Miss Charlotte Claire trying out the new hammock.
Today started with a visit from my daughter Mali. She works nights as a nurse in the same hospital as Mirielle, and stopped in after work this morning. She had 8 patients last night and no aides to help. I am so stinkin' proud of her! She worked SO hard to get through school, and is still working hard. She is such a lovely girl.
I was tired this morning because I never learn. I stayed up with Mirielle, who had the night off from work...we had popcorn and solved the world's problems. I crawled into bed around two, and since Paul is in France and the princesses are sharing my big comfy bed, I was kicked by Camille all night. She just walks right up me in her sleep. At seven when I heard the school bus beep, I felt bad because I didn't get up with the three school kids.....
When the school nurse called to ask where Sonja was, I said she wasn't feeling well, which was probably true, although I hadn't been up, so therefore did not really know....I mean, I can't very well say that I have no idea, I was fast asleep when the bus came, so hey, your guess is as good as mine. One time this backfired on me though. Several years ago, the nurse called to ask where Joseph was, and yeah, I said he wasn't feeling well...she called back like five minutes later and said, "Um, we have Joseph here at school, his bus just came in late and his name wasn't on the attendance sheet." Yeah, that's a true story.
Anyway. We had a slow start, this sunny monday morning.
The kids finally got their school work done...and we put the hammock up. Char and I had walked around the yard scouting out a place for it. We broke some small branches off the lilac bush, we picked a few pears, we stepped in the soft moss with our bare feet, and checked out the garden. Then we realized the best spot for the hammock was right there on the swingset, where two swings are supposed to go....
Aaron came to visit this afternoon. We sat at the table and ate some salads with chicken, then sat out on the deck with some coffee.
He had to head home to get ready for work, and we had to go to....
Dunkin Donuts for National Coffee Day! Free medium sized dark roast hot coffee...and you could get them with pumpkin swirl! Since I am such a good mom, I let Char, Cam, and Jonathan get one too. They didn't finish them, but believe me, when we got home a few of their older sisters helped out. I let them pick out a donut too:) Sugar, caffeine...yum.
Anyway, we went to the library. I got a few Anne Tyler books I didn't know existed. I loved, "Saint Maybe". The kids got stacks and stacks of books, and couldn't wait to get home. They aren't allowed, generally, to watch any televison or movies during the school days, but they can climb into my bed or cuddle on the couch with as many books as they want:)
These nice autumn days though, I like to get them outside as much as possible.
Paul finally got his luggage. He went to France, his luggage went to Zurich. After three days in the same clothes, he got it, so no new French clothes for him.
Okay, so I was planning to go visit Samuel this weekend. He has finished his training for Old Guard, now he is with Echo Company, and will train with them. He had a graduation today:) Anyway, he was very excited about us coming this weekend. Then Paul realized I was planning it for when he was in France, and asked me to wait so he could go too. Um, okay. Sam was bummed, then Emily and Abigail said I couldn't do that, I had to go anyway. So...I guess I am going, with Abigail and Kathryn and Suzanne and Sonja and Jonathan. We can only bring six so there is room in the minivan for Sam to leave the Army base with us. In a few weeks though, Mirielle is bringing Margaret and Evelyn and whoever else....
Ah well, life is not boring, that's for sure. Suri rolled in something yuck today, and had to have a bath. She was shampooed and conditioned, and smells like Pantene. That dirtied four towels, because she shakes all the way to the door, even though I try to escort her with a towel over her.
Have I mentioned what an excellent weekend I had? We went to a church conference. Emily was in charge of the dinner, which was in honor of a dear friend's 70th birthday. 600 people were expected, although it seemed that a few less than that actually came. We still had to make dinner for 600 though. Chicken with gravy, baked potatoes, rolls...a few others made the salad (oh it was good, with romaine and spinach and fresh apple slices, craisins, shredded carrots, cucumbers...in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing). It was done in smallish kitchen, and it was a juggling act, considering we were also making and serving a lunch for our grill, and making 600 cheesecake shooters with caramel/butterscotch and sea salt, and mixed berry compote. What a day! But I can honestly say, it was one of the best days ever! Emily and Abigail and Mirielle and Evelyn and Sonja were helping in the kitchen, plus lots of my nieces and other friends. It was too much fun, and the dinner was a success! It was on time, and nothing burned, and it tasted delicious.
The feast itself was so encouraging and amazing too. We are nothing of ourselves, but it is God who works in us, who gives the grace, who cleanses us from our sin when we acknowledge it and are willing to suffer.