Spring! Warm weather! Cool evenings and mornings! Our treehouse is growing back, and all I can see outside my office window this morning is a canopy of delicate shades of green. I’m hard-pressed to pick a favorite time of year (they’re all wonderful, for different reasons), but blooming dogwoods and leafing oaks are near the top of the list.

Of course we’re also into the month where a thick layer of yellow pollen blankets everything. The month where we want to scratch out our own eyeballs from the itching. But, as I tell the kids, at least it’s from gorgeous greenery and not ragweed.

Yesterday the kids, Derek, and Derek’s dad got to go see the Blue Angels perform at the Smoky Mountain Air Show.

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Saturday was a beautiful 75-degree, sunny day, perfect for watching this:

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Aren’t the mountains in the background gorgeous?

(Waiting now for the Westerners to reply that they aren’t “real” mountains. Heh. Try climbing one and you’ll change your tune.)

I stayed home and worked and rested. I’m at the stage of my virus/cold where the coughing is actually pulling muscles in my neck and my bowling ball-weight head is giving me spasms. It’s better for everyone if I stay within arm’s reach of a box of Kleenex and a package of cough drops.

The Avett Brothers are releasing a new album on Jonathan’s birthday, June 24, and meanwhile the first single just came out:

That’s the polished studio version. This live version is maybe even better:

I mean, listen to those lyrics:

Ain’t no man that can save me
There ain’t no man that can enslave me
Ain’t no man or men that can change the shape my soul is in

Judging from the video that was accidentally released early and then quickly pulled off the Internet, I think the song is a broad gospel-ish tune that reminds us not to succumb to the fear of terrorists. In the end, they can’t harm us when we have God on our side. And Bob on the bass guitar! Love love love. I may have listened to it on repeat while working on laundry and weeding yesterday.

In other news, I’m 2.5 weeks out from surgery #2, and it appears that one single screw was causing almost all the pain.

Now you see it:

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Now you don’t.

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It’s amazing how much better I feel. According to my surgeon, that one screw was preventing a lot of my motion because it was essentially bolting the two bones together. He’s going to see me one more time, and then I’m finished! It’s not like I’ll ever be “normal” again, but the new normal? It’s pretty darn good.

Also this month, we’ve been battling various illnesses from flu and strep throat to the stomach bug. We told Jonathan it was like Darth Vader and the Strorm Troopers battling it out with the Jedi inside of him. He liked that a lot, even though I barely even understand the reference myself. (Sacrilege! Proud of it!)

It seems that one or more kids is home from school every day, which is starting to become concerning because…shhh…we’re sneaking in a vacation the last week of school. It’s not like they do anything that week; let’s be real: once state testing is over, it’s all movies and recess, all the time. But those days count in the eyes of the state, so we have to be careful.

The original trip was planned the week of July 4, but Derek’s floor committee and voter delegate duties at the LCMS convention overlapped, so we looked at lots of other places and dates and ended up going for the exact same condo on a sort-of bad week, the last week of school. But you know what? We got a discount because it’s not the height of summer, and it will probably be quieter before the crowds descend. Sometimes you just have to sin boldly.

Today the younger kids and I are going to plant seeds from the vines we grew along our fence last year, given to us by a church member. After my accident I fretted and fretted about getting out to harvest those seeds. I didn’t want to waste them! The vines were so pretty last year! Derek was already doing double and triple duty taking care of all my stuff, so I didn’t want to ask him. Finally I was able to climb that ground myself and get the seeds. (He did pull the vines and compost them for me.) Now we’ve got ample seeds, plus a $1.99 pack of sunflower seeds we’re going to mess around with. If they grow, they’ll be really fun for the kids. I remember how spectacular the sunflower fields were in South Dakota in the summers.

Much more is swimming in my head waiting to be blogged, but right now I’ve got to go take care of Kate, who was sick AGAIN today, poor thing, and get those seeds started so our summer vines will be poppin’ soon. And then I’ll take a break to hack up a lung, and hope that all of our immune systems will soon be victorious in the battle of good and evil.