6.18.2017

Fathers and Papas, Both



To the man who named me "Father's Joy" Joy, as if he knew a double portion and reminder would be useful in years to come, to the one who raised seven children through toils and snares, to the one who left his mark on the whole band of us who miss him all days and this day, Happy Father's Day, Dad.







And to this man, my partner in crime and all else, with two more children swimming in those pools, it's all still true.  Key Lime Pie, Blue.







5.24.2017

More (Almost) Real Time

Because my children aren't the only sillies in the house...

We spent most of today in the garden, trying to get some seeds and plants in the ground before rain comes tonight and stays for the next few days.  Half an hour ago, I was tired and dragging as we finished up the potato row.  Shuffling past Mildred with the wheelbarrow, I mumbled, "Hey, Babe.  Grab my pillow there, will you, and bring it to the manure pile."

PILLOW?!

I wanted her to grab the shovel I'd just tossed on the ground.  How's that for subconscious desires speaking, huh?

5.04.2017

(Almost) Real Time

After they completed their afternoon chores, I let the children watch an episode of "Liberty's Kids" while I decluttered the bathrooms like a crazy woman.  Knee-deep in a pile of towels and toiletries, I called Zeke upstairs and told him it was time for his nap.

Both disappointed and desperate to watch some rare television, he replied, "Oh, but please!  Pleeease can me watch "Puberty Kids" with the girls?"

How could I refuse?

4.25.2017

New Breezes



















































































































It only takes a week to become careless with gold.  We absently leave fistfuls on countertops and in corners, overrun with the sudden wealth of it all.  The children plucked the first five dandelions this week, and I look forward to those, too, left in mounds soon all over the house.

I turned my head, and the opposite hill grew green froth bright and new among the brown.The surge of spring waking is almost overpowering at times, so much life and color and sun and warmth and sweetness all tumbling onto us at once.  Maybe that's one reason God sends abundant rain and gray, too, so that we aren't stunned senseless by too much at one time.

Life is already starting to speed along with typical spring headiness and seasonal chores.  Little, green seedlings all lined up stretch toward the sun on our windowsills.  It doesn't seem possible to do all that needs doing, and when I sit down and think about it, it really isn't possible, which is the sure sign that it all really doesn't need doing.  That's my license to stop feeling overwhelmed and to sit, instead, letting the new breezes ride over me.  My permission to stretch toward the sun.  Life is more than impossible to-do lists and personal shortcomings, thank goodness.  Spring is a lesson in good living.

Stews and soups give way to fresher food.  Syrup-making gives way to seedling-tending, sweaters to short sleeves, hunkering down to Up and Out.  Hope you're all taking in the good of your seasons.  Hope rises fresh.

The Sweetest Peach




She did not walk to the daffodils by herself.  I was devious and placed her there myself, because I knew that before I changed her out of her Sunday dress, I needed to take snapshots of her discovering daffodils for the first time.

















She was so sweet.  Every time a daffodil head popped off in her hands, she looked slightly startled and then gently tried to replace it, with no success.




























I take too many snapshots, but this is one instance in which too many was necessary.






A Baby & Her Cake: Love Found, Lost, and Renewed

Or...
Maybe We Should Have Named Her Cake-ence. 

I turned thirty-eight the day before Easter.  Cadence turned one the day after Easter.  Even though she's started gingerly walking and unpacks all the cupboards every time I turn my back, she is still so small and baby-like that it's hard to believe she's now one!  Harder yet to believe that in five months, she'll be a big sister. 

I usually don't do much for our children's first birthdays-- a cake is about the extent of it, as they don't care much either way.  Now that the bigger girls have begun choosing special desserts over shaped birthday cakes (and the younger girls ask for things like "a cake shaped like a seven and covered in blue frosting), it's been a while since I made a fancy birthday cake.  It was about time!  Even though I knew Cadence would be just as pleased with a flat cake of any color, I wanted to make her a pretty cake for her first birthday, one that reflected our magical spring baby.






I snipped a few green twigs from a cherry tree out back, and I stole the twig number idea from here.  (Hint: it takes about five minutes to make, so don't buy one.)




I made the fawn (a bit droopy) from marshmallow fondant mixed with some gumpaste powder leftover from Deborah's wedding cupcakes-- recipe here.  This was my first time modeling anything for a cake, and next time, I'll probably add a bit more gumpaste powder to firm things up.  When I first started, the fawn looked like an "Alien Tootsie Roll Creature" (my words), so I was very relieved that the final result was recognizable. 




I really didn't have much to do with making this blue-eyed baby, apart from allowing the Shaper to do His good work for nine months within me.  And look at His work!  Marvelous to behold.






She was so cute snitching fingerfuls of frosting that I was overcome and took too many pictures.















And then, because my blanket-holding serfs were getting tired, I moved the cake away.  While I was putting it away, Susannah took this picture of the unhappy Magic Baby. 




She's learned to voice her displeasure quite piercingly these days...





AH!  BUT WHAT'S THIS?!?!?!  Baby and her beloved Cake reunited at last!  All it took was a few-hour wait, and we decided to allow them to see one another again.





She was happy-happy-happy.














And then we gave her her very own slice to nibble!  She could barely believe her good fortune.








She must take after her mother, because she nibbled it right to the nubs.  Oh, little dearling sugar tooth, we love you so!  We love you much more than cake and always will.  Here's to another year of growing stronger and bigger and more filled with curiosity and wonder for all things wondrous, from cupboards and cakes and daffo-down-dillies to all that's yet waiting your discovery.  It's going to be a fun year!