Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Psychedelic

As a follow-up to my Just Ducky post, the happy couple did return to the pool cover even after I removed most of the water. We got some more substantial rain and the back woods were flooded, a typical spring here. My friends appeared in the woods one beautiful late afternoon, swimming and feeding just a few yards into our woods. The sun was shining on the mallard's head making it look gorgeously psychedelic. I got my camera and stepped into the woods on a stump just behind a tree, bringing me only a few feet away. The ducks could have cared less that I was standing there pointing my camera at them.

The pair have a typical husband/wife relationship. The mallard stood there looking gorgeous, letting me snap picture after picture of his beautiful self. The female never stopped searching for food, working up a storm and probably nesting in preparation for some new kids. I was tired just watching her. When she moved on to a new area her husband would follow closely behind her, still not helping out. :)

But he sure was one beautiful mallard.....no denying.



Saturday, April 24, 2010

All in the Family

I secretly think my husband, Chris, has always wanted to coach. He is a huge sports fan and I find various baseball drill books popping up around the house. Unfortunately he has the kind of job that makes it hard to commit to regular weekly practices. That's why I was surprised this year when he agreed to coach Luke's T-ball team. Originally he was excited to co-coach with his buddy, but his buddy took on a new job that has him traveling the entire work week. But Chris maintained his commitment and is doing an incredible job so far.

Jack has been trying to find a way to make some extra money so Chris offered him to pay him to help out with Luke's team. He has been committed and helpful and is really enjoying all the little kids.

I followed along to the first practice to see the players and parents and to take a few pictures.

First some introductions...


Followed by some warm-ups...

The boys ran the bases next and had to shout out the base names as they touched them...


Then the boys practiced throwing and catching and Coach gave some of his expert instruction.



Luke has really come along since last year's team. He begs to play catch and high pops in the yard with Chris and me and is excited to go to every practice. Having Dad as coach is pretty special. And big brother helping truly makes it a family effort!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nine

Yesterday my Ben turned 9 years old. I remember his birth like it was yesterday. It was a long, painful and tiring induction. But as soon as he was born I knew he was going to be a beautiful, special boy. He arrived one year and one minute from the day I buried my mother 10 years ago. I truly believe he was a gift from God -- to help make up for the loss of my mom. And I believe that my mother's spirit was there to delay his birth one minute so that it didn't coincide with her burial. He was born on Good Friday the 13th.

So nine years later, who is Ben? He is my mellow, easy-going second born son who brings me complete joy. He is introspective and doesn't say much. He doesn't usually offer details or initiate conversation. He's going to be the child that I have to find out things about his life from his siblings and friends. I often wonder what he is thinking.

He doesn't look a thing like me and is built differently than his father, his siblings and me. He's solid and perfectly proportioned. And although he doesn't look like me physically, I have learned we have a whole lot in common other than looks.

He loves animals....in particular our dog Chewie. He is sensitive and quietly competitive. He likes math and to be challenged. His teacher tells me he is highly self-motivated. He loves sports and plays baseball and soccer. He keeps up with the older kids physically in neighborhood sporting games and also likes to play imaginary games of war with Luke. On Rockband guitar he plays songs on 'expert' and recently started taking acoustic guitar lessons. He loves to read and his most recent favorite series are Percy Jackson and Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III. He continues to love Sponge Bob and watch episodes over and over and over. Likes his hamburgers without cheese (like me) and his tacos with just sour cream and meat. He is kind. There is not much I wouldn't do for this boy.


An attempt to capture his beautiful blue eyes and cute new freckles.

For his birthday this year he elected to take a few friends to see the movie How to Train Your Dragon on the opening day. So his buddies, siblings and I had a quick celebration at home before we headed off to the movie and dinner. I made a dragon cake for him and it seemed to be a big hit.

The crew.....

And right before we left he received a call from some ladies in his class and the boys all huddled in to be part of the conversation....

It was a fun night and Ben loved the movie. Dinner at Pizzeria Uno was great and Ben seemed happy with the whole thing. That made me happy.