Monday, August 22, 2011

Mom's Last Ride (now with pics)

A decade passed.
In a blink.
Or so it seems.

This past week we spent our days enjoying the lake of my childhood, and that of my Father'.
As we soaked in the sun's warmth my boys learned a few skills (water skiing) and overcame fears (un-hooking caught fish).  Pretty good for an impromptu vacation, right?

A take away,  if you will,  from the week are the realities that swirled in my mind as I rode lap after lap around the lake on the wave runner.

"Mom,  you wanna ride?"  Chase asked everyday.   
"You know I do!"   I replied.

I   "take him for a ride"   on the wave runner because I am of age to drive it.   What really happens is he takes the reigns and follows the counter clockwise route.   I hold on to the back handles and enjoy the the passenger position.   Shhhh... don't tell the DNR!

Early in the week as we zipped through waves and pockets smooth as glass ,  I began to realize quite heavily that this is Chase's last summer before middle school ensues.   For me to think that he is not going to change is hopeful but perhaps a bit naive.  Although his heart is kind and helpful,  he is a 'Tween now.    'Tweens are an interesting breed,  I hear.   In fact I can almost remember what it was like to be one.


That is how I know my position as his Mom will take on a bit of a different perspective to my budding young fella.    

It was almost as if he was growing up before my very eyes--in those moments!   I watched him maneuver the wave runner with skill and noticed him increase it's speed and daring as we passed by neighboring hooligans (that are older than he).    I even sensed the faint odor of smelly teen in his hair as I was back wind from his unwashed bed head.    What was happening?   I wanted to hit the red STOP button on that machine!!   Pause the moment,  keep him young and near me. 

But,  I cannot.  

So,  I kept quiet and let him grip the handle at full throttle,  knowing I had a couple more days to enjoy him like this.     And by Friday ,  our ride around iconic Payne Lake was extra sweet.   Not only did we have a good laugh when we ran out of gas,  but the the wind no longer smelled of greasy hair because I had just made Chase wash up in the lake.     He is growing up,    but for now  he might just need me in the passenger seat now and again. 

I thank God for opening my eyes through our daily living!  

 Drew's magic fish un-hooking Glove!   That thing changed his life!

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I stumbled upon a website this week that posted a list of ways to intentionally love on your kids through a different method everyday,--for a month.   It's the 30 Day Mom Challenge

I don't count it an accident that this came to me on the last month of summer.    Being home all summer with my kids has been great overall-- but... (there is always a but)... The bickering, begging and bawling does get to me now and again.   Sometimes I zone out from it all,  try to hide out in my shower.  That is my calm way of coping.   The other  (and less admirable way)  of coping with the chaos of 5 kids,  is yelling.   Neither one of these methods is not particularly productive, nor do they give my kids what they are clammering for in the first place---  my positive attention and affirmation.

Enter the 30 Day Mom Challenge.  

I will be the first to admit that I lack a certain sticktoitiveness that a 30 day challenge requires.   However, this is for my kids.   I want to make the last few weeks of summer break 2011,  good weeks.   I don't want the last few weeks to be me at my wits end, resulting in they at their wits end. 

Such lofty goals,  I know.

I'd like to record the progress so I can look back fondly??  at this time and know if it made a difference in my home.   Enjoy, Mom.  (since you are probably the only one still reading)  :)

1.   One thing we can do together this month--   We decided to take a trip to the cemetery.   I know, kind of a dark outing,  but the kids have been asking to go,  and I will always, always, always take the opportunity to talk with them about April and remember that time in our family life.

2.  Go the Whole Day without yelling at your children--   Well,  they don't ease ya into it, do they?  This was a difficult one,  but knowing that was the challenge for the day I was quite mindful of my tone and volume.   I made it to bedtime and slipped. 

3. Hug Your Child 3 times today--   15 hugs happily delivered.   A great one!

4. Kiss your Children when they are sleeping--  The Girls looked forward to it.  They told me they would wake up when I kissed them.   They didn't.   The Boys were a little squirrely about it,  but promptly asked me the next morning if I followed through with the challenge.  

5.  Tell yourself  "He's Only ___ years old,  still a child.  Then, treat him that way--  I am not sure if I really performed this one.   But I am certainly more mindful of it now.

6.  Today's Challenge-- Bake, Make or Buy them their favorite food--  This one is hilarious.  I thought they would request homemade cookies or to go out for ice cream.    No.   They have thoughtfully requested "Fruit (and I use that term lightly) by the Foot"  and  "Gushers"    Gross.  But I have to follow the rules they tell me.

More to come as the month moves forward... 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Little Things.

I have this plaque hanging near my kitchen sink:

It was a gift from my Mom last year and she knows me well.   One of the reasons I created this blog was to record things.   Things big,  some small,  at times humorous, others very heavy.    In the certain craziness that 5 children brings I have not been able to record as I wish I could.   I suppose their needs do have to come first, after all.

So, with shrinking free time on my hands it made perfect sense to start another blog,  right?

Probably not.  But my hope is that I can quickly pop in the things that inspire me.   Hardly a day passes that I don't notice something,  feel a deep thought,  or want to celebrate a thing or two.

As a result I'm starting a new effort to record Little Things.    Call them pieces of joy,  or endless gifts,  or beauty in the ordinary.   Little photos of things that bless me, inspire me,  speak to me.   My hope is to be able to do this on a daily basis---  but don't hold me to that OK?

So here (again) I go...
if you'd on over to Little Things 


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

looking back on the summer that is !!

Ok,  I'm forcing myself to stop.
If I don't get our summer doings recorded in this virtual memory book,  I will have to kick my actual self!  

I'm making myself stop and take a look at all we've been able to experience this summer,  
"the summer that IS"
You see,  for me,  2010 was the "summer that wasn't."

That phrase originated 5 years ago when my sister was on bedrest awaiting the birth of her triplet daughters.   She spent 7 weeks of summer 2006 incubating those 3 little blessings.   Her summer wasn't the typical party having,  sparkler waving,  cottagey goodness that it usually was.   It had a different purpose.

I can look back at my summer season 2010 and feel that tangled mess of grieving,  living,  and hoping.   It was a summer that wasn't.    
I am thankful,  hard to fully express actually how full I feel this summer.    Still somewhat tangled up, but truly seeing this season in a new light.  

With 3 weeks to go yet,  find below some snapshots of the the doings thus far.
Thanks for walking down both roads with me.

 Lord God, I accept both from Your hand, pain and joy, accepting that in this world, they come together. Someday it will be only, always, joy — You whisper Your certain triumph with Jesus, and daily mercies, and Advent and Your comforting presence. And lilies blooming in winter.   ---Ann Voskamp
You will have pain but your pain will turn to joy. (Jn 16:20

 The Curley Cone  (FYI,  they don't accept debit or credit)   HAHA!  (that one's for you small group)
 Rack-O on a Rainy day.  I'm not sure who's having more fun,  Grandpa or Naomi
 First boat ride for little "Nomi"

 Cousins,  reunited.
 Birthday Buddies is their claim to fame.
 Candy store golf cart rides were a 3 or 4 times daily occurence.
 Dieleman/Wierenga Grandkids
 Naomi and Easton :) 
 Fishing with Grandma, who incidentally hooks all the worms and un-hooks all the fish x4 kids!
 She also plays a mean game of Twister!    Love you, Mom!