Sunday, December 19, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
My father in law died five years ago today. We had found out he had cancer that July after they thought he may have a case of pneumonia, it was lung cancer that spread rapidly and he was gone on a rainy miserable fall day. The day he was buried, it was beautiful, sunny and hot – unusual for Michigan November's.
I will never forget the first day I met my unknown-to-me-one-day-would-be-future-father-in-law. He came in to visit my husband and and I hadn't ever met someone before who seemed so gruff, he was skinny as a rail and as strong as an ox, paid attention to the slightest details, and won me completely over on the spot.
My father in law never told us he loved us. My husband will always remember the day his dad told him he loved him. Nope, he didn't say it but he showed it in a million little details.
My father in law cooked for us. On Sunday's he laid before us a feast. There was never anything fancy, but it there isn't one person in our family who would say it was anything BUT the very best, top quality food. It usually involved stuffing. He made the best most moist stuffing. He made col-slaw, salad with the dressing on it because Western dressing is the only dressing worth eating, I suppose. He made ham or chicken. He made fried potatoes; fried zucchini with tomatoes and squash and mushrooms. He made pickles. He made huge mountains of mashed potatoes. When I would walk in the house in the winter, he would have apple sauce simmering on the stove. When he found out I have a fondness for good bread, he would bring home some loaves from the Hungarian woman at the market and set a bunch of fresh honey in front of me too, I don't think honey had been used in their house much before I showed up to the family.
He knew I loved flowers and would save discarded sunflower bundles from the market, bring them to life again miraculously for me and they would last a week in a vase on the table. He knew I loved peonies and would have big bouquets of them picked and wrapped for me when I would come over. He dug me up some peonie plants, I can't get them to bloom for anything. I feel like that would let him down. He was known in this area for his geraniums, he had a knack for growing top quality, heavy duty geraniums in the greenhouse out back of their house. I still have one. I feel like I have done something to keep his memory alive with that potted geranium.
He had a knack for finding beauty in junk. I'm not sure how he found the stuff he did, but our front porch is decorated with the metal wagon wheels he had found somewhere. The rock garden has the plow he found. I have a garden area with a huge picket fence square he found and saved from the burn pile. Junk turned to beauty, and he cared enough to save it for me and deliver it.
He died when I was pregnant for S4, we had told him his name before he was born. But there is hardly a week where he isn't mentioned, as in, “If Dad could see these boys eat.” “If Dad could see these boys play.” “If Dad could hear these boys talk like this.”
We miss him.
To everyone in the family, my father in law meant something different. I can only write to you from my perspective. It was a true honor to be his daughter in law and I am grateful for every year I was able to know him so I can pass a bit of him down to our four boys.
I've really wrestled with how to write this post. There are so many things I want you to know about him. His humor, his laugh, the way he snapped beans with a knife....
But what I miss the most is the way he paid attention to details. Oh, it could drive you insane don't get me wrong, but it was in the details that I felt loved. Sometimes I don't feel like making a batch of cookies for the boys, oreo's will fill them just the same, but it's the smell, the thought, the experience of the cookies that they love. S1 once wrote a note for me, it was a class project. It said “Love is...” and he had filled in “...Moma's chocolate chip cookies.”.
Don't underestimate the little things.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
(That’s what ya’ll say ‘round these mid-western parts, raaaaaight?)
I’m Becca from Our Crazy Boys.
Denise and I thought it would be a great idea to guest post on each other’s blogs for a day.
“Blog swap,” if you will.
(It’s nothing like “Wife Swap,” I promise).
I’ve been singing this in my head all day:
Oh give me a hooommeeee
Where the buffalo roaaammmm…
because I knew I would be sitting down to write this post tonight.
And when I think of Denise, I think of… the country.
You know, I have two boys.
And one of those boys? He’s actually like two boys.
But still. I can’t imagine having four boys AND a husband.
When I see things like this:
and this in my house....
the only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that Denise is dealing with double.
I’m a talker, and I’ll apologize now for that. I probably should have started off by telling you a little about myself.
I was born and raised in a very small town in upstate New York. For some crazy (insane) reason, I decided to join the Air Force right after graduation.
Did I mention that I failed PE class every year I was in high school?
And that basic training required just a little bit of physical activity?
Anyway, I met my husband while we were both stationed in Louisiana, then we moved to Japan for a year and had Michael, our ten year-old.
Quiet, shy, well-behaved Michael.
Michael was such a sweet kid that we wanted to have another one.
So we moved to Arizona and had Jack.
Not so quiet, completely outspoken, not very well-behaved Jack.
Do you know that saying, “You don’t know Jack?” It hit the nail on the head.
So I took action.
Anytime I felt like I wanted to lock myself in the linen closet and cry, I would blog.
I blogged about Jack getting banned from using the bathroom without supervision.
I blogged about Jack getting those little capsule sponges taken away. Forever.
And I blogged about the time Jack’s preschool class killed their class pet.
I felt better.
Less stressed, you could say.
I learned to pick up my camera and laugh rather than yell.
I didn’t leave Michael out of it, though. His posts are just… different.
I blogged about eight year-old Michael climbing a mountain.
I blogged about Michael getting ringworm from wrestling and a welt from his Mom.
I blogged about the wonderful lunches we have now that I work at his school.
Now, I have a place in my little corner of the internet where my memories are stored.
A place that in 20 years, the boys can go to and read about all the fun they had as kids, and how much their parents love the heck out of them.
A place where people can comment, and we can connect. I have new friends that I met through my blog. Amazing friends. I consider Denise one.
A place where my Mom and Dad (still in New York) can go and keep with their grandsons. And if you have around my blog for a week or two, you’ll get to know my Mom. The kids call her Grandma Teetsie, and the “regulars” go look for her comments before they even read my posts. She’s kind of hilarious.
And most importantly, I have my sanity.
Because those moments? The ones where I question my ability to raise kids?
I know that other Moms have them.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that I sent Denise a lizard tail (from what is perhaps my favorite post of all time). I know that she’s going to mention it on my blog.
She’ll complain about it a little, and that’s ok.
But I feel that it’s my duty to tell you, her loyal readers, that she asked me to send her boys a rattlesnake rattle. Like, a real one. From a dead rattlesnake.
So, I laugh at her when she brings up the lizard tail.
You should, too.