Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy 40th Birthday, Scott

I loved you when we were in our 20's and we were getting married, having babies, and lived in 2 apartments and owned 3 different houses and life was crazy.

I loved you when we were ( okay, I stll am for another precious 5 months) in our 30's and we were raising toddlers who all of a sudden are teens and pre- teens and life revolved around our little family.

I will love you now that we are in our 40's and will prayerfully experience kids graduating and going to college and possibly getting married.  Then it will come back to the way we started, the two of us. 

I loved you then, I love you now and I will love you forever!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Blessing of an Involved Dad

At the beginning of August, I left for 2.5 weeks to speak at a convention in California and then to work at the My Father's World office as a homeschool consultant (fancy speak for answering phone calls and fielding questions).  That means that Scott had the kids at home for 1.5 weeks and then took them all on a road trip to Space Camp for a week.  Yes, by himself.  He is a brave man.

Now, the first thing a Mom has to realize and release is that Dad will not do things in the same way a Mom will.  No way, no how.  However, a smart Mom should recognize that this is  blessing.  When Mom steps out of the way and lets Dad (or makes Dad, while still feeling like she might be feeding him to the lions) some very beautiful things happen.

1.  Dad and kids start forming relationships that they might never have had if Mom was always there.  My kids formed deeper relationships with their Dad because I haven't been there.

2.  Dads teach kids things that a Mom would never think of.  For example:

Spam and Mac and Cheese are awesome.  (Mom might not agree with all of these things)

Cleaning the floor with a wash cloth is fine as long as the floor gets clean and then the cloth gets tossed in the washer.

If you can't find enough clean underwear for said road trip, go to Wal-Mart and buy new ones.

Building a Van De Graff generator is a great way to spend an evening.

We are all in this together and if Mom comes home to a dirty house, we are all going to pay.

Demerit systems as a discipline technique.  Who knew?

3.  I don't think that my kids will ever forget that the one thing their Dad wanted for his 40th Birthday was to go to Space Camp with all of them.  He could have gone by himself by no, he wanted them to experience it with him.  That, is by far the best thing he could have done for them.  That his best present was to spend time with them and then made it happen on a 2 day each way road trip.

Prayerfully, all of our husbands are involved Dads.  I found that praising, encouraging and asking my husband to be involved was far better than demanding he be involved in our kids life.  We Moms need to be careful not to criticize our husbands when they do things their way.  Have the kids survived?  Did they eat? Did they have a good time?  Did they learn something new?  Then great!  You can clean the mess up, give them vegetables and no sugar for the next week and put them to bed early to make up for the sleep they lost.  All of these things seem big but in the grand scheme of things, like your kids and their Dad having a vibrant relationship, they are tiny indeed.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oregon Coast Vacation - part 2

The twins "exploring" at Crater Lake.

The family!

My very beautiful,  pregnant sister and her lovely husband.

Our beloved Grams with the kids at a Rose Garden in Portland.

At Tillamook for cheese and ice cream.

My cousin, her husband and her three children met us at Seaside, OR for a week at the beach.

We so love Dave and Steph.  They are our kind of people.

Scott is so happy exploring the Tidal Pools at Haystack Rock.

Playing at the beach!

Caileigh digging a hole to "catch" Uncle Dave.

Uncle Dave "falling" in the hole.

The cousins!

The biggest sand castle/land/amusement park/ waterway system ever.

The big boys helped.

Grams walking the beach with the kids.

Grams and some of her girls.

Last year after our vacation to Washington and Oregon my cousin, her husband and Scott and I promised to get back together, so after much finagling we found a week and a beach house.  We invited whatever family could make it and we proceeded to meet in Seaside, OR for a week at the beach. 

We had a great time.  We don't often find families that raise kids like we do, think like we do and enjoy each other and are family.  When we do find these people, it is so important to make the time to get together.  It's good for you, for your kids and the entire family.  I loved laughing when my cousin or her husband said something that made my kids turn and say, "YOU say the exact same thing, Mom!"  Like mindedness is a beautiful thing.

My cousin is the very soul of servanthood which kept us fed and organized and her wonderful kids follow in her footsteps.  Her husband, Dave, is a wonderful, funny, Godly leader of his home and kept us laughing the entire week.  My Grams is always the backbone of the family and it is so lovely to see her spending time with our kids.  My sister is delightful and we so enjoyed getting to know her husband  more.  Not to mention that he is very competitive which makes games so fun ( especially when you beat him).  He got even, though. It's a good thing he only stayed for two of the days, he might have showed me up and that might have been a problem!

I love that Scott and Dave get along so well and complement each other well, for good and for not so good.  Even though her kids are older than mine, they all played and went for walks and generally just enjoyed themselves.   I soaked in the laughter, camaraderie and love that were the hallmarks of the week.  I even enjoyed making meals and cleaning because Steph and I did it all together.  

I can't wait for next year, whatever we do will be great.  I hope you can find a family or two that are like minded and find time to be together.  It is a blessing to "live" life together and your kids will be blessed by other examples of Godly families.