Friday, June 29, 2012

All Boy Field Trip!!

Yesterday I braved the heat with my four boys and one visiting cousin, and we went to an historical venue for the day.  It was over 100 degrees with high humidity, but every time I felt like complaining about the heat I would think about Civil War soldiers fighting in the summer time in long-sleeved WOOL uniforms, and that stopped me every time!

We took a small cooler of food, and a large cooler of drinks.  We started the day with three large drinks each, covered with ice, and a few extra for the drive home.  It saved us a ton of money not buying drinks in the park.  And can I just say.... this is why I hang on to the stroller!

Inside an 1880's farm house.

Oh, and look, what is my beautifully manicured, weed free garden doing in the middle of this historical venue?!?

All the chickens were sitting in the shade, not moving much.  I couldn't blame them!

I took this picture so I'd remember to ask my dad what this is?  It had a total of four rotors, and hooked up to be pulled behind a wagon.  The boys asked me what it was and I didn't know. 

We spent a lot of time in the pottery shop.  It was fascinating, almost mesmerizing, to watch the potters at work!  (not to mention the powerful fan in the shop that cooled us off!)  The scripture reference in Isaiah 64:8 came to mind as I watched the potter perfect several small salt bowls.  Thinking of God as the potter, am I stubborn clay, that won't seat well on the wheel?  Or am I moldable clay, that easily allows the Potter to give it shape, form, and purpose? 

Feeding the ducks some of our lunch.

We rode this beautiful old carousel numerous times.  Something about riding up and down on a colorful fake animal with organ music playing is just SO.  MUCH.  FUN. :-)  

Riding in a Model T!  This was our cousin's first time, and he thought it was pretty cool.

The driver gave our son G his first driving lesson. ;-)

On the green they had a variety of 1800's games/activities set out to play with, and we all tried walking on these stilts.  Harder than it looks!

(just to prove that I was there too!)

We also rode on a steam engine train.  The breeze as we rode along was wonderfully refreshing!

Son L, age 12.

Son G, age 13.

Little Man, age 7.

Our nephew G, age 12.

Son C, age 10.

Great fun!

I so love boys!

Our Girl is Back!!!!

Daughter G is home from her youth group retreat (the sweet girl in green was her room-mate for the week).  She learned so much, had a fabulous time and looks so much older!  So thankful she could go!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Using my summer wisely

We have been out of school for nearly three full weeks, but in many ways I feel like my own summer break has barely (or not quite) started.  The end of June is just a few days away and I have not accomplished a single one of my summer goals.  I feel pulled in several directions at once, somewhat discombobulated and not sure where to start.  In pondering what to do first, I realized I needed to get back to the basics of what I know, and prioritize the most important things, literally list them out in order of importance.  Here is my personal list of what's most important to me this summer:

1.  Have a daily quiet time with God.

2.  Nurture my marriage ~ have some kind of date time with my husband once a week, and pray for my husband every day.

3.  Read books outloud to my kids every day.

4.  Interact with my children on a regular basis ~ bike rides, gardening, Wii games, board games, etc.  Make memories of doing things together this summer, and have fun with them!

5.  Have a one on one date with each of my children (one down, four to go).

6.  Run.

7.  Do a little each week to get ready for this coming school year, starting with a new chore chart which I will make this week.

8.  Paint my kitchen.

9.  Paint the bedroom that sons L and C share.

10.  Play more praise music.

11.  Don't let my front flowers die because I am so busy doing #1 - 10!  (I am a fairly decent gardener, but I frequently forget to water the hanging baskets!)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Week in Pictures

We got to attend the God-honoring wedding of this lovely couple!  Many moons ago I was the bride's sixth grade teacher.  Yes, I know, I began teaching very young. 

Our fourth born turned double digits!!  (this cake was not an accident, but the one he requested! haha)

Our daughter G was hired to watch a little two year old friend for three days, two nights, at our house.  The two year old slept on a crib mattress on the floor of our daughter's bedroom, and daughter G was responsible for all her needs during those days.  I helped only a little.  It was a great learning experience for our daughter!!  (and yes, homeschooling friends, I *am* counting it toward a credit in "life skills" or some such!)

The two year old got lots of attention from our boys. :-)

And because this week was not full enough already, it was also Vacation Bible School week at our church!  Our two oldest children were small group leaders, I was the 1st and 2nd grade story teller, and our other three children attended as "campers".   LOVE VBS week, happy to see it come, and happy to see it go.  We took the two year old with us to VBS, and she did super great in the nursery.

Last soccer game of the spring season!  I'm always both happy and sad when another soccer season is over.  Here is son C just after throwing the ball back in, and our daughter G being an assistant referee.

Our dog ~ the team mascot!

Yesterday was son L's last game in this league, as he has now aged out and can no longer play with this particular team.  He had a GREAT last game, playing strong and contributing so much to his team!  We are really proud of him.

Little Man, receiving his end of season award from his coach!

Throughout this season, our Little Man acquired a not-so-secret admirer.   There were a few times I had to stop some of the "admiring."

Daughter G left today for a week long retreat with the youth group from our church.  This is a first, and I am so excited for her!  She's the one second from left.

Praying before the send-off.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy 10th Birthday Son C!!

Can't believe our sweet son C is now TEN!  What a joy and a sweetness he has added to our lives these past ten years.  Like his older brother L, he chose a pancake bar for breakfast.

Isn't this a classic "boy with friend" picture?  Sucking on candy, focused on the game.... too funny.  They *did* play outside for a long time before starting this activity, and it was a really hot day so I encouraged some inside time!

Zap zone (laser tag) gift card from his friend!

The obligatory new clothes from mom and dad.

His very own trowel and gardening book from his WA grandparents!

No explanation required. ;-)

Daughter G chose this day to give a joint birthday gift to all her brothers ~ a Lego Star Wars Wii game.

Double digits in our family means dinner out to a restaurant of the birthday person's choice ~ son C chose Bob Evans!

Then we went putt putt golfing as a family.  Super hot, but really fun.

 Son C with his buddy N.

So thankful for fun family times.  So thankful for son C!

(if you are a regular blog reader you will notice the absence of a picture laden "trip down memory lane" post about son C from birth to now.... this would be because his baby book was never finished and I have to search through boxes of old photos to find his baby pictures.... the bane of fourth born children!)