Friday, July 29, 2011
Labels: Valley Life
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Can this really be the last week of July already?? I know time seems to speed up the older you get, but I'm already feeling a little breathless! I can't imagine it getting much worse than this!
Anyhoo... I'm thankful my girls' week at camp was a huge success and that I really didn't struggle at all with them being gone because it really didn't feel like a very long time. The quiet, empty house felt strange, to be sure, but the week didn't DRA-A-A-AG like I thought it might. I'm thankful for the alone time hubby and I had at home on Tuesday and Wednesday when he was home,
|The girls and their counselor.|
I'm thankful the girls came back from camp wanting a guarantee that they'd be able to go back next year. Even the WICKED thunderstorm (complete with hail and high winds) that knocked out power to the camp for a day and a half hardly got more than a passing mention in their narrative of the week. I'm thankful for answers to prayer for their physical safety, for wise counselors who would know how to handle everything from vicious storms to settling disputes among littles, and in general, for a wonderful, memorable experience.
I'm thankful I've seen a side of my husband that either wasn't as noticeable before or that I just didn't notice ~ maybe a combination. I've seen his wisdom is deeper than I've given him credit for; his desire for spiritual growth and developing biblical knowledge and discernment is far greater than I realized. It was a little humbling, but I'm so thankful to have been given the chance to see his leadership qualities shine through. It encourages me to want to be a better follower and supporter.
I'm thankful for the blessing of family and I'm so excited to see our little family grow together in our desire to accurately reflect what marriage and family were designed by God to do. It might not always be very visible, but the desire for transformation is there and I'm so thankful He's placed that in our hearts!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Yikes, I can't believe we're in the last week of July already!! This month has just FLOWN by!
Last year when I adopted this strategy for the weeks of summer holidays, I just posted about each two-week period. This year, I've decided to keep a running 'tally' of each goal instead of just recapping the period in between checkpoint posts, so it will give me a better picture of the entire time.
In this two-week period, the girls were gone for one week at camp (which they LOVED!), so that is affecting some of the plans.
- Get to the local library and school playground once a week ~ July 12
- Spend 20 minutes a day in the garden ~ Jun 28, 29, (away from home the 1st to 3rd) Jul 4, 7, (away 15-17), July 25... clearly I'm not doing well with this one again!! In my defence, hubby's been home a fair bit this month, so he's been doing much of this. It really is HIS hobby, not mine!
- Teach girls some simple chore routines:
- swish'n'swipe bathroom: every morning from July 5-15 (except weekends and the 18-23, when they were away at camp!) and yesterday
- make beds: ditto
- 10-minute "fling boogie": still waiting... although we've tidied up the front porch/toy room twice this month and today they're doing their bedroom.
- Involve girls with meal prep and dishes once a week each:
- Peanut: Jun 29
- Ugh ~ EPIC FAIL!
- Weekly piano lessons for Peanut ~ Jun 30, Jul 11, (not doing so great here either, but with them being gone for a week and now home only 6 days before we're gone for another week as a family, it just doesn't really make sense to have one this week.)
- One playdate or special activity each week:
- July 1-3 ~ visited some relatives (incl. the girls' favourite second-cousin) 4 hrs away on the July long wknd
- July 6 ~ had a friend and her two young children over for a morning playdate
- July 7 ~ swimming at the lake with school friends
- July 14/15 ~ Fidget was at a friend's place for the day and a sleepover; Peanut and I had a special supper and movie night.
- July 15-17 ~ camping with the 'Man's family
- July 18-23 ~ girls first ever week at Bible Camp!
- July 22-25 ~ one of the 'Man's sisters came to visit
- Try to head to the lake or pool once a week:
- July 3 ~ swimmin' in the creek on my uncle's farm
- July 7 ~ the girls and I went to the lake (some of the girls' school friends were there, too, it turns out, so this also counts as a playdate!)
- July 15-17 ~ swimming in the lake each day while camping
- July 19-22 ~ girls swam in the pool each full day at camp
- MORE PICNICS! ~ at home: Jun 29, Jul 11; weiner roast by the creek Jul 3
(HA, wish me luck!)
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Oh my goodness, I can't believe another week has gone by!! Slow DOWN, Summer!
I am thankful for the busy, but fun week I've had! The second half of last week was busy as we prepared to camp with The Man's family and then the weekend was camping, Monday was hurriedly preparing the girls for their first ever week of Bible camp and bringing them there, and yesterday and today have been full of laundry and cleaning up from camping and settling back into a normal routine ~ such as it is when I'm home alone!
I'm thankful for the AMAZING weather we had while camping. Our province has been basking in a heat wave the last week or so and while it was abnormally hot, I still prefer that for a weekend at the lake than cold and rainy. I'm thankful the thunderstorms waited until we got home!
I'm thankful for family and the good time we could enjoy together ~ the fun in the lake and at the campsite around the fire.
I'm thankful for scenery, for the beauty God's created for us to enjoy and to give us a glimpse of His majesty and supremacy over all.
I'm thankful He controls the weather and the seasons. My province has struggled with the combined results of an unusually wet fall, an overabundance of snow over winter, and far too much rain this spring. And while flood battles are still very fresh and even ongoing in some areas, for our Valley, it was good to get the thorough soaking we got last night and today. Earlier, many wondered if The Valley would EVER dry out, and yet after four straight weeks of hot, sunny weather, we found ourselves hoping for a bit of rain. And now we got it.
I'm thankful my girls get to experience camp and I'm taking it as a really good sign that we haven't been contacted since dropping them off Monday afternoon! I'm grateful for a vehicle with extra space so I could offer a ride to the girls' two school friends who were also going to the same camp. And I'm thankful their mom ~ who happens to be a good friend of mine ~ and I could enjoy supper out and a liesurely drive home after dropping them off.
So as you can see, it's been a full week. And most of all, I'm thankful I don't need to concern myself with preparing and packing up for the next adventure for at least another week! ;)
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I have never really been home alone before.
Before our girls were born, there were a few times when I spent the night alone without any other HUMANS in the house, but back then we always had a large dog living in the house with us.
Since then, I've gotten used to nights without The Man since he started driving truck six years ago, but it's always been me and the girls.
And this past year, I got used to days alone at home, too, since both girls were in school full-time.
But I have never been in my home completely alone at night until last night.
|Settling into their cabin, which they|
also share with their school friend.
(Pardon Fidget's goofy grin ~ I
couldn't get a normal smile out of her
Sleep came eventually (and morning far too quickly as a result!) and it all feels relatively normal again. Just like a school day would. The Man will be home for night tonight, so that'll feel more "normal," but knowing the girls won't be slamming one of the porch doors every half hour or so to beg for freezies for at least the next 4 days still feels a little odd!
I'd lined up all sorts of work projects to keep me busy, but I've decided to relax and just cover the basics ~ maybe do a few more fun things than I normally have the luxury of doing.
Plus, it's too hot and humid to do all those work things anyway!
Don't laugh, but we're calling it a heat wave... ;)
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I can't believe I completely forgot to post last week!! Just havin' too much fun, I guess.
I'm thankful for a great week. The girls and I had a playdate with a friend and her two young kids, an afternoon at the lake (which ended up being a playdate, too, because a handful of the girls' friends also happened to be there!), and an evening at the town library and school playground. The 'Man and I invited some friends over whom we haven't visited with in a long while on Saturday evening ~ ALMOST spontaneously!! (I called around lunchtime to invite them over!) It was just a generally fulfilling-feeling week.
|Running to catch "the wave."|
(The ONLY wave!)
I'm thankful the weather has been so wonderful over the last few weeks ~ it makes summer so much more enjoyable! Our Canadian Prairie summers are so short and our last few have been cool and damp, so the last three weeks have just felt INCREDIBLE!
I'm thankful for plans and goals for the summer, but also that I don't need to feel like everything HAS to happen. I love the carefree-ness of the summer break! There are a few things I want to work at or continue working on over the next eight weeks before school starts again, but I want to focus on just enjoying having the girls at home.
I'm so thankful I'm a stay-at-home mom. The day we came home from our afternoon at the lake last week, we happened to drive by as one of the school moms we know picked up her kids from their babysitter's home. I was instantly flooded with gratitude that I don't have to work away my girls' holidays. I would hate to have to miss out on all the fun! And to not be able to do these kinds of spontaneous things.
I'm thankful that I'm learning to love my life and to believe that its good-ness doesn't depend on things we can have or do. I know that those things don't determine whether or not my life has been meaningful and fulfilling, but it's hard to train your heart and mind to believe it when your culture constantly bombards you with the message that they do! Contentment is a constant struggle. I can't imagine ever getting to the point where I NEVER wish we could afford this or that, but I'm thankful God is teaching me daily to rely on Him and to just enjoy what He's already blessed me with.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Well, we're two weeks into summer holidays. Can you even BELIEVE it??! I sure can't. Man, I remember the days when two weeks into summer holidays I was already bored out of my mind, thinking that waiting another 8 looooooooong weeks to return to school would almost kill me. Now I can't believe we've only got just 8 weeks left! Hoping to feel like I'm relaxing somewhere in there....!
Anyway, it's time to see how we're doing with those summer goals I publicly announced on the last day of school:
- Get to the local library and school playground once a week ~ umm.... nope. Planning to hit the library this afternoon though!
- Spend 20 minutes a day in the garden ~ Jun 28, 29, (were away from home the 1st to 3rd) Jul 4, Jul 7 ~ not doin' so great here either!
- Teach girls some simple chore routines:
- swish'n'swipe bathroom: every morning we've been home since July 5 (except weekends)
- make beds: every single day since Jul 5
- 10-minute "fling boogie": not once (though I did get them to clean up the play room/front porch on Saturday)
- Involve girls with meal prep and dishes once a week each:
- Peanut: Jun 29
- (ugh ~ FAIL!)
- Weekly piano lessons for Peanut ~ Jun 30, Jul 11
- One playdate or special activity each week ~ visited some relatives (incl. the girls' favourite second-cousin) 4 hrs away on the July long wknd; had a friend and her two young children over for lunch July 6; swimming at the lake with school friends July 7;
- Try to head to the lake or pool once a week ~ swimmin' in the creek on my uncle's farm, July 3; at the lake July 7 (some of the girls' school friends were there, too, it turns out, so this counts as a playdate, too!);
- MORE PICNICS! ~ Jun 29; Jul 3 weiner roast by the creek; Jul 11;
- More face and/or phone time with my real-life friends. ~ Jul 4 phone chats w/a friend AND w/my mom; Jul 6 friend and her two young kids over for morning playdate; had friends over for coffee and an evening visit Jul 9;
I would really like to be a little more conscientious about the dishes and meal prep, but it's still easier to just do it myself, especially if they're busy playing at something. I kinda hate disrupting them when they're playing well together or having fun outside. But I probably just need to get more organized and give them fair warning of what will be happening.
Next week will be rather out of the ordinary for all of us, so this list of goals will pretty much get thrown out the window. After a weekend of camping together with The 'Man's family, we've got one night at home before the girls are off to their very first summer Bible camp experience! And they'll be gone ALL WEEK ~ like, from Monday afternoon till Saturday afternoon! I hope to get a few things accomplished in their room while they're gone, but I also hope to spend a day with The 'Man in the semi-truck, and maybe get together with a couple of my girlfriends. So it will be busy, even without them at home!
But the weather's been AWESOME and the forecast is predicting more awesomeness, so that's all that matters! Hope you're all having a wonderful summer, too!