Friday Favorites – Puppy Edition (From my Phone)

Rex and Louis.

They are such a pair! Full of energy, mischief, and mayhem. But my goodness, we love these little guys! Rob probably not as much because the amusement of puppy antics wears thin for him rather quickly but he does say he will love the dogs they are going to be 🙃

They used to be so little!

Now Rex is about 30lbs and Louis is 26lbs. When I walk them by myself that is a whole lot of puppy to handle!

They are so funny though. One of them will find a stick or something (anything really and I do mean anything 🤢) and they will let just enough hang out of the side of their mouth so the other one can see it. Then the fun begins! The one with something will deliberately pass into the line of sight of the one who does not have something and the shenanigans start.

Looks like an episode for dogs gone wild or something but it’s not a cigar I promise, just a stick.

Tug of war is a favorite pastime of theirs. And so are bubbles which just makes me laugh watching them.

We do spend a lot of time with them outdoors and Rob built them a dog run of sorts that I affectionately refer to as the play pen. Our yard is plenty big so we take lots of walks, rain or shine.

A stunning selfie of me in my raincoat and what you can’t see are my wellies. Whoever invented rubber boots has my deep heartfelt gratitude.

We are working to having them in the main part of the house which they love. They are such social creatures and really want to be with their people. They are finally past the initial excitement of being inside and needing to explore and sniff every inch of everything and will actually settle down and rest inside in whatever room most of us happen to be in. That does tend to be the kicthen most often and they get quite curious when I’m cooking.

They still like watching the horses. As they have gotten bigger they have gotten braver and will bark at them. They horses pay little attention to them.

Poor Lucy…she is great with child and due to foal next week. I figure that even though I have been watching and waiting and waiting she is probably going to give birth while we are in Monroe for the wedding :-/

So that’s the puppy update. It’s funny to me that we now have two cats and two dogs and Rob is also planning on getting chickens. (We will put them in a veritable fortress to protect them from the pups.) The girls are still trying to convince Rob we need cows but Claire is hoping only a milk cow. No way does she want to raise her future dinner 😉

Have a good weekend, y’all!


A Friday Funny and a Poem

Autism is nothing more than normal behavior carried out to the extreme nth degree possible. So, when we say Sam is punctual or that he likes to follow a routine what we are really staying is that Sam is punctual and likes to follow a routine.

In the beginning of the school year everyone is excited and pretty easy to wake up in the mornings. The girls are eager to get to school and see friends and move with what I call purpose in the mornings. We leave promptly no later than 7:10 in the morning during this purposed time.

But by now, half way into the year, sleep is more desirable than that extra few minutes chatting with friends before morning meeting begins. There is decidedly less purpose in getting up and more purpose directed towards refining the exactly how long can I stay in bed and still get to school without getting a tardy slip process.

For the girls that is. Because Sam is punctual and likes to follow routine. The routine that says arriving any later than 7:30 means we’re late. It doesn’t matter that school doesn’t start officially until 7:50.

He has taken to “helping” the girls in the morning by loading lunch boxes for them and loudly proclaiming the time every two minutes beginning at 7 a.m. “Pick it up people” is a common refrain he sing songs while careening around the house bumping into things and tripping over his own two huge feet.

He even makes cartoons to illustrate just exactly how he feels about the whole thing.

Apparently, he feels like getting his sisters out the door in the morning is like herding a bunch of snails.

Sam isn’t the only one willing to share his talent and creativity with the family and the poem I want to share with you today was written by Claire. She is our child who wants to be an artist. Actually no, she informs us that she is an artist. She is pretty creative and this year words and stories are coming alive for her in a way like never before. She’s always been a note writer but her skills are becoming more refined. For an eight year old anyway.

Family and friends I have
Do you?
I have friends to.
Do you old chap?
Yes I do!
Do you person?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I do.
How long has this been going on?
 ~a poem by CEH

I love that she only signs with her initials 🙂

Life Is Good

We spent much of yesterday at the Naval Aviation Museum. The huge aircraft hanging everywhere or placed where we can get up close and personal is impressive but honestly my favorite part is the miniature aircraft carriers. Ironically, I am more aware and amazed by the sheer size of those ships when I see them scaled down.

Pensacola NAS museum air craft carrier miniature

Pensacola NAS air craft carrier miniature

After we had meandered around a while we went to the lighthouse and enjoyed a picnic under the shade of some huge old oak trees.

Pensacola NAS lighthouse

We walked along the beach and just enjoyed the beautiful day. While I cannot say that it was cool, the day was unseasonably not hot.

 Claire rolled her capri pants up as far as she could and splashed in and out of the water. She also drew in the sand.

She was with her people and all was well in her world.

And indeed it is.

Sam’s World ~ An Evening of Theater and Recitation

Sam loves school.

He loves his class mates and knows just about all the students in the school.

He loves his teachers. (Although he wouldn’t say that ~ too romantic, you know!)

He doesn’t give us any trouble about homework and seems quite happy to do it.

Recently, the school held one of its annual events, An Evening of Theater and Recitation. Every class memorizes and performs some piece of literature. This year was the best ever as they all choose very well known classics and delivered them with skill and humor.

We weren’t really sure how Sam was going to do for several reasons. One, he has a tendency to mumble and smash all his words together into a barely coherent  blather of sound when asked to read aloud. Two, we didn’t know how he would handle being in from of a crowd. And, third, how well he would do following all the directions and controlling his body on stage.

Turns out we had no need to worry at all but he kept us guessing right up to the moment he got on stage. At home he was reluctant to practice his lines for us. And if he messed up he would make this horrible garbled sound pretending to rewind his words. Needless to say the words, “You can’t do that on stage!” came out quite a bit. But he didn’t make any mistakes, he spoke clearly and was easily understood.

Oh, I wish you could have seen him! He stood so tall and proud with his class and practically vibrated with excitement. His eyes sparkled and his smile was HUGE! Because I was photographing the event he saw me on the front row and winked at me several times.

He stepped forward to deliver his lines and the stepped back, glancing at his neighbor as if to say, “I did it right, didn’t I? Did you see me?!” Thrilled with his delivery and the success of the performance he gave a nice little fist pump as they all walked off stage. I missed that though. My eyes were a little blurry because I teared up at the sheer joy that showed on his face the whole time.

Afterwards, many people told us how much they enjoyed seeing his anticipation and excitement. Many people congratulated him and it fueled his idea that he is now famous. He sat back in one of the seats and slung both arms across the back of them and pronounced himself very satisfied.

As we celebrated with McFlurries on the way home he asked Rob, “It was the best day ever, Dad?”

“It sure was, Buddy.”

I know this is a Sam’s World post but I just have to let you know the girls did a fabulous job too.

The Great Winter Storm of 2014

In case you somehow missed it, it’s been pretty cold in these here parts. Like, seriously cold. Honestly, I didn’t mind it at all. I loved the unexpected three days of having the kids home.

Not so much the power going out for almost twenty four hours and therefor no heat except for our fire place, but even that was great fun. It was family time with no technological and electronic interruptions. And we had kind friends who had us over for hot cocoa and a nice warm visit. The kids delighted in playing dark hide-n-seek the evening we lost power and it was hilarious for me to sit by the fire and listen to them play. Sarah, as it turns out, has amazing staying power and does not easily give up her hiding spot even when she hasn’t been found for fifteen minutes. Emily declared she had to brainstorm and needed quiet while trying to figure out hiding spots, Abby just quietly pondered and whenever she came up with a spot would go check it out. Samuel enjoyed playing the scaredy cat and Claire would just pace around the living room and ask everyone to go with her to search. I did draw the line at the Gollum  impressions. There’s just something creepy at hearing that voice saying, “Come find me, my precious” in the dark.

We put the fire place to good use. Not only to keep us warm but we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, something the kids have begged to be allowed to do since we moved here. And Sam also got his wish to sleep in front of the fire all night.

Rob kept the home fires burning literally just about all night. It was still cold but we all stayed cozy and fared better than most have in history before all of our modern conveniences, and still better than others today. It gave us an interesting historical perspective on some of our favorite books like Little House on the Prairie and Keep the Lights Burning Abby.

The kids and I went for a walk and even though we didn’t get to play in snow since we mostly had just ice, we did enjoy the magical beauty of everything being encased in ice. There may or may not have been some slipping and sliding on drive ways and icy patches of grass, or icicle harvesting from neighbor’s mailboxes and garbage cans. Regardless, it sure made the house feel pretty stinking warm even without the heater when we got back!

It was a lot of fun and an adventurous story for us to look back on in years to come that will start with, “Hey remember when…”

So, How’s It Going?

When I started the first blog it was easy. The kids were little and there always seemed to be some little story to share. Words seemed to come easier then too and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Extended silence on Sam’s Family was rare but did happen occasionally. And then I got quiet and realized a couple of things.

First, children are a lot funnier when they are little. There are fewer haha moments – that, or they’re old enough now that I need to take into account their feelings on whether or not I should share the haha moments.

Second, I’ve gotten older as well. (More on that in a bit.) For me this means that the words don’t come as easily now. I hope this is because I’ve learned to measure my words carefully and to let what I say mean something. I’ve come to appreciate the truths found in the tenth chapter of Proverbs: with many words transgressions are not lacking, and nourishment is found in the lips of the righteous to mention a few nuggets of wisdom found there.

When I started this blog my intent was nothing more than to have a place to share my photography. But I quickly learned that I am more of a storyteller than I thought, and I need both words and pictures to satisfy. But I still had plans to be all grown up and scheduled about it. Mondays would be recipe days. Tuesday was for posts on wifery and parenting or Christian womanhood or some other specific topic. I would share an image on Wordless Wednesday. Friday would be some kind of sharing highlighted with pictures, and Sunday would be (and still is) a Scripture verse paired with an image.

My goodness, looking at it all laid out like that seems kind of crazy. And if you just mosey through the previous few weeks you can see that I clearly haven’t been keeping that schedule. At first it was the holidays and just being out of the rhythm. Tried to get back to it only to get derailed again this time by my birthday and a long weekend.

Basically, life happens and there isn’t always time to blog about it or through it. So I am officially letting myself off the hook…no more stressing that oh-good-gracious-it’s-Sunday-and-I-haven’t-written-up-the-recipe-for-tomorrow or whatever. (Watch, I’ll say this and be on some kind of blogging marathon for the next month.)

Life gets busy but one of the best parts of my week happens on Wednesdays. Wednesday is moms group. I love it! I love the noise and the little people, the food and friendship. It’s an amazing group of women and they all have so many talents and skills. One of them started the neatest project at the beginning of the year. She’s crocheting a sky blanket. In preparation she gathered yarn in various shades of blues and grays. Every morning she looks at the sky and chooses the yarn that most closely matches it. She then crochets one row. (Since this is a year long project she’ll obviously end up with 365 rows. She determined that half of that would make a nice width so each row is around 182 stitches.) So far it is absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine how lovely the completed blanket will be. And how smart are the safety pins? She has them every so many stitches to help make sure of her counting. This actually really makes me want to learn to crochet.

Okay, so I mentioned that I recently had a birthday. I turned forty three this past Sunday. I told my beloved this morning that I am solidly in middleagedness. He just gave me this sweet smile and told me he delights in my gray hair. How could I not be happy growing old with him?

But still. This has happened.

That’s right. I have officially joined the ranks of the straight arm brigade. Without these nifty little things on my face I hold anything I need to be able to see as far away from my body as humanly possible. How does that happen? It literally seemed to happen over night and don’t even get me started on the gray hairs. I know, and I am thankful he delights in them, but honest to goodness when did I get so old?

And when exactly will I start to feel like a grown up?

Beach Day!

When you live in Florida you have to know one thing about the weather.

It be all cray cray.

One day it’s seventeen degrees and three days later we’re in the seventies. It’s kind of crazy trying to keep up but you just go with it.

When it dropped down into the teens we bundled up and the kids tucked blankets around themselves on the ride to school. We poked frozen water in the birdbaths and checked out the redneck ice sculptures made by some neighbors hooking their water hose to a ladder and letting it run all night. We drank plenty of hot cocoa too.

When it jumped up to the high sixties a few days later we did what any self respecting Florida living beach loving people would do.

We went to the beach. I warned them it was still going to be cold and to bundle up some but they still were not quite prepared so we didn’t stay too terribly long. The beach, even for twenty minutes, is still the beautiful beach and worth it.

The sand was still wet and pretty cold from the rain earlier so she had Sam carry her on his back. He didn’t seem to mind. Notice that sweet smile?

Don’t be fooled by it. He dumped her off right after.

Claire stalked the wildlife.

And Emmie and Ab chased each other to stay warm.

Sarah and Sam were back at it again.

 He escapes though.

And I have no idea what was happening here.

Sarah tried to give Claire a ride on her shoulders. It went well I think.

Love my babies. Days like this will become rare as they grow up. You think about such things when you have a senior in the house I guess. But for today I am just going to remember their laughter, the blue skies and the seagulls as they raced across the sky.

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

Know what movie that quote comes from? Only one of the greatest movies of all time. The Princess Bride has been a family favorite for years and apparently lots and lots of other people think so too. Tons of memes have been created using the phrase and show up all over the internet.

It was the first thing I thought of the other day when Sarah returned home after visiting with my Mother. She handed me this:

It’s label suggest a wholesome tasty and healthy snack right? Only that’s not what was inside.

These were.

Needless to say my kids were ecstatic. And they will  probably have a very skewed reaction to the suggestion of red grapefruit for the rest of their lives too 😉