Friday, August 21, 2009

He Pee'd in the Potty

Stop the presses, hold all my calls, invite the papparrazi and alert the Pentagon...........
He peed. IN THE POTTY.
If you have a kid, you KNOW how big a deal this is.
Enough said.

HoneyMonkey and Golden PonyPup

...and this one if for free, it was just too adorable.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's not "Having Company" When it's Family

Bubba w/Doodle Bug, Dabbo w/Honey Monkey, Auntie w/her 2,
and Us w/Little Bunny.....aaaaaand Dolly, naturally posing
(not pictured: Mimi, Papa and our Golden Pony-Pup)
Hero Worship
(click on pics to see larger image -you should just see HM's face up close)

Little Bunny trying to get chased - he got caught instead




Bubba vying for Favorite uncle status. It's a tight race and he and Dabbo are competitive.


Bunny making good use of the water fountain.



Hard work, that playground equipment.



Staying young.

Us, married 10+ years already!

Future Sampras?He finally learned to pump his legs - YAY. For a kid who likes to swing as much as he does,
it's a blessing. Trust.

Watching Wii Mario Kart tourneys.

One good thing to come out of Nina's Homegoing?
FAMILY TIME.
Daddy's Brother "Dabbo" (so-dubbed by our eldest long ago) came from oversees to spend time here in The States.
We took the opportunity to have a weekend of family time here at our place.
All 3 of Daddy's siblings, 2 of the kids' cousins, Mimi and Papa with Dolly and a partridge in a pear tree came to visit us on the mountain.
We had plenty of good eats, (too much in fact) swimming, Wii Mario Kart tournaments,
outdoor chalk drawing lessons, playground outings, hiking, and peals of laughter...
mostly at Bubba, the youngest of the siblings and inherently hilarious - intentional or not.
All that was missing? Our Aunt Bee. We missed you, B!!!!!!

It was a great time. Hopefully an annual event!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Doodle's 1st Day of 1st Grade

~~~~~~first.....blasts from the past....~~~~~~
When he was an only child for the last time.

The new big brother, 2005 with Honey Monkey

Doodle at 3, pouting


Baby Doodle Bug, age 3
*****
~~~~~and now, a 1st grader...~~~~~

Doodle bug: front row, white polo shirt - he fought me on that. Wanted a ratty old Tshirt.
Camo shorts was compromise enough I told him.

isn't that a wonderful room?!? a full wall of windows open to the
wooded "outdoor classroom"

Doodle is so pleased with himself. He's always been way mature.


Luckily he smiles tirelessly for me...


...and he poses for me in front of his cubby. He wanted a locker like High School Musical, but settled for this.

Checking in.



The Hub and Doodle (AKA: Him and Mini-Him).


No way should I have a 1st grader. Aren't I still 24?


In 2 more years, Honey Monkey will be a kindergartner and the following year Little Bunny follows.


My precious Bug.

********

Our baby, the one who was 3lbs 11oz at birth? He started 1st grade today.
He is almost 7 years old.

Unbelievable.

Actually, literally hard to fathom.
His new 1st grade teacher is still on maternity leave, so his teacher till around Halloween is his assistant teacher from his kindergarten room. What an especially seamless transition we know that will make things for Doodle.
Today he asked would I please walk him through the big double front doors of the main entrance and he gladly held my hand all the way through the halls. He won't always want to hold hands I know and well he should outgrow that in time, like any self-respecting young guy. Today though I relished it completely and packed it away in mental bubble wrap.

My little Doodle Bug.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Nina

our boys with their Nina, July 2009

This is the beginning of the school year.

Tomorrow is the Official 1st Day of 1st Grade for Doodle and he is exuberant and ready.

...but

our week has been overshadowed by a sad reality and school and all that it brings has been simmering somewhere on a back burner since our beloved Nina passed away this last weekend, between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Nina is the grandmother of the Daddy here in our home - the first patient my physician husband ever cared for, having treated her leg which was burned during summer canning at age 6 in her kitchen.

Our Daddy and his two brothers were the apple of their Nina's eye,

known to be treated to as many home-cooked meals, backyard baseball games

and ghost stories their small bodies and imaginations could contain.

Nina warmed them with hand-quilted blankets, personal poetry, endless Southern cooking and a belief in the importance of family gatherings.

Having been the eldest of 10 children herself Nina was biologically biased and big on family.

Here was a woman who was born on a farm 15 minutes from where she died 90 years later but who lived a very large life.

Nina moved her young family with her husband from Tennessee to Arizona when her children were young - a woman who left all her siblings, all the Southern gentle hospitality she had always known, all the roads and buildings she'd ever seen to move out West and set out on her own with her children and her man.

Having moved 5 times already in our own life together, this Writer has such admiration for what that undertaking requires.

And here is a woman whose life can be counted in faithfulness to her chosen quests - marriage and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, distant family branches that stretch as far as the eye can see, church and Sunday attendance, service and sacrifice based on conviction.

Our Nina was a monument to a life that finished well.


The Hub was with her when she passed, holding her hand. For that act there aren't words to express the pride this Writer knows.


Many trips have taken us to the little home of our Daddy's grandparents and for a long time this Writer wondered "was this the last time?" Finally, the last time has come.

Gratefully, my boys' grandfather captured a picture of them gathered forcibly onto Nina's hospital bed - some persuaded easily, others not so much.

(That's it above.)


"For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." - Phil 1:21 (NAS)

but my favorite...

"Christ means everything to me in this life, and when I die I'll have even more."

-Phil 1:21(God's Word Trans.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sayonara Summer or It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. "
-Groucho Marx
That was for free.
Today is the last Friday of summer break for DoodleBug.
1st grade begins Wednesday morning, bright and early.
We have spent the better part of the last week ignoring in large part major cleaning around here, content only to clean and immediately recycle the same dishes and clothes, thaw and heat easy pre-prepped dinners from the freezer, sweep minimally only when the PlayDoh/Goldfish/whatever mess gets too eye-catching under their chairs, and generally neglect any majorly arduous tasks in favor of the playground and friends.
Was really quite fun and the week has flown.
There isn't the same melancholy as there was last year when Doodle started
kindergarten - that was monumental and this is more familiar.
But this Writer will certainly miss the spontaneity of a late-night ice cream sundae run with my boys and sleeping in till 7 or 8something-ish after a fun night with friends.
There's something vaguely exhausting about being the parent sometimes
facing the responsibility of waking, dressing, feeding, supporting, reading to, checking on, clocking in and going after your kids for the entire shoolyear that gets a little put on hold during summertime. It feels decadent.
But the school year brings a buzz to the end of a hazy summer
and promises reward and growth for rising to challenges.
Embarrassingly, too often this Writer is guilty of wanting edges of a situation to change - wanting a different set of circumstances, wanting to keep the same mindset, no added effort required to navigate a challenge.
This is because I wrongly hate being corrected.
A friend quoted yesterday some powerful words from Proverbs 16 that this Writer needed to hear, especially facing the tasks of raising a young trio of boys which as anyone might tell you is daunting every single day:
"Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established."
Not the other way around.
It doesn't say "Commit to doing whatever you want and your mind will be put at ease."
It takes some faith.
Blind, perhaps. Enabling, definitely. Ill-advised, never.
Raising boys takes faith. I needed a reminder.
And so: we're off! Second year of educating our brood...Here we go!