Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Weekend Getaway

Since I returned to work I have been wanting to write and somehow the time escapes me. I have had many ideas for stories and yet they have stayed just that, ideas. In class we are talking about writing and how writers write about things that are meaningful. I recently stumbled upon a link to a blog on a friend's blog. I was drawn in by the photos and then was lost in the writing. Some of the posts hit so close to home that I found myself wishing for time to write, to share, to capture the love from the day. I suppose it would be another way that I could lose myself in the joys of life.

The first few days of school have been rough. The opposite of what I imagined and looked forward to. This was the first summer since my kids were born that I was somewhat excited to return to school. I still felt a sadness of shortening my weekday family time to the times when we are all exhausted, or rushing to be somewhere on time, but it was paired with inspiration to experience the joys of learning and sharing my teaching. I knew I could enjoy my work day, dive in head first and give all I could to build my classroom community, and come home to embrace the love Mason and Ellie share with me. Instead of a beautiful, graceful dive, I feel as though I have struck the water with such force that I come up gasping for air.

Last weekend, my loving husband planned a most rejuvinating getaway. He told me at dinner that night, "I am glad you are crazy enough to drive 3 hours to buy 5 plants."

I laughed at his humor and knew that the weekend was much more than a drive to get 5 plants. I know he knows it too.

It was about capturing the beauty of life. It didn't matter that the traffic was crazy, we were together. I love my family, my support. Last night Ellie looked up at me and said, "I love you so much Mommy." It is this love that moves me forward and pushes me back out to the edge of that board...I am not giving up. I will dive, I will find that beauty, that grace.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Some snippets I love about THIS summer...

Within the last couple of weeks Ellie has discovered how to say Mason. He is no longer Mase, (I don't even know how to spell it), but full on Mason. She says it so beautifully.

Mason and Ellie have become the best of friends, (and the worst of enemies at times, but I guess that's how we grow, right Chris?)

Josh has made yet another amazing device...his solar food dehydrator! It is beautiful and I will let him tell you all about it.

Josh has begun canning tomatoes, and my new favorite pickled green beans, SO Tasty!

Mason is a little gardener. And a LEGO designer...notice the LEGO carpet in the background. I find it ironic that the toy vacuum is laying there. HA!

Mason wanted to sleep upstairs in his "own room" two nights in a row.

Ellie has worn her new underwear everyday since our trip and at night. Funny side story: I asked her if we should give her diapers away to a baby that needs them and she was too attached and cried in horror, "NO I NEED MY DIAPERS!" I can handle storing them a while more if it means I don't have to wash them anymore! Woohoo big girl! HUGE accomplishment.

I am in the midst of decluttering our house...I am thinking it will be an ongoing work in progress, but PROGRESS has been made indeed.

Mason and Ellie now have a costume drawer under their bed, which they think is fantastic!

Ellie and Mason are making amazing cards for their friend's birthday party that we need to head to soon so I am off. Last HOORAH of summer. Lookout Fairytale Town we are comin'!

Not sure what my title is...

So I have been feeling pulled in two ways by the coming week. I actually have a plan of attack in mind for organizing my classroom and surprisingly, the desire to work on this plan, yet I must wait until Monday to kick into gear. On one hand, I am eager to get there and put things in order, yet if Monday actually arrives it will mean the end of summer.

Bitter sweet symphony.

Wow, typing that line created a whirlwind of musical montage in my overtired brain. A mismash of end of summer tunes, but that's another story.

Back on track...so in my last post I was a fly on the wall of my wee ones and today that journey continued and at times was in slow motion. Having children can really help you stop and take in that which can usually go unnoticed. The other day we were out walking home from visiting new friends around the corner and I was amazed at how much I noticed growing on our block. There are so many wonders that you pass each day in your car, but are going too fast to notice.

Today we headed out to the Harvest Day over in Fair Oaks. What an amazing event. Mason and Ellie visited the vendors and made several connections with the volunteers.

At one booth there were several garden crafts they could make. One was to make a painted rock with the choice of ladybug or frog. When asked which one he wanted to make Mason stood deep in thought. The rocks were already painted red or green and the samples were there. He finally spoke, "But I want to make my own because I need to make a praying mantis, so when my egg hatches they will know they have friend." I tell you that boy is always thinking. Rewind: A couple of days ago he bought a praying mantis egg at the nursery and it is hanging in his garden. So he created his own version complete with the wiggly eyes.

On the other side of the booth you could make a "Grass Buddy". These are hysterical. You pile in a scoop of grass seed into a nylon and stuff it with soil, tie a knot, stick on two wiggly eyes and take him home to water. In a few day you have a grass hair buddy. Ellie and Mason LOVE theirs. They played with those guys when they got home. Gave them a bath and set them outside to let the fun begin. It's like a homemade Chia-head.

Around the other side of the table you could make a mask. A cheesy paper mask, but we were up for it. Ellie and Mason both chose the praying mantis one and I helped Ellie cut hers out and Mason was again waiting and thinking. Mason finally spoke up and said, "But I want to make my own." I suggested he turn his over and draw his own. It was awesome. Ellie was done and wanted to be a praying mantis and go climb the nearby tree so we were off. Later Mason joined us and Josh told me how Mason finished his and said, "Now mine looks like a REAL praying mantis." The icing on that cake is that he doesn't plan to wear it either, he made if for his praying mantis egg. I love that boy!

After crafting away Mason and I visited another booth and they had a brochure of a wheelbarrow garden. He picked it up and said, "Mommy what does this say? I want to make one of these." The man at the booth was giving away packets of seeds and Mason told me he needed carrot seeds. I didn't think the man heard him in all the hustle and bustle, but he did and quickly handed him a pack. Mason struck up a conversation with him about how he was going to make that wheelbarrow garden. The man said he had something special for him. Mason said, "I wonder what it is." He pulled from a bag a seed starter container and Mason was in heaven. Instantly his mind set to work planning how he would build this garden. He thanked the man and went to show Daddy and Ellie and then he brought Ellie over to see if the man might have one for her. Later just before we left for the day Mason stopped back by to chat with the man again explaining his grand plans for making his garden. I hadn't seen the man smile much, but I think Mason made his day.

Better get going and check on that egg, looks like some may have hatched!

Friday, August 05, 2011

A Fly on the Wall

I don't know why, but there seems to be an enormous amount of flies in the evenings this week and while I was laying down with Ellie I was thinking of that phrase, "Being a fly on the wall..." It so relates to how I was feeling today when I would take in the world of Mason and Ellie.

It all began this morning as I woke up near both of them. It wasn't the usual, "Mommy, sun up, get up." that Ellie likes to tell me with great determination. Today is was gradual, she woke and snuggled into me and wanted to embrace the morning slowly, easing into it. I was in heaven taking in every moment thinking how soon the mornings will not be so leisurely. Summer is ending and I want to pretend that it isn't. Mason was near us too, and he opened his eyes, looked at Ellie and reached out to her, wrapped an arm around her and pulled her in whispering, "I love you Ellie." I drank this in too, for I knew it would only be a matter of time before she would be bothering him in some way, not playing "the game" the right way, the way little sisters do.

This afternoon we ventured out into the patio. I was dying to transplant some plants, feel some soil, and bring some bursts of life to new spots in the yard. Mason wanted me to play LEGOs, but ended up settling for Ellie as his playmate. "Mommy look at what Ellie made with her LEGOs. Isn't her food table so cute? Don't you just love it?" (I guess she isn't so bad at "playing the game" all the time.) I can't help, but smile as Ellie plays with her LEGO guys. Often times they shout, "I have to go potty." I looked up from planting when I heard this and Mason caught my eye, he said, "That's just her LEGO guy, Mommy."

As the sun fell lower in the sky and dinner was just about off the grill, Daddy brought out some bubbles and I fell in love. I was a fly on the wall again watching the magic of these two. They blew bubbles and Ellie giggled whole heartedly, those deep giggles that are infectious. Mason couldn't help, but continue to bring about more. I wished I could capture it all on film, but if I had moved the moment would have been lost. So this fly will savor these moments in my memory and here in my words.

Just before mosquito hour hit, Mason invited us to ride on the Pirate Ship (our hammock) with him. Our imaginations took us on a fantastic journey before arriving at the dock of bedtime. Daddy brought in the new lightbulbs for the playroom upstairs in the loft and as Mason and I climbed up to see what he and Ellie had created Mason announced, "I never knew cleaning up could bring so much fun and so cute." Our little room was lit up beautifully with our new little lamps. So beautiful that Mason wanted to sleep upstairs. I can hardly wait to see what the new day will bring.