Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life Glimpses

At the beginning of Week 8 I finished the Christmas aprons project. Kayla and I had decided to include ourselves and chose appropriate fabric, but we did not feel so compelled to finish sewing our own aprons in time for the gift exchange. There must be some credit for not giving up. I for one, have really enjoyed wearing mine this week. I love the three big pockets that I can fill up with odds and ends I pick up and then put away. I like the marsupial concept!

So Mike's apron was finished for our anniversary and mine for Valentine's Day so we could take a joint photo. My dear one's photo won out and so made it into the blog as did his deer photo. These beautiful creatures have visited us almost every day this week. We watch them out our kitchen window.

Some of my dear little students brought belated Valentines and gifts. The bottom one especially made me smile--"...we will not forgive you..." Does God smile and enjoy our faulty expressions of love too?

My true love is home every evening now. He gave up his work with the robotics team that he had mentored so faithfully for so long. His heart was no longer in it, he was experiencing burn out.

Now he relaxes creating beautiful pottery while listening to my piano playing. Wow, I feel very honored that he even asks me to play and enjoys my attempts at making music.
I do believe he will soon fill up all our window sills with his art!

Another ongoing event this week is the ANGEM Tour of California with Lance Armstrong participating along with all the cycling greats we've come to 'know' over the years of extreme 'fandom'. You've got to understand that Mike is an avid rider and when the Tour de France is on every year the banner goes up on our house and life revolves around the watching of the famous race as part of our daily routine. He also travels with his buddies to a cycling event nearly every year and in fact, almost five years ago now, his life was spared in a serious cycling accident.
The following photo may seem totally unrelated, however it is a reminder of the special Sunday viewings when our fellow-cycling-fans come over to watch several recorded stages and we eat waffles. Brutus, the cat not being as interested in the exciting event cuddled up on one of our friend's lap and purred away as the rest of us chattered non stop.

No photo to commemorate my accomplishment for the week, but here it is in words, almost as a confession--the Christmas stuff is finally put away!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Daily Doubles

Most days I needed two photos to tell what was important to remember. Maybe I just can't make up my mind.

SUNDAY. A week ago today M and I went to visit my Dad in a Health Care facility. Due to a minor stroke his right foot buckles under and he can no longer walk unaided. His cheery disposition and humorous comebacks go a long way to make up for the advancing memory losses.

Mother is very guapa. In my day, or at least in Argentina, that meant a woman with extraordinary fortitude, or so I understood it. Today it refers to good looks. At 87 she has both. She spends a major portion of each day going back and forth to spend time with Dad.
Here you see her very excited about her first cell phone.

Remember MNMs at Chef-son's? As usual we laughed, ate and shared together. Two memorable weekend events dominated the evening: Chris and Rachael's engagement and Stephan's 5th in the nation placement at the NICA competition.

Here, our happy South African friend Chris is entertaining one of the younger attendees of MNM.

And the centerpieces you see are master ice carver's many awards.


My man and my brother meet to discuss options for the parentals. Here at brother's rebuilt and expanded auto shop, quite an impressive set up. He reminded us of the two year anniversary of "Global warming"--the fire that damaged Global Auto!

Stopped by daughter's place after school and got to meet a new grand pet, granddaughter Kayla's hamster--Moe. Does that make it my great grand pet?

The granddogs are very curious.

Me enjoying Mexican vegetable soup in the home of a couple 7th grade students after school, obviously not my photography.
These twins, after only three or four years in the USA are on the honor role. They begged me to come help them with their Reading Counts. We read a couple chapters of Old Yeller together, explaining and laughing.
Little sister is sooo cute.

We awoke to a beautiful dusting of snow. I had to capture it while it lasted.
How do you like our winter garden? The rotating hanging garden system still has some bugs to be worked out, not only mechanical issues but also gardening aspects. Spindly tho' they be, we are harvesting lettuce, spinach, parsley, and my favorite--cilantro!

And, finally, my favorite porch swing--reminder of happy moments and more to come, in spring.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Creative Fun

A new month, another week.
Don't you just love the calendar holder by creative Chef-son ?
Each family received their own uniquely crafted gift for Christmas.

Day 2: I had to explain Groundhog Day to my estudiantitas. She wanted her photo taken with the famous rodent. I learned a couple things in the process: marmota is Spanish for groundhog, and their dientes just keep growing and breaking off!

Oh! And the official word from Phamous Phil is: 6 more weeks of winter.
So there you have it. Why not enjoy it?

The family decided to build a snow camel.

Chef-son, the sculptor is detailing the face.
Grandson Skye

Skye and Kayla's first ever camel ride.

Granddaughter Kayla

Is she just a younger version of her mother? That's what everyone says. But how can you tell from these photos alone?

Daughter Leah is her mother and this is my absolute favorite baby picture. (Read her story in the earlier post.)

Baby Leah
She was wearing a red fine-corduroy outfit. I think I still see fear in her eyes. I look at her raised finger and remember that when we first saw her, at three and a half months lying in a hospital crib, she was playing with her fingers. The room was bare, no toys, and she was the sole occupant. Even now her hands are very important. Her long fingers can create something artistic out of most anything. And, like some of our creative bloggers, she isn't happy unless she is creating.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Johanna's Baby

Thirty six years ago today, a sixteen year-old gave birth to a baby girl in a hospital in Germany. Johanna's family were impoverished refugees from Chekoslovakia. For a while the family of six children lived in a cave. Later, social services could barely keep up with their needs.

Johanna's unexpected pregnancy was unbearable and unacceptable, but so was an abortion. She named her baby Manuela and abandoned her in the hospital. Some months later Johanna needed to know what had happened. She came back to the hospital to inquire about her baby--did she have a home, a good family?

Meanwhile, a few months earlier, a young American couple living in a small town in Germany, had begun the adoption application process. The paperwork complete, the waiting began.

German Social Services had reservations: Who were these people? Did they belong to some strange cult? What were they doing in this country? Finally, the English-speaking midwife who had befriended the young couple two years earlier, put in a good word for them. They met her when she was called at the last minute to help with the delivery of the Americans firstborn. Now, once again, she intervened.

The very next day, a social worker knocked at their door and asked if they wanted a baby girl.

I was that extremely excited "expectant" mom who answered the door!

Come back in July for the rest of the story...

But today, I am remembering Johanna as she mourns her loss--our gain.
I am thinking of our daughter who also grieves her abandonment and wonders...