I've been silent for a little bit because I needed to take a break.
But Kaitlin said she missed these bloggy photo updates
So I decided to revive it.
I last posted just before Memorial Day weekend,
which was the weekend in which John had a science assignment to care for a little baby duck.
He had to take care of it every hour of every day for two days.
Here he is teaching his duck, Yeet, to play Clash of Clans.
Yah, yah Yeet, yah!
On Memorial Day the kids and I (and by "kids" I mean three human children and one duck child)
had a picnic at Oxbow Park and went for a little hike/waddle.
(If you really want to see something cute, you'll have to check out my Instavideo of Yeet,
which I couldn't figure out how to imbed into this post.)
Over the last couple months I've been spending a lot of time at ball fields...
...watching Sarah play softball...
...watching John play baseball (that's him, sliding safely into home)...
...and having pistachios for dinner.
// bonus feature: //
At the ballfield you must have seeds or some other shelled thing to snack on. It's kind of an unwritten rule. So I bring pistachios. One of the Legion baseball players has dubbed our family The Fancy Snackers because of it. When we get up to leave after the game, our seats are the only place with pistachio shells instead of sunflower or peanut shells scattered around them.
The thing is, I don't like eating sunflower seeds - it's too much work. Besides, spitting. And I don't like eating peanuts in the shells - I once had a rancid peanut and it ruined my enjoyment of the entire peanut shelling experience. But I do love me some pistachios - ever since I was a teenager and had some pistachio ice cream at the Eiscafe in Kandern, Germany.
The Eiscafe was just down the road from my high school, so we would often walk there after school on hot days to get a cool treat. A favorite was their spaghetti ice cream, which looked like spaghetti but tasted like vanilla ice cream topped with strawberry sauce and white chocolate shavings.
Years after I graduated from Black Forest Academy, I was able to bring both John (in 2008) and Kaitlin (in 2009) to the Eiscafe in Kandern to share that special place and treat with them.
And that is the roundabout story of how I came to like pistachios and how I associate them with some good memories.
// end bonus feature //
After seeing some Zentangle art in my instafeed,
I've been trying my hand at it.
It's pretty relaxing.
I need relaxing because I got a lot going on right now.
One day while standing in my friend's kitchen before work I fainted!
So I listened to my body, took the day off, got some rest and read a book.
My cousin was in a fatal car accident.
He was hit head-on by a car going the wrong way on the interstate.
Tragic anytime, but it happened fourteen days before his wedding.
I was expecting to meet his bride at the wedding, instead I met his fiance at the funeral.
We never know what the next day will bring.
It reminds me of what James, Jesus' brother, wrote to the Jews dispersed abroad:
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.'
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills we will live and also do this or that.'"
Here we are, my little brother and little sister and me.
Cray-zee to think we are, like, grown up adults now.
Sometimes I wonder how I got this big when I feel so little.
(BTW I think my sister looks gorgeous in this photo.)
And then Kaitlin found this photo of my brother and me from way back when.
Time marches on.
Speaking of that, we celebrated John's 16th birthday in June.
I can't believe my little boy is so big.
(Okay, he's not really that big, I crouched down for the photo. But he really is taller than me.)
Since I am not with my kids all the time now, I cherish the time I do have.
Not that I didn't before, but now I feel so much more desperate for the time I have with them.
Me and my girls...
...getting our nails did...
... at the weekly summer street fair, Thursdays on First...
... and bombing Kaitlin's selfies.
I've so appreciated the encouragement I've gotten from friends during this time.
I'm learning that I don't need to feel alone or be alone.
Even people I've never met except for through this bloggy blog have encouraged me by dropping me a note, saying that God has put me on their hearts.
That blows my mind. Blesses me beyond words.
I watched the Home Run Derby with John.
This is what spending time with my son looks like these days.
When the wifi went out at my house I had a very unhappy boy.
I'm not sure how I survived my childhood without the internet.
VHS DVD Blu Ray player.
Or more than three channels on TV.
Or phones that act like computers and cameras and road atlases.
Riding home from one of Sarah's softball games I was in awe of the sky
and the clouds reflecting the sunset.
"The sky is so beautiful I just want to reach out and touch it," I said.
Sarah laughed at me. We both laughed at my enthusiasm.
And I thought fairy tales end with riding into the sunset,
but sometimes riding away from the sunset is beautiful too.
I went for a walk with Kaitlin and these hot air balloons flew right over us.
They were going pretty fast so we ran across the street to get a picture without cars in it.
My breath caught a little bit when I saw the beauty of the reflection in the river.
And here we are, present day.
I got to work this morning and realized that I still had my slippers on.
I'm taking casual Friday to a whole 'nother level.