06 June 2012

racoons, garages, gardens and more...

It's been almost a month since I've posted but I think about posts regularly.  I even come up with a list of things to talk about in bullet point fashion but it's not when I'm free to write.  Let me get started on some random, fun things to share and see where we end up.  In bite sized fashion like SMF taught me:

Harley, our beloved pup
Working in the garden, I hear Harley's normal barking like he does when he's playing with the cats.  When Harley, the australian shepherd, wouldn't give in to barking at the cat, I finally looked up and saw that it was a small grayish dog.  Hmm, where did that come from?  No sooner than I finished that thought, I realized it was a racoon.  Yes, my sheep dog was having a stand off with a hissing racoon.  I couldn't call the dog off, nor could I scare the racoon off with my awful aim throwing twigs and empty ice-cream pale.  Harley must have thought he was a coon dog and was tree-ing the racoon.  Finally, the gentle doctor Ryan came out and kindly took care of the gray, hissing, creature.  Thanks love.

Memorial Day in our Memory
Our local cemetary does a Memorial Day service.  On Saturday morning I took the kids down to put the flags on the crosses that were put out for Memorial Day.  On Monday, we attended a small country cemetary service.  Twenty-plus years ago, that little country cemetary held no service.  The men from the Legion would come out, pay their respects, shoot off the guns, and move on to the next cemetary.  That changed when a new bride wondered what the gun shots were about.  That new bride just graduated her youngest from high school and there was no longer young children to put poppies on the graves of the soldiers.  It was an honor to have my 3 little ones take on the task this year.  It was short and sweet and most certainly a good memory for the kids.  Later that morning we went to the one in town where they'd put the flags up on Saturday.  It was a very nice service, complete with sharing how "taps" came about, songs from the Keystone chorus, and once again putting poppies on the grave.  The most memorable part of the service came at the end.  Sadly, it's not a good memory, but one of a mean-spirited lady who thought it was better to yell at my children for grabbing at the waving flags than to be thankful they were there.  And if once wasn't enough, she chose to yell at them a second time AFTER I had just told her they were mine, I was watching them and kindly but firmly told her not to yell at them.  Grr.  It overshadowed the day and was the memory Bethany had.  I hope that I don't have such tunnel vision for perfect obedience of my children, that I fail miserably at letting them enjoy life so they continue to desire to participate in things like Memorial Day services and things like that.

Growing Things
Not sure what all is growing in my garden outside.  In the past few weeks it's been quite neglected.  One night a  week in the garden just isn't enough during this early growing stage.  While I do have things growing that I purposefully planted, I also have lots of volunteer weeds and pain in the hiney thistles.  I pull the thistles by hand and wonder each time why I didn't find my gloves first.  Last week we put down newspaper and grass clipping around 1/2 of the growing veggies as it threatened of rain.  This week, I found beans growing in my garden which I had planted but forgot all about.  Maybe tomorrow I can sneak out there and find something else growing amongst the weeds!  Other growing things include this little boy's hair.  It's long!

There are a few friends I'd love to get together with who live on the Eastern side of the country.  Indianapolis isn't really half way.  Nor is it that close to the Creation Museum that we want to go to.  Regardless, it might be a meeting spot for some really cool families to hang out.  The thought of seeing people like Megan, Jamey, Kaight, and others has me giddy!  I just remembered I have been to Indy before so I might be up for picking a different spot too...

Pinning Ideas
Why is it that I have a sewing project on my dining room table, no time to sew it, but time to pin more ideas on that addictive little website???  I've been putting some of those creative ideas, and a few of my own creative ideas into practice lately.  Yes, I'll admit that I might be a tad bit creative.  I used an old pepsi box for kids art supplies to go into.  I bought some index cards to put in a box with one card for every day and then you write something on a card each year and by year 3, have some cool memories to read back through.  I also bought the kids each a binder.  The idea is to gather all their "stuff" throughout the month.  Then, at the end of the month, they can choose one item to keep.  That one item will get put into the binder and all the rest of the prize-winning drawings can be recycled.

Monkeying Around
The kids have been busy hanging around, playing in the sprinklers, having water balloon fights, and venturing through the new "garage" to see it's progress each day.  It's been wonderful to be outside.  Not too hot, not too humid.  It's perfect outside.  That is, until I have to walk a half mile, through grass in full pollination that's taller than me and making me sicker than snot.  Oh, and those bumps on my arm, who knows if it was poison oak or poison ivy, both of which were growing like mad, kinda like the thistles in my garden.  Ryan has managed to mow lawn a lot so far this summer and it's looking amazing right this moment out there.

We've had several milestones in the last month.  The kids all received awards at the end of the AWANA year.  Scott memorized the 3rd most sections of any child.  While I'm thankful he did so, I'm hoping those verses get etched onto his heart as well.  Bethany graduated preschool and her teacher finished her 1st year of  teaching.  Judah continues to grow - in height as well as his hair.  The pictures of his picked out hair don't do justice.

That boy has Skills
Last night while fixing supper, the kids were working on a craft.  Any craft.  I didn't care as long as they weren't whining about being hungry.  It involved the basic stuff - glue, construction paper, and crayons.  Wanting Scott to work on his hand writing, I asked him to write a story before he did the craft.  So, he wrote down 5-6 sentences about great white sharks before he cut out the blue and white construction pieces, glued them together and drew in the gills, etc.  The googly eye he added at the end made it that much more fun to see.  I'm hoping to do more of this with Scott, while teaching Bethany not to glue things to the table and teaching Judah not to color one big blob, but to actually draw and have shapes/susbstance to the colored wax he puts on the paper.

I am blessed beyond measure.  When we put our June 1st Ethiopia trip on hold, I knew that God had the plans and I just needed to follow.  I didn't know how significant or involved that would all be.  In the past few weeks, we have witnessed lots and lots of suffering.  Considering it pure joy while facing those trials hasn't been easy.  But being right here in Northeast Iowa (and not across the globe) to be there for my friends who are suffering has given me joy.  While I don't pretend to be the one suffering, I do feel like there's a spiritual battle going on around me.  Having my character called into question, having allergy craziness, being emotionally and physically exhausted when I leave work, and life happening around me.  I thank God for sustaining me and I thank my husband for all that he does while acknowledging that I just need some time to myself.

 My kitchen is clean again tonight.  My kids are in bed.  There are piles of laundry in my living room, a shower that needs scrubbed, and seeds that need planted.  But at the end of the day, I'm able to give and receive a little more love today.

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