Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipians 4:8

All around the mulberry bush...

Last night we set out as a family on our bikes. It was Regan's maiden voyage on her new 'trail-a-bike' that we found at a garage sale. It took daddy a little while to rig it up to mommy's bike, but once in place, it was a pretty smooth ride.

When Regan decides she wants to pedal forwards, you can really tell the difference, so, we put our feet in motion and challenged daddy to a race! We actually got him to say uncle, at least briefly. We all got our heart rates up and had grins from ear to ear. Regan loved beating daddy, even if only for a moment. (It also didn't hurt that mommy strategically put two gallons of milk in Sage's trailer for the trip home!!)

On the way home, daddy showed us a bush he saw people eating berries from. We stopped to try a couple and they were tasty. A little searching on line and we found out they are mulberries. They grow on a bush/tree, much different than their look-a-like, the blackberry. The internet said some of the varieties grow to be 40'-80' tall!

Our church has a 'Pie-fest' tomorrow, so I decided the mulberries would make the perfect ingredient for the pie I needed to bring. The timing was perfect, because I didn't have a clue what I was going to make.

Regan and I dropped Sage off at Mima's and went to pick. We donned some old clothes and shoes, because it is a very messy job. I picked about 9 cups, enough for two pies. I am guessing Regan picked about 4-5 cups, but they pretty much all went in her belly. About half while we were picking and the other half at Mima's house immediately following.

As we were picking, I contemplated how I had passed this tree literally hundreds of times and never noticed it before. I could understand if all those trips had been at 45 mph in the car, but we pass this bush at least 3 times a week coming and going to Grandma's on the bike trail. The bush sits right along the path, dropping ripe berries all over the path. It made me wonder how many of life's simple pleasures I pass right by all the time without noticing.

As we were picking, it always seemed like the best and biggest berries were just out of reach. There was some truth to this, because others before us had picked the easy to reach ones. But I also found that when I moved to a different spot, I kept seeing all kinds of berries I missed in the spot I had just picked. They kind of hide under the leaves. I reflected on how this relates to life and how from our perspective everything always looks bigger and better somewhere else. Sometimes we move or reposition ourselves to reach the bigger and better, only to find that we had things pretty good right where we were at.

We returned to Mima and Papa's to have 'kissy time' with Regan's berry stained face. Papa refused the offer but ceased the Kodak moment. Then we packed the troops up, them in the burley, me on roller blades and headed home. The berries are now transformed into two lovely looking pies, sitting on my stove to cool.

Now the debate we indulge in some ourselves? or do we bring both of them to church tomorrow. Oh, the sweet temptation!!

(edited to add: They both made it to church Sunday. Of course I had to sample and they were delicious! I used this crust recipe and this pie recipe.)

Summer is here...

Summer is here! It is over 90 today, and fortunately isn't going to last! A favorite pass time of hours during the summer is .... water. Anything to do with water. This summer we have the aqua tramp in the pond for the first time in a couple of years. The small wading pool is also set up on the deck.

It never ceases to amaze me how a couple of inches of water in a 5 ft round pool can entertain two small children for hours! The girls love to have cups and buckets to play with. Fill, dump, splash, laugh...repeat!!!

Sunday we spent the afternoon at the pool at Double JJ. Regan's request to wear her "pakini" (a.k.a. Brazilian bikini from Carol's Grandparents) was vetoed by mommy in favor of the conservative one piece that I bought for her. She wanted to wear her pakini to Double JJ, without her float suit, so she could look like the big girls. I wasn't prepared for this type of stuff to start already at four!! Fortunately it wasn't a meltdown situation, she was very compliant.

Regan made a few attempts to swim without any flotation devices, but still can't quite get her bottom up enough to make progress. She still hates the water slide, but went down it once because daddy said she would not get ice cream unless she went.

Sage thoroughly enjoyed the water, despite the freezing temps of the zero depth pool. Her lack of morning nap necessitated an afternoon nap/walk in the stroller, and cut her play short.

It was a great day with the family. We finished it off with a walk from Spring Lake Central Park to McDonalds with our friends the Bol's. Regan, Sydney and Anna road their bikes while the rest of us walked. The beginning of the walk was a little crazy with 3 energetic, not so road wise girls, taking off on their bikes. There was lots of yelling 'stop', 'slow down', etc, which mostly was drown out by the pure noise of 3 sets of training wheels. After letting them play at the park for a while and getting ice cream at McD's, the trip home was a little calmer. The energy had been burned and the pace was slowed.

Good times, good friends, good memories!!

Getting Started

I thought I would start this blog to journal my thoughts, activities, general life happenings, feelings, etc. I did it in particular to have some sort of history of life for my girls to reflect on in the future