Archive for August, 2011

Be who God wants you to be and you will light the world on fire.

~ St. Catherine of Siena

Tomorrow the new students come for the morning and Thursday we are off and running with our first full day of school.

Summer was amazing. I loved all the time with my babies. I hope I can remember all the sunshine and smiles when the days are short, and cold, and dark…

I’m so ready to go back — I’m so NOT ready to go back — I am so going to do it better this year…

…This year I am going to be a great teacher, I am going to grocery shop, I am going to behave like I appreciate and love my husband, and I am going to drink water, I will keep up my blog, I will play with my kids, I will get my hair cut, I will not let them skip violin when I have to grade papers, I will take the car in for oil changes, I will keep up with the laundry, I will not forget about my garden, I will let my kids have a friend party, I will find time to sleep, I will find time to write, I  will find time to pray, I will read books for fun and talk about them with my friends, I will be a loving daughter, I will be a loyal sister, I will answer my emails, I will check my phone messages, I will buy cat food. I will be generous, and grateful, and optimistic. Really. Or… if I fail at all that…

I will just try to be who God wants me to be and then

I will hope for the best…

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Hey – mind out of the gutter and go even lower – to the mud…  Dirty Girl is a 5k run over uneven, rut ridden, slop designed to get you dirty. To make it interesting, it works in eleven military inspired obstacles  including a water pit, hay bale climb, wall climb, and a cargo net. I did the race with my young – long-legged cousins – and had a blast!

Cousin Ann Marie from By the Light of the Moon was our captain – thanks for the great idea! She brought along her running buddy Katie and they took off with Cori and Bailey. My baby cousins – Colleen and Kennedy ran with me – We were amazing! Cousin Jenni did it later in the day with a pack of her friends – what a beautiful mud runner! I don’t think she dove into the mud – very smart 🙂

I was most scared of the wall climb, which turned out to be do-able. I hadn’t even thought about the cargo net and was up and over so fast I had no time to remember my fear of heights – Whew!

I think I was actually doing great until we decided to slide into what we thought was a pool of mud and turned out to be lined with gravel – my back is a little sore today and I think that might be the cause – a little less cartilage than I had at twenty or even thirty something – but otherwise I feel great.

My sister Cori unfortunately rolled her ankle and is going to have to wear a boot for a few weeks – 😦 Crazy thing is her husband is already on crutches from a bike accident.

Doing the race with family – both the participants and the cheer squad – made it so much fun. We all had a great time pushing each other on, playing in the mud, and even raiding the decorative waterfall after the race for impromptu showers – sorry, this is a family blog – no photos of that –  but trust me it was a whoot!

I love that I  got to show off for my kids – I may be the oldest, the shortest, and the most careful – but I can be pretty scrappy and tough too! It made for a super fun day – one that I might even do again next year!

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I always feel like I need just one more day. No matter what the project, I seem unable to organize things to be ready as opposed to, on the cusp of ready, but not quite there. Going back to school this year is shaping up to be no exception. I keep looking at my calendar trying to figure out if the date really is what I think it is – or as I feel – am I off my a week? Hmmm…no such luck.

First, I need to admit that I do not like going back to school at all. I remember my mom acting giddy as she bought school supplies and gym shoes. She was so excited to have us all back on a routine and away from the house that she would stop people in the grocery store to talk about it. Like a child waiting for Santa on the roof, my mom counted the moments until the bus would show up at the end of the driveway.

Okay, fast forward a few years and now I’m the mom. Back to school should be the light at the end of the tunnel. The house will be quiet. It might even stay clean. The refrigerator will stay full. I might be able to run an errand by myself. This is what any normal mother longs for at the mid-point of August.

Not me.

Day after day, I reluctantly think about school supply shopping while the kids play in the back yard. It has to be done, I know it, but I don’t want to do it anymore now, than I did when I was ten. I love the laid-back summer routine. I crave having the windows open to the sounds of the neighborhood pack riding their bikes in the driveway. I hang onto every park, pool, and porch moment. I know quietly that I am embarrassing the kids by acting as if they are leaving for college across the state, not just grade school down the street, but I can’t help it.

To make matters worse I need to get myself ready for back-to-school. I’ll be teaching new classes again this fall and I have textbooks, lesson plans, and a classroom to organize. To that cause, I’ve taken to sitting on the patio with my laptop and my lemonade, seeking frequent “I wonder what’s blooming over there” breaks, and falling victim to the hypnotic distraction of kids jumping on the neighbor’s trampoline. It’s not all that productive and I’m running out of time.

“Today’s trouble is enough for today,” (Mathew 6:34). I keep telling myself, yet I know that tomorrow’s trouble will be worse if I don’t face it head on, so – sigh – I’m going to do it. I promise to school shop, fill in the forms, and even drag the kids out for new shoes. I’ll take them up to my school tomorrow – they can help me set up my desk and plan out the seating chart. I’ll do my best to get myself one day ahead of where I need to be. My heart is filled with summer and now it’s turning to worry. I can’t, as He says, add even one more day to my life with worry, so it’s time – I know –  to get busy with what comes next – and maybe even have time to enjoy it.

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The word on the street is that the trim is done and we’ll be rolling tomorrow…woot woot! I’m drinking wine and watching him work – could Saturday night get any better than this? 🙂

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Hey Cole,

Thanks for making us all go to State Fair today to see your exhibit on bees.  I hope the pictures all turn out that were taken.  I haven’t been to state fair in years and it was a perfect day to go … not too hot and not too cold.  I did enjoy seeing what the 4-H kids do, and I was very impressed with the art work and photos!  I’m sure that Anna liked the clothing stuff like Ella!  Your bee hive was very interesting and it was wonderful that you received the honor of having something at the STATE FAIR!

Thanks for the trip 🙂



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moments of grace

Grace and I were waiting for Cole at his swim lesson. She was playing with my phone and I was going to read. I brought my camer to take photos of Cole, but took one of her first.

“I thought you were going to read”

“I was”

“Are you going to blog about me?”


“How about I take pictures and you read”

I don’t typically trust her with the camera, but it seemed like a reasonable way to keep her busy. When I got home I transfered the photos to my computer. There were none of Cole. Instead, she decided another blog about her would be more fun…

Grace makes me smile.

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Grace & I found him at the pool. His wings were tattered after the busy work of a long warm summer.

We watched him for a while when I remembered that I had my camera.

Grace held really still while I took the photo.

“Good,” she said afterward, “I want to remember that.”

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They were together today. The neighbors had to go home early. The sun was shining. It wasn’t dinner time yet. They were outside and for a few minutes they found each other. They were laughing, and splashing, and teasing.  They were happy being best friends – brothers and sisters – together.

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I met Tim 22 years ago and we’ve been married for 16 years. Last Friday we celebrated our anniversary with a romantic date – a kayak around the lake, dinner at the Fox and Hounds, and a box from Doug’s – all planned by Tim.

So you might ask, “How do they do it? How do they keep the magic alive? What is their secret?”

The truth is —  I’m spoiled – not by the big anniversary stuff – but by the regular Monday after we put the kids to bed together stuff… You know, when he looks into my eyes and passionately says, “Why don’t you go ahead and blog and I’ll paint the kitchen.”

No, I am not even kidding – I LOVE this man! …. and I’m really gonna love my pretty green kitchen ….

almost as much as the gift from Doug’s

 …spoiled…. I know!

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Melissa and Tom’s Annual Summer Party

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