Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vacation is coming!

I'm not sure why I'm surprised when challenges arise, especially as we prepare for vacation. However, I have been taken by surprise a bunch this week. It was already a jam-packed week (how many aren't?), but as I went to a meeting last night, I realized that the air conditioning in the van didn't work. We are traveling for 2 weeks and, as Chris pointed out, we are going north for part of that time. But what a time to not work. We haven't needed it here for a couple of weeks, so imagine my surprise last night when it kept blowing warm air. Our van is only 2 years old, so I would not expect to have issues like this. Oh well, serves us right for not buying a GM product! ----They just called and said there is no refrigerant left. A rock put a hole in the condenser.-----

The silver linings have been abundant this week, though, so I need to keep my eyes on what God is doing in this. The dealership is looking at the problem as we speak, so we realistically could have air for the trip. Peter and Sam have been at VBS all week, and Peter invited a school friend on "bring a friend day." He was able, along with his teacher, to share the gospel with this little boy, who then declared that he wanted to be a Christian. How awesome is that?! Fred's workouts were moved this week in the exact way so that he could spend two days with two different friends when those boys were available. Ben got to spend the night with a good friend this week. And they will be able to fix the air conditioner today in time for us to get to the swim meet tonight. God is good all of the time. This week I have had so many opportunities to trust Him and be joyful. Stretching and growing....always a good thing in the end!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Swim team

We have embarked on yet another sports season. Peter and Sam wanted to do swim team this year. Sam, Fred and Ben did it when Sam was about 6, but they decided that they would rather go to the pool for fun instead of work. This year, though, Peter was confident in the water, and one of their best friends is on the team. You have to be able to swim across the pool to make the team, but the coaches are very lenient. It's great because they really learn how to swim, and they learn all of the strokes. I took Peter to practice, but he decided he would rather play than swim across the pool. So I just let it drop and figured I would have a free summer. Well, they started asking again, but tryouts had already come and gone. My friend called me the first day that they went to practice and said that the boys could still try out if they were interested. They were, so we went. Ben is an adamant non-swim-team kid, but when I got there I discovered that one of his best friends was swimming. Perfect. He could swim and be with his friend all summer. I called him and ran home to bring him to tryouts. Sam and Peter made the team and loved practice. Peter already swims so much better, and they have only practiced for a week and a half. Sam had a good time as well and was excited about it. Ben got out of the pool wearily, walked up to me and, in a hoarse whisper cried, "IT's boot camp! I hate it and I don't ever want to do it again. And if I ever say I want to do it again, stop me!" You see, they have two sessions, 1 for the 10 and under and one for the 11 and up. Ben is 12. He said they had to warm up doing lots of ab exercises. Then, if they paused on any of their laps, they had to do 50 push ups. Because he hadn't swam for a while, he was afraid he was going to drown. When I talked to a friend at the meet last night, she said that her daughter had to do 100 push ups because she stopped to adjust her goggles. She now practices with the younger group. Needless to say, Ben's aspiring swim season is over. Sam and Peter, however, are doing very well. They had their first swim meet last night. Peter swam in the free style relay and the 25 meter free, and Sam swam the free style and the backstroke. They enjoyed themselves and improved their times. Swim on!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer is here

We officially started our summer Friday afternoon as the last child got off the last bus for the last time until September (sniffle). I look forward with dread at the long days ahead! That sounds terrible, I know, but we have not had one 12 hour period since then without a major conflict. Chris said that it was 11:22 today, the first day with no school for the summer, when he heard the first, "I'm bored!" We have two weeks of wonderful vacation coming up---we can't wait to see everyone in Ohio! But that really doesn't help on Monday, June 16th at 2:20 in the afternoon. I know I'm complaining. I'm sure we will all survive, one moment at a time. This will be a huge opportunity to do some more growing spiritually and in those problem areas. We have started working on a Bible study called "Peace Makers for Kids." It is wonderful, but I'm sure that's one of the reasons we are having so many issues. As we try to work on those areas where we are weak or have troubles, those same areas seem to bubble up and grow to twice their normal size. Fred is 15 and Ben is almost 13. There are lots of hormones here right now. I hope that we can all laugh at this someday, and I also hope that the boys will still be friends 3 months from now. I'll let you know. Every year it is the same. Transition times are always difficult. We will survive! Things will get better. I hope it's sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Soccer parties

Well, we made it through the weekend. We had Ben's soccer party here on Thursday evening since so many were busy on the weekends. When Chris was handing out the trophies, the rooster would crow after he announced the names until he came to Ben. Poor Ben had no rooster crow. He waited and waited, and Chris moved on to the last trophy. After announcing Ben's friend Zach's name, the rooster crowed again. Ben was not happy with that bird, but it was hilarious.
Friday the heat moved in. Saturday morning we had 2 soccer games and a baseball game. For the first hour we had fog and clouds, but when that fog burned off, it was like an oven. I was at the baseball game with Fred, and we just kept thanking God that our game was the early one! Saturday night our county had Family Fun Night at the park. They brought in vendors and moon bounces and at dark they showed The Wizard of Oz on a huge blow-up screen. We brought 3 friends with us and settled down with our popcorn to watch when the lightening started in the distance. It had already stormed once and blown over. After about 10 minutes Chris said that we should go, so we packed up and marched to the van. By the time we were pulling out, they had stopped the movie and it started to rain. I have such a wise husband. We were able to get home and start the movie here before many people were able to get out of the parking lot.
Sunday we had a great church service and then a volunteer appreciation picnic. The kids all had to come to church too so the volunteers could be in the service, but that was fine since we all got glow-sticks on our way in. The theme was "Let your Light Shine," and it was such a fun day to be at church. After the picnic we had Peter's soccer picnic here. Despite the heat they all stayed outside and played kickball and basketball, jumped on the trampoline, and did the zip-line. It was a great day.
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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Band Concert Chaos

Last night was a different kind of evening than we had planned. Ben's final concert was supposed to be at the high school. There was a terrible storm coming as we drove to the school. After we dropped Ben off at the door, the radio announced a tornado warning for our county as we parked. When we walked into the school, we were told to go to the interior hall to wait until the warning was over. It wasn't a long one, and it wasn't even raining out, so we waited patiently in the hall and chatted with friends. They announced the end of the warning, so we headed to the concert. As the kids got set up, we could hear rumbles of thunder and pouring rain overhead. Ben is in 6th grade, but their band is so good. I am amazed at what Mrs. Mandudis has done with them in the course of a year. They are usually together and usually in tune, a rarity among middle school bands when I was part of one. They played 4 songs, and as they prepared to play the 5th, appropriately titled "The Tempest," we were told of another tornado warning and escorted to the hall again. This time you couldn't see outside for all of the rain. It was a little more tense and lasted a whole lot longer. Ben stayed with the band in the inner hallway near the auditorium. Fred had gone into the gym to watch the faculty versus seniors basketball game, so we assumed he was in the locker room hallway. This time the warning was extended instead of being lifted. Finally, at 8:15, they lifted the warning and cancelled all events for the evening. It was a sad ending to Ben's only year in band. I hope they reschedule the concert. The 7th and 8th grade band didn't get to play a note. This picture is Chris and Peter in the hallway waiting out the storm. There were funnel clouds spotted, but no tornados touched down. We drove through some rivers and past many dark houses to get home, but thankfully we didn't lose power or trees.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Time is short. School is over next Friday, the 13th. The list is becoming longer and longer. Last night was my first crash. I subbed at the high school, then came home and did dinner so that Fred and Chris could eat before baseball. Then I mopped the floor, thinking I could get ahead on my chores for today. Then, it was all I could do to walk to the couch and flop. That was it for me for the rest of the night. That's when I know I need to take stock and calm down. Our average activity level is 3 things per night this spring. I think it's finally getting to me. But thankfully things are wrapping up. Peter only has 2 more soccer games. Sam only has one. We have two soccer parties here this week. Ben's final concert (probably ever) is Wednesday. Our Bible study has taken a break for a few weeks. Maybe there will be some breathing room. I hate to live this way, but when there are 4 kids involved, it isn't an option. I will be so glad when summer comes and they are asking what they can do because they are bored! The problem is with me. I let these things overwhelm me. Each week for the past month I have spent my days preparing for something that week. That's not a bad thing. There will be a week, soon, where I won't have to prepare for some event. I plan to read, sleep, eat, and finally dust my bedroom. Then maybe I'll have something better to blog about as well!