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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Once upon a time in the merry month of May a little Fairy Princess was born.

Each year the Fairy Princess grew rosier and happier, bringing delight to all who knew her. As the fourth month of May came near, she sent out invitations to all her favorite fairy folk.

On the day of the party, the sun shone brighter than it had all year. It seemed as though the grass was greener and the birds songs were sweeter too.

The Fairy Good Mother gathered armfuls of the pinkest flowers and spun them into cloth to spread out for the table. She painted blossoms on the tea cups and melted fuschias into tea plates. Then she sought out the most fragrant cherry blossoms and peonies to lay across the table. In the middle of all the blooms on a white pedestal sat the birthday cake.

“Is this my butterfly cake?” asked the Fairy Princess as she floated over to the table to wait for the guests.

Enchanted by the sweet, glittering blossom, the loveliest butterflies in all of fairyland had landed the Fairy Princess’ cake.

Soon the other fairies arrived, each carrying brightly wrapped surpises for the Fairy Princess.

The rosebud, periwinkle, lilac, sweet pea, and poppy fairies gathered to hear about the secret treasure that was hidden away for them. They each took turns leading the others up and down the mossy hill and looking for the secret treasure. Up by the castle, behind the great hedge they found a treasure chest full of birthday wreaths to wear for the celebration.

With flowers in their hair and ribbons streaming behind them, they played all sorts of fairy games.

They even found a butterfly pinata full of candy.

With hands full of sugary treats they floated over to the table to wait for the tea party to begin.

The fairy folk sipped lemon grass tea

and sampled fairy flora sandwiches.

They savored sweet baskets of berries.

The Fairy Good Mother put three candles on the Fairy Princess’ cake and asked, “Are you sure you need four?”

The Fairy Princess nodded and then took a deep breath. With the help of the wind, she blew out all four candles!

Now that she was truly four years old, the other fairies agreed that it was time for her to open their gifts. The Fairy Princess happily obliged.

Soon the ground the decorated with strips of pink and green paper, and the Fairy Princess was surrounded by all the things a fairy princess would want. Delighted with their kind gifts, the Fairy Princess gave each of her fairy friends a great big hug.

And then all the fairy friends fluttered one more time through the sand before they flew away to their homes.

The Fairy Princess’ party was the happiest birthday ever in all of fairyland!

The End.

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Oh what a beautiful day!

Ava has exchanged this fairytale for the one in her dreams, and I will soon join her. Before I drift off, I thought I would share one picture.

Ava was sure that she wasn’t truly four until she blew out all the candles. Here she is making her passageway out of three.

Whatever you are wishing for, my dear one, I hope it comes true. I love you!

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On Sunday evening, Ava was in her bed for the night and Nate was away at a softball game. The house was quiet and still. A nice, long soak seemed to be the perfect way to end a delightful Mother’s Day.

I let the water roar out of the faucet drowning out the sounds of the house and filling the tub with steamy water. I poured in the last of my Lollia bubble bath, a Mother’s Day gift from another year, and watched tub rise with rose-scented bubbles.

I was about to slip into my favorite escape when I heard the bathroom door squeak open behind me. My heart raced into my throat and I let out a scream as I turned to meet my foe.

Ava hopped in from the doorway, slammed it shut with her back, and and looked up with a trembling lip, “Was it a badger, Mama? Did you see a badger?”

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“Mama, when we were in Heaven we just liked each other so much that we just always wanted to be with each other. And so we thought that you should be the mama and I would be the little girl.

And then you had to go and then I had to wait for a long time, didn’t I? A really long time! And then God said it was time for me to go into your tummy.

And then I did, cause we wanted to be with each other and cause you are the mama that I always wanted.”

And you, Ava are the one I always wanted.

Thanks for making this a most happy Mother’s day.

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Happy May Day!

(Can this honestly have been two years ago?)

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Ever since Grandma Penny skipped town, Ava has played Plane-Ride-to-Paris. This consists of packing up ponies, barrettes, books, dolls, socks, and flashcards into a gypsy assortment of purses and bags, then dragging these bags along with her animal entourage out the living room. She loads them up on the brown, velvet 747 that is taxied in our living room and then proceeds to fly them non-stop to Paris.

Of course by the time she has arrived at her destination, it looks more like plane wreck.

So in the evenings we play an equally fun, but not as enthusiastic game called, sort-all-your-toys-and-put-them-away. It’s nearly as exciting as pretending to travel to Paris, but not quite.

After nearly four months of transforming the living room into an airline hanger, Ava is well versed in the interworkings of transatlantic flights and how to prepare for them.

And if anything, Ava is confident. Confident in all the things that she is confident that she knows. And she knows how to pack for a plane ride to Paris.

So when Grandma Penny needed to refill her suitcase after her much-too-short visit home who better to help her than the expert.

Now Ava and Grandma hit a challenge that neither were prepared for or experienced in. Grandpa Lyle had left a sub-woofer in Grammy’s bag. It was not only large, but heavy. Ava and Grammy had to squeeze her things around the speaker without exceeding the fifty-pound limit.

After two attempts to fill, zip, drag, and weigh the suitcase, it was clear that somethings were going to have to be left behind. As the consultant, Ava tackled the problem with the intesity of a captain deciding who gets to ride on the lifeboat.

“But Grammy, you need your umbrella! It rains in Paris.”

“There’s no room for it.”

“But Grammy, you need it. It’s important. It fits right here. See.”

When Grammy pulled out her make-up bag in an attempt to rearrange, Ava bounded over to the bag and quickly rescued it.

“Grammy! You can’t leave that! You have to bring it. It’s very important. I’ll get it in. See. There.”

“See Grammy, it fits. You have to have your make-up! It’s very important.”

At three-and-a-half, Ava perceives that outer beauty is only skin-deep, so it’s best to have a good make-up bag on board.

Editor’s Note: Ava consulting services extend beyond packing and involve most aspects of domestic life, including but not limited too: pie-dough rolling, bread kneading, cookie cutting, plant watering, bath bubbling, clothes matching, dog feeding, furniture arranging, baby naming, and paper cutting. If you are in need of an “expert” on any one of these or other duties, please contact Ava at badgersontheloose@gmail.com. Rates vary on perceived experience.

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Today when I saw the short hand nearing the fifth digit, I thought I might be nice to transition from bathroom scrubber and laundress to pretty wife before Hungryman made his appearance.

I traded my hooded sweater for a sleeveless top with ruffles and my tennis shoes for open toed heels. I stepped in front of the vanity in hopes of masking the fact that I’d been cleaning all day. My shell earrings jangled as I returned to the kitchen to peel potatoes.

Ava skipped in and took a long sniff in my direction.

“Oh Mama, did you take a shower? I like when you take a shower.”

From the inflexion in her voice you would concluded that this was a monumental occasion.

“No honey, I didn’t”

Another long sniff.

“But you smell good!”

Evidently, Nate’s not the only one who benefits from a little personal grooming.

Speaking of showering, I’ve been asked to work on another educational video.
This one is on personal hygiene. Clearly, I’m the right person for that job.

That was to be the end of my story. Thirty minutes later, however, HungryMan stepped into our home clutching an equally fragrant bouquet of tulips. We were both delighted with our surprises. And I was reminded that a sweet-smelling, pretty wife at the end of the day is as lovely to my husband as a handful of brightly colored blooms is to me.

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overheard

“Honey, why do you keep pointing at that brownie mix?”

“Cause, look.”

“You are seven years old! You do NOT need to worry about low-fat!!”

Amen.

Moms of seven-year-olds or older or younger, how do we protect our girls from this?

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sleepover

Ever since Grandma Penny landed on U.S. soil, Ava has been asking when she could sleep at Grandma’s house. She has been literally counting down the days to when she can have a “sleepover–all by myself!” And I think that she may possibly have told every single person that looked her direction today that she was going to grandma’s house tonight!

After dinner she filled her backpack with Bubba, Bubba’s friends and an assortment of blankies. She added in an extra change of clothes just in case “Grammy let’s me stay two days.” When I told her that I would miss her too much if she stayed two days, she reassured me that I had daddy and that she would come home again.

There she goes. I think she’s going to miss me.

And while that little mouse is away, this cat is going to play.

I’m helping my friends out with a little filming project tomorrow. It’s been an extra long time since I’ve gotten to play in front of cameras, so it should be great fun. If you think of me tomorrow, please pray that I’m of some good use to my friends.

Well, I’m off to sleep. I’ll let you know if any sleep was had at grandma’s house.

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It would be fair to say that my child is slightly sweets deprived. She thinks Lucky Charms is a finger food reserved only for her birthday party and is delighted when she is allotted a swirl of maple syrup on her old fashion oatmeal.

In the world of children, the commodity is often candy. And in this world, Ava would be impoverished.

When she was potty training I rewarded her with 1/7 of a candy corn each time she went to the bathroom. I actually cut pieces of candy corn into seven equal parts and doled them out individually. She was so excited each time to put that morsel of sugar to her lips.

While sugar treats are rare, she does get a sucker every Thursday when we go to the bank. And yes, going to the bank is a highlight of her week.

Recently we visited our local butcher. While I waited for the butcher to slice pork chops to the one and half inch width that Martha’s recipes demand, Ava was kissing their wooden pig, Albert. The butcher thought this was so adorable that he awarded her with a Tootsie Roll.

A pinkie-sized Tootsie Roll.

Ava wrapped her fingers around the candy and cried out in glee, “Mama, look, I got a big chocolate. Let’s put it in your purse and save it for later. Maybe after dinner we can all have some. Daddy can have some. Mama can have some. And Ava can have some.”

Her delight was not merely in the receiving of the gift or the sweet pleasure the gift would benefit for her, but the ability to share that gift with someone else.

Later that night, when Nate came home he brought her a treat from the office. It was a very, very small packet of SweetTarts in the shape of Sponge Bob or some sort of strange sea creature. She was delighted; two treats in one day.

“Oh, Mama, look!! There is one for Mama. One for Daddy. One for Ava. Maybe we can all have one after dinner.”

“Yes, Ava that would be nice.”

“Oh, Mama, I have an idea. Maybe we can share the other ones with my friends. Would that be nice, Mama?”

Sure enough, after our bellies were full of pork chops and apple-raisin chutney, Ava peeled open her packet of six raisin-sized SweetTarts and gave one to each of us. Then she carefully stored the remainder of her treat in her purse.

The next day as we were getting ready to visit her friends, Sammy and Anna, Ava asked if she could bring the candy to share with them. All through the morning, Ava kept telling Sammy and Anna that she had brought “CANDY!!!” for them to eat after lunch and weren’t they “so excited?”

Did I mention that they were the size of one shriveled up grape?

You can just imagine their surprise, when Ava removed the minuscule, previously opened packet from her purse and proceeded to distribute one tiny candy to each of them.

“Mmmm, isn’t it good guys?”

While her friends were a bit dumbfounded by the diminutive size of the promised prize, Ava was overjoyed with the experience of sharing something of great value to her with her friends.

I have often been mystified by people who out of their poverty give what little they have willingly and with great joy. I remember visiting an extremely poor orphanage in Mexico with my youth group. The children lived in cinder block dormitories and the cooks slept in shanties constructed with cardboard boxes. They depended daily on the mercy of God and charity of others to feed and care for the children who lived there.

We had come to paint their dining hall, and bring fresh supplies of toys and clothes. After working in the heat that is only present in the desert, a lavish banquet of Mexican specialties and fine foods was spread before us. The orphans and workers lined the walls as we were seated in front of their expensive food. They refused any food until we had finished and they insisted that we all have two helpings. I remember looking over at the children expecting to see resentment or envy that the rich Americans were eating their precious food before they had any. Instead, I saw joy.

The same joy that I see in Ava’s face when someone is enjoying the gift that she has given. Those children, like Ava, were delighted to give what was precious to them.

Last night, my parents were in town and after we had finished our dinner, my mom pulled out some peanut M&M’s much to the delight of Ava. Within moments there were only two left, and Ava politely asked her Mimi if she could have them. Mimi agreed.

Ava scooped them up and smiled down at her treats. Then before the candy coated shell had a moment to melt in her hand, Ava asked, “Daddy, do you want one? There’s only two left.” She handed him her prize and then turned to her grandpa, “Papa, do you want one? It’s the last one. Do you want it, Papa?” She gave her candy to her grandpa and then watched in delight as they ate them.

“Is it good? Do you like it? Isn’t it so yummy?” Her mouth moved up and down as if she was savoring it with them and in fact, she was.

Even though it is likely that several months will go by before Ava comes in contact with peanut M&M’s again, she was more excited to share and watch “the boys” enjoy the treat then relish it by herself.

As her mother, I am often occupied with how to train her and teach her, how to correct this behavior and encourage that behavior. Sometimes, I forget to rejoice in the good work that has already begun in her. So last night and again this afternoon I am pausing to enjoy that at the precious age of three, Ava understands the truth that is far better to give than receive. May she never forget it.

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