Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Birthdays and more

The irises are in bloom. I brought in the ones beaten down by the rain. It has been a long wet season. Mowing is nearly impossible - the mower has been stuck multiple times and sits there immobilized even now.

This borrowed photo reminds me of the tap routine we "Dancin' Divas" are working on--"Singin' in the Rain." And also tells me that we can find joy even in unpleasant or difficult situations.

Holidays, birthdays, and home messes, don't leave much time for focused writing. On the other hand, these life events are bunched together which allows for greater efficiency. Deal with them all at once and then get back to work. 
This week was bookended by our 75th birthdays. I am eight days older than Michael. Lovely greetings kept coming in over several days, and the celebrating included a lovely Monday morning breakfast at a favorite local eatery--The Bridge.
My friend does not want to be photographed, so her head was cut off intentionally. I wanted you to see her exquisite art. She paints sea shells and makes pendants and pins.

It was a week of school endings. Our little great granddaughter Rebecca graduated from pre-school.

Elijah's eighth grade celebrated with a formal dance.

Saturday we had a May-birthdays pool party. Stephan worked long and hard all week to repair a leak and get the pool up and running in time for the weekend. A brief break in the weather allowed for a wonderful family celebration. It was a delight to see the young folk enjoy themselves in the water. 

We planned the event to include a send-off for my nephew, Daniel (front left), who is moving to Portland, Oregon, in a couple weeks. Malachi also reported on his cross cultural experience in Philadelphia. And my youngest brother, Alan, rode in later on his motorcyle. Overall a wonderful evening.

25 de mayo is also a very important patriotic holiday in Argentina, so I played the national anthem on my cell phone and sang along with El Himno Nacional Argentino.

The next day there was a BIG event going on in Indianapolis. Michael had purchased tickets as a belated birthday gift for Stephan.

Here is Stephan's perspective:
Yesterday my dad (Mike Koch) turned 75 so they had a big party for him in Indy and 350,000 people came. Also, they figured since there were so many people there to celebrate my dad’s birthday they might as well celebrate the fact that he’s a Veteran and they had him stand up for it. Also, some of the people who came had some really fast cars so they decided to have a race. Some French guy won but the American made him work for it. Happy Birthday, Dad! 
Can you believe that after that long day, these guys stayed up until midnight to watch the replay of the Indianapolis 500 ?!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Good news / Bad news

--Beautiful May flowers and the sweet fragrance of the lily of the valleys permeating the air.

--The lovely keepsake box Sam made made me for Mother's Day.

--The Mother's Day tea at Grace Village featuring the Apron Lady's stories, songs, and dozens of her treasured aprons. (Judy and I were in Grace College together 50+ years ago.)

--The Wild Trees tutorial two of us enjoyed during art club.

--The WhatsApp chats with a couple friends I grew up with in Argentina, and photos of their children. Sadly, Julio's daughter (far right) passed away a year ago.

--The successful completion of sophomore year for Moriah and her friend! Here they are pointing to the culprit. Elaine had to pospone her trip home to Minnesota and spend the night here due to a faulty tire. Thankfully Michael and our friends at Upland Tire were able to find her a good replacement.

--Elijah's well-done speech -- "Addiction- jail/prison or treatment? "  

--A great hike at Mounds State Park with a new Meet-up group--old and young from near and far.

And delicious smores at the end.

One of the new friends had extra tickets to the Taylor University commencement and invited me to go with her!

--A birthday wish fulfilled, the privilege to experience a wonderful graduation ceremony, hear VP Mike Pence speak, and hug one of the graduates who helped me set up my author page and website!

With my new friend Patty, the golden ticket, the commencement crowd and speaker, Aubree DeVisser!
--The last chapter I wrote included memories of my second birthday!


What a week! Our house is in terrible disarray:
--The refrigerator stopped working a week ago. Michael ordered three different parts in succession. Each attempt to repair it failed. Last night we purchased a new fridge which will arrive Friday. Meanwhile we make do with styrofoam coolers and frozen juice bottles.
--My laptop also stopped working. The Geek Squad was unable to repair it and are sending it back to the manufacturer.
--The kitchen sink drain was blocked for a couple days until we were able to purchase an auger.
--As prearranged, our main living room furniture, the sectional, was picked up to be reupholstered.
--One of the recently acquired bee hives died out or disappeared.

However, as we look back, we must conclude the good outweighed the bad. Wouldn't you say?

We had two interesting visitors, not necessarily good or bad--a racoon that came up to the back door and looked in (no photo), and a critter by our front door! That's life in the woods.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rosie, posies, and more

The greening of spring has happened. Warmer weather peaks through the rain.

A variety of seasonal blossoms come and go in the woods around us. 

Tuesday evenings when Mike is at robotics I sometimes follow a live watercolor tutorial. This week it helped me come up with a truckload of fake flowers which I can personalize and give as graduation cards. 

The happiest surprise of that day, however, was to hear my dear cousin's voice on Moody Radio!
50 Years of Rosie on Chris Fabry Live was a program to honor her, Dr. Rosalie de Rosset, and reflect on her five decades of teaching. Many called in and shared how their lives had been impacted through her caring influence. Rosie also shared what she had learned and experienced. It was a very touching, well-deserved tribute, and happened to be on her birthday!

I, on the other hand, received a gift that far outweighed the service given--one hour interpreting for a Spanish speaking family at a parent-teacher conference.

A favorite little visitor spent some time with us Thursday. We colored together, read books, or at least looked at the pictures.
If at all possible this abuela likes to include a Rebecca sighting in the weekly blog post.

Keeping her distance from a little creature, lest it jump on her, ha!
A bit later abuelo and I joined one other member of our little art club and painted bluebirds. I inserted/framed our two using scrapbooking pages. I kinda like how they turned out.

Leah can't wait to get back to art club after the end of the month when her schedule opens up again.
So, meanwhile, and as a special mother/daughter activity we attended another Painting with Laura session at The Bridge.

Leah amazes us all with her speed and style. We were the first to leave, again. I decided to finish mine at home.

I added words and more and gave it to Mother.

Saturday was a huge day for Michael. Madjax hosted a big STEAM exhibit. PhyXTGears had a large presence at the event. The team set up their pit and displayed several of the robots. They also ran a variety of games and activities. From all the photos I could tell it was a success!

Michael, however, was exhausted by the end of the day . . . 

Sorting Game: find 10 matching pieces and get a prize.
. . .and week. Never a moment's rest for him, it seems. Even now our fridge is out!

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May Celebrations Begin

 I am currently enjoying two different-year calendars that share the same dates--1946 and 2019.

The former is the year I am immersed in right now in my memoir writing. Do any of the memorable names or events listed mean anything to any of your out there?
1--Tsunami strikes Hawaii, killing over 100; US coal miners strike.
3--Japanese Lt. Gen who ordered Bataan Death March is executed.
5--First public performance of Charles Ives's 3rd Symphony; later wins Pulitzer Prize.
7--Herman Keiser wins 10th Masters Golf Tournament.
9--Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup, beating Boston Bruins 4 games to 1.
13--Al Green, singer, is born.
17--The Virginian, starring Joel McCrea, is released in New York City.
18--Jackie Robinson debuts as second baseman for minor league Montreal Royals.
19--Film The Blue Dahlia is released.
22--John F. Kennedy announces he is running for U.S. House of Representatives
25--Railroad collision, Naperville, Ill. kills 40, injures 120.
26--Marilyn Nelson, poet, is born.

The other calendar is a form of art. Every day I get to place 6 or 7 numbered stickers in their corresponding spots, very carefully--my fun activity, a reward for productivity, especially in writing.
April is complete. It is sobering to realize that one third of the year is over, time gone that cannot be recovered.

 My writing accomplishments were minor, but I did get "unstuck," finished and presented a chapter to my writing group. There is nothing to say about the robotics team. After the successful trip to World competition, they took a week off.

This post will likely contain fewer old memories and more of the week's memorable moments. A couple old photos sufaced. I glean interesting details and information from them. The first was taken in the U.S. during a one-year furlough from my parents' missionary service in Argentina.
Interestingly, the expression on my face reminded me of my grandson who is now about that age.

My 8th birthday in Winona Lake
The second was also taken in the U.S., some thirty years later, during a short break away from the missionary ship where my own family served from 1978-1983. 
Wow! Look at blonde Sammy, Michael's thick hair, and my perm!

The first memorable event was the celebration of Kristie's monumental accomplishment--a master's degree in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) from Ball State university in the midst of series of life challenges.

Saturday, May 4, Commencement
Although she dressed for the occasion, and Malachi was saving seats for the family, in the end Kristie chose not to attend the looooong ceremony, realizing that her walk across the stage was scheduled for much later. So, they settled for a photo shoot outside the university and then went out to eat.

Meanwhile, I was preparing a surprise party at their house. Text messages conveyed the change of plans. They delayed as long as possible. The friends arrived in a timely fashion and the celebration was a success.

Sunday, May 5, Cornerstone's Spring Celebration
Kayla teaches so many groups of dancers at Cornerstone for the Arts in Muncie that half of the dance performances were her classes. Rebecca was in three of them--ballet, tap, and hip hop jazz. 

Rebecca watching the show with Daddy, posing as ballerina and superhero Owlette.
If you want to see teacher Kayla in action from the front row, go here. Or from the sidelines:

Rebecca, second from left.
Leah's whole gang was there--perfect opportunity for a family pic! There were a whole series of backgrounds painted for one of their events. These were the top family choices. 

Do you have a favorite?