Restful Few Days

24 Jul

The past few days our family of 5 has been in Blue Ridge, Ga at a little cabin.  It was a bit strange to think about going to a cabin in July, but it seemed our best option for A) getting away to relax and B) not breaking the bank.  When we drove up after only about an hour or so in the car, I knew we had made the right decision.  The cabin was quite secluded, roomy enough for us to all enjoy being together, and there was a creek running down the back of the property.  This mild July weather was a nice added touch.  It rained off and on while we were there, which I enjoyed.

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The kids enjoyed playing in the water.

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Jacuzzi time was fun!

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Mack enjoyed being out in the woods.  He never has a hard time imagining and playing make-believe.  You never know when you might get shot or put in jail when he is around.

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We even made our way to a little fair up the road.

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Josh found a hammock for him to enjoy….

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I spent some time reading a few of the first readers that the girls are assigned this coming year.  I only have about 15 more to go!  I also spent time on this 1,000 piece puzzle.  I love puzzles, but I don’t like the way they control me.  I would try to walk away and go do something else, but it was like I was under a spell or right before walking away I would find a piece that fit and bam!, I was stuck.

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I also spent every morning on the upstairs covered deck.  It was so nice.  I could hear the creek running and the birds singing.  And I didn’t have a thing in the world to do! (besides the puzzle!)  I opened my Bible and was blessed each morning.  I caught up on my yearly read through the bible plan that I had detoured from in order to lead a summer Bible Study.  Consuming so much of the Word and the parts that I consumed at this season of life was perfect, of course.  God does that.  He is so good.

The past three months have been difficult around here.  There has been this “situation” that sparked and then gradually turned into a blazing fire that required much of Josh’s mental energy….even though it wasn’t his doing, he was very much a part of the heat and damage control.  He relied on The Lord to guide him and help him because we’ve never really been in quite this “situation.”  It was one of those times in life when each morning you get filled up with the Word and ask for the Lord to guide your every step and by the end of the night, you are spent and the only way to face the next day’s decisions or trials is by getting up again and getting back in The Word, allowing God to remind you that He is with you, He is for you, and He sees everything.  He can be trusted.  He sees what we don’t see.  He’s working, even though it seems He isn’t.  Our “situation” didn’t end the way I kind of hoped it would, yet I trust that The Lord sees and knows and is protecting us from something and/or strengthening our faith.  So, yes, God has been good and faithful through it all, but we are human and the stress of life has a way of wearing you down.  We needed some time away to rest our minds and our bodies.

Here are a few nuggets from my time away:

—I was reminded of James 5:7 ” Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.  You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”  We are very much in a waiting period…trusting that the Lord knows best when we are ready for a harvest.

— I read in Jeremiah on Tuesday.  Jeremiah 2:13 says the Lord, “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”  As I sat out on that deck and could hear and see the stream of water running, I was greatly warned and encouraged.  #1)Don’t forsake The Lord!  He is the living water that satisfies. #2) Don’t try to fill my soul with anything else.  All cisterns are broken ones.  And I read the quote from G.Campbell Morgan that I have written by that verse in my Bible: “We must live by the stream, or we perish.”  Amen to that.

— Contrary to what the world says, “Seeing is believing!,” The Lord wants me to believe in order to see…that is faith.

—Psalm 84  “How blessed is the man whose strength is in in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage!  Passing through the valley of Baca (weeping), they make it a spring;  The early rain also covers it with blessings.  They go from strength to strength, each one appears before God in Zion.”

— I also read Psalm 87, which is a clear chapter on the blessings of being a citizen of Zion.  I’ve been praying for Israel and all of those involved in this war.  Praying The Lord will continue to bless His people and protect them.

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photo copy 11Thank You, Lord, for the time away…for the rain…for speaking to me in the quiet mornings by the creek in Your Word…for time with my family…and for helping me finish that puzzle.  Amen.

 

 

Forever Friend

17 Jul

Every once in a blue moon God allows you to make a really good friend, like a really, really good friend. During the glory days of Middle Georgia College I had a chance to get to know Paige. She was blow drying her big curly hair and flipped her head over to the side and smiled at me with big teeth…already I knew we had two things in common. We eventually realized we were raised by fast driving, temper flaring ( at times) daddy’s. And that’s where our similarities ended. Lol! Not really…

She was the only girl in her family with two brothers. I knew nothing of being the only girl anywhere, as I was planted in the middle of two sisters.
She is a night owl. I’m a morning person. She likes marshmallow. Give me chocolate. She scheduled afternoon classes. I wouldn’t have dreamed of it. She liked to run. I hate to run….see, she has small bottom half and I clearly do not. I cried when I bounced an $11.00 check in college. She laughed at me about it.
I could go on and on. What I love most dearly about Paige is her knack for brutal honesty. Like the day I appeared at her dorm room to show her that I was engaged (at 18 years of age), and she said something like, “HUH??!! Are you sure about this?”
I am pretty sure I burst into tears and told her no and then she helped me get the heck out of that situation.
Yeah, she saved me with her honesty, and I am forever grateful. It reminds me of Psalm 124 that cries out, “If The Lord had not been on my side….” I shudder to think what my life would be like. Sometimes God speaks directly to me and other times He uses friends to help me see more clearly. That was one if those times.
Paige is very much a fun-loving, extremely real person that I love calling friend. I’m so grateful for that time in college that we had to bond. We wonder what exactly we did with all that free time (pre-kids!), but we are certain we didn’t take near enough advantage of it!!!
Her kids are hilarious and super sweet….my kids love hanging out with them. Molly treats Mabry like a baby. IlaBelle and Mack played cowboy and Indians in the yard. And Ruby would show up and want to hear stories from our young, crazy days.
So yes, Ruby and IlaBelle and Mack and Mabry all sound more like names of 80 year olds sitting around in a nursing home, but those are really our kids’ names!

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Photo Dump, anyone?

14 Jul

I would love to provide uplifting commentary on life around here, but it’s sort of been the summer from Hades, so I’m opting for photos instead.

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These were taken in June when we visited family in Augusta.

Here are pics from Elementary Camp last week:

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Mack and Josh were in South Georgia putting up peas and corn!

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And today started football camp for Mack! He seemed to like it, but his very first words to me after day one of camp was, “Mom, we were there FOREVER!!”

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So there we go. Photos. 😁

Lots of fun ’round here

5 Jul

We’ve had so much going on around here! I’m doing my best to pack three of us for camp…a job I underestimated. But I’ve made great progress and just have a little bit more to be completely ready.

So before I go off to camp and make some memories to blog about, I best try to catch up on what we’ve been doing around here.

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We went to a July 4th parade with some friends. We have never been to this parade…probably because we have rarely been in town for the 4th. This was a fun way to start the day celebrating America!

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And then we spent the evening with some more friends. They had a ton of yummy food and some amazing fire works! We really enjoyed being with them.

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And then, after a full night’s sleep and a wonderful Saturday morning, we decided to go lounge around the lake. It was a great family day.

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Molly could have laid out on the float and eaten the whole time. I think she may be my tanning buddy as she gets older…not that I encourage tanning. I mean, the sun is so bad for you. 😬 And I love it. ☀️☀️☀️
So all in all, a great weekend was had by all!
Now if I can just hurry up and blog about our DollyWood birthday trip in May for Ruby!!!

That Mack

2 Jul

I love how each of my children are so different. It really makes me laugh most days and keeps me on my toes in areas of training and discipline. They all respond in unique ways to the same situation. And they each like spending their time in very different ways. Ruby will almost always choose reading, though a good movie is a close second. Molly chooses drawing or going through my room to find something of mine “that is old and you don’t use anymore.”
For Mack, he creates costumes depending on what he is interested in or he plays music and performs. I cannot believe some of the costume details he comes up with all on his own. He creates from paper (I always find scraps of paper all over the house), or he will use his Legos to make something he can’t find. He is a fun kid. I enjoy hanging out with him.

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He made an oxygen tank out of an empty 2 Liter bottle in order to be a fireman.

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That’s an ax made from paper. He even made a lot of paper fire, taped it to his bed and then rescued his bear from under the bed.

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And last, but not least, is his music. He invited me into his room this afternoon to watch him perform.

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Please note his pedal that he stole from Molly’s keyboard. I videoed him as well, but cannot figure out how to post it here. I’ll keep trying because it it too cute!
That Mack! I love that kid.

Need Nap

26 Jun

VBS week does many things for me and my kids, not the least of which is it reminds me that even though home school has it challenges, there is the exhausting routine of regular school that we don’t have. Hats off to moms who get kids up early and out the door every single day of the 180-day school year. It is not for me! And the car! I have driven entirely too much this week.
I know. I’m a wimp.
Anyway, the other thing VBS does is make my heart raw with emotion. I didn’t work at VBS this year because I’m spending a week at elementary camp with hundreds of 3rd-5th graders. However, I was still emotional every time I was on campus and saw the droves of kids going to their classes. I nearly cried every time I thanked my kids’ teachers when I picked them up. I suppose that because of my fond memories from childhood that I wrote about here.

Mack and Molly loved their week at VBS. Ruby took a trip to Colorado with her dad, so she only went Monday. Either way, exhaustion came to all of us…even though both of these kids said, “but we’re not tired!!!”

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Each day Molly has been going to lunch with a friend and then going to sewing camp. She has made a messenger bag, a duffle bag, three pen holders, and a gecko pillow. I’ll have to post pictures when she gets home later. I’m so glad she has had this week to practice sewing and try new skills!
Mack had a friend over one afternoon. He is such a nice kid. Mack loves him!

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They do all things BOY.

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One night I had Bible study here and Mack and Molly stayed upstairs as quiet as mice! I was thankful for that. They played well together, but they missed Ruby while she was gone.

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What a week!! I’m not 100% sure on this, but I’m pretty sure our schedule is more laid back when school is “in session.” There’s just too much fun to be had! Maybe July will be filled with lazy pool days. Maybe??

The Lake…on a whim

22 Jun

Josh informed me one afternoon that we were going to the lake and renting a pontoon boat. That day.
Ok.
I am not spontaneous at all. I much prefer planning and being prepared than not, so after a not-so-fun conversation about why he couldn’t have let me know sooner, we all put on our bathing suits, threw some sunscreen and beach towels in a bag and headed to the lake.

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Obviously, the kids had fun.

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Who am I to stand in the way of tubing and swimming in the lake??

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The tube had room for two kids, so a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors had to be played by Ruby and Mack to see who had to get off the float for Molly to have a turn.
Serious business.

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Here’s another funny picture that shows what we look like when I drive the kids to the pool with a large float…

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What a sight.

This week starts VBS for the kids. It’s been a while since we’ve had to be somewhere by 9am…here’s to hoping we can make it!
Molly also has sewing camp each afternoon. What a full week we’re about to have. I think I need some serious sleep to get me ready!
But first, one more picture. Yesterday I made breakfast and then sat across these two with their “bed-heads.” It brought me great joy because at times like these I see a bit of my mark on the girls…crazy hair in the morning. Mine lasts all day, but their’s is able to be tamed at this point in their lives.

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