Monday, May 14, 2018

William's birthday weekend

His birthday is on Monday the 14th. But it was difficult to celebrate then so there was a bonfire party planned on the Saturday before.

On Thursday Helen invited James and me for supper. William was eager to show us their new tenants. Ben and Helen built a chicken coop and they have now 6 chickens with the hope for eggs in the future. If I remember right the names are: Goldie, Cookie, Hawk, Patsy, Red and Clover.

On Friday I baked and delivered an undecorated chocolate chip birthday cookie and we picked up William to spend two nights with us. Of course we had to have an ice cream at a paletas place first.

No homework so we had lots of time to play games. Board games or Wii. The Wii is actually great exercise. You move a lot. William's coordination playing baseball and tennis can not be matched by James or me. Lots of fun.

Saturday: Finally it is time to drive to the Farm for the bonfire party. Yeah! We found it with the GPS without any problems.

William inspects and is impressed with his mother's cake decorating skills. A bonfire cake with 8 yellow and red candles ready to be the fire.

We were early but couldn't help much. Ben and Helen had everything under control. 

Lawn games were assembled. William was waiting for his guests. It was lovely sitting on the porch. He and I were fascinated watching the inch worm.

Family friend Larry was the first to play badminton with William. I think William applied his Wii tennis skills to it.

Helen called this the selfie station. Two of her friends she knows longer then Ben and definitely BW (before William).

Ben's homemade strawberry ice cream was a great hit. Food was just inside the house to be enjoyed whenever. 

And then it was time for the fire. And s'mores eating!

And more fire, ha-ha.

He was very fast blowing it out.

And, of course, some gift-opening (I "stole" some photos from the internet).

Altogether a really great time. We enjoyed playing games and talking to the other guests. They have such nice friends.
It was dark when we were driving home and late, but a bath is always calming at the end of a busy day. I had written I love William with bathtub crayons but William had erased his name and wrote ours.

Sunday - Mother's Day

Helen had made sure to tell me their church's custom so we were prepared with 8 pennies he needed for his Sunday school class after the service. We were out in the hallway and I heard the counting so I peaked in to take this photo.

We took him back to the townhouse because we had things to do. He helped to bake the 24 Choco Pumpkin cupcakes he needed for his 2nd grade class on Monday. The recipe makes 30. He had chosen this recipe but then he was concerned because he wanted to give one to his next door friend (same age) even so Freddy is not in his class. Freddy doesn't like chocolate. We solved it by filling two cupcakes before stirring the chips in and then doing the rest. Everybody happy!

Helen came for taco salad dinner. William surprised us with cards for his mother and me. James told us that he had picked them out all be himself at the Dollar Tree store which the boy loves. 
Here is mine. So cool!

And then they left. School day tomorrow. It was a lovely Mother's Day for me. Sarah called several times too. What else can a mother wish for?

Monday - THE day!

Helen told us that when she brought William to school (they live too near and can't ride the bus) his teacher welcomed him dancing and singing "Happy Birthday to you, we are going to the zoo".
Yes, it happened that this was the day when his class went on a field trip to the zoo. After they returned they celebrated with William's cup cakes. He came home with several handmade cards from his class friends. The cards were so very cute. Very special.

James and I were invited for dinner and on the way we bought a # 8 candle.

And then it was time to say good-bye. After all, it is a school night.

A short visit this time but since he is a school boy we hardly see him during the week and it is more difficult. So we have to come back soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

It's still time In Easter

... and I found an egg. But first things first.

Getting the new annuals and everything else watered. Leaving for Nashville. 
Out rhododendron will be in its most beautiful state while we are gone. Oh well, small price to pay to see Helen, Ben and William. I should have asked my friend Julie to take a photo. And now as I am thinking of it ... the peonies will do the same. They were loaded with buds. They are a bit hidden in the yard (planted by the former owners) and last year I took single flowers into my kitchen and I so enjoyed their beauty.

The azaleas in the front seemed dead to us after that awful winter but look at them now.

Ok, on the road. We packed a picnic and enjoyed it at the first Tennessee Visitor Center.

It seemed to be tourist day (or week, or month) and we each were given a little snack bag. The previous salads wanted to be joined by these cheese crackers - laid out for the driver to grab.

After arrival on Wednesday Ben and William came over in the evening (when the traffic allowed) and ate supper at the Mexican restaurant close to us. We used to enjoy it but it is not the same any more and we might have to find something else. It was so loud that we hardly could talk and "fled" to have dessert at the townhouse.

Ha-ha, William would have enjoyed seeing what I saw this morning on my walk. 
Yes, about the egg I found!

I walked from our neighborhood to the next. The golf course is in-between and ducks keep wandering. When I passed a row of townhouses with lots of parking in front, there was a commotion of several ducks. Could the lost egg be the reason? 

I walked to the end of a dead end street and all the way back and the egg was still there. I picked it up with a hanky. Now I am having plans. I am all about memories and what a fun memory this would be. I am making what James calls a négligée for it. One of my eggs I am hanging up between Easter and Pentecost. 

This old blog shows some of those eggs. 2015 but some are as old as from 1982 or so.

Flowers on my Chives

I forgot to take a photo of the chives before I cut the flowers off. It looked very pretty. The flowers are edible and I put some on my salad. They taste a lot like onions but are much prettier.

And, of course, a few grandchild-photos. Papa took Caleb to the "every first Saturday of the month children's workshop at HomeDepot". Caleb was very into it - making a Mother's Day present. A little chair holds a flower pot and he got seeds too.

In the meantime I played with the twins until James and Caleb joined us. Some of these photos are done with James' iPhone and have a little sign in the corner "Live". I am not sure how this all works (in the blog) but they seem to be little mini videos. When I click on that sign, Owen says in the first photo "cheese". He always does that when he sees somebody pointing a camera.

And yes, Colin climbing into the stroller meant he wanted to go for a walk. It didn't take Owen long to follow.

Ah, a boy and his dog. Schatzi is so patient.

Sunday we had gone to the early service so we could take care of something afterwards. And then ... an impromptu decision to go for brunch. It was such a glorious day and we could sit outside at the "Toast, New American Gastropub at Winterfield Place". Very enjoyable. 
And the drink? 

Yes, we had the Pimm's Royale. And the Chesapeake Omelet went very well with that! 

Hey, we are retired. We should do this more often.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Freddy and the annuals

James and I had gone to buy annuals for our big garden pots. Because of the strange winter the pansies finally started to look really nice. Usually by this time they are over their prime and look leggy. But if we don't buy the summer annuals now there will not be any later. Everything will be picked over or has suffered in their little pots.

Anyway, we transplanted the pansies into the ground somewhere and used the pots for the new annuals. I planted the mandevilla first and then shoveled and prepared the rest of the dirt. Suddenly, out jumped this little green frog. I gently coaxed him off the concrete into the empty pot. When I was done with the planting of that pot I gently let him go into his "renovated" space. He was still covered with dirt.

Can you see him in this photo?

Or in this?

Or in this?

That was fun. Life is good when you can enjoy the little things.