Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer, a Poem by Julia

She keeps writing them, I keep posting them. My award-winning poet!

Summer, a poem by Julia E.

Soft summer breeze blowing through warm night air
Butterflies flitting around without care.
Bees collect nectar for a golden honeycomb
While on warm, starry evenings, deer and rabbits roam.
Birds call sweet notes from the boughs of trees,
While squirrels rest on warm house roofs, fat, lazy and at ease.
At the beach, from their watery sand caves,
crabs watch old sand castles topple down from the waves.
On those warm, starry nights in the month of July,
bright, booming fireworks rush into the sky.
In the sweet, fragrant meadows of lilac and flowers,
hummingbirds flit and sip throughout the sunlit hours.
Slimy, happy frogs splash in the lilypad pond,
while a meadowlark sings, perched on a willow wand.
Rose of Sharon bloom, and orange tiger lilies,
and horses frisk in pastures with their yearling colts and fillies.
The yards are green and lush, perfect for catching fireflies
against a starry, moonlit warm and perfect summer sky.
The swimming pools, the hummingbirds, the butterflies and bees
The treehouses, the spiderwebs, the lush green emerald leaves--
Oh, summer is and will always be the best time of the year
and in all the other seasons I hold summer memories dear!

Daily Quote

Genius is born--not paid.

--Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Daily Quote

One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child's name and how old he or she is.

--Erma Bombeck

The Shoebox

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years ... They had shared everything. They had talked about everything ... They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover.

In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $95,000.
He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

"Honey," he said. "That explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"
"Oh," she said. "That's the money I made from selling the dolls."

The above is a joke sent to me by my friend Julie. After I was finished laughing at it, I started to think about it. I don't know how to crochet, and I don't have such a shoebox in my closet. But maybe I should learn--because it does show a certain wisdom that I seem utterly unable to attain. A lot of women have been raised to keep quiet when they are angry, and sometimes I am that way. I have certainly had my passive aggressive moments--you know, like I can be royally ticked and when asked what the matter is I'll say shortly, "Nothing." However, most of the time I surprise myself by my willingness to argue over anything, and my seemingly unlimited capacity for nagging.

Our recently completed tree house is a great example. Matt made the offhand remark about a tree house back when we first moved into our house, but cautioned the kids that it wasn't going to happen for a long time--we had to paint the outside of the house, for example, and he couldn't even think of it till then. That project is finished, but the kids hadn't forgotten his promise (I think he had, though!) and so I took it upon myself to point out that this project should be taken care of before the kids actually all graduated from high school and left for college or parts unknown. Matt is a wonderful man--but he is a procrastinator of the first order. He is also a meticulous planner, something that my impatient nature kind of hates. Those two facts, coupled with the stupendously lousy weather we have had this spring, stretched the tree house project out over five agonizing weeks.

I don't need to go into the nagging itself, and I am the first to admit that hey, it worked! We have a wonderful tree house, the kids are having a ball. However, contrary to popular belief, I don't actually enjoy being a harpy, and it was only because I knew how patiently the kids were waiting, and how much fun they would have in it, and how much I need Matt to help me get the living room and dining room painted that I rode him so hard to get it finished. Matt and I have the sort of relationship where we are the best of friends and he expects me to be in charge--kind of an extension of homeschooling and spending all my time with the kids while he is natural that he doesn't want to step on my toes. So any picture you may have of Mrs. Oleson from "Little House on the Prairie" isn't on the mark!

However, what I'm trying to say is that I probably should try to have a mental shoebox of sorts, maybe save some of the really sarcastic remarks for myself. Or maybe I should learn to crochet and actually make the dolls. Ninety four thousand dollars wouldn't hurt, after all!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Swimming!

No sooner do I say it than Ben proves me wrong...he has joined the club and is swimming on his own now! We went to the pool yesterday, but I elected not to swim--I'd had a shower and washed my hair, and had plans for the evening to meet a friend for coffee, so I didn't want to have to rush home and go through getting ready all over again in addition to the whole dinner thing. Instead I brought a book I need to go through to take notes on programs and books I need for the fall. I was minding my own business, in the shade of the umbrella and taking my notes, while occasionally looking up to watch one or the other of the kids do some fantastic feat--when all of a sudden, it was Ben clamoring for attention. He was paddling along like he'd been doing it forever--it just clicked into place!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture. I didn't bother to bring the camera along--we were only staying an hour or two, and although he'd put on his suit, I didn't think he'd even get into the water since I wasn't swimming. As I've mentioned, he likes water the least out of any of the kids, and he'll often decide to play some sort of battle game in the yard rather than swim. I was glad he got into the pool--Emma and Julia always wonder why he isn't swimming and if he's having fun when he doesn't--but I didn't expect him to get adventurous.

First all the kids got out of diapers, then they were all finished nursing, then they all slept in their own beds, now they're all reading, all swimming--and in September they'll all be homeschooling. Bittersweet!


Daily Quote

Never put a sock in a toaster.

--Eddie Izzard

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I have been lazy about blogging lately--but I have to write about Emma learning how to swim! She actually accomplished this over a week ago; one day we were at our friends' pool and she asked if she could take off her life jacket. I readily agreed--she can stand on tiptoe in the shallow end, and it was hot enough that I was in the pool anyway. So she did, and she allowed me to hold her hands and help her to swim along, kicking her legs behind her. Then she asked to try it herself--and off she went! She was absolutely tireless, even wanting to head into the deep end. I put two swim noodles under my arms so that she could paddle along and grab onto either my hands or the noodles--and she was fearless.

Now it should be noted that Ben does not swim without a life jacket, so he wasn't terribly happy to see his two-years-younger sister swimming along like a duck. The next day he said he wanted to learn to swim, too, so I did the same with him. However, he completely lacks body fat--whereas Emma is a chubby bundle, he's more like a bundle of sticks!--and he had a much harder time staying afloat. He gets cold far faster, he has to kick much harder, and liking the water much less, he is tenser than Emma is. He did graduate to the point where he would swim in the deep end with a noodle, something he was never brave enough to try before, but he is not paddling along the way Emma does. I reassured him that we have all summer for more lessons and he'll get it as soon as he's ready, and Rachel and Julia helpfully pointed out that they were both later swimmers, 7 or 8 before they were confident swimming alone.

Anyway, I'm proud of my little girl, and joked that we should change her middle name from Grace to Goldfish!


Daily Quote

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.

--A.J. Liebling