Time flies when you’re having fun. We must be having a lot of fun!
I think we really are, but we’re so busy it’s hard to be certain. School, church, sports (basketball for Josiah and gymnastics for Eila, plus exercising for me too), and home make up the routine of our days. We are trying to keep Sundays as our family day and play games, take a walk, or watch a movie together. Brian has been traveling for work about once a month, so that adds a little variety to the schedule. Eila’s gymnastics competitive season is in full swing and we are traveling at least a few weekends each month with her. In January, we went to Toledo and then on to Columbus to visit my family. It was so much fun for all of us – playing games with our cousins, shooting pumpkins, eating well, and just catching up with each other. At the beginning of February we enjoyed a long weekend in Chicago where Brian and I celebrated all of our special occasions for the year with a most delicious and fabulous meal at Moto. We also loved exploring the Museum of Science and Industry as well as doing a little shopping. One of the highlights of that trip was the stop we made on the way home to visit some dear friends. This weekend, Eila and I will take a girls’ trip to Holland; we’ll probably try to squeeze in a little shopping during our time away.
I’ve been trying this new thing for the past few weeks. It’s crazy and really unbelievable that I would attempt this sort of thing. I am a woman who values sleep and does not care very much for the morning. I was also a little girl, teenager, young lady, etc. who had strong opinions regarding the high priority of resting until the last possible moment. For some reason, my children (well, my sons) do not share this love for lazy mornings in bed. Over the past several years, I have been awakened quite regularly at a very early hour by a small boy (or two). Just this past month, I decided to stop fighting this awakening and actually get up and enjoy some morning reflection and prayer time. So, I’m getting up when it still dark as night, because it really is still night, as far as I’m concerned, and enjoying a little quiet time reading the Bible, praying, journaling, and occasionally reminding my boys that it’s still night time, which means quiet time. And honestly, it is going great.
You won’t be surprised to hear that change can be good or bad. Well, I was ready and even excited for a change in my life. The shock of my new hair was really, well, shocking. My children were not fans of my new boy haircut and I wasn’t really sure how I liked seeing so much of my face – with the signs of aging that have somehow appeared just recently, because they weren’t there the last time I looked. That small change took some getting used to and now my kids actually like my hair and recognize me when I come to pick them up.
I usually love the new year and the promise of a fresh start. I feel the same about each new day. I often encourage myself by reminding my kids as I tuck them into bed that we get to start over fresh tomorrow. This new year has brought a few changes that are taking some getting used to, just like my hair. One of those changes, is actually not a change at all, but a return to our normal schedule. Unfortunately, some of us enjoyed our vacation a little too much… Another change is just temporary, but requires adjustments to be made, as Brian is traveling abroad and we all miss the head of the family.
While change has come, I know that more change will come. I am content with how things are and don’t really want any more change, but life is full of surprises – good or bad.
I sometimes get bored with the way things are and feel the need to spice it up a bit. I was feeling that way about our living room. My amazing husband, of course, agreed that it was in need of some updating, as did everyone else who saw it. So, we changed it and after a lot of money and energy spent, it looks great in my opinion. We haven’t really taken any pics that capture it well and our camera is sort of protesting taking pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Well, I am also feeling a bit bored with my personal appearance. So, I am now occasionally wearing make-up when the aforementioned husband is around. Also, I am going to cut my hair, which has been growing for the past few years. Every couple of years, I get it all chopped off and then when I get bored with short hair or tired of keeping up with the haircuts, I grow it out until the process repeats itself again. I’ll donate the long hair and hopefully enjoy the new look. I may even get some highlights. Changes are coming, exciting changes… for me anyway.
I imagined that when I had more than one child in school, things would slow down. I would be able to get so much done around the house and provide great meals for our family. I figured that with only one kid, we would be able to have fun and get our work done and also have time for naps or relaxing each day. I don’t know what I was thinking!
As I write this, I’ve just realized that I only have 5 hours of time between the dropping off and picking up times instead of the 8 that I imagined I had. This might explain some of why I’m not as productive and fun as I thought I’d be. In reality, after playing with Josiah until he has to leave for school, Thad and I usually get the grocery shopping done, have one fun outing (like the zoo or park), help out a school (go to a playdate for TJ) and make a few meals each week. Each afternoon, he naps while I work on Bible study or ESL lesson plans or connect with people or maybe do a bit of a house project. Then I wake him up to go get Eila and we go, go, go until bedtime. Each evening is different, but they are all the same too: eating, playing, working, talking, laughing, crying, cleaning, reading, sleeping.
Fall is here and I don’t want to miss it, but it is tricky taking time to enjoy and experience life as we live it. If you have any tips, please share!
The last weekend in June, we made lots of family memories as we went tent camping at Metamora-Hadley State Park and enjoyed the beach, campfires, nature walks, and uncomfortable sleeping. Our beach fun included swimming, building sand castles, canals, dams, etc. Eila and I also had a little handstand contest on the beach. As always, I like to win and gave a good effort despite the fact that Eila spends more time at gymnastics than I do cooking. After just a few rounds, I somehow, suddenly got going downhill too fast on my hands and fell face first into the sand. This wouldn’t be a big deal, except that I scraped off a decent bit of surface skin on my forehead, on my nose and above my lip as well as bruised my chin. Because the sand is such a great exfoliator, I needed several large bandages to stop the bleeding and am left with some gross scabs as my body works its new skin growing magic.
I started this list in early June, but am just now getting around to making it legible…
Here are some things we’ve already checked off the list:
Watch Race Cars
Play at Beach
Swim with Friends
Attend Car Show
Visit Rouge Factory Tour
Go to Carnival
Remaining Fun To Be Had:
Go to MLB game
Attend Foster Care Info Meeting
Have a BBQ
Organize Storage Room
Host a Game Night
Visit Hands-On Museum
Hike at State Park
Visit Farm (for milk, produce &/or animals)
Work on House Projects
Visit Titanic Exhibit
Visit Art Museum
Print Photo Books for Kids
Tour Botanical Gardens
Vacation without Kids!
That’s what we’ve been doing for a very long while and apparently recently it takes up all my time and energy. That, along with all the other stuff related to living life to the fullest! (Hence, the lack of activity here.)
As previously mentioned, over the past year Eila, my beloved 7 year-old daughter, has been complaining almost daily of stomach aches that she describes as constant, extremely painful and unbearable (with a very whiny voice). We took her to the doctor who said she has no obvious problem that he could fix, but it could be anxiety or she could out grow it or he could run lots of test or refer us to some specialists to try to figure it out more. So, on his recommendation, we tried to eliminate gluten, which didn’t really help and then dairy, which also didn’t make any difference. We prayed and waited and then did a few more tests with some specialists and eventually decided to change her diet to exclude wheat and corn. Now, we have been very proactive in trying to treat the cause of her complaints rather than just alleviating the symptoms and the main tool that we rely on is prayer. I believe fully that God made Eila and He is able to heal her. I also know that His ways are not my ways, which is why we have prayed for wisdom and guidance in addition to requests for complete health for her. We have also asked others to pray for her and we have seen great improvement in her health. There have been a few complaints, but 1-2/month compared to 5-6/day is great. The fact that she is not 100% better leads the doctors to believe that there are likely other issues too and so we are still pursuing complete health and healing for Eila, who would really like to eat in a restaurant again or have a piece of candy one day.
NB:If you think you eat a lot of wheat, check again and see how much corn you ingest… It is everywhere! And we haven’t bought things with HFCS for years, but we do like to eat out.
It has been declared that today is Passive Voice Day. These simple joys aren’t being missed. Indeed, fun is being had by all (linguists and other grammar nerds).
After my little guy hit his head on the corner of the coffee table and got a few stitches on his forehead, we resumed our normal routine of life including some gymnastics. I never imagined that it would happen that he could get hurt at gymnastics. We spend A LOT of time at the gym and with all the mats and pads around, we’ve only ever had minor injuries and even those have been very rare. Of course, just a few minutes after arriving at the gym, the kids were playing two of them bumped heads. Thaddeus was one of them and the loud scream and blood were good signs that this was not a simple little bonk on the head. He hit his head exactly on his stitches and bust them all out. I just kept saying “What are the chances?”
Well, after we got the big kids to Grandma’s house, Thad and I returned to urgent care, where this time there was a decent wait and he did great except for a few fretful outbursts of “NO! No more stitches. No stitches!” When we saw the doctor, she was kind and patient and said several times that odds are this will happen again and that we’ll be back in there getting stitches again in a few days… So, his head is not just glued with some steri-strips over top and we have made it a whole 24 hours without a return to urgent care!