And from now on…

Today the truck traffic on the road is constant. It makes me feel as though I live next to the interstate. They must be topping a local county road with tar and rock. A week ago on our motorcycle outing we found one of the recent toppings and had to take a different route home. The rock is just to slippery. I thought they had changed tactics recently and put rock then tar. But apperentyly one county does it the old way.

Fall is headed our way. The vegetable garden is a disaster. With the drought and the bugs, there is simply not much to harvest. Living in the country with the the insect population sometimes makes us want to just give up. Many of our country cousins have done just that. This year it is grasshoppers and drought ONE and garden ZERO. We have tried to look at the bright sight. But even the flowers are fighting for existence.

My allergies are later on arrival this year. Thank goodness. The headaches and asthma are minimal compared to past years. More vegetables and less of my actual irritants has helped. (Found out that allergy to potato, barley, and almond makes for a limited diet.). I have only had one scary reaction this month. I count that as success. Honey has not had to be on the alert near as much. She’s probably getting out of practice. Might have to stage a training session.

This week we celebrated a special 90th birthday. It was great to see everyone come out and give well wishes. There is also a old neighbor’s funeral this week. Much of the fond memories that we cling to is all of the generous personalities of others. I am buoyed by the show of neighborly giving that I see among these two lives. From the youthful days of each woman’s servitude to the elderly days of others coming alongside to take up the reins. Watching the blessings return is so special.

With the end of one month and the start of another, school is under way around the region. August either rolls into September or blows into fall. And from now on there are a number of significant birthdays to celebrate. Both of our parent sets have fall birthdays. I feel like the odd ball out in that region. (Mine is in spring.). Along with the fall birthdays, however another set of memories come flooding back

Harvest and the end of the growing season has filled the last twenty years with many blessings. Previous to that the second miscarriage loss would flood my mind about this time of year. It happened in our country house in Iowa. I have very clear visions of the day. I was standing in the kitchen when I heard the audible voice of a little girl call out “Mama…”. I replied “what is it honey?” Before even trying to look and see if it was one of my daughters standing there. When the voice replied, “I came to get my little brother.” I felt the wind get knocked out of me as a stomach cramp like no other socked me in the middle. I turned around and slid to the floor crying as I knew exactly what was about to happen. The vision that came to my spirit next while my hands buried my face in my knees was of a little girl skipping through the prairie grass and flowers holding on to the nad of her little tow headed brother. The tears and the pain were so real.

Unfortunately that was a Friday and even by Sunday the clot had not passed. I was having labor pains this time and the tears just would not stop. Sunday the family was supposed to have a birthday party for grandfather and I ended up staying home. Finally after the late afternoon things were looking better. This time however the miscarriage had hid me so hard. We knew this time we would need to wait at least 6-9 months before another attempt.

Every one looks at the hope of spring differently. For me back then it was possibility of perhaps having a third child. Both my husband and I are third children. So we have a special fondness for any child who is either an “oops” third or a “planned” third. I never in my growing up years knew a family with only two kids. That seemed so empty to me.

Praise my two daughters filled our house to the full with their love for music that followed those early parenting years. The “fullness” of those years was such a privilege. I never wanted to complain about my girls to other people. (However, some people took my positive look at my girls as a -negative- and thought that I was being boastful. It was hard for me to hear the awful things people said about their greatest blessings.)

So there, that’s the story of the second little dreamer in my library. Little Dillan plum tuckered out on the rocking horse. Now that I have grand children who laugh and giggle with each other, it’s not hard for me to imagine little Nora and little Dillan sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his stories and giggling as He scoops them up and kisses them rubbing his whiskery chin on their little necks.

Thus far

Struggle bus rather than sleeping is one of my common life challenges. So the other night when my brain took off on it’s highway robbery, I found myself thinking about all these things once again. Setting up stones…. Our acreage is full of really large rocks. Many of them were picked up from the fields around and placed in the “rock pile.” Once years ago, someone lined the driveway with the rocks to keep drivers off of the lawn. My father-in-law still hates to see the rocks even in landscaping. My preference is to put them into the landscape and garden areas, rather than a pile that grows weeds and trees.

Not many people know what an Ebenezer stone is. Or even have ever heard of such a thing. Milestones are more commonly recognized, like growing and walking, driving, graduations, etc. Middle of the night statue building and laying stone walls while sleeping? Never.

My favorite Bible verse is from I Samuel 7:12, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name [a]Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” What makes this verse a Milestone Marker for me? The idea that one thing is ending and another beginning has always intrigued me. Marking transitions in life, whether they be new jobs, careers, or life changes is important. But most important is recognizing how you got there and how you will accomplish the next. “Thus far the Lord has helped us!”

New phones are never easy for the visually challenged. But for me, I simply put the new one down and it takes weeks rather than days to learn everything. We get use to doing things a certain way, and when that way “expires” life moves on in a different manner. Sometimes rather slowly.

Brain fog that follows a sleepless night is probably the worst The ability to function well and do anything with precision is hard. So I spend the majority of the time crocheting some pattern that is very repetitive. The past two weeks I finally finished my virus stitch shawl that I started two years ago. It is quite beautiful. And yes, it makes me look like I was born in the wrong century. I don’t care. I love making and wearing shawls

This little area of the yard is passed by daily. It is very strongly and “Ebenezer” for me. “The bridge that once was…. “. Has such a story. The wood was once a fort over the sandbox, then the fort in the trees, and now the bridge on it’s own island (haha). The wheel was found in the lilac bushes. The only wagon wheel we found on the place so far. The basket that came from my sister’s driver’s mother’s attic. The stones that were brought in years earlier from the field. Each piece has it’s own history. Then there is the tree stump planter we just made from one of the sixty plus year old trees in the grove that are falling one by one. This year being three years into drought, many of the trees are simply hallow and tired of standing up.

“Thus far…”. Birthday celebrations are in the works for both of our moms this year. My mother at eighty and his mom at ninety. Celebrating life is so important. “The Lord has helped us”. We can see the elderly living this even more so than ourselves. For them, it is sometimes hourly that the Lord helps them. Each day holds it’s own Ebenezer as they march from sunrise to sunset. Waking each morning requires a call to the Lord for help just to rise out of the sleeping chamber. Of course it is because of the tale of Christmas and Ebenezer Scrooge that many of us think of old as grouchy. But sometimes I make a mental list of all the challenges our mothers face each day just to remind myself that my milestones are few.

Last night I survived an allergic reaction without an EpiPen. And we made a symptom checker that told us “NEXT TIME” these things occur, it is time for the epinephrine. . It was rather scary, and though I new something was not right, it did not occur to me at the time that it was an allergic reaction. Now I know. Thus far the Lord has helped me, but my husband says, next time the Lord will have to remind us to use the EpiPen!

From My Park Bench

The whole month of June flew by and though there are four drafts in my file, nothing made it to print. The month was busy with farmer’s market, purging flowers and geraniums, trying to stay ahead of the weeds in the garden and some much needed family time. The local farmers market saw us twice. Then the work thing crept in and there just was not time to keep up with everything on the acreage and be gone from home for four or five hours on a Saturday morning. When all you have is the weekend to accomplish the acreage cleanup, the hours become precious. Also, the heat kind of kept us away a couple of times. Purging flowers and plants from the greenhouse took all of the month. I planted the last tomatoes when my niece came for camp weekend. They looked pretty worn out from their little containers. But are thriving in their “space” outside. Most of the larger geraniums are outside the greenhouse now. And thank goodness the wind has given us a break and things look wonderful. Staying ahead of the weeds also meant planting the old “potato” box grow bed into the salad box. It was so hot and dry the day I planted it all. But the thought of it gave me so much pleasure. With some appropriate drip tubing everything is up and green.

Family time this last month meant Sunday lunches with Gavin’s folks. I have been playing piano more at church these days. Though it is somewhat stressful to memorize the entirety, my mind wandered back to the day when as a thirteen year old I thought I would never be able to sit at the keyboard without a line of music in front of me. We had Christmas in June with my family and got together for the first time in over a year. It was so good to see everyone. We also celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday that day.

The month of June was also taken up with kitten care. I started a blog about the ferrel beastings and their little broods, but it seems to have lost it’s importance. After the family gathering, I spent much of the night in grief wondering where the years and time have gone. It’s hard to have the holiday blues in the middle of the summer. But thank the Lord, the days are busier and it did not last long. Nevertheless, I have nearly three drafts started all just in that week alone.

Good Grief!

Who ever coined that phrase anyhow? Grief certainly does not feel good. And there are many times grieving amounts to no good at all. This past month there have been a number of women on my prayer list that have had to deal with their share of grief. So, my mind took a play list of memory lane that I have not visited for some time.

The change of life comes in many different shapes and colors. For me, having early term miscarriages one after another for four years told me child bearing was not to be my main lot in life. I should learn to be grateful for the two beautiful girls that God had gifted us with. About the time I began to except secondary infertility, other things began to change the course of our lives.

Each of the beautiful souls that God gave me a glimpse of are commemorated in my library. The next few weeks I hope to spend some time remembering each of the “hopes” that I once had. I am so thankful that God brought Himself ever close at hand beside me during those days and the memories of His hand holding mine are special to recall.

From my park bench…

This July began with a family birthday gathering. God has blessed our girls with beautiful spouses and gifted us with grandchildren. They bring so much joy and pleasure to our days. I am so thankful that I can count the ways of our Lord in His goodness to us. We spent the fourth of July in quietness and in the heat my husband made me this lovely park bench.

We went to Boston the summer of 2010 and while there I ended up taking a walk on the waterfront by myself one evening. I saw a bench like this in repetition with many women in pairs sitting and catching up with each other on their lives. Of course much of the conversation was in another language. I thought that so particular to Boston. Then last summer my hubby and I took a motorcycle trip and found ourselves visiting a garden. There again were multiples of this particular bench.

I know that my hubby probably hated every minute of trying to measure and cut and assemble this park bench. Knowing his displeasure of carpentry makes the bench all the more meaningful to me.

So for the next six entries, come have a seat on the park bench with me as I share how God has been part of my journey form childbearing through miscarriages and into the present day of good grief!

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God ; to those who are the called according to His propose.”(ESV)

Monday Mumblings

Watching “Mayo Clinic Minute: How weighted blankets “lift anxiety” on YouTube this morning, I learned all about those little sleep hormones and the feel good hug.

One week has passed since I began sleeping with my gravity blanket that we purchased a few years back. I had tried it off and on but never just in itself for a full week trial. It is pretty amazing how a full week of rested sleep changes one’s mood! It must be knocking my anxiety hormones down a bunch, because for the first time in fur-ever, Honey took a nap on my lap!

Unfortunately her “serviceability” goes way down when she senses anxiety . She feeds on it and gets more hyper! This is not very helpful to say the least. So, in spite of the fact that she is now five years old, I am going to look for a trainer that can give me the right response commands to get this crazy dog down on all fours when the her hyper kicks in.

Saturday morning my dear helper hubby found the aphids moved into the pansies that i multiplied to hundreds. We spent a few hours treating them with some nnatural remedies. They look a little tough but I will be spreading them out into some more spacious quarters today and hopefully things will go well with the proper treatments. It’s so difficult to keep on top of it all once the nasty bugs begin their residency.

This is Holy week for the Christian and Jewish populous. It is always such a special holiday for me. Both of my daughters were baptized on Easter morning during their teen years. Easter has so much triumph and hope. How can the rest of the world live without that joyous celebration? I am so glad that we are back to church gatherings and that the “pandemic” shifted to endemic and everyone is just kind of “over” all of the talk. Yes, there are some rough memories, but not gathering has to be the worst. People are meant to live in community. And not being together makes everyone so depressed and cranky.

The wind blew something fierce the end of last week, and I though all of the old anxieties would come back also. Then I found Amy Carmichael’s book “The Edges of His Ways.” Though it is a daily devotional, I listened to nearly a full month. One of her notes was about the wind. And she encouraged me to look for inspiration from the wind that the Lord blows my way. So rather than fighting the blustery forecast for another day, I took up the “inspired by” list that i could find. The first one was comforting classical compositions that were inspired by … you guessed it-The Wind! Some of the pieces I have heard before but many were new to me. So the next time that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances, I am just going to begin with looking for inspired by… a list that helps me turn the thing around and lifts up the mood.

This morning, I uncovered the rose bush that I planted in the tire flower bed next to the greenhouse. Today is going to be another beautiful day here. Without that nasty gale to knock me over. I also went out and zip tied the wind wheel at the Hydrant flower bed to the water meter pole there. The poor wind wheel has been knocked over so many times from the westerly hurricane breezes. (And we do not have hurricanes here… just the wind.). That made me FEEL like I had really accomplished something.

Then, I spray painted the basket that I had crocheted. The dye in the wood glue had not worked entirely to color the basket green. So I emptied the black spray paint on it. The rest of the paint was used on the wire baskets in the greenhouse. I had not done anything to them since purchase. That too FELT like I was really doing something. Then I repotted the little holiday cactus starts into two beautiful red pots that I found while shopping the other night at our local wally world. They look so happy. And now they will thrive. The other containers had proved to be too small over the long haul. The little plants had been in their since Thanksgiving and I would constantly forget about them. So they were either too hot, too wet, or too dry. There you go little holiday cactus starts. And I even decided who I am giving them to as gifts. But I am not telling you.

It’s not Monday. Thank goodness. You would not have wanted to talk to me this Monday. My visit to the greenhouse found the pansy stats much worse than before. I tossed quite a number of them due to some nasty little fly of some sort. We treated them again last night at sundown so I hope there is not burn from the spray. It is just not fun growing plants to just toss them out. Part of my eyesight problem, part of the learning curve.

So here goes to a lengthy post again. Today, I hope to get a new mosaic crochet project going. My last two project attempts were a bit lacking. I did not like the outcome. Yep, I feel like I spent the whole time mumbling. But I got it all out right? And the gravity blanket is still working to help me sleep. Yay!

The Silent Treatment

(Disclaimer: I do not sanction the use of coping strategies that punish oneself or another. Using aggression is not the answer. Fighting should not be a way of life.But fighting for life is a long battle. This week has been full of history making.)

When I was growing up my mother used this passive aggressive discipline technique (coping strategy) to get her children to see her way. It did not really work. The worst memory I have of this happening was the night she did not hear me say I was across the street babysitting. She used this anger management tool to keep from saying the wrong thing, though she already had. Her attempt at poetry to instill a value of trust did not work either. The two weeks following the incident were pretty rough. Being my senior year, it did not occur to me that having a message board for the family use would alleviated end the drama. Oh, well. This week my selence had an altogether different cause.

This morning I am drinking some green tea and blueberry herbal with honey. Hopefully the healing properties will help this nasty laryngitis to fly the coup. If only cold virus were so easily scattered like birds. Everyone thinks I am giving them the silent treatment. The one that suffers the most still tries to call me the most often. On the other hand, my doodle dog Honey has not barked in a couple of days because she does not know how to whisper. I think it is rather successful!

So I took my “down” time to learn a new pattern. This mosaic hat was a free video tutorial. I made the red and white first and then the reverse pattern blue second. It was satisfying to get a project done in just one day. Then after the fever began to break my voice disappeared.

February cones to a close this week. I wrote two other blogs nearly completed. I did not finish either one. Just had no conclusive thought. Story telling is not my strong suit I guess. I prefer the lesson of fables and something with a moral conclusion. Why, it seems, must I find a lesson in every thing? Willy nilly writing does not have analytical potential. Do we have to learn from everything?

I decided to makeover one of my brightest hats. I thought this pattern was a perfect fit for the bright colors. I wanted to do some mittens in the design but could only find videos of different designs. So I left these mittens because these fit so well. And so I came up with my own pattern.

All of the seedlings in the greenhouse seem to be okay. The plunge into artic air meant that the heat is on in the building. The propane tank ran empty and we have yet another day of frigid temps. I can’t believe that the temperature stays at nearly fifty degrees Fahrenheit. The full water tank, the black buckets, and the soil and plants are doing their job to keep it warm. Circulating the air kept the even feeling. I knew I should have called for service on Monday but now I have no voice and whispering does not work on a cry for help! Ha. The propane tank is full again and the weather will soon warm. Melting snow means mud. Ugh. But it also means spring is on it’s way!

Sometimes doing smaller projects makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Like I actually got something done. This week I managed to bake a turkey one day and make turkey soup and dumpling on another day. My energy level was pretty low. So I did not even go up to see my grand babies this week. I finished a mosaic shawl, and a Bavarian stitch shawl this month. Tackling a couple of small pattern ideas was next on my list. It is always fun to make new hats. And the remake was really enjoyable. Then I decided to attempt some mittens. I combined some pattern ideas and used the new mosaic stitch from the hat. Love them all. Now it’s decision time for what is next.

The final remake this week was interesting. Not sure that that I “like” this one. It’s a good thing the dumpling and soup tasted so good and helped us ride out of the week well. The yarn was a really busy “jazz” ombre and probably should have a coordinating color with it. But I used what I had. Resourceful is my middle name! And do you know how hard it is to do the same thing twice? Really hard apparently. I had two attempts at this one. I wrote down the mitten specs, but the second pair are a little smaller. Not as happy with the configuration. I prefer the look of the red and blue. It could just be the busy yarn. Oh, well!

I made it through my “sick” week. Fever for a few days and the laryngitis thing. Seems like any cold I get ends up in my throat of voice box. Gargling with salt water was the cure. And lots of tea with honey. We finally got some moisture with this bitter cold. Stuck inside while it is so cold outside was not so bad. The snow is such a welcome sight. I went out with the dogs and played frisbee in the fluffy stuff this afternoon. And yes, the mittens and hat worked quite nicely.

Golden Moments

Golden moments are few and far between during these blistery cold winters. I enjoy watching the survivalists in their wilderness cabins and am thankful their is no wood splitting daily chore. My life seems rather golden and some days I feel very lazy.

The golden pothos received a new home this week. I bought three little four inch plants one day before Christmas and had them in clay pots in various places. Then one day while looking at my spider plant in the library / office, I decided it was just too dark in here. So the pothos would find a new home. The hanging planter was also a recent purchase. So here it is…

I have been waiting for the coral kalanchloe to pop open a bloom for nearly one month. For a couple of weeks in January I enjoy spinning some wool in the light of the south window in the living room. I was hoping that moving the kalanchloe into the living room would also encourage it to flush out it’s blooms. Warm sunshine for me and the blossoms. It seemed to do the trick. However, the four and a half spools of homespun wool were not quite enough for the C2C shawl that i had in mind. So now what shall I do?

I am not an early bird by any means. The days that I go up to see the grand kiddos and have to rise before the sun to ride along with my hubby is so painful. Usually I fall back asleep and my little grand daughter gets to giggle at me as I try to wake up again. The sunrise photo of the greenhouse was actually on a Sunday morning before going to church. Our organist has some health challenges and so I am playing for praise team more frequently this next couple weeks. I finished the newest mobias prayer shawl just this week. And it finally turned out much better in size. I need to write down the dimensions and count the stitches for the sizing options. So there is something I am happy with.

And one final note for the memoir chronicles, the lemon tree is putting on blossoms! It lives much happier in the house. Patient is definitely a virtue in waiting for the lemon tree to do something. Of course if lost all but one leaf so far after the move indoors. And yes, we actually purchased a piece of exercise equipment in January! I thought just getting the heavy box into the house on this blustery south wind day was enough exercise for one day. I think I’ll go have a cookie or two now!

May you be a spark of hope

May you be the seed of faith

May you be an ocean of love

And may you be a fountain of joy…

I heard this saying above recently and added to it. These three in relationship are “faith, hope, and love”. The greatest of these three being love according to I Corinthians thirteen, the love chapter. All three of these leave joy in their wake. The fountain of joy bursting forth from the wellspring of eternal salvation. The belief in eternity and future sparks hope. Knowing God’s ocean of love begins the filling that never runs dry.

As the new year dawns, my thoughts turn eternal. What be my purpose for the new year? What are my plans? What prayers do i lift up for my loved ones. Some loved ones I have blessed already with gifts and hugs over the holidays, but many are distant from me. what of them?

This past year we were blessed with another grandchild in the family. It’s crazy how love grows and grows. Love is definitely an ocean. The heart bursts forth more and more rather than running empty. Energy might run low, but love never does.

Tonight my niece shared the books that she read this last year. It was so inspiring. I wondered if I could keep track of my books read and my crochet projects. I was telling my sister about all this one evening. About trying to journal the greenhouse and then not being able to read my own writing. Bummer.

So doing a journal must be done with new ideas.

This year I want to keep track of what I do in the greenhouse financially. Trying to be more thrifty. This year I want to keep track of how many yarn skeins I buy. That might be hard. This year I want to do better at a weekly schedules for home, garden, writing and contacts with friends and family. This year I want to over stuff my little prayer jar with requests. This year I want to read more books!

So here’s to the new year. New projects. New gardening plans. More prayer shawls and faith hope and love with endless joy!

Talking about love, love, love

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape! The idea sown last January is coming to fruition. Each month is represented by one square. The chosen colors are based on the temperature high and low for the month. Then the set of seasons are put together with the rising and falling temperature. Each season is put together by the weather that becomes them.

The whole blanket may or may not have a border. That has not been decided yet by the amount of left over yarn from the original skeins of color. I am excited to have cold enough weather to actually continue this project.

Talking about the weather is pretty much what begins every conversation in my life here in the Dakotas. The wind, the cold, the sunshine or the lack of moisture proceeds all other topics. While some people are oblivious to the weather, some of us have pets that require attention outdoors rain or shine.

Those people that show up at the day job in shorts and end up having to go home at break to change…. I don’t understand them. Every day of my life is decided by what the weather is today or tonight. The temperature tells me just what to wear. How to dress in this blustery unforgiving windy cold is very important if I want to feel my fingers the rest of the morning!

Well that’s enough about the weather, Now, How are you? The next topic of conversations might just involve who suffers from the most pain , you or the person you are talking to…. But even that is not a conversation that will last real long.

What is new? Yep, that the next headline. In my life it usually means some flower that is blooming. Here are some examples below. The Holiday cactus has decided the holidays should begin a week earlier this year. I forgot that by painting the living room and hallway, the cycle would be sped up nearly one week. The poor plant sat in the library for nearly five days before it returned to its prominent location in the south front window. The canna in the greenhouse finally recovered from it’s move to the indoor location. And these beautiful winter bloom begonias were a recent find at wally’s world.

This week we get back to the blanket and perhaps some Christmas ideas. I am not much of a crafter. The hot glue usually burns my fingers more than it sticks objects together. So minimal painting or such is my plan. Though giving plants is easier, not everyone want to take care of plant babies. Oh, and this next month will be full of plant seeding and seed starts! Oh, how spring shoots forth hope in my being. (Hope springs eternal?)

November is nearly to a close. We were blessed with sharing flowers to a few loved ones around Thanksgiving. And I found a gorgeous poinsettia to give to an elderly friend who turns 93 this week. Perhaps my passion for plants and flowers will help me spread a little holiday cheer this year!

Silly Oma! Opa…!

“My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'”Truth from a two year old can be hard to take. The innocence of little children is the power of looking right through the motives or objectives of adults. Even a three year old can surprise someone with their observant reality. So the old saying “Oh be carefull little eyes are watching you” should apply during all phases of life.The other day my three and half year old granddaughter surprised us with a declaration. “My new stage name is ‘To Be…!'” So I asked like “the number two and the bug a bee?” No she replied. I queried again, like “to be determined, or to be announced?” YES! She agreed. Wow, I thought that is a smart little girl. A little girl waiting for a new sibling and letting her mind go to imagination in other area’s of life. Whether the baby will be a boy or a girl is yet to be determined.So when that little one arrived safe and sound as her little sister. We soon began to hear many little “grown up” phrases from the excited big sister.Opa is really fast! Until he is not. Or until little legs carry the body above it faster than it should. Children enjoy running. Grandparents do not, usually. So when Opa is fast it is in relation to how quickly he can pick up all the toys, or throw the stuffies into the box. Relativity is important here. Oma is slow. When we take the stuffy puppies for a walk little legs tend to run circles around the aging grandparent. For me, however, it is the empty peripheral that brings with it the surprises of little children that make me go so slow. Toppling over those little less that two foot statues usually brings with it much apologetics as said statue suddenly finds it’s voice.”Hush! -the baby is sleeping!” From a two year old is rather cute. But from the three year old argumentatively with her eighteen month old brother can cause quite the stir. And suddenly you would think the whole neighborhood of puppies were wakened by the raucous! What fights can take place between siblibngs during the learning-about-compromise years. And though little sister fresh home from the hospital, might hear the above quite frequently, two busy little toddlers forget quickly and are right back at it.”Let’s go to the ocean!” Use to work for the two year old’s nap-time siesta. Now, it is the play time plane ride of the sofa. How can a little mind remember so much? Sleep sounds were never an option for my children. Sometimes I feel deprived. Then again I feel like this poor little ones will never know even how to really quiet their minds on their own without the aid of technology. I am glad that when I go out into my garden or greenhouse, I can easily get lost in the sounds of the world. The air-breaks from the local semi-drivers do not sent me into a barking frenzy. But then again the fans in the greenhouse really do sound just like the white noise on that little electronic whale.”Silly Oma!” That’s the response I receive much of the time. Especially when I started asking my grand daughter (after potty training) if she swallowed a wiggle worm, or if she had ants in her pants, or if she was doing the potty dance. Little bodies are so wiggly when they are awake. Her brother on the other hand can sure sit still for a snuggle much longer.”Lecka play the dog gone song!” What she really wanted was the Alexa device to play the Mickey Mouse version of “Oh Where oh where has my little dog gone.” But learning the commands and the politeness of the echo dot machine has taken nearly a year. Then suddenly just as fast, this little Isabelle has grown up enough to get alexa to play the right song listing and just as simply the little three year old mind forgets how to get the music to stop. That was rather funny and frustrating at the same time.

“Be right back!” At just two years old is so adorable. Though it took me an entire day to figure out what she was saying. And we say the same thing so frequently. Of course if you are the one in charge of said two year old, it might be best to count to fifty or less to make sure she comes back, or you go to figure out what said child is getting into now!Isabelle-isms in our family are things she says sweetly. Learning to say a three sylabble name can take a lot of practice. At first she called herself “Belle.” Then it came out as “Ah-belle. And finally she could put it all together and say “I’m Isabelle!” Especially when trying to give her character trait nicknames, she would pipe right back with her declaration of name. Are you silly? ‘No, I’m Isabelle.’Behaving like a little person is very common of the first child in a room full of adults. The first child picks up on prayers at meal time and will learn to say, “we need to pray!” The second child just keeps right on eating, because waitng for the meal was so long. It only took a few months of word grasping before little Isaac began to holler, “AMEN!” After the prayer.”I saw a mouse!” Must be followed by, “where did you see the maouse?” The answere was a clear “there” with a pointed arm at the window. For my tunnel vision, I often fave to ask several times to get things all figured up. “In the window?” Was my next question followed by a fearful face yes. After a little explanation, we understood that the mouse was the bright reglection of cat eyes peering though the kitchen window as the picni table outside gave easy access to the most “pet” pet cat that we have. Watching the movie ” lady and the tramp” with it’s dog chase rat scene under the cradle had given way to the imagination of the two and a half year old.”The dinosaurs are upstairs!” and other imaginations… When a mother hears then nearly two year old let out a blood curdling scream from the basement, we think perhaps someone is hurt. My daughter recapped the story later and hearing that her momentary nine months pregnant body had not fallen down said stairs in such quick response is now funny. Little minds have strong imaginations, and momma’s lumberjack treading upstairs can sound like dinosaurs if you are all alone playing downstairs. She does not like to be downstairs by herself much anymore. Having a good imagination does take some training , I suppose.Reality skewed by the two year old mind seems funny. Until the little ones stay over night and little brother wakes up crying in the middle of the night too many times. Thank goodness my imaginations has been well trained and I can try to be in their place. Little brother forgot where he was and woke up crying because it was not his bedroom and sister wasn’t nearby. A few minutes of soft talking about being afraid and going home soon and how his sleep buddy puppy “Scout” was scared now that Isaac was not in bed, and soon little eighteen mont old was snuggling his stuffy and headed back to sleep.”Look it’s a rainbow shadow!” That one took me awhile, but soon I found the prism’s effect laying across a chair in the kitchen. Indeed, it was a rainbow shadow and quite pretty. The sun hit part of the glass from a wind-chime and the reflection had landed right where little eyes caught it. Moments like these are so precious. Even though the busy-ness of the moment did not allow for any more lesson time. I’ll be looking for the rainbow shadow every time the sun shines through the morning glass.”My cry is gone!” That one took a bit to comprehend also. Knowing that. Little girl is homesick for mom and dad and putting it into relatable terms is hard. Ten o’clock in the evening cries are different that ten in the morning. But it’s best just to give the feeling a name. We talked about that really strong “family” feeling and how it was good not bad. This is family love, I explained. I am so glad that you love your mom and dad so much and that you miss them. That will make having a new sister easier. It’s okay to be homesick, but we still have to eat and drink and take care of our bodies. It’s okay to cry because you want your mom and you dad. God wants families to be together. Should we pray so that Jesus will help you take your sad feeling to be glad that you now have a sister to love? And within fifteen minutes said home sick child was sleeping. So at ten in the morning when little girl declared “My cry is gone!” On her way home, the tears ready to burst the damn of emotions, we were happy to help her express that her “sad was gone because she was going home!” And little borther who missed mom and dad in his own way, became a little parrot and proclaimed “Sad Gone!”