Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Week of School

There are moments, as a mom, where you take a step back and observe your kids through eyes of wonder and fascination.  I watched each one of them express their individuality all week long.   Through their clothing choices I see their creativity, as they tell their stories I understand what they value. When they describe their favorite moment of the day, I get a glimspe into their talents and interests.  I love hearing what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, what concerns them.  I see through their eyes how their classmates have changed, how their teachers' hair looks, how cute their best friend's outfit was.  What a fun week this was as the kids met new friends, hugged old friends, said hello to former teachers, and embraced what will be a great, fun and challenging year for all.  I rode the emotional roller coaster up and down, back and forth and have settled down to accept that although our summer fun has ended,  and ALL of my kiddies are growing up, there are many great things to look forward to as this school year unfolds.  Sentimentality aside, I'm so excited for all that they are going to experience this fall and in the months beyond.
First day of 7th grade for Marky

First day of kindergarten for my baby boy!

My sweet Maddie-girl started 5th grade.
Meredith Grace started 2nd grade.

Daddy with his girlies.

My boys!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


We prayed for a miracle after I realized I lost our camera.

I should believe when I pray, because I really do pray to God.  THE GOD. 

And our camera was found and returned to us.  I am SO grateful. 

This is my favorite picture taken on vacation. 
We are relaxed and happy.

If I could bottle this feeling, I would.

Thankyou, Lord, for bringing our camera -  our memories -  back to us!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In cleaning out the van yesterday, I came across a "baby wipe" container.  The flat ones that are portable and go everywhere with you when you have kids under the age of 3.  It was empy, but it had the power of a time machine.  Took me back to the days where I never left home without a box of wipes, a diaper and some ready-made formula.  I reminisced for a second about how wonderful those days were when my children were contained in car seats and strollers, happy to be carried and pushed from store to store.  But then I remembered how lovely it is that my kiddos can walk, talk, potty, poop, feed their own mouths and drink their own drinks.  The greener grass on the other side of the middle school colored fence all of the sudden lost it's luster.  Tonight Patrick and I went to Kindergarten open house, where we sat in kidner sized  chairs and listened to a teacher talk to us for the FOURTH time - HOW CAN IT BE FOURTH!!!! - about the policies and perks of Kindergarten.  It is absolutely unbelieveable that we have been through this discussion 4 times now.  Michael will go to kindergarten on Tuesday.  He is very excited and a tad nervous too.  His biggest cheerleaders are his three sisters.  They are so excited for him to join the "school team".  Michael and I talked while he was in the bath tub tonight.  He had a lot of questions about what his classroom will be like and told me that he was a lot excited and a little nervous.  Normally, I just send the kiddos to take baths or showers.  They are amazingly independent and capable when it comes to bathing... but every once in a while, I need to be needed, so I give the kids a bath.  It's fun to take a giant step back in time and wash their hair and rinse it with a pitcher that I have had since my very first baby shower.  They can do it themselves: I have taught them how!  I love that they are able and somewhat self-sufficient... but there comes a time when a mama just wants to go back to what they are sure of.  What I am sure of is that I can bathe, rock, soothe, and calm.  I have practiced,  tiptoeing and stomping through the early stages of raising babies and frankly, I am good at it... However, I feel insecure about the new territory that is ahead.  Teens and pre-teens.  Sweet and wonderful, moody and temperamental.  If only I could lay them down in their warm bath and sing sweetly to them, calming fears and driving away the worries of the day.  But what I am skilled at is in the past, and I am now on to a new curricullum.  Working on a degree that I fear has no specific coursework, only the common threads of prayer and faith year after year, minute upon minute.  What a warm bath used to soothe, now will take wisdom and encouragement. I am committed to the project, yet fear I have so much more to learn about patience and stamina; I come to the end of myself so quickly.  The Father reminded me earlier this week when I was feeling so very lonely and unequipped... "I am with you.  I will never leave you or forsake you."  and THAT is MY warm bath.  My comfort and MY security: the comfort that these days, months and years have just as much value as those early years.  The years that I gave baths and rubbed backs have vanished and been replaced by attentively listening and intuitively scoping out the truth.  And yet... they are both important.  Both foundational.   I cannot do it alone... I am so THANKFUL -  He is with me.  What comfort. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My dad, Pop-pop to my kids, sent a package through the post office to my dear #2 daughter.

The conversation that I had with her this morning went something like this...

Maddie - "I can't wait for the mail to come today!"

Me - "Well, sweetie, Pop-pop said that he mailed it just yesterday, so it might come tomorrow."

Maddie - "Why? Pop-pop said I should get it today!"

Me - "Well, sometimes you can't count on the post office."

Maddie - "I'm counting on Pop-pop, not the post office."

Isn't it great when you have someone in your life that you can really count on!!!
Someone you believe is even more reliable than the post office.  It just feels so good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I am choking the summer life out of the days.  I am not ready to give in to the school schedule yet.  I want to hold on to late nights, late mornings, pool days,  relaxed lunches and even mosquito nights.  I'm just not READY yet!!!  School starts in 11 days.  ELEVEN days to continue our memories, enjoy the relaxed pace that summer allows.  We've finished shopping for pencils, cute skirts and awesome jeans (that honestly we won't wear until later September.).  We have labeled lunch boxes and backpacks, dated new planners and mentally set out our first day of school outfits.  BUT....

The towels are still begging to be wet,
the bikes still wanting to be ridden.
Pillows wanting our soft heads to rest longer and
summer jammies wanting to keep us cool. 

Please don't end too quickly, sweet Summer.
There's still more fun to have!!!
You are my favorite time of year and I just
can't say goodbye. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Florida Summer Vacation

It felt a little bit like coming home.  The palm trees welcomed us and waved to us from
 the hot Florida sky. We were familiar with the landscape and temperature.  The humid air didn't take us by surprise this time.  We knew our way around and in no time at all, we bound ourselves to the reason
for our travels - VACATION!! 

Unhurried, unplanned, numerous hours with no agenda.  Our plans were simply to relax and make memories.  This was our fifth visit to this vacation spot.  With no hesitation, we proclaim it as one of our family favorites. Braided in with our very familiar spots were a few new places. 

Anna Maria Island was a new, wondrous location to bask in the warm gulf water, play volleyball on the soft sand, and be awed by the beauty of the setting sun over the ocean. 

We plaited our old favorites with new favorites, resulting in a perfect combination.  We fished, we ate good food, we drank yummy tropical drinks, we searched the shore for perfect shells. 
Each of us tried to capture as much as we could from every
sun-soaked hour. We woke up expectant and went to bed happy and tired out.

 Six days didn't feel like enough, but we enjoyed
every moment of sandy feet under tables, wet towels littering the floors,  sweaty sunscreened faces,
dripping bathing suits exchanged for sundresses and tank tops, empty tummies topped off with
delicious Gumbo Limbo fare.  

After a day of smooth travel back home (and one lost camera), we have all declared
that we cannot wait until we get to go back...
once again.  

We love you Florida!