09 April 2018

Easter, 2018

For Easter this year, we decided it would be a truly long weekend, since the kids had no school on Friday or Monday.  Mom was cooking Easter dinner on Sunday, so on Saturday, I took the middle ladies up to hang out with their grandmother for the night.  They made some stickers for mugs with mom's newest toy - her Cricut - and watched Jumanji - the new one.  James, JMichael and I joined them on Sunday and stayed for supper - delicious, and the weather was delicious, too - we ate outside.  We had resurrection rolls and the kids hunted for eggs and candy like they were all seven again.  It was great.

This photo of Samantha and Mom in the WalMart parking lot was taken not just to show that Samantha can be pushed around by her grandmother - hahaha - but, also because as we walked out of the WalMart on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Samantha starting singing, kinda loudly, "I've got sunshine, on a rainy day...."  Well, Charlotte and I started to join in, as a man was walking toward us from his car into the WalMart.  Right on beat, he started with the backbeat - dum, de dum dum, dum, de dum dum.  It was great.  Strangers in the WalMart parking lot, singing and enjoying the beautiful day.  

Three ladies.  Left to right, Josephine, 13; Samantha, 18; and Charlotte, 15.
That's an airhead in Samantha's mouth, and don't worry, Charlotte's nose ring is not a piercing, although she lobbies constantly to have it done.....
Gotta love them.

05 April 2018

James and I are legal.

James and I were married on March 28, 1997.  This year on March 28, 2018, we are twenty-one!  I had a surprise in store for him this year.  He had a doctor's appointment in Annapolis, which means we had to cross the Chesapeake Bay and head into city life.  I'm not a fan of the cities, but, they have their good parts - doctors, for one, and secondly, restaurants.  I have a co-worker who told me of a place she and her family like to eat, located at the foot of the Bay Bridge, called Adam's Ribs. 

Shut the front door.  James' and my first date was at Adam's Ribs.  That first date was on December 13, 1996, twenty-one years and three months ago.  Adam's Ribs in Salisbury, Maryland has since gone out of business, so I was excited to hear tell of another.  I told James we are eating out after your appointment.  Don't ask questions.  I know just where we are going. 

James just loves seafood.  The Bay Bridge area is packed with seafood restaurants and he's itching to try every one of them.  As we sped past each of them on the way to the doctor, he said are we going there?  There?  How about there?  I just shook my head.  I'll never tell.  After the doctor, which went well, in case y'all are wondering, I directed him to Adam's Ribs.  He saw the sign as we pulled in the parking lot and smiled wide.  This is perfect, he said.  And it was.  We had ribs, and shrimp and appetizers and Smith Island Cake - his first - for dessert.  We hung out like adults and lingered over supper.  No kids.  No hurry.  It was great.  And just so that the universe could tell us one more time that we are doing things right - the check came in a Ball jar.  How confirming and sweet is that?

30 March 2018

Splash - March 2018

The splash for March 2018 was taken in the parking lot of a Royal Farm store in Easton, Maryland.  Why, you may ask, did we take a splash at night in a gas station parking lot?  Good question.  It's all about Rachel. 
Rachel and Evan are leaving us.  They decided to move back to Arkansas.  If you follow our story, or know us, you may remember that Rachel did not move with us when we moved from Arkansas to Maryland in May of 2017.  She and Evan decided that they would stay in Arkansas.  Then, they moved here in July of 2017.  They lived in our basement and found jobs and friends, and the one thing they did not find was school.  So, they rented a house in Beebe, Arkansas with Grace, their friend, and decided that they would go back to Arkansas and back to ASU (Arkansas State University).  On March 8, at about eight o'clock in the evening, their car (which they bought just the week prior) was all packed and they were ready to go.  Samantha was working as a temporary nanny for a family in Wye Mills, so we went to the car dealership in Easton to get Rachel's spare tire, then to Royal Farms to unpack and repack the car.  See?  It all makes sense now, right?

I wanted one last splash of all five of our babies together.  This shot completely obscures Josephine's face, but, those smiles and that happy look on Rachel's face, well, that's the moment I want to remember.  The five independent people that James and I brought into this world actually love each other and want to be together and they will not have that for a while.  Rachel is making plans to come east for Samantha's birthday in July and we will get out to Arkansas too; soon, I hope.

Rachel will find her way.  I have no doubt.  She doesn't always do things my way, but, she knows that she always has a home with us and we are behind her one hundred percent.  We raised our kids to think for themselves, to solve the problem, to learn, to laugh and to be happy.  Rachel is on her way.  She will find it.  Here's to wide open spaces.  Go get 'em Rachel - set your alarm clocks and text your mother.  She misses you.

23 March 2018

JMichael in Little Leaugue

JMichael has his birthday in February, so for years now, we've been telling him that soccer starts again after his birthday.  Well, not in Maryland.  There is no spring soccer season here, simply because lacrosse kinda takes over life in the spring for most athletes.  JMichael could have played lacrosse, but, that seems too new and there were pads and sticks involved, so he decided against.  Instead, he is now in his first season of little league baseball - and he loves it.  He plays with kids in his class at school, and there are about six teams of boys his age in the county.  He is a Galena Lion, and he can't wait for practice twice a week to turn into games.  He's watching the Orioles on tv and using words with new meanings - steal, hit and pickle - are all new again.  This should be fun!  Go Lions!

14 March 2018

Rachel is Twenty

I know every parent feels this - time goes by too quickly; I wish she was still three and reaching for my hand to cross a street; where did all the moments go?  I can still hear her laugh, her morning sneezes, her song coming from the shower.  I hope I always will.  Today the baby who made me a mom is twenty.  Twenty.  Happy Happy Birthday Rachel Mae.

Rachel is - above all else - her own person.  I am proud of that person.  She is the Miss Independent of our family.  She is opinionated, capable, curious and fearless.  She is comfortable singing on stage or comforting a crying child.  She is the second mother of our family, ready to run an errand, make a meal or tell her siblings what to clean up and how.  She can draw; she can sing; she loves music and sleep and she gives me a good run at chess.  The price of all this independence is that she is not always around.  She is doing her thing and she is making her way.  We love you and miss you.  Happy Birthday Rachel Mae.
Arby Girl, RaeMae, Coccinelle

11 March 2018


I had to get a picture of this mailbox which is out on a country road near where we live on the Eastern Shore in rural Maryland.  It is simply brilliant.

28 February 2018

Splash - February 2018

I think the Beatles said it best - All you need is love.  We do have that.  We even cut it out in construction paper letters to show it.  My only story about Valentine's day this year is all about candy.  I am a fan of the Necco wafers.  They are hard to find, but, I do love them.  At Valentine's Day, Necco puts out their conversation hearts.  You know the ones.  Our candy dish is full of them.  Our candy dish empties regularly.  Sometimes it is gone in a day.  Conversation hearts are a family favorite.  We give them to each other - text me; we make fun of each other - sweet girl; we just conversate with them.  After Valentine's day, our local grocery had them on sale.  They had a shopping buggy full of them for $.49 a bag!  Really?  I wanted to just push the buggy up through the checkout line, but, I showed a little restraint and only bought about fifteen bags.  I'm thinking our candy dish will be conversation hearts until Mother's Day.