Monday, May 28, 2012

Reflecting on Memorial Day

 In recognition of Memorial Day, the day in which we remember those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces, we made our annual visit to our local National Cemetery.  As a military family, this is a particularly special day for us.  We know some of the sacrifices that are made by these soldiers and their families and are deeply appreciative of their service and ultimate sacrifice for our nation, for us.
We walk the cemetery, reading the headstones, considering the possible sacrifices and contributions made by each - marveling at the men who served in both World War I and World War II; being emotionally moved by the set of fathers and sons buried at the same site, the fathers having served in World War II or in the Korean War but outliving their sons who died in the Vietnam War; and, respecting the contribution made by the Revolutionary era soldier buried at our cemetery.

This year Christian and I sought out the burial sites of the five Buffalo soldiers buried in our cemetery.  During the Civil War the U.S. government formed troops composed of black soldiers.  After the war, as part of an effort to reduce the size of the U.S troops, the government abolished these units but created new peacetime regiments.  Four cavalry regiments were created and two of these were composed entirely of black soldiers - the 9th Cavalry and the 10th Cavalry.  Also, four "colored" infantry units were created - the 38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry.  Buffalo soldiers escorted many groups of people through the wild west and fought over 177 engagements with the Indians during the period known as the Indian Wars.  They also participated in the Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Mexican Expedition, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

As at least on of our Buffalo soldiers had been part of the 10th Cavalry during World War I we were particularly interested in learning of the role that they played during that war.  We found that the Buffalo soldiers were kept stateside during that war but they did support the 35th Infantry during a border skirmish, the Battle of Ambos Nogales, in which German military advisers fought alongside Mexican soldiers.  It is the only battle during World War I in which Germans were engaged and died in combat against U.S. soldiers in North America.  Absolutely fascinating!
We are so very grateful for their contributions to our great nation.
We are so very grateful for the contributions of all who have served.
Thank you!

We finished out our day by having BBQ pork sandwiches, cole slaw, corn and a skewered fruit flag made by Bishop.

Isn't it yummy looking?

We also played some croquet and...

finished off our evening with some festive ice cream sundaes and cones!

We began by focusing on our great nation and all that has been required of individual men and women in order to establish it and maintain its foundational principle of freedom, liberty.
And it ended beautifully with an emphasis on building a strong family, which may very well be one of the cornerstones to have a strong nation.

Thanks again to all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces! 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer is Just Around the Corner

I am in no big rush for spring to end and summer to begin
but, as I put out the first jar of sun tea for the season complete with the first bit of mint out of my herb garden,  I can't help but sense that summer is just around the corner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It Brings me Joy

Although I live in the heart of the city I am surrounded by such glorious things.
I have tree lines on either side of my house that are occupied by many birds.
Among them are a pair of cardinals that year-round delight me with their beautiful plumage and their beautiful songs.
It brings me joy!

More on My Mother's Day Blessings

I removed the stepping stones from their molds today (easy peasy!) and found places for them in my current flower beds.  My original plan was that they would be used in beds that I have yet to make but they make me smile just where they are!
I guess we will have to make more for those other beds!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, Aspen!

This sweet girl, my grand-niece, turned three last Friday!

Her mama put together a really sweet 'Minnie' party.

Together we made the tissue paper pom-poms and the 'Minnies' using paper lanterns and small pom-poms.  They are so sweet, aren't they?

Out of posterboard and tissue paper Jennifer constructed this simple yet super-sweet Minnie who presided over the birthday cake.

Isn't the cake adorable?
Again, a simple concept yet had a large 'wow' factor.

Especially for the birthday girl, who made her wishes, blew out the candles and....

...enjoyed the yummy goodness of her birthday cake!

Her sister...

...and cousin enjoyed that cake, as well.

The birthday girl's family and friends were on hand... give her lots of love and to wish her a very happy birthday!

Hey, sweet girl, we do love you so very much and we wish for you a very bright, sparkly year!
I look forward to being a part of your grand adventure of being three!
May you be richly blessed on this adventure!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Blessings

Mother's Day 2012 and I am so blessed to be surrounded by the love of my family and the presence of all my guys.  In order to make my Mother's Day complete, I would have loved to have had Keegan here but I gladly accept her heartfelt best wishes and her messages of love.
(I love you, too, Keegan.  I miss you and look forward to seeing you soon!)
I was treated to grilled chicken (Herb's special recipe) made mostly by Bishop.
Herb made homemade guacamole and cole slaw and we also had corn on the cob and cobbler.
The sun was shining, a slight breeze was blowing and the temperature was perfect
for dining al fresco.
It was a lovely meal followed by a fun activity.

For years (maybe 10 or so) I have wanted the kids to make me stepping stones.
For whatever reason it has never happened until now...
I set out stones, buttons, old rusty things, and keys
(among other things), mixed the concrete, poured it into the foil pans,
and let the family have at it.

Christian working on his masterpiece...

...and his masterpiece.
He says the center pieces look like a tie fighter from Star Wars.
Bishop, being a Star Wars fan, liked that. Me too!

Maceo making his fabulous abstract masterpiece...

...and here it is.  I love it, full of many things that I absolutely love!

Bishop took his time...

...creating this mostly symmetrical masterpiece!
Isn't it fantastic?

Even Herb got in on the action.

Herb's masterpiece is entitled "Gearhead Gearry" -
isn't  this happy guy adorable?
(Thanks, honey!)

And, of course, I couldn't let the guys have all the fun.
I had imagined myself making something more abstract, like Maceo's, instead I ended up creating something very much like Bishop's.
This was so much fun and it created something that I will be blessed with for many years to come!
 Thank you to my most special blessings, my husband and my children, for making this such a special Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Artsfest 2012

Twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, the city closes down a portion of one of our downtown streets, a street conveniently located two blocks from my home, so that we can have a community event full of art, music and good food.
Today was the spring event, Artsfest, and it did not disappoint.
 The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, and, although it was plenty warm at 89 degrees, it was not overbearingly humid.

The quality of the art was absolutely amazing!
Every artist pictured below wowed me but I was particularly in awe of the crystalline ceramics and Bauer's photography.  Bauer and I are kindred spirits, seeing the beauty in the old and the dilapidated.
Mosaics by Chad and Jill Kernodle
Cultivated Art by Joseph and Bridget Farmer

Incredible glass sculptures by Steve Brewster of Moon Bay Artglass Studio

Inlaid Colored Porcelain by Crow Mountain
Crystalline Ceramics by Adam Egenolf

Amazing photos by Bradley Bauer

The food  was fantastic!
A local Peruvian restaurant offered empanadas which I enjoyed while listening to some jazz.

But most enjoyable of all was watching Maceo and his troupe perform.
Among other things, they performed "We Beseech Thee"
from Godspell.
I love that song and I love watching my boy perform!
"We beseech thee!"
"Blind!" "We pray that we may see!"

"Bound!" "We pray to be made free!"
I also love that smile of his!
It was a rewarding day!