For one thing, Jon has returned from an overseas trip. Of course we are thankful for a productive ministry time and for his safety, but I'm just super glad he is back. It's always a sweet thing to be reunited as a family. During his time away Jacob would say things like, "I just don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight without Dad tucking me in." The boys and I picked Jon up from the airport during Olivia's soccer practice, them we all went out for a bite to eat. By the time we returned home, the excitement escalated because the kids knew Jon had brought back a little something for them. They all sat in a neat row on the sofa, grinning with anticipation. Our kids are always so happy for the simplest of things. Anything that says, "I thought of you while I was away," is meaningful. Sometimes, depending on the trip, it's just a few foreign coins and some airline or hotel amenities. But not this trip. Somehow Jon managed to pack his carry-on bag in Mary Poppins style and the gifts just kept coming. There were little toys, snacks, leather bound journals, personalized items, jewelry, clothing, and of course, international amenities.
Jon happened to return on a special little anniversary he and I have. It is the anniversary of our first date, and this year marked the 20th year! (Yeah, we feel old.) These trips apart are never our preference, but somehow they do us a little good. You see, Jon and I can both be dangerously independent: He doesn't lean on me like many husbands do, and I do just fine wearing the "pants" when he's away. Sometimes it takes being apart-- and especially being reunited-- to remind us that we really are so much better together. I still have such a big crush on him all these 20 years later!
But tonight I'm down here in the living room and he's upstairs in his study. He's still fighting jet lag, and he's teaching/preaching three times tomorrow. Saturdays through Sundays are not at all the days when he and I hang out! I've become used to that-- the structure of our lives are a little different from most people because of his work as a pastor. Fortunately we had some good, undistracted time together during the week.
Today was full, as are most Saturdays, with practices and games for everyone from morning till mid-afternoon. It was nice to have Jon tag-team with me this morning since Olivia's game was in one city and the boys' games were in another city, all starting at the same time. Olivia is now at a birthday party sleep-over, and I had a nice day with the boys. It has been interesting to watch my boys. Their teams didn't work out the way we had hoped, and I was prepared for a tough season. Michael and Andrew are on the same team, which is convenient in one sense, but I worried that those two were just not the right combo. I expected too much brotherly competition/rivalry. I worried and strategized how I would instruct their character throughout this season. Apparently I misjudged them. They have been awesome brother-teammates, high five-ing and patting each other on the back. I've watched them work together and encourage each other after failures and successes. It has been a nice surprise for me to observe.
On the way home there was traffic and the sun beat down hard. We had some fun music playing kind of loudly, the sunroof open, and the back windows down. I looked in my rearview mirror and I could see my three boys all leaning in together, laughing. Those are the types of images that stay in my mind.
Later in the afternoon I opened up my little lawn salon and trimmed Jacob's and Andrew's hair. Then they all spent some time in the jacuzzi, Michael mowed the lawn, the other two did odd little jobs, then showers and dinner. Jon read from Proverbs, reminding us how to live wisely. Our evening wrapped up with the boys helping me with the dinner dishes and vacuuming, then they listened to audiobooks while Jacob and I wrapped a gift for a baby shower I will attend tomorrow afternoon.
Well I'm not sure where I have gone with this post! I don't know-- I guess it's just a Saturday evening wrap up that got typed up here for future memories.
Pictures from last week, when I was very tired (still am!) but also responsible for providing something wholesome for my children to do:
I set up a little resting/reading spot for myself and told my kids to go and explore...
I'm going to have to return there soon (or somewhere similar) because I've got to make things right with Andrew. I accidentally broke his super cute and very effective bow. He had made it himself and stored it in his room to keep it from getting damaged (he even made a leather quiver to go with it). Then I came along with my vacuum cleaner one night and I managed to carelessly break it. He kept saying, "It's OK, Mom. It's OK," as he fought back tears of disappointment. I felt terrible. Now I get to go along with him in search of a new stick. Hopefully we will find one just as good as the first.