Monday, January 28, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, January 28, 2013

Outside my window...  I'm going to pretend it isn't 38F (about 3C, for you metric friends), cloudy and raining, and that it's a beautiful sunny day.  And I'm we might as well imagine it has snowed and the house is filled with light, because the boys would love the snow and I would love the light.  'Kay?

Hearing...  the furnace is blowing, and I just heard the boys' bedroom door squeak, which means Tate has come up and started his school work.  Mr. Diligence, that's Tate.

Pondering...  this stained glass decoration I got from my MIL for Christmas one year.

Deep thoughts, people, deep thoughts.  Try to keep up.

Back to the story... My MIL, she pays attention.  She knows I love blue and she knows we're religious, so it's an angel, right?

But then there's the magic want, so it's a... fairy?  It's very ambiguous.

I've wondered if it's possible to break off the wand without damaging the rest of the piece, but I'm way too heavy-handed to try it.

So there, I've just cleared the air.  Because, of course, you needed to know that my theology doesn't include wish-granting angels.  Moving on...

Praying...  so many people sick.  Tate is getting over a cold and Gunnar is coming down with it, though that's - fortunately - an annoyance rather than a tragedy.  Folks we know are fighting cancer, recovering from TBI's (traumatic brain injury), and at least three are pregnant.  Not the same ones with cancer or TBI... just clarifying.

Thankful...  Kerry has a bunch of work right now, which is a huge relief.  Now, if the checks would just come in... (one of his jobs is for a government agency and it takes FOR-EV-AH to get paid.)  But we are in a warm dry house with clothes on our backs and food on the table.  Amen.

Wearing...  oh, I know you're all waiting on pins and needles...  gray jeans, a white turtleneck, a blue sweater, and wool socks.  Yes, Vogue and Glamour (or whatever the fashion mags are now) are just beating a path to my door.  *eyes roll*

Creating...  have finished two and am deciding what to do for the third baby quilt...

Going...  to rehearsal tonight.  All new music!  Since we did nearly the entire Messiah at Christmas, we're working on new pieces for the Easter concert.  I love learning new music, especially when it's Vivaldi ;D  We're doing a few pieces from Mendelssohn's Elijah and all of Vivaldi's Gloria.  I am loving it.  (If you want to listen, the University of North Texas has posted a performance of the entire work here,  I think they do a great job, though the second alto misses about four measures of her solo.)  And Mendelssohn?  I my favorites are He Watching Over Israel and Lift Thine Eyes, from Psalm 121.  You can hear them here.

Reading...  Winter Birds, finishing up my Jamie Langston Turner marathon.  She writes so poetically and thoughtfully, but occasionally a bit of dry humor peeks through.  She has a character say of her late mother,  for I was my mother's keeper for five months before she died of irritability, a condition that had started in her bowel years earlier but had metastasized to her mind and behavior by the end.

Learning...  all over again, to budget my time.  At the turn of the year we began new adult Sunday school classes, and mine has homework.  I like that.  And people do it, and come prepared to discuss.  We're studying Ephesians.  If the boys and I weren't (still!) working on memorizing Philippians I'd be tempted to try to learn Ephesians, but they're so similar in some ways, I'm sure I'd muddle it all up.

Also, two ladies from the chapel just announced an evening women's Bible study that I'd like to join.  Of course, I have rehearsals on Monday nights, then Bible study Tuesday nights, and homeschooling all week, and... and... and...

But I want to do this.  I want to study.  I want to get to know the women from the chapel better.

Looking forward to...  I love doing all this sewing, but it will be good to finish for awhile and get it all put away, and not have such a clutter in my office.  But then, I want to work on one for our bedroom, and a bed-size quilt is a big job for the likes of me.

In the learning rooms...  Wyatt is coming up on the end of the first semester (at public school) and has Wednesday off, presumably for the teachers' benefit.  He'll have the same three classes, first thing in the morning, so nothing changes for him.  Tate and Gunnar and I are still learning about China, reading about Eric Liddell and Matteo Ricci at the moment.  Tate is working on a research paper on Patton, (his choice).

Around the house...  thought I'd give you a peak :D

The Mother Load...  homework for the aforementioned Bible studies, numbering the measures in our new music (for easier reference during rehearsal), sewing, walking with Gunnar, and the usual round of everything.

Yes... oh my, look at the dust in that picture!

Noticing that...  oh dear, I really should be getting school going with the boys, but am trying to finish this first!  Priorities?

Something fun to share...  in that youtube clip of Vivaldi's Gloria, the lovely soprano who sings the second solo (at about 11:00) reminds me of my friend Jacqueline, who blogs here.  I've never heard her sing, but I imagine her singing like this woman.

A favorite quote for today...   also from Jamie Langston Turner.  She has another character comment about the music in church that singing little choruses to appeal to the new converts is like serving Spaghetti-Os to Italians.   Amen.

One of my favorite things...  right now?  The new music :D

A Bible verse...  I mentioned we're studying Ephesians.  Take a look at the first chapter for a moment and think about this, in the original Greek, verses 3-14 were all one sentence.  No, I'm not kidding.  Try to diagram THAT, I dare you.  Just two verses in one sentence is hard for me to chew on.  So I took them and broke it down a little...

                      In Him
we also were chosen,
       having been predestined
       according to the plan 
                    of Him
       who works out everything
                    in conformity
                    with the purpose
                    of His will,
in order that we
       who were the first to hope
                    in Christ
might be
                    for the praise
                    of His glory.

Not properly diagrammed, but it helped me see what it was saying better.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  school, school, school, sew, sew, sew, sing, sing, sing, study, study, study... yah.

A peek into my world...  maybe an overload of them?  One last photo...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Walk and A Brain Dump

1.  Yes, our cold, clear sunshine has left us.  And though I miss it, there are compensations.  We must have had an air inversion, holding in the cold weather and fog.  Not a breath of wind for days and days.   I didn't realize how stale everything was feeling until last night.  I've been reading in bed (it's warm!) and the wind picked up outside, bringing air in the window so fresh it smelled sweet.  The rain and breeze quite literally cleared the air.

You can see the haze, below.

2.  The gorgeous weather held on just long enough to get out for a walk with a bloggy friend :D 

Crystal brought her three boys into town to get some fresh air and doughnuts with my crew.

I have to confess how quickly I forget what it's like to have littler kids, and I charted a course that was a bit on the longish side for short legs, but they were good sports and we had a fun afternoon :D

It helped that there were fun things to discover, like the bottom side of several trees that have blown over in storms...

... including one that obviously served some neighborhood kids as a fort.

Some of the ponds had begun to freeze and the boys had fun testing the ice... you can see all six in this photo, if you really look.

The frost clung to everything.

But the biggest draw was the ducks.  Some other folks had brought some kind of grain for them, and had drawn a flock of about 50-60.

By their constant movement the ducks had kept part of the pond open....

... but it was much more fun watching them maneuver on the ice - especially when they came in for a landing.  If a duck can be surprised, these seemed to be as they skidded around!

3.  Oh the excitement of these January days...  /sarcasm.   Do you ever feel like the highlights of your life... aren't very high?  Or am I the only one?  If someone were to make a This Is Your Life it would have breathtaking moments like
*  clean the shower
*  get a bale of pine shavings for the bunnies
*  fold the laundry, and
*  don't forget to turn in the library books.


4.  I did remember that today is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day, which was fortunate, as they had nearly everything 25% off, and I found the black and white stripe I'd been searching for!  Perfect for bindings :D 

5.  Gunnar and I are (mostly) meeting our walking goals.  We had a longer-than-usual walk on Monday, so he asked for Tuesday off, but then we ended up getting plenty of exercise Tuesday evening, skating and sliding on our friends' pond!  I was a little leery, as the ice on our local ponds didn't seem very thick, but their pond is actually a flooded field - quite safe.  Even if the ice had broken, the water wasn't deep.  We had a bonfire, and hot cocoa, and two hours of slipping and sliding around the pond in the moonlight!

6.  Must get to bed early tonight, as I'm needed at 5:30 AM tomorrow.  Must get my parents to their shuttle, to get them to their plane, to get them to their cruise.  They're off for a week in the Caribbean on the S. S. Smorgasbord, or something like that.  I might be jealous if they didn't so abundantly deserve it!

And that's the news from my house.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, January 21, 2013

Outside my window...  fog, fog, and more fog. It's been days since I've seen a clear sky.  Or even a cloudy sky.  Any sky.  In compensation, the moist air and below-freezing nights coat nearly everything with a beautiful frost.

Hearing...  the dryer tumbling a "new" (to me, anyway) sweater I picked up at Value Village over the weekend, but otherwise the house is quiet.  Public schools have a holiday today (Martin Luther King Day), so Tate and Gunnar are taking the day off as well.  Wyatt, however, is catching up on some unfinished work from last week.  Because his middle name is P-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n. *sigh*

Pondering...  time management, as I'm taking on more activities for a season.

Praying...  for wisdom, grace, and kindness :D

Thankful...  that my hope is not in our government.  (Psalm 20:7)

Wearing...  blue jeans, white T, blue long-sleeve shirt... I think I need another layer, probably a sweater.  It's COLD today!

Going...  to meet a new friend today.  A bloggy friend is bringing her three boys over to go for a walk with me and my three boys, and we'll likely end up at our favorite local donut shop ;D

Reading...  Some Wildflower In My Heart, by Jamie Langston Turner, and enjoying it.  Also reading a biography of Eric Liddell with the boys.  I truly appreciate that Sonlight includes so many missionary biographies in their curriculum.  I love sharing these stories with the boys.  But... ACK!  I wish they were better written.  The content is great, but these biographies are sadly lacking in literary quality.

Learning...  more about the Age of Exploration with Wyatt.  We were just talking about Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer who first rounded the Cape of Good Hope and made it to India by sea.  Rather than nose his way SLOWLY south, staying along the coast of Africa, he swooped to the west (near South America) to take advantage of prevailing wind and current, in a day when such things were not as widely understood as they are today.  Interestingly, though, the Bible talks about the paths of the sea, Psalm 8:8, referring to the ocean currents.

Looking forward to...  due to Gunnar's persistence, we'll likely have my niece - Naomi - for a weekend next month.

In the kitchen...  maybe, under all that venison, I just might have some chicken in the freezer ;D

In the learning rooms...  oh heavens, it's a day off!  I'll tell you next week!

Around the house...  still enjoying my winter decorations - lots of blue, white, and silver :D

The Mother Load...  still working on cataloging a PILE of books to go on our new-ish bookshelf.  I have all the Sonlight world history books that I'll be going through with Tate and Gunnar over the next two school years.  I'd like to put them on the shelves, but - and I realize how unnatural this sounds - I don't want them to read those books.  YET.  I want to read through them all together.  But it's hard to imagine putting all those books out and saying Don't read these!  Do any of you do this?  Do you tell your kids not to read ahead?  At least not a year or two ahead?

Noticing that...  I finally found my what-do-you-call-it... it measures volume in decibels.  Because I was curious.  Remember I mentioned trouble with my washing machine?  (Because you're all hanging on the details of my household appliances, right?)  The bearings are going out, so it's loud.  How loud? That's what I wanted to know.  Nearly 90 decibels loud.  Yah, that's loud.

And not only is it loud, it's driving our electric bill up (harder for the motor to turn the drum when the bearings aren't pulling their share of the load, y'know).  My plan was to keep using the washer until it died.  I mean, like an old car, we might as well drive it into the ground, right?  But now I'm not so sure.  Our power bill was up SEVENTY BUCKS from the month before, and I don't think that's Christmas lights either.

And you know what else?  I'll give you three guesses who figured it out.

Something to remember for later...  Gunnar is industriously writing away in his secret journal.  And he keeps under lock and key.  Very mysterious.

Something fun to share...  you know what time of year it is?  It's almost...

Cadbury Egg season.  

I just though you should know.

A favorite quote for today...  

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.  
          P. J. O'Rourke

One of my favorite things...  boys doing chores.  Saturday morning I made a list and an hour later we were done.  I felt like the evil emperor's domestic cousin... Now witness the cleaning power of these fully armed and operational Grasshoppers...

A Bible verse...  you have to read this one in the old KJV...
Proverbs 14:4  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox.
No kidding.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  Gunnar and Kerry have Boys' Club tonight, while Wyatt and I are heading back into rehearsals for the Easter concert.  I love the choir - the people and the music - but it sure doesn't feel like much of a break since Christmas!  Boys have CAP tomorrow night and next week I'll be starting a Bible study on Tuesday night (extra commitments I mentioned...)  And we're all looking forward to Game Night on Saturday... Mexican potluck - yum!

Also, for any of you quilters and crafters out there, Thursday is "Support Your Local Quilt Shop Day". You can find a list of participating stores HERE.  Worth looking, as mine is having 25% off everything that day!  And they have exactly what I've been (unsuccessfully) looking for!

A peek into my world...

I love, love, love my flannel sheets.  Oh so cozy.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Brain Dump

*tap tap tap*

Hellooooo, anyone there?

1.  I'm turning in to such a slacker about posting.  That, and the fact that our Terribly Exciting and Fascinating daily life (ie  the endless climb up Mt. Laundry, dinner #67 of 101 Recipes with Ground Venison, and for-the-love-of-Mike-there-are-only-five-of-us-here-so-why-are-there-so-many-books-on-every-flat-surface) just doesn't exactly translate into gripping reading.

2.  To spice up the routine we've been watching episodes of BBC's Life series, which was a Christmas gift.  We already have Planet Earth and Blue Planet.  Yes, we love the breath-taking filming.  Not so much the incessant worship at the altar of evolution.  Blech.  We must have the British versions of PE and BP, with David Attenborough narrating.  The boys enjoy imitating his unique pronunciations of words like "algae" and "glacier".  But this new series?  I guess we have the American version.  Somehow the goggle-eyed praise-to-Darwin is so much harder to take in Oprah Winfrey's voice.  The episodes are 50 minutes, and I lost count at about twenty-three absurdities.  Now they're even claiming that a species learning a new behavior equals evolution.  (See my eyes rolling?)

3.  Evolution... maybe?  You've probably seen this floating around.  Golly-gee, maybe there IS something to the theory...

Referred to as "homo slackass-erectus", these creatures are created by natural genetic downward evolution through constant spineless posturing and spasmodic upper limb gestures, which new research has shown to cause shorter legs and an inability to ambulate, other than in an awkward shuffling gait.

The "drag-crotch" shape also appears to affect brain function.  Expect no eye contact or intelligent verbal communication.  Research shows this parasitic species relies on food stamps and full government care.  Unfortunately, most are highly fertile.

4.  In other news, our humdrum weekly schedule was interrupted on Wednesday by... (drum roll, please...) Kerry's annual colonoscopy.  I'll spare you the details.  Your welcome.  On the hopefully-not-TMI version, he is a champion polyp-grower, which is nothing like as great as being a champion pumpkin or apple grower.  In fact, he's so prolific at it, he has a condition with a long name I can't remember, and always makes me think of Mary Poppins singing... super-cali-fragi-listic-hyper-poly-posis... but is clearly not that much fun.  (And yes, you should read Dave Barry's account of his colonoscopy.  Just set down your drink first.)

5.  The bad news is that it took up all of Wednesday morning.  The good news is that I can leave the boys at home with their schoolwork and they get all or most of it done.  Hallelujah and amen.  If your kids are younger, well, your mileage may vary.  But your day will come.

6.  I've been industriously working on quilts.  Baby quilts, to be precise, but I can't show you.  I have no idea if my prego friends read the blog.  Probably not.  How could they have time?  They're each pregnant with their FIFTH CHILD.  But just in case, you'll have to wait.  The good news is that the dryer just beeped and the moment of truth is at hand for quilt #2.  (They don't look finished until they get all those lovely quilty wrinkles, IMHO.)  The bad news is that my office once again looks like the aftermath of an F4 tornado in a fabric store.  And Christmas is come and gone, so I can't hide the mess behind a "Keep out!  Santa's workshop!" sign, and pretend I have unwrapped presents lying around.

7.  Gunnar is having a very dramatic week.  In the first place, he and I have made a deal (and by "deal" I mean that I just told him this is the way it is) that we will go for a walk at least five days a week for at least 30 minutes.  He brings his watch and sets the timer.  He takes the "30 minutes" part very seriously and completely reinterprets the "at least" phrase.

So when I told him that we were taking an extra loop one day he commenced a fifteen-minute tirade (equivalent to the additional walking time) covering the injustice of life, the soreness of his back (?), and the unfairness of moms, until he lapsed, blessedly, into the Silent Treatment.

I've decided we'll add that loop at least once a week, and I have another one he hasn't seen yet ;D  I've also instituted a fine for complaining and arguing.

On the brighter side, Kerry has lost his keys so many times that he gets tired of looking and puts a bounty on them.  And that was the easiest five bucks Gunnar has ever made, which cheered him up considerably.   (I know!  Five bucks!  I'd have found them myself for five bucks!)

8.  We are nearly at the half-way point through our school year.  And there was much rejoicing.

9.  The boys prevailed on me to watch a movie with them last night - The Avengers.  And let me tell you, there's nothing like watching a movie whose intended audience is adolescent-boys-who-read-comic-books and being asked every ten minutes, "So how do you like the movie, Mom?"  Or, "Which avenger is your favorite?"  And let me tell you, it's a looooong movie.  Long enough to bind an entire quilt and do some hand-quilting.

And for the record, my favorite is the woman who beats the hooey out of three bad guys with the chair she is tied to.  Yah.

Happy weekend, friends :D

Monday, January 14, 2013

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, January 14, 2013.

Outside my window...  7:30 AM and just beginning to get light, but the sun won't be up until well after 8.  I love clear, cold, frosty days.

Hearing...  Tate brushing his teeth, the furnace blowing (hallelujah), and ice cracking in my glass of water.

Pondering...  how to lay out a quilt I want to make (I can see it in my mind), why quilting has to have so much math (grrrr!), and why can't I just use a pattern like a normal person would do?!

Praying...  Gunnar said he didn't feel well this morning but seems to be perking up - praying for him, for the rest of us to ALL avoid the flu bug, for Wyatt (nearly done with his first semester), and for all of us to be kind and gracious.

Thankful...  for how well Tate copes with the challenges related to his hearing, for the technology he has, and for all of our health :D

Wearing...  blue jeans, white T, blue sweater, wool socks, blue slippers... creature of habit comfort!

Creating...  oooo, I have projects I can't show yet!  Just finished one baby quilt, and have two to go ;D

Going...  to keep the boys moving forward on their schoolwork, to think ahead about this week's schedule, and to keep sewing.

Reading...  just finished Murder Down Under and am halfway through The Bachelors of Broken Hill, which are both old-ish mysteries set in Australia, featuring a half-aboriginal detective named Napoleon Bonaparte, aka "Bony".  Definitely not my usual genre, but well-written and interesting to me, having lived there.

Looking forward to...  (with mixed feelings) choir rehearsals starting up again next Monday - seems so soon!

In the kitchen...  venison in the crockpot, probably will be stew.

A couple of you have asked about cooking venison and about the taste.  Yes, there is a bit of a gamey taste, but the strength of that seems to vary from deer to deer and probably relates to what the deer have been feeding on.  If I have ground beef I'll sometimes use half and half (beef/deer) to mitigate that, but our freezer is so full right now that I'm not bothering with buying any meat!  When Tate and Grandpa went to pick up his deer, the butcher generously offered them a bunch of extra ground venison that another hunter had left behind.  (It's illegal to sell game meat, but perfectly okay to give it away!)  Anyway, we're using it "straight" and like it just fine in seasoned things like tacos, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, etc.

I prefer to get most game meat ground (elk roasts excepted!) as the other cuts are generally a fair bit tougher than the beef you buy at the store.  I mean, think about it.  Deer don't survive by being slow or stupid - they're much more muscular than your average cow.  Hence, the meat is tougher and much, much leaner.  (Butchers will sometimes offer to add fat to the ground meat to aid in cooking it, so it holds together better.)  I find that a full day in the crockpot will tenderize just about anything, so we have a lot of stew :D

In the learning rooms...  Wyatt - evolution (yes, we learn about the theory of evolution, we're not afraid to teach our kids what other people believe), the age of exploration, and part-to-whole fallacy.  Tate - standard/metric measurement conversions, the fossil record, and more paragraph writing (characterization and description).  Gunnar - launching into sixth grade math, more about nouns (common and proper, concrete and abstract), and another week of ungulates.  Tate and Gunnar - China, Hudson Taylor, Eric Liddel, and Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze.

Around the house...  trying to keep the chaos confined to my office and the family room ;D

The Mother Load...  oh boy, trying to keep up on the normal things (laundry, meals, etc) and get some sewing projects done.  In shocking news, piecing a quilt is much more fun than sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping ;D

Noticing that...  i've only got about a half inch on Tate and he's gaining fast!

Something to remember for later...  Gunnar just read Harriet the Spy, and then asked me for a notebook.  Must keep an eye on this ;D

A favorite quote for today...  the boys like to joke, To err is human; to blame the next guy, even more so.  But I kind of like, To err is human; to blame someone else shows management potential.

(Kidding!  Sheesh.)

One of my favorite things...  pulling a finished quilt out of the dryer with that all that wrinkly-crinkly-quilty-goodness.

A Bible verse...  Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life...

A few plans for the rest of the week...  schooling, CAP on Tuesday, Wyatt has a movie-night (at school!) on Thursday, and Kerry has a colonoscopy on Wednesday.  Fun times ;D

A peek into my world...  not exactly.

I didn't take the picture and cardinals don't live here.  But I like his cheeky look ;D

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brain Dump

Haven't done one of these for awhile...

1.  It snowed this morning.  And, no, I don't have any pictures.  Wyatt had just headed off for the bus (still dark).  Tate, Gunnar and I started our schooling around 7:30, and as soon as it was light enough to see out the windows they both noticed it.  GIDDY!  Sadly, it didn't stick down here, but all the hills are beautiful.

2.  I did get pictures of Gunnar, who finished his fifth grade math this week.  He was being silly.  And I - obviously - wasn't paying attention to context.  That's a globe, not a halo, behind his head ;D

We'll go ahead and start his sixth grade math on Monday.  I'm not rushing him, really.  He just zips through it.  I figure that this way, if it gets harder later, we'll have plenty of leeway to slow down.  Whatever.

3.  Tate is working on writing descriptive paragraphs.  I was going to publish his account of his first time up in the CAP plane, but then this morning he wrote this.  (I corrected his spelling, but that's all.)
The vehicle stops; Grandpa picks up binoculars.  Our guide scans the horizon ceaselessly, watching.  The far-off hills form a ridgeline in the distance, with groves of trees, clumps of brush, and rocks speckling their slopes.  Smaller rises and clusters of trees are on one side, a flat plain preceded by a hill covered in trees to the front, and a slow, gradual hill system on the other side.  And somewhere, somewhere out there, is my deer.

4.  Wyatt, well, Wyatt is doing great too, though I don't have anything to show you.  He got an 88% on his Biology exam (Mendelian genetics) and he's got the Punnet Square figured out.  Woot.

5.  And, Wyatt and Tate have both been promoted to Staff Technical Sergeant, at CAP.  I'm really proud of them :D  Though there was a bit of a bump in the road...  To promote they have to pass four different exams - an aerospace exam, a PT test, some other kind of written test (I forget what they call it), and a drill test.

Guess what is the hardest for Tate?  If you're a HoH mom you'd probably get it... the drill test.  They're in a room that's a big concrete box, the drill instructor shouts the orders (which often distorts his/her voice), and they must keep eyes straight forward - in other words, no lip/face-reading.

This is not a wildly successful strategy for the hearing impaired, KWIM?  

It took him three tries.  And I think they have to be on separate occasions (not three tries, the same night).  And the cocky young cadet officer who gave him the test, misplaced the record.  (Good thing Tate emailed the squadron leader to see if all his documentation was in order... it wasn't.)  So he emailed the cadet officer about it.

Now if that young gal had a clue (about anyone but herself) all she would've had to do was tell Tate that she would take care of it verbally... just go tell the squadron leader Tate passed.  Simple, right?  But her breezy solution was that Tate could just take the drill test over again.

Oh, flippant young princess, I think not.

I try not to be a helicopter mom.  For the most part, the boys "fight their own battles."  And Tate never asks for special treatment.  He never complains.  He just sucks it up.  Even when it isn't fair.  Or even close to fair.  And so sometimes I will be the Mother Bear advocate for him.

I spoke with the squadron leader.

Actually, they found the documentation, which is great.  But that wasn't really the problem.  Paperwork gets misplaced.  It happens.  It was the attitude of the cadet officer that didn't cut any ice with me.

Whew.  Switching gears...

6.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll get some time soon to do some quilting.  In our little chapel, we have THREE moms who are expecting.  And - in a weird coincidence - all are expecting their FIFTH.  Amazing. :D

7.  All day I've been glad to be home, because Tate and were going to be going to Children's today.  We had two appointments scheduled on consecutive Thursdays, but the audiologist was able to accomplish everything in one - yay!  I just realized I didn't post about Tate getting a new hearing aid - he did!  There's good news and bad news about that, but I'll save it for another post.

And now to look through my fabric... :D

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Woods In January

These winter days are long and short.
So little daylight for what feels like so very long.
Gunnar and I head out for a walk.
We grab every minute, when the sun does break through.

So did this hummingbird.
He was gone in a flash.
Probably an Anna's hummingbird,
which are known to winter over in the northwest.

We find a garden on a tree branch.

I'm hungry for color,
like these vibrant red rose-hips.

As we follow the trail into the woods, everything is dim and damp, even on a bright day.

Moss covers the trees and supports colonies of ferns.
These are licorice ferns, so named for the taste of the edible roots.

We pass a partially frozen pond, and watch for ducks.
If you've never seen ducks trying to land on a frozen pond,
well, you're missing a good laugh.

And then Gunnar notices something.

Just one tiny ornament.

And the hunt is on.

We find another tree, a baby hemlock, with just one red ornament.

And then more...

It's like a treasure hunt, looking for color in all that green.
Gunnar usually sees them first.

Until we find the jackpot, a wonderful little Charlie Brown tree.
a baby hemlock growing out of an old, dead-looking stump,
like the branch of Jesse.

Funny how deep in the woods it's all just damp, but back out in the open
everything is covered with frost.

Do you see this where you live?
The ground had been all white with frost until the sun came over the hill,
leaving a sort of melted sun-dial,
the shadows showing just how long the sun has been thawing the grass.

As the sun gets high enough to shine on the city,
you can see the fog lifting up above it.

And now it rains, and rains, and rains,
and we wait for another bright day.