Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Terrible blogger in the month of July, am I. I've been tipping back and forth between guilt and frustration over it, (no time alone to think complete thoughts, having to share my computer, no routine, yada, yada, yada) until the other day I finally figured something out. These summers with Scott home and me home--they are a gift. This year, he doesn't have to work in the summer. This year, I'm not working. This summer, our whole family is unscheduled, not obligated to be anywhere. We're able to take trips places, or stay home and get bored, or be run all over kingdom come to play with so-and-so and do such-and-such. We get to go places and see people.

This summer we have these things. Will we next summer? Maybe. Maybe not. So I need to embrace the summer I'm in, and be grateful for it.

The thing is, this is the way summers have been since Lars was born. So I just slide right into taking it for granted, even complaining about it. And maybe it takes me two thirds of the summer to figure this gratitude thing out every year. Can you say S.L.O.W. L.E.A.R.N.E.R....? I don't deserve these summers. And yet, God has graciously given them to me year after year, and patiently waited for me to realize the blessing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guess It's Not Too Surprising...

But we were surprised this afternoon to discover that Luke has the chicken pox! I had/am just getting over shingles, and I guess I've passed chicken pox on to my boy, who was vaccinated as an infant, but that doesn't mean much, apparently.

Poor guy. He's not good at laying low and missing out on activity. He has lots of bumps, but they aren't too itchy just yet. He had a headache, sore throat, slight fever, stiff neck....Tylenol made him a happier boy. I thought I was being pretty careful, but I guess not. :(

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An Activity!

I belong to an on-line writers group, which is for published authors who actually write for a living (or hope to). It's kind of silly for me to be a member of this group, as the only writing I do these days is on this blog, which is sporadic over the summer here, at best. I stay in the group, though, because I'm learning from it, and maybe I will grow up one day and be a real writer.

One of the questions posted this week was an interesting one, suggesting that you think of your 5 favorite movies...just whatever comes to your mind; don't spend too much time thinking about it. After you've got your list, then think about if there are any connections between the themes of the movies and your current writing project.

Well, so how about modifying it a bit? What are the themes of your favorite movies, and is there an over-riding theme that speaks into your life, goals, plans?

My 5 Favorite Movies:
Room with a View (Merchant Ivory production, not Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window)
Love Actually
The Long Riders
Pillow Talk
She's Having a Baby

A recurring theme? Sheesh. I don't know. Maybe that the characters are all unable to ignore the extraordinariness of the gifts of life and love. Their stories begin with just bee-bopping through life and then the wonderfulness of it smacks them in the face. They can't be unchanged by their realization. Though, I'm not sure that works with the Long Riders. That's just a beautifully filmed Western....
How it speaks into my life? Hmmm. I would like to not ever forget the wonder of the gifts of life and love. So easy to forget in my own daily bee-bopping.

Give it a try yourself!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There's Always Another Way to Look at Things

This is Thora, one of our cats. She is watching the world outside, safe and sound on her couch, peering out from behind the curtains. I took this picture because it struck me funny, her little backside the only thing showing to us in the house, not really her finest feature. And how, if you were walking down the street, you would see something like this....

and possibly think this is a cute sight; she might even bring a smile to your face. (it all depends on how you feel about cats) Just a reminder that our perspective is everything.

We're studying James in our small group, and this made me think of when James says to consider it all joy when we encounter trials. (Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.) I think he's advising us to look at our situation from a different perspective. Be aware that there's a bigger picture, or another view. Maybe one that could even bring a smile to your face.

Monday, July 14, 2008

window into our little world....

Sitting before a bowl with three, possibly four bites of mac & cheese, Lily asks, "Mom, can I be done? How many more bites do I need to eat?" Luke asks, "Can I get down now?" and Lars asks nothing, just gets up and starts walking into the kitchen, all confident like of course he ate it all. Ha! Not!!

It's an age-old parent-kids game played at the table, isn't it? So, my version of the guilt trip about starving children in Africa goes something like this, "Umm, well, let me see now, are you asking me how much of this meal--that I worked to prepare--I would like thrown into the garbage? Like, when I was serving it up, I forgot to give the garbage can its share? So that you can come back to me in 20 minutes--right after I've finished cleaning up all the meal mess, and ask for a snack?! Yeah, I'd like you to eat it all. However many bites that is."

Mean, MEAN mom.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summertime Blues

Why did I so look forward to summer? I don't know if it's just the ages our kids are this summer or what the deal is, but I feel like I can hardly keep up. There isn't as much clock-watching, or driving to this thing or that thing, but I feel like I'm busier than ever. People are in and out of this place like crazy, wearing 2 or 3 outfits a day, it seems, going through food, drinks, and towels (!) like there's no tomorrow.

I still have the same responsibilities as always; my workload just increased. Food and laundry in particular.....
I swear I'm not complaining or ranting, though I could easily...I really am trying to guard against that. It's just surprised me this summer. Yes, everyone is pitching in to keep things straightened, and the kids have even done some of their own laundry and lunch-making.

I'm not the easy, breezy, go with the flow girl I thought I was. And I think what's most upsetting about it all, is they're getting so big and they're growing up before my eyes, and I can't keep up. They're living their lives, having their own thoughts, conversations and friendships; my eyes aren't always on them. I want to slooowww it down. I think this picture kind of captures it...they're all doing their thing. Moving on. And I'm still standing here watching, not sure how I can be so proud and kind of sad all at the same time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

First post away from home

Happy 4th of July to you all.
We're in Galesburg, IL visiting my parents. Getting fired up to go see the fireworks tonight.

So, it turns out that what I thought was a funny bug bite on my back is actually a case of the shingles. I came home from the doctor disappointed and insulted. Funny. Weird skin things make one think of bugs in the bed and well, bad housekeeping. So I was glad it didn't turn out to be either one of those...but shingles is typically an older people's illness. Harumph! It's sort of like chicken pox for grown-ups. In the same family. The official name for it is "herpes zoster" and I'm on an anti-viral medication....

So, I can't decide what's more upsetting. Having an old folks disease, or something that sounds like a venereal (there's an old person's word for you) disease. It is kind of long-lasting, itchy, and painful. But, I need to have a good attitude, and just be grateful there aren't bugs in my bed. Right?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Reading Good Writing

Wow, this business of blogging in the summertime is not easy. The thoughts and the time to capture them don't seem to flow together very nicely. Not only have I not had the chance to sit down and write, I'm also way behind in reading other blogs. I think it's a combination of having to share my computer (in addition to my time) and just not being in the house as much. I'll probably get it figured out just in time to transition back into a new school year.

I have gotten to read books, however. It's a lovely thing to sit in the back yard with my coffee and my book. And I loved this passage from Leif Enger's new book, So Brave, Young, and Handsome. He's talking about his marriage:

Recently, it often seemed as if Susannah were looking at the moon while I looked somewhere else--say, at a lake. If I saw the moon in the lake I believed we were looking in the same place, but let anything disturb the water and we were two people standing alone. We needed to look at something the same way, as we once had, or as it seemed to me we once had. I didn't know how to do it. (p. 245)

Isn't that a beautifully written description of their relationship? I remember feeling that way toward the end of my pregnancy with Luke. It was soccer season, and Scott was the Varsity Girls' coach, so the sport owned him. Luke was our second baby, it wasn't as novel or urgent. I went to most appointments alone, unlike the first time around. I was all wrapped up in being a mommy to Lars, preparing to rock his world with a sibling, and Scott was hardly ever home. I longed to go into labor so that we would, for a few hours, be in the same place at the same time, working on the same thing. But I could never have thought of such a poetic way to put it into words.