They Grow

November, Thanksgiving, 2009 344 crpThis is not a news flash.  It is well known throughout the generations.  When one has an infant, they spend many hours worrying about the infant’s health–if they are thriving–growing–getting enough nutrition.  They soon brag about the percentile and what size clothing the baby wears.  Next comes the new and interesting things that the baby, then toddler can do.  Then there is reading and losing teeth, and before you know, both of your infants are taller than you.

November, Thanksgiving, 2009 247 ps crpSuch is the case at my house.  I am trying to get all of my digital photos onto USBs so that I don’t have a catastrophic event and lose them all.  Alas, I am also trying to sort through them to delete the ones that aren’t good and to adjust the ones that need some TLC to remove red eyes or lighten a dark shot.

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Renfest, 2009 Blog_019 crpThis is dangerous business at the end of the school year.  This Momma is worn slap out and is already thinking about what photos to send for Victoria’s “Senior Sunday” slideshow next May.  The time.  It goes.  The kids.  They grow–and grow–and grow–and then they go too.

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November, Thanksgiving, 2009 280 ps2 crpAnd that is as it should be.  If they get stuck, or don’t thrive–if they aren’t successful, then other sadnesses arise.  This sadness is a good one.  My children are thriving, growing, learning, and they are just such GOOD kids.  But, oh, the the sighings of the heart–the tightening of the throat–the loosing of the tears over the discomfort of stretching, stretching apron strings.

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Happy Easter

blog Easter, 2015 063Because of all the wonderful things that God has done for us–we get to enjoy days with family remembering the sacrifice of His Son that not only gives us beautiful days with family on this earth, but also gives us the confidence of beautiful days with family forever.  We are truly blessed.

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Does it ALWAYS take this long?

This school year seems to have taken a bit longer to calm down. . .and I am hopeful that I’m not speaking too soon about the calming.  We have a new principal who is GREAT–but VERY young and VERY high energy.  Therefore my teaching (which wasn’t lethargic before) has also grown in intensity.

I am also teaching a new subject this year.  It is an elective called “Exploring Languages” in which we–wait for it–explore languages.  We have covered Shakespearean English, Greek and Latin Roots, and Spanish.  Now on to French.  It is an experiment.  I know no French.  I have no French students.  Everyone is about to be on even footing as far as languages go.

Thad is at the Jr. High with us this year–and we love it.  Only TWO stops each morning instead of three.  He has grown an insane amount in the past school year–even over the summer–even SINCE the summer.  His voice is also in the process of changing–there isn’t a lot of cracking, but there is a difference. He has been somewhat determined as of late to NOT be photographed.  It is an obsession.

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I only managed to get this one after we had a “chat.”  He has grown about a half an inch (or more) since this was taken at the end of July.

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And this one when MawMaw came to visit in August.

Processed with MoldivMawMaw and Victoria small(Victoria and my mom. I love this picture.)

Victoria has a boyfriend.  His name is Hunter.  He is a Junior just like her, and they have known each other since 7th grade. They both CLAIM  to not have “liked” each other that long.  Either way, there was enough discussion of Hunter in our car and at our house that I took a photo of them together the night they were inducted into Jr. National Honor Society at the end of 7th grade.

2011, National Jr. Honor Society 050They were both inducted into National Honor Society in the spring, and I WANTED to get a picture of them together again, but I feared that the indignant “Moooooooooooooom!!!!!” would be hanging in a conversation bubble above the high school parking lot even now.  In the photo below, Hunter was about 12 feet away to the right.

Harding, NHS, 4.14 151And here is Homecoming which happened this past weekend.

Homecoming, October rsz ps 2014 072 Homecoming, October 2014 rsz ps 006AND the Homecoming hair extravaganza.

photo(45)The truck was crushed beyond repair this summer.  A tree decided that 21 years was long enough for the truck to be in service.  It was a sad, sad day.

photo(42) rszThe bumper was already like that–and the hood was already missing paint–but the tree did some significant engine/frame/body/radiator damage.  Tony still held out hope that it could be repaired. . .to the extent that when the Body Shop lady called and he asked her, “So can it be fixed?” she laughed for nearly a minute solid.  Then she apologized for laughing.  Then she laughed some more.

June, 2014 624SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . .Tony got this bad boy for his birthday.  My brother gave us the nicest congratulatory message.  It was, “Tell Tony that I hope this truck lasts him twice as long as the last truck did.”  We can’t wish for more than that.  A new truck every 21 (or 42 as the case may be) years ‘taint bad.

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And these blossoms were picked at the end of my walk this evening.  Victoria was with me for a bit–the weather has cooled off (for us), and we opened the windows in the house.  Ahhhh. . .fall.  photo(41)rsz   Our weekends have been packed, and our days and evenings have been packed, but we ALL came home at a reasonable time tonight, and everyone is under THE STRICTEST of instructions to not accept any invitations for this weekend.  We plan to stay in our pajamas and play Clue!

iWhatevers: Kittens and Randomness

Awhile back, I was reading a post from this blog where the writer referred to smart devices an “iWhatever.”  I thought that was rather clever and have taken to using it with my kiddos the past two school years.  “Put your iWhatevers away.”  “You can use you iWhatevers IF you have earbuds.  You may NOT share with a friend.”  “Finish this assignment and you can spend the last five minutes on your iWhatever.”  They now ask, “Can we use our iWhatevers?”  I love that–aside from the fact that it should be “MAY we use our iWhatevers.”  Thanks for letting me high-jack your clever verbage (without your knowledge or permission.), El Commodore and Majesty.  It’s about the only thing my students find cool about me.

In keeping with the iWhatever, below is a photographic compendium of iWhatever technological output.  From our house to yours.

Bella Bath 5.12.14

This is Bella. She is beautiful as her name suggests. She is also (now) clean.

Bella Bath 5 Clean Kittens

Everyone of Thistle’s kittens is prettier than the next. Not an ugly one in the litter. One of the orange ones is Eddie–Bella’s litter mate that will be ours permanently.

Bella Bath 5 Clean Kitten Backs

They were, however, riddled with fleas from their mama. They are now washed, medicated, and asleep.

Bella and Siblings in Tub

The one looking on is who we call Scaredy Cat. Early on, my vote was for us to keep her, but she may be a little high strung. All of the kittens handled the bath well, though–even S.C.

Bella Bath Beautiful

More Bella. I TOLD YOU she was pretty.

Bella Bath Selfie

Victoria is not the normal teen-aged girl, but she DOES enjoy a selfie with her cat. In other news, my daughter is wearing my strand of (very nice) faux pearls that I received as a high school graduation present. Cool.

Lint Feather

When one finds a feather adhered to one’s lint roller, one can only hope it came from one’s chickens.

Thad Refreshment

I found this empty, jazzed up can of Some Boy’s favorite fruit punch on the table the other day. Dude knows how to enjoy a beverage.

***THIS JUST IN***  Victoria has e-mailed me from school to say that we CANNOT name the little, male kitten Eddie.  She and Thad FINALLY agreed on the name (her suggestion even), but it was not to be.  Her reasoning (after telling her friends the names I’m assuming) is that Bella and Eddie will elicit the whole Bella/Edward/Twilight thing.  She is vehemently opposed to the faintest hint of such.  She has come up with a new list:  Leo, Oliver, and Toby.  Toby being the likely candidate as it was suggested by Thad.  Oh my.

The Brain

If I could say the title of this the way that Victoria and Thad do, you might understand the significance.  When they say this, they deepen their voices and send them into silliness just a little–they draw out the “aaaaaiiiiii” in brain and you know they are talking about icky, sticky preserved in a jar gray matter–not the computer that is in everyone’s head.

Victoria is taking an AP psychology class this year.  She had to do a project on The Brain.  This is it.

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Misc. 10.13 001I had to use my own brain more than a little bit to figure out how to get a full-sized styro foam head to balance while dangling from a wire coat hanger.  Brains are very, very interesting and amazing and indescribable, but Victoria made a really cool model.  She enjoyed this study–learning about the amygdala and the hippocampus and the different cortices. Her brain is firing on many, many cylinders.

We are ten days into November, and I’m not quite sure how we got here.  The time change allows us lovely sunrises in the morning on the way to school at 6:25 give or take five minutes.  There has been rain the past couple of weeks.  The weather has gotten cooler, and the light has changed.Misc. 2 10.13 001 Misc. 2 10.13 002

Tony continues to clear things out of the woods behind out house.  I had just been a big bramble, but as he clips and cuts and prunes, you can see the beauty that is there.  This leads to big piles of brush–mainly yaupon, green briar, and grape vines–that need to be burned.  I help him here and there with the clearing and the burning. . .when I’m not balancing brains–mine and everyone else’s.Misc. 2 10.13 003 Victoria is somewhere on the phone with her friend Angelica.  They set up a Pinterest board today entitled “Victoria and Jelly are Awesome.”  They are 15.  I remember 15–at least pieces of it.  It involved a lot of laughter and being loud and football and basketball games and a play in the spring.  My brain probably remembers more than that, but it has too many other things that struggle to the top to take precedence.

Tony and Thad are in the living room discussing Boy Scout things while playing Star Wars games on some game system (Nintendo 64–thank you Stephanie).  Thad practiced his trumpet earlier–first year in band.  He’s in middle school now–6th grade.  His brain is learning new things–and his brain loves his Momma, so that makes me happy.

We have much to be happy about–and I hope you do to, on this fine Sunday evening in the first third of November.



Both kids were invited to Halloween parties tonight, so after school they got all duded up in their outfits.  This year, we have a mythological being and a video game character. . .and a friend who was ALSO a video game character.

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Scorpion, a Creeper, and Medusa ready to rumble.

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Thad put his hands in his pockets, because Creepers have no arms.

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Creeper and Medusa taking a selfie.

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Medusa and her snaky companions.

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She wore sunglasses so as not to turn anyone into stone. . .so thoughtful.

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A little using the back of a cell phone action a la Percy Jackson.

When I went to pick up Thad (and Thomas), Thad heard me call him and called back, “Not yet!!!!”  Victoria called about 9:00 and asked if she could stay until 10:30 rather than 10:00.  I’d say they had a fun time.

Nature or Nurture or Just Good Taste in Movies?

Thad had a boat load of homework to complete tonight.  I mean a ton.  A lot.  A monumental amount.  Because he tends to get sidetracked at times. . .like when he was three and Tony lowered him behind the couch by his ankles to retrieve his Batmobile.  Thad exclaimed, “I got it!  I got it!”  And when Tony pulled him back up, in Thad’s little (dirty) hand was a small, black, retractable measuring tape.  Ahem.

The Batmobile IS black after all.  And Thad had been wondering where his measuring tape had gotten off to.

Even tonight as he was using the dictionary, he kept finding new words that he wanted to read the definitions for because the words sounded cool. This  is a WONDERFUL attribute that I want to foster in my offspring, but NOT at 8:00 on a school night when there are several more things to complete.  After me fussing at encouraging him to just find the word he NEEDED (already) to my relief he exclaimed, “Okay.  I am SO GLAD I found it!!!”

Silly me.  I thought he meant the actual word for which he was searching.  Alas, it was a picture of a metronome which reminded Thad (who relayed it to me at that exact moment) that we could either buy a cheap metronome from somewhere for a couple of bucks, or get a REAL one for $20, or get a $5 app for his Nintendo 3ds that you can customize.  He needs one to practice for band. He’s gunning for the app.  Because it’s customizable and all.

By the way, he had no homework for band.  We were doing Language Arts.

So.  Thad was answering questions from a reading passage.  Below is a paragraph from said passage.  It is an actual photograph of the actual paragraph on the actual page of the actual passage.

Actual photograph of actual paragraph of actual passage.

Actual photograph of actual paragraph of actual page of actual passage.

Thad, however, had made an addition.  I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I tried not to laugh–really I did.  I am supposed to be the voice of reason.   But he was SO EARNEST and SO SINCERE and SO PROUD when he looked at me with his big, blue eyes and said, “Mom.  I HAD to.  I just HAD to.”

Really. What intelligent Star Wars aficionado of a middle school boy could RESIST such an opportunity? There was a big 'ole empty space there and everything--just WAITING to be filled with what was OBVIOUSLY missing from the passage.

Really. What intelligent Star Wars aficionado of a middle school boy could RESIST such an opportunity? There was a big ‘ole empty space there and everything–just WAITING to be filled with what was OBVIOUSLY missing from the passage.

I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed. And when I had the chance, I showed it to his Daddy and laughed some more.

Oh, how I needed to spend that time with my boy.