Saturday, August 27, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

So I'm playing a bit of catch-up with my blogging.  With a bum computer for the latter part of June and early part of July, I got quite behind on picture editing and blogging.  But I'm committed, dad gummit, and I will continue...even if that means moving a bit backward.

In June we had the great privilege and joy of picking strawberries at Lorence's Berry Farm in Northfield, MN with our dear friends, the McCowens.
The weather was perfect, the monkeys were happy, and strawberries were abundant.  Couldn't ask for a better formula.
The only rules were...

Stay within the rows...(Matthew running all the way around the aisle in order to follow the rules...pretty impressive)
 And eat... many...
 ...strawberries... you like...
And eat we did.
In fact, we ate until strawberry juice dripped from our chins...and down our elbows.  No better way to eat a strawberry in my opinion.
Even P got in on the action.
Look at those sweet chubby hands.
Hands and knees hard work.

But well worth the bounty.

The only thing better than the strawberries...
Sharing it with friends.  Friends we never in a million years thought we would be reunited with in this way.  But are oh, so grateful that we are.
And as I said before...boy, did we eat.  (Full bellies, by the way.)

And our bounty?  Weighed in at 12 lbs...each!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Perhaps one of the greatest full-circles of my life is introducing my offspring to our intertwined family.  Particularly my grandparents, the patriarchs and matriarchs of the clan that has made so much of me...well, me.
 It's like the best do-over there is.  Or maybe not so much a do-over, but I get to bear witness as an objective bystander of the sweet tenderness my grandmother has towards my babies. As a babe myself, I was quite consumed with my own egocentricities so that I was not aware.
 I love watching the patience of my grandfather as he teaches the next generation how to shell beans.  (And shell beans we did.  An entire bushel.  And the kids LOVED it.)
 I love the animation of my grandmother as she gets to know my youngest.  I don't remember that face.  But there it is.  With Piper in her arms.
 I love my grandfathers weathered hands.  Those very hands tended the soil and planted the seeds that grew into the harvest of vegetables we enjoyed.  They are also the very hands that planted seeds and tended soil in my own life, harvesting the me that is today.
Look at that concentration.  I can't think of words eloquent enough to describe how I feel watching her work side by side with my grandparents, their great-grandparents.  Proud.  Content.  Grateful.  Reflective.

Isn't the circle of life beautiful?  Marked by pain and disappointment, but also joy and triumph.  So beautiful.  And I get to see a brief picture of it in my mother's kitchen shelling peas.

These are a Few of Our Favorite Things...Days 6-7

The amount of time that has elapsed since last I posted is uncool and just down right rude.  Sorry.  Life happens.  And life is full.

To finish up our trip south, I wanted to share a few of our favorite things at Nana and Popaw's.

1.  Geraniums.
I have countless pics of TBird and Nana's geraniums.  Ever since Nana taught her how to "dead-head", she has taken it on as her sole and primary duty.  They usually end up in a bridal bouquet for a wedding between TB and Nana...or Rivers...or Baxter.  Whoever is available.

2.  Sharing smoothies with Popaw.
And Popaw cereal.  My monkeys LOVE Popaw cereal.  We don't eat cereal at our house.  Come to think of it, I don't even think Popaw eats cereal at his house anymore either.  But the monkeys expect it at Nana and Popaw's.  So the monkeys get it.

3.  Swimming at Shocco's pool.

'Nough said.  That's a hand-stand, by the way.

4.  Baxter.
 Who wouldn't love that sweet canine...
...and his sweet canine kisses.  Pipe surely does.

5.  Crafts.
 She started it with Nana Camp.
 Now the expectation is that Nana has a bag of tricks at all times...much like Mary Poppins.

Who wouldn't be inspired looking at this pile of fuzzy, colorful fun!?

6.  Reading.  Specifically old Disney stories of mine and my brother's that Nana rescued from the attic.

This is Baxter's favorite time of the day.

7.  Bubbles.

What would we do without the Dollar Store?

8.  Backyard toys.

Pipe took off walking this week.  She was quite attached to the walking toys.  You remember the old popper thing, right?  A little throw-back, vintagey fun.

Fun times in the South.  Now back to reality in Minnesota.  More fun times to be had by all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gram and Pop's! (Day 3-5)

There is one place in the world my monkeys love more than any other...Gram and Pop's!  Ok, its a toss up between there and Nana and Popaw's.  So thankful for grandparents who are fully engaged with our monkeys and make their homes a place they love to be.

Splitting up our trip between grandparents made it into a whirlwind of a trip, but worth every mile travelled!

These kids love their Gram!!!  And P loves sunglasses!  Particularly yours.

The last time we visited Covington, GA, Lee and I found the greatest little park complete with both paved and unpaved trails, a play structure, as well as duck/goose pond.  The pond is a bit rank, but the kids get a kick out of feeding water fowl and fishing for minnows...with a net.
 Do you like the tuck up Gram has going on with P here?  The woman is resourceful.
Waiting for said fish with said net.  I think I will title this one "Knock-knees and Soggy Britches."  Yes, she was sitting in the rank pond.  No, we did not have a change of clothes.  
 Love this.  Two peas.  Patiently waiting.
 And this one...not a patient bone in her body.

This is what happens when you tell her, "No, P, you may not eat the goose poop or play with the cigarette butt.  I'm so sorry.  I just love you too much."  

And this would be the sweet little stray puppy that my dear, compassionate, animal-loving eldest monkey would not part with.  At one point I walked up on her arguing so eloquently with Pop that he needed to take on this puppy as a pet project.  Pop wasn't buying.  She fed it bread, got it some water, and laid in the dirt with it while it napped in the shade.  Not exaggerating.  Sweet puppy.
 Silly Gram.  Silly P.
 At Gram's house we double-fist.  No shame.

 The good, thick Southern air inspired P to take off walking.  Now her favorite thing is pushing...big red cars, wagons, scooters.  You name it.

All that practice is certainly paying off.  She now walks more often than crawls.  And she's getting pretty fast.  I think she's pretty proud of herself.  So is Momma.
So thankful for an opportunity to spend some relaxing, refueling time at Gram and Pop's.  My monkeys are certainly blessed.