Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Awesome Vacay!

What an amazing time we had on our vacation!  I was a little worried about taking the boys to Vegas.  They are getting a little older, and lets just say that Vegas is a destination that can inspire some deep conversations.  And I always try to make sure that God is the #1 invited Guest on our vacations.  But when I invited him to Vegas, I kind of paused.  Will You really come with us, even there, my LORD?

Psalm 139:8
If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.

What an amazing God we serve!  From the smooth ride there, to the room upgrade at the hotel, to the blessed time in the pool with my babies, I felt like I was travelling on the arm of THE VIP. 

We stayed at Mandalay Bay.  My husband was there for his yearly Fantasy Football Draft.  He and his buds get together every year, rent a boardroom, and do a live draft for their teams.  It is serious business and they look forward to it all year.  So we decided to make it a family event this year.  

Mandalay Bay has an unbelievably cool pool.  Their are actually 11 pools including a lazy river and a wave pool.  Our favorite was the little lagoon connected to the wave pool that had a 1.5 foot deep area for my toddler.  He ran and dove from one end of that little lagoon to the other and back again countless times, screaming a little battle cry all the while. 

My eight year old swam in the wave pool by himself checking in every three waves, while my four and six year old wandered over to the four foot side of the little lagoon we were in.  It could not have been a better set up for maximum fun.

My Mom came along as "The Nanny" and thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day stretch with the boys.  When we dropped her off, she was utterly exhausted, but had a smile on her face.  Which is the best way to end a vacation!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer is here!

Yes, you read that right.  It is August 23rd and I am just starting to get in the groove of summer.  Here in Southern California we have had an unbelievably mild summer.  It truly did feel like spring was lasting forever!  Yeah!  But now we've got the air conditioners cranking, we are all cranky, and I went out and watered my grass this evening-even though we hardly ever water our grass.  But I wanted to be in the cool mist while the house was hot and stuffy.  I wanted to see my oldest turn the corner on his way back from a walk with the neighbor family as it started to get dark.  I wanted to take in the smell that grass has only during the hot days of summer.

I have to take in the summer groove quickly, because I also sent the boys' registration paperwork in for their homeschool satellite program today.  I mailed in the syllabus for the class I will be teaching.  I mailed in the boys' "Course of Curriculum" paperwork.  I perused the "Back to School Bargains" inserts.  I need to cling to the pace of summer a little longer.  Maybe I should commit to sprinkling a little more of the relaxed summer attitude throughout the school year.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Humble Pie

I blew it today, not once, but several times.

I yelled at my Dad, who happened to be helping me at the time. He made a joke and I thought he was serious and I flew off the handle. Really off the handle. Telling him I was sorry just didn't seem like enough after that.

Then I yelled at the kids. All of them. When I find myself yelling at all of them, I know it must be something wrong with me-not anything they've done.

I prayed, confessed, apologized to the kids.

And then for my encore performance, I let my husband have it in front of my dear Mother in Law.

If God had not redeemed the day with an outstanding time swimming at the neighbors pool and a fabulous time at my Nephew's birthday party (in between the screaming at Hubs), then I think the verbal diatribes would've been totally discouraging.

But, as mad as I am at myself, God is good and He forgives. And He redeems not only us (which would be enough in itself), but He also redeems bad situations, even the situations we get ourselves into. Thank you my LORD, for Your tender mercy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lemonade Stand

Did you ever open up a Lemonade stand in front of your house as a child? I cannot tell you how much fun we have had with the boys' lemonade stand. We have done it a couple of times and it is such a great way to visit with the neighbors! Most of the business, however, came from teenagers driving by or walking/biking/skateboarding down our street. They were so sweet and encouraging. My Big Boy even sold some of our lemons. And some of the tomatoes out of our backyard garden. Way to go, my little entrepeneur!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gearing Up For Back to School

It is that time of year when "Back to School" is on every parents mind. The relaxing days of summer are beginning to wane and the urge to organize our closets, backpacks and lunch pails is growing stronger.

For our family, we have some "New Songs" opening up this year. We have gone to a homeschool PSP (previously known as an ISP) co-op once a week (where I also teach to defray some of the costs). This year, out of sheer craziness and lots of prayer to temper such craziness, I have decided we definitely need to add a co-op one more day a week. This one is not the PSP/ISP type. Rather, it is a smaller, mom led actual cooperative where we all teach once a month or so. Each of the children will have Science, History and Spanish. I couldn't resist. Plus, I had heard that there were some amazing families involved.

That leaves me only 3 days a week to school the kids. Now, of course, they will be doing all sorts of good learning and socializing the other two days, but I have some skillz I want to make sure to hit with my kindergartener and my first grader. Like reading and writing. So I am going to have to put a little thought into this.

And into packing lunches. Thought into the lunches. Yes. Hmmm. Organize the closets. Yes, figure out the clothes situation. Find matching shoes. Clean out the car.

I must go now. Before I get my unorganized summer self prematurely into Back to School mode.

"Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy." Psalm 33:3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Patron of the Books

Homeschooling is great! And it doesn't have to be expensive. Especially if you make good use of your local library.

However, my husband is no longer buying it-the inexpensive part. Does anyone else feel the need to check out 40+ of the neatest books, like I do? I come home, presenting them to each of my children as gifts. There are "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" and "which one did you get?" remarks flying all over the place. I just love it. It is good stuff, and it is free.

That is until 3 weeks later when I realize that the books are just a tad bit overdue. Do you know what 40 books x 15 cents a day x 3 days is? It is a good homeschool math calculation to know, I tell ya.

Now times that by 4 times a year. You are starting to see my point, right? That one day, they may just have to name a wing of our local library after me. I could just be one of their biggest donors.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here we are....

Welcome to my blog! I hope I come up with something entertaining, valuable, or insightful to share.

I have had a little side obsession with reading other people's blogs for awhile, now. My dear friend started one when she moved out of state and I would check daily to see if her little girl had donned any new hair bows or her baby boy's toothy grin was filling in. I didn't realize that soon I would add to my list. First, I read a blog of someone I had recently met to check up on a missions trip she had taken. I read her blog, written like a diary, and fell in love with this dear soul. I got to know her in a way that I wouldn't have if it weren't for the good ol' internets. Slowly I began to find that I was drawn to read the updates on these "cyber friends" more than the headlines on "Yahoo News". I mean, who cares about what Paris Hilton is doing when Pioneer Woman is on her cookbook tour?!

So, here it is. My offering back to those, who like me, can fall in love with a soul they've never met, once they find out that they share some of the same weird qualities, laugh over the same jokes, and seek answers to some of the same questions.

Yes, it is time for me to stop lurking and come out of my shell.