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Full Moon

I noticed a beautiful full moon last week.   My husband was taking the trash out after the kids went to bed and I went out to help.   I noticed a beautiful sky.  I tried to get some decent shots.  Enjoy!

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Photos of a Cool August Morning

I’m at a loss for words this morning so enjoy a few photos from last week!

Early morning sky

Lone Sunflower…How did it get here?

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it
Psalm
24:1

Have a great day!

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Bittersweet

While pregnant with my daughter, a friend of mine arranged for two of her friends to give me baby clothes.  I went to visit with one of her friends while she sorted baby clothes.  I asked her if it was nice to give all these clothes away and free up much-needed closet space.  Her response:  It was bittersweet.  I didn’t really understand what she meant until recently.

We have a son and a daughter and decided that our family is complete.  So I began the task of sorting baby clothes.  And with sorting came giving away and selling baby clothes and baby equipment that we no longer have a need for.  So slowly, over the past couple of weeks, baby items moved from our hometo many other homes.

Last week I sold my son’s crib bedding and 0-3 month clothes.  I almost cried handing these things over.  And now I understand that this experience really is bittersweet.

It’s bitter because my kids will never be a baby again.  They’re growing up (they seem to do this quickly).    We’re closing the door on one phase of our life but looking forward to many new adventures.   So it’s time to look ahead and make memories that will last a lifetime.

I think I’ll take some time to just enjoy my children the way they are.  And look forward to the sweet things ahead for Punkin and Baby Girl.

(Next week, I’ll be posting my knitting swatches and a couple of more recipes.  So keep reading)!

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Crab Apples for the Squirrels?

Runaway squirrel that ate the crab apple.

Two crab apple trees live in our backyard.  Pretty pink flowers adorn the trees for a couple of weeks in spring and fade as the blossoms give way to the fruit.  After that, they revert to an ordinary tree with small fruit on them.

A couple of years ago I made crab apple jelly.  Although the process isn’t difficult, it wasn’t really worth the effort (in my opinion) because I simply didn’t like the taste of it.  As I recall, it was way too sweet.

And if you’ve read any previous posts, you also know that I’m a gardener.  This year, my garden has failed to be productive.  (I only have one tiny green tomato on one plant-and I have five plants).  But my crab apple trees have, once again, supplied a surplus of useless apples.

Before I continue, allow me to explain this to you:  I’ve recently discovered the school of thought that believes we should grow veggies in our front yards.  And that watering a lawn is much wasted water.  (I’ve come to agree with this statement although that isn’t possible here because of a homeowner’s association.)  So back to my original thought.

The crab apple trees, in my mind, are useless (other than the bit of shade they provide in our west-facing backyard.)  I have no use for the fruit and they are aesthetically pleasing  for just  a couple of weeks in spring.  One tree has so many suckers coming out of the ground that I’ve been thinking it’s time for that tree to meet a final resting place.   In short, if the trees aren’t producing an edible fruit, I feel they should be replaced with trees that can perform that duty.

Branch that Little Squirrel sat on consuming delicious crab apple.

It wasn’t until a couple of mornings ago when a rustle of the tree branches caught my attention.  I thought a bird was hidden behind the leaves but after a minute, I realized a squirrel jumped on that branch.  Wondering if could get a picture of him in the tree, I  got my camera and approached the tree slowly.  When I finally got close enough to snap that picture, I found him partaking of the fruit of the tree.  Yes, he was eating a crab apple!  I snapped the picture (but my camera has this annoying delay before taking the picture) and failed to get the awesome picture of this squirrel in the tree eating a crab apple.

I was able to catch the squirrel in motion in a neighbor’s tree so I would always remember the squirrel that ate the crab apple tree and taught me something about nature. I find the tree to be useless.  But God created this tree to bear fruit.  And although the fruit is virtually useless to me, it does serve a purpose and helps feed the little critters lingering around my backyard.

What critters do you find in your backyard?   I’d love to know!!

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My Bird Harvey

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about my bird.  In that post, I told the story of Harvey flying out of the house (you can read that here).  Today’s post is also about my bird.

Harvey has been in my family since he was old enough to be taken from his mother.  He’s a 15-year-old cockatiel.  He was originally my sister’s bird.  She is younger than I am and when she left for college, she left him for me.  Thus, he became my bird.

He’s a good bird, although you’d better watch out-he can bite-HARD!!!  (My husband found that out the hard way while we were dating)!

Anyway,  over the course of the past several years (since Punkin was born) Patrick and I discussed finding a new home for Harvey.  I continued to put it off because I really didn’t want to let him go.

I gave half-hearted attempts at asking around but really made no efforts.  A couple of years ago, we found a handyman that does good work.   Patrick asked him if he wanted a bird.  He said he’d think about it.  Every time Mark came to do some work for us, Patrick asked if he found anyone that wanted a bird.  He hadn’t found a home for him but said he would continue asking around.

Last week, I finally found the courage to put an offer out on Freecycle.org.  I had one response but she never replied to my email.  So I thought I was off the hook!  No one wanted a bird, so we could keep him!

On Friday morning (7/13) the phone rang while I was cutting up chicken.  It was Mark, our handyman.  He had found a home for Harvey.  I began to cry (I didn’t want to on the phone, but I did).  He said his neighbor had several birds and wanted Harvey.  He could come pick him up right away.

The kids and I were getting ready to leave (we visit my husband at a mall nearby his work each week for lunch).  So I told him I would call when we got home.  I called my husband and told him about Harvey’s new home.  I needed some time for the news to sink in.  By the time we got home, I was ready to call Mark and have him pick Harvey up.  But, first, I had to take him to the vet (Harvey, not the handyman) because he had something stuck in his nose.  (By the way, the vet was able to remove the object although he wasn’t certain what it was).

Mark came around 6:30 Friday evening.  I carried Harvey outside (I took pictures and video earlier in the day) to his van and set Harvey down.  I had to walk away though-I was about to burst into tears.

So this post is to my bird Harvey, who is in a new home.  It was so hard for me to give him up, but it was the best thing for him.  Please pray that he adjusts well in his new home.  The vet explained to me that Harvey has to break his bond with me before he can bond with someone else.    It is still surreal to have Harvey gone.  I wondered why God chose last week to find a good home for him.  And God’s answer was clear:  It was the right timing.  The right person.  The right home.  And now it’s my job to let go of Harvey.

 

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Enjoying the Simple Things

Last night after dinner, I took Punkin to the park in his wagon.   There are two parks in our subdivision and we visited both.  On the way to the second park, Punkin suddenly exclaimed “Mommy, a dandelion!”  So I stopped the wagon and off he went to pick his treasure from the neighbor’s yard.  (Our neighbors don’t mind in the least-especially since the dandelion went to seed).  He got back in the wagon, blew the seeds off the stem, and threw the stem back on the ground.  And this continued all the way to the park.

I enjoyed watching him.  I remembered how I enjoyed doing the same thing as a child.  It was fun to remember!

He gets pleasure out of simple things.  Now I look at a dandelion and see a weed.  He looks at it and sees a pretty flower or a chance to blow the seeds around.   He also  notices the squirrel (jumpy squirrel, he calls them-from Curious George) climbing the fence or on a tree.  He notices the birds and trees.  He takes time to enjoy the things around him.

I wondered how many lessons I could learn from him.  Maybe I rush too often to notice the little things in life that can bring joy or excitement.

So let’s take time to notice the little things.   I think life will be a little happier taking time to  focus on the little, happy things instead of just the to-do list on my table.  It’s time to find a balance, don’t you think?

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Life at our House

I haven’t updated my blog in almost ten days!  I didn’t realize it’s been that long.  Baby Girl has double ear infections so we were at the doctor last week and again this past Monday.   She started to get better and then worse again.  After another trip to the doctor (and another co-pay), we found out her ears weren’t any better so we had to switch meds.  She seems to be on the mend though!

We’ve also been potty training Punkin.  He’s 3 1/2 and strong-willed.  Nothing seemed to be working over the past few weeks so I gave it a break for part of last week.  Monday morning, an amazing thing happened.  I simply showed him two pairs of underwear and he put them on.  I’m proud to say several days later that he has used the potty at least 12 times.  (Of course, there are times he chooses not to use the potty).  Such an improvement over choosing to go in his pants.

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  Taking care of a fussy baby and potty training a strong-willed child.  Next week,  I hope to get back into the swing of things.

How did you get your child potty trained?

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A Song in my Heart

On this Good Friday morning, I woke with a song in my heart.  After all, without the crucifixion and resurrection, Christianity has no merit.   The cross was gruesome and Jesus suffered for me-and you.  He was beaten, mocked, crucified.  Even on the cross He was forgiving others-that was His mission on this earth.  To be a ransom for us, because without His death and resurrection, we had no direct bridge to God.  So He gave Himself willingly as a sacrifice for our sins.  His forgiveness is there for us-we just have to believe and ask.  I’m so glad that Jesus died for me.  He died for the whole world (John 3:16:  For God loved so the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life)!  You are a whosoever!

But even more amazing, after the crucifixion, comes the resurrection -three days later-on Sunday morning.  As the tomb was approached, the stone was rolled away and Jesus wasn’t there!  The angels said He has risen!

So this morning I”m singing.  Hallelujah!!! Jesus is Alive!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxHuqvGiN-s

What song are you singing this morning?

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Everyday Life-Just a Few Thoughts

You may have heard the saying, When March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a Lion.  That’s what happened last year!  But this year seems different-we have had a light dusting of snow, a couple of days of warm temps (high 60’s!), and today we’re back to cold, dark, and dreary.    The good news is that winter is losing its icy grip and spring is on its way in!  We even saw a robin in our yard the other day!

Yesterday we took advantage of the warm weather by letting the housework go and spending most of the day outside.  By 9AM it was about 49 degrees.  After baby girl went down for her nap, Punkin and I playing in the front yard.  I spent some time sorting my garden seeds and bringing  my seed starting equipment inside while Punkin playing in his little tykes car.   When he tired of playing in his car, we blew bubbles!.  He was so excited because he finally learned how to do it on his own.  He had a blast doing that!  After lunch, we spent two hours at the park in our little subdivision.

Yes, the house was a disaster and there were five loads of laundry calling to be folded but yesterday was a day for being outside.  And I got the house back in order today.  I think I enjoyed yesterday as much as punkin did.  Maybe there’s a lesson in this-the house can wait, but my kids will be little only once.

How are you spending your time?  I’d love to know!

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A Final Letter to Gramma…

Dear Gramma,

Christmas is just a few days away and the tree is decorated, presents wrapped and cookies are almost baked.  Thanksgiving was good-we had dinner early and went for a walk afterward because the weather was nice.

I don’t know if I ever told you that I’m glad we reunited six years ago.  My only regret is that we didn’t connect much sooner than that.  I enjoy the letters and phone calls we share.  I have kept all of the cards and letters we exchange.

It has been two months since you left us and went to be with Jesus.  Although this Christmas may be hard for us, I know it is your first Christmas with Jesus.  And what can compare to that???  I miss you very much and always will.  But I have the memories and pictures of our time together.

I never thought that the last time we talked on the phone would be our last.  I knew the time would come but I thought there was more time.

There is only one thing I never asked-and Patrick is curious about the answer-did you ever jump on that bus you watched out your front window everyday  and see where it went?  I know that there will a “bus” I want to jump on someday-but I might be afraid to get on board.  I might be concerned about reactions from those around me.  But if it’s something worthwhile, I think I’ll have to just jump on it and see where it takes me.

Goodbye for now Gramma.  I know I’ll see you in Heaven.  Until then, I’ll always miss you and remember you.

Love,

April

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