thought about buying a cake, skip running the oven, but it wouldn't have made any difference, really.

And then it was the end of the evening and the little kids took baths and went home.  

We stood around in the dark watching everyone get their cars wiggled out of the driveway, and the breeze was soft and warm.

Tim?  Twelve years of you?

How could it be?

In the next couple years you are going to grow until you're as tall as Dad.

I cannot wait to see what the next twelve years will bring.

You've brought us so much happiness and so much just plain entertainment, character that you are.

We could not love you more.  Happy Birthday from lucky old us,  Love, MOM and DAD and EVERYBODY