Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's all about ME!

No, not really. But I did enjoy an afternoon of browsing solo and sipping coffee at a book store yesterday and an evening all to myself last night, stayed up late to watch a movie of my choice, and got to sleep in this morning as long as the psycho kitty would let me.

Sam is away at confirmation camp with our pastor and some kids from church and Rachel stayed the night with my mom last night. I've really been enjoying the girl time with Rachel - painting toenails, giggling, watching Nickelodeon and eating DQ for dinner. What more could a 9-yr-old girl want?

I don't make a point of spending one-on-one time with each of my kids often enough.

I did spent most of Sunday hanging out with Sam before he left for camp. We went to church together (I dropped Rachel off with my in-laws because she wasn't feeling well), we stopped and said hello to my parents after church, and we laughed and talked while we sat in the truck scarfing down some gooey cinnamon melts and sipping frappes from McDonald's. Sam helped me pick out a couple of bright blue Adirondack chairs for under a shade tree here at home, we did some last-minute shopping for him, and then he promptly let me know there was no way I was getting a hug or kiss or even a fist bump as he jumped in the back of Pastor Bill's Jeep with the other boys to head to camp.

Mr. Independence. Hmph.

I have to say, the lack of bickering between the kids has been a welcome reprieve, but I can't wait to hear about Sam's week when he gets home.

It's hard to believe we're already heading into the 4th of July weekend. I'm hoping for a nice, long weekend with Steve here at home ... but I never hold my breath counting on anything when it comes to his work schedule.

And on that note, I'm looking around me and noting everything that needs to be done around the house if I actually want to enjoy the weekend and not be thinking about the mess! Off to spruce things up ...

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A little sightseeing.

It was our comedy of errors. One afternoon while in WV we decided to do some sightseeing. But by the time we (and by "we" I mean me, my children, and my brother's visiting family) got ready to go and decided on a destination it was rather late in the day so we didn't have a lot of luck actually doing/seeing the things we wanted to do/see. It seemed like we either just missed it, couldn't find it, or had the wrong day.

We ended up in Marietta, Ohio, which has an amazing and beautiful historic district. Marietta is about a 20-minute drive from where we were staying across the state line in WV. I'd actually love to go back and spend more time just walking around and taking pictures.

Here are a few I took while we were there. This is St. Mary's Church.


Almost makes this Lutheran girl want to go to Mass just to see the inside.
And the gardens along the sidewalks? Gorgeous. I ran my hands along the ivy draping over the stone walls ... and soaked up the inspiration for my own gardens back home.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Father's Day fun.

Of the eight or nine days we were in West Virginia, Sunday - Father's Day - was the only day the guys had off work.  My brother Jim's family had been visiting too, but they had to leave Sunday morning, so instead of all of us doing our own thing for the day we stuck together with our friends and all went out to have some fun.

First we headed to the Parkersburg Multi-Cultural Festival, despite quiet protests from the guys about "tree huggers" and "crunchy hippies." We ladies figured once we got them there they would have a good time, and I think they did. At least it was fun watching the kids have a good time.

And while Sam and Rachel took one more round in the bouncy play area (best. kids' activity. ever.) Steve and I shared an apple dumpling from one of the food booths.
Yes, there is a pastry-covered apple in there. YUM!

There was music from all over the globe, children's activities, choo-choo rides around the park ...

... lots of informational booths, food vendors - Amish friendship bread, hot sauces, honey, Mexican food, corn dogs, you name it - henna tattoo artists, vintage jewelry makers, belly-dancing lessons, and lots and lots of people-watching. After spending much of the afternoon at the park, we went to dinner at a local seafood restaurant called Fishbone Gill & Grill.

Dinner was awesome. We sat outside on the deck, the kids had a place to play, and we had a good ol' time.

Family pic overlooking the Ohio River.

Da boys. The dads might have imbibed a wee bit that day. 

My dinner (half eaten). I couldn't get over how beautiful these grilled shrimp kabobs were. Tasty, too.

You can hardly make it out, but this is a pic of a huge coal barge passing the dock at the restaurant. (If you enlarge the photo you can kinda' see the barge stretch from one side to the other.)

The gang. That's my brutha Jim on the left (nice white legs, bro), our friends Travis and Nada and their son Colton (protesting having his picture taken), and the rest of us. All of us pipe lifers.
Quite the crew, eh?

I know it was Father's Day, but we had so much fun it was a day this mom will remember for a long time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


We're home. Home, sweet home. The kids and I had a great time visiting Steve in West Virginia over the past week or so, but I am definitely glad to be back. As much as I hate leaving Steve I'm happy for simple pleasures like being able to take a long, hot shower and stretch out in my big bed and know where everything is in the pantry.

It really is the little things.

I've got lots to share about our trip but it'll keep. Tomorrow we start to get Sam packed up for summer church camp and make a list of what he needs that we have to pick up on our next trip to town.

For now? Sweet, sweet sleep.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Let the vacationing begin!

It's late and I should be catching some zzz's but I'm too cranked up on caffeine to even think about sleep right now. We're heading to West Virginia in the morning and I just can't leave without taking care of a few loose ends here at home.

I finally had to tell the kids to stop whatever they were doing and go to bed. The two of them getting a good night of sleep is more important to me than leaving at my target time of 7 a.m. If they take a little more time to finish packing in the morning I'm fine with that as long as they have slept for several hours which will help keep the griping and groaning to a minimum. They didn't need any caffeine tonight; I think they're pretty excited about visiting daddy and seeing their WV friends again.

So while I wait for the laundry to finish up I'm sorting through papers on my desk, making sure bills are paid, and thanking God that we have family who are willing to house- and pet-sit while we are gone. I so appreciate knowing everything is taken care of at home and I am free to relax and enjoy myself and time with my husband and kids.

We just have to get there first.

It's about a 10-hour drive with a couple of quick pit stops along the way. I am not excited about the drive. And I don't usually mind driving, but that's a long haul and I've done it enough times to know there is no way to make it faster or easier. The best thing about it is the end, where Steve and our comfy trailer and beds will be waiting for us.

I can't wait.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Simple pleasures.

Life has me going at what feels like 100 miles an hour lately, and I'm doing my best to keep up and at the same time take a few minutes here and there to enjoy the little things.

My part-time, springtime gig is just about over and that means a good chunk of time every day will be freed up for me, just in time for the kids to be out of school. I am eager to give the alarm clock a rest.

This morning I'm enjoying the cool-off from last night's rain, and the fact that I don't have to water my plants today. Watching the swallows swerving and diving to catch bugs made me smile as we picked asparagus this morning. And when I returned home from the field I was greeted by the sight of my first few Morning Glories. Everything was pretty beaten down by the rain (and a few minutes of hail!) last night, but these babies opened up during the time I was gone.

This makes me happy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Checking in.

Friday again already. Whew. I have been crazy busy and by the time I sit down at night I'm too tired to catch up in blogland. But I'm alive! In case anyone was wondering.

Steve is settling in in West Virginia. He's happy with his work, which makes me happy.

The kids have one week left of school. I think we might all live to see summer vacation.

My days have been filled with a constant rotation of activities. Planting stuff, building stuff, picking asparagus with the neighbors, tending to all the other living creatures in the household - two-legged and four-legged - and all the other stuff that goes with being mom and dad and homeowner.

I sure haven't had any trouble falling to sleep when I crawl into bed at night. And I'm not a sun worshiper but I'm beginning to look like one; I've been out in it a lot lately.

For once in what seems like ages we have absolutely nothing on our calendar for the weekend. I could get used to that. I'm going to pick up a few more plants today and hopefully I'll have some time to sit back and relax for a while.

Have a great weekend!