Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wholesome and enriching!

I would love to rhapsodize about our adventures outdoors. Wherein we take vigorous nature hikes, gathering roots and unusual fauna to later research and sketch. Our conversations of spirituality and cosmic space. Our snacks of berries we pick ourselves, paired with local cheeses and fresh spring water. Our days spent painting en plein air.

Those blobs of blue on his paper are actually the North Pole. He's a genius, I think.

But really? I had just pried Emma off the computer, George away from fabulous and repetitive spinning in circles; given them both a (chocolate covered) granola bar; and shoved them into the 90 degree heat with paint brushes and instructions to "have fun". No way am I going to let them paint indoors where I would have to actually clean up spills, are you crazy?

Mother of the Year again, I just know it!

Ever since our family reunion at the beginning of the month, George has been glued to me. And I do mean glued. If I move across the room to pick up a toy, answer the phone, breathe? He's with me. So very with me that he's usually touching me or holding the edge of my shirt.

It gets to be a bit much.

So I give them distractions like paint and push them outside. Then sit within two feet of my son, so he'll actually stay outside.

He won't be like this when it's time to go off to college, right?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Across the distance

This deployment is so very different from the last one Jason and I experienced.

Then: I had a two year old and was pregnant.
Now: I have an eight year old and an (almost) six year old.

Then: We were living on a military base, surrounded by hundreds of other people with similar stories, but no family.
Now: We are living minutes from several family members, but no military.

Then: Jason had to be driven to a separate base to call home over a scratchy connection on the day I had the baby's ultrasound.
Now: We can chat via a video call from his barracks room pretty much any day our schedules match up.

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This deployment is so much harder in so many ways, but this one thing makes it SO much easier.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rick Dancer, a former news anchor here in Eugene, was at an event held at Ride Able Sunday night (where the kids take horseback riding lessons). He's no longer on the news, but shoots videos on his own and posts them on various sites that highlight Oregon places and events. George is one of the kids he followed around (I think he was jealous of George's cowboy boots!) and the following short video is a teaser for the longer one that will be posted later this week:

One of the questions he asked me was, "How has Ride Able affected your family?" That was something I hadn't considered, though I've written here how good it has been for both kids. How has our whole family been affected? Since I am a blithering idiot who can not think on her feet, I'm fairly certain my immediate answer will land on the editing room floor (some drivel about getting out in the fresh air and other bland nonsense). But I've thought a lot about it over the past couple of days.

This world, and more specifically this town we live in, is scrambling to provide resources for kids like George. Obviously, the concentration has to be on education first. And our town does a reasonable job of that. I'm very excited about Kindergarten next fall and think he'll be very successful, both because of the program he's entering and the preschool programs that have prepared him. But outside the schoolroom, choices of activities get very narrow. Camps, movies, sports, and other group recreation activities are all impossible for us (at this point). He simply can't handle the number of people involved, the noise, the quantity and speed of instruction necessary.

So, we do a lot on our own.

But every parent wants their children to try new things, learn new skills, and gain confidence through doing something different, something all their own. And that's where Ride Able has fit in for us. When we arrive, he signs in, puts on his helmet, and goes into the tack room to get his horse's reins. And off he goes. His sister is taking lessons alongside him and I'm usually somewhere close, but this activity is his. He knows his horse, he's learning how to control her, and he is excited to try anything the trainer asks him to do. He's paying attention.

And we are out in that fresh air together. And I am watching my child(ren) learn and explore and succeed. Ride Able has affected the very heart of our family. And I am so grateful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let's talk about the weather


Yesterday we were picnicking outside. Today, 67 degrees and huge thunderstorms all afternoon. Crazy.

Got this from Jason this morning:

I got up yesterday morning at around 0615 and it was almost 95 degrees already. Today it was 117 with high winds...felt like standing in front of a hair dryer.

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Hmmmm, sand storms vs. thunderstorms? Guess I won't complain about the rain.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Lookin' good at 90

We've just returned from a long weekend away with, quite literally, every family member on my mom's side of the family. It was a family reunion organized to celebrate my grandmother's upcoming 90th birthday. We did, of course, take a zillion and three photos. This one is of Grandma with all her grandchildren, their significant others (Jason was the only one not present, and he was definitely missed), and great-grandchildren:


Lovely, isn't it? We're a good-looking bunch! We took group photos in all sorts of configurations: children, grandchildren, etc. But honestly? A large percentage of the photos have this blur in them:


Whether he was supposed to be in the photo or not, George managed to run in front of just about every grouping! We have a lot of photos where all the subjects are looking at the speeding child running through the shot!

My grandma is an amazing woman, and I only hope that I can be as fun as she is when I reach 90! She tells great stories, cracks hilarious jokes, and is full of mischief. (She's especially silly when she's been handed a few of these:)


Then again, aren't we all?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Mamas & Babies

This morning George called to me from the other room:

Come here, Mom, come see.
What do you want me to see, George?
Come see this! (pointing out the window)
What is it, George?
(Shakes his head, as he does when he's thinking hard, trying to find the right word) Come see! Baby chickies, Mama chickie, driveway!

And I look, and I see:

turkey family

Every year, at about this time, a family of turkeys brings the latest batch of babies through our driveway and field. We will watch them all summer, comment on how they're growing, make lots of jokes about learning to run as Thanksgiving nears, and then they'll move on to wherever they spend the winter. Every year, the number of family members is different, sometimes just a few, sometimes as many as thirty. They keep their babies close and move them along when we appear. As the babies grow, they are allowed more independence and we can get closer and interact with them more. Later in the summer, I'll be complaining about how noisy they are.

Last week, I set a goal for George to initiate and participate in reciprocal communication. Something more than just a question and yes/no answer. Guess we just met that goal! This summer my babies are growing, our family is a bit smaller, and I'm sure I'll complain about the noise from time to time. But not that noise, that noise is music to my heart.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Signs of Summer


It's July second, and I'm on my third box of Band-Aids! You can't see the scabs on elbows and above George's eye in this picture, but trust me, not a day goes by without someone needing an ouchie fixed.

Luckily, it doesn't slow them down or upset them much!


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

I'm From, by Emma

I’m from the big closet in my old Virginia house and
the dog hair all over the couch.
I’m from tons of bamboo,
some toys and short green grass.
I’m from two good friends, Nate and Reed,
From lots of deer and fawns almost tame
and tons of tall yellow ferns
I’m from a goofy dad and a silly mom.
I’m from sayings like, “See, piece of cake!”
I’m from foods like turkey and ice cream.
Vanilla and Mint Chocolate Chip!
And that’s where I am from.
Poem & all photos by Emma