Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a little summer randomness...

This past weekend I splurged a little and bought a large bag of Bing cherries. OK, I splurged alot!
But every last cherry , stem, and seed was completely worth it.

They were fresh, firm, and very sweet. Yum!

Baseball and Softball season is now officially over. Baseball ended this past weekend with my son's team winning their end of the season tournament.

Softball ended last night with my daughter's team winning their end of the season tournament also with a nail biting extra inning 11-10 victory!

Go Angels!

They both played really hard this year! Last night as my husband and I were sitting enjoying our last bag of ball park popcorn with two diet Dr. Pepper's, we were a bit sad that our spots on the bleachers in the warm summer sun would have to wait for our return until next season. After all for the past six weeks, this is where we ate our dinner most evenings, carefully balancing five hot dogs, bottles of water, and occasionally some nachos on the hard wooden benches or the metal bleachers.

And finally, I find it a little strange that the very river which caused so much destruction brought us some pleasure over the weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect and my eleven and eight year old boys tried water skiing on a Ski Skimmer for the first time. They loved it and actually did pretty good their first time out.

Hunter did great and wasn't about to let go of the rope...

Theo was a natural!

And what a better way to start our family vacation. We have been home catching up on so many things...and leaving some (many) things until later. Tomorrow we head out together, just the seven of us for some family time. I did not have a lot of expectations for summer vacation this year other then it must include water, sun, and a place where our primary article of clothing would include a bathing suit and maybe a few shorts and t-shirts. I think we are there....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Two Boys, A Bike, and Five Bucks

Recently my two oldest boys (11 and 8) asked if they could ride their bikes to the pool. The 11 year old has ridden many times, but this would be the 8 year olds first time on his new bigger bike.

They planned out their path in great detail and after receiving some strict instructions from their mom (about their ride to the pool), they were off. Little did I know they had a whopping five bucks in their pockets.

They rode the path from our home to our local public pool along the newly placed sidewalk that now stretches from the entrance of our street all the way passed the high school, through the tree lined neighborhood, along the front of the hospital and ends at the golf course, which is just a block from the pool. They later described their daring and yet careful crossing of the quiet street that the pool is located on. My heart was relieved that they had made it safely, until I heard the rest of the story.

After several hours of sun, chlorine, and the back flops off the diving board, two boys hopped on their bikes for their journey home. But instead of taking the quiet tree lined sidewalk safe path that they had chosen for their ride to the pool, they instead headed through the busy neighborhood streets, crossed the four lane (might as well of been the freeway in my mind) main street in our community to spend the five dollars they had carefully collected and was burning in their pockets.

I can only picture them racing down the sidewalk along Bremer Ave. stopping at each intersection, imagining they stopped and walked their bikes to cross the street (I can hope), and finally arriving at one of our local gas stations/convenience stores filled with everything imaginable for two boys to spend their hard earned five dollars.

After hearing of their daring and adventurous afternoon, I didn't inquire too much about the actual purchase. All I saw was the wrappers and satisfaction that two boys had enjoyed this and this.

They had not given too much thought about what mom may think of their choice to make a quick stop (in their minds) to spend their hard earned money until the door opened from the garage and they entered the house carefully hanging towels and backpacks on hooks and heading to the trash can with evidence in hand.

Eyes red, cheeks sun kissed, and shoulders pink, their faces beamed with excitement and satisfaction as if they had just done something really wonderful and important. Over the next thirty minutes I heard the stories of their big adventure. It started with words like careful, slow, crosswalks, and ended with "it was so cool", "my brakes work good", and "I looked back once in a while to make sure he was ok".

As a mother I knew this was one of those moments where I had a choice. I could ruin the day my two boys headed out together on their bikes and did something they had never done before or I could enjoy the moment, the excitement, their accomplishment and join in on their celebration. I chose the latter.

I knew in my heart that my oldest son (who has traveled a little more on his bike) was careful and watchful of his younger brother. I knew the younger brother listened and followed carefully the instructions of his older brother. I will never know what risks they took, the smiles they gave each other or of the sheer joy only the two of them experienced as they rode along in the sunshine on a summer afternoon.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

What is normal?

I have been asked this question a lot lately, "are things starting to get back to normal?" And I am not sure quite how to answer it. It depends on what someone is looking for. If they are wondering if everything is the same as it was one month ago, my answer would be "no, it will never be the same, nor should it."

I am often perplexed as a Christian when we want things back to the way we think they should be. When I have tried to create some sort of "normal" and label it as a standard for living.

I have been speaking to my children about this over these past several weeks. Life has been anything but normal for us, for them, and yet I don't want them to miss what God is doing through it. We don't get to choose our tomorrow. Only God knows what it will bring. We must learn to trust! Each day as I sit with my bible on my lap, my pen and journal in hand, and a heart that cries out to the Lord for those in need, I am not the same, I don't look at "things" the same, and I am thankful for the things that floods can't wash away, destroy, or change.

Today my house is quiet for the first time in weeks. It is in need of some cleaning and there are things in places that are not normal. And yet I wouldn't change any of it. We have had others living with us, people stop in and join us for a meal, and others invited over for a time of refreshing and prayer. The opening and closing of doors has not stopped. And even though my physical body is tired, my heart is full.

So, to answer their question..."no, things are not back to normal and I hope they never get there." But I do pray for two very special women in particular. Their lives have been turned upside down by the flood. I know they would do anything for "normal". They are hanging on and holding fast to the truth that God is the ...blessed controller of all things.

Happy 4th of July!

It was a great day!
The weather was just right!
The parade was fun!
The food was totally yummy!
The fellowship was even better!
Happy 4th of July!