Life keeps on rolling along here. Just like yours I'm sure. Having all five kids home during the day this summer has been fine. In fact, I've quite enjoyed it. It's been fun to sit around and read all together, go on walks every night, swim most afternoons and water the garden. We've been keeping up with school work too and I don't have a difficult time keeping the laundry going since I'm home a lot. During the school year, it's hard to get everything done in between school runs.
So it's been great.
But I am also starting to itch for that fall routine to start. I have been sending the kids outside numerous times a day to try and help them burn their energy off. It works...for a time. But really, they need to get out and conquer the world. They're ready to get back to school.
We haven't done all that much this summer. We didn't have any crazy vacation. And really, we've hardly left our house here because Steve has been taking our reliable car into work every day (he's been working at an internship for the summer-more on that another time). For a few weeks we borrowed his mom's car while his parents were on vacation but, for over half the time, I've been car-less.
Truly, it's been okay. It's been simple.
We've had friends come to visit. Their presence revived us big time. To be known and loved deeply for so many years by encouraging friends is such a blessing. Our cup overflows. We've gone out on numerous date nights (four in a row...I think we set a record). We've had great talk time, just Steve and me. In a lot of ways, though it hasn't been glamorous, it's been glorious and exactly what we needed post grad school. Although I hardly have a spare moment to write, since all of my little people are always around and life is full, but it's still good.
It's also been empty at times. Another set of very special friends moved across the country at the beginning of the summer. Our hearts were broken again. But even though we've longed to see them and be near all of the close, special friends, God has blessed our lives with, we also know, heaven is coming. No more good-byes. We will see them again. Lord willing in this lifetime.
We are truly thankful for the eight years we had together, living down the street, raising our kids together, having pizza together and a movie most Friday nights, talking on the phone daily, snagging the drive-by carpool pick-up/drop-off conversation and just being with people who knew everything about us but loved us anyway...yeah. I don't think I've allowed myself to truly mourn their departure. I keep thinking they will walk through the door. There's a pretty big whole in our lives with them gone but, God is faithful. Life goes on but it's not the same. We are happy for them and are rooting for them in their new adventure. Just sad for ourselves.
On a happier note, this last weekend we did go camping with Steve's side of the family. It was a lot of fun. Of course, since Nathan was in tow, neither Steve nor I got much sleep (mostly due to the baby being cold at night). However, the big kids did great, slept like champs, played all day with their cousins and I can see how camping will be a really relaxing vacation in the years to come. In fact, it was pretty relaxing this time, just a little lacking on the sleep. Good thing Steve and I are so "seasoned" in the area of not sleeping now. Many hours into the second night, we both looked at each other, laughed and prayed for daylight. I'm so glad he's mine...he's my best friend.
On our way home Caleb asked me, "Mommy, how long does it take for a forest to grow? Could we plant one in our backyard?" After explaining how long it takes for trees to grow, he said, "Mommy, can I go live in the forest then?" A boy after my own heart. As we were hiking on Saturday, I grabbed Steve's hand and said, "This is the life for me. Someday, let's live in the mountains." So refreshing to go spend time there. I absolutely love it.
In other news, the kids and I have been memorizing a passage of scripture together this summer. We haven't been faithful to learn a verse everyday but, we have made some headway in Ephesians 4. This morning, I was reminding all of the kids why we put God's word in our hearts-how through hiding God's word in our hearts, we are able to avoid sin and know right from wrong. "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:11
Isaac went off on some cute little tangent about hiding it deep in our hearts so that we could find it later. Caleb piped up and said, "But not too deep because if it's too deep, then Jesus won't be able to find it." Oh how I love these kids! They are all so precious to me. From little Nathan who just took his first steps a few weeks ago to Elliana who just this morning requested her Cinderella dress and a dance with her biggest brother, to Joshua who walks around quoting the Hobbit movie, to Caleb who is always thinking deep thoughts about something, to my oldest who has such an intuitive, mature thought process about life...I am truly blessed.
Even though our summer has been simple and spent mostly at home, it's been full of life, love, definitely bickering at times, some loss, and joy.
Just another perfect summer that God has Given.