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

Monday, August 30, 2010

Wet and Wild

Life is so fun with a daddy {not just any daddy, our daddy} around. Even dentist appointments are better, which is what we did first thing the morning after he came home. 

And then, he got to do chores and fix stuff around the house...welcome home, baby!!!! I even broke something extra while he was home...just so he'd have enough to do! Love you, baby!

Saturday was we squeezed in one last swim, covered the pool, packed, sort of cleaned for our gracious houseguests {with minimal yelling, I might add...sweet victory} and went to church.

Sunday morning, with an 8+ hour drive ahead of us, we left on time {hallelu!} with everything we needed {double hallelu!} Because I make lists obsessively and stayed awake most of the night before leaving, thinking to myself don't forget to, I even remembered to pick Bean's precious watermelon {which was a plant start from Cedar Falls adventures} and safely nestled it in the van.

Having Sweet Daddy traveling with us over the road was wonderful {usually he's travelling in the air.} He suggested that we have a little extra fun...stop at one of those Great Hairy-Beary/Cuckoo Key waterpark places. And you know me, I'm a sucker for such adventures. But as we drove {well, I slept, read, or driving for me this time} and contemplated driving two hours out of our way...Sweet Man had a {'nother} fantastic idea...about 8 hours into the drive:: we'd merely make a pit stop at G. J. Mecherle Park {aka:: St8 Pharm Park.} 
What a trails, tennis & volleyball courts, picnic shelters, and a waterpark...but wait, because it is the corporate mothership, our admission was free. No pressure...stay and play as little or long as we wanted. Both babes jumped off a diving board for the first first, with me treading water under the board...and later, smiling proudly from the side of the pool. After two and a half hours, we were sufficiently sunburned worn out. 

We landed for the night in Coralville, IA {familiar territory as the kids and I enjoyed the Children's Museum there in May} and had a great night's sleep.

Now it's home, sweet, Des Moines. Our hotel room is huge...Sweet Man and I have our own room....We're unpacked and still have empty spaces. No pool here, but we need to give Bean's hair time to recover from the daily summer chlorine bath feels like she's not only the Hair Club for Dolls president; she's also a client. 

So, my afternoon will be spent belly-up to this laptop, researching the area...playgrounds, grocery stores, Chik-Fil-A...all the necessities.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


* I've lost much of my morning to searching for songs and making my summer playlist. Goooood music. I highly recommend it if you have an hour {or 3} to blow. Which I don't.

* The official first day of school picture below. Got 3 days in this week. Done. {Notice the new scoots...very important for homeschooling.}

*  Heretofore, this boy shall be known as...Snaggletooth.

* Sweet Man flies in tonight. We're already fighting over who gets to hug him first and longest.

*My renewed obsession:: thrifting and yard-saling! Just. can't. stop. The antidote? Living in a hotel for a month.

* So, the great sort/pack has begun...planning on being out in the world for the month of September. First stop, Des Moines, Iowa...but ready for a relocation and a longer trip.

* And in the meantime, God worked it out for our church's new youth pastor and his family to stay in our home while we are gone. Love Him!

{Speaking of that:: when I begin to look at my house with new eyes, knowing another family is going to get to know more about us than they would ever want to...I see shabbiness. our ancient vacuums and mower. All very much operable, if you follow a certain protocol: stand on your left foot, hold a flyswatter in your right hand, have 6 sunflower seeds and a Jack of spades in your pocket and wait for the full moon....then they may work. How do I communicate all this to a family I've never really met?}

* Bean has impeccable fashion sense. Really.. I'm not kiddin' or jokin' or lyin'.

* Never fear:: the troops are here...rapelling down an elegant, pearl rope, of course.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

No more whining

for now...the whinefest is over.

For now.

Thank You, LORD, for the gentle-shoulder-shake-get-a-grip message last night.

Do I pray the LORD's Prayer or do I merely recite it? When He gives me His kingdom, do I try to hand it back, saying...well, this kingdom is not what I meant...I meant my dreams, my plans, my kingdom. No, thank you. I launch into negotiation mode {like a certain boy, I know} and ask for more or different.

Am I willing to give up what I have...the material, the comfort, the relationships, the control, the time, the sin {all things I make too precious} receive what He wants me to have?

I have an incredible life. Thank You, for reminding me to look up instead of down to recover my astonishment at You. My small, but not insignificant, part is to be prepared and to help in the work of preparing for Your kingdom.  I recognize this concept is out-there...I'm still chewing on it. I need to study more about His kingdom.

AND....da~duh~da-da!!!! He {the other big man in my life} is coming home soon...Wednesday evening to be exact. Our family will have a long weekend together...during which we decide if we travel together back to Iowa? Nebraska? {not sure where he'll return, yet} OR if we will stay back here for now. {Post edit: Road trip! The four of us will be heading west on Sunday to stay ??? don't know how long...or exactly where we'll be, but we'll be together.}

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Allrighty, I'm losing steam with this single momma gig. {I really don't know how single parents do it...with jobs and little support.}

Bug was up half the night with a stomach he's back to normal, like it never happened at all. The only evidence left is a pallet on my bedroom floor and my wishing I had toothpicks for my eyelids.

{I don't say it out loud, because I don't want to jinx us, but we don't get very s*ck very often. We each get little sniffly, annoying colds, but nothing that stops us in our tracks. The last time he, ahem, upchucked,  he was one.  And immediately after he did last night, he said, "That's what they call barfing, right, Mom?" Bean never has barfed.}

It's Friday night and my state of mind is holding tight...I'm still pretty crazy about these kiddos.  And it's not even about needing a break, which would be fantastic, but if I really needed one, wouldn't I make arrangements? Yes.

I may have complicated things by watching two Nicholas Sparks movies this week {Dear John ~ meh  & The Last Song ~ really sweet} Boy, if that isn't the defibrilator for flat-lining emotions.

But enough already, I just wanna hug my husband and feel his scruffy face. With the kiddos piled on top of us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Too fast

I sat on the floor with piles of books around me. Today was get-it-together day for first grade homeschooling. Do we have everything? No, but we have enough. We have a plan to start Monday. 

{I never did tell you about my Classical Conversations practicum experience, did I? Well, in short, it rocked my world. I feel passionate about the philosophy and buoyed from the structure. It includes the attributes I appreciate about my own education and addresses the gaps that I see looking back. Ideally, we would work in our home 4 days a week and meet with a community one day a week. Problem is, we cannot fully commit to it without being in one place, so...we will continue to consider it for another time in our lives. Until then, I will keep to the principles without putting it all into practice.} 

I always cried the night before school starts...mourning the summer. Still do, during my teaching years and now. Have we done enough? jumped off the arcing swing? watched enough thunderstorms? survived scraped knees? eaten enough s'mores? picked enough fruit? rolled in the grass with friends? practiced our mermaid/man skills enough? ~ the answer to that question, my friends, is a resounding yes, we have swum enough. 

One of my summer regrets, other than yelling too much, is that we usually see at least 2 fireworks displays, but missed them all this year.

Life in general is moving too fast.  I don't want to miss a new freckle or a fight. 

Fleeting...the ease of fun in the summer. Once the autumn begins...the fun is plentiful, but takes a little more work and planning. And we probably won't be in this familiar environment.

Are they going to remember these days? fondly? Am I? Here's a great idea from a real blogger, Stephanie Precourt @ "Adventures in Babywearing":: These days are theirs as much as they are mine.

{I do want time to speed up just until the time we rejoin Sweet Man. Hurry, please. It's been 3 weeks and you know how I get.}

It has been a year since my life changed as I held my momma's hand and whispered see you soon.

The jury's still out on whether the exponentially increasing speed of life is a blessing or a curse.

Friday, August 13, 2010


My tender, persistent friend gave me a beautiful gift for my birthday. She has discovered what my husband has known for several years:: my love language is earrings. Specifically, semi-precious stone danglies with a bit of heft to them. {Did you write that down? Go ahead, I'll wait.}

The pretties would have been wonderful enough...but then I read the literature about Trade Justice Mission that she included with the gift.

My heart clenched. 

Please understand that I am not trying to do the blogger thing and jump on a humanitarian wagon to add gravitas to my words or to increase {ha!} my readership...I have no interest in that. But our God asks us to help ease suffering and I can I do anything to beat back the darkness?

I read the stories of two women and watched this video. The gracious, noble, beautiful work this organization is doing resonates with me.

Then I discovered that the headquarters are about 3 doors down from the house I lived in during my high school years.  

Oh, I will be back. As a customer and an advocate.

Birthday, buddies, and bad news

It was my birthday last week, yes indeed...I did my best to ignore it and it almost worked. Others, however, got wind of it and helped me celebrate.

I had a lovely, low-key actual birthday. Enough to not feel forgotten, but not enough to seem crass in light of missing important people. And I was the happy recipient of two {ahhh ~yeah} cakes and some thoughtful presents. {Thank you, sweet people.}

A couple of days later, we left for another camping adventure with daddys...just 2 mommas and 5 kiddos, a few of my favorite people...just crazy about them. We even borrowed a mohawk buddy.

What'd we do? We swam, read magazines, rode bikes, picked blackberries, saw our friend, Missy and the animals at the resort, danced, laughed, ate popcorn,  played tennis, ate coconut marshmallows {heavens, they're tasty.} And my longtime friend and I actually had interrupted, but eventually complete primary goal for the trip.

Real life invaded ~ There was an awful accident while we were there...we've had lots of praying for the boy. 

The next day there was a not so awful accident, involving a minivan and a wooden post...and that's all I'm gonna least until I fess up to Sweet Man. Oy vey.

Arriving home without any more incidents, we said farewell to our camp family and unpacked. And then, about 30 minutes before another sweet friend entrusted her kiddos with me for this very night, Sweet Man called to tell me that he will not be home on our anniversary, as planned, but that he will be flying Iowa for his next assignment. He wants me to join him in the next couple of days...but I'm whipped.  I plan to sleep well for the next 3 days. We each have a little cold. I can be neither witty nor clever...just the facts. And I want to finish my current book...then I'll come up with a plan.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August, really?

Maximizing the fun of every day becomes tiring...but we are doing it. And there are plenty of pictures...but on this borrowed laptop, I shan't load it down with all those MBs. 

{Post edit: Laptop's back...I've added pictures.}

I was thrilled {and a bit anxious} to be able to go on the Women's whitewater rafting trip last Friday. Twas all pretty perfect...wonderful ladies, compelling and encouraging discussion times...and tons of fun on the New River. We did the Lower Gorge run {listen to me, I sound like I know what I'm talking about} which included a couple of Class 2 rapids on up to 2 Class 5's. Sometimes, I think our guide may have been blowing smoke at us to make it seem more exciting...he had grown up on that river and told great stories, pointing out the ruins of the old mining towns and his still-tended family cemetery. But, man, could he put that boat right where he wanted us...impressive. He even shot us down an narrow chute backwards...on purpose!

The babes were in the Valley while I was adventuring {thank you again, Grandma and Grandpa J!} so I headed there Sunday evening and spent the night, with a plan to go peach-picking in the morning. We picked for a bit, had lunch and then  the kids and I headed home.

A sweet friend reminded me she was watching my babes that evening, so that I could go to a very steamy {no A/C} Zumba class. Got my sweat on!

Tuesday, we. did. nothing! Lovely...we went one came over. It rained; I drank coffee; we played Candyland; I didn't cook. I think I took 2 naps and read most of the day. I did clean out the scuzzy van.

Wednesday, we trekked on over to Coshocton Lake Park to visit Opa and Anne on their camping trip. Just for the see them and to enjoy the water park...which we did for about an hour before a HUGE storm rolled in. We were stalwart, sitting on our loungers, watching everyone scramble. I'll confess...I thought to myself, silly people, just relax and wait it out...we've been through this before. Well, we waited a little too long...and once the drops began to fall, we were hustling our buns back to the campsite, stopping first to get a we-can-come-back-and-swim,right? stamp. And then there was wind, and running, and walls of water...and the rending of tree limbs. We made it back to the camper and gathered up things that had gotten blown around and wet. Safe and sound and shivering, we sat in Opa's camper and thanked God. Bug said, I was so scared, I just prayed. Very exciting. 

After the storm was over, we went for a lovely walk with the dogs, to the river and around the campground. We must put that campground on our fun for kiddos...lots of bike paths and that over the top pool. Next summer maybe we'll go for a week. A good meal was prepared and eaten. Some talking, some chalk drawing, some playing with the dogs followed. And then there was a sleepy drive home...

I'll be sure to let you know about our fun weekend plans. Now, I'm off to cut the grass.

Sweet Daddy update: He is in Nebraska and will be there for another week. His Bloomington assignment is cancelled for now...not sure where he will be next, but we are excited to be able to see him back home if only for a day or so. And when we know where he will go, the kiddos and I will make our plan.