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

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Summer, Pt. 2

I love summer! We made another summer list this year...and I all but forgot about the 4 foot list staring at me from our blackboard until August. It was time for some efficiency ~ we became really good at swinging three or four list items into an afternoon ie: play tennis, attend a local outdoor concert {perspiration and all} and then indulge in a treat of the best ice cream evah at Whit's. We're down to our last 2 summer activities to cross off {a drive-in movie and finish the last of 3 read-aloud books}...we have until Sept. 21st, right?

July is a blur: a flurry of swim meets and CC meetings. We sprinkled in a fair amount of trips to the pool and a little live music in there, too. Oh, and the Olympics...we soaked the Games up!


I'm still loving CC and what it has done for our family. Structure and accountability, friends, the "going-to-school" experience. Invaluable. And so, this spring Sweet Man and I felt called into helping the organization grow so that more families in our area have this option for homeschooling.

One of my responsibilities in my new position with Classical Conversations is to run a three day meeting for parents. During my interview process, I asked my boss if I could take a pass on the task. Impressive, no?  I thought for sure that would be a deal breaker for her, but no...I was offered the position. 

Really, you know me ~ running the show is not a skill of mine. I'm a worker bee, not a queen bee. Give me a specific task and I'll do it...I may even it do it well and come in on time. But I can't think of anything much more daunting than coming up with a plan for a big event. So, I couldn't imagine coordinating 4 camps for kids, 3 full days of meetings for a large group of adults, 2 levels of training for CC tutors, recess, snacks, speakers, helpers, etc. Overwhelming...

Thank goodness CC does not expect me to reinvent the wheel and there are great plans already developed. My largest task was filling in the blanks of the different positions. CC families and leaders largely have hearts that serve. So many people stepped up and volunteered to help. I think it went as well as could be expected...a little over-budget and I already have a long list of things I will do differently next time. The meeting was only 3 days long but it kept me busy for the last 2 weeks of July.

In my preparation for the meeting, I read a wonderful summation  in Climbing Parnassus of what Classical Conversations does for our family.

"The way to acquire a good taste in anything, from pictures to architecture, from literature to character, from wine to cigars, is always the same - be familiar with the best specimens of each." We must educate the head and the heart alike: "The sight of goodness in life or in literature or history gives a standard and a challenge. If anyone has been able to compare the first-rate with the second-rate, his criticism will not be merely bitter and barren, but creative, born of a vision perceiving the good, dominated by it and desiring to bring it to birth." p. 44

{paraphrase} To our families, we should introduce examples of God's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness so that in life we are capable of recognizing God's Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

To celebrate that work surge {and my impending 40th birthday} we took off the next day for a 5 day camping trip. It was lovely...perfect weather, great company, and extra friends for a little party. I loved our campsite and our neighboring campsites, occupied by friends. There was wading creek that kept the kids entertained for hours and although our site had a steep path down to it, the next door sites had an easier slope with another piece of level ground. That's where I wanted to be all weekend...on the "patio," in my lounger, drink in hand, with friends to chat, watching the kids splash around. And that's just what I did for a number of hours that weekend.

The only thing missing was music. We brought a little radio but I forgot the media cord to connect our Pandora-loaded phones. Just like our wedding...all was perfect, save the music.  Wah~wah....

And that brought us to 3 weeks of quiet in August where we caught up with friends, sleepovers, books, bike rides, campfires and plenty of screen time...lots of screen time. 

But we're back on track and schedule as of is back in session! My first and third grader {and their teacher} had a fantastic first day!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer, Pt. I

Good glory, it's September first. Time to write about our summer! Past time!

As with other summers, we kicked it off with a camping trip with old and new friends. Lots of swimming, lots of fishing. Bug caught a big ole bass...too bad momma don't know what to do with a dead big ole bass. He was kept on ice until someone could filet and fry him. Anyway, it was a perfect weekend to begin our summer.

The whole summer included lots of swimming, of course. Not so much here at the house, but we enjoyed our membership to the big water park more this year. I had to decide that it was okay if we just zipped over and played for an hour or two. Not making it a big all-day, pack everything production made all the difference. More fun. It helped that this summer there was no rain. Last year we'd make plans with friends, arrive, and then the heavens would open and the pool would close. Three times at least...bummer.

And of course, we traveled to Creation again. Oh, I was working hard in my lobby to go to a different festival. There were many reasons: new management, it's a boatload of work to get there, not to mention survive there, one of my favorite bands was at a festival closer to home, and most importantly, our sweet friend Gail had decided she was not going to make the trip. She's been going since the mid-80's, way before my first trip in 1998. How could I even be there without her? Sacrilege...and when I forget trash bags or teabags or something, she always has what we need. 

Sweet Man wanted to give it another year and so I agreed, reluctantly. Funny, isn't it? God blessed my time there, even though I missed Gail terribly. Somehow I was able to slip away frequently...hiking on my own or with my peeps. We revisited our engagement stump as a family. I was also able to get to the worship tent a couple of times: seeing All Sons and Daughters was a highlight.

We returned home to no many around us were without from a huge wind storm that blew through. Five days! The Fourth of July parade was brutal...and we tried to escape the increasing heat by going to the movies, opting to see Brave. Too bad I slept through most of it, but I hear it was good. No sleep for sweltering Central Ohio(!) as my core temp cooled down, my eyes closed. But as we drove home, we started to notice that porch lights were on...power restored!!! 

Swim team was much fun again. Lots of early mornings. I spent much of my time at the meets on the edge of the pool watching touches and flipturns. Wearing white...awesome...I asked for the job that required me to wear the most unflattering clothing imaginable. Ah vell. I still don't feel too connected to any of the other moms...which is okay, 'cause it's not about me. I go to practice and read or knit...which now that I think of it is quite lovely. At home, I'm fairly constantly trying to find a minute to sit and read or knit.

Bug and Bean really blossomed in their swimming. Bug couldn't care less about winning...but his strokes are becoming more developed...rotation breathing and timing. Bean just tears the water up....little water spout. She wants to practice dives and butterfly and starts and she wears me out.

Which brings me to a current sitch which began sometime this spring/summer. The girl does not want to leave my side. Since April she has been complaining of tummy aches. Thinking it may be a diet issue, we eliminated gluten for 10 days and then dairy for 3 weeks. The tummy aches continued I think we're dealing with a purely-in-her-head thing. If she even thinks I may be away from her, her anxiety kicks in and she complains of feeling sick. I went through something much like it when I was 8, not wanting to be away overnight and I would make myself sick with worry.  

But, ugh...she's wearing me out. And it's coming down to her needs dictating the activities of our home. Homey don't play that.

Okay, gonna stop here...stay tuned for Part II.