Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WW: In Her Glory







Thursday, July 17, 2014

Practicing Gratitude

Hard to believe we've had THREE weeks of summer vacation already.  It's going too fast, and I worry a little that this summer will end up being one the girls will be happy to put behind them.

Their dad is working away from home in 10-day shifts this summer, which means we see him only every other weekend.  And since those four days are generally spent servicing the semi-truck and catching up on things the girls and I can't do around the house and yard, we didn't bother making any plans this summer.  As far as I know, there will just be one short weekend spent camping this year.  Maybe two.

I'm trying to just be thankful he has a job and to keep a positive attitude about the situation, especially when the girls find it so hard to have him gone all the time, but I struggle with it every bit as much as they do.  I guess that makes it even more important to PRACTICE gratitude.

I am thankful the girls get to spend a week at camp though.  They're trying out a new Bible camp again this year, and while they're both at the same camp at the same time, AJ is technically at "ranch camp" while Mack chose the regular camp experience.  I'm thankful there's a camp nearby that can accommodate their very different interests with an age category that includes both of them (that gets tricky at their ages, I've discovered!), and I'm hoping they will have adapted quickly to the idea of not being able to be in the same cabin.  That's tough when you don't know anyone else there!

I'm grateful AJ and her best friend managed to squeeze in one last playdate before her friend's family moved away this past weekend.  It was only a few hours one evening, but at least it was a little bit more precious time together.  I'm thankful they became such good friends over this past year, but I really hope AJ soon figures out how to be close friends with more than one person at a time!!

I'm thankful summer weather has arrived.  Finally!  I'll admit, I had times when I feared we weren't going to get an actual summer this year, but amazingly, it's been TEN WHOLE DAYS since our last rainfall!!  And other than two cool, breezy days last last week, July has felt very much the way summer is supposed to feel so far.

I'm thankful for warm evenings and bright mornings; for cheery birdsongs and vibrant colours.  I'm grateful for cool breezes through the window at night, and from my A/C and floor vents during the day!  I'm thankful for iced tea, iced coffee ~ both sweet, of course! ~ and frosty mugs.  I'm grateful for a good excuse to paint my toenails, for some new reading material, and the time to savour it all...

What are YOU most thankful for this week?

Hammock 1

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Things

Man, it is tough to believe the first two weeks of summer holidays are already behind us.  Where has the time gone??  We haven't even DONE anything yet!  Well, except mow lawn a few times, wash windows, have company for a weekend, meet a friend and her family at a nearby pool for an impromptu evening visit, have AJ's dearest friend over one last time before she moves away, rearrange the girls' room...

Okay, so maybe we've been busier than I thought!

Most of those things were done in the first week though, I guess, leaving this last week feeling a little slower.  And longer.  Rearranging the girls' room began only yesterday, as a result of a bit of boredom, and it will be a somewhat on-going project.  The layers of accumulated "build-up" from over the years will take some time to sift through and sort out, and finding the perfect room-dividing solution could take a while, too.  They will likely never each have their own actual bedroom, but I'm hoping we can find a tasteful way to make it feel a little more like they do.

Before The Man left last week, we decided it was time to start harnessing the power (and length!) of Mack's legs, and so he taught her how to drive our yard tractor and operate the pull-behind deck mower.  I never did get around to learning how, but that has been a GREAT help around here with The Man being gone so much.  Especially this time of year when even under normal circumstances, the lawn needs mowing at least twice a week.  With all the rain we've had, it's desperately needed that often!

But remember that brilliant PLAN I talked about earlier here?  Yeah... haven't used it once yet.  Other than having a storage bin with our water stuff ready to go, which got used the evening we met my friend and her kids at the pool.

I guess no one's really been bored yet.  Or at least, they haven't dared complain about it!!  The girls have helped with household responsibilities fairly regularly.  They'd likely help a lot more if I'd remember to get them to, but I'm just so used to doing everything myself while they amuse themselves elsewhere.  I'm always a little torn about that, anyway.  When they're getting along and having fun, I don't really want to interrupt and tell them they have jobs to do.  I need to get better at catching them during a transition time between activities!

And those workbooks?  Haven't touched 'em yet.  Though the thought of only half-finished workbooks at the end of summer makes me a little twitchy, I may have to get over it!  We did start the daily Bible reading on Monday, June 23, although without a regular routine to our days, I find it's very easy to forget, and it's more accurately a bi-daily reading plan!  But with the readings being only a chapter a day anyway, staying on track by doubling up the readings is still very manageable.  Once the school year starts again, it will be a little easier to routinely schedule this in, but for now, it's just happening randomly at any given time during the day.

So I guess we're having a successful summer so far!  Kinda hard to quantify...  The girls would probably say we haven't done anything fun, and I'm REALLY hoping to remedy that in the coming weeks.  I had fully intended to be ready and willing to head up to the lake for the afternoon on hot days, but with the regular rains and my general lack of spontaneity, that hasn't happened yet.  But they'll be off to camp next week and then we've got a weekend of company, followed by a weekend of camping to end the month, so from now until August arrives, we should be well occupied!

How's your summer going?

Backyard pool

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WW: Wet 'n' Wild


Wordless Wednesday


Snappy

Monday, July 7, 2014

Something Different

Friday night I did something I almost never do:  I was spontaneous.  (I know, right?  ::GASP!::)

Around 5pm a friend texted me and invited me and the girls to join her and her kids at the outdoor pool in a neighbouring town for their evening public swim, starting at 6:30.

Now, for most people a last-minute invitation to do something outside their home is probably not a big deal.  But for me, anything that is different from what I thought would happen ~ even if it's something that doesn't involve sharing my personal living space or providing food and beverages ~ requires effort.  Because wrapping my head (and, more importantly, my attitude) around a change in plan isn't easy.  It never has been, and I find as I get older, it gets worse.  Like an atrophying muscle.

But I exercised it!

We'd eaten lunch only two hours earlier (yes, we have a pretty relaxed "schedule" ~ if one can call it that at all ~ around here in summer!), so none of us were really interested in supper, but I knew we'd starve if we didn't eat till we got home afterwards.  We happened to have a few leftover hotdogs from earlier in the week, so we each forced one down the hatch, threw our swimsuits, towels, and swim goggles into the car, and off we went.

It was a perfect evening for it, too.  Hot and muggy, but fortunately breezy enough to keep most of the mosquitoes at bay.  Initially, the girls weren't terribly interested in the whole idea because they assumed I'd expect them to occupy my friend's younger kids in the shallow end, but that was never the case.  The youngest, who's only 18 months stayed with his mom, and with life jackets on, the older two were everywhere anyway and didn't require much attention or entertainment.  And shortly after we arrived, both of my girls' best friends (who happen to also be sisters, and live near that town) showed up, so it turned out to be a really fun evening for them, too.

But it wasn't only me doing something a little different that night.  Mack did something she's never done before:  she DOVE off the diving board.


She's been trying desperately to work up the nerve for the last two years already, but has never managed to convince herself to leave the diving board head-first.  She can jump off of it, and she can dive from the side of the pool satisfactorily, but has just never been able to convince herself to dive from the diving board.  It's been incredibly frustrating for her to watch her younger sister do it effortlessly and repeatedly for the same number of years.  But no more!  Friday night she OVERCAME!!  And now the ice cream date her dad promised her many, many moons ago as a reward for her first dive will finally get to happen, too!


Different can be very good.  I KNOW this.  I just need to work that muscle a little more often.  And work up the nerve to dive in head-first sometimes, too.

Backyard pool

since Mar 26/10

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