Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birthday week photos...

A little more from our two birthdays last week...

So enjoyable, it was with great pleasure we devised a plan to offer one birthday bag with unexpected results - 20 small gifts to open, one per year that has already passed in his lifetime. Fun!

Onward to the next birthday...

Lunchtime birthday brain food...chocolate cupcakes.

The birthday cake came three days later when two young boys joined him on his very first paintball day long adventure experience.

Gifting on the front porch after Dad was summoned to the opening moment.

Three days later...on our holiday Monday, this was the scene below;

After watching the mandatory introductory safety video, the boys were outfitted, signing waivers and collecting their gear for the day's events ahead.

Yes, a full day for playing on the 70 acre fields out yonder. Already the boys were surely beaming and smiling a whole lot...

Signing waivers while donning the camouflage attire on site, he felt all ready to get out and experience the unknown ahead.

And a wonderful day was had by all... 

 "Wow Mom! That was GREAT! How soon can we go again?"

And for both the boys, the best birthday gift of all was witnessing the Vancouver Canuck NHL hockey team advance to the finals. 

Go Canucks Go! 

Monday, May 30, 2011

There are only two ways to live ...

'But if any of you want wisdom, 
let him ask of God, 
who giveth to all men abundantly, 
and upbraideth not; 
and it shall be given him.'

~ James 1:5

“There are only two ways to live your life. 
One is as though nothing is a miracle. 
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

~ Albert Einstein

“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. 

I challenge you to join the ranks of those people 
who live what they teach, who walk their talk.” 

~ Tony Robbins 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prom night...


At long last, this night has come, about a year delayed for this daughter - her long awaited prom night is now here.

The theme for this year's Prom is "Elegant Hollywood", so much better than the "Bollywood" first mentioned which was to be the promotional theme.

Selections were few and far between for something fitting into the specific themed category, something elegant of course, but for our self professed tomboy, she was quite fussy when shopping for such a dress. 

I suppose if luck was on our side, my initial thoughts of actually dreading the shopping excursion with/for her to locate such a feminine item turned out just perfect. We were thrilled to find this dress soon after hitting up one of the outlet stores nearby. Within an hour of leaving home, the dress was sold, and bagged in her hands. 

And she likes it! 

And best of all....she looks quite like an exquisite (and elegant) young lady in it!

Even if she didn't desire much for makeup, no lipstick and certainly not a necklace, other accessories were welcomed, a gorgeous hairdo was had, so most definitely there was a simple and yet stunning elegance present this day! I thought the long white satin gloves and short jacket she tried on with it at first were smashing, she thought it was all too much. Oh mom....but she did like them, she did.

Truly she did. (wink)

"My other already chosen pink jacket will do", she said.

If there's such a thing as a danger to a mother when her heart begins swelling too much, that would have been me, though a happy swelling at that. 

My goodness, my heart about burst shortly after snapping these photos, with not only our daughter all decked out for prom and the happy excitement she was able to share with her friend (also dressed up, a first for him), but also to have our son (he's taking his gal friend to her same prom night, the four of them together for the evening) involved and summoned in for the photos with them made it all just precious. 

Super heart swelling - let me tell you!

And then they asked for photos alone together, brother and sister so pleased with their soon-to-be excursion for the dinner/dance evening. 

And next, as something very typical and so ordinary, the three of them all wanted photos together. I snapped on two cameras and three cell phones, and you can bet all of the photos were off into cyberspace very shortly.

So Nice.

I. Like. This. Bunch.

Behind every photo there is truly a story.

Behind the photo above is a story about his new suit. Not able to attend his own prom last year because the family was traveling to Europe to visit with elderly relatives, this was sort of a prom for him too. 

Off he went to price out a suit, shirt, tie, belt and shoes, summoning up the courage to part with such an amount of money when he was a jean and lumberjack jacket type of young man. Once at the cashier, it was a scratch and save day, so after scratching his card all of the ladies were shocked, thought not as much as he was! He ended up with three 50% off numbers, his entire booty ended up a mere pittance of the original tally.

He is now the proud owner of some fairly fancy attire, and quite proud to be able to wear it to accompany our daughter to her prom.

My husband was not at home when all the photos were being snapped, then suddenly there was a call and this was the scene above when the phone was for our young man friend. My husband gave him the evening expectation parameters; drive safely with our precious cargo, be a perfect gentleman, have her home on time, you know the drill...too funny.

How beautiful these two lovely young people are..

A perfect gentleman, he opened the door for her, and then even helped to tuck her dress inside.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

20 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane -- 

whatever is unique to the week. 

Join me if you like.

Shame on me; I teased everyone about our newest wildlife sightings, both near and on our own property. We sighted two groundhogs in one day which prompted a funny - spotted groundhogs, so that must mean spring is about six weeks away... smiling.

And then, last week when we drove up our driveway and both dogs were riveted by something close to their pen - a small groundhog about the size of a light brown colored guinea pig was slowly waltzing on the grass towards the forest floor.

Well, that's a first! 

Groundhogs aside, I'm happy to report we've been greatly admiring blossoms and leafy trees all through our forest. It's amazing what hot and humid monsoon rainfalls will quickly stimulate into season. 

It's soccer season! Out of the indoor bubble from winter, spring/summer represents the only time soccer can be played out of doors here, not that ours play in winter mind you.

For the first time, this young gal and her brother are not playing in a recreational coed fun league, oh no, they are older and too big for the other league now, so we're into all girls and all boys teams. It was never intended this way, but as our luck would have it, surely it just had to end up they both happen to play on the same night - at different fields around the area!

This was the parental and team player introductory evening, a long walk down many soccer pitches to finally end up where the two team's coaches were. Both call and regard themselves as "British Gentleman" , super great coaches they are to date after a subsequent practice and game night!

Couldn't help but snap the photo above, she was quite literally glowing after being handed her soccer uniform; shorts, socks, and shirt.

It was an exciting moment to be a team sponsored by "Domino's Pizza", who offers all team players a hefty discount when ordering pizza in uniform after a game. And she was able to get the number she wanted - "12" , same as her age.

Here she is midfield near the center line going for the chase, loving every single second of the coach's encouragement and high fives. This should prove to be a wonderful season for her and our son. Photos of him coming up as soon as hubby and I swap fields so I can snap some. 

Our forest floor once again is covered with white and light pink trillium florals, so lovely amongst the greens quickly closing the forest walls in again. I shall never tire of these.

And then - the sun brought these yellow florals out in sheer abundance, decorating our grass about the property. I loved the local ad on Kijiji lately; FREE - Dandelion leaves! I wonder is someone picked them, and began a personal rigorous detox program.

Another birthday and the years have flown by as - he's no longer a teenager! 

Happy 20th birthday to our son in whom we are blown away by his intensive and incredible diligence to his schooling/studying efforts. On this birthday, he not only celebrated by having a dinner date out with mom and date, he also graduated his recent ultra (!) intensive course. 

I'm happy to report not only has this son advanced in his career mode into that of an official "Railway Conductor" after a nail biting mandatory hard sweat studying to be able to achieve the required 100% on the final three exams, he was summoned back to school after the weekend of his birthday to get back to the books/field to also become an official "Belt Pack Railway Engineer" and able to pass the final test with the same criteria. He did. :)

With both to his credit, he's out in the field for his mandatory 90 tours of duty, and in no time at all will he be back to school to become a full fledged "Locomotive Engineer", climbing up the ladder just as his father and brother have through the years before him.

Congratulations - so proud of you son!

Many hawks flying by, hunting for their lunchtime meal these past few days. There is an abundance of animal life in the forest, including tales from a neighbor over how our barking dog alerted them to another black bear wondering about the empty lot next door to us and the one near them several times last November. Add to that tales from another neighbor about the female coyote who was scouting out for her pack several weeks ago near our property, and we have everyone on guard here. 

The local rifle club members have been out the past three months very discreetly "thinning the three main coyote packs", teaming with the entire geographical area nearby to save the deer. Finally, the coyotes seem to have filled their bellies enough and haven't been spotted for a while, but only after alarming two families up and around the corner after stealing their small family dogs as dinner prey. 

It's good to hear the stories of the forest, and it's also good to keep on our toes with safety in mind with children roaming about the neighborhood. All of the other families with children have the same rules as ours; stick together, have your walkie talkie on at all times, inform of your location immediately if there is a change.  Really, we have all invaded their space, but we do feel those "Thornton Burgess" books have come alive for us.

These young working girls panicked only a bit after being informed they had to dress up fifties-style for three of their shifts last week. Instead of doing the simple thing of blue jeans with large cuffs to the knee, they went shopping and bought matching attire. They looked so cute before leaving for their mutual same shifts, I had to snap this photo of them.(and the dresses were pulled up under those sweaters when they realized how uncomfortable and easily they were slipping down at the shoulders...smile)

Look at the photo and know what my job was this past weekend....

Our younger two boys share birthdays exactly one week apart, so it was with pleasure we were able to keep up the family tradition and take our younger son for his birthday breakfast with mom and dad. He chose the famous "Cora's" again, and downed an entire (huge!) waffle loaded with fresh strawberries and whipping cream. I'm certain though by now it only filled one of his hollow legs, as he's growing in leaps and bounds above my head. It's official! I look up to him now.... 

 Happy 14th Birthday to YOU! 

Well now, tiny miracles really do happen when it comes to these blog posts finally being published. All kidding aside, you may be pleased to know there are still over a dozen posts in cue and postdated to come along shortly.

"Dear Sixteen Year Old Me" Video ....
Since summer is around the corner, I want to leave you with this inspiring video. It's very moving, and I implore you to be proactive with those you love and care about.  Be sure to pass this round and round...

Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the

19 / 52 weeks

52 weeks of daily life in pictures: trials and celebrations,
the extraordinary and mundane -- 

whatever is unique to the week. 

Join me if you like.

Sending out apologies as weeks 19 and 20 are completely overdue. Although photos were uploaded courtesy of high speed WiFi from the local library last week when our internet ability went berserk during daily rain/thunder storms, I wasn't able to get this blog post complete until today. So sorry (big kids/ and our moms/dads) ...
It's been a busy time in our home, working not only on our property, in our home, new sporting beginnings, but most of all there has been much happening behind the scenes working with new contacts who share the same diagnosis as my husband's rare respiratory disease. 

It's been a definite springboard week with media and worldwide awareness growing for MKS via Twitter (mounierkuhnsynd is our handle). 
Spending time in a very lengthy conversation with a newspaper reporter, at last, the ripple effect has grown from the one article appearing in yesterday's (Monday) "Florida Sun Sentinel" health section article on "Mounier-Kuhn Syndrome". I'll offer more on this in a separate post later today...

Now onward ho, here's a bit of a recap from our 19/52 weeks...

Honored on Mother's Day by my husband as he worked in the kitchen early in the morning and presented this tray to me in bed. Well now, I was so touched by his efforts and I do believe that was a first. What a great and very special meal it was!

A poached egg, gouda cheese slices on toast with a tomato slice wedged in the center cut, cantaloupe and salami slices.

These roses slipped onto my night table and they were a gift from my son, along with the sassy card below and a full meal lunch deal in the kitchen later on for the entire family. Who says boys don't love their mommies? This too was a first around here, such good intentions by way of cards and assorted goodies all through the day from everyone.

I told you it's a bit sassy...

A walk along the water's edge on a really nice day, the snowy mounds at last melted and sail boats being hoisted with fresh from storage sails nearby. A glorious day, one could feel the promise of warmer weather fast approaching.

Our Canoe and Kayak club dock is in, and the schedule is posted. Now for our volunteer evenings to check out boating vessels to others in the club, and we too will enjoy paddles on the bay as a family. Hoooey! I can't wait to get out on the water!

Sometimes there are days which warrant a nice little siesta. This was certainly one of those days for my man.

Another Pony Pals club meeting had the girls making their own "lead ropes" from rope and a swivel toggle clip. Some of the gals will be dying theirs with their signature riding color, others liked it au naturel. No matter, I think they turned out just wonderful! 

They also made bookmarks which we laminated, featuring wooden stamped names and equine themes. I think the gals loved these crafts the most, all smiles and a bit wordless by meeting's ending. So cute!

On the kitchen table were an assorted bunch of flowers all lovingly placed into a large vase. These were from my husband, just because....reminders of spring, beauty in abundance.

Week 20 is uploaded and going to publish very shortly. 

Have a wonderful day! 

Please be patient with me, I'll be right back. 

Head on over to Barbara's to check out the invitation to join the