Friday, April 30, 2010

They Hatched!

So of course, I didn't get a photo yesterday, but I did get a phone call from the neighbor late last night telling me that the eggs had hatched!!

I don't know who is more excited, me, the boys, or the mama bird!! Without further-to-do, here are the new little ones!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

No babies yet...

I'm not sure if the eggs have hatched, Mama Bird doesn't want to get off of them, and didn't seem to mind me taking a few shots.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More from the Bird Eggs

The eggs haven't hatched yet, and from the looks of the weather report, we might not get photos for a few days. Lots of rain headed this way (which I am looking forward to). So, here are a few photos of the eggs from yesterday and today. Mama was on them today, so I tried my best not to disturb her.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life Lessons...

So yesterday, while he was playing in the yard, Rory came across a bird's nest in one of our trees.

We decided to make a lesson about birds and how they grow, so we are going to take photos of the birds and/or eggs each day until they hatch and fly away. I just hope no little critters get to them since they are so low to the ground.

Here is a shot from today:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Those unwanted, but needed visitors...

Today we had a snake slithering around the yard, he was in the side garden along the house, and looked like he had been eating well. I'm glad to see that he was plump and looked like a mouse might have been his last meal.

While I will never get over the first jump when I see a snake, and they will always scare me a little, I am glad they are here. I hate mice more.

So here is the little (or not so little, depends on how you look at it) snake that held my van hostage for an hour or so. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Moments that change our lives...

There are moments in our lives that change everything.

Some of those moments are the most joyous things we will ever experience, others are the darkest and most devastating moments that we could ever go through.

Jeffrey Allen Mayfield died 7 years ago today.

While I have come to terms with the loss, I still feel the harrowing pain I felt that day. The loss of Jeff was huge not only for me, but for so many people; losing him had a ripple effect which left emptiness across an entire continent. His death effected everyone from his family to his friends, to his colleagues, and even his students. We were all spread from one side of the country to the other, yet we all felt this loss and pain together.

If you want to read more about Jeff's death, and the struggle, I wrote about it a year ago today here on the blog: ; here is a thread from from the first responders:

A few months after his death I had this dream where he came to me... it was such a vivid, raw, emotional dream. Jeff came to our house, like he always had. He walked in the door without knocking, into my living room where my mom and I were talking. He introduced himself to my mother, chatted for a few moments, smiled at me, and walked out. In this dream, I looked at my mother and began to cry. She looked at me like I was insane, all I kept repeating was, "Mom, that was Jeff." After I had said that about 10 times, she said "I know, he introduced himself." To which I responded, "But mom, he died, he is gone. That was JEFF!" I was doubled over in unbearable pain from the tears and grief, I couldn't breathe. I heard the door open and looked up to see Jeff walking in the front door, into my living room again, he walked over and hugged me. He held me close and told me "I'm OK, it is all OK. I'm OK." Then he left again.

I woke up from that dream a mess. I was barely able to breathe, my chest was contracting in spasms from my cries and screams; I was crying and choking, my pillow was soaked in tears... and I was able to feel his arms on me still. Somehow, even with the agony I was feeling, I knew it was all okay, and that he was fine, that we would all be fine.

I have thought of him a lot through the years, but I have never dreamed about him again.

Where has that 7 years gone? Why did something that brought us all together, something that we all found so fun and uplifting have to become tragic and deadly?

Our lives have changed dramatically since then. Some of the changes are directly related to his death, while other changes were indirectly related. The biggest changes are because of that day.

His death caused me to question my faith for a long time. I just didn't understand. I still don't, and probably never will. Carl has been my rock, and explained faith, God, and how it all ties together in a way that brought me back to my faith. His view and strength has given me some clarity and as much peace as is possible.

The wounds aren't as open and raw as they once were. I can talk about Jeff with a smile, I can remember more of the good, rather then just the tragic end. But I miss him. His death changed so much, for so many of us. Honestly, I don't think it is ever far from my mind.

I need to go back out to the Big Sandy, out to Splat, and to the Rock.

I haven't been back since the year after it happened. I took Rory (who was 3 months old) with me the first anniversary. It was a stark contrast to the days following his death. Rather than the sun and warmth, it was cold, and pouring rain. I went out early, to have time to be on the Rock by myself. The river was high, the highest I had ever seen it. Many of the rapids (including some 10+ft waterfalls had disappeared and were deadly river-wide holes and not "falls". As I hiked the path, the creeks began to come up quickly. I didn't stay long, I said my goodbyes and prayers quickly... and it was a good thing. I was hiking back to my Jeep when I came to the last creek. It had gone from ankle deep to knee deep and rushing. I fell twice with Rory on my back while I was crossing. Another 20 minutes and I wouldn't have made it back to the Jeep. I passed Jason on his way in as I was on my way out... they slept on the rock that night, in the rain and flooding.

My last memories of the Big Sandy were of a violent turning river... I want to see it again, with smooth clear green water, not the brown mud and white foam it was that day.

I want to remember it peacefully running, as something fun and beautiful.

I want to remember it the way it was before. I want things like they were before...

God, I miss him so much.

So much.

From Moments of Our Lives

From Moments of Our Lives

From Moments of Our Lives

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Granny ...

On our way back from vacation, we stopped at my Granny's house. Here are a few shots of her... Canyon didn't want to leave!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Man, these kids are lucky, not only do their grandparents spoil them, but so do the neighbors! This past week the boys were lucky enough to get to ride on a neighbor's zip line and tire swing. It was so neat for the kids to get to experience something like that! We are even thinking about making one at our house now, it can't be *that* hard, right? 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Memories Past...

So, I might be dating myself here, but do you remember playground equipment when we were children? Old wooden see-saws, merry-go-rounds, metal slides, wooden swing seats with heavy metal chains, those octagon shaped climbing bars, etc?

I think back on my days as a little kid, watching my sister play softball, and playing on those parks. I remember riding the merry-go-round until the whole world was spinning and my legs couldn't hold me up... I can still hear the joyous sequels of our friends, smell the honeysuckles growing on the fences, and still see how bright and vivid the world looked to me. Those might be some of the fondest memories I have of my childhood. I still think of them when I am driving with my windows down and the sweet smell of the honeysuckles comes in the car.

Now-a-days the parks are bigger, safer, and seem somewhat less unique. One of the coolest parts of coming out to the lake is the opportunity to ride our bikes down to the park, and for the boys to play on some of that "vintage" (yeah we can be nice and label it vintage and not antique) play ground equipment. They always have a blast, and seem to enjoy it more then the big, new, beautiful playgrounds we have at home! I really hope that these are some of those memories that will stick with them the same way they stuck with me.

Here are a few shots of Rory on the merry-go-round, and of them riding back together.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Enchantment...

We were lucky enough this year to spend Easter in the "Land of Fairies" with my in-laws.

Their home (which we have mentioned here on the blog) is a land of enchantment and magic for the boys. Every time we come here there is some sort of magic to experience.

Today's magic was Easter. The boys, Carl, and I got up early to go to church for brunch and Easter service. This was the first time that I had gotten to hear my Mother-in-law preach, and she was wonderful. The service was open, welcoming and really made me think about a lot.

We wrote a letter earlier in the week to the Easter Bunny asking if he would be willing to make a special trip to our Grammy and Dad-Dad's house AFTER church so that we would be able to enjoy our Easter Egg Hunt and basket with our Grammy (since her morning as pastor is a bit busy on Easter!). He wrote back to us and said he would come while we were at church and boy did he! He hid our eggs outside, along with the baskets. He hid Rory's basket so well that we weren't even sure that he got one!

Here are a few shots of the day:

We really couldn't have asked for a more perfect Easter Sunday! Aunt Dee and Uncle Dave were able to celebrate with us our meal was delicious, and the children were as happy as can be.

Happy Easter everyone! I hope your day was filled with as much love and joy as ours was.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Arden Baby...

Just a shot of Arden b/c he wanted one up since Rory had one up yesterday:

He is such a sweetie pie!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth...

Yup, this blog is about the tooth... the tooth that Rory lost today!

Well, he didn't so much as lose the loose tooth, but he asked me to pull it out for him...

He has had this wriggly tooth for about 3 months, and has played with it non-stop. Then today, I look at him, and the tooth is half hanging out of his mouth like a fang! It was gross looking! So, when we got home from school, we sat in the van and I told him that I would help him pull it out. We grabbed a photo first... (it isn't hard to figure out which tooth it is).

So after a few attempts at getting a tissue on it, and getting a firm grip on the tooth, I finally got a nice hold on it, and gave it a pull.

The tooth went flying across the van, and we had to search and find it for the tooth fairy!

Rory was so proud.

Here is his little tooth pillow to hold the tooth until it holds the dollar coin that the tooth fairy will bestow on him tonight:

He really is getting so big! This is such a bittersweet milestone.

I look at this as the ending of true "childhood", not that he won't be a child for a long time to come, but in the fact that in nature, these are the "milk teeth" and children/mammals lose their baby teeth at the time that nature intends for them to wean from the parent and start to care for themselves...

So here my little baby boy is, with a gap in his smile, and growing up... pretty soon he won't need his mama for things like the tooth fairy, teaching him his school lessons, good night kisses, chasing away bad dreams, or reaching the tops of the closets. I'm already dreading the end of him wanting and needing me to help him with everything in life... and each milestone he hits is a reminder that it is getting closer to that time.

Anyway, I don't need to get all sappy over something he is so proud of. So congratulations to my big boy. I love you!