Monday, July 8, 2013

A Few Snippets of a Summer Week

Another Sunday gone by. People are beginning to talk about school starting up, and here I was thinking summer just started. Then I think about it for a moment and realize that it is speeding by. Some schools are starting up on the 12th of August. Yikes.

This evening wasn't our most shiny moment ever at church. That's OK, I guess, because we shouldn't come out of church feeling like we're all that special, all puffed up. But really, it would be nice to not leave feeling so embarrassed! The boys were not model children during the service, and I was so distracted by them I wondered if it would be best to get up and leave for the sake of others. Maybe it would help if I didn't sit front and center, as I suppose is expected of the pastor's family. From the obscurity of the back, maybe I wouldn't feel that every wiggle and every cough was noted by half the congregation.

Tonight was especially bad. One boy coughed every 10 seconds and wiggled constantly. On a couple occasions his feet were above his head. Yes, above. I handed him the bulletin and a pen, which only turned into loud, scratchy scribbling and irritating popping of the push pen. I took the pen and paper away when he began poking holes through the paper and waving it around like a flag. Another boy kept picking at his scabs and bug bites, drawing droplets of blood which then turned into leg paint. The other boy kept poking me to tell on his brothers, or to show me his paper cut or hacked up finger nail, or to ask when the service would end. If he wasn't pestering me, he was looking at the lights through his fists shaped like a telescope. The three of them had to be reminded not to turn around and stare at the poor people behind us. Once I heard one boy say, "Pee-ew! Who tooted?"

Olivia, however, sat still and took meticulous notes. To any moms of all girls, please be easy on us moms of boys! Don't judge us too harshly... please? You have no idea.

At one point, when I considered leaving for the sake of those around us, or for the sake of my injured pride and to communicate my displeasure to the boys, we providentially came to this verse:

"Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient spirit is better than the proud spirit..."
Ecclesiastes 7:8

I am hoping that by the end of my parenting years things will be better, that by the time my boys are grown they will know how to sit still in church and listen and learn! And yes, a patient spirit with them is critical. And pride? Well, it has already been dashed a thousand times in my role as parent! We have not arrived, and we will continue to make progress. We will all make progress our whole life long, hopefully well beyond sitting still and reverently in church.

I find it funny that mothers have to take a time of rest from the Day of Rest! Sundays: they are such long days for mothers!

(An afternoon at a school yard nearby on the day after Jon's return from Australia. I took the kids out to allow Jon a little time to sleep off his jet lag. I'm not sure my idea was super helpful in the end, since nearly every bike had a flat tire for him to inflate before we left, and he didn't end up napping after all.)

(I was pretty tired myself, and took a moment to relax while my kids raced around. I turned to find Olivia laying in the grass taking pictures.)

The Fourth was different for us this year. We are normally quick to accept an invitation to a BBQ or fireworks with friends, but this year we found ourselves on our own. Not being an American, it's a little  strange to celebrate on our own and stranger still to host a party. But we do have American kids, and knowing it was important to them that we do a little something, we had another family over, another Canadian with American kids, and celebrated with patriotic ice cream sundaes (vanilla ice cream, blueberries and strawberries, and my hot fudge sauce, too). The little kids swam, the older kids sat on the roof and watched fireworks, and the adults cozied up for good conversation. We are grateful immigrants.

Now that our travels are mostly behind us for the summer, I am finally getting back into the routine of running. It's my special time to think and pray, and I love how an evening run makes me feel. For some reason Jon decided to make me a safer night time runner and bought me a small flashing light that I can clip on to increase my visibility to oncoming drivers. So last night I clipped this small gadget onto the most logical spot-- the back of my shorts. Feeling a little goofy, yet happy to make my husband feel better about my safety, I stepped out for a run with a flashing strobe clipped to my rear. Let me just say it did increase my visibility. Some boys in a truck slowed down and said something I didn't hear clearly since I had my music playing, then they threw small firecrackers out the window on the other side of their car. I was slightly spooked by the fire crackers, but it didn't really bother me much. They are just immature boys. Later, I ran past a house where some older guys were hanging out in the garage and they called out something and offered me a beer. Really? I wonder if my mister will still want me to use the flashing strobe light on my fanny in the future...

(Olivia's attempt to build a zip line one afternoon last week. One of the boys had the idea to run the rope through a foot long piece of PVC pipe.)

A couple days ago, late in the afternoon, one of my kids expressed boredom. It is my opinion that boredom is either laziness or a lack of creativity, and if someone complains of having nothing to do he or she will likely be put to work! I decided to set up a competition. I told my kids that whoever collected the most weeds by weight would get the leftover homemade chocolate fudge sauce (only about 2-3 tablespoons worth). Everyone agreed, except for Michael who wanted to make a marinade for the salmon with me, and they raced out to the areas with the most weeds.


Andrew won with 9 lbs. worth; Olivia collected 8.5 lbs. and Jack, 5.5 lbs. I'm sure Olivia would want me to point out that Andrew did collect a lot of ground cover by accident! In Andrew's usual generous way, he shared his prize with everyone, and all four kids sat on the deck with teaspoons filled with chocolate.

It's late already. I'm looking forward to another summer week coming up...


1 comment:

  1. Wow, I can't express how much I appreciate your honesty and godly view on life. Thank you so much for sharing your heart once again. Such a challenging and convicting post to read through. I just love how it is so evident that motherhood is such a journey (race) to holiness for His glory.


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