28 June, 2008

Old Photos and Memories

Having our oldest back gives us time to revisit memories and talk about the kids' growing up. While the guys are at the grandparents helping them with yard work, I thought I'd post a few old photos :-) while I have a few things baking in the oven.

Our kiddos as toddlers/preschoolers:

J oldest - @ summer 1991 - 2.5 yo

K - June 24, 1993 - 2 yo

little j - June 1996 - third birthday

A - April 1999 fourth birthday
j and A while family camping - early spring 1998

::: sigh :::


25 June, 2008

Our boy is coming home for a visit

So if I don't post for a week or so, you'll know why. We've seen J once since he moved out of state in January, and are really looking forward to this visit! We will have picnics, ice cream, stir-fry, hummus and Greek food...all our family favorites. Hopefully all the friends will come over just like old times.

He's so grown up. I'm still getting used to the fact that his sis is pretty grown up, too...

These are our oldest two kiddos. They are adorable. They are both inspired by a Charlotte Mason education :-), which means they are very well-rounded and very interesting people.

Gotta be a proud momma once in a while, you know?


What a Squirrel

This fellow did not make it long at the feeders. The dove were all over him. That was pretty funny.


22 June, 2008

- Tigger -

Just because. He is a delight to the family.

20 June, 2008

~ More Bird Scenes ~

The Mockingbird showed up today, but just to watch the other birds snacking and feasting at the feeders. Is that a look of contempt that I see on that face? (that would be Mock's face, not the cow's face, haha)

This is a European Starling, according to my sources. I like the spots!

This was the treat of the day, topping even the red-winged blackbirds, just because of sheer volume. These two scenes took place in 15 seconds or so. I almost missed it! Three jays above, four jays below. I knew the Jay family had one fledgling, but did not know there might be two of them! They are all difficult to distinguish among them, whether male, female, or offspring, from what I've read.

photos by:


Red-Winged Blackbird

Today's surprise new visitors. I hope they stay!


female? I think the females are actually brown and striped

Black-capped Chickadees

This sweet pair is new to our feeders this week. They joined us last night as we finished up dinner and had birthday cake for our 15 yo son. They are adorable, and so tiny!

19 June, 2008

Cool enough to be outdoors

Just getting some fresh air and exercise after dinner on the deck

DC #3 is 15

Watch out! Our 3rd kiddo will be out driving on the roads, soon! Another dinner on the deck, this time celebrating J's 15th birthday.

Andrew cracked a good joke...

Jord holding the bunn bunn (Sharpie Nimh)

How sweet it is...

I have many blessings for which I am thankful!!


Dove Control

Here are some of the photos showing how the dove take over the feeders. They make a show by pecking and spreading their wings to shoo off the other birds.

So this morning, they had near complete control of the breakfast bar.

Thankfully, Mr. Jay was not put off by them.

photos at our cottage by


15 June, 2008

For Father's Day

One of the boys and I worked half the day spring cleaning the deck and donating outgrown bikes to the local community thrift store. Hubs was playing music with his buddies at the nursing home, so he didn't know what was going on until the evening.

Trying to give me the evil eye for taking pictures

I bought a new deck table and chairs for the Hubster for Father's Day, so we can enjoy the clean deck, now. We have a great backyard, and we want to take this in before it gets too hot. Our hope is to put a French door in place of the traditional sliding glass door.

I love the tree just off the deck. It provides wonderful shade for the deck most of the day. It's also great for bird watching.

making faces for the camera

Tired, but satisfied after a long day's work

We are going to Hubby's parents home for FD dinner tonight.

How did you all celebrate Father's Day weekend with your loved ones?


12 June, 2008

Mean jays? Not quite.

Some folks don't like Jays. At all. I love them. Always have, in spite of their reputation.

I have learned quite a bit about the birds in my own yard this past month. I know the regulars, now. Jays have not been the most aggressive of the lot that live here. All the species have been co-operating pretty well, waiting in line for each other for their turn at the birdseed. However, these past two days have been different.
All the species have been very assertive with each other. Is it because it is getting hotter each day? Is it the strong winds that have not let up for about ten days that they're tiring of? I don't know, yet. But I do know that the jays have not been mean to the other birds. Not to the cardinal family, to the sparrow family, to the mocking bird, who has been a surprising loner. They have not been mean to the cowbird, to the grackles, the starlings, the woodpecker, the red finch couple, or to the handfuls of couples of mourning doves that feed voraciously here.

Much to my shock, the mourning dove have been the aggressors of late! I'll post a few photos of their impatience and selfishness soon. But first, I wanted to share with you a shot I have been trying to get for days. In fact, from my observations over the last month, I didn't think it would happen at all.

I've never seen the Jay parents keep close to each other like the cardinals or the dove.
But yesterday, it happened, allbeit very brief, and had I not been close, I would not have seen it. Two jays on the railing at the same time, side-by-side, even.

Quickly appeared, just a shadow in my peripheral vision. I turned to see them, they flitted off.
So my quest was on.

By chance, they stopped at the feeder just once today. I was there. But it was better than I thought it would be, for they were not mother and father, but mother and baby.

Among the other bird families I have noticed that the parents still continue to feed them after they have learned to fly, and even eat some on their own. This was true of Mother Jay and her growing nestling, as well.

I just didn't know it before.

I didn't notice it.

Perhaps they are too quick for the hurried and I don't notice. Thought I'd been watching closely enough.

Perhaps they are more skittish than the other species.

Not more aggressive.
In this season, anyway. Will share if I observe something different as the summer wears on.

Now this...This was a bonus shot...

I am content.

Thank you, Father, for this day.


11 June, 2008

Old Friends

Javamom and Jo in Edmond, OK, 1985

10 June, 2008

Going "Home" for a reunion pt. 1

Old Bible class bench that was old when we first moved into this town back in the summer of 1974. I believe a lot of notes were passed on these benches :-)

What does it mean to go "home" when you moved around a lot as a child? This past weekend, we got to go to one of my childhood homes in Missouri, even though the last house we lived in right beside the church building had to be torn down, it was so old and damaged. It was very strange not to see the old house and the new (at the time) two-car garage sitting on the property. Thankfully, I had been warned that it was gone ahead of time.

This is where our house once stood! It was a white, hundred-year-old, two-story house with a little balcony (sans railing however) out in front of my bedroom window on the second floor. Behind me (north) is a large hill that goes down to a major, four-lane divided highway. This being a small town, however, it does not see the traffic that I am used to driving in in our current city. So, the traffic noise was not that bad my sophomore through senior years when we lived there. Our church was growing so much that we had outgrown our small building in town, so we built this one on eight acres, next to an old farmhouse that we got to live in. It had a beautiful banister, was refurbished before we moved in, and Mom had it painted mostly blue on the inside! Upstairs, my room was peach and white, and it was lovely. This view (perhaps a little more to the left, though) was my favorite, as it overlooked the two ponds out back. I had north, east, and south-facing windows. This was basically my view of the church building, as well. The trees were smaller, of course.

Part of our garage would have been in this shot, the propane tank, as well.

Dad and one of my brothers

Greg lived in the house for his senior year. In this shot, they are standing right about where the kitchen table and bay window was, sipping their coffee. Hubby and one of our sons threw a football in our living room and entry way. LOL. I wish I had stopped what I was doing to take pictures of THAT. I was too busy catching up with friends, though. Maybe next time. I wasn't sure that there would be a next time. But everyone agreed that we need to do this again within the next five years.

Another of my brothers is leading singing in this shot. All the guys from our old youth group (circa 1977-1982) led Bible class, preached, prayed, or served at the communion table. My hubby got to be an honorary yg member and help out with these duties, as well. We went an hour overtime, but no one seemed to mind. They handled it well, if they did!

It was special to reconnect with old friends. We did a lot of singing on both Saturday and Sunday.

You can barely spot it, but behind my friend and my brother is a frappuccino bottle. I believe Jo is now hooked on these. I made sure she tried some and bought her her own bottle. She really likes Vanilla, so watch out, Papaw V! She's going to be asking for these regularly :-).

Sunday potluck lunch, filled with more catching up

The old neighborhood isn't quite complete without the old friends there sharing in the memories and reconnecting again.

Going home is as simple as going anywhere that old friends gather, friends who share many memories: educational, silly, fun, crazy, difficult, and now memories of togetherness once more. What made this "going home" more special was spending some time in the comfortable old town with these friends once again.

sunset view that is very similar to the one I used to have from my old house

Wishing you all a summer of safe travels and happy reunions,