Crafting with Littles

This is the 3rd time I’ve crafted with these particular Littles and today they had some friends join us. And we rocked it.

Back in the days before chronic fatigue and headaches, this is who I was.  Cutting, pasting, painting, gluing, sticking, folding, messing….and if I can do all that with Little People, well, that would just make my day.  I don’t get too much opportunity to craft with Littles these days, so I’m especially happy that this happened:


Our fun included painting egg carton caterpillars.





Adrienne and Nicole (who is expecting her own Little next week), helped out.


We decorated and made paper summery lanterns.


And they ate dirt cups and worms.



Look at the cuteness; I can hardly stand it. Notice how she is holding her arms out? If you look close, you’ll see she has “wings” scotch-taped to her arms.  She was flying earlier.



Here you can see the lanterns all finished and they also made giant glasses of lemonade from construction paper, with lemon slices and ice cubes and giant straws.



This Little impressed us all with his crawling skills so much I had to get down on my belly and join him.  (My own crawling skills aren’t quite as impressive.)


And here we are after being creative together. Don’t we look happy?

A huge Thank You to their mamas, Sarah, and Jen, for sharing them with me.  It was a lovely fun time.  Your children are sweet, happy, cheerful, creative people–(it’s hard to believe I’ve known their daddies since they were not much older than this), a joy to spend time with.

And now I have *got* to go figure out what we’re having for dinner tonight.

Own the Day!

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A Baby Shower for Nicoley

Good morning! I need to get a move on.  It’s nearly 10 a.m. and all I’ve done is feed the dogs, empty the dishwasher and exercise. I may be slow, but I’m steady.  (A tugboat moving large loads slowly.) Today I’m  prepping to spend some time with 4 Littles doing summery crafts this Wednesday.  I’m so excited about it I could burst.

But 1st, here are some pictures of the Harry Potter baby shower we had for Nicole a couple weeks ago. What a fun time we had getting all set up, creating potions, welcoming friends, and showering Nicole with love and laughter.

I know basically nothing about Harry Potter, having never read the books or seen a movie.  It’s just not my genre. Now if we’d thrown her a Star Trek or Disneyland shower, I’d have been golden.

The sum of my Harry Potter knowledge:

Harry is the main dude.  He is a wizard, I think.  He wears the goofiest glasses ever. He needs a better haircut; that bowl look is totally out of style.  He flies around.  There are castles.  There’s a bad guy with a long white beard.  I think there’s an owl.

So I did lots of pinteresting and talking with Amanda (a huge Harry Potter fan) and came up with some cute things, I must say.  We couldn’t have done it without Amanda cheering me on.




Amanda created this photo booth that was one of the highlights of the day.  Isn’t it fantastic?





…and Nicole’s friend, Kat, brought a bunch of bottles with cool weird things in them, and there were old keys with wings hanging from the trees….


And we made sure that every single thing there was something Nicole could eat.  With all her allergies, she rarely goes anywhere and can “just eat” whatever she wants.  This was her day.  Everything was safe.











Everyone had a lovely time and Nicole enjoyed it all immensely.  Now we are just waiting for Jude to get here–we’re about 10 days from his due date.  Nicole (and Chris, too) were both actually born ON their due dates, so I totally think Jude should follow suit.  Or be born this Thursday on Papa Eric’s birthday.

I’ve got my “hospital bag” packed and ready to go, though Jude will be born at home.  Knitting, magazine, chocolate….Gramma Midge is ready, Jude!  Time to come and meet everyone!

Off to finalize crafts…

Own the Day!

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A Crazy Beautiful Broken Life

It’s a crazy beautiful broken life.

I’m having one of those days.  One of those days when I have to remind myself that chronic fatigue means being fatigued chronically.  It means being utterly completely exhausted to my bones for no reason other than this is the way it is. It’s more than tired. It’s having no energy.  It’s being weak and shaky and achy. It’s feeling heavy like someone draped a huge sopping wet sleeping bag over my shoulders and I’m trying to run a marathon. It’s scraping myself together just to stumble out of bed.  It’s sitting on the couch watching HGTV and cruising pinterest for cute ideas for the grandbaby that’s coming soon.  It’s being so utterly tired my brain is slow and foggy and takes a long time to process so that everything I think is physical effort. Nothing is routine, everything is effort.

I need to make soup.  First, get the crockpot out, fill it with water and spices.  Sit on the couch and think of what to add to that pot to make it “soup”.  After some time, get up, add frozen corn.


Then, be so tired all I want is to sleep so I can pull out of the fog, but I can’t really sleep, so I doze restlessly, wake to the dog barking, feel worse than before. It takes a lot of work to make my brain think about doing school with Adrienne.  We get through it, ever slowly, one tiny step at a time.

 I hobble in to put the laundry in the dryer.  It’s a tired, weak, shaky day, but we need clean clothes.

 I’ve resolved in my heart, as much as possible, to press in to the tired and be happy.  Be happy in this moment, in this day.  This day is a beautiful gift, even if that gift doesn’t look like how I want it to look. I find happy things to look at and think about and I get texts from My Sweetie from work, checking on how I’m doing.  He can’t fix it, but he can remind me I’m loved.

At some point I realize that soup probably needs more than just corn.  I take a deep breath, get up slowly and head to the garage fridge for the carrots.  I retrieve the 10 lb bag I bought at Costco and wonder why in the world I bought this freakin’ heavy bag of carrots.  I get some chopped and dropped in the pot. Some time later, I realize I probably need more than soup and saltines on the table and silently curse whoever invented the need for “side dishes”. I put rice in the steamer.  And that’s it.  That’s dinner.

Some days I can’t even get that done.  But today I was able to make dinner for my family. Not because I couldn’t just sit and let them make their own, (believe me that happens) but because I like feeding them.

And no, I didn’t “do” anything today.  Nothing that anyone would count as doing something.  I corrected a math paper.  I threw in a load of laundry.  I “made soup” (cooks all over are groaning at my definition of making soup).  I did not clean anything.  I did not sit at my table and create anything.  I did not curl my hair or slather make up on my face.

I’m just too stinkin’ tired to do anything more than sit here.  But I “am” sitting.  I’m vertical rather than horizontal and that’s something.  I loved my people today.  I prayed for my peeps and talked with one of my boys and lit a fire under another to Own His Day.  I smiled and laughed and enjoyed breathing and being alive while my joints ache and my head pounds.

It’s a crazy, beautiful, broken life.  Own it.


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Like Gibbs’ Rules, Only Better

In honor of being alive for a half a century (I turned 50 a couple months ago), I wrote down a smattering of things I’ve learned.  So without further adieu, and in no particular order of importance, I give you the following

21 Things To Never Forget:

1. Own the Day.


2. Just show up. Just keep showing up.


3. Love people fiercely.


4.  Jesus did it perfectly, so you don’t have to.

5. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

6. Do what makes your heart happy.


7. Kitchens are for dancing.

8. Each day work on creating something.


9. Never stop being curious-never stop learning.

10. There’s always a reason to celebrate. Celebrate everything.

11. Eat some chocolate every day.

12. Never be ashamed to be 7 years old.


13. No matter how bad the day, you can find Jesus in it–a string of Happy Thoughts .

14. When you’re stressed over some dumb little thing remember: In a hundred years we’ll all be dead and it won’t matter anyway.

15. The days are long, but the years are short.


16. Some days are just like that-some days you’re the dog, some days you’re the hydrant.

17. Sometimes you’re wrong…

18. …Say you’re sorry.

19. Be who you are.  Be who God made you.


20. Disney is always a good idea.


21. It’s a Crazy Beautiful Broken Life.  Own it.

And what do I think about being 50?  This says it perfectly:


Heh.  Own the Day!

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Mikey Plays Ball

I’m sitting with one dog asleep next to me and one dog asleep at my feet with the Price is Right on tv and a cup of fake coffee next to me.  There’s been lotsa life happening lately, more than I can keep up with, if truth be told. Nicole’s baby is due to arrive in the next 3 weeks.  Adrienne turned 13 the other day. Eric started a poetry blog.  Dylan finished his 4 year at Western and is within 2 quarters of graduating.  And Mike’s been playing ball with the church softball team this spring.  Last night, with the warm sun shining and soft breeze blowing, we wandered over to watch him–and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful evening.


What you can’t see is that Mike is wearing his Grumpy Cat tank top and doing his best Grumpy Cat impersonation.



We watched Mike man 1st base.


I put my camera knobby on the icon of the little dude running and hoped I could get a couple “action” shots.


We watched Mike bat.


And run.

We’ve been watching church softball games off and on for 24 years–since Chris was 5 months old and Nicole was 3 and we went to watch Daddy play.  Eventually, we watched Chris and Nicole play, then Dylan, now Mike.  And I love the sameness of it all–the place, the people, some of the umpires are the same, kids running around, friends laughing together, people cheering and clapping encouragement for their people. I grew up in 6 or 7 different towns going to 5 or 6 different schools. There is a sweetness in having been in the same place for 25 years.


And Oh.My.Gosh these Little Ones were so stinkin cute.  Totally threw me back 10ish years, when that was my little girl, covered in baseball dirt having the very best time.  Littles covered in dirt are my favorite.

Mike’s team didn’t win. They don’t win much.  But it was close. They were tied and had to go to extra innings.  And in baseball, that’s the best kind of game.  And then we wandered back home.  Quite happy and content that we had a little adventure, and shared a moment with our boy that will always be a memory…



How much it is that I love this face.

I don’t know if he’ll ever really understand how very much I adore him.

Own the Day!

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When the Stars Align Over Port Townsend

 After our fun day at the zoo, I’m paying for it dearly–weak, achy, tired. So tired I can barely think.  So achy walking to the garage to get a pop is considerable effort. I’ve spent this beautiful day on the couch quietly knitting a wee baby sweater for a friend.  I knew I’d pay for that field trip for several days, but it was totally worth every minute of memories made. I would do it all over again.  It’s a crazy, beautiful, broken life–let’s own it.

So, as Leverage plays on netflix and Finn watches Adrienne eat popcorn (hoping some falls to the floor), I’m getting a post together to tell you about our recent trip to Port Townsend.

Eric, Chris and Mike all had the day off so we walked on the ferry to meet Chris (The only way the day could have been more perfect is if Amanda had been there, but she was out of town that day.)     Mikey hadn’t been to Port Townsend in several years.  He didn’t know about the Seattle’s Best hot chocolate machine. He didn’t know about the puzzles.  Tragic.  I’ve got to be better about getting this boy out.


This was goin to be such a great picture in my head…and then there’s Mikey….you gotta love this boy.


so I just cropped him out….

016-001I think Chris looks a lot like his dad, don’t you? And that cute dog there is Maddie.  Chris and Amanda adopted her not too long ago. Sweetest dog ever.



It was a typical day in Port Townsend.  The weather was gray and chilly.  There were happy people walking dogs of all shapes and sizes. There were old and young couples walking along the water, holding hands, enjoying the breeze on their faces.  And there were my kids, hanging out together.


And we found Mikey hanging from the rafters…


And this happened: Coolest bus ever.


And Mikey with that face again. Gosh that boy makes me smile.



They used to keep trout in this fountain.  There was a guy that even trained the trout to jump through hoops.  That’s what happens when there’s no internet, video games, tv, or radio; you train trout to do tricks. Wish I could have seen that.

We climbed the 4 flights of stairs to get a different perspective of Old Town:


Isn’t it beautiful?  I just stood and gazed at it, imagining what it must have looked and felt like back in circa 1900 when those buildings were in their glory and the streets were filled with horses and wagons.

Then we turned and found a cool old house:


…and ended our day with another view of our favorite building.


We walked back on the ferry at 4:15 and Chris and Maddie drove home with good memories tucked in our back pockets.

Own the Day!

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We end 7th Grade at the Zoo

We went with the Clarke’s to the zoo to celebrate the end of science class, the end of the school year really, the end of 7th grade.  And we did all the normal zoo things. We fed parrots, watched the orangutans eat lunch,  the otters swim and play, we ate ice cream and rode the carousel.

Here are some of the highlights:





And one of the highlights was seeing this steam vac in its non-domesticated environment.  Good thing it was behind glass, we would have been afraid for our lives:037

Impressive, isn’t it?

And Nicole came with us too!  (Only 6 weeks till little Jude is born!)




It was a glorious day.055-001




Most interesting facts we learned today:

1. Orangutans like to eat with burlap bags draped over their heads.

2. Komodo dragons eat wild boar and water buffalo. They are the top of the food chain where they live.

3. Wallabies nap on their backs spread eagle just like my dogs.

4. Warhogs have wispy hair that looks like the worst comb-over in history.

068We ended our day with a ride on the carousel.  My horse’s name was Jasper.

Now on to summer vacation!

Own the Day!

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