Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thanks for waiting

You've been so patient. Thank you for that.


Dave the frog came to us 2 days before Christmas. December 23rd, 2009. He was a wonderful house guest. But he seemed...bored. I don't blame him. I tried to arrange his terrarium in new and exciting ways each time I cleaned it out. But honestly, there are only so many ways a girl can arrange a log, some dirt, and a water bowl that looks like a leaf. So as the snow melted and the days became longer, I knew that the day was coming. Dave's release date. May 21st, 2010. Just shy of 6 months. When I tell people about Dave, they are amazed he stayed alive, in captivity, that long. A few have even told me that they too have captured and tried to keep a tree frog but in the end, they were unsuccessful and the frog died. We did not capture Dave. We rescued Dave. From a cold parking lot, in the middle of a very brutal winter. I never intended to keep him. He is a wild thing, and wild things are made to live free. No...Dave chose us as his "winter resort" if you will. And I think he always knew his time with us was not forever.

We chose to release Dave in a neighborhood park not far from our house. It is secluded, tucked back from any busy roads. There is a pond there and a small stream. Lots of room to hop. Lots of bugs to eat. Hopefully a nice lady frog to settle down with and raise some tadpoles.

Can you find the frog? Amazing how camouflage he is, huh? God is amazing!!! He put all that work into a little, teeny, tiny frog! Just imagine what it must be like when He forms each one of us!

Grace was beyond thrilled to finally get to hold Dave. Up until his release, she had only held him once on the day we found him. He was so fragile and little that I only handled him when I cleaned out his terrarium. I was terrified that Sam would squeeze too hard and squish his froggy guts out, or that he would jump to the ground and Sara the cat would have frog legs for a snack!!!


She was very gentle with our rescued amphibian. And right after this picture was taken, he took a giant leap and began his life as a truly wild thing.


And Grace learned what it is like to love and let go. I cried too...it was a bittersweet morning.

We learned so much from Dave. I learned how to feed live crickets to an animal (you just throw 'em in there...there's really no skill involved other than having the stomach to touch the creepy crawlies). Grace learned about loving and letting go. We learned that God is in the little things. That He reveals Himself in the smallest of His creatures. And that sometimes, sometimes, if you pay very close attention you can find joy in the strangest of places. We miss you Dave the frog. You are the best Christmas gift I've ever gotten.

video

Monday, June 21, 2010

Paw-paw comes to visit

Dave the frog's release is coming soon! Stay tuned! (Read: Earl stole my charger for the camera the pics of the release are on...)
Moving on...

Paw-paw came to visit!!! Oh what fun! We got to spend an entire weekend with him, and had some serious fun. He flew in early Friday afternoon. Earl was supposed to be flying in from London later that night to join in the festivities, but his plane was late. Like...beyond late. (That's a post I have absolutely no energy to write out...you'll have to dig that one outta my brain when I get to heaven someday) So anyway...Earl ended up staying the night in D.C. and flying in on Saturday afternoon instead. In the meantime, the kids and I got Paw-paw all to ourselves. He came bearing gifts. Grandma always arrived with lots of toys and goodies when she came to visit, so Paw-paw wanted to carry on the tradition. He brought Grace a Barbie Mermaid swimming thingy/toy that goes in the bathtub. She loved it. He hit a home run with that one. And for Sam he brought this...

An Elmo shape sorter/mailbox. He loves it. And he learned a new word (bonus!)..."mail? mail? mail?" What is it about that little annoying red monster? Sam is over the moon about him.


Then we went here...

Fritz's--AKA in our family "The Railroad Train restaurant" It's a really fun place to go. Family-friendly (meaning your child can scream at the top. of. his. lungs....and no one even looks up from their plate)...the food isn't great, but the atmosphere makes up for that. Food is delivered to your table via a TRAIN! No really!!! It's tough to explain...google it...or better yet, come visit and we'll take you!
Too bad these kids don't like their Paw-paw...


Oh...and did I mention?...you get free conductor hats...FAH-Reeeeee. Love it.
Oh and P.S....They're milkshakes? They "bring all the boys to the yard"...they are that good. Just ask Sam.

After a healthy meal of onion rings and milkshakes we went to the "Dinosaurs Unearthed" exhibit downtown. Grace was pretty apprehensive at first. She thought the dinosaurs were real. But after much convincing from mom and dad that they were, in fact, just big "robots"...she warmed up...obviously...
She even got to hold a real-but-the-rest-of-the-dinosaur-is-dead-so-now-it's-really-just-a-rock Anklosaurus spike...

And Earl tried to feed our youngest offspring to the animatronic lizard...great. Note Earl's smile...he thought it was just hilarious. Sam? Not so much.


Then we went to my least favorite place of the entire day. This train/freight bridge. It was a serious combination of heights and closed in spaces that my claustrophobic/scared of heights self just couldn't stomach. I took LOTS of pictures to keep from hurling. The minute I looked up from the camera it was either run or lose my milkshake. I wasn't about to loose the milkshake. And I didn't want to leave the rest of the group. So I snapped and snapped and snapped...just know you're lucky that you only have to see a few of the pictures from that freaky bridge.

Sam LOVED it! I guess he inheirted Earl's adventurous spirit because he thought it was GREAT fun to climb the side of the bridge. Fan-stinkin'-tastic.
He also thought it was entertaining to run up and down, up and down, up and down the bridge walkway. Ummm...yah...EARL! Go git the BABY!!!!!
The weekend went to quickly. Monday morning came and Paw-paw had to board a plane back to the great state of Texas. We love you Paw-paw. Thanks for everything. We'll see you very soon.

Monday, June 14, 2010

He's home

I don't have any new pictures to go along with the posts in my head (We've talked about this right? About how I write posts in my head throughout the day, often I wake at night with a post swirling in my head. I don't get out of bed to actually write the thoughts out, I'm terribly scared of the dark...anyway some of them get published, some don't...) I need to tell you about Dave the frog and his release into the wild, about Grace's first day of summer school, about a visit from Paw-paw...but there are pictures and videos that must be downloaded first, and I have no patience for that right now. I am only here to tell you that he's home. *Big sigh...really. big. sigh* I don't exactly know how I managed to find such a man as Earl...probably lots of prayers from my momma. Yes...that's gotta be it. But I did find him, and it's difficult for me to express what he is to me in words. Normally I have no problem writing out my thoughts. But with Earl? Well, with Earl it's something almost mysterious that even I don't understand. When he is gone, part of me is gone. And when he is home, all the world is right. Above all else, he's my friend. And now...at this very minute...he's home. And, at this very point in my marriage, if someone were to ask me "how we make it work?" I'd say "We're the best of friends...and we support each other's dreams...and we laugh...a lot."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two videos...

Yesterday I looked up from the dinner dishes, and found Sam rocking his "baby"--a little stuffed cat GrandTone brought for him when she came to visit in May. It triggered a memory in my brain of Grace doing the same thing with a baby doll she loved at about the same age. I thought I would share both videos. It is amazing to me how early children learn the art of comforting. Sam is 26 months old in the video posted here, and Grace is about 20 months old in the video posted below this blog entry. (I couldn't figure out how to put both videos on the same post) Sam was singing to his "baby" before I pulled the camera out, but when he saw the camera he kinda got shy...Grace, as you will see, is much more exuberant about the singing/rocking part than her brother. But as we already know, she seems to do everything a bit more than the normal child.
(And please ignore my super sugary voice in Sam's video...I had no idea that's what I sounded like when I talked to him. And while it's a bit nauseating...you must understand...he's my "baby"...'nough said)

Grace...rocking her baby. She is about 20 months old in the video.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Carousel

We went to the zoo.
On a borrowed zoo pass.
Because the zoo in our city
requires too much walking
and not enough animal-seeing
and I refuse to buy a zoo pass of my own.
We walked
and walked
and walked some more.
We saw a few animals--
not many,
not enough to convince me to buy a zoo pass
of my own.
We rode the carousel.
And that was fun
because it didn't involve walking
and we sorta got to see some animals,
albeit fake animals
but animals all the same.





Friday, June 4, 2010

I've been slackin'...what can I say? I've been busy. But not really. I mean if you were to come up and ask me "Gee, why is your blog so blah lately?"...I'd have to say "ummm...yah...dunno" I guess the sunshine and the warm weather got the best of me. I've been outside. With the kids. Handing out popsicles, and turning on and dodging sprinklers, trying to keep Sam from taking his clothes off. I've been watering plants...weeding the garden...soaking up the sun.
But I'm back. And that's all that matters. Plus I'm back with pictures! Bonus.

Grace hit a milestone in her tiny life. She graduated preschool. I can't believe I have a Kindergartener living under my roof...seems like just weeks ago we brought her home from the hospital. A tiny, pink, screaming bundle. She's not tiny anymore. She still loves pink. And...she still screams. So really not much has changed except for size. She has just grown into her larger than life personality. And I am glad to have been along for the ride. Here she is...our 5 year old...our Kindergartener. (Please ignore the red eye in the picture below...focus on the smile, people...focus on the smile)


On stage, getting her graduation certificate. (The kids sang LOTS of songs for us before they got their certificates...It's a lot for me to upload tonight, but I'll try to get one here as soon as I can. They were pretty stinkin' cute.)


Grace with her teacher Mrs. Sheri. Grace loves Mrs. Sheri. So do I. She was a fantastic teacher, and exactly what Grace needed. Lots of fun, but doesn't put up with drama. And Grace can sure dish out the drama. Mrs. Sheri is raising three girls of her own. So she has lots of practice in the area of drama queens. :) I didn't get a picture of her other teacher. Mrs. Mary. Dangit. I may have to march Grace up to the school and snap a "faux" pic of her with Mrs. Mary at some point. Mrs. Mary was the "ying" to Mrs. Sheri's "yang". They were a wonderful team! Thanks so much ladies for loving my little girl, and for teaching her to love learning.


Now we move on...to another school, another teacher, another phase of life. Gosh, I know I say it a lot on this blog, but man...life moves quickly. I gotta stop blinking.