Sunday, May 31, 2015

Time flies...

Time has just been flying!  To be honest, I haven't felt like posting much since we returned from our trip.  It took more out of me than I really was/am willing to admit.  

Summer has begun with it's blur of activity.  A different rhythm, I find.  Summer reading programs keeping all the kids busy.  Swim lessons for me, play dates, cleaning/de-cluttering, gardening and JP working a lot.  

My baby graduated from kindergarten!  Class of 2027!  Now, that brings up a whole bunch of thinking that I wasn't prepared for.  The fact that when he is in 4th grade, Tera will be graduating high school.  Then, Daniel graduates the next year and Michael will be an only homeschool child for SEVEN years!  

Michael's request for summer activities have all involved water!

 Anytime we are blessed with a load of wood chips, we all get to work!

We've got VBS next week, a couple of chess tournaments coming up, more summer reading and a couple of movies.  Lots of fun to be had. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: 1 week late

On our trip to Alabama, we celebrated my grandmother's 90th birthday early.  We enjoyed hanging out with her and my Aunt Margie.  JP enjoyed hearing my grandmother's stories. 

 Lessons in eating honeysuckle...

The kids hung out at the hotel with JP, while I traveled to Montgomery with my mom, brother and a family friend.  They had a full day of movies, swimming and gorging on waffles with bacon.  Oh, and juice.  (My husband's words in a text to me.)  He knew I would be wondering if they had any fruit.  

That afternoon, we returned tired.  Mom took me to visit my dad's grave.  He passed away a little less than a year after my brother. 

Mom dropped me off at the hotel where I quickly changed.  We wanted to spend time with Fred, so we headed over to their house.  I surprised my mom with flowers and presents for an early Mother's Day.  She's a strong woman, brave and true.  She's taught me what the love of a mother is really like.  

We headed back the next day.  We had the best waitress I've ever met at the Cracker Barrel in Prattville, AL near the state line.   It's taken me until now to start to feel recovered from the emotions of our trip.  

Our last day of school was finished in the car!  WooHoo!  Summer vacation!

My family celebrated me on Saturday for Mother's Day.  Flowers, funny cards and 365 Things We Love About You!  (One of the best gifts ever--totally thought up and pulled off with no help from their dad!)  So far, I've enjoyed opening one "compliment" a day.  

--"You're self-motivated!" 
--"You don't mind our quirks."
--"Because you are smart."
--"That you are a Happy Helper. :)"


*Last week, I had to go home for a parole hearing for the man convicted of killing my brother in 1998.  I'm just now being able to put down some (rambling) thoughts.*

It's a trip full of bittersweet moments. 
An early birthday celebration.
90 years young.
We know we haven't traveled all this way, this early for her birthday.

It's tomorrow.
The dread in the back of our minds.
Visit with the cousins--jumping, playing, talking.
To the hotel early.
Hopefully, sleep will doesn't

Up before the sun is thinking about appearing
We get lost, wandering around the city, trying to find our way.
That sums up life

We're here
His family is waiting in line, too
Waiting to protest that he's been in long enough
We walk through the line past his mother
I do not recognize her

Sitting, waiting, signing, sharing
Briefed on what will happen next
Willing myself to be the strong one
It's really not working.
My first time doing this, sitting with the past veterans of this process

We've written letters.
We don't trust ourselves to speak
It's raw
We're called back.
Two sides parted down the middle
The lawyer speaks first--presenting his case
I weep

Others speak on our behalf
The judges deliberate in muffled whispers
We hold our breath and wait
Denied in legalese
2 more years
The veterans around me seem stolid
Not sure what they've just heard
I sob

"You know one day, he'll get out..."
The judge states
"Yes sir, we know...All we want is justice..."
An entire sentence to be served.

Bittersweet, no celebration
We go on feeling the same loss we've felt for years.
Everyone denied....

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Almost done

Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday seems like forever ago!  

Michael's been reading a lot lately and Tera made my all-time favorite...Dilly Rolls using our own fresh dill.  

Our last choir concert for the school year.  

Our homeschool group had a carnival and activity fair to raise money for a group of our kids participating in Destination Imagination.  We went out to answer questions about the History "Share" event that I coordinate.  The kids ended up having a blast playing games and hanging out.  

 After being outside for 3 hours at the carnival, Daniel's allergies went crazy.  So, we skipped chess club and just hung out at home.  

Today, I forced myself to go to my swim lesson.  I had a weird, funny type dream that made me feel sad and emotional when I woke up.  (That doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's true.)  I'm so thankful for my swim instructor that encouraged me to come, because (as I knew) it would make me feel better.  

We shopped for some shorts/capris for Tera and found some jeans for Michael in the fall, while we were waiting on Tera's hair appointment. 

She went bold and daring with some color in part of her hair.  She loves it and I'm happy.

Chess tournament tomorrow and the last week of school coming up! 


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