Skinnydipping in the Rock

“C’mon, Jeanie,” Grandpa would holler from his post at the dining room table with popcorn, beer, and a salt shaker in his left breast pocket. “Let’s go skinny dipping in the Rock River.”

And Grandma would swat his words away with crochet hook in hand, “Dang it, Ed. Leave me alone. I’m trying to watch my show,” she would say, not looking away from the tv and her multi-colored double crochet afghan.

He was always coming up with crazy ideas just to get my grandma going. “Let’s go dancing,” or “Me and Tiny (the dog) are going bear hunting.” It was his entertainment, just to get her going. On average this was a weekly occurrence, to tease and torment my grandma. And I know she secretly loved it. It was their little game they would play.

But today, Grandpa is not going bear hunting or badgering my grandma. He hasn’t had his beer belly in a long time, which he was so proud of  for so long- lotta hard work, ya know.  He is laying in a hospital bed, frail and skinny. But that love is still there. ( Man, he loved  Grandma so much, still crazy in love after all those years).

“That’s not the way he combs his hair,” grandma says. She holds onto the bed and scoots her way to her big straw summery purse, the one with palm trees and seahorses beaded onto the side of it. She digs into the bottom of her big bag  and pulls out a tattered hair brush and combs my grandpa’s silver hair how he usually wears it. “Look at his hair. It is so pretty and thick.”

He was there with us, kind of.

My grandma leaned over his bed, “Eddie. Eddie! It’s Jean. I’m going home now. I’m really tired and need to rest. I know how you always tell me to put my feet up, so that is what I’m gonna do. I’ll be back tomorrow,” she would pause and look at him for some response. Nothing. She repeated herself and rambled on, telling him what she was going to do when she got home and when she would be back. 

She bent down and kissed him on the forehead. “I love you,” she said.  It was like he came to life with that kiss and gave her the biggest smile out of his drugged state. This really touched me and I just about started bawling. I really hope that when I am old I have somebody there to brush my hair and still get excited about a kiss. I hope to share all those years and memories.

He is no longer with us now and I really miss him.

I am thankful for all the great memories and times we spent together.

His green Ford pickup truck that he would use to haul water. In sticker letters he put “Eddie” on the driver side and “Jeanie” on the passenger side. And I can’t forget “Giddy Up and Go” also stuck onto his truck.

I remember his truck driving stories, he drove an eighteen wheeler, you know. His WWII stories. And of course, I can’t forget one of my favorites, the story about the man who got stuck to his toilet seat for days because he shellacked it and had to take a crap before it was dry. (I heard this story many many times with lots of details. lol).

I remember the time he insisted on getting their new car, the Dodge Spirit, to 110 mph because you had to test it out, my Grandma yelling at him, the spilt bucket of fried chicken (my grandpa LOVED fried chicken), and Jessica and Ryan having a great time, egging him on. “You’re almost to the red, Grandpa!” I sat tightly clutching the edge of the seat, terrified. Oh, the good ol’ days. There are so many fun memories.

He will be missed.

Love you Grandpa.


p.s. Hope you get to meet John Wayne in Heaven.

Exactly one year ago today…

Exactly one year ago today I found out I was having twins. Needless to say, this was very unexpected, but a moment I will never forget.

All those times that I was so tired, I never thought that I was pregnant, I figured I was so tired because I was finishing up my student teaching and getting ready to graduate.Half the time I felt like I was sinking in quick sand because I had so many deadlines and I was trying to keep up with school work and still take care of my family. I just had Collin, who was about 9 months at the time, and Bradley, 4 years old, with boundless energy, “Mom, let’s read ANOTHER book!” How can you say no to that?! Needless to say, I was extremely busy and never gave it a thought that I was pregnant, especially with twins!

When I was scheduled to go to my first sonogram I told Brad he didn’t need to come. “Don’t worry about it. We just did this (i.e. sonograms, doctors appointments, labor and delivery) not that long ago, you’re not going to miss anything.” Boy, was I wrong and soon to regret that decision.

The sonographer squeezed the warm jelly onto my stomach and as I tried to get comfortable on the all too familiar doctor’s table. I craned my neck to watch the blobs that were supposedly my insides broadcasted on the computer screen. I cradled my head on my arm and lay back to watch the show. Not much really happens this early in the ballgame though. Mostly I see a bunch of black, gray, and white blobbing around this way and that on the screen with a few blips and beeps. I didn’t think much of it, and kinda wished I brought popcorn this time around. Until she swooshed to one spot, then another. Back again, then to the other. This doesn’t ring a bell.

 I was concerned…I don’t remember it taking so long before for a sonogram. I looked at the sonogram lady’s face. She was in deep concentration. “So what do you see?” I tried to pry anything out of her. “It will just be another minute,” she said without bothering to look my way. 

 A million thoughts ran through me at once. Is something wrong? That doesn’t really look like my last sonogram. Are there two in there? Am I having twins? No, impossible. There must be something wrong. Back and forth my mind travelled, my eyes going from the screen to the sonographer’s poker face.

After what seemed like an eternity she finally looked at me. “Do twins run in your family?”

HOLY CRAP!!! I about fell off the table. “I had a feeling that was what you were going to tell me.”

My eyes welled up with tears of shock, panic, joy, and a million other unexplainable emotions. Next thing I knew they were making a puddle around my shoulders and the lady offered me a box of tissues.

“Happy Mother’s Day to me,” is all I could say between sobs.

From this moment on they would remain Baby A and Baby B for the next 35 weeks.

And poor Brad <chuckle, chuckle>… He really thought I was playing some sort of practical joke on him when I showed him the picture. When it finally sunk in that I was telling him the truth, his cheeks turned rosy and I could of swore his eyes looked a little watery.

***small side note*** As soon as I showed Bradley the picture, he said right away, “MOM, there are two in there!” Kids are so smart.

And here they are now… I never would have/could have dreamed of this in a million years.

 Every day I feel so lucky for all four of my little blessings.

I am such a lucky momma.


Hand Made Mother’s Day

One of my favorite Mother’s Day presents Bradley brought home from school the other day. A surprise hiding in his book bag, crushed and bent. A large piece of red construction paper, laminated and rolled up with the teacher’s writing on the outside – Happy Mother’s Day. How nice. When I opened it and saw the wonderful artwork drawn by my son, a picture of me…AND a nice little paragraph about his dear ol’ mom, ME…well, it brought tears to my eyes. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. It is one of my favorite keepsakes so far (I need to frame this one). I love that darn kid so much!

He was so proud of his present. Too cute!

o.k. , so I’m not 18. I’m 23.  😉  hee hee. When I first read that it brought tears of joy and laughter.

The best gifts have no price tags…they are made by little hands and come from the heart. Priceless.


Bubble Art

Sometimes I think I have these great ideas, and then they turn out not so great. This was one of those not so great ideas, which I didn’t find out until after we started. It turned into a colored bubbly mess. But we did have fun and got some cute results. * Note: I have seen this project done before with success. Just wasn’t happening for us yesterday. And now Crayola has come out with colored bubbles.*

Basically the idea is to put food coloring into a bubble solution. When you blow the bubbles you catch them with a piece of paper and it leaves a colored circle. It is really cute. But our bubbles kept splattering all over us and we had red and blue speckled faces and arms. Collin spilled (go figure) and part of our sidewalk is blue for the time being. Also, Murphy, our dog, kept catching the bubbles in his mouth. I’m sure he had a blue and red tongue, possibly purple. lol.

But when it was all said and done, we had fun and our pictures turned out cute. Check them out below.

I was hoping you would be able to see the colors blend. Oh well, maybe next time…if we try this project again. I will have to plan better.

What kinds of catastrophes have you made in the name of art?


bits & pieces

This post is just “bits & pieces” of our day. It is seconds of our day that I have captured with a picture or video. It is nothing major or big…but sometimes it is the little moments that are the most precious. Special little snapshots of time that I just don’t want to forget, like how Collin puckers up for a kiss or how cute the boys look sitting on the couch together (which ends up actually not being so cute because they are pestering the poor dog…and each other). But these are the things I want to remember, the cute, the goofy, the good, and the bad…and the driving me crazy.

The first little part I want to share is my gorgeous view. I couldn’t have done it without the sun, and…

Finally! the sun is here. It has been too dark and dreary for too long.

This is my view from my front porch. I love this tree. One day it just turned hot pink…poof!

I don’t even know what type of tree this is (not that I’m very good at naming any of them). It is pretty though.

We also had alot of fun playing with our shadows and making all kinds of crazy shapes.

We did an outside art project/experiment, which I will share our results with you at a later date.

I will leave you with a couple of videos, more “bits & pieces” of our day.

Oh, the things I put up with too early in the morning. Wouldn’t trade it for anything though. 🙂

Bradley idolizes his dad, like most 5 year old boys do. He is always asking if he can be daddy or telling me over and over again, “My dad is more awesome than the Miz.” Which means alot to his little wrestling mind, which is something they watch together on Monday nights.

And I also crack myself up. Please remember, after you watch this next video, that I am home with the kids all day long with no adult conversation. So sometimes I get a little goofy. lol

I really do crack myself up.

Just remember to enjoy all the lil’ “bits & pieces.” Time goes by way to fast.


Ode to Morel Mushrooms: Mysterious Fungi

 There are many myths and old wife’s tales on how to find Morel Mushrooms. Some people say there is a science to finding them when the season comes. Some people say there is a special way to hunt for these tasty morsels. Some wont say a thing; it’s a secret on how to find them or where to look. These people keep their lips sealed in silence and slip through the weeds and thorns to find this mysterious fungi. 

I do not know the exact science of finding these mushrooms, nor do I claim to know all the tricks of the trade. I do know you need springy days of strolling through the woods and a sharp shooter’s eye.

You just never know where they may pop up.

When the sun is shining through bare branches and budding trees,

and blossoms burst through the forest,

 it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

After spring showers and muddy shoes,

and dogwoods and daffodils dance wildly in the breeze,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you wade through Mayflowers and mossy ferns,

as you rifle through leafy litter of last fall,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When the weekly weather forecast climbs into the 70’s,

and you are counting the days after the last rainfall,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you are scouring the woods for dead elms,

and checking around rotting stumps and decaying logs,

it just might be Morel Mushroom time.

When you find yourself reciting instructions on how to find these camouflaged fungi and are lost in the woods with no compass…

and your eyes are popping out of your head and you have an empty sack blowing in the wind…

and your feet are soggy for not paying attention and stepping in that creek and cocker burrs are clinging to your sweatshirt…

It definitely is Morel Mushroom time!

Keep looking. You never know where they might pop up.

I only found two little baby ones last weekend. It was still a little chilly.

But I did find two cute boys.

I did have great company mushroom hunting, but we didn’t cover much ground, which is probably why we only found two. Oh well, next time. It was also hard carrying Collin through the woods on my hip and dodging thorny bushes.

I did find 6 four-leaf clovers though! As I walked out of the woods I set Collin down for a little rest…and just happened to set him down in the middle of a four-leaf clover path. What luck!

Can you share any of your secrets? Where is the strangest place you found mushrooms? What is the largest one you found?

Happy Hunting!


Easter: Part Two


10 Cadbury eggs

9 nests of m&m’s

8 messes making

7 handfuls of jelly beans

6 chocolate bunnies

5 marshmellow Peeps

4 super hyper children

3 broken eggs

2 tired parents

2 twins a burping

ONE… priceless day!

Ok…Easter was a fun and busy day, but the kids got more candy than you can imagine. It’s a belly ache and several trips to the dentist waiting to happen. They got more Easter candy than they did for Halloween. Oh well, we had a great day.

First we went to my parents, good ol’ traditions. The big kids running through the grass picking up plastic eggs packed full of goodies and Collin trailing behind and picking up all the leftovers. This time the plastic  eggs  had dollar bills. We liked that. 🙂

Then we went to Grandma Chris and Grandpa John’s house. A new tradition is about to begin. Easter egg hunting from horseback.

The Easter bunny hid the eggs way out in the forest and the kids rode Jasper to go find them. When they came to a clearing there were eggs everywhere! Even hanging from trees.

Videos soon to come.

Have a great weekend.