Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Trees I Planted and The Neighbor Boys

Remember the tree I said I'd pray over? I never did pray over it, and it died. So I went to Lowe's and got two more (because another one died too). The two new trees sat out on my sidewalk for at least a week before I took them to the back patio, where they sat for a few more days, begging to be planted. I was trying to work up the motivation to do it, but I had just planted 12 hostas and about 8 other little shrubs, I was really feeling sorry for myself and for all the ditch diggers in the world.
On a seemingly un-related subject, I facebooked my neighbor the other day to find out if one of her 4 sons would like to come play with my dog for a little bit, he's really been missing my step-son, terribly. I told her that I'd pay them with popsicles and she said one, or all, of them would be happy to come over to take him for a walk. So, after school yesterday, the boys came over, grabbed up little Jackson, got their popsicle payment, and headed down the street. Quite awhile later (much more than my popsicles' worth), they came bounding back into the house, through the kitchen (where Jackson stopped for a drink and I re-supplied them with popsicles) and on out the back door. One by one, almost all of the 10 boys in our neighborhood were knocking on my door hoping to join the party that was quickly developing in the backyard. The boys sat around, ran around, jumped around, and goofed around. Eventually though, as typical boys, they spied my shovel leaned up against the back of the house... suddenly 7 to 10 boys had the urge to dig! I sensed disaster and immediately put a damper on that idea.
Then I realized what a great opportunity I had just been given! These boys could dig up my dead trees, it isn't like the trees could be more dead, and they could help me plant my new trees! Oh the fun they had! Taking turns digging, reluctantly because each boy was sure that he was the greatest digger and should really be the one digging the whole hole, the two trees were removed from the ground and replaced with bright, lively, and green trees! I told them about making sure the trees were in the ground as deep as they needed to be, and we talked about tamping the dirt around the base of the tress. They loved getting the wet dirt and grime on their hands, and I loved getting my trees planted!
After the digging and planting, the boys talked about how last Summer we planted watermelon and, although they didn't get big enough to have the watermelon party we'd hoped for, we still were able to watch the plants grow from seedlings. They assured me that they would love to be here when the time comes to plant my vegetable garden and that when my step-son returns we should have another water hose party with ice cream sandwiches (like last Summer). It was in that moment that I realized something. All the time I put into making great memories for my step-son, like gardening (the watermelon plant was his own choosing), making a camp fire with the friends and neighbor boys, having water fights, supplying ice cream sandwiches for all his friends (once or twice a Summer), or gathering around the kitchen table to play Uno, all this had built wonderful childhood memories for every boy in our neighborhood. Through my little window I saw a really big picture, an amazing and beautiful picture.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little Girls! (and I don't mean that in the Ms. Hannigan way!)

I got to babysit for my bff tonight. This was a first for us, we usually get together and try to soak up as much time as we can in each other's company. Tonight, however, she had a date, in my town! So she rang my phone as asked if I would hang out with her darling daughters, they are ages 2 and 4.
I had the most wonderful evening with them. They ate my cooking, which is rare for most adults even! We played with Lincoln Logs, then Play-Doh for a very long time! After we finished with our play time, we had a bed time snack. The the littlest one washed the snack dishes very well while her big sister sat at my desk and played with some toys. Just before my dear friend came back, the girls and I cozied up to read a book. The highlight of the night? They loved my Ezekiel Bread! I had to make more and fight them for a bite!

That's not all though, last week I got to hang out with my nieces and nephew! We spent time jumping on their trampoline, how I have missed that activity! The girls read books from their mom and dad's bookshelf, showed us how adept they are at surfing the internet, and watched movies that Grandma brought! Their brother was the sweetest little guy, all day! The best movie award goes to... Shirley Temple's Heidi! They loved it! My youngest niece wants her name to be Shirley Temple!

I really love my nephews, but I just adore doing girl things with little girls!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Silver Dollar City

I didn't tell you about our Silver Dollar City trip.

This is the School of Culinary Arts that was added a few years ago. For a $10 bill you can join in the fun and sample the goods.

Another newer addition (though not the new-est) is this area for younger kids. This roller coaster is gentle enough that the more timid of your babes will still get to ride. Mom or Dad can ride too.

The Silver Dollar Saloon has my favorite show! The show changes with the seasons and always brings a laugh.

The General Store has fun stuff to see and to buy. A lite snack of just-sliced cheese with a bit of jerky can keep ya going another hour and can be found here too.

After the day is over and the rides have all closed there's a show in the amphitheater. There's music, dancing, comedy, and food. A great way to end the day and rest your feet before heading home, or to your hotel, or even your tent!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seaside, FL

I've been awake since 6:00! If you've noticed that I post after midnight but usually before 4 or 5 am, then you know how odd it is that I'm waking at this time of day, instead of tucking myself in. Here's why; we were expecting a visit from the Tooth Fairy last night! My lil' guy was so excited that he just couldn't make himself go to sleep. He was up and down I don't know how many times trying to give the Tooth Fairy opportunity to sneak in and make the big switch! To prove that I wasn't the TF I had to hop into bed a few hours early... this is the stunning result!

I have so much to tell you! My family and I returned last week from 9 days in Florida. Just the very edge of Florida, just far enough to count. I took millions of pictures but left most of them on my captian's laptop, which he has, in Florida. There are a few that I can show you though, of a little town that we'll always love to visit, called Seaside.

See? Seaside. They have the best everything in Seaside. It's true.

The best little park, with the best walk down either side. The best benches, best tables, even people doing yoga in the grass.

They have the best shops.

The best, and I mean best, little market store that I've ever walked my boots into. I'll take one of everything please.

The best farmer's market. This is a booth for a restaurant in Ft Walton Beach called Ali Baba Grill Cafe, I googled it for you there. Behind that bottled water is a pan of Baklava, did I try some? No. Am I still crying? Yes.

The best places to eat or drink.

The best sandy path that leads to the ocean.

Even the best beach with the best ocean salt water. Ever.

People, this doesn't even come close.

Go to Seaside, you'll thank me