Children, Family

40th Trip Around the Sun

IMG_0710Today I sit near our pool while my children are swimming for what might be one last time of the season. Our nighttime temps are dipping into the upper 60s now, so the pool cools down more than it warms up each day. Soon enough, it’ll be time to empty the pool, fold it up and put it away for another season.

Today also happens to be my birthday.

A day of reflection…if you’ll indulge me.

On my 40th trip around the sun, I have a beautiful 7 year old daughter. She’s a gem and the world is lucky she’s here. She brings smiles to whomever she encounters and she loves Jesus with everything she has.

I have a fantastically smart 6 year old boy. He quietly observes and absorbs the world around him. He builds incredible objects with his Legos and K’nex pieces. A remarkable boy who will do amazing things.

I have an adorably precocious 3 year old girl. This girl is dangerously beautiful, she is fearless and confident yet she always makes sure the tight grip she has on her Daddy always remains intact.

I have a dedicated and handsome husband and I have his complete and undivided attention. I belly laugh with him all the time. He lets my crazy be on full display and he never once calls me on it. He is strong and focused on our family and on his full-time job of homeschooling our children. And they are thriving under his teaching.

Who would’ve thought after all this time that I would be so rich with the greatest jewels anyone could ever want. I almost hate for this time to pass, but I’m also so excited to see what’s next. I love this. Sometimes it is full on psycho in this house and the volume impressively annoying but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This family is exactly what I always wanted. I am so fortunate.

Happy birthday to me.

Children, Family

What is patience?

IMG_9935Patience is the ability for kids to have a 14-foot pool assembled in their backyard, to see it in all it’s glory from the family room windows and to have to wait for the pool chemicals to balance, the temperature of the water to warm up a bit and for the thunderstorms to get out of the way.

A few years back we got an above-ground pool…soft sided with a metal support frame so we have to take it down and put it up each year. Now, I know what you’re thinking…our home value must be sky rocketing due to this lovely addition to our backyard!

It also makes the “hot” in summer not so bad. 90+ degree heat and 85% humidity is horrendous by itself, but when you have the possibility of a pool to swim in, you look at those numbers in a completely different way. 90+ degree heat warms up the pool to exactly the right temperature and high humidity means that you don’t get cold when you hop out of the pool. There’s no breeze to chill the pool water sitting on your skin.

So, this is how our summer officially gets underway. The pool container is rolled out, the frame is assembled outside the soft skin of the light blue checkered pool liner, Momma hops inside the pool to smooth out the bottom and the sides while Daddy assembles the pump in its place.

Then…the hose makes its appearance!

The water starts pouring into the empty shell and the kiddos can’t take it any longer so they start to meander off the deck, down the hill and over to the pool. I am still inside the pool with the water running, smoothing out wrinkles and checking for imbalances before the weight of the water makes any adjustments impossible.

The children, with their puppy dog eyes gently request if they can get in for just a second and when permission is granted, they go nuts with glee. In less than 2 inches of water, they have the same amount of fun they would have in a completely full pool.

It makes the wait for the real “first swim of the season” a little less horrible.

A very little bit.


Children, Family

Ride the wave that comes your way

Recently we took our children to an indoor waterpark to celebrate our older daughter’s birthday.IMG_8404.JPG

She was born in one of the coldest months of the year so we try to do fun things to make up for the general bleakness of January weather-wise. After a road trip including a jaunt through the smoky mountains and a peek at some unexpected snow dusting, we arrived at our destination.

First let me say, we had a great time together. This really was a lot of fun overall.

There’s something completely unnatural about wearing a swimsuit when you know it’s 8 degrees F outside. The kids were beside themselves with excitement once they saw the beauty of the waterpark in all it’s glory laid out before them. There we all were…two grown ups and three small children about to embark on swimming heaven. And it kind of hit us…this is a lot of ground in which to manage three kids. There’s a lot going on all at once.

We decided that one parent would manage baby girl (3) while the other would watch girl child (7) and boy child (5). We headed off to the big pool…and then a loud buzzer sounded.

You know what that buzzer is, right? That’s the announcement that the waves would begin in the wave pool. That’s just super. Now we are managing a 3 year-old with water wings and two older (but still young) children each headed off in their own direction with large inner tubes as they eye epic fun headed toward them in rhythmic fashion. Mind you, I still haven’t acclimated to the water- the cold water- and here come waves to wet parts of me not ready to be submerged! I see that boy child has underestimated his ability to stay above water and hold on to the inner tube so I lumber toward him and rescue him from his own fun gone bad.

Once he’s back up on the tube, I look for girl child who has found her way to the back end of the pool where the waves are tall and rolling. She looks stable for now so I stay near boy child who is now perfecting his sea legs. I look back at my husband who is managing the 3 year-old to find they are at the head of the pool where you would think the wave would be small. Not the case here. The waves are crashing hard and while baby girl is enjoying her near drowning experience (she really is having fun here), Dad is holding on to her as best as possible while the waves knock them around and she tries to “swim” around the waves.

Just as quickly as the onset of waves, the pool returns to its calm state. All is well and we assess our legs for scrapes from being tossed about the bottom of the fiberglass pool.

This is fun. And it’s only the first fifteen minutes of a two-day adventure. And we haven’t even tried the playground or water slides. Good grief, I need a nap!