(This post was written a couple of weeks ago, but never got posted because I wanted to add more picture-memories from our summer.....Better late than never, I guess.)
Every moment comes to you pregnant with a Divine Purpose; time being so precious that God only deals it out second by second. Once it leaves your hands and your power to do with it as you please, it plunges into eternity -
to remain forever what you made it.
I've been feeling rather down-ish, to be quite honest. Feeling like I didn't make the most of this summer.....I was focusing more on what I did wrong than what went right. We had planned to go fishing and make playdoh. We ate a lot of corn dogs and pizza (especially during the 5 weeks daddy was gone). We had a lot of days that were thoroughly unscheduled, as far as the kids' activities. Yet my house isn't perfectly decluttered and organized as I had dreamed. (pssh. ha!) I let the kids serve themselves sugar cereal almost every morning. They are bored with summer and can't wait for school to start tomorrow. We didn't even read many books together. I could go on with the whining. What a failure am I.
But!.... I am actively working on my perspective. And the summer wasn't a total failure, come to think of it.
We did do some stuff between June and August. The more I remembered, the happier I felt.
Bought an awesome $10 tent (to replace our worn-out "Marriot" 4-room tent) and camped out in the backyard
Sat around the fire outside
Lots of swimming in our backyard easy-set pool - the 3 oldest learned to snorkel!
Fun visits from my family
Cookouts here and at Grandma & Grandpa Frys
Survived 5 weeks without daddy. Took care of our 5 kids & 7 dogs. Spent lots of fun time writing and skyping him.
Proved that you can be at home - alone and pregnant - with young kids, almost 24 hours a day (with a few breaks), for over a month and not lose your mind. Well. Come to think of it I maybe didn't prove that. At all. But we did our best.
Babysat friends' kids
Survived van trouble breakdowns by the interstate and in downtown Chicago - Alone - with the kids. (Leaned a little about troubleshooting car troubles!)
Fun downtown date with David after he got back from Israel
Another quick lunch date when "Aunt Nelda" took the kids out for a play date
Library summer reading program: prizes, crafts, book reports, classes, a bat show
The kids helped me man a consignment booth in the local junk store (total failure, but I got it out of my system.: )
Laundry, dishes, cleaning, cooking....hey! That's a chunk of success right there! Why doesn't all that seem to count?
Listened to lots of music and audiobooks. Ate peanuts right out of the jar.
Had lots of friends over
Four birthday parties
Birthday outing to Columbian park with Grandma Fry (picnic, zoo, snow cones at the lake, awesome)
Lemonade/cookie stand (again, not financially productive but they got it out of their system)
The girls becoming more independent in kitchen & laundry duties
Had a movie-and-popcorn night with the kids - watched Swiss Family Robinson for their first time.
Said goodbye to Corin's passie & blankie...He moved from fluctuating back and forth from baby to big boy as it was convenient to being officially a big boy. Always.
Finished up difficult first trimester and waddled into the second half of pregnancy #5...days are less plagued with nausea!
Precious times with family
Wonderful day at the children's museum
Awesome trip to Camp Cullom for a library outing, followed by a night of star gazing through their powerful telescopes manned by experts
Did a gig with a nearby church for their 4th of July cantata
Got a new cousin/nephew......Took baby pictures
Lots of doctor/dentist/eye appointments
Consistent daily kid chores - building the muscle of patience and character in all of us...some of those chores were rather yucky. It would be SO much easier to do them myself than train the kids. knowwhatimean?
Worked on some difficult attitudes & habits of some certain imperfect children I know.
Helped some of our best friends move to Cincinnati.
Worked on creating Scripture memory notebooks to go with our Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System.
Sold some of our stuff online (one of those items was the girls' rickety bed! Mattress on the floor for now....)
Did some work for David's dad - cleaning/painting/shampooing a rental (isn't it neat how God provides extra work for summer income for Christian school teachers?!) I remember learning that when I was a kid at GBS.
Trip to Cincy while Aunt Deanna was in the states (downtown concert/flower conservatory/airforce museum/chic-fil-a/antique mall)
Another flying trip back to Cincy to work on our own rental
Fun little weekend in Chicago - our little family 'summer vacation'. (Brookfield Zoo, Chicago air show)
(And yes - there is a smudge on our sensor in several of those pics. Grrr.)
Frankfort's Famous Hot Dog Festival! (here is Caiden waiting his turn to rock climb)
Did some organizing projects (not nearly all that I wanted, but some....)
Found out our baby is a boy - went out for lunch to celebrate
As I said, I'm working on my perspective today. And taking my vitamins. And looking for inspiration (been pretty low on inspiration lately. Busy-But-Bored.)
But I'm thankful for another happy summer. And I'm ready for the new school year, with its built-in structure and the steady days it brings. I'm looking and planning ahead. And I'm listening to my kids play together in the other room, watching them paint and read and make their own fun. And realizing that it didn't completely kill them that their mother was failure this summer. They're gonna be okay, after all.
So here's to the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year! And imperfect mommies seeking fresh inspiration.
UPDATE: Since this post was written a couple of weeks ago, the school year has delivered the desired structure. And I have found more inspiration than I know what to do with. : )