so far

- we have floated around a lazy river
- bounced on the enormous down filled bed in our room
- sat in our jacuzzi tub just for fun
- watched a magnificent, music accompanied fire-work display sitting on a lawn over a lake
- watched pollywog and other children gleefully dance while music filled the sky
- eaten breakfast on our balcony overlooking the water
- cheered the lil one as she scaled a climbing wall
- spent an entire day swimming at pool complete with waterfalls,
views of rolling hills and far away lakes...
catching pollwog the many, many times she jumped to my happy arms and clapping as she 
showed mommy how she can swim.  
- went on a moonlit, bullfrog serenaded walk
and we have three more days!!!

we still plan on more pool time, paddle-boating, canoeing, bonfire and smores, 
minature golf, movie night in the pool, ice-cream, and maybe a little R&R :)
as i type this a sunkissed gal is pleasantly snoring next to me probably
dreaming of jumping into my arms and doggy paddling back to the side.
because that never gets old...not even for this achy armed mama.
we are having the best vacation evah!


my regular computer is having some issues
thus no images in this post.
which is too bad because i have some great 
pictures taken over the past week.
for instance "game night" photos.
i met some great families while teaching, oddly enough 
some of the parents i use to run with back in my early twenties.
now we are grown up with kids and it has been great to reconnect.
this small group that is forming came to my cinco de mayo gathering
and we all decided that monthly we would rotate houses and host pot-lucks,
game nights, movie nights, etc. it has been an answer to many prayers.
our little girls play together non-stop, there are sweet babies
to coo over, there is always yummy foods, and lots of 
laughter and story telling.
it is a lovely mix that i am grateful for.
this past friday was our first game night.
most of the night was spent on blankets on the lawn
sampling different cheeses, bowls of melons, pasta salads, bean salad, 
and sipping tequila sunrises and mint conditions.
the girls played in the sandbox, dressed up in princess wear, and 
made good use of all the new, to them toys of the host's daughter.
there was a slack line and attempts to balance, and a game of charades 
complete with belly laughs.
least i forget i must mention the momentous amount of images
from thursday when my sweet pollywog graduated pre-k.
there was a cap and certificate ceremony where my sweet one
was introduced as the artist of the class 
 i went home with arm fulls of potted flowers and chocolates
from the sweet children i was blessed to teach.
but all the images will have to grace this space
another day,
because we are off to a four day vacation for memorial weekend.
i had settled myself to staying home and relaxing
but the universe heard my inner pleas for a small trip,
and the beginning of summer memories with my lil one.
so we were given this gift of four nights at an all inclusive lodge.
jacuzzi, several pools, game rooms, tonight a firework show over the lake, 
bbq and music, hiking, paddle boating, mini-golf, ice-cream stands, and loads of memories to be made.
i am so beyond excited and feeling mighty blessed.
last night her and i packed and she had all her favorite outfits laid out
and we did happy dances in between.
when we return there will be pictures.

::words&pics from our weekend::

our weekends have been full with the addition of soccer.
thankfully the weather has been beautiful each game.
initially when pollywog started soccer i wasn't sure if it
would be "her thing"...she is a bit shy when it comes to be around groups
of people. at the first practices and games she would hide behind mommy
or i would have to walk out onto the field with her, and when folks cheered
 she didn't like it.
but a couple games under her belt and this girl has blossomed on the field.
saturday was a double header and last games of the season.
she received a medal and was elated! "mommy my first medal".
the team calls her the closer! she gets out there and plays hard and made the one
and only goal of the season!
she loves soccer. she always has a huge smile on her face.
she loves being goalie, but also loves the constant running back and forth.
watching her play has been such a joy.
she wants to start T-ball now.
i have a feeling she is gonna be my little sporty girl.
no matter, watching her confidence grow and the happiness on her face
has made this mama feel very blessed.
 this summer she'll play t-ball and take swimming.
this fall she will do cheer-leading at her kindergarten and start violin.
i want to offer her the world and let her learn about herself and grow.
i am so proud of her.
there are just two short days left of pre-k.
this sentimental mommy has been feeling a bit emotional about 
these milestones. it all happens so fast.
this ::time::
the school days have been filled with fun activities.
thursday is graduation and a celebration.
she has made such dear friends this year.
i enrolled her in a two day a week- four hour day- summer program
that all her buddies will be attending.
it should be fun! 
she is pretty excited.
there will be themes such as "under the sea"
 "outer space", "my backyard" and so on.
so on these two days i will do my gardening and landscape
and the other days i will be watching a classmate of her's and his
little sister and we will spend the summer at the pool, 
camping, sports,crafting, road-trips and seeing daddy.
  i  am looking forward to being home with her.
although i have enjoyed teaching this year, 
i found myself zapped after work.
being a pre-school teacher is exhausting!
i have felt zero inspiration for painting or art in general.
i was asked to put a series up but have just felt uncreative.
so starting next week i plan to paint 
and i am experimenting with primitive pottery this summer too!
this memorial weekend we are headed out to canoe and camp!
i am so looking forward to relaxing by the fire, soaking in the beauty
of the float and making some fun crafts at the camp-site i have planned.
but before this weekend there are endings to celebrate, 
a neglected garden to tend, and moments i don't want to miss.
simple, sometimes unnoticed, once in a lifetime moments.


 we drink alot of green smoothies round here.
pollywog has been partaking in them since she started on solids and CJ rarely passes
up a tall smoothie packed with greens and fruit.
it has been so nice to walk out into the garden in the morning, cut some greens,
blend em up and enjoy.
the freshness is oh so good.
this past week i started back to work, in the garden i have worked at the past few seasons.
  i have missed this soil. 
i have just two short weeks left at the preschool
and then i will be back working in the garden i built and cultivated as well as my seasonal groundskeeper position i have held with this dear friend.
this work is the work that feeds my spirit. 
it is the place i speak to God. 
a place of peaceful meditation.
 a place i teach my daughter the joy of digging, growing, observing and harvesting.
this day she brought her fairy dolls into the garden and was fully absorbed
in her make believe world while i harvested a large amount of greens.
then while she perched on the counter top, i washed and spun the greens
there were so many after giving "my boss" his portion
that i decided to blend them and freeze them to pop into our daily smoothies.

 i froze two varieties of lettuce and kale.
pollywog was fascinated by the process and was my helpful worker.
it fills my heart for her to see where food comes from.
to be a part of the process.
she is thoughtful about the food she puts into her body.
of course she likes popsicles, and cookies here and there,
but she often says, good food before junk food.
she is aware of what and why regarding food.
lately she is curious as to why i, a 16 year vegetarian doesn't eat meat.
although i only cook meat about twice a week for her, i have never
pushed this choice on her. she naturally seems to sway from meat as there 
are so many other choices of fresh, colorful foods at meal times.
in any case we are enjoying the bounty both from our garden
and the garden i work in.
i want to learn as much as i can.
on another note:
things that have been on my mind lately:
* thoughts become things...i watched this documentary last night and fell asleep with a 
smile on my face...and visions in my heart.
* ::love:: this year has been a year that has offered me the opportunity to learn
the lesson of love. without getting to personal, situations have arose where the opportunity
for growth and learning presented themselves.
seeing my own growth in these situations has been humbling.
realizing that the elimination of ego, whose right-whose wrong, etc
 and the choice to just love has been, well, life changing.
everything i do i will do in love.
something i heard touched me and it has become my mantra and the sentence my 
kids will probably tire of hearing.
"Reputation is what you do when other people are watching. Character is what you do when no one is watching."
applying this to my life is something very important to me.
* babies...i have major baby fever!
especially with all this recent extended breastfeeding talk. having breastfed my daughter
till she was 3 1/2, co-slept, and practiced attachment parenting, 
 i am such an advocate for this style of parenting. 
for me it was just a natural extension of myself.
seeing my daughter today at age 5 i can clearly see all the benefits this rearing has done
and continues to do. there have been no negatives to attachment parenting i have seen- just benefits
and the beauty of honoring your children and yourself as a instinctual parent.
 i do long for more children and the ability to continue to experience the journey of parenting.
this is my prayer.
- road-tripping with my brood this summer
- tennis...i start my lessons in june!!!!
- primitive pottery and art
pollywog and i are going to forage clay this summer and experiment with primitive pottery.
i ordered a book on amazon regarding such things.
also i am finishing my paintings because i was asked to hang them in 
st louis!!! soon as my teaching gig is up i will commit to setting aside time to paint.
geez i need to go to bed.


lately pollywog says
"mama, i love ya"
in the cutest voice ya evah heard.
it melts my heart and makes my eyes ooze joy.
she is in this wonderful stage of telling me she loves me
several times a day, giving me lots of kisses and wrapping her arms
around me every night after we pray.
i cherish these moments dearly.

her love makes me want to be the best person i can be.
her love makes me want to cocoon her in layers of protection,
security, love, and happiness.
i remember when she was just a little baby i wrote a 
poem about her. 
we spent every waking moment together and when we slept it was chest to chest.
the poem spoke of this thread that was bore out of our love
and stitched us together.

that bond i still feel each and every day.
this mother's day was special.
pollywog picked me flowers and jellied my toast, stirred my coffee 
and made me cards brimmed in love.
she drew a picture of me in a blue dress
that turned out to be the nightgown i often wear.

we rode bikes, munched sandwiches in-between dips in the wading pool,
ate ice-cream and snuggled.
and while tucking her in she threw her little arms around my neck
and proclaimed
"mama, i love ya"

*to my son*
there is not one second that goes by during the day that you are not on my mind.
my firstborn, my best friend, the expression of my spirit.
i love you dearly and visualize you wrapped in joy, success, and confidence.
this journey you and i have been on all these years has been sprinkled
with wrong turns and moments of leaving our path together
but i know that one day you will see and know.
that is, my hope 
i love you and without you i am blue.

my dogs are barking...

we have had a busy week, and an even busier weekend.
at the preschool we've been making spring crafts,
having popsicle parties outside in 85 plus heat and sunshine, 
and taming and occupying wild children.
having worked as a teacher before, i notice the little ones
tend to get restless and spirited towards the end of the year.
i can relate.
a classmate and friend of pollywog's, lost his father suddenly last week
so we have been spending some extra time with him
and his mother.
she has become my friend throughout this school year.
their loss has just been devastating. there are no words.
just the enormous reminder that life can change instantly.
life is so precious. 
in these days i know i have kissed my little one more, 
and felt a deeper sense of love and gratitude for the loved ones in my life.

friday i took pollywog and her friend to the community garden.
a friend manages it and we offered our services for planting.
the heat was oppressive. it was hot and muggy but we got there early 
and prepped a garden bed. the girls mainly played with their dolls in the dirt
but we had a lovely time.
saturday, pollywog had her soccer game.
it was her best one yet. she was so happy to be running up 
and down the field with her friends and her favorite part
was being the goalie. 
that evening i hosted a cinco de mayo garden party.

one of my best friends flew in from colorado to join in the festivities.
i purchased a kiddie pool for the little ones and the yard was strung with 
white lights and some tapestries. each guest brought a mexican dish and 
we sipped strawberry, mint margaritas and sat on blankets till one in the morning.
the little kids fell asleep watching a movie.

it was such a wonderful time! we watched the super moon in all its glory.
best of all i got to catch up with my sweet friend and reconnect.
this morning over coffee her and i were teary to say goodbye.
wish all good friends could live nearby.
sunday, today- has been a nice lazy day.

after cleaning up the mess from last night pollywog and i have puttered around the house.
she took another dip in her new pool, rode her bike and decorated the patio stairs with chalk.

she has been very interested in reading and writing.
at pre-k they are working on sight words and this has bolstered this interest.
when we are in the car she always ask for a pencil and paper to write down
words that she sees and then asks what they are.

this week i got her a "word notebook", basically a notebook. :)
daily she writes down words that she sees, or ones that she has memorized.
like: mom, stop, and, robin, etc.

this evening she took one of her books and sat at her desk writing all the words she saw.
she sat there for at least an hour writing words like: garter snake, garden spider, and butterfly.
after filling up the page i suggested we mail it to daddy so he can see 
how smart and talented she is.

she excitedly helped me fill out the envelope and put it in the mail.
what a sweet pumpkin she is.
in short, life is good.
in all its imperfections it is oh so perfect to me.
 maybe it's my friend's recent loss, or the heat, or hormones
all i know is i catch myself peaking at my sleeping child
with tears in my eyes- filling overflowing joy when she runs and jumps in my arms.
not wanting to miss even one moment of her life.
 there are many moments of thankful prayer 
for my children and my life.
now i am going to prop up these barking dogs, watch a movie
and listen for rain...with my favorite little girl.