Friday, July 1, 2016

Weekend With the "Little Boys"

It was just the little boys and me last weekend while Jon was guest speaking at the Ascend Camp in the midwest. He had the pleasure of bringing the big kids with him, so we both capitalized on this time as parents.

I've always loved opportunities outside the norm with my kids, and four days with just Jacob and Andrew was certainly unusual. My goal was to nurture our relationships with each other, to speak about the Lord, and to make happy memories.

After dropping off the others at the airport, we hit Old Town (to them this really just means the candy shop and fossil/rock store). They got to pick the movie that evening (because typically they end up doing what the big kids choose), and no one was shushing them in the morning when they got up too early. It was neat to do activities and to have conversations that were just right for their age. I enjoyed this very much, and caught myself really noting their individual personalities shining through.

Nearly every morning Jacob goes out to the yard by himself. If it's spring- or summer-time, he looks for ripe strawberries and butterflies; during the winter he looks for mushrooms. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't keep with this ritual. I love seeing him out there in his pajamas and bedhead, enthralled with something wild, his head full of deep thoughts. He has told me several times that he thinks most about God when he is out in the yard alone. I can relate to this as I was the same as a child (only my yard consisted of forests and fields, and wild everything).

He has a way with butterflies these days...

Andrew, on the other hand, wakes up with a head full of plans. He is orderly and disciplined. His bed is almost always neatly made without a reminder, and he sets out with his plans for the day without delay. When I came down Saturday morning he was sanding a jump he has made for his Ollie. This weekend he told me he thinks most about God at night in the dark, and he thinks over the things Jon or I have told him regarding the Lord. Recently we have been instructing the kids on prayer, particularly how to think scripturally and to pray that their lives would reflect God's desires as outlined in His Word. 

I've never been a morning person, so if I can I like to take it slow! It's not a regular indulgence, but I do so enjoy it! Once my eyes are able to stay open, I love to sit with my Bible and a cup or two of coffee. Then, as often as I can, I like to check the yard for flowers to cut and bring into the house. 

I made pancakes for the boys on Saturday. I had told the boys I wanted to take lots of pictures over the weekend, so Jack was in the corner "documenting." Here's an impromptu, no-makeup, blurry picture of Andrew's grateful hug. The other pictures were either more blurry or embarrassing... someday I hope to be more mature about my naked morning face!

Breakfast by the pool...

...and lunch too.

Then swimming. I didn't have the right lens on, so I was practically under the deck for these. 
The constant questions were, "Can you take a picture of me?" and, "Did you get it?"

Then competition. Boys thrive on competition.

They are good friends these two. Nearly always together. I hope that their friendship will persist and even grow stronger as the years go by. I hope that healthy competition continues... that they would push and inspire each other to lead godly, productive lives. I hope they remain tight when the world and life press in hard. What a gift that would be for them (and for me)!

We took a longish bike ride after dinner. My tires needed air, and they did a fine job inflating them without Michael; Andrew flipped over my bike and made a repair when my chain fell off.

We stopped at the lagoon to search for bullfrogs. The boys begged me to let them go in, though I had to say no. I'm OK with it normally, but we needed to keep shoes clean and bare feet would likely get caught on fish hooks.

Still, the giant bullfrog in plain view was enticing. Andrew struck a pose and said, "Please? I'll let you take any kind of picture you want!"

Ice cream treats on the sidewalk because the town was packed.

After church on Sunday was the beach. It was absolutely delightful in every way!

Side-by-side friends

More competition...

Jacob would shout, "Did you see, Mom?"
Andrew would look over at me nearly every time he surfed his boogie board and I'd give him the thumbs up to indicate I'd seen him.

The relaxed lifeguard ; )

It was so beautiful that day. We skipped dinner and stayed till the sun set.

The entire weekend was intimate with these two, and their appreciation for God's blessings were frequently expressed. We discussed assurance of salvation and the work of the Holy Spirit. We talked about pursuing a relationship with the Lord, and my heart was filled with praise for the way both boys are sensitive and honest regarding spiritual things. I was showered with affection and gratefulness all weekend long. What a gift they are to me!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul...
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; 
Who satisfies your years with good things."

Ps. 103

Happy Canada Day


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