rain drops & morning light

Burst of laughter from the other room.

BFF on spring break spending time.

Her girl friends come for dinner. They laugh until her face hurts.

Beams of sunlight shining on raindrops clinging to new blooms on trees.

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All six of us travel together.

Running late, road blocked because of a moving house . . . caught in a time warp & somehow we get there with a few minutes to spare.

Beautiful Mass that lifts spirits.

More blessings & prayers for her.

In the car I  tease about religious life . . . she begs me to stop.  I laugh and enjoy the jive talk all to much.

The philosopher allows me to photograph him.  I smile at his long locks.  The curls makes me think of the times when his hand fit in mine.

A ballet to see at the Peace Center for the girl who loves to dance. She asks the fisherman to join us – he accepts.

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He gives me a glance that says, ” help me out of this one” and I giggle because she’s to excited to back out now.

Even though he’s one who has to figure out what is going on. . . he lets it go, relaxes and enjoys the night.

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I’m out of sorts all week and see what should go better. It weighs on me.  I keep telling myself to find the blessings.  I fall short and never jot them down.   Some days I don’t look – many  slip away.

I read it again that morning;  give thanks in all circumstances. . .  I know this, I remind myself. 

and then I’m chatting with Charming in the kitchen filled with warm morning light.  He tells me about his day to come,  and I almost miss the beautiful glow coming in. I look out. It startles me and I say,

Oh, . . . That’s so beautiful.

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I grab  the closest camera to me, my phone . . . I move away from the conversation so fast he thinks there is something wrong.

I run outside chasing the gift before the morning sunlight moves and the woods stop looking like a magical land.

and this glorious moment of fog, light and raindrops puts me back to where I need to be.

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Gifts

down town with the fisherman, and company last night

a class to go to learn about trauma and recovery

sleeping late

lunch in the park with my girls

great coffee

warmer days

problems being solved

she seems to have more energy everyday

brisk mornings

the washer sounding like a printer & without fail he asks  “what are you printing in the laundry room” without fail I laugh

 

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settling dust

It’s been two months since I picked up the new camera.  Early morning light calling me & I grab the Nikon before the light moves.

Dust settles in.

mcGuffy readers and flowers

It was a busy week last week with five doctors appointments to fill our days.

The girl who loves to dance is the one who knows where we are going and who we are seeing.  When they ask who’s in charge of the eyes . . . she knows the name and place of practice.

She’s keeping us straight.

The consensus of it all on our girl who loves music   . . . the dust is still settling.

Settled dust will give us more information.

But, over all . . . She’s doing well.

In fact I would say she is doing very well.

The face is coming back, and the eye guy gave a happy dance.

The ear guy says there is lots of fluid that needs to be drained but. . . “we must wait for dust to settle”.

So we wait.

and dust settles

and we move on

and she moves on

and

She’s moving on well.

All kinds of therapy starts tomorrow at Roger C. Peace . . .  a place for the injured. I know they will love her there. She will work hard and do what they ask of her.

She’s a fighter this girl. She’s strong. She’s ready to roll.

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Gifts

light calling me, streaming in

beautiful sky

notes  to me from the best friend ever

good morning hugs from the youngest of us

songs that make us dance in the car

listening to stories to be told from strangers

a phrase that makes her say, “now we have to listen to that song”

she discovered Bob Seger

clean laundry

celebrating birthday dinners with the brown eyed girl

stillness

walk in the woods

strength

 

our normal

Getting the pills down before bedtime is required the nights before labs. And because of this late medication time I know the headache will be so bad he keeps the eyes closed for our early morning drive.

keeping the heart is top priority . . . always. 

I juggle people making sure everyone is in place before the drive.

Charming’s car is down – he takes the truck to school for classes starting at nine.  But first drops the brother off at work. . .  running from town to town to get the job done.

he drives over a 100 miles this day.

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Then back home to hangout with our girl by 11 . . . our girl the world has embraced – the girl who loves music.

and everyday she is doing more and more . . .   eye closing in. . . that smile widens.

 my heart rejoices

the little one in the care of the best Nana.

a sigh of relief

I feel familiar here

We grab that morning cup of Jo only for me and roll out back into traffic . . .  back on track.

Something strangely comforting here I say,  with this trip I feel like we are finally getting back to our normal.

He agrees, closes his eyes and says: “Thank you for driving me. . . I know the perfect place for lunch today.” 

I smile happy to be with him.

happy for our normal

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Gifts

no work for the Fisherman over the weekend & the little one rejoices. “Yay, Dad’s home” she sings. and I know she’s right

She sings the Sister Suffragette

Lucy surprises with colorful tulips on Valentines day

beautiful sunrise & reflection over Lake Hartwell 

knowing the fisherman can fix that car

safe trips

good report back from blood work

birds singing

warm, beautiful days

everyone working hard

medications to keep us going

a great lunch yesterday in a new favorite place

work for the fisherman today

teaching her

visits filled with love, cookies & sandwiches from his mom & sisters

 

First Day of Advent . . . a day of Hope

I just can’t enough of the eyes on this girl.

Elizabeth and her blue eyes.jpg warmed up B

So today marks the third month of her daddy’s transplant. Today is also the first day of Advent . . . a day of Hope.

And it is a day of Hope. It was a weekend of hope –  it was an ordinary weekend just like any other – with the Fisherman outside helping the tallest of our children with his car.  Oh! That car! That terrible, terrible car.

The pair came in and out of the house with greasy hands searching the internet of what to do next.

The Fisherman watched the ball games, listening where he could to them on his phone and hoped for the Steelers to win with great disappointment. The girl who loves music helped to put lights on the Christmas tree, and the girl who loves everyone played with friends.

The philosopher had gone back to school

and then it was time for the Fisherman’s walk – something he couldn’t do before transplant.

We walked side by side, and talked with cool wind blowing, leaves falling – the day turning into night, and then he said. “Hey, lets run.”

and he beat me.

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1001 gifts

321.) running with the Fisherman again

322.) a day like any other

323.) leaves twirling

324.) warm brownies

325.) all my children sleeping in the same house – eating at the same table

326.) to much food in the fridge

327.) laughter

328.)  a warm bed

329.) people glad to see us

330.) the prayers – so many prayers

331.) losing to the Fisherman during our run . . . something that could never have happened three months ago.

the Economist in my house

Okay, It’s time you knew. I have kept this secret long enough.  I have to come clean on this one.  You are my friends right? You won’t judge me to harshly.  

Will you???



I mean you put up with my bad spelling, my poor grammar and my rambling thoughts. So I thought I should just tell you.  

I have this son that’s, well. . . a little strange.  



He likes. . . lectures A LOT! He likes economics as much as he likes lectures. Strangely enough, he likes lectures and economics together. . . at the same time. 

Okay, yeah, there is more. 



He like lectures and economics enough to  win a scholarship to study economics in a lecture setting for. . . 12 hour days. . . for a week. 


I know! 


A  whole week. 7 days . . . 12 hours a day.



I have tried with this kid, I really have. But, he thrives on lectures and economics. . .at the same time.  He tells me, “because I have home schooled him he knows how to think. . .for himself.” 

 “Wait a minute!” “I did that?” Huuu???



So here we are, I have an economist in the house. Not just any economist, we have an Austrian Economist.  Most particularly, I am talking a Ludwig von Mises Institute school of economics economist. AND that’s a mouth full! 


I am telling you, Matthew studies and studies and studies this thing. He reads books that are bigger then. . .I don’t know. . .a dictionary about this stuff.  He really finds it all very interesting. 



He fills me up with the things he has learned. I listen and think. . .could he be right? Does he really know what he’s talking about? and then I hear the things he says on the news about: the way things are going in this great country of ours and what needs to be done and why our government won’t do them.  


It’s quite overwhelming. 



And I think. . . well, maybe an Economist in the house is not so bad. There are days I get to call him “my son sunshine” because of the gloominess of his tone. “My Son Sunshine” tells me all about why the FED is bad and what really needs to be done in our government. . .to make things work again for all of us and why our government won’t do them. 

And, sometimes I just have to say to him. . .

STOP!” 

“I can’t take it anymore!” I know! Doom and Gloom. The FED is bad. . . Our government is corrupt, Congress violates the Constitution with nearly every new bill they enact.   We all get it! ” 

 Ron Paul rules! “

and then I’ll lovingly say: 

“Matthew tell me this?  
Why did you have to learn so much about the constitution?” 
“Why didn’t you just pretend to read it like the other kids do?” 



So,  my oldest son, Matthew, the son I home schooled for nine years, won a scholarship to the  Ludwig von Mises Institute at Auburn University with an essay that he wrote. The scholarship paid for everything from his food, to his room and board,  to the lecture classes that was all about economics. All Matthew had to do was get to Atlanta Georgia the very same weekend Mark got out of the hospital. 


His bag were packed and Matthew and I  drove the 176 miles to the Atlanta Airport. 

We talked about how very nerves he was about going to a place where he didn’t know a soul. We talked about how proud his father and I are of him for doing this all on his own.  We talked about how excited he was to meet his idols and learn more about this subject that he loved. . . and maybe, just maybe Ron Paul would be there. 

Matthew went to Auburn and the school of economics with the hopes and dreams that only a 19 year old could. He learned, and he studied , and he studied and he learned. He called  me three times a day to share the things he had learned and to tell me how excited he was to be there. He told me who he had met and how brilliant the “average” person was  at the institute that week. Matthew talked about what was said and what he already knew to be true. He talked about his hopes for the future. . .if only the government of today would listen.  .  . and stop thinking about. . .well, themselves and who’s pockets they are in. 

 

When Matthew came home, he was not only a week older and wiser,  he was “intoxicated” from the all the knowledge that was swimming around in his head. He was tired from the long week of lectures and note taking. He was full from his week of listening to arguments and debates from the people he had only read about and admired from afar.   For weeks now, Matthew has been filling us up with von Mises  ideas for the world and the things he wants to become. He told me how he wants to fight for what is right. . .and how he can’t wait to go back to “the Institute” next year and learn and study and listen for a week  and those 12 hour days   of more studying, learning and growing. AND just maybe just maybe Ron Paul will be there. 

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“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” 


Benjamin Franklin 

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Unknown Mami
 Ni Hao Yall
Fresh Mommy 
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. . .In A Box

You know what they say: With age comes wisdom. . . 
and then again, they say: Great things come in small packages. 
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
 
I guess you could say both of these statements are very true. 
 
Just last night my mom and I were talking about my dad. Mary Elizabeth was there and she noticed just how very  sad  ” the best Nana ever” was getting while the best Nana talked about her beloved husband. 
 
In a very wise and mature voice Lizzy said: ” Nana, you don’t have to miss Grandpa. He lives in your heart.”    
 
~ “See, I’ll show you.”~ 
 
Because our wisest and littlest one didn’t know how to draw a heart, Elizabeth asked “the best Nana ever” to draw a heart for her. 
 
So Nana drew the heart and Liz goes on to say in her wisest voice. . .
 
“See, just like this Nana.” “He’s little, tiny.” “In your heart.” and Liz drew a little, tiny man. . . in Nana’s heart. 
 
Liz then says. . .“Oh! but, In a box.” 
and then she lovingly drew a box around her grandpa. . . in Nana’s heart.  
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
 
You see, the last time Mary Elizabeth saw her grandpa it was at his funeral. She had just turned three years old.  She knows her grandpa has died and has gone to heaven “to be with the Saints and Angles”.  We tell her this all the time. 


What she can’t figure out is  ~ why in the world he has gone to this place called heaven. . . and. . .Why?. . .  In a box of all things.  
 
 
and the house broke out into laughter and the Best Nana Ever said. . . 
 
“Boy! Would Grandpa love that.” 


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A Day without the Best Nana Ever

Mary Elizabeth and I went to the Scottish Games at Furman University last weekend to see the activities and in hopes to meet up with “the best Nana ever” and Auntie, her sister. 

We saw men is skirts doing all kinds of things like: throwing sand bags and polls, playing bag pipes and flutes to beautiful dresses for woman.   ~ Sadly, we never found Nana or Auntie.

Without finding “the best Nana ever and her sister“,  quite honestly Mary Elizabeth was not very impressed with the Scottish Games or the men in skirts. 


She wanted to feed the Swans. Now to her, that is something to see. Everyone knows Furman is the place a person should go to feed ducks.  We left our hopes of finding Nana and her sister: We left the Scottish men in skirts and went to the ducks and swans.  

Although the swans were very exciting the day was hot.  We decided blue ice cream was in order and thought just maybe Nana and her sister might have the same idea.  They like ice cream.             But, it ended up just being the two of us.               One of us was happy about that ~ the other one. . .well. . . she just wanted to see “the best Nana ever. . . that was all.”



When we saw balloons in the distance our hearts soared with pure joy . 


We thought it would be fun to call Stephen to ask if he wanted to join us in our great balloon chase. After all, everyone knows,  if you can’t see “the best Nana ever. . . and her sister” “the best big brother ever” IS . . .well. . . second best. 


So we quickly picked up Stephen and began our adventure (( with our second best))  “the best big brother ever” by our side.

 and we  “chased balloons ALL. . . Night. . . Long” ~   as my youngest daughter tells the story. 
The End! 
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The Brutal Days of Home School

This home school thing really gets tough sometimes. There is so much to learn and study some days I just don’t know how we get it all done. Like, a few weeks ago the kids and I headed back to Furman for another Debate Lecture about the United States Policies towards Russia. 


I am not sure if my older three are learning much from these trips but I know Liz and I are learning a lot! 

We have already learned the Swans really like us. When they see us standing by the pond they come right over. 

We studied Puddle Jumping 101 

There was a cloud class. . .and strangely enough, we did really well in that one. It was even a little relaxing. . .  But promise you won’t tell anyone. We don’t like to brag about how smart we are. Sometimes people find these college classes really hard. 

Even though we did really well in the cloud class, I think we smoked the stopping to smell the roses class 100. 

These Home School days at Furman are brutal I tell you!  


So brutal, we had to stop for ice cream. 

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Did I say Furman was brutal? 

Gee, I thought Furman was tough. . .but it has nothing on Clemson.  The debate club took our little class to Clemson last week. 


There were more Lectures about Russia that we had to attend. There was a lesson on how to use the college  library and a tour of the school. Clemson is a great big school! The lecture was tough. 

Kathryn seemed to love this school and fit right in. 

After the lecture, tour and library class Matthew and Stephen visited with friends toured the school and talked about the future. 

Liz and I attended a journalism class and  interviewed the Elite.  

They shared their thoughts on the war and how tough things were for them. We took some time to really ponder things and then we went back to our brutal home school life. 

There was little time to waste. The leaf  throwing class was about to begin and these Clemson Tigers don’t mess around. When it is time for class it IS time for class. 

There was a final run the grounds 

AND THEN 

It was time to call it a day. Yes! Sometimes these home school days can be brutal. But don’t worry, we try to take it easy and enjoy each other every now and then.