Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Favorite Things: Flowers, My Children, Sunshine...

God blessed the girls and me with a sweet summer-break moment last week...

There is an empty field at the entrance to our neighborhood. Right now it's full of beautiful wildflowers - mostly coreopsis. I had to look up the name. And I could still be wrong, because it seems there are two similar flowers, same coloring, but with different sized red centers...oh, well, they're beautiful and I got to photograph them and make a happy memory with my daughters.

We simply walked down the road together, scissors, towels, and camera stowed in the stroller. There was a pleasant breeze, which made the upper 80's temperatures feel comfortable.

Dimple Wimple is 22 months old now and quite talkative. She was happy to sit in (or climb on) her stroller during the girls' flower-gathering. As you'll see, the flora was nearly up to her waist and she preferred not to wade through it much. Works for me!

There was no shortage of flowers or of eagerness. MK ran to me with this bouquet after only a few moments in the field with her scissors.

I love, love, love the above photo of MK...

And this one of the Baby makes me think about Little House on the Prairie (the tv know where the little girl - was it the Carrie character? - falls down in the meadow of flowers....and Baby did fall down several times, much to her consternation).

For this one, I was carefully cropping out the tacky you-store-it type business immediately behind the girls, beyond an ugly chain-link fence.

MK holding three lovelies: bull thistle, also called a Texas thistle, apparently (watch out! they are prickly!), Indian blanket, and a winecup, according to my online wildflower guide. We call them buttercups.

CA had a blast running through the flowers, too, and clipping stems.

I was attempting a to score a good pregnant-profile photo. I guess weeds don't provide a very precise backdrop for such things. This was at 26.5 weeks.

Oh, and I had a second person comment to me yesterday: Well, you're lucky you don't have to go the whole summer pregnant! That baby coming any day? What?! What is it making people think I look so full term? Their mouths go agape when I tell them, Actually, I do have the whole summer. The.Whole.Summer. Which I don't mind a bit, because one hopes to be prepared for such things, and we are not. I need this three months. Smile.

Cradling armfuls, really big armfuls, of wild beauty, headed home...

I really liked this one of LC with the wind in her hair, cutting a few last blooms.

They found this bare spot in the field on which to lay their towels and their harvest.

We strolled home and into the kitchen where all manner of happy flower-arranging chaos ensued. I let the girls drink a special something - a few cans of Izze leftover from a birthday months ago. This was delight on top of delight for them, which of course, brought me joy.

We pulled out most of my random assortment of vases, bottles, and other flower-holding vessels. There were flowers everywhere. Not a bad thing.

And an extra treat for me: most of the flower arranging was finished right as my magical ray of summer sun burst into the kitchen, making for some fun picture-taking.

This one confuses my eyes for a's taken from above, with the sun making a pretty shadow of the green glass.

Sometimes Jesus graces us with delight. I think of myself as such an unfun parent - all seriousness and training and attempting to keep order and so on. It's also a challenge to find activities that really bless and thrill our large age-range of people. So our flower-picking expedition was a real gift. All the girls keep saying it was the perfect summer afternoon. Indeed.

Thanks be to God, giver of all good gifts - the tender and severe mercies.

What have we been up to? Why haven't I posted in 9 days? I'm asking myself here - I mean, with school out, we all have quite a reduction in certain daily responsibilities...

The big four girls have had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a two-week theatre camp at school four days a week. Tomorrow, they'll act in their first real performances! The oldest three are in a Joan of Arc story and LC is in a pirate-themed play. All of them have had a marvelous time and are incredible about memorizing lines! They've learned a lot!

BB has had unusual amounts of travel, thankfully a rare reality for his job.

I'd planned to drop school/academics like a hot potato after that last day of school. Shhh! Don't tell anyone! It didn't take long to realize that would be a bad idea for many reasons, so everyone's spending 1-2 hours a day on reading, writing, math review, and other general rehashing of memorized material.

And for my part, sometimes I'm just slow to adjust to change, even good, relieving change like school's ending. I am praising God for the mental break He is giving us, the slowing down, the lazier mornings.

What's God teaching me these days? Lots.

The biggest thing that comes to mind? Love.

I see that I know little about really loving. I'm very challenged by Him to love just because He told me to; just because He's loved me so lavishly. He's shown me that I love just fine when there's some return, some comfortable, rewarding response from the other person. But what if there is little or no response or "return" from the other person? What if they cannot love, do not know how? Will I bless and serve joyfully anyway? Will I live for another's joy and delight simply because it will make someone's life sweeter, will shine for Jesus?

Oh, for grace.

How are you? What kind of summer break are you having so far?

Thank you, as always, for visiting here, by the way. What an honor that you'd stop in...


  1. I love your wildflower trips each year! They are beautiful. I'm very excited for you about Summer, lovely days ahead!

    Perhaps you look further along than you are because of your lovely lithe figure? Or maybe just bub's position, maybe ask how he is lying at your next appointment?

  2. Such lovely pictures, my favorite is the blooming girls together in the field.

    Summers have always been a time to unschedule for me and my kiddos, but this year brings change, so I'm nervous. I'll try to remember to focus on grace and love, "to bless and serve joyfully". Your words are timely.

  3. Texas does a lot of things big but wildflowers are one thing that Texas does beautifully! It delights me to witness your delight in the flowers and your wild beauties. His graces are bountiful.

    Summer for us has gotten off to a slow, quiet start because of my surgery. I am prayerful that our days will hold a loose routine -- enough for some structure, yet still relaxing and restful -- as I get back on my feet and things return to normal. Mostly though, I just yearn for some rest. I am deeply tired...

  4. You are a good mom. What a perfectly lovely afternoon- so simple, yet so fun. I'm inspired.

    We aren't done with school yet! Then our summer starts in a burst of activity with wedding/travel/class reunion, etc. all piled up. sighhhhh Then the relaxing will begin.

  5. These pics of wildflower fields...and beautiful children...are just splendid and almost unreal!

  6. Thanks for commenting friends - it's so fun to hear from you, "see" you, read your thoughts...