Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Beginning of the End

So it begins, the end-of-the-year festivities. Right now I'm totally bogged down with all my little part-time jobs since they are all due either today or tomorrow, and I am hostessing another wedding this weekend. But on top of all that, we've begun the season of parties celebrating the end of the semester.

You know how in high school and college everything you did your Senior year was your "last" fill-in-the-blank event? "Oh, this is the *last* football game, or the *last* sorority formal, or the *last* time I'll eat in this cafeteria, etc..." And you get all sappy about it? Well it seems in seminary, because you are close to so many people, no mater where they are on their journey, you get to experience these *last* events along with the Seniors because you know it will be the *last* time you'll get to be there with them. Make sense? Maybe not.

It all started with Group Spiritual Direction on Tuesday night. They do this end of the year Eucharist that is so touching and emotional, it just about wrung me out. Then Wednesday morning we had our last Women's Bible Study of the year and there are a good number of Seniors there, so that was emotional and bittersweet too. After Bible Study a lot of us (10 adults) and our kids (17!) went out to lunch. Thank goodness the Pizza Hut in Monteagle, TN is not very crowded! Last night we had our end of the year dinner for the outgoing PMO teachers and board members. It was really nice and we were all so happy to be able to go out sans kids and husbands and enjoy some yummy Italian food and a glass of wine, and we promised each other beforehand we would NOT get emotional because we were worn out.

Tonight is the *last* Community Eucharist and dinner for the year and then the fun really begins...tomorrow I have a meeting with the bride, the wedding rehearsal, and the Rising Middler dinner party. Saturday is the wedding and a party for the whole seminary at a Senior's house. I'm not even going to go into next week, but let me just say that we have 2 graduation parties, an end-of-the-year PMO performance, seminary graduation, a ceremony and Eucharist for children leaving the mountain, and oh yeah, it's Mother's Day...

Phew, I think I'll go take a nap while I can because I'm not really sure where sleep fits into this schedule. But as we say in Atlanta, "It's ALL good!" Sorry for the words-only post, I'll try and stop in with some pictures soon.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Squeezing the Day

We definitely squeezed the most out of our summer-like days this weekend. Here are some of the highlights:

**Finding insect and worm friends while planting the rest of our garden**

**Attending a brunch to honor the Senior Spouses**

**Dancing in new-to-us costumes**

**Hostessing a wedding on campus**

**The perfect summer drink**

**Seeing the first hummingbird and lightning bug of the year**

**Exploring the kids area at the National Cornbread Festival**

(she actually freaked out when she got to the top and ended up coming back down the ladder...she wants so badly to be daring like her Daddy, but still has those cautious Mommy genes)

Friday, April 24, 2009


After 2 weeks or so of illness, I'm feeling *almost* normal this morning. After showering, cleaning the house, coffee, and opening windows, life is good again. I've been reading Mary Oliver poems lately and if those don't inspire you, I don't know what will. I highly recommend her, especially for the poem-challenged. I'm usually not a big fan of poetry, but the way she writes is very conversational and "normal". Here's a favorite in honor of the sun-shiney weekend we're about to have!

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and into the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even the
miserable and crotchety--

best preacher that ever was,
dear star,that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light--
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch now how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, the kids and I spent most of the day outside. Unfortunately I forgot it was Earth Day until mid-morning so I forgot I wanted us to walk instead of use the car this morning. We just returned from an outdoor dessert picnic of icecream after digging in our garden a bit more. It's going to be in the 80s for the rest of the week so I think we're safe to plant now, but we need to procure a small fence to keep the dogs from tromping in the garden.
I don't have much else to say except that I'm feeling quite overwhelmed by all my "jobs/roles" right now because they are all due at the same time and I have of course waited until the last minute to get things done. Plus I have 2 weddings to host in the next 2 weeks on top of all the fun end of the year activities on the mountain. The good news is that next week is the last week of classes and PMO, so things will really slow down and I'll have some extra time to finish these jobs up.

Here's a yummy springy pasta salad recipie I made up tonight in case you are craving it like I was:

1/2 box of noodles, whatever kind you like, we used rotini because that's all I had.
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 heaping tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2 finely shredded carrot
1/2 diced cucumber
8 green olives sliced
4 scallions, finely sliced
4 large basil leaves finely chopped
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Boil noodles until al dente, drain and rinse under cold water until noodles are cold. While noodles are boiling, put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Dump noodles in when cool and mix. Yum!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We Love Dirt(and snakes, and turtles, and horses, and...)

Yesterday the kids and I tilled the garden patch we're going to plant in this Spring. The kids loved it and (H) kept saying, "this is fun Mommy!"
We have 4 tomato plants so far and today we picked up our plant order from our local food co-op. We now have cucumbers, broccoli, strawberries, peppers, basil, yellow squash, and cilantro to add to the garden. I can't wait! Tonight is going to be in the 30s again so I guess we really should wait until May 1 to plant like we've been told, but I'm so ready, and so are the kids!

This past Saturday we went to a Spring festival at the nearby private school. They had lots of fun kid's activities: a petting zoo with farm animals, a snake "talk", hayrides, and horse rides. It was a beautiful day and eventhough I felt pretty crummy, the kids and I had a blast while Daddy worked hard writing a paper. The best part was that all the activities were totally free! Of course, *A* loved the horses and animals. She was SO brave with the snakes,
at first she only wanted to touch, but by the end, she was doing this...

Mommy did it too, just to show her how cool it was. I know some of you are freaking right now, I guess I should have put a disclaimer on this post for the snake-o-phobic (I'm sure there's a technical word for that). Even people who hate snakes have to admit this one was cute right?
Ok, I'm all done with snakes I promise.

Here's our horselover. I swear she's naturally born to do this. She was on a horse at 5 months old and has loved it ever since! Off she goes!
I was so proud of (H) for getting on the horse and riding about 20 feet, once the horse started bouncing a bit though, he got scared and wanted to get off. He's so much more cautious than *A* and I always have to remember to take it slow with him.

The petting area was great, *H* loved the goat and kept calling it a doggie.
*A* liked it ALL, as you can plainly see.

We went back to the horses a bit later and *A* rode again, the 2nd horse she got was a bit tempermental and I had visions of when I was 7 and a horse I was riding just decided to roll over while I was on it. Luckily her horse didn't get this far, but he did start to trot, so the lady guiding him asked if we would get off and go choose a different horse. So here is *A* on her 3rd horse of the day! I think riding lessons are in our near future...<

Friday, April 17, 2009

Catch Up...

Here are some highlights from the past week...

Maundy Thursday:
Seminary Sponsored Quiet Day at St. Mary's Convent. Free childcare, a morning to do whatever I wanted in a beautiful place with an amazing view.
All I wanted to do was be outside on this beautiful day so we took a hike, I drew, took pictures of wildflowers, read, ate, and was quiet., Kinda like this guy I found sitting on my bench...

Good Friday:
What a day. Morning Good Friday Eucharist at the seminary chapel, home for mom's arrival, walked down University Ave. for the Way of the Cross,

Walked in the house and tornado sirens went off. Hid out in (H)'s room for over an hour. Lost power. Watched the sky turn green and clear minutes later. Went grocery shopping, bought food that needed cooked and refrigerated. Power still not on. Made dinner on the grill. Ate by candlelight. Kids to bed with candles burning. Started to feel a little stir crazy and bit like the Ingalls. Lights back on 5 hours later.

Somewhat uneventful, especially compared to yesterday. The highlights were seeing Slumdog Millionaire, I still can't get this movie out of my mind,

dying eggs, and the Easter Vigil service at All Saint's. This was my first Vigil service at night and it was dramatic in the best way possible. Candlelit and meditative at first and then bright and celebratory, as it should be.

Easter Sunday:

Lounged in jammies, got treats, and then dressed in our best, we went to All Saint's again for the Easter morning service. Next year I think we'll just do the vigil. It was so much more meaningful.
We ate at the dining hall for lunch and then headed to the egg hunt in the park after naps. After the hunt we just hung out with other families and eventually fired up the grill and had a pot luck dinner. The kids played, the adults talked, ^J^ played the banjo, the kids danced. A great day.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Sorry for the long break, our Internet went down last Friday during our tornado warning, and it's just now back up...suffice it to say that I hate AT&T, but we really have no other option up here. I'll be back in a bit with updates, Easter pictures, etc..We've all been a bit under the weather, and now it's my turn so I'm bribing everyone to take a nap so I can too.
It's good to be back...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Highlights

**Making brownies with *A* during "naptime" and realizing I'm ok that she's given up her nap.**

**Wine, pizza, and adult conversation.**

**Laughing at friends during a game of Celebrity.**

**Banana chocolate chip pancakes**

**Kids playing contentedly = me sweeping and mopping**

**Hiking on the Perimeter Trail: crossing streams/mud, finding new exotic-looking wildflowers, listening to the kids yell out when they find a blue blaze on the trail, sitting on a wooden bridge soaking in the sun while the kids throw rocks in the stream. I could have sat there all day.**

**Realizing we're locals when we see the influx of visitors over the weekend.**

**An outdoor kid birthday party with a cardboard box fort and trips through the woods to find the lake.**

**Having the kids take naps so we could all attend a post-bedtime local dance production put on by the college.**

**Sleeping in and drinking lots of coffee.**

**Watching CBS Sunday Morning with the whole family**

**An impromptu trip to Chattanooga for Easter shoes and finding a really cool local bookstore...wondering when we were last in a bookstore**

**Scrapping complicated dinner plans for grilling out**

**Having your dinner guests walk to your house. Adult and kid tables. Discussing plans for the future and being happy for them, but realizing the transitory life of being in seminary...just when you get to really know people, it's time for them to leave**

**A clean house to start the week**

Friday, April 3, 2009


We've not been home much this week, I'm not really sure why, but it's just been one of those weeks when I suddenly look up and now it's Friday. Tuesday night a bunch of spouse's went to Chattanooga for a girl's night out. We went to the mall for a bit and then out to eat at this yummy Greek/Italian place. Wednesday was beautiful again so we walked again to bible study/child care/school. Then the kids and I went down the mountain so we could eat lunch at a McDonald's with a Play Place. It's an outside play place, and it was a perfect afternoon. I felt like I was in one of those cheesy McDonald's commercials where the mom orders her kids Happy Meals and a healthy choice for herself, and somehow they have a super-bonding moment at a fast-food empire. They played for a long time and I wished I had brought my book because I actually had some alone time.
After that we took a quick trip to Wally World for diapers and it was so bright that everyone decided we needed to wear our sunglasses on the way home. (H) always falls asleep back up the mountain and here he is being too cool for school.
We got stopped by a train on the way and *A* and I were sad (H) missed it since everytime we go through that town he asks if we're going to see a train. I tried to take a sneaky picture of *A* with her sunglasses on as she danced to the Stray Cats, but this was all I got...
it's a cool picture nonetheless.
This weekend we're home (yay!) and we have some fun events: date night/game night tonight and tomorrow a birthday party for one of *A*'s buddies. But mostly I'm just excited about being home and maybe doing something creative and some spring cleaning.