06-07-18 Kindergarten

Today was Big E’s end of year kindergarten picnic.

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It seems like only yesterday that we were sitting in kindergarten orientation in the gym of his school. He was cuddled up next to me, his eyes huge. I could tell he was nervous, but when the teachers called him to get into line he mustered his courage and lined up with his new classmates. This morning I sat on a blanket outside watching him run around with all those kids, laughing and joining in on their games. Big E is a really special boy with a kind heart. I’m so incredibly proud of him. I’m proud of how well he did in school this past year, and I am proud of the young man he is growing up to be.

Congratulations on your first year of school, Big E! We love you!!

06-06-18 A Perfect Day Off

Since I am losing my incredibly awesome insurance at the end of this month I’ve been cramming in doctors and dentist appointments as I can. This morning I had a follow up appointment for something and for some reason I had it stuck in my head that the appointment was around 11 am, so I took the whole day off. When I went to confirm it last night, it was actually set for 9am, but since I have a couple of personal days to burn I decided to just stay home today anyway.

After my appointment, I grabbed a book and a towel and headed to the beach. I couldn’t have chosen a better day to be off. The temperature was in the mid 70’s, very little humidity, and there were huge puffy clouds in the sky. It was gorgeous. I found a log down on the beach and set up camp. I divided my time between reading, looking for sharks teeth, and digging my toes into the sand as the water splashed my legs. I’m going to miss the water. I’m going to miss the waves lapping onto the beach. I’m going to miss it very much.

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The recent storms ate away at the cliffs at the beach, and large chunks of packed clay had fallen to the ground. A few of the trees look even more precarious as they balance on the edge. Another storm or two might bring them down.

When my time was up I packed up my stuff and went to pick up the kids. They had an early dismissal today and I was able to collect them from the bus. I had grabbed their swimsuits and we headed back to the beach where we spent the better part of four more hours. I ran into a friend there and we got the chance to sit and talk and catch up while our kids played. After they left we stayed awhile longer. We had plans to meet up with their daycare for an ice cream party at our favorite ice cream store, so when it came time for ice cream we headed to the van.

Hungry and exhausted, we gobbled up our ice cream and the kids laughed and giggled with their friends.

By the time we got home it was nearly time for bed. Big E is sporting an impressive sunburn and my cheeks look rather pink this evening. I think we will all sleep really, really well tonight!

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Such a beautiful day!

 

 

06-05-18 The Haven

“Mommy, do you know the man that plays the bad guy in Alvin and the Chipmunks?” C asked me as we were cuddling this evening.

What an oddly specific question.

I’ve never seen it, but I wracked my brain to figure out who was even in that movie. “No, I don’t know him,” I responded to C, figuring that our conversation would be over.

“But Daddy says you know him.”

“What? That can’t be right.”

“Daddy, did you say mommy knows the bad guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks?”

Tim turned from playing at the piano. “He’s the guy you went to Bible study with?”

“Tony Hale!! Wait, he’s the bad guy? Yeah I know him.”

C’s eyes got big. “You know him?!?”

“Well, yes, but I doubt he remembers me. If I saw him and mentioned where I know him from he’d probably say, ‘those were good times.'”

“Why would he say that,” she asked.

“Because they were.” I replied. She was content with that answer and snuggled back into cuddling.

One of the strange and wonderful things about my time in New York is that I met a lot of interesting people there. The first time I met Tony was at a Bible study for young artists called “The Haven.” There must have been close to 150 people there, so I doubt he would remember me, but he was at least partially in charge of the ministry. He had done a few commercials by that time, but hadn’t done anything large.

The Haven met weekly at an old church on 21st street (I think), right down the street from the Belvedere Hotel. It had ornate wooden doors that opened into a large sanctuary, that while it was formidable, it was in desperate need of upkeep. The idea behind the Haven was to have a coming together of young artists and artisans, to have a time of worship and Bible study.

I remember enjoying my time there and I looked forward to Bible Study every week. It was an amazing experience to be in a crowded old church in the heart of NYC worshipping and learning about God, surrounded by artists and drifters. We each had a story- the journey that brought us to New York and the reason we stayed as long as we could.

When the corporate worship was over, we would break up into small groups and disperse about the church to study the word. My group met in a dusty old balcony up some back stairs that looked over the aged sanctuary. I met great friends within those walls, but in a big city like NY, many friendships are transient as people ebb and flow through the streets. When I finally left NY, I left the Haven behind as well and I missed it.

A few years later I found the “Arrested Development” dvds at a nearby store. I had heard that Tony had landed a big time gig. I impulse bought the show, brought it home, and couldn’t stop laughing. It was a strange sensation seeing a familiar face on my tv, and he was hilarious. The show is funny, albeit crude at times. Tony went on to do other roles, and now my daughter knows him as the bad guy from Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Before tonight I hadn’t thought about the Haven in years. It’s funny how time does that. But the reminder this evening took me right back to “those good times.” What an enjoyable stroll down memory lane. 🙂

06-04-18 The Man on the Road

I was running late this morning because of a dentist appointment and expected to have a smooth commute, so I was annoyed when I hit a significant delay. I chalked it up to a fender bender or construction. I was about a hundred yards away when I noticed the vehicles ahead of me were pulling to either side of the highway. As we inched a long, I worked my way to the left side of the road and in a moment I realized it was an accident that was holding us up. I saw a large SUV that didn’t seem to have any damage, but there were a lot of people pulled off on the side of the road and many standing in front of the SUV. As I pulled past the SUV I understood the full extent of what had happened. There was a man laying on the ground in front of the SUV. A motorcycle was on its side not 15 feet away. The man still had his helmet on and he was laying face up on the ground, arms and legs spread out. There were no emergency vehicles around, so it had just happened. I couldn’t tell how bad off he was, or if he was even still alive and I can’t recall if there were people trying to talk to him, or if they were just standing around him. And just like that, traffic picked up speed and I had to move along.

But it sat hard with me. I checked online this evening and didn’t see any mention of the incident so I pray the man was fine and the accident happened at a slow speed. I thought of him often throughout the day, thinking how in the span of just seconds his life changed.

It’s moments like that that remind you that life is only lived once and it is fleeting.

I’ve spent a large part of the past few weeks feeling anxious or worried. I have four more weeks of work and I find myself freaking out about our future. Are we doing the right thing? Have we made a huge mistake? At the same time, during those past few weeks, I have also been constantly reminded of God’s promises to never forsake us, that He did not give us a spirit of timidity, and that trusting Him often means letting go of what is comfortable and safe.

And I’m doing that by capturing those anxious thoughts and saying ‘thank you’ instead. We are being given an incredible opportunity to challenge the status quo, to take a risk and step out in faith that God will follow through on a plan He set in motion, and we are being pushed far past our comfort zone. After all, God values our holiness far greater than our comfort.

So tonight, please join me in praying for the man on the road- that he is safe and uninjured, and that God would use that experience for His glory. And then take a look at your own life- are you scared, worried, frustrated, or angry.?Are you overwhelmed  by your circumstances? Take a moment to pause, look around you. See your home. Look at your family. Remember your God. And say, “Thank you.”

06-03-18 Rainy Day

There isn’t much to say about the cold and rainy day we had today. Baby E and I attended church with my mom and sister this morning and we came back to the new house. I snuck in a nap, a game of monopoly, an a trip to the grocery store before we headed home.

We did make progress on our homeschooling curriculum and ideas and we are starting to narrow down the approach that we want to take. Even though Tim and I were both homeschooled (back in the day) there have been so many changes and advancements in materials that it can be challenging to sift through it all.

The kids have two more weeks of school and I have four more weeks of work. This is getting real, folks!! I’m so excited!!

06-02-18 Model Cars

The kids attended their second Home Depot activity this morning. They had so much fun at the last one that I had signed them up immediately for today. This morning’s activity was making and decorating model cars. When they got home this afternoon they couldn’t wait to show me their newest creations. 🙂

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While they were out, Baby E and I got to spend some extra time together.

 

06-01-18 The Front Porch

We were sitting on the front porch as the storm came through this evening. We saw the distant flashes as they peeked around the house. The wind started to pick up and the sky grew darker and darker. After a spell, the rain started to drip and finally it came down in droves, drenching the edges of the porch and sending us inside.

When we were little we lived in an old farm house that had a stereotypical front porch. We would spend our summer evenings sitting on the porch watching the cars pass and the storms come through. We were always ready to jump inside if there was a clap of thunder that seemed just a little too close.

What I remember most about those evenings, besides the storms, was the peaceful calm of sitting on the porch with the entire family. There would be moments of silence as we watched the fireflies dance in the yard in front of us. We’d watch the bugs swarm around the nearby streetlight. We’d listen to the crickets as they chirped in the nearby fields.

I’m thirty years removed from those summer evening, but nothing makes me happier than spending the evening sitting on the front porch with the people I hold dearest in the world.

05-31-18 Field Day

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You can’t really tell from this picture, but Big E was pretty upset when I picked them up this evening. Nothing was going well for him, and honestly he was pretty cranky. The thing is, Big E was very, very tired! Today was Field Day.

The kids have been talking about field day for weeks. Last night C kept mentioning how excited she was and she compared it to Christmas or Thanksgiving. It was much easier to get them out of bed this morning when I reminded them what day it was. We made sure they were prepped with sunblock, comfortable tennis shoes, and a bottle of water. The kids had no idea that Tim took off work today for the express purpose of going to Field Day to see them.

In previous years, field day was just a few hours long, but this year they decided to do it for the entire day- from 8:40am until 2:30pm with an hour break in the middle for lunch. That’s a long time for young kids to be on the run, but they had so much fun. Tim took a bunch of pictures and videos.

We all met up at the ice cream shop for an ice cream dinner this evening and I got to hear about all the different activities and challenges that the kids got to do. They were dirty and had been sweating all day, and they were very exhausted. We got home, worked on homework, took baths, and they headed to bed.

I remember always enjoying field day as a child. It’s great to see that schools have carried on that tradition. The kids are already trying to work on a plan to have a homeschool field day next year. 🙂

 

05-30-18 Park Fun

When I picked the kids up and told them we were meeting up with some cousins at the park, they couldn’t be happier. With our move only about five weeks away, I’m trying to squeeze in as much cousin time as possible. They ate pizza and then ran themselves rugged for a couple of hours. It was a perfect evening!