Nothing to Say, But Can't Shut Up - haha! That's what I thought I should call my blog! What I write here might not mean a thing to you and I'm pretty o.k. with that. However, I have an active mind and like to sort things out out loud, so to speak. I also like to have deep conversations so feel free to jump in and comment. I'm glad you showed up and took the time to read. Welcome!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feeling the Love

In the year 1999, I found myself  living in a new state again, getting acclimated, trying to sort out our new normal. Over the course of a summer and with some valuable input from ladies God placed in my path, I, with my husband's help,  decided to embark on the adventure we call "homeschooling". You might guess that this was no small undertaking. 

While it was a big challenge and an even bigger commitment (or maybe that should be reversed!), my children were all pretty happy with the decision. At the time, I had a 7th grader, 4th grader and a 2nd grader. That little 2nd grader barely looked up from the dinner table after our grand announcement and said, "Good. Now my teacher won't keep telling me to slow down, I'm working too fast." You know, I didn't even know that was going on. (and it wasn't because she was making mistakes.) 

I clearly remember the excitement, fear, and all-out joy over choosing our new school books. Oh! And the fun of getting those boxes loaded with OUR books! However, and you might have experienced this, it wasn't all rosy. In fact, at times it was awful. Not as awful as keeping up w/ 7 - 8 different teachers and their after-school plans for my family, but awful nonetheless. Please note: MOSTLY it was wonderful. Mostly.

I distinctly remember having goals for that year. One child needed to be released from the pressure of perfect grades and the sense that a "B" was failure. One child needed to be free to explore the fun of learning and see all that was out there. And then one needed to be shown that he wasn't dumb (by anyone's standards!) and discover how very smart he is. They all needed to know how much was out there for them and that it was all accessible. 

Our first day of homeschooling! Taylor, Mike, Rachel
Back to awful. Each child, and this won't surprise you a bit if you've raised or taught more than one child, experienced school in totally different ways. TOTALLY. Even so, there was one with whom I tended to go round and round. On the aforementioned "awful days" I struggled to keep learning fun. I feared losing him academically and that was before I brought him home. I certainly didn't want to finish him off and cut off his potential or convince him that learning was some dreaded task. I  wanted him to thrive, no  flourish. But on an awful day, which may or may not have had a thing to do with the kids or homeschooling, but could've had more to do with me and my own issues, on that kind of day, at least once, I dropped the math book in his lap and harshly said, "FINE! Teach yourself math!" Son, right here and now I apologize. I was wrong.

However, all 3 of those same children are now full-grown adults. 1 is married and 2 are in college. Today was the first day of classes. My precious child, now 21 years old, a junior in college on a full academic scholarship, called home. He chatted about 15 minutes. I listened. He told me about driving issues, parking issues & cute girl issues. He told me about his schedule, his book buying and how badly his truck was running. He told me about his professors and who was in his classes that he knew.  Basically, he just called to tell me all about his first day of class. My heart is full. SO FULL!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Biking in August (more random thoughts)

Oh, Gosh! As many of you know I procrastinated big time today. Fact is, I've been procrastinating off and on for about 2 months - but today, in spite of great determination, I found myself glued to the t.v., laptop on, well.. my lap!, still sipping coffee, whining about my need to exercise. I commented on it to myself. I said it out loud to my husband. I status-ed it on Facebook. I went upstairs and did a little yoga. I pitched the ball around for my doggie. I drank water. I had a snack. I dressed for a bike ride. All suited up, I got on said bike only to remember that my tire was wicky wacky and had to come back down the hill for some help from you know who. FINALLY at 11:24, no less, in Georgia, in August!, I hit the road for my bike ride. And I'm here to tell you it was hard from the get-go. 

As always, I had a list of thoughts flitting through my mind. Truth is, I really can't think beyond a simple sentence or two when huffing and puffing that much. So, here are todays random thoughts:

  1. stOOpid procrastinating!
  2. 11:24 is ridiculously late to be heading out in August.
  3. I want things that can only be gained through this kind of effort.
  4. I'll be glad I did this (yeah, right!).
  5. The shade feels good.
  6. I don't think I'll make it 2 miles the way I feel.
  7. My legs are really killing me.
  8. My water didn't stay cold very long!
  9. I wish I had 2 water bottles.
  10. It's GOT to be hotter than 85 degrees!
  11. Oh yeah, that was the temp 2 hours ago. *sigh*
  12. Peddling down the ridge is like paddling on a big wave - just keeping my rhythm.
  13. Even the downhills aren't that refreshing.
  14. I used to be afraid of this kind of speed.
  15. Don't suppress success by underestimating your accomplishments.
  16. I'm having to stop and breathe/drink more than usual.
  17. I'm going further before I turn around. Furtherest turnaround so far!
  18. Even though the gear didn't shift properly I made the hill!
  19. I feel kind of sick.
  20. Calling for a ride home isn't the worst thing in the world.
It wasn't my best ride - for sure. However, I think I gained more from this one than others in the past. I pushed myself harder than ever. I found all kinds of successes and I found the point where I needed to swallow my pride and ask for some help. These are all valuable lessons. I sure am glad I'm home!

Oh! and I remember thinking: I hope the eagles and vultures don't figure out how wiped out I am! (I made it about 9 miles by the way. )

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Random Thoughts from My Bike Ride

I've put off hard core exercise for a few weeks now. I had some good reasons to begin with but before long it just turned into something I dreaded. So - with a little motivation from my nephew, Patrick, I decided this was the day to GO! It's a cloudy day, so it finally seemed like the time to get on my trusty, non-fancy, given-to-me, LL Bean bike and see how far I could make it after goofing off for a few weeks. I hoped for 4 or 5 decent miles. I made it about 9. SWEET! As I rode, some of the following came to mind:

  1. I can't hear the deer scooting through the woods from my cushy chair in the air conditioning.
  2. A little tiny lizard will move really fast to get out of my way.
  3. Sometimes a little breather will give you just enough umph to press on.
  4. Sucking in the gut (or core, to be trendy) helps.
  5. I hate the water bottle I took along.
  6. Better to walk a hill (or crawl up a mountain) than stand in the valley and never see the view.
  7. I LIKE biking!
  8. The downhills here are heavenly.
  9. The uphills here ... make the downhills heavenly.
  10. I wish Patrick and come over and gone with me.
  11. I should've called Patrick!
  12. I ride over a ridge on my "little" bike ride.
  14. At the end of my ride I was finishing hills in gears that I used to reserve for downhill only. : D
  15. I can't believe I put this off so long!
  16. I can't wait to jump in that lake even if the water is hot!

Monday, August 1, 2011

1st Born Gets Married

It's been 9 days. Nine days since my first-born married his true love.  Never really saw this far forward.

I was almost 26 when this child came into my life. Like other moms - birth and adoptive, I clearly remember the day I became a mom. I remember the waiting, the longing, the being ready for the next phase of my life. I was made to be a mother. I craved it in my very being. I'm so thankful God allowed it for I know that not all those who crave receive.

I had been to the hospital twice in false labor that week. About midnight on Feb 26th, I got up from bed to head to the bathroom when my water broke. I woke my husband to tell him, "It's time" only to hear, "Why don't you go on to the hospital [we were only a block away] and call if it's the real deal?". Oh my! The joys of a pilot on early week. WE went to the hospital and the next day I received a bundle in my arms that changed my life. I named him Andrew Michael. He was 9lbs 4oz and so very easy in every way.

Throughout his life, we've marveled at his easy going demeanor. He's a peaceful sort. He's so very smart and good looking, too. He loves Jesus. He loves his family. He loves steaks, ribs, and salmon. He hates most nuts. He's a great water-skier. He's good at noticing little details the rest of us miss.

And now.. he's married. He's joined himself to a beautiful young woman named Kelsi. They only have eyes for each other. I think each of them makes the other feel incredibly special and they each act as if they don't deserve the other one.

The wedding day was awesome. They chose to have a quiet, family-only type of wedding. We went to Tybee Island GA and were blessed with a breeze. Their ceremony clearly recognized Jesus Christ as Lord and focused on His love for His bride the church. They chose a vow to maintain a Christ-centered home. They didn't even notice the rest of us there. Afterwards, my daughter noted, "This is the way a wedding should be." I agree.

I feel no loss. Only joy. Joy at the enlargement of our family. Joy for my son having more family to support and love him. Joy for the years to come. Joy for my hope of grandchildren should God bless in that way. Joy for raising a child that chose such a spiritually beautiful woman. Joy for the hope of a forever-lasting marriage that would bring them the kind of joy my marriage brings me.

I pray God's bountiful blessing upon these two young people. May they live out Ephesians 5 and may God be glorified in their lives.