Handwritten Letters

The amount of completed work that was brought home by the girls during the last week of school was astounding. There were  beautiful pieces of art finger-painted in bright primary colors, contrasting against a black background as well as pages of spelling, arithmetic, reading comprehension, and letters. 

Yes, letters…actual letters, handwritten in proper format on paper by my second-grader.  The letters were addressed to various family members and were all so sweet.  But one letter stood out from the others. It was addressed to her friend Wade.  They were in kindergarten and first grade together.  This year they were not in the same classroom, but were able to have some play time together in the after school program. She obviously missed him, but never had a play date, and life got busy for everyone this past year.

The letter read:  

Dear Wade, 

We need to have another play date.  I could come to your house, and we could play on your xbox. 

I could bring my 3DS too.  You talk to your mom, and I will talk to mine.  I’m so excited.  

Love, 

Ava

P.S.  Please write me back

This was so wonderful to see.  We get so tied up in technology that we often don’t take time to actually scribe a letter to anyone anymore.  Emails, text messages, Facebook,Wordpress, and various other forms of digital communication have taken over.  I am so thankful for the digitization of many things, but there is something about a hand-written letter that is so personal and beautiful.  

We had a quick lesson on how to address an envelope and we mailed the letter to Wade.  We are awaiting a response, but I really hope that we get one soon.  Maybe they can become pen-pals as well as school mates and good friends.  

Fairies Among Us

I remember catching these cute little fluffy bugs when I was young.  In my mind they were beautiful and looked like little fairies in fluffy white dresses. 

My sister’s and I would hold them in our cupped hands, make a wish, and then free the fairy so she could grant the wish. 

Today, my daughter caught one in our yard and excitedly ran in the house saying she had caught a fairy. 

She brought it in, and we had a mini photo shoot before wishing a magical wish and sending the little aphid away. 

She’s Off to Colorado

My baby, my 15 year old all-grown-up baby is off to Colorado.

A whopping 22 hours from home.  With a church group. Away from me.

I’m not quite ready to let her go, but that’s what I must do.  It is good for her, and hard for me. 

We drove an hour this morning, leaving home before 4:00 am.  In the darkness of night, we said our goodbyes, hugged, and as she left my embrace the tears came.  

I know she will be taken care of.  I know she will be responsible.  I know she will return to me.  But it is hard to let her go.  

An hour drive back home, alone in my car, I kept the tears at bay.  Many emotions ran through my heart and my mind… I am so proud of her, of the young woman she is becoming. I am so scared that she is growing up too fast and that I cannot hold on to her  as my baby much longer. I hope that I have taught her what she needs to know to be out in the world and provided her with the tools she needs to succeed.  I pray that the advice that I give her doesn’t fleetingly leave her mind, and that she knows that it comes from my own experiences.  

I am exhausted because I didn’t sleep at all last night, but yet I still cannot sleep as I lay here thinking about her being so far away.  

One week.  Seven whole days.  Will it pass by as quickly as the last fifteen years have? 

Counting down the days already, I truly do hope she has an amazing trip. I wish I could have gone with her. 

Image credit

Heart of Stone

As my family treks through the mountains on our hikes, stroll through parks, or any journey that we may end up on, we have developed a habit.  We look for hearts of stone. 

Not people who are cold hearted and un-moved by emotional events, but rocks.  Rocks that are shaped like a heart.  

We started this about two years ago while we were hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Walking down a steep rocky trail, I was watching every step that I took, and as my foot hit the ground, I realized that it landed on a perfectly heart-shaped rock.  

Our 1st Heart of Stone

Lifting up the stone, I called to my girls to come look at my new treasure.  

They were both just as amazed as I was.  I love it when I can still elicit a sense of magic within my oldest daughter’s mind.  It is a natural occurrence for my youngest daughter to find magic in everything.  But as my oldest girl has grown wiser and more adult-like, she has lost some of her magical thinking. 

We toted the stone back to our vehicle that was parked at the base of the trail.  Since that day, each journey we take, we do find at least one rock that resembles a heart.  Once we get it home, it is placed in my flower bed along my front walk way.  These are wonderful memories for me.  I hope my children will hold them with great regard in their hearts and mind as well.  

As of 6/20/17 – we now have 7 rocks shaped as a heart.

Field Trip to the Aquarium

Today, my youngest daughter had a field trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  I went on this field trip with her and her second grade class.  We had a fantastic time. 

I have a to say thang God there are people out there that are called to be teachers.  Constant counting of heads, knowing who is where and which kid can have which food, being the masters of multi-tasking… They seem to be able to do everything at one time.  I felt like it was all I could do to keep up with my daughter, ADHD in full swing today, as she darted from one aquarium to the next, cutting in front of people who were taking photos of the sea creatures, in a hurry to see everything that lives in the sea.  

Once I was able to lasso her in and get her focused again on good manners and politeness, we really did have a great time.  The trip was great, and now we are safe at home after a little argument with the GPS navigation system.  All-in-all, this was the best field trip to date.  

Here are some photos that we snapped while there. 

Evanescent

Daily Post – Evanescent Hiking in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we were at the upper portion of a waterfall.  It’s beautiful and picturesque, with many boulders littering the bed of the river.  This portion is easy enough to navigate, but nonetheless, dangerous.  

Cautioning my daughter to not go further than the large boulder that had on the right side a sandy mush that was walkable, on the left water that appeared tranquil, but behind where you cannot see there were merely eight to ten feet separating the boulder from the drop-off of the waterfalls edge.  I see her disappear to the right of the boulder, and as I call out her name and begin making my way over to the bank of the river beside the boulder, she emerges on the top of the boulder. 

Her quest was for a picture of the cloudy blue sky cradled in the outreaching mountains, with a view of the water dropping off the edge of the precipice.  

I don’t know if she succeeded in capturing that moment as I reprimanded her and asked her to come back down, but I captured a moment of my own…  

My brave, fearless, beautiful daughter conquering the world and making my heart stop in fear as I am helpless in watching her forge her path into the unknown. 

Meat Loaf Madness

Sitting at the dinner table, eating home made meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans, my two girls were being their normal quirky selves.  AR is 8 and in need of constant redirection due to her thoughts that move at 100 miles per minute in her ADHD mind.  AM, at fifteen, has thoughts that move 100 miles per minute also, but she seems to have the capability to move at a rate quick enough to organize them appropriately. At least most of the time.  

“Eat, AR.  Stop touching that and eat your food” I say for the tenth time as AM reaches over my dinner plate.  I am unsure of what she is reaching for, but the quirkiness in myself doesn’t let me reprimand her and tell her how inappropriate it is to reach over someone else’s dinner plate… instead, I lean forward and snap my teeth at her arm.

She jerks her arm back and says “I’m not your meat loaf!”  I give her my best don’t do that again look.  She understands, but responds rather seriously “Although, I am pretty curious as to what human flesh would taste like…” 

My head drops down, eyes closed, I don’t know if I should be as amused as I am.  Should I be worried that my fifteen year old daughter is curious about what man-kind would taste like in a ground-up, baked loaf sitting on the dinner table?  Maybe… but I’m not.  Her curious mind has always led her to find answers to things by herself.  I don’t believe she will ever try to find out what the meat from a human actually tastes like, but I do believe that whenever a topic with an unknown outcome comes up, her mind will always question it.  

AR’s response to this was “I want to know what human toe-nails taste like”.  I suppose it is much easier to find the answer to her curiosity than it would be AM’s.  

“AR, sit down and eat your food” I say again to my hyper daughter who is now up and at my side, looking at my plate of food like she expects to find something different on it than what’s on her own.  

We finish dinner with some other banter that’s not nearly as interesting as the taste of human-burgers… the topic quickly moved to movies about cannibalism…

What we are watching next:  Fried Green Tomatoes.