Friday, June 24, 2011

Favorite Photos for Friday!!

I actually took these today... just enjoying the day around the house.

I truly cannot believe how my heart could just burst with so much emotion when I see this little boy!!

Over at Renaissance, this week's photo theme was hands... I hadn't really thought much about it and then later, looking through today's pictures, I realized how Jayden is using his hands in this photo... for balance... and for expression. It's as if his one hand is saying to us, "Now hold on a minute, I've got this!"

And here are three others that just make me want to giggle and smooch him...

I really cannot stop laughing when I see this photo:

He had just woken up... How can you not want to scoop him up? I'm getting worse than his momma... when his lip goes out, my heart melts and he is in my arms...

I promise, I don't do anything to color his lips... aren't they simply scrumptious?

And his dark eyes... I could get lost in them... I could rant forever over those dark eyes! Be still my heart!!!

Bridal Shower Time!

For the past year my daughter has talked about getting married... and she and Chris kept planning for a larger event "in the future". We really hadn't planned at all for a spur of the moment "get it done" wedding. I gave the soon-to-wed couple an assignment and asked them to research what all the costs were that are involved in a larger traditional wedding... then to calculate how much they would need to save each month to prepare... to check with parents to see what help they would receive. It was then that they decided on a small, out of town ceremony with parents and a few friends. We were pleased because that made it a bit easier to help them.

Then Bek's optometry appointment lined up with the week prior to the wedding (7/3/11), and I rather quickly put together a little bridal shower party for Shasta for an evening when Bek was here!

We shopped and had lunch with Sonia:

And Sonia's nephew, Ashton:

Bek spent the day adoring Jayden:

We cleaned house and set up...

As I was getting to Shasta's hair, Corey arrived, happy to crash a party!

(Okay, my mask doesn't really reflect my true persona... and I was TOLD to make this expression... I'm innocent, I tell you! Yeah, so one of my secret dreams is to get some gangster clothes and lip sinc to Black Eyed Peas, but that is a secret...)

And Heidi was too funny... her mask says "Bad" and she is SO not bad, she is a sweet gal!

The gals had some fun telling stories, we played the toothpick "I have never...." game and had lots of fun taking pictures!

And a shout out to Sonia!! Thank you SO much for the fun balloons and the wonderful 8X10 you made of the special couple. You were a party hero!

Blessings to you all... may you have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A day with College Girl

When the children were little, I loved taking shots of them throughout a day to show to grandparents who lived far away. Could I resist the temptation of doing that once more? No way! I started with the sleeping morning shot:

She always was the one to wake up the slowest... Then we had coffee together:

She found my small stash of crochet headbands and was quite excited about them. And she loved helping with little Chloe:

She is responsible for bringing this cat to our home when he was a tiny, abandoned kitten... I cannot say we were thrilled, but Tiger earned his keep that first summer by catching and eating flies around here.

We made some sun tea:

And we took time to smell the roses (well, we just looked at them):

And girl friend wanted me to teach her how to make headbands... I don't think she has ever crocheted before, but she really took to it!

And hours later... the fruit of our labor:

We played the game of LIFE during the afternoon and one of the boys said, "Hey, this is really like life..." And for a moment I sat there, inspirations swirling through my head... Taking in the parallels of life and the game. I am sure I had brilliant things to write and share, but I don't remember what they were. Thinking about it now, I think the game goes by much quicker than real life... and it only addresses careers, paydays, car wrecks and home repairs... (well, there's upgrading computers and some other stuff, too... ). Real life is much more challenging. I wish it was a simple as, "Hey, should I take the short way or the long way? To go up the hill or around it?" In reality, taking the short way means someone is hurt or you are misunderstood... and so you head for high ground or go the long way and well... what really matters is that you act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. You keep loving. You don't give up. Forgive others. Breathe in bits of beauty around you. Love. Love more. And that's all I got.


PS I fell asleep and was woken up at midnight by Bek. She led me out the door, across the grass and to blankets spread out, drinks and chips. I don't think I needed the chips. She shared a bit about stars that she learned in her astronomy class. Did you know that the North Star wont always be pointing north? Instead of having the "North Star" we'll have the "North region" and there is no south star and you only see Orion's belt during the winter here. The big dipper is actually part of a bear... I think she said a bear... It was a lovely summer night and I am glad that we had that to share together.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the first day of summer...

... temps were triple digits! We had a very cold-ish spring and bam! Summer heat is on. I didn't really mind one bit.

The best parts of the day? First fruits from the garden...

Zucchini has begun. Time to find people to give zucchini to, because I never use it up and it goes crazy here in the back yard. Really, it keeps producing and producing week after week until we are sure we never want to see another zucchini again. Then we plant it in the spring once more...

We also have several tomato plants coming along and a few pepper plants and a couple different squashes... if they get going...

The weeds haven't been doing too bad, either!

After the heat, we enjoyed a treat!

Whoopsie! Can't forget the whip cream!

To top it off, I picked up my college girl and she and I are going to have us a couple of nice days together! My love meter is high, oh, yes it is...

Blessings to you and your summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oh! This speaks "summer"!!

And I hope that friends at the LENS photo challenge enjoy this shot of summer, too!

Summer time, summer time... sum-sum-summer time!

Oh, how I love summer! I love the carefree-ness. I love the bare footed-ness. I love the "grab whatever and go"-ness. I love the warm nights outside and the smell of the earth when I water plants.

This week's Renaissance photo challenge was shoes. And since it is summer, I will share my favorite shoe summer shoe photos. They speak loveliness and freedom... if any shoes could make me think of a tinkling brook, these would be them:

But, wait! These other shoes are not to be outdone... they are also my favorite:

Well... I could ramble on a bit about shoes... feet... priorities... but, I simply cannot tie any lovely lesson on all that together and I woke up with my meter on zero for "sense of humor", so it would be a boring ramble.

Have a beautiful day in whatever shoes you wear! I'll stick with these:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Houston... We have a Red Princess!!!

Now, you're probably thinking that I really like the color red... and I do... but, really, this is about the miracle of life! I look closely at the photos and remember walking into the NICU and seeing this tiny 1 lb. 14 oz. baby. I remember my heart lurching... tears came instantly to my eyes. She was so, so tiny. Her arms and legs looked like thin pretzels. I was overcome with intense feelings that words can barely begin to express. I wanted to personally fill Chris and Sonia up with peace and tell them, "It's all going to be okay... it's all just fine... it's gonna be okay..." I am ever so thankful that Chris and Sonia let me share in those early moments. I remember her being close to 4 lbs and spending time holding her on Thanksgiving night... still at the NICU, amazed that this wee little girl had no health complications... praising God for the blessing of her wholeness even though she was so frail. I am honored to watch her for Chris and Sonia. It is more than a joy... never a job... I cannot express how thankful I am to be part of her family.

And I was so excited when Sonia brought her over the other day dressed in red.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Loving on my dad

Before I share photos and stories from a trip to visit my Dad, I am excited to join a fun photo challenge over at Renaissance. The theme is self portrait and, not knowing, last night I set my timer and came up with these gardening shots:

The top one is SOOC, except I did a "fancy focus" on me, spiral blurring the photo from that point. The middle one is just so artistically cool and the bottom one is... red! I like that the bottom one looks Holly Hobby-ish, too.

Last week my life took a new turn. Two boys very dear to my heart went to join their siblings at their dad's house. As I routinely try to teach my children, being happy is a choice. Living in peace is a choice. Perspectives are a choice. That doesn't mean it is easy, though. But, if I am going to teach it, I'd better live it. I knew that I wouldn't want to hang out around the house after the boys were picked up, so I planned a trip down to southern California to visit my dad. Since he has slowed down so much lately, I knew in my heart that spending time with him would be priceless. And what better way is there to head out of town than to take my daughter and grandson??

Here I am at the airport, baby boy in front carrier, giving "mom" a break (and loving it!), ready to get on the plane:

Here we are me and my dad!

My girl... hopefully enjoying little breaks while the rest of us enjoy the baby! She is with Papa's dog, Fritzie.

And a few fun pics of Nana and Papa enjoying the great-grandbaby boy!

So, the first day away ended with the sweetness of a sleeping babe...

Look what the cat dragged in the next day... JUST KIDDING! I enjoyed my brother stopping in for a visit. Here he is with his grandson, Mattix:

Remember those days when older brother squirted you right in the face with the water gun? Remember when big brother hung your underclothes out on the tree? Remember him saying, "Don't walk too close to me... someone might think you're my girlfriend!"? Well... I got him back. Yep. I sure fixed him! I told little Mattix that his grandpa was taking him out to buy him balloons, ice cream and a stuffed Curious George monkey. And my brother said, "Gee... thanks a lot, Betty..." As it went... Mattix was taken out and a delightful ball was purchased for him. He was happy.

Even though this picture is blurry... I love it. I love seeing my dad laugh and looking at such happiness in his eyes.

Jayden enjoyed a 3 day game of "pull puppy's hair out". We kept moving the dog away, but the dog kept getting close to him over and over again!

(I've got to remember to change my f-stops on my camera... for example, here the dog is in great focus and the baby isn't... I must start remembering... and teach Shasta... since she took most of the photos!)

I remember how content Shasta was as a baby and toddler. No little thing was ever wasted... but was thoroughly enjoyed... from a pretty Easter egg to a kitty walking by to the slide at the park. And what happens when she is taken out, years later, and spoiled with a few great bargain finds? This, I tell you! This!! Can you find a happier new mommy?

Jayden enjoyed the shopping trip, too, because we weren't pointing the black box at him and his every new facial expression... here he is towards the end of the day, saying, "No more pictures!"

But... between his mom and his grandma and great grandparents being silly-crazy-in-love with him... Not a chance... His picture will be taken! Here he is in a hat we found on clearance when we went out shopping for a second day of treasure bargain hunting!

Then we took my dad out for a combined birthday/Father's day dinner. My niece, Denise and her dear one, Steven, joined us with their 4 children.

The weekend was completed with attending church with my parents. I gazed at the rafters and stained glass windows reflecting on many childhood and teen memories, thankful for the foundation of my Christian faith. Here are the last couple of photos from the trip:

Blessings to you all!