Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unnecessary (but much-loved) Sweetness

It's no surprise or secret that I'm a tad fond of my kids.  They are good people.  I love them, of course, but I LIKE them too.  I have a bright and sparkly example of their uber-sweetness.

Setting the stage: yesterday was a blur of activity from morning to night.  At the end of a busy day, Brenna spent the night with a friend and Beth had a friend stay here.  Alex was off at his house-sitting gig, leaving us down two and up one.  Piece of cake.  (Not literally, unfortunately.  We are a cake-free house as of this minute.)

This morning, it was off to a lab for a blood draw for one, everyone else home and happy and busy.  After some yard work this morning, Brad and I were off for an exciting date to the carwash.  But before we left, we were presented with this:

It says:

"Mommy and Daddy ~

It is Friday, the end to a very busy week and since the summer has started, there has been different forms of busy, with a lot of behind the scenes working for both of you.  Daddy, as usual you have been working sooooo hard, doing more than what is asked of you and setting good examples.  It is hard to realize, but I do recognize how incredibly hard you work to provide for the family.  You also really inspire me that even though you hurt your foot, you are still running and you never complain.  Mommy has also been doing so many things that we do not even recognize.  For example, you scheduled all of the doctor appointments for us 3 kids and have been extremely supportive!  When I had to get my shot and blood drawn, you made it soooo much easier for me!  The way you reassured me really helped.  You have also been not only a great mommy recently because of that, but being so supportive with all of the busy things Alex has been going through.  You and daddy have been EXTREMELY patient with helping out around the house while Alex continues to make plans.

Both of you have been really good parents, and it shows a lot, especially in this season of our lives.  You have both helped to keep our family perfectly in shape even in the busiest and scariest season of our lives.  Thank you for being so supportive with everything!  And Daddy for working so hard!

We love you and you deserve an evening to yourselves!"

***I almost can't take it!!***
****And I did let Brenna know that it is Saturday, not Friday.  One of the joys of summer is you lose track of what day it is!****

So, attached to this was our agenda, written by Beth:


You guys have worked so hard for us kids, I think you deserve some time to yourselves.


-Go to Costco/Carwash 
-Go to dinner (Chipotle?)
-See Monsters University
-Come home and take Lucy for a long nice walk around Capital Lake
-Come home and watch t.v. with no kids around.

Have fun and enjoy yourselves!


Then we got home to find this:

Beth made strawberry sauce and raspberry sauce, with berries she picked from our garden!  What a precious girl.

I don't know if we'll follow the plan exactly, but we'll head to the lake and start with that.

I love thoughtfulness, and their expression of appreciation is such a genuine reflection of their thoughtfulness.

(By the way, they are VERY happily hanging out together where Alex is house-sitting...playing with kitties, having a pizza dinner, catching newts and bugs, playing video games on a giant t.v....they are not suffering while we indulge!)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A White-Clad 18 Year Old Wonder

I was going to try to go sequentially backwards, but that seems to be too much to make my brain do.  Bringing things into order is not really summer-brain.

(Can I just take a pause here and say how sweet summer is?  My golly.  Sleep is sweeter.  The evenings are so kind.  No computer sharing for homework.  And I use the word "sharing" loosely.  No lunches to pack.  No rushing from one thing to another only to get home and have a mile-long list still waiting.  Leisurely bed times.  I can almost hear Maria VonTrapp singing this paragraph to the tune of "My Favorite Things".  Thank you for coming, sweet summer.)

See?  No order in my summer brain.

Back on track:

I think today I will recap Alex's senior prom.  Ah, prom.  It was a day to remember, for sure.

Here's how it all started...

Alex wears a black tux about 10 - 15 times a year.  It's nothing special for him to put on a tux.  And he wanted senior prom to be special.  So he decided early on that he wanted to wear a white tux to prom.  He was adamant.  Despite my concerns and skepticism, he was arrow-straight determined to wear a white tux.  I could not stop laughing at the picture in my mind.  I kept picturing Cousin Eddie giving Clark Griswold a pair of shiny white patent leather shoes because he noticed Clark admiring his. But he was not deterred.

So we ordered the white tux.  And I asked the sales girl if he really would wear white shoes with the tux.  Yep.  And white socks?  Yep, they come with the tux.  And....undergarments?  I was assuming the tartan plaid boxers might not work so well under white pants.  The gal assured me the pants were fairly thick and see-throughness shouldn't be a problem.  Hmm.

And as it worked out, we went to pick it up and do his fitting a day earlier than we had planned.  Mercy me, am I glad we went a day early.  He walked out in the pants and jacket, and I began to chuckle, and then I began to laugh, and then I actually doubled over and held my belly while I laughed.  It was a sight to behold.  This lanky young man, built just like a q-tip, was wearing a jacket that may have fit him in 8th grade.  The sleeves?  Over 4 inches too short.  It was such a sight, I suggested just leaving sorta fit the picture in my mind of what a white tux should be.

But the salesgirl disagreed.  And after deciding that the jacket was too small to even be altered, she was able to have a new jacket shipped in overnight.  

And the final product?  This is where I admit I was wrong.  WRONG.  All kinds of absolute wrong.  He looked smashing.  As handsome as handsome gets.


And then he picked up his date, the sweet and lovely Alaina.  And she matched his handsomeness with her beauty.  They were quite the stunning couple.  

Adding to the specialness of this day?  It happened to be Alex's 18th birthday!  What a way to celebrate your birthday!  As a birthday gift, his grandparents gave him the use of their Lexus convertible for the day.  The day just kept getting better!

For dinner, I ended up cooking for his group of 12.  It's a long story how this came about, but I'm so glad it worked out as it did.  It's a special memory, getting to serve my son and his group a special meal on his special day.  Loved it.

It was all his request:

Four appetizers, all divine.
Spinach-Strawberry Salad.
Steak, Hassleback Potatoes, bacon-wrapped green beans.
Individual Molten Lava Cakes with vanilla ice cream.


And then the group headed off to the dance and events and had a blast.  An day and evening to remember, for sure.

Oh, I should also include this:

How did he ask her to prom?  Once she was home from school for the summer, he planned a series of dates.  He had one date that was all "P" things.  Another that was all "R".  Another all "O" and a last date "M".  The last one was the two of them rehearsing their duet in front of some of his friends.  When they were done with the duet, his friends pulled out big letters that he had made, each recapping a date.  After the "M" was brought out, he gave her a bouquet of roses and asked her to prom.  Sweet.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Relaxing ~ Lucy Style

I was all prepared today to continue on with the blogging and hit some of the recent highlights here.  However, the topic I was going to write about will have to wait for another day.  The main character in that story is full-tilt-boogy exasperating me today.  I won't name the 18 year old man-child (with emphasis on the child) because I'm sure that would be some sort of parental fail.  The emotions, they swing wildly.  I shall leave it at that.

Anywho...onto happier thoughts.  Like my sweet puppy.  Puppies make everything a bit more calm.  I really think Lucy lowers my blood pressure.  She is such a lovey-dovey.  And I think, in return for all the love she gives us, we give her a pretty good life.  As evidenced in the photo below, it's a pretty good life she lives:

And she's really quite tolerant of being placed in positions that she may not place herself in.  Like in the picture above, if Beth thinks she'd be cute sitting up and plunks her down like that, she's happy to oblige.  And she even smiles for the picture.  

She's also really good at snoozing.  She likes a good snuggle while she snoozes, and she's come to the right house for that.

And, really now, that is just plain cute.  No words needed for that one.

Never, ever, will this picture not make me smile.  Giving her eyebrows was a winning moment.

Alright.  Now I've lowered my son-induced blood pressure spike with these pictures and with Lucy snuggling by my side as I typed.  Now I'll head out on a long walk with this sweet pup and all will be right again.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Adventuring Into the Woods

This is the beginning of my re-entry to blogging!  I'm determined to get myself all caught up.  I think I'll start with the most recent and work backwards.  Or something.

Sunday was a bit of a dreary, drippy day here.  Brad had an impromptu urge to get out of town and do a little hiking.  So we packed up some food and off we went, Lucy in tow, to Staircase.

(Now, I am experimenting with blogging from the ipad, so this post is from here going to be a plethora of pictures...)

We ended up being turned away from getting into the National Park, because Lucy is great bait for "big kitties".  So instead we just hiked all around and found some great little spots just off the road.

This waterfall?  One of several...roaring loud and quietly peaceful.

Our little peaceful spot by Lake Cushman where we had lunch and played.  It was 70 degrees and lovely, just occasional drizzle, and NO people!  We had these spots all to ourselves!

Climbing through the woods along a waterfall.

And the rock climbing?  Oh, these three.  Alex and Beth scurried up effortlessly, then sweetly encouraged their cautious (sensible) sister to make her way up there too.  On warm summer days, this rock is crowded with people climbing up and jumping into the lake.  It was fun to have it all to ourselves!

Enjoying the view from the top!

Beth was "sasquatchin'"

Lucy is a very cautious pup.  Once she gained some confidence in the new surroundings, she really got into it!  She tried valiantly to catch water skippers!

She even braved a log-walking adventure in her fruitless quest for a water skipper!

Boys being boys:  they were quite entertained trying to hit a floating log in the lake with rocks.  Quite addicting actually!

Me and my love...

Ta-da!!  I officially loaded pictures from the ipad to my blog!  I'm off and blogging!

And CRUD!  Everything is blurry!  Bummer...sorry if your eyes are now watering like mine.  A little tweaking to do!