Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday was the Father Son Annual Trip to the Air Show at the nearby Air Force Base. This is an event that Mr. C and my husband have been faithful to attend for nearly a decade. If I'm honest, I think my husband might have "dragged" me there a few years BK (before kids) and I think I left without my hearing and a neck ache from looking up so much.
C has always loved planes. His nightstand is filled with books about different types of airplanes and he can name anything that flies over our heads. Loves them. As a small child, he would line up plastic models of planes and match them to the pages of the book. Trust me he's tried to teach his mother the difference between a warbird and a fighter jet. Or something like that to no avail.
Having an entire day to wander about looking at planes is C's love language. It's my husband's too thus my trek there in the early days of marriage. The boys had a fabulous day. They packed a lunch, walked about looking inside planes, jets and helicopters, talked to the Air Force Academy Reps and then set up chairs and watched the "air." C got to meet a Tuskegee Airman from WWII, shake hands with a real life swamp creature (don't ask), and soaked up all things aviation.
This year the Thunderbirds were the headline act and, according to dad and son, they were worth the wait. These pilots are percision and perfection in motion.
After the Air Show, they continued their all boys day with dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. C's only complaint was that he was hoping to practice his newly acquired Spanish on the waitress, but she looked more Norwegian than Hispanic.
What a blessing it is to have opportunities for C and P to share a "love" and have some male bonding at the same time. I'm thinking that this will someday be a three generation event for C and P. Who knows maybe one day, C will be piloting one of those planes or recruiting students to his alma mater the Air Force Academy.
The sky is the limit so to speak!
Friday, August 27, 2010
The Ultimate Question was a Musical in a Game Show Setting. There were contestants, a host and the Ultimate dancers and Ultimate Singers that the contestant could use as lifelines. Questions were from the Bible and they all "ultimately" pointed towards who God says we are to him.
Later, my husband went up to the girl in audience and told her that there was more to the story. He told her the "if she was the only person on earth, Jesus still would have come and died on the cross just for her."
Ultimately, isn't that the message we all need to hear.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Miss A woke up yesterday morning crying. She wasn't sure she wanted to go to Kindergarten anymore. She couldn't believe it really lasted "all day long" and that it was every single day.
When asked if she was enjoying school, her response with quick and, with a smile, said, "Yes!" She just doesn't understand why it has be every day. She misses mom. She misses her time alone in her room with the door closed, playing barbies, and having conversations with "stuffies" (Stuffed animals).
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Sadly, the parking lot I'm talking about does not belong to a Church or a place of worship. It belongs to a softball league and the people in the lot were hustling not to find a place in a pew or a seat in a Bible study, they were scurrying about to softball games for games that had started at 10:30 in the morning. On a Sunday morning.
On the way to this field, I passed by another parking lot that normally is filled with happy people, but on this Sunday morning was closed so that employees at this establishment could have the day off to worship with their families. It belonged to Hobby Lobby.
How sad is it that big "corporation" gets that Sunday mornings/days should be set aside for worship and family time, but a girls softball league views those time slots before noon on Sunday as a time to fit in one more game that day. A day they view as no different than Saturday.
To be honest, I really wanted to protest and not send Miss M to this first game of a new league/new season. I wanted to prove a point that our family observes the Sabbath, that we view Sunday morning as precious time set aside for God and corporate worship. Next Sunday morning game time I will. Two girls on our team did "protest" and not come to the game today. I respected their decision.
My husband and M skipped church today for two reasons only. C and P had been camping all weekend and arrived home just before we needed to leave for Church. C jumped in the shower and off he and Miss A and I went to church. There was not enough time for P to shower and unpack the wet camping gear. Second, P was the coach of 9 of the girls joining this fall league and felt he needed to be at the first game to introduce his team/parents to the new coach and league.
Sadly, today's early morning Sunday game is nothing new in our society. I'm not here to judge whether you are right or wrong in allowing your child to participate in a game that conflicts with Church time. Obviously today we can not sit in that judgement.
However, it seems that this is just one more sign of the ever growing Post-Christian Culture rampant in America today. They never would have scheduled a soccer, softball, or volleyball game on a Sunday morning when I was a child. Never! Until recently schools in our area didn't give homework on Wednesday nights knowing that a number of the children participated in either Wednesday night church activities.
Society seemed to know there was a line you did not cross. Sunday mornings were different than Saturday mornings. Why is that in our town you can't sell Beer or Liquor before noon on Sunday, but it's no problem to schedule a game, practice or tournament on a Sunday morning?
Sunday is no longer sacred in our country. This not only makes me mad that organized sports and organizations can stomp all over our "time of worship," but more than anything it makes me sad. Do we really need to play that many games of softball? Does a soccer tournament really need to be played on Sunday morning?
I'm gonna step off my soapbox for a moment to say I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to respond to society trampling my religious freedom while protecting others at all costs. I'm not trying to become a political blog. I have strong views, but I'll keep them to myself most of the time.
However, I wonder if by sitting on the sidelines at the softball game today at 11 a.m. in my Church clothes nonetheless was giving in to this new "sabbath." Give me wisdom God to know how to be in the world, but not of the world. God, right now would be a great time to use those lightning bolts and burning bushes to send me the right answer.
For now, I think I'll just be praying about what my family can do to honor our commitment to God and to our daughter's softball team.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I finished my niece, L's, high school graduation gift with one day to spare before she left for college. It was a race to finish, but I was determined. There are many mistakes within the blanket including dropped stitches, double stitches, purling when I should have knitted and vice versa.
It is nowhere near perfect. It's a gift of love and that is the only perfect part of it. I told L to think of it as a life lesson. It was filled with lots of mistakes, some missed opportunities (to do the right stitch), but also many rows that are spot on.
It was so fun to walk campus, find L's classrooms, tour the student union, and pick up a fun birthday gift for L and drive around and get our bearings. C and M totally got into the college atmosphere, were fascinated with how the dorms and dinning halls worked and impressed that their mother was once a hip and cool college student. A was really only in if for the lunch at Applebees' and the ice cream at the Dairy Store. She has her priorities!
It's hard to believe the L is a college freshman. Where have the years gone? When my husband and I were first married, Miss L was just a toddler and we would love to have little "dates" with our niece taking her to the pumpkin patch or out for ice cream. She was our first experience with "little people" and we loved getting to practice parenting on her. I'm not sure my brother and sister in law were so thrilled, however, when we introduced bubble gum to a two year old! Who knew!
Walking the campus with L and my three kids felt a little like practice too. Like she was our oldest getting ready to go off to college. Bittersweet. Knowing that in reality our youngest was starting Kindergarten in just days made it even more realistic.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
She asked if "all day" really meant all day. Would I be coming to get her at lunch?
Swallowing the lump in my throat, I told her that she'd do great. After lunch was recess and she wouldn't want to miss it. I'd be at the Kindergarten door waiting for her at the end of the day.
Last night, after her bath and before her "end of summer ice cream sundae," she told me that it was the last day. The last day we'd ever spend all day together; just us. The last day I'd get her for the whole day. I said there would be weekends, school breaks, and summer vacation.
My old soul little girl said, "Yes, but it will never be the same again."
Knowing that breaks my heart a little bit, but also makes me so very grateful. Grateful that God has given me these three precious children to raise. My job is really to make them ready for Life.
Kindergarten is just one step in that process.
Miss A, it will never be the same again, but maybe it will be even better. Your whole life thus far has taught me to cherish the moment. As the youngest child, I've looked at everything you've done and accomplished as something to cheer, because your dad and I won't walk these same steps again, ever.
Walking out of the elementary school doors today with your dad, I thanked God for this moment. Right now. Right here. It's gonna be a long journey to get you and your siblings to adulthood. For that, I'm grateful. I'm not ready to say goodbye to parenting just yet. Today was one more step in that journey and I can't wait to see what God has placed on our path together for the next 13 years.
It's gonna be a ride.
Go and read the words to this song from Steven Curtis Chapman. It's a great reminder of the blessings of being a mother. Even on the days that are tough.
One Heartbeat At A Time Song Lyrics Steven Curtis Chapman Lyrics Christian Music Song Lyrics NewReleaseTuesday.com
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
That is until I became the mother of a school aged student.
School supplies and Back to School ads take on a whole new meaning as a mother. It's a sign that you are ushering in a new year. Who really thinks of January as the beginning of the year? All of my calendars start in September.
This is one of those milestones years. Miss M will head to the middle school and Miss A will head off to kindergarten. We are ushering in a whole new lifestyle around these part in which all the children go off to school all day.
In many ways, I've been thinking about this day all summer, the day that I drop A off at the elementary school and walk out alone and go home to an empty house. I've had countless people ask me what I plan to do with myself now. What will I do to fill up all the time? Have I thought about getting a job?
It's as if they are asking me what will I do with myself now that I am no longer needed. No more fixing lunches for little ones, no rushing to the grocery store while the preschooler is in school, no more arranging play dates around nap time, and no going to the park in the morning while the big kids are in school and the playground is quiet.
The implication is that my job is done. I've finished parenting my children and now it's the teachers' job to fill in the gaps and shape them into the adults society wants them to be. It's as if I'm turning them over to someone else and I'm not really needed except to drive car pool and help pack lunches.
I think in many ways my job is even more important now. Being available for my children while they are in the elementary and junior high years is critical. These are the years they will remember forever. The time in their lives in which their character, values, morals and beliefs about who they are are formed, modified, and molded. Being there for them on sick days, hanging out on day's off, countering the culture they are exposed to each day with Godly wisdom.
A few years ago my son was the target of a bully on the bus. I didn't know about it, he kept it to himself. It was subtle and he was trying to be strong. Whenever we talked about school and friends, he said everything was fine, no problems. The day before Christmas Break, I was sitting in the family room working on some last minute Christmas presents. The school bus dropped Mr. C off at the bottom of the hill and he walked through the front door and I could just tell something was not right. By God's provision, I had made homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies that day and had them ready in the kitchen for C's arrival.
I put aside my project, sat down, and asked again for the 100th time that school year; "How was your day?" This time, the response was different. The waterworks opened and he told me the whole story of the bullying on the bus.
Had I not been there? Had I not asked all the previous days before how his day was and waited for his answer each time, I might not have gotten the response I did that December afternoon.
All the previous days and the years before had allowed C and I to have that moment when I could look into his eyes and "know" something was off.
I'm so glad I'd made the investment in time. So glad that I had often put aside what I wanted to do for me to be there.
That's why on Monday when I come home alone, I'll be OK. I know deep down that this is not an end to my parenting job, but it's just another curve in the road. A change of direction.
Sure I'll be getting a lot more "projects" done during the day, I'll be able to volunteer my time, I'll go back to BSF and not worry about preschool pick up or have to arrange childcare for lunches with girlfriends. Without a doubt, I'll be available from 2:40 p.m. everyday. Those "bewitching" hours after school and before dinner and activities will be precious time to reconnect, redirect and focus on my kids.
I'll have tons of time during the day to do things for me and others, that time will be just for them!!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Miss A had a fabulous birthday weekend. She was celebrated and enjoyed every minute of it.
It was a theme filled weekend. Everything had just a little "kick" to it. Friday afternoon, we had a blast at the pool and kicked our way to the deep end. Miss A loves using her mother's legs to climb down to the bottom of the seven feet. Of course, this means her mother can't sit on the lounge chair and read her book, but it was her birthday.
At the pool, Miss A and some friends kicked the pool towels off the chairs and used them instead to make a tent. Too bad the concrete was blazing hot, it would have been fun to hang out underneath for a long time.
"Present time" presented Miss A with her most favorite thing to kick around; a new pink soccer ball from her brother and sister. "Finally!" Miss A said when she opened the present, she's only been "needing" a pink ball to kick around for a year! Remember they kick better!
She got a big "kick" out of her present from Mom and Dad; a beauty salon chair and accessories which are perfect for her American Girl Dolls. She'd like all her friends to know that Miss A's Beauty Parlor is open for business. Thankfully, the scissors included are of the fake variety. We've already had enough drama in that area.
Continuing a new family tradition, we went to Five Guys for dinner. Not for their fabulous Hamburgers, but rather according to Miss A because they have the best Grilled Cheese in the World. While I think "the Guys" would appreciate the endorsement, I don't see this as an advertising focus anytime soon.
Saturday Morning found Mom and Miss A heading off to the Cookie store to pick up Soccer Cookies for the Soccer Birthday Party. Adorable is the only word to describe how cute those were and perfect to go with our theme for the party and match the treat bags and mini soccer balls.
Coach Andy came over for the party and helped the girls run a few drills in the backyard. Perfect for our soccer superstar. Sharks and Minnows proved that A loves to kick it around a bit and when she scored during the mini match you would have thought it was the World Cup!! Having a "real" soccer coach as part of the action made Miss A feel extra special. Even the fact that it was 90 degrees in the shade could not squash the girls excitement for this part of the party.
Of course, no real kids' party is complete without a pinata. However, we ended the kicking theme right there and instead took up M and C's favorite sport action and swung a bat at that Big Soccer Ball until all the candy flew to the ground.
We finished the weekend celebrating all the August Birthdays at Nana and Papa's house complete with individual cakes/cookies/blueberry buckle for each birthday girl or boy. There was talk of kicking the soccer ball around outside, but with the heat index in the 100's, we decided that Aunt J and Uncle S's gift of a American Girl Soccer Outfit for Ruthie was enough soccer action for the day!!
Turning Six is a Real Kick!!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Miss A is what you might call our bonus baby. The last child and our special little gift from God. By far, my pregnancy with her was the worst. I threw up every single day usually multiple times every single day until the day I delivered. In fact, I think the first word out of my OB's mouth after "Congratulations, It's A Girl" were "I don't think you should do this again."
Not to worry. Miss A was the perfect capstone to our family. The best gift and the best little sister we could ever ask for. As the baby of the family, she's gotten away with "murder" according to her siblings, she's been given more freedom, later bedtimes, and more relaxed parents than either of the other two. She's been a true ray of sunshine in our family.
We've enjoyed her early childhood and savored the moments and milestones knowing that they would be our last. There is something special about the "baby" of the family. With the "big kids," I was more anxious, more concerned about doing it right, getting to the next phase, and surviving the "terrible twos" that I didn't enjoy them nearly as much as I should have. Miss A has benefited from this hindsight vision.
We laugh more because of Miss A. We giggle more. We sing louder in the car and shake our booty much more than we ever did before her. She knows the words to every K-LOVE song on the radio, she sings it with gusto and with such a deep loving for God that you can't help but sigh deeply and love more. Many days I have tears in my eyes driving as I hear her adorable little voice singing praise and worshiping God with all her heart.
Tonight, however, I'll thank God for the wonderful gift August 6, 2004 was for our family and pray that six is just the beginning and that we'll be celebrating this wonderful little girl for six times sixty more years.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Somehow I view this as a better option!!
Monday, August 2, 2010
This year's stay-cation involved a Lake Party with friends from school, fishing off the boat in a cove, lunch at a "bar and grill" in town with Nana, and a trip to a Water Park.
Of course there were some new adventures as well including making homemade ice cream and dad taking us out tubing on the lake. Who knew Dad could drive the boat with a tow behind and drive fast, too. Miss A even decided that tubing is not so bad. However, she likes it best when Miss M is on the tube with her!
Miss A taught herself how to "surf." Bet you didn't know we could do that on a "no wake cove" in the middle of the country. She was thrilled when M and C pulled her behind the paddle boat. I loved it when she said in all sincerity, " I'm a good surfer. You know this is my first time surfing!"
Mr. C learned to drive the boat. During the week, there is very little boat traffic so my husband took the opportunity to teach C the ropes. He's a pretty good Captain according to Dad. Now the countdown to next summer when he's actually of age to drive the boat. Guess I might need to learn now too!
We played a few mean hands of UNO, had a rousing game of Scattergories, and had a ton of fun roasting marshmallows for S'mores. Jumped off the dock at least 500 times, flipped over the floaties and rafts maybe more and tried without success to catch a fish on our lines hanging off the end of the pier. Next weekend maybe the fish will be biting. Atleast that's what a fisherman would say.
If we could just teach these kids to sleep in a bit instead of waking up at the crack of dawn, it would be perfect. One can dare to dream!
We finished our Vacation with dinner out back at home. After that "long trip" back home, we didn't want to think about cooking. Mexican food was calling our names. However, we think my homemade salsa might just rival the one they served at Hectors'. OK, it's really Pioneer Woman's recipe, but I put the ingredients together and mix!
Vacations are great. Getting back to reality and the fact that school starts in two weeks; not so great!