A little joy to share with you!

A little joy to share with you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still not organized...

Ok... I seem to have a theme going on here...  I'm in a couple of town bands playing this goofy instrument.  What I lack in talent, I seem to make up for in clumsiness.  And disorganization.  I have an exceptionally long and unwieldly trombone stand, a complex music stand that I have yet to master putting together, and music in no particular order falling out of my folder.  I'm also not known for moving slowly nor for paying attention to what I'm doing.  Yeah... a goofball.

Soooo... this seems to be the week for fixing me.  Well, sorta.  I had to miss a concert last week and one of the goofy guys above (we'll call him MOE) borrowed my music and played my part.  I'm always peeking at Moe's music, trying to figure out what piece we're playing next.  (Sheeesh!  Organization...)  So, when he gave me back my folder, there was a surprise for me!  The music was all in concert order!  And an even better surprise... trombone jokes and pictures punctuated the empty spaces between pieces!  But, as always, the loose pages that don't fit into the page protectors wound up falling to the floor at some point during the concert.  Oh... and I kept laughing at inappropriate times during the concert as I discovered the new jokes.  Soooo.... almost organized. 
And fast forward to a concert Satruday with the other band!  Not knowing if I would make the concert, I had given my music to one of the guys for safe-keeping.  (Always safer not in my hands...)  When I got my folder back, it was all in concert order!  (Definitely not the way I had left it, just in case you were wondering.)  My friend, guy-in-the-outragous-green-sparkly-I'm-so-jealous-that-he-found-that-great-hat, took pity on my lamentable systematization.  Ok... total lack of it.  I happily set up for the concert... and forgot to bring in my stand.  Until it was too late to go get it.  Guy in the great hat shared his music stand.  I haven't been in this band for very long.  I guess he didn't know my history with music stands.  (The flute players in the other band might consider helmets concert attire.) For the first song up, Trombones on the Rooftop, our conductor wanted the trombones to stand.  Trying to be helpful, I leaned forward to adjust the music stand higher.  And promptly pulled the top of the stand right off the bottom, sending BOTH folders of music to the floor...  Mmmmmhmmmm... the concert was delayed a few minutes while we scavenged our music off the floor and great-hat-guy and I frantically searched for music from a communal pile between songs.  But, look!  The photo was taken after the concert!  He's still speaking to me!  And the music is safely in his hands again.  And I *promise* I'll remember my music stand next time.  Or at least try to remember my music stand...
One more quick happy thought!  This beautiful ornament arrived in the mail last week!  It's from Attilla the Mom!  You *know* I've got to love a moniker like that!  Her screen name is just the beginning of the snark you'll find on her blog!  Check out Cheaper than Therapy for fun reading!

Ok... that's all for now!  Back to the Christmas countdown!  Have a happy day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holidays are here!

It's happened again.  A couple of weeks ago, I was WAAAAAY ahead of this Christmas season.  I had my list figured out.  Decorations were up.  The outline of the Christmas letter was forming in my brain.  Almost all of our shopping was done.  Crafty things were almost finished.  Then we flipped the calendar and the kids got all excited and started counting days.  And time sped up.  Youngest kiddo was jumping up and down this morning reminding me that it is only ten days until Christmas.  TEN DAYS????? 

Suddenly having the Christmas letter ALMOST done and the shopping ALMOST done and the crafting ALMOST done is not quite cutting it....  TEN DAYS???? 

Oh to be a kid again!  The exciting anticipation of Christmas!  The warmth, the extra time with family and friends, the traditions, the mystery.  I think sometimes we grown-ups (I grudgingly concede to being almost grown-up) forget the wonder of the season.  Shop, wrap, finish, cross off the list.  But Christmas is joy, love, wonder, surprise.  Unfathonable goodwill.  A gift given which didn't follow protocol, yet was so much more.  So I am suspending my obnoxious pace and am determined to enjoy the season even if I don't get everything done.  I'm hugging my kids, getting most of the letters out, sitting down for dinner with my family, forgetting about that last shopping, cuddling with my husband and writing notes instead of joining the parade of mugs, ornaments, and light-up ties.  Ah... to be a kid again!  I think I'm almost there....

And for friends and family... a "Hi, Baby!" update!  Even sweet, smiley, special kiddo joins us in greeting the wee one! 

Oldest kiddo is 13 weeks along now.  Her days are a roller coaster of emotions.  It's not easy to be pregnant at 16.  One foot in the teenage, high school world.  And one foot in the expectant mom, grown-up world.  She has cried more in the last week than in the past ten years as her two worlds sometimes collide.  And all I can do is hold her and let her know that everything will be ok.  And it will.  It's just hard to see the future while standing in the present. 

Oldest kiddo and teenage father-to-be had their first prenatal class on Monday.  Finally a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy week!  Rather than an oddity, they were just another expectant couple.  Younger, yes, but sharing stories of morning sickness and mood swings along with everyone else.  And they heard their baby's heartbeat!  Both kiddos came out of class with smiles on their faces that reached right into their souls.  They are connecting with a new group of peers that can share and relate to this new life path which they are traveling.

And... sassy second child had a birthday!  What a spirit this kiddo is!  She had a bunch of giggly friends over for a party this weekend.  Totally girlie-girl time.  Yet this kiddo is really more about muck boots and shoveling poo.  She and most-recent-guy-friend broke up on Sunday.  Amicably.  And a new guy-friend asked her out.  I'm so darned proud of this kiddo!  She said, "not yet"!  Not yes, not no.  But not YET.  What a great answer!

Whooops... enough happy thoughts for today!  I just got called to sub!

Have a happy day!  Relax and enjoy the season!        

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

comedy of cats and dogs

I have a couple of new post ideas circulating, but haven't got time to write them this morning!  So here's an "oldie but goodie", originally published on my now-defunct Kwilting with Katie blog midwinter last year.  Enjoy!

It's been a wild weekend.... Just to set the stage leading up to Sunday night, our eighth-grader brought home her health class assignment, an electronic baby, on Friday. Friday night, the electronic baby was up every hour and a half. I was up every hour and a half with *my* baby who was panicking, afraid she was going to fail health class. Saturday morning, Addie, a very cute but exciteable dog that we are pet-sitting arrived. The afternoon was spent bowling with the acolytes then attempting to watch a concert that our oldest daughter was in. The electronic baby had other ideas.... Sunday, we rushed off late to church. Have I mentioned the electronic baby schedule? After church, Claire (the 8th-grader) had a friend over. Add one *more* electronic baby. Shannon (our youngest) lost a loose tooth Sunday afternoon; always a traumatic ordeal for her as she cries because the tooth is dangling by a thread but she doesn't want anyones fingers in her mouth. Our dog-on-loan spent the afternoon Sunday wedging herself between my knees and barking at every noise. Unless there was a glimpse of a cat. Then there would be a romping chase complete with barking, hissing, and spitting.

Sunday night arrives. The cats take shelter in the girls bedrooms far under the beds. The friend and extra baby go home. Claire's baby goes into a quiet schedule for a while. Addie and our dog sack out watching football with Don. And ice starts falling from the sky. Ahhhh! The perfect excuse to curl up with the girls and watch a movie we've been trying to find time to see.

All goes deceptively well until the girls go upstairs for bed. "Mom! One of the cats peed on my bed!" Right through two quilts. So... eleven-o-clock finds quilts churning in the washer and Don and I taking turns babysitting two cats and a dog in the bathroom enforcing a "get-used-to-each-other" approach. On one of my trips out of the bathroom, I discover that the tooth is *not* under the pillow. I also realize that with about a week's worth of work to go on the book proposal and a cat ignoring litterbox ettiquette, I need to remove all the quilts for the book from the house. When the enforced "time-in" for the animals ends, a big, hairy tooth fairy with a five-o-clock-shadow and a flashlight heads into the 10-year-old's room to look for a tooth while I start skating repeatedly across the driveway carrying armloads of quilts.

Just another quiet night at the Brown house....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Hi, Baby!"

So, yeah, life is returning to normal around here.  Or semi normal.  Oldest kiddo got a kick out of my greeting when she walked into the house the other night....  "Oooooooh!  Look what I'm working on!  How was your day?  Hi, baby!"  (The last bit was addressed to the belly bump.)  Yup, talking to the bump is just part of our day now.

Actually, the kids and I joke that oldest kiddo must be pregnant with, "hi, baby!" since that is the way we all address oldest kid's tummy.  Youngest kiddo was sypathetic to the constant tummy-talking.  Just in case older sister ever found talking to the bump one sided, youngest kiddo suggested that it was ok to address *her* belly and say hello to dinner! 

Oh!  I also have a new name!  No grandma names seemed to fit me.  Sorry... but they all seemed a bit OLD.  And I refuse to utter that nasty, bad word.  Ever.  Eeeeeuw.... shivering!  The closest I could get to naming myself without gagging was G'amma.  Like taking the "r" out takes away the bad-word connotation....  But even that seemed a bit fuddy-duddy.  Until I burst out with a new idea while sitting at the table with my kidlets the other day!  I'm not just G'amma, I'm SUPER G'AMMA!!!!!  Yes, that would be "super" with a cape and mask and everything!  Ok, maybe skip the mask, it might scare the wee one.  But definitely a cape!  Like all the superheros!  Sooooo... now that I am a superhero, I can say my new name without gagging!


Well... that's the happy thought for today!  Or happy thoughts....  Never can seem to stick to just one!

Have a happy day!

Thanksgiving Day!

We opted for a quiet day at home this year!  After all the turmoil and confusion of the past couple of weeks, it was absolutely beautiful to enjoy a day at home with our family and just a couple of extra friends!  This is really just a "photo album" post.  More stories and humor next time!

 Smiley kiddo is still enjoying her Halloween costume!  I've always had to struggle to get her into a hat and keep it on her head long enough for her to forget that it is there.  But Smiley actually *pointed* to her zebra headgear this morning!  Here she is, ready to go pick up Grammie before our Thanksgiving feast!

Our kiddos stayed in their jammies most of the day.  And played with beads.  Even the teens....

So glad they're all grown up....

Our kid crew went for a short walk between dinner and dessert.  Not nearly a long enough walk to burn through the food consumed during the day, but, heck!  They managed to make serious inroads on dessert just the same!  (Note... smiley in the zebra hat is honing in on sassy second child's boyfriend again!)

The teen crew managed to figure out my tripod and camera timer for me!  So we actually have a photo of everyone!


Happy Thanksgiving from the Brown Family Crew!  Hope you had a wonderful day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Normal

I feel like I am emerging from a fog.  With sincere apologies for the lack of posting in the past couple of weeks.  Ummmm... several weeks.  Our family learned some BIG NEWS.  Yes, ALL CAPS BIG NEWS.  And I just wasn't ready to share.  Sooooo... now that the news is out and the fog is lifting, I'm ready to write again.  And dust and vaccuum and clean closets and rearrange furniture and shake out rugs and wash beds...  Oooops.  I diverge.  You're waiting for the news, not the to-do-list...

I'm going to be a grandma! 

Ummmm... a few years earlier than any of us anticipated.  Quite a few years earlier.  Hence the fog.  It has been a topsy turvy couple of weeks, with our world turned upside down and shaken vigorously.  We have two teen parents-to-be in shock and trying to figure out what paths their lives are going to follow now.  And a bunch of siblings with varying reactions.  And two sets of grandparents-to-be busy working out details for education (the teens), child care (the baby), living arrangements and how to support the teens and sibs.  Add to that all the people with staunch opinions about what we should do.  Or what the new parents-to-be should or shouldn't do.  I have been tempted to just go into lock-down mode.  Just shut our doors and hold our family close.

And then there are the glimpses of normal.  The friends who are able to just listen.  JUST... not the "just" like "a little thing" but like the "only" thing.  Friends who listen.  Who are able to be there.  Who say, "I'm here if you ever need to talk."  Who go for long walks or offer a cup of tea and an ear.  The friends that call or message just to say they love us.  I thank God for the people who can just be with us as we figure out our new normal.

Ah!  New normal... I first heard that phrase from a friend who was battling cancer.  How the happy, typical days sandwiched, meshed, sometimes collided with chemofunk days.  (For beautiful reading, check out green bananas cancer blog )  Now it seems to fit our lives.  As we emerge from two weeks of wandering around without noticing much of the world around us, we have little bits of normal peeking back into our lives.  Like sitting down to a wonderful dinner with our whole family and a couple of extra teenage friends.  Or hanging all the "winter" wall quilts, dusting, and cleaning up a stack of accumulated magazines.  And bits of New Normal... like chatting with my kiddo about changing the TV room into a bedroom for her and the little one.  Suddenly it is wonderful to plan a new room... bed, rocking chair, crib, changing table.  Or the little bursts of excitement as I look forward to meeting my grandchild!  There is the New Normal of anticipating college as a day student.  My kiddo wanted to attend college within two hours of home before this new path, so looking at colleges within an hour of home is not a disappointment to her.  And, of course, the New Normal of a very different junior and senior year of highschool than anticipated.  But different doesn't have to be worse.  Just different.

And there is the constant.  Love.  Our family.  The friends who love and support us.  The wonderful kids... the ones who live here, the ones who visit here.  This baby will be a blessing.  This baby will be loved.

Soooo... I'm leaving you with one more glimpse of normal.  We were given a couple of huge pumpkins right after halloween.  They sat on our porch as we wandered around in a fog.  Uncarved.  Unfinished.  This morning, walking back up from getting the littler kiddos on the bus, this sight caught my eye.  Hubby took a few minutes last night to carve us some goofy smiles!
Have a happy day!         

Thursday, October 28, 2010

still sewing...

Ok... as much fun as I have writing silly tales about our family, I know a few of you are scratching your heads thinking, "where are the QUILTS???"
Ooooops... not a quilt...  But I *have* been sewing.  Really.  A little.  A very little... my other job is playing working as a substitute teacher.  Who would have guessed that I would be in demand during the month of October?  Or that after a couple weeks of subbing nearly every day I would spend a couple of bleary days sneezing and dripping and snuffling my way around the house?  Occupational health hazard, I guess. 

But, look!  After a couple of (healthy) days off, we have a cute little zebra running around our house!  Ok... so I cheated a little.  A discount store near us had these great stripey pajamas on sale for almost nothing.  Seriously... who wouldn't want to snuggle up to their honey at night looking like a honkin' snortin' zebra?  Well, I guess I wouldn't have lined up waiting for those jammies to hit the shelves....  But a cool thing about this store is all the mis-matched sets!  Apparently a few honeys didn't mind the stripey pants.  There were extra tops on sale for just a couple dollars.  And an extra top was all I needed to make a hat and tail to complete the ensemble!  I even have a sleeve left.  Anyone out there need a tail to add to those stripey pants???

And, yes... I'll leave you with a bit of quilting.  I have some great, bright dots and a few fun Kaffe Fassette's prints that I've been reluctant to cut into.  Something about wanting to find the perfect pattern for them.  Like perfect has any chance of happening with me at the rotary cutter!  I finally dragged the buggers out and started slicing away.  Just a simple Jacob's Ladder block, but I love the way the black stands out and the star points kind of flicker around.  First part of one star, then part of another.  Only one dilema.  I just pulled these things out and started piecing.  No idea what for.  Maybe a baby quilt (several friends having babies right now)?  Or a Project Linus quilt?  Scratch all that... two kiddos walked through and fell in love with these bright blocks.  My quilting just got doubled....

Have a happy day! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hubby's solution...

Have I mentioned that my husband and I are the parents of teenagers?  Two teenagers, to be precise.  With two more rapidly approaching teen-hood.  Add in the boys that are now quasi-members of our teen zoo and all the buddies that drop in for food hang out here, and there is a distinct lack of brain cells circulating in this house.  Parenting teens is a great exercise in multiplying fractions.  One teen, one brain.  Two teens, half a brain.  Three teens, a quarter of a brain.  The herd of teens running around our house?  Oiy!
For the uninitiated to this teen phenomenon, it goes something like this.  Teen brain wakes up and realizes it has a sister.  Down to half power.  Somehow, the brain still manages to get ready for school.  Then the teen body carting this brain around steps onto the school bus where most of the remaining brain cells get sucked into a vortex of co-mingling teen brain.  One of my kids says she sleeps on the way to school.  I think she is actually experiencing a state of shock while her brain tries to adjust to the current loss of function.  Or perhaps she is getting ready to bail out any remanining cells upon entrance to the great brick building called high school.  It really is an amazing phenonenon to behold.  High school functions in some special kind of time warp.  Distinctly separate from the reality most adults inhabit.  The teen brain just doesn't stand a chance.  The vortex of brain cells is too strong.  Soooooo... when the teen steps back off the bus in the afternoon, still reeling from the onslaught of "teen-brain-itis" and with teen friends in tow, we are dealing with something like a genetically altered version of the kid that slept at our house the night before.           

The sharing of brain cells has resulted in, well... teenagers.  With all the prerequisite loss of logic.  And a hefty dose of sass.  With some pouting thrown in for good measure.  My husband has always relegated dealing with teenagers to me.  Something about having all girls and possesing the respective anatomy.  Like estrogen is some mystical element vital to accessing a teen girl's brain.  He fails to understand that there is very little brain left to work with and I am actually an adult and therefore, by nature, thrown out of the teen-brain loop.  But I've gotten used to dealing with teen-brain.  Perhaps a better description is that I'm a bit numb to it.  I've developed a strong resistance to getting sucked into teen reasoning or reacting to erratic behaviour.

I should know better than to leave poor hubby unattended during an outbreak of teen-brain-itis.  Really.  He is inaduquately prepared.  And missing estrogen.  But I left the house briefly last night with one of our teens to return a boy to his actual place of residence.  When I returned, hubby described the horrific aftermath of my less-than-60-minute desertion.  The remaining teen ran into computer problems trying to print out a report.  Functioning on end-of-the-day brain power, this was a serious issue and quickly escalated to falling apart.  Enter unprepared dad.  Sensing rapid loss of control of said situation, he reacted the best he could.  He gave our 16-year-old a TIME OUT.  Pointing to a chair and everything.  Needless to say, this did not go over well with said teen.  By the time I arrived home to plug the printer in, dad and teen were nearing some cosmic eruption of epic proportions.  Yes... I just said, PLUG THE PRINTER IN.

Have I mentioned the vortex that seems to have engulfed our home?  And that it feeds off of teen brains?  And that we will have a third teen in January and a fourth teen in a year and a half?  Multiply by all the additional kids hanging out here and it sure makes for interesting life at the little brown house on the hill....

Sooooo... since I can't seem to catch a picture of a teen detatched from other teens, I'll leave you with a photo of hubby and me.  This was taken a couple of days before the printer issues, so there may be a bit more gray in hubby's hair now....



Saturday, October 2, 2010


Oldest kid is 16 now.  Oh boy....

Seems like just last week, the BIG QUESTION of the day was what color cup the Victor of the cup-o-war got to use for dinner.  Yup.  Cup wars were big around here.  Whining, shouting, tears, hair-pulling.  Whatever it took to win the covetted cup.  And woe to mom if the pink cup was not washed in time for the meal.  Not that it deterred the battle.  The troops would just duke it out over the second-favorite color... 

But now, the BIG question is about car keys....  I hopped into the driver's seat last week 'cause we were running late to church.  From the excessive amount of pouting that ensued, you would think that I had committed a far greater sin than gyping the kid of 20 minutes of driving time.  Like maybe something along the lines of withholding chocolate.  Or telling the diaper story.

Soooo... for the past few months, Hubby and my dad have been busy checking out Clunkers-by-the-side-of-the-road.  Both guys have been regularly reporting on trucks and cars parked in the weeds.  Oh boy!  A grown-up-male (oxymoron?) version of the cup war.  At least the guys don't have enough hair to resort to hair-pulling....  Really, I didn't take the competition too seriously.  I figured the challenge was just barely heating up.  No time-outs had been issued or even threatened.  I was sure we had months of car one-upmanships to endure before a winner was declared.  Until dad called up mighty proud of himself.  Guess what he found?  Um hmmmm...  Dad is Victor of the clunk-o-war. 

Actually, I'm not even sure it qualifies as a clunker.  Hubby has had every tire and tube and gasket and what-all-else torn off the little white car in his quest to inspect the winning clunk.  And hubby would show no mercy if he felt the clunk was not properly qualified for ferrying his daughter back and forth.  But all he could find was a gasket that needed replacing.  Huh.  Go figure.  A clean win.  With no messy battles or fist-fulls of hair.  Victory by sneak-attack before battle was even fully declared.  Score one for dad!  

I'd celebrate dad's win, but I'm guessing both contestants are out scouring the roadsides for clunk #2.  Second kiddo starts driving on a permit in June...  

And oldest kiddo?  She figures she made out pretty well in the clunk war.  Until it's time to pay for gas.  Maybe then she'll let me drive to church....  

Monday, September 27, 2010

Safe church...

Hmmm...  a bunch of us went for "safe church" training this weekend.  We learned all about protecting the parishioners; especially children, youth and the elderly, from all kinds of nasty abuse.  Yuck.

Then, on Sunday, our youth group met with our new rector.  And promptly knocked him flat playing a game.  Hmmmm... apparently safe church training forgot to cover protecting the rector from the youth!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


My little girl went to camp!
I know, I know... pretty typical.  Lots of kids go to camp.  But for our third kiddo, camp is a REALLY BIG deal....  This extra-special young person has extensive disabilities.  Lots of typical stuff is difficult for her.  Keeping up with her classmates... well, that is a dream for us.  But kiddo's 7th grade class was spending a week at Camp.  We sure didn't want Smiley to miss out on the experience!

The theme for the week was, "stretching your rubber band."  I do love that image.  Everyones' rubber band is different.  For some, going on the zip-line or swinging on the giant swing was stretching the rubber band.  For our kiddo, walking through the woods over rocks and roots was stretching.  So was staying overnight for two nights with her classmates (and mom). 
Keeping up to her small group for an hour-long game walking all over the campus with frequent bursts of running was a challenge.  Climbing 1/4 mile of a mountain... yup, that stretched the rubber band. 

And climbing part way up a ladder... BIG STRETCH!

I am sooooooo very proud of this kid!

See that smile?  We saw an awful lot of it last week!
And this smile?  Easy-peasy... we got all the *boys* to stand behind the photographer....

Yup, pretty typical girl, she is!

Have a happy day! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

totally random...

My kids never cease to amaze me!  This is 11-year-old's self portrait.  WOW!!!  She's always drawing and just pops out sketches like this!
She drew this looking in the mirror, but I took a picture of the kiddo to show you the amazing accuracy!  Ok... I know I'm biased, but I think she's a pretty phenomenal artist! 
And kiddo #3 loves looking at photos, but will seldom cooporate to take a picture.  I actually managed to catch her attention the other day and snapped several cute photos of her.  I love this one of the two of us! 
And one more quick, happy thought!  We had our first youth group meeting this weekend!  I love this crew!  Ok... the crew is considerably better-looking than this quick characterization, but I don't post photos of the group.  So I'm just leaving you with a sketch of the smiles that accompanied a whole lot of laughter!  And, yes, we have two thumbs up in the actual photo!

I'll be off camping most of the week with kiddo #3!  Think of us when you are snug and warm and it's 40 degrees and raining out there....

Have a great week!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Crazy 'bones!

Got trombones?

There must be some mutant, renegade gene that determines trombone aptitude.  So far as I can see, playing a trombone goes way beyond a certain musical style.  There seems to be a "fun" gene involved in the makeup of a trombonist.  Could you really choose to play an instument with that great slide if you had no intention of poking people with it?  And can you picture any goofier instrument?  Trombonists can take a note, dump it off its line, drop it several spaces, then swoop it back up to where it started again.  Without taking a breath.  Sometimes intentionally.  Sometimes while trying to remember in what position the note is really supposed to be played....  For a trombonist, there is a delightful inconsistancy to notes.  We can play any note a little sharp or flat.  Or a lot sharp or flat.  So much that it sounds like a whole different note, even....  We don't tend to take ourselves (or anyone else) too seriously.  Is it any wonder that there is generally plenty of laughter coming from the trombone section in a band? 

I'm glad to say that I have plenty of trombones (and trombonists!) in my life!  "Thing 1" (one of the guys from a goofy town band I play in) invited the rest of the trombone section over to his house this week. Where there is laughter, there is warmth.  Yup... lots of warmth in this section!
I really don't have enough words to describe the evening.  We laughed, we talked, we joked, sorted blueberries, made pie, played music.  But it was the little things that made the evening special.  Like the birthday hat on the mailbox marking the driveway.  Or the two blueberry pies due to an animated discussion about the merits of grahm cracker crusts verses traditional crust.  (Not to mention crumb topping or crust top and the question of how much sugar is neccessary for a blueberry pie...)  It was the music we played.  'Bone-caroling.  Christmas music in August.  It was the comfort of sitting with friends, chatting and sorting blueberries.  Or swapping trombone mischief stories.  The peacefulness of standing on the deck looking over trees and a treehouse.  Or trying the myriad of very strange and wonderful instruments that "Thing 1" and "Moe" had with them.  Joking about breaking kids.  Or very big shoes.  Or "Curly" going back for her third and fourth pieces of pie.  The random jokes that make us all grin.

Another piece of the evening... friendship.  Shared experiences.  This was Lucie's trombone section.  She would have loved the evening.  It was bittersweet to gather without her.  Yet she, of all people, would have been quick to proclaim, "sweet!"  And it was. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My funny bone is temporarily not ticklish.  The last week has been full of ups and downs.  Good times and hard times.  Laughter and tears.  Leaving me in an unusual, contemplative mood.  And I don't feel like sharing.  Hmmmm... and yet, I blog.  So, today's post sounds a lot like the trumpets at our last concert.....................................................................................................................................
Sorry for the silence.....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trumpets? Trumpets?

Have you ever experienced a band concert with no trumpets?  We had four measures in the middle of one piece that sounded kind of like.............................................................................  Ummmm... yup.  That's what it sounded like!  Then the trombones came back in with the counter-melody.  But what I want to know is, why did the audience clap for the invisible trumpets and stop clapping for the trombones???  I mean, c'mon!  Always clap for the trombones!  We're sensitive.  (Did you fall for that one?)

Hmmmm... band director #2 announced that I have enough sass to make up for our missing trombonist...  During the concert even.  Sass is good, right???  Must be 'cause trombones are full of it!  And when we have our full section back, we'll really whup those trumpets!  (Whup would be the musical term for "play a lot louder".  Trombones are also well know for whupping at "pp" signs...)

By the way, I love concerts!
I get to pretend to be a grown up!
Right down to my toes!
Well... almost!

And one more quick kidbit...
Apparently, the wait for pie was a *little* too long for kiddo #3...

Have a fun day!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I love it when the kiddos blurt out a bit of "mom-trivia" that makes me grin!  A few days ago, I was brushing my hair when kiddo #4 materialized behind me... "mom, you're beautiful."  I chuckled and said, "no, not really, but thanks!"  The youthful little eyes behind me got all big and wide.  The eleven-year-old-unbelievably-horrified look.  "No, Mommy!  You really ARE beautiful!"  Gotta love the world according to youngest kiddo's rose-colored glasses!  And, hey!  I am beautiful to my kiddo!  I'm happy :o)

And last night, oldest kiddo and I went for a late-evening drive.  With the sole purpose of Mickey-ing a buddie's car.  Oh, such a stealthy mission!  We parked a little past his house, were careful not to slam the car door, and worked under the cover of darkness.  As she hopped back in our car and we made our get-away, my kiddo laughed and blurted out, "I'm so glad you're my mom!  Not many parents would think it's ok to go out at night for something so fun!"  (Just for the record, Mickey is a bright pink antenae-topper.  Not the more sinister, Webster's definition of Mickey-ing something!)

Then there is kiddo #2, who is playing around with a new look.  Lots of black, funky sneakers, colorful hair, wild prints, homemade chain neclaces, bracelets, anklets.  Really a pretty cool look!  But it is tweaking a friend of hers who is horrified by all the black.  Kiddo 2 has been wishing for black lip stick.  She knows it will get tweaked buddy going!  And she thinks it is "cool."  (Or whatever today's word for cool is...)  So, while at the big-W-store, I picked up the darkest lipstick I could find for her.  Not quite black (might have to wait for Halloween), but dark enough to become mom-of-the-moment!

I'll enjoy being popular while I can!  Soon enough I'll be pestering them to do their homework.  Then my popularity might decline significantly...

Well... enough silly for today!  With the kiddos all off to school, it is time to get back on the work-wagon! 

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Freshman orientation...

Yup... sassy kid is ready for freshie day!
She had a blast!  Today all the kiddos are gone.  The house is sooooo quiet!
Have a happy day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

40 continued...

I had a beautiful, sunny day for turning 40!  As evidenced by all the squinty-eyed photos...  Soooo... how does a sassy, goofy, dorky 40-year-old celebrate?  Ummm... about the same as any typical sunny, summer day!  Blueberry picking!  Oh!  My 15-year-old offered to chaperone me for my birthday.  She *swears* she meant chauffeur, but, hey!  Another year older, I'm sure I can get into a bit more trouble, too!  Actually... we got half-way to our intended picking spot & had to return for my purse.  Then, after all my triple-checking to make sure all the girls used the bathroom before we left, guess who had to pee in the woods?  Yup... maybe I need a chaperone more than a chauffeur...

Sooooo... when we finally got to the top of the mountain for a 2:00 picnic (ooops!), we discovered that the wild berries are gone.  Well... they're still hanging on the bushes.  But they have become "leather berries".  Or perhaps "blaisins".  Our dry summer seems to have hurried them through their life cycle.  Thank goodness for a beautiful view, nutty kids and a whole lot of laughter!  And a chaperone who liked the idea of another hour of driving curvy back roads.  (Hmmm... is there such a phenomenon as a 15-year-old kid who *doesn't* like the idea of extra driving time?)  Although, I wonder if she was having a little too much fun on some of those curves?  Maybe I should worry a little when we are headed down a steep, twisty hill and I hear "whoooooo!  Mom, this is like a roller coaster!"

By the time we arrived at blueberry fields #2, we had about 20 minutes of picking time.  And the kids wanted enough berries for pies.  Thank goodness they are old enough to actually *help* with the picking now.  We managed 5 lbs. of berries in that tiny window of time!

Then it was off to my parents' house for dinner with the family!  An evening full of laughter!  My favorite way to celebrate!  Oh!  Poor hubby kept trying to figure out what to do for my birthday.  He tried sending me to a quilt show.  Or to a fair.  Poor guy... foiled again!  I refused to go anywhere big and splashy.  I just wanted a sunny day filled with family and friends.  (Perhaps he put in the order for that gorgeous sunshine?  It was much appreciated!)

While we were playing a goofy card game (in which my brother-in-law and I completely whipped the competition), kiddo #3 decided that she was staying overnight and headed up the stairs for bed.  I love that the routines at Nana and Boppa's house are just as familiar as home!  My dad brushed her teeth, played the "over-jammie, peek-a-boo game", kissed Barney (the favorite toy) and the kiddo goodnight, and she settled right down for an impromptu overnight.  Which gave the rest of us a bit longer to visit.
And when we got home, this bright, happy sunflower was waiting on our porch!  I had no idea who it was from, until we found this little signature...
Yup... I've been Mickey-ed!  My buddy and I have a long history of swapping car decorations back and forth!  It's always such a silly surprise to find a new bit of humor on the side (or antenae) of the car!  This is the first time a plant has arrived wearing car decorations, though!  Oh, I laughed and laughed!

And to finish up a wonderful day, a teenaged buddy stopped in at 10:30 to say happy birthday.  (And to make sure his mom's Mickey arrived safely!)  The oldest two kiddos, teenage buddy and I sat around laughing and joking for nearly an hour!  And you know it is a good buddy when oldest kiddo comes downstairs in striped pajamas to visit! 

Oh!  It was a wonderful day!
Have a happy day!