Theme Thursday - Flowering

Did you miss me?

Here's what someone termed "bottle-brush" flowers. They were so right! Which one of you said that? Anyway, I took this a few weeks ago in the back yard, I missed an opportunity to photograph the wild Rose bushes; and as we move into late Spring my flowers are starting to disappear. [I'm sure it doesn't help that I don't have a green thumb.]

A lot has been flowering [figuratively] around here; and because of that blogging just had to take a back seat for a while. I've needed a new computer for some time now, I spent most evenings going back and forth between my computer and the G.I.D.'s computer to upload pictures, process photos, check emails, do work and blog.

I ran out of steam.

But now I have a new computer! [with working bracket keys AND other miscellaneous keys that WORK!] Now I need to re-train myself to type again. I've become a master of pressing my right shift-key while selecting the question mark, colon, quotes, and to capitalize my Ps at the same time!

How cool is that!? I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Friday before Memorial day!

[So now I can do this till I'm on hog-heaven!] [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ It use to just get stuck doing that - there was that day I came home from work and found 26 pages of just the left bracket. Not anymore!

[and this - PPPPPPPPP]

It's great.

We moved Big Brother's computer to his room - he's a happy teenager getting to hole-up in his room now. He often plays guitar while checking out some guitar tabs or songs online. He is already an incredible guitar player and can figure out most songs by ear.
Now he doesn't have to tote the guitar up and down the stairs any longer.

And I got to reclaim my desk. I've been working at the dining room table (and any where else that would work) and I was tired of the business stuff spilling out into the dining room all the time.

Let's see how long I keep my desk clear...

The only downer to all this excitement is that my PS Elements is not compatible with Windows Vista as well as my scanner. Ugh!! I have to figure out what to do about the Photoshop, I've wanted to upgrade for a while...we'll see. The scanner can just stay plugged into my laptop - no big deal.

In the mean time, I'll be sitting here in the evenings with my GID sitting right across the room from me, typing away on work and play, yeah!

Head over to Stacey's to see more flowering today, I know I am now!

Theme Thursday - Aged

I love aged/vintage things and buildings so I thought I would share a couple more diptychs of old things around my house.

This is an old fire engine at the Travel Town museum that we frequent. More favorites here.

And here is the junk pile behind my grandparents home. I love birch trees, my grandfather used to carve bark off the birch trees and make toy canoes for me.

Hop over to Land of K.A. to see more "aged" photos!

What's Wrong With This Picture?

So as I'm filling up little snack bags with bulk-purchased goldfish crackers, banana chips, etc. I look at the snack bag box and notice the picture.

Yup. Candy.
No, I'm not a health food freak, I do SO like my chocolate; but I found it funny that candy is advertised on the box of zip-locks in light of our child-obesity conscience society. Especially when most mass marketing you see now days caters to healthy choices or going organic. Heck, even Cookie Monster is eating healthy!

I just found it ironic as I packed non-candy items into the little bags.

I think I'll go make some crunchy granola now...

Melting Away

If you wondered what happened to my diet - I'm still on it. I've got that last - always stubborn - 5 pounds to go!

I can say that I feel great, I can tell I'm lighter and I fit into my clothes comfortably again! Yeah! Summer is almost here and I'm looking forward to hopping on my bike and ridding more often.

Dieting has forced me to cook better, I can't believe just how full my fridge is with FRESH Veggies and fruit. I open my veggie drawer which was quite often empty, save that bottle of expensive champagne we've been saving, and I find yellow squash, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, green beans. And I've been cooking whole foods more, like green beans with caramelized shallots and roasted chicken.
Tonight we had baked salmon and roasted asparaus with pine nuts, yum.

Another thing I've been doing that I JUST LOVE is making Green Smoothies! Harrison loves his smoothies but until recently, it never dawned on me to just add the dark greens (spinach, kale or collard greens) to his fruit smoothie. Somehow I thought I needed a juicer. Dah! I know, I'm late jumping on the Green smoothie bandwagon, the hype is yesterday's news. But it's new for me and I'm all aboard. The last few days I've actually made the green smoothie for both of us in the morning. He has his after his "Star Wars breakfast" and I usually have mine FOR breakfast.

So to date, the G.I.D. has lost about 15+ lbs and I have lost 9-10 lbs. Not bad.

But oh the sacrifice. Too oftenI had to walk away from something extremely yummy - or at least yummy looking. But it's worth it and I don't have far to go.

I think I'll pull that bin of clothes out of storage now!

Wordless Wednesday - Sweet Nothings

What do you think this little cherub is whispering in her ear?

He gently leans in to her, hand on her heart...

Could it be sweet nothings? His eternal love...?

We'll never know as they stand wordless in my yard.

You can see other wordless Wednesday posts here.

Crafty Tuesday

My friend Carrie has a weekly Crafty Tuesday theme. Well this week, I thought I would join in. I've had this up on my easel for some time. I mean SOME TIME.

I've been wanting to paint a picture of my grandparents home but first, it was very emotional for me for the last year and second, I haven't painted for a VERY long time. It's not like riding a bike to me. I have forgotten some of my techniques! I used to be able to mix paint perfectly and get the exact color I needed. I've lost my touch and in turn, the canvas just sits and waits for me to - Just Do It.

The other morning, as we were about to go downstairs, Harrison turned and went into the craft room and asked to paint. Okay.

Here is the "frog" he painted.

I began to straighten up my work space as he started painting; he stopped, looked at me and said, "Mommy, paint on yours paper!" I obliged, as I often do. (because he has good ideas.)
Here's how far I got...

Then I realized I have NO Hunter Green - NO green at all! I don't want to mix ALL my greens shades from yellow and blue so I'll have to wait a little while longer.

I'll keep you informed!

A Mother's Day

At the end of 1999 I became a step-mom to a wonderful young 9-year-old that I love. But when Mother's day rolled around each year I felt awkward and out of place in the roll of "Mom for the Day" After all, his mother is VERY much in the picture and it was clear that there was room for only 1 mom. This was not presented bitterly or with aggression, it was just a fact; and honestly, I wouldn't want it any other way for him. Unless (at my expense) it meant having both his parents together; but that was not going to happen and God brought me into the lives of this boy and his father.

It also didn't change the weird out-of-place feeling I had each Mother's day. Yes, the G.I.D. reaffirmed that I was a great wonderful mom, but it wasn't enough because in so many ways I wasn't a mom. I cringed when that day would arrive, When called to stand in church for my rose that were given to mothers each year I would slouch down in my seat - only have my husband insist I stand. I wouldn't make a fuss about the day, (I still don't actually) I just tried to let it slip by so that I could feel very little - discomfort.

Then Harrison came along. I truly didn't think I would have a child, 3 years later I still watch him in amazement - this life that I carried inside of me, that I helped form, that God has entrusted to me to care for and raise.

I am a mother.
I am in awe of him. He turns to ME for comfort, he wants MY hugs, he asks ME to sing to him each night. He says to ME every day, "I love you, MOM." And when I've been away for a few hours, it's MY arms that he runs into.

I hold those hands and tickle those feet that I get to watch grow and help shape. I don't always feel worthy, I often get angry but he comes back to ME, his Mother.

The joy in that is ineffable. It leaves me speechless. He has no clue how long I waited for him or what I went through. He only knows that I AM HIS MOTHER.

I miss my own mother and grandmother daily, so Mother's Day has never been about grieving that loss. I only hope that I can honor their memories and live up to the legacy as a mother that they left for me.

I am the Mother now, I get it. Tomorrow if they pass out roses at church, I will be the first one out of my seat joyous at being a mother not only to Harrison but to his Big Brother because I made a difference in the life a child.

Happy Mother's Day to all the incredible moms and moms-to-be out there!

Photos courtesy of Fortier Photography - copyright all rights reserved.

It is Well.

Sometimes I go through periods where my heart aches for the people and places I no longer have. Sometimes it's just a desire to share those whom raised me with my family - my husband and sons. Sometimes it the longing to call and talk to that one person who understood me like no other.

Then I remember a line from an old hymn that I love, It is well with my soul, and speak it like a prayer. Written by a grieving father in the late 1800s; he lost an infant son, experienced considerable financial loss in the Great Chicago Fire and then tragedy struck once more. He putt his wife and 4 daughters on a ship to England with the intention to follow soon after for a holiday, he received a telegram from his wife reading, "Saved Alone." The ship had collided with another and sunk in only minutes, only his wife survived. Horatio G. Spafford boarded the first ship he could to join his wife to mourn their loss. As his ship passed near spot where his family was lost, the Captain informed him of where they were. He was moved to write a hymn...
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea-billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to know,

"It is well, it is well with my soul."
I know so many respond to loss with anger - even bitterness, indeed I have too, as I moved through the stages of grief; but that can only last so long before it becomes destructive. I can not stay in a the place of anger. I have to trust that it is well with my soul. Only then do I move forward.
I think of this man's strength to go on in the face of such great loss. My loss can not be compared to the next person. It is mine, it is personal, it is great for me. I can not judge another person's loss as being too great or small, it belongs to them. I only know that God is greater than all this and has given me the strength I need to wake up another morning.

After I drafted this, I found this post. Heather is going through a loss that I can't even imagine and yet she writes with such strength and peace. Please take a moment to lift this family in prayer this week, especially as we approach Mother's Day.
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