Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 Week 17: Big Announcement

I like this photo from Easter Sunday, I spied Matt and Kayla out on the deck, each quietly doing their own thing. We've found out that Matt is a very good photographer.

They were not so quiet on Monday, however, after they saw many ultrasound photos of their baby!!!

Sharing the news with grandpa                                                              Sharing with the world on Facebook!

The news blew up on Facebook. I posted the photo on the left and it got some 150 Likes!
Now we wait till August to meet our great granddaughter!

Mike is back into the once-a-week Tuesday evening robotics routine. Several times I've looked out the kitchen window in the evenings to see four or five deer grazing on the new grass growth.

Wednesday evening we enjoyed hearing stories from a young friend who's been living in South East Asia.

Thursday evening we attended a concert at Anderson University to support another young friend.

Friday I got to spend hours of fun with my youngest grandsons.

"It's raining"                                                                                "Yeah, the sun is out!"
We spotted some new flowers.

Saturday, while Michael was out on his bicycle attempting to reach 100 miles, his little sister Diane and I spent the day together. First, coffee at McD's, then a long time browsing in the Unorganized Bookstore. She loves bookstores!

I spent a couple hours working in the garden and planted three new starts.
I discovered so many lovely clusters of violets.

Sunday, some friends from Monday night meals spent the afternoon with us so Nanxin could experience Ivanhoe's atmosphere and food, and see our home before she returns to China. We taught her to play Hand & Foot, and she won!

As it seems this weekly post is not complete without an expression of art, here is the piece Nanxin chose from Mike's Klaytivity display.
Another week has flown by and I'm late again.

Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 Week 16: Semana Santa

Holy Week, as it is called, is over, always a sobering and good time reflecting on the greatest event in history, the most powerful act of love--God the Son's sacrifice to pay for our sin and His resurrection which guarantees our salvation and new life!

We celebrated with friends on Good Friday. The Blakeleys have a home full of love and beautiful children.
We sat around in a circle and shared many stories of God working in our lives. We laughed a lot and ate good food.

And, Resurrection Sunday, yesterday, we had a wonderful celebration as a family, at lest two thirds of us.
Skye's two friends joined us. We used the Resurrection Eggs again. First, a search to find the hidden eggs around the room. Then as I read, each opened his/her discovered egg in turn. The story does not grow old.

The week began with yet another 'growing-old' physical reality. Early Monday we left for Mike's colonoscopy. The long wait nearly made us late for the next thing on our calendar, a memorable event we look forward to every year--the chapel and luncheon in memory of Rick Seaman.

Monday evening, as is our happy custom, another meal at son Stephan's, this time quite different--spring rolls. I'd never seen or tried those plastic-looking wraps. The many fillings and sauces made these quite delightful.

I remember writing last Sunday, "Spring is here to stay." Ha! Tuesday we woke up to this surprise.

I was especially worried about all the beautiful daffodils that had exploded profusely. The clumps were indeed flattened. However, surprisingly, though at first the blooms nearly touched the ground and even suffered a second night of below-freezing temperatures, I was able to rescue dozens to decorate and give away to the ladies who came over for Bible study Wednesday morning.

That afternoon I took a bouquet to my friend Patryce who could not be present because she had hip replacement surgery last week. We had a delightful visit.

Thursday, after a long day of writing, before going to Malachi's track meet in Yorktown, we caught the tail end of the prairie burn across from Taylor University.

Malachi did very well, perhaps a personal best, I'm not sure. Both grandpa Mike and uncle Stephan said he was much better than they were at that age. He must have his mother's genes.

So, what were the other three boys doing?

It is safe to say that they were each doing their own thing: Elijah, off and on playing with his new Kindle; Zion, wandering off; and Jude, intent on exploring and making sure grandma got a workout following him around everywhere even up and down stairs and bleachers countless times, for two hours. Elijah, however, was keeping track of Malachi's team's progress.

My blog would not be complete without some artistic expression. Son Stephan spent some of Friday putting finishing touches to a tree-stump carving he started last year.

 Saturday was an open day for me so, kind of at the last minute, I decided to visit my Mother and take her to spend some time with Ivan and Kim back from Argentina for a short time staying at daughter Tina's. We had a lovely time and a great meal. Of course, little Simon was the center of attention.

Four Generations
  I will close with more Sunday fun. The ATV is a favorite for different kinds of entertainment.

As the boys explored the woods, they discovered a camera had been set up, probably by Taylor students who did not know they had wandered beyond university property lines. We had fun looking at the stored  photos over a period of a few months of seasonal changes, a variety of wildlife, including the most recent surprises!

 So much for a fun week. How was yours?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 Week 15: Many Forms of Beauty

The week was a mixture of fun times with the grand kids, a visit from my brother Ivan, enjoyment of nature and art, and necessary medical procedures. However, most of those events remain un-photographed.

Two afternoons were spent with the young'uns. The first thing Jude says is, "Walk! Outside!" and continues insistently until he gets what he wants! As we walk he repeats, "Trees." Though the terrain is rough for such a small little guy, he keeps going and does not want to turn back--our young explorer.

The brothers have fun together, most of the time.

Zion wanted to go to Grandma's, then I realized I'd be coming back the next day anyway so why not? He packed his bag quickly and we were off.

Before sundown we managed to go for a walk in the woods. I have photos of all the older grandchildren on similar adventures when they were about his age. Such fond memories.

We discovered the first blooms of spring. The biggest surprise was the first ever blossom on a perennial I planted  a few years ago--on lower right (can't remember the name?).

Zion's favorite bedtime read is one of the Curious George books. Next morning he had fun and work with grandpa riding the four-wheeler up and down our road picking up all the trash thrown out of cars.
At noon we took him to the lunch for seniors at the Lion's Club where he was the center of attention.

Back at their home Wednesday afternoon, first the obligatory walk with the little one who can now say, "Gammaw."

The week culminated with the fourth annual Barton Rees Pogue Poetry and Arts festival. This year I helped out on the planning committee.
Friday evening Indiana's poet laureate, George Kalamaras, had a very entertaining talk at the Gray Barn.
Saturday's events were spread out between three Upland locations. Local artists exhibited their choice works, Michael was one of them. Poetry lovers gathered for contests, readings and a workshop.

There were three Koch women represented in the original poetry session. DIL Karen's humorous poem about the show "Family Ties" brought laughter. "She nailed it!" they said. Daughter Leah's gritty poetry earned her a third place award! Mine was well received but did not win anything.
However, in the next session, I won a second for interpretive reading.

These are samples of the Youth art in the sculpture and ceramics section by two young girls we know. Emily's dragons won last year.
I love the detail and colors in Ellie's ceramic tiles.

I have no more photos and the weekend is fading fast. So, good night to all.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

2014 Week 14: April Showers & Flowers

The first two pictures are stolen borrowed.
I love this photo of Sam and Kristie on their spring break getaway with the family--a selfie while hiking.

 I saved the photos that featured father and son at work from the link to a blog post shared with me today titled "Inspired Ice."

Mike and Stephan traveled through the night Sunday and arrived mid-afternoon Monday after four flights and a three hour drive.

I visited Leah at noon. Her stressful spring break was over and the babysitting routine started up again.

Baby B

 Sam is traveling for his new job so I enjoyed hanging out with the boys while Kristie was at work.
 We walked, played, worked on homework outdoors until it started to sprinkle.

The rain intensified the next day. This is the flooding I saw by Leah's on Thursday, mostly her neighbors' back yard.

Leah modeled the gifts Stephan brought her from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada.

Can you tell what this is or how it works?

Friday we visited the senior art show of a young woman in our church family whose major is illustration.
The ten or so pieces are to illustrate a children's story that her father wrote. She is standing by her favorite. That one was interesting to us too, hmmmm. . .

We hurried back home so Mike could be on time for the usual pottery session with the kids.
However, a fairly large tree had fallen across our driveway, so we turned around and went straight to the Red Barn. Only one kid showed up and for a short while. Fridays tend to be that way, especially when the weather allows them to play outside.

I noticed a slight change of expression on the face Mike is working on, do you? (Go here for previous photos.)

Today, Saturday, Mike entered another sculpture, a bronze casting, in the spring art exhibit at the Marion Public Library.

I was hoping to show spring flowers this week, and here they are! Glimpses of yellow--a promise of more to come!