Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And things were going swimmingly

WARNING: The ramblings of Summer Whinefest 2010 are about to begin.

{My computer is in the shop....again.....I know! But some sweet friends have given me a window on the world. Thank you!}

The phone rings...and the news changes our world. Not a phone call of profound changes. Not a phone call of the loss of life.

A phone call from the boss... a change of work plans. Sweet Man has a meeting that's been on our radar for months.  The meeting lasts 3 days and then he would travel home for a bit and back to headquarters to work on a project... for 90 days.

Family of four fun is over. We've had Creation, Fourth of July and camping fun...and time even for projects/relaxing at the house. A whole month of our favorite summer things. But alas, our summer days with Sweet Daddy are coming to an end...and we were planning a few more special things to do with Daddy when he came home after the meeting and before the new assignment.

But then, the phone rang. The boss...again. Plans have been changed...again. Still the meeting, still the 90 days at headquarters, but now there is a short assignment in Nebraska between the two. Short enough that it's not worth the trip for us to go out there. And there will be no trip home for him.

It may not seem much different on paper...but I am feeling the acute sadness fell on me. My head resumed its spinning...with the projects and the decisions and the errands and the obligations that I now have to take on myself.

Sweet Man wisely asked that I not let the new developments ruin the short time we had left together. We'll be apart for 3 weeks...which is about the longest I can go without him without losing my mind.

He left yesterday.

Our house is not sold and no longer on the market...which is fine in the short cleaning, no showings. But, we still have a house...with many things in storage...I'm still grieving a few of the things I "selled away" in our haste to empty our house. And this house is still filling up with junky stuff I buy in the meantime. It has been 18 months of meantime. The things that were clean and fixed at the beginning of this adventure are showing their wear again.

In our backyard, a significant project is in progress...the back fence is gone, soon the jungle behind it will be, too. I feel a little exposed. People can see in my backyard...can see us in our backyard. That's okay, though, right? I mean we're all people living in the same area...this could be a great thing. But Sweet Man won't be back to help make the final decisions on which screen {fence or foliage} we use to replace that boundary.

Homeschooling starts soon.

A few other big decisions are on the back burner.

The anniversary of Mom's death is approaching.

I must be careful, while he's gone, about my schedule as I have the tendency to fill the missing with too many activities...just so I'm not sitting at home missing him. So we're here...I'm determined to slow down...protect some quiet days even as my kiddos whine, "what are we doing today? who's coming over? I'm so bored."

I shouldn't even give a moment's energy to this discomfort of mine. A dear friend lost her sweet husband a few days ago...I have no right to gripe.

There's blackberry jam in the pantry...and cucumbers and zucchini on the counter, ready for some recipe experimentation. There are friends ready to help. There are smiles and cozy, cuddling-in-bed talks...and another VBS {I know...ridiculous}...there's Zumba...there are new discipline efforts that are working?.... There's swimming everyday {the pool looks fantastic after a little work, yesterday}...there's red nail polish...there are sweet hand-me down clothes...there's lots of love. There's a weekend whitewater rafting trip with my Women's Adventure Group...stay tuned...woohoo! {Made possible by gracious Grandma and Grandpa Johnson....thank you!!!!}

There is a greater plan and purpose for this time and for this family.

There are blessings all around.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Giggle, snort....

Tucking the babes in tonight and recalling the evening at another VBS, we had this convo::

Bug: There was a new kid in my class, named Austin*. On his nametag under his name it said Nuts.

Me: Why do you think it said that?

Bug: 'Cuz I think he's gone nuts.

{*Of course, sillies, I changed the allergy-prone whack-a-doo's name to protect the innocent.}

Monday, July 19, 2010


What can I say?

Still there, friends? I'm still right where I was last week...not sure...what to say. There's much rattling around in this head of one word, I feel disquieted and disillusioned. My foundations are rocking, which is a good thing, I think...and primarily it has to do with people I have admired and respected, doing and saying things I don't admire or respect. 

Now, just what do I do with all of that? 

I do appreciate God reminding me that I am not to follow man...I am to follow Him.

So, I'm just gonna keep talking about what we've been doing as a family. That foundation seems pretty, dare I say it, solid. I better not say it...or surely rocks will start to tumble. But we are having much fun and enjoying having Sweet Daddy with us.

We decided to spend 8, instead of 14 days at camp...good thing since it's supposed to rain a lot more this week. Sweet Man received a Pharm phone call last Monday that scared me...I'll do plenty of things as a single momma...camper camping is NOT one of them. He was later told to stand down, so he's still with us, but we know his number will be up soon.

Camp was wonderful...lots of fun...relaxing and doing.  The week was spent nesting, reading {read my first Liz Curtis Higgs book...need to find another...quick,} playing tennis, walking, eating, archery, swimming, campfire cooking. Ping pong and pool in the clubhouse were also very popular pasttimes. I LOVE the activities that Grand Haven has much to do...or we can just chill at the campsite if we want. 

{this is Missy, one of our favorite Grand Haven staffers, letting Bug help read at storytime
...she does the kids' activities}

Bug has a new haircut, courtesy of Sweet Daddy. 

And, oh my stars, the best $1.99 I ever spent was on a box of water balloons at Betsypoo's Variety Store...hours upon hours of fun for all. 

It rained a good bit while we were there which is great as I am very fond of rain...especially rainy mornings. Nothing like a good soaking storm. Growing up, we had a screened-in porch on our house and I remember swinging with my parents as a storm rolled in and engulfed our little country place. Loved it and now scoop up my babes to sit on our little city porch and watch the storm roll in. 

Then as a lifeguard and reluctant softball player, I loved thunder and cancel a game or change up the day a bit at the pool. We'd run for, not from the lightning but from the drops threatening to get me wet. We'd squeal and dash about, gathering vulnerable equipment, working really hard at avoiding the drops. 

But the freedom of just giving in and letting the warm summer rain soak just stop dashing and let my clothes get heavy with wet and my legs spattered with mud....ahhh. To lift my arms and turn my face to the sky to catch all those drops. It felt glorious. 

My kids reminded me of that freedom this week...stop fighting it and just let rain cover me. Get wet, play in the mud, slide in the grass, {maybe after the lightning has moved on.} Take chances to get wet and dirty and  there will always be more chances to get clean and dry again. Life's more fun that way.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What can I say

{I really have no idea why the margins are wonky....} 

It's not that there is nothing to's that I'm not sure if or how I should say it. And that is as best as I can explain my absence. 

Let's just go from here, m'kay? And I'll tell you what I can.

When I last left you, Sweet Man had just arrived back from Cedar Falls. We gathered Bug from a cousins' sleepover the next day.

After the weekend of packing and gathering, we made our annual trip to Creation Festival. The weather was perfect...low 80's during the day and low 50's at night. Staying in a pop-up camper for the first time was great, until  4:30am when we were trying to pack up and leave and it didn't exactly cooperate. Sweet Man saved the day with his Fonzie move.

A new-to-me speaker shook my world...Louie Giglio of Passion City Church. He spoke on the glory of our star-breathing God by explaining the the Creator's design in the heavens and in our bodies...whooweeeee! tingles...really crazy stuff.

I went to the worship tent one afternoon...pretty randomly...not expecting anything...really to just enjoy some alone time. What a blessing. God was heavy there and whispered into my ear as soon as I walked in. He said many things I needed to hear...won't tell you all of it, but at one point I stood with my eyes closed, my arms palms up and bent at the elbows and He told me, You can't even catch everything I want to give you. And friends, I'm sure that's not a message specific to me....He's so good to keep talking even though I'm not listening most of the time. Oh, teach me to hear You more. 

The weekend of the 4th was anxiety-inducing, to say the least. We left Creation early. Straight from the mountains of Pennsylvania, we cruised into the Valley and dropped the kiddos off so that we could de-funkify and rush off to my *gulp* 20th high school reunion. Not at all worth the was good to see all who came. And then track down the others who were in town for the Fourth, who, ahem, didn't make an appearance at the official party. 

The next morning, we roused our sleepy selves to pick up the kids and charge on to church....for church...and a father's wedding. Yes, again, anxiety-inducing...tangled-up knot of emotion, but joy and peace are in there somewhere.

There has been much live music...the mark of a great summer: 

**@ Creation: Switchfoot, David Crowder, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin, & TobyMac {I've been saying for a while that we listen to Toby because Bug likes him. Time to come clean...I *heart* TobyMac...he rocks.} 

**There was a reunion afterparty at Brew's where my brother was playing with his band, One Under from very afar across the bar.

**Sweet Man was a trooper, this past Wednesday, as he attended his first hippie-infested fest: Dark Star Orchestra...oh, poor the first notes, I closed my eyes and was transported back 15+ years with that fine music. {They're coming to the Midland in August, in case you're interested.} 

The rest of the holiday was spent at parties, the parade, and street fair. Oh, yes, and there were naps and swims.

Now, we pack to camp for two have my little family in one place, at one time with nothing but fun on the agenda. 

Let me know if you want to come for a visit....