Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer 2012 ~ Part 6

We finally get Hopie at the beginning of July.  We had a blast celebrating the Fourth with her and other family members and friends.  It's way too cool to be able to just sit on our deck or swim and watch the fireworks put on by the Hebron Volunteer Fire Dept. No worries for parking, bathrooms or snacks!  Nothing beats a small town!  Not a thing.

Like her sister, Sarah, Hope also loves to scrap book and do paper crafting.  For her this go 'round it was scrap booking.  I figured if we didn't get to the paper crafting she wanted to do, Sarah could help her.  This is what my dining room look like for the majority of July.  It was only "cleared" away to make room for meals.

Actually, this is pretty clean compared to most days!
Hope was no different in her energy level.  We had much to do, but a little more time to do it in! 
Hope pressed on every day to work on her scrap book.  She was making a gift for her adorable little niece (my very first Great-grandie).  So every day we took out and put away the projects at hand.  Every.  Day.   
But when I they needed a break the Mario Marathon continued . .  . with the same scenario.  PTL for Ben ~ but he even grew weary at times.  Goldilocks showed him no mercy either (pushing him off the screen ~ by accident of course ~ or causing him to take a lava bath, or get eaten by those "things" that lurk around or by just being 7 and playing Mario).  But after much agony or maybe just the need to play the game, he would succumb to our their pleadings for help.  And all would be good for a while.
When we they tired of that, or Ben wouldn't help, they did the next best thing:  "Just Dance"!
Can I say hardwood floors come in handy when you have busy, energetic kids sliding around.

All furniture is moved back. Girls had to spread out lest one should get conked in the nugget. 
Don't mind the laundry basket ~ that's as far as I made it ~ or the lamp ~ we were still in transition with Kelly's move.  Such is life.  Just keepin' it real here.

To add madness to mayhem, Paul brought over bubble wrap for them to dance on! 

There were puppet shows to put on.  I'm so glad imaginations run rampant in our family!  I'm not sure, but by the looks of it, I think they paused Lion King to use as a backdrop. Don't quote me on that.  The puppet with the big blue eyes is Rease's.  She made it in school.  It scares people around here, so I'm told.

And of course, the trek to Tyaskin Wharf.  Word spreads quickly when treasures are to be found. The tide was too high again, but Hope did find a couple little doo-dads.  Not all was naught.

The Bear Hug!
The Treasures
Of course they swam in the pool, played, read, cooked and bickered.  But, all was well and right with our world.  Memories were made.  Lives were bonded together. 
Then, before we knew it, it was time to head back.  Where had the month of July gone?  It's never easy saying goodbye to your grandies.  Never.  My heart was heavy.  Very heavy.
Tears ~ an understatement.  I swear, I hate goodbyes.  JUST. HATE. THEM!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer 2012 ~ Part 5

The next few weeks will be a blurry whirlwind ~ non-stop activity ~ and gone before we can blink.

We picked Sarah-Sponda up the day after we got home.  The kiddos here were still in school and it gave Sarah and I some "one-on-one" time.  And let me tell ya, that gal kept me hoppin'!
She was able to go to Helena's awards ceremony and Rease's 5th Grade Night (which basically is 5th grade graduation ~ which means Rease is now in Middle School ~ another story by itself). Where has Time gone?  Away, you say?  I say, I must agree.

But until the other two were home for the summer we:
Visited Hobby Lobby ~ A LOT
We visited Goose on the Roof ~ A lot ~ my girl is hooked on antiquing and all things "Ball blue canning jars" ~ yep, and of course, vintagey, edgy, kinda girly in a 30's kinda way. We bonded like glue - me and her, baby, we were stuck like glue!
We she paper crafted ~ A WHOLE LOT (Sarah didn't scrapbook this time around, but that didn't stop her from buying scrap booking paper ~ you know, just in case) This is what my living room looked like for most of the summer:

This is just the floor ~ the desk was equally cluttered with paper goodness. She had all kinds of help from Itty Bitty.  I had have a desk behind the sofa (on that drop cloth you see there) that I was am going to chalk paint and put in the computer room.  Well, it was confiscated by Sarah.  There she sat, much of the days, paper crafting and watching Bones on Netflix. It had her ~ hook, line and sinker.  Now lest you think that's all this bundle of energy did, let me just add in a few more things that she/we squeezed into her agenda.  Let's see ~ there was the Mario Marathon ~ the more players, the merrier, but the more frustrating.  Death for someone was inevitable ~ usually at the hands of Goldilocks because she would get in fast and furious pace a "push us off the screen"  and kill us. Painful. But, alas, Ben, our "go to guy" would bail us out of hours of endless deaths trying to get from one level to the next so we could advance to another world ~ just to keep the insanity going!

Then we have pool time:

Sarah tried so hard to get Baby Girl to jump to her.  No, no, no.  Nothin' doin'.  So, next best thing ~ she just jumped in with her.  Itty Bitty is holding on to her goggles ~ just in case :).

We had to take a trip to Tyaskin Wharf.  Sarah wanted to go "treasure hunting" in the worst kind of way, but the tide was too high to travel to the "dig" site.  Maybe next go 'round?

Can you tell she's in Band Guard? 
But, I think the thing that was most enjoyable was Strawberry pickin'.  There's just something about that sweet, warm smell coming up from a sun baked earth ~ fruit leaving sweet scented stains on your hands, and the very sight of overflowing buckets of goodness picked by your own berry stained fingers!
 There's a "Squishy" in every pick!
"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and
he shall be my Squishy . . ."  Dory - Finding Nemo

See those berries in that shirt?  They got us in trouble.
Well, we thought we could top off
another bucket we had ~ but they wouldn't fit.  We tried to look pitiful
when we went to pay ~ but the girl very politely said they only charged
for "full" buckets ~ indicating that we weren't getting those berries for free!
 (we could either forfeit our hard work or suck it up
and get another bucket and fill it using our shirt-tail full as a "jump start")
You didn't have to ask us twice!
 We made pies.
Sarah licked the goodness from the pot. 
Then we she decided, as if that weren't enough, to make Strawberry Bread, and Strawberry Muffins.
You use frozen berries for those two things ~ and I think we let them thaw a Little.  Too.  Long.
Our bread was soggy as were the muffins.  But. . . . they were tasty none-the-less.
Of course while she was here we had to have Delmar Pizza and WAWA hoagies!  An "Eastern Shore Thang" and a family tradition.
Although she was only here for ten or eleven days, we packed a summer full of activities in that time frame.

And tears fell like rain when we had to say "Goodbye".   I hate goodbyes.  Just. Hate. Them.

P.S.    We can't forget the Strawberry Shortcake coffe after a morning swim!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer 2012 ~ Part 4

On the road ~ again.  I hate good-byes.  Just hate them.

To take my mind off things I decided to try to photograph old barns along the way.  Seeing those old tobacco barns in Lexington triggered my excitement, but alas, I wasn't quick on the draw when it came to snapping the pics and I didn't get any of the tobacco barns.  My brain was daydreaming elsewhere I guess, but I did get other barns.

This is an example of some that I snapped as we moved merrily, but very quickly, along.  I love that you can see their age and purpose.  That they are still being used.  They stand like old friends, devoted to someone and their job.  I think I developed a love affair with barns on the trip home. 

We decided to take the alternate route home this trip.  Alternate being I-81 instead of whatever it was we took to get to KY.   I like this route.  It's a trucker's route.  It has inclines and declines that make your vehicle cry.  It has curves around the mountains that make you think for sure you're going to kiss your backside at any moment.  But it has some precautionary measures too.

The little yellow sign indicates a 7% decline.  Ultimately, you feel like you're going to top out
at ~ let's say ~ 125mph 500mph. 
All backseat drivers with good breaking skills are encouraged to use them!
Notice the vehicle in front of us? Yea, having a hard time staying in one lane.  I feel his pain.
Coming up the incline, however, I felt I could get out and run faster.  Just sayin'. 
It's really hard on your car, truck, van. . . . . .your heart.

This little sign tells you something your body already knows ~ for the next 1.25 miles you are going around a curve that could cause your car to come off two wheels (or more).  Please drive at 55mph.
Can we say: "kissing our tail lights here"?

Then we have these little gems tucked along the way for
comfort, reassurance and, well, in case you've topped out at
your maximum speed and things are looking a little hairy. 
They are designated for the "Big Rigs",
 but at 500mph, I have no pride!
But the real reason (as if taking our lives into our own hands isn't enough) we come this way is this little gem:

The coolest rest stop I have ever seen.  It looks like something straight out
of the "Jetsons"!  It is a circular building with a court yard in the middle. It is
full of little shops featuring local artisans.  Pottery, furniture, fishing stuff, books,
nic-nacs, quilts, clothing, artwork, food ~ including a kiosk featuring Greenbrier.
Too many items to mention.  I could browse all day in this place. 
Most items are quite pricey ~ but the hand made quality can't be beat!
But, alas, window shopping must come to an end and we need to resume our homeward bound journey.  We are getting road weary (and a little woozy from all those ups-n-downs and round-n-rounds) and we all know ~ Time waits for no man.
So off we go ~ toward the Eastern Sho'.
 To break the everlasting boredom of the road, (yes, barns were eluding me)  I set my sights on other things to snap.  These looked like good specimens:

Who says water towers are hum-drum?
And then the occasional puffy cloud animal:
Baby Elephant in the sky
How'd you get up there so high?
And some twelve plus hours later we arrive in good ol' Hebron.
But, "be it ever so humble, there's no place like home". 
Unless, it's KY.
Then starts our summer back  here at the ranch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer 2012 ~ Part 3

Between the major events of our visit we tried to squeeze in some of the necessary things of life. We didn't make it to Erica's games, but were able to see her practice.  Can I just say it was hotter'n Hell Hades?  Yep, it was. Stinkin' hot. 

Don't let the size of this wispy little thing fool you.  She has passion.  She strikes with a vengeance.  She sets her sights and shoots for the mark.  She excels in the sports she plays.  I would want her on my team. 

We even made some "one on one" time with our oldest and one and only grandson.  I love this boy!
One. Boy. Out. of.  Eight.
We climbed into good Ol' Bessy and headed out for ice cream.  Sorry girls.  Even your brother needs
some away time!  All those raging hormones, it's a wonder he's even sane!
He's a good boy and I love our talks.  Did I say, "I love him!"?  I do!

Our time there passed way to quickly.  Before we knew it we were on the road home.  Sarah and Hope left a day before us with their other grandparents.  We would retrieve them once we got home and got all the details ironed out.  Then our summer in Maryland would officially kick off.

I hate good byes.  Really hate them.

Summer 2012 ~ Part 2

Sometimes when you pray for something specific for someone you don't always get instant gratitude.
And then it happens.  Answers to many prayers ~ the fruit of hard labor ~ the end of an old era and the beginnings of a new one.

Graduation Day.  A welcome event for anyone who has struggled to get to that point.  A blessed event for the parents of that someone.

We are no different.

We are thankful.

We are proud of her.

There she is!  Right in the middle.  With her diploma!

She did it! A job well done. 

Were the struggles worth it?  All the tears, the heartache?  The unknowing moments of her life?  The mistakes?  The huge trials?  The long awaited triumphs?  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I think this one says it all and points to a much bigger picture.

Summer 2012 ~ Part 1

Well, summer is nearly at an end ~ as far as time off is concerned.  It really doesn't end 'til mid September, but school starts here in just a few short days, and for all intents and purposes, summer is almost over.  So I'd better get busy and re-cap these past few months ~ which by the way, flew by at the speed of light!  Can I just say:  "Whoa, Nelly!"

We started our summer going to KY to see our clan there.  We had two special reasons to go this trip (not counting the love we have for that gang).  First was to celebrate Baby A's first birthday! And secondly to see our oldest grandie-girl graduate!   But as we all know, life has a way of throwing a monkey wrench in our junk!   Ol' Bessy, I think, is on her last leg.  I'm prayin' for a merciful death only after we have replaced her!

This is how the first half of our 12 hour journey looked:
Poor Bob.  It was a bad waiting game for a man with little to no patience.
We spent as much time waiting for her to cool down as we did driving it seemed. Oh the glory of it all. Not much to do other than snap a few shots of the beauty of the area. We were stopped at a popular rest stop to "cool down". I-68 is a pass cut thru the mountains and the rest stop is a dedicated Vietnam War Memorial

The Rest Stop

You can walk up a million steps to the walk over.  I've gone up the
steps before, but didn't have the guts to cross over the interstate below!
The interstate with the mountain on each side.  Quite breath taking, and
quite intimidating!

Felt like you could see for miles! Well, actuall, you can. It is
breathtaking to say the least.  It makes my heart yearn for home.

We made a couple more "necessary" stops before we got to KY.  All in all we did okay.  It was what it was.

Once we arrived in the land of horses, we hit the ground running, and working (to fix Ol' Bessy) and playing, and running some more. 

Presents first.  While we're still clean.

 Um  . . . . see the tears running down her chest?  We were taking
waaay too long!  Ah, but notice the eyes.  Oh yea.  Something's
getting ready to happen.

Only when you're one can you get away with this!!  I believe she even had it up her little nose!

Let's take a breath. Pick up fresh in a bit. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Helena!

Happy Birthday, Goldilocks!
Eight whole years old ~ would you please slooooow down? 
I. Love. You.


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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........