Money by itself maybe, but this new iPad mini makes me happy. My son Aaron surprised me at the cabin, early birthday present...he bought a wireless keyboard to go with it, so I can still type when my teenagers are hogging my laptop.
Also, Grandma bought Evelyn an early birthday gift, a Keurig with lots of little coffees. Evelyn is our resident coffee queen, so she's pretty happy.
An animal has been getting into our garbage every night, knocks a can over and feasts. It's not our dogs, because it happens after they are in for the night. Just another thing for me to do every morning as I go out to take care of the pool, which is almost clear, yay!
Last night I let Char and Cam share the big comfy bed, and if Miss Cam kicked me once, she kicked me a thousand times. I feel more tired this morning than I did before I went to bed last night.
I am hoping to see Ashley and Anya one last time before they fly home to Washington state tomorrow. Benjamin headed back last Saturday because he had to work this week. Saying goodbye is not my favorite. As I watered the tomato plants this morning, in the yard all by my lonesome, except for poor Duke who loves me, I noticed how quiet it was. It hits me hard sometimes, the sentimentality of the past, the days when I watered the garden with a baby on my hip and a toddler or two squashing the plants, "helping", of course. I have had times lately when I have actually gone swimming all alone. I walk through the house announcing my plans to go in the pool, and...no one else wants to. Rewind a few years, and I had to use Going In The Pool as the huge carrot to dangle to get them to help clean up in the mornings, before our summer fun things would begin each day. It was always a big production, swim diapers in the later years, and before they were invented, just making sure their diapers were clean...getting them sunscreen-ed and in their floaties and gathering up a dozen or more towels...sometimes we would swim when the little ones were napping, and that was blissful, because even with those floaties on, I had at least one of them in my arms and all of them in my sight.
It has been a long road, having so many kids, but the road is getting lonelier now. In the yard today, I could almost see them all, climbing the trees with their long braids, making forts and chasing with the Super Soakers. The two littlest girls, and Jon, still play out there of course, but it's different now...there aren't nine kids under age ten, ha. The morning work is now a far cry from the utter craziness in the past, the diapers and bottles and nursing babies, getting two small ones in the high chairs and making breakfast for all the rest...even serving cereal and juice was, like everything else, a big production. From the mountain of laundry in the laundry room doorway (that was just the bedding and the stuff that wouldn't fit in the overflowing hampers), to the dishes that never were completely finished, to the floors which I worked so hard to keep clean, I have never been able to stand sticky, which is rather ironic...I don't like crumbs on the floor, or dirt either. So those days were beyond busy, but the small, medium and large children who graced me with their exuberance for life, who have blessed me far beyond what work and toil they caused, have grown up and our house is..different. It is still a busy house, but with fewer small children and no babies except for the grandchildren and others who visit.
Here's the thing: I started writing this morning while it was still quiet...now it is not quiet. Jon is going to mow part of the lawn, Kathryn did the front yesterday. Evelyn is up, the little girls are chatting away, asking when we are going to Lake George, we have complimentary amusement park tickets through a homeschooling program. I am going to sign off and talk to them...:)