Monthly Archives: May 2009


Raymond is off to Rome.

Saying goodbye was hard. Harder than I expected actually. I’m certain that is in part because I wish so much that he could come to Roanoke with me for my Grandmother’s funeral. There is no way something like that could ever be easy, but having him around makes everything a little easier . . . anyway, he had to go and of course I understand.

Fletcher got a little weepy at the airport, and that made it harder too. Lola Gray acted totally oblivious until we got in the car , then she sobbed for 20 minutes and said we could NOT go eat at Moe’s without Daddy. Fletcher agreed, he said it wouldn’t be the same without Daddy being silly . . . they will be fine, but they are really going to miss him.

So will I.

This afternoon the kids have played beautifully. We played outside in the hammock for a long time. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time there this summer, relaxing in the shade.

Now Fletcher is playing Harry Potter. Lola Gray has put on goggles and a swim suit 2 sizes too small and is swimming around the house and ringing a bell. I’m not sure what the bell has to do with anything . . .


Things to be happy about . . .

I have a lot of reasons to be unhappy right now. I miss my Grandmother so much; my heart aches for her. My husband is going away for a month and I’m not sure how I will smile without him. Need to keep reminding myself of all the reasons to be happy.

Like chasing chickens . . . 

dirty fingernails and ripe cherry tomatoes . . . 

baby toes . . . 

photos taken by children . . .

growing baby pineapples . . .

and baby figs . . .

and new garden fences . . .

and silly things my children leave for me to find . . .

Life goes on. And life is really, really good. Just need to remember . . .

Lazy, hazy, crazy days

We are now officially on summer vacation! I am so excited to be home with the kiddos enjoying those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!! The excitement I have felt building over the past few weeks has been squashed a bit by my grandmother’s illness (it’s only a matter of time now . . .) and the fact that Raymond is off to Italy for a month and I’m going to miss him like crazy. It will be just the kids and me all day every day . . . . that’s a good thing – as long as we don’t drive each other mad!

So, in an effort to regain my enthusiasm, I’m making a list of all the fun things we can do  – not quite 30 activities in 30 days, I’m not that ambitious. Plus, some activities (like the beach and the library) will most likely be weekly activities.  And I’m hoping we will spend many lazy days just chasing the chickens around the back yard. I’m betting we  won’t get through the whole list, but it will be fun to try!

• make Grass Heads per Ordinary Life Magic‘s beautiful example
• Wednesday story time at the library, followed by pizza lunches at Pizza Rustica
• make sidewalk “chalk” paint
thumbprint art – I used to have one of these books and loved it!
• make racing birds and set up a “track” in the backyard
• evening picnics at the beach!!
• teach Fletcher to tie knots with this nifty “tie board”
• make scented playdough
• make giant bubbles
• go to the movies! We almost never go to the theater, so it will be quite a treat for the kids
• cooking: I keep saying I want to get the kids in the kitchen more! Maybe we will try making donuts? Or this “dump” cake? And definitely need to try these fabulous play dough cookies!

We may be off to a bit of a bumpy start, but I’m really trying not to let it get me down. We have a long, hot, wonderful summer stretching out ahead of us just bursting with possibilities. I want to make the most of every drop of it!

The more things change . . .

the more they stay the same. While uploading video from Lola Gray’s school program, I came across this video from 2 years ago. Not much has changed, really. Our little Lola still does an amazing job of holding her own with the big boys. Fletcher is still as silly and wild as ever.

Peanut sat on the railroad track

Peanut sat on the railroad track
His heart was all aflutter
Along the track came the number 9
Toot! Toot!
Peanut butter! 

Can’t get this song out of my head. It makes me smile every time. Lola Gray’s end of school program was today, and it was wonderful. She is such a ham, and had a ball on stage. We recorded the entire program so everyone can watch – I think you’ll get a laugh out of it. 

Oh no! The video was too long!! This is the first half of the program. Will post the rest later. 🙂

A quiet place

We have a new hammock in the backyard. A quiet place in the shade to watch the chickens scratch and the kids play.

Quiet places are good. Thinking places. Napping places. There is something so soothing about the slight swaying of the hammock. I need that right now.

It hasn’t been the easiest of days. My grandmother is very sick and I am worried about her, worried about my mother, sad that while I was able to see my grandmother last weekend the children were not . . . it breaks my heart that they may not have any memory of her at all. . . 

But this is life, and it just keeps going whether we want it to or not. At least we have a quiet place in the corner of the yard where everything slows down a bit and we can just enjoy the now. I’ll deal with whatever comes next. But for now, I just want to rock quietly in the hammock with my kiddos and enjoy the sunlight filtering through the trees.

Visiting “home”

Fresh on the heels of a vist from Grandmama,  we headed off last week visit NayNay and Grandaddy! What lucky ducks we are! It has been years since I lived in Roanoke. In fact, I realized the other day that I have spent more years away than I ever actually lived there – but it still feels like home.

On the drive, Paddinton got some much needed repairs. Not the neatest sewing in the world, but the holes are patched and Fletcher is quite pleased with his choice of fabric (it matches our kitchen cushions.)

I always forget how sweet the air smells there in the spring. Honeysuckle and new grass and cool air.

Lola Gray calls Duke “Doot”.

Everything was incredibly lush and in full bloom. Lola Gray had a ball picking every flower she could reach off the dogwood tree – good thing she isn’t very tall!

We visited the Mill Mountain Zoo and the star, ate a lot of good food, and visited with family. But the big reason we were there was to celebrate my parents 40th wedding anniversary. Forty years! It’s pretty amazing to look back over the last 40 years and see how much the world has changed, how much the family they created has changed and grown. We got dressed up and went out for a wonderful dinner on Friday night to celebrate – no children. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time! (Of course we did not take a single photo!!) I hope Raymond and I make it to our 40th anniversary – we got married much later than my parents, so we will be pretty darn old by that point!

Having Boo home from London for the weekend was another highlight of the trip. She was busy with a friend’s wedding, so we didn’t see her as much as we would like, but it was such a treat to get to visit with her. I hate having my baby sister all the way across the ocean! (Until, that is, I am able to go and visit her!!)

The trip wasn’t all fun though. My 9o year old Grandmother Kathleen was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia on Saturday. She seems to be doing well, but at 90 you have to take everything seriously. It was hard to see her in the hospital, hard to see how much she has aged in the few months since I saw her last. Getting old is lousy – but it sure beats the alternative.

I wish so much that I could see my family more often. I hate that we live so far away, but I love that despite the distance and the months between visits Fletcher and Lola pick up playing with their cousins as if they saw them every day. They have so much fun together!

Still, it was nice to get home. The chicks seem to have grown while we were away! And so did the garden! The tomato plants are much taller than I am now, and heavy with fruit. (The upside down tomatoes aren’t looking very good unfortunately – I’m not sure if they grew too big for the containers or just got too much water in all the rain . . .)

And look at the size of that purple pole bean! I guess that’s what a week of straight rain will do!

There were too many wonderful photos from the weekend to post them all. Here is a slideshow so you can get the full picture – I really love the ones of the children playing in the creek!

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