Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What we have been up to.

I had trouble with my camera so it turned out a little red and wasn't exactly the shot I wanted. We had a wonderful family over for dinner one night. My husband has made a window box seat for us. The children are all sitting on it. My oldest boy was reading a story to all the little ones. Our friends' son was going to sleep on his shoulder. It was really precious. Unfortunately, I got the camera and had some technical difficulty so I didn't get THAT particularly sweet shot, but I tried.

Last week we finished up school with the boys going for annual testing. We will still be reading and doing devotions, but those I consider necessities in life. The boys had to be up and out of the house at 7:00 each morning for three mornings. A lady from church carpooled them out there. What a blessing! The boys both did extremely well on their testing. I don't mean that they both scored way above average or anything. The scores don't mean as much to me as their attitude. They got ready to go in the mornings. They both did their best on the tests. The one that had gone to testing before is getting a better hang on taking tests. They were both well-behaved. We were very proud of both of them. We rewarded them with that highly educational game: BATTLESHIP!

Last week, while the boys were at testing, I started cleaning stuff out so we can have a garage sale. Where did we get so much stuff? Now my laundry room is cleaned out, under the stairs is cleaned out, the children's rooms are cleaned out, my closet is cleaned out...
Now where is all the stuff that is waiting to be sorted? You guessed it-my room. Oh well. It will get done. If we ever get some warmer weather. Yesterday I actually asked my husband to build a fire. It felt really good too. (I am tired of rain and am ready for some nicer weather:)

Saturday we cleaned and sorted as well. We are getting stuff done for doing a five week thing with Love and Respect this summer. Sunday we had church and the Second Sunday Soup and Social. Then family came over to visit. The menfolk sat around a fire and enjoyed a message by John Piper. We womenfolk walked down to Oma's for a visit.

Monday the Ole Daddy Rabbit had a chiropractor appointment out town. Oma watched some kiddos. We also took the opportunity to do our once a month grocery shopping. Prices are creeping up, but I was really struck how much so at the bread store. I am rethinking how I might actually make our bread now. I have this summer to try to get that into our routine.

Tuesday we went to a Kick off for Summer BBQ sponsored by a Don't Drink and Drive program. There were lots of sherriffs there. My boys think they are soooooo cool. One of the sherriffs is a great man that attends our church. He is quite the hero as far as the boys are concerned. Hey, free food and some fun activities and home at a decent hour...not too bad. I asked the children what they liked best: 2 of them liked the seatbelt crashing (the sherriff department has a "ride" that demonstrates why it is good to wear a seatbelt), 3 liked the Jolly Jump, and 1 liked the sherriffs. Tiny Tim didn't really have an opinion. Oma seemed very impressed with the Great Horned Owl. A sherriff had it on a gloved arm. It was tame enough that even our Firecracker got to stroke it. I liked the free food and I didn't have to clean up afterwards. I think the jury is still out on the Ole Daddy Rabbit.

I used to be more of a perfectionist. Everything had to be just so. I could get away with it when I only had two children and they were young enough not to do school. These days with 7 children and homeschool responsibilities I have been forced to evaluate the priorities. I do believe we all need structure and discipline. If we don't have that the house/family will blow apart. All of our children have chores that they are responsible for. The older ones each have a younger buddy that they help out (help them brush their teeth, find jackets and shoes, get in their carseats etc.). That said...

I want my children to look back at their childhood and have good memories. Now memories can't be purchased. They have to be made. They are not made by sitting in front of the boob tube or without any effort from the parents. I wish those were true. I am finding that most things in life are simple, but not easy.

Some things we have planned for this summer:
-The boys are going to Bible Smugglers.
-A wonderful friend has a birthday coming up and I would like to do something with her.
-A special boy's birthday. He wants to camp out (if it isn't raining we will let him sleep in the tent outside with the Ole Daddy Rabbit and some friends). We have s'mores makings already.
-We are going to our friends' house for Fourth of July weekend. We expect to have a blast. Quite literally since PapaPyro is doing the fireworks.
-We are going to the NW Trek with a generous lady from church.
-We are going to try to make it to the Blueback submarine at the Oregon Museum in Portland.
- I hope the Ole Daddy Rabbit is planning something fun for our anniversary:)(Edit: The Ole Daddy Rabbit has gone above and beyond my expectations. He has booked a hotel at a beach in Newport with a jacuzzi in the room! I am breathless with anticipation!)
-The boys have an invitation to go camping. We have lots of invitations to go visiting folk that we HAVE to take advantage of.

Good hard work coupled with friend, family and fun. That builds community contrary to what the school bond propaganda signs said. I am hoping to have a great summer that is full of memories. What are you planning on doing this summer?


Karen said...

I love your hint to Ole Daddy Rabbit for your anniversary! I hope he reads your blog!!

Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks!! WAHOO!

Michele said...

Wow, what a busy week! :)
It was wonderful to spend time with your family. I love spending time trekking around with the 3 oldest, and munching popcorn with the little ones. Sorry we didn't have much time to visit, though. Maybe on my next trip! :) The popcorn was delicious! I'll have to copy your idea of putting it in a roaster pan- great idea!
Michele :)

Heath Clan said...

I am going to add an edit. The ODR did even better!

We were glad to have you. We understand how "under the gun" you can feel when you visit an area with lots of friends and family.
Yes, it was busy. We seem to do Feast or Famine:) We are Feasting right now.